Earth Magna Charta
By John McConnell
March 15, 2004
Each year on Earth Day, March 20-21, the Peace Bell at the United Nations is rung at the moment spring begins. As this occurs, a celebration of life will cover our globe as bells ring in every community and people join in heartfelt love and devotion to the care of this nest in the stars: Earth, our wonderful home.
|The Earth Flag at the North Pole (bottom left). On April 15, 2000, 26 intrepid explorers -- including 87-year-old Russian Major General Aleksandr Khalutin -- parachuted onto the North Pole carrying an Earth Flag. The international team from Ukraine, USA, Canada, Australia, Holland and South Africa faced fierce winds and air temperature of minus 29 degrees Centigrade. From the left: Expedition Head Vladimir Chukov , General Khalutin, and Evgenii Bakalov, head of the paratroopers' crew. The Earth Flag at the South Pole (bottom right). On April 15, 2000, an Earth Flag was delivered to the South Pole by members of the Millennium Expedition.|
Credit: Earth Flag photo by Gar Smith. Photomontage: The-Edge
The people of planet Earth have the raw materials, natural resources, and the technology for all to enjoy a life of quality. But they are still restricted by the evil that has dominated history. They lack the vision of the great future now possible and how to attain it. As a result, the world is filled with confusion and conflict.
This Earth Magna Charta provides the needed vision and the way. Individuals and institutions can now be trustees of Earth, seeking in ecology, economics and ethics policies and decisions that will benefit people and planet. In the present state of the world, this Space Age trustee concept has a chance of tapping the best in human hopes and aspirations and providing a healthy, innovative and fulfilling future for our planet and its people. In this new future, deeds will demonstrate what is best in creeds. Young Earth Trustees will lead the way.
Our Miracle Planet
In this Magna Charta we will consider what we have, as a human family, on this miracle planet we call Earth. To understand the possibilities and how we can each participate in realizing them we need to think about basics. Actions good or bad begin in the mind.
To plan and achieve the best future we must look at our assets and liabilities. Experts will confirm the abundance of raw materials and natural resources on our planet. (They have a value of hundreds of trillions of dollars.) There is more than enough to provide and maintain a healthy life-style for everyone, with more for those with greater ability and initiative.
This is possible now because of our advanced technology. A major problem is how to restructure the social institutions of money, credit and property rights so that there will be a level playing field where rights and responsibilities will be recognized and realized. The Earth Magna Charta provides guidelines to achieve these goals -- recognizing that people with different cultures and creeds will apply them in different ways. But all can warmly support the goals presented here. Aided by the sense of connectedness and the spirit of cooperation engendered by thinking of themselves as Trustees of Earth - all benefit.
Harmony with Neighbor and Nature
The people of Earth can have a great future by working together for a global goal all can approve. Here is a basic goal that most enlightened people of every religion, clime and culture will support. Here is a principled purpose that will quickly reduce the terrible chaos and conflict that troubles civilization. Here is an idea that will bring ever increasing harmony with neighbor and nature and bring peaceful progress in the human adventure.
The Earth Magna Charta describes the most important points of general agreement about the physical world - and the common view of human rights and responsibilities that naturally follow.
Rights and Responsibilities
We are all members of one human family that has inherited a planet rich in resources. We each have an equal claim to its land, minerals and raw materials. None of us produced them. We all need them or what they provide. We all have need for their sustainable development and use. To assure equitable benefits every individual and institution should seek to balance rights and responsibilities.
The long-term goal must be to restructure social institutions so that there is equitable return for services, efficient balance of supply and demand, and fair benefits from our mutual claims to Earth's natural bounty.
One possible way to equitable benefits is for those who own land, oil, gold or other minerals to pay a 2% royalty each year on their income from these resources to a fund that will then provide the homeless their inheritance or stake in their planet. All will then join in responsible care of Earth.
The digital economy will make it possible to eventually replace money and credit as we know it with new, fair methods of trade and exchange.
Global Goal: Every Person a Trustee of Earth
In regard to the physical world we all can agree that we have only one Earth -- a miracle planet teeming with life. With our amazing new technology and awareness of Earth's raw materials and natural resources we know that poverty and pollution, the breeding ground of crime and corruption, can quickly be eliminated. All that is needed is the will.
Here is the way: First, as Earth Trustees, leaders will focus on the many solutions that are being found around the world. At present, too many accent the negative and have no clear objective. You cannot be objective without an object. The object is now the rejuvenation of Earth.
Then we must rally and inspire a grand Effort for Earth, an Earth Campaign that will eliminate poverty and pollution and bring new freedom, order and opportunity. This will happen as every individual and institution chooses to act as a responsible Trustee of Earth.
Ethics and Moral Values
While there are many differences about race, religion, money control and power - and conspiracy theories throughout history - we can agree that institutional policies and actions of greed and deception are unfair, defeat the common good and should be corrected. While laws are needed and passed, without a strong spirit of community and cooperation their measure of success is limited. The Earth Campaign will meet this need.
The great periods of progress in history have resulted from religious fervor for universal ideals of honesty, freedom, justice and creative altruism or divine love. A recent example was the Civil Rights Movement of Martin Luther King Jr. Its essence is described in his book, "Strength to Love." The Campaign for Earth needs to tap the deepest and the best in our religious faith or inner feelings.
People of different cultures can agree on basic moral values and deeds though they may differ on creeds that relate to the great mysteries of life. For honest agreement and cooperation we need to separate our creeds and their claims about life and death from the ideas and actions in which we can all agree. We can agree on the need for deeds that nurture people and planet though we differ on creeds warmly held about mind and spirit and the ultimate mysteries of the cosmos and its creator. Of course the best evidence of the value of our creed is the love it produces in our lives.
Common to every major religion is the Golden Rule - treat others as you would like to be treated. Now we have a new common ground: Awareness of our planet and our responsibility to take care of it.
How to be an Earth Trustee
"Actions good or bad begin in the mind." Think, pray, talk and write about how you can be an Earth Trustee. Help your neighborhood or town to be an Earth Trustee community. Spread the word about recycling, planting trees, neighborhood gardens, composting and saving energy, healthy diet, sleep and exercise. When you buy or invest, make choices that diminish pollution and poverty - that increase sustainable development. Join or form a group that will further these purposes. As a start, register with the EarthSite and become an Earth Trustee.
Young Earth Trustees
The exercise of arts and crafts -- especially in the form of singing, dancing, mime acting and music-making -- is the most effective antidote to violence and crime. Let us ensure that every child from the very first year will NEVER be deprived of the aural and physical experience on which its whole life and the future of humanity depends."
There is no official Earth Trustee authorizing organization. Anyone is welcome to use the name as long as they base their effort on the principles set forth in this document. Any existing organization that adopts these purposes can be an Earth Trustee business, school, church or temple. Any neighborhood, city or state can form an independent Earth Trustee Committee to further these purposes in their own way. All are invited to share what they are doing with others.
Our new global communications with its Information Superhighway can under this Charter bring rapid change to heal, nurture and improve life on Earth. To accomplish this requires a radical change in attitudes and policies of mass media. They must seek in every way possible to define and further Earth Trustee goals. While plans and methods for achieving goals will differ, affirming points of accord will increase harmony and accommodation. The new policy will be, "Accent the positive, headline solutions, pursue excellence. Give honest assessment of things as they are and then with creative vision, aided by computer data, show the better future that intelligent decisions will bring -- with follow-up on actions taken and their results."
Earth Campaign: A Global "Effort for Earth"
To this end, every radio, television station and newspaper that endorses this Earth Magna Charta will join the Campaign for Earth, reporting problems and progress; radio and television stations will carry daily non-verbal Earth Minutes at designated times -- 0300, 1100 and 1900 GMT. These non-verbal minutes of inspirational music, views of children and natural wonders, will remind us we are all connected and working for one goal -- Earth's rejuvenation. Simultaneous and worldwide, they will deepen our awareness.
For more information, contact: John McConnell, 1933 Woodbine St., Ridgewood, NY 11385 or check the Earth Day website: www.earthsite.org
For more information contact: