Orion Digest №46 — Climate Health and Human Rights: Our Primary Focus

The most pervasive modern problems are consequences of human action; we struggle with the damage we have done to the world around us, as well as how we can survive and get along with each other in this chaotic global environment of our own. The potential of humanity is astounding, and it is with firm belief that I state that, with collaboration and ingenuity, we can overcome even the dire situation we are in today in time. However, in the time that it will take to move towards permanent change, the problems will not simply wait around or go away. The most grave dangers and grievous pains await resolution, and while addressing them will not fix the problem permanently, it can only help to stave off a far worse eventuality, and bring the world partway to peace while working on the rest.

The first matter is bettering the condition of the environment, for our sake and that of all life around us. It cannot be understated how vital to all aspects of life and society the environment is — from the resources upon which our economy depends to the conditions that enable humanity to survive, our greatest mistake as a species has been bringing us so close to the brink through its destruction. Not just humanity, but all of life relies on such delicate conditions, and even if we stand at the top of the natural hierarchy, we have a duty to respect all others below us, and the balance between. The pattern of unsustainable industry means that this is a front on which we are constantly losing ground, especially because the negative effects present today are only the tip of the iceberg — the worst is merely a delayed reaction.

The second matter is standardizing universal human rights and protections that would better the quality of life for all people of Earth. So long as we view other humans as the ultimate enemy, we will be left wasting energy on a useless and costly fight. While economics plays a large part in disparity between different population groups, much of it is caused by difference in social perception, opportunity, and treatment of peoples based upon factors of their identity, from race to gender to sexual orientation. Matters of sociological dispute are difficult to approach anywhere but through teaching and convincing, but in terms of actual concrete policy, a guarantee of protection and assurance under the law can go a long way in giving at least a foundation for equality and equity.

It is important to understand that, without a more permanent solution, the accomplishment of these tasks alone will prove insufficient at assuring peace. For example, if we were to organize a worldwide push for sustainability and ecosystem health, we could make a noticeable change, but without legal protection and a major change in the way we handle industry, the work will be undone, and will simply require constant rectification. On the other hand, even with legal protections for underrepresented populations, social stigmas can still remain or evolve, and with the passage of time, even legal precedent can change with the development of governments and nations. The intent with these priorities is not that they should fix the problem, but rather, that they should prevent the problem from getting worse while the problem is fixed all the while.

Allowing such problems to get worse would mean that, by the time a hypothetical federation had formed, there are lives that could have been enriched or even saved by previous action, and the job of climate control made much less a hassle for our potential future federation, which we expect will already be faced with a tall order. In addition, the idea of “establishing federation” is not some grand building project; it has no exact deadline or necessity for supplies. Rather, federation cannot be established until there is ample enough support and leverage for it, and to do so will require Orion and allied organizations to build enough popularity and credibility with the public to push for proper steps and action. Most of what we can do in the meantime is simply to help in whatever way possible, and if we are to ascertain where we can help until the path becomes apparent to the public, it is with improving the human condition with any and all resources at our disposal.

Other matters, such as those of nationalism and economy, will inevitably be touched by the extended effects of the two primary focuses. To seek a standardized and enforced code of human rights means to seek common ground across all nations, and having such can do well to bring nations closer together, socially and politically. Economy, unbalanced as it is, stands directly in the path of a greener Earth, and thus it will be our primary adversary. To achieve some measure of sustainability means to better our economy, and while the structure itself may still be flawed, measurable improvement is still a lesson learned for the future. The bridge will only be half crossed on long term reform, but being halfway there means it will be easier to go all the way, when the time comes.

Now, while the ideal is laid, how exactly will grassroots organizations such as Orion fight and assure climate health and human rights? Attention and awareness of issues, while only half of the fight, are still the first half of the fight. The small contributions of many people add up to a force to be reckoned with, and making clear the economic side of environmental troubles as well as the full scope of the danger can do well to shift the tides of support for the worst offenders. Organization of clean-up, replanting, and lobbying for preservation and regulation will be more effective with a greater workforce — not simply masses of people organizing in one place, but many groups of people, armed with the knowledge of where they can help the most, all working in their own areas for widespread recovery.

In the case of human rights, it should be acknowledged that among the nations of the world, there is an element of strength and power that weighs on negotiation, for better or worse. Powerful nations that are more open to the idea of cultural change and equality can be the primary battlegrounds for true equality; perception will always be the most pivotal element to treatment, so once again, publicization and awareness of the varying realities for different groups will be the method by which deeply engrained behaviors will be unlearned. From public support comes legal change, and if these nations can be turned and made to embody this sense of unity, they can provide pressure upon more stubborn nations to follow the example. Few nations want actual interference and trouble, and so, simply the idea of force can be enough to get the ball rolling, and the citizens of these nations, if given their own push, can keep the ball rolling all the way.

Every victory won in these causes will provide more momentum for the ultimate goal, and so, the pursuit of climate health and human rights not only lessens the damage for the sake of humanity, but builds ground for the establishment of federation. These ideas in mind, it is the primary focus of Orion that, in addition to the spread of Orionist ideas, we push and fight for climate action and legal standardization of human rights in whatever way we can.