Earth from Apollo 17

Earth from Apollo 17

“Think globally, act locally.” Anon (attributed to various)


I was talking on a message board, talking about the Earth and what we can do about it. And then someone told me that everything I was saying was “nice” but wasn’t realistic, a bit too idealistic. I wondered why, because for me I was talking about very real subjects with very real implications. The energy in the words was very real for me.

It’s difficult to talk about global things when people are so entrenched in their local lives. For some, a global vision of things seems a bit too detached from an individual’s life. I mean, if you can’t directly deal with it “why bother?” say some.

Then there are others who get too overwhelmed by it all. I had that feeling recently when I read Battle for the Planet. There are so many issues in the world that one person can’t possibly resolve all of those. So yes, it is overwhelming. But then I set out in myself to resolve something at least, even if just inside myself.

The book gave me a vision of everything that has to be done on Earth, so I had the “Think globally” resolved. But without some balance, I’d be overwhelmed. That’s where the “Act locally” comes in, something I think really balances it out. Without it we’d be crushed under the weight of such responsibility. Think globally, Act locally says, “yes the world is the responsibility of each individual, but only take as much as you can handle.”

I’m a global realist, it’s pragmatism as if the world mattered. Although I can’t take responsibility for the whole planet, I can take responsibility of it in my local life, and it works!

“We stand at a crossroads. In the past the pursuit of ‘progress’ in the industrailized West was founded on four dominant beliefs: that people dominate the earth, that they are masters of their destiny, that the world is vast and unlimited, and that history is a process of advancement, with every problem solvable. But we must now call into question those four basic beliefs. Instead the essential basis for sustainable development must be concern for the world’s environment. We need individual participation at all levels in the care of the planet and, based on this deeper and wider perception of the basis of life and human activity, we need profound changes in economic and social attitudes. If the planet is to be saved, this is the a battle we are all called on to fight.” André Singer, Battle for the Planet

I was in a second had shop in Geneva, perusing through the English section of books and I found “Battle for the Planet.” Just the title caught my attention, and after a quick look I decided to buy it. Although it was written a couple of decades ago for a tv program, and written for what was going on at the time, much of the information and especially its message is still relevant today as it was back then. The sea is still polluted, the land is still misused, forests are still being destroyed and people are suffering from all of this aswell.

But also, it is not a hopeless case. And although, as individuals, we may not be able to resolve all of the issues in the book. The very least we can do is to answer and resolve the problems it poses in our own lives, by the means that we are capable of. That’s the meaning of “Think globally, Act locally,” have a vision of what’s happening in the world and apply the implications in your own life, fight for the planet in your own life. You could be fighting for it politically, socially, spiritually or practially, there are many fronts on which to fight this battle, and many ways to be an eco-warrior. But it always begins with the individual and then expands from there.