Much needs to change in the Anthropocene, including our willingness to have constraints placed on our precious right to individual freedom. This is particularly challenging for Americans whose country was founded on an Enlightenment-inspired understanding of freedom, uninformed by the advances of modern science that have taken place in the past century.
In his February 10th essay, New York Times columnist Joe Nocera asked a simple question: “Can a person support the Keystone XL oil pipeline and still believe that global warming poses a serious threat?”
Forty eight years ago this Sunday, the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. began his famous “I have a Dream” speech on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial by proclaiming it, “the greatest demonstration for freedom in the history of our nation.” And it was.
While the struggle for freedom has made progress since that historic gathering, it remains unfinished business. On that day, Dr. King spoke of two types of freedom – one from “the chains of discrimination” and one from living on “a lonely island of poverty in the midst of a vast ocean of material prosperity.” Somehow his first message has been taken to heart while his second has been forgotten.