VIII. Earth Earns: An Open Participatory Earthropocene to Astropocene CoCreativity
5. An Earthropocene Future: Planetary Patriots/Matriots Achieve an Organic Ecovillage Gaia Viability
UNESCO-EOLSS, Joint Committee. Knowledge for Sustainable Development. UNESCO Publishing, Oxford: EOLSS Publishers, 2002. A three volume synopsis of the 50,000 page online Encyclopedia of Life Support Systems. Thousands of articles by authorities from every scientific and managerial discipline are intended to provide a resource base for global sustainability. The website is www.eolss.net and requires a fee-based subscription to access. Yet the many articles, almost all by men, seem as separate objects devoid on a encompassing cosmology which could inspire our commitment.
VanderWeele, Tyler. On the Promotion of Human Flourishing. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. 114/8148, 2017. The Harvard University, Program on Integrative Knowledge and Human Flourishing, scholar surveys this late turn from healing psychic maladies to empowering better personal and social lives. Six relevant domains are Happiness and Life Satisfaction, Mental and Physical Health, Meaning and Purpose, Character and Virtue, Close Social Relationships, and Financial and Material Stability.
Many empirical studies throughout the social and biomedical sciences focus only on very narrow outcomes such as income, or a single specific disease state, or a measure of positive affect. Human well-being or flourishing, however, consists in a much broader range of states and outcomes, certainly including mental and physical health, but also encompassing happiness and life satisfaction, meaning and purpose, character and virtue, and close social relationships. The empirical literature from longitudinal, experimental, and quasiexperimental studies is reviewed in attempt to identify major determinants of human flourishing, broadly conceived. Measures of human flourishing are proposed. Discussion is given to the implications of a broader conception of human flourishing, and of the research reviewed, for policy, and for future research in the biomedical and social sciences. (Abstract)
Visvanathan, Nalini, et al, eds. The Women, Gender, and Development Reader. London: Zed Books, 1997. A sourcebook which runs from theory to practice, with an emphasis on emerging areas where women are particularly disenfranchised and brutalized. For one example, Vandana Shiva advises a new appreciation of the cosmic feminine principle of creative life as a way to overcome rampant destruction.
Voda, Mihal, et al.
Geosystems’ Pathways to the Future of Sustainability.
Nature Scientific Reports.
An appropriate collaboration across four continents of computational geographers from Dimitrie Cantemir University, Romania, University of Nairobi, Wuhan University, and California State University broach a proposal for a global facility whose Google Earth apps can be accessed on tablet devices so as to achieve and record instant visualizations of close and wide scope. By this capability, streaming evaluation and management of bioregion ecosystem health or lack thereof can be constantly surveyed.
The world’s future development depends on effective human-computer linkages. From local to global, the virtual illustrations of a geographical, integrative place have to emphasize a peoples‘ place on our round Earth. Human values and social networks are now empowered by the unlimited creativity of smartphone applications. Our Geosystem grounded theory envisions that the sustainable management of natural resources requires that poorer communities have full access to the new technological advances. This paper will attempt to show the effectiveness of Geomedia techniques in the identification, evaluation, and valorization processes for the benefit of local inhabitants. This present methodology uses smartphone apps, Google Earth environmental datasets, Global Positioning Systems, and WebGIS for an assessment of regions throughout the world. (Abstract edits)
Wals, Arjen, ed. Social Learning: Towards a Sustainable World. Wageningen, Netherlands: Wageningen Academic Publishers, 2007. Some 53 authors from six continents engage the Principles, Perspectives, and Praxis of how we might converse and act together, talk and walk, to achieve the imperative of healthy, prosperous, and diverse, communities everywhere.
In short, the argument stresses the need for a seismic shift, from the still dominant underpinnings of modernism, through and beyond the inroads of deconstructive postmodernism, and towards a relational, ecological or participative consciousness appropriate to the deeply interconnected world that we have created. (Stephen Sterling, 63)
Waltner-Toews, David, et al, eds. The Ecosystem Approach: Complexity, Uncertainty, and Management for Sustainability. New York: Columbia University Press, 2008. This volume edited by Canadian naturalists first introduces nonlinear theories, especially far-from-equilibrium, self-organizing, complex adaptive systems that distinguish environments of flora and fauna, so to provide novel guidance for their practical application. Local case studies by a global array of authors with topics such as Agrosystem Health in the Central Highlands of Kenya, Rehabilitation of the Cooum River in Chennai, India, and Food, Floods, and Farming in the Peruvian Amazon are then documented, which also draw on indigenous lore. For example, New Zealand ecologist Charlotte Helen Sunde shows how a consideration of the Whanganui River as a dynamic, intricate ecosystem, in much accord with Maori traditions, can illume its sustainable flow vs. its exploitation and loss due to invasive power projects. From the insights of Raimundo Panikkar, she shows how a once and future indigenous “witness” or holistic continuity with fluid nature can counter the mechanical reductions of consumptive development.
Wang, Rusong, et al.
Understanding Eco-Complexity: Social-Economic-Natural Complex Ecosystem Approach.
Chinese Academy of Sciences, Laboratory of Urban and Regional Ecology, (Wang and Feng Li) and University of California, Riverside, Ecological Complexity and Modeling Laboratory, (Larry Li) provide a unique perspective upon ecological remediation, worth a special notice. Within their Asian milieu, it is advised that valued guidance can be availed from the abiding principles that grace ancient Chinese natural philosophy, as founded on harmonious relations between heaven and universe, earth and resource, human and society. This primordial wisdom teaches, for example, Yin-Yang as complementary balance, a similar Zhong Yong dialectic, Feng Shui ecoscape design, Wuxing theory of the five movements of organic networks, and so on.
Weiming, Tu. The Ecological Turn in New Confucian Humanism. Daedalus. 130/4, 2001. In a special edition on religion and ecology, this essay by the Harvard University scholar (search) is a good capsule of his thought as a vital way forward via Asian wisdom to heal and sustain an Earth community. As his many writings convey, it is an “anthropocosmic vision” (see also this site section) of a familial trinity of heaven, Earth and humanity. In contrast to a western inability to get an effective act together, in denial of any greater reality, this perennial tradition abides a numinous milieu with its own organic, procreative propensities. By these lights can be availed a dynamic dance of gender complementaries so as to live lightly, sensibility, respectfully in a personal, relational, and global milieu.
The Confucian worldview, rooted in earth, body, family, and community, is not a passive acceptance of the physical, biological, social, and political constraints of the human condition. Rather, it is dictated by an ethic of responsibility informed by a transcendent vision. We do not become "spiritual" by departing from or transcending above our earth, body, family, and community, but by working through them. Indeed, our daily life is not merely secular but a response to a cosmological decree. Since the Mandate of Heaven that enjoins us to take part in the great enterprise of cosmic transformation is implicit in our nature, we are Heaven's partners. (245)
Wessel, Gregory and Jeffrey Greenberg, eds. Geoscience for the Public Good and Global Development: Toward a Sustainable Future. Boulder, CO: Geological Society of America, 2016. A dedicated volume from initial encouragements onto such aspects as Mineral and Energy Resources, Waste Management, Hazard Reduction, Water Resources, and Urban Development. An opening chapter is Geoethics: Ethical, Social, and Cultural Values.
Westbroek, Peter. Taming Gaia: The History of the Dutch Lowlands as an Analogy to Global Change. Schneider, Stephen, et al, eds. Scientists Debate Gaia. Cambridge: MIT Press, 2004. The senior ecologist contends that informed human intervention is indeed necessary to achieve a sustainable biosphere, that nature left alone will not do this. A case in point is cited as the stabilization and restored fertility of the land and seascape around the town of Nieuwkoop.
The biggest problem standing in the way of taming Gaia may be in the coordination of the global human community. Humanity will not stand a chance as long as it remains divided by differences of culture, wealth, and resources. (220
Westra, Laura, et al, eds.
Reconciling Human Existence with Ecological Integrity: Science, Ethics, Economics and Law.
The editors are University of Windsor emeritus philosopher Laura Westra, Klaus Bosselmann, University of Auckland environmental lawyer, and Richard Westra, Pukyong National University political economist. This significant volume is a 15 year report upon, and essays in support of, the work of Global Ecological Integrity Group. Founded by Laura Westra in 1992, as its website www.globalecointegrity.net advises, is dedicated to “Sustaining Global Ecological Integrity and Human Health Through Science, Ethics and the Law.” The endeavor includes some 250 scholars with many publications and annual conferences to its credit. Five parts grace the volume: Foundations of Ecological Integrity, Ecological Integrity and Biological Integrity, Ecological Integrity and Environmental Justice, Ecological Integrity, Climate Change and Energy, and Future Policy Path for Ecological Integrity. Typical topics are Global Public Good and Governance, Indigenous Rights, Water Wisdom, and a Sacred Covenant with Nature. To pick a paper, we could cite “Confounding Integrity: Humanity as a Dissipative Structure” by University of British Columbia ecologist William Rees.
Worldwatch, Institute. Vital Signs 2003. New York: Norton, 2003. This volume and the annual State of the World series by these folks are some of the best sources for insightful essays and real information on topics from Agriculture to Waste Disposal.