Humanism for This Coming Century
Waves of Humanism have come and gone, and Humanists have paired up with feminists, civil rights leaders, and many more in the fight for equality. While those fights are still raging on, there is a new, even bigger fight that is brewing: Environmental degradation, including (but not limited to) climate change, pollution, and overpopulation.
Old style Humanism, which fought against the oppression caused by religion, especially relating to women’s rights, did not often touch on the environmental issues that were starting to come out of the wood work at that time. More modern Humanists have seen the science coming out about climate change and recognize that we need to do something about it. Humanists are known for positive outlook and we can be leaders in pushing for a ‘positive environmental’ outlook with real solutions to our energy crisis and a way to make environmentalism a major part of our cultural definition of ‘progress.’
I am not saying that Humanists were ever anti-environment, for Humanists very much recognize that we are a part of nature and we must protect it, but Humanists have seemed to not fight to protect the environment in the same way that us Humanists fight for equality. I am an environmentalist and Humanist and I see that we have to fight for the environment, especially in this Century, so that we can sustain human life for many centuries to come.
This Century is when all of civilization comes to a head. If current predictions hold (in fact it may be worse than what predictions say), by mid- to late- Century, we will be fighting for our very survival as a species in the most direct way possible. This is a Century for change and hope and reason! But we can also squander our time here with avoiding the subject, and in this Century, see the decline of our world societies.
As Humanists, we will continue to fight for equality, reason, compassion, science, and education, but we must also fight vigorously for the environment. We must fight for solar, wind, space solar, etc energy. We must fight for sustainable living spaces that include gardens and energy sources, which can help those buildings run on their own generated food and power. We must fight to build up, instead of out. We must fight for mass transportation. We must fight for *true* recycling, instead of ‘downcycling.’ And we must fight for the end of landfills and the economic implementation of the laws of ecology This Century is a Century for change, and we must be the leaders!