One Earth. One Voice: Song, Symbol, Imagination and Life As Metaphor at a Time of Planetary Crisis

February 25, 2013 • Daily Email Recap

One Earth. One Voice: Song, Symbol, Imagination and Life As Metaphor at a Time of Planetary Crisis


It has been just over a month since the culmination of the One Earth. One Voice. campaign’s 99-day trek around the world. The journey, which touched six continents and countless lives, culminated on December 21, 2012 by bringing together voices in over 70 countries worldwide to sing a song in synchrony, in a musical and impassioned call for the healing of the earth. As the progenitor of the campaign, I walked the earth for 99 days, circumnavigating our planet with a 14-inch diameter glass globe in my arms — a symbol of earth’s frailty — recognizable as such by people of every walk of life, culture and ideological persuasion.

On the one month anniversary, this week, here in the United States, we inaugurated our 44th president to his second term, and with his fateful oath taken, a weary nation and planet lifted its gaze once again.

Against a backdrop of unprecedented economic peril, the disenfranchisement of a beleaguered and disappearing middle class and the ravages of one of the most devastating natural disasters in the nation’s history, President Obama gave climate change and its future implications a voice on center stage. “We will respond to the threat of climate change,” he said, “knowing that not doing so would be to betray our children and future generations.”

We’ve heard similar strength before, only to have hopes dashed, hearts broken, by unfulfilled — perhaps unfulfillable — promises. For all of the progress made in his first term (and there was progress), Obama, in taking on climate change, takes on an entire worldview, a system set up to favor the powerful structures that still derive immense economic benefit from the rapacious plundering of our planet’s besieged body. It will take every ounce of political will and moral courage to move a planetary-healing effort forward in a meaningful, trajectory-altering way.

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