BLUE PLANET UNITED promotes integrative thinking and action on local, regional, national, and global challenges of sustainability, as they relate to human population growth, per capita consumption patterns, and the enjoyment and protection of wild places. We divide our programs and projects into five focus areas: Sustainable Futures, Population & Consumption, Preserving Wild Places, Ocean Literacy, and Educating Future Leaders. These focus areas are addressed through three educational outreach units: The Population Press, Blue Planet Films, and a web-based Resource Center.
Population Press – a quarterly news journal that examines the root causes of population and consumption patterns that threaten the social and ecological fabric of our world. Through invited essays, news coverage, and reprinted articles, this publication links trends in the growth of human numbers and consumption behavior to the important challenges of sustainability in the twenty-first century. In addition to current news and articles about human population and consumption, the Population Press (www.populationpress.org) features teaching & learning resources, population clocks, a population and environment overview, and networking information for people who want to become involved in addressing the challenge of prosperity without growth.
Blue Planet Films – documentary and educational films provided at production cost and streaming videos delivered over the web, designed to educate viewers about the concept of sustainability and the consequences of unsustainable human actions and lifestyles. The Bequest, a series of short films about wilderness preservation, cultural preservation, and building sustainable communities, will form the core of the video production project.
Resource Center – the Blue Planet United website (www.blueplanetunited.org) provides online publications and presentations, including archives of past issues of Population Press, along with databases, streaming videos, assessment tools, fact sheets, project reports, and other electronic resources. It also promotes networking and collaborative problem-solving by fostering connections with colleagues and organizations at regional, national, and international levels, to share resources, and to partner with others on projects and publications. Internet links in the resource center will take interested individuals to specialized products, films (DVDs and streaming videos), and print publications of BPU for classroom use or individual purchase.
MISSION AND VISION
The mission of Blue Planet United is to sustain healthy people and wild places. We do that by promoting the concept of sustainability in our efforts to educate future leaders. Thus, the key components of our vision for the future are sustainability and education.
Blue Planet United promotes the ideal of sustainability in everything we do. Sustainability requires the integration of concerns about the environment, economy, and equity (the 3 “E”s) and their extension to future generations. It focuses on the implications and consequences of our decisions and lifestyles for future quality of life and for achieving social and intergenerational equity. As such, it combines knowledge about interrelationships between human and natural systems across both space and time.
The scope of sustainability is both local and global – that is, “glocal.” It involves local, place-based management of interacting human and natural systems that are typically global in operation and reach. Thus, sustainability relates place to planet in ways that promote the peaceful realization of human potential, within the limits of Nature. These limits, while dynamic and often uncertain, raise fundamental questions about the rapid growth of human population and per capita consumption, especially in wealthy countries. Preserving room for ecosystems and other species to thrive is both necessary and urgent for improving human quality of life. Supporters of Blue Planet United understand that our fate as human beings is bound up in the fate of everything from whales to climate systems. And our legacy – our bequest to future generations – is even more about preserving ecological wealth and wild places than it is about amassing financial inheritance.
Achieving sustainability is impossible without fostering progress toward genuine community and socioecological wholeness. Wholeness, in turn, requires an integrative vision for making connections between present and future; between human and non-human; between wealth and poverty; between individual autonomy and interdependence; between learning and action…and justice. The community of life that sustainability celebrates is intimately connected with the ecological life support system and social safety nets that allow us to secure a meaningful sense of community across generations. Blue Planet United is committed to helping build sustainable communities across generations, both for the sake of our own children and grandchildren, and for the humanity and humaneness it will come to represent in some distant future.
Educating Future Leaders
The educational philosophy of Blue Planet United is captured in the words of Mark van Doren: “Teaching is the art of assisting discovery.” We promote discovery through experiential learning and multimedia channels of communication, relying on film, print, web, and experiential field study, especially for college-level audiences. Our annual Palau Expedition, conducted through the University of Redlands, is a model program in experiential learning, where students literally immerse in the study of spectacular coral ecosystems and marine lakes, while learning about the interaction of human and natural systems that characterize these remote islands, located in the southwest corner of Micronesia. Throughout their month-long expedition, the students learn about marine ecology and local culture examining the problems and opportunities confronting Palau’s traditional chiefs and clan-based culture, and its modern constitutional government, as they jointly address issues of sustainable development in this fragile oceanic Eden.
Like most of Blue Planet United projects, the Palau project is designed to link with several other projects (e.g., Ocean Literacy, WildBlue Planet, and Sustainable Futures.). Major emphasis is placed on educating young people about the choices they make with regard to family size and individual consumption patterns, and how those choices can affect the prospects for living sustainably in their lifetimes, and those of their future children and grandchildren. It follows from our sustainability mission, that educating future leaders about population and consumption becomes an imperative in securing a sustainable future. Hence, closely aligned with our mission and vision of education for sustainability, are the vision and goals for a healthier and more efficient society, made possible by population stabilization and reductions in unnecessary consumption.
Population & Consumption Vision
We envision a world where:
- every child is wanted, and where families are created by choice — not chance;
- access to education, health care, and meaningful work is available to every person;
- the great gap between rich and poor is narrowed, not widened;
- people do not have to abandon their homeland for political, economic or environmental reasons;
- democratic values and civil society flourish;
- progress is based on genuine wellbeing — not increasing consumption;
- the United States exercises the leadership and foresight necessary to ensure the prosperity, environmental health and security of our shared world;
- sustainable human numbers exist in balance with other species, and with the environment and natural resources that sustain us all.
Population& Consumption Stabilization Goals
- sustainable communities that achieve social equity, economic prosperity, and ecological integrity
- a redefinition of progress based on genuine well being, not increasing consumption
- economic empowerment, equal rights and equal education for women
- informed, accessible, and voluntary family planning for all
- sustainable use of natural resources, energy, water, and top soil
- a national conversation toward a fair and equitable United States Population Policy, based on the best available demographic data and sound science
- policies and programs designed to stabilize population at a level sustainable for the long-term future.
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Blue Planet United
PO Box 7918
Redlands, CA 92375