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1999-11-18                 Hornby-Denman Island Grapevine                       by Fireweed

Environmental Activist to Speak

Vancouver-based conservationist Toney Mars will be making an intriguing new presentation in Courtenay and on Denman Mon., Nov. 22nd & Tues. the 23rd respectively.

Many islanders will remember the engaging speaker as the driving force behind Western Canada Wilderness Committees highly profiled Bear referendum Campaign a number of years ago.  Others will recall his fabulous slideshow presentation here in 97 on the plight of the worlds dwindling tiger population.  Millions of Discovery Channel, PBS and the Knowledge Network viewers have since applauded his efforts as celebrated in the award winning television documentary series Champions of the Wild.

Marr is currently on a cross-country tour under the banner of HOPE (Heal Our Planet Earth) with a thought provoking talk titled Earths Shining Destiny.  This original millennium vision, based upon Marrs own Omniscientific Cosmology, has won the accolades from professors in a diverse range of scientific disciplines.

Omni-Science, explains Marr, is a new model of the Universe built not on the physical sciences alones, but the life and social sciences as well.  It is a cosmology that can answer the great philosophical questions such as the purpose of humanity, the meaning of life, the destiny of Earth, the Way of the Cosmos, the Masterplan of the Universe, even the nature of ˜God.

Dissuading quick dismissal of such a grandiose claim, Marrs impressive list of supporters (including dozens of distinguished academics), encourages thoughtful attention to the writers concepts.  For example, Stanford University Professor of Geology W.R. Evitts comments read, sincerity, imagination, intellectualism, scholarship¦ meticulously thought out¦ majestic in scope but intrinsically simply, satisfying and optimistic¦ broad appeal¦ important ideas with great potential for lessening the conflicts in a troubled world.  Adds Dr. William Kimbel, President, Institute of Human Origins, Berkeley, ¦ no amateur populariser¦ a dedicated scholar whose theory makes a profound contribution to the fundamental definition of humankind in relation to the broader universe¦ too important to be ignored.

While no stranger to controversy as an activist, the praxis of Marrs ideology is bound to enjoy broad appeal.  His current HOPE initiative is primarily concerned with collecting signatures on a bold worldwide petition destined for the United Nations.  It requests the redirection of ten percent of international military expenditures into a UN administered global ecology/environmental fund.

Courtesy of Denmans Community School, the captivating Marr will be speaking Tuesday evening at 7 pm in the School library.  Admission is by donation.

 

 

EARTHS SHINING DESTINY

A New Millennium Vision

a special adaptation of

OMNISCIENTIFIC COSMOLOGY

by

Toney Mars

The following two short versions of the Omniscientific Cosmology have been published by a number of newspapers worldwide around the turn of the millennium.  

[version A “ 797 words]

If you have been observing the planet Earth from the moon for a million years compressed into a single day, youd find yourself suddenly sitting bolt upright and taking alarmed notice, because all six critical symptoms have suddenly, simultaneously arisen:

1. Earths night side has always been pitch black, but suddenly there is light - neon light.

2. Your spectroscope is suddenly peaking with an unprecedented array of pollutants.

3. You cannot help but notice the sudden and widespread deforestation and desertification.

4. Your long-range Geiger counter is suddenly clicking off scale.

5. Your radio telescope is suddenly being bombarded with e-m radiation.

6. Suddenly, human footprints appear on the moon.

These are the signs of an imminent global event to come, something so monumental that its dark alternative is Armageddon. 

A celestial birth. 

The planet Earth is a cosmic egg, literally, that came into being 4.6 billion years ago.  Its geo-embryo is its ever-evolving biosphere, which does require solar energy to incubate.  Its gestation period is 4.6 billion years.

3.5 billion years ago, Earths primordial molecules formed molecular societies, which became the first unicellular organisms (cells).  600 million years ago, the cells formed cellular societies, which became the first multicellular organisms (metabions).  100 million years ago, the metabions formed animal societies, which became the first city-organisms (of social insects, and much later, of humans).  6,000 years ago, the human-based cities gave rise to the first multi-city society, which became the first nation-organisms.  This quantum-leaping of life from level to level is called Integrative Transcendence (IT).

On all levels exist nonsocial and social units - nonsocial molecules (e.g. CaCO3 in a rock) and social molecules (e.g. proteins), nonsocial cells (e.g. amoebae) and social cells (e.g. body cells of dragonfly or human), nonsocial metabions (dragonflies) and social metabions (bees, humans), nonsocial cities (e.g. termite mounds) and social cities (e.g. your city), nonsocial nations (e.g. WW2 Germany and todays

Iraq, more or less) and social nations (more or less, e.g. your country, since, e.g., it is on the World Wide Web!)

The Integrative Transcendence Spiral repeats itself from level to level in four quadrants.

1. Organismization - where, by differentiation and cooperation amongst social organisms on one level, their society integrates itself and transcends into being an organism of the level above.

2. Speciation “ where the original species of organisms on any level evolves into an array of descendent species.

3. Ecosystemization “ where the various descendent species form ecosystems among themselves, and

4. Socialization “ where certain species become social, and form societies of their own.

Thus, the OSES Cycle of the IT Spiral.

Currently, our nations have progressed past the Ecosystemization quadrant of the 5th OSES Cycle, but not yet completed the Socialization quadrant.  The current annual $1.6 trillion global military expenditure is proof to this.  If and when the international society (UN?) integratively transcend into the planetary organism Earth, there would be no international weaponry, just as there is no enmity but pure harmony amongst the organs of the same body.

Given a thousand planets with life and civilization, a certain proportion would probably not survive this crucial juncture at which the Earth now finds itself.  It is a cosmic final exam where the destructive destroy themselves.  It is survival of the wise.

If Homo Sapiens lives up to its self-given name, the infant planetary organism Earth will mature, then reproduce, giving rise to offspring planetary organisms throughout the Solar System.  The OSES Cycle will unfold yet again, this time on the interplanetary level, in the ever-ascending Spiral of Integrative Transcendence.

Where does it end?  Seven levels above the planetary organism will be the Universal Organism.  This dozen-leveled, integratively transcended universal being will be everywhere within itself, embrace all the knowledge in all libraries of all planets, and be an unimaginable powerful.  Omnipresent, omniscient and omnipotent.  What does this tell us about God?  Being an active ingredient in this divine self-creation process of integrative Transcendence, what does this tell us about ourselves?

Will the Earth survive? I asked in anguish one night.

I was told to first build a pyramid with five boulders, then to write on a piece of paper, The Earth will surely die., which I then crunched into a ball, which I then inserted into the hollow of the pyramid. 

If your Earth is destined to live, a cosmic hand of destiny will reach into the pyramid before sunrise and reduce it to ashes.  If not, the Earth shall die.

It was the longest night of my life.  But mere seconds before dawn, a cosmic hand of destiny did reach into the pyramid and, with a burning match, reduced the paper ball to ashes.  In the first rays of the rising sun, I regarded this hand, which was my own.

Earths destiny is in our hands.

___________________________________________________________________

[Version B “ 2,167 words]

I. Omniscientific Cosmology

Here we are, progressing on to a new millennium, armed to the teeth with lethal weaponry - which has already destroyed our luxury of trial and error, when our next error could be our last - and what do we have as a guiding light?  Armageddon?  Apocalypse?  Judgment Day?  Our children deserve a brighter millennium vision, at least as an alternative. 

Earths Shining Destiny is a special adaptation of the Omniscientific Cosmology.  All human cultures and civilizations have their own cosmologies.  A cosmology is a  model of the Universe.  We humans need self-understanding, but since we are all integral parts of the Universe, and since the part cannot understand itself without understanding the whole and its part in this whole, so we humans need cosmologies in order to understand ourselves.  

There are two main categories of cosmologies - the unscientific (e.g. "scientific" Creationism and other creation myths) and the scientific.  Scientific cosmology has two subcategories - conventional scientific cosmology (e.g. the "Big Bang Theory", involving only 4 of the 8 principal sciences namely physics, chemistry, geology and astronomy), and Omniscientific Cosmology (which involves all 8 principal sciences - the above 4 plus biology, sociology, psychology and ecology). This gives Omniscientific Cosmology the power to answer the great philosophical questions on the origin, nature, evolution, meaning, purpose, Tao and destiny - of humanity, life, civilization, Earth, Universe, even God".

Omniscientific Cosmology is the yin half of Applied Science, whose wisdom will govern the yang side, namely technology, with whose potentially destructive power we threaten our very own survival today.

 

II. The Six Critical Symptoms

Homo Sapiens of Earth, beware.  Beware of her Six Critical Symptoms.  As observed from the moon:

1. For millions of years, Earths night side has been hidden in pitch darkness, but now, suddenly, there is light, neon light.

2. For millions of years, Earths air has been clean and its water pure, but now, suddenly, there is pollution.

3. For millions of years, forests have covered much of the land, but now, suddenly, there is massive deforestation, even desertification. 

4. Never in her 4.6 billion years of life has Earth once generated a single thermal nuclear reaction, until now, when she is in danger of generating too many too soon.

5. Never before has Earth been a radio source of renown, until now, when suddenly, she is flooding her interstellar neighbourhood with newscasts, documentaries, movies, soap operas, sitcoms, commercials and televangelical sermons.

6. Earth was born of gravity and by her own gravity have her body parts always been bound, until now, when suddenly, bits and pieces of her body are seen to fly away, some never to return, such as the Apollo, Mariner, Pioneer and Voyager spacecraft.

These are the signs of an imminent global transformation to come, whose success or failure will depend on the actions of Earths own pivotal species Homo Sapiens.

 

III. Integrative Transcendence

According to 20th Century science, the Universe was formed about 18 billion years ago at the Big Bang (space-time, energy, subatomic particles plus atomic hydrogen and helium).  The Earth was formed 4.6 billion years ago (atoms of all elements and inorganic molecules).  Life on Earth began as unicellular organisms (e.g. bacteria) about 3.4 billion years ago.  Unicellular organisms gave rise to multicellular organisms (e.g. sponges) about 600 million years ago.  Multicellular organisms began to form animal societies about 100 million years ago (e.g. social insects, and later, human villages, towns and cities).  The animal (including human) societies began to form higher societies of their own (e.g. multi-city nations) only thousands of years ago.

So, where in this super-vast vista are we?

To begin with, we are all multicellular organisms, each comprising trillions of genetically identical but morphologically and physiologically differentiated cells. 

These cells in turn cooperate within their own society, which is the multicellular organism.  Therefore a human being can also be seen as a society of its own cells.                                                        

There is a good evolutionary reason for the unicellular organisms to form societies which become multicellular organisms.  If an amoeba can crawl at a foot a day within their pond of a universe, a billion amoebae crawling in unison still cannot crawl faster than a foot a day.  But if a billion cells of another species become differentiated and cooperative to form a cellular society in the form say of a dragonfly, then collectively, they can move at a mile a minute, and fly over the mountain.  Certainly, the amoebae have the freedom of individual movement, which the immobile dragonfly cells lack, but together the dragonfly cells attain a higher freedom unknown to the amoebae. 

And certainly, unless we humans differentiated and cooperated to form our ancient tribal cultures, which then evolve into cities that differentiate and cooperate to form todays nations, humanity could never have flown to the moon.  Even so, for humanity to fly much farther than to the moon, differentiation and cooperation in the international arena is required.

That a society on a certain level is equivalent to an organism on the level above was first proposed by the social insect researchers in the 1920s.  They advanced the notion that an insect society (e.g. of bees, ants, termites) is a super-organism capable of satisfying all Seven Vital Functions of life (nutrition, excretion, respiration, irritability, movement, growth and reproduction).  Since the bees and ants and termites are organisms, these biologists reasoned, then their society, a high organism, should be called a super-organism.  This concept had a bright flash, but it was a flash in the pan.  Its problem was its prefix super, for isnt an ant - a multicellular organism - not a society of its own social cells, which are organisms in their own right?

Next, if an insect society is an organism, should not a human society, such as a city, also be considered an organism?  By the Seven Vital Functions, yes.  Likewise, the multi-city nation.

So now, if we look at anything and everything on Earth, we can place them somewhere within a simple 5-levels-of-organization framework- the level of the molecules, the unicellular organisms, the multicellular organisms, the cities and the nations - without exception.  Even my computer is a part of the living body of the city of Vancouver. 

Within this framework, an organism on a certain level is synonymous to a society of the level below, although conversely, certain societies may not have been integrated enough to have transcended into a full organism on the level above.

The cosmic spiral that repeats itself through these five levels of organization pertaining to the planet Earth, which in fact created this five-leveled structure one level at a time, is called the spiral of Integrative Transcendence.

 

IV. Interlevel Parallelism 

There are many parallelisms between levels, which are therefore of predictive value.  Following are six major examples:

1.  The differentiation/cooperation duality prevails throughout the Spiral of Integrative Transcendence (the I.T. Spiral), on all levels of organization.

2.  On all levels exist nonsocial and social units.  There are nonsocial molecules (e.g. CO2 in the air, CaCO3 in a rock), social molecules (e.g. DNA, protein), nonsocial cells (e.g. amoebae, bacteria), social cells (e.g. body cells of dragonfly or human), nonsocial animals (dragonflies, tigers), social animals (bees, humans), nonsocial animal societies (e.g. bee hives, termite mounds, some human tribal cultures), social animals societies (e.g. most human towns and cities), nonsocial nations (e.g. WW2 Germany and todays Iraq, more or less) and social nations (Canada and US, more or less)

3.  According to J.G. Miller, all living systems, on any level, can be functionally analyzed in terms of the 19 sub-systems (the Boundary, the Ingestor, the Distributor, the Input Transducer, the Internal Transducer, the Output Transducer, the Converter, the Producer, the Matter-Energy Storage, the Extruder, the Motor, the Supporter, the Channel and Net, the Decoder, the Associator, the Memory, the Decider, the Encoder and the Reproducer.) 

4.  Organisms on all levels are composed of organs.  Cells have organelles, a society have social organs.

5.  Evolution occurs on all levels at once.  Human evolution, for example, comprises evolution of the human DNA, the human cell, the human body and the two levels of human society.

6.  The I.T. Spiral, on any level, has four quadrants: Organismization (where societies on a certain level integratively transcend into organisms on the level above), Speciation (where the original species on any level evolve into a broad range of offspring species), Ecosystemization (where these new species form ecosystems amongst themselves), and Socialization (where some of these descendent species in some of these ecosystems become social, and form societies of their own).  This is called the O.S.E.S. Cycle of the I.T. Spiral.

 

V. Earth as Planetary Organism

In this light, Earth can be seen as a Planetary-Organism-in-the-making “ a cosmic egg about to hatch, in which the biosphere is the developing Geo-Embryo, and the rest of the planets largely inorganic body (but including the oil in the ground, which is basically solar-energy-in-storage), its yolk and white.

As in any egg, this cosmic egg Earth has its own metamorphic schedule and gestation period, predetermined by its original characteristics and composition.  It must undergo five stages of metamorphosis, when the Earth is currently poised on the brink of the fifth.  Its gestation period is 4.6 billion years, which means that its birth, or its failure to do so, is imminent.

If Earths nations succeed in transcendentally integrating themselves into a harmonious international society, the Earth will integratively transcend into a planetary organism at last, and the sixth and final level of Earth will have arisen. 

And with time, this infant planetary organism will mature, and reproduce, giving rise to offspring planetary organisms throughout the Solar System in which the O.S.E.S. Cycle will unfold yet again in the ever-ascending Spiral of Integrative Transcendence.

 

VI. Cosmic Consciousness

Consciousness is a physical phenomenon.  Not only is memory stored in the neural circuitry of the brain, the neural circuitry itself is the memory.  As children learn, their neural circuitry develops according to their experience.  Two identical twins separated from birth may continue to look identical, but their neural circuitries will certainly be different.

Consciousness, too, is multileveled in structure.  Based upon something so simple as the proto-consciousness of a proton or a molecule, which is nonetheless aware of electricity and gravity, the consciousness of the cells arises, which in turn gives rise to the consciousness of the multicellular organisms, which in turn gives rise to the social consciousness of their societies, which in turn gives rise to the consciousness of the nations, which eventually will, if successful, give rise to the integratively transcended consciousness of the planetary organism Earth.

 

VII. Universe as Cosmic Egg

Given a million planets with life and civilization, a certain proportion will fail at the point of the Six Critical Symptoms by a variety of means “ nuclear suicide, self-poisoning, planetary diseases, or plain starvation.  This is the real star-gate, a cosmic filtration device where the destructive will destroy themselves, and the constructive will continue to participate in yet higher integrative transcendences.  It is a case of the survival of the wise.

Whether or not the Earth will survive this test, the Universe will unfold as it should.  Integrative Transcendence will spiral on in each and every one of the 100 billion+ galaxies in the Universe, each comprising hundreds of billions of stars.  Eventually, about 10 levels above the human organism, the Cosmos itself will integratively transcend into the full Universal Organism.

This cosmic infant will have three godly properties: omnipresence (since within itself it is everywhere present), omniscience (since it will embrace all the knowledge in all libraries of all planets), and omnipotence (since power-wise it is 10 whole levels above the human being).  This has an immeasurable theological significance, since we can be seen as active ingredients within the Universal Cosmic Egg “ temporal yet influential participants in the self-creation of a new God.    

 

VIII. The Cosmic Hand of Destiny

Once, camping under the stars, pondering fate and free will, I prayed in despair, Please, please, dont let this Earth die!

I was instructed to first build a pyramid with five boulders - four as the base and one as the apex - then to write on a piece of paper, This Earth shall soon perish.  I was then instructed to have the paper crunched into a ball, which I then inserted into the hollow of the pyramid. 

If your Earth is destined to live, a cosmic hand of destiny will reach into the pyramid before sunrise, ignite the paper ball and reduce to ashes.  If not the Earth shall die an agonizing death.

It was the longest night of my life.  I sat up gazing at the pyramid, which remained cold and dark through the night, until but seconds before dawn, a cosmic hand of destiny did reach into the pyramid, and ignited the paper ball, and reduced it to ashes.  In the first rays of the rising sun, I regarded this hand, which was my own.

  Earths destiny is in our hands.

 

 

Indian Tiger Expedition '99

(Published in the Insight section of the Vancouver Sun in May 1999.)

The tigress was sleeping on her side in the undergrowth, visible only as patches of brown and white camouflaged with shadowy black stripes amidst the dense foliage. Behind her, within tail-flicking distance, was the half-eaten carcass of a wild boar. She was not going anywhere, short of angrily bolting in fear of being stepped on by our elephant which was, in my opinion, getting a little too close. When the elephant snapped a branch off the tree shading the tigress, she finally had enough, rolled onto all fours, glared up at me and emitted a spine-tingling road. I snapped the last of a string of photos and instructed the mahout to beat a prudent retreat.

It was near the end of January, during the second of ten weeks in my third tiger conservation expedition to India's Kanha and Bandhavgarh tiger reserves as WCWC's tiger campaign, under funding by the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA).

The tiger is one of the most beautiful animals ever evolved on Earth and, yet, its extinction is not only probable, but a tragic reality unfolding before our eyes. Of the original 150,000 tigers worldwide, only 4,000 to 5,000 still roam the wild. Of an original 8 sub-species of tigers, only 5 sub-species remain. Wild tiger populations are decreasing by about 2 tigers per day. At this rate, our planet will be devoid of wild tigers within a decade, along with most of their natural forest habitat and the hundreds of thousands of species that currently co-exist within the tiger's ecosystem.

The aim of our Tigers-Forever program is to ensure the survival of the Indian tiger in its natural habitat. But, at a death rate of 300 to 400 tigers a year, the Indian tiger is no more secure than the last carriage of a crashing train.

As with most endangered and threatened species, India's tigers face the dual threat of direct killing and habitat loss. Direct killing includes poisoning by local people angered by their loss of cattle as tiger prey, and commercial poaching of tigers to supply tiger bone and parts to the Chinese, Japanese and Korean traditional medicine markets. WCWC has a three-year-long campaign, which has helped clean up the shelves of Chinatown stores, to convince Canadians not to consume illegally imported tiger medicines.

Tiger habitat in India is rare and vulnerable. Even the protected Tiger Reserves are being deforested by mining, logging and by local villagers in desperate search of fuelwood. In addition, cattle and goats (India has over 300 million free-ranging cattle) cause incredible damage by over-grazing the tiger's forests.

For each of these problems there are long and short term solutions. The lasting long-term solution is to re-kindle national pride in the tiger as a symbol of India and motivate the villagers who live around Tiger Reserves to become tiger conservationists. Shorter-term solutions include introducing alternatives, like solar cookers, to reduce dependence on fuelwood, tightening regulations on poaching, and finding ways for local villagers to tangibly benefit from the tiger's protection.

It's impossible to make headway on any of these solutions without the experience and leadership of local Indian people. During my latest six-week trip, accompanied by several enthusiastic but sensitive Canadian volunteers, I worked closely with staff at Tiger Trust India and embarked on conservation work that seemed a far cry from the usual Canadian environmental campaign.

To combat the dependence on fuelwood, we introduced villagers to several models of solar cookers, designed in Canada but adapted so they could be constructed out of locally available materials. We never ceased to be heart-warmed by the local peoples' beaming amazement when we opened the solar oven to reveal the fluffy sun-cooked rice, which we would then happily share. To combat the cattle overpopulation and overgrazing problem, we bought a special Haryanna bull that local people had been hankering for--one whose offspring are high-yield milk producers. The villagers plan to pen-feed their higher quality cows, and collect the cattle dung for biogas (methane) generation--another avenue to reduce fuelwood consumption.

We also spent a lot of time talking with people, including 120 out of a total of 178 village leaders in the "buffer zone" region surrounding Kanha National Park and Tiger Reserve. We discovered that the general sentiment of the villagers is that the tiger reserves are little more than rich peoples' playgrounds which generate no financial benefit for them.

Currently, India's Tiger Reserves charge tourists only $2.50 US per day for a park visit. In contrast, Kruger National Park in South Africa, world-renown for its wildlife, charges $25.00 US per visit and Uganda charges $180.00 US for one hour of Mountain Gorilla viewing. Neighbouring Nepal's Chitwan National Park grosses $800,000 US per year in fees, half of which go to the park to combat wildlife poaching and improve services, and half to the local villagers who then help protect the park because it provides them with revenues. The village officials and villagers we met with in the Kanha area wholeheartedly embraced the idea of reforming park fees. We are convinced that eco-tourists from places like Canada would happily pay a little higher Tiger Reserve gate fee to help ensure that India's tigers survive in the wild.

This trip to India opened my eyes to the need to find conservation solutions that not just work for local people, but have local people at the helm. Our Indian colleagues, our multinational (Canadian, American, British) volunteers and I worked hard (although trekking to an isolated Indian village and watching the rice cook in a solar oven is a lot of fun). We also, thankfully, saw a lot of tigers, and hope to for years to come.

by Toney Mars

Note: The Bali tiger (extinct as of the 1940s), the Caspian tiger (extinct in the 1970s) and the Javan tiger (extinct in the 1980s). The other sub-species, in descending order of population are: the Indian Royal Bengal tiger (about 2,500 left in the wild), the Indo-Chinese tiger (1,000 left), the Siberian tiger (300 left), the Sumatran tiger (300 left and the south China tiger (20 left).

 

The following HOPE World Petition newsletter is being sent out (by email) to a broad range of environmentally oriented discussion groups and organizations.  The response has been excellent.

Please forward it to friends worldwide.

_____________________________________________________________________

 

HEAL OUR PLANET EARTH Global Environmental Organization  (HOPE-GEO)
http://www.HOPE-GEO.org ;  Toney_Marr@HOPE-GEO.org


Dear fellow world citizens:

This letter is being sent out to environmental and peace organizations around the world.  It is to invite your participation in the international and multilingual

                                     HOPE World Petition

        * * * 1 million names needed worldwide by Dec. 31, 2000 * * *

     [We, the people of Earth, in view of her global environmental crisis, hereby petition the UNITED NATIONS GENERAL ASSEMBLY to vote towards a U.N. RESOLUTION for all nations to each reduce its own annual military budget by 10% of its 1999 spending, thus collectively reducing the $1.6-trillion annual global arms expenditure by $160-billion per annum.  The funds thus liberated shall be placed into a U.N.-administered Global HOPE Fund - to heal our planet Earth.]


To distribute this petition, please forward this invitation-letter to your friends and colleagues worldwide, and link  http://www.HOPE-GEO.org  to your website, thank you.  HOPE-GEO will do likewise.

So, why the HOPE World Petition?

For a deep philosophical view, please read Earths Shining Destiny “ a New Millennium Vision (see
New Articles section).  This article has been published in newspapers globally. 

For a short, direct answer, please read on.

This is a crucial time for our Earth.  The term Global Environmental Crisis is serious, true and real.  1500 of the worlds leading scientists are giving us 10 years before the chance to avert the threats we now confront will be lost and the prospects for humanity are immeasurably diminished.  (The World Scientist - Warning to Humanity)  And yet, how many worthy and needed environmental projects are gathering dust on shelves due to lack of funding?  How many people in shopping malls, who vote and ultimately determine the future course of history, are not walking in a state of blissful denial?  Tell us that our loved ones have fallen seriously ill, and wed rush to their aid, but tell us that our beloved Earth has not one, not two, not three, but six serious illnesses, and what would we do? 

Consider the following analogy of the Six Planetary Ailments:

   1.  Planetary Fever - global warming, caused by excessive emission of greenhouse gasses into the atmosphere.
   2.  Planetary Auto-Immune Deficiency Syndrome (P-AIDS) - damage to the ozone shield - Earth's own auto-immune system (protecting her biosphere from harmful solar UV radiation) - caused by releasing CFCs and other ozone-depleting gasses into the atmosphere.
   3.  Planetary Cancer - human and cattle populations multiplying unchecked, corrupting and destroying natural ecosystems.  (Some say that the only difference between us humans and cancer cells is that we have a choice.)
   4.  Planetary Wasting Disease - unsustainable consumption of Earth's resources, resulting in rapid loss of biomass (trees, fish, etc.), biodiversity (extinction of 6 species per hour) and soil (50,000 super-tanker-loads per year from India alone).
   5.  Planetary Blood-Poisoning - no aliens are dumping pollutants and toxic waste into our atmosphere, hydrosphere and biosphere; we are doing a good enough job ourselves.
   6.  Planetary Suicidal Tendency - no aliens are going to nuke us, but we may nuke ourselves.

Those who are still with us will begin to ponder the planetary medical bill, which basically is to calculate the incalculable.  To save just one species, say the tiger, will cost millions, and this is but one tiny part of just one out of six planetary ailments - the Wasting Disease.  To research and develop alternative energies enough to replace fossil-fuels technology - to just alleviate the Planetary Fever a little - will cost billions.  To cure all six Planetary Ailments simultaneously - trillions, just for starters.

When must we pay?  The Global Environmental Crisis says, Now or never. 

What do we pay with?  THIS is the question.  One thing we do know.  Our Earth has no medical insurance, and full-scale treatment must commence without delay.  Grants and donation are needed and always appreciated, but they are but a spoonful in the bucket, enough perhaps to barely keep the dedicated planet-healers from starvation.  So, does this planet-healing fund exist at all? 

Thankfully, yes.  Where is it?  Finally, were in a little luck, for there is a clue, and this clue, ironically, is in one of the planetary ailments.

While doing recent tiger conservation work in India (see the Tigers Forever Campaign section), I found at least 6 tigers poached in one year at Bandhavgarh National Park from a supposed population of only 40, and witnessed what little left of wild India besieged on all sides, losing on most fronts.  At the same time, I saw desperately needed work, such as anti-poaching, anti-smuggling, habitat protection, techno-change (e.g. solar cooking and biogas to displace wood burning) and birth control, not being done or done inadequately due to shortage of government funding, while reportedly, the government was spending US$1.8 billion (Times of India, March 1997) to develop a new Star Wars system, on top of their nuclear weapons program.  In India at least, the answer is glaringly obvious: her tiger conservation funds should come from a reduction of her military budget.

Look to other nations and what do we see?  Parallel scenarios in various ways, to various degrees.  The result is that worldwide, the global military expenditure stands at an atrocious $1.6 TRILLION PER ANNUM, and to what civilized end?  Just 10% of this colossal waste can fund thousands of much needed environmental projects worldwide, towards the healing of our Earth.

To facilitate this Third Millennium swords-to-ploughshares process “ to free two birds with one key, as it were - a possible first step is for all concerned citizens of the world to exert their collective will by means of an international, multilingual petition.  The HOPE World Petition is the realization of this possibility:

To answer several main objections:
   1.  No nation will suffer any weakening of military strength relative to any other, since all will be set back by the same proportion.  There will be no significant disturbance of the current balance of power.  Rather, the resulting multilateral international treaty will be a document of trust amongst nations, by which global security will be strengthened.
   2.  No nation need suffer financial drain since all nations (their GOs and NGOs) can reclaim their portion of the HOPE Fund to solve their own environmental problems.
   3.  No military personnel need be laid off, since they can be retrained for environmental projects and conservation operations such as anti-poaching, anti-smuggling, reforestation, remediation and restoration.
   4.  No arms manufacturers need lose business, since their technical capabilities can be channeled towards making high-tech conservation tools and environmental instruments.
   5.  Some say that the arms race spurs technological advancement.  But we say, a peace race can do the same or better.  
   6.  Regarding the UN's internal workings as well as those of the various national governments, the HOPE World Petition will doubtless encounter a bureaucratic nightmare of unprecedented proportions.  But all dreams, good and bad, big and small, must end each in its new dawn.

A petition is worth little more than its weight in paper, unless it can generate a media wave in its wake.  The HOPE World Petition has the potential to generate a global media tsunami. To achieve this, HOPE-GEO will deliver the first million signatures by means of a 5-month, 70-city, media-oriented road tour from Vancouver via California and the Great Lakes to the UN HQ in New York for formal presentation (see Road Tour Itinerary section ).  Meanwhile, the HOPE World Petition will keep on growing, until its critical mass is surpassed, and its aim achieved.
 
Some say, It is possible, but difficult.  We say, It is difficult, but possible.  And further, that given blood, sweat and tears, and global solidarity and commitment, and time, it is inevitable.

Again, please sign the petition, link our websites, and forward this letter to your friends worldwide.  Together, speaking out in diverse languages yet in one voice, we can make it happen.

For Earths sake,

 

 

 

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