The Time has come for a New Beginning
(October 3, 1991)
Across time we have walked. Sustained by the Flow of Life, we emerged from millennia upon millennia of trial and error evolution, now ready to step into a new phase of our cosmic mission. Our first birth was when we first came to Life through the form of a cell. A very simple form of Life indeed, but with the promise of a brilliant future hidden in its already intricate design. We crawled across our first beach billions of years ago to establish our first stronghold on firm land and since then we have never stopped. Relentlessly, we have devised new forms, more and more well-suited to adjust to the innumerable environments we were to conquer. Our numbers have swelled from mere specks of Life to untold zillions of beings, all endowed with a specific mission, each according to our special, unique design, each as important as all others in the great Symphonic Melody of Life now played on this majestic planet, called Earth.
And now, finally, we have started gazing at the stars as our next colossal step of expansion. We know Something is Out There, or maybe in fact, right within us, within the most secret alcove of our true inner being, our living soul, embodied in this marvelous case of flesh and blood. We sense that something is about to happen, although we are still a little afraid of contemplating directly this thought slowly taking form within this inner, most secret recess of our being... We are the embodiment of an extraordinary Grand Goal, something still roughly edged out of the primal clay, but nevertheless now increasingly more recognizable.
And yet something still powerful holds us back from entering in this new stage of evolution; something we may call fear for lack of a better term, or maybe some shyness to admit there is something special about us. But yes, we must admit it, there is definitely something special about us, something that we feel drawn to discover at all cost, something that will soon overcome all our childhood-related resistances and open the door on a New Beginning, on a renewed, greater awareness of our unique role and mission on this planet.
As the collective mind of humanity now starts to focus on the first truly planetary summit to be held in South America, next June 1 to 12, 1992, we are discovering a common ground to all our diversified endeavours, whether they are in the field of environmental protection or in the field of economic development. We are finally perceiving that the wellbeing of the whole is more important than the temporary satisfaction of the endless desires of the few. We know that taking care of our common home, that we share with countless other species, is now the most urgent matter beyond the slightest shadow of a doubt. For to neglect protecting our global biosphere assuredly means the end of almost all Life on Earth and a severe throwback to antediluvian ages.
We cannot afford to miss such a unique opportunity as now being offered by this sole and not to be repeated Earth Summit. Missing such a chance would sign our death penalty to all of us, with execution of the sentence within the next few decades. Not because the Earth would be warmer and the sea higher and some lands dryer; not because of a cataclysmic lost of species; not because of the unstoppable erosion of our protective high-altitude ozone layer; or not because most waters would be unfit for human consumption. No. Because of the synergistic and multiplying effect of all these crisis combined, added to the relentless pounding of blind, exponentially expanding human needs on the fragile and thin planetary biospherian eggshell. Cracks are already running all over the world and very little is preventing it from collapsing. We are on thin ground, unknowingly for most of us, and yet we drill through it with millions of jackhammers without really listening to the growing underground rumble that our collective actions generate. This is an analogy of course, but it is darned close to reality.
So what are we to hope and expect from the Earth Summit? What legitimate results should, must be achieved for our survival to be assured? And what can we do individually about it? First, let's assume that all the organization and government people involved in this process are really sincere in their desire to cooperate together in solving the global problems we have created for ourselves. Unless such an open and sincere level of cooperation prevails amongst those that have been empowered to take action on behalf of all of us, and actually of all Life, so that all truly work together in a co-creative and harmonious fashion, very little will be achieved and the challenge of the hour will go unmet. Confrontational attitudes and any desire to impose one's own agenda and priorities on everyone else will most certainly doom the whole process to failure. On the other hand, lack of vision and boldness would also insure inappropriate measures that would not match the depth and magnitude of the problems we collectively face. So the road to success must be paved with sincere intentions, complete cooperation and bold vision if we are to succeed... And succeed we will!!! For they is no reason that after going to the moon and achieving the level of technological progress we made in the last few decades, we could not muster the necessary technological tools and institutional instruments we need to cross the threshold into a new era of global cooperation and dedicated caretaking of our planetary Biosphere. We must and will succeed. There is simply no other alternative.
Secondly, to be assured of the long term commitment needed to carefully avoid the abyss we have opened, some internationally agreed upon mechanisms are needed. The old international structures have simply not been designed to face the peril we now encounter and new bold thinking and decisions must be implemented to counterbalance the natural tendencies of innately selfish national political structures. Therefore without a new global system of environmental monitoring and its remedial decision-making counterpart, we cannot hope to properly tackle the task at hand. There is no question here of taking out any existing power from the hands of the nations. The question is about creating new powers to monitor the vital signs of our planet and actively intervene in any needed manner to correct the wrongdoings that are responsible for jeopardizing our planetary Life support system. Intervening in national affairs is something we are already doing to a certain degree through the United Nations various missions to monitor and implement the peaceful resolution of human conflicts. Many recent examples come to mind to confirm this.
So now the time has come to similarly establish a new planetary structure that will take care of what no existing system or nation has the power or has been designed to accomplish. We should not be shy to contemplate this emerging reality. The wildfire-like spread of democracy around the world demonstrates by virtue of its happening that the world is now ripe for new substantial changes. And what better forum to discuss and initiate the process towards this achievement than the first truly Earth Summit! To crystallize possible options now appearing before us, let's imagine for a few minutes what could happen between now and the soon-to-be historic landmark of the year 2000. All human creations were first initiated through the power of intuitive imagination, which is truly the highest intelligence power that has been entrusted to us by Divine Will through eons of patient evolutionary labour. So let's play the Imagination Game for a moment...
€ June 1992: After over two years of frantic preparations, hundreds of grassroots as well as high level meetings and intense behind-the-doors heated sessions, the first Earth Summit achieves what History will recognize as the true first milestone of planetary government. Following the impulse given by the United Nations sponsored Brundtland Report, the official delegates gathered in Rio de Janeiro have boldly adopted a plan of action to sustainably manage our world without endangering future generations¹ access to its wealth. A "Clean Planet Act" has been adopted and will be submitted for approval to all governments of the Earth through the diligent diplomatic cooperation of the United Nations newly elected General Secretary. This "Clean Planet Act" outlines a precise schedule of actions and decisions to implement a new planetary and democratically elected decision-making body whose name will be chosen during the first Session of this global governing body. Based on the just adopted Earth Charter and its adjoining plan of implementation, this new global management system will be gradually phased in to replace the United Nations Organizations whose existing numerous branches will be integrated in and harmonized with the overall purpose of this new system. Its purpose, to be officially adopted during its first Session, can be temporarily summed up as this:
1) Monitor all the essential components of our common planetary Biosphere and intervene whenever their integrity and balance are threatened by any human activity;
2) Study, design, adopt and enforce all global laws that will be deemed necessary to achieve the above mentioned first aim;
3) Establish in close cooperation with all recognized national governments all the measures deemed necessary to harmonize the national laws and structures with the above mentioned global laws, while strictly respecting and affirming the role of each nation to protect and enhance its cultural specific identity.
In addition to all this, three Global Conventions were adopted to urgently implement some first measures to counter global Climatic Changes, Species Diversity Erosion and Forest Destruction.1
€ June 1995: After three years of intense, often despairingly slow negotiation, a majority of national governments has accepted by law the principle of establishing a global governing body for the specific purpose of harmonizing human activities with the general aim of preserving our common Life support system. This will include the power to intervene directly in conflicts or in any situation that may endanger vital components of the global Biosphere as well as threaten massive human starvation or significant habitat destruction. A Code of Human Rights and Responsibilities has been proposed for adoption by the Interim Earth Management Organization created after the Earth Summit, pending the official establishment of the global governing body.
€ January 1996: Following the latest findings by the Earth Observing System made public by the N.A.S.A., a surge of public pressure is building to force the various governments of the world to stop dragging their feet on environmental matters and finally accept to make plans for the election of the representatives of the First Assembly of what is now proposed to be called the "United Earth Organization". It is hoped that the whole system designed during and after the 1992 Earth Summit will be implemented by the year 2000. In the meantime, scores of governments are adopting more stringent environmental regulations and enforcement means in line with the various conventions adopted so far through the United Nations Organization.
€ February 1998: Work is underway for the first global elections to be held simultaneously on every continent. Following the global disaster created by the meltdown within the same month of two outdated nuclear power stations, a new unprecedented atmosphere of global cooperation is driving the world towards the first stage of a world government to be active and fully functional by the 1st of January 2000.
€ December 31st 1999: Global festivities are underway all over the world to celebrate the successful shift in awareness that has led the human species from a narrow national perspective to a new global integration of all human activities under the just-elected First Assembly of the United Earth Organization. Disarmament on all continents has been going on at an accelerated pace during the last two years and considerable human and financial resources have been shifted to alleviate human suffering and remedy to decades of unrelenting environmental carelessness. Hope is growing for a positive future for all of humanity and all generations to come although the challenge of global environmental regeneration still seems beyond our limited means. We all count on the resilience of Nature to heal from its wounds and rebound into bountiful luxuriance. Humanity is now fully assisting this process and the odds look increasingly better everyday that together we will succeed. We shall not falter on the new Path we have taken. This is truly a New Beginning for our species and for all Life on Earth.
As this imaginative scenario demonstrates, there clearly exists a way out of our current predicament. But to see it, we must stick our nose out from more immediate concerns, take a few steps back and look at the overall picture of human and planetary evolution as we can see it. We must willingly accept the apparent risk of turning a new page of History and write together a new chapter of the eons-old saga of Life evolution on Earth. There is simply no other alternative to taking this risk, for any such other alternative is simply unthinkable. Fortunately, could we say, we are driven by the very circumstances we ourselves have greatly contribute to create, into opening our minds and our hearts to new possibilities, to new options that could not be seriously considered before now. The time is coming for what has been described in this paper. An unprecedented opportunity awaits us. We must not, we cannot miss it. Let's think about it. Let's talk about it. And let's do it! That's the responsibility each one of us is now entrusted with. Together, let's make this New Beginning... an Idea Whose Time Has Come.
President, Global Awareness In Action.
NOTE: if you wish to send any comment on this paper, you may write to its author at: 14 Les Plateaux, Anse St-Jean, Quebec, Canada, G0V 1J0 - or call at (418) 272-2931.
1 Their full implementation will gradually take place as the above mentioned new global governing body eventually enters in function and acquires the means to achieve its aims. One of the key features of this "Clean Planet Act" is precisely about how this future global governing body will receive the necessary financial means to accomplish its intricate and multi-faceted mission. Along with the adoption of the "Clean Planet Act" by the nations of the world, each country will be require to allow the global governing body to levy a Pollution Tax to be based on the amount of negative impact any human or economic activity has on the global environment. Carefully graduated according to specific, precise criteria analyzing and evaluating such negative environmental impact, the most polluting and/or environmentally harmful human activities will be the most heavily taxed while those with no impact at all will not be taxed. In addition, and based on a similar set of analyzing and evaluating criteria, human and economic activities that are beneficial to the Earth's global environment will receive financial incentives and rewards from the global governing body to further increase their action and enhance their beneficial impact. A fixed portion of the revenues raised from the pollution tax will be given back, on a mandatory basis, to foster human activities that are beneficial to the environment. The remaining portion will be used by the global governing body to pay its administrative costs and further achieve its overall aims. The administration of this global tax system will be entirely done through national and state/provincial existing administrations, generally through a new special Pollution Tax Bureau created in close cooperation with each national and state/provincial Ministry of Environment of similar system, and monitored on a day-to-day basis by appointed representatives of the global governing body. Similarly, the payment of financial incentives and rewards will be executed through the same national and state/provincial conduits. This Tax Pollution System is hoped to finally establish a true level-playing field for everyone when it comes to paying for the cost of not respecting the environment. As for the levying of a Global Pollution Tax, it will be globally enforced when the definitive global governing body will hold its First Session following the election of its representatives.
Postscript: A few Days Later - As anyone would guess, I¹m acutely aware that the ideas suggested here are not new by any means and that many different avenues and options exist to reach similar aims. What I think is unique in the tentative scenario outlined here is the fact that we could now be seeing the emergence of specific conditions that may make such ideas to appear less dreamy, and in fact more timely. I sense that as the world discovers its indissociable common responsibility in preserving and restoring our Œendangered planet¹, as repeatedly described in Time Magazine¹s articles, we may finally all agree to the inevitable necessity of some form of global management system to counterbalance our natural human weaknesses and shortsightedness, and thus give us all some breathing room and a real global security system. I may be dreaming, but I sense deep within me that I¹m not the only one. I would really love to hear from you on all this and please feel free to copy or reprint this in any fashion or even edited version if needed!
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