Are you concerned about the increasing levels of inequality, intolerance and disinformation in today’s world?
Are you worried that neo-conservative and libertarian views are undermining democratic government and the welfare state?
Are you fearful about the effects of climate change, pollution and loss of bio-diversity?
Then the moral values of Eco-humanity should appeal to you.
We read so often about the world’s problems that we fail to realise how much we have to be thankful for. In the West, from the end of the Second World War until about 1990, people experienced the greatest increase in health and wealth that the world has ever seen. Improvements in medical techniques and the introduction of the welfare state have added 15 years to life expectancy. Access to new technologies has enabled the less well-off to enjoy a much more life-fulfilling existence. There have been no wars between major powers and European nations have lived in peaceful co-existence. We have been able to unite behind a common set of moral values based on the liberal principles of freedom and equality, together with humanist, scientifically inspired rationality. We have become a much more tolerant, gentler and more caring society.
Since 1990 life in the West has taken a step backwards, the combination of the effects of climate change, new technology and globalisation have altered the way society operates. Divisions between rich and poor have begun to grow again. Liberal humanist values have come under increasing attack from the disaffected. Libertarian and neo-liberal attitudes have celebrated the success of the rich and marginalised those living in penury. There has been an increase in national and racial intolerance, known as populism.
When society changes there are always two options; either retrench, rally round the flag, try to prevent change and look after one’s own, or reach out and co-operate and try to make the new society work for the good of everybody. Right now, everything seems to be pointing towards the first alternative. Populist politicians are rejecting the rational approach of liberal humanism. Global warming is not happening, according to the populists, even though records prove that average temperatures are rising inexorably every year. America has already elected a President who denies climate change and a Vice-President who denies the scientific truth of evolution.
All people, who believe in the principles of freedom, equality and rationality, need to unite and reject tribal, nationalist politics. However, this alone is not enough. The unrestricted pursuit of wealth is destroying Earth’s biosphere and is threatening our children’s future. We need to adopt an eco-friendlier lifestyle if we are to continue to thrive as a species. Liberal humanist ideals need to be enhanced by eco-friendly principles if we are to save the planet for our children.