Topic: Interconnectedness

Interconnectedness (origin: collective)

Interconnectedness is a worldview that emphasizes the deep interdependence of everything on Earth. From animals to water to rocks to bacteria, our fates are inextricably intertwined. Interconnectedness understands the world as a set of systems in delicate balance with one another. It is the opposite of the belief that humans are separate from or above nature.

The concept of interconnectedness can be found in Indigenous and scientific discourses. It is an ancient concept and is fundamental to the Four R’s of Indigenous cultural values, first articulated by LaDonna Harris and Jacqueline Wasilewski through their inter-tribal work with Americans for Indian Opportunity in the 1980s and 1990s. These common values are based on the kinship of all Earthlings and our obligations to one another.

In Western science, interconnection can be seen within the feedback loops of ecosystems such as nutrient cycles, food webs, and microbiomes. The interdisciplinary field of systems sciences explores the complexity of systems in various settings, including nature, society, and the human body.

Although sometimes referred to by different terms (interdependence, dependence on nature), the concept of interconnectedness is seen by many climate justice and sustainability activists as the cornerstone of an ecological civilization. It is emphasized in the principles of the just transition collective, Climate Justice Alliance. It was promoted by Thich Nhat Hang, Vietnamese Buddhist leader and peace activist, in his book, Love Letter to the Earth. And it is an essential mindset shift Kate Raworth advocates for in Doughnut Economics.

©2024 ClimateLit (Nicki May)

Related Terms: Doughnut Economics, ecological civilizationfractal flourishinghuman supremacy (antonym), ecocentrism, ecopsychology, industrial ecology, web of lifefood websecosystem services

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by Deborah Hopkinson

“Earth is our one and only planet to care for, love, and preserve”

by Kate Messner

“Over the pond, the wind gives us a push and stirs the light-dappled leaves on shore. There on a branch, a new goldfinch teeters, finally ready to fly. Under the pond, tadpoles are changing, learning to hop. They’re losing tails, growing legs, growing up.”

by Mai K. Nguyen

“We gotta be careful not to hurt the things around us, because nothing’s really gone forever… everything leaves a little mark”

by Carlos López Estrada, Don Hall

“Now to restore peace, I must find the last dragon. My name is Raya.”

by Molly Bang, Penny Chisholm

“I am your Sun. My energy warms your days. I light up your world. But of all my planets, only one is teeming with life: your Earth. Why? Because it is covered with water – H2O – always moving, always changing, from liquid to solid to vapor and back again.”

by Danna Smith

“A rooftop garden is what we need / Friends and family all agree. / A garden starts with hardy seeds. / A rooftop garden is what we need.”

by Maja Lunde

“But bees cannot be tamed. They can only be tended, receive our care.”

by Piers Torday

“How could I be so wrong? The stag was right—we can’t trust any other humans. How can you ever trust someone who wants to eat you?”

by Kate Messner

“Down in the dirt is a whole busy world of earthworms and insects, digging and building and stirring up soil. They’re already working down in the dirt.”

by Carole Lindstrom

“We are stewards of the Earth / Our spirits have not been broken / We are water protectors. WE STAND!”

by Katherine Applegate

“This tree … It’s almost like it’s human”

World Without Fish

by Mark Kurlansky

“You cannot afford to be passive. … The survival of not only the oceans but of our world is at stake”