Positive actions to sustain us

Activities of the Global Community Program 2006 Global Dialogue

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Introduction to Global Dialogue 2006
Politics and Justice without borders
Theme More info concerning the theme
Actions for the good of all as per the Statement of rights, responsibilities, and accountabilities of the Global Community citizens.
Statement of rights, responsibilities, and accountabilities

Positive and constructive actions in sustaining the Global Community, all life,
and in good governance and management of the Earth.

These are actions learned from previous Global Dialogues. Read on the latest actions in the Explanatory Notes of Global Dialogue 2006. Participants from all sectors of life will describe and explain actions that they have performed in their own homes, communities, business places or in any other places on the planet. Depending on whether we find a sponsor to promote the Global Dialogue we hope to be able to present your videos, CDs or other productions on our website.

Examples of actions from previous Global Dialogues:

Positive actions to decrease the concentrations of greenhouse gases
Mines and mining the impacts
Our overpopulated planet
Storing CO2 in terrestrial and ocean systems
Global trading practices

Positive actions to decrease the concentrations of greenhouse gases
The Global Community has created the Climate Change Ministry, the Earth Ministry of the Environment, and offer national governments all over the world to coordinate efforts in implementing the Global Community Action Plan with regard to climate change. There are thousands of actions everyone in Global Community could take right now .

Positive actions:
1)     By developing a method of raising global taxes, of redistributing incomes to the poorest communities, of providing debt-free technical assistance to non-industrial and developing countries to help them out of poverty and to meet environmental and social standards.

2)     Aboriginal Peoples as well as everyone else in the world have noticed that the climate has changed over the past years. They came forward (actions) and said that they too had observed climate changes over the past years and generations. In some countries the temperature has increased by one or two degrees and natural catastrophes are becoming more and more frequent. Flooding or freshwater scarcity as well as water pollution are harming the environment of the Third World and developing countries and water and air pollution characterizes the industrialized regions. Therefore, poor and rich regions are facing a common problem which is linked to climate change, that's why we should negotiate honestly and find a compromise as quickly as possible. If no solution is suggested, developing countries like China will repeat the same mistakes as the developed world. In fact, the latter can expect a higher salary, which will close the gap between rich and poor regions. 

World industrial activity is now profoundly affecting the atmospheric environment. It is now the population number and industrialization that makes the major impacts on the atmosphere. The most important changes affecting the atmosphere are due to the growth in the burning of fossil fuels. The burning of fossil fuels increases carbon dioxide concentrations and air pollutants. The clearing of forested lands for agriculture and other purposes has reduced the amount of carbon absorbed by the forests and contributed to the increase of atmospheric carbon dioxide. We have disturbed a fragile balance by causing chemical changes in the global atmosphere.

Urban air pollution is a mixture of several pollutants emitted from different energy and industrial processes, and of secondary pollutants in the atmosphere. Some air pollutants are more important than others. At a given concentration some pollutants are more toxic or more unpleasant. Pollutants have different effects related to health, ecosystems,  economics and aesthetic. 3)     Tropical tree plantations may be an important component of the global carbon cycle because they represent a carbon sink that can be manipulated by humans and they ca mitigate the effects of tropical deforestation, which is the main biotic source of atmospheric carbon.

Most forest plantations in the tropics are planted with fast growing trees that culminate in volume and biomass production earlier than natural forests. These high biomass production forests have a high capacity to sequester atmospheric CO2 and hence assist in mitigating global warming. Sequestration of CO2 in plantations occurs in tree biomass (stems, branch, foliage and roots), forest floor and as storage in the soil. Young growing forests are one of the best means to removing CO2 (the gas partially responsible for the greenhouse effect) from the air. Thus planting forests help to reduce the amount of carbon dioxide in the air (by the action of sunlight on the green chlorophyll organic compound, CO2 is absorbed by trees through the small fissures in the leaves or needless, these gases are fixed as biomass).

4)      By increasing vegetation in urban areas will reduce the urban heat, and the impacts of other urban environmental problems, which will be exacerbated under climate change. Reducing the urban heat will also reduce the energy demand for space conditioning, and hence greenhouse gas emissions. Plants directly reduce the urban heat through evaporative cooling but further reduce energy consumption through shading. The most common strategy to increase urban vegetation is to plant trees at ground level. However, where space is not available for trees, vegetation can be grown on building roofs, but walls offer far more space, hence vertical gardening is a viable alternative. 

5)     The Kyoto Protocol is the latest step in the ongoing United Nations' effort to address global warming. The effort began with the United Nations' Framework Convention on Climate Change (Convention) signed during the Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro in 1992. (The Convention entered into force in 1994 upon the ratification by 50 nations) Despite the continuing scientific debate on the likely occurrence of global warming, the nations took action under the "precautionary principle" of international law.

The Convention is intended to stabilise greenhouse gas concentrations at a level that will prevent dangerous interference with the global climate system. The time frame is to be "sufficient to allow ecosystems to adapt naturally to climate change, to ensure that food production is not threatened and to enable economic development to proceed in a sustainable manner."

The Convention recognises the importance of preserving and enhancing the Earth's natural ability to remove certain greenhouse gases from the atmosphere by FORESTS and other carbon stocks, referred to as "sinks". The removal by sinks is also a key component of the Protocol, which allows countries to meet their commitments by considering the effects of afforestation, reforestation and deforestation since 1990, a provision that is expected to promote cost-effective solutions to climate change and good forestry practices.

Mines and mining the impacts
A study made by the Global Community of the ecological accounting and balance sheet for mining has shown that minerals are obtained in a way that:

*    uses too much energy
*    generates too much pollution and causes significant health and safety problems
*    degrades permanently the environment during extraction, refining, and smelting of minerals
*    encourages poor regions to yoke their futures

It would be much less costly to recycle discarded materials. It makes no sense to spend so much energy trying to find new mines when there is an enormous amount of useful metal in cities and landfills. For instance, why do we need to keep gold in safety deposit boxes, bank vaults, and jewelry boxes? There is more gold in boxes than in underground mines.

Mines have transformed landscapes and the lives of local people who live near mineral deposits. Entire communities have been uprooted in order to make way for mine projects. People had to forsake traditional occupations and suffer the effects of living beside a mine that poisons their water supplies or pollutes the air they breathe. Local people who got jobs in a mine had to trade health problems for an income. Prostitution and drug use are serious problems at mining sites.

In fact, mineral dependence reduces economic growth in developing countries. Extracting raw materials for export is far less lucrative than processing the materials or manufacturing finished goods. By extracting minerals, countries are essentially running down their stocks of nonrenewable resources.

Mineral exporting-countries become heavily indebted to international lenders and much of what they earn from minerals and other exports never enters the national economy but is used instead to service the external debt. These countries have typically invested little in social services, such as education and health care, and are beleaguered by conflicts over resources and political instabilities.

Even though social, economic and environmental costs of mining are high and mineral prices are low, mining operations are still expanding. Mining firms have profited from direct and indirect subsidies handed out to them by governments. Mining firms benefits a lot from the cheap fuel and from the roads and other infrastructure made available to them. Even more surprising, mining firms do not usually pay royalties or taxes on profits, and governments provide immunity to companies against compensation claims. The final hand-out of public money occurs when mines have to close down or are abandoned, and governments and taxpayers are stuck with cleanup after companies have gone bankrupt or just walked away from poor projects.

Our overpopulated planet
Perhaps the most important step towards achieving sustainability for the next million years is to control our population growth. World overpopulation is now at the turning point and requires from each and every one of us a statement of rights and belonging to the Global Community, the human family:
a) I am not just a woman, I am a person, I am member of a global community
b) I am not just a man, I am a person, I am member of a global community
c) We are responsible, accountable and equal persons in every way, and we will manage wisely our population
d) We are members of the Global Community.
We are not asking here a woman to have only one child like is done in China. No! First of all it does not work in China. The Chinese population is still increasing. We are asking here to give a woman the choice, the freedom to say no I dont want children, or yes I want to raise a family, and to make that socially acceptable. For this to work, women must also be given equal rights to men in every way. The Chinese family policy does not work because women were not given the freedom to choose for themselves and the equal rights to men. Women are 'persons' just like men. Those men and women who choose to raise a family (one or more than one children, preferably more than one child) will be given all the help society can give them.

The effect of such change in behavior will imply a true acceptance of belonging to the global community and that humanity must step forward as a responsible body for the good of all. The heart, mind and human spirit of the Global Community will want to be in the forefront of positive actions and human activities to ensure our survival.

This is not new. In many parts of the world a man is no longer seen as the 'head of the family', the 'provider'. Both men and women have taken that role depending of circumstances and social factors. Women are no longer seen as subservient persons and breeding machines. Women are seen as equal to men. Women's rights protect the equality between a man and a woman.

The Global Community has long recognized that greater equality between men and women is an essential element of slowing down world population growth. It was observed that fertility rates were falling everywhere women were allowed to determine when and whether they will have children. Gender inequality also impacts on resource use and the prospects for sustainability and biodiversity protection. Training and education along with their greater sense of nature ans shelter protection give women the tools they need to make resource use more equitable and efficient within communities and to mobilize against environmental and health hazards.

The Global Community is dedicated to give women:

a) equal rights
b) access to and control of natural resources and land
c) stronger voices in decisions about sustainable resource use
d) education on impacts of consumerism and sustainable consumption
e) access to modern methods of contraception and reproductive health services

In general, populations of all lifeforms grow exponentially that is by a steady proportion of whatever was there before. When there is no practical limit on resource then populations usually grow maximally and the only limit is that of the reproductive capacity of the female animal. About 10,000 years ago, human beings were obliged to commit themselves more or less fully to agriculture and the human population was 5 to 10 million. By the time of Christ, after only 8,000 years of large-scale agriculture, the human population was 100 to 300 million. After this time, the exponential growth of the population entered its rapid phase. The billion mark was passed by 1800 A.D. By year 2000, the human population exceeded 6 billion. Thus agriculture allowed a thousand-fold increase in numbers over a period of 10,000 years.

In practical sense, agriculture cannot feed a human population that has grown beyond the capacity limit. We must ask ourselves whether we can stop the growth by means that are voluntary and benign, or whether the eventual environmental restraint will be out of our hands. At some questionable time in our future we will find that our soil will no longer have the nutrients it needs to produce quality food. For some time we may counter this problem by fresh weathering of rock. Not for long! The loss of lifeforms on Earth will be permanent.

Obviously something has to be done! The Global Community proposes a tight global policy, benignly implemented, or it will be very nasty indeed. In practice, a human population of 10 to 12 billion would be too uncomfortably high and would add a high strain on world resources. What kind of world population would be reasonable? What goal should we aim at? A population should be small enough to be sustainable indefinitely and still allow plenty of leeway for ourselves and other lifeforms. It should also be large enough to allow the formation of healthy civilizations. We propose a world population of 500 million. The policy to apply is for every family to have only one or two children. It would take a thousand years to reach our goal of a population of 500 million.

Comprehensive population policies are an essential element in a world development strategy that combines access to reproductive health services, to education and economic opportunities, to improved energy and natural resource technologies, and to healthyer models of consumption and the "good life."

Policies to decrease world population:
  • delay reproduction until later in life
    Delaying reproduction is important in influencing population growth rates. Over a period of 60 years, if people delay reproduction until they are 30 years old, you would have only two generations, while if you do not delay reproduction you would have three generations (one generation every 20 years).
  • spread your children farther apart
  • to have fewer children overall
  • government commitment to decreasing population growth
    Create policies that help decreasing the number of children being born. Policies such as income tax deductions for dependent children and maternity and paternity leaves are essentially pronatalist and should be eliminated.
  • programs that are locally designed and that include information on family planning and access to contraceptives
  • educational programs that emphasize the connection between family planning and social good
  • The vast disparities in reproductive health worldwide and the greater vulnerability of the poor to reproductive risk point to several steps all governments can take, with the support of other sectors, to improve the health of women and their families:

    • Give women more life choices. The low social and economic status of women and girls sets the stage for poor reproductive health
    • Invest in reproductive health care
    • Encourage delays in the onset of sexual activity and first births
    • Help couples prevent and manage unwanted childbearing
    • Ensure universal access to maternal health care
    • Support new reproductive health technologies
    • Increase efforts to address the HIV pandemic
    • Involve communities in evaluating and implementing programs
    • Develop partnerships with the private sector, policymakers and aid donors to broaden support for reproductive health

    • Measure Progress

    More and more young people on every continent want to start bearing children later in life and to have smaller families than at any time in history. Likewise, in greater proportions than ever, women and girls in particular want to go to school and to college, and they want to find fulfilling and well-paid employment. Helping people in every country obtain the information and services they need to put these ambitions into effect is all that can be done, and all that needs to be done, to bring world population growth to a stable landing in the new century.

    The Global Community needs to develop a more exciting synergy between sustainable development, consumption and family well-being. New concepts (the human family, human responsibilities, human security, citizenship education) and old concepts (quality of life, well-being, justice and standard of living) have been combined in conjunction with a comparative analysis of the alternative approaches to the GDP as a way to bring together a collection of viewpoints to understand a family perspective in sustainable consumption and development.

    World overpopulation at the turning point requires each and every one of us to take a stand on rights and on being a part of to the Global Community, the human family.

    We need to take this stand for the survival of our species. For sure, the most important step towards achieving sustainability is to control our population growth. To ensure our survival we must manage our population wisely.

    The Global Community proposes a world population of 500 million. It would take a thousand years to reach our goal of a population of 500 million. To achieve our goal will require from each and every one of us a stand on the rights and on belonging to the Global Community, the human family. If our population was to decrease as projected here then what other major global problems would be managed automatically?

    Overpopulation is the cause of several major global problems such as:

    *     lack of resources
    *     poverty
    *     wars
    *     climate change
    *     damage to the global life-support systems
    *     a lesser quality of life
    *     threat to security
    *     lack of good quality soils for agriculture
    *     polluted air, water and land
    *     overcrowed cities
    *     weapons and war products and equipment able to spark global wars
    *     widespread drug, human and Earth rights abuse, more old and new diseases out of control

    There are many related aspects of the global life-support systems that is affected by an overpopulated planet:

    *     global warming
    *     Ozone layer
    *     wastes of all kind including nuclear and release of radiation
    *     climate change
    *     species of the fauna and flora becoming extinct
    *     losses of forest cover and of biological diversity
    *     the capacity for photosynthesis
    *     the water cycle
    *     food production systems
    *     genetic resources
    *     chemicals produced for human use and not found in nature and, eventually, reaching the environment with impacts on Earth's waters, soils, air, and ecology

    Some religious people will argue that to reduce human reproduction is to prevent the birth of possible babies, to deny life for the glory of God, and that more babies means more glory. We understand this view. Our proposal of a world population of 500 million does not in any way contradict God's Plan for humanity. On the contrary, it reinforces the Will of God for the diversity of Life throughout the universe. By accomplishing our higher purpose we will be able to propagate trillions of liferforms and much more over the universe. Beside, with such a small population, there is no doubt that our species would last at least a million years.

    That is 500 million x 1 million

    But if we let our population rise to about 20 billion then we may not survive more that 1,000 years or so. That is 20 billion x 1,000 thousand

    In order words, if we exercise restraint the total number of human beings who will be on the planet could be at least 25 times greater than it would be if we allowed the population to increase to 20 billion. Who, then, are those who deny life for the glory of God?

    Storing CO2 in terrestrial and ocean systems
    Scientists will need to become more involved in assessing the viability of response options aimed at storing excess carbon in terrestrial or ocean systems. Land use changes from agricultural to forest ecosystems can help to remove carbon from the atmosphere at rates of 2 to 20 tonnes of carbon per hectare per year for periods of 50 years or more, until a new ecosystem equilibrium is reached. Similarly, soil conservation practices can help build up carbon reservoirs in forest and agricultural soils. Proposals to extract CO2 from smoke stacks and dispose of it in liquid form in underground reservoirs or deep oceans also need careful evaluation in terms of long-term feedbacks, effectiveness and environmental acceptability. However, much remains to be learned about the biological and physical processes by which terrestial and ocean systems can act as sinks and permanent reservoirs for carbon.

    B) Adaptation to climate change
    The Global Community can contribute in evaluating options and strategies for adapting to climate change as it occurs, and in identifying human activities that are even now maladapted to climate. There are two fundamental types of response to the risks of climate change:

    1.    reducing the rate and magnitudes of change through mitigating the causes, and
    2.    reducing the harmful consequences through anticipatory adaptation.

    Mitigating the causes of global warming implies limiting the rates and magnitudes of increase in atmospheric concentrations of greenhouse gases, either by reducing emissions or by increasing sinks for atmospheric CO2. Reducing the harmful consequences can be achieved by co-operating together with the global ministries on climate change and emergencies. The Global Community has created the global ministries to help humanity be prepared to fight the harmful consequences of a global warming through anticipatory adaptation. The global ministries on climate change and emergencies are now operating. The ministries have developed:
    1. policy response to the consequences of the global warming, and
    2. strategies to adapt to the consequences of the unavoidable climate change.
    The Global Community also proposes that all nations of the world promote the Scale of Human and Earth Rights and the criteria to obtain the Global Community Citizenship. Every global community citizen lives a life with the higher values described in the Scale and the criteria. Global community citizens are good members of the human family. Most global problems, including global warming and world overpopulation, can be managed through acceptance of the Scale and the criteria.

    We need to improve on our ability to:

    *    predict future anthropogenic emissions of greenhouse gases. While demographic, technological and economic factors are in many respects inherently speculative, better observations and understanding of the processes by which human activities directly or indirectly contribute to emissions are clearly required. These in particular include emissions from deforestation and agricultural activities;
    *    obtain more data on the effect of human emissions on atmospheric concentrations of greenhouse gases. Not only do we need to reduce the uncertainties about past and current sinks for emitted greenhouse gases, but we need to better understand and quantify the long term feedbacks such as CO2 fertilization and physical and biological response to climate change if we expect to improve our confidence in projections of future concentrations.
    *    measure direct and indirect effects of radiative forcing of greenhouse gases and aerosols.
    *    measure climate sensitivity to changes in radiative forcing.
    *    measure the response to climate change of biological and physical processes with the terrestrial and ocean systems
    *    obtain an early detection of the signal of human interference with the climate system against the change caused by natural forces or internal system noise is important in fostering timely and responsible coping actions.
    *    develop actions to limit emissions of greenhouse gases and prepare to adapt to climate change. However, stabilizing greenhouse gas emissions will not stabilize greenhouse gas concentrations and climate but only slow down the rates of change.
    *    live with the facts that climate change is unavoidable, atmospheric greenhouse gas concentrations are already signficantly higher than pre-industrial levels, and that aggressive efforts to reduce their anthropogenic emission sources would only slow down the growth in their concentrations, not stop it. Therefore, policy response to this issue must also include strategies to adapt to the consequences of unavoidable climate change.

    Global trading practices
    The world has become global in most fields of life. Nowadays it is a necessity to co-operate in resolving global problems which makes global governance a quality of the New Age Civilization. The next most important achievement of the Human Family will be the signing of a global agreement on the Scale of Earth Rights. The Global Community is requesting all members of the World Trade Organization(WTO) to change their ways by:

    1.    building social and environmental concerns into the WTO trade rules;
    2.     including ethical and moral safeguards, responsibility and accountability in all situations and places;
    3.     developing a global regulatory framework for capitals and corporations;
    4.     making a transition from global competition to global co-operation which allows communities the freedom to pursue social and environmental objectives;
    5.     assuring that globalization and planetary trading blocks serve the Global Community, the Human Family and not the other way around for the benefit of a few rich people in the world; and
    6.     developing a method of raising global taxes, of redistributing incomes to the poorest communities, of providing debt-free technical assistance to non-industrial and developing countries to help them out of poverty and to meet environmental and social standards.

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


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