(Suzy Chaffee) Following Bolivia’s passage of their domestic law “Recognizing Mother Earth as a living entity and giving Her the Same Rights as Humans,” the United Nations held a dialogue via an interactive webcast on its “Harmony with Nature” Day, April 20, and it is now working on adopting these rights worldwide.
Thanks to this surprising mindshift by UN leaders and participants, the day also ended in an emergency call to action where the Indigenous, kids, renewable energy, and teamwork play key roles to veer us off our current path toward extinction. Fortunately the UN is not alone. (www.unmultimedia.org/tv/webcast/2011/04/general-assembly-interactive-dialogue-on-harmony-with-nature-english.html).
“WE NEED TO PROTECT THE HABITAT THAT SUSTAINS US” – Pope Benedict XV1
Pope Benedict’s Pontifical Academy of Sciences came to the same conclusion in May, not just for their 1.8 billion Catholics. But as a result of alarming new evidence found by his 80 international scientists of diverse faiths, that global warming is increasing much faster than expected and in some areas gone over the tipping point, the German Pontiff made this bold “call to action for all people in all nations:”
“If we as inhabitants want to ensure our rights to daily bread, fresh air to breathe and clean water to drink, and want justice and peace, we need to protect the habitat that sustains us,” said the German Pontiff. Now called the “Green Pope” for also switching to solar energy at the Vatican, he urged everyone to help reduce the cause of climate change.” (www.kpbs.org/news/2011/may/10/catholic-church-goes-green-counter-global-warming/ ).
“WE NEED A WARTIME MOBILIZATION SHIFT FROM FOSSIL FUELS TO RENEWABLES”
Lester Brown, founder of World Watch, which holds its annual conference in Aspen, pleaded in March for “a wartime mobilization shift from fossil oil and coal, which are heating up the planet and rapidly reducing our ability to feed the world, to renewable wind and solar.”
The Union of Concerned Scientists, including Stanford’s late shared Nobel Peace Prize winner, Dr. Stephen Schneider, partner to the North American Elders, also warned us that “nuclear is NOT clean energy,” and the 400 reactors worldwide are major contributors to heating up our planet. By switching our 2012 Budgets to renewables, we have the power and responsibility to reduce melting of our glaciers, killing our forests, freaky weather, floods, droughts, and oil extraction-related spills, earthquakes and tsunamis that led to the Fukashima meltdown poisoning our whole Earth Family.
America is ranked 7th out of the G8 countries in overall green progress. Yet Brown says that wind power from just North Dakota, Kansas and Texas, could quickly power America! Plus U.S. Secretary of Energy Chu said “our solar energy potential is enough to supply twice as much power as America needs.” President Obama did brilliantly pledge $150 billion in renewable energy projects for developing countries over the next 10 years. A poll shows that most Americans prefer safe renewable energy, since it saves trillions on wars and catastrophes that can instead be used to lift up communities and pay down the national debt. REF: enewschannels.com/2011/05/17/enc13131_173734.php.
All these leaders have been inspired by Indigenous Peoples. For example in 2008, RobertJohn Knapp, a Seneca Elder-scholar, was joined by representatives of six European countries singing and blessing the streams, much like St Francis, as they followed them to their Rome meeting with Pope Benedict. At the end of the exchange Knapp presented the Pontiff with a staff and requested he ask all the religions to help clean up our waters. Shortly thereafter, the Pontiff declared, “It is a sin to poison the water,” as it is suicidal. Also why Popes John Paul 11 and Benedict have urged farmers to follow Nature’s Laws and say “No” to suicidal GMO seeds.
MOTHER EARTH’S RIGHTS
The Pontiff was likely further empowered by the UN taking seriously the Bolivian Law giving our “beloved” Mother Earth Rights, enacted in January by their Indigenous President Evo Morales. The Vancouver Sun reported that “the law recognizes a country’s natural resources as ‘blessings.’ And to grant Earth the rights to life, water, clean air, and to repair livelihoods affected by human activities; and the right to be free from pollution.”
Ecuador’s Constitution of 2008 states that nature’s rights should be taken into account in all planning activities, including the maintenance, regeneration, and restoration of its cycles, structures, functions and evolutionary processes. REF: daccess-dds-ny.un.org/doc/UNDOC/GEN/N10/489/57/PDF/N1048957.pdf?OpenElement
Nobel Laureates Eric Chivian, Muhammad Yunus, and Joseph Stiglitz agree that “Human beings are an inseparable part of Mother Earth, and life depends on uninterrupted functioning of Her cycles.”
Together the UN participants painted a holistic picture of a “new world resplendent with life” and urged a shift from an economic system that regards nature as a commodity that we have the right to exploit, to a paradigm that respects Mother Earth’s rights and intrinsic value. Instead of the GNP as the measure of progress, they proposed measuring the “quality of life, well being, and the Gross National Happiness,” pioneered by Ecuador, France and Bhutan.
Humanity is at a crossroads: Why should we only respect the laws of human beings and not those of nature? Why do we call the person who kills his neighbor a criminal, but not he who extinguishes a species or contaminates a river or a system as a whole, if all of us, absolutely all of us, rely on the life of the Earth System? asked Pablo Solon, Bolivia’s Ambassador to the UN.
Hail to the participants who included some of Earth’s deepest thinkers from the member states and renowned authors on the panel: Vandana Shiva (India), Peter Brown (Canada), Cormac Cullinan (South Africa), Riane Eisler (United States), Paul-Bertrand Barets (France), Gilberto Gallopin (Argentina), Ivo Havinga (UN) Mathis Wackernagel (Switzerland). Besides the Bolivians, there was a representative of the UN’s Indigenous Peoples Partnership, as a preview of Native Elders further helping light the way for humanity at RIO-20 next June, which was part of the 2012 prophesy.
A COOPERATIVE PARTNERSHIP MODELED AFTER NATURES LAWS
Brown and Eisler explained why our current Neo Classical economics model of dominance at any cost to humanity and Nature is falling apart. Brown said, “Today’s financial paradigm is not scientifically based since the economic indicators are not connected to Earth’s “natural capital,” defined as goods and services from Nature essential for life, which U.S. Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Barnaki even admits!”
Eisler explained that politicians worldwide keep this medieval model going because it benefits a few at the expense of the many…virtual slaves. “‘Trickle Down Economics’ comes from peasants getting the crumbs falling off the king’s table. Mainstream economics is unsustainable because it fails to include the critical life-giving, healthy home environment and care giving contributions of women and Mother Earth, which is sacred.” UK researchers estimated that “Housewives should be paid £30,000″ (about $45,000). Malaysian Moderator Martin Khor added, “A maid’s salary is listed on government balance sheets, but when she marries it disappears, though contributing the same work” – why women’s value is discounted. The participants agreed “we need to make a cultural shift to a cooperative partnership system, an Earth Democracy, modeled after Nature’s laws to survive as a species.”
A sign of this economic mindshift is Citibank and Google spending $110 billion on authentically clean wind energy to power 450,000 Southern California homes to help restore its blue sky air quality, its Natural Capital.
REPAIRING OUR GREATEST THREAT TO NATIONAL AND GLOBAL SECURITY
Don’t we need a combination of Earth Rights and Keynesian economics, where governments create full employment, which got America out of the First Depression? It addressed people’s needs, not wants, and spread the wealth more fairly. A green job mobilization could repair our National, and in unity, our Global Security.
Globally, Venezuela, Saint Vincent, the Grenadines, Antigua and Barbuda were also leaders in supporting the “Mother Earth Rights” initiative, some having similar Nature-protecting laws. Hail to these Latin Nations and the orchestrators of Harmony with Nature Day: UN’s Bolivian Mission, the UN Division of Sustainable Development and the UN Office of the President of the General Assembly. Together they showed humanity what living in harmony with Mother Earth looks like, so She can keep us around!
The acting President of the UN General Assembly, Botswana Ambassador Charles Ntwaagae said, “We must all recognize that we are part of nature and simply living to fulfill our desires at Nature’s expense is not sustainable.”
United Nations Deputy Secretary-General Ms. Asha-Rose Migiro said, “There is much we can learn from the wisdom and philosophy of indigenous peoples”…”A holistic view of environmental, social and economic well-being is indeed the only route to truly sustainable development”.
Khor called ‘Harmony with Nature’ an extremely important phrase that resonates with most of us, and the “Secretary-General’s report on it as quite remarkable and unusual and I encourage the public to read it.” REF: daccess-dds-ny.un.org/doc/UNDOC/GEN/N10/489/57/PDF/N1048957.pdf?OpenElement
EGYPTIANS HAD STRICT LAWS AGAINST FOULING THE WATER AND LAND
We all have Indigenous ancestors, and those who kept the tribal ways of living at one with Nature and learning from mistakes, have had the longest Civilization. Next, the Egyptian Civilization lasted 3,000 years because the Pharaohs and Queens had “strict laws against fouling the water and land.” And yet the United States, home to the UN headquarters, is only 400 years old.
Native Elders like Knapp were surprised and happy that speakers in the webcast now agree that “Human beings are an interdependent part of Nature and to keep the balance we must take only what we need and leave the rest for future generations, and take responsibility for doing the right thing.”
PRACTICAL AND SPIRITUAL SOLUTIONS KEY TO RESTORING MOTHER EARTH
Renewing Earth also takes spiritual solutions. The African and Venezuelan leaders talked about “the important role that the Indigenous Peoples play with their pool of ancient knowledge.” “By connecting with the ancestral and Nature spirits through their ceremonies they have protected and countered the destruction of their sacred forests and waters, while promoting respect for Nature and living frugally.”
On the road to Rio+20, the UN invites groups to take an active role in the promotion of our shared environment. Given our strong ‘sports bridge’ between the cultures, UN’s Sustainability officer Maria Mercedes Sanchez invited our Native American Olympic Team Foundation to inspire communities around the world to live in more harmony with Nature by reaching out to their Indigenous Elders to lead Gratitude Snowdances (and Oceandances), which we have been spreading across North America and Europe for 16 years. We found that weather miracles do the most to wake people up to remember our earth-honoring Indigenous roots. (snow-riders.org/mir.html)
Scientists in 11 countries and Swiss Nobel Prize winner, Kurt Wuthrich, have verified the tests of Japan’s Water Guru, Dr. Masura Emoto, how giving “love and appreciation” to water clears it. Just as loving prayers, ceremonies and joyful dances of the world’s tribes lift the vibration of the mountains and oceans where toxins cannot exist. Mayan Chief Don Alejandro says that ideally cross-cultural ceremonies led by Native Elders or trusted shaman, which reconnect us to the heart of Mother Earth, are key to smoother 2012. More on these ceremonies in our “UN International Mother Earth Day” story. nativevoices.org/articles/MotherEarthDayInitiative.pdf)
Anytime we express those sentiments to our Mother Earth in thoughts, prayers, ceremonies, we are purifying and restoring Her natural cycles that we have put in painful chaos.
EDUCATING HUMANITY THROUGH THE KIDS
Dr. Emoto says the best way to get this message everywhere is through the children at schools since they then educate their parents who love them. The Venezuelan and Chinese representatives mentioned how they are helping educate their students about this ancient Indigenous view of Earth. Students worldwide watching China’s magnificent ancient drumming section of the Olympic opening ceremonies, and the origins part of the Australia, US, Norway, Japan, Canada…Games, were introduced to that mindshift. IOC President Jacques Rogge intuitively wrote as part of their Eco Agenda 21, “to include more Indigenous Peoples in the Olympics to enhance the Games sustainability.”
Another way we found in the U.S. to bring this feeling of sacredness of Nature to mainstream is through Native Americans leading eco hikes in schools like Telluride and Vail, so children can see Nature through their eyes. (Plus Aspen SkiCo wants the Utes to lead their popular eco tours). Similarly, six year olds in Sweden are taken on hikes and become bonded with Nature and therefore guardians for life. Karmically, we are bound to provide Earth’s children with our best tools for this new partnership way, to help them survive and thrive.
U.S. high schools students just invented an earth-friendly 300 mile per gallon electric car. So imagine if the 192 nation states urged schools worldwide to share highlights of this UN webcast, what it could do to create a wiser, appreciative, vibrantly green partnership with Mother Earth, our only Home. (Plus showing the stunning multi-lingual YouTube video “HOME” and “Water: The Great Mystery”)
Several panelists summed up the feeling of this “enlightening day” in quoting Gandhi. “The world has enough resources for eveybody’s needs, but not to meet the greed of a few.” And theologian Father Thomas Berry who said, “We must go hand in hand with Mother Nature into the future, or not go at all.”
The UN gathering also reached these conclusions: “In agriculture we can meet more needs of more people by following Nature’s laws as proven by UN scientists.” “And the member states and everyone need to help create the political will to recreate our Botanical Garden.”
40 YEARS OF PROMISES BY OUR PRESIDENTS OF ENERGY INDEPENDENCE
Millions of Earth Citizens are rising up to get true democratic rights in the Middle East and Africa, though the new Egyptian military regime tortured and forced female protestors to take virginity tests. (May 31 HuffPostAOLNews.)
On May 29, German DW World TV revealed these rallies have spread to Spain, with massive tent cities protesting their government SERVING THE CORPORATIONS and not the people. Sound familiar to your country? The Germans and the Swiss have risen up and are shutting down nuclear reactors. Thousands of protestors in India and Japan have led the shift from nuclear to renewables in Asia. Most of the protestors are students thanks to getting educated as never before via the internet and teachers inspiring kids in environmental classes.
“FOOLED ME 8 TIMES…” – JON STEWART
Jon Stewart brilliantly revealed on the Daily Show how “eight of our U.S. Presidents spanning four decades, have unkept promises to our people on implementing energy independence through renewables.” All Academy Award winning talk with little or no action while fully knowing we were headed for more and more catastrophic wars, oil spills and meltdowns. Dirty energy and their catastrophes make more profits for the few than a sustainable harmonious world. “Fool me once, shame on them. Fool me twice shame on me. Fool me 8 times…” That is why this kind of education and awareness is key. REF: www.thedailyshow.com/watch/wed-june-16-2010/an-energy-independent-future
Our Earth Family who mainly wants to live in peace and harmony with each other and Nature, MUST spread the word and create a tsunami of “tough love” to enlighten and insist our political leaders addicted to big oil and nuclear payoffs, fund and implement massive renewable energy projects. Thank heaven that the “Harmony with Nature Day” participants and likely those watching worldwide, came to realize at this 11:59th hour that “Shifting to Green Energy as part of partnering with Mother Earth is no longer an option for our survival, but a condition.”
HOPE FOR A NUCLEAR FREE WORLD
Tribal Elders and Nobel Prize winners agree that war and nuclear radiation (plus Gulf oil spills) are the greatest threat to water, Mother Earth and humanity, having destroyed three worlds/civilizations. See how the UN’s Disarmament Commission is making steps to end this threat. And each of us as Earth Citizens, MUST INSIST that our leaders shift our 2012 Budgets from nuclear energy loans and oil subsidies for off shore drilling, to renewable energy. Both are critical for restoring Mother Earth and her “dying” oceans so She may flourish, and therefore our Right to Exist. More on this UN breakthrough in Part 2.