Subject – “A PEOPLE’S COURSE OF ACTION” conference/symposium
The problems that face the people and planet are horrendous and yet we seem unable to frame a practical plan that we could use to address the challenge united and internationally.
It is obvious that our current political systems, institutions and corporations have failed us and that we collectively need to take a decidedly different course of action if we hope to stem devastating global collapse of ecosystems and societies. The only other course of action is “the power of people”.
In an effort to evaluate some ideas and stimulate an initial constructive debate among a number of concerned individuals, my wife and I are prepared to help finance such a preliminary meeting. We will pay up to “undisclosed” dollars to bring together such a conference, (meeting? symposium?) to fruition – the objective of which would be the creating of a basis for a practical approach to resolving this global challenge, before we are too late.
Here are some of the things that might be debated and resolved in such a gathering. (please feel free to offer your ideas)
- Let it be resolved that the people of the planet are willing, or not willing, to act decisively to save the planet and to improve the welfare of all who dwell everywhere on the planet.
- Let it be resolved that “we within this generation” are the last generation that can be effective at identifying, prioritizing, promoting and demanding solutions.
- Let it be resolved that we indeed have enough knowledge within the database of existing orgs, NGOs and other groups with which to collectively make informed decisions.
- Let it be resolved that our political systems and institutions have failed us and that we need to find a decidedly new course of action where all initiative and corrective action comes through the will of the people.
- Let it be resolved that the time has passed for writing about it, reading about it and talking about it and time to collectively do something real and tangible.
- Let it be resolved that we are presently fragmented and ineffective in resolving today’s appalling problems in a timely manner.
- Let it be resolved that we are ineffective at preparing, presenting and garnering wide support for issues.
- Let it be resolved that social media in its present form could be, or could not be, effective in gathering public input and opinion, and for presenting petitions for public acceptance.
- Let it be resolved that a new worldwide social media site dedicated solely to the issues of resolving social problems and addressing the environmental concerns is possible, practical and essential.
- Let it be resolved that we have the worldwide talent and capability of having a site presented and maintained in all necessary languages.
- Let it be resolved that all of our worldwide problems and concerns can be categorized and entered into a single manageable format.
- Let it be resolved that the following are, or are not, suitable categories — Air Quality, Democracy/Voting, Drugs, Energy, Farming/Forestry, Fishing/Whaling, Food, Genetic Engineering, Health, Human Rights, Land/Soil, Mining, Non-personages, Nuclear Issues, People’s Commons/natural resources, Plastic Dangers, Population, Public Broadcasting/Freedom of speech/Right to Knowledge, Species, Toxins, Trade and Labor, Transportation, Waste/ Recycle, Water Resources, Uncategorized. (See http://stopstopstop.org )
- Let it be resolved that issues within each category could be, and should be, prioritized by debate and consensus.
- Let it be resolved that every category shall have equal weight within the final plan.
- Let it be resolved that each and every category shall present one petition for review and public support in each and every country on the planet at the same time each and every year (at least once).
- Let it be resolved that submitting a publically endorsed and signed petition/plebiscite to all legislative bodies worldwide is, or is not, possible or practical.
- Let it be resolved that an environmental problem in one country is a problem for all of us worldwide.
- Let it be resolved that we need to act with one voice and under one easily recognizable worldwide banner with one worldwide mission and not become further fragmented in this planning process.
- Let it be resolved that we need to act now, as time is our unforgiving enemy.
GETTING OUR ACT TOGETHER
If I were to suggest that we need another environmental/humanitarian organization I would reasonably expect a few frowns and groans.” Egad!!! – There are already several million NGOs in the world, (according to Wikipedia) untold activist groups and web sites already; why in heavens name would we need another one”. Bear with me please, and let me see if I can make a good case for having just one more.
Untold people in most every nation develop web sites, join organizations, join NGOs, form activist groups, attend meetings, knock on doors, volunteer, join political parties, donate money, sign petitions, write to their newspapers, attend rallies etc. – all in the hope of making some minor difference in correcting perceived social ills and injustices. The effort expended is formidable but it has remarkable little effect on the targeted welfare of people and planet. It has remarkably little effect because we are so fragmented and disorganized. We should really consider coming together worldwide into, and under, one all-encompassing big circus sized tent. What we need is not another web site and organization struggling and competing for attention so much as we need “reorganization” and “consolidation of effort” – An “umbrella group” that brings us together so that we can be a large force for justice and significant enough to be heard above the din of misleading and confusing hype.
Collectively we join and finance millions of groups. We in effect hire them to work on our behalf; work that we have neither the time nor talent to do. Corporations and business people also join and finance groups to work on their behalf. We call these groups right winged policy institutes; commonly called think tanks. They do their research and write up material that becomes proposed acts/decrees/law of the land. They then lobby the people’s representatives in our various representative governments to enact such acts – often in the form of enormous omnibus bills which run for hundreds of pages and include multiple acts which are in direct conflict with the interests of both the people and the planet.
Simply put – We need to do the same as the right-winged policy institutes. If we want our causes to be proposed, researched, written up, presented to politicians and then lobbied, we need to change our approach to match the tactics of the opposition with their combined and extremely harmful self-serving interests. Whereas the incorporated world has money to promote their vested interests we have millions, if not billions of people to move our interests forward. First however we need to assemble and unite them in a mission like no other before. To delay is to miss the only opportunity we will ever have to make a difference, as time, above all things, is our immediate and unrelenting enemy.
Together worldwide, we have the research; we have the knowledge; we have the talents, but we are as a million voices all trying to be heard; all at the same time. If we could simply get our separate concerns written up and presented in a logical, orderly and consistent format with each of us supporting the other in our endeavours, we might better be heard and listened to. We need to systematically present our case for the changes that are the essential keys to the very health of the planet and the welfare of people worldwide.
The difficulties we have with the wellbeing of the planet are global and transcend all borders. Resolving a problem in a single city, state or nation is of vital importance, however getting everyone involved and active in every nation to a single objective should be the essential and ultimate goal.
No man or country is exempt from the offenses we create with our combined and separate activities whether they are from our past or ongoing actions and abuses. The problems we face are worldwide problems. An assault on the ecosystem in one country is an assault on the planet. An assault on the health and welfare of people in one country is something we all need to consider if we truly believe in universal justice.
In support of a new web site where we might conceivably organize and display our proposed worldwide legislative acts consider the following -
- Let’s suppose that we had a worldwide web site that exhibited our proposed legislative acts but neither prepared them or promoted them directly.
- Let’s suppose that we simply called on the existing and established groups of individuals or activist groups to prepare the proposed legislative acts clause by clause by clause by clause.
- Let’s suppose that these proposals were all written in a format that is consistence and easy to understand throughout the site.
- Let’s suppose that these proposed legislative acts were categorized and numbered to help readers searching for proposals. (Suggested list to follow)
- Let’s suppose that as the movement grew the site would offer translation of the proposed acts into multiple languages so that all can participate in the venture.
- Let’s suppose that the proposed legislative acts were entered under one of (possibly) 26 categories so that one could be systematically and consistently presented each second week of the year. When one year was past the process would start over with a new proposed act under the same category as in the same month in the previous year.
- Let’s suppose that the existing NGOs and groups that we already finance were our personal progressive “Think Tanks”. If anyone wanted to be part of the process, they would prepare the individual clauses that would make up a proposed piece of legislation that would in turn address the issue in question. They would supply relevant information from their research data and ask their collective members to put their combined influence behind this crucial worldwide proposal and movement.
- Let’s suppose that petition-sponsoring groups like Avaaz were asked to take up the task of being the lobby groups. They would send out a petition as scheduled but not to a single legislative body in one country but to all of the legislative bodies in all countries. (it is recognised that this would be a significant, but essential, task to compile without the help of individuals in each country)
- Let’s suppose that we use a single data base for all supporters and possibly a registry where all could show their commitment by adding their name or nickname.
- To have a single movement we need a single mission and a single mission statement. For want of something better, how about “ Proposing, Preparing, Presenting and Promoting Legislative Acts Worldwide for Planet and People”
- To have a movement that is recognized it will need a name that suggests precisely what the objective is. To this I suggest something like “ACT” as it suggests both action and a decree/law. ACT can be expanded into act-as-one, act now, act up, act out, activist, and action. I’m sure we could come up with a good and appropriate acronym for three letters as well. (like AD CURAM TERRAE for instance – in the service of earth)
- Let’s suppose that a distinctive banner or ribbon would be appropriate to make everyone visible to one another and to show our solidarity. To this I suggest we could use material in the distinctive color of Terra Cotta which appropriately translates as Burnt Earth.
Saving the world from ourselves is not going to come about without disruption to our way of life, however if our continuing way of life is destructive to our existence, our welfare, and the future then there is no other option available to us except to shirk responsibility . That is not to say that any proposed legislative act cannot have a timetable for implementation that gives a measured but limited time to adapt.
Many years ago I worked in a factory that made electric tea kettles. The government banned the use of lead solder in the manufacture of this product as it leached lead into the boiling water and created a health hazard. The change to tin solder was not without problems, and economic hardship for the company, but it was essential to protect the health and welfare of the public. All of the acts which would be proposed would have the same objectives. IE – To protect the health and welfare of people and planet.
The initial proposed legislative acts should be tame enough to gain approval from both the public and the politicians while the movement grows. Once it is understood that the objectives are just and essential the goals would be ramped up. If nothing else our work could be a great policy resource for perspective parties and politicians everywhere on the planet.
This project needs debate and input to refine the concept. I have little talent for this venture and would like to see someone else take up this challenge.
Matt Foster firstname.lastname@example.org 519 621 9908
The categories might be as follows (Note – I suggest 26 categories but it might just as easily be 30 or 40. The 26 fits into a year nicely but repeating any number of categories will work. The important thing is that it is seen as being organized, all-inclusive and repetitive so that everyone will know when their issue will come up for inclusion. Although this process need never end, the first ten years will be crucial.
- Air degradation air travel pollution, tourism travel pollution, space exploration pollution, private space tourism, Carbon dioxide levels, Methane, Chlorofluorocarbons, low altitude ozone O3, smog and vapor, incineration of hazardous wastes, smoke, changing weather patterns, ozone depletion, ultraviolet radiation,
- Democracy/Voting Threatened democracy, undemocratic electoral systems, foreign interference in domestic government, private armies, separation of religion and state, voting machine fraud, Geo-engineering of the planet,
- Drugs effects on environment, disposal of, post toilet effects, resistance to degradation,
- Energy - Energy conservation, Efficient energy use, Renewable energy commercialization, Coal industry , Oil sands energy, coal power generation, renewable energy, bio-fuel, offshore power generation, bio-fuel and biomass, excess home and institutional heating and cooling, wasteful motorized toys (aircraft, overpower boats, snowmobiles, seadoes etc.), oversized private automobiles,
- Farming/Forestry factory farms, clear cutting, irrigation, illegal crops, rain forests, reforestation, clear-cutting, land restoration, habitat destruction,
- Fishing/Whaling blast fishing, cyanide fishing, dragnet fishing, seabed destruction, illegal fishing, fish farming, (ghost fishing) lost fishing nets, blast fishing, research whaling,
- Food world hunger/starvation, labeling of food, artificial sweeteners, food additives, fair trade produce, pesticide residue in food, excess chemicals in food, Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease, palm oil, local produce, low cost producers,
- Genetic engineering unnatural/natural, promotion of herbicide use, irreversible consequences, removes seeds from commons, unforeseen consequences, presides use with as added hazards, may create super weeds, nutrition claims, allergenic realities, toxicity, who pays cost of problems created, week regulations, right to know what one is eating, violate dietary and religious restrictions, organic industry threat to, accidental contamination of neighboring fields, threat to human and animal genome,
- Health health-care as a right, birth defect rise, traditional health product, vaccine contamination, international obesity, drug resistant diseases, UV tanning beds, Cell phone radiation, resistance to antibiotics, weakened genome, Bovine Somatatropn (BST, cancer research, novel pathogens, incurable strains of tuberculosis, pneumonia, dysentery, cholera, legionnaire’s disease, malaria, compromised immune and hormonal systems, drug resistant STDs, indoor pollution, formaldehyde in household products.
- Human Rights Women’s rights, genital mutilation, child poverty, social inequality, child soldiers, torture, extraordinary rendition, rising sea water/displaced people, natural disaster planning and relief, indoor pollution air standards, practice of leblouh/forced feeding of young girls, private prison industry, refugees and undocumented/illegal immigrants, slavery, citizenship, equality, right of association,
- Land/Soil Degradation soil erosion, landfills, disappearing beaches, expanding cities, desertification, drought, habitat loss, paving the best farm land, human burial concerns,
- Mining arsenic leach mining, reforestation, sink holes and surface elevation changes, ground water contamination, tailings, tailing dams, noise, dust, visual pollution, mercury runoff, sulfuric acid runoff, excess use of water resource, heavy metal contamination and runoff, habitat loss,
- Non-personages maximum wages controls vs minimum wage controls, problems with corporate personhood, military/industrial complex influences, undermining UN effectiveness, UN Veto abuse, IMF, World Bank, masquerading greens, special interest lobby groups, special interest think tanks, limits to advertising propaganda, lobby groups, political parties, religious group propaganda, secret societies, deindustrialization of nations, hiding profits in offshore accounts.
- Nuclear Issues irradiation of produce, 30,000 nuclear warheads, nuclear proliferation, nuclear power generation, materials storage, accidental losses,
- People’s Commons/natural resources right of way, wilderness sell-off, rare raw resources, foreign ownership of resources,
- Plastic Dangers Excess packaging, single use plastic, plastic chemical leaching, plastic bag problem, Teflon concerns, food container chemical leaching, high levels of BPA in urine, measurable levels of phthalates in humans, effect on reproduction, reproduction abnormalities, floating plastic waste as transport for invasive species, mass of floating debris, ingested by wildlife, chokes wildlife, longevity of waste, kills over and over again, micro-fragmentation, in food chain, bird entanglement, clogging drain hazard, unnecessary luxury, waste of petroleum, biodegradable plastic,
- Population (the elephant in the room) impact on environment, limits, emigration as solutions, sterilization, limited family size, family planning, religion’s role,
- Public Broadcasting/Freedom of speech/Right to Knowledge Public funded radio and TV, journalistic freedom, freedom of speech, right to full disclosure, artificial news, exposing “False Flag” operations, academic freedom, unattainable higher education, concentration of media in too few hands,
- Species (or biodiversity) loss of genetic biodiversity, habitat loss, species decline, declining male fertility, animal extinctions, bee and insect pollination concern, dolphin decline, ethical treatment of animals, amphibian die-off, harvesting of sea turtle eggs for consumption, established exotic species, Asian carp, zebra mussels, round goby in Great Lakes,
- Toxins Hormone mimicking chemicals, estrogens in drinking water, dental amalgam pollution, lead pollution, Minimoto disease, pesticide use, depleted uranium contamination, gasoline additive problems, dioxins, asbestos usage, tritium filled lighting, herbicides, pressure treated wood, PCB,CFC, PAH, DDT, thalidomide, growth hormones, 10,000 of 65,000 synthetic chemicals,
- Trade and Labor , criminal activity in business, arms trade, flower trade, unfair trade practices, the effect of government subsidies, global monopolies, aquarium trade, unfair trade pacts, temporary farm labor, temporary labor force, labor union rights,
- Transportation vehicle emission standards, vehicle mileage standards, public transportation, vehicle excess engine size and HP, impact of leisure drives, weekend getaway impact,
- Waste/Recycle Recycle programs, community recycle programs, waste minimization, electronic waste, exporting of waste, hazardous waste, medical waste, primitive appetite for baubles and beads,
- Water Resources (all) fresh water access, salt usage on roads, water softener salt problems, boating pollution, livestock pollution, the Ogallala aquifer depletion, salination of aquifers, salination of rivers, northern waters concerns, oil exploration concerns, rising seas, water tables, water diversions, river dams, bottled water, fresh water standards, acid rain, acid lakes, tritium levels in water, continental shelf marine habitats, fluoride/chlorine in drinking water, aquaculture, coral destruction, coral diseases, algal blooms, propeller scouring, nutrient runoff, car/truck run-off (lead, oil, tire residue), sewage discharge, eutrophication of rivers and coastal waters, warming seas, Great Barrier Reef concerns, shrinking glaciers, changing ocean currents, detergents,
In this text I have purposely tried to avoid the use of the divisive term Global Warming as it is a of a host of human activities. Addressing some of the other issues noted will impact on this major problem.