Table of Contents
This is the way
Message from the Editor
Message from the President of Earth Government, the Federation of Global Governments
History of the Global Community organization, Earth Government and the Federation of Global Governments
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.
Life Day Celebration on May 26. Participate.
Participate now in Global Dialogue 2010, no fees
Global Dialogue 2010 Introduction
Global Dialogue 2010 Program
Global Dialogue 2010 OVERVIEW of the process
Global Dialogue 2010 Call for Papers
Advisory Board to Global Parliament Constitution
Thank you to all of those who have been sending their comments and work on the Preamble and Chapters I to XXIX.
People from all over the world have been enthusiastic about finally developing Global Parliament Constitution for all life on Earth. This is our first draft.
We want this process to continue for all Chapters throughout year 2010. Our Global Parliament Constitution is well on its way.
We will be showing new revisions every month.
A working Global Parliament Constitution is the only way for us all to guarantee essential services, Justice, and protection to every home. Global Parliament is not a World
Government or Earth Government. No!
It is the Federation of Global Governments. Global Parliament and its Constitution were researched and developed from fundamental principles as opposed to
kitchen recipe types of Constitution that follow a set of instructions for a world parliament of some kind. Some of those principles we developed are the Global Community
the Scale of Global Rights
. That is was what differentiate most our proposal from others. The Federation and its Global Parliament operate as per those principles.
The definition of the Global Community concept is truly the 21st century "philosophy of life" framework, some called it the religion of the third millennium,
others called it the politics of the future generations now. And the Scale of Global Rights was designed to replace the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
Global Parliament primary goal and focus include only a few essential aspects. Global Parliament Constitution itself
gives the highest priority to the following essential aspects of life within civil society:
* essential services
* the Judiciary
* the Global Protection Agency (GPA)
* Global Ministries
to manage the needs of the Peoples of Member States.
These four aspects are a part of the Global Movement to Help
of the Global Community. From now on we serve the people of all nations, all life on Earth.
Each Global Government is made more responsible and accountable to the people of member nations within the region where it operates.
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.
This Movementto Help is described here. First the meaning of the Global Community expression was defined back in 1985. All Global Citizens are a part of
this Global Community and have accepted the Criteria of the Global Citizenship.
We are all volunteer soldiers
of the Global Community Peace Movement.
The Movement to Help offers Essential Services to serve the people of all nations, all life on Earth.
As a first step to getting help, all nations can and should approve the first three sections on the Scale of Global Rights.
The approval would supersede the political and physical borders of participating member nations. The approval would mean politics and justice without borders only
concerning those three sections, i.e essential services.
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 on the Scale of Global Rights
mean. They represent an efficient and immediate emergency response to help.
First, participating member nations need to give their approval to the 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 Global Parliament Constitution and is thus the fundamental guide to Global Law and the Judiciary.
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. And that is our reason for proposing the
formation of Global Parliament.
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 Global Parliament 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, the global life-support systems, health, agriculture, education, 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 Global Parliament, 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.
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.
And we want a Global Government to be made of wealthy nations as well as nations in need of help. Be compassionate. Each Global Government is obliged to
offer Essential Services to the people of its member nations.
Over the past several decades, the Global Community along with Global Parliament, have promoted a just and fair global government. The United
Nations (UN) organization does not offer such global service to all Peoples. It is not a government. It is not a democratic institution. It has no power to legislate, protect and offer
essential services. There is no Justice possible coming from the UN. The Five Permanents Members are the only rule of law. There are themselves subsidized by corporate rulers,
lobbyists with vested interests in keeping things the way they are now. There are no change in sight because they cannot change themselves. We must let go the UN. It is a 20th Century
WWII organization that can truly make things work for only 5% of the world nations. Staying with the UN certainly means there will not be a 22nd Century to live for most people on
Earth. The world needs a 21st Century organization able to manage Earth and bring hope in every home.
Global Parliament is the only possible and practical solution to our world. We know how everything work, and we know what to do to make it work for us all.
We do volunteer work for humanity. We do 'soft activism' work. Global Parliament Constitution shows us how to operate our organization. We follow Global Law as
shown in the Constitution. All those who do volunteer work for us must become familliar with it and become 'global citizens'. You are required to read about the Criteria of
the Global Community Citizenship. Once you are sure you understand the Criteria, then
you are required to live a life as per the Criteria. You do not need to let go the citizenship you already have. No! You can still be a citizen of any nation on Earth. But you are a better
human being as you belong also to the Global Community, and you have now higher values to live a life, to sustain yourself and all life on the planet.
We do not relate in any way with the United Nations. We are here to replace it. For several decades the Global Community has tried very hard to reform the United Nations. It has
become clear that the United Nations promotes a culture of waste, mismanagement and corruption, and that it cannot reform itself. Today, the only logical, most equitable and
sustainable alternative, is to replace it with the Global Community. The Scale of Global Rights is our fundamental principle for development.
We seek more symbiotical relationships with people and organizations
Note concerning personal info sent to us by email
We have now streamlined the participation process in the Global Dialogue
Authors of research papers and articles on global issues for this month
, Abdul Basit
, Greta Christina
, Mary Fitzgerald
, Andrew Glikson
, Julio Godoy
, Makenna Goodman
, Ann Jones
, Michael T. Klare
, Tara Lohan
, Dr. Matjaz MULEJ
, Kanayo F. Nwanze
, Michael von Bülow
Carolyn Baker, From The Wilderness To The End Of Civilization
Abdul Basit, East Or West, Earth Is Best
Greta Christina, 3 Silly Religious Beliefs Held By Non-Silly People
Mary Fitzgerald, Climate Change Is A Feminist Issue
Andrew Glikson, The Lungs Of The Earth
Julio Godoy, Climate Change: Set That 110 Limit
Makenna Goodman, Why We Need Bees and More People Becoming Organic Beekeepers
Dilip Hiro, Why Obama's Grand Schemes for Iran Are Doomed to Fail
Ann Jones, There's No Hope for Afghanistan If Women Aren't Involved
Michael T. Klare, 6 Signs That the American Empire Is Coming to an Early End
Tara Lohan, Confused About All the Climate Talk and the Copenhagen Summit? Here's the Skinny: Five Things You Should Know
Dr. Matjaz MULEJ, SUSTAINABLE FUTURE, REQUISITE HOLISM, AND SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY
Kanayo F. Nwanze, The Links Between Food Security And Climate Change
Michael von Bülow, Africans Boycott Meetings At UN Climate Talks
Research papers and articles on global issues for this month
| Date sent
|| Theme or issue
| November 11, 2009
SUSTAINABLE FUTURE, REQUISITE HOLISM, AND SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY
by Dr. Matjaz MULEJ, Global File
M.A. in Development Economics, Doctorates in Systems Theory and in Management.
Retired from University of Maribor, Faculty of Economics & Business as Professor Emeritus of Systems and Innovation Theory.
+1.500 publications in +40 countries (see: IZUM – Cobiss, 08082).
Visiting professor abroad for15 semesters.
Author of the Dialectical Systems Theory (see: François, 2004, International Encyclopedia) and Innovative Business Paradigm for catching-up countries.
Member of New York Academy of Sciences (1996), European Academy of Sciences and Arts, Salzburg (2004), European Academy of sciences and Humanities, Paris (2004).
President of IFSR (International Federation for Systems Research with 37 member associations).
Prof. Dr. Roger Haw Boon Hong
It is a great pleasure for me to write an executive summary to this remarkable publication entitled ‘SUSTAINABLE
FUTURE, REQUISITE HOLISM, AND SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY’, which brings together 26 highly important
papers and cases related to system thinking about sustainable future which were written and contributed by 35
authors/co-authors representing 25 institutions from 8 countries.
This book has covered five sections:
1. The selected problem and viewpoint of working on it
2. Sustainable future versus the current market democracy
3. Cases related to system thinking about sustainable future
4. Suggestions for action toward sustainable future
5. Concluding remarks
I wish to warmly congratulate the key persons of this publication project - Prof. Dr. Stane Božičnik, Prof. Dr. Timi
Ećimović and Prof. Dr. Matjaž Mulej. Also the similar greetings go to many co-authors and all others who have
generously contributed in many ways towards the realization of this book.
Books don’t just happen by themselves. A number of smart, dedicated, competent, and compassionate people have
to care about a book (and its authors) long enough to get it all done. In the case of this particular book, I would like to
express my sincere thanks to all the writers who contributed their effort and time to promote Sustainable Future and
Social Responsibility globally together with Ansted University, Ansted Service Center and me. I know, no serious
academic text or reference or resource book will ever see the light of day without the careful and thoughtful work of our
professional and academician colleagues. Those people have reviewed, criticized, and improved the contents of this
book in many important ways and to each of them goes my gratitude.
In this book authors have drawn a broad-based strategic approach which is adopted to promote environmental
soundness through research and development economic efficiency social equity, responsibility and accountability.
These strategies will be directed towards the following key areas:
1. Education and Awareness
2. Effective management of natural and non-natural resources and the environment
3. Integrated development planning and implementation
4. Prevention and control of pollution and environmental degradation.
5. Strengthening administrative and institutional mechanisms.
6. Proactive approach to regional and global environmental issues
7. Formulation and implementation of Action Plans.
On the other hand authors have highlighted the objectives of the policy on the Environment are to achieve; (1) A
clean, safe, healthy and productive environment for present and future generations; (2) Conservation of the world’s
unique and diverse cultural and natural heritage with effective participation by all sectors of society; (3) Sustainable
lifestyles and patterns of consumption and production.
However, it is important to cultivate and practice these interrelated and mutually supporting principles:
1. Sustainable use of natural resources
2. Conservation of nature’s vitality and diversity
3. Continuous improvement in the Quality of the Environment
4. Integrated decision-making
5. Stewardship of the environment
6. Commitment and accountability
7. Active participation in the international community
8. To support its implementation and further development, involving all sectors of society and including
government, business and industry, academia, non-governmental organizations, the community and the family.
Writing an executive summary for this kind of book especially they are so many well known and experienced
authors in their own respective field with different background which I feel that it is important to consult each of them
to share their highlights with me and the readers at large to enable me to articulate it in my summary thus it will give
easy understanding and will arouse the readers interest to continue to read the entire book.
Here are some important highlights that have been submitted to me by some of the authors after my consulting
with each author to come up an impact statement which I would like to share with you too. Their research outcomes,
perception and references will help to build and promote Sustainable Future, System thinking and Social Responsibility
practice as a platform to safe world and reengineering a healthy living space which have been destroyed by human
being long time ago.
“The key to control the world wide hunger consists in sustainable agriculture, preferably as Conservation
Agriculture with special regard to improve the water productivity.” Prof. Dr. Med. Vet. Habil. Jörn Hamann
“Affluence is the goal and deadline of economic development: it kills motivation for work. Synergy of social
responsibility, creative for general purposes, requisitely holistic behavior and ethics of interdependence enables
sustainable future.” Mrs. Anita Hrast and Prof. DDr. Matjaž Mulej
“A sustainable social contract requires urgent attention to more inclusive democracy, social interaction to
restore community, a new conception of the market as a complex ecology, and public-private sector balance.”
Prof. Dr. Robert G. Dyck
“Pure markets are a useful ideology to bluff in order to reach the biased goals of large corporations, reduce
workforce’s security, and transfer the uncertainty from capital to labor.” Prof. Dr. Dijana Močnik
“Road map for sustainable future of indigenous communities: a case of coastal India is attempt to examine
the impact of globalization on a specific locality. However, the inferences that it draws go beyond the
locality. Its express concern over the developmental activities initiated through special economic zone in the
region which would seriously threaten the sustainable livelihood of millions of local and indigenous
communities. Therefore, the emphasis of the paper is to reexamine the developmental agenda from a holistic
perspective to achieve sustainable future for humanity." Dr. T. N. Sreedhara & Dr. Rajarama Tolpadi
“Survey shows that the role of trust in Management is essential and depends on co-workers' starting points
including interdependence.” Prof. Dr. Vojko Potočan
“Sustainable development in agriculture requires a delicate long term balance between farming practices
and nature’s ability to renew itself. Conventional farming has accelerated environmental degradation due to
excessive use of an-organic fertilizers and chemical pesticides. To reestablish land productivity and maintain soil
fertility, Organic Rice Farming (ORF) was introduced for smallholders. Policy implication includes provision of
affordable farm credit system delivered through Microfinance Institution to expand banking outreach. Capacity
building for farmers association and trade support policy for organic products was recommended.” BS Kusmuljono
“The business policy and (global) enterprise strategy may well support the requisite holism and help humans
pave their way to their sustainable future.” M. Sc. Tjaša Štrukelj and Prof. Em. DDr. Matjaž Mulej
No matter how, the insights into future events can be challenging as the future is not fixed. Until you experience it,
the future remains as an array of possibilities with a "most likely" scenario based on what holds the greatest energy.
Viewing the future can change the outcome. Even a 100% accurate view of the most likely scenario will trigger
questions about whether you want that scenario to manifest, and that change can influence the outcome. This can give
the illusion of inaccuracy in the original prediction. When you first start scanning the future, your predictions will be
less accurate than they will become later, after constant practice. Mankind need to be aware that everyone is everything
that Infinite Being is. The universe is holographic by design, meaning that while the many make up the One, the One is
also mirrored within each of the many. So, each person, each spark of Infinite Being, contains all of the qualities of
I sincerely hope that you will find this book can be of good help to you direct or indirectly as we understand no
human being is perfect.
Roger Haw Boon Hong, MBA, Ph.D, DSc.
Professor of Corporate Social Responsibility, Founding member of Ansted University
Founder cum Chairman of Ansted Social Responsibility International Awards
World Medal of Freedom awarded by The American Biographical Institute (ABI), USA
Download full PDF file by author
| November 11, 2009
Copenhagen Official Site
Recent reports indicate that the rains have failed once again across vast swathes of Eastern Africa, putting millions of people at risk. This current regional crisis is a stark reminder to all of us that the global food security crisis of 2007 and 2008, which was marked by a sharp contraction in food supplies and food price spikes, is far from over. Food prices have come down from their peaks of 2008, but they are still at historically high levels. They have become more volatile, indicating underlying uncertainties, and are showing signs of rising again.
The future of global food security is highly dependent on two important and inter-related factors. The first is the degree to which developing countries will succeed in raising agricultural productivity through technological change and effective natural resource management. The second is the degree to which the world will succeed in limiting climate change, while helping developing countries adapt to climate change and mitigate its effects.
The scale of the challenge of assuring global food security is reflected in current projections for population growth, and the accompanying projected growth in the demand for food. On current trends, the world’s population is projected to swell from 6.8 billion to 9.1 billion by 2050. Most of the growth, as can be expected, will occur in developing countries. Feeding 9.1 billion people will require that overall global food production grow by 70 per cent. Production in the developing countries will need to almost double.
The enormous burden of feeding a growing global population is made heavier by the expected adverse impact of climate change on food production. Recent studies and projections paint a dire picture. In Eastern and South Asia, climate change is expected to affect rains, increase the frequency of droughts, and raise average temperatures, threatening the availability of fresh water for agricultural production. In sub-Saharan Africa, arid and semi-arid areas are projected to increase significantly. And in Southern Africa, yields from rain-fed agriculture are expected to fall by up to 50 per cent as early as 2020.
The impact of climate change on agriculture is therefore likely to lead to a loss of stability in productivity and an overall decline in food production. Unless urgent action is taken, climate change will undoubtedly worsen global food security and dramatically increase the number of people facing hunger and malnutrition. Current estimates indicate that climate change could put 63 million more people at risk of hunger by 2020.
The international community is squaring up to these challenges and is laying the groundwork to support low-income countries in their drive to boost agricultural production. The L’Aquila Food Security Initiative represents the most important step in this regard.
Such efforts must necessarily focus on the 500 million smallholder farmers worldwide who currently support around 2 billion people, or one third of the world’s population. Increasing their productivity is essential not only to secure the food and nutrition needs of these farmers, but also of the millions of people who depend on them.
The recent global food security initiatives must be complemented by concrete steps to limit climate change if their goals are to be met. It is therefore vital that at Copenhagen negotiators indeed ‘seal a credible climate deal’. I hope that the agreement not only delivers cuts in emissions, but also recognizes the close and unique relation between food security and climate change.
In its 30 years of work, the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) has supported smallholder farmers with the aim of raising their productivity and their incomes, thus improving their food security. Such support has included a wide variety of interventions including agricultural research and extension; farmer field schools; farm input supply; forestry; veterinary services; support to farmers’ organizations and cooperatives; as well as support to rural finance institutions. In recent years, IFAD has expanded its programmes to help smallholder farmers adapt to climate change by making available, for example, improved seeds that are more resistant to drought or to floods.
These programmes have shown the enormous potential of smallholder farmers to increase food production and follow environmentally sound practices. Smallholder farmers will undoubtedly play a major role in improving global food security. Yet, if their potential is to be realized, their efforts must be complemented by effective measures to limit the potentially devastating effects of climate change.
Kanayo F. Nwanze began his term as IFAD’s fifth President on 1 April 2009. A Nigerian national, Nwanze has a strong record as an advocate and leader of change and a keen understanding of the complexity of development issues. He will be attending COP15, and will be a keynote speaker during the Agricultural and Rural Development Day on 12 December.
For more information on IFAD and its work visit www.ifad.org
| November 9, 2009
Carolyn Baker reviews Mike Ruppert's peak oil movie
Why would someone go to a movie that is essentially an
interview of someone else? Don't we go to movies to be
entertained or watch documentaries in order to be inundated
with voluminous information and breath-taking
cinematography? What would compel anyone to sit for 82
minutes watching some guy chain smoking while he's being
interviewed about the collapse of industrial civilization in a
room that looks like a bunker?
If incessant adrenalin rushes enhanced by stupefying special
effects are what you desire, seeing "Collapse" should be
postponed until you are ready to hear, see, and feel how
Director Chris Smith's uncanny discernment is brilliantly
conveyed in one of the most poignant, but inspiring movies of
When was the last time you saw a movie that opened with a
plea for revolution-no, not the kind with bullets and bombs, but
the kind Thomas Jefferson said should happen every twenty
years-a revolution in our thinking? In fact, the kind of revolution
Mike Ruppert calls for in the opening scenes is one that takes
place inside us. In fact, that kind of revolution is one he's lived
since he was a political science major at UCLA in the
seventies. Whether you like him or not, whether you agree with
him or not, you cannot argue that every word that comes out of
his mouth in "Collapse", issues from bone-marrow
experience-the kind none of us would ever welcome, the kind
some of us would have long since committed suicide over, the
kind most of us would gladly walk away from. Yet, Mike
Ruppert is still alive, still speaking his truth, and amazingly, still
able to laugh and play music.
From this point forward in this review, I will refer to Mike
Ruppert as simply "Mike." That's because despite the fact that
we've had our disagreements in the past and not a few "come
to Jesus" moments, this guy named Mike--"Ruppert", "MCR",
the LAPD narc, the investigative journalist, and "batshit insane
conspiracy theorist" as he has been derisively labeled, is still
my friend, and has been for almost a decade.
So what kind of movie opens with the main character coming
in, sitting down, lighting a cigarette, and being asked, "So who
are you?" Shortly, the viewer may be thinking, "Wish they
hadn't asked that question because I really don't want to know."
That means that by the time you've heard three minutes of
Mike's personal story, you are already appalled and prepared
to plug your ears and do anything but hear more. Your first
response may be, "That can't be true", yet his story is fully
documented in writing and by verified numerous eyewitnesses.
In summary, his was no ordinary childhood and certainly no
ordinary law enforcement career. All roads led to that career
as a highly decorated Los Angeles Police Department
detective, and everything after has been impacted by it. For as
Mike very clearly states in the movie, that clean, dedicated,
twenty-seven year-old cop is still alive in him and has always
wanted some answers-and yes, some justice.
But to the same extent the conscientious cop lives within him,
so does the cartographer, the map maker, whose life
depended on finding out how the world really works as
opposed to how we've been told it works. I would say that at
least 80% of his work has evolved out of an attempt to save his
own life. That brings it down from ivory tower speculation to a
cellular, soul level.
So if you're still hanging out with doubts about the validity of
Peak Oil, you won't be after you watch this movie's second
segment. I've heard and read volumes on Peak Oil, but Mike's
explanation always rings in my ears more loudly than that of
any other because of its clarity and simplicity. However, he
admittedly stands on the shoulders of numerous Peak Oil
researching giants such as Dale Allen Pfeiffer and what he
calls "The Three Wise Men": Colin Campbell, Matt Simmons,
and Richard Heinberg.
Mike explains that it requires the mind of a cop to understand
how Peak Oil fits into the rest of the map of events in terms of
motive, means, and opportunity. It is now the fundamental
underpinning of foreign policy-not only that of the United
States, but of all industrial nations. Institutionalized denial of
Peak Oil or the refusal by our government to tell the truth about
it is nothing less than criminal, according to Mike, because it
means that we are building our future as if Peak Oil doesn't
exist-sacrificing the lives of future generations so that we can
live comfortable lives based on a lie. As for "alternative energy
options", I've yet to hear anyone surpass Mike's explanations
of how futile and farcical this notion is in terms of sparing us
from a global energy crisis. On a small, local scale, renewable
energy is necessary and useful, but it is an untenable solution
for the long-term, big picture reality of the end of the age of oil.
THE DEADLY ACCURATE MAP
About the same time that Mike's newsletter, From The
Wilderness began publishing stories about Peak Oil, he
started connecting the dots between a number of other issues,
and several articles published on the website at that time by
Catherine Austin Fitts and by Mike, revealed the likelihood of a
massive housing and debt bubble that would inevitably burst
and result in a global economic meltdown. In his numerous
articles and lectures, Mike began admonishing people to get
out of debt, buy gold, pay off credit cards, and learn to grow
their own food. It is illumining to return to the From The
Wilderness website from time to time and revisit the economic
forecasts made there which predicted the current crisis
superbly. Some aspects of timing and minor details may have
fallen short of accuracy, but for the most part, the forecasts
were spot-on in terms of the larger picture.
Others, including myself, read, wrote for, and published
aspects of the From The Wilderness map which at the time
resulted in being scorned and called crazy. Those years from
2001 to the beginning of the economic crash in September,
2008 were especially tough for many of us in terms of being
labeled inveterate doom and gloomers. Some of my close
friends who got it were calling me "Cassandra Baker" and with
But neither Mike nor I have broken out the champagne to
celebrate how right on target we were during those years
because the collapse of civilization and all of its attendant
horrors is not something to celebrate. However, we are both
buoyed by the number of people who paid attention and acted
accordingly and are still doing so today. Likewise, we are
inspired and encouraged by the people who have awakened
more recently and all those who are just now connecting the
dots and experiencing in their bones, the same revolution to
which Mike refers in the opening moments of "Collapse."
Fiat Currency, Fractional Reserve Banking, and Compound
Interest-these are the only three things you need to know, says
Mike, about money. These three inherently comprise a
pyramid scheme; in fact, the entire global economy is a
pyramid scheme. It is based on the infinite growth paradigm
which has now collided with something much more powerful.
Our economy is collapsing, but many other countries in the
world are collapsing much more rapidly. In summary, the
people who have been running the planet are now losing
Anyone who has been researching the collapse of industrial
civilization understands, as Mike clearly reminds us, that a
global population explosion occurred almost simultaneously
with the discovery of oil as the 19th century moved into the 20th
. Population has steadily increased as the availability of oil has
increased, and it is axiomatic that as access to oil decreases,
so must the population.
A question that naturally arises from these disturbing realities
is whether or not the human race can understand them and
change its behavior in time to avert catastrophe. At this point,
Mike reminds us of three types of responses to a Titanic-like
situation. One is the deer-in-the-headlights response in which
one is frozen with fear and surprise and begins to ask, "What
does this mean? What do I do?" Another kind of response is,
"We know this is happening, we know we're all going to die
unless we build lifeboats, so let's get busy doing it." Another
group says, "This is the Titanic; it's unsinkable."
Everything is going to break down differently in different
places, according to Mike. Currently, we are seeing the bumpy
plateau of energy prices which fluctuate wildly. The critical,
lethal point of the plateau for the human race is when oil prices
spike again, and no one can afford to buy the oil, at which
point, everything will shut down.
THE TRANSITION PHASE
What is critical now is for us to begin to put new structures in
place before the old infrastructure completely crumbles. That
phase could last between 20 years (which would be incredibly
fast) to 50 or 100 years. What is crucial is that we don't panic
but rather analyze our own local situation to see what structures
must be put in place there. Shortages will occur, but most
likely, gradually as opposed to abruptly. Specific shortages will
happen in specific places for a specific period. Thus, what is
important is not to prepare for the end result of collapse, but to
prepare for the transition.
When asked if a collapse be "prevented" by human ingenuity,
Mike pensively responds with, "No amount of technology, no
amount of human ingenuity can overturn the laws of physics
and the laws of the universe." Humankind's greatest peril, he
asserts, is to believe that it can overturn the law of the universe
and "become God."
He very directly admonishes us to: Buy gold, insulate your
house, restore the soil around you and grow food in the
restored soil; get organic seeds and store them; get a land line
and realize that your cell phone will not be available as the
system's collapse exacerbates. Local food production is the
most fundamental key to human survival in the collapse of
For example, when the Soviet Union collapsed, North Korea
and Cuba were desperately dependent on Soviet oil. The two
nations adapted to the loss differently. North Korea maintained
its rigid communist system, and millions starved. The Cuban
government, however, adapted by growing organic food
almost everywhere, abandoning the agribusiness model. The
idea was to grow food where people were going to eat food,
and the result was remarkable resilience-and survival. The
phenomenon to which Mike is referring in this section of
"Collapse" is extremely well documented in the 2006 film, "The
Power of Community". In summary, in the new human
paradigm, everything will be local, and as all animals species
know, survival must occur in community, not in isolation.
Director Chris Smith has succeeded in capturing the essence
of Mike Ruppert, and one aspect of that essence is the
monumental load of grief he carries regarding having spent
three decades crying "from the wilderness" to humanity to
awaken and embrace the new paradigm. Yet even as the grief
is poignantly revealed to us through Mike's tears, so is the
balance he maintains through savoring love, fun, play, and
making people smile-all of which are very instructive to those
of us who are consciously preparing for collapse.
Mike reminds us of Kubler-Ross's Five Stages of Grief and
comments that currently, our society appears to be caught in
the Anger stage. Ironically, the day I began this review was the
same day in which the Ft. Hood massacre occurred, followed
by another terrifying shooting rampage in Orlando, Florida. The
protracted debate on healthcare over the course of 2009 has
been punctuated with numerous violent outbursts at town
meetings and insane rages against "socialism" by thousands
of hurting middle class Americans. Caustic vitriol pervades our
crumbling culture, and that chilling reality is exacerbated by
mainstream media's massive lies, distortions, and omissions.
How we get through this phase, according to Mike, is critical,
and unfortunately, we have little in the culture to assist us in
moving through it. However, once we do, and once we begin
experiencing acceptance, we are then able to discover
like-minded "passengers" on the Titanic with whom we can ally
to build lifeboats.
I was recently asked if I thought it was possible that I could be
"wrong" about Peak Oil and climate change. My response is
that it's possible to be wrong about anything. But as Mike so
powerfully comments in "Collapse", there is no longer anything
to debate. Engaging in debate on these issues is very much
like debating whether the sun rises in the east and sets in the
west. Peak Oil and climate change are happening; what's to
For those who expend energy with political solutions, Mike
points out that capitalism, socialism, and communism are
terms "that need to be put in the trash can immediately." The
only thing the human race will be concerned with in the future is
survival, and ideologies and political parties are showing us
less than nothing about how to do this. Engaging in large-scale
political processes is not only futile, but deprives us of the
energy we need to be investing in survival. All these ideologies
were created on the premise of infinite resources, and none
offer a balance with the planet's resources and other species.
Yes, we have a sincere, likeable guy in the White House, but,
says Mike: He's a prisoner-a prisoner of the government, of
politics, of the Federal Reserve, of a system that's archaic.
Don't make success or failure rest on his shoulders. The only
thing any of us can possible change is our minds.
Stop running from your fear, Mike admonishes us, and starting
moving toward embracing your fear because therein lies our
ability to survive. This will be, he optimistically reminds us, the
greatest evolution in human thinking our species has ever
known. Do not run away from your fear, your love, or any
emotion because that is the life experience. In those emotions
we find the richness of art, music, poetry, and all human
creations. Our greater work, he says, is to pull that richness out
of the rubbish of civilization's paradigm--a comment which
bears uncanny resemblance to what I have written in Sacred
Demise: Walking The Spiritual Path of Industrial Civilization's
Asked if he would ever "walk away" from three decades of
work, Mike asks: If there was a German in 1932-33 who had
the foresight to look ahead and see what the end result of the
Third Reich would be, could they have in good conscience
turned around and walked away? We are collectively as a
species responsible for what may be the greatest holocaust in
human history-our own suicide.
While I have no negative comments regarding "Collapse", I do
have concerns about two issues which could be interpreted as
contradictions. One is Mike's statement in the movie that
during the Bush administration, he believes Dick Cheney and
Donald Rumsfeld were paying very close attention to his work.
The viewer is left to wonder about his rationale for this bold
statement, especially as he concludes the comment with,
"that's all I care to say." Three decades of persecution by the
powers that be does not, in itself, indicate that any two
members of those powers were intensely interested in Mike
and his work. So I'm left wondering what he knows that we
Those of us who have been close associates of Mike in the
past witnessed his dramatic exodus from Los Angeles to
Ashland, Oregon in 2006, based as he said at the time on
what a horrible place he believed L.A. would turn out to be in
collapse. Yet it is precisely to that city that he returned in 2008.
One may be tempted to accuse him of hypocrisy, but only if
one does not understand that Mike spent most of his life in
L.A., and it is for him "home" in every sense of the word. Some
people preparing for collapse choose to relocate to exotic
locations; some choose what is familiar and comforting.
The movie draws to a close with Mike's recounting in detail the
Hundredth Monkey story. For all its poignancy and sad
moments, "Collapse" leaves us with great optimism, joy,
possibility, and inspiration. While the logistical focus of the
movie is on Mike Ruppert, the ultimate focus is on each of
us-on that part of us that knows in every cell of our bodies that
we are now in the throes of collapse and that our survival and
the meaning of our very existence lies in embracing and to
some extent living the Michael C. Ruppert that abides in all of
| November 3, 2009
The dispute that is going on between nation states over implementing mandatory limits on emissions has reduced the chances of preventing the catastrophic climate change and the prospect of successful conclusion of Copenhagen Climate conference. The confrontation between western countries like US and eastern countries like India and China to safeguard their national interests has created uncertainty over the future of humanity.
These nations have seldom realised that they are playing with fate of humanity as a whole and the habitability of earth as we know it. This earth with its beautiful landscapes and favourable climates enabled our forefathers to build great civilizations and also for diverse cultures to flourish.
For centuries, the earth has been bearing the brunt of conflicts between nation states, whether these conflicts were based on racial, ideological, cultural, geographical, nationalistic or religious foundation. The boundaries of these nation states were drawn and redrawn depending on the course of these wars and conflicts. The earth was able to sustain these scribbling of borders and coped with the impact of these nation states to conquer and dominate other nations. Along with humanitarian and psychological consequences, these wars of domination also severely damaged the environment and negatively affected its habitability. The short-sighted leaders and dictators played a major role in igniting these unwarranted wars and the results of these wars was devastation for not only conquerors and the conquered, but for humanity as a whole.
So, now we have reached a situation where the existence of humanity as a whole is at stake and our destiny is tied together. Hence if we have to overcome this crisis of climate change, we have to think beyond the confines of manmade boundaries of nation states. So along with being patriotic to our respective nations, which have sometimes supported its citizens generously, we also have to give due consideration to the protection and safety of the earth and the environment, which has been supporting all these nation states to flourish and prosper.
Let the materialistic west and the spiritualistic east blend together to build a balanced and sustainable global community that will safeguard the environment along with ensuring equitable distribution of wealth.
Let us create a united world with noble values of unity, cooperation, compassion and mutual understanding.
Let us all proclaim with one voice “EAST OR WEST, EARTH IS BEST”
| November 3, 2009
African countries boycotted meetings at UN climate talks Tuesday, saying that industrial countries had set carbon-cutting targets too low for reducing global greenhouse gas emissions.
The action forced several technical meetings to be canceled at this week's UN climate talks in Barcelona. Delegates warned that, unless the African protest was settled, it could set back the timetable for concluding a new climate change pact at a major UN conference next month in Copenhagen.
The 50 or so African countries said they would only discuss pledges submitted by wealthy countries, and that talks on other issues including carbon offsets and action by developing countries should not move forward until there is full commitment by industrial countries.
"I don't think we can get to a result in the way we're going now," said Algerian negotiator Kamel Djemouai, who chairs the Africa group. "We cannot prejudge what will happen next until we see the reactions of others."
It was the first time the Africans have taken such concerted action at the UN climate talks, but they have been coordinating their position over the past year to ensure unity in the final lead-up to the Copenhagen conference, said Antonio Hill, of Oxfam International.
The African walkout stymied only part of the talks, which operate in two parallel bodies. Negotiations on the overall shape of a deal in Copenhagen deal and financing for poor countries continued uninterrupted.
The larger group of more than 130 developing countries said it supported the African group's action, meant "to focus the mind" of the developed countries on the most important issue, according to Sudanese Ambassador Lumumba De-Aping. He also indicated that walking out was a tactic often used in the negotiating process, and did not necessarily spell doom for the talks.
Scientists say industrial countries should reduce emissions by 25 to 40 percent from 1990 levels by 2020, but targets announced so far amount to far less than the minimum.
| November 2, 2009
The recent warning by Professor Hans Joachim Schellnhuber, Director of the Potsdam Institute of Climate Impact: “We are simply talking about the very life support system of this planet”  is consistent with the lessons arising from the history of the Earth’s atmosphere/ocean system. A rise of CO2-e (CO2-equivalent, including the effect of methane) above 500 ppm and of mean global temperature toward and above 4 degrees C, projected by the IPCC , Copenhagen  and Oxford  scientific reports, as well as reports by the world’s leading climate science bodies (NASA/GISS, Hadley-Met, Potsdam Climate Impact Institute, NSIDC, CSIRO, BOM), would transcend the conditions which allowed the development of agriculture in the early Neolithic, tracking toward climates which dominated the mid-Pliocene (3 Ma) (1 Ma = 1 million years) and further toward greenhouse Earth conditions analogous to those of the Cretaceous (145–65 Ma) and early Cenozoic (pre-34 Ma).
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, allowing the presence of liquid water and thereby of life.
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 the 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.
An excess of carbon dioxide in the lungs triggers a need to breath. When the concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere rises above a critical threshold, the climate moves 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) effect 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.
The essential physics of the infrared absorption/emission resonance of greenhouse molecules has long been established by observations in nature and laboratory studies, as portrayed in the relations between atmospheric CO2 and mean global temperature projections in Figure 1.
The living biosphere, allowing survival of large mammals and of humans on the continents, has developed when CO2 levels fell below about 500 ppm some 34 million years ago (late Eocene). At that stage, and again about 15 million years ago (mid-Miocene), 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 . These conditions allowed the emergence of humans in Africa and later all over the world .
Humans already existed 3 million years-ago, however these were small clans which, in response to changing climates migrated to more hospitable parts of Africa and subsequently Asia . About 124 thousand years ago, during the Emian interglacial, temperatures rose by about 1 degree C and sea levels by 6-8 meters.
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 industrial revolution humans dug, pumped and burnt more than 320 billion tons of carbon which accumulated as the result of biological activity during 400 million years. 320 billion tons of carbon is more than 50% the carbon concentration of the original atmosphere (540 billion tons). As a consequence the level of CO2 in the atmosphere has risen by about 40%, from 280 to 388 ppm.
The world is now witnessing a dangerous shift in the state of the atmosphere-ocean system, an extremely rapid change from the interglacial condition of the Holocene, which began about 11,700 years-ago, to conditions analogous to those of the mid-Pliocene when mean global temperatures were 2 to 3 degrees C higher, and sea levels about 25+/-12 meters higher, than the early 20th century.
In terms of the combined effects of CO2, methane and nitric oxide, the rise of greenhouse gases has reached about 460 ppm CO2-equivalent (CO2-e) (Figure 1), only slightly below the 500 ppm level which correlates with the maximum stability of the Antarctic ice sheet.
The current rate at which CO2 is rising, 2 ppm per year, is unprecedented in the recent history of the Earth, with the exception of the onset of greenhouse atmospheric conditions following major volcanic episodes and asteroid and comet impacts, which led to the large mass extinctions in the history of the Earth (end-Ordovician, end-Devonian, end-Permian and Permian-Triassic boundary, end-Triassic, end-Jurassic, end-Cretaceous) (Figure 2).
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 Cenozoic (Figure 2).
At 4 degrees C advanced to total melting of the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets leads to sea levels tens of meters higher than at present.
Since the 18th 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, with loss of reflection (albedo) of ice and gain in infrared absorption by open water, leading to feedback effects.
The polar regions, actinv 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.
Unfortunately climate change is not an abstract notion, with consequences manifest around the globe in terms of (1) Polar ice melt; (2) Sea level rise; (3) Migration of climate zones toward the poles; (4) Desertification of temperate climate zones; (5) Intensification of hurricanes and floods, related to increase in the level of atmospheric energy; (6) acidification of the oceans; (7) Destruction of coral reefs [2-4].
Which is why the European Union and in recent international conferences defined a rise by 2.0 degrees C as the maximum permissible level. A dominant scientific view has emerged that atmospheric CO2 levels, currently at 388 ppm, need to be urgently reduced to below 350 ppm . This is because, a rise of CO2 concentration above 350 ppm triggers feedback effects, which include:
1. Carbon cycle feedback due to warming, which dries and burns vegetation, with loss of CO2. With further warming, the onset of methane release from polar bogs and sediments is of major concern.
2. Ice/melt water interaction feedbacks: melt water melts more ice, ice loss results in albedo loss, exposed water absorb infrared heat.
Because CO2 is cumulative, with atmospheric residence time on the scale of centuries to millennia, it may not be possible to stabilize or control the climate through small incremental reduction in emission and avoid irreversible tipping points .
Humans can not argue with the physics and chemistry of the atmosphere. Time is running out. What is needed are global emergency measures, including:
1. Urgent deep cuts in carbon emissions by as much as 80%.
2. Parallel Fast track transformation to non-polluting energy utilities – solar, solar-thermal, wind, tide, geothermal, hot rocks.
3. Global reforestation and re-vegetation campaigns, including application of biochar.
Business as usual, with its focus on the annual balance sheet, can hardly continue under conditions of environmental collapse. Governments, focused on the next elections, need to focus on the survival of the next generation
Good planets are hard to come by.
Earth and paleoclimate scientist
Institute of Climate Change
Australian National University
Canberra, A.C.T. 0200
| October 29, 2009
Every single person should set a cap of a total of 110 tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions over the next four decades to avoid irreversible and uncontrollable consequences of climate change, under a new proposal.
The German advisory council on global changes (WBGU, after its original name), which advises the German government on climate change, says in its report 'Solving the climate dilemma' that the best solution for reducing greenhouse gas emissions is to allocate them worldwide on a per capita basis.
WBGU spokesperson Benno Pilardeaux told IPS that a per capita cap for industrialised and developing countries alike could become a cornerstone of international negotiations towards a new treaty on reducing greenhouse gases, after the likely failure of the UN conference on climate change scheduled to take place in Copenhagen Dec. 7-18.
"Copenhagen will most likely not succeed in ratifying a treaty, and shall only set the framework for a further conference, probably next March," Pilardeaux said.
At a press conference in London last week, Yvo de Boer, head of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), said the conference in Copenhagen will not succeed in ratifying a new international treaty on reducing greenhouse gas emissions worldwide.
"If you look at the limited amount of time that remains to Copenhagen, we have to focus on what can realistically be done and how that can realistically be framed," De Boer said.
Pilardeaux said that given the present stage of preparations "negotiations will have to be adjourned, but establish the further steps to follow." Those following steps could consider the WBGU proposal, he said.
The WBGU says "there is only a realistic chance of restricting global warming (to two Celsius degrees) if a limit is set on the total amount of (greenhouse gases) emitted globally between now and 2050." It calls this total amount the carbon dioxide (CO2) global budget.
The WBGU sets this global budget as the main parameter to determine an individual cap of CO2 emissions, valid for the whole world.
The CO2 global budget must be at "the forefront (of negotiations) towards a new global climate treaty," the WBGU paper says. "Combined with fundamental concepts of equity, the budget approach provides concrete figures for each of the emission limitations, which all countries will have to accept in order to prevent the destabilisation of the planet’s climate system."
Hans Joachim Schellnhuber, leading author of the WBGU report and main environmental counsellor to the German government, put the maximum sum of greenhouse gases to be emitted until 2050 at 600 to 750 billion metric tonnes of CO2. This range depends on the varying probability of occurrence of global warming.
In any case, only a small amount of CO2 may be emitted worldwide after 2050. "Thus, the era of an economy driven by fossil fuels will definitely have to come to an end within the first half of this century," the study says.
"You divide the 750 billion tons of CO2 by the world's total population, and have the per capita budget of emissions allowed until 2050, of some 110 tonnes of CO2," said Schellnhuber, who is Director of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research, and winner of the German Environment Prize of 2007.
Using this CO2 global budget, North America, especially the U.S., Western Europe, Australia, and Japan "have long ago or shall very soon trespass the limits," Schellnhuber said. Based upon the emissions of 2008, China would have exhausted its budget in the early 2030s.
"In Germany, the emissions per capita and per year amount to 11 tonnes," Schellnhuber said. Extrapolating the present emissions, Germany would have exhausted its total CO2 budget in ten years.
Schellnhuber said that an individual emissions cap valid for every single person in the world "constitutes an elementary principle of environmental justice. Why should a German citizen be allowed to emit more CO2 than a person in Bangladesh? The rule must be to fairly divide the total amount of CO2 that the world can cope with until 2050 among the world's population."
The WBGU report claims that the global budget methodology can lead to "the growth of common understanding among all signatory states concerning the medium and long-term actions necessary."
| October 29, 2009
When it emerged earlier this year that Obama's science tsar John Holdren had once, back in 1977, co-authored a textbook discussing possible methods of population control, among them sterilisation, America's rightwing fury machine triumphantly seized upon it, dubbing him Obama's "science fiction tsar".
Yet with the climate change conference in Copenhagen approaching, how fictitious is the need for population control? As Alex Renton noted in November's Prospect magazine, if the world's population continues to grow at present rate, by 2050 the globe will need the resources of a second Earth to sustain it. And if you throw in the projected effects of a warming planet, the problem starts to look as apocalyptic as it did to Holdren, and many others, back in the 1970s.
However world leaders might try to spin this problem, nearly all the ways of tackling climate change involve taking rights away from people – be it their right to fly, to drive, or to heat their patios. The one thing that would do the opposite, that would empower human beings, would be to give women across the world control over their own bodies. Plenty of them want it: according to the UN, there are currently more than 200 million women worldwide wanting but unable to get contraception. So forget ghoulish 1970s notions of compulsory abortions – as Michelle Goldberg points out, feminism has already vanquished these – we can start "controlling" population simply by providing women with basic rights. In short, population control, and by extension climate change, are feminist issues.
Wherever women have adequate access to contraception, education, the right to work, equality before the law, the birth rate plummets. And this is where western liberal proclivities towards cultural relativism start to break down. However much we might want to respect other cultures, those that deny women these rights are directly harming all of us, even if our own society is an equitable, gender-blind utopia. Unless we want a world ravaged by droughts and floods, we are going to have to start demanding women be treated as equal citizens – everywhere. In fact, you don't even have to call it feminism. You could call it calculated self-interest.
Population control is not something the "developing world" alone needs to wise up to, either. Quite the opposite. The one-child policy of China, the world's fastest developing country, is infamous, yet as a result we already have 300-400m fewer people on the planet. (Interestingly, China is doing a lot more on climate change in other areas than we assume too). That's not to suggest that we import China's birth control policies wholesale – the People's Republic, after all, is not widely known for its regard for anyone's rights, female or otherwise. But we have to do something: one British child pollutes more than 30 children in sub-Saharan Africa do. And, unlike in Britain, there are pressing economic reasons why women in sub-Saharan Africa need children.
True, many women in rich countries already choose to limit their families; Britain's average birth rate per family is a modest 1.97, roughly average for the developed world. But this means a vast number of women are still having more than three children and, given the disproportionate bulk of their carbon footprint, they need to be persuaded not to. This doesn't have to take the shape of draconian legislation, but rather positive incentives. We should not deny women autonomy over their own bodies (as many pro-life campaigns seek to), but we could make child benefits for smaller families much more generous. We could also offer middle-class families generous tax breaks if they have two children or less. This isn't taking away people's rights, it's just weighting the options differently – and, in turn, better protecting the rights of others who share this planet.
You don't even have to believe in global warming to come to this conclusion; you can still have your head firmly in the sand about the fact that humans are having an effect on the temperature of this planet. The population question exists outside this issue. It's simply a matter of maths: the Earth can only host a finite number of people. And surely educating and bettering the lives of the world's women, for whatever purpose, is no bad thing?
| October 30, 2009
Why Obama's Grand Schemes for Iran Are Doomed to Fail
by Dilip Hiro, Tomdispatch.com
published in AlterNet: The Mix is the Message
Following the Bush pattern of expecting the leaders of Iran to do the bidding of Washington means placing a bet on the inconceivable.
While the tone of the Obama administration is different from that of its predecessor, and some of its foreign policies diverge from those of George W. Bush, at their core both administrations subscribe to the same doctrine: Whatever the White House perceives as a threat -- whether it be Iran, North Korea, or the proliferation of long-range missiles -- must be viewed as such by Moscow and Beijing.
In addition, by the evidence available, Barack Obama has not drawn the right conclusion from his predecessor's failed Iran policy. A paradigm of sticks-and-carrots simply is not going to work in the case of the Islamic Republic. Here, a lesson is readily available, if only the Obama White House were willing to consider Iran's recent history. It is unrealistic to expect that a regime which fought Saddam Hussein's Iraq (then backed by the United States) to a standstill in a bloody eight-year war in the 1980s, unaided by any foreign power, and has for 30 years withstood the consequences of U.S.-imposed economic sanctions will be alarmed by Washington's fresh threats of "crippling sanctions."
Most important, the Obama administration is ignoring the altered international order that has emerged in the wake of the global financial crisis triggered by Wall Street's excesses. While its stimulus package, funded by taxpayers and foreign borrowing, has arrested the decline in the nation's gross domestic product, Washington has done little to pull the world economy out of the doldrums. That task -- performed by the U.S. in recent recessions -- has fallen willy-nilly to China. History repeatedly shows that such economic clout sooner or later translates into diplomatic power.
Backed by more than $2 trillion in foreign exchange reserves, the state-owned Chinese oil corporations have been locking up hydrocarbon resources as far away as Brazil. Not surprisingly, Iran, with the second largest oil as well as gas reserves in the world, looms large in the strategic plans of Beijing. The Chinese want to import Iran's petroleum and natural gas through pipelines across Central Asia, thus circumventing sea routes vulnerable to U.S. naval interdiction. As this is an integral part of China's energy security policy, little wonder that Chinese oil companies have committed an estimated $120 billion dollars -- so far -- to Iran's energy industry.
During a recent meeting with Iran's first vice president, Muhammad Reza Rahimi, in Beijing, Chinese Prime Minister Wen Jiabao stressed the importance of cooperation between the two countries when it comes to hydrocarbons and trade (at $29 billion a year, and rising), as well as "greater coordination in international affairs." Little wonder, then, that China has already moved to neutralize any sanctions that the United States -- backed by Britain, France and Germany -- might impose on Iran without United Nations authorization.
Foremost among these would be a ban on the export of gasoline to Iran, whose oil refining capacity falls significantly short of domestic demand. Chinese oil corporations have already started shipping gasoline to Iran to fill the gap caused by a stoppage of supplies from British and Indian companies anticipating Washington's possible move. Between June and August 2009, China signed $8 billion worth of contracts with Iran to help expand two existing Iranian oil refineries to produce more gasoline domestically and to help develop the gigantic South Pars natural gas field. Iran's national oil corporation has also invited its Chinese counterparts to participate in a $42.8 billion project to construct seven oil refineries and a 1,000 mile trans-Iran pipeline that will facilitate pumping petroleum to China.
Tehran and Moscow
When it comes to Russia, Tehran and Moscow have a long history of close relations, going back to Tsarist times. During that period and the subsequent Soviet era, the two states shared the inland Caspian Sea. Now, as two of the five littoral states of the Caspian, Iran and Russia still share a common fluvial border.
Following the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, relations between the Islamic Republic and Russia warmed. Defying pressures from both the Clinton and Bush administrations, Russia's state-owned nuclear power company continued building a civilian nuclear power plant near the Iranian port city of Bushehr. It is scheduled to begin generating electricity next year.
As for nuclear threats, the Kremlin's perspective varies from Washington's. It is far more concerned with the actual threat posed by some of Pakistan's estimated 75 nuclear weapons falling into militant Islamist hands than with the theoretical one from Tehran. Significantly, it was during his recent trip to Beijing to conclude ambitious hydrocarbon agreements with China that Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin said, "If we speak about some kind of sanctions [on Iran] now, before we take concrete steps, we will fail to create favorable conditions for negotiations. That is why we consider such talk premature."
The negotiations that Putin mentioned are now ongoing between Iran and the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council (the U.S., Britain, China, France, and Russia) as well as Germany. According to Western sources, the agenda of the talks is initially to center on a "freeze for freeze" agreement. Iran would suspend its nuclear enrichment program in exchange for the U.N. Security Council not strengthening its present nominal economic sanctions. If these reports are accurate, then the chances of a major breakthrough may be slim indeed.
At the heart of this issue lies Iran's potential ability to enrich uranium to a level usable as fuel for a nuclear weapon. This, in turn, is linked to the way Iran's leaders view national security. As a signatory to the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), Iran is, in fact, entitled to enrich uranium. The key point is the degree of enrichment: 5% enriched uranium for use as fuel in an electricity generating plant (called low enriched uranium, LEU); 20% enriched for use as feedstock for producing medical isotopes (categorized as medium enriched uranium, MEU); and 90%-plus for bomb-grade fuel (known as high enriched uranium, HEU).
So far, what Iran has produced at its Natanz nuclear plant is LEU. At the Iran-Six Powers meeting in Geneva on October 1st, Iran agreed in principle to send three-quarters of its present stock of 1,600 kilograms (3,500 pounds) of LEU to Russia to be enriched into MEU and shipped back to its existing Tehran Research Reactor to produce medical isotopes. If this agreement is fleshed out and finalized by all the parties under the aegis of the International Atomic Energy Agency, then the proportion of Iran's LEU with a potential of being turned into HEU would diminish dramatically.
When it comes to the nuclear conundrum, what distinguishes China and Russia from the U.S. is that they have conferred unconditional diplomatic recognition and acceptance on the Islamic Republic of Iran. So their commercial and diplomatic links with Tehran are thriving. Indeed, a sub-structure of pipelines and economic alliances between hydrocarbon-rich Russia, Iran, and energy-hungry China is now being forged. In other words, the foundation is being laid for the emergence of a Russia-Iran-China diplomatic triad in the not-too-distant future, while Washington remains stuck in an old groove of imposing "punishing" sanctions against Tehran for its nuclear program.
Tehran and Washington
There is, of course, a deep and painful legacy of animosity and ill-feeling between the 30-year-old Islamic Republic of Iran and the U.S. Iran was an early victim of Washington's subversive activities when the six-year-old CIA overthrew the democratically elected government of Prime Minister Muhammad Mussadiq in 1953. That scar on Iran's body politic has not healed yet. Half a century later, the Iranians watched the Bush administration invade neighboring Iraq and overthrow its president, Saddam Hussein, on trumped-up charges involving his supposed program to produce weapons of mass destruction.
Iran's leaders know that during his second term in office -- as Seymour Hersh revealed in the New Yorker -- Bush authorized a clandestine CIA program with a budget of $400 million to destabilize the Iranian regime. They are also aware that the CIA has focused on stoking disaffection among Sunni ethnic minorities in Shiite-ruled Iran. These include ethnic Arabs in the oil-rich province of Khuzistan adjoining Iraq, and ethnic Baluchis in Sistan-Baluchistan Province abutting the Pakistani province of Baluchistan.
Little wonder that Tehran pointed an accusing finger at the U.S. for the recent assassination of six commanders of its Revolutionary Guard Corps in Sistan-Baluchistan by two suicide bombers belonging to Jundallah (the Army of Allah), an extremist Sunni organization. As yet, there is no sign, overt or covert, that President Obama has canceled or repudiated his predecessor's program to destabilize the Iranian regime.
Insecure regimes seek security in nuclear arms. History shows that joining the nuclear club has, in fact, proven an effective strategy for survival. Israel and North Korea provide striking examples of this.
Unsure of Western military assistance in a conventional war with Arab nations, and of its ability to maintain its traditional armed superiority over its Arab adversaries, Israel's leaders embarked on a nuclear weapons program in the mid-1950s. They succeeded in their project a decade later. Since then Israel has acquired an arsenal of 80 to 200 nuclear weapons.
In the North Korean case, once the country had tested its first atomic bomb in October 2006, the Bush administration softened its stance towards it. In the bargaining that followed, North Korea got its name removed from the State Department's list of nations that support international terrorism. In the on-again-off-again bilateral negotiations that followed, the Pyongyang regime as an official nuclear state has been seeking a guarantee against attack or subversion by the United States.
Without saying so publicly, Iran's leaders want a similar guarantee from the U.S. Conversely, unless Washington ends its clandestine program to destabilize the Iranian state, and caps it with an offer of diplomatic acceptance and normal relations, there is no prospect of Tehran abandoning its right to enrich uranium. On the other hand, the continuation of a policy of destabilization, coupled with ongoing threats of "crippling" sanctions and military strikes (whether by the Pentagon or Israel), can only drive the Iranians toward a nuclear breakout capability.
During George W. Bush's eight-year presidency, the U.S. position in the world underwent a sea change. From the Clinton administration, Bush had inherited a legacy of 92 months of continuous economic prosperity, a budget in surplus, and the transformation of the U.N. Security Council into a handmaiden of the State Department. What he passed on to Barack Obama was the Great Recession in a world where America's popularity had hit rock bottom and its economic strength was visibly ebbing. All this paved the way for the economic and political rise of China, as well as the strengthening of Russia as an energy giant capable of extending its influence in Europe and challenging American dominance in the Middle East.
In this new environment expecting the leaders of Iran, backed by China and Russia, to do the bidding of Washington means placing a bet on the inconceivable.
| October 30, 2009
3 Silly Religious Beliefs Held By Non-Silly People
by Greta Christina, Greta Christina's Blog
published in AlterNet: The Mix is the Message, Read more of Greta Christina at her blog,
Many of the beliefs held by religious moderates -- smart people who respect science and the separation of church and state -- are as untenable as the dogma of fundamentalists.
"You can't disprove religion."
I'm seeing this trope a lot these days. "You can't disprove religion. At least -- not my religion."
"Well, of course," the trope continues, "many outdated religious beliefs -- young-earth creationism, the universe revolving around the earth, the sun being drawn across the sky by Apollo's chariot -- have been shown by science to be mistaken. But modern progressive and moderate beliefs -- these, you can't disprove with science. These are simply matters of faith: things people reasonably choose to believe, based on their personal life experience."
Then there's the corollary to this trope: "Therefore, atheism is just as much a matter of faith as religion. And atheists who think atheism is better supported by evidence are just as dogmatic and close-minded as religious believers."
The usual atheist reply to this is to cry, "That's the God of the Gaps! Whatever phenomenon isn't currently explained by science, that's where you stick your God! What kind of sense does that make? Why should any given unexplained phenomenon be best explained by religion? Has there ever been a gap in our knowledge that's eventually been shown to be filled by God?"
Which is a pretty good reply, and one I make a lot myself. But today, I want to say something else.
Today, I want to point out that this is simply not the case.
The fact is that many modern progressive and moderate religions do make claims about the observable world. And many of those claims are unsupported by science... and, in fact, are in direct contradiction of it.
I want to talk today about three specific religious beliefs. Not obscure cults or rigid fundamentalist dogmas; not young-earth creationism, or the doctrine that communion wafers literally and physically transform into the human flesh of Christ somewhere in the digestive tract, or the belief that the human mind has been taken over by space aliens. I want to talk about three widely held beliefs of modern progressive and moderate believers: beliefs held by intelligent and educated believers who respect science and don't think religion should contradict it.
And I want to point out that even these beliefs are in direct contradiction of the vast preponderance of available evidence -- almost as much as the obscure cults and the rigid fundamentalist dogma.
So let's go! Today's beliefs on the chopping block are:
1: Evolution guided by God.
Also known as "theistic evolution." Among progressive and moderate believers, this is an extremely common position on evolution. They readily (and rightly) dismiss the claims of young-earth creationists that humanity and all the universe were created in one swell foop 6,000 years ago. They dismiss these claims as utterly contradicted by the evidence. Instead, they say that evolution proceeds exactly as the biologists say it does, but this process is guided by God, to bring humanity and the vast variety of life into being.
A belief that is almost as thoroughly contradicted by the evidence as young-earth creationism is.
Nowhere in anatomy, nowhere in genetics, nowhere in the fossil record or the geological record or any of the physical records of evolution, is there even the slightest piece of evidence for divine intervention.
Quite the contrary. If there had been a divine hand tinkering with the process, we would expect evolution to have proceeded radically differently than it has. We would expect to see, among the changes in anatomy from generation to generation, at least an occasional instance of the structure being tweaked in non-gradual ways. We would expect to see -- oh, say, just for a random example -- human knees and backs better designed for bipedal animals than quadrupeds. (She said bitterly, putting an ice pack on her bad knee.) We would expect to see the blind spot in the human eye done away with, perhaps replaced with the octopus design that doesn't have a blind spot. We would expect to see the vagus nerve re-routed so it doesn't wander all over hell and gone before getting where it's going. We would expect to see a major shift in the risk-benefit analysis that's wired into our brains, one that better suits a 70-year life expectancy than a 35-year one. We would expect to see... I could go on, and on, and on.
And it's not just humans. We'd expect to see whales with gills, pandas with real thumbs, ostriches without those stupid useless wings.
We don't see any of this.
What we see instead is exactly what we would expect to see if evolution proceeded entirely as a natural, physical process. We see "designs" of living things that are flawed and inefficient and just plain goofy: "designs" that exist for no earthly reason except the slow incrementalism that's an inherent part of the physical process of evolution. We see anatomical adaptations severely constrained by the fact that each generation can only be a slight modification on the previous generation, with no sudden jumps to a different basic version. We see anatomical adaptations severely constrained by the fact that each new version has to be an improvement on the previous version (or at least, not a deterioration from it). We see a vast preponderance of evidence showing that evolution proceeds very slowly, very gradually, with the anatomy of each generation being only slightly altered (if at all) from that of the previous generation.
And that isn't how things designed by a conscious designer, or even things tinkered with by a conscious designer, work.
Even when a designer is stuck with the outlines of a previous design, they can still make significant, non-incremental changes. They can tear out the cabinets and replace them with windows, and move the stove to the other side of the room where the fridge is now. They're not stuck with moving the stove one inch at a time, once every week or year or twenty years. And they're not stuck with a system in which every inch that the stove moves has to be an improvement on the previous inch. They're not stuck with a system where, if the stove has been moving across the floor in a series of incremental improvements, it's going to have to stop if it starts blocking the door... because blocking the door is a serious disadvantage.
And if a designer is omnipotent, they're not even stuck with the outlines of a previous design. They're not stuck with anything at all. Why on earth would an all-powerful and benevolent god, a god who's capable of magically altering DNA, bring life into being by the slow, cruel, violent, inefficient, tacked- together- with- duct- tape process of evolution in the first place?
Now, it's true that we do see some evidence for what are sometimes called "jumps" in the fossil record: evidence that evolutionary changes sometimes happen very slowly, and sometimes happen more rapidly. (It's a controversial position, but it is one held by some respected evolutionary biologists.) And some believers in theistic evolution leap onto this hypothesis and hang on like it's the last helicopter out of Saigon.
But the "rapid jumps" thing is very misleading. "Rapid," in evolutionary terms, means "taking place over a few hundred years instead of a few thousand" (or "a few thousand years instead of a few hundred thousand.") And as recent research has repeatedly shown, evolution can take place surprisingly rapidly, in a matter of decades... and still be an entirely natural process of small changes, incremental alterations in each generation from the previous one. Exactly as we would expect if evolution were an entirely natural, physical process of descent with modification. So even if this "rapid jumps" (or "punctuated equilibrium") hypothesis is true, it still doesn't point to theistic evolution. Not even a little bit.
Again: There is not the slightest bit of evidence supporting the idea of evolution guided by God. And there is a significant body of evidence that strongly suggests the contrary.
2: An immaterial soul that animates human consciousness.
I will acknowledge freely: We don't yet understand consciousness very well. The sciences of neurology and neuropsychology are very much in their infancy, and the basic questions of what exactly consciousness is, and where exactly it comes from, and how exactly it works, are, as of yet, largely unanswered.
But research is happening. The foundations for our understanding of consciousness are beginning to be laid. There are a few things that we do know about consciousness.
And among the things we know is that, whatever consciousness is, it seems to be an entirely biological process. A massive body of evidence points to this conclusion.
When we make physical changes to the brain, it changes consciousness. Drugs, injury, surgery, sensory deprivation, electrical current, magnetic fields, medication, illness, exercise -- all these things change our consciousness. Sometimes drastically. Sometimes rendering an entire personality unrecognizable. Even very small changes to the brain can result in massive changes to consciousness... both temporary and permanent.
This works vice versa as well. Magnetic resonance imagery has shown that, when people think different thoughts, different parts of their brains light up with activity. Changes in thought show up as changes in the brain.... just as changes in the brain show up as changes in thought.
And, of course, we have the drastic change in consciousness created by the very drastic change in the physical brain known as "death."
All the available evidence points to the conclusion that, when the brain dies, consciousness disappears. (And by "when the brain dies," I don't mean, "when the brain is temporarily deprived of oxygen for a short time," a.k.a. "near death experiences." I mean when the brain dies, permanently.) The belief that consciousness survives death has probably been researched more than any other supernatural hypothesis -- nobody, not even scientists, wants death to be permanent -- and it has never, ever been substantiated. Reports of it abound. But when carefully examined, using good, rigorous scientific methodology, these reports fall apart like a house of cards.
Everything we understand about consciousness points to it being a physical, biological process. Physical changes cause observable effects. When we see that in any other phenomenon, we assume that what's going on is physical cause and effect. We have no reason to think that anything else is going on with the phenomenon of consciousness.
And there is not a single scrap of good evidence supporting the hypothesis that consciousness is even partly a supernatural phenomenon. There are many gaps in our understanding of consciousness -- that's a massive understatement -- but there is not one piece of solid, rigorously gathered evidence suggesting that any of those gaps can and should be filled with the hypothesis of an immaterial soul. There's not even a good, testable theory explaining how this immaterial soul is supposed to interact with the physical brain. All there is to support this belief is a personal intuitive feeling on the part of believers that the soul has to be non-physical because, well, it just seems like that... plus thousands of years of other believers with a similar intuitive feeling, who have told it to one another, and taught it to their followers, and made up elaborate rationalizations for it, and written it into their holy texts.
Again: There is not the slightest bit of evidence supporting the idea of an immaterial soul that animates human consciousness. And there is a significant body of evidence that strongly suggests the contrary.
3: A sentient universe.
You might ask why I'm including this particular belief in my Big Three Targets. You might wonder why, among all the widely held religious beliefs in the world today, I'm aiming my sights at this New Age/ Neo-Pagan/ Wiccan belief in a World-Soul.
My answer: I live in Northern California. 'Nuff said.
So that's why I want to debunk this belief. And I'm pretty much going to repeat what I said in #2 above:
We don't yet understand what consciousness is. But we do know that, whatever it is, it seems to be a biological product of the brain.
And the universe does not have a brain.
The universe does not have a physical structure capable of supporting consciousness. The universe does not have neurons, dendrites, ganglia. The universe has stars, and planets, and other astronomical bodies, separated by unimaginably vast regions of empty space.
And stars and planets and so on do not behave like neurons and dendrites and so on. They behave like stars and planets. They behave like objects that, as nifty as they are, are not alive, by any useful definition of the word "life."
If consciousness is a biological process -- as an overwhelming body of evidence suggests, see #2 above -- then the universe, not being a biological entity, cannot possibly be conscious. To say that it is would mean radically redefining what we mean by "conscious." And we have no reason to do so... other than a wishful desire to think of the universe as sentient.
Consciousness has, for a long time, been a mysterious and utterly ineffable phenomenon. So, before Darwin, was the tremendous variety and mind-boggling complexity of life. And like the variety and complexity of life, consciousness is no longer ineffable. It is being effed. The unexplainable is being explained. And it is being explained as a biological phenomenon -- as physical cause and effect.
Again: There is not the slightest bit of evidence supporting the idea of a sentient universe. And there is a significant body of evidence that strongly suggests the contrary.
Now. I can hear the chorus already. "How can you prove that? You don't know that with absolute certainty! God could be intervening in evolution -- just in ways that are indistinguishable from natural selection! There could be some sort of immaterial soul interacting with the biological process of consciousness, in ways we don't yet perceive! There could be some weird form of consciousness that we don't understand, one that's generated by stars and planets and lifeless astronomical bodies! You can't prove with absolute certainty that there isn't! Your non-belief is just an article of faith!"
No. We can't prove that with 100% certainty.
But neither can we prove with 100% certainty that the universe wasn't created 6,000 years ago, by a god who deliberately planted the fossil record and the genetic record and the geological record and the laws of atomic decay, all to test our faith. (Or all of which was planted by Satan, to trick us and tempt us into disbelief.) We can't prove with 100% certainty that communion wafers don't turn into Christ's physical body on contact with the human digestive system. Hell, we can't prove with 100% certainty that the earth goes around the sun, and that all our senses and logical abilities haven't been fooled by some trickster god into thinking that it does.
And it doesn't matter. As I've said many times: 100% unshakeable certainty is not the objective here. Reasonable plausibility, supported by carefully gathered and rigorously tested positive evidence, is the objective. And there is no reason to apply the "Reasonable plausibility supported by evidence" standard to the belief in young-earth creationism... and still apply the "If you can't disprove it with 100% certainty, then it's still reasonable for me to believe it" standard to the beliefs in theistic evolution, and an immaterial soul, and a sentient universe.
If you're going to accept that young-earth creationism has been conclusively disproven by a mountain of scientific evidence, even though we acknowledge a .00001% hypothetical possibility that it might be true... then, if you're going to be consistent, you have to apply that same standard, that same willingness to accept the reasonable conclusions of science about which ideas are and are not plausible, to all religious beliefs.
Including your own.
Especially your own.
Not everything is a matter of opinion or perspective. Not everything can turn into something completely different if you just look at it differently. Some things are either true or not true. It is not true that the universe was created 6,000 years ago. It is not true that the sun goes around the earth. And it is not true that evolution is shaped by the hand of God, or that consciousness is animated by an immaterial soul, or that the universe is sentient.
These things aren't true for exactly the same reason that young-earth creationism isn't true. They aren't true because the evidence simply doesn't support them. They aren't true because the evidence actively contradicts them.
If you're going to be a moderate or progressive religious believer; if you're going to be a religious believer who respects and supports science instead of treating it as the enemy; if you're going to be a religious believer who wants their beliefs to at least not be directly contradictory with the available scientific evidence... then you need to be willing to consider the possibility that your own beliefs are every bit as contradicted by that evidence as the beliefs of the fundamentalist crazies.
And if the answer is "yup, that belief seems to be contradicted by the evidence"... then you need to be willing to let go of that belief.
| October 28, 2009
There's No Hope for Afghanistan If Women Aren't Involved
by Ann Jones, The Nation.
published in AlterNet: The Mix is the Message
What happens to women in Afghanistan is not merely a "women's issue." It is the central issue of stability, development and durable peace.
Gen. Stanley McChrystal says he needs more American troops to salvage something like winning in Afghanistan and restore the country to "normal life." Influential senators want to increase spending to train more soldiers for the Afghan National Army and Police. The Feminist Majority recently backed off a call for more troops, but it continues to warn against U.S. withdrawal as an abandonment of Afghan women and girls. Nearly everyone assumes troops bring greater security; and whether your touchstone is military victory, national interest or the welfare of women and girls, "security" seems a good thing.
I confess that I agonize over competing proposals now commanding President Obama's attention because I've spent years in Afghanistan working with women, and I'm on their side. When the Feminist Majority argues that withdrawing American forces from Afghanistan will return the Taliban to power and women to house arrest, I see in my mind's eye the faces of women I know and care about. Yet an unsentimental look at the record reveals that for all the fine talk of women's rights since the U.S. invasion, equal rights for Afghan women have been illusory all along, a polite feel-good fiction that helped to sell the American enterprise at home and cloak in respectability the misbegotten government we installed in Kabul. That it is a fiction is borne out by recent developments in Afghanistan -- President Karzai's approving a new family law worthy of the Taliban, and American acquiescence in Karzai's new law and, initially, his theft of the presidential election -- and by the systematic intimidation, murder or exile of one Afghan woman after another who behaves as if her rights were real and worth fighting for.
Last summer in Kabul, where "security" already suffocates anything remotely suggesting normal life, I asked an Afghan colleague at an international NGO if she was ever afraid. I had learned of threatening phone calls and night letters posted on the gates of the compound, targeting Afghan women who work within. Three of our colleagues in another city had been kidnapped by the militia of a warlord, formerly a member of the Karzai government, and at the time, as we learned after their release, were being beaten, tortured and threatened with death if they continued to work.
"Fear?" my colleague said. "Yes. We live with fear. In our work here with women we are always under threat. Personally, I work every day in fear, hoping to return safely at the end of the day to my home. To my child and my husband."
"And the future?" I said. "What do you worry about?"
"I think about the upcoming election," she said. "I fear that nothing will change. I fear that everything will stay the same."
Then Karzai gazetted the Shiite Personal Status Law, and it was suddenly clear that even as we were hoping for the best, everything had actually grown much worse for women.
Why is this important? At this critical moment, as Obama tries to weigh options against our national security interests, his advisers can't be bothered with -- as one U.S. military officer put it to me -- "the trivial fate of women." As for some hypothetical moral duty to protect the women of Afghanistan -- that's off the table. Yet it is precisely that dismissive attitude, shared by Afghan and many American men alike, that may have put America's whole Afghan enterprise wrong in the first place. Early on, Kofi Annan, then United Nations secretary general, noted that the condition of Afghan women was "an affront to all standards of dignity, equality and humanity."
Annan took the position, set forth in 2000 in the landmark UN Security Council Resolution 1325, that real conflict resolution, reconstruction and lasting peace cannot be achieved without the full participation of women every step of the way. Karzai gave lip service to the idea, saying in 2002, "We are determined to work to improve the lot of women after all their suffering under the narrow-minded and oppressive rule of the Taliban." But he has done no such thing. And the die had already been cast: of the twenty-three Afghan notables invited to take part in the Bonn Conference in December 2001, only two were women. Among ministers appointed to the new Karzai government, there were only two; one, the minister for women's affairs, was warned not to do "too much."
The Bonn agreement expressed "appreciation to the Afghan mujahidin who...have defended the independence, territorial integrity and national unity of the country and have played a major role in the struggle against terrorism and oppression, and whose sacrifice has now made them both heroes of jihad and champions of peace, stability and reconstruction of their beloved homeland, Afghanistan." On the other hand, their American- and Saudi-sponsored "sacrifice" had also made many of them war criminals in the eyes of their countrymen. Most Afghans surveyed between 2002 and 2004 by the Afghan Independent Human Rights Commission thought the leaders of the mujahedeen were war criminals who should be brought to justice (75 percent) and removed from public office (90 percent). The mujahedeen, after all, were Islamist extremists just like the Taliban, though less disciplined than the Taliban, who had risen up to curb the violent excesses of the mujahedeen and then imposed excesses of their own. That's the part American officials seem unwilling to admit: that the mujahedeen warlords of the Karzai government and the oppressive Taliban are brothers under the skin. From the point of view of women today, America's friends and America's enemies in Afghanistan are the same kind of guys.
Though women were excluded from the Bonn process, they did seem to make strides in the first years after the fall of the Taliban. In 2004 a new constitution declared, "The citizens of Afghanistan -- whether man or woman -- have equal rights and duties before the law." Westerners greeted that language as a confirmation of gender equality, and to this day women's "equal rights" are routinely cited in Western media as evidence of great progress. Yet not surprisingly, Afghan officials often interpret the article differently. To them, having "equal rights and duties" is nothing like being equal. The first chief justice of the Afghan Supreme Court, formerly a mullah in a Pakistani madrassa, once explained to me that men have a right to work while women have a right to obey their husbands. The judiciary -- an ultraconservative, inadequate, incompetent and notoriously corrupt branch of government -- interprets the constitution by its own lights. And the great majority of women across the country, knowing little or nothing of rights, live now much as they did under the Taliban -- except back then there were no bombs.
In any case, the constitution provides that no law may contravene the principles of Sharia law. In effect, mullahs and judges have always retained the power to decide at any moment what "rights" women may enjoy, or not; and being poorly educated, they're likely to factor into the judgment their own idiosyncratic notions of Sharia, plus tribal customary laws and the size of proffered bribes. Thus, although some women still bravely exercise liberty and work with some success to improve women's condition, it should have been clear from the get-go that Afghan women possess no inalienable rights at all. Western legal experts who train Afghan judges and lawyers in "the law" as we conceive it often express frustration that Afghans just don't get it; Afghan judges think the same of them.
The paper foundations of Afghan women's rights go beyond national law to include the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the International Treaty of Civil and Political Rights, and the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW). All these international agreements that delineate and establish human rights around the world were quickly ratified by the Karzai government. CEDAW, however, requires ratifying governments to submit periodic reports on their progress in eliminating discrimination; Afghanistan's first report, due in 2004, hasn't appeared yet. That's one more clue to the Karzai government's real attitude toward women -- like Karzai's sequestration of his own wife, a doctor with much-needed skills who is kept locked up at home.
Given this background, there should have been no surprise when President Karzai first signed off in March on the Shiite Personal Status Law or, as it became known in the Western press, the Marital Rape Law. The bill had been percolating in the ultraconservative Ministry of Justice ever since the Iranian-backed Ayatollah Asif Mohseni submitted it in 2007. Then last February Karzai apparently saw the chance to swap passage of the SPSL for the votes of the Shiites -- that is, the Hazara minority, 15-20 percent of the population. It was just one of many deals Karzai consolidated as he kept to the palace while rival presidential candidates stomped the countryside. The SPSL passed without alteration through the Parliamentary Judicial Committee, another little bunch of ultraconservative men. When it reached the floor of Parliament, it was too late to object. Some women members succeeded in getting the marriageable age for girls -- age 9 -- revised to 16. Calling it victory, they settled for that. The Supreme Court reviewed the bill and pronounced it constitutionally correct on grounds the justices did not disclose.
The rights Afghan women stood to lose on paper and in real life were set forth in the SPSL. Parliamentarian Shinkai Karokhail alerted a reporter at the Guardian, and the law was denounced around the world for legalizing marital rape by authorizing a husband to withhold food from a wife who fails to provide sexual service at least once every four days. (The interval assumes the husband has four wives, a practice permitted by Islam and legalized by this legislation.) But that's not all the law does. It also denies or severely limits women's rights to inherit, divorce or have guardianship of their own children. It forbids women to marry without permission and legalizes forced marriage. It legalizes marriage to and rape of minors. It gives men control of all their female relatives. It denies women the right to leave home except for "legitimate purposes" -- in effect giving men the power to deny women access to work, education, healthcare, voting and whatever they please. It generally treats women as property, and it considers rape of women or minors outside marriage as a property crime, requiring restitution to be made to the owner, usually the father or husband, rather than a crime against the victim. All these provisions are contained in twenty-six articles of the original bill that have been rendered into English and analyzed by Western legal experts. No doubt other regressive rules will be discovered if the 223 additional articles of the law ever appear in English.
In April a few women parliamentarians spoke out against the law. A group of women, estimated to number about 300, staged a peaceful protest in the street, protected by Kabul's police officers from an angry mob of hundreds of men who pelted them with obscenities and stones, shouting, "Death to the enemies of Islam!" Under pressure from international diplomats -- President Obama called the law "abhorrent" -- Karzai withdrew it for review. The international press reported the women's victory. In June, when a large group of women MPs and activists met with Karzai, he assured them the bill had been amended and would be submitted to Parliament again after the elections.
Instead, on July 27, without public announcement, Karzai entered the SPSL, slightly revised but with principal provisions intact, into the official gazette, thereby making it law. Apparently he was betting that with the presidential election only three weeks away, the United States and its allies would not complain again. After all, they had about $500 million (at least half of that American money) riding on a "credible" outcome; and they couldn't afford the cost of a runoff or the political limbo of an interregnum. In August, Brad Adams, Asia director of Human Rights Watch, observed that such "barbaric laws were supposed to have been relegated to the past with the overthrow of the Taliban in 2001, yet Karzai has revived them and given them his official stamp of approval." No American official said a word.
But what about all the women parliamentarians so often cited as evidence of the progress of Afghan women? With 17 percent of the upper house and 27 percent of the lower -- eighty-five women in all -- you'd think they could have blocked the SPSL. But that didn't happen, for many reasons. Many women parliamentarians are mere extensions of the warlords who financed their campaigns and tell them how to vote: always in opposition to women's rights. Most non-Shiite women took little interest in the bill, believing that it applied only to the Shiite minority. Although Hazara women have long been the freest in the country and the most active in public life, some of them argued that it is better to have a bad law than none at all because, as one Hazara MP told me, "without a written law, men can do whatever they want."
The human rights division of the UN's Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) published a report in early July, before the SPSL became law, documenting the worsening position of Afghan women, the rising violence against them and the silence of international and Afghan officials who could defend them. The researchers' most surprising finding is this: considering the risks of life outside the home and the support women receive within it, "there is no clear distinction between rural and urban women." Commentators on Afghanistan, myself included, have assumed -- somewhat snobbishly, it now appears -- that while illiterate women in the countryside might be treated no better than animals, educated urban Afghan women blaze a higher trail. The debacle of the Shiite Personal Status Law explodes that myth.
The UNAMA report attributes women's worsening position in Afghan society to the violence the war engenders on two domestic fronts: the public stage and the home. The report is dedicated to the memory of Sitara Achakzai, a member of the Kandahar Provincial Council and outspoken advocate of women's rights, who was shot to death on April 12, soon after being interviewed by the UNAMA researchers. She "knew her life was in danger," they report. "But like many other Afghan women such as Malalai Kakar, the highest-ranking female police officer in Kandahar killed in September 2008, Sitara Achakzai had consciously decided to keep fighting to end the abuse of Afghan women." Malalai Kakar, 40, mother of six, had headed a team of ten policewomen handling cases of domestic violence.
In 2005 Kim Sengupta, a reporter with the London Independent, interviewed five Afghan women activists; by October 2008 three of them had been murdered. A fourth, Zarghuna Kakar (no relation to Malalai), a member of the Kandahar Provincial Council, had left the country after she and her family were attacked and her husband was killed. She said she had pleaded with Ahmed Wali Karzai, head of the Kandahar Provincial Council, for protection; but he told her she "should have thought about what may happen" before she stood for election. Kakar told the reporter, "It was his brother [President Karzai], the Americans, and the British who told us that we women should get involved in political life. Of course, now I wish I hadn't."
Women learn to pull their punches. MPs in Kabul confessed that they are afraid of the fundamentalist warlords who control the Parliament; so they censor themselves and keep silent. One said, "Most of the time women don't dare even say a word about sensitive Islamic issues, because they are afraid of being labeled as blasphemous." Many women MPs have publicly declared their intention to quit at the end of the term. Women journalists also told UNAMA that they "refrain from criticizing warlords and other power brokers, or covering topics that are deemed contentious such as women's rights."
Other women targeted for attack are civil servants, employees of international and national organizations, including the UN, healthcare workers and women in "immoral" professions -- which include acting, singing, appearing on television and journalism. When popular Tolo TV presenter Shaima Rezayee, 24, was forced out of her job in 2005, she said "things are not getting better.... We have made some gains, but there are a lot of people who want to take it all back. They are not even Taliban, they are here in Kabul." Soon after, she was shot and killed. Zakia Zaki, 35, a teacher and radio journalist who produced programs on women's rights, was shot to death in her home in Parwan Province on June 6, 2007. Actress Parwin Mushtakhel fled the country last spring after her husband was gunned down outside their house, punished for his failure to keep her confined. When the Taliban fell, she thought things were getting better, but "the atmosphere has changed; day by day women can work less and less." Setara Hussainzada, the singer from Herat who appeared on the Afghan version of American Idol (and in the documentary Afghan Star) also fled for her life.
Threats against women in public life are intended to make them go home -- to "unliberate" themselves through voluntary house arrest. But if public life is dangerous, so is life at home. Most Afghan women -- 87 percent, according to Unifem -- are beaten on a regular basis. The UNAMA researchers looked into the unmentionable subject of rape and found it to be "an everyday occurrence in all parts of the country" and "a human rights problem of profound proportions." Outside marriage, the rapists are often members or friends of the family. Young girls forced to marry old men are raped by the old man's brothers and sons. Women and children -- young boys are also targets -- are raped by people who have charge of them: police, prison guards, soldiers, orphanage or hospital staff members. The female victims of rape are mostly between the ages of 7 and 30; many are between 10 and 20, but some are as young as 3; and most women are dead by 42.
Women rarely tell anyone because the blame and shame of rape falls on them. Customary law permits an accused rapist to make restitution to the victim's father, but because the question of consent does not figure in the law of sexual relations, the victim is guilty of zina, or adultery, and can be punished accordingly: sent to jail or murdered by family members to preserve family honor. The great majority of women and girls in prison at any time are charged with zina; most have been raped and/or have run away from home to escape violence. It's probably safe to say, in the absence of statistics, that police -- who, incidentally, are trained by the American for-profit contractor DynCorp -- spend more time tracking down runaway women and girls than real criminals. Rapists, on the other hand, as UNAMA investigators found, are often "directly linked to power brokers who are, effectively, above the law and enjoy immunity from arrest as well as immunity from social condemnation." Last year Karzai pardoned political thugs who had gang-raped a woman before witnesses, using a bayonet, and who had somehow been convicted despite their good connections. UNAMA researchers conclude: "The current reality is that...women are denied their most fundamental human rights and risk further violence in the course of seeking justice for crimes perpetrated against them." For women, "human rights are values, standards, and entitlements that exist only in theory and at times, not even on paper."
Caught in the maelstrom of personal, political and military violence, Afghan women worry less about rights than security. But they complain that the men who plan the country's future define "security" in ways that have nothing to do with them. The conventional wisdom, which I have voiced myself, holds that without security, development cannot take place. Hence, our troops must be fielded in greater numbers, and Afghan troops trained faster, and private for-profit military contractors hired at fabulous expense, all to bring security. But the rule doesn't hold in Afghanistan precisely because of that equation of "security" with the presence of armed men. Wherever troops advance in Afghanistan, women are caught in the cross-fire, killed, wounded, forced to flee or locked up once again, just as they were in the time of the Taliban. Suggesting an alternative to the "major misery" of warfare, Sweden's former Defense Minister Thage Peterson calls for Swedish soldiers to leave the "military adventure" in Afghanistan while civilians stay to help rebuild the country. But Sweden's soldiers are few, and its aid organizations among the best in the world. For the United States even to lean toward such a plan would mean reasserting civilian control of the military and restoring the American aid program (USAID), hijacked by private for-profit contractors: two goals worth fighting for.
Today, most American so-called development aid is delivered not by USAID, but by the military itself through a system of Provincial Reconstruction Teams (PRTs), another faulty idea of former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld. Soldiers, unqualified as aid workers and already busy soldiering, now shmooze with village "elders" (often the wrong ones) and bring "development," usually a costly road convenient to the PRT base, impossible for Afghans to maintain and inaccessible to women locked up at home. Recent research conducted by respected Afghanistan hands found that this aid actually fuels "massive corruption"; it fails to win hearts and minds not because we spend too little but because we spend too much, too fast, without a clue. Meanwhile, the Taliban bring the things Afghans say they need -- better security, better governance and quick, hard-edged justice. U.S. government investigators are looking into allegations that aid funds appropriated for women's projects have been diverted to PRTs for this more important work of winning hearts and minds with tarmac. But the greatest problem with routing aid through the military is this: what passes for development is delivered from men to men, affirming in the strongest possible terms the misogynist conviction that women do not matter. You'll recognize it as the same belief that, in the Obama administration's strategic reappraisal of Afghanistan, pushed women off the table.
So there's no point talking about how women and girls might be affected by the strategic military options remaining on Obama's plate. None of them bode well for women. To send more troops is to send more violence. To withdraw is to invite the Taliban. To stay the same is not possible, now that Karzai has stolen the election in plain sight and made a mockery of American pretensions to an interest in anything but our own skin and our own pocketbook. But while men plan the onslaught of more men, it's worth remembering what "normal life" once looked like in Afghanistan, well before the soldiers came. In the 1960s and '70s, before the Soviet invasion -- when half the country's doctors, more than half the civil servants and three-quarters of the teachers were women -- a peaceful Afghanistan advanced slowly into the modern world through the efforts of all its people. What changed all that was not only the violence of war but the accession to power of the most backward men in the country: first the Taliban, now the mullahs and mujahedeen of the fraudulent, corrupt, Western-designed government that stands in opposition to "normal life" as it is lived in the developed world and was once lived in their own country. What happens to women is not merely a "women's issue"; it is the central issue of stability, development and durable peace. No nation can advance without women, and no enterprise that takes women off the table can come to much good.
| November 6, 2009
Why We Need Bees and More People Becoming Organic Beekeepers
by Makenna Goodman, Chelsea Green Publishing.
published in AlterNet: The Mix is the Message, Evironment
Bees teach us how to live our life in a way that by taking what we need from the world around us, we leave the world better than we found it.
MG: What are the biggest obstacles faced by organic beekeepers today?
RC: The biggest challenge beekeepers face today is the same challenge facing all of Western industrial civilization…
In his 1980 book, Overshoot, William Catton, Jr. states, "Infinitesimal actions, if they are numerous and cumulative, can become enormously consequential." This statement refers to the problem of cumulative impacts where actions that are harmless or tolerable at the individual level can degrade the planets life support systems if thousands or millions of people do them. One person fertilizing their lawn near Chesapeake Bay for example makes no significant impact, but when thousands do it the bay becomes degraded and Blue Crab populations decline precipitously.
When it comes to chemicals the current regulatory approach to controlling pollution does not deal with global pollution. The main focus has instead been on the maximally exposed individual. In the United States, we conduct risk assessments (used when conducting "cost-benefit" analyses) to evaluate the risk to a hypothetical "maximally exposed" individual. If the threat to that individual (or honey bee) is found to fall within acceptable limits, then regulation does not occur and these so-called acceptable amounts of contamination are allowed to be released forever after. Then another risk assessment and cost benefit analysis gives the go-ahead to another acceptable release or use of a different toxic substance or harmful activity. Then another and another. What we have not started to look at until recently is the total impact of all these acceptable risks. Our society has assumed that it could tolerate unlimited small amounts of harm as a byproduct of economic growth. It is only when a particular activity is demonstrated to fail to provide a net benefit to society that most of our property and environmental laws are permitted to interfere with economic activity.
Biochemist and lawyer, Joseph H. Guth, legal director of the Science and Environmental Health Network, has analyzed this situation and offered solutions in several scholarly papers one of which was published in the Barry Law Review, titled "Cumulative Impacts: Death-Knell for Cost-Benefit Analysis In Environmental Decisions." In this paper Guth points out that our laws only forbid damage when the perceived benefits are not considered to outweigh the cost or destruction to the environment or human health. The law also puts the burden of proof that an activity is creating more harm than good on the injured party, or the government. If the victim (or the government) can not meet the burden of proof, then the damaging action is allowed to continue by default. This burden of proof transforms doubt, and missing scientific information into a barrier to legal protection for the environment (and honey bees). The default presumption is that the benefits of economic activity always outweigh the costs unless a specific cost-benefit analysis (often based upon incomplete or faulty research conducted by those that stand to profit) can show otherwise.
According to Joe Guth, "These laws do not permit regulators broadly to take account of what is happening to the world around them. They embed regulators in a decision-making structure that may seem scientific but in fact is profoundly unscientific because it prevents them from responding to the ever more detailed findings by the world scientific community that we are overshooting the Earth's ecological capacities. Rooted in the assumption that ecological overshoot does not occur, our current statutes are incapable of containing the cumulative scale of ecological damage… It is an approach that has become outdated because it is based on assumptions that are no longer valid."
Guth sums up by stating, "To maintain a functioning biosphere in which humans can prosper, the law must turn its attention to the problem of cumulative impacts. The law will have to abandon its use of cost-benefit analysis to justify individual environmental impacts and instead adopt the goal of maintaining the functioning ecological systems that we are so dependent upon."
In Section II of his "Cumulative Impacts" paper, Joe Guth states that "Our legal system already harbors examples of decision-making structures that establish a principle of standard of environmental quality or human health and do not rely on cost-benefit balancing." and that these examples "show that such legal principles or standards can enable the legal system to contain the growth of cumulative impacts." The cumulative impacts of our culture are destroying the life support systems of the planet and the bees are simply acting as the proverbial "canary in the coal mine." As a result we don't have an environmental problem that we can "solve" we have a situation we must learn to adjust to. The actions that needed to be taken to rectify our predicament should have been taken years ago. At this point the damage is done. The only real question left is whether our actions today are going to result in our great grandchildren living a difficult life in a crippled world that is a shadow of the world we live in today, or are we going to inflict damage that is so devastating that we will have created a total catastrophe for future generations?
MG: Describe briefly beekeeping as a business. How much energy do you focus on honey production?
RC: Honey production is not the focus of my beekeeping business at all. The focus is on caring for the honey bees and keeping the colonies as healthy and vibrant as possible. This means primarily reducing stress on the bees. In fact the only consistent observation that has been made of hives suffering from Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD) is that the bees in infected colonies are always suffering from stress that has caused the bee's immune systems to collapse. While there are numerous stresses that the bees must deal with that we cannot directly control (see below), there are numerous other stresses on the hive that we do have control over. Such stressors include reducing chemical contaminants in the hive, eliminating the presence of antibiotics in the hive, making sure that the bees are fed a healthy diet of honey and pollen from a wide variety of plants and that the hives have access to clean uncontaminated water. When the bees health needs are taken care of, a honey harvest tends to be the natural result.
MG: Let's say I'm an aspiring small-scale farmer, or beginning life on a homestead, or merely thinking of expanding my urban garden. Why should I keep bees, in terms of honey production, and their pollination benefits, etc?
RC: The biggest benefit honey bees provide is pollination. Pollination fees are what is keeping the beekeeping industry alive today. Honey is really a byproduct of pollination. Why should anybody keep bees? As suggested above, the life support systems of our planet are collapsing. The forests are disappearing, desert regions are growing, the climate is shifting so that some areas are getting dryer, other areas are getting wetter, some areas are getting colder, other areas are getting warmer, and our oceans are collapsing with large dead zones, acidification, giant "islands" of floating plastic debris, collapsing fisheries, and ocean animals that are dying in greater numbers every day from cancer. My observation is that it is our industrial civilization that is, if not the actual cause of all this destruction, it is certainly contributing to the devastation. As a member of this society then, I am partly responsible and part of the problem. This is a wonderful thing, for if I am part of the problem, then I have the responsibility and am empowered to be part of the solution.
One of the greatest lessons we learn from the honey bee is in observing how they go about making their "living" here on earth. As they go about their business collecting pollen, nectar, propolis and water (everything they need to survive) they do not harm or kill anything in the process. Unless they feel threatened and are forced to defend themselves, not so much as a leaf on a plant is harmed. In the process of taking what they need to survive they in turn give back more than they take and make the world a better place through the pollination the plants. This gift of pollination ensures that the plants can thrive and reproduce in vast numbers which produces a large variety of seeds, nuts, berries, fruits and vegetable in all shapes and sizes, which in turn ensures an abundance of food for all the rest of the insects, animals and people on the planet. This is the ultimate lesson that the bees teach us and challenge us to accomplish: How to live our life in a way that by taking what we need from the world around us we leave the world better than we found it.
Each one of us who takes care of the honey bees and makes sure that there is adequate habitat and flowering plants for the native pollinators in our regions, is indirectly through the good work of these pollinators, making the world a better place for all of creation. This is the kind of healing our beautiful blue-green planet needs desperately at this time in history.
| October 27, 2009
6 Signs That the American Empire Is Coming to an Early End
by Michael T. Klare, Tomdispatch.com
published in AlterNet: The Mix is the Message, Evironment
The day of America's global pre-eminence is over. We must face the new global realities.
1. At the global economic summit in Pittsburgh on September 24th and 25th, the leaders of the major industrial powers, the G-7 (G-8 if you include Russia) agreed to turn over responsibility for oversight of the world economy to a larger, more inclusive Group of 20 (G-20), adding in China, India, Brazil, Turkey, and other developing nations. Although doubts have been raised about the ability of this larger group to exercise effective global leadership, there is no doubt that the move itself signaled a shift in the locus of world economic power from the West to the global East and South -- and with this shift, a seismic decline in America's economic preeminence has been registered.
"The G-20's true significance is not in the passing of a baton from the G-7/G-8 but from the G-1, the U.S.," Jeffrey Sachs of Columbia University wrote in the Financial Times. "Even during the 33 years of the G-7 economic forum, the U.S. called the important economic shots." Declining American leadership over these last decades was obscured by the collapse of the Soviet Union and an early American lead in information technology, Sachs also noted, but there is now no mistaking the shifting of economic power from the United States to China and other rising economic dynamos.
2. According to news reports, America's economic rivals are conducting secret (and not-so-secret) meetings to explore a diminished role for the U.S. dollar -- fast losing its value -- in international trade. Until now, the use of the dollar as the international medium of exchange has given the United States a significant economic advantage: it can simply print dollars to meet its international obligations while other nations must convert their own currencies into dollars, often incurring significant added costs. Now, however, many major trading countries -- among them China, Russia, Japan, Brazil, and the Persian Gulf oil countries -- are considering the use of the Euro, or a "basket" of currencies, as a new medium of exchange. If adopted, such a plan would accelerate the dollar's precipitous fall in value and further erode American clout in international economic affairs.
One such discussion reportedly took place this summer at a summit meeting of the BRIC countries. Just a concept a year ago, when the very idea of BRIC was concocted by the chief economist at Goldman Sachs, the BRIC consortium became a flesh-and-blood reality this June when the leaders of the four countries held an inaugural meeting in Yekaterinburg, Russia.
The very fact that Brazil, Russia, India, and China chose to meet as a group was considered significant, as they jointly possess about 43% of the world's population and are expected to account for 33% of the world's gross domestic product by 2030 -- about as much as the United States and Western Europe will claim at that time. Although the BRIC leaders decided not to form a permanent body like the G-7 at this stage, they did agree to coordinate efforts to develop alternatives to the dollar and to reform the International Monetary Fund in such a way as to give non-Western countries a greater voice.
3. On the diplomatic front, Washington has been rebuffed by both Russia and China in its drive to line up support for increased international pressure on Iran to cease its nuclear enrichment program. One month after President Obama cancelled plans to deploy an anti-ballistic missile system in Eastern Europe in an apparent bid to secure Russian backing for a tougher stance toward Tehran, top Russian leaders are clearly indicating that they have no intention of endorsing strong new sanctions on Iran. "Threats, sanctions, and threats of pressure in the current situation, we are convinced, would be counterproductive," declared the Russian foreign minister, Sergey V. Lavrov, following a meeting with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in Moscow on October 13th. The following day, Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin said that the threat of sanctions was "premature." Given the political risks Obama took in canceling the missile program -- a step widely condemned by Republicans in Washington -- Moscow's quick dismissal of U.S. pleas for cooperation on the Iranian enrichment matter can only be interpreted as a further sign of waning American influence.
4. Exactly the same inference can be drawn from a high-level meeting in Beijing on October 15th between Chinese Prime Minister Wen Jiabao and Iran's first vice president, Mohammed Reza Rahimi. "The Sino-Iran relationship has witnessed rapid development as the two countries' leaders have had frequent exchanges, and cooperation in trade and energy has widened and deepened," Wen said at the Great Hall of the People. Coming at a time when the United States is engaged in a vigorous diplomatic drive to persuade China and Russia, among others, to reduce their trade ties with Iran as a prelude to toughened sanctions, the Chinese statement can only be considered a pointed rebuff of Washington.
5. From Washington's point of view, efforts to secure international support for the allied war effort in Afghanistan have also met with a strikingly disappointing response. In what can only be considered a trivial and begrudging vote of support for the U.S.-led war effort, British Prime Minister Gordon Brown announced on October 14th that Britain would add more troops to the British contingent in that country -- but only 500 more, and only if other European nations increase their own military involvement, something he undoubtedly knows is highly unlikely. So far, this tiny, provisional contingent represents the sum total of additional troops the Obama administration has been able to pry out of America's European allies, despite a sustained diplomatic drive to bolster the combined NATO force in Afghanistan. In other words, even America's most loyal and obsequious ally in Europe no longer appears willing to carry the burden for what is widely seen as yet another costly and debilitating American military adventure in the Greater Middle East.
6. Finally, in a move of striking symbolic significance, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) passed over Chicago (as well as Madrid and Tokyo) to pick Rio de Janeiro to be the host of the 2016 summer Olympics, the first time a South American nation was selected for the honor. Until the Olympic vote took place, Chicago was considered a strong contender, especially since former Chicago resident Barack Obama personally appeared in Copenhagen to lobby the IOC. Nonetheless, in a development that shocked the world, Chicago not only lost out, but was the city eliminated in the very first round of voting.
"Brazil went from a second-class country to a first-class country, and today we began to receive the respect we deserve," said Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva at a victory celebration in Copenhagen after the vote. "I could die now and it already would have been worth it." Few said so, but in the course of the Olympic decision-making process the U.S. was summarily and pointedly demoted from sole superpower to instant also-ran, a symbolic moment on a planet entering a new age.
On Being an Ordinary Country
These are only a few examples of recent developments which indicate, to this author, that the day of America's global preeminence has already come to an end, years before the American intelligence community expected. It's increasingly clear that other powers -- even our closest allies -- are increasingly pursuing independent foreign policies, no matter what pressure Washington tries to bring to bear.
Of course, none of this means that, for some time to come, the U.S. won't retain the world's largest economy and, in terms of sheer destructiveness, its most potent military force. Nevertheless, there is no doubt that the strategic environment in which American leaders must make critical decisions, when it comes to the nation's vital national interests, has changed dramatically since the onset of the global economic crisis.
Even more important, President Obama and his senior advisers are, it seems, reluctantly beginning to reshape U.S. foreign policy with the new global reality in mind. This appears evident, for example, in the administration's decision to revisit U.S. strategy on Afghanistan.
It was only in March, after all, that the president embraced a new counterinsurgency-oriented strategy in that country, involving a buildup of U.S. boots on the ground and a commitment to protracted efforts to win hearts and minds in Afghan villages where the Taliban was resurgent. It was on this basis that he fired the incumbent Afghan War commander, General David D. McKiernan, replacing him with General Stanley A. McChrystal, considered a more vigorous proponent of counterinsurgency. When, however, McChrystal presented Obama with the price tag for the implementation of this strategy -- 40,000 to 80,000 additional troops (over and above the 20,000-odd extra troops only recently committed to the fight) -- many in the president's inner circle evidently blanched.
Not only will such a large deployment cost the U.S. treasury hundreds of billions of dollars it can ill afford, but the strains it is likely to place on the Army and Marine Corps are likely to be little short of unbearable after years of multiple tours and stress in Iraq. This price would be more tolerable, of course, if America's allies would take up more of the burden, but they are ever less willing to do so.
Undoubtedly, the leaders of Russia and China are not entirely unhappy to see the United States exhaust its financial and military resources in Afghanistan. Under these circumstances, it is hardly surprising that Vice President Joe Biden, among others, is calling for a new turn in U.S. policy, foregoing a counterinsurgency approach and opting instead for a less costly "counter-terrorism" strategy aimed, in part, at crushing Al Qaeda in Pakistan -- using drone aircraft and Special Forces, rather than large numbers of U.S. troops (while leaving troop levels in Afghanistan relatively unchanged).
It is too early to predict how the president's review of U.S. strategy in Afghanistan will play out, but the fact that he did not immediately embrace the McChrystal plan and has allowed Biden such free rein to argue his case suggests that he may be coming to recognize the folly of expanding America's military commitments abroad at a time when its global preeminence is waning.
One senses Obama's caution in other recent moves. Although he continues to insist that the acquisition of nuclear weapons by Iran is impermissible and that the use of force to prevent this remains an option, he has clearly moved to minimize the likelihood that this option -- which would also be plagued by recalcitrant "allies" -- will ever be employed.
On the other side of the coin, he has given fresh life to American diplomacy, seeking improved ties with Moscow and approving renewed diplomatic contact with such previously pariah states as Burma, Sudan, and Syria. This, too, reflects a reality of our changing world: that the holier-than-thou, bullying stance adopted by the Bush administration toward these and other countries for almost eight years rarely achieved anything. Think of it as an implicit acknowledgement that the U.S. is now descending from its status as the globe's "sole superpower" to that of an ordinary country. This, after all, is what ordinary countries do; they engage other countries in diplomatic discourse, whether they like their current governments or not.
So, welcome to the world of 2025. It doesn't look like the world of our recent past, when the United States stood head and shoulders above all other nations in stature, and it doesn't comport well with Washington's fantasies of global power since the Soviet Union collapsed in 1991. But it is reality.
For many Americans, the loss of that preeminence may be a source of discomfort, or even despair. On the other hand, don't forget the advantages to being an ordinary country like any other country: Nobody expects Canada, or France, or Italy to send another 40,000 troops to Afghanistan, on top of the 68,000 already there and the 120,000 still in Iraq. Nor does anyone expect those countries to spend $925 billion in taxpayer money to do so -- the current estimated cost of both wars, according to the National Priorities Project.
The question remains: How much longer will Washington feel that Americans can afford to subsidize a global role that includes garrisoning much of the planet and fighting distant wars in the name of global security, when the American economy is losing so much ground to its competitors? This is the dilemma President Obama and his advisers must confront in the altered world of 2025.
| October 23, 2009
|| Confused About All the Climate Talk and the Copenhagen Summit? Here's the Skinny: Five Things You Should Know
by Tara Lohan
published in AlterNet: The Mix is the Message, Evironment
The who, what, where, when and why about COP 15, which strangely means: the "Council of Parties."
1. What the heck is it?
COP15 is the 15th meeting of the Conference of the Parties, the highest body of the United Nations Climate Change Convention, and it will take place this year Dec. 7-18. There will be 192 countries participating and a whole bunch of nongovernmental organizations, as well. The event will be in Copenhagen and is hosted by the Danish government. COP14 was in Poland last year.
One of the most well-known COP meetings was COP3 in Kyoto, Japan, in 1997, which resulted in the Kyoto Protocol, a document now signed by over 180 countries and put into action in February 2005. The protocol set binding emissions targets for greenhouse gases (GHG) for 37 industrialized countries and the European Union, committing them to reducing their GHG emissions an average of 5 percent against 1990 levels between 2008 and 2012.
"Recognizing that developed countries are principally responsible for the current high levels of GHG emissions in the atmosphere as a result of more than 150 years of industrial activity, the protocol places a heavier burden on developed nations under the principle of 'common but differentiated responsibilities,'" explains the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change.
The U.S., which contributed over 30 percent of global GHG emissions in 1990 never signed the Kyoto Protocol, and the country's reluctance to commit to international climate change negotiations has long stymied the process. Until, perhaps, now ...
2. What are they trying to accomplish?
The goal of the COP15 is to get as many countries as possible (and particularly big emitters like the U.S.) to enter into a binding agreement to reduce GHG emissions enough to prevent catastrophic results from climate change.
Yvo de Boer, executive secretary of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, told Environment & Energy Publishing that he was hoping four important questions would be answered in Copenhagen:
- How much are the industrialized countries willing to reduce their emissions of greenhouse gases?
- How much major developing countries such as China and India are willing to do to limit the growth of their emissions?
- How is the help needed by developing countries to engage in reducing their emissions and adapting to the impacts of climate change going to be financed?
- How is that money going to be managed?
3. Why does the future of the world depend on it?
This is really serious stuff. The best science tells us that we need immediate action on climate change to prevent catastrophic results. This month the U.N. Environment Program released an updated report following the groundbreaking findings in 2007 by the International Panel on Climate Change that basically said thing are are going to be as bad as the IPCC predicted or worse.
"The pace and the scale of climate change is accelerating, along with the confidence among researchers in their forecasts," UNEP Director Achim Steiner said in the report.
What UNEP found was that we've already committed ourselves to an increase in temperature above pre-industrial levels by 1.4 degrees Celsius by 2100, and if we don't get our acts together soon -- meaning making 25-40 percent reductions in CO2 emissions from 1990 levels by 2020 -- we're looking at 4.3 degrees Celsius increases or worse.
A few degrees may sound like not a big deal, but actually it's quite bad. Here are some details from Matt McDermott at Treehugger to put it in perspective:
That effectively signs the extinction warrant for about half of all animal and plant life on the planet; it means coral reefs are gone due to ocean acidification; it means ice-free summers in the Arctic, sets both Greenland and Antarctica on the melting path to multimeter sea-level rise; and it means the glaciers in the Himalayas are doomed.
In human terms, that means half of all humans will face water shortages; it means widespread starvation in South and East Asia, as water availability plummets and crop yields drop; it means much the same thing in Africa; the Mekong [River] Delta is 20 percent flooded and Ho Chi Minh City is 10-20 percent underwater; the Nile Delta (source of much of Egypt's food) is inundated with saltwater; same thing for most of Bangladesh.
In the United States, it means localized temperature increases (think the Great Plains) of up to 7 degrees Celcius; it means severe water problems in the Sierra Nevada mountains, which supply meltwater to California agriculture; crop yields plummet in the Midwest; insect-borne diseases like dengue fever, historically confined to the tropics, spread to 28 states; coastal cities like Miami, New York, New Orleans and others have to contend with a sea-level rise of more than a meter.
If you want some numbers: By 2030, 500,000 people could die due to climate change -- 99 percent of them in the developing world, which it should be pointed out have historically done very little to cause the problem. Already an estimated 300,000 people are seriously affected by climate change.
In economic terms, by 2030 the global economy could take a $340 billion hit.
Really, we can't put enough pressure on the governments and international organizations meeting in Copenhagen to put politics aside and come up with a truly comprehensive and fair treaty to reduce GHG emissions.
4. Will the U.S. screw it up for everyone again?
Of course that's always a possibility, but there's ample reason to be hopeful that things will turn out differently this year. For one, we've got a president who actually understands the science and appreciates the seriousness of the issue. We've also got Congress lumbering away on a climate bill, although just how effective that bill may end up being is still in question.
It's looking more and more likely that the U.S. won't have passed a comprehensive climate bill before Copenhagen, which is bad news, but does not necessarily spell disaster for the negotiations.
David Fogarty from Reuters explains:
In reality, the U.S. Senate might pass the climate bill in the first part of 2010, allowing President Barack Obama's administration to bring a 2020 target and financing pledges to the table during a major U.N. climate meeting in Bonn [Germany] in June.
At worst, nations would have to wait until annual U.N. climate talks in December 2010.
Of course, if the Senate doesn't get its act together and no bill comes to pass, then there is a glimmer of hope, but it's quite weak. Fogarty writes:
The U.S. Senate votes against the climate bill, but other nations reluctantly go ahead with many measures to fight climate change anyway, hoping the United States will formally join the global effort at some point.
In the worst-case scenario, negotiations start to resemble failed trade talks that repeatedly stall. Nations instead work on bilateral clean-energy and carbon-offset deals that fail to achieve major reductions in the growth of emissions.
The trouble is we are dealing with a very limited time line, so making sure the U.S government is on board and our country is pulling its fair share of the weight is essential. And the sooner, the better.
5. What can I do?
While world leaders will get to make some big decisions behind the negotiating table, that doesn't mean the rest of us should sit idly by. There are a bunch of ways to get involved:
- Call your senator and ask him or her to pass a strong, comprehensive climate bill. With the U.S. committed to cutting GHG emissions, global talks will be off to a much better start.
- You can join forces with people from all over the world on Oct. 24 for the global day of climate action sponsored by Bill McKibben and 350.org. You can find an action near you or start your own. And it doesn't end this weekend. Sign up with 350.org, and you'll get reminders about future actions, science updates and news about how things are going on the climate-change front.
- Join Tck Tck Tck, the largest mobilization demanding action on a climate-change agreement in Copenhagen. The group is bringing together individuals, big NGOs, and local and national groups ranging from the Global Campaign Against Poverty to the Union of Concerned Scientists. Team up with Tck Tck Tck and help to spread the word about what needs to be done at COP15.
- Get engaged. Stay on top of the issue, and help spread the word. Forward stories like this one to your networks. Check Twitter for updates on COP15 and pass along tweets. Become a fan of the COP15 Facebook page and invite your friends.
The best thing to do is get active -- whether it's with a local group working on climate change or an international effort. We need to keep the pressure on world leaders -- here at home and abroad.
McKibben said recently: "Temperatures will continue to go up, and a lot of damage will be done. What we are working for is to prevent change so large that civilization itself will be challenged, and that's still possible (we hope). But only if we get to work right away."
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
The world is in a state of perpetual turmoil. We are worlds within worlds orbiting in and through each other’s 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.
Spiritual Leader of the Global Community
You may use the following short description of myself and the history of the organization.
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.
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
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.
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
Spiritual Leader of the Global Community
Federation of Global Governments
Our policy concerning personal information is simple: we dont show it. That includes phone numbers, fax numbers, addresses and any personal notes.
Please do indicate what you consider a personal note as sometime it is hard to tell.
What we show is the work done by participants and authors, and their email addresses if any. We will show any work concerning issues, email discussions,
opinions, articles, letters, reports, works of art, research papers, discussions and global dialogues, and messages for publication.
And also please note that our computer harddrives will not be containing personal info either. This is because of the damage hackers can do.
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
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
* 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
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:
Spiritual Leader of the Global Community
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
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, God’s 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
Humanity’s 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
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 God’s Plan; and
* enter God’s 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
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
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
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
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.
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 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.
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 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
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
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
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
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
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.
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.
Postal address: 186 Bowlsby Street, Nanaimo, British Columbia, Canada V9R 5K1
Electronic mail: email@example.com