Even as our global economy joins us together, even as our technology enables the fusion of our separate societies and national cultures into a planetary civilization, our environmental biosphere makes us already ONE.
Humanity is part of nature, not separate from it, and we are given not dominion, but the custodianship of caretakers. We are entrusted with the responsibility of conscientious stewardship, of guardians, to whom falls the obligation of preserving the natural wonders and the delicate life-giving balance of the planet we have inherited until it is time for us to pass this living world on to the next generation.
The on-going destruction of our global ecosystem is the greatest threat facing our people. The potential collapse of the spaceship Earth's life-support system, as evidenced by the depletion of the ozone layer, global climate change, deforestation, and mass extinction, is the Sword of Damocles hanging over the head of every man, every woman, and every child on Earth.
Earth is one living body with global circulatory and respiratory systems. Anything which affects a single part of the biosphere affects all other parts. Any human action which impacts one aspect of the environment, which creates stress on one segment of this closed, interconnected planetary life-support system, stresses and alters the entire system. Each major crisis of destruction and negative change reinforces and increases the momentum of all others.
Many will pick up the call for planetary unification in the coming years and will begin to identify and warn of the threats facing our people, but let me clearly state that humanity now faces the possibility of extinction before our children's generation reaches the end of its natural time on Earth. We are fast approaching what the late oceanographer Jacques-Yves Cousteau called "a moment of no recovery". For the first time in history we have the power to destroy the life-support systems of planet Earth through our own inaction.
How will humanity survive if a lifeless ocean and massive crop failure from ozone depletion and global climate change, if altered temperature, ocean currents, wind direction, rainfall, and increased levels of ultraviolet radiation trigger a final, devastating, worldwide famine?
How will a planet that is not politically, economically, and socially unified, where we, the people of Earth, are not given direct control over our own destiny and the future of our children, muster the massive resources and collective will to take the immediate coordinated planetary action which is needed to prevent the extinction of humanity?
How will nation-states which are divided over religious, political, philosophical, racial, and cultural differences, which are ignoring the primacy of our common biology and joint destiny, which are already squandering the natural resources of our planet, the riches of our people, and the birthright of our unborn descendants, on the $900 billion spent globally, each year, on armaments while forty million of our people die of hunger each year and forty thousand of our children under the age of five starve to death every single day, react to planetary famine, to billions of refugees wandering across the surface of a planet which is rapidly becoming uninhabitable?
Only the unification of the West and Russia, allied planetary action to bring a decisive end to World War III and lasting global peace, order, and security, immediately followed by direct, comprehensive, and irreversible planetary unification, will prevent World War III from becoming a final World War over food and clean water, a terrible twilight struggle in which the human race commits suicide with weapons of mass destruction.
These ecological threats, when combined with the social and economic problems which keep our people enchained in the slavery of poverty, add up to an equation whose only solution is planetary unification. As long as a single one of our children remains hungry, as long as a single one of our brothers and sisters remains enchained in the slavery of poverty, we are not free.
We must leave behind a planet that is unified and at peace, where the $900 billion spent each year on armaments around the globe are, instead, used to create a planet where every child is fed, clothed, and housed; guaranteed economic and social security; is provided free, life-long, equal access to education; is able to rise without external limitation to the level of his or her truest talent and deepest dream; is able to live without prejudice and discrimination according to his or her highest truth and is free to seek that truth and define the purpose and direction of his or her life, the very meaning of his or her existence, according to the dictates and free exercise of individual conscience; and is able to grow in love, inner peace, and wisdom on a planet healed and whole.
When the last member of this generation passes from life, let he or she rest in the knowledge that the stars of the night sky await the sons and daughters of a unified humanity who will rise from this planet to spread enlightened civilization out into our solar system and beyond.
John J. Donna
Pittsfield, Massachusetts The United States of America
John J. Donna, 33, is a law student working for greater awareness of the citizens' issues which affect the people of the United States, the West, and Russia. He served as President of the Northeast Environmental Defense Council from 1990 to 1992. Donna has been both a talk show host and guest commentator on regional community-access television since 1990.