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Sovereignty, individuality, and sustainability

Keywords: Sustainability , Sovereignty , Individuality , Eco-ethics , Natural systems

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Abstract:

Humans must acknowledge that the biosphere is the essential support for all living organisms. In order to achieve sustainable use of the planet, humans must proceed beyond egocentrism, ethnocentrism, homocentrism, and biocentrism to ecocentrism. National states, with present policies, are a major obstacle to sustainable use of the planet. However, there is some evidence that the individual has increasing sovereignty at the expense of both nation states and the environment. Still, the primary obstacle to sustainability is inherent in the present system of sovereign nation states. The basic question is how much sovereignty must nation-states and individuals relinquish to preserve the health of Earth's biospheric life support system. A free and open exchange of thoughts on this subject is long overdue. To acheive sustainable use of the planet, humankind must view its identity within the context of the interdependent web of life.

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