Earth Day and Earth Civilization Project

by    /  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

Poet, playwright, actor, and director Tarık Günersel worked at Istanbul City Theater as a dramaturg. His works include Breaths of Infinity (a mosaic of poems) and My 300th Birthday Speech (short stories). His Becoming consists of his aphorisms and various ideas from world wisdom. His plays include Billennium, Nero and Agrippina, Sociology of Shit, Threat and Virtually Yours. He has written four libretti for the composer Selman Ada: Ali Baba & 40, Blue Dot, Forbidden Love, and Another Planet. His translations into Turkish include works by Arthur Miller, Samuel Beckett, Vaclav Havel and Savyon Liebrecht. His presentation of World Poetry Day to PEN International in 1997 led to its adoption by UNESCO. As the former president of PEN Turkey Center he was elected to PEN International Board in Tokyo from 2010 to 2012. In 2013 he initiated the Earth Civilization Project with the collaboration of several intellectuals from around the planet.

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Fearless, Ink.