Life-long climate activist Marc Buckley believes the human race is experiencing a major moment of consciousness awakening.
“It’s not just a handful of us anymore. We’re all starting to understand that our systems are collapsing,” he says. “A new consciousness is waking up to the reality that the Earth is one organism. And at the same time, we know that an organism at war with itself is doomed.”
On Jan. 27, Buckley will explore this awakening — its significance in human history and how to channel it into meaningful action — during his talk at the Boma Momentum summit in Paris. (If you can’t attend the event in person, find out how you can watch it live online.)
“In our genetic family, the hominid family, we’re one of eight species in the homo genus. The other seven are extinct,” Buckley says. “I think this stands as a pretty strong warning: If we don’t change how we live, if we don’t change the systems we live by, homo sapiens could very well be next.”
Humans have thrived for as long as we have, he says, because we’ve been able to rebuild civilization during moments of rapid change. And he believes another such moment is at hand.
“We had the stone age, when civilization was built around the use of stone tools. Then we moved on to bronze tools, the bronze age — and stone-age civilizations disappeared. Then the iron age made bronze-age civilizations go away,” Buckley says. “The cycle continues. We survive because we reinvent the systems we live in. We need another reinvention now.”
A strong supporter of the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), Buckley believes the 17 global goals point the way to a sustainable future for the human species.
“The SDGs are the insurance plan for our planet. They’re all connected to each other — and more importantly, they’re connected to each of us individually,” he says. “Read them closely: The future of each and every human being is connected to those 17 SDGs.”
By embracing the complexity and interconnectedness of the challenges we face, Buckley believes we’ll lay the groundwork for a new civilization that can adapt and thrive within our planetary boundaries.
“We need to do better than simply outrun our climate crisis,” he says. “We need to leave the earth better than we found it. That’s our purpose. That’s how we’ll flourish in the future.”