Monday, January 18, 2010

Does "Green" mean Social Justice?

"Let us realize the arc of the moral universe is long but it bends toward justice." in Atlanta on August 16, 1967

The peace and justice movement has long been associated with race, class, social justice and poverty issues. The nonviolent resistance movement, beginning with Mahatma Gandhi in India, then on to Nelson Mandela in South Africa, and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. in Alabama, has seen a long, slow progression towards a measure of equality for minority groups. Equality and reparations have also come about for the Japanese citizens interred during World War II, as a result of consistent social pressure. The evolution of global human rights through the UN Charter and implemented through the International Criminal Court demonstrates how human society is moving forward in common cause.

While these movements are bringing about social changes to be celebrated, there remains the vast undertaking of the balancing of the worlds' resources with its people in a sustainable way. This translates to consumption, population, and the huge divide between those of great wealth who produce the largest CO2 footprint, and those who are at a bare subsistence level that perpetuates ecological destruction. Both extremes are unsustainable, hence the need to use social network development to solve these problems at the global scale in a way that preserves and enhances natural systems, and balances our whole way of existence.

Our unique human ability to communicate with each other and overcome seemingly intractable territorial and racial issues has not been used as well as it could be. This gift of self-awareness that we have is now being harnessed with technology and social networking in a creative fulcrum that has the capability to produce enormous "jumps" in problem-solving as it concerns energy and resources, and scaling down our need to consume planetary resources. We are developing methodologies to solve the resource issues that are the ancient grounds of war and crusade. The themes of the financial system collapse and the cybertechnology battles that are moving massive amounts of "paper money" digitally around the globe exhibit the growing disconnect between the old ways of grasping at "stuff" and the new vision of the value found in the natural environment and in the extension of the helping hand to each other as natural disasters- now in Haiti, and in 2004's Tsunami in Indonesia and Sri Lanka - take their course.

Have you noticed that everything is green now? Not black, white, brown or red.