Submission to the Delegates to
Rio + 20 Earth Summit 2012
The Four Years.Go. Campaign
The Pachamama Alliance
4YG Media, LLC
PLEASE READ THIS!
This submission has been developed collaboratively by the three organizations listed above and represents input from an NGO, a public awareness campaign and a social benefit ?for profit? entity.
Act With Absolute Urgency In the 20 years since the originally Earth Summit in Rio, governments have almost universally failed to meet their commitments and/or accomplish the goals laid forth in Agenda 21 and following documents. This is well documented in many other submissions and reports. (see attachment A ? Where we Stand as a Global Family)
The irony is that total wealth is growing, longevity is increasing, more people are healthier than ever before. Deaths due to violent conflicts have dropped to levels unimagined just a few years ago.
And yet, the gap between the elite holders of power and money (the 1% or .1% or .01%) and everybody else is staggering and growing. The evidence mounts daily that while the path we are on may look rosy for now, there are cracks that are on the verge of breaking wide open, producing a global collapse of monumental proportions.
Despite the agreements made in Rio in 1990, humanity remains on a completely unsustainable course. In the best models of future economic activity, as examined by MIT, anything like business as usual leads to atmospheric carbon levels that would almost certainly trigger catastrophic climate tipping points. (MIT published a paper assessing influence on climate change of different scenarios from IPCC, US Govt. Climate Change Science Program and Shell. See report 163, http://web.mit.edu/globalchange/www) The ?best possible scenario? of smooth transition to existing technologies and almost seamless cooperation of governments outcome produces 650 ppm carbon dioxide equivalent, well beyond any reputable ?safe levels? of 350 or 450 or even the old conventional wisdom of 550.
The time for a complete ?Remake? of humanity?s operating manual is NOW. There will never be a better window of opportunity. In fact we may never get the chance again.
We have the technology, the resources and working examples of the processes, industries, and economic and social systems that will avert these crises, as well as lay the groundwork for a global system in which everyone will prosper, while restoring the vital capacity of the natural ecosystems that we all depend upon for our food, water, and every aspect of robust commerce.
The window of time to implement these solutions is very short. Conservative estimates suggest that we have less than one decade to transcend the irreversible tipping points that "business as usual" has us accelerating toward. The time to confront the finite nature of the living systems of the planet to support a wasteful development paradigm is upon us.
WE DEMAND THAT YOU ACT WITH THE URGENCY THAT COMES WITH KNOWING THAT THE WELL-BEING OF ALL FUTURE GENERATIONS OF ALL SPECIES HANGS IN THE BALANCE.
Adopt a NEW WORLDVIEW
When we say ?urgency? we do not suggest a frantic, fear induced, automatically reactive attempt to ?do more or better or different? things. What is called for are genuinely transformative measures. As delegates entrusted with the fate of humanity (yes that?s the mandate you have been given!) we suggest that you consider that the view of the world that we have inherited from the last 400 to 500 years of reductive science and engineering has led us astray. The world is not a ?clock? or a machine. It is not merely a vast materialistic puzzle to be figured out. Nature is not a realm separate from the idealized human realm which exists to do our bidding. We do not live in the insanely inaccurate model of unlimited resources and an unlimited waste depository that current economics assumes. We live in a real, live, vibrantly thriving eco-logy of life. Economy is, in fact Ecology.
Looking from the whole we can see that the life-giving systems have been thrown out of balance by human activity. We now need to restore that balance. It will take a truly restorative approach to act on behalf of the whole.
The perspective that we are asking that you, and we all, take is that of the whole. What we are asking is that you use one principle to judge the policies and agreements that you discuss, debate, support and adopt:
?Do I, in my deepest heart, from my highest self, believe this policy will lead toward a just, thriving, sustainable way of life for all?
WE DEMAND THAT YOU TAKE INTO ACCOUNT THE WHOLE ? ALL OF HUMANITY, ALL OF LIFE, ALL OF TIME ? TO THE VERY BEST OF YOUR ABILITY.
Listen to the best of ?Civil Society?
There is a groundswell of small-scale, autonomous activity to address the issues we face. The existence of over 2 million NGO's, each addressing some aspect of the crises we face and the stunning opportunity before us is but one testimonial that a sea-change is underway. A phenomenon with no central guidance, the imperative to take on our world as it is - and as it could be - has no parallel in history.
This massively self-organized civil uprising is exploring the positive tipping points on our horizon ? generating the collective and collaborative awareness and activities that in their aggregate will result in a transformation of how we live and do commerce on this planet. Government must do everything it can to encourage, empower and support these emerging movements. As we write this the ?Occupy Movement? is gaining momentum, but government is acting to suppress it. Government is supposed to act on behalf of ALL people, but it is attempting to suppress those who are giving voice to the 99%.
Another source of wisdom that can serve us now is the voices of indigenous groups that have not been tainted by the mechanistic worldview. We are not suggesting a ?return to the stone age", by any means. The insights gained by modern science and engineering must be woven into one fabric with the indigenous recognition that we live in a world of connected communion with all beings.
WE INVITE YOU TO PAY MORE ATTENTION TO THE VOICES OF THE PEOPLE, NGO?S AND TO REPRESENTATIVES OF INDIGENOUS PEOPLE?S DELEGATIONS THAN TO THE SMALL SUBSET OF HUMANITY THAT IS REPRESENTED BY CORPORATE BOARDS OR HEADS OF STATE.
Adopt These Policies:
We support all of the measures put forth by GreenPeace and many of the measures put forth by other stakeholder groups. At the same time these measures mostly do not go to the core. They do not embody a sustainable worldview.
This is a time for the most unusual expression of courage that humanity as a whole has ever been called upon to make. We must act in cooperation, and toleration, with the greatest of alacrity. We must do something that has never been done before.
ON BEHALF OF THE WHOLE, WE REQUEST THAT THESE MEASURES BE ADOPTED AND INCLUDED IN THE AGREEMENTS MADE AT RIO+20:
? Adopt as a fundamental principle the legal distinction of the Rights of Nature: the recognition that every eco-system, and the natural populations of all species that comprise them, have the right to exist, to persist, and to thrive. A model for this can be found in the constitutions of Ecuador and Bolivia.
? Make Ecocide, the environmental equivalent of Genocide, the 5th International Crime Against Peace alongside Genocide, Crimes Against Humanity, Crimes of Aggression and War Crimes. A proposal has been put forward that defines ecocide as ?The extensive destruction, damage to or loss of ecosystem(s) of a given territory, whether by human agency or by other causes, to such an extent that peaceful enjoyment by the inhabitants of that territory has been severely
diminished.? Include in the criminal activity governments that engage in
subsidizing ecocidal activities.
? Embrace and codify the recognition that the healthy natural living environment is a commons. From this commons all economic and commercial activity is afforded. It is a resource to be shared and stewarded by all nations and industries, all peoples and all markets. This commons we all share, and that shares itself with us is to be maintained and enhanced for the benefit of all.
? Create the legal structures that will require all commercial activity to be accountable for its impact on all communities that it affects, and for their operations that do affect us to be transparent.
? Create a new community-based money system that is not based on debt,and does not automatically accumulate wealth in the hands of those who issue currency. Follow the models put forth by BALLE and local alternative currencies.
? Adopt an enforceable policy granting indigenous communities the right of consent for development projects in their territories. The current ?right of consultation? has proven ineffective.
? Mandate a transition to an equitable distribution of social goods ? the wealth that is produced by all of us working together. Specifically limit the size of the gap between those who have the most and those who have the least. It may take time to achieve a restored balance in wealth around the world, but the current trend must be reversed.
? Transform the World Bank, IMF and UNDP into a new set of governance bodies that represent all people of earth equally to allocate the necessary resources to meet all of the millennium development goals. Put in place criteria to measure whether any proposed and ongoing activity is actually producing a thriving, just and sustainable way of life for all.
? Demand that the UN Security Council be replaced by a body of governance in the United Nations that represents Earth's people.
The above prescriptions are more than ambitious. They require us as a world community to act in concert and concern for one another as never before. The good news is that humanity is actually in the process of turning toward a thriving, just, sustainable way of life for all. There are two pathways, we can either go through collapse, or we can shift and thrive.
The opportunity you have is accelerate that process so that we take the high road of creative design, of collaboration and communion with Earth and our fellow creatures.
We are nowhere near plumbing the depths of the human soul, and our capacity to do what needs to be done, when it is clear that we must act. We have no idea how powerful we may be as human community. An unprecedented awareness that our fates are connected, and that the success of any one of us depends on the success of all, is arising. Information travels faster, and in more channels now that ever before, than ever though possible in our wildest dreams. And before lies the distinct possibility of truly creating a heaven on earth ? a world that works for everybody.
Anyone participating in this Earth Summit has the opportunity to be part of making this possibility a reality.
As delegates participating in the decision-making bodies of this Summit, you have a chance to make history that will be celebrated for centuries to come. It is time to transform how we live with one another, and with all life on this one, irreplaceable home we call Earth.
Please refer questions, and correspondence to:
The Pachamama Alliance - Jon Love (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Four Years. Go. ? Mark Bachelder (email@example.com)
4YG Media - Jim Kiles (firstname.lastname@example.org)