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Volume 8       Issue 4    April  2010
Politics and Justice without borders
Theme this month:

Global Political Parties
Main Index of this paper
( see enlargement Politics and Justice without borders)
Global Political Parties
Artwork by Germain Dufour
March 20, 2010


Table of Contents


This is the way     Message from the Spiritual Leader of the Global Community
Message from the Editor    GIM  Message from the Editor
Message from the President of Earth Government, the Federation of Global Governments    Message from the President of Earth Government
History of the Global Community organization, Earth Government and the Federation of Global Governments History of the Global Community Organization and Interim Earth Government Since its beginning in 1985, many accomplishments can be claimed by the Global Community: History of the Global Community organization and Earth Government
The Global Community days of celebration or remembering during the year
A reminder of her passing away. Virginie was a great global citizen, and we all owe her something that's forever. GIM  Message from the Editor
Life Day Celebration on May 26. Participate. Life Day Celebration May 26. Participate.
Participate now in Global Dialogue 2010, no fees  Participate now in Global Dialogue 2010
Global Dialogue 2010 Introduction Global Dialogue 2010 Introduction
Global Dialogue 2010 Program  Global Dialogue 2010 Program
Global Dialogue 2010 OVERVIEW of the process   Global Dialogue 2010 OVERVIEW of the process
Global Dialogue 2010 Call for Papers Global Dialogue 2010 Call for Papers


Global Political Parties


Table of contents

a)     Introduction
b)     Global Parliament Constitution
c)     Global Parliament
d)     The establishment of Global Communities, direct democracy and global voting
e)     Justice for all with Global Law
f)     Global Justice Network and Global Protection Agency (GPA)
g)     Scale of Global Rights
h)     Who owns the Earth?
i)     Markets, free trade and the global economy
j)     Economic and monetary policy of Global Parliament
k)     Global Parliament Departments, Ministries
l)     Earth Security and Peace
m)     Join the Global Justice Movement
n)     Global Financial System and the Global Social-Economic Model (GSEM)
o)     Conclusion and recommendations




Introduction

Global political parties are certainly the next best thing to talk about after replacing the United Nations by Global Parliament. Actually why wait! We all know it is coming soon. We all know the UN is on its way out! This is the 21st century, and the old ways have to go for humanity survival, for all life on Earth survival. This is the time to remember in all of humanity history. Our time is precious. Life in all its forms needs our help more than ever. We have already explained why for over two decades now. Today, we want action!

Rise up Global Community! Rise up Earth revolutionaries! Rise up! Rise up!

In the above figure we have defined and summarized who we are, what we stand for, and what we need to accomplish. The remaining sections refer to details about how we can get there. Global Parliament Constitution contains the necessary steps that will allow us all move forward taking along with us all of humanity and all other life forms as many as we can. Global Dialogue 2010 is how you can participate in this discussion. Do participate! No fees! Just take the time to volunteer your help.




Conclusion and recommendations

Main Index of this paper
( see enlargement Global Parliament)
Global Parliament
Artwork by Germain Dufour
March 20, 2010

Our conclusion and recommendations have already been given and listed in the Proceedings of Global Dialogue 2009. The images above are also another summary of them all. Pass our images along to others.

by
Germain Dufour
Spiritual Leader of the Global Community
President
Global Parliament
Federation of Global Governments



We seek more symbiotical relationships with people and organizations We seek more symbiotical relationships
Note concerning personal info sent to us by email Note concerning personal info sent to us by email
We have now streamlined the participation process in the Global Dialogue We have now streamlined the participation process in the Global Dialogue

 


GIM daily proclamations main website

Authors of research papers and articles on global issues for this month

Andrew Glikson, Chris Hedges, James A. Lucas, Michael McCarthy, George Monbiot, Helena Norberg-Hodge, Scott Thill

Andrew Glikson, CO2 Mass Extinction Of Species And Climate Change, CO2 Mass Extinction Of Species And Climate Change
Chris Hedges, We Stand on the Cusp of one of Humanity's Most Dangerous Moments,  We Stand on the Cusp of one of Humanity's Most Dangerous Moments
James A. Lucas, U.S Started A War Of Aggression Against Afghanistan Over 30 Years Ago   U.S Started A War Of Aggression Against Afghanistan Over 30 Years Ago
Michael McCarthy, Methane Levels May See 'Runaway' Rise,  Methane Levels May See 'Runaway' Rise
George Monbiot, If Fossil Fuel Reserves Rise Carbon Should Be Left Where It Belongs: In The Ground, If Fossil Fuel Reserves Rise Carbon Should Be Left Where It Belongs: In The Ground
Helena Norberg-Hodge, The Economics Of Happiness,  The Economics Of Happiness
Scott Thill, 10 Ways Mother Earth Will Strike Back If We Don't Stop Our Wanton Destruction of the Environment, 10 Ways Mother Earth Will Strike Back If We Don't Stop Our Wanton Destruction of the Environment




Research papers and articles on global issues for this month
 Date sent  Theme or issue  Read
 Febryary 26, 2010   U.S Started A War Of Aggression Against Afghanistan Over 30 Years Ago
by James A. Lucas , Countercurrents.org

Interference by the U.S. in the internal affairs of Afghanistan has been a tragic chapter in our nation's history.

Over three decades ago, there were social movements in Afghanistan to improve the standard of living of its people, to provide greater equality for women, and there was a functioning, if imperfect, democracy. However the U.S., using subversion, weapons and money was able, as the leader of coalition of nations, to stop progress in these areas of human welfare.

In fact, the gains that had already been made were actually reversed. By 2010 the economic and social status of Afghans has been set back generations; women's status has deterioriated to such an extent that the prevalence of self-immolation has increased among discouraged women, and there is no democracy now, with the U.S. making major decisions as an occupying power.

With President Obama's recently announced military buildup, our nation's leaders are on the verge of doing the virtually impossible - making the situation even worse. But the most cataclysmic aspect of this chronology of events is that the U.S. and the world are less safe, since the image of the U.S. in the world is that of the world's leading military power attacking possibly the poorest nation on earth.

Afghanistan in the late 1970s was a predominantly poor, rural and moderate Muslim nation. Although they were second class citizens, women were allowed to unveil and had the right to vote. From 1933-1978 women started to enter the workforce and become teachers, nurses and even politicians. They worked to end illiteracy and forced marriages. Most of these advances were mostly in Kabul , the most modern and populous city in Afghanistan , although in most of the rural areas women were treated as property. 1

In the 1970s Afghanistan also had serious economic problems, one of which the concentration of ownership of most of the land in the hands of tribal and religious leaders (mullahs). Only 3% of the rural population owned 75% of the land.

Labor unions were legalized, a minimum wage and a progressive income tax were established and a separation of church and state was adopted.

Then, in the latter years of that decade various progressive and communist groups struggled over how to modernize Afghanistan and resolve these inequities. Unfortunately, their efforts to introduce changes involved a degree of coercion and violence directed mainly toward those living in areas outside of Kabul where the vast majority of the population lived in mountainous, rural and tribal areas where there was an exceptionally high rates of illiteracy. Steps to redistribute land were initiated but were met by objections from those who had monopoly ownership of land.

It was the revolutionary government's granting of new rights to women that pushed orthodox Muslim men in the Pashtun villages of eastern Afghanistan into picking up their guns. Even though some of those changes had been made only on paper, some said that they were being made too quickly.

According to these opponents, the government said their women had to attend meetings and that their children had to go to school. Since they believed that these changes threatened their religion, they were convinced that they had to fight. So an opposition movement started at that point which became known as the Mujahideen, an alliance of conservative Islamic groups. 2

By the spring of 1979, rebellion had spread to most of the country's 29 provinces. On March 24, a garrison of soldiers in Herat killed a group of Soviet advisers (and their families) who had ordered Afghan troops to fire on anti-government demonstrators. From this point, the regime was no longer merely isolated from peasants in the countryside, but divided by open hostility from an overwhelming majority of all the people.

The government's secret police and a repressive civilian police force went into action across Afghanistan , and army troops were sent into the countryside to subdue "feudal" villagers. 3

The situation was very grave in Afghanistan at that point, but the U.S. was destined to make it much worse. The initial conflict might have been resolved far short of a civil war if the U.S. had refrained from fostering the uprising. Even if the struggle had progressed to a civil war, the nation might eventually have recovered and moved ahead. Civil wars are disastrous for nations, but after great pain and suffering they can eventually overcome this setback, as the U.S. did after its civil war.

The following is an account of how the U.S laid the groundwork for its encouragement of the uprising and the enormous support that it gave later for the ongoing revolt that would lead to the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan in 1979.

The U.S. involvement in Afghanistan began in the 1950s and 1960s. The CIA used impressive bribes and threats to support this growing opposition to the progressive changes, and it also recruited Afghan students in the U.S. to act as agents for them when they returned home. During this period at least one president of the Afghanistan Students Association (ASA), Zia H. Noorzay, was working with the CIA in the U.S. and later became president of the Afghanistan state treasury. One of the Afghan students whom Noorzay and the CIA tried in vain to recruit, Abdul Latif Hotaki, declared in 1967 that a good number of the key officials in the Afghanistan government who studied in the U.S. ?are either CIA-trained or indoctrinated.? 4

According to Roger Morris, National Security Council staff member, the CIA started to offer covert backing to Islamic radicals as early as 1973-1974. 5

Subsequently, various other U.S. officials would also indicate their willingness to sacrifice the welfare of the Afghan people in the interest of the American goal of worldwide domination.

In August 1979, four months before the Soviet attack, a classified State Department Report stated: ?the United States larger interests ?would be served by the demise of the Taraki-Amin regime, despite whatever setbacks this might mean for future social and economic reforms in Afghanistan .? 6

According to one senior official, "The question here was whether it was morally acceptable that, in order to keep the Soviets off balance, which was the reason for the operation, it was permissible to use other lives for our geopolitical interests." Carter's CIA director Stansfield Turner answered the question: "I decided I could live with that ." 7

Judging by examples of U.S. interferences since World War II, not included in this article, it appears that replies similar to that of Turner may have been given with similar genocidal-like results. 8

In 1998 Zigniew Brzezinski, former National Security Adviser to President Carter came clean and admitted that indeed the U.S. had helped bring about the Soviet invasion. Le Nouvel Observateur in Paris in its January 15-21 issue carried the account of an interview with him in which he was asked if he had played a role in providing intelligence to the Mujahideen before the Soviets invaded. His reply was as follows:

?Yes, according to the official version of history, CIA aid to the Mujahadeen began during 1980, that is to say, after the Soviet army invaded Afghanistan , 24 Dec. 1979 . But the reality secretly guarded until now, is completely otherwise. Indeed, it was July 3, 1979 that President Carter signed the first directive for secret aid to the opponents of the pro-Soviet regime in Kabul . And that very day I wrote a note to the president in which I explained to him that in my opinion this aid was going to induce a Soviet military intervention.? 9

The Soviet Union at that time bordered Afghanistan on the north and had various ties with Afghanistan over the years. Those areas are now the nations of Turkmenistan , Uzbekistan and Tajikistan . Since these areas had large Muslim populations, when the Afghanistan civil war started the Soviet Union feared that the revolt could spread to within its own borders. Since they were not able to convince the factions of the communist government in Afghanistan to resolve their difference and go more slowly in their modernization program the Soviets invaded in December 1979 to quell the uprising.

To counter the Soviets, the U.S. deliberately chose to give most of its support to the most extreme groups. A disproportionate share of U.S. arms went to Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, a particularly fanatical fundamentalist and woman-hater. According to journalist Tim Weiner, "[Hekmatyar's] followers first gained attention by throwing acid in the faces of women who refused to wear the veil. CIA and State Department officials I have spoken with call him 'scary', vicious', a fascist', definite dictatorship material." 10

The Mujahideen, while in power, killed or forced into exile most progressive-minded people, especially those suspected of being socialist or Marxist. Thus, the prospects of any progressive secular form of government in Afghanistan were eventually undermined. This continued after the Soviets left. Edmund McWilliams was sent to Afghanistan in 1989 as a semi-independent analyst of U.S. policy regarding the Afghan jihad. He discovered that as the Soviets left, Hekmatyar in allliance with Pakistan's Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) and other groups, moved to eliminate his rivals kidnapping, and murdering Afghan opposition members. 11

The U.S. was quick to provide weapons to the Mujahideen. By February 1980, the Washington Post reported that they were receiving arms coming from the U.S. government. 12

The CIA purchased, mainly from China 's government, grenade launchers, mines and SA-7 light anti-aircraft weapons and then arranged for shipment to Pakistan . The amounts were significant - 10,000 tons of arms and ammunition in 1983 which r ose to 65,000 tons annually by 1987, according to Mohammad Yousaf, the Pakistani general who supervised the covert war from 1983-87. 13

Milton Bearden, CIA station chief in Pakistan from 1986-1989 who was responsible for arming the Mujahideen, commented, ?The U.S. was fighting the Soviets to the last Afghan.? 14

In October 1984, CIA director William Casey, who wanted to keep abreast of the CIA operation in Afghanistan , went by plane to the military air base south of Islamabad , Pakistan . Helicopters lifted Casey to three secret training camps near the Afghan border, where he watched Mujahideen training.

Pakistani officers also traveled to the U.S, for training on the Stinger missile launcher in June 1986 and then set up a secret Stinger training facility. 15 Between 1986 and 1989, the U.S. provided the Mujahideen with more than 1,000 of these state-of-the-art, shoulder-fired anti-aircraft missile launchers which by some accounts, prevented a Soviet victory. Stinger missiles were able to destroy low flying Soviet planes which forced them to fly at higher altitudes thereby curtailing the damage they could cause. By 1987 a "ceaseless stream" of CIA and Pentagon officials were visiting the ISI. 16

During the war with the Soviets, the Mujahideen, with U.S. and Saudi Arabia financial help, augmented the size of its military by securing additional recruits in two ways. First, fundamentalist Islamic religious schools for boys called madrassas were established in the border areas between Pakistan and Afghanistan . Often they came from refugee camps and were orphans of the war.

Although the subject matter of the schools was largely fundamentalist in content, structured to develop a fervor to expel the Soviets, the poverty-stricken families often had no other way to provide their boys with an education.

The prospective students usually had not learned any farming or other skills from their fathers, nor did they have other job opportunities. They were only trained for fighting in wars and how to handle guns. Besides that, food, shelter and military training were provided at no cost. Some boys who were as young as 13 or 14 saw a future stint in the military as a steady source of income. On several occasions madrassas were closed down so that all the students could join the troops on the battlefront.

The other source of additional recruits for the Mujahideen was from a variety of nations around the world with sizeable fundamentalist Muslim populations. These were males who wanted to fight the ?godless Russians?, and some them expected to be martyrs in a holy war.

According to Central Asia specialist and journalist Ahmed Rashid:

?Between 1982 and 1992 some 35,000 Muslim radicals from 43 Islamic countries in the Middle East , North and East Africa , Central Asia and the Far East would pass their baptism under fire with the Afghan Mujaheddin. Tens of thousands more foreign Muslim radicals came to study in the hundreds of new madrassas that Zia's military government began to fund in Pakistan and along the Afghan border. Eventually more than 100,000 Muslim radicals were to have direct contact with Pakistan and Afghanistan and be influenced by the jihad.? 17

According to John Ryan, senior scholar at the University of Winnipeg ?As for the Mujahideen that this conflict created, they took on a life of their own, and have now spread throughout the Muslim world and are apparently in cells everywhere. About 5,000 of them were brought into Bosnia to fight the Serbs ? even Osama bin Laden may have visited Bosnian president Izetbegovic in 1992. 18 The Mujahideen later helped the Kosovo Albanians.? 19

In 1989 the Soviets retreated from Aghanistan and left behind 1.5 million dead Aghans. 20 and 14,000 of its own dead 21

But then a new war started, this time between the Mujahideen and the Afghan government. It lasted for three years, until the government was defeated in 1992. After that, the competing armies within the Mujahideen fought among themselves to control Kabul , using stockpiles of weapons that had been provided by the U.S. to fight the Soviets. About 50,000 people were killed and much of the city was left in shambles. 22 Even today, little of Kabul has been reconstructed. Hundreds of thousands of people were driven into squalid refugee camps, and millions of exiles were blocked from returning.

While the Mujahideen was in power there was a severe erosion of women's rights. The Ministry for the Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice was set up to control women's dress codes and the length of men's beards. Rape was a common tool of war for the fundamentalists. As one man said ?young women who did not want to be raped by these zealots threw themselves off the top floors of tall buildings and preferred death to rape?Many families who had daughters didn't want fundamentalists to rape them. So when the fundamentalists attacked their homes, they would kill their own daughters, because it was better for them to die than to be raped by these criminals.? 23

Despite all of this brutality, women were still allowed to work, and get an education under the Mujahideen government. In fact, before the Taliban later took over Kabul , about half of the working population were women who were employed as teachers, doctors, as well as in other professional occupations.

For the next four years there was a war between the Mujahideen and the Taliban with the latter emerging victorious in 1996. Many Afghans welcomed them, since they believed that they would end the corruption of the Mujahideen. But as fundamentalist Muslims, their policies were similar to those of the Mujahideen.

A virtual war was declared on women under the Taliban, which had no basis in Islamic law. They were not allowed to participate in the work force or even have doctors treat them (without a male relative present), and girls were forbidden to go to school.  They were forbidden to work, leave the house without a male escort, not allowed to seek medical help from a male doctor, and were forced to cover themselves from head to toe, even covering their eyes. Women who were doctors and teachers before, suddenly were forced to be beggars and even prostitutes in order to feed their families. 26

Trying to understand the mindset of how such injustices can take place is not an easy undertaking. But one thing is obvious, as I have mentioned earlier in this article: the U.S. was the main force that created the conditions that allowed the Mujahideen and the Taliban to come to power because of the support it gave 20 to 30 years ago to the most violent and anti-democratic forces within Afghanistan who ruled ruthlessly, eradicating educated progressive leaders, driving others into exile and corrupting the minds of many of its young males.

After the attacks of September 11, 2001 the U.S. reacted by attacking Afghanistan , although none of the those who hijacked the planes in those attacks were Afghans.. The rationale given for the U.S. air attacks on Afghanistan was that the training of the hijackers was done by Al Qaeda in camps in Afghanistan . Although this retaliatory bombing supposedly achieved the stated goal of the U.S. government, it was decided to invade anyway and is still there eight years later. The Taliban was replaced by the Northern Alliance and now there is an Afghan government which is the surrogate of the U.S.

What do the Afghan people have to show now over 30 years after the Soviet invasion in the areas of democracy, women's rights and economic and social progress? Nothing! In fact the Afghan people are worse off now. And the future of Afghans at the hands of the U.S. probably is horrendous.

Democracy has been undermined in Afghanistan , because many of the progressive leaders were either killed or forced into exile by warlords supported by the U.S. during and after the war with the Soviets. This new government has been formed in an undemocratic process promoted by the U.S. and now consists of some of the warlords who were deposed by the Taliban.

Today the ordinary Afghan is caught between three forces: the U.S. , the Taliban, and the puppet government composed of former members of the Mujahideen who many Afghans would like to have tried as war criminals. Also, the Upper House of Parliament is not a democratic institution, its members being appointed by the President. Furthermore, the Afghan constitution, although it proclaims equality for men and women, is secondary to the supremacy of Islamic law, which can be used to squash dissent and human rights, including the rights of women. 27

Furthermore, it is ludicrous to contend that a nation that is occupied by a foreign power is allowed to make the important decisions. In short when the U.S. occupiers say ?Jump!? the Afghan government replies ?How high??

Malalai Joya, a young Afghan woman who was elected to the Lower House of Parliament and who was later barred from that body because of her criticism of some of its members. She has estimated that up to 60% of the deputies in the Lower House are directly or indirectly connected to current and past human rights abuses. 28

Under the newly established government in 2001 women were allowed to once again work and go to school. Nevertheless, the abuse of women continues, since the government is too weak to enforce many of the laws, especially in the rural areas. 29

According to Human Rights Watch, "The law gives a husband the right to withdraw basic maintenance from his wife, including food, if she refuses to obey his sexual demands. It grants guardianship of children exclusively to their fathers and grandfathers. It requires women to get permission from their husbands to work. It also effectively allows a rapist to avoid prosecution by paying "blood money" to a girl who was injured when he raped her." 30

According to Joya:

?Women's conditions in some cities have slightly improved since the Taliban regime. But if we compare it with the era before the rule of the fundamentalists in Afghanistan , it has not changed much. Afghan women had more rights in the 1960s to 1980s than today. Rapes, abductions, murders, violence, forced marriages, and violence are increasing at an alarming rate never seen before in our history. Women commit self-immolation to escape their miseries, and the rate of self-immolations is climbing in many of the provinces. Afghanistan still faces a women's rights catastrophe.? 31

The economic and social welfare status of Afghans today due to U.S intervention that started over 30 years ago is abysmal. The U.S. is not the only culpable nation; Pakistan and Saudi Arabia also played major roles in this deterioration.

The Afghan people are in dire straits. They lost about one and a half million people in their war with the Soviet Union , according to Rashid, and tens of thousands more have died in civil wars. In addition 600,000 have been wounded. A bout one in ten Afghans is disabled, mostly due to the wars and landmines. Their life expectancy is about 43 years. 32

Many Americans explain this internal strife in Afghanistan by saying that ?they have always been fighting among themselves.? But the truth is that America has been more or less behind most of the violence, as this article demonstrates .

Since the U.S. started its bombing in 2001 an estimated 7,309 Afghan civilians have been killed by U.S.-led forces as of June 20, 2008 , according to an estimate made by University of New Hampshire Professor Mark Herold . Those who died after impact of an explosive are not counted. 33

Although more than 3.7 million Afghan refugees have returned to their homes in the past six years, several million still live in Pakistan and Iran . About 132,000 people are internally displaced as a result of drought, violence and instability. Furthermore, there are reportedly about 400,000 orphans in Afghanistan. 34

Afghanistan suffers from an unemployment rate of 40% and most of those who have jobs earn only meager wages. Many youth joined the Mujahideen or Taliban in order to receive some food, shelter and income. The average educational level of Afghans is 1.7 years of schooling, which severely limits their job opportunities. As many as 18 million Afghans still live on less than $2 a day. 35

Even today the Afghan people are confronted by many dangers. On their land there are still about 10 million mines which cause loss of life and limbs and reduces the amount of land available for farming.

An estimated seven million people remain susceptible to hunger throughout the country, and   Afghanistan is also vulnerable to natural disasters as well as a high risk of diseases. 36   

Afghanistan needs economic development aid, health care and educational assistance - not bombs.

U.S. officials talk about nation-building in Afghanistan . But what they neglect to say is that the U.S. has actually done just the opposite: it has fostered the destruction of much of that nation and now poses a clear and imminent danger to what remains of the rest of that beleaguered country.

James A. Lucas is a member of Peace Action and Veterans for Peace. He can be reached at jlucas511@woh.rr.com

SOURCES

http://www.afghan-web.com/woman/afghanwomenhistory.html

2. New York Times, 9 February, 1980 , p.3, (From Willian Blum, Killing Hope, Ref. 52 on p. 346)

3. Philip Gasper, ? Afghanistan , the CIA, bin Laden, and the Taliban,? International Socialist Review,

November-December 2001. http://www.isreview.org/issues/20/CIA_binladen_afghan.shtml

4. ?How the CIA turns foreign students into traitors?, Ramparts Magazine ( San Francisco ), April 1967, pp.

23-4. (As mentioned in William Blum, Killing Hope, Ref 29 on p.343.)

5. ?CIA Activities in Afghanistan ,Wikipedia.?. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/CIA_activities_in_Afghanistan

6. Gasper.

7. Gasper.

8. James A. Lucas, ?Deaths in Other Nations Since WWI Due to US Interventions?, Countercurrents, April

24, 2007. http://www.countercurrents.org/lucas240407.htm

9. ?The CIA's Intervention in Afghanistan , Interview with Zbigniew Brzezinski?, President Jimmy

Carter's National Security Adviser. http://www.glonbalresearch.ca/articles/BRZ110A.html

10. Gasper.

11. Steve Coll, ?Ghost Wars?, (Penguin Books) p 181.

12. Gasper.

13. Steve Coll, ?Anatomy of a Victory: CIA's Covert Afghan War?, ' Washington Post', July 19, 1992 .

http://emperors-clothes.com/docs/anatomy.htm

14. Milton Bearden, ? Afghanistan Graveyard of Empires.? Foreign Affairs, November/December 2001.

15. Coll., Anatomy

16. Gasper.

17. Ahmed Rashid, ?Taliban,? Yale University Press, New Haven , London , 2001 , p. 130.

18. Dianna Johnstone, ?Fools Crusade: Yugoslavia , NATO and Western Delusions?, New York : Monthly

Review Press, 2002, pp. 61-62, personal communication with Canada 's foreign ambassador to

Yugoslavia , James Bissett.

19. John Ryan, ? Afghanistan , A Tale of Never Ending Tragedy?, Global Research , July 19 , 2006 .

http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=2750FA

20. Rashid, p.13.

  Read U.S Started A War Of Aggression Against Afghanistan Over 30 Years Ago
 February 26, 2010   The Economics Of Happiness
by Helena Norberg-Hodge, Countercurrents.org

Thirty-three years ago, I watched as a culture that had been sealed off from the rest of the world was suddenly thrown open to economic development. Witnessing the impact of the modern world on an ancient culture gave me insights into how economic globalisation creates feelings of inadequacy and inferiority, particularly in the young, and how those psychological pressures are helping to spread the global consumer culture. Since that time I have been promoting the rebuilding of community and local economies as the foundation of an ‘Economics of Happiness’.

When I first arrived in Ladakh or “Little Tibet”, a region high on the Tibetan plateau, it was still largely unaffected by either colonialism or the global economy. For political reasons, the region had been isolated for many centuries, both geographically and culturally. During several years of living amongst the Ladakhis, I found them to be the most contented and happy people I had ever encountered. Their sense of self-worth was deep and solid; smiles and laughter were their constant companions. Then in 1975, the Indian government abruptly opened Ladakh to imported food and consumer goods, to tourism and the global media, to western education and other trappings of the ‘development’ process. Romanticised impressions of the West gleaned from media, advertising and fleeting encounters with tourists had an immediate and profound impact on the Ladakhis. The sanitised and glamorised images of the urban consumer culture created the illusion that people outside Ladakh enjoyed infinite wealth and leisure. By contrast, working in the fields and providing for one's own needs seemed backward and primitive. Suddenly, everything from their food and clothing to their houses and language seemed inferior. The young were particularly affected, quickly succumbing to a sense of insecurity and self-rejection. The use of a dangerous skin-lightening cream called "Fair and Lovely" became widespread, symbolising the newly-created need to imitate the distant role models – western, urban, blonde – provided by the media.

Over the past three decades, I have studied this process in numerous cultures around the world and discovered that we are all victims of these same psychological pressures. In virtually every industrialised country, including the US, UK, Australia, France and Japan, there is now what is described as an epidemic of depression. In Japan, it is estimated that one million youths refuse to leave their bedrooms – sometimes for decades – in a phenomenon known as “Hikikomori.” In the US, a growing proportion of young girls are so deeply insecure about their appearance they fall victim to anorexia and bulimia, or undergo expensive cosmetic surgery.

Why is this happening? Too often these signs of breakdown are seen as ‘normal’: we assume that depression is a universal affliction, that children are by nature insecure about their appearance, that greed, acquisitiveness, and competition are innate to the human condition. What we fail to consider are the billions of dollars spent by marketers targeting children as young as two, with a goal of instilling the belief that material possessions will ensure them the love and appreciation they crave.

As global media reaches into the most remote parts of the planet, the underlying message is: "if you want to be seen, heard, appreciated and loved you must have the right running shoes, the most fashionable jeans, the latest toys and gadgets”. But the reality is that consumption leads to greater competition and envy, leaving children more isolated, insecure, and unhappy, thereby fuelling still more frantic consumption in a vicious cycle. In this way, the global consumer culture taps into the fundamental human need for love and twists it into insatiable greed.

Today, more and more people are waking up to fact that, because of its environmental costs, an economic model based on endless consumption is simply unsustainable. But because there is far less understanding of the social and psychological costs of the consumer culture, most believe that making the changes necessary to save the environment will entail great sacrifice. Once we realise that oil-dependent global growth is not only responsible for climate change and other environmental crises, but also for increased stress, anxiety and social breakdown, then it becomes clear that the steps we need to take to heal the planet are the same as those needed to heal ourselves: both require reducing the scale of the economy – in other words localising rather than continuing to globalise economic activity. My sense from interviewing people in four continents is that this realisation is already growing, and has the potential to spread like wildfire.

Economic localisation means bringing economic activity closer to home – supporting local economies and communities rather than huge, distant corporations. Instead of a global economy based on sweatshop in the South, stressed-out two-earner families in the North, and a handful of billionaire elites in both, localisation means a smaller gap between rich and poor and closer contact between producers and consumers. This translates into greater social cohesion : a recent study found that shoppers at farmers’ markets had ten times more conversations than people in supermarkets.

And community is a key ingredient in happiness. Almost universally, research confirms that feeling connected to others is a fundamental human need. Local, community-based economies are also crucial for the well-being of our children, providing them with living role models and a healthy sense of identity. Recent childhood development research demonstrates the importance, in the early years of life, of learning about who we are in relation to parents, siblings, and the larger community. These are real role models, unlike the artificial stereotypes found in the media.

A deep connection with nature is similarly fundamental to our well-being. Author Richard Louv has even coined the expression ‘nature deficit disorder’ to describe what is happening to children deprived of contact with the living world. The therapeutic benefits of contact with nature, meanwhile, are becoming ever more clear. A recent UK study showed that 90 percent of people suffering from depression experience an increase in self-esteem after a walk in a park. After a visit to a shopping centre, on the other hand, 44 percent feel a decrease in self-esteem and 22 percent feel more depressed. Considering that over 31 million prescriptions for anti-depressants were handed out in the UK last year, this is a crucial finding.

Despite the enormity of the crises we face, turning towards the more community-based, localised economies represents a powerful solution multiplier. As Kali Wendorf, editor of Kindred magazine, says, “the way forward is actually quite simple: it’s more time with each other, more time in nature, more time in collective situations that give us a sense of community, like farmers’ markets, for example, or developing a relationship with the corner shop where you get your fruits and vegetables. It’s not going back to the Stone Age. It’s just getting back to that foundation of connection again.”

Efforts to localise economies are happening at the grassroots all over the world, and bringing with them a sense of well-being. A young man who started an urban garden in Detroit, one of America’s most blighted cities, told us, “I’ve lived in this community over 35 years and people I’d never met came up and talked to me when we started this project. We found that it reconnects us with the people around us, it makes community a reality”. Another young gardener in Detroit put it this way: “Everything just feels better to people when there is something growing.”

Global warming and the end of cheap oil demand a fundamental shift in the way that we live. The choice is ours. We can continue down the path of economic globalisation, which at the very least will create greater human suffering and environmental problems, and at worst, threatens our very survival. Or, through localisation, we can begin to rebuild our communities and local economies, the foundations of sustainability and happiness.

 

Helena Norberg-Hodge is an analyst of the impact of the global economy on cultures and agriculture worldwide and a pioneer of the localisation movement. She is the founder and director of the International Society for Ecology and Culture (ISEC). Based in the US and UK, with subsidiaries in Sweden, Germany, Australia, and Ladakh, ISEC's mission is to examine the root causes of our social and environmental crises, while promoting more sustainable and equitable patterns of living in both North and South. Its activities include The Ladakh Project, a Local Food program and Global to Local Outreach.She is the author of Ancient Futures: Learning from Ladakh, based on her first-hand experience of the effects of conventional development in Ladakh. Ancient Futures has been described as an "inspirational classic" by the London Times and together with a film of the same title, it has been translated into 42 languages. A new edition will be published in 2009 by Random House. She is also co-author of Bringing the Food Economy Home and From the Ground Up: Rethinking Industrial Agriculture. In 1986, she received the Right Livelihood Award, or the "Alternative Nobel Prize" as recognition for her work in Ladakh

  Read The Economics Of Happiness
 February 26, 2010   If Fossil Fuel Reserves Rise Carbon Should Be Left Where It Belongs: In The Ground
by George Monbiot, Countercurrents.org,
Guardian.co.uk

When forecasts of fossil fuel reserves improve, how should we respond? A new report (pdf) by the trade body Oil & Gas UK says that 11bn barrels of oil and gas could now be extracted from the UK continental shelf. This would mean a rough doubling of current reserves, but it depends on high energy prices and much greater investments than companies have so far been prepared to make to turn possible or probable reserves into real ones. If the extra reserves materialised, the body says, the UK could still produce up to half its own supplies in 2020: a lower rate of decline than previously forecast.

We should be cautious about projections made by trade associations: they have an interest in talking up their industry's prospects, and the report could be read as just another plea for even more generous tax breaks. But if it's true that reserves could double, is this good news or bad news? It depends on which stories you want to hear.

In terms of its impact on the UK's energy security, it's obviously good news. Every so often – this January was an example – there's a panic about energy supplies here. Sometimes it's justified; sometimes it isn't; but the UK's low gas storage capacity and the length of the supply lines from other countries means that the decline of North Sea reserves has left us vulnerable to shortfalls. The more gas this country can produce on its own territory, the less likely it is to suffer from the effects of pipeline closures by the Russian government, or price-fixing by German utility companies.

In terms of total global supply, the trade body's projections don't make much difference. Annoyingly, it doesn't publish seperate figures for oil and gas production, but its graphs (figure 8 in the report) suggest that the possible extra reserves are split roughly equally. This would mean an extra 2.9bn barrels of oil, which equates to around one month of global consumption.

Some people see the prospect of peak oil as good news for the environment, as it might be the only threat which could prompt governments to reduce our dependence on fossil fuels. But it is also likely to encourage them to stimulate investments in even dirtier sources of energy: tar sands, oil shales and turning coal into synthetic petroleum.

But whether we burn filthy unconventional fuels or slightly less filthy oil and gas, beyond a certain point they will tip us beyond a critical level of global warming. Most governments identify this as 2C. Several game-changing papers published in Nature last year suggest that even if we were to burn no unconventional fossil fuels, we can afford to use only 60% of current reserves of oil, gas and coal if we're to prevent the global average temperature from rising by more than 2C.

In other words, if governments are serious about climate change, then far from encouraging the expansion of supplies, they should be deciding which 40% or more of current reserves they are going to leave in the ground. Current policy suggests that they are not serious about climate change.

In the UK, responsibility for the problem rests with the Department of Energy and Climate Change (Decc). The way it operates suggests that the two halves of the department must hate each other. The energy section seems to be in a state of perpetual war with the climate change section. Every morning Ed Miliband, the secretary of state, must beat himself up like Edward Norton in Fight Club.

At the end of January, for example, the department announced a:

Record acreage … in latest Licensing Round for offshore oil and gas exploration...areas of the Continental Shelf not as yet explored, and will provide a new boost to activity in the basin. … Estimates suggest there are still around 20 billion barrels of oil equivalent, or possibly more, to be produced, and this latest licensing round will help ensure we realise this potential.

In other words, far from cutting our extractable reserves by 40%, the government wants to boost them by 300%.

In reality, no fight is taking place within the department, because no one there, as far as I can tell, is prepared to acknowledge the contradiction. When I challenged Ed Miliband about this last year, he responded as if he had never been exposed to the problem before. Decc happily pursues its two policies, apparently unaware that one negates the other.

Is this ever going to change, or are the government's elaborate measures encouraging us to reduce our consumption of fossil fuels nothing more than a public relations stunt, designed to create a semblance of action as ever carbon more is dragged out of the ground to be burnt?

  Read If Fossil Fuel Reserves Rise Carbon Should Be Left Where It Belongs: In The Ground
 February 22, 2010   CO2 Mass Extinction Of Species And Climate Change
by Andrew Glikson , Countercurrents.org

The release of more than 370 billion tons of carbon (GtC) from buried early biospheres, adding more than one half of the original carbon inventory of the atmosphere (~590 GtC), as well as the depletion of vegetation, have triggered a fundamental shift in the state of the atmosphere [1]. Raising atmospheric CO2 level at a rate of 2 ppm/year, a pace unprecedented in the geological record, with the exception of the effects of CO2 released from craters excavated by large asteroid impacts, the deleterious effects of pollution and deforestation have reached a geological dimension, tracking toward conditions which existed on Earth in the mid-Pliocene, about 2.8 million years ago [2].

Lost all too often in the climate debate is an appreciation of the delicate balance between the physical and chemical state of the atmosphere-ocean-land system and the evolving biosphere, which controls the emergence, survival and demise of species, including humans. By contrast to Venus, with its thick blanket of CO2 and sulphur dioxide greenhouse atmosphere, exerting extreme pressure (90 bars) at the surface, or Mars with its thin (0.01 bar) CO2 atmosphere, the presence in the Earth's atmosphere of trace concentrations of greenhouse gases (CO2, methane, nitric oxides, ozone) modulates surface temperatures in the range of -89 and +57.7 degrees Celsius and a mean of 14 degrees Celsius, allowing the presence of liquid water and thereby of life [3].

Forming a thin breathable veneer only slightly more than one thousand the diameter of Earth, and evolving both gradually as well as through major perturbations with time, the Earth's atmosphere acts as a lungs of the biosphere, allowing an exchange of carbon gases and oxygen with plants and animals, which in turn affect the atmosphere, for example through release of methane and photosynthetic oxygen (Figure 1).

CO2 is 28 times more soluble in water than is oxygen. Above critical threshold CO2 becomes toxic for certain organisms. Marine organisms are more sensitive to changes in CO2 levels than are terrestrial organisms. Excess CO2 reduces the ability of respiratory pigments to oxygenate tissues, and makes body fluids more acidic, thereby hampering the production of carbonate hard parts like shells. Relatively modest but sustained increases in CO2 concentrations hamper the synthesis of proteins, reduce fertilization rates, and produce deformities in calcareous hard parts. The observed pattern of marine extinctions is consistent with hypercapnia (excessive levels of CO2), with related extinction events [4].

When the concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere rises above a critical threshold, climate shifts to a different state. Any significant increase in the level of carbon gases triggers powerful feedbacks. These include ice melt/warm water interaction, decline of ice reflection (albedo) and increase in infrared absorption by exposed water. Further release of CO2 from the oceans and from drying and burning vegetation shifts global climate zones toward the poles, warms the oceans and induces ocean acidification [5].

The essential physics of the infrared absorption/emission resonance of greenhouse molecules is indicated by observations in nature and laboratory studies, as portrayed in the relations between atmospheric CO2 and mean global temperature projections (Figure 2).

During most of Earth history the oxygen-poor composition of the atmosphere resulted in dominance of reduced carbon species in the air and the oceans, including methane and carbon monoxide, allowing mainly algae and bacteria to exist in the oceans (Figure 3). It is commonly held that, about 0.7 billion years ago, in the wake of the Marinoan glaciation (so-called ?Snowball Earth?), oxygenation of low-temperature water allowed development of new oxygen-binding proteins and thereby of multicellular animals, followed by development of a rich variety of organisms - the ?Cambrian explosion? [6].

The present state of the biosphere, allowing survival of large mammals and of humans on the continents, developed when CO2 levels fell below about 500 ppm some 34 million years ago (end Eocene) [7]. At this stage, as well as following warm periods in the Oligocene (c. 25 million years ago) and mid-Miocene (about 15 million years ago), development of the Antarctic ice sheet led to a fundamental change in the global climate regime. About 2.8 million years ago (mid-Pliocene) the Greenland ice sheet and the Arctic Sea ice began to form, with further decline in global temperatures expressed through glacial-interglacial cycles regulated by orbital forcing (Milankovic cycles), with atmospheric CO2 levels oscillating between 180 and 280 ppm CO2 (Figure 4). These conditions allowed the emergence of humans in Africa and their migration all over the world (Figure 5) [8].

Recent paleoclimate studies, using multiple proxies (soil carbonate d13C, alkenones, boron/calcium, stomata leaf pores), indicate that the current CO2 level of 388 ppm and CO2-equivalent level of 460 ppm (which includes the methane factor), commit warming above pre-industrial levels to 3 to 4 degrees C in the tropics and 10 degrees C in polar regions, tracking toward an ice-free Earth [2].

Small human clans post-3 million years-ago responded to changing climates through migration within and out of Africa . Homo sapiens emerged during the glacial period preceding the 124 thousand years-old Emian interglacial, when temperatures rose by about 1 degree C and sea levels by 6-8 meters relative to pre-industrial [5].  The development of agriculture and thereby human civilization had to wait until climate stabilized about 8000 years ago, when large scale irrigation along the great river valleys (the Nile , Euphrates , Hindus and Yellow River ) became possible. 

Since the 18 th century mean global temperature has risen by about 0.8 degrees C. Another 0.5 degrees C is masked by industrial-emitted aerosols (SO2), and further rise ensues from current melting of the ice sheets and sea ice. The polar regions, acting as the ?thermostats? of the Earth, are the source of the cold air current vortices and the cold ocean currents, such as the Humboldt and California current, which keep the Earth's overall temperature balance, much as the blood stream regulates the body's temperature and the supply of oxygen.

At 4 degrees Celsius advanced to total melting of the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets leads to sea levels tens of meters higher than at present. Further rise of CO2-e above 500 ppm and mean global temperatures above 4 degrees C can only lead toward greenhouse Earth conditions such as existed during the Cretaceous and early Cainozoic (Figure 4) [5, 7].

A rise of atmospheric CO2 concentration triggers feedback effects due to warming, desiccation and burning of vegetation, releasing more CO2. The onset of methane release from polar bogs and sediments is of major concern. Ice/melt water interaction proceeds as melt water melts more ice, ice loss results in albedo loss and exposed water absorb infrared heat, resulting in an amplified feedback cycle. Because CO2 is cumulative, with atmospheric residence time on the scale of centuries to millennia, stabilization of the climate through small incremental reduction in emission may not be sufficient to avoid runaway climate change and possible tipping points.

Climate change is appropriately described as a global oxygenation event affecting geological carbon deposits as well as the present biosphere. At 2 ppm/year the pace of carbon oxidation exceeds the highest recorded geological rate of 0.4 ppm/year at the Paleocene-Eocene boundary at 55 Ma, when about 2000 GtC were burnt, triggering an extinction of species [7].

Sea level rise constitutes a critical parameter which reflects all other components of climate change. Since the early 20 th century the rate of sea level rise increased from about 1 mm/year to about 3.5 mm/year (1993 ? 2009 mean rate 3.2+/-0.4 mm/year), representing a nearly 4 fold increase since the onset of the industrial age (Figure 6).

The Earth poles are warming at rates 3 to 4 times faster than low latitudes (Figure 7) [9]. The most detailed satellite information available shows that ice sheets in Greenland and western Antarctica are shrinking and in some places are already in runaway melt mode [10]. A new study, using 50 million laser readings from a NASA satellite, calculates changes in the height of the vulnerable but massive ice sheets and found them especially worse at their edges, where warmer water eats away from below. In some parts of Antarctica , ice sheets have been losing 30 feet a year in thickness since 2003 [10].

The consequences of open ended rise in atmospheric CO2 are manifest in the geological record (Frontispiece). The world is in a lag period, when increasing atmospheric energy is expressed by intense hurricanes, increased pressure at mid-latitude high pressure zones and shift of climate zones toward the poles. With ensuing desertification of temperate zones, i.e. southern Europe , southern Australia , southern Africa , the desiccated forests become prey to firestorms, such as in Victoria and California .

There is nowhere the 6.5 billion of contemporary humans can go, not even the barren planets into the study of which space agencies have been pouring more funding than governments allocate for environmental mitigation to date. At 460 ppm CO2-equivalent, the climate is tracking close to the upper stability limit of the Antarctic ice sheet, defined at approximately 500 ppm [5,7]. Once transcended, mitigation measures would hardly be able to re-form the cryosphere.

According to Joachim Schellnhuber, Director of the Potsdam Climate Impacts Institute and advisor to the German government:

? We're simply talking about the very life support system of this planet ?.

Humans can not argue with the physics and chemistry of the atmosphere. What is needed are urgent measures including

•  Deep cuts in carbon emissions.

•  Parallel Fast track transformation to non-polluting energy utilities ? solar, solar-thermal, wind, tide, geothermal, hot rocks.

•  Global reforestation and re-vegetation campaigns, including application of biochar.

The alternative does not bear contemplation.

Andrew Glikson is Earth and paleoclimate scientist, Australian National University

[1] After Peter Ward, Under a Green Sky: Global Warming, the Mass Extinctions of the Past, and What They Can Tell Us About Our Future (HarperCollins, NY 2007, p 135).

[2] Pagani M. et al. 2010. http://www.nature.com/ngeo/journal/v3/n1/abs/ngeo724.html

[3] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Earth#Weather_and_climate

[4] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Permian%E2%80%93Triassic_extinction_event

[5] Hansen et al. 2008. Target CO2: Where Should humanity aim? http://www.columbia.edu/~jeh1/2008/TargetCO2_20080407.pdf

[6] http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/evolution/library/03/4/l_034_02.html

[7] Zachos J.C. et al. 2008 http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v451/n7176/full/nature06588.html

[8] deMenocal, P.B. 2004. http://www.ldeo.columbia.edu/~peter/Resources/Publications/deMenocal.2004.pdf

[9] http://wwfblogs.org/climate/content/looking-above-normal-temperatures-they-are-arctic

[10] http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v461/n7266/full/nature08471.html

http://climateprogress.org/2009/10/26/nature-dynamic-thinning-of-greenland-and-antarctic-ice-sheets-glacier/

 

Figure 1. The terrestrial atmosphere as ?lungs of the biosphere? ? an analogy.

Figure 2. The relations between atmospheric CO2-equivalent (including the radiative forcing of methane) and mean global temperature, according to Charney's climate sensitivity parameter (Hansen et al., 2007, 2008) (IPCC-2007). Circles mark new paleoclimate estimates of atmospheric conditions in the mid-Pliocene (2.8 million years ago) and the mid-Miocene (15 million years ago), with implications to current climate trajectories.

Figure 3. An artist's impression of Earth's oceans as they may have appeared up to about 1 billion years ago, when the oceans were populated by single celled algae and bacteria.

 

 

Figure 4. CO2 and deep ocean temperature changes during the Cainozoic (since 65 million years-ago [Ma]), based on proxy studies (stomata fossil leaf pore densities; 13C isotopes in carbonate nodules in fossil soil), indicating the onset age of the Antarctic ice sheet (c. 34 Ma), West Antarctic ice sheet and Northern Hemisphere ice sheets (c. 3 Ma). Note the glacial-interglacial approximate upper limits at 500 ppm CO2 [7].

 

Figure 5. Human evolution in relation to the atmosphere from about 5 Ma (early Pliocene) (after deMenocal 2004) [8]. Upper blue plot represents paleo-deep sea temperature variations. Black plot represent atmospheric dustiness, corresponding to wind and glacial states. Discontinuous line below represents the duration of Milankovic cycles. Black marks below represent development of grasslands and decrease of organic productivity as the habitats shift from tropical to savannah conditions. Discontinuous lines below represent recorded durations of human species.

 

Figure 6 . Sea level changes 1993 ? 2009 scanned by the Topex and Jason satellites. University of Colorado , 2009 http://sealevel.colorado.edu/

 

 

Figure 7. Northern Hemisphere temperature anomalies, December, 2009 (NOAA/ESRL Physical Science Division) http://wwfblogs.org/climate/content/looking-above-normal-temperatures-they-are-arctic

  Read CO2 Mass Extinction Of Species And Climate Change
 February 22, 2010   Methane Levels May See 'Runaway' Rise
by Michael McCarthy, Countercurrents.org,
Independent.co.uk
Atmospheric levels of methane, the greenhouse gas which is much more powerful than carbon dioxide, have risen significantly for the last three years running, scientists will disclose today – leading to fears that a major global-warming "feedback" is beginning to kick in.

For some time there has been concern that the vast amounts of methane, or "natural gas", locked up in the frozen tundra of the Arctic could be released as the permafrost is melted by global warming. This would give a huge further impetus to climate change, an effect sometimes referred to as "the methane time bomb".

This is because methane (CH4) is even more effective at retaining the Sun's heat in the atmosphere than CO2, the main focus of international climate concern for the last two decades. Over a relatively short period, such as 20 years, CH4 has a global warming potential more than 60 times as powerful as CO2, although it decays more quickly.

Now comes the first news that levels of methane in the atmosphere, which began rising in 2007 when an unprecedented heatwave in the Arctic caused a record shrinking of the sea ice, have continued to rise significantly through 2008 and 2009.

Although researchers cannot yet be certain, and there may be non-threatening explanations, there is a fear that rising temperatures may have started to activate the positive feedback mechanism. This would see higher atmospheric levels of the gas producing more warming, which in turn would release more methane, which would produce even further warming, and so on into an uncontrollable "runaway" warming effect. This is believed to have happened at the end of the last Ice Age, causing a very rapid temperature rise in a matter of decades.

The new figures will be revealed this morning at a major two-day conference on greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, taking place at the Royal Society in London. They will be disclosed in a presentation by Professor Euan Nisbet, of Royal Holloway College of the University of London, and Dr Ed Dlugokencky of the Earth System Research Laboratory in Boulder, Colorado, which is run by the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

Both men are leading experts on CH4 in the atmosphere, and Dr Dlugokencky in particular, who is in charge of NOAA's global network of methane monitoring stations, is sometimes referred to as "the keeper of the world's methane". In a presentation on "Global atmospheric methane in 2010: budget, changes and dangers", the two scientists will reveal that, after a decade of near-zero growth, "globally averaged atmospheric methane increased by [approximately] 7ppb (parts per billion) per year during 2007 and 2008."

They go on: "During the first half of 2009, globally averaged atmospheric CH4 was [approximately] 7ppb greater than it was in 2008, suggesting that the increase will continue in 2009. There is the potential for increased CH4 emissions from strong positive climate feedbacks in the Arctic where there are unstable stores of carbon in permafrost ... so the causes of these recent increases must be understood."

Professor Nisbet said at the weekend that the new figures did not necessarily mark a new excursion from the trend. "It may just be a couple of years of high growth, and it may drop back to what it was," he said. "But there is a concern that things are beginning to change towards renewed growth from feedbacks."

The product of biological activity by microbes, usually in decaying vegetation or other organic matter, "natural gas" is emitted from natural sources and human activities. Wetlands may give off up to a third of the total amount produced. But large amounts are also released from the production of gas for fuel, and also from agriculture, including the production of rice in paddy fields and the belches of cows as they chew the cud (which is known as "bovine eructation"). However, methane breaks down and disappears from the atmosphere quite quickly, and until recently it was thought that the Earth's methane "budget" was more or less in balance.

Global atmospheric levels of the gas now stand at about 1,790 parts per billion. They began to be measured in 1984, when they stood at about 1,630ppb, and were steadily rising. It was thought that this was due to the Russian gas industry, which before the collapse of the Soviet Union was affected by enormous leaks.

After 1991, substantial amounts were invested in stopping the leaks by a privatised Russian gas industry, and the methane rise slowed.

Methane in the atmosphere: The recent rise

Many climate scientists think that frozen Arctic tundra, like this at Sermermiut in Greenland, is a ticking time bomb in terms of global warming, because it holds vast amounts of methane, an immensely potent greenhouse gas. Over thousands of years the methane has accumulated under the ground at northern latitudes all around the world, and has effectively been taken out of circulation by the permafrost acting as an impermeable lid. But as the permafrost begins to melt in rising temperatures, the lid may open – with potentially catastrophic results.

  Read Methane Levels May See 'Runaway' Rise
 March 21, 2010   10 Ways Mother Earth Will Strike Back If We Don't Stop Our Wanton Destruction of the Environment
by
Scott Thill, AlterNet
Deniers are dancing on the graves of their reputations, to say nothing of reality itself. But Earth will still get the last laugh on all of them, and us for that matter.

Bad news. Thanks to perfectly timed, premeditated reality assassinations like so-called ClimateGate, nearly half of Americans may now believe that the various threats of climate change are exaggerated. That's the highest quotient ever since polling on the issue commenced. But there is good news: They're on the wrong side of history and science, and Earth will still get the last laugh on all of them, and us for that matter.

Welcome to our existential nightmare. From rising seas and runaway droughts and storms to the outer limits of dystopian catastrophes like the fart apocalypse -- I'll explain later -- our planet has no shortage of ways to bitch-slap us back into our dangerous reality, whether we want it to or not.

Of course, we could stave off some of the more egregious probabilities of extinction, if we acted now to limit global warming's inexorable rise to 2 degrees. But that means a determined destruction of the status quo, and that's always messy for those who like things just the way they are, thank you very much. But they'll still get theirs. How? Let us count the ways.

1. Envirogees: If you're one of those righteously indignant climate change deniers who also hates immigration, you're in for a world of hurt. According to scientists and scholars, climate refugees could hit 50 million this year and explode to 150 million over the next 50. Hordes of these envirogees, as I call them, will be turned out of their environmentally sensitive homes in China, India, the United States and elsewhere.

They will doubtless end up in the backyards of disgruntled citizens who like to mumble or scream about things they won't settle for in their backyards. If you think immigration is a problem now, just wait until Mother Earth starts cleaning house.

2. Dead Zones: Deniers might like to point out that hypoxic oceans and lakes, known as dead zones in ecological parlance, could be just as attributable to overpopulation as to global warming. Whatever. Their increased frequency is making climate change worse, no matter the prime cause, as if there could ever be such a thing. From shrinking the sex organs of our planet's fish to fucking up its food chain and escalating the ocean's nitrous oxide emissions, dead zones are deep threats.

More nitrous oxide, a more potent greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide, means more ozone depletion, which means more cancer, crop depletion and much worse.

3. Rising Tides: Of course, most deniers, especially those who live near oceans, probably won't be worrying about their chemical content once catastrophic climate change's more severe symptoms arrive. They'll be too busy fleeing the rising tide.

In 2007, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change's Fourth Assessment Report prophesied that global warming would increase sea levels by 190-580 millimeters by 2100. More recent research has doubled the bar to an upper limit of two meters. Which probably means that in another few years, the already catastrophic limit will be raised again, perhaps by another 100 percent, at which point there won't be much point in measuring anything at all. Coastal metropoles like Los Angeles, Miami, London, Sydney and others will literally be drowning in data.

It's an object lesson in ironic reversal: ClimateGate deniers were partially right about the IPCC's projections, although they were wrong in thinking they were too severe. In fact, they were too conservative.

4. Fart Apocalypse! The hits just keep on coming, when it comes to global warming and the oceans. Take methane, for example, which like nitrous oxide is a killer greenhouse gas. Plus, it smells terrible, like someone took a crap right in your head.

Now imagine being choked by it, as it is belched from the oceans in a toxic feedback loop and dominates the atmosphere. It's probably happened before in one or more of a variety of extinction events like the Permian-Triassic, more scarily known as the Great Dying. But it could be happening again, as the permafrost melts and farts methane into the ocean and thereby the sky.

According to recent science, atmospheric methane has steadily risen each year since 2007, and whether it's factory farming of beef or melting permafrost, the threat remains the same. Earth has serious gas, and it's not afraid to use it. Hey, at least it's not hydrogen sulfide, an extinction executioner you'll never smell coming. Methane has the decency to stink up your nose and future.

5. Droughts and Desertfication: Sure, flooded cities and fart Armageddons are flashier than drying croplands, but the latter is a clear and present danger while the former are still future catastrophes waiting to strike.

Drought and desertification are surely the least glamorous ravages of global warming, but they are immediate. Parched rivers and declining precipitation, especially in once-fertile regions in America, India, China, Africa and elsewhere, are fueling everything from crop failure to gender inequality and "famine marriages." Drought news has eased somewhat, thanks to recent record-breaking storms and freezes that have balanced water accounts for some regions, especially in the United States. But if you think climate change is going to bring more water your way instead of less, I've got a subprime condo in Australia I'd like to sell you. It's hot!

6. Ice Age Cometh? Deniers love the aforementioned record-breaking storms, because it's hard for their tiny brains to comprehend that catastrophic climate change could simultaneously feature both deep freezes and ferocious firestorms. (They just can't figure out why snow won't make the words "global warming" go away.) The first decade of this still-new century was the hottest on record, yet our recent winter was wetter and colder than average. That dynamic flux is central to global warming, at least for now, as changing atmospheric flows remake the environmental map of the world. What we end up with once the new normal settles down, no one really knows.

In fact, it could be another ice age, at least for some parts of the world endangered by disruptions in thermohaline circulation and other possibilities. It happened after the Medieval Warm Period, and it can happen again. Which means that deniers pointing to deep freezes as evidence against global warming might be frozen before they realize how wrong they are. Oh well.

7. Deforest Dystopia: What's as bad as global carbon dioxide emissions from planes, trains and automobiles? Deforestation, which accounts for around 20 percent of the CO2, currently at an all-time high, belched into the air every year. Cutting down forests, which are carbon sinks, in order to build wood and paper crap like the Wall Street Journal that we're just going to throw away and burn into the atmosphere later is an unclassifiable kind of dumb.

Yet we do it every year, to our own detriment. Our rampant hyperconsumption and half-hearted conservation efforts have endangered the billion or so of us that perennially live off of forests. At best, we could kill off our great forests, as well as our way of life. At worst, climate change turns trees from carbon sinks to emitters, without looking back. And then deniers truly won't be able to see the forests for the trees, because there won't be any left.

8. Magnetic Mourning: Genius cosmologist Stephen Hawking once publicly worried that runaway greenhouse gases could eventually turn our verdant Earth into the celestial hellhole known as Venus. But what probably helped turn a once-oceanic Venus into that hellhole is a relative lack of a magnetic field, like the one we have on Earth that shields us from the sun's interstellar ferocity. But for how long?

As recently discovered, Earth's protective magnetic field is 250 million years older than previously thought. Now a ripe age of 3.5 billion years, our magnetic field could be weakening, and that weakening could turn us into Mars, not Venus, or even lead to the type of geomagnetic reversal that terrorized audiences in Roland Emmerich's disaster porn movie, 2012.

What's this got to do with global warming? Well, that depends on who you talk to. Some scientists believe that an already weakening magnetic field is causing global warming, but it's probably only a matter of time before that arrangement is flipped. Fucking with a planet's stable temperature and atmospheric flows tends to encourage these things. Who knows what that's doing to the Earth's core? Who wants to find out?

9. Give Us Demographics or Give Us Death! Tired of the bring-downs? Cheer up, pal! Demographics, not just facts, could be against the deniers as well. The median age of network and cable viewers grows older by the year, as those outlets decide to either avoid covering global warming or, like Fox News, glorify the deniers.

Even U.S. Secretary of Energy Steven Chu admits the denier campaigns are led by global warming's future losers, who will eventually have to bow to reality. Last year, ad revenue for newspapers and networks continued to decline, while it increased online, where the diversity of opinion and information on matters of great importance like global warming is much greater.

Only Fox News managed to stave off the old media bloodbath, but its viewers are continually dumber than everyone else. The trend is obvious: The more global warming wears on, the more evidence for its ascendancy piles up, and the more skeptics, graying and irrelevant, fall by the wayside. Now that climate-change believers in the White House are teaming up with Hollywood to spread the word, you can practically hear the skeptics aging by the minute.

10. Cosmological Constant: The list above is compelling enough to convince you that deniers are dancing on the graves of their reputations, to say nothing of reality itself. But we science-minded world citizens share one major commonality with them: The planet will probably outlive us both, no matter what happens.

In a billion years, the sun's luminosity will likely increase, stripping Earth of its oceans and vegetation. By then, one can hope we have evolved enough to realize that no intelligent design can save us, that we're lucky to be spinning on a green and blue rock through the void of space. If we do, it's likely we'll have worked out a way to migrate to a more suitable planet and save our sorry hides. But that would mean getting through less existentially obvious hoops like global warming, which isn't currently going so great.

It's just a question of time, which is ridiculous if you think about it: We wouldn't even understand time were it not for the gravitational ballet of our solar system. But here we are, at the dawn of the 21st century, trying to avoid the revelation that we are not God's lucky children, but Earth's lucky children, and we should be taking much better care of our sandbox. Or else.

  Read 10 Ways Mother Earth Will Strike Back If We Don't Stop Our Wanton Destruction of the Environment
 March 18, 2010   We Stand on the Cusp of one of Humanity's Most Dangerous Moments
by
Chris Hedges, AlterNet
We will have to resist the temptation to fold in on ourselves and to ignore the cruelty outside our door.

Aleksandr Herzen, speaking a century ago to a group of anarchists about how to overthrow the czar, reminded his listeners that it was not their job to save a dying system but to replace it: “We think we are the doctors. We are the disease.” All resistance must recognize that the body politic and global capitalism are dead. We should stop wasting energy trying to reform or appeal to it. This does not mean the end of resistance, but it does mean very different forms of resistance. It means turning our energies toward building sustainable communities to weather the coming crisis, since we will be unable to survive and resist without a cooperative effort.

These communities, if they retreat into a pure survivalist mode without linking themselves to the concentric circles of the wider community, the state and the planet, will become as morally and spiritually bankrupt as the corporate forces arrayed against us. All infrastructures we build, like the monasteries in the Middle Ages, should seek to keep alive the intellectual and artistic traditions that make a civil society, humanism and the common good possible. Access to parcels of agricultural land will be paramount. We will have to grasp, as the medieval monks did, that we cannot alter the larger culture around us, at least in the short term, but we may be able to retain the moral codes and culture for generations beyond ours. Resistance will be reduced to small, often imperceptible acts of defiance, as those who retained their integrity discovered in the long night of 20th-century fascism and communism.

We stand on the cusp of one of the bleakest periods in human history when the bright lights of a civilization blink out and we will descend for decades, if not centuries, into barbarity. The elites have successfully convinced us that we no longer have the capacity to understand the revealed truths presented before us or to fight back against the chaos caused by economic and environmental catastrophe. As long as the mass of bewildered and frightened people, fed images that permit them to perpetually hallucinate, exist in this state of barbarism, they may periodically strike out with a blind fury against increased state repression, widespread poverty and food shortages. But they will lack the ability and self-confidence to challenge in big and small ways the structures of control. The fantasy of widespread popular revolts and mass movements breaking the hegemony of the corporate state is just that – a fantasy.

My analysis comes close to the analysis of many anarchists. But there is a crucial difference. The anarchists do not understand the nature of violence. They grasp the extent of the rot in our cultural and political institutions, they know they must sever the tentacles of consumerism, but they naïvely believe that it can be countered with physical forms of resistance and acts of violence. There are debates within the anarchist movement – such as those on the destruction of property – but once you start using plastic explosives, innocent people get killed. And when anarchic violence begins to disrupt the mechanisms of governance, the power elite will use these acts, however minor, as an excuse to employ disproportionate and ruthless amounts of force against real and suspected agitators, only fueling the rage of the dispossessed.

I am not a pacifist. I know there are times, and even concede that this may eventually be one of them, when human beings are forced to respond to mounting repression with violence. I was in Sarajevo during the war in Bosnia. We knew precisely what the Serbian forces ringing the city would do to us if they broke through the defenses and trench system around the besieged city. We had the examples of the Drina Valley or the city of Vukovar, where about a third of the Muslim inhabitants had been killed and the rest herded into refugee or displacement camps. There are times when the only choice left is to pick up a weapon to defend your family, neighborhood and city. But those who proved most adept at defending Sarajevo invariably came from the criminal class. When they were not shooting at Serbian soldiers they were looting the apartments of ethnic Serbs in Sarajevo and often executing them, as well as terrorizing their fellow Muslims. When you ingest the poison of violence, even in a just cause, it corrupts, deforms and perverts you. Violence is a drug, indeed it is the most potent narcotic known to humankind. Those most addicted to violence are those who have access to weapons and a penchant for force. And these killers rise to the surface of any armed movement and contaminate it with the intoxicating and seductive power that comes with the ability to destroy. I have seen it in war after war. When you go down that road you end up pitting your monsters against their monsters. And the sensitive, the humane and the gentle, those who have a propensity to nurture and protect life, are marginalized and often killed. The romantic vision of war and violence is as prevalent among anarchists and the hard left as it is in the mainstream culture. Those who resist with force will not defeat the corporate state or sustain the cultural values that must be sustained if we are to have a future worth living. From my many years as a war correspondent in El Salvador, Guatemala, Gaza and Bosnia, I have seen that armed resistance movements are always mutations of the violence that spawned them. I am not naïve enough to think I could have avoided these armed movements had I been a landless Salvadoran or Guatemalan peasant, a Palestinian in Gaza or a Muslim in Sarajevo, but this violent response to repression is and always will be tragic. It must be avoided, although not at the expense of our own survival.

Democracy, a system ideally designed to challenge the status quo, has been corrupted and tamed to slavishly serve the status quo. We have undergone, as John Ralston Saul writes, a coup d’état in slow motion. And the coup is over. They won. We lost. The abject failure of activists to push corporate, industrialized states toward serious environmental reform, to thwart imperial adventurism or to build a humane policy toward the masses of the world’s poor stems from an inability to recognize the new realities of power. The paradigm of power has irrevocably altered and so must the paradigm of resistance alter.

Too many resistance movements continue to buy into the facade of electoral politics, parliaments, constitutions, bills of rights, lobbying and the appearance of a rational economy. The levers of power have become so contaminated that the needs and voices of citizens have become irrelevant. The election of Barack Obama was yet another triumph of propaganda over substance and a skillful manipulation and betrayal of the public by the mass media. We mistook style and ethnicity – an advertising tactic pioneered by the United Colors of Benetton and Calvin Klein – for progressive politics and genuine change. We confused how we were made to feel with knowledge. But the goal, as with all brands, was to make passive consumers mistake a brand for an experience. Obama, now a global celebrity, is a brand. He had almost no experience besides two years in the senate, lacked any moral core and was sold as all things to all people. The Obama campaign was named Advertising Age’s marketer of the year for 2008 and edged out runners-up Apple and Zappos.com. Take it from the professionals. Brand Obama is a marketer’s dream. President Obama does one thing and Brand Obama gets you to believe another. This is the essence of successful advertising. You buy or do what the advertisers want because of how they can make you feel.

We live in a culture characterized by what Benjamin DeMott called “junk politics.” Junk politics does not demand justice or the reparation of rights. It always personalizes issues rather than clarifying them. It eschews real debate for manufactured scandals, celebrity gossip and spectacles. It trumpets eternal optimism, endlessly praises our moral strength and character, and communicates in a feel-your-pain language. The result of junk politics is that nothing changes, “meaning zero interruption in the processes and practices that strengthen existing, interlocking systems of socioeconomic advantage.”

The cultural belief that we can make things happen by thinking, by visualizing, by wanting them, by tapping into our inner strength or by understanding that we are truly exceptional is magical thinking. We can always make more money, meet new quotas, consume more products and advance our career if we have enough faith. This magical thinking, preached to us across the political spectrum by Oprah, sports celebrities, Hollywood, self-help gurus and Christian demagogues, is largely responsible for our economic and environmental collapse, since any Cassandra who saw it coming was dismissed as “negative.” This belief, which allows men and women to behave and act like little children, discredits legitimate concerns and anxieties. It exacerbates despair and passivity. It fosters a state of self-delusion. The purpose, structure and goals of the corporate state are never seriously questioned. To question, to engage in criticism of the corporate collective, is to be obstructive and negative. And it has perverted the way we view ourselves, our nation and the natural world. The new paradigm of power, coupled with its bizarre ideology of limitless progress and impossible happiness, has turned whole nations, including the United States, into monsters.

We can march in Copenhagen. We can join Bill McKibben’s worldwide day of climate protests. We can compost in our backyards and hang our laundry out to dry. We can write letters to our elected officials and vote for Barack Obama, but the power elite is impervious to the charade of democratic participation. Power is in the hands of moral and intellectual trolls who are ruthlessly creating a system of neo-feudalism and killing the ecosystem that sustains the human species. And appealing to their better nature, or seeking to influence the internal levers of power, will no longer work.

We will not, especially in the United States, avoid our Götterdämmerung. Obama, like Canada’s Prime Minister Stephen Harper and the other heads of the industrialized nations, has proven as craven a tool of the corporate state as George W. Bush. Our democratic system has been transformed into what the political philosopher Sheldon Wolin labels inverted totalitarianism. Inverted totalitarianism, unlike classical totalitarianism, does not revolve around a demagogue or charismatic leader. It finds expression in the anonymity of the corporate state. It purports to cherish democracy, patriotism, a free press, parliamentary systems and constitutions while manipulating and corrupting internal levers to subvert and thwart democratic institutions. Political candidates are elected in popular votes by citizens but are ruled by armies of corporate lobbyists in Washington, Ottawa or other state capitals who author the legislation and get the legislators to pass it. A corporate media controls nearly everything we read, watch or hear and imposes a bland uniformity of opinion. Mass culture, owned and disseminated by corporations, diverts us with trivia, spectacles and celebrity gossip. In classical totalitarian regimes, such as Nazi fascism or Soviet communism, economics was subordinate to politics. “Under inverted totalitarianism the reverse is true,” Wolin writes. “Economics dominates politics – and with that domination comes different forms of ruthlessness.”

Inverted totalitarianism wields total power without resorting to cruder forms of control such as gulags, concentration camps or mass terror. It harnesses science and technology for its dark ends. It enforces ideological uniformity by using mass communication systems to instill profligate consumption as an inner compulsion and to substitute our illusions of ourselves for reality. It does not forcibly suppress dissidents, as long as those dissidents remain ineffectual. And as it diverts us it dismantles manufacturing bases, devastates communities, unleashes waves of human misery and ships jobs to countries where fascists and communists know how to keep workers in line. It does all this while waving the flag and mouthing patriotic slogans. “The United States has become the showcase of how democracy can be managed without appearing to be suppressed,” Wolin writes.

The practice and psychology of advertising, the rule of “market forces” in many arenas other than markets, the continuous technological advances that encourage elaborate fantasies (computer games, virtual avatars, space travel), the saturation by mass media and propaganda of every household and the takeover of the universities have rendered most of us hostages. The rot of imperialism, which is always incompatible with democracy, has seen the military and arms manufacturers monopolize $1 trillion a year in defense-related spending in the United States even as the nation faces economic collapse. Imperialism always militarizes domestic politics. And this militarization, as Wolin notes, combines with the cultural fantasies of hero worship and tales of individual prowess, eternal youthfulness, beauty through surgery, action measured in nanoseconds and a dream-laden culture of ever-expanding control and possibility to sever huge segments of the population from reality. Those who control the images control us. And while we have been entranced by the celluloid shadows on the walls of Plato’s cave, these corporate forces, extolling the benefits of privatization, have effectively dismantled the institutions of social democracy (Social Security, unions, welfare, public health services and public housing) and rolled back the social and political ideals of the New Deal. The proponents of globalization and unregulated capitalism do not waste time analyzing other ideologies. They have an ideology, or rather a plan of action that is defended by an ideology, and slavishly follow it. We on the left have dozens of analyses of competing ideologies without any coherent plan of our own. This has left us floundering while corporate forces ruthlessly dismantle civil society.

We are living through one of civilization’s great seismic reversals. The ideology of globalization, like all “inevitable” utopian visions, is being exposed as a fraud. The power elite, perplexed and confused, clings to the disastrous principles of globalization and its outdated language to mask the looming political and economic vacuum. The absurd idea that the marketplace alone should determine economic and political constructs led industrial nations to sacrifice other areas of human importance – from working conditions, to taxation, to child labor, to hunger, to health and pollution – on the altar of free trade. It left the world’s poor worse off and the United States with the largest deficits – which can never be repaid – in human history. The massive bailouts, stimulus packages, giveaways and short-term debt, along with imperial wars we can no longer afford, will leave the United States struggling to finance nearly $5 trillion in debt this year. This will require Washington to auction off about $96 billion in debt a week. Once China and the oil-rich states walk away from our debt, which one day has to happen, the Federal Reserve will become the buyer of last resort. The Fed has printed perhaps as much as two trillion new dollars in the last two years, and buying this much new debt will see it, in effect, print trillions more. This is when inflation, and most likely hyperinflation, will turn the dollar into junk. And at that point the entire system breaks down.

All traditional standards and beliefs are shattered in a severe economic crisis. The moral order is turned upside down. The honest and industrious are wiped out while the gangsters, profiteers and speculators walk away with millions. The elite will retreat, as Naomi Klein has written in The Shock Doctrine, into gated communities where they will have access to services, food, amenities and security denied to the rest of us. We will begin a period in human history when there will be only masters and serfs. The corporate forces, which will seek to make an alliance with the radical Christian right and other extremists, will use fear, chaos, the rage at the ruling elites and the specter of left-wing dissent and terrorism to impose draconian controls to ruthlessly extinguish opposition movements. And while they do it, they will be waving the American flag, chanting patriotic slogans, promising law and order and clutching the Christian cross. Totalitarianism, George Orwell pointed out, is not so much an age of faith but an age of schizophrenia. “A society becomes totalitarian when its structure becomes flagrantly artificial,” Orwell wrote. “That is when its ruling class has lost its function but succeeds in clinging to power by force or fraud.” Our elites have used fraud. Force is all they have left.

Our mediocre and bankrupt elite is desperately trying to save a system that cannot be saved. More importantly, they are trying to save themselves. All attempts to work within this decayed system and this class of power brokers will prove useless. And resistance must respond to the harsh new reality of a global, capitalist order that will cling to power through ever-mounting forms of brutal and overt repression. Once credit dries up for the average citizen, once massive joblessness creates a permanent and enraged underclass and the cheap manufactured goods that are the opiates of our commodity culture vanish, we will probably evolve into a system that more closely resembles classical totalitarianism. Cruder, more violent forms of repression will have to be employed as the softer mechanisms of control favored by inverted totalitarianism break down.

It is not accidental that the economic crisis will converge with the environmental crisis. In his book The Great Transformation (1944), Karl Polanyi laid out the devastating consequences – the depressions, wars and totalitarianism – that grow out of a so-called self-regulated free market. He grasped that “fascism, like socialism, was rooted in a market society that refused to function.” He warned that a financial system always devolves, without heavy government control, into a Mafia capitalism – and a Mafia political system – which is a good description of our financial and political structure. A self-regulating market, Polanyi wrote, turns human beings and the natural environment into commodities, a situation that ensures the destruction of both society and the natural environment. The free market’s assumption that nature and human beings are objects whose worth is determined by the market allows each to be exploited for profit until exhaustion or collapse. A society that no longer recognizes that nature and human life have a sacred dimension, an intrinsic value beyond monetary value, commits collective suicide. Such societies cannibalize themselves until they die. This is what we are undergoing.

If we build self-contained structures, ones that do as little harm as possible to the environment, we can weather the coming collapse. This task will be accomplished through the existence of small, physical enclaves that have access to sustainable agriculture, are able to sever themselves as much as possible from commercial culture and can be largely self-sufficient. These communities will have to build walls against electronic propaganda and fear that will be pumped out over the airwaves. Canada will probably be a more hospitable place to do this than the United States, given America’s strong undercurrent of violence. But in any country, those who survive will need isolated areas of land as well as distance from urban areas, which will see the food deserts in the inner cities, as well as savage violence, leach out across the urban landscape as produce and goods become prohibitively expensive and state repression becomes harsher and harsher.

The increasingly overt uses of force by the elites to maintain control should not end acts of resistance. Acts of resistance are moral acts. They begin because people of conscience understand the moral imperative to challenge systems of abuse and despotism. They should be carried out not because they are effective but because they are right. Those who begin these acts are always few in number and dismissed by those who hide their cowardice behind their cynicism. But resistance, however marginal, continues to affirm life in a world awash in death. It is the supreme act of faith, the highest form of spirituality and alone makes hope possible. Those who carried out great acts of resistance often sacrificed their security and comfort, often spent time in jail and in some cases were killed. They understood that to live in the fullest sense of the word, to exist as free and independent human beings, even under the darkest night of state repression, meant to defy injustice.

When the dissident Lutheran pastor Dietrich Bonhoeffer was taken from his cell in a Nazi prison to the gallows, his last words were: “This is for me the end, but also the beginning.” Bonhoeffer knew that most of the citizens in his nation were complicit through their silence in a vast enterprise of death. But however hopeless it appeared in the moment, he affirmed what we all must affirm. He did not avoid death. He did not, as a distinct individual, survive. But he understood that his resistance and even his death were acts of love. He fought and died for the sanctity of life. He gave, even to those who did not join him, another narrative, and his defiance ultimately condemned his executioners.

We must continue to resist, but do so now with the discomforting realization that significant change will probably never occur in our lifetime. This makes resistance harder. It shifts resistance from the tangible and the immediate to the amorphous and the indeterminate. But to give up acts of resistance is spiritual and intellectual death. It is to surrender to the dehumanizing ideology of totalitarian capitalism. Acts of resistance keep alive another narrative, sustain our integrity and empower others, who we may never meet, to stand up and carry the flame we pass to them. No act of resistance is useless, whether it is refusing to pay taxes, fighting for a Tobin tax, working to shift the neoclassical economics paradigm, revoking a corporate charter, holding global internet votes or using Twitter to catalyze a chain reaction of refusal against the neoliberal order. But we will have to resist and then find the faith that resistance is worthwhile, for we will not immediately alter the awful configuration of power. And in this long, long war a community to sustain us, emotionally and materially, will be the key to a life of defiance.

The philosopher Theodor Adorno wrote that the exclusive preoccupation with personal concerns and indifference to the suffering of others beyond the self-identified group is what ultimately made fascism and the Holocaust possible: “The inability to identify with others was unquestionably the most important psychological condition for the fact that something like Auschwitz could have occurred in the midst of more or less civilized and innocent people.”

The indifference to the plight of others and the supreme elevation of the self is what the corporate state seeks to instill in us. It uses fear, as well as hedonism, to thwart human compassion. We will have to continue to battle the mechanisms of the dominant culture, if for no other reason than to preserve through small, even tiny acts, our common humanity. We will have to resist the temptation to fold in on ourselves and to ignore the cruelty outside our door. Hope endures in these often imperceptible acts of defiance. This defiance, this capacity to say no, is what the psychopathic forces in control of our power systems seek to eradicate. As long as we are willing to defy these forces we have a chance, if not for ourselves, then at least for those who follow. As long as we defy these forces we remain alive. And for now this is the only victory possible.


Chris Hedges, a Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter, is a senior fellow at the Nation Institute. He writes a regular column for TruthDig every Monday. His latest book is Empire of Illusion: The End of Literacy and the Triumph of Spectacle.
  Read We Stand on the Cusp of one of Humanity's Most Dangerous Moments

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Message from the Editor

The Editor of the Global Information Media is now accepting articles, letters, reports, research papers, discussions and global dialogues, and messages for publication. This Media is a way to communicate workable sound solutions to problems arising in the world. Let us share our problems and workable sound solutions. Sharing information is a necessity to all life and humanity's survival. Our world is changing fast before our eyes, and we must react quickly and hard to protect all life on Earth. No hesitation! Right now and no waiting! Life on the planet is our first priority. We must protect it at all costs. We, global citizens, fight to protect life on Earth for this generation and the next ones. We are the defenders of the environment and the global life-support systems. We know who the beasts are, and how they destroy the living on our planet. We have rallied together all over the world to protect our home, Earth. But this time we are not alone. We know it all! We know how everything works. And we will do whatever it takes to protect life on Earth. "We the Peoples", the Global Community, are the Earth revolutionaries, and we will protect life on Earth at all costs.

This is the main index for the Global Information Media (GIM) concerning activities of the Global Community.

GIM was organized with more than sixty sections. Each section allows everyone to participate in the Global Dialogue. You pick an issue, and you participate. All sections may contain any of the following information: abstracts, research papers, notes, outlines, videos and other works of art, posters, articles, letters, press releases, reports, and newsletters. They may also contain discussions, global dialogues, brain-storming exercises on issues, or just email messages from interested participants and groups.

We are delighted to receive new articles for future Newsletters from our readers. It is imperative that, if you give us permission to re-print, all or in part, you include all copyright verification of permission of quote. We do not have a copyright research expert to do this work.

Just so you all know we don't pay anyone, and we don't pay expenses. We do volunteer work for humanity. We expect volunteers to be responsible and accountable of all their actions. We do soft activism work. The Global Constitution shows us how to operate our organization. We follow Global Law as shown in the Global Constitution. All those who do volunteer work for us must become familliar with it and become 'global citizens'. We want our volunteers to be completely loyal to the Global Community and to the values and principles we promote.

The Editor.


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Message from the Spiritual Leader of the Global Community

The world is in a state of perpetual turmoil. We are worlds within worlds orbiting in and through each otherís space. Our interactions with one another can be planned and executed in a caring, considerate manner so that all may exist and not destroy the other.

A good place to start this day would be to see the people living in far away places as we see our neighbors. Neighbors are people we should see as people very much like ourselves. Love your neighbors as yourself. Many scientists have shown that our genetic make-up as human beings are not that much different than that of many other life-forms. The reality is that we as people are not that much different from one another. Our education and upbringings are different and created cultural and religious differences. Conflicts originate often because of these cultural and religious differences.

My teaching for the day is to make the effort to understand what make us different from one another and find a way to appreciate those differences. We also have to make the effort of understanding other life-forms in Nature and appreciate the differences. Because of brain capacity, we dont expect other life-forms of understanding us, but we do have a moral responsibility of understanding them and appreciate the differences. God loves diversity in Nature and in Souls. God loves good Souls from all cultures and religions, and from all life. Yes there is a Soul in every living life-form and God loves them too.

Germain
Spiritual Leader of the Global Community
http://globalcommunitywebnet.com/GPA/Lifeisprotected.htm
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Message from the President of Earth Government, the Federation of Global Governments

You may use the following short description of myself and the history of the organization. History of the Global Community Organization and Interim Earth Government Since its beginning in 1985, many accomplishments can be claimed by the Global Community: History of the Global Community organization and Earth Government

Short description and history of the Global Community, Earth Government and the Federation of Global Govewrnments

The Global Community organization, Earth Government and the Federation of Global Governments were founded in 1985 in Calgary, Canada by Germain Dufour, Prophete of God, Spiritual Leader and President, and further developed through Global Parliament meetings. Later on in 1990s he was joined by his wife, Virginie, in the developing of many global concepts. Symbiotical relationships were defined to show the path for a better world. The Federation was formed to replace the United Nations. Its basic proposal is a de-centralized global government. A Global Government offers essential services to the people where it operates and the Federation main function is to serve all people and help in this process with the formation of Global Ministries to protect all life on our planet. Essential services to the people of each member nation are now the most important global rights on the Scale of Global Rights and are protected by the Global Protection Agency (GPA) of each member nation whose function is to enforce Global Law as defined in the Global Constitution. The Scale is the fundamental guide to Global Law which itself includes legislation covering all essential aspects of human activities. That is how we will bring about the event of Peace amongst us all and give security to all people, all life on Earth.



As a first step to getting help, all nations can and should approve those first three sections on the Scale of Global Rights. Scale of Global Rights The approval would supersede the political and physical borders of participating member nations. The Global Protection Agency (GPA) would have the approval from all member nations to give immediate help, bypassing normal government protocols. Somewhat like an emergency unit but at the global level. That is what those first three sections mean. They represent an efficient and immediate emergency response to help.

First, participating member nations need to give their approval to the Global Protection Agency ( GPA).

The GPA is a global organization much like the World Trade Organization (WTO) for trade between nations, the World Health Organization (WHO) for health, or the European Union, North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), South American Community of Nations (SACON) for trade and economics. The GPA offers an efficient emergency response to help. The GPA is a short term solution, an immediate and efficient response to help.

There are also long term solutions. As with the short term solution, the most significant long term solution is also related to the Scale of Global Rights. The Scale was entrenched in the Global Constitution and is thus the fundamental guide to Global Law. Now the Scale of Global Rights is a long term solution and is also a part of the Global Movement to Help of the Global Community. The Scale was designed to help all life on Earth. What would be preferable is that nations unite amongst themselves to help.

Over time, we have seen the creation of the United Nations, the European Union, the South American Community of Nations, and the North American Free Trade Agreement. Except for the UN, these organizations are mainly concerned with trade and economics. The Global Community offers a more meaningful union in the form of nine or more Global Governments. For instance the South American Community of Nations can be a Global Government by simply accepting the Global Constitution as a way of dealing between member nations. A Global Government is concerned not only with economics and trade, but also with the environment, health, agriculture, energy, food, social, cultural and many other essential aspects. The Federation of Global Governments is the place of meeting between Global Governments. The very first step of the Federation, and maybe the only one for several decades ahead of us, would be the approval of essential services amongst the participating member nations. The Global Community has researched and developed such services and listed them here. All of them are already in operation on a small scale.

I believe that there is no greater task in the world today than for the Global Community to proceed through the maturation of its leadership, emerging from a more self-interested adolescence as a global leader into a nobler adulthood. We have the potential to act as a torchbearer for a better tomorrow. Do we heed the call? I hope this message has convinced many international organizations and the millions of people who have been with us over the past decades, that the question of how to proceed with that maturation is of far deeper significance than the reforming of the United Nations. In fact the United Nations should not be reformed it should be replaced by the Federation. I thus pray that we move with wisdom, grace, clarity, and love in the days, years, and even decades ahead.


Germain Dufour  Achievements of Global Community WebNet Ltd.
Spiritual Leader of the Global Community
(short Bio)
President
Earth Government
Federation of Global Governments

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Celebration of Life Day, May 26, 2008

Dear friends,

On and around May 26, 2009, millions of people will join together in a global call to celebrate Life, the gift to the universe from God.

Celebration of Life Day
is May 26 every year, a day to say
thank you God for the gift of Life on Earth


Celebration of Life Day on May 26

On May 26, 2009, the Global Community asked all Peoples of the world to participate in this celebration of Life in your own community. The following project was appropriate to everyone.

From the experience in your life and local community tell us:

*    Why are you important to this Global Community?
*    Why is it important to you?
*    What do you like about it?
*    What bothers you about it?
*    Anything need to be done?
*    What is really good there?
*     What is very very important?
*     What is not so important?
*     What is not good?
*     What is needed to keep the good things?
*     What could make them even better?
*     What could you do to keep the good things good?
*     Could they help get rid of bad things?
*     What unimportant things need to go?
*     How could you help get rid of these things?


to sustain Earth, humanity and all life.

Please send us the following information:

1.     What are the most important issues that would allow your community become more sustainable? Over the past several years, many communities have held Life Day dialogues to determine the answer to this question. We look forward to hearing from all of you.

2.     A brief story of success in your community from the last 10 years in regard to a sound sustainable development.

3.     A picture related to the above or to a Life Day event.

4.     A sample of your idea of the Earth Flag.

We will gather this information from groups all over the world and compile it into a comprehensive report. Your work will be shown during Global Dialogue 2009. Please mail or email your ideas, pictures and descriptions, videos, Earth Flag samples to:

Germain Dufour
Spiritual Leader of the Global Community
President
Earth Government
Federation of Global Governments

Visit our website for more details concerning the Celebration of Life Day.

Celebration of Life Day

On May 26, as part of the Global Community Peace Movement, the Human Family,we will be rejoicing with all Peoples of the world , and all life, for the annual Celebration of Life Day. Life is the most precious gift ever given by God to the universe and this event needs to be celebrated.

At the early stage of the formation of the Earth, and a while later, all the conditions for the formation of life were present, and life was created to better serve God. Life was made of matter and every particle of that matter had a Soul that merged with all the others. A Soul is a part of the Spirit of God, His consciousness, and is a living, loving presence, a Being. A Soul can merge with other Souls and become one Soul, and it can evolve as well. The first spark of life was the cause for the formation of a unique and independent Soul to better serve God. Throughout the different evolutionary stages of life on Earth, Souls have guided the step-by-step evolution of life and kept merging with one another to better serve God. They guided the evolutionary process in small, incremental ways over a period of several billion years. Many groupings of Souls became more complex than others as they were much brighter beings than other groupings, but all serve God in their own special way.

One unique and most wonderful grouping was the grouping that made the Human Soul. God loves the human Souls a lot because of their wonderful qualities. Over the past thousands of years, through their Souls human beings became conscious of God in many different ways. Religions of all kinds started to spread on Earth to adore God and pray. Different groupings of Souls affected human beings in different ways and Peoples today have different religious beliefs. God is like a river feeding plentifully and bountifully all lifeforms and plants. There are many pathways leading to the river. They are God's pathways. God loves diversity in Nature and in Souls. God loves good Souls from all religions.

Different religions have different ways to love, adore and pray to God. And God's Heaven exists. Heaven on Earth is different from God's Heaven. To be in Heaven with God will mean a Soul has left the matter of the universe forever to enter God's Heaven.

The Divine Will or Will of God is the most powerful force of the universe and is pure spiritual energy. The Will of God is for life to reach God, Godís Pure Light, in the best possible ways. Life is the building block through which Souls can have a meaningful relationship with God. By observing the Universe, the galaxies, we are observing and studying God. We are seeing His magnificence, His greatness, and His complex making. There is more to the Universe we observe today, that is, there is more to God, much more. God is self-existent, eternal and infinite in space and time. Follow God's Word. God's Plan was revealed to humanity a short while ago.

The Divine Plan for humanity is:

a)     for everyone to manage Earth responsibly, and
b)     about to reach the stars and spread Life throughout the universe and thus help other Souls to evolve and serve God in the best possible ways.

Humanityís higher purpose is to serve God by propagating life throughout the universe. Humanity will evolve spiritually to fulfill God's Plan. The human species has reached a point in its evolution where it knows its survival is being challenged. The human species knows through the Souls and now that all human Souls have merged together and formed the Soul of Humanity, we will find it easier to fight for our own survival. The Soul of Humanity does not make decisions for us and can only help us understand and guide us on the way. In the past, human beings have had some kind of symbiotical relationship (which is something common in Nature between lifeforms in an ecosystem) with the Souls, and now with the Soul of Humanity. We work together for both our survival and well-being. Cooperation and symbiosis between lifeforms (especially human beings) on Earth and between lifeforms and their Souls and the Soul of Humanity have become a necessity of life. We help one another, joint forces, and accomplish together what we cannot accomplish separately. Several billion years ago this symbiosis between matter and Souls resulted in the making of complex biochemical systems. Symbiosis has worked throughout the evolution of life on Earth and today, the Soul of Humanity has decided to be more active with humanity by purifying Souls. The Soul of Humanity shows us the way to better serve God.

The Soul of Humanity is helping to bring about the event of Peace in the world. Knowing that Earth is a spiritual entity as well as a physical entity in space and time in the universe we begin to have a better relationship with Earth and with all its living inhabitants. This way Earth management will become a spiritual and a natural process whereby each person is responsible and accountable for its management the best they can. Peace in the world and Earth management have for too long been in the hands of and affected by government and business leaders, in the hands of a few people on the planet, as opposed to being in the hands of all of us (7 billion people on Earth) working together to keep our planet healthy. We are the keepers of the Earth.

The Soul of Humanity will help us:

*     resolve problems, concerns and issues peacefully;
*     reinstate the respect for Earth;
*     work with humanity to keep Earth healthy, productive and hospitable for all people and living things;
*     bring forth a sustainable global society embracing universal values related to human and Earth rights, economic and social justice; respect of nature, peace, responsibility to one another;
*     protect the global life-support systems and manage Earth;
*     evolve spiritually to fulfill Godís Plan; and
*     enter Godís Heaven, His Spirit, His Pure Light, His universal mind and global consciousness.


We have the responsibility of managing Earth. Everyone shares responsibility for the present and future well-being of life within the Global Community. When there is a need to find a solution to a problem or a concern, a sound solution would be to choose a measure or conduct an action, if possible, which causes reversible damage as oppose to a measure or an action causing an irreversible loss.

Life exists on millions of other planets in the universe and our species got to be who we are today through the evolutionary process. Other lifeforms in the universe may have evolved to be at least as advanced as our species. Their Souls may even be more complicated than ours. They may have merged a trillion times more than the human Souls. They may have evolved as well.

We the Peoples of the Global Community, the Human Family, are reaffirming faith in the fundamental human and Earth rights, the Scale of Human and Earth Rights, in the dignity and worth of the human person, in the equal rights of men and women and of nations large and small. We the Peoples implies every individual on Earth, every community and every nation. Earth management is now a priority and a duty of every responsible person on Earth. The Global Community has taken action by calling the Divine Will into our lives and following its guidance. Divine Will is now a part of the Soul of Humanity to be used for the higher purpose of good and life's evolution. We will learn to serve humanity and radiate the Will of God to others.

As never before in history, common destiny beckons us to seek a new beginning. This requires a change of mind and heart, and calling Divine Will to come into our life to show us the way. It requires a new sense of global interdependence and universal responsibility. We must develop and apply the vision of a sustainable way of life locally, nationally, regionally, globally, and within ourselves throughout life. Our cultural diversity is a precious heritage and different cultures will find their own distinctive ways to realize the vision. We must deepen and expand the global dialogue that generated the ongoing collaborative search for truth and wisdom.

Life often involves tensions between important values. This can mean difficult choices. However, we must find ways to harmonize diversity with unity, the exercise of freedom with the common good, short-term objectives with long-term goals. Every individual, family, organization, and community has a vital role to play. The arts, sciences, religions, educational institutions, media, businesses, nongovernmental organizations, and governments are all called to offer creative leadership. The partnership of government, civil society, and business is essential for an effective global governance based on global concepts and the Scale of Human and Earth Rights.

In order to build a sustainable global community, each individual, each local community, and national governments of the world must initiate their commitment to the Human Family.

Let our time be a time remembered for the awakening of a new reverence for life, the firm resolve to achieve sustainability, the quickening of the struggle for justice and peace, and the joyful celebration of life. Let our expanding consciousness blend with that of the Soul of Humanity.

Humanity welcomes the "Belief, Values, Principles and Aspirations of the Global Community" (see the Global Constitution on our website) with Faith in the Divine Will and without fears such as the fear of change. Humanity seeks meaningful experiences and embraces the future for the better. Divine Will has caused the event of the Global Community.

Our time is the age of global cooperation and symbiotical relationships. There are many different kinds of symbiotical relationships. Symbiotical relationships exist between nations of the European Union. It is mainly an economic base symbiotical relationship. Other types of symbiotical relationships maybe created all over the world between communities, nations, and between people themselves. The Global Community, the Global Governments Federation, and the Global Government of North America are examples. They may be geographical, economical, social, business-like, political, religious, and personal. There has always been symbiotical relationships in Nature, and between Souls and the matter of the universe to help creating Earth and life on Earth to better serve God.

The Global Community has begun to establish the existence of a meaningful global co-operation all over the planet. National governments and large corporations have taken the wrong direction by asserting that free trade in the world is about competing economically without any moral safeguards and accountability to peoples and the environment. The proper and only way is for free trade to become a global cooperation between all nations. Surely, if we can cooperate in fighting against terrorism, then we should also be able to cooperate in fighting against the effects of the type of free trade and the emergence of the planetary trading blocks as applied by national governments members of the World Trade Organization(WTO). It has already been shown (see Newsletters on our website) that these effects will be disastrous socially and environmentally and are a direct threat to the existence of life on Earth. The Global Community is proposing a solution that the process of trading within the planetary trading blocks be changed from a spirit of global competition to that of global economic cooperation. This is the new way of doing business, the new way of life.

The Global Community has made clear that globalization and planetary trading blocks should be serving the Human Family and not the other way around, the people around the world serving the very few rich individuals. The September 11 event was the result of bad trading of arms and oil and the absence of moral responsibility and accountability in our way of doing business with the Middle East nations. By applying proper moral safeguards and accepting responsibility and accountability of all products (arms and oil in this case), from beginning to end where they become wastes, each corporation would make free trade and globalization serving the Human Family. The September 11 event was also a turning point in human history and indicated the end of the last superpower in the world and the birth of the Global Community. Over its long past history trade has never evolved to require from the trading partners to become legally and morally responsible and accountable for their products from beginning to end. At the end the product becomes a waste and it needs to be properly dispose of. Now trade must be given a new impetus to be in line with the global concepts of the Global Community. When you do exploration work, and develop, manufacture, produce, mine, farm or create a product, you become legally and morally responsible and accountable of your product from beginning to end (to the point where it actually becomes a waste; you are also responsible for the proper disposable of the waste). This product may be anything and everything from oil & gas, weapons, war products, construction products, transportation and communications products and equipment, to genetically engineered food products. All consumer products! All medical products! All pharmaceutical products! In order words, a person (a person may be an individual, a community, a government, a business, an NGO, or an institution) becomes responsible and accountable for anything and everything in his or her life.

Certainly an important action has been for the Canadian Government to ratify the Kyoto Protocol as it is. No more waiting! Time for action is now! We are all responsible for the creation of global warming, and there are plenty of observable effects. Greenhouse gases are accumulating dangerously in the Earth's atmosphere as a result of human activities, and temperatures are rising globally due to these activities. Climate changes have to be manage without delays and the ratification of the Kyoto Protocol is only the beginning of a long fight for the protection of life on Earth. There is much more to be done to even come close to what we have to do. The ratification was only the beginning to help save the next generations.

Global consumption is a very important aspect of globalization. Consumers should be concerned with the impact of their decisions on the environment but also on the lives, human and Earth rights and well-being of other people. Since one of the key functions of families as a social institution is to engage in production (selling their labour in return for wages) and consumption (using those wages to buy goods and services), then the role of families has impacts on sustainable consumption and development. Corporations are required to expand their responsibilities to include human and Earth rights, the environment, community and family aspects, safe working conditions, fair wages and sustainable consumption aspects. Global Community has summarized the rights of every person on Earth by developing the Scale of Human and Earth Rights. The scale will eventually be replacing the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. The Global Constitution established all rights.

Just as corporations have social responsibilities and so do consumers in societies. Consumers are socialized to improve the quality of their lives. Quality of life is a multi-dimensional, complex and very subjective concept. For instance, someone who has changed their consumption habits to better ensure that their choices will make a better quality of life for themselves, the environment and future generations, may be seen by others as having a lower or inferior quality of life since they have removed themselves from the materialistic mainstream characteristic of our consumer society. Someone may feel that an absence of violence and abuse in their life leads to a higher quality of living even though they have fewer tangible resources, money, or shelter; peace of mind and freedom from abuse has increased the quality of their daily life relative to what it was like before. There are universal quality of life values which lead to "human betterment" or the improvement of the human condition. In addition to the value of species survival (human and other living organisms), they include: adequate resources, justice and equality, freedom, and peace or balance of power. A better quality of life for all people of the Global Community Earth Government is a goal for all of us and one of our universal values.

Global Community found that an adequate level of health care is a universal value as well as a human right. We expect adequate health services to be accessible, affordable, compassionate and socially acceptable. We believe that every individual of a society is co-responsible for helping in implementing and managing health programmes along with the government and the public institutions.

Being unified under the Soul of Humanity, Divine Will, God the Spirit and the Human Family dissolve all barriers and expand our global consciousness. We become more whole and complete within ourselves and as a group. Our common Spirit is able to resolve planetary problems in a coherent way. One common 'global Vision' allows us to see how all the parts of the whole relate to each other. We have the right relationship with one another, with all lifeforms and Earth itself, and with the Soul of Humanity, the Divine Will and God the Spirit.

On May 26, let us all celebrate life in our heart, mind and Spirit. Let us thank God for the gift of life.



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Cultural Appreciation Day August 22 of each year

On August 22 of every year the Global Community celebrates the Global Cultural Day, the Cultural Appreciation Day. The event's theme is "Culture, Values and Social Development."

Noting that culture and development are not mutually exclusive, event organizers are asked to promote a union between historical preservation and future local - global growth. The Global Community is rich with tradition and art. Culture is certainly tangible - churches, temples and monuments; and intangible - heritage with performing arts, fine arts or visual arts. Every community is based on a society distinctly different from any other country and its people.

The Cultural Appreciation Day celebration.

The Cultural Appreciation Day celebration promotes the meaning of culture, the real nature of Humanity and what inhibits its development.

It is for all, regardless of education, age, race, political or religious beliefs. The idea of the Cultural Appreciation Day celebration is that Humanity in truth is limitless, and that there is a unity underlying all the apparent diversity in our daily lives.

Activities

Activities during the celebration may include mask making, cooking, singing, music, dance/drama, and puppet making by and for the children.

The day provides vendors, live entertainment, children's activities, and food in celebration of the various cultural groups.

The Cultural Appreciation Day celebration occurs at the same time and is an important part of the Global Exhibition.

For the fourth year since the first time ever promoting of a Global Exhibition, there is a Global Exhibition at the time of Global Dialogue 2009, and at the same site in Nanaimo. It is also occurring everywhere else in the world along with Global Dialogue 2009. People of all nations are asked to organize a Global Exhibition during the period August 17 - August 22 of each year.


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We seek more symbiotical relationships with people and organizations

The Global Community has a symbiotical relationship with many people and organizations all over the planet. We work together to help create a better future for all life on Earth. Check the website especially created for educating on the issue of Earth ownership.

For examples we have symbiotical relatinships with:

  • Global Environment Ministry
  • Sustainable Civilisation, Peace and Disarmament
  • Sustainable Development Global Information Society
  • Global Peace Movement
  • Global Justice Movement
  • Global Movement to Help essential services
  • Global Community of North America (GCNA) Emergency, Rescue, and Relief Centre
  • Global Community Assessment Centre (GCAC)
  • Global Governments Federation
  • Global Community Affiliated Centres for Education and Training


Global Dialogue 2009 has many other issues  Portal of the Global Community  Global Information Media is now accepting articles, letters, reports, research papers, discussions and global dialogues, and messages for publication. This Media is a way to communicate
workable sound solutions to problems arising in the world. Let us share our problems and workable sound solutions. 639 Global Dialogue issues than Earth ownership, and we wish to set up symbiotical relationships with other groups on those other issues for the benefits of all life on Earth. Anyone interested please contact us.

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Proceedings of Global Dialogue 2008




Proceedings of Global Dialogue 2008 are now ready for reading and found on the Global Community website.  Proceedings of  Global Dialogue 2008 As a start to reading the Proceedings we suggest you read the summary table of the Proceedings of Global Dialogue 2009 shown here and as evaluated by the Global Community Assessment Centre (GCAC). And again the next step might be to read the info from Participants and authors. All work from the participants, their Global Files, and work from other authors or organizations are shown in the following 6 categories. Global Files of our participants show more of the work presented to the Dialogue.   Global Files 2009 Please let us know of any corrections and omissions, or if you would prefer your name and info not be published on the Global Community website. Our services are free, and we do not charge fees.

Summary Table

Local to global issues of Global Dialogue 2008  Global Roundtables and Group Email Discussions  Group Email Discussions Global Overview of the work done sone far by participants Recommendations drawn from the Global Overview

These five sections give you a good idea of what we have done throughout the year from September 1st 2007 to August 31 2008, and what needs to be done in the coming years. The final product of this global process is to give humanity a sense of direction for a better future. This final product is shown in the Proceedings.  Proceedings of  Global Dialogue 2008 We are showing the way.

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Global Sustainability

We live in a world where all natural and human resources are exploited without limits, so that a small minority can consume far more than their rightful share of the world's real wealth. Now, while that is going on, we found that the industrial era faces a burnout, because it is exhausting the human and natural resource base on which our very lives depend. A sound governance and management of our planet is needed for the long term survival of our species.

We need to grow strong caring communities in which we get more of our human satisfaction from caring relationships and less from material goods. We need to reclaim the ideal of being a democratic middle-class people without extremes of wealth and poverty.

And we need to realize what is a priority, what is the most important, and what is the least important for our survival. We need to make hard choices. We need a clear vision. We need a common vision. And we must all change! There are many important aspects of our lives we can no longer do, or should never do anymore. They are destructive. Humanity and all life can no longer afford activities that destroy life and the global environment, and certainly the military is a major one of them. And there are other activities we must do, thousands of them, to assure the survival of life on Earth. In view of the planetary state of emergency, we all must change, we must do things differently to give life on Earth a better survival chance.

We need ways of organizing ourselves to help us live in a world with less energy and fewer material goods. We need to recover a deep sense of community that has disappeared from many of our lives. This means letting go a sense of ourselves as consumption machine.

The Global Community has found that consumption of the Earth resources and the amount of wastes we create can be managed very differently, more efficiently, and be less destructive to the global environment. Our ways of doing business and trade can be improved upon to decrease waste and consumption of Earth resources.

Often what is called trade is really moving of resources across borders between subsidiaries of the same corporation. Nothing to do with free competition. Economic activity is centrally-managed and planned by the corporate elite. Capital move freely across borders as restrictions on the flow of money have been removed. Corporations can relocate their operations to the countries with the lowest wages, the least active unions and the lowest environmental standards. The reality is that more polluting industries are encouraged to relocate to developing countries. A polluting industry tends to increase the chances that people in the surrounding area will have health problems. It costs less to dump a load of toxic waste in the lowest wage country.

The Global Community has developed a strategy to improve our ways of doing business and trade so as to protect all life on the planet. Over its long past history trade has never evolved to require from the trading partners to become legally and morally responsible and accountable for their products from beginning to end. At the end the product becomes a waste and it needs to be properly dispose of. Now trade must be given a new impetus to be in line with the global concepts of the Global Community. You manufacture, produce, mine, farm or create a product, you become legally and morally responsible and accountable of your product from beginning to end (to the point where it actually becomes a waste; you are also responsible for the proper disposable of the waste). This product may be anything and everything from oil & gas, weapons, war products, to genetically engineered food products. All consumer products. All medicinal products! All pharmaceutical products!

The natural resources of the Earth belong to all the "global communities" along with the Global Community where they are found. When people know they own the resources in their communities then people can start directing the wealth of their resources towards the building of local-to-global economic democracies in order to meet the needs for food, shelter, universal healthcare, education, and employment for all in their community.

The Global Community concept of ownership states that land and natural resources of our planet are a common heritage and belong equally to everyone, to all life on Earth, as a birthright. Products and services created by individuals are properly viewed as private property. Products and services created by a group of individuals are properly viewed as collective property. Along with ownership comes the obligation of using the resources, share them or lose them. Land and all other Earth natural resources are not commodities. Use the land, share it or lose it. This principle also applies to banks and similar institutions all over the world and to Wall Street. You own property because the previous owners could not pay. Use that property, share it or lose it.

It should also be our goal to create locally owned enterprises that sustainably harvest and process local resources to produce jobs, goods and services. We should favor local firms and workers, who pay local taxes, live by local rules, respect and nurture the local ecosystems, compete fairly in local markets, and contribute to community life.

A community should benefit from the use of commonly held natural resources. That includes land, air, water, all minerals, and the electromagnetic spectrum. The exploitation and use of natural resources should be taxed. Moving taxes onto resources and land use and off of incomes should make people less expensive to employ.

Taxes should be designed to conserve resources and energy, and increase employment. Labour should not be taxed but pollution should.

Resource taxes should be assessed as early as possible. Resources should be taxed before entering the manufacturing process in order to green all aspects from extraction phase to the finished product.

Be sustainable locally first, and globally next only if needed. Let go the WTO, NAFTA or any free trade agreement.

A workable type of Tobin tax should be in place as it is a powerful instrument to promote global sustainability and force shareholders to be responsible and accountable to the people of global communities. A Tobin tax is a tax on all trade of currency across borders to put a penalty on short-term speculation in currencies. The tax rate should be 10 to 25 cents per hundred dollars.

The proposal is important due to its potential to prevent global financial crises such as we are seeing now. Also, an estimated $500 billion per year makes it possible to meet urgent global priorities, such as preventing global warming, disease, and unemployment. The tax should be managed by the Global Community and the Federation of Global Governments. In the globalized economy, there is a lack of adequate funding for global problems which threaten local communities worldwide. Projects which could help to address these needs and create jobs will cost more than $500 billion annually. Private donors do not meet the need, and some nations cut their aid budgets. New multilateral approaches to public finance, such as Tobin Taxes, may provide part of the answer.


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Yes We Can Save The Planet

We are facing the dire consequences of ecological collapse, Climate change, water scarcity, extinction of biodiversity and over population.

In the past 20 million years, the carbon dioxide content of the biosphere has been 300 ppm. Only in the past hundred years has the carbon dioxide reached 370 ppm. The question is whether this change may react in such a way that it becomes a tipping point for extreme disaster.

In 1930, the population of the planet was2 billion. In 2000. It was 6 billion. In 2020. It will be 8 billion

There is massive, inequity in distribution of world income. A living wage in San Francisco, is $96 a day. Poverty in the US is defined as, $12 a day. 60% of people in the world live on less than three dollars a day and they cannot afford any of the economic material luxury goods, which the current global economy thrives on.

40% of people by 2020 will not have enough water to live on and 95% of people in the world are predicted to be living in urban situations.

It is predicted that oil will peak by 2010. Oil is the source for growing food and fertilisers and plastics etc,. Because of this, the poorest people in the world will not be able to sell sufficient goods to survive.

We are in phase six of biodiversity, mass extinction. Within 20 years, 20% of biodiversity will be extinct and 50% by 100 years. This makes the biosphere, unsustainable. We are looking towards a whole systems crisis within 20 years, unless we get our act together fast.

The structure of the political system is changing, due to the rapid change in the nature of information now available andthe fact that individuals have a greater say in what they want. Individuals, therefore, need to be educated, and there needs to be greater emphasis on holistic education and holistic health. Economic rationalism per se does not work in a global milieu which does not have infinite resources.

Peace needs to be emphasised above all else, because the greatest threat to our extinction as a species is aggressive competition and war. There are still 40,000 nuclear weapons in the world, and we completely forget about this., when we talk about climate change.

The big change occurring, which seems to be ignored., generally, is the coming together of science and religion. It is now proven scientifically, that Human consciousness has a profound effect on the environment, as well as on society. The experiments done are more valid and more stringent than any medical double-blind trial, you will see for example in The New England Journal of Medicine.

For humanity , to survive a greater emphasis needs to be on decentralized representation, and a transnational representation of the voices of the Global community of people who in their billions are crying out for change

The creation of Ministries and Commissions for peace throughout the World would be a tremendous advance for global society, in rapid transformation and change

Only by expressing in every way the new paradigm based on interrelationship, interdependency and cooperation amongst all humanity regardless of race, creed, culture or belief system can we hope to reverse the trend of global degradation and demise


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Global Peace Movement

The Global Community claims that everyone on Earth should be able to live in peace. This Global Peace Mouvement is about the courage to live a life in a harmonious peace order and showing by example, thus preventing poverty, wars, terror and violence. We need to educate the coming generations with good principles, being compassionate, social harmony and global  sustainability  being some of them. The responsibility of a peacemaker is to settle differences through compromise and negotiation before they erupt into violence. Conflicting views do not have to bring about fighting. War is an irreversible solution to a problem. War is never an appropriate solution to resolve a conflict. In order to bring about the event of peace, the Global Community is offering other good organizations around the world to work together to bring warring parties to peace.

Peace in the world and the survival and protection of all life on our planet go hand-in-hand. Asking for peace in the world means doing whatever is necessary to protect life on our planet. Protecting life implies bringing about the event of peace in the world. Let our time be a time remembered for a new respect for life, our determination to achieve sustainability, and our need for global justice and peace.

From now on, building global communities for peace require understanding of global problems this generation is facing. There are several major problems: conflicts and wars, no tolerance and compassion for one another, world overpopulation, unemployment, insufficient protection and prevention for global health, scarcity of resources and drinking water, poverty, Fauna and Flora species disappearing at a fast rate, global warming and global climate change, global pollution, permanent lost of the Earth's genetic heritage, and the destruction of the global life-support systems and the eco-systems of the planet. We need to build global communities that will manage themselves with the understanding of those problems. All aspects are interrelated: global peace, global sustainability, global rights and the environment. The jobless is more concerned with ending starvation, finding a proper shelter and employment, and helping their children to survive. Environmental issues become meaningless to the jobless. In reality, all concerns are interrelated because the ecology of the planet has no boundaries. Obviously, as soon as our environment is destroyed or polluted beyond repair, human suffering is next.

Our goal for peace in the world can only be reached by resolving those global problems. Those problems have brought up a planetary state of emergency. In view of the planetary state of emergency, shown and declared by the Global Community, we all must change, we must do things differently to give life on Earth a better survival chance and bring about the event of peace amongst us all.

Our first objective was to find statements from all religions, all faiths, that promote ethical and moral responsibility to life and a responsible Earth management. This was assumed to work well within the context of the global civilization of the 3rd Millennium and after defining the Global Community criteria of symbiotical relationships. In this context, we have defined that any symbiotical relationship is for the good of all. It is based on a genuine group concern and unconditional support for the individual's well-being ~ a giant leap in human behaviour. Symbiotical relationships are needed today for the long term future of humanity, for the protection of life on our planet, and to bring about the event of peace amongst us all.

The fundamental criteria of any symbiotical relationship is that a relationship is created for the good of all groups participating in the relationship and for the good of humanity, all life on Earth. The relationship allows a global equitable and peaceful development and a more stable and inclusive global economy.

Religious rituals now support the conservation efforts and play a central role in governing the sustainable use of the natural environment.

The Global Movement to Help, an initiative of the Global Community and of the Federation of Global Governments, is now applying more emphasis on the urgent need from the people of all nations to give everyone essential services. The urgent need to give all Global Citizens essential services was made obvious in the past few years after the occurrence of natural disasters, and the global destruction created by the military.

The very first step of the Federation, and maybe the only one for several decades ahead of us, is the approval of essential services amongst the participating member nations. To that effect, new global ministries will be established to guide us onto the path of global sustainability. Through these new global ministries, we want each Global Government to take a larger share of responsibility of the specific region where it operates, and be more accountable to the people of that region. Be compassionate. Essential services to the people of each member nation are now the most important global rights on the Scale of Global Rights and are protected by the Global Protection Agency (GPA) of each member nation. The GPA will train and lead a global force, bypassing traditional peacekeeping and military bodies such as the United Nations and NATO. The GPA is a short term solution, an immediate and efficient response to help.

There are also long term solutions. The Scale of Global Rights is the fundamental guide to Global Law. Global Law includes legislation covering all essential aspects of human activities.

The GPA will enforce the law. And that is a long term solution to the planetary state of emergency. And that is also how we can solve the global problems facing this generation, thus largely improving the quality of life of the next generations, and that is how we will bring about the event of peace amongst us all.

An important aspect of global governance is the security of a person and of a nation. Security must be achieved by other means than conflicts and wars. We might as well shelved the war industry from humanity right now and that means phasing out all nuclear, biological, chemical weapons right now. War products and equipment and weapons of mass destruction from all nations must be decommissioned. Governments that have weapons of masss destruction are obviously terrorist governments. The Global Community is asking them to disarm. No waiting! Global security can only be achieved if it can be shared by all peoples and through global co-operation, based on principles as explained in the Global Constitution such as justice, human dignity, and equity for all and for the good of all.

War is not sustainable to all life on the planet. It never was. The military option, war, is against global sustainability and global peace in a big way. The worst environmental degradation happens in wars.

The military is no replacement to the " will of the people ", democracy, the rule of law, social justice, and to Global Rights and Global Justice. The Global Community has no need of a subversive military force. NATO must be subject to the people, the Global Community, and to the Federation of Global Governments.

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Letter to the people of Haiti who survived the devastating earthquake and are in need of help.




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