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Volume 8       Issue 11    November  2010
Politics and Justice without borders

Theme this month: the new website of the Global Community

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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 2011, no fees  Participate now in Global Dialogue 2011
Global Dialogue 2011 Introduction Global Dialogue 2011 Introduction
Global Dialogue 2011 Program  Global Dialogue 2011 Program
Global Dialogue 2011 OVERVIEW of the process   Global Dialogue 2011 OVERVIEW of the process
Global Dialogue 2011 Call for Papers Global Dialogue 2011 Call for Papers

We the Peoples, all Life on Earth, are claiming ownership of the planet as a birthright.
"The Global Community is defined as being all that exits or occurs at any location at any time between the Ozone layer above and the core of the planet below. It is defined around a given territory, that territory being the planet as a whole, as well as a specific population, which is all life forms on Earth."
This definition includes all people, all life on Earth. That makes the Global Community the 21st century framework for Earth governance, and the only legitimate body with the power to make the laws of the land and to make the rules for the territory of the Earth.

We seek more symbiotical relationships with people and organizations We seek more symbiotical relationships
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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

Maude Barlow, Phyllis Bennis, Farooque Chowdhury, Kurt Cobb, Guy CREQUIE (3), Dr. Peter Custers, Marianne de Nazareth, Environment 360, Dr. Charles Mercieca (4), Dr. Nafeez Mosaddeq Ahmed, The BRussells Tribunal, Matthew Wild

Maude Barlow, We are Facing the Greatest Threat to Humanity: Only Fundamental Change Can Save Us
Phyllis Bennis, We Need Millennium Development RIGHTS, Not Just Goals
Farooque Chowdhury, The Age of Crises- Part I,
Kurt Cobb, Could Peak Oil Save The Human Species?
Dr. Peter Custers, Growing Conflict Over Arctic Resources And The Threat Of A Climate Catastrophe Custers
Marianne de Nazareth, Vulnerable Nations Could Take Industrialised Countries To Court, Say Lawyers
Environment 360, Global Warming Reaches Deep Ocean Depths
Dr. Charles Mercieca, American Political Philosophy: Analysis of Immigration Issue
Dr. Charles Mercieca, Violence in Perspective
Dr. Charles Mercieca, Ethics in Business Education
Dr. Charles Mercieca, Peace in Business Ventures
Dr. Nafeez Mosaddeq Ahmed, The End Of The World As We Know It In 10 Years? And The Rise Of The Post-Carbon Era...
The BRussells Tribunal, The BRussells Tribunal PARTITION BY CENSUS
Matthew Wild, Oil Analyst Tells Forbes: Peak Oil By 2017

Research papers and articles on global issues for this month
 Date sent  Theme or issue  Read
 October 16, 2010   Growing Conflict Over Arctic Resources And The Threat Of A Climate Catastrophe
by Dr. Peter Custers, Countercurrent,

At first the event sounds like a simple textbook story illustrating the conflicts which the world’s rich nations have for centuries been fighting over access to fossil fuels and other natural wealth. On September 21 last, an Arctic Forum was held in the Russian capital of Moscow. Organized by the Russian Geographic Society together with Russia’s press agency RIA Novosti, the Forum brought together hundreds of scientists and politicians hailing from countries bordering the Arctic region and from countries located farther away. Russia’s government, evidently pleased with the Forum, used the occasion to boost its own claims over large parts of the North Pole which is (still) covered by an icecap. In 2007 Russia already had pushed its claims, when its scientists had boarded a mini-submarine and had planted a rust-free flag of their nation on the bottom of the North Pole. Earlier yet, in 2001, Russia had submitted its bid to ownership over the underwater ridge known as ‘Lomonosov’ to the United Nations, arguing that the given geographic formation is an extension of Russia’s continental shelf. As Russian news reports on the Arctic Forum indicate, - Russia believes its claim to 1.2 million kilometer of the Arctic circle are in line with the rules set by the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea.

Yet Russia is by no means the only country that lays claims to a part of the North Pole. In fact, each of the five nations bordering the Arctic has been making its own separate bids. Denmark for instance, which rules over the vast ice-covered land mass of Greenland, largely located within the Arctic circle, has carried out its own scientific expedition aimed at backing up its own claims. And Denmark’s Scandinavian neighbor Norway has officially demanded that its rights over the eastern part of the Arctic be extended. The rationale underlying the fever of the Arctic border states appears to be just one: to reach out to the rich reserves of oil and gas deposited at the bottom of the Arctic circle, - either before or after the icecap of the North Pole melts. Both Russia and the USA, which too borders the region, i.e. from its Western side via Alaska state, are convinced that vast quantities of fossil fuels and other raw materials lie buried under the Arctic sea. According to figures of American experts that were cited at the Moscow Forum, - the Arctic’s extractable reserves include an estimated 90 Billion barrels of crude oil, and 50 Billion cubic meters of natural gas. Such figures suffice to entice energy-hungry nations. Especially at a time when the world is reaching ‘peak oil’, the point at which any further growth in the world’s size of oil production becomes elusive in view of the physical exhaustion of extractable reserves.

This story regarding competing ‘territorial’ claims may appear ordinary. Still, the circumstances surrounding future extraction of Arctic resources are by no means average. First, the North Pole, as indicated, is no land mass, but a deep sea area. Like the Antarctic, i.e. the pole located towards the Southern extreme of the globe, the North pole has been covered by ice ever since humans started roaming the earth. But the geographical circumstances of the two polar regions are widely divergent. Whereas the Antarctic is an ice-covered landmass surrounded by sea, - the centre of the Arctic features a deep sea area capped by ice. For two reasons, the idea of oil and natural gas extraction in this polar region is an extremely hazardous proposition. For one - the experience which the world’s oil corporations have gathered with drilling in areas covered by ice is limited. More ominously: BP’s oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico in April brings out that all deep sea drilling is risky, and that such drilling can easily result in a human and environmental catastrophe. In the wake of the oil spill, opponents of Arctic drilling in Alaska have intensified their efforts to prevent exploratory drilling by Shell along Alaska’s Northern shore. Yet one wonders whether the prohibition on deep sea drilling need not be greatly extended, so as to cover all sections of the Arctic.

To bring out that this proposition is not farfetched, we need to place Moscow’s Arctic Forum and the ‘territorial’ conflicts over the North Pole against the background of the debate over climate change. The risks deriving from the warming-up of the earth can very well be illustrated with data on the situation in the Arctic. If the whole ice sheet covering Greenland today were to melt, - this change alone according to climate experts would result in a 7 meter rise in sea levels worldwide. But the melting of ice in Greenland is not a distant prospect, for the effects of climate change are already visible here. Some of Greenland’s glaciers for instance have accelerated the speed at which they flow towards the sea along the country’s coast. One of these glaciers, the Kangerdlunggssuag, is reported to have doubled the velocity of its flow. As to the Arctic circle as a whole: the Arctic ice sheet has lost a reported 15 percent of its surface over the last thirty years, and 40 percent of its thickness. Both indigenous hunters and animals which depend on the ice sheet for their habitat suffer in consequence. The ice bear is one instance. Considered to be the symbol of the Arctic, the ice bear is threatened with extinction in the short term.

Against this background, the Moscow Forum on the Arctic seemed a rather surrealistic event. For the Arctic circle is the very region where the drama of the world’s climate catastrophe threatens being enacted. Two of the natural phenomena which scientists describe when speaking of ‘tipping points‘, of natural changes that in the future will speed up the pace of climate change, occur in the Arctic circle and its surroundings. The Arctic´s ice sheet causes what´s called the albedo effect, i.e. the reflection of the sun´s light back into space. And the permafrost, i.e. frozen soil, which covers a vast expanse of Russian territory along the Arctic, contains huge amounts of the potent greenhouse gas methane. Hence, the melting processes taking place in this part of the globe may ultimately cause a worldwide deluge, - a rise in sea water levels so rapid that hundreds of millions of people will be swept away almost overnight. Meanwhile, some states are getting prepared to enforce their claims over portions of the Arctic by military means. Russia reportedly is building special Arctic armed forces, and Canada has started construction of a military base in the region. Yet the very idea of oil and gas exploration in the Arctic circle seems an absurd proposition. Instead, there are strong reasons to demand that Russia and other Northern nations refrain from any exploration or extraction of fuel resources in the North Pole and the Arctic.

  Read Growing Conflict Over Arctic Resources And The Threat Of A Climate Catastrophe
 October 5, 2010   Vulnerable Nations Could Take Industrialised Countries To Court, Say Lawyers
by Marianne de Nazareth , Countercurrent,

The first time I was exposed to Climate Change deliberations and negotiations was as a media fellow of the UNFCCC (United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change ) at COP 14(Conference of the Parties) in Poznan, Poland, in 2008. To me, a journalist committed to sensitize my readers about the crisis of Climate Change and how it is in our hands to stem the tide, these negotiations flummoxed me. I could not understand how countries could sit together for hours and days ‘deliberating’ on the steps they planned to take in 2025 and 2050 when the steps that were imperative were now, This moment, immediate!

Then came chaotic COP 15 in Copenhagen and my heart sang as I left India for Copenhagen because I knew that Barack Obama, the new president of the richest economy in the world was coming to COP 15 and he would make things work. Till Copenhagen, the US refused to even acknowledge the crisis of Climate Change. Obama’s famous tag line that filled the hearts and minds of the world was “We can make a change!” so he would definitely go beyond the rhetoric I thought, at least for the sake of our environment and the world.

Instead COP15 was a screaming dissenting mass of humanity from all parts of the globe. There were apparently 45,000 accredited participants but only 12,000 could get in per day and on some days we stood outside in the freezing cold of Copenhagen in December, trying to get a chance to get in from 7am in the morning. Inside was no better with screaming NGO’s and countries walking out of negotiations on a whim. Countries like the Solomon Islands and Bangladesh revealed shockingly frightening stats where they could wake up to no country, being swallowed up by rising seas. The youth of those countries sat up on podiums, with heart rending witness accounts, trying to crack the hard exteriors of negotiators to wake up to the crisis. It was an appalling situation and my sympathies were totally with Yvo de Boer (the man is an impeccable gentleman) and the rest of the UNFCCC who were desperately trying to bash some semblance of an agreement out. Finally the world’s headlines screamed that COP15 had been a ‘failure’ but personally, I think Climate Change became headline making news rather than being relegated to the inner pages of the paper because of COP15.The common man who was unaware of the situation, sat up and began to take notice. To me – that was success.

COP 16 is around the corner and is planned to be held in Cancun, Mexico. Will there or won’t there be an agreement is anyone’s guess. Christiana Figueres has been appointed the new Executive Secretary and hopefully she is able to bring some sense into the proceedings. Again everything is in flux – no one can predict the outcome and most feel it’s going to be another Copenhagen. Just a huge waste of time, effort and money.

However now before the December meeting there is some interesting news put out by the Foundation for International Environmental Law and Development (FIELD) which makes heart- warming news if it can be slammed into place. Vulnerable nations could hasten international action on climate change by taking industrialised countries to court, say lawyers. Climate-vulnerable developing nations could use international law to break the current deadlock in the intergovernmental negotiations on climate change by taking industrialised nations to court, says a paper published on 4th Octoberby the Foundation for International Environmental Law and Development (FIELD).

The publication comes out as government officials from around the world gather in Tianjin, China for three days of negotiations under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).

“A large part of the relevant legal literature suggests that the main polluting nations can be held responsible under international law for the harmful effects of their greenhouse-gas emissions,” says the paper’s author, lawyer Christoph Schwarte.

“As a result affected countries may have a substantive right to demand the cessation of a certain amount of emissions. In selected cases they also have the procedural means to pursue an inter-state litigation in an international judicial forum such as the International Court of Justice in The Hague.”

Reading Schwarte’s paper one can see his case for a possible legal argument to float this lawsuit and he explains the potential impacts of bringing a case like this before an international court or tribunal. While there are various substantive and procedural legal hurdles, under certain circumstances litigation under public international law would be possible and could become a bargaining platform in the negotiations.

“Today, a credible case for inter-state litigation on climate change can be made,” says Schwarte. “Developing country governments are understandably reluctant to challenge any of the big donor nations in an international court or tribunal. But this may change once the impacts of climate change become even more visible and an adequate agreement remains wanting.”

FIELD analyzed the current legal discourse and has summarized its findings in a longer working paper, which it has made available online as an open wiki document to allow legal academics and practitioners to comment on, criticise or strengthen the arguments.

“While international judicial organs are unlikely to issue hard hitting judgments, climate change litigation may help to create the political pressure and third-party guidance required to re-invigorate the international negotiations, within or outside the UNFCCC,” says Schwarte.

He too states that at the current rate of progress, a new legal framework and ambitious emission reductions look unlikely in the near-term. As a result billions of extra tons of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases will be released into the atmosphere, and many scientists warn that this means global temperatures could rise by 4 degrees Celsius by the end of the century.

Joy Hyvarinen, Director of FIELD says ‘Progress in the international climate change negotiations is nowhere near enough to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to a safe level. Something new is needed to push the negotiations forward. Perhaps an international court case could help bring new momentum to the negotiations.’ But it will have to be a fast track court case, or it will turn into another pointless exercise in this seemingly inconclusive debate on Climate Change.

( The writer is a media fellow with UNFCCC, UNEP and the Robert Bosch Stiftung and teaches PG Journalism in St. Joseph’s College & COMMITS, Bangalore)

  Read Vulnerable Nations Could Take Industrialised Countries To Court, Say Lawyers
 October 3, 2010   The Age of Crises- Part I
by Farooque Chowdhury , Countercurrent,

It is an age of crises. Capitalism in its crisis-ridden history has never faced a similar situation like now when so many crises have “come down” on this earth, have joined together, acting together and also, acting against each other, aggravating all, and are threatening not only humanity, with which capitalism’s relation is antagonistic but which is essential for the survival of capitalism, but also the world system capitalism has constructed over centuries. Now it is not the proletariat, the grave diggers of capitalism, but the edifice, the world system capital has devised in its process of accumulation and globalization that is threatening the world capitalist system. The relationship, opposites uniting together and opposing each other, built up by capitalism is the show of its crisis generating efficiency. But, alas, none of the market mongers are there to celebrate this efficiency!

Crisis creating capacity of capitalism is being reaffirmed by the present state of the world. The world system is riddled with crises: The Great Financial Crisis, the Great Hunger, the environmental crisis, the energy crisis including the peak oil reality. The crisis in democracy is not limited in the periphery only. Advanced capitalist states are also showing signs of crisis in their body-politic. The issues of equity and equality, in the realms of distribution, access, entitlement, rights and resources, remain a far cry in the entire world system and thus constitute one of the biggest crises. The crises, on the one hand, are hindering the progress of humanity, and on the other, have appeared as a threat to world peace, to the peace in the lives of billions, to humanity’s quest for prosperity and happiness, to their efforts for a stable life. Thirst for accumulation, adventures for profit, hunger for expansion, and wars – propaganda, trade, diplomatic, and military – for empire have brought these crises that have been and are being designed and directed by a few. The triumph of capital in its globalization expedition has aggravated the situation. The adventure began since capital enthroned itself on the barbarous dream of appropriating all the resources and labor from all the continents and oceans, space and the depth of the earth, centuries ago, since capital crowned itself as the master of the entire world, of all the human beings, and of all life and dead, of history, philosophy, and science. The seed of crises it thus sowed in all spheres of life – nature and society, economy and politics, ideology and education, institutions and relations. It had no capacity to resolve the contradictions, antagonistic and irreconcilable, between the few indulging in unimaginable luxury and humanity striving for survival, created with its greed and cruelties, with its power for accumulation and appropriation, extortion and exploitation, with its energy to destroy and deface. The consequences of aggrandizement now are engulfing the entire earth with all the crises humanity is experiencing.

Has ever the earth experienced so many crises, so many crises simultaneously? Has any of the societies, slave owning or feudal, occidental or oriental, created any parallel to these crises? Had any of the empires, from the east to the west, the power to create any of the crises of this magnitude, global? Have all the civilizations of the past days ravaged resources of the earth to this level and thus created crises that now threaten the entire humanity? Were the crises created in the pre-present world system periods entwined together like the present, one influencing the others, and thus accelerating the speed and velocity towards the earth’s journey to its destruction? Can a single such crisis be identified there in the domains of savages and warlords, in the paths of conquests by conquerors and marauders? Were there crises in all the past phases of the world that joined together, that increased the magnitude of the rest? Not a single instance is there in the annals of human history, and thus the all powerful capital stands unparallel. But, it has gone to its limit, bankrupting itself of all creativity, but the power of destruction that now even threatens itself, and it still plans to reap profit by capitalizing the crises, the climate change, the environment crisis, the food and energy crises, etc., despite the looming demon of destruction over its fate. It has ignited fires of conflict and strife, and is increasing tension in geopolitics. But, it is failing to escape the fundamental contradictions, the contradictions that are embedded in its accumulation adventure.

[This is the 1st part of the introduction of The Age of Crisis by Farooque Chowdhury being serialized in Countercurrents.]

Also Read

The Age of Crises- Part I

Capital in Crisis Environment in Crisis [Part II]

Globalization of Crises [Part III]

The Age of Crises: North And South After “Globalization” [Part IV]

The Age of Crises: South: After The Great Financial Crisis [Part V]

The Age of Crises: Hunger Poverty Inequality [Part VI]

The Age of Crises: Banks And Financialization [Part VII]

The Age of Crises: Withering Unipoler Geopolitics- Part VIII

  Read The Age of Crises- Part I
 October 2, 2010   Oil Analyst Tells Forbes: Peak Oil By 2017
by Matthew Wild , Peak Generation, Countercurrent,

Respected oil analyst Charles Maxwell has told Forbes – and with it the North American business establishment – to brace itself for peak oil by “2017 or 2018.”

Maxwell is rapidly becoming the new Matthew Simmons, an establishment peak oil whistleblower. Simmons, present when the term peak oil was coined, went on to obtain a degree of mainstream respect for the concept, based on the pioneering work of M King Hubbert. In the Forbes interview, Maxwell suggests “around 2015, we will hit a near-plateau of production around the world,” with peak oil experienced within two to three years of this.

Much of the reaction to this isn’t over what was said – Maxwell has voiced similar peak oil warnings previously – so much as where it was said. Forbes is not noted as a friend of the peak oil hypothesis, which states geological restrictions mean there will be a time of maximum oil output and that, despite investment and innovation, production will subsequently diminish. Unconventional oil supplies such as Canadian oilsands will not be able to prevent this, despite the hype. Canada’s Prime Minister may claim “Alberta's tar sands are second only to Saudi Arabia as the world’s largest oil reserve,” but these are “energy- and capital- and time-intensive” and have lousy flow rates – output cannot be scaled up to meet the ravenous global demand for oil.

An item in Oil Price, with the clear headline Respected Oil Analyst Forecasts Peak Oil by 2017, notes with surprise that:

Respected oil analyst and oil industry veteran Charles Maxwell (nicknamed the ‘Dean of Oil Analysts’) has forecast peak oil by 2017or 2018:

His prediction is not so remarkable, as is where he made his prediction. The prediction was in Forbes, which has often scoffed at the notion of a near-term peak.

But a number of disparate commentators, working independently, are predicting a tightening in oil supplies perhaps as early as 2011. Reports published this year by a UK business consortium, the US military, insurers Lloyds, Kuwait University engineers, the German military and an Australian think tank collectively point to a coming supply crunch between 2012 and 2015. Together, they refer to a list of issues including oil industry underinvestment, declining new discoveries and aging oilfields - at a time of surging global demand.

According to the International Energy Agency’s Sept. 10 Oil Market Report, global demand is predicted to reach 86.6 million barrels per day in 2010, and then 87.9 million barrels per day in 2011 – passing the all-time high of 86.9 million barrels per day established in 2008 before the global economic downturn. Soaring demand is being pushed by China, the world’s fastest growing major economy and its largest energy consumer, and India, the world’s second-fastest growing economy.

The IEA’s chief economist Fatih Birol who, as I’ve mentioned previously, has been repeating the phrase the era of cheap oil is over at any chance he gets, was recently quoted talking about non-Opec oil “reaching a peak” and saying that “strong real demand growth and lack of investment in production [suggests that] in 2013, 2014 we may well see higher prices than we have seen in the recent past.”

And UK Energy Secretary Chris Huhne earlier this month spoke of a possible doubling in the price of oil, and a subsequent oil shock.

It’s hard to escape the impact of the repetition of the same few projected dates for the onset of peak oil by independent commentators. Which adds credence to the comments of Charles Maxwell, Weeden & Co.’s senior energy analyst - he's clearly not going out on a limb, after all. The Forbes interview, Bracing For Peak Oil Production by Decade's End, quotes him saying:

A bind is clearly coming. We think that the peak in production will actually occur in the period 2015 to 2020. And if I had to pick a particular year, I might use 2017 or 2018. That would suggest that around 2015, we will hit a near-plateau of production around the world, and we will hold it for maybe four or five years. On the other side of that plateau, production will begin slowly moving down. By 2020, we should be headed in a downward direction for oil output in the world each year instead of an upward direction, as we are today.

And at around 2015, we will be unable to produce the incremental barrel in the global system. So a tightness of supply will begin to be felt. Let's say in 2013, we may produce 1% more oil than we did the year before and then if we have a demand growth of 1¼% in 2013, we'll be very slightly tightening the system.

The difference between supply and demand is not going to be very much at first. It would not normally cause a big rise in price. On the other hand, in 2014, that tightness begins to grow and it is now a trend. By 2015 perhaps we're only able to produce 0.50% more with about 1.25% higher demand, so that we're 0.75% short. And now we have to raise prices enough to stop some people from using that oil because it is actually not available.

He suggests that oil “supply and demand are now in rough equilibrium and that means that prices are in a range between about $69 on the bottom and about $86 on the top,” but supply will most likely begin to turn tight “around 2013 or 2014.” It will naturally be followed by a price spike – and, he suggests subsequent windfall profit taxes on oil companies – and a global scramble to find alternatives to oil.

That begins to scare people, since they can look ahead and see that the issue is not going to be resolved quickly, since you have to find the oil many years in advance of being able to produce it. We just haven't found enough oil for a number of years, so this problem is now beyond the reach of some big, major discovery that suddenly would provide us with a sufficiency. And so far, we have no technological breakthrough to assist us.

So we're going to have to make a switch from using oil to using more coal or more natural gas or more nuclear or other alternatives. But most alternative supplies (such as hydropower) can't be expanded quickly. Solar power is too small to be meaningful. Wind power, again, is too small, and most of the good places for wind have already been taken.

Courtesy: Energy Bulletin

  Read Oil Analyst Tells Forbes: Peak Oil By 2017
 September 27, 2010   We Need Millennium Development RIGHTS, Not Just Goals
by Phyllis Bennis ,
YES! Magazine, Countercurrent,

Millennium Development Rights would transform the global struggle against poverty and provide accountability for governments, corporations, and others who deny those rights

President Obama’s speech at the UN’s summit on development acknowledged the “progress that has been made toward achieving certain Millennium Development Goals,” but cautioned that “we must also face the fact that progress towards other goals that were set has not come nearly fast enough. Not for the hundreds of thousands of women who lose their lives every year simply giving birth. Not for the millions of children who die from the agony of malnutrition. Not for the nearly one billion people who endure the misery of chronic hunger.”

The Millennium Development Goals, or MDGs, were part of the UN’s ambitious yet profoundly insufficient fifteen-year anti-poverty plan of 2000. The MDGs set out the goals of eradicating extreme poverty and hunger, achieving universal primary education, promoting gender equality, reducing child mortality, improving maternal mortality, combating HIV/AIDS, malaria and other diseases, ensuring environmental sustainability, and creating a global partnership for development—all by 2015.

But except for some anecdotal improvements in a few countries, the MDGs as a global effort to end extreme poverty by 2015 have so far failed. President Obama was, however understated, absolutely right when he said that the goals have not been met “nearly fast enough.” UN Secretary General Ban ki-Moon sounded a note of desperation, telling the summit that it was essential that “promises made become promises kept,” because the “consequences of doing otherwise are profound: death, illness and despair, needless suffering, lost opportunities for millions upon millions of people.”

Those consequences of failure are indeed endemic throughout the Global South—impacting the most vulnerable in every impoverished country, most especially women and children. But ultimately, among the governments and officials and agencies who crafted and embraced the MDGs, there is no one to blame, no one is held accountable. And that's not surprising. When you define something as a goal to be reached, or an aspiration to be achieved, or a hope or an ambition or a target, there is no real blame when the goal is not met. Oh sorry, we missed the goal. We'll try harder. We'll do things differently. It's no one's fault.

The high-profile MDG summit didn’t change the failure. According to Joanna Kerr, head of the advocacy group ActionAid, it was “an avalanche of warm sentiment that cleverly concealed the fact that no fully funded plans of action for tackling poverty were actually announced.” It was, she said, “an expensive side-show that offered everything to everyone and nothing to no one.”

Ban ki-Moon said “we must hold each other accountable,” and promised that the UN system would do its best to hold all sides accountable. But the very definition of the MDGs—these are development GOALS, after all—limits that accountability. The MDGs should have been identified from the beginning as 'MDRs'—Millennium Development RIGHTS. When rights are violated, someone, or some government, or some corporation, can be held accountable. Someone can go to court, or demand redress in some other way. That's why the U.S. has refused to ratify things like the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights—if that Covenant were the law of this land, things like jobs and health care and a decent standard of living would be RIGHTS in this country, not just goals and aspirations.

President Obama announced a new U.S. global development policy, and claimed that the U.S. is “changing the way we do business.” He said “aid alone is not development.” And he’s right. And he said “our focus on assistance has saved lives in the short term, but it hasn’t always improved those societies over the long term…. We have to offer nations and peoples a path out of poverty.” He’s right about that too. But then he goes on to identify “the most powerful force the world has ever known for eradicating poverty and creating opportunity”—and it wasn’t debt relief, the one sure method that works to improve people’s lives. No, President Obama’s goal is free markets and untrammeled economic growth. And that’s not likely to bring the MDGs any closer to success.

In 2015, President Obama might still be president. He, or his successor, will very likely face a world in which extreme poverty still destroys lives in the billions—a world in which extreme poverty and hunger still rule the day, where children continue to die too early and too many women die in childbirth, a world in which HIV/AIDS still ravages too many populations and in which environmental sustainability, universal education and gender equality remain out of reach.

The only way to change that reality is through building a new internationalist movement, involving civil society AND governments AND the United Nations. And a movement based on rights—with accountability when those rights are violated.

The MDGs have failed. We don’t need new strategies for the MDGs, we need MDRs. We need Millennium Development RIGHTS to change the world.

Phyllis Bennis wrote this article for YES! Magazine, a national, nonprofit media organization that fuses powerful ideas with practical actions. Phyllis is a Fellow of the Institute for Policy Studies and the Transnational Institute in Amsterdam. She is co-author of Ending the U.S. War in Afghanistan: A Primer.

YES! Magazine encourages you to make free use of this article by taking these easy steps. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons License

  Read We Need Millennium Development RIGHTS, Not Just Goals
 September 27, 2010   Could Peak Oil Save The Human Species?
by Kurt Cobb ,
Resource Insights, Countercurrent,

Nobody likes to hear a bleak diagnosis. But without a proper diagnosis, if you have a serious illness, your chances of survival become vanishingly small.

Enter Guy McPherson, conservation biologist, climate scientist and blogger, who despite his gloomy outlook about the prospects for industrial civilization--he thinks it could disappear within his lifetime--regards himself as an optimist. Why? Because back in 2002 after he finished editing a book on global climate change, he concluded that "we had set events in motion that would cause our own extinction, probably by 2030."

But, then he discovered the concept of peak oil and realized that "its consequences might bring the industrial economy to an overdue close, just in time." That development would make it possible for humans to persist on the planet for a considerably longer time by saving the life support systems of the Earth essential to both humans and the other species which humans rely on. Peak oil became a cause for optimism rather than pessimism.

I asked McPherson, who gave a talk this weekend near where I live, what would change his mind about the trajectory of industrial civilization. He answered that the discovery of a miraculous, cheap, easily scalable new energy source would probably allow our current arrangements to persist for a while longer. But such a development would be a death sentence for the human race since it would lead to the total destruction of the life support systems we rely on, systems which are only seriously crippled now. It would result in further population overshoot, resource depletion including that of soil and water, and further destruction of species we rely on for our well-being.

He likened what we are doing now to constructing an extra floor on the top of a 30-story brick structure using bricks pulled from the lower floors. We are engaging in the "world's largest game of Jenga" with the building blocks of our existence.

He says the emerging collapse of our modern living arrangements is not a recent phenomenon, but actually an ongoing process. He traces it back to the oil crises of the 1970s which were the beginning of the end. The key metric in his view is a peak in per capita oil consumption in 1979. McPherson says he would not be surprised if the endgame for industrial civilization plays out very quickly given the long period of stress both human society and the biosphere have been under for the last generation.

As a response he suggests focusing on four things: water, food, maintaining proper body temperature, and community. Water and food are obvious needs, but many of us don't think about whether the climate we live in will allow us to maintain proper body temperature. We have central heating and air conditioning to help us with that. But when such amenities are not available, the climate where we live will become crucial to our well-being and comfort.

By community he means building ties of mutual support with one's neighbors. "There ain't no lone rangers in collapse," McPherson explained. "If you look for ways to serve your community, you've got a good life ahead." His model is Monticello (minus the slaves) where "agriculture was the center of commerce and therefore the center of life."

As part of his own preparations he lives on land at moderate elevation with deep soils and easily accessible water. He grows food and raises goats for milk. The area is already populated by what he calls "life-loving economic doomers" who do not need to be convinced that industrial civilization is coming to an end. Mutual assistance is a way of life. Practical concerns trump philosophical and religious differences.

To do all this McPherson left his position as a tenured professor. He says at the beginning he knew practically nothing about how to provide the necessities for himself. "I could barely distinguish between a zucchini and a screwdriver," he explained. Now, he's milking goats, making cheese, growing vegetables and performing myriad our tasks necessary to a more localized existence, one that does not rely so heavily on the far-flung logistical networks of the globalized economy.

He doesn't call what he's doing "sustainable," a term which, he said, has even been co-opted by Wal-Mart. Instead, he refers to it as "durable," meaning he is trying to build a way of life that will outlive industrial civilization. He said his cosseted existence as an academic did little to prepare him for what he is doing now. But precisely because of this he is convinced that "if I can do this, anyone can do this."

And, in the manner of a principled prophet on a lonely mission, he soldiers on each day trying to help others build a durable way of life before it's too late.

Courtesy: Energy Bulletin

  Read Could Peak Oil Save The Human Species?
 September 23, 2010   The End Of The World As We Know It In 10 Years? And The Rise Of The Post-Carbon Era...
by Dr. Nafeez Mosaddeq Ahmed ,
Ceasefire Magazine, Countercurrent,

Only 500 generations ago, hunter-gatherers began cultivating crops and forming their tiny communities into social hierarchies. Around 15 to 20 generations ago, industrial capitalism erupted on a global scale.

In the last generation, the entire human species, along with virtually all other species and indeed the entire planet, have been thrown into a series of crises, which many believe threaten to converge in global catastrophe: global warming spiraling out of control; oil prices fluctuating wildly; food riots breaking out in the South; banks collapsing worldwide; the spectre of terror bombings in major cities; and the promise of ‘endless war’ to fight ‘violent extremists’ at home and abroad.

We are running out of time. Without urgent mitigating, preventive and transformative action, these global crises are likely to converge and mutually accelerate over the coming decades. By 2018, converging food, water and energy shortages could magnify the probability of conflict between major powers, civil wars, and cross-border conflicts. After 2020, this could result in political and economic catastrophes that would undermine state control and national infrastructures, potentially leading to social collapse.

Anthropogenic global warming alone illustrates the gravity of our predicament. Global average temperatures have already risen by 0.7C in the last 130 years. In 2007, the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) told the world that at current rates of increase of fossil fuel emissions, we were heading toward a rise in global average temperatures of around 6C by the end of this century, leading to mass extinctions on a virtually uninhabitable planet. The Proceedings for the National Academy of Sciences has reported that current fossil fuel emissions are exceeding this worst-case scenario.

Many scientists concede that without drastic emissions reductions by 2020, we are on the path toward a 4C rise as early as mid-century, with catastrophic consequences, including the loss of the world’s coral reefs; the disappearance of major mountain glaciers; the total loss of the Arctic summer sea-ice, most of the Greenland ice-sheet and the break-up of West Antarctica; acidification and overheating of the oceans; the collapse of the Amazon rainforest; and the loss of Arctic permafrost; to name just a few. Each of these ecosystem collapses could trigger an out-of-control runaway warming process. Worse, scientists at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and the University of California at Berkeley now project that we are actually on course to reach global temperatures of up to 8C within 90 years.

But our over-dependence on fossil fuels is also counterproductive even on its own terms. Increasing evidence demonstrates that peak oil is at hand. This is when world oil production reaches its maximum level at the point when half the world’s reserves of cheap oil have been depleted, after which it becomes geophysically increasingly difficult to extract it. This means that passed the half-way point, world production can never reach its maximum level again, and thus continuously declines until reserves are depleted. Until 2004, world oil production had risen continuously but thereafter underwent a plateau all the way through to 2008. Then from July to August 2008, world oil production fell by almost one million barrels per day. It’s still decreasing, even according to BP’s Statistical Review 2010 (which every year pretends that peak oil won’t happen for another 40 years) – in 2009 world oil production was 2.6 percent below that in 2008, and is now below 2004 levels.

Oil price volatility due to peak oil was a major factor that induced the 2008 economic recession. The collapse of the mortgage house of cards was triggered by the post-peak oil price shocks, which escalated costs of living and led to a cascade of debt-defaults. A study by US economist James Hamilton confirmed there would have been no recession without the oil price shocks. While the recession slumped demand, allowing oil prices to reduce, experts now warn of a coming oil supply crunch by around 2014. As climate change intensifies natural disasters – such as droughts in food-basket regions, floods in South Asia and the heatwave in Russia – and as the full impact of peak oil eventually hits, costs to national economies will rocket, while world food production declines.

Already, global warming has exacerbated droughts and led to declines in agricultural productivity over the last decade, including a 10-20 per cent drop in rice yields. The percentage of land stricken by drought doubled from 15 to 30 per cent between 1975 and 2000. If trends continue, by 2025, 1.8 billion people would be living in regions of water-scarcity, and two-thirds of the world population could be subject to water stress. By 2050, scientists project that world crop yields could fall as much as 20-40 per cent.

Maps released by scientists at the Center for Sustainability and the Global Environment (SAGE), University of Wisconsin-Madison, show that the earth is “rapidly running out of fertile land” for further agricultural development. No wonder, then, that world agricultural land productivity between 1990 and 2007 was 1.2 per cent per year, nearly half compared to 1950-90 levels of 2.1 per cent. Similarly, world grain consumption exceeded production for seven of eight years prior to 2008.

Apart from climate change, the ecological cost of industrial methods is fast eroding the soil – in the US, for instance, 30 times faster than the natural rate. Former prairie lands have lost one half of their top soil over about a 100 years of farming – but it takes 500 years to replace just one-inch. Erosion is now reducing productivity by up to 65 per cent a year. The dependence of industrial agriculture on hydrocarbon energy sources – with ten calories of fossil fuel energy needed to produce just one calorie of food – means that the impact of peak oil after 2014 will hugely constrain future world agricultural production.

But oil is not the only problem. Numerous studies show that hydrocarbon resources will become increasingly depleted by mid-century, and by the end of this century will be so scarce as to be useless – although we do have enough to potentially tip us over into irreversible runaway global warming.

Former TOTAL geologist Jean Laharrere projects that world natural gas production will peak by around 2025. New technologies mean that unconventional forms of natural gas in the US might prolong this some decades, but only if future demand doesn’t increase. The independent Energy Watch Group (EGW) in Berlin projects that world coal production will also peak in 2025, but the journal Science finds that this could occur “close to the year 2011.” EGW also argues that world production of uranium for nuclear energy will peak in 2035. According to the Hydrocarbon Depletion Study Group at Uppsala University, unconventional oil – such as oil shale and tar sands –will be incapable of averting peak oil. Greater attention has turned to thorium, which certainly holds greater promise than uranium, but as pointed out by the Institute for Energy and Environmental Research in Washington DC, thorium still requires uranium to “kick-start” a nuclear chain reaction, and as yet no viable commercial reactors have been built despite decades of research.

The exponential expansion of modern industrial civilization over the last couple of centuries, and the liberal ideology of ‘unlimited growth’ that has accompanied it, has been tied indelibly to 1) the seemingly unlimited supply of energy provided by nature’s fossil fuel reserves and 2) humankind’s willingness to over-exploit our environment with no recognition of boundaries or constraints. But the 21st century is the age of irreversible hydrocarbon energy depletion – the implication being that industrial civilization, in its current form, cannot last beyond this century.

This means that this century signals not only the end of the carbon age, but the beginning of a new post-carbon era. Therefore, this century should be understood as an age of civilizational transition – the preceding crises are interlocking symptoms of a global political economy, ideology and value-system which is no longer sustainable, which is crumbling under its own weight, and which over the next few decades will be recognized as obsolete. The question that remains, of course, is what will take its place?

While we may not be able to stop various catastrophes and collapse-processes from occurring, we still retain an unprecedented opportunity to envisage an alternative vision for a new, sustainable and equitable form of post-carbon civilization.The imperative now is for communities, activists, scholars and policymakers to initiate dialogue on the contours of this vision, and pathways to it.

Any vision for ‘another world’, if it is to overcome the deep-rooted structural failures of our current business-as-usual model, will need to explore how we can develop new social, political and economic structures which encourage the following:

1. Widespread distribution of ownership of productive resources so that all members of society have a stake in agricultural, industrial and commercial productive enterprises, rather than a tiny minority monopolising resources for their own interests.

2. More decentralised politico-economic participation through self-managerial producer and consumer councils to facilitate participatory decision-making in economic enterprises.

3. Re-defining the meaning of economic growth to focus less on materially-focused GDP, and more on the capacity to deliver values such as health, education, well-being, longevity, political and cultural freedom.

4. Fostering a new, distributed renewable energy infrastructure based on successful models such as that of the borough of Woking in Surrey, UK.

5. Structural reform of the monetary, banking and financial system including abolition of interest, in particular the cessation of money-creation through government borrowing on compound interest.

6. Elimination of unrestricted lending system based on faulty quantitative risk-assessment models, with mechanisms to facilitate greater regulation of lending practices by bank depositors themselves.

7. Development of parallel grassroots participatory political structures that are both transnational and community-oriented, by which to facilitate community governance as well as greater popular involvement in mainstream political institutions.

8. Development of parallel grassroots participatory economic institutions that are both transnational and community-oriented, to facilitate emergence of alternative equitable media of exchange and loans between North and South.

9. Emergence of a ‘post-materialist’ scientific paradigm and worldview which recognizes that the cutting-edge insights of physics and biology undermine traditional, mechanistic conceptions of the natural order, pointing to a more holistic understanding of life and nature.

10. Emergence of a ‘post-materialist’ ethic recognizing that progressive values and ideals such as justice, compassion, and generosity are more conducive to the survival of the human species, and thus more in harmony with the natural order, than the conventional ‘materialistic’ behaviours associated with neoliberal consumerism.

Dr. Nafeez Mosaddeq Ahmed is Executive Director of the Institute for Policy Research & Development in London. His latest book is A User’s Guide to the Crisis of Civilization (Pluto, 2010).

  Read The End Of The World As We Know It In 10 Years? And The Rise Of The Post-Carbon Era...
 September 24, 2010   Global Warming Reaches Deep Ocean Depths
by Environment 360,
E360.yale.edu, Countercurrent,

The warming trend on the planet has reached deep into world oceans over the last two decades, particularly in the waters around Antarctica, according to a new study. While earlier studies have shown that the upper levels of the planet’s oceans are getting warmer, scientists with the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration say their latest research shows that waters at a depth of 3,300 feet and more have absorbed about 16 percent of the heat accumulating in the upper layers of the ocean.

While the temperature increase is relatively slight — about 0.02 degrees C per decade in the Southern Ocean, and less elsewhere — researchers say it’s still a significant increase given the massive volume of water involved and the high capacity of water to absorb heat. That temperature increase has not only caused ocean water to expand worldwide, increasing sea levels, but has contributed to the melting of some Antarctic ice sheets, according to the paper, published in the Journal of Climate. Sea levels around Antarctica have increased by 3 millimeters annually — about an eighth of an inch — since 1993.

  Read Global Warming Reaches Deep Ocean Depths
 October 15, 2010   We are Facing the Greatest Threat to Humanity: Only Fundamental Change Can Save Us
Maude Barlow, AlterNet,
Maude Barlow gave this stirring plenary speech, full of hope even in the face of ecological disasters, to the Environmental Grantmakers Association annual retreat in Pacific Grove, California. Barlow, a former UN Senior Water Advisor, is National Chairperson of the Council of Canadians and founder of the Blue Planet Project. Barlow is a contributor to AlterNet's forth-coming book Water Matters: Why We Need to Act Now to Save Our Most Critical Resource.

Quite simply, human-centered governance systems are not working and we need new economic, development and environmental policies.

We all know that the earth and all upon it face a growing crisis. Global climate change is rapidly advancing, melting glaciers, eroding soil, causing freak and increasingly wild storms, and displacing untold millions from rural communities to live in desperate poverty in peri-urban slums. Almost every human victim lives in the global South, in communities not responsible for greenhouse gas emissions. The atmosphere has already warmed up almost a full degree in the last several decades and a new Canadian study reports that we may be on course to add another 6 degrees Celsius (10.8 degrees Fahrenheit) by 2100.

Half the tropical forests in the world – the lungs of our ecosystems – are gone; by 2030, at the current rate of harvest, only 10% will be left standing. Ninety percent of the big fish in the sea are gone, victim to wanton predatory fishing practices. Says a prominent scientist studying their demise “there is no blue frontier left.” Half the world’s wetlands – the kidneys of our ecosystems – were destroyed in the 20th century. Species extinction is taking place at a rate one thousand times greater than before humans existed. According to a Smithsonian scientist, we are headed toward a “biodiversity deficit” in which species and ecosystems will be destroyed at a rate faster than Nature can create new ones.

We are polluting our lakes, rivers and streams to death. Every day, 2 million tons of sewage and industrial and agricultural waste are discharged into the world’s water, the equivalent of the weight of the entire human population of 6.8 billion people. The amount of wastewater produced annually is about six times more water than exists in all the rivers of the world. A comprehensive new global study recently reported that 80% of the world’s rivers are now in peril, affecting 5 billion people on the planet. We are also mining our groundwater far faster than nature can replenish it, sucking it up to grow water-guzzling chemical-fed crops in deserts or to water thirsty cities that dump an astounding 200 trillion gallons of land-based water as waste in the oceans every year. The global mining industry sucks up another 200 trillion gallons, which it leaves behind as poison. Fully one third of global water withdrawals are now used to produce biofuels, enough water to feed the world. A recent global survey of groundwater found that the rate of depletion more than doubled in the last half century. If water was drained as rapidly from the Great Lakes, they would be bone dry in 80 years.

The global water crisis is the greatest ecological and human threat humanity has ever faced. As vast areas of the planet are becoming desert as we suck the remaining waters out of living ecosystems and drain remaining aquifers in India, China, Australia, most of Africa, all of the Middle East, Mexico, Southern Europe, US Southwest and other places. Dirty water is the biggest killer of children; every day more children die of water borne disease than HIV/AIDS, malaria and war together. In the global South, dirty water kills a child every three and a half seconds. And it is getting worse, fast. By 2030, global demand for water will exceed supply by 40%— an astounding figure foretelling of terrible suffering.

Knowing there will not be enough food and water for all in the near future, wealthy countries and global investment, pension and hedge funds are buying up land and water, fields and forests in the global South, creating a new wave of invasive colonialism that will have huge geo-political ramifications. Rich investors have already bought up an amount of land double the size of the United Kingdom in Africa alone.

We Simply Cannot Continue on the Present Path

I do not think it possible to exaggerate the threat to our earth and every living thing upon it. Quite simply we cannot continue on the path that brought us here. Einstein said that problems cannot be solved by the same level of thinking that created them. While mouthing platitudes about caring for the earth, most of our governments are deepening the crisis with new plans for expanded resource exploitation, unregulated free trade deals, more invasive investment, the privatization of absolutely everything and unlimited growth. This model of development is literally killing the planet.

Unlimited growth assumes unlimited resources, and this is the genesis of the crisis. Quite simply, to feed the increasing demands of our consumer based system, humans have seen nature as a great resource for our personal convenience and profit, not as a living ecosystem from which all life springs. So we have built our economic and development policies based on a human-centric model and assumed either that nature would never fail to provide or that, where it does fail, technology will save the day.

Two Problems that Hinder the Environmental Movement

From the perspective of the environmental movement, I see two problems that hinder us in our work to stop this carnage. The first is that, with notable exceptions, most environmental groups either have bought into the dominant model of development or feel incapable of changing it. The main form of environmental protection in industrialized countries is based on the regulatory system, legalizing the discharge of large amounts of toxics into the environment. Environmentalists work to minimize the damage from these systems, essentially fighting for inadequate laws based on curbing the worst practices, but leaving intact the system of economic globalization at the heart of the problem. Trapped inside this paradigm, many environmentalists essentially prop up a deeply flawed system, not imagining they are capable of creating another.

Hence, the support of false solutions such as carbon markets, which, in effect, privatize the atmosphere by creating a new form of property rights over natural resources. Carbon markets are predicated less on reducing emissions than on the desire to make carbon cuts as cheap as possible for large corporations.

Another false solution is the move to turn water into private property, which can then be hoarded, bought and sold on the open market. The latest proposals are for a water pollution market, similar to carbon markets, where companies and countries will buy and sell the right to pollute water. With this kind of privatization comes a loss of public oversight to manage and protect watersheds. Commodifying water renders an earth-centred vision for watersheds and ecosystems unattainable.

Then there is PES, or Payment for Ecological Services, which puts a price tag on ecological goods – clean air, water, soil etc, – and the services such as water purification, crop pollination and carbon sequestration that sustain them. A market model of PES is an agreement between the “holder” and the “consumer” of an ecosystem service, turning that service into an environmental property right. Clearly this system privatizes nature, be it a wetland, lake, forest plot or mountain, and sets the stage for private accumulation of nature by those wealthy enough to be able to buy, hoard sell and trade it. Already, northern hemisphere governments and private corporations are studying public/private/partnerships to set up lucrative PES projects in the global South. Says Friends of the Earth International, “Governments need to acknowledge that market-based mechanisms and the commodification of biodiversity have failed both biodiversity conservation and poverty alleviation.”

The second problem with our movement is one of silos. For too long environmentalists have toiled in isolation from those communities and groups working for human and social justice and for fundamental change to the system. On one hand are the scientists, scholars, and environmentalists warning of a looming ecological crisis and monitoring the decline of the world’s freshwater stocks, energy sources and biodiversity. On the other are the development experts, anti-poverty advocates, and NGOs working to address the inequitable access to food, water and health care and campaigning for these services, particularly in the global South. The assumption is that these are two different sets of problems, one needing a scientific and ecological solution, the other needing a financial solution based on pulling money from wealthy countries, institutions and organizations to find new resources for the poor.

The clearest example I have is in the area I know best, the freshwater crisis. It is finally becoming clear to even the most intransigent silo separatists that the ecological and human water crises are intricately linked, and that to deal effectively with either means dealing with both. The notion that inequitable access can be dealt with by finding more money to pump more groundwater is based on a misunderstanding that assumes unlimited supply, when in fact humans everywhere are overpumping groundwater supplies. Similarly, the hope that communities will cooperate in the restoration of their water systems when they are desperately poor and have no way of conserving or cleaning the limited sources they use is a cruel fantasy. The ecological health of the planet is intricately tied to the need for a just system of water distribution.

The global water justice movement (of which I have the honour of being deeply involved) is, I believe, successfully incorporating concerns about the growing ecological water crisis with the promotion of just economic, food and trade policies to ensure water for all. We strongly believe that fighting for equitable water in a world running out means taking better care of the water we have, not just finding supposedly endless new sources. Through countless gatherings where we took the time to really hear one another – especially grassroots groups and tribal peoples closest to the struggle – we developed a set of guiding principles and a vision for an alternative future that are universally accepted in our movement and have served us well in times of stress. We are also deeply critical of the trade and development policies of the World Trade Organization, the World Bank and the World Water Council (whom I call the “Lords of water”), and we openly challenge their model and authority.

Similarly, a fresh and exciting new movement exploded onto the scene in Copenhagen and set all the traditional players on their heads. The climate justice movement whose motto is Change the System, Not the Climate, arrived to challenge not only the stalemate of the government negotiators but the stale state of too cosy alliances between major environmental groups, international institutions and big business – the traditional “players” on the climate scene. Those climate justice warriors went on to gather at another meeting in Cochabamba, Bolivia, producing a powerful alternative declaration to the weak statement that came out of Copenhagen. The new document forged in Bolivia put the world on notice that business as usual is not on the climate agenda.

How the Commons Fits In

I deeply believe it is time for us to extend these powerful new movements, which fuse the analysis and hard work of the environmental community with the vision and commitment of the justice community, into a whole new form of governance that not only challenges the current model of unlimited growth and economic globalization but promotes an alternative that will allow us and the Earth to survive. Quite simply, human-centred governance systems are not working and we need new economic, development, and environmental policies as well as new laws that articulate an entirely different point of view from that which underpins most governance systems today. At the centre of this new paradigm is the need to protect natural ecosystems and to ensure the equitable and just sharing of their bounty. It also means the recovery of an old concept called the Commons.

The Commons is based on the notion that just by being members of the human family, we all have rights to certain common heritages, be they the atmosphere and oceans, freshwater and genetic diversity, or culture, language and wisdom. In most traditional societies, it was assumed that what belonged to one belonged to all. Many indigenous societies to this day cannot conceive of denying a person or a family basic access to food, air, land, water and livelihood. Many modern societies extended the same concept of universal access to the notion of a social Commons, creating education, health care and social security for all members of the community. Since adopting the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in 1948, governments are obliged to protect the human rights, cultural diversity and food security of their citizens.

A central characteristic of the Commons is the need for careful collaborative management of shared resources by those who use them and allocation of access based on a set of priorities. A Commons is not a free-for-all. We are not talking about a return to the notion that nature’s capacity to sustain our ways is unlimited and anyone can use whatever they want, however they want, whenever they want. It is rooted rather in a sober and realistic assessment of the true damage that has already been unleashed on the world’s biological heritage as well as the knowledge that our ecosystems must be managed and shared in a way that protects them now and for all time.

Also to be recovered and expanded is the notion of the Public Trust Doctrine, a longstanding legal principle which holds that certain natural resources, particularly air, water and the oceans, are central to our very existence and therefore must be protected for the common good and not allowed to be appropriated for private gain. Under the Public Trust Doctrine, governments exercise their fiduciary responsibilities to sustain the essence of these resources for the long-term use and enjoyment of the entire populace, not just the privileged who can buy inequitable access.

The Public Trust Doctrine was first codified in 529 A.D. by Emperor Justinius who declared: “By the laws of nature, these things are common to all mankind: the air, running water, the sea and consequently the shores of the sea.” U.S. courts have referred to the Public Trust Doctrine as a “high, solemn and perpetual duty” and held that the states hold title to the lands under navigable waters “in trust for the people of the State.” Recently, Vermont used the Public Trust Doctrine to protect its groundwater from rampant exploitation, declaring that no one owns this resource but rather, it belongs to the people of Vermont and future generations. The new law also places a priority for this water in times of shortages: water for daily human use, sustainable food production and ecosystem protection takes precedence over water for industrial and commercial use.

An exciting new network of Canadian, American and First Nations communities around the Great Lakes is determined to have these lakes names a Commons, a public trust and a protected bioregion.

Equitable access to natural resources is another key character of the Commons. These resources are not there for the taking by private interests who can then deny them to anyone without means. The human right to land, food, water, health care and biodiversity are being codified as we speak from nation-state constitutions to the United Nations. Ellen Dorsey and colleagues have recently called for a human rights approach to development, where the most vulnerable and marginalized communities take priority in law and practice. They suggest renaming the United Nation’s Millennium Development Goals the Millennium Development Rights and putting the voices of the poor at the centre.

This would require the meaningful involvement of those affected communities, especially Indigenous groups, in designing and implementing development strategies. Community-based governance is another basic tenet of the Commons.

Inspiring Successes Around the Globe

Another crucial tenet of the new paradigm is the need to put the natural world back into the centre of our existence. If we listen, nature will teach us how to live. Again, using the issue I know best, we know exactly what to do to create a secure water future: protection and restoration of watersheds; conservation; source protection; rainwater and storm water harvesting; local, sustainable food production; and meaningful laws to halt pollution. Martin Luther King Jr. said legislation may not change the heart but it will restrain the heartless.

Life and livelihoods have been returned to communities in Rajasthan, India, through a system of rainwater harvesting that has made desertified land bloom and rivers run again thanks to the collective action of villagers. The city of Salisbury South Australia, has become an international wonder for greening desertified land in the wake of historic low flows of the Murray River. It captures every drop of rain that falls from the sky and collects storm and wastewater and funnels it all through a series of wetlands, which clean it, to underground natural aquifers, which store it, until it is needed.

In a “debt for nature” swap, Canada, the U.S. and The Netherlands cancelled the debt owed to them by Colombia in exchange for the money being used for watershed restoration. The most exciting project is the restoration of 16 large wetland areas of the Bogotá River, which is badly contaminated, to pristine condition. Eventually the plan is to clean up the entire river. True to principles of the Commons, the indigenous peoples living on the sites were not removed, but rather, have become caretakers of these protected and sacred places.

The natural world also needs its own legal framework, what South African environmental lawyer Cormac Culllinen calls “wild law.” The quest is a body of law that recognizes the inherent rights of the environment, other species and water itself outside of their usefulness to humans. A wild law is a law to regulate human behaviour in order to protect the integrity of the earth and all species on it. It requires a change in the human relationship with the natural world from one of exploitation to one of democracy with other beings. If we are members of the earth’s community, then our rights must be balanced against those of plants, animals, rivers and ecosystems. In a world governed by wild law, the destructive, human-centred exploitation of the natural world would be unlawful. Humans would be prohibited from deliberately destroying functioning ecosystems or driving other species to extinction.

This kind of legal framework is already being established. The Indian Supreme Court has ruled that protection of natural lakes and ponds is akin to honouring the right to life – the most fundamental right of all according to the Court. Wild law was the inspiration behind an ordinance in Tamaqua Borough, Pennsylvania that recognized natural ecosystems and natural communities within the borough as “legal persons” for the purposes of stopping the dumping of sewage sludge on wild land. It has been used throughout New England in a series of local ordinances to prevent bottled water companies from setting up shop in the area. Residents of Mount Shasta California have put a wild law ordinance on the November 2010 ballot to prevent cloud seeding and bulk water extraction within city limits.

In 2008, Ecuador’s citizens voted two thirds in support of a new constitution, which says, “Natural communities and ecosystems possess the unalienable right to exist, flourish and evolve within Ecuador. Those rights shall be self-executing, and it shall be the duty and right of all Ecuadorian governments, communities, and individuals to enforce those rights.” Bolivia has recently amended its constitution to enshrine the philosophy of “living well” as a means of expressing concern with the current model of development and signifying affinity with nature and the need for humans to recognize inherent rights of the earth and other living beings. The government of Argentina recently moved to protect its glaciers by banning mining and oil drilling in ice zones. The law sets standards for protecting glaciers and surrounding ecosystems and creates penalties just for harming the country’s fresh water heritage.

The most far-reaching proposal for the protection of nature itself is the Universal Declaration on the Rights of Mother Earth that was drafted at the April 2010 World People’s Conference on Climate Change in Cochabamba, Bolivia and endorsed by the 35,000 participants there. We are writing a book setting out our case for this Declaration to the United Nations and the world. The intent is for it to become a companion document to the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Every now and then in history, the human race takes a collective step forward in its evolution. Such a time is upon us now as we begin to understand the urgent need to protect the earth and its ecosystems from which all life comes. The Universal Declaration on the Rights of Mother Earth must become a history-altering covenant toward a just and sustainable future for all.

What Can We Do Right Now?

What might this mean for funders and other who share these values? Well, let me be clear: the hard work of those fighting environmental destruction and injustice must continue. I am not suggesting for one moment that his work is not important or that the funding for this work is not needed. I do think however, that there are ways to move the agenda I have outlined here forward if we put our minds to it.

Anything that helps bridge the solitudes and silos is pure gold. Bringing together environmentalists and justice activists to understand one another’s work and perspective is crucial. Both sides have to dream into being – together – the world they know is possible and not settle for small improvements to the one we have. This means working for a whole different economic, trade and development model even while fighting the abuses existing in the current one. Given a choice between funding an environmental organization that basically supports the status quo with minor changes and one that promotes a justice agenda as well, I would argue for the latter.

Support that increases capacity at the base is also very important, as is funding that connects domestic to international struggle, always related even when not apparent. Funding for those projects and groups fighting to abolish or fundamentally change global trade and banking institutions that maintain corporate dominance and promote unlimited and unregulated growth is still essential.

How Clean Water Became a Human Right

We all, as well, have to find ways to thank and protect those groups and governments going out on a limb to promote an agenda for true change. A very good example is President Evo Morales of Bolivia, who brought the climate justice movement together in Cochabamba last April and is leading the campaign at the UN to promote the Rights of Mother Earth.

It was this small, poor, largely indigenous landlocked country, and its former coca-farmer president, that introduced a resolution to recognize the human right to water and sanitation this past June to the UN General Assembly, taking the whole UN community by surprise. The Bolivian UN Ambassador, Pablo Solon, decided he was fed up with the “commissions” and “further studies” and “expert consultations” that have managed to put off the question of the right to water for at least a decade at the UN and that it was time to put an “up or down” question to every country: do you or do you not support the human right to drinking water and sanitation?

A mad scramble ensued as a group of Anglo-Western countries, all promoting to some extent the notion of water as a private commodity, tried to derail the process and put off the vote. The U.S., Canada, the UK, Australia and New Zealand even cooked up a “consensus” resolution that was so bland everyone would likely have handily voted for it at an earlier date. But sitting beside the real thing, it looked like what it was – an attempt, yet again, to put off any meaningful commitment at the UN to the billions suffering from lack of clean water. When that didn’t work, they toiled behind the scenes to weaken the wording of the Bolivian resolution but to no avail. On July 28, 2010, the UN General Assembly overwhelmingly voted to adopt a resolution recognizing the human right to water and sanitation. One hundred and twenty two countries voted for the resolution; 41 abstained; not one had the courage to vote against.

I share this story with you not only because my team and I were deeply involved in the lead up to this historic vote and there for it the day it was presented, but because it was the culmination of work done by a movement operating on the principles I have outlined above.

We took the time to establish the common principles that water is a Commons that belongs to the earth, all species, and the future, and is a fundamental human right not to be appropriated for profit. We advocate for the Public Trust Doctrine in law at every level of government. We set out to build a movement that listens first and most to the poorest among us, especially indigenous and tribal voices. We work with communities and groups in other movements, especially those working on climate justice and trade justice. We understand the need for careful collaborative cooperation to restore the functioning of watersheds and we have come to revere the water that gives life to all things upon the Earth. While we clearly have much left to do, these water warriors inspire me and give me hope. They get me out of bed every morning to fight another day.

I believe I am in a room full of stewards and want, then to leave you with these words from Lord of the Rings. This is Gandalf speaking the night before he faces a terrible force that threatens all living beings. His words are for you.

“The rule of no realm is mine, but all worthy things that are in peril, as the world now stand, those are my care. And for my part, I shall not wholly fail in my task if anything passes through this night that can still grow fair, or bear fruit, and flower again in the days to come.

For I too am a steward, did you not know?” —J.R.R. Tolkien

  Read We are Facing the Greatest Threat to Humanity: Only Fundamental Change Can Save Us
 October 10, 2010   American Political Philosophy: Analysis of Immigration Issue
by Dr. Charles Mercieca
Global Peace Movement

President, International Association of Educators for World Peace
Dedicated to United Nations Goals of Peace Education
Environmental Protection, Human Rights & Disarmament
Professor Emeritus, Alabama A&M University

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 October 11, 2010   Violence in Perspective
by Dr. Charles Mercieca
Global Peace Movement

President, International Association of Educators for World Peace
Dedicated to United Nations Goals of Peace Education
Environmental Protection, Human Rights & Disarmament
Professor Emeritus, Alabama A&M University

Violence in Perspective, October 11, 2010. Violence in Perspective Download full WORD document by author Violence in Perspective
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 October 27, 2010   Ethics in Business Education
by Dr. Charles Mercieca
Global Peace Movement

President, International Association of Educators for World Peace
Dedicated to United Nations Goals of Peace Education
Environmental Protection, Human Rights & Disarmament
Professor Emeritus, Alabama A&M University

Ethics in Business Education , October 27, 2010. Ethics in Business Education Download full WORD document by author Ethics in Business Education
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 October 29, 2010   Peace in Business Ventures
by Dr. Charles Mercieca
Global Peace Movement

President, International Association of Educators for World Peace
Dedicated to United Nations Goals of Peace Education
Environmental Protection, Human Rights & Disarmament
Professor Emeritus, Alabama A&M University

Peace in Business Ventures , October 29, 2010. Peace in Business Ventures Download full WORD document by author Peace in Business Ventures
  Read Peace in Business Ventures
 October 11, 2010  
par Ambassadeur de la paix Guy CREQUIE
Visit  Guy CREQUIE Global File
Poète, écrivain et chanteur français pour la paix et les droits humains.
Messager de la culture de la paix du Manifeste 2000 popularisé par l’UNESCO
Lauréat Européen et mondial des Académies de la culture et des arts.

Il y a quelques années, une commission a été mise en place par l’ancien Secrétaire général de l’ONU, Kofi ANNAN . Depuis, elle a rendu ses conclusions, certains ajustements ont été faits, des nouvelles instances en son sein ont été mises en place, cependant, la vénérable Institution est-elle réellement l’instrument de la gouvernance mondiale ? Je ne le pense pas !

Déjà, lors de la mise en place de l’OMC après le Gatt, j’ai émis l’idée, que cet organisme soit une branche sous le contrôle des Nations Unies ? Ceci, car l’équilibre alimentaire, celui des services au stade de la mondialisation peuvent créer des avancées sociales comme des conflits. Ceci, alors que le sommet du millénaire, a fait de la lutte contre la pauvreté, l’une de ses priorités, et que l’UNESCO, a déclaré la pauvreté comme une atteinte fondamentale aux droits de l’homme, comme peuvent l’être : la torture ou les mines anti personnelles..

Durant toute une période, le rapport des forces entre l’ex URSS et les USA, a nui à l’évolution et au crédit de la structure ; et le fait : que le Conseil de sécurité de l’ONU soit composée de 5 membres permanents lesquels, disposent tous de l’arme nucléaire et se figent, dés que leurs intérêts sont mis en cause. Bref, ceci gêne l’évolution de l’Institution. Ainsi, les Etats –Unis, ont toujours bloqué toute tentative de condamner Tel Aviv, qui ne respectait pas les résolutions du conseil de sécurité. Egalement, la tragédie tchétchène a pu perdurer, ceci car Moscou interdisait à l’Institution de s’en mêler.

Pékin est chatouilleuse, dés que la question de sa chasse gardée est menacée, la France et la Grande Bretagne, ont pratiqué de même lors de la guerre d’Algérie et d’Irlande, etc..

Alors certes ,l’entrée du Brésil soutenu par la France, comme celle de l’Afrique du Sud serait une bonne chose. Cependant, dans ce monde polarisé, j’irai plus loin encore. Depuis le tournant libéral des années 80, de fait, ce sont les structures comme la banque mondiale, le fonds monétaire international, et les structures politiques des plus forts économiquement et financièrement qui dirigent le monde comme le G8 élargi au G20 .

Pour ma part, je pense que le Conseil permanent de sécurité de l’ONU devrait être élargi au Japon = le seul pays à avoir connu la tragédie atomique, mais également a une représentation par continent non représenté actuellement en son sein.

Compte tenu, que bien des documents comme la charte de l’ONU, la déclaration universelle des droits de l’homme (que j’ai proposé d’amender par une nouvelle déclaration des droits et devoirs humains des citoyens et des Etats,) d’autres documents, demeurent des références planétaires, et que la déclaration initiale de l’ONU débute par ces mot s »Nous les peuples… » Il deviendra urgent, que l’Assemblée générale de l’ONU, donne davantage de place aux représentants de la société civile avec voix délibérative, et non seulement consultative.

De fait, l’appel de l’ONU est devenu la référence des ONG et mouvement sociaux qui luttent, espèrent …Pour que l’eau, l’énergie, les aliments, le logement, l’éducation, les droits fondamentaux de la femme, la santé….ne soient pas des marchandises au gré des profits et des influences, par la force ou les pressions du pouvoir, il y faut une gouvernance mondiale, certes, respectant les Nations et les Unions, mais fixant des règles d’harmonie et de paix, des règles écologiques, pour l’avenir et l’équilibre de la planète terre.

Pour le prochain mandat du poste de Secrétaire général, je propose, qu'une femme devienne la titulaire (expérience qui contribuerait à la prise en considération du respect des droits fondamentaux de la femme dont celle de l'accès à toutes les responsabilités comme les hommes.)

Il s'agirait, de désigner une personne connue pour ses compétences, son autorité, son charisme personnel, et sa notoriété publique. Les femmes donnent la vie, l'acharnement à la paix, pourrait caractériser la titulaire de la fonction.

Copyright Guy CREQUIE
Auteur et chanteur pour la paix, les droits et devoirs humains
Messager de la culture de la paix
Lauréat européen et mondial des Académies de la culture et des arts.


Hace algunos años, se estableció a una comisión por el antiguo Secretario General de la ONU, Kofi ANNAN. ¿Desde, sus conclusiones, se hicieron algunos ajustes, se estableció a nuevas instancias en el mismo, sin embargo, la digna Institución es el instrumento realmente de la gobernanza mundial? ¡No lo pienso!

Ya, en la instauración de la OMC después del GATT, emití la idea, que este organismo sea una rama bajo el control de las Naciones Unidas? Y ello, ya que el equilibrio alimentario, el de los servicios en la fase de universalización pueden crear proyecciones sociales como conflictos. Y ello, mientras que la cumbre del milenio, hizo la lucha contra la pobreza, una de sus prioridades, y que la UNESCO, declaró la pobreza como un ataque fundamental a los derechos humanos, como puede serlo: la tortura o las minas anti personal.

Durante un período entero, el informe de las fuerzas entre la antigua URSS y los EE.UU, perjudicó a la evolución y al crédito de la estructura; y el hecho: que el Consejo de Seguridad de la ONU esté compuesto de 5 miembros permanentes los cuales, disponen muy del arma nuclear y se solidifican, en cuanto se cuestionen sus intereses. Resumidamente, esto obstruye la evolución de la Institución. Así pues, los Estados Unidos, siempre han bloqueado toda tentativa de condenar Tel Aviv, que no respetaba las Resoluciones del Consejo de Seguridad. También, la tragedia chechena pudo durar, esto ya que Moscú prohibía a la Institución mezclarse.

Pekín es chatouilleuse, en cuanto la cuestión de su coto vedado se amenace, Francia y Gran Bretaña, practicó así mismo en la guerra de Argelia e Irlanda, etc.

Entonces ciertamente, la entrada del Brasil sostenido por Francia, como la de Sudáfrica sería una buena cosa. Sin embargo, en este mundo polarizado, iré más lejos aún. Desde el cambio de dirección liberal de los años 80, de hecho, son las estructuras como el Banco Mundial, el Fondo Monetario Internacional, y las estructuras políticos del las más fuertes económica y financieramente que dirigen el mundo como el G8 ampliado al G20.

Por mi parte, pienso que el Consejo permanente de seguridad de la ONU debería ser ampliado a Japón = el único país a haber conocido la tragedia atómica, pero una representación también tiene por continente no representado actualmente en el mismo.

Teniendo en cuenta, que muchos documentos como la carta de la ONU, la declaración universal de los derechos humanos (que propuse enmendar por una nueva declaración derechos y deberes humanos de los ciudadanos y Estados,) de otros documentos, permanecen referencias planetarias, y que la declaración inicial de la ONU comienza por esta palabra s” el pueblo…” él se nos volverá urgente, que la Asamblea General de la ONU, da aún más lugar a los representantes de la sociedad civil con voz y voto, y no solamente consultiva.

De hecho, la llamada de la ONU se convirtió en la referencia de las ONG y movimiento sociales que lucha, espera… para que el agua, la energía, los alimentos, el alojamiento, la educación, los derechos fundamentales de la mujer, la salud….no son mercancías a la voluntad de los beneficios e influencias, por la fuerza o las presiones del poder, hay una gobernanza mundial, ciertamente, respetando las Naciones y a las Uniones, pero estableciendo normas de armonía y paz, de las normas ecológicas, para el futuro y el equilibrio del planeta tierra.

Para el próximo mandato del puesto de Secretario General, propongo, que una mujer se convierta en el titular (de experiencia que contribuiría a la toma en consideración del respeto de los derechos fundamentales de la mujer cuya la del acceso a todas las responsabilidades como los hombres. Se trataría, de designar a una persona conocida para sus competencias, su autoridad, su carisma personal, y su notoriedad pública. Las mujeres dan la vida, la impaciencia a la paz, podría caracterizar el titular de la función.

Copyright Guy CREQUIE
Autor y cantante por la paz, los derechos y deberes humanos
Mensajero de la cultura de la paz
Laureado europeo y mundial de las Academias de la cultura y las artes.


A few years ago, a commission was installation by the former General secretary of UNO, Kofi Annan. Since, it its conclusions, certain adjustments were made, of the new authorities in its center were installation, however, worthy is Institution returned really the instrument of the world governorship? I do not think it!

Already, at the time of the installation of OMC after GATT, I put forward the idea, that this organization is a branch under the control of the United Nations? This, because food balance, that of the services at the stage of universalization can create social progresses like conflicts. This, whereas the top of the millenium, made fight against poverty, one of its priorities, and that UNESCO, declared poverty like a fundamental infringement of the human rights, as can the being: personal torture or anti mines.

During a whole period, the report/ratio of the forces between the ex the USSR and the USA, harmed the evolution and the credit of the structure; and the fact: that the Safety advice of UNO is made up of 5 permanent members which, all have the nuclear weapon and solidify, as soon as their interests are blamed. In short, this obstructs the evolution of the Institution. Thus, the United States, always blocked any attempt to condemn Tel Aviv, which did not respect the resolutions of the safety advice. Also, the tragedy tchetchene could perdurer, this because Moscow prohibited at the Institution to be interfered.

Beijing is chatouilleuse, as soon as the question of its exclusive domain are threatened, France and the United Kingdom, practiced in the same way at the time of the war of Algeria and Ireland, etc.

Then certainly, the entry of Brazil supported by France, as that of South Africa would be a good thing. However, in this polarized world, I will go still further. Since the liberal turning of the Eighties, in fact, they are the structures like the World Bank, the funds international currency, and the political structures of strongest economically and financially which direct the world like G8 widened in G20.

For my part, I think that the permanent Council of safety of UNO should be widened in Japan = the only country to have known the atomic tragedy, but also has a representation by continent not currently represented in his center.

Taking into account, that many documents like the charter of UNO, the universal declaration of the human rights (which I proposed to amend by a new declaration of the rights and human duties of the citizens and States,) of other documents, remain planetary references, and that the initial declaration of UNO begin with these word S” Us them people…” It will become urgent, which the General meeting of UNO, more gives place to the representatives of the civil society with deliberative voice, and not only advisory.

In fact, the call of UNO became the reference of social ONG and movement which fight, hope… So that water, energy, the food, housing, education, the basic rights of the woman, health….are not goods with the liking of the profits and influences, by the force or the pressures of the capacity, one needs a world governorship for it, certainly, respecting the Nations and the Unions, but fixing rules of harmony and peaces, rules ecological, for the future and the balance of the planet ground.

For the next mandate of the position of secretary general, I propose, that a woman becomes it titular (experiment which would contribute to the catch in consideration of the respect of the basic rights of the woman for of which that of the access to all the responsibilities like the men.) It would act, to nominate a person known for her competences, its authority, its personal charisma, and its public notoriety. The women give the life, eagerness with peace, could characterize it titular of the function.

Copyright Guy CREQUIE
Author and singer for peace, the rights and duties human
Messenger of the culture of peace
European and world prize winner of the Academies of the culture and arts.
 October 16, 2010  
par Ambassadeur de la paix Guy CREQUIE
Visit  Guy CREQUIE Global File
Poète, écrivain et chanteur français pour la paix et les droits humains.
Messager de la culture de la paix du Manifeste 2000 popularisé par l’UNESCO
Lauréat Européen et mondial des Académies de la culture et des arts.

Le gouvernement américain, a annoncé mardi 12 octobre, avoir procédé le mois dernier, à un essai nucléaire dans le désert du Nevada. Cet essai, ne déclencherait pas de réaction en chaîne pouvant conduire à une explosion nucléaire. Or, cette annonce concerne le premier essai nucléaire depuis l’arrivée à la tête de l’Etat américain de Barack OBAMA. Les Maires des villes martyres d’Hiroshima et de Nagasaki, ont protesté contre cet essai, mais je les trouve bien isolés !

Personnellement, après son discours à Prague en avril 2009, son invitation devant le Conseil de sécurité de l’ONU à tous les gouvernements à rejoindre le TNP et après sa réception du prix Nobel, je trouve regrettable cet essai .Ce n’est pas ce type d’essai qui va favoriser par tous les pays disposant de l’arme nucléaire, l’interdiction totale des essais.

J’en profite pour dire, que trop de médias, ont été silencieux s’agissant de cet essai, sinon, lui ont réservé un commentaire insignifiant !

Enfin, je regrette que bien des ONG qui discourent sur la paix et les droits humains, restent prudents ou évasifs devant trop d’atteintes aux droits humains de partout de par le monde.

Pour ma part, j’ai proposé au Comité Nobel qu’à côté d’un prix Nobel de la paix remis à des Chefs d’Etat ou à des dirigeants d’ONG, il existe un prix Nobel pour les personnes ordinaires, qui souvent dans l’anonymat, se mobilisent à leur niveau, souvent plus, que des dirigeants officiels.

En son temps, j’ai protesté contre le silence vis-à-vis de l’attitude des dirigeants russe en Tchétchénie. J’ai dénoncé, les massacres, tortures, sévices, infligés aux populations musulmanes dans l’ex Yougoslavie.

Présentement, je regrette, que bien des démocrates en Amérique latine, restent silencieux, devant le sort infligé à ma compatriote Florence CASSEZ, détenue arbitrairement dans une prison mexicaine.

D’autres situations provoquent mon indignation : J’attends de voir, si la colonisation israélienne va s’interrompre en Cisjordanie, ceci, afin de donner sa chance et enfin, au processus de paix au Proche Orient. Egalement, si enfin, le Hamas va reconnaître l’Etat d’Israël.

Les propos du Président iranien à l’égard d’Israël, sont inadmissibles, et ne favorisent pas un climat serein au Proche Orient. C’est pourquoi, tant lors de ma conférence à l’Université de Tokyo le 2 août, que lors de messages, j’ai proposé, que la conférence de suivi du TNP qui doit se tenir en France en novembre, préconise et favorise un accord pour la dénucléarisation de cette région.

Autre sujet : Actuellement, le christianisme est devenu la religion la plus persécutée. Cependant, même l’Occident, ne dit rien ou peu !

Il est persécuté, en Inde dans certaines régions, au Bangladesh, en Chine, au Vietnam, en Indonésie, en Corée du Nord,…..Bref, là où cette confession est minoritaire et hélas, beaucoup en pays musulmans. En Turquie, les communautés chrétiennes qui sont les plus anciennes, nées avant l’Islam, sont menacées de disparition. En Egypte (copte) ou au Liban (Maronite) ces communautés sont isolées ou émigrent vers l’Occident.

Il est ce fait au Proche et Moyen Orient, que des communautés religieuses sont attaquées, que des dignitaires religieux sont assassinés, des Eglises sont brûlées, et il y a des interdictions professionnelles de fait ou de droit. En Irak, la guerre a fait 2000 morts chez les chrétiens et des centaines de milliers de chrétiens ont été déplacés, dans le Kurdistan turc.

Pour ma part, je me méfie des concepts de vérité absolue ou relative, présentés comme scientifiques par des théories ou théoriciens. La pensée scientifique, procède par bonds qualitatifs.

Il n’est nullement dans mon esprit, de nier l’intérêt et l’apport de travaux sur la paix et l’harmonie qui contribuent au devenir pacifique de l’humanité. Cependant, j’invite à l’humilité tout chercheur qui pense détenir la vérité; ceci, car le mouvement des connaissances est un processus jamais achevé.

Je reste : un adepte, de la fonction lucide et critique de la philosophie, (comme les philosophes Alain BADIOU, Lucien SEVE, ALAIN,...) non elle–même se qualifiant de science, mais instance de connaissance objective et subjective, qui transcende les modèles et systèmes érigés scientifiques, qui pour certains méritent l’appellation de démarche scientifique, mais qui restent soumis au regard lucide de la pensée et de l’expérimentation pratique, et jugés par le déroulement de l‘histoire.

Copyright Guy CREQUIE


The US government, announced Tuesday, October 12, to have proceeded last month, with a nuclear test in the desert of Nevada. This test, would not start chain reaction being able to lead to a nuclear explosion. However, this advertisement relates to the first nuclear test since the arrival with the American report heading of Barack OBAMA. The Mayors of the martyrdoms cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, protested against this test, but I find them isolated well!

Personally, after his speech in Prague in April 2009, his invitation before the Safety advice of UNO to all the governments to join the NPT and after his reception of the Nobel Prize, I find regrettable this test. It is not this type of test which will support by all the countries having the nuclear weapon, the total ban of the tests.

I benefit from it to say, that too many media, were quiet being this test, if not, reserved an unimportant comment to him!

Lastly, I consider it regrettable that many ONG which discourse on peace and the human rights, remain careful or evasive in front of too many infringements of the human rights of everywhere all over the world.

For my part, I proposed at the Nobel Committee that beside a Nobel Prize of the peace given to Heads of State or leaders of ONG, there exists a Nobel Prize for the ordinary people, who often in anonymity, mobilize themselves on their level, often more, which official leaders.

In his time, I protested against silence with respect to the Russian attitude of the leaders as Chetchnia. I denounced, the massacres, tortures, maltreatment, inflicted with the Muslim populations in the ex Yugoslavia.

At present, I regret, that many democrats in Latin America, remain quiet, in front of the fate inflicted with my Florence Cassez compatriot, held arbitrarily in a Mexican prison.

Other situations cause my indignation: I wait to see, if Israeli colonization will stop in the West Bank, this, in order to give his chance and finally, with the peace process with the Close East. Also, so finally, Hamas will recognize the State of Israel.

The remarks of the Iranian President with regard to Israel, are inadmissible, and do not support a serene climate with the Close East. This is why, as well at the time of my conference at the University of Tokyo on August 2nd, as at the time of messages, I proposed, as the conference of follow-up of the NPT which must be held in France in November, recommends and supports an agreement for the denuclearization of this area.

Another subject: Currently, Christianity became the most persecuted religion. However, even the Occident, does not say anything or little!

He is persecuted, in India in certain areas, in Bangladesh, in China, in Vietnam, in Indonesia, in North Korea, ..... Bref, where this confession is minority and alas, much in Moslem countries. In Turkey, the Christian communities which oldest, were born before Islam, are threatened of disappearance. In Egypt (copte) or in Lebanon (Maronite) these communities are isolated or emigrate towards the Occident.

It is this fact with the Close relation and Moyen the East, that religious communities are attacked, that religious dignities are assassinated, of the Churches are burned, and there are professional prohibitions in fact or right. In Iraq, the war made 2000 died among Christians and of the hundreds of thousands of Christians were moved, in Turkish Kurdistan.

For my part, I am wary of the concepts of absolute or relative truth, presented as scientists by theories or theorists. The scientific thought, proceeds by qualitative jumps.

It is by no means in my spirit, to deny the interest and the contribution of work on the peace and the harmony which contribute to becoming peaceful of humanity. However, I invite to the humility very enquiring which thinks of holding the truth; this, because the movement of knowledge is a process ever completed.

I remain: a follower, lucid and critical function of philosophy, (like the philosophers Alain BADIOU, Lucien SAP, ALAIN,…) not itself qualifying science, but authority of objective and subjective knowledge, which transcends the scientific models and set up systems, which for some deserve the scientific name of step, but which remain subjected in lucid comparison of the thought and the practical experimentation, and judged by the unfolding of L `history.

Copyright Guy CREQUIE

El Gobierno americano, anunció el martes 12 de octubre, haber procedido el mes pasado, a una prueba nuclear en el desierto de Nevada. Esta prueba, no desencadenaría reacción en cadena pudiendo conducir a una explosión nuclear. Ahora bien, este anuncio se refiere a la primer prueba nuclear desde la llegada a la cabeza del Estado americano de Barack OBAMA. ¡Los Alcaldes de las ciudades mártires de Hiroshima y Nagasaki, protestaron contra esta prueba, pero los encuentro bien aislados!

Personalmente, después de su discurso en Praga en abril de 2009, su invitación en el Consejo de Seguridad de la ONU a todos los Gobiernos que deben incorporarse al TNP y después de su recepción del Premio Nobel, encuentro deplorable esta prueba. No es este tipo de prueba que va a favorecer por todos los países que disponen del arma nuclear, la prohibición total de las pruebas.

¡Aprovecho para decir, que demasiados medios de comunicación, fueron silenciosos respecto esta prueba, si no, le reservaron un comentario poco importante!

Por mi parte, propuse al Comité Nobel que junto a un Premio Nobel de la paz entregado a Jefes de Estado o a dirigentes de ONG, existe un Premio Nobel para las personas ordinarias, que a menudo en el anonimato, se movilizan a su nivel, a menudo más, que dirigentes oficiales.

En su tiempo, protesté contra el silencio frente a la actitud de los dirigentes rusa en Chechenia. Denuncié, las masacres, torturas, malos tratos, infligidos a las poblaciones musulmanes en la antigua Yugoslavia.

Actualmente, lamento, que muchos demócratas en América Latina, siguen siendo silenciosos, ante la suerte infligida a mi compatriota Florence Cassez, tenida arbitrariamente en una prisión mexicana.

Otras situaciones causan mi indignación: Espero de ver, si la colonización israelí va a pararse en Cisjordania, esto, con el fin de dar su oportunidad y por fin, al proceso de paz en Oriente Próximo. También, si por fin, el Hamas va a reconocer el Estado de Israel.

Las observaciones del Presidente iraní respecto a Israel, son inadmisibles, y no favorecen un clima sereno en Oriente Próximo. Esta es la razón por la que, tanto en mi conferencia a la Universidad de Tokio el 2 de agosto, que en mensajes, propuse, quien la conferencia de seguimiento del TNP que debe celebrarse en Francia en noviembre, preconiza y favorece un acuerdo por la desnuclearización de esta región.

Otro tema: Actualmente, el cristianismo se convirtió en la religión más perseguida. ¡Sin embargo, incluso el Occidente, no dice nada o poco!

Se persigue, en India en algunas regiones, en Bangladesh, China, Vietnam, en Indonesia, en Corea del Norte, ..... Resumidamente, allí donde esta confesión es minoritaria y desgraciadamente, muchos en países musulmanes. En Turquía, amenaza a las comunidades cristianas que son las más antiguas, nacidas antes del Islam, de desaparición. En Egipto (copte) o en el Líbano (Maronita) aísla o emigrado a estas comunidades hacia el Occidente.

Se quema ha este hecho en Prójimo y Oriente Medio, que se ataca a comunidades religiosas, que se asesina a dignatarios religiosos, Iglesias, y hay prohibiciones profesionales de hecho o derecho. En Irak, la guerra hizo 2000 muertos en los cristianos y se desplazaron cientos de millares de cristianos, en el Kurdistán turco.

Por mi parte, me desconfío de los conceptos de verdad absoluta o relativa, presentado como científicos por teorías o teóricos. El pensamiento científico, procede por saltos cualitativos.

No está de ninguna manera en mi espíritu, negar el interés y la contribución de trabajos sobre la paz y la armonía que contribuye al pasar a ser pacífico de la humanidad. Sin embargo, invito de humildad muy investidagor que piensa tener la verdad; y ello, ya que el movimiento de los conocimientos es un proceso nunca acabado.

Permanezco: un adepto, de la función lúcida y crítica de filosofía, (como los filósofos Alain BADIOU, Lucien SEVE, ALAIN,…) no ella misma que se califica de ciencia, pero instancia de conocimiento objetiva y subjetiva, que supera los modelos y sistemas creados científicos, que para algunos merecen el nombre de planteamiento científico, pero que permanecen sujetos a la mirada lúcida del pensamiento y la experimentación práctica, y juzgados por el desarrollo de l `historia.

Copyright Guy CREQUIE

Poeta, escritor y cantante francés para la paz y los derechos humanos.
 October 27, 2010  
Mouvement social contre la réforme des retraites !

par Ambassadeur de la paix Guy CREQUIE
Visit  Guy CREQUIE Global File
Poète, écrivain et chanteur français pour la paix et les droits humains.
Messager de la culture de la paix du Manifeste 2000 popularisé par l’UNESCO
Lauréat Européen et mondial des Académies de la culture et des arts.

Pour bien des observateurs, le conflit social, lié à la réforme de notre système des retraites doit cesser. Ceci, à cause du vote au Parlement qui valide le projet gouvernemental.

En premier lieu, ce sont les salariés, et leurs organisations syndicales qui décident librement de ce qu’il en est et sera, ensuite, il faut examiner le fond de la relation entre l’expression de la démocratie politique, et celle de la démocratie sociale.

En France, et je le regrette personnellement, c’est l’échéance présidentielle, qui est censée diriger le rythme de la vie politique (et plus encore depuis l’arrivée au pouvoir de Nicolas SARKOZY, qui dirige et intervient sur tous les dossiers,) le Président donne le la de la vie politique, mais également de celles économique, sociale.du pays.

Ainsi, il apparaît aux observateurs, que l’expression à un moment donné du suffrage universel est prédominante sur l’expression de la démocratie sociale. En règle générale, sauf quelques cas d’espèces, les élections législatives qui suivent celle présidentielle, confirment le choix précédent.

Ceci, car le Président de la république élu, est censé donner l’orientation générale du programme à mettre en œuvre. Il fixe le cap, donne le sens (la direction).

Or, non seulement le programme présidentiel n’est pas respecté ; exemple la financière internationale) dont nous subissons encore les conséquences, mais également, car certaines promesses qui faisaient parties du sens ne sont pas tenues. Ou bien, il y a des changements de direction, initialement non déclarés !

Ainsi, la réforme de notre système de retraite avec la modification de l’allongement de l’âge de départ, n’était pas prévue dans le programme du candidat SARKOZY en 2007.A plusieurs reprises, il a même indiqué le contraire !

Alors, comment peut-on vouloir figer, ce qui a été dit ou non dit à une période donnée, et rendre souveraine cette position, avec les circonstances économiques, sociales, qui évoluent au rythme des jours en France et dans le monde.

La question du sens, doit être reliée à celle de la totalité des conditions d’existence de la population et des salariés, qui sont en perpétuelle évolution.

La relation entre démocratie sociale et démocratie politique, relève du même constat, que celle qui concerne la relation entre stratégie et tactique. La stratégie fixe la direction ; la tactique examine les conditions conjoncturelles pour s’y adapter.

De surcroît, l’économie nationale, ne vit plus en vase clos ! On nous explique à longueur de journée, que notre pays, doit tenir compte des orientations et décisions de l’Union Européenne, du G20, des agences de notation,….Des décisions de l’OMC, du FMI, etc.

La démocratie sociale, est plus liée au mouvement de l’évolution des phénomènes inter étatiques, économiques, sociaux, que le choix des instances politiques, qui est scandé par des moments, qui est figé à des expressions datées dans le calendrier des années.

Plutôt, que de les opposer, ou de vouloir donner la suprématie autoritaire à l’instance politique, il convient de considérer la forme de leur relation.

Bien entendu, il y a des contradictions parfois entre l’expression sociale populaire et celle du pouvoir politique qui gère.

Le rôle d’un pouvoir politique réellement au service du peuple ( car si normalement, la démocratie est le pouvoir du peuple, par le peuple, pour le peuple, )en réalité : elle est un transfert de pouvoir par les élections à des élus. Il ne s’agit pas de démocratie directe permanente, mais d’un pouvoir de délégation dans l’intervalle de la prochaine consultation électorale dans un pays comme le nôtre.

Normalement, il appartient au pouvoir de rendre les contradictions existantes entre les deux formes d’expression, en contradictions non antagoniques, avec les intérêts primordiaux du peuple.

I y aura toujours, des maux à combattre, des contradictions à affronter, des tensions à résoudre. Ceci, car être femme ou homme, est un effort sans fin !////

Copyright Guy CREQUIE
Ecrivain, et chercheur en science sociales, auteur d’ouvrages sur l’humanisme contemporain-blog http://guycrequie.blogspot.com
Poeta, escritor y cantante francés para la paz y los derechos humanos.
  Read Mouvement  social contre la        réforme des retraites !
 October 10, 2010   The BRussells Tribunal PARTITION BY CENSUS
by The BRussells Tribunal,
We, the undersigned, defending the right of Iraq to independence, sovereignty, unity and territorial integrity, rejecting the attempts of Iraqi puppets promoted by the US occupation to trade the national rights of Iraqis and to institutionalise via census the criminal demographic engineering they have pursued by force, declare that:

From the first day of the US-UK occupation of Iraq, the occupation began to undertake a series of measures, directly or through its local allies, to destroy Iraq as a state and a nation and to partition it along ethnic and sectarian lines.

Today, the puppet government of the occupation and its Kurdish partners are trying to hold a population census in Kirkuk province whose aim is to give a permanent legal character to the criminal social engineering, ethnic cleansing and demographic changes that have been implemented under occupation.[1] This could unleash a full blown civil war across Iraq, and potentially lead to its partition and a consequent regional war.

In addition to the death of more than one million Iraqis, the ethnic cleansing and other means pursued by the United States, United Kingdom and their allies in order to implement the process of partitioning Iraq, in its cities and regions, have caused the forced migration of 2.5 million Iraqis out of Iraq and the forced displacement of 2.5 million others from their homes inside Iraq.

The ethnic cleansing suffered by the population in the provinces of Mosul, Diyala, Salahuddin and the Baghdad area, and most notably in Kirkuk and the so-called "disputed areas" — where the population is forced by various means, including systematic assassinations, bombing civilians, collective punishment, transfer, displacement, deportation and other crimes against humanity, to migrate only to be replaced by people from other provinces or even from outside Iraq — is a clear crime of destruction and part of the intended partition of Iraq.

The United States, the United Kingdom and their allies waged an illegal war of aggression against Iraq and occupied its territory. This war in itself is a crime punishable under international law. International law, in particular The Hague Regulations of 1907, the Geneva Conventions and additional protocols, and the Genocide Convention, explicitly prohibits occupying powers from instituting changes aimed at permanently altering the foundational structures of occupied territories, including the judiciary, economy, political institutions and social fabric.[2]

International law considers the systematic transfer, deportation or displacement of population a crime against humanity.[3] Residents of affected areas, the Iraqi national forces, the displaced, and the majority of the people of Iraq declare this census null and void. It has no binding legal consequences and cannot and should not be used to support or justify the intended partition of Iraq.

We demand that no census be conducted before the free return of all Iraqi refugees. We demand that the question of ethnicity not be used to instigate the partition of Iraq and that it be removed from any census, now and in the future. We declare as fraudulent the justification under occupation of a census on the basis of long term planning in the context of a temporary and unstable demographic situation.

We demand that the United Nations and the Arab League and all governments, personalities, organisations and institutions support the demands of the people of Iraq by not recognising the results of this census, and by not assisting in conducting it. This census is designed to reward criminals for their crimes at the expense of their victims.

Dr Ian Douglas, coordinator of the International Initiative to Prosecute US Genocide in Iraq and member of the Executive Committee of the BRussells Tribunal
Abdul Ilah Albayaty, Iraqi political analyst and member of the Executive Committee of the BRussells Tribunal
Hana Al Bayaty, member of the Executive Committee of the BRussells Tribunal and the International Initiative to Prosecute US Genocide in Iraq
Dirk Adriaensens, member of the Executive Committee of the BRussells Tribunal
Prof. Em. François Houtart, Participant in the Bertrand Russell War Crimes Tribunal on US Crimes in Vietnam in 1967, Director of the Tricontinental Center (Cetri), spiritual father and member of the International Committee of the World Social Forum of Porto Alegre, Executive Secretary of the Alternative World Forum, President of the International League for Rights and Liberation of People, Honorary President of the BRussells Tribunal and senior advisor to the President of the United Nations General Assembly Miguel d’Escoto Brockmann, recipient of the 2009 UNESCO Madanjeet Singh Prize for the Promotion of Tolerance and Non-Violence
Prof. Dr. Lieven De Cauter, philosopher, K.U. Leuven / Rits, initiator of the BRussells Tribunal
Prof. Patrick Deboosere , Demographer, VUB - member of the BRussells Tribunal executive committee
Ward Treunen, former TV producer - member of the BRussells Tribunal executive committee
Hugo Wanner, VZW Netwerk Vlaanderen - member of the BRussells Tribunal executive committee
[1] Forced displacement and the construction of walled-in districts and their associated regimes, by contributing to demographic changes in Iraq, contravene international humanitarian law, including Article 49, paragraphs 1 and 5, of The Fourth Geneva Convention Relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in the Time of War, 1949, and as such constitute war crimes.
[2] Articles 43 and 55 of The Hague IV Regulations on Laws and Customs of War on Land, 1907 (HR); Articles 54 and 64 of The Fourth Geneva Convention Relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in the Time of War, 1949. Occupying powers are obliged to manage the resources of the occupied territory under the law of usufruct only. This means that while they may use national resources as necessary to the upkeep of the wellbeing of the population in the occupied territory (Fourth Geneva Convention, Article 64) they cannot profit from the use of such resources or award themselves partial or whole ownership of such resources. The US remains a belligerent occupier of Iraq.
[3] Article 7 (1) (d) of the Elements of Crimes of the International Criminal Court.
To endorse this statement, please send an email to PARTITION BY CENSUS
Denis Halliday Ireland Former UN Assistant Secretary General & United Nations Humanitarian Coordinator for Iraq 1997-98, recipient of the 2003 Gandhi International Peace Award Niloufer hagwatB
Vice President of Indian Lawyers Association
Matthias Chang
Trustee of The Kuala Lumpur Foundation To Criminalise War
Dr. Curtis F.J. Doebbler
International Human Rights Lawyer

Karen Parker
Attorney , Association of Humanitarian Lawyers, partners of the BRussells Tribunal
Salah Omar Al Ali
ex iraqi minister/ex Iraq's ambassador to UN
Abdulkarim Hani
Former Health minister
Ahmed Manai
Former expert with the UN, President of the Tunisian Institute of International Relations - Tunesia
Naji Haraj
Former diplomat, human rights advocate
Sabah Al Mukhtar
President of the Arab Lawyers Association
Eduardo Galeano
Essayist, journalist, historian, and activist
Prof. Michel Chossudovsky
Director of the Centre for Research on Globalization (CRG)
Dr Zulaiha Ismail
Perdana Global Peace Organisation
Dr Souad Al Azzawi
Researcher on the use of DU in Iraq, Asst. Prof. Env. Eng - University of Baghdad
Gideon Polya
retired senior biochemist, author: biochemical scientific publications and global avoidable mortality
Paola Manduca
Scientist, New Weapons Committee
Stephen Lendman
Writer, analyst, co-host of The Global Research News Hour
Felicity Arbuthnot
Dahr Jamail
Nicolas Davies
Author of Blood On Our Hands: the American Invasion and Destruction of Iraq.
Max Fuller
Author of For Iraq, the Salvador Option Becomes Reality and Crying Wolf, deaths squads in Iraq
Merry Fitzgerald
Europe-Turkmens of Iraq Friendships Association
Sigyn Meder
Member of the Iraq Solidarity Association in Stockholm
Joachim Guilliard
Journalist, Anti-war movement
Inge Van De Merlen
Member of the BRussells Tribunal


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