Earth altruism


Our civilization is facing substantial risks and a growing realization of how climatological and ecological tipping points can fundamentally change the premises for life. This rapidly emerging reality compels a shift in the scope of concern for humans. Even so, it remains unclear whether our ability to learn, collaborate, and address complex problems is compatible with this endemic crisis. Here, we address this existential dilemma by examining human behavioral change. We describe how historically established norms of empathy, cooperation, and engagement in altruistic acts can change during times of crises. We find that hyper-connected role models utilize novel technologies to challenge existing norms associated to altruism, for the benefit of both people and planet. Our observation suggests that an increased connectivity may help facilitate a cultural evolution of Earth altruism that embraces an increased scope and scale of behaviors that are compatible with the global sustainability challenges.


Link to centre authors: Österblom, Henrik
Publication info: Österblom, H., Paasche, Ø. 2021. Earth altruism. One Earth, Vol. 4, Issue 10, P1386-1397. DOI: