Since we understand that everything affects everything, many of our global initiatives fail to have traction because rarely do we understand the affect of various actions.
The Macroscope is dedicated to enabling new conversations on how our actions impact our world and what we can do about it.
Frequenty Asked Questions about The Macroscope
What was the problem you saw initially that led to the development of this MacroScope project?
For over a decade I had been working to reduce the lethal and debilitating consequences of world hunger. Affordable and achievable global goals had been set and agreed to in 1990 by all nations at the World Summit for Children for the year 2000. But early on it was clear that compassion alone was not enough to create the ‘political will’ all experts agreed was missing.
I started seeing the links between the massive numbers of child deaths globally (40,000/day) and a few aspects of our lives here in the US. The cost savings and health benefits to Americans from the eradication of polio and measles was impressive. The reduction of war and environmental destruction from poor and hungry populations was starting to become more evident.. In 1993 a coalition of Maryland organizations put together a legislative draft of a new approach to US foreign policy. Our new approach focused on improving the lives of others globally instead of primarily focusing on ‘national interests’.
About 20 Maryland based organizations convened a meeting with staff members from 6 of the 8 Maryland Congressional Districts and both Senate offices. And, we made our pitch. They like it! But they said they couldn’t take leadership on it… because their “constituents would hammer” them…for spending tax dollars abroad instead of at home. They were unanimous in suggesting that we go out and educate Marylanders on WHY it was in their best interest to spend US tax dollars abroad. So we surveyed Marylanders on what they believed were the most important issues to them. They listed Jobs, Family, Crime, Public Health, Environment, Education, Immigration, National Security, Technology transfer, Arts and Culture.
We gathered experts in each of these issue areas who knew how global forces had an influence in Maryland…and held a half- day forum with a panel on each topic. It was ‘transformational’. It literally transformed the way we saw our state in connection to the world. As a biologist I was always aware of how things were connected. And, how microscopes made the greatest difference in improving human lives – once we realized there were invisible things that affected EVERY aspect of our lives. Well, these global forces were doing the same…but we didn’t see them directly.
I imagined a MacroScope as a means for making these connections visible to anyone willing to look. Now, over 20 years later I see that most of the ill effects of globalization here, are sourced by human rights violations or poor environmental choices globally. And, one of the best, cheapest, fastest most sustainable means of improving our lives here …is improving the lives of people worldwide. I believe this was the intent of those who created the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. And now we have the Sustainable Development Goals that could help us achieve those basic freedoms and security for all humanity.
Where do you see the biggest problems in relationship to this issue? Whether it be misinformation, access or an unwillingness to participate?
We Americans celebrate our “independence’ every 4th of July. Our government systems and structures are based on the concept of “independence.’ It has become part of our national psyche…nearly to the point of a national mental illness.
In reality, independence exists nowhere in nature or anywhere in the world. It only exists in our minds…and on paper. To our detriment we unconsciously view ourselves as separate/‘disconnected’ from darn near everything. From minds separate us from our bodies, our neighbors, our environment, our politicians and sometimes even our families.
We do seem to connect around sports…and specific issues. But we fail to often to see how all issues are interconnected…and focus too much time and money on issues in a way that won’t give us the biggest bang for our buck.
In order to enable this project to succeed what do you believe is needed to change this perspective?
I’m confident that if people really see the connections we have with the rest of the world, and the fundamental reality that our national borders combined with even our best laws will NOT shield us from the global forces that are now coming at us. Forces that are largely a result of advances in technologies — and our global failure to protect human rights and the environment beyond our shore. We get a lot of cool stuff at low prices but we don’t really understand the real costs (environmental and human costs) of making and shipping them, and the eventual costs we will pay locally in ignoring those foreign non-economic costs.
What is the difference you believe this will make in our world. It will make us see that our freedom and security is tied to theirs and the health of the environment.
In regards to Democracy, Freedom, Security and Peace what do you think the biggest misconception — or problem is?
Again, seeing ourselves as independent from one another and from other nations when we are not is lethal. And every law that we pass that ignores our global interdependence, forces us to give up either a freedom or level of security. Sometimes both!
We might achieve ‘peace’ but the price will be the loss of our freedom (individually or nationally) or the loss of lives and prosperity in building a military that may never even be used…except to control chaos here at home. And, if it is used…create more chaos than order.
What are you looking for in the 435 people?
First, a willingness to reach out to their elected Member of Congress and other citizens in their Congressional District regardless of one’s political party affiliation or opinions. Second, gather information and individual experiences that demonstrate how global injustices harm our own freedoms, security and sustainable prosperity here at home. Last, we want people who will lovingly persist in bringing that information and requests for action to their U.S. Congressperson.
What are the qualities that they need to possess?
A commitment to protecting the environment and the human rights of all people. And highly value a means of enforcing those universal rights. A willingness to lovingly communicate these facts and their personal concerns to their elected officials, their local media, and others in their district that they would like to work with them in this mission….to have their MoC becomes a supporter or a leader for achieving the Sustainable Development Goals as a function of global justice.
What is the simplest way to make this succeed — that is if you can call it simple?
I’d say having the courage to make this simple yet profound case with other people in the context of the concerns that they have…and explore with them practical and affordable solutions to addressing their real or perceived fears. To connect with those who may not see the world as you do. But who see the value in every human life and the need to protect God’s creation, the natural world that sustains us, our prosperity and our offspring.
Many people see the incoming Administration as a Pandora’s Box filled with many problems that can only take us back to the Dark Ages. Do you see this as a wake-up call for those who are willing to take action and create the new?
People have woken up! As one wise soul once said…Nothing clarifies the mind like the gallows. And, Trump might surprise us. It won’t be long before his assertions meet reality. When he learns that “peace” is not a function of military power, but more a function of moral strength. And that our nation’s prosperity and security isn’t sustainable without freedom, security and prosperity for all.
Can this project be applied to any other areas in society or our culture? And if so, could you provide an insight to what they might be?
It could be applied to our state laws. Right now we have legalized marijuana and same sex marriages in some states…but not all. It practical as a nation to have these state differences when people move freely between them. Al Qaeda found the ‘independent’ US state policies regarding cigarette taxes and the issuing of State drivers licenses…and worked those differences to their lethal advantage.
And finally if you were writing this in the future looking back at the past and present how would you line up the various steps logistically that made this occur?
The first step is finding someone in every Congressional District who is willing to lovingly persist in educating their own policy maker on the profound value and practical benefits of global justice.
The second step is using technology to collect and organize the information needed to convince, motivate and inspire elected officials; and using Social Media, as Trump did, to rally sufficient support to achieve real change. I
believe that the MacroScope combined with existing Social media platforms like Facebook could organize people quickly allowing them to come together with a common mission. One we already agreed to and pledged to as Americans…”Live, Liberty and justice for all”.
Given the acceleration of change and events we must harness the power of the exponential growth that is inherent in cyber communication technology for the greater good of mankind — before those committed to our destruction use it for that. H.G. Wells wrote in The Outline of History that “Human history becomes more and more a race between education and catastrophe.” Given the current reality I’d say he nailed it.
If we get half the Congressional Districts covered by one person in the next 2 months, which is entirely doable (we already have 63 CDs covered in just 3 months with just one volunteer staff doing it part time). And the rest of the Districts covered in the 4 months after that….also very doable! And each person in each district talking, texting, and/or emailing at least 10 people a month – recruiting at least two of every ten they connect with. By the end of the year there could be a dozen or more proactivists in every U.S. Congressional district. Potentially many more documenting their own experience with harmful local economic, health, environmental, national security, crime, and immigration factors resulting from persistent global injustices… and generating local media to educate others. By next year we could have an unprecedented number of Congresspersons cooperating in transforming US foreign policy, national security policy, and economic policy.
A transformation that could start preventing crisis…instead of our nation’s usual expensive reactionary efforts that rarely succeed.
Within a few years this progress could significantly reduce many of these negative global factors saving American’s hundreds of billions, potentially trillions in tax dollars by avoiding expensive reactionary efforts that rarely work (like our 2003 invasion of Iraq or failure to stop the crisis in Syria).
There will be obstacles. Novel or unexpected crisis or emergencies will undoubtedly draw away our attention away from this movement. But I’m guessing now, that most of these events will be a result of injustices that were collectively ignored over the past 70 years. Viewed in that context each event becomes another nail in the coffin of the dysfunctional systems and structures that led to them. And for the emergencies that were unpreventable… I’m guessing again that a world bound together in concern for all people will be far better empowered to effectively save lives and dollars.
We are a unique species. But we are not immune to extinction. Our best chance of survival on this planet is working together, and adapting as quickly as we can to the changes now happening, the threats that are inevitable, and most importantly the threats we can prevent. That means ‘we the people’ putting ‘life, liberty and justice for all’ above the short sighted self-interests of national governments, corporate profits, and/or ideological violent extremists.
Chuck Woolery, Volunteer Leader
US Global Justice Corps
(the views expressed below are the authors and not necessarily the views of endorsing organizations)
435 Campaign Blog: www.435globaljustice.blogspot.com
435 Issue Website: (Under Construction)
435 Facebook page: www.facebook.com/pg/www.globaljusticeforall.org
ENDORSING ORGANIZATIONS (as of 12-29-16):
- Citizens for Global Solutions: http://globalsolutions.org
- Sustainable World Initiative: www.swinitiative.com
- The World Stage: www.theworldsstage.com
- We, The World: http://11daysofglobalunity.org http://www.wetheworld.org/ http://www.globalunitycalendar.org/
- Workable World Trust: http://www.workableworld.org
FYI: “Endorsement” represents an organization’s moral and verbal support (and active support when they deem it appropriate) to forward the 435 Campaign’s commitment to creating ‘polical will’ in every U.S. Congressional District for “global justice” through achieving the 2030 Sustainable Develoment Goals.