Humankind has been given the gift of this remarkable planet we call Earth. We did not design it, we did not make it, we did not earn it. It took billions of years for Earth to become. But because it exists, so do we. Alone amidst the vast universe, as far as we can tell, Earth has brought forth Life. And it is all interconnected.
The essential benefits it provides – clean air, clean water, fertile soil, a stable climate – belong to us all. Each person, in every generation, has as much right to Earth’s goodness as any other person in any other generation. It is our task to use the world wisely so that all who are here today, and all who come after, may equally enjoy and benefit from Earth’s goodness.
The ecologian, Thomas Berry, wrote: “The success or failure of any historical age is the extent to which those living at that time have fulfilled the special role that history has imposed upon them.” That special role history imposes upon each generation is their Great Work. Our Great Work is the realignment of humanity’s relationship with the Earth, moving from extractive to cooperative, from consuming to borrowing, from dominance to awe.
A constitutional amendment that proclaims everyone’s right to a healthy environment would anchor this transformative vision and guide us to achieve our Great Work.