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Volume 8       Issue 7    July  2010
Theme this month:

Politics and Justice without borders:  Earth governance
( see enlargement Politics and Justice without borders:  Earth governance)
Politics and Justice without borders: Earth governance
Artwork by Germain Dufour
June 6, 2010

Table of Contents

This is the way     Message from the Spiritual Leader of the Global Community
Message from the Editor    GIM  Message from the Editor
Politics and Justice without borders: what we stand for Politics and Justice without borders: what we stand for
Message from the President of Global Parliament, the Federation of Global Governments    Message from the President of Earth Government
History of the Global Community organization, Earth Government and the Federation of Global Governments History of the Global Community Organization and Interim Earth Government Since its beginning in 1985, many accomplishments can be claimed by the Global Community: History of the Global Community organization and Earth Government
The Global Community days of celebration or remembering during the year
A reminder of her passing away. Virginie was a great global citizen, and we all owe her something that's forever. GIM  Message from the Editor
Life Day Celebration on May 26. Participate. Life Day Celebration May 26. Participate.
Participate now in Global Dialogue 2010, no fees  Participate now in Global Dialogue 2010
Global Dialogue 2010 Introduction Global Dialogue 2010 Introduction
Global Dialogue 2010 Program  Global Dialogue 2010 Program
Global Dialogue 2010 OVERVIEW of the process   Global Dialogue 2010 OVERVIEW of the process
Global Dialogue 2010 Call for Papers Global Dialogue 2010 Call for Papers

Investigative Report
Previous Press Releases  Index
September 26, 2008

My Short Bio
Germain Dufour
Founder and Spiritual Leader of the Global Community
Earth Government
(short Bio)

Global Law

The Global Community has established a planetary biodiversity zone now under the protection of the Global Protection Agency (GPA). We have declared a moratorium on all development in the zone, including all drilling, military testing, and any other destructive uses of the ecosystems.

The planetary biodiversity zone includes :

  • North Pole region Biodiversity zone in the North Pole region
  • South Pole region
  • all oceans
  • all forests
  • all lakes
  • all rivers and connecting streams
  • all wetlands and grasslands
  • living organisms and ecosystems in all of the above

The people of all nations are required to respect the moratorium until global law has been completed to include regulations to be enforced by the GPA.

Planetary biodiversity zone ( Part III )

Key words: Planetary biodiversity zone, biodiversity zone in the North Pole region, biosphere, rainforest, boreal forest, oceans, Earth ecosystems, global ocean, human activities, global rights, a nation sovereignty, Northwest Passage, North Pole region, criteria for sovereignty, biodiversity zone in the North, Nunavut settlements, Global Community, movement for taxation on natural resources, North America security for all life, Earth is the birth right of all life, Earth ownership, Scale of Human and Earth Rights, Global Law, global citizenship, Kyoto Protocol, global warming, climate change, global symbiotical relationship, Global protection Agency (GPA), GCNA Emergency, Rescue and Relief Centre

Table of contents
    Introduction Introduction
    Global Community concept Global Community concept
    Global rights Global rights
    Global Community criteria for sovereignty Global Community criteria for sovereignty
    Biodiversity zone in the North Pole region Biodiversity zone in the North Pole region
    Planetary biodiversity zone Planetary biodiversity zone
    Benefits of biodiversity Benefits of biodiversity
    Boreal forest Boreal forest
    The Boreal forests are threatened by human activities The Boreal forests are threatened by human activities
    Rainforest Rainforest
    Definition and description Definition and description
    Locations of temperate and tropical rainforests Locations of temperate and tropical rainforests
    Impacts of human activities on rainforest Impacts of human activities on rainforest
    Benefits of rainforest to the Global Community Benefits of rainforest to the Global Community
    Temperate rainforest Temperate rainforest
    Oceans, lakes and streams Oceans, lakes and streams
    Global warming Global warming
    What we must do to protect life and create a planetary biodiversity zone What we must do to protect life and create a planetary biodiversity zone
    Conclusion Conclusion

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


GIM daily proclamations main website

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

Subhankar Bannerjee, Chuck Collins, Federico Fuentes, Jim Hightower, Michael T. Klare, Gautam Navlakha (2), Arundhati Roy, Archbishop Desmond Tutu

Subhankar Bannerjee, Will the Obama Administration Allow Shell Oil to Do to Arctic Waters What BP Did to the Gulf? Will the Obama Administration Allow Shell Oil to Do to Arctic Waters What BP Did to the Gulf?
Chuck Collins, Tax the Wall Street Casino, Tax the Wall Street Casino
Federico Fuentes, Venezuela's Economic Woes? Venezuela's Economic Woes?
Jim Hightower, BP Is a Corporate Criminal,  BP Is a Corporate Criminal
Michael T. Klare, The Coming Era of Energy Disasters, The Coming Era of Energy Disaster
Gautam Navlakha, India's War On People, India's War On People
Gautam Navlakha, Rights And Wrongs Of Armed Resistance, Rights And Wrongs Of Armed Resistance
Arundhati Roy, India's War On People, India's War On People
Archbishop Desmond Tutu, It's Time To Rid The World Of Nuclear Weapons, It's Time To Rid The World Of Nuclear Weapons

Research papers and articles on global issues for this month
 Date sent  Theme or issue  Read
 June 23, 2010   The Coming Era of Energy Disasters
by Michael T. Klare, Countercurrents.org,

BP-Style Extreme Energy Nightmares to Come. Four Scenarios for the Next Energy Mega-Disaster

On June 15th, in their testimony before the House Energy and Commerce Committee, the chief executives of America’s leading oil companies argued that BP’s Deepwater Horizon disaster in the Gulf of Mexico was an aberration -- something that would not have occurred with proper corporate oversight and will not happen again once proper safeguards are put in place. This is fallacious, if not an outright lie. The Deep Horizon explosion was the inevitable result of a relentless effort to extract oil from ever deeper and more hazardous locations. In fact, as long as the industry continues its relentless, reckless pursuit of “extreme energy” -- oil, natural gas, coal, and uranium obtained from geologically, environmentally, and politically unsafe areas -- more such calamities are destined to occur.

At the onset of the modern industrial era, basic fuels were easy to obtain from large, near-at-hand energy deposits in relatively safe and friendly locations. The rise of the automobile and the spread of suburbia, for example, were made possible by the availability of cheap and abundant oil from large reservoirs in California, Texas, and Oklahoma, and from the shallow waters of the Gulf of Mexico. But these and equivalent deposits of coal, gas, and uranium have been depleted. This means the survival of our energy-centric civilization increasingly relies on supplies obtained from risky locations -- deep underground, far at sea, north of the Arctic circle, in complex geological formations, or in unsafe political environments. That guarantees the equivalent of two, three, four, or more Gulf-oil-spill-style disasters in our energy future.

Back in 2005, the CEO of Chevron, David O’Reilly, put the situation about as bluntly as an oil executive could. “One thing is clear,” he said, “the era of easy oil is over. Demand is soaring like never before… At the same time, many of the world’s oil and gas fields are maturing. And new energy discoveries are mainly occurring in places where resources are difficult to extract, physically, economically, and even politically.”

O’Reilly promised then that his firm, like the other energy giants, would do whatever it took to secure this “difficult energy” to satisfy rising global demand. And he proved a man of his word. As a result, BP, Chevron, Exxon, and the rest of the energy giants launched a drive to obtain traditional fuels from hazardous locations, setting the stage for the Gulf of Mexico oil disaster and those sure to follow. As long as the industry stays on this course, rather than undertaking the transition to an alternative energy future, more such catastrophes are inevitable, no matter how sophisticated the technology or scrupulous the oversight.

The only question is: What will the next Deepwater Horizon disaster look like (other than another Deepwater Horizon disaster)? The choices are many, but here are four possible scenarios for future Gulf-scale energy calamities. None of these is inevitable, but each has a plausible basis in fact.

Scenario 1: Newfoundland -- Hibernia Platform Destroyed by Iceberg

Approximately 190 miles off the coast of Newfoundland in what locals call “Iceberg Alley” sits the Hibernia oil platform, the world’s largest offshore drilling facility. Built at a cost of some $5 billion, Hibernia consists of a 37,000-ton “topsides” facility mounted on a 600,000-ton steel-and-concrete gravity base structure (GBS) resting on the ocean floor, some 260 feet below the surface. This mammoth facility, normally manned by 185 crew members, produces about 135,000 barrels of oil per day. Four companies (ExxonMobil, Chevron, Murphy Oil, and Statoil) plus the government of Canada participate in the joint venture established to operate the platform.

The Hibernia platform is reinforced to withstand a direct impact by one of the icebergs that regularly sail through this stretch of water, located just a few hundred miles from where the Titanic infamously hit an iceberg and sank in 1912. Sixteen giant steel ribs protrude from the GBS, positioned in such a way as to absorb the blow of an iceberg and distribute it over the entire structure. However, the GBS itself is hollow, and contains a storage container for 1.3 million barrels of crude oil -- about five times the amount released in the 1989 Exxon Valdez spill.

The owners of the Hibernia platform insist that the design will withstand a blow from even the largest iceberg. As global warming advances and the Greenland glaciers melt, however, massive chunks of ice will be sent floating into the North Atlantic on a path past Hibernia. Add increased storm activity (another effect of global warming) to an increase in iceberg frequency and you have a formula for overwhelming the Hibernia’s defenses.

Here’s the scenario: It’s the stormy winter of 2018, not an uncommon situation in the North Atlantic at that time of year. Winds exceed 80 miles per hour, visibility is zilch, and iceberg-spotter planes are grounded. Towering waves rise to heights of 50 feet or more, leaving harbor-bound the giant tugs the Hibernia’s owners use to nudge icebergs from the platform’s path. Evacuation of the crew by ship or helicopter is impossible.

Without warning, a gigantic, storm-propelled iceberg strikes the Hibernia, rupturing the GBS and spilling more than one million barrels of oil into rough waters. The topside facility is severed from the base structure and plunges into the ocean, killing all 185 crew members. Every connection to the undersea wells is ruptured, and 135,000 barrels of oil start flowing into the Atlantic every day (approximately twice the amount now coming from the BP leak in the Gulf of Mexico). The area is impossible to reach by plane or ship in the constant bad weather, meaning emergency repairs can’t be undertaken for weeks -- not until at least five million additional barrels of oil have poured into the ocean. As a result, one of the world’s most prolific fishing grounds -- the Grand Banks off Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, and Cape Cod -- is thoroughly poisoned.

Does this sound extreme? Think again. On February 15, 1982, a giant drillship, the Ocean Ranger (the “Ocean Danger” to its habitués), was operating in the very spot Hibernia now occupies when it was struck by 50-foot waves in a storm and sank, taking the lives of 84 crew members. Because no drilling was under way at the time, there were no environmental consequences, but the loss of the Ocean Ranger -- a vessel very much like the Deepwater Horizon -- should be a reminder of just how vulnerable otherwise strong structures can be to the North Atlantic’s winter fury.

Scenario 2: Nigeria -- America’s Oil Quagmire

Nigeria is now America’s fifth leading supplier of oil (after Canada, Mexico, Saudi Arabia, and Venezuela). Long worried about the possibility that political turmoil in the Middle East might diminish the oil flow from Saudi Arabia just as Mexico’s major fields were reaching a state of depletion, American officials have worked hard to increase Nigerian imports. However, most of that country’s oil comes from the troubled Niger Delta region, whose impoverished residents receive few benefits but all of the environmental damage from the oil extraction there. As a result, they have taken up arms in a bid for a greater share of the revenues the Nigerian government collects from the foreign energy companies doing the drilling. Leading this drive is the Movement for the Emancipation for the Niger Delta (MEND), a ragtag guerrilla group that has demonstrated remarkable success in disrupting oil company operations.

The U.S. Department of Energy (DoE) rates Nigeria’s innate oil-production capacity at about 2.7 million barrels per day. Thanks to insurgent activity in the Delta, however, actual output has fallen significantly below this. “Since December 2005, Nigeria has experienced increased pipeline vandalism, kidnappings, and militant takeovers of oil facilities in the Niger Delta,” the department reported in May 2009. “[K]idnappings of oil workers for ransom are common and security concerns have led some oil services firms to pull out of the country.”

Washington views the insurgency as a threat to America’s “energy security,” and so a reason for aiding the Nigerian military. “Disruption of supply from Nigeria would represent a major blow to U.S. oil security,” the State Department noted in 2006. In August 2009, on a visit to Nigeria, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton promised even more military aid for oil protection purposes.

Here, then, is scenario #2: It’s 2013. The Delta insurgency has only grown, driving Nigeria’s oil output down to a third of its capacity. Global oil demand is substantially higher and rising, while production slips everywhere. Gasoline prices have reached $5 per gallon in the U.S. with no end in sight, and the economy seems headed toward yet another deep recession.

The barely functioning civilian government in Abuja, the capital, is overthrown by a Muslim-dominated military junta that promises to impose order and restore the oil flow in the Delta. Some Christian elements of the military promptly defect, joining MEND. Oil facilities across the country are suddenly under attack; oil pipelines are bombed, while foreign oil workers are kidnapped or killed in record numbers. The foreign oil companies running the show begin to shut down operations. Global oil prices go through the roof.

When a dozen American oil workers are executed and a like number held hostage by a newly announced rebel group, the president addresses the nation from the Oval Office, declares that U.S. energy security is at risk, and sends 20,000 Marines and Army troops into the Delta to join the Special Operations forces already there. Major port facilities are quickly secured, but the American expeditionary force soon finds itself literally in an oil quagmire, an almost unimaginable landscape of oil spills in which they find themselves fighting a set of interlocked insurgencies that show no sign of fading. Casualties rise as they attempt to protect far-flung pipelines in an impenetrable swamp not unlike the Mekong Delta of Vietnam War fame.

Sound implausible? Consider this: in May 2008, the U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command and the Joint Forces Command conducted a crisis simulation at the U.S. Army War College in Carlisle, Pennsylvania, that involved precisely such a scenario, also set in 2013. The simulation, “Unified Quest 2008,” was linked to the formation of the U.S. Africa Command (Africom), the new combat organization established by President Bush in February 2007 to oversee American military operations in Africa. An oil-related crisis in Nigeria, it was suggested, represented one of the more likely scenarios for intervention by U.S. forces assigned to Africom. Although the exercise did not explicitly endorse a military move of this sort, it left little doubt that such a response would be Washington’s only practical choice.

Scenario 3: Brazil -- Cyclone Hits “Pre-Salt” Oil Rigs

In November 2007, Brazil’s state-run oil company, Petróleo Brasileiro (Petrobras), announced a remarkable discovery: in a tract of the South Atlantic some 180 miles off the coast of Rio de Janeiro, it had found a giant oil reservoir buried beneath a mile and a half of water and a thick layer of salt. Called “pre-salt” oil because of its unique geological positioning, the deposit was estimated to hold 8 to 12 billion barrels of oil, making this the biggest discovery in the Western Hemisphere in 40 years. Further test drilling by Petrobras and its partners revealed that the initial find -- at a field called Tupi -- was linked to other deepwater “pre-salt” reservoirs, bringing the total offshore potential to 50 billion barrels or more. (To put that in perspective, Saudi Arabia is believed to possess reserves of 264 billion barrels and the United States, 30 billion.)

With this discovery, Brazil could “jump from an intermediate producer to among the world’s largest producers,” said Dilma Rousseff, chief cabinet official under President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva and thought to be his most likely successor. To ensure that the Brazilian state exercises ultimate control over the development of these reservoirs, President da Silva -- “Lula,” as he is widely known -- and Rousseff have introduced legislation in the Brazilian Congress giving Petrobras control over all new fields in the basin. In addition, Lula has proposed that profits from the pre-salt fields be channeled into a new social fund to alleviate poverty and underdevelopment in the country. All this has given the government a huge stake in the accelerated development of the pre-salt fields.

Extracting oil a mile and half under the water and from beneath two-and-a-half miles of shifting sand and salt will, however, require the utilization of technology even more advanced than that employed on the Deepwater Horizon. In addition, the pre-salt fields are interspersed with layers of high-pressure gas (as appears to have been the case in the Gulf), increasing the risk of a blow-out. Brazil does not experience hurricanes as does the Gulf of Mexico, but in 2004, its coastline was ravaged by a surprise subtropical cyclone that achieved hurricane strength. Some climatologists believe that hurricane-like storms of this sort, once largely unknown in the South Atlantic, will become more common as global warming only increases.

Which brings us to scenario #3: It’s 2020, by which time the pre-salt area off Rio will be host to hundreds of deepwater drilling rigs. Imagine, then, a subtropical cyclone with hurricane-force winds and massive waves that suddenly strikes this area, toppling dozens of the rigs and damaging most of the others, wiping out in a matter of hours an investment of over $200 billion. Given a few days warning, most of the crews of these platforms have been evacuated. Freak winds, however, down several helicopters, killing some 50 oil workers and flight crew members. Adding to the horror, attempts to seal so many undersea wells at such depths fail, and oil in historically unprecedented quantities begins gushing into the South Atlantic. As the cyclone grows to full strength, giant waves carry the oil inexorably toward shore.

Since the storm-driven assault cannot be stopped, Rio de Janeiro’s famous snow-white beaches are soon blanketed in a layer of sticky black petroleum, and in a matter of weeks, parts of Brazil’s coastal waters have become a “dead ocean.” Clean-up efforts, when finally initiated, prove exceedingly difficult and costly, adding immeasurably to the financial burden of the Brazilian state, now saddled with a broken and bankrupt Petrobras. Meanwhile, the struggle to seal all the leaking pre-salt wells in the deep Atlantic proves a Herculean task as, month after month, oil continues to gush into the Atlantic.

Scenario 4: East China Sea -- A Clash Over Subsea Gas

At one time, most wars between states were fought over disputed borders or contested pieces of land. Today, most boundaries are fixed by international treaty and few wars are fought over territory. But a new type of conflict is arising: contests over disputed maritime boundaries in areas that harbor valuable subsea resources, particularly oil and natural gas deposits. Such disputes have already occurred in the Persian Gulf, the Caspian Sea, the East and South China Seas, and other circumscribed bodies of water. In each case, the surrounding states claim vast offshore tracts that overlap, producing -- in a world that may be increasingly starved for energy -- potentially explosive disputes.

One of them is between China and Japan over their mutual boundary in the East China Sea. Under the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, which both countries have signed, each is allowed to exercise control over an “exclusive economic zone” (EEZ) extending 200 nautical miles (about 230 standard miles) from its coastline. But the East China Sea is only about 360 miles across at its widest point between the two countries. You see the problem.

In addition, the U.N. convention allows mainland states to claim an extended EEZ stretching to their outer continental shelf (OCS). In China’s case, that means nearly all the way to Japan -- or so say the Chinese. Japan insists that the offshore boundary between the two countries should fall midway between them, or about 180 miles from either shore. This means that there are now two competing boundaries in the East China Sea. As fate would have it, in the gray area between them houses a promising natural gas field called Chunxiao by the Chinese and Shirakaba by the Japanese. Both countries claim that the field lies within their EEZ, and is theirs alone to exploit.

For years, Chinese and Japanese officials have been meeting to resolve this dispute -- to no avail. In the meantime, each side has taken steps to begin the exploitation of the undersea gas field. China has installed drilling rigs right up to the median line claimed by Japan as the boundary between them and is now drilling for gas there; Japan has conducted seismic surveys in the gray area between the two lines. China claims that Japan’s actions represent an illegal infringement; Japan says that the Chinese rigs are sucking up gas from the Japanese side of the median line, and so stealing their property. Each side sees this dispute through a highly nationalistic prism and appears unwilling to back down. Both sides have deployed military forces in the contested area, seeking to demonstrate their resolve to prevail in the dispute.

Here, then, is Scenario #4: It’s 2022. Successive attempts to resolve the boundary dispute through negotiations have failed. China has installed a string of drilling platforms along the median line claimed by Japan and, according to Japanese officials, has extended undersea drill pipes deep into Japanese territory. An ultra-nationalistic, right-wing government has taken power in Japan, vowing finally to assert control over Japanese sovereign territory. Japanese drill ships, accompanied by naval escorts and fighter planes, are sent into the area claimed by China. The Chinese respond with their warships and order the Japanese to withdraw. The two fleets converge and begin to target each other with guns, missiles, and torpedoes.

At this point, the “fog of war” (in strategic theorist Carl von Clausewitz’s famous phrase) takes over. As a Chinese vessel steams perilously close to a Japanese ship in an attempt to drive it off, the captain of that vessel panics, and orders his crew to open fire; other Japanese crews, disobeying orders from superior officers, do the same. Before long, a full-scale naval battle ensues, with several sunken ships and hundreds of casualties. Japanese aircraft then attack the nearby Chinese drill rigs, producing hundreds of additional casualties and yet another deep-sea environmental disaster. At this point, with both sides bringing in reinforcements and girding for full-scale war, the U.S. president makes an emergency visit to the region in a desperate effort to negotiate a cease-fire.

Such a scenario is hardly implausible. Since September 2005, China has deployed a naval squadron in the East China Sea, sending its ships right up to the median line -- a boundary that exists in Japanese documents, but is not, of course, visible to the naked eye (and so can be easily overstepped). On one occasion, Japanese naval aircraft flew close to a Chinese ship in what must have seemed a menacing fashion, leading the crew to train its antiaircraft guns on the approaching plane. Fortunately, no shots were fired. But what would have happened if the Japanese plane had come a little bit closer, or the Chinese captain was a bit more worried? One of these days, as those gas supplies become even more valuable and the hair-trigger quality of the situation increases, the outcome may not be so benign.

These are, of course, only a few examples of why, in a world ever more reliant on energy supplies acquired from remote and hazardous locations, BP-like catastrophes are sure to occur. While none of these specific calamities are guaranteed to happen, something like them surely will -- unless we take dramatic steps now to reduce our dependence on fossil fuels and speed the transition to a post-carbon world. In such a world, most of our energy would come from renewable wind, solar, and geothermal sources that are commonplace and don’t have to be tracked down a mile or more under the water or in the icebound north. Such resources generally would not be linked to the sort of disputed boundaries or borderlands that can produce future resource wars.

Until then, prepare yourselves. The disaster in the Gulf is no anomaly. It’s an arrow pointing toward future nightmares.

Michael T. Klare is a professor of peace and world security studies at Hampshire College, TomDispatch.com regular, and the author, most recently, of Rising Powers, Shrinking Planet. A documentary movie version of his previous book, Blood and Oil, is available from the Media Education Foundation. To catch him discussing our dystopian energy future on the latest TomCast audio interview, click here, or to download it to your iPod, click here.

  Read The Coming Era of Energy Disasters
 June 17, 2010   Tax the Wall Street Casino
Chuck Collins , AlterNet

Angry about the greedy financial speculation that wrecked the economy? Got a deficit headache? Anxious about where the money will come from for long overdue investments in energy independence that will create good jobs in the new economy?

How do we spell relief? Try F.S.T. – which stands for Financial Speculation Tax.

A financial speculation tax is a modest levy on financial transactions such as the purchase and sale of stocks, bonds, derivatives, and swaps. England and Taiwan have such taxes on securities that encourage productive investment and discourage reckless trading behavior.

Leaders in the U.S. Congress have introduced a proposal to collect a penny on every four dollars of financial transactions, a fraction of what people pay in broker fees. This FST would exempt retirement funds and the first $100,000 of individual investment transactions. So it would target the fast-buck flippers, the same financial gamblers who crashed the economy through reckless speculation.

The financial speculation tax would raise an estimated $177 billion a year –which makes it the potentially biggest revenue raiser on the table right now.

The deficit hawks should be thrilled about a financial speculation tax. Last week, President Obama issued a directive to federal agencies to propose ways to cut their budgets by 5 percent. The Sustainable Defense Task Force identified $960 billion over ten years in wasteful military spending that could be eliminated without compromising national security. Combine that military savings with a financial speculation tax and we have key components to a new budget and spending plan.

As President Obama heads to Toronto on June 26th for the Summit of the G-20 leaders, he’s going to find lots of other presidents asking about the F.S.T. German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Nicolas Sarkozy have renewed calls for a financial speculation tax.

President Obama will argue in support of his bank tax proposal which will raise an estimated $9 billion a year. The G-20 leaders may also debate a proposal from the International Monetary Fund to institute a “financial activities tax” on profits and employee compensation of all financial institutions. We estimate such a tax would raise $28 billion a year in the U.S.

Yet given our national revenue challenges, why wouldn’t we consider the biggest potential revenue raiser, a financial speculation tax? According to a new report that I co-authored, Taxing the Wall Street Casino a financial speculation tax will raise 20 times as much as President Obama’s proposed bank levy and six times as much as the IMF’s proposed Financial Activities Tax.

A financial speculation tax would have tremendous benefits. It would discourage the short-term investment outlook that lay at the heart of the financial crisis. And it would encourage a healthier marketplace in real goods and services. “We have lost the distinction between real investment in the real economy and short-term speculation,” said John Fullerton, a former JP Morgan Managing Director. “A financial transactions tax should, at the margin, shift investment horizons out to longer holding periods by making high turnover trading strategies marginally less profitable.”

Other leaders from business and finance have stepped up to talk about the value of a financial speculation tax. Wealth for the Common Good has initiated a campaign of business leaders and investors who support the tax. John Bogle, the founder of Vanguard Mutual Fund, supports the tax as “a way to slow the rampant speculation that has created such havoc in our financial markets, but also for its revenue-raising potential in this time of staggering government deficits.”

Obviously what stands in the way of implementing such a common sense proposal is the powerful banking and finance lobby, the same interest group that tried to block and is now trying to water down financial reform. But while Wall Street lobby groups have formidable political and economic clout, a growing global “people power” campaign behind financial speculation taxes has a good chance of winning.

Senior scholar at the Institute for Policy Studies where I direct the Program on Inequality and the Common Good (www.ips-dc.org/inequality). Co-founder of Wealth for the Common Good (www.wealthforcommongood.org). Co-author with Bill Gates Sr. of Wealth and Our Commonwealth: Why America Should Tax Accumulated Fortunes. Co-author with Mary Wright of The Moral Measure of the Economy.
  Read Tax the Wall Street Casino
 June 4, 2010   India's War On People
by Gautam Navlakha & Arundhati Roy, Countercurrents.org
Committee for Protection of Democratic Rights held a public lecture by Gautam Navlakha and Arundhati Roy on the 2nd of June in Mumbai.

This was purportedly Arundhati Roy's first public meeting in India after her visit to Maoist controlled territories in Dantewada. She outlines her views and clarifies a lot of her 'controversial' opinions and paints it in the larger canvas of the nation and the globe as a whole. What comes out from this series of videos is her appreciation for the wide spectrum of resistance against state oppression and brutality that is being waged by different types of people in India of which the Maoist resistance is at one extreme.

Gautam Navlakha, another writers and a passionate opponent of state brutalities on people and who has also lived amongst the Maoists and written a beautiful essay, puts across his views.

  Read India's War On People
 June 17, 2010   Rights And Wrongs Of Armed Resistance
by Gautam Navlakha , Countercurrents.org, Frontierweekly.com
A discussion on armed resistance in the context of the Maoist resistance in India

Civil Liberties/Democratic Rights groups have for long grappled with the problem of their relationship with groups and organizations which subscribe to armed resistance and/or have been proscribed by the authorities. In truth it is a senseless policy to suppress any political ideology, because ideas and issues should not be shackled. It is not acceptable that just because the State has declared some ideas to be abhorrent, and proscribed proponents of such views. People are witness to systematic abuse by authorities of these arbitrary powers for their self-interest or for narrow consideration. Especially because the provision invoked for imposing a ban fall under the genre of “national security” guided legal provisions where parliamentary oversight and judicial redressal in reality get circumscribed. What compounds the problem is when a crackdown ensues even the routine formality of what passes for ‘rule of law’ gets suspended to the exigencies of war where kill or get killed becomes the reigning doctrine.

Thus from fighting legal provisions, accompanied by procedures and rules that enhances the power of police and prosecutor at the expense of the accused, and simultaneously relaxes the exacting standards for collecting, collating and use of evidence, to the next where rules of military engagement take over and general demand becomes asking the warring sides to adhere to international covenants and protocols governing war [protocol III of Geneva Convention which apply for non-international conflicts] a seminal jump in public understanding is compulsorily brought about.

At the time Operation Steeplechase was launched by the Eastern Command of Indian army against the Naxalites in 1971 (few months before the war with Pakistan) 45,000 crack troops were deployed. Indian Express (October 14, 2009) quotes Lt General Jacob to claim that there were neither a written order nor record of this operation. At that moment Naxalites did not have much of experience with weapons, armed resistance, or art of war either. Going by what Shivraj Patil told the Lok Sabha on March 1, 2006, Maoists in 60-70s possessed country made guns, axes and swords rather than guns or had squads and PGLA. But there was hardly any notice taken of the war then. It passed un-noticed except for those who became its victims. But one thing remains unchanged. State’s approach remains essentially unchanged.

Of course, there are many who believe that Maoists have brought this war upon themselves and in turn this will invite repression on adivasis lured by them. How a force which has “modest capabilities” according to the PM, speaking to the CMs on 6th January 2009, with an approximate total of 8000 weapons, large quantities of explosives and country made weapons can pose a threat to Indian State which possesses fourth largest armed force in the world and which has deployed 75,000 central para military forces trained in jungle warfare colleges backed by, at least 150,000 state armed constabulary, air support and using light to heavy weaponry, is somehow never explained. What is important is that questions of ethics are, however, posed to CL-DR groups; how can they, under any pretext, justify use of violence to achieve political ends?

For one thing by outlawing a political manifestation State succeeds in criminalising an idea and destroying an organization, especially one which enjoys mass support. In past experience outlawing ideologies and ideological organizations acts as a ‘force multiplier’ in that these laws accord legitimacy to armed resistance. How? Because if non-violent activism i.e. dissemination of literature, mobilizing and organizing people to politically articulate their demands, hold mass meetings….are outlawed; if Maoists, their sympathizers or anyone who even remotely speaks the language of resistance, can be hunted, arrested, tortured, killed or persecuted, even denied humanitarian assistance then the State forecloses the appeal of what passes for “mainstream politics”. By allowing such groups to organize, work, hold mass meetings, as any other organization increases the appeal and persuasive powers of other ways of offering resistance. In other words, appeal of un-armed resistance gets enhanced only when the State begins to cease to wage war against its own people. It is this that forms part of the world view of CL/DR groups and informs their activities.

However, history moves in a different way. Without armed people, organized and therefore properly harnessed violence, there can be no transformation of society. Without the protracted people’s war and PLA as well as people’s militia it would have been well nigh impossible for Nepal Maoists to compel the political formations to forge a front with them in 2005. In fact they would have never reached the status of strength from which to bargain/negotiate had they remained unarmed. Indeed in Nepal after a long debate the party has agreed that had it not been for their armed cadres they would have faced a bloodbath probably at the scale of Indonesia. Nepal Maoists do not however, believe that they need to renew military operations. What they say is that the fact that they are armed, legitimized through the UN sanctioned agreement, provides them with a strength and their opponents know that they cannot be crushed militarily.

Without this to believe that ruling classes, so well armed, will peacefully submit/surrender may remain a wishful thinking. True, revolutions may have failed after the initial phase of success but there are few instances of revolution which has managed to retain power without arms. Either armies have split to lend support to the rebels or the ruling left combine has managed to neutralize the army of the ruling classes by arming the people or in some other ways. But nowhere has any revolution ever succeeded simply by remaining non-violent.

Question of means and ends, of natural aversion of people towards violence, the fact that an armed group/party can end up using its weaponry to impose its will etc have been employed to argue against violence. And yet, it cannot be denied that violence has and will continue to play an emancipatory and empowering role. How else can one describe the fight against imperialism in Indochina or elsewhere? Did not the victory of Japanese against Russia in 1905 enthuse Asian people to challenge European racism? Did not the experience of Indian soldiers who fought for the British Empire in Sudan, Iraq, China, Crimea bring to realize that they were as good, if not better, than the European soldier colleague of theirs. Did it not persuade many to become radicalized and get inspired by 1917 Russian revolution? Can one deny that the heroism and bravery of Russians led then by Stalin during the second world war, especially the defeat of the German elite forces in Stalingrad mark the beginning of the end of the defeat of German Nazi army? Why should one dismiss this reality? Some argue that they are not against war but use of political violence to achieve political goals? Thus the opposition is not per say against violence, only to organized violence because the very fact of organization is anti-democratic. This is a strange argument and actually diabolical. There is nothing more harmful than so-called spontaneous uprising of the people where mob mentality takes over and killing spree ensues. This causes more harm than good. In France after the war 45,000 “nazi collaborators” were lynched to death. How is this superior to relatively fewer deaths at the hands of say Maoists in last 42 years? It is claimed that presence of a force with weapons intimidates dissent. But when every second person is armed who intimidates whom? Indeed violence demands that it be harnessed and used sparingly which it can only be with training and discipline.

But are not means important? Can one reach the ends people desire by recourse to means which are violent? As Prof Randhir Singh says “it is axiomatic that the means are justified by the end they achieve; there is simply no other way to justify them.” Now, if the state and its votaries can justify its monopoly of violence by referring to the use of force to restore law and order say in a situation of rioting, civil strife etc, notwithstanding acceptance that state also engages in use of force/violence to militarily suppress people’s movements, then why is it that political activists should fight shy in accepting that use of force in pursuit of freeing people from exploitation and oppression is wrong, even when everybody acknowledges that not every act of theirs furthers people’s cause?

Even the most ardent proponents of non-violence concede that violence in certain conditions/circumstances is legitimate and needed. Stopping a riotous mob from lynching those less privileged, raping women, killing children….Death of a tyrant or mass murderer does not melt the heart of the most peaceable person. Which is to say, that people do condone violence. Besides, citizens are trained to accept legitimacy of state using violence, even when it can be demonstrated that in 63 years since ‘transfer of power’ not a single year has passed when the Indian military has not been used against their own people demanding and raising the most valid concerns. The enumerable crimes committed by the military in the ignoble task of military suppression has not resulted in the ‘good’ people in India ever demanding that war as a matter of state policy against their own people under any pretext ought to be ruled out. If the PM on July 7, 2009 on the floor of the Lok Sabha could declare that war as an option is ruled out against Pakistan, a country painted in the most vile manner by the media and establishment, then why not rule it out against his own people? If engagement and dialogue is the only way out why not pursue the same approach with the aggrieved people. If constituency for peace exists in India and rapprochement with Pakistan will see it expand then why cannot the government have the same approach towards its own people? Now if one does not do that and instead prepares for war what are the people supposed to do? Sue for peace? Surrender?

The point is as Prof Randhir Singh points out “(s)ound ethics requires us to always to judge the action by the results, good or bad, and not by its conformity to a rule, regardless of results”. And then goes on to argue that “(t)he principle that it is never right to depart from moral principles, even to achieve some good end, no matter how many people would suffer if the rule were not broken, far from reflecting a superior ethical standpoint, is supremely unethical and is generally regarded as such.” And therefore, draws public attention to the “real issue….over means and ends is not therefore as to whether we may or may not adopt means involving evil to attain a good which outbalances that evil or to avoid a still greater evil, but as to whether the good attained is really worth the cost, or whether there is another route to that good involving less evil”.

This writer begs to differ from Prof Randhir Singh. Violence plays an emanicipatory role, when the weaker is able to defend themselves, when they can save people from being trampled upon by ruthless military which invariably in matters of rich and poor sides with the rich and the powerful and the privileged. To pick up guns, to learn to handle guns, to harness it for a purpose which is greater common good, why should one consider such violence per say as “evil”? Which is to say, that people need to consider violence as value neutral. It is how it is used, harnessed, for what purpose is used that becomes more relevant. Thus people have to look closely before concluding one way or another. To assume that just because communal fascists use violence and therefore there is no difference between how they use and anyone else uses it, or that it is one and the same, is grossly erroneous. In fact the big difference is that for the communal fascist a community becomes enemy and taking civilian lives is considered perfectly legitimate. Then they are invariably backed and patronized by the state, Indian State in so far Hindu communal fascists are concerned, which molly coddles them, reduces the nature of their homicidal crimes, treats them with kid gloves, refuses to accept that they are the treacherous force which targets Indian people. This is something Indian security apparatus refuses to accept.

There are some who point to certain action of the Maoists, (beheading, people’s court awarding death, killing of ‘informers’, attack on economic ‘assets’), and from that arrive at the conclusion that these acts carry within them “social impact”, and insist that no achievement lasts if it is brought about violently. There are others who go a step further and argue that whether or not crimes get committed the very fact that they are armed and justify violence suffices to raise questions about strategy and tactics of a movement, its understanding of social reality, and mars the chances of a state and society, where weapons in possession of one party can be used to cow down people in general and dissidents in particular. Both arguments have to be addressed. Furthermore, it is the ‘poorest among the poor’ who are used as foot soldiers and they are the ones who suffer most? Finally, how will an armed movement agree to disarming itself in order to ensure that others are not harmed who too work among the people, albeit may not agree with the politics of armed movement?

Unless one party seizes power and imposes its diktat over everyone such a situation cannot arise. Because it took place in China or Soviet Union does not mean that this will happen in India in the 21st century with its own political history. In fact it did not happen in Nepal where a protracted people’s war pitch-forked CPN(Maoist) to become the leading political force. In contrast to CPN(M) all the other parties have used and see National Army (NA) and police as their force, there to protect them. In India political parties who accept the present status quo know that when they acquire government power they have access to a huge repressive force at their command. And even as opposition parties they are not defenseless. Even in the best of circumstances the forces commanded thus by political parties is many times stronger than that of the left wing rebels.

Besides, the unfolding dynamics of a political development are not predictable or uni-linear. Maoists in Nepal, once they reached strategic equilibrium with Nepal’s royal military, decided to replace strategic offensive with democratic closure. In conditions which apply in India, where one party hegemony is difficult to envisage considering the diversity and political plurality with which people have lived for more than six decades to believe that CPI(Maoist) can impose their one party rule is good for fear inflators but for any sober scholar this is well nigh impossible. This way or that without having armed cadres and without recourse to using weapons in some areas where war is imminent, social transformation of Indian State and society is not possible. But this does not mean that in every instance and everywhere there has to be or will be war. Those who work in say Delhi do not feel the need for arming themselves because so far they are able to work un-thwarted. Of course Delhi is a bad example because in some places in India state has had no compunction in assassinating a dissident. Nevertheless, it cannot be denied that the conditions which operate in DK for instance do not operate everywhere, uniformly, across India. But in J&K, NE and now tribal region of central India are different. Conversely, where left and progressive sections dominate and spearhead popular resistance use of weapons may not be necessary. In any case, size and spread of political consciousness in India is vastly different than elsewhere in the world.

It is often argued by some that any organized military force is in itself anti-democratic whereas violence which ensues as a result of mass uprising is alright. Contrarily it should be pointed out that a spontaneous recourse to violence can cause greater harm. In France as mentioned earlier after 2nd war more than 45,000 people were lynched for being “collaborators” of Nazi occupation force. Would people justify this lynching in the name of spontaneous reaction of masses freed from Nazi tyranny? In fact it is in the nature of violence, as with fire, that it must be harnessed or else it can cause greater damage than good. Therefore, what is regarded as anti-democratic i.e. training, hierarchy and discipline, are of utmost necessity. Indeed fascist political formations use the spontaneous mass violence path to gloss over their deliberate targeting of minorities or left and progressive elements. It is when force is organized that one stands chance for compelling them to ensure that those who violate ethics of war can be brought to justice. This writer’s experience is that working to get armed rebels to agree to abide by ethics of war, or be held publicly accountable, is best possible when they are a disciplined and organized force. A rag-tag band is incapable of adhering to this and tends to be less accountable. When armed forces are sent to suppress a people it is part of their brief to terrorise the civilians. They are expected to burn, loot and kill precisely in order to crush an insurgency. Whereas insurgents cannot afford to do that or else they will lose what is their biggest advantage; mass support. Indeed pitting mass spontaneous violence is a patently irresponsible, if not convenient, way to accuse left radical rebels.

Finally, it is intriguing as to how the left radical rebels whose numbers are variously said to be 5600, 8000, 10,000 and even 20,000 pose a threat? While they are better armed than before, they are organized better and receive fairly rigorous arms training, incidents of violence were confined to 400 police station areas out of 14,000. Yet, why is it that possession of 8000-10,000 guns by Maoists and explosives a bigger problem when, according to International Action Network on Small Arms India has more than 40 million private guns. And most of it is with the upper class/caste men. Besides, is possession of weapons more important than who possess them, given the power equation in the society? Or is it that people resent that Maoists refuse to give up armed struggle?

There is violence and violence. Therefore, a distinction must be drawn between spectacular raids such as for looting armouries, freeing prisoners and defending what is called “janta sarkar” as in Bastar and heinous acts such as beheading or custodial killing. But not all crimes attributed to Maoists/Naxalites have been committed by them. In the Nayagarh (Orissa) in 2008 incident the media carried unsubstantiated report of Maoists mutilating the bodies of dead soldiers. And some eminent persons issued a statement without even bothering to verify the facts of the matter. The Khagaria massacre in September 2009 was attributed to them although it later turned out to be a caste conflict over 40 bighas of land. Thus, Jehanabad jail break, for example, was criticized by ‘good’ people of India for inviting possible retaliation by landlord armies in Bihar upon the poor. This did not happen. But it exposed the administration as being capable of stopping landlord armies if it so wishes. This enhanced rather than eroded the sense of security of landless dalit agricultural labour.

This is not to say that Maoists have been upright in all circumstances, and above criticism or fault. The recurring mistakes committed by the armed cadres and targeting of passenger train etc do raise question about the socalled ‘people’s war’ when they have yet to curb such attacks on civilians. However, their critics should know that Maoists have been rather forthright in accepting criticism as well as engaging in debate. In fact no other Naxal group has ever engaged in debate with so many groups and individuals over the past 40 years as the Maoists and their forerunner PU and PWG. The question is all that is fine but what about killing of ‘informers’ and the role of the so called ‘people’s court’, which is cited against them? As a DR activist this writer damns mad at them for engaging in custodial killing. But four years of efforts has at least brought them to accept that the party will consider the issues raised as well as take a position on compliance with Geneva protcol III. And rights activists must remain engaged with them, precisely because they form an integral and leading part of resistance against neo-liberal policies which continue to rule the roost.

Under such circumstances to essentialize the issue of Maoist violence is the way in which class society dehumanizes struggles and movements. There are, besides, as many instances of movements degenerating because they use violence as there are of those, which use non-violent methods. But the bottomline is that reproduction of social inequality is unacceptable. Those who believe in step-by-step process, and others in leap or qualitative jump, from one stage to another, must accept that there will remain a divide and both must respect each other. Those who decry armed struggle claim that popular movements can make existing institutions responsive to people’s needs. The point is that these movements get crushed, co-opted and contained before they ever reach a stage where they can challenge authority. These efforts have not come to standstill because of Maoist rebellion, but, actually gained some space and used their presence to espouse their politics, which would probably have been ignored otherwise.

Here is a quote from a very senior IPS officer and believer in crushing Maoist movement RK Raghavan : “to say that … (the tribal person) would have remained mute and soft forever is being somewhat naïve, especially at a time when the divide between… (them) and the rest of the lot is becoming more and more galling. The average tribal person believes he/she has nothing to lose in life, and the only way he/she could make himself/herself heard is by fighting an unjust social order”.

The rout of NDA government in 2004 was directly related to its pursuit and promotion of predatory global capitalism. The experience of the ‘silenced majority’ under UPA rule I and II has been of big words and small deeds. The biggest deal for “aam aadmi” was NREG. But was it not the fear of Maoists, which ensured passage of ‘national rural employment guarantee scheme’ and the formulation of the forest bill? Why NREGA but the recent decision of the Jharkhand administration to withdraw cases filed against at least one lakh adivasis to wean them away from Maoists not something where credit goes to Maoists? Maoists have their use too for reformers who leverage them for pushing reforms.

Consider, for instance, what the Home Minister told the Lok Sabha on last 7 July, that “(n)axalism is no longer a disjointed or uncoordinated actions by groups in states. Today naxalism is directed by CPI(Maoist) which is now a very structured organization. It even has a Central Military Command.” In other words they are now a strong organized military force capable of launching multiple simultaneous attacks, in which several groups of 200-500 armed cadres, travel long distances, escaping a network of surveillance/intelligence/informers. Equally important to note that without people identifying themselves with the Maoists, voluntarily and not out of fear, this fairly large social support base cannot be sustained.

To vanquish such a force is of course not impossible. Indian state possesses immense arsenal and laws to suppress rebels. But, it is not improbable that the Indian State may find for once its resilience tested. So, it is unlikely that the war will end by 2012, as the UPA government believes. But now even the Union home minister has begun hedging his bets by saying that it will be a “long drawn” out war. One reason is because unlike what intellectual detractors of Maoists have to say, when the State cracks down on Maoists they will not be cracking down on some alien armed cadres, but will be taking on the people because there is no difference between people and Maoists. Moreover, it is in the nature of sub conventional warfare, an euphemism for counter-insurgency, that first task is to wean away the people from the rebels. On all sides of the jungle exit and entry is now controlled by armed forces. Medicines, food stuffs, pencil (lead is dual use) and notebooks are not allowed into areas held by Maoists. It is yet to hear the mealy mouthed pacifists ever open their mouth to condemn the government. Recent experience of the team which visited Nendra in south Dantewada district of Bastar is noteworthy because after the SP Dantewada threatened the team members; anyone seen in the jungle will be shot dead it was left to Union home secretary GK Pillai to order that they be allowed. Those who do not have access to the home secretary stand little chance of getting in or getting out. Strangely enough, some even deny that there is a war being launched against the Maoists!

Now Indian State propagates that Naxalites are irredeemably bent upon waging a war against the Indian State and are anti-development. Thus short of suppressing them there is no other option. Of course Maoists want to seize power. And certainly those who take up arms cannot escape opprobrium for violations of principles, in what they themselves regard as ‘people’s war’. But the more important question is what brought this about? It did not happen overnight but over forty three years? In this period several groups gave up this path to pursue non-violent parliamentary or extra parliamentary struggle. Their experience hardly inspires confidence that the Indian state has become amenable to people’s concerns now that some of these left wing rebels gave up arms. In this sense, appeal if not prospect of non-violence has been undermined, by the state itself. What is so remarkable about this? How does it make non-violent political transformation attractive? If struggle for power requires positioning for strength why should Maoists try what is not possible (peaceful way), and not do what is necessary (offer armed resistance)?

Or else what are the Maoists supposed to do, say in Bastar? Surrender to enable corporation a free run of forest, land and waters of adivasis? Will this provide tribals a better deal? Has the condition of people improved since Maoists retreated from north Telengana? Will the three districts of Purulia, Bankura and West Mednipur in West Bengal usher in prosperity were the Maoists to pullout from there? Will the UP government bother about the 30 year long struggle of dalit ‘patta’ holders to get possession of land when they woke up to their plight only when Maoists began to organize them? Will the NDA government in Bihar, engaged in distributing arms, begin to distribute land were Maoists not around? Will the UPA II give up its corporate led ”development” program? Will they return the land grabbed through coercion and fraud? Reverse privatization of rivers in Chattisgarh? Will they allow adivasis to return to their village from where they have been displaced? Let critics of Maoists ponder over these issues first.

Vol.42, No.45, May 23-29, 2010

Gautam Navlakha is Editorial Consultant, Economic and Political Weekly.

  Read Rights And Wrongs Of Armed Resistance
 May 23, 2010   Venezuela's Economic Woes?
by Federico Fuentes , Countercurrents.org,

In recent weeks, local and international media have attacked the left-wing Venezuelan government over alleged “economic woes”.

Pointing to Venezuela’s inflation rate — the highest in Latin America — and an economy that shrank 3.3% last year, the private opposition media is raising fears of a serious economic crisis.

These same media outlets, which have been predicting the fall of President Hugo Chavez for years, argue recent government actions will worsen the situation.

Venezuelan business federation Fedecamaras warned on May 5 that Venezuela faces an “economic and social crisis”.

The federation helped organise a 2002 military coup against Chavez that briefly installed Federcamaras leader Pedro Carmona president before a mass uprising restored Chavez.

Federcarmaras argued: “The government has to be called to account [and] assume the cost of its errors [and the] destructive economic, social and moral process it has submitted Venezuela to.”

Speaking on the rabidly pro-coup TV station Globovision, Fedecarmaras president Noel Alvarez said: “The government is radicalising, therefore businessmen should radicalise also to defend private property.”

Behind such attacks is the fact that, faced with the deepening world economic crisis, the Venezuelan government is taking stronger measures against those responsible — the capitalists.

These measures include new nationalisations to tackle food hoarding and underproduction, a clampdown on illegal money trading and speculation, and the creation of a new state import-export company.

The government is also promoting the process of workers’ control in the industrial heartland of Guayana, swearing in several new presidents of state companies selected by the workforce.

These measures occur in the context of an intense campaign for the September 26 National Assembly elections.


Contrary to claims the Venezuelan economy is worse off because of government policies, the worst aspects of the crisis have been avoided because of these policies.

A crucial turning point for Venezuela was the two-month long battle that began in December 2002 over who would control the state oil company, PDVSA, which represents almost a third of Venezuela’s gross domestic product (GDP).

The right-wing opposition launched a two-month long bosses’ lockout, which included the shutting down of PDVSA by its corrupt management, aimed at economically strangling the country and bringing down the Chavez government.

The mobilisation of workers, poor communities and the armed forces was able to restore control of PDVSA to the Chavez government. Counter-revolutionary elements, encrusted in PDVSA upper and middle management levels, were removed.

The lockout caused GDP to fall by 27.8% in the first quarter of 2003. But over the next 11 quarters, government policy of redirecting oil rents to social spending meant the economy rebounded.

It grew by 94.7%, or 13.5% annually. During the same period, extreme poverty fell by 72% and unemployed more than halved.

Ironically, while the government nationalised a number of companies in strategic sectors, the private sector grew the most. Between 2004 and the third quarter of 2008, the private sector grew by 49.5%, representing 70.9% of total GDP.

Meanwhile, the national currency, the bolivar, which was subject currency controls to prevent capital flight, becoming increasing overvalued.

This made it difficult for the government to move away from dependency on oil. An overvalued currency made imports artificially cheap, disadvantaging national production.

It also created an unofficial, or parallel, currency rate two or three times higher than the official one. Speculators tended to import at the official currency rate of US$1 to 2.15 bolivars, but sell at the much higher unofficial rate.

In 2009, after a sharp drop in oil prices and the onset of the global economic crisis, Venezuela’s economy began to shrink for the first time since 2003.

But Mark Weisbrot, co-director of the Washington-based Center for Economic and Policy Research, said in a May 9 British Guardian article that talk of economic ruin is misplaced.

Rather, Venezuela faces “a policy choice”.

Weisbrot said that in 2009, “the government’s fiscal policy was too conservative — cutting spending as the economy slipped into recession”. As a result, public sector growth dropped from 16.3% in 2008 to 0.9% in 2009.

However, Venezuela’s control over its oil resources, low debt level (20% of GDP compared with 115% for Greece, 100% for the US and 79% for the European Union) and high level of international currency reserves means it has room “to try new economic and political experiments and learn from its mistakes as well as successes”, Weisbrot said.

Attacks on capital

This is exactly what the Venezuelan government has done since announcing the bolivar’s devaluation. It is using its strong position to move against private capital, punish those sabotaging the economy and promote workers’ control experiments.

In January, the government adjusted the exchange rate, introducing a two-tier system. The rate is now $1 to 2.6B for essential imports, such as food and state industrial needs, and $1 to 4.3B for other imports.

Receiving 4.3B instead of 2.15B for every $1 of oil sold, the government has significantly increased its revenue.

It also partially corrected the grave distortion caused by an overvalued bolivar by making it more expensive to import. Together with promises of government loans, domestic production will benefit.

With the advantage of the lower bolivar rate for state imports, it has begun to move against those using speculation and sabotage aimed at causing discontent via rising inflation, increasing food shortages caused by hoarding and underproduction.

Since February, the government has taken over two private supermarket chains. Using the preferential exchange rate, the government will now import food and white goods via a newly created state import-export company.

The products will be sold cheaply in the state-owned supermarket chains, undercutting speculators. Six formerly private-owned Bicentenary hypermarkets now offer goods up to 50% cheaper than private supermarkets.

The aim, Chavez said, is to “displace the hegemony of the bourgeoisie in handling resources that belong to the people”.

On May 13, Chavez announced the takeover of Mexican-owned food processor Gruma, which had refused to sell flour in April despite a national shortage.

This was just the latest of a series of nationalisations carried out to stimulate food production, and stop hoarding and speculation.

These included the takeover of three sugar mills accused of hoarding and under-producing, a coffee processing company, and the expropriation of land belonging to Venezuela’s largest food and beverage company, Polar.

To combat speculation in the informal currency market, the government has intervened in 31 of the country’s 107 brokerage firms during May over accusations of illegal currency-trading and money laundering.

Chavez said: “If we have to eliminate the whole bunch of brokerages ... well eliminate them. This country doesn’t need them, we don’t need the savage capitalism of these rich money-bags.”

The government also halted trading of government bonds. Under a reformed law passed by the National Assembly, only the Central Bank of Venezuela will be able to authorise the purchase and sale of foreign currencies.

Workers’ control

Using its strong economic position, the government borrowed $20 billion from China in April as advanced payment for future oil deliveries. This is helping fund an increase in public investment.

To tackle decades of disinvestment, the government plans to spend $6 billion on the state electricity sector — strengthened by the nationalisation of six private companies in 2007.

It has initiated a process of workers’ control in the sector. Workers are organising committees to help reorganise the industry. Workers have also elected representatives to management boards.

The government has also increased the minimum wage by 25% this year and raised pensions for widows and widowers.

On April 30, Chavez announced a $1.168 billion investment package for the state-owned iron, steel and aluminium companies in Guayana. The package will fund projects discussed and approved by workers in the relevant companies.

On May 16, Chavez swore in new presidents in eight out of the 15 state-owned basic industry factories in Guayana that had been chosen by the workers.

Chavez also ordered the nationalisation of transport companies related to the industrial complex and Venezuelan chemical company Norpro.

‘Destroy the bourgeois state’

The new attacks on capital have also led to further splits in the pro-Chavez camp.

The Homeland For All (PPT) party, until recently allies of the Chavez-led United Socialist Party of Venezuela (PSUV), said it would not form an alliance for the September elections, but would stand against PSUV candidates.

The PPT has stepped up criticism of the government’s economic measures.

Lara state governor Henri Falcon defected from the PSUV to the PPT in opposition to the government’s moves against Polar in his state.

At a May 19 public meeting to welcome discontented PPT members into the PSUV, Chavez denounced the PPT as “reformists” unwilling to deepen the anti-capitalist revolution.

Chavez told a May 7 meeting of PSUV candidates for the National Assembly that the government’s actions meant a battle against “the capitalist state and the hegemony the capitalists still exercise in different sectors of national life”.

He said: “We cannot plan out measures thinking that we can or are going to execute measures in normal conditions ... we have to take into account that an adversary with a lot of forces is also involved: the bourgeoisie, with its economic and media power.”

With elections in September, the capitalists are playing hardball. They are trying to provoke economic chaos and shortages of essential goods — as they did before the defeat of Chavez’s proposed anti-capitalist constitution reforms in 2007.

“They are seeking out a way to retake the path of destabilisation”, Chavez said. “Either we finish off capitalism or capitalism will finish off the revolution.”

He said the revolutionary forces needed to win the elections and then push to “accelerate the destruction of the bourgeois state”.

[Federico Fuentes is a member of Australia’s Socialist Alliance and is based in Venezuela as part of Green Left Weekly’s Caracas bureau.]

  Read Venezuela's Economic Woes?
 May 23, 2010   It's Time To Rid The World Of Nuclear Weapons
by Archbishop Desmond Tutu , Countercurrents.org,
Skeptics may say a nuclear-free world is an impossible dream, but they said that about slavery and apartheid too.

This year the nuclear bomb turns 65 - an appropriate age, by international standards, for compulsory retirement. But do our leaders have the courage and wisdom to rid the planet of this ultimate menace? The five-yearly review of the ailing nuclear non-proliferation treaty, currently under way at the United Nations in New York, will test the strength of governments' commitment to a nuclear-weapon-free world.

If they are serious about realizing this vision, they will work now to shift the focus from the failed policy of nuclear arms control, which assumes that a select few states can be trusted with these weapons, to nuclear abolition. Just as we have outlawed other categories of particularly inhuman and indiscriminate weapons - from biological and chemical agents to anti-personnel landmines and cluster munitions - we must now turn our attention to outlawing the most iniquitous weapons of all.

Gains in nuclear disarmament to date have come much too slowly. More than 23,000 nuclear arms remain in global stockpiles, breeding enmity and mistrust among nations, and casting a shadow over us all. None of the nuclear-armed countries appears to be preparing for a future without these terrifying devices. Their failure to disarm has spurred nuclear proliferation, and will continue to destabilize the planet unless we radically alter our trajectory now. Forty years after the NPT entered into force, we should seriously question whether we are on track to abolition.

D is not an option for governments to take up or ignore. It is a moral duty owed by them to their own citizens, and to humanity as a whole. We must not await another Hiroshima or Nagasaki before finally mustering the political will to banish these weapons from global arsenals. Governments should agree at this NPT review conference to toss their nuclear arms into the dustbin of history, along with those other monstrous evils of our time - slavery and apartheid.

Skeptics tell us, and have told us for many years, that we are wasting our time pursuing the dream of a world without nuclear weapons, as it can never be realized. But more than a few people said the same about ending entrenched racial segregation in South Africa and abolishing slavery in the United States. Often they had a perceived interest in maintaining the status quo. Systems and policies that devalue human life, and deprive us all of our right to live in peace with each other, are rarely able to withstand the pressure created by a highly organized public that is determined to see change.

The most obvious and realistic path to a nuclear-weapon-free world is for nations to negotiate a legally binding ban, which would include a timeline for elimination and establish an institutional framework to ensure compliance. Two-thirds of all governments have called for such a treaty, known as a nuclear weapons convention, and UN secretary general Ban Ki-moon has voiced his support for the idea. Only the nuclear weapon states and NATO members are holding us back.

Successful efforts to prohibit other classes of weapons provide evidence that, where there is political momentum and widespread popular support, obstacles which may at first appear insurmountable can very often be torn down. Nuclear abolition is the democratic wish of the world's people, and has been our goal almost since the dawn of the atomic age. Together, we have the power to decide whether the nuclear era ends in a bang or worldwide celebration.

Last April in the Czech capital, Prague, President Barack Obama announced that the United States would seek the peace and security of a world without nuclear weapons, but he warned that nations probably would not eliminate their arsenals in his lifetime. I am three decades older than the US president, yet I am confident that both of us will live to see the day when the last nuclear weapon is dismantled. We just need to think outside the bomb.

Desmond Tutu is a patron of the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons

Desmond Tutu.
Archbishop Emeritus of Cape Town.

  Read It's Time To Rid The World Of Nuclear Weapons
 June 17, 2010   Hightower: BP Is a Corporate Criminal
Jim Hightower , AlterNet
BP has been implicated in bribery, overthrowing governments, plunder and money laundering, plus having established one of the worst safety records in the industry.

Gosh, how quickly things turn. One day, you're a strutting peacock -- the next day, you're just another gasping, oil-covered bird.

In early April, BP was strutting about in full corporate splendor, showing off the $9 billion in profits that it had soaked up in just the first three months of this year. It was also basking in a corporate re-imaging campaign, depicting itself as a clean-energy pioneer and declaring that BP now stood for "Beyond Petroleum."

Since its Gulf of Mexico well blew out on April 20, however, BP has proven to be beyond belief. The wider and deeper that this catastrophe spreads, the more we discover just how oily this giant is.

From the time it was known as the Anglo-Persian Oil Company and set out to grab and control the rich petroleum reserves owned by what is now Iran, BP has been a recidivist global criminal. In the past three decades, it grew huge by swallowing such competitors as Standard Oil of Ohio, Amoco and Arco. Along the way, it has been implicated in bribery, overthrowing governments, plunder and money laundering, plus having established one of the worst safety and environmental records in an industry that is notoriously reckless on both counts.

And now, its rap sheet grows almost daily. In fact, the Center for Public Integrity has revealed that the oil giant's current catastrophic mess should come as no surprise, for it has a long and sorry record of causing calamities. In the last three years, the center says, an astonishing "97 percent of all flagrant violations found in the refining industry by government safety inspectors" came at BP facilities. These included 760 violations rated as "egregious" and "willful." In contrast, the oil company with the second-worst record had only eight such citations.

While its CEO, Tony Hayward, claims that its gulf blowout was simply a tragic accident that no one could've foreseen, internal corporate documents reveal that BP itself had been struggling for nearly a year with its inability to get this well under control. Also, it had been willfully violating its own safety policies and had flat out lied to regulators about its ability to cope with what's delicately called a major "petroleum release" in the Gulf of Mexico.

"What the hell did we do to deserve this?" Hayward asked shortly after his faulty well exploded. Excuse us, Tony, but you're not the victim here -- and this disaster is not the work of fate. Rather, the deadly gusher in the gulf is a direct product of BP's reckless pursuit of profits. You waltzed around environmental protections, deliberately avoided installing relatively cheap safety equipment, and cavalierly lied about the likelihood of disaster and your ability to cope with it.

"It wasn't our accident," the CEO later declared, as oil was spreading. Wow, Tony, in one four-word sentence, you told two lies. First, BP owns the well, and it is your mess. Second, the mess was not an "accident," but the inevitable result of hubris and greed flowing straight from BP's executive suite.

"The Gulf of Mexico is a very big ocean," Hayward told the media, trying to sidestep the fact that BP's mess was fast becoming America's worst oil calamity. Indeed, Tony coolly explained that the amount of oil spewing from the well "is tiny in relation to the total water volume." This flabbergasting comment came only two weeks before it was revealed that the amount of gushing oil was 19 times more than BP had been claiming.

Eleven oil workers are dead, thousands of Gulf Coast people have had their livelihoods devastated and unfathomable damage is being done to the gulf ecology. Imagine how the authorities would be treating the offender if BP were a person. It would've been put behind bars long ago -- if not on death row.

  Read Hightower: BP Is a Corporate Criminal
 May 26, 2010   Will the Obama Administration Allow Shell Oil to Do to Arctic Waters What BP Did to the Gulf?
Subhankar Bannerjee , AlterNet
Bad as the Gulf may be, a damaged Arctic will take far more time to heal. Do we want to risk it?

Bear with me.  I’ll get to the oil.  But first you have to understand where I’ve been and where you undoubtedly won’t go, but Shell’s drilling rigs surely will -- unless someone stops them.

Over the last decade, I’ve come to know Arctic Alaska about as intimately as a photographer can. I’ve been there many times, starting with the 14 months I spent back in 2001-2002 crisscrossing the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge -- 4,000 miles in all seasons by foot, raft, kayak, and snowmobile, regularly accompanied by Inupiat hunter and conservationist Robert Thompson from Kaktovik, a community of about 300 on the Arctic coast, or with Gwich’in hunters and conservationists Charlie Swaney and Jimmy John from Arctic Village, a community of about 150 residents on the south side of the Brooks Range Mountains.

In the winter of 2002, Robert and I camped for 29 days at the Canning River delta along the Beaufort Sea coast to observe a polar bear den. It’s hard even to describe the world we encountered.  Only four calm days out of that near-month.  The rest of the time a blizzard blew steadily, its winds reaching a top speed of 65 miles per hour, while the temperature hovered in the minus-40-degree range, bringing the wind-chill factor down to something you’ll never hear on your local weather report: around minus 110 degrees.

If that’s too cold for you, believe me, it was way too cold for someone who grew up in Kolkata, India, even if we did observe the bear and her two cubs playing outside the den.

During the summer months, you probably can’t imagine the difficulty I had sleeping on the Alaskan Arctic tundra.  The sun is up 24 hours a day and a cacophony of calls from more than 180 species of birds converging there to nest and rear their young never ceases, day or “night.” Those birds come from all 49 other American states and six continents. And what they conduct in those brief months is a planetary celebration on an unimaginably epic scale, one that connects the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to just about every other place on Earth.

When you hear the clicking sound of the hooves of the tens of thousands of caribou that also congregate on this great Arctic coastal plain to give birth to their young -- some not far from where my tent was set up -- you know that you are in a place that is a global resource and does not deserve to be despoiled.

Millions of Americans have come to know the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, even if at a distance, thanks to the massive media attention it got when the Bush administration indicated that one of its top energy priorities was to open it up to oil and gas development. Thanks to the efforts of environmental organizations, the Gwich’in Steering Committee, and activists from around the country, George W. Bush fortunately failed in his attempt to turn the refuge into an industrial wasteland.

While significant numbers of Americans have indeed come to care for the Arctic Refuge, they know very little about the Alaskan Arctic Ocean regions -- the Chukchi Sea and the Beaufort Sea (which the refuge abuts).

I came to know these near-shore coastal areas better years later and discovered what the local Inupiats had known for millennia: these two Arctic seas are verdant ecological habitats for remarkable numbers of marine species, including endangered Bowhead whales and threatened polar bears, Beluga whales, walruses, various kinds of seals, and numerous species of fish and birds, not to mention the vast range of “non-charismatic” marine creatures we can’t see right down to the krill -- tiny shrimp-like marine invertebrates -- that provide the food that makes much of this life possible.

The Kasegaluk lagoon, which I spent much time documenting as a photographer, along the Chukchi Sea is one of the most important coastal treasures of the entire circumpolar north. It is 125 miles long and only separated from the sea by a thin stretch of barrier islands.  Five icy rivers drain into the lagoon, creating a nutrient-rich habitat for a host of species. An estimated 4,000 Beluga whales are known to calve along its southern edge, and more than 2,000 spotted seals use the barrier islands as haul-out places in late summer, while 40,000 Black Brant goose use its northern reaches as feeding grounds in fall.

In July 2006, during a late evening walk, wildlife biologist Robert Suydam and I even spotted a couple of yellow wagtails -- not imposing whales, but tiny songbirds.  Still, the sight moved me.  “Did you know,” I told my companion, “that some of them migrate to the Arctic from my home, India?”

Can Oil Be Cleaned Up under Arctic Ice?

Unfortunately, as you've already guessed, I’m not here just to tell you about the glories -- and extremity -- of the Alaskan Arctic, which happens to be the most biologically diverse quadrant of the entire circumpolar north.  I’m writing this piece because of the oil, because under all that life and beauty in the melting Arctic there’s something our industrial civilization wants, something oil companies have had their eyes on for a long time now.

If you’ve been following the increasing  ecological devastation unfolding before our collective eyes in the Gulf of Mexico since BP’s rented Deepwater Horizon exploratory drilling rig went up in flames (and then under the waves), then you should know about -- and protest -- Shell Oil’s plan to begin exploratory oil drilling in the Beaufort and Chukchi Seas this summer.

On March 31st, standing in front of an F-18 "Green Hornet" fighter jet and a large American flag at Andrews Air Force Base, President Obama announced a new energy proposal, which would open up vast expanses of America’s coastlines, including the Beaufort and Chukchi Seas, to oil and gas development. Then, on May 13th, the United States Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals handed a victory to Shell Oil.  It rejected the claims of a group of environmental organizations and Native Inupiat communities that had sued Shell and the Interior Department's Minerals Management Service (MMS) to stop exploratory oil drilling in the Arctic seas.

Fortunately, Shell still needs air quality permits from the Environmental Protection Agency as well as final authorization from Interior Secretary Ken Salazar before the company can send its 514-foot drilling ship, Frontier Discoverer, north this summer to drill three exploratory wells in the Chukchi Sea and two in the Beaufort Sea. Given what should by now be obvious to all about the dangers of such deep-water drilling, even in far less extreme climates, let’s hope they don’t get either the permits or the authorization.

On May 14th, I called Robert Thompson, the current board chair of Resisting Environmental Destruction on Indigenous Lands (REDOIL). “I’m very stressed right now,” he told me. “We’ve been watching the development of BP’s oil spill in the Gulf on television. We’re praying for the animals and people there. We don’t want Shell to be drilling in our Arctic waters this summer.”

As it happened, I was there when, in August 2006, Shell’s first small ship arrived in the Beaufort Sea. Robert’s wife Jane caught it in her binoculars from her living-room window and I photographed it as it was scoping out the sea bottom in a near-shore area just outside Kaktovik.  Its job was to prepare the way for a larger seismic ship due later that month.

Since then, Robert has been asking one simple question: If there were a Gulf-like disaster, could spilled oil in the Arctic Ocean actually be cleaned up?

He’s asked it in numerous venues -- at Shell’s Annual General Meeting in The Hague in 2008, for instance, and at the Arctic Frontiers Conference in Tromsø, Norway, that same year. At Tromsø, Larry Persily -- then associate director of the Washington office of Alaska Governor Sarah Palin, and since December 2009, the federal natural gas pipeline coordinator in the Obama administration -- gave a 20-minute talk on the role oil revenue plays in Alaska’s economy.

During the question-and-answer period afterwards, Robert typically asked: “Can oil be cleaned up in the Arctic Ocean? And if you can’t answer yes, or if it can’t be cleaned up, why are you involved in leasing this land? And I’d also like to know if there are any studies on oil toxicity in the Arctic Ocean, and how long will it take for oil there to break down to where it’s not harmful to our marine environment?”

Persily responded: “I think everyone agrees that there is no good way to clean up oil from a spill in broken sea ice. I have not read anyone disagreeing with that statement, so you’re correct on that. As far as why the federal government and the state government want to lease offshore, I’m not prepared to answer that.  They’re not my leases, to be real honest with everyone.”

A month after that conference, Shell paid an unprecedented $2.1 billion to the MMS for oil leases in the Chukchi Sea. In October and December 2009, MMS approved Shell’s plan to drill five exploratory wells. In the permit it issued, the MMS concluded that a large spill was “too remote and speculative an occurrence” to warrant analysis, even though the agency acknowledged that such a spill could have devastating consequences in the Arctic Ocean’s icy waters and could be difficult to clean up.

It would be an irony of sorts if the only thing that stood between the Obama administration and an Arctic disaster-in-the-making was BP’s present catastrophe in the Gulf of Mexico.

The First Oil Rush in Arctic Waters

This isn’t the first time that America’s Arctic seas have been exploited for oil.  If you want to know more, check out John Bockstoce’s book, Whales, Ice, and Men: The History of Whaling in the Western Arctic. Throughout the latter part of the nineteenth century, commercial whalers regularly ventured into those seas to kill Bowhead whales for whale oil, used as illuminant in lamps and as candle wax.  It was also the finest lubricating oil then available for watches, clocks, chronometers, and other machinery. Later, after petroleum was discovered, whale baleen became a useful material for making women’s corsets.

In 1848, when the first New England whaling ship arrived in Alaska, an estimated 30,000 Bowhead whales lived in those Arctic seas. Just two years later, there were 200 American whaling vessels plying those waters and they had already harvested 1,700 Bowheads.

Within 50 years, an estimated 20,000 Bowhead whales had been slaughtered. By 1921, commercial whaling of Bowheads ended as whale oil was no longer needed and the worldwide population of Bowheads had, in any case, declined to about 3,000 -- with the very survival of the species in question.

Afterwards, the Bowhead population began to bounce back.  Today, more than 10,000 Bowheads and more than 60,000 Beluga whales migrate through the Chukchi and Beaufort Seas. The Bowhead is believed to be perhaps the longest-lived mammal.  It is now categorized as “endangered” under the Endangered Species Act of 1973 and receives additional protection under the Marine Mammal Protection Act of 1972.  It would, of course, be unforgivably ironic if, having barely outlived the first Arctic oil rush, the species were to fall victim to the second.

Inupiat communities have been hunting Bowheads for more than two millennia for subsistence food. In recent decades, the International Whaling Commission has approved an annual quota of 67 whales for nine Inupiat villages in Alaska. This subsistence harvest is deemed ecologically sustainable and not detrimental to the recovery of the population.

My first experience of a Bowhead hunt in Kaktovik was in September 2001.  After the whale was brought ashore, everyone -- from infants to elders -- gathered around the creature to offer a prayer to the creator, and thank the whale for giving itself up to, and providing needed food for, the community. The muktuk (whale skin and blubber) was then shared among community members in three formal celebrations over the year to come -- Thanksgiving, Christmas, and Naluqatuk (a June whaling feast), two of which I attended.

In 2007, with writer Peter Matthiessen I visited Point Hope and Point Lay, two Inupiat communities of about 1,000 inhabitants on the Chukchi Sea coast. Point Hope is considered one of the oldest continuously inhabited settlements in North America. At Point Lay, we accompanied Bill and Marie Tracey on a 17-hour boat ride during a Beluga whale hunt. After the whales were beached, four generations gathered in a circle to offer prayer and thanks to the whales. In other words, for such Alaskan Inupiat communities whales are far more than food on the table.  Their cultural and spiritual identity is inextricably linked to the whales and the sea.  If Shell’s vessels head north, the question is: How long will these communities survive?

And it’s not just whales and the communities that live off them that are at stake.  Oil drilling, even at a distance, has already taken a toll in the Arctic.  After all, the survival of several Arctic species, including polar bears, walruses, seals, and sea birds, is seriously threatened by the widespread melting of sea ice, the result of climate change (caused, of course, by the use of fossil fuels).

In 2008, the U.S. Department of Interior listed the polar bear as a threatened species under the Endangered Species Act. In addition, millions of birds use the near-shore Arctic waters, barrier islands, coastal lagoons, and river deltas for nesting and rearing their young in spring, and for feeding in summer before they start migrating to their southern wintering grounds. When the Arctic wind blows in one direction, nutrient-rich fresh water from the rivers is pushed out into the ocean; when it blows in the other direction, saltwater from the sea enters the lagoon. This mixing of fresh and saltwater creates a nutrient-rich near-shore ecological habitat for birds, many species of fish, and several species of seals.

All this is my way of saying that if oil drilling begins in the Arctic seas and anything goes wrong, the nature of the disaster in the calving, nesting, and spawning grounds of so many creatures would be hard to grasp.

Don’t Let Shell’s Drilling Ship Head North

With the crisis in the Gulf of Mexico ongoing, scientists are beginning to worry about hurricane season.  It officially begins on June 1st and doesn’t officially end until November 30th.  Any significant storm entering the Gulf would, of course, only exacerbate the disaster, moving oil all over the place, while hindering clean-up operations. Now, think about the Arctic Ocean, where blizzards and storms aren’t seasonal events, but an all-year-round reality and -- thanks (many scientists believe) to the effects of climate change -- their intensity is actually on the rise. Even in summer, they can blow in at 80 miles per hour, bringing any oil spill on the high seas very quickly into ecologically rich coastal areas.

On May 5th, Native Village of Point Hope and REDOIL joined 14 environmental organizations in sending a letter to Interior Secretary Salazar.  In light of the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, it urges him to reconsider his decision to allow Shell to proceed with its drilling plan. That same week, Secretary Salazar did finally order a halt to all new offshore drilling projects and asked Shell to explain how it could improve its ability to prevent a spill -- and, if one happens, to respond to it effectively in the Arctic.

On May 18th, Shell responded publicly that it would employ a pre-made dome to contain any leaking well and deploy chemical dispersants underwater at the source of any oil leak. From what I gather, both methods have been attempted by BP in the Gulf of Mexico.  The dome has so far failed, developing hydrates and becoming unusable before ever being placed over the leak. Scientists now believe that those toxic chemical dispersants have resulted in significant ecological devastation to coral reefs and could be dangerous to other sea life. None of this bodes well for the Arctic.

There is, I’m beginning to realize, another crisis we have to face in the Gulf, the Arctic, and elsewhere: How do we talk about -- and show -- what we can’t see? Yes, via video, we can see the gushing oil at the source of BP’s well a mile below the surface of the water, and thanks to TV and newspapers we can sometimes see (or read about) oil-slicked dead birds, dead sea turtles, and dead dolphins washing up on coastlines.

But what about all the other aspects of life under water that we can’t see, that won’t simply wash up on some beach, that in terms of our daily lives might as well be on Mars?  What’s happening to the incredible diversity of marine life inhabiting that mile-deep water, and what cumulative impact will all that still-spilling oil have on it, on the ecology of the Gulf of Mexico, and possibly -- in ways we may not yet be able to imagine -- on our lives?

These are questions that desperately need to be asked and answered before we allow oil ships to head north and drilling to spread to America’s Arctic Ocean. Keep in mind that there, unlike in the temperate and tropical oceans where things grow relatively fast, everything grows very slowly.  On the other hand, toxins left behind from oil spills will take far longer to break down in the frigid climate. Bad as the Gulf may be, a damaged Arctic will take far more time to heal.

Whatever we can’t see, what we already can see on the front pages of our newspapers and in the TV news should be more than enough to convince us not to take seriously the safety claims of giant oil companies desperate to drill under some of the worst conditions imaginable.  Send those drill rigs into Arctic waters and, sooner or later, you know just what you’ll get.

If the remaining permits are approved for Shell in the coming weeks, the Frontier Discoverer will be in the Chukchi Sea less than six weeks later.

President Obama and Secretary Salazar should stop this folly now.  It’s important for them to listen to those who really know what’s at stake, the environmental groups and human rights organizations of the indigenous Inupiat communities.  It’s time to put a stop to Shell’s drilling plan in America’s Arctic Ocean for this summer -- and all the summers to come.

  Read Will the Obama Administration Allow Shell Oil to Do to Arctic Waters What BP Did to the Gulf?

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Message from the Editor

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

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

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

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

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

The Editor.

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Message from the Spiritual Leader of the Global Community

The world is in a state of perpetual turmoil. We are worlds within worlds orbiting in and through each 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
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Message from the President of Global Parliament, the Federation of Global Governments

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

Short description and history of the Global Community, Global Parliament, Earth Government and the Federation of Global Governments.

No editing please.

The Global Community organization, Global Parliament, Earth Government and the Federation of Global Governments were founded in 1985 in Calgary, Canada by Germain Dufour,  Prophet 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 the 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 Global Parliament Constitution. The Scale is the fundamental guide to Global Law which itself includes legislation covering  all essential aspects of human activities. Justice for all with Global Law is what we want. Global Law comprises four fundamental pillars:
  • Ecclesiastical teaching
  • Civic Law by government
  • Natural processes and laws
  • God Law
Each and everyone of those pillars are meant to reinforce one another for the protection and survival of life on our planet. That is also how we will bring about the event of Peace amongst us all and give security and protection to all people, all life on Earth.


More can be read concerning the history of the organization at http://globalcommunitywebnet.com/GIMProceedings/anniversary19852007.htm

History of the Global Community organization, Global Parliament, Earth Government and the Federation of Global GovernmentsHistory of the Global Community Organization and Interim Earth GovernmentSince its beginning in 1985, many accomplishments can be claimed by the Global Community:History of the Global Community organization and Earth Government


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Note concerning personal info sent to us by email

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.

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Celebration of Life Day, May 26, 2008

Dear friends,

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

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

Celebration of Life Day on May 26

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

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

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

to sustain Earth, humanity and all life.

Please send us the following information:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Celebration of Life Day

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

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

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

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

The Divine Will or Will of God is the most powerful force of the universe and is pure spiritual energy. The Will of God is for life to reach God, 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 possible ways.

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 (which is something common in Nature between lifeforms in an ecosystem) with the Souls, and now with the Soul of Humanity. We work together for both our survival and well-being. Cooperation and symbiosis between lifeforms (especially human beings) on Earth and between lifeforms and their Souls and the Soul of Humanity have become a necessity of life. We help one another, joint forces, and accomplish together what we cannot accomplish separately. Several billion years ago this symbiosis between matter and Souls resulted in the making of complex biochemical systems. Symbiosis has worked throughout the evolution of life on Earth and today, the Soul of Humanity has decided to be more active with humanity by purifying Souls. The Soul of Humanity shows us the way to better serve God.

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

The Soul of Humanity will help us:

*     resolve problems, concerns and issues peacefully;
*     reinstate the respect for Earth;
*     work with humanity to keep Earth healthy, productive and hospitable for all people and living things;
*     bring forth a sustainable global society embracing universal values related to human and Earth rights, economic and social justice; respect of nature, peace, responsibility to one another;
*     protect the global life-support systems and manage Earth;
*     evolve spiritually to fulfill 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 the Global Community. When there is a need to find a solution to a problem or a concern, a sound solution would be to choose a measure or conduct an action, if possible, which causes reversible damage as oppose to a measure or an action causing an irreversible loss.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Cultural Appreciation Day August 22 of each year

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

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

The Cultural Appreciation Day celebration.

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

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


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

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

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

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

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We seek more symbiotical relationships with people and organizations

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

For examples we have symbiotical relatinships with:

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

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

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Proceedings of Global Dialogue 2008

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

Summary Table

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

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

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Global Sustainability

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Yes We Can Save The Planet

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Global Peace Movement

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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