Author granted license

Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International

Document Type


Publication Date





Boston University School of Law




We humans tend to worry first about our own happiness, then about our families, then about our communities. In times of great stress, such as war or natural disaster, we may focus temporarily on our country but we rarely think about Earth as a whole or the human species as a whole. This narrow perspective, perhaps best exemplified by the American consumer, has led to the environmental degradation of our planet, a grossly widening gap in living standards between rich and poor people and nations and a scientific research agenda that focuses almost exclusively on the needs and desires of the wealthy few. Reversing the worldwide trends toward market-based atomization and increasing indifference to the suffering of others will require a human rights focus, forged by the development of what Vaclav Havel has termed a "species consciousness."



To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.