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Habitable Surroundings and Nurturing Societies

At AHEM, we've reviewed loads of evidence, and our research identifies two basic needs we all share:

  1. habitable surroundings
  2. nurturing societies

We all need habitable surroundings, which is just another way of saying we need a suitable place to live. For a place to be suitable for human life, in the long-term it needs to include elements like potable water, nutritious food, clean air, uncontaminated soil, and biodiversity. In the short-term, we might be able to get by lacking one or a few of these aspects, but our long-term survival depends on keeping our surroundings habitable.

Our survival also depends on our access to a nurturing society, which is a supportive group of people who share a common culture (which is a learned system of beliefs). Nurturing societies provide care, social connectedness, and teaching that enable individuals to learn cultural beliefs that:

  • pass values from one generation to the next,
  • provide structure for daily activities, and
  • allow for the efficient and safe creation and use of effective tools that enable us to make shelter, clothing, technology, and other products.

Without habitable surroundings and nurturing societies, there might still be a planet but not one where people can live. In the absence of one or both of these basic requirements, humans face the possibility of short-term success but long-term failure. If we solve air and water pollution but deny many among us access to clean water, we haven't secured both of our needs. If we remove toxins from our products but continue to rely on finite resources, like oil, to create them, we still have problems to fix. If we stop easily curable health problems but ignore widespread conflict, you guessed it - one out of two.

How humans have allocated resources has had serious impacts on our basic needs. It’s why some people fly around in private jets while others live in extreme poverty, why some people can see a doctor when they’re sick while others die of easily curable health problems like dehydration, and why some children are able to play outside while others are forced to go to work or war. These issues might not be our fault because we might not be the ones who did the allocating, but they sure are our problem. Although none of us chose where we were born and so each face different limitations and obstacles depending on where we find ourselves, ultimately, we all live here on Earth. That means our problems are interdependent, and people are independent, because we are all connected to the limitations of Earth’s resources and all share the same basic needs for survival.

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Habitable Surroundings Nurturing Societies


We interrupt everything - from our cultural mythologies to our lifestyle practices. Doing that is going to take all of us collaborating and sharing our expertise because nobody can be the expert in everything (for real, there's even research to prove it).

Together, we can do better.

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