During the month of January, the Great Transition Initiative, an online forum of ideas and an international network for the critical exploration of concepts, generated a discussion to explore the role of core ethical values to guide the necessary great transition. The discussion was sparked by an article written by professor Brendan Mackey*, Griffith University, titled “Toward a Great Ethics Transition: The Earth Charter at Twenty” and received comments and contributions from Steven Rockefeller, Mary Evelyn Tucker, Ron Engel, and many others.
In his article, Professor Mackey reflects on Why a Common Ethical Framework, The Earth Charter Story, The Next Twenty Years and affirms “If the promise of the Earth Charter is to be realized, a platform is needed to facilitate ongoing dialogue around the ethical dimensions of the urgent global problems we face, the application to them of accepted ethical norms, as well as the search for new universal norms and principles to guide our responses. This undertaking raises a number of practical questions, such as who would lead the effort, and what organization has the credibility and is in a position to organize and conduct the kind of inclusive international dialogue that would be required? This would have to be much more than just an archiving exercise but a process of deliberative and engaged dialogue from which is forged ethical principles of a covenantal nature.”
The main article, and many of the comments received, can be found in the following links:
- Brendan Mackey – Toward a Great Ethics Transition: The Earth Charter at Twenty
- Ian Angus – Profit vs. Ethics
- Olivia Bina – Focus on Deep Drivers
- Kavita Byrd – Capitalism and Ethics: Cutting to the Chase
- Luis Cabrera – Reasserting Moral Cosmopolitanism
- J. Baird Callicott – The Evolutionary Basis for Ethics
- Ron Engel – It Takes a Movement
- Richard Falk – Ethical Leadership in the Civilizational Rupture
- Roger Gottlieb – Ethics and the Good Life
- Gwendolyn Hallsmith – Action Is the Path to a New Ethics
- Joel Kassiola – Justifying Universal Ethics
- Jeremy Lent – Embracing Interconnectedness
- Steven Rockefeller – The Earth Charter Legacy
- Roz Savage – Enough Words, More Actions!
- Kathryn Sikkink – On Rights and Responsibilities
- Mary Evelyn Tucker – What World Religions Teach Us
- Brendan Mackey – Response to Comments
* Brendan Mackey is Professor and Director of the Climate Change Response Program at Griffith University, Queensland Australia. He is currently a Coordinating Lead Author for the 6th Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. He was a member of the Earth Charter International Drafting Committee.