Sustainable Development

Back to listOct 7, 2006

Earth Charter Events Held in San Diego, California, and Columbus, Ohio, USA

The San Diego Earth Charter organization held its second annual Earth Charter Summit on October 6-7, 2006 at Mira Costa College, Oceanside Campus, in North San Diego County, California, USA. The event's highlight was keynote speaker Helen Caldicott, cofounder of Physicians for Social Responsibility and founder and president of the Nuclear Policy Research Institute, who spoke on "Nuclear Power Is Not the Answer." In her speech, Dr. Caldicott outlined why the nuclear age poses the single greatest threat to the world's public health, primarily because of the profound medical, environmental, political and moral consequences of perpetuating nuclear weapons, power and waste. Dr. Caldicott, who lives in Australia, is an internationally respected advocate of citizen action who for 35 years has been devoted to educating the public about nuclear and environmental crises. A recipient of 19 honorary doctorates, she was nominated by the late Nobel Peace Laureate Linus Pauling for the Nobel Peace Prize.

The SGI-USA collaborated with six other organizations to host the event, which drew more than 300 people. The summit began on the eve of October 6 with a slam poetry contest where 20 poets shared original work relating to Earth Charter principles. Various workshops and exhibitions took place on October 7, including "Seeds of Change--the Earth Charter and Human Potential," an exhibition created by the SGI and the Earth Charter Initiative. Workshops were run concurrently, with themes such as developing affinity for the environment through indigenous teachings, taking action toward nuclear power safety, implementing sustainability in our lifestyles and becoming a catalyst for peace as an ordinary citizen.

On October 14, the SGI-USA Columbus Community Center hosted Earth Charter of Central Ohio's (ECCO) 4th Annual Earth Charter Community Summit titled "Creating Earth Community." Activist David Korten, Ph.D, who authored The Great Turning, From Empire to Earth Community and When Corporations Rule the World, addressed responsibility for oneself and others and for the environment. Two short documentaries were screened: A Quiet Revolution, a film about individual actions to protect and heal the environment sponsored by the SGI and produced by the Earth Council in collaboration with UN bodies. Also shown was Another Way of Seeing Things, a short film challenging media stereotyping based on an essay of the same title from Daisaku Ikeda's book The World is Yours to Change. SGI-USA cosponsored the event with ECCO, the Interfaith Association of Central Ohio (IACO) and the Southern Ohio and the Citizens Grassroots Congress.

[Adapted from an article in the March 2, 2007 issue of the World Tribune, SGI-USA, together with a report from local SGI-USA members in Columbus, Ohio]