every moment matters

Wellbeing of the Future

Commitment to Life

Global Risk/Asset Management

What does "Save the World" mean?

What do people mean by the phrase "save the world?" Rarely do they mean what Cora means — to reduce the risk to the long-term existence of Life on Earth. This is primarily due to rather limited concepts of "world."

Often, their world is ideological, and "saving" it refers to spreading or defending their ideology.

At other times, their world is a way of life. "Saving" it refers to preserving the way of life. A classic example is the apparent preference of the Vikings in Greenland to vanish rather than change their diet. Modern examples include the way that discussions about "saving the world" start with the assumption that our way of life is somehow fixed, and the only way to save the world is to keep doing things but in with a green theme, such as fuel-efficient cars or recycling. Rarely is "world" defined as something bigger than our everyday way of life.

At other times, "save the world" is oddly used as a synonym for social justice.

Because "save the world" rarely refers to increasing the chances of the future of complex Life on Earth, it's best to avoid the term altogether.

Cora, E. (2012, May 7). What does "Save the World" mean?