In 1992 Maurice Strong was the Secretary General of the historic United Nations Earth Summit in Rio. In order to ensure the success of the Summit, Strong’s wife, Hanne, held a vigil with the Wisdom-keepers, a group of “global transformationalists.” Through round-the-clock sacred fire, drumbeat, and meditation, the group “held the energy pattern” for the duration of the gathering. As described in my previous article Agenda 21 was the primary output of the Summit. It was stated at the time that this ‘blueprint for the 21st century’ would lay the necessary foundation for a subsequent “new global covenant between humanity and the Earth.”
Shortly after the Earth Summit concluded Strong formed the Earth Council, a group of “environmental visionaries and philosophers”, and set about drafting this “new global covenant”. Various draft versions were formulated but the radical and transformative nature of the document met with resistance from more conservative members of the UN bureaucracy. In 1997, the Earth Council and Green Cross International, founded by Mikhail Gorbachev, joined forces to form the Earth Charter Commission. The Commission, co-chaired by Strong and Gorbachev, claims to have consulted more than 100,000 “concerned world citizens” around the globe. The twenty-three members of the Commission, which includes nine Club of Rome members, claim to have “mediated prayerfully over every word and comma”. I wonder who they were praying too?
The Earth Charter Commission approved the final text of the Earth Charter in 2000, and it has since been embraced by the United Nations, many religious leaders around the world, the majority of world governments and countless Non-Governmental Organizations (NGO’s) and activist groups. Following the release of the Charter a series of international forums, called The Earth Dialogues were held at the United Nations to discuss how the general public could be convinced to adopt the “covenant with the Earth” in a real and personal way.
Perhaps most revealing was the forum for Inter-Religious Groups and Spiritual Leaders. As stated in the forums official meeting minutes, the intent was to deal with “the ethics of intolerant righteousness and the greed of short term gain, as these cannot lead us to sustainable development. It is clear that our religious institutions have barely begun to articulate the core values of sustainable development. In their fundamentalist – fanatical forms, religions throughout history have justified terrorism, jihads and crusades against people who hold different beliefs and against the Earth itself.” So we can clearly see who they consider their enemy to be.
While supporters of the Earth Charter consider traditional mono-theistic religions to be the main obstacle to peaceful coexistence and sustainable life on Earth, they do not propose doing away with spirituality. The Earth Charter goes into detail about the need for faith and spirituality in human life. The preamble of the charter states “the spirit of human solidarity and kinship with all life is strengthened when we live with reverence for the mystery of being, gratitude for the gift of life, and humility regarding the human place in nature.”
So what exactly does this Earth Charter contain? Compared to most UN publications it is very short, only four pages long, direct, and to the point. It clearly lays out the Constitution for a New Green Order. “The choice is ours,” it states, “form a global partnership to care for Earth and one another or risk the destruction of ourselves and the diversity of life. Fundamental changes are needed in our values, institutions, and ways of living.”
The Charter can be read at the official Earth Charter website. The site describes the Charter as “a declaration of fundamental values and principles for building a just, sustainable, and peaceful global society in the 21st century. Created by the largest global consultation process ever associated with an international declaration, endorsed by thousands of organizations representing millions of individuals, the Earth Charter seeks to inspire in all peoples a sense of global interdependence and shared responsibility for the well-being of the human family and the larger living world. It is an expression of hope and a call to help create a global partnership at a critical juncture in history.”
The document begins with a preamble which summarises the problems with the “global situation”, why an Earth Charter is needed to address these problems and the solutions the Charter will provide. It then lists 16 overarching principles that it claims should govern life on this planet. The Charter concludes with a series of closing statement entitled The Way Forward. Rather than going through the whole document line by line I will just provide the reader with the preamble and closing statement which, in effect, summarise the other parts of the Charter. Keep in mind as you read the following text, this is not the ramblings of some idealistic environmental group. It is a covenant that has been officially endorsed by the UNCED, UNESCO, UNEP, many governments, and thousands of smaller organisations.
We stand at a critical moment in Earth’s history, a time when humanity must choose its future. As the world becomes increasingly interdependent and fragile, the future at once holds great peril and great promise. To move forward we must recognize that in the midst of a magnificent diversity of cultures and life forms we are one human family and one Earth community with a common destiny. We must join together to bring forth a sustainable global society founded on respect for nature, universal human rights, economic justice, and a culture of peace. Towards this end, it is imperative that we, the peoples of Earth, declare our responsibility to one another, to the greater community of life, and to future generations.
Earth, Our Home
Humanity is part of a vast evolving universe. Earth, our home, is alive with a unique community of life. The forces of nature make existence a demanding and uncertain adventure, but Earth has provided the conditions essential to life’s evolution. The resilience of the community of life and the well-being of humanity depend upon preserving a healthy biosphere with all its ecological systems, a rich variety of plants and animals, fertile soils, pure waters, and clean air. The global environment with its finite resources is a common concern of all peoples. The protection of Earth’s vitality, diversity, and beauty is a sacred trust.
The Global Situation
The dominant patterns of production and consumption are causing environmental devastation, the depletion of resources, and a massive extinction of species. Communities are being undermined. The benefits of development are not shared equitably and the gap between rich and poor is widening. Injustice, poverty, ignorance, and violent conflict are widespread and the cause of great suffering. An unprecedented rise in human population has overburdened ecological and social systems. The foundations of global security are threatened. These trends are perilous—but not inevitable.
The Challenges Ahead
The choice is ours: form a global partnership to care for Earth and one another or risk the destruction of ourselves and the diversity of life. Fundamental changes are needed in our values, institutions, and ways of living. We must realize that when basic needs have been met, human development is primarily about being more, not having more. We have the knowledge and technology to provide for all and to reduce our impacts on the environment. The emergence of a global civil society is creating new opportunities to build a democratic and humane world. Our environmental, economic, political, social, and spiritual challenges are interconnected, and together we can forge inclusive solutions.
To realize these aspirations, we must decide to live with a sense of universal responsibility, identifying ourselves with the whole Earth community as well as our local communities. We are at once citizens of different nations and of one world in which the local and global are linked. Everyone shares responsibility for the present and future well-being of the human family and the larger living world. The spirit of human solidarity and kinship with all life is strengthened when we live with reverence for the mystery of being, gratitude for the gift of life, and humility regarding the human place in nature. We urgently need a shared vision of basic values to provide an ethical foundation for the emerging world community. Therefore, together in hope we affirm the following interdependent principles for a sustainable way of life as a common standard by which the conduct of all individuals, organizations, businesses, governments, and transnational institutions is to be guided and assessed.
THE WAY FORWARD
As never before in history, common destiny beckons us to seek a new beginning. Such renewal is the promise of these Earth Charter principles. To fulfill this promise, we must commit ourselves to adopt and promote the values and objectives of the Charter. This requires a change of mind and heart. It requires a new sense of global interdependence and universal responsibility. We must imaginatively develop and apply the vision of a sustainable way of life locally, nationally, regionally, and globally. Our cultural diversity is a precious heritage and different cultures will find their own distinctive ways to realize the vision. We must deepen and expand the global dialogue that generated the Earth Charter, for we have much to learn from the ongoing collaborative search for truth and wisdom.
Life often involves tensions between important values. This can mean difficult choices. However, we must find ways to harmonize diversity with unity, the exercise of freedom with the common good, short-term objectives with long-term goals. Every individual, family, organization, and community has a vital role to play. The arts, sciences, religions, educational institutions, media, businesses, nongovernmental organizations, and governments are all called to offer creative leadership. The partnership of government, civil society, and business is essential for effective governance.
In order to build a sustainable global community, the nations of the world must renew their commitment to the United Nations, fulfill their obligations under existing international agreements, and support the implementation of Earth Charter principles with an international legally binding instrument on environment and development. Let ours be a time remembered for the awakening of a new reverence for life, the firm resolve to achieve sustainability, the quickening of the struggle for justice and peace, and the joyful celebration of life.
Now you may be thinking this all sounds very nice and reasonable. Why not join together in a joyful celebration of life. But the real intent behind the Earth Charter, and the Global Green Agenda in general, is to eliminate national sovereignty and place all humanity under the control of a single ‘Earth Government.’ They clearly and explicitly state that this is their goal:
“In my view, after fifty years of service in the United Nations system, I perceive the utmost urgency and absolute necessity for proper Earth government … There is no shadow of a doubt that the present political and economic systems – if systems they are – are no longer appropriate and will lead to the end of life evolution on this planet. We must therefore absolutely and urgently look for new ways. The less we lose time, the less species’ and nature will be destroyed.
Since the United Nations is the only world-wide, universal organization that is presently available, since it had fifty years of valuable experience and many successes, since it paved the way to proper Earth government, instead of putting it on the defensive, unjustified attacks and criticism, reduction of resources and non-payment of obligatory contributions, governments should honestly ask themselves if a better way would not be to consider a second generation United Nations upgraded by a true quantum jump into a proper Earth preserving and human well-being and justice ensuring organization of our planet.
The continental approach to a world union remains an important avenue. One could conceive five continental unions: the European Union, an American, an African, an Asian, and an Australian Union. A World Union could be constructed as a super-structure and common political, economic and environmental instrument to achieve these objectives.”
from – The Earth Charter in Action
Unlike Agenda 21, which is a hard law document, the Earth Charter lays out the principles which laws and regulations will have to promote and enforce. The Charter “was drafted in coordination with a hard law treaty that is designed to provide an integrated legal framework for all environment development law and policy.” This hard law treaty is called the International Covenant on Environment and Development and is being prepared by the Commission on Environmental Law at the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN), a behemoth agency which oversees 700+ governmental agencies worldwide. Interestingly, Maurice Strong (busy man!) is on the IUCN’s Board of Directors.
Again, unlike Agenda 21, the Earth Charter is not being forced on local communities from above. The United Nations is quietly fostering a grass-roots mainstream movement where people personally commit themselves to the Charter. They believe that this personal commitment will be necessary to bring about the societal transformation that the Charter requires. The primary tool being used to permeate society with awareness and acceptance of the Charter is the Earth Charter Initiative. This is another brain-child of Strong and Gorbachev.
According to their own description “The Earth Charter Initiative is the collective name for an extraordinarily diverse, global network of people, organizations, and institutions who participate in promoting the Earth Charter, and in implementing its principles in practice. The Initiative is a broad-based, voluntary, civil society effort, but participants include leading international institutions, national governments, university associations, NGOs, cities, faith groups, and many well-known leaders in sustainable development.”
The Earth Charter Initiative is located in, and managed by, the United Nations University of Peace. The governing council of this University contains some very interesting names. Many of its top academics are members of the Club of Rome. In fact the infamous Maurice Strong is the President of the University and its Rector, Martin Lees, is the Secretary General of the CoR! The founder and current Chancellor of the University is Robert Muller, former Assistant-Secretary of the United Nations, and its #2 ranked official. I strongly urge the reader to research Mr Muller’s vision for the world as outlined on his websiteshttp://www.robertmuller.org/ and http://www.goodmorningworld.org/. Here are some snippets to whet your appetite:
“Little by little a planetary prayer book is
thus being composed by an increasingly united
humanity seeking its oneness. Once again,
but this time on a universal scale, humankind is
seeking no less than its reunion with ‘divine,’
its transcendence into higher forms of life. Hindus
call our earth Brahma, or God, for they rightly
see no difference between our earth and the divine.
This ancient simple truth is slowly dawning again upon
humanity, as we are about to enter our cosmic age
and become what we were always meant to be:
the planet of god.”
– Robert Muller,
former UN Assistant Secretary General
and Chancellor of the UN University for Peace
“What an incredible planet in the universe this will be
when we will be one human family living in justice,
peace, love and harmony with our divine Earth,
with each other and with the heavens.”
– Robert Muller,
former UN Assistant Secretary General
As a final insult, and perhaps to make clear the true intent of their agenda, the original copy of the Earth Charter has been placed in a specially constructed Ark of Hope. Placed within the Ark, along with the Earth Charter, were various items called ‘Temenos Books’ and ‘Temenos Earth Masks.’ Temenos is a concept adopted by Carl Jung to denote a magic circle, a sacred space where special rules and energies apply. Some of the Temenos Books were created within this magic circle by children, who filled them with visual affirmations for Mother Earth. Fashioned with the “earth elements”, the Temenos Earth Masks were also worn and created by children. The outside of the Ark is covered with images depicting native spirits of fire, earth, air and water. If you wish you can read more here. This Ark forms a major part of ‘the Earth Charter outreach programme’ and visits hundreds of schools and universities around the world each year.
The Earth Charter stresses that man is his own saviour. By saving ‘Mother Earth’ we will once again return to an idyllic Garden of Eden and redeem our tarnished souls. But instead of worshipping the true Creator, the Global Green Agenda seeks to plunge us headlong into an earth-worship new world religion. They are only waiting for “the right crisis” after which they surmise that humanity will gladly sell their souls for the kind of world that the Earth Charter Promises.
“Do not do unto the environment of others what
you do not want done to your own environment..
My hope is that this Charter will be a kind of
Ten Commandments, a ‘Sermon on the Mount’,
that provides a guide for human behavior toward the
environment in the next century.”
– Mikhail Gorbachev