Trump, the Earth System Treaty, and Taylor Swift

Geoffrey Holland | March 28, 2024 | Leave a Comment

These days, a big part of the media attention across America revolves around former President Donald Trump, his quest to retake the presidency, and the legal baggage weighing him down, including 91 felony counts and multiple court dates looming on the federal and state level. 

Contrast the deep-seated cultural malaise associated with Trump with the planetary-scale dysfunction to which we, as Earth citizens, are not giving nearly enough attention. Julian Cribb, best-selling author of How to Fix a Broken Planet, sums up this looming cultural discord as ten existential threats to humanity and life on Earth.

In response, the Council for the Human Future has teamed with Julian Cribb to launch a perfectly tuned response to these existential threats called the Earth System Treaty.

Those of us who stand behind this Earth System Treaty see it as a beacon, a set of principles the world of humans – all genders, ethnicities, and nationalities – can rally around and translate into political power; the kind of political power that can drive a transformative cultural movement.

Political Commentator, Anand Giridharadas, talks about the dangerous divide in American politics. On one side, he sees Donald Trump sucking up all the oxygen. In America, the aggrieved 40% or so of voters who stand with Trump do so despite his lies and excessive behavior. Trump believers identify and stand by his craven claims of persecution. 

Giridharadas tells us the biggest share of conservative voters has become a cabal of entrenched political resistance. They see themselves as bound together protecting their interests by looking out for Donald Trump. In essence, Trump has turned his misguided believers into a political movement… there is no equivalent movement of progressive voters and thinkers that binds them together beyond a common abhorrence and distaste for Donald J. Trump. That same kind of cultural divide holds around the world.

You don’t defeat a movement with shame and fingering wagging. You defeat a movement by building a bigger and better movement…There is no pro-democracy, progressive movement in this country. There’s just outrage at Trump. Anand Giridharadas

The Urgent Need for a Progressive Cultural Movement

Our world needs a worthy common purpose, the kind of common purpose that can guide humanity to the best kind of future, the kind of future we as citizens here and now owe to generations that follow us in years ahead. 

I have taken the time to study the wisdom reflected in the principles that define the Earth System Treaty. I see nothing else in the sphere of progressive human influence that could serve so effectively as the catalyst of a worthy progressive movement. The Earth System Treaty is a set of legally relevant principles that address each of the ten existential threats that hang like dark clouds over all of humanity, and threaten all of life on Earth.

The Earth System Treaty is an idea destined to become the common purpose the vast majority of humans will rally behind. It can and will become a brand of political power that defines a new era of public policy and governance everywhere.

Anything else you’re interested in is not going to happen if you can’t breathe the air and drink the water. Don’t sit this one out. Do something. You are by accident of fate alive at an absolutely critical moment in the history of our planet. Carl Sagan

These Days, Good News Can Travel Fast

A big part of my enthusiasm for the Earth System Treaty is that it is the kind of inspiring news that can travel at lightning speed in our world linked as never before by the internet and social media. The Earth System Treaty can become a source of genuine political power in a matter of months, just in time for the next election. There is nothing in the principles that power this treaty that any thoughtful person. who wants a life-affirming, sustainable future for humanity would oppose.

Humans are learning to think at a supra-human level by applying millions of minds simultaneously to the issues, in real-time, by sharing knowledge freely and by generating faster global consensus on what needs to be done to secure our future. – Julian Cribb

Making the Earth System Treaty Relevant

Julian Cribb believes the way to attract attention to the treaty quickly is to find as many prominent voices as possible to stand up for it and encourage it as a cultural rallying point. With broad cultural support, Cribb believes the Earth System Treaty is compatible with a wide range of worthy cultural activism. The treaty is not meant to be competitive with anybody else’s worthy advocacy. The intent is to serve as the common purpose all of humanity can stand behind.

As it exists now, the Earth System Treaty is an idea in need of expansion into detailed public policy. It is a global-scale Declaration of Independence that needs expression as an Earth-scale Constitution and Bill of Rights, which can lead to detailed public policy. As we see it, the only existing institution on Earth that could credibly shape such policy is the United Nations, the closest thing humanity has to a forum for planetary governance.

If enough of us who see ourselves as planetary citizens, choose to stand behind the Earth System Treaty, we will have big-league political power; power sufficient to compel the United Nations to give the Earth System Treaty the attention it deserves. The goal is to turn the Earth System Treaty into a galvanizing force that can bring a broad range of human constituencies together. It starts with recruiting and winning the enthusiastic support of the leaders of all those human constituencies. That process has already begun.

What you do makes a difference, and you have to decide what kind of difference you want to make. – Jane Goodall

Taylor Swift and the Earth System Treaty

In the past month or so, the world’s most popular entertainer, based entirely on fan appeal, has become the target of conservative MAGA media attacks. All because Taylor Swift has aligned quietly with progressive causes like gender rights and caring for the natural world. She is expected by many to endorse Joe Biden for re-election as President in November.

If I were fortunate to be one of Taylor Swift’s advisors, I would urge her to examine the Earth System Treaty and its principles. Then, Taylor Swift would stand behind the Earth System Treaty; write a song about the motivation behind it; and use your fame and cultural influence to turn the Earth System Treaty into a transcendent political movement; a movement like none ever seen before. As for particular politicians who covet a Taylor Swift endorsement, expect from those candidates a worthy expression of support for the principles that define the Earth System Treaty. 

In the narrative I am imagining, Taylor Swift transcends her success as a pop star. If Taylor Swift chooses to champion the Earth System Treaty the journey leads to her becoming a hero of the highest order… a hero who inspires an entire planetary community to stand with her behind the Earth System Treaty.

I think I’ve seen this film before / And I didn’t like the ending /

You’re not my homeland anymore / So what am I defending now? Taylor Swift,Exile from Folklore

Find out more about the Earth Systems Treaty here.

Geoffrey Holland is the Curator of Dialogues for Stanford University MAHB and author of The Hydrogen Age. He is committed to the principles of and has signed his name to the Earth System Treaty, and urges you, the reader, to do the same here.

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