Foreign Affairs. In “To Prevent a World Wasteland,”nKennan called for “the establishment of a single entity” tonoversee and coordinate research on environmental questions.nSince it was only certain countries that had the meansnand the will to do something about the problem, anninternational organization on the UN model was notnfeasible. Instead, Kennan imagined a consortium of advancednnations taking the lead.nKennan’s was the first and virtually the last sensiblenstatement on the global politics of environmentalism. By thenend of the 70’s, Jimmy Carter’s human-rights internationalismnhad become the preferred style of political discussion (anstyle heartily adopted by the Reagan administration). ThenGlobal 2000 Report to the President prepared at Carter’sndirection set the government’s seal of approval upon thenglobalist hysteria:nVigorous, determined new initiatives are needed ifnworsening poverty and human suffering,nenvironmental degradation, and internationalntension and conflicts are to be prevented. . . . Thenneeded changes go far beyond the capability andnresponsibility of this or any other single nation. Annera of unprecedented cooperation and commitmentnis essential. . . . Further cooperation among nationsnis also needed to strengthen internationalnmechanisms for protecting and utilizing the “globalncommons” — the oceans and atmosphere.nThis call for “international mechanisms” is not wishfulnthinking. Short of world government, there are already innplace an assortment of treaties, protocols, and UnitednNations agencies that constitute a de facto internationalnregime. Nations have always signed treaties and madencommon cause with other sovereign states, but in recentnyears these international agreements have seemed to requirena complicated bureaucracy with its own objectives.nWhat this means in practical terms has been candidlyndescribed by Barbara Ward and Rene Dubos in theirn”Unofficial Report Commissioned by the Secretary-Generalnof the United Nations Conference on the HumannEiivironment.” This 1972 report, really more a manifestonthan a report, is aptly entifled One Earth, and it spells outnthe process — as informal as the report—by which internationalnmechanisms inevitably supplant sovereignty:nAll intergovernmental institutions are still,nultimately, creatures of national governments, but anlarge amount of their day-to-day work is sufficientlynand obviously useful that a measure of authoritynand initiative.comes to rest with them. They acquirensupport within national government from thenrelevant ministries and agencies which, in turn, findnuseful constituencies within the ranks ofninternational organizations. This is, none of it, anformal departure from sovereignty. But a strictnliteral definition of sovereignty gets blurred innpractice and the existence of continuous forums forndebate and bargaining helps instill the habit ofncooperation into the affairs of reluctantngovernments.nThis description could be applied, with equal accuracy, tonthe internationalization of relief, financial assistance, andnso-called human rights. From one perspective, the process ofninternationalization sounds like a conscious conspiracy tonsubvert the authority of nation states and to replace themnwith world government. But for the internationalist illuminati,nit is only a rationalization of politics that is designed tonsave us from ourselves. Nations, private property, individualnliberties — all of these things might once have been good innand of themselves, but they now stand in the way of thenplanet’s security. Since the security, of nations depends onnthe health and security of the world, we must take the boldnstep of “Redefining Security,” the title of a recent JessicanTuchman Mathews article in Foreign Affairs.nMathews, formerly director of the Office of Clobal Issuesnat the National Security Council, argues that we havenalready included international economics in our definitionnof national security. Now it is time, “she says, to expand thatndefinition still further by adding global environmentalnconcerns. This will, of course, require “new institutions andnregulatory regimes to cope with the world’s growing environmentalninterdependence.” What does this mean, innpractice? “Put blunfly,” she says — and it is amazing howningenuous these people can be — “our accepted definitionnof the limits of national sovereignty as coinciding withnnational borders is obsolete.”nH ownis it possible to think on the global level? Most of usnlead lives that are so tightly circumscribed by the pettynroLind of children’s lunch boxes, weekly Rotary meetings,nand the annual trip to the beach or the mountains, that wencan rarely bring ourselves to consider the fate of the county,nmuch less of the country. Man is a tribal creature, not anglobal angel that takes in whole continents at a single glance.nEnvironmental globalism would require a whole new politicalnethic to guide us in our local and national deliberations.nPrevious ethical systems, including those that claimed to benuniversal, acknowledged the importance of private, familial,nlocal, and national loyalties, but a global ethic would benmore concerned with the interrelationship between annIllinois landfill site and the greenhouse effect.nOne model, commonly referred to, is that of SpaceshipnEarth. Since we are all on this ship together, we have tonbegin thinking not just of ourselves but of the welfare of thenship, crew, and passengers without whom survival is impossible.nBut Spaceship Earth is an image, not an ethic. Anliberal philosopher orice asked me, as we were walking backnfrom a banquet, if I did not believe we were all together onnSpaceship Earth. I stepped onto the hotel elevator andnexplained, “Yes, but my spaceship has compartments andnclasses made up of families, nations, and interest groups,nwhile on your ship they all fly steerage.” The elevator doornclosed, cutting short his reply.nThe most recent attempt to lay the groundwork for suchnan ethic is Robert Goodin’s “International Ethics and thenEnvironmental Crisis” in the 1990 issue of Ethics &nInternational Affairs. Goodin thinks it is necessary to gonbeyond Ward and Dubos’ prediction of eroding sovereigntynand even beyond Mathews’ insistence that environmentalnglobalism is in the national interest. He rejects both the oldninternational law conception of shared rights and the newernnotion of shared duties, which require us to take care of ournnnAUGUST 1990/13n