It is now 2024 – the year of my 80th birthday. To this date (January 3, 2024) the human world is just as crazy as ever. The propensity of Homo sapiens to slaughter members of their own species has continued unabated since the dawn of human civilization. Racial, cultural, religious, and ideological differences seem to drive this horrific behavior even though, science has clearly shown that humans regardless of nation of origin, color of skin, differences in ethnicity are all members of the same human family.
The slaughter continues even though science has unequivocally demonstrated that, as a concept, race is a mythological construct. Two major wars are raging on the planet, and the carnage that is resulting from these conflicts is difficult to fathom. These wars are fine examples of the apparent inability of humanity to resolve differences other than through violent means.
As a direct result of the staggering economic, social and psychological impact that war engenders, humans are regressing and, as a result, are failing to thrive. Even though it is abundantly clear that the heartfelt acceptance of the recognition that we all members of the same human family would lead to a remarkably different and life-affirming future, we continue to behave in a way that ensures the horrific burden of human suffering of the kind that is unnecessary and stultifying.
From this reality, the question I would like to pose is the following – “Will we as a species ever truly learn from the lessons of our own history that our tendency towards violent behavior will ultimately undermine our collective future? There is, after all, no reasonable alternative to peace.
I realize that there is no answer to this singular question; I also know that it has been asked innumerable times in the past from all over this beleaguered planet. Humans, after all, are complex and often inexplicable creatures and the future destiny of humanity remains elusive.
I persist in my determination to live with my eyes wide open. After all, the reality of the human condition is the essential truth we can rely on and the study of history our truest ally and guide.
Friday, January 12, 2024
Wednesday, December 20, 2023
Remember the Children
Remember the children
crushed and obliterated
under the weight of 2000 pound bombs
screaming from the sky
dispatched by uncaring machines of death.
Remember the children of
religious differences that
seem so oblivious
to the suffering they engender.
Remember the children of the present
and the future
who live in a world
that offers no relief,
from the cruelty of their captors,
from endless punishment
over which they have no control.
Remember the children
for no good reason.
Remember the children
denied the capacity to thrive and grow
for they are our lost treasures
consumed by the raw power of hate.
Remember the children for
they hold in their feeble hands the
ultimate fate of humanity.
Remember the children
to forget is to
consign ourselves to an abysmal future
devoid of compassion and love
leaving us with an uncaring and brutal world.
Saturday, December 2, 2023
I am struck by the complexity of the nature of human relationships when one considers the manner in which human identity is established within each of us during our lifetimes. Constantly faced with a panorama of choices that constitute so much of our dealings with the world around us, our minds must continually filter, interpret, and analyze the constant stream of data that we take in through our senses. The sense of belonging that is such a potent driver within the self and in relation to others is further enhanced by one’s association with family, tribe and nation.These processes are complex and overlayed by our ever-changing state of mind, and the state of health of both body and mind. In addition, all of these “cerebral gymnastics” are influenced by our variable and often volatile emotional states of being that originate from a distinctly separate part of the architecture of the human brain. These choices are also constrained by the summation and convergence of innumerable past experiences that influence so much of the decisions we make.
I am pursuing this line of investigation into the nature of the internal world of the human mind (i.e. brain) in order to understand why there is so much suffering that can result from human interactions. It may be that the level of complexity that is inherent in each of us, as briefly outlined above, is further magnified in the arena of human interactions resulting in a vast panorama of possibilities and outcomes. To quote a line from the Bob Dylan song, Idiot Wind, “It’s a wonder we can even feed ourselves.”
Within the swirling matrix of human interactions, differences in attitude and viewpoint are bound to surface. It is within the nature of politics to find mechanisms to assuage differences in order to reach practical and sustainable solutions to societal problems. Within this elaborate matrix of human interactions with its wealth of possibilities, it becomes inevitable that there are those who succeed; those who fail and those who succumb.
I remember what my dear friend, Ralph, of long ago who was an immigrant from Jamaica and living in New York City, at the time, said to me. To paraphrase, he marveled at how well New Yorkers seem to get along given not only the sheer and often overwhelming population density but also the fact that so many came from disparate and diverse backgrounds. To me, this reality highlights the natural human longing to find harmony whenever possible. Sadly, this tendency is too often overshadowed by the equally powerful propensity to surrender to the emotionally-laden feelings of prejudice, bigotry, fear, and hatred.
Tuesday, October 17, 2023
Further exacerbating this untenable situation is the barbaric siege imposed upoon Gaza that has resulted in the blockade of all electrical power, water, food and medical supplies. Ironically, the scale of this inhumanity as a means of collective punishment is behavior reminiscent of Nazi Germany. If this behavior continues, massive death and unspeakable suffering will surely follow. Is this the kind of future scenario we are embracing with our silence?
After all, the overwhelming majority of the population of Gaza are not members of Hamas, or participants in the fanatical and violent extremist actions perpetrated by Hamas. Can the Israeli government actually claim innocence in the midst of all of this horror? Can they continue to propose that Hamas alone is evil as they are the originators of the horrific blockade that has persisted for so long, and as they intentionally bomb buildings where people reside, target ambulances, mosques, communal marketplaces, hospitals and even cars filled with individuals attempting to escape from the worst of the mayhem.
In the final analysis, in this the twenty-first century where we find humanity engulfed by two major conflicts, it seems that the human species has not learned much in regard to actively pursuing a path of social harmony and peace in over ten thousand years of civilization. This unavoidable reality still dominates human behavior even though science has clearly shown that all humans are members of the same human family and that as stewards of this planet, we continue to act in a way that is responsible for the inexorable deterioration of the ecological fabric that sustains all of life on this most remarkable planet Earth.
On September 8, the world was rocked by the incursion onto Israeli territory by gunmen directed by Hamas, the radical group in control of Gaza – from the extremely tiny territory of Gaza populated by over 2 million inhabitants that have been subjected to a severe and unconscionable blockade for 16 years. This blockade has successfully interdicted shipments of such important commodities as medical supplies, water and with effective control of electrical power that is supplied to this enclave. Free passage out of Gaza by Palestinians has been made virtually impossible. Gaza has been described as the world’s largest outdoor prison.
On Sept 8, a state of war became the second major global conflict in the human world adding to the ongoing Russia-Ukraine War.
My thoughts on this situation –
At times like these, it is tempting to take sides and offer a plethora of rationalizations regarding the infinite wisdom of going to war and fill ourselves with a sense of righteousness ennobled by our grievances. And yet, the age-old song of violence and retribution gets played once again. And once again, humanity is infected with a bolus of rage and hatred that will ultimately get us nowhere. And once again, true human progress is thwarted.
What is not clearly understood is that the human world is heading towards an unsustainable future, for humanity is undermining its own prospects by maintaining a structure with a vast imbalance in the distribution of wealth and the reliance on massive violence and death to sustain the status quo. This subservience to power leads inevitably to needless suffering on a massive scale. In addition to this recurring onslaught, we are collectively laying waste to the biological infrastructure that sustains all of life.
Shadows of War
Darkness once again falls
heavily upon this tiresome human world.
Shadows of war
propelled by ridiculous dreams of dominance and empire
sustained by minds
unable to see the horrid future they project,
unwilling to embrace the pain and suffering
unreceptive to the laments of mothers
over the children forever lost to the shrill
call of bombs and bullets
as explosions rip through the fabric of neighborhoods,
unrepentant for the death they distribute
to the innocent like candy,
for all the blood and bones and carnage,
for all the wrecked lives and distorted hatred
injected into the future,
unable to embrace all of humanity as equals,
ever ready to crawl into bed
with hollow and pointless death.
Shadows of war,
a long and tiresome story
revisited again and again
the litany long,
the dark foreboding song always the same,
the list seeming endless,
to the very beginnings of
How long can Homo sapiens endure?
how long can the natural world
upon which we depend
when we choose
chaos over harmony
needless death and unimagined suffering
over love and life,
darkness over light,
stupidity over real intelligence
over and over again.
Darkness once again falls
heavily upon this tiresome human world.
Thursday, February 23, 2023
James Earl Carter Jr. was born on October 1, 1924
in the provincial southern farming town of Plains Georgia. His father was a farmer and businessman and
his mother was a practicing nurse. As a
young child he moved with his family to a farm in the neighboring town of
Archery. Carter grew up in a thoroughly rural
community; his family’s home was without electricity and his neighbors were
Although at the time of his birth the highly segregated and
prejudicial cultural and legal infrastructure, collectively referred to as Jim
everywhere in evidence, his mother, Lilian, volunteered her nursing services as
a midwife and health care provider to her black neighbors. Her generous and caring nature had a profound
influence on the young Carter. His
father was an astute businessman and expanded his farm to include 4,000 acres;
he subsequently became a peanut broker and a retailer of farm supplies and
Carter was educated in the public schools and went to the
Georgia Institute of Technology before he enrolled in the United States Naval
Academy in Annapolis Maryland. His professional interest initially
gravitated towards science and technology.
He graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree and ultimately pursued
graduate studies in nuclear physics. It
was shortly after his graduation from the Academy that he married Rosalynn
Smith of Plains, Georgia. After earning
his doctorate in nuclear physics, Carter was chosen as an engineering officer
on the Sea Wolf – the second nuclear submarine commissioned by the U.S. Navy.
Carter’s military and professional career was suddenly cut
short by the sudden death of his father in 1953. In response to this tragedy, he resigned his
post and returned to Plains with his family - that now included three sons – to
assume the responsibilities of his father’s various family businesses including
the family farm. His father had served
in the Georgia state government as a House Representative. Carter, like his father, felt a responsibility
to serve his community and consequentially ran for a seat in the Georgia Senate. At first, it appeared that he had lost the
election, but an ill-conceived fraud was uncovered in which his opponent had
registered fictitious voters some of whom were deceased. Once the fraud was exposed, Carter became a
member of the Georgia State Senate and readily won reelection.
In 1966, Carter ran for governor of his state, but was
defeated by the overt racist and segregationist Lestor Maddox. Following this defeat, he was inspired by his
sister Ruth Carter Stapleton to reevaluate his life and had undergone a
spiritual reawakening that he later described as being, “born again.” Four years later he became Georgia’s
governor and during his acceptance speech made the exceedingly controversial and
unprecedented statement that, "the time for racial discrimination is
During his term as governor, he implemented many reforms
Increasing the percentage of African-Americans
in Georgia’s civil service by 40%
Equalizing the public funding for rich and poor
school districts in the state and, thereby, greatly enhancing educational
opportunities for those most in need
Increasing educational opportunities for
prisoners and the developmentally disabled
Streamlining government and eliminating wasteful
Canceling construction projects that would be
detrimental to the natural environment.
These progressive programs and policies drew the attention
of the Democratic Party and he was chosen to be the Democratic
National Committee (DNC) Campaign Chairman for the 1974
congressional election. On account of
the disastrous presidency of Richard Nixon of the Republican Party and the uninspired administration of President
Gerald Ford, the Democrats did well in the 1974 elections.
Since the constitution of the state of Georgia barred Carter
from running for a second term as governor, he decided to run for the
Presidency of the United States. With
highly focused energy and resolve, he campaigned rigorously in the democratic
primaries throughout the country and did so well that he won the nomination on
the first ballot at the party’s convention in Madison Square Garden, New York City.
Jimmy Carter became the President of the United States. His effectiveness has been called into
question by some who felt that he was not strong enough within the arena of
foreign policy, especially in regards to how he dealt with the nation’s
adversaries. Although he was
instrumental in getting the leaders of Egypt and Israel, President Anwar El
Sadat and Prime Minister Menachem Begin,
respectively, to agree on a plan for peace – the so-called Camp David Accords (a peace that is still in existence) - he had
the misfortune of being president during the successful Fundamentalist Islamic
Revolution in Iran in 1979 that led to the toppling of
the Iranian monarchy under the Shah.
This ultimately led to the taking of American hostages. The resulting standoff lasted for 444 days
beginning on November 4, 1979 and lasting until January 20, 1981. Coming under considerable domestic pressure,
Carter authorized a rescue mission referred to as Operation Eagle Claw that took place on April 24, 1980. This mission was an abysmal failure. It should be noted, however, that all the
hostages were ultimately returned safely and unharmed and that no war
ensued. However, Carter lost the support
of the American people and he failed in his reelection bid to Ronald Reagan in the 1980 election. The hostages were released within minutes of
Reagan’s swearing-in ceremony.
Unlike many presidents who have gone before him, Carter has
devoted his post-presidential life to the causes of peace and social justice
throughout the world. He has
accomplished this through the creation of the Carter Center. He describes this work in the following way,
“Our most dedicated investments of time and energy have been among the poorest
and most forgotten people of Guyana, East Timor, Haiti, Mali, Burkina Faso, Ethiopia, Niger, Liberia, Cote d’lvoire, Mozambique, Nicaragua, Ghana and other communities throughout Africa, Latin
America and the Middle East.”
The Carter Center recruits experts for the purpose of
dealing with following kinds of issues that plague many parts of the human
Disease Control and Prevention
These experts analyze complex political relationships that
underlie trouble spots around the globe and meet and exchange information
through intelligence briefings. The
Center also employs interns from some 350 different universities
worldwide. The staff of the Center works
closely with local governments and meets with those that are in need of
assistance in their homes and villages.
The Carter Center is a non-profit enterprise and depends upon individual
and corporate donations in order to function.
Carter sold the remainder of the family businesses in order to help
finance this monumental endeavor. The
site of the Center along with the Carter Presidential Library is located in
Atlanta, Georgia. As stated on the
Carter Center website (cartercenter.org), the Center’s mission is based on the
following five principles –
“The Center emphasizes action and results. Based on careful
research and analysis, it is prepared to take timely action on important and
The Center does not duplicate the effective
efforts of others.
The Center addresses difficult problems and
recognizes the possibility of failure as an acceptable risk.
The Center is nonpartisan and acts as a neutral
in dispute resolution activities.
The Center believes that people can improve
their lives when provided with the necessary skills, knowledge, and access to
It is not so much a think tank as it is an action
agency. Thanks to Carter’s careful and
judicious planning and conservative economic development, the Carter Center now
has an endowment of over 250 million dollars, and programs do not proceed until
the funding is assured. Some of the
programs that have been put into play through the Center include the fight
against diseases endemic to the tropics, especially malaria, river blindness and trachoma and improving the quality of food grains in
In addition, considerable efforts have been made towards
conflict resolution. For this purpose,
the Center employs Dr. Doyle Powell a fellow in conflict resolution. As a result of an analysis done regarding the
nature of conflicts, it has been found that nearly all the thirty-four
conflicts studied, involving battle deaths of at least 1000 individuals, are
civil wars. In order to help settle
these conflicts nonviolently, the Center has often called upon some of its more
influential members including Desmond Tutu, Oscar Aria, the former President of
Costa Rica, and Elie Weisel, a Holocaust survivor.
In the course of its work, the Carter Center has monitored almost 70
elections throughout the world in the course of 18 years.
On account of these extraordinary efforts, President Jimmy
Carter was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in October of 2002. The decision was based upon the following
reasons as stated by the Norwegian Nobel Committee -
“The Norwegian Nobel Committee has decided to award the
Nobel Peace Prize for 2002 to Jimmy Carter, for his decades of untiring
effort to find peaceful solutions to international conflicts, to advance
democracy and human rights, and to promote economic and social development.
During his presidency (1977-1981), Carter's mediation was a vital
contribution to the Camp David Accords between Israel and Egypt, in itself a
great enough achievement to qualify for the Nobel Peace Prize. At a time when the cold war
between East and West was still predominant, he placed renewed emphasis on the
place of human rights in international politics.
Through his Carter Center, that celebrated its 40th
anniversary in 2022, Carter has since his presidency undertaken very extensive
and persevering conflict resolution on several continents. He has shown
outstanding commitment to human rights, and has served as an observer at
countless elections all over the world. He has worked hard on many fronts to
fight tropical diseases and to bring about growth and progress in developing
countries. Carter has thus been active in several of the problem areas that
have figured prominently in the over one hundred years of Peace Prize history.
In a situation currently marked by threats of the use of
power, Carter has stood by the principles that, "conflicts must as far as
possible be resolved through mediation and international co-operation based on
international law, respect for human rights, and economic development.”
President Jimmy Carter’s devotion to the causes of peace and
social justice has certainly earned him such an honor. His tenacity is so formidable that his
efforts continue to this day.
Tuesday, January 17, 2023
There are many armed conflicts being waged all over the planet in the beginnings of the twenty-first century. The one predominant war that is currently raging is the Russian-Ukrainian War. This conflict has left many thousands of death and has devastated the infrastructure throughout the Ukraine. There are also many civil wars like the ongoing conflicts in Columbia and the Sudan. Others represent territorial conflicts like the battle between Pakistan and India over Kashmir and the long standing conflict between the Palestinians of Arab descent and the Israeli occupation of the West Bank. There is also a strong religious component to these conflicts as well. Other conflicts fueled by powerful religious and ethnic differences are exemplified by Lebanon’s civil war in the 1970s due in large part to the enmity between Muslims and Christians. Of course, the horrific and tragic genocide that took place in Rwanda can not be overlooked. This is by no means an exhaustive list of the various trouble spots that exist in the precarious world of humans. Overshadowing all of these calamitous events is an inexorable deterioration of the global environment.
On examining the ferocity of warfare, it is not difficult to come to the conclusion that the human species has failed to learn very much over its protracted history. The history of Europe from the Ancient Roman and Greek civilizations to the present, as an example, is replete with the carnage that is the inevitable outcome of innumerable wars. These conflicts helped shape not only the geopolitical contours of modern-day Europe, but also nurtured a sense of cultural superiority that propelled forward the colonial ambitions that so impacted the rest of the world. Many of the contemporary areas of instability and unrest are a direct consequence of the policies and actions of the colonial powers of the past.
Within the individual human psyche, there exists a constant tension between the force and power of the emotions driven by the passions embodied in territory, tribe, and nation, and that of reason. The more reactive emotions stem, in large part, from the evolution of the species in an environment that was essentially hostile and in which the forces of nature that impacted human experience were not understood and the causes of calamity were attributed to the gods, malevolent spirits or a particular enemy.
In the beginnings of the humankind, ignorance was prevalent, and fear and suspicion dominated and shaped human behavior. Although the advancement of science and technology has shed light upon many aspects of the human experience that were once shrouded in mystery, the inherent tendency to strike out violently against that which is feared and poorly understood remains to haunt human societies. What is particularly unique about humanity in the twenty-first century is the inescapable reality that the application of overwhelming force against a perceived enemy is no longer a viable solution especially considering the destructiveness of modern technological weaponry.
Over the thousands of years of human civilization, great empires have risen and eventually fallen. The cycle of empire-building and dissolution has generally followed the same inexorable path. The beginning stage is represented by the rise of a local community of common origin followed by a gradual accretion of power, usually by force. Success at this initial stage leads to an ascendancy through the use of superior military strength that overshadows all opposition and leads to the conquest of local adversaries. As power becomes increasingly concentrated into an overweening empire, there is a tendency to expand and overextend the sphere of influence and domination. This ultimately leads to an exhaustion of resources both material and human. Finally, the empire contracts and ultimately dissolves. The entire process might take place over a thousand years as exemplified by the Roman Empire or hundreds of years as demonstrated by the now defunct British Empire.
In all of human history, these cycles of expansion and contraction were tolerable given the low density of human populations on the planet and the relatively benign effects of the primitive weaponry on the global environment. This model of collective human behavior where economic, political, and social differences and rivalries are settled through violent means is no longer tenable in the modern era.
The essentially tribal nature of human interactions has evolved over the millennia of human civilization into competing national sovereignties. The idea that each nation state is a power unto itself is no longer compatible with the rapidly evolving global character of human endeavor. There is currently too much at stake in maintaining the status quo, especially in regard to the survival of the species. The development of technological weaponry, especially nuclear and chemical weapons, has created a situation in which warfare necessarily leads to horrific consequences. Examples of the disastrous effects of protracted conflict can be seen both locally for the populations involved and globally due to the environmental impact as witnessed in the nuclear attacks against the civilian populations of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the use of anti-personnel cluster bombs in Cambodia, the use of Agent Orange in Vietnam, the deployment of land mines in Afghanistan, the use of chemical weaponry during the Syrian Civil War, and the use of Depleted Uranium (DU) hardened ordnance in Iraq.
The daunting issues that face humanity are no longer local but rather global in nature. The remarkable savagery of the First and Second World Wars of the Twentieth Century awakened the idea of a world organization as a forum for international communication so as to foster dialog between nations and forestall the possibility of future wars of such magnitude. The first experiment in a world organization as a vehicle for adjudicating international disputes was the League of Nations that was created at the aftermath of World War I. This international body met with limited success and was eventually disbanded. This experiment in world governance was followed by the creation of the United Nations at the end of World War II. The United Nations is still extant but remains hostage to the dominance of the special interests of the powerful industrial nations that constitute the Security Council.
The will to empire is still very much with us. Apparently, no significant lessons have been learned from the horrid and often repeated mistakes of the past. The absolute necessity for true international cooperation as a means to effectively circumvent a catastrophic future that now seems so inevitable is still not recognized. Many nations remain fixated on the ferocious competition for dominance and supremacy at the expense of those sovereignties that are weaker and more fragile. A poignant present-day example of this is the Chinese annexation of Tibet, a process that is currently going on. This competition has usually been over the natural and human resources required to fuel and sustain national economies. The needs for additional natural resources such as land for expansion of national populations or energy and mineral resources have often been the focus of international aggression. As needed resources such as oil or water become scarce, the competition will, by necessity, grow increasingly explosive.
This particular mindset has become problematic; the species is in desperate need of a completely new paradigm. The model must be based, by necessity, on a spirit of cooperation and giving. The chasm that currently exists between the so-called “haves” and “have-nots” both within and between sovereign states is helping to sustain the extreme level of violence that continues to plague humanity. Fundamental issues of social and economic justice need to be uppermost on the agenda. Such a focus would require a serious implementation of the role of social responsibility and conscience in the behavior of individuals and governments. The idea of belonging wholly to one nation must be superseded by the idea of being a member of the world community. This, of course, represents a huge leap in understanding, tolerance, and compassion; it requires an obligation to act in the best interests of all humanity. At the core of this change in worldview is the incorporation of non-violent behavior in inter-personal relationships.
The first images of the planet taken from space clearly demonstrated, for all human beings that the earth is our only home. This conception has, in my judgment, become such an integral part of human consciousness that the current and obvious threat posed by global warming may offer some impetus for change. The time may be right to open more effective channels of communication between nations with the focus of developing sustainable economies that would help insure a livable planet for future generations of not only the human species but all the magnificent creatures that constitute the living world. Simply moving through life with self-interest as the guiding principle is not enough to forestall a major calamity that only concerted human action can avert.
In my judgment, the human species is facing an impending crisis that may ultimately challenge its ability to survive on this fragile planet. The forward momentum of what is referred to as “human progress” has led human societies to a rapidly changing world where there are cavernous divisions in religious and political beliefs and a grievous imbalance in the distribution of wealth. These differences are intertwined with each other and provide the impetus for unrest and violent behavior. For the first time in human history the convergence of these forces on a world with limited resources and an ever-expanding human population has created a situation in which the future of the species is no longer assured. The question remains as to whether we are collectively smart enough to overcome these difficulties and work together globally in ways that can divert a catastrophic future.
Unfortunately, violence continues to be the essential driving force for resolving serious disputes between nations and peoples. The contemporary rise of what is referred to as terrorism (although the use of this term conveniently bypasses the terror tactics so often employed by nation-states) is indicative of aggressive behavior that knows no clear territorial boundaries. This does not have to be the case. There are many alternative ways to address controversial issues without necessarily employing violent methods. Why is it that raw aggression is so often the method of choice in resolving economic, political, and social disputes?
The leaders of nations often use their positions of power to exploit the fears and emotions of their fellow countrymen to fulfill hidden agendas, often economic in nature, that serve the powerful. It is the young, uneducated, and threatened members of the population who are most susceptible to the propaganda that is used to amplify the fears and uncertainties that are such an integral part of the human experience. From a chauvinistic viewpoint, the adversary is pictured as evil and somehow inimical to civilization. The enemy, so described, is often seen as less than human and, therefore, worthy of elimination. Those who are lured into doing the fighting are subsequently told that they must abandon the normal societal prohibitions that the rest of the society is taught to live by.
In war, civilized behavior is abandoned as young men (and women) are placed in situations where their main function is to kill and avoid being killed by the adversary that they face. For individual soldiers, survival becomes the impetus for their actions. Their behavior is rationalized by the idea that they are fighting for a higher purpose. Without, this set of beliefs, wars would not be possible.
The burden of war and the carnage and devastation that it brings is no longer tenable in the modern world. Technological weaponry has grown too deadly and sophisticated and the global environment, which is already in serious jeopardy, needs humanity’s undivided attention. There is, after all, one common thread that binds us: we are members of the same species depending on our planetary environment to sustain us.
It is imperative that national leaders embrace this reality and work towards finding common ground, especially with those who are perceived as dangerous adversaries. We face a global crisis that requires global solutions. The grinding hunger, poverty, ignorance, and despair that haunts the lives of billions of human beings must be addressed, along with finding ways to avoid the serious impact that unabated global warming will bring to ourselves and most importantly, future generations. There are, of course, many barriers to such a degree of international cooperation, but in reality there is no viable alternative. The world, with all its wonders, is for us to preserve or destroy.
These thoughts do not, by any means, represent new concepts or ideas. Quite to the contrary, throughout human history there have been voices putting forth the idea of peace and suggesting methodologies to achieve this elusive goal.