Earth Day and Earth Civilization Project

by Tarık Günersel    /  April 17, 2014  / No comments

Sampsonia Way columnist Tarik Günersel shares a new post encouraging us to see Earth Day as an occasion to reconsider our collective existence on this planet.

Earth Day Flag

The Authentic Earth Flag (a.k.a. Earth Day Flag), proposed by John McConnell. Photo: Wikimedia.

April 22 is Earth Day, a new chance to look at our planet from the perspective of the Earth Civilization Project (ECP), which not only includes environmental issues, but also invites Earthlings to contribute to the formation of a collective Earth Civilization.

Earth Day
Earth Day is celebrated annually on April 22, and is a day on which events are held worldwide to demonstrate support for environmental protection. It was first celebrated in the United States in 1970, but is now coordinated by the Earth Day Network and celebrated in more than 192 countries each year.

ECP on Earth Day
Earth Day presents a good chance to discuss the prospects for Earth Civilization, a project whose roots have been at least partly formed. In the future, multidisciplinary panels could be organized in harmony with Earth Day and the ECP Declaration, facilitating the sharing of ideas between the two Earth-related movements.

The Social Conquest of Earth
Edward O. Wilson’s approach in The Social Conquest of Earth (Liveright, 2012) is in harmony with the ECP Declaration:

“If global changes caused by HIPPO (Habitat destruction, Invasive species, Pollution, Overpopulation, and Over-harvesting) are not abated, half the species of plants and animals could be extinct… by the end of this century.”

“Perhaps the extraterritorials just grew up. Perhaps they found out that the immense problems of their evolving civilizations could not be solved by competition among religious faiths, or ideologies, or warrior nations. They discovered that great problems demand great solutions, rationally achieved by cooperation among whatever factions divided them. [That] would be enough to settle down and explore the limitless possibilities for fulfillment on the home planet.” (pp.296-297)

Ideals are Refreshing
Amidst all sorts of violence, corruption, oppression and exploitation, Joan Baez comes to the rescue: “We shall overcome!

Her voice is like a message from a pleasant dream during difficult times. Such as now, after the scandalous local elections in Turkey, where PM Erdoğan’s oppressive AK Party government is responsible for systematic fraud–in addition to corruption and despotism.

A Wish
May Earth Day be fruitful for our good old planet and for the possibilities of Earth Civilization.

About the Author

Tarık Günersel is a poet, playwright, aphorist, librettist and short story writer. He is the president of PEN Turkey and an ex-member of the PEN International Board. He studied English Literature at Istanbul University. A self-exile after the military coup in 1980, he spent four years in Saudi Arabia with his wife Füsun and their daughter Barış, teaching English. A dramaturg at Istanbul City Theater since 1991, he has acted on stage and screen and directed some of his plays. He proposed World Poetry Day in 1997 which was accepted by PEN International and declared by UNESCO as the 21st of March. His translations into Turkish include works by Samuel Beckett, Vaclav Havel and Arthur Miller. His works include The Nightmare of a Labyrinth (mosaic of poems and stories), and How’s your slavery goin’? His Oluşmak (To Become), a “life guide for myself,” includes ideas from world wisdom of the past four millennia. He has recently initiated the Earth Civilization Project with the support of several intellectuals from various parts of the planet.

View all articles by Tarık Günersel

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Fearless, Ink.