MISSION POSSIBLE

Preamble:

Let’s pretend that my boss came to my office and said, “The world cannot survive the insults were are throwing at it and still continue to support life as we have known; I want you to come back to me with a report on what we must do – put together a team and report back in a couple of weeks – Okay?”

“No problem boss, I’ll start right away”

I hope this little drama is seen as a serious exercise, even if it is written by a person unfamiliar with everything that faces us –but who is? For this task I will need a team, so I call in nine colleagues to outline the task at hand.

First I will assign questions to each person on my new investigative team, and then I will give the summary of the reports, and conclusions, to my “boss”.

So! First the report as drafted for the boss; to be followed by the questions and subsequent nine reports as prepared by the team – if you care to read them.

Part one: Report summary:

After presentation of all reports and vigorous debate, the following summary was drafted for presentation to the boss.

Title: DRAFT “PLAN” – HOW TO ADDRESS SOCIAL AND ENVIRONMENTAL ISSUES AT ALL LEVELS OF GOVERNANCE OF 195 NATIONS.

  • 1 To be effective and taken seriously, we think that the first thing that is obvious is that we are going to need a very large earth-spanning organization and an international following of perhaps an initial membership of one hundred million or more members.
  • 2 There needs to be action initiated on at least 6 levels with each level addressing a distinct set of local, regional, domestic and global problems. The following levels are proposed: SCHOOL, MUNICIPAL, PROVINCIAL or EQUIVALENT, FEDERAL, CORPORATE and INTERNATIONAL.
  • 3 The first 5 levels would be composed of CITIZEN ASSEMBLIES whereas the international group would use DEMAND/PETITIONS signed by an international membership and forwarded to every lawmaker in all 195 nations simultaneously.
  • 4 Problems at the international level would come from a wide variety of categories, each addressed in a sequence with a predetermined time interval between problems. (not less than two weeks)
  • 5 Global issues would require a massive organizational structure complete with name, logo, mission statement and everything one can imagine to create comradery and sense of purpose.
  • 6 Public visibility of participants is deemed to be of utmost importance to instill the aforementioned comradery and sense of purpose for our mission.
  • 7 Each level of activity would come from a single plan where all problems have been categorized and prioritized by debate and consensus utilizing, in part, the expertise of established NGOs and activist groups)
  • 8 At the international level, everyone would be working from a single spreadsheet, prepared with space for 25 years of problems. (Open to amendment as the situation dictates)
  • 9 Problems that need to be addressed would be assembled and categorized into about 25 groupings before attempting to determine year one priorities.
  • 10 The responsibility of each category could be assigned to separate and distinct groups of NGOs and activist groups who in turn could provide advisors and information.
  • 11 A spreadsheet could be used to first prioritize a problem in each category. Subsequent priorities would be established after confirming the first priorities and getting the movement under way.
  • 12 Every individual, including every politician and corporate executive, would know what the far-reaching objectives are as there can be no secrets as our very survival is at stake.
  • 13 A year may pass before a new priority is addressed in each category. (As lawmakers need time to react to our demands)
  • 14 It is assumed at this stage that all categories would be addressed in each and every year following the start of the program, perhaps in sequence. (perhaps due to the urgency for remedial action)
  • 15 NGOs, activist groups and individuals could offer their priorities for consideration, and decisions would be by consensus.
  • 16 There would be only two rules to determine if an issue met the necessary criteria for inclusion in the international program. (Regional issues would not be considered at the international level but assigned to Citizen Assemblies within each sovereign nation)
  • 17 Priorities could be set for all six levels of people-action so that everyone would have a list of priories to work from.
  • 18 Global action would require the formation of a large umbrella organization and movement; larger than anything imagined so far. (perhaps with more people than the UN but without a building and without government participation)
  • 19 Membership would come from all 195 nations. (It would appear that all individuals over 15 have a pretty good idea of the urgency and could be participating members.)
  • 20 Access to social media would be necessary for engaging in the international level movement.
  • 21 NGOS and activist groups would not give up any aspect of their structure to participate. All would benefit as the new movement would in fact be doing the will of most all groups.
  • 22 At the global level, problems would be put to the membership through a Demand/Petition which would require signed approval.
  • 23 Signed Demand/Petitions would be sent to the lawmakers in all 195 nations simultaneously.
  • 24 I repeat – This global group could very well entail the efforts of perhaps thousands of individuals, Including legal scholars, translators, scientists, programmers. (Perhaps rivaling the UN staff in size, but operated totally without governmental interference, and all trough social media)
  • 25 Like the UN, all communications would require multiple languages.
  • 26 Individual members would opt in for the categories that concern them and would not receive petitions that they do not want.
  • 27 Political parties that work against the plan because of business or religious reasons need to be identified to members and to the public at large. The enemy must be subdued in not tamed.
  • 28 There is profound urgency

 

The balance of this paper is available at civismundi.net

Part two (ASSEMBLING A TEAM AND ASSIGNING TASKS)

 

When the team of nine was assembled they were given the following tasks.

  • A –“I want you to tell me why we cannot seem to make any headway with social and environmental issues. Look at everything you think is relevant.”
  • B – “See if you can find any groups that have effective ideas and movements. We don’t want to reinvent the wheel here if it is not necessary. It might be the small groups that have the best ideas.”
  • C – “Civil Disobedience is advocated by some groups. There is also a lot of chanting and shouting. Please look into this and report on the effectiveness of such programs. What are the negatives of this approach?”
  • D – “Will you make a rough list of identifiable problems in everything from GLOBAL WARMING, PLASTIC, TOXINS, HUMAN RIGHTS and the like? Don’t neglect anything as we will sort out the priorities later on. Just start by making a big long list in no special order. Nothing is too small or controversial to consider.”
  • E – “As I understand it there are thousands of NGOs and activist groups out there. They all have research data bases, agendas, memberships, fund raising and so on. I want you to start contacting them and ask them what their top priorities are in this ever growing crisis.”
  • F -“Let’s assume that we need to address these problems at all levels of government. Could we use volunteer or appointed Citizen Assemblies to work at City Hall level, at Federal level and all levels starting with school boards if possible? Think about how we could organize at the Global level as there are about 195 nations that need to be working together and not against one another’s efforts. The global effort may need a different approach from the national level. One idea may not suit all levels. OK?”
  • G – “I am going to guess here that we will have a lot of categories of problems once we have compiled the list and broken them out into separate and identifiable groups. Will we probably need a new international organization?; estimate how big it would be?”
  • H – Let’s assume we will start a new global movement to address all of the problems- what would our mission statement be? How would we motivate people to work with us without annoying the hell out of the population with all the demonstrations and unhelpful hollering? I want you to think about a name, a logo and anything else that brings about comradery and a sense of purpose.
  • I – “Would you look into religion’s role in democracy and politics? I think that there are wolves in the flock that are up to misguided mischief. We need to know if this will hamper our efforts.”

Team Leader to team – “Ok team, you all have your assignments. Be brief, but thorough, if that is possible.

Team member A gives report here

Team member B gives report here

Team member C gives report here

Team member D gives report here

Team member E gives report here

Team member F gives report here

Team member G gives report here

Team member H gives report here

Team member I gives report here

 

Demonstration

Demonstrations are necessary, but generally ineffective and soon forgotten. However, fifty million signatures on a worldwide E-Demand/Petition would get  the attention of everyone and could not be forgotten.

Basic rules for social justice advocates, and environmentalists, worldwide –

  • List all of your concerns
  • Categorize your concerns
  • Prioritize your lists
  • Submit your priorities to a site solely dedicated to working on your behalf

What CIVI MUNDI would do for you (if it existed)]

  • Put structure and order into a worldwide demand for action
  • Create an E-Demand/Petition to your specifications and requirements
  • Present the E-Demand/Petition to the membership for  consideration and signatures
  • Distribute the E-Demand/Petition to the lawmakers in all 193 nations.
  • Give every category equal weight and attention
  • Repeat the process when all categories have had their E-Demand/Petition processed
  • Create a spread sheet that would tell the world what we want done over the next 25 years so that no one is unaware of our concerns.

 

TWO YOUNG LADIES

Imagine a world where 10,000,000 NGOs and uncountable social and environmental groups from 193 nations would agree on what needs to be addressed over the next 25 years, and displayed it on one social media site – all categorized and prioritized in a concise plan of action. That is the objective of civismundi.net JUST IMAGINE that such a platform already existed!

Two young ladies explain the worldwide movement to a skeptic-

I thought that rather than try to explain why and how we needed to come to the aid of people and planet through a unified worldwide movement, I would write this as if it had already happened; this then is how it would be discovered by someone yet unaware of what has transpired. So to set the scene – it is 2020 and social and environmental crises are only getting worse. The planet is unable to cope with our toxins, waste and our ever increasing numbers. The planet is dying. There appears to be no hope in changing the direction in which we are headed when –

I am driving on a country road when I see a young man painting a bright color band on a tree trunk beside the road; he is wearing a cap of the same color as that on his brush. A little further on I notice what appears to be a mother and young daughter standing beside their bicycles at an intersection. They in turn are tying strips of cloth onto the posts of stop signs. The cloth is the same orangey-red – the color of clay pottery. I am now curious and I pull over on the shoulder and ask “what are you people up to?”

The young lady comes to my window and says “We are trying to save the planet for the future, would you like to help?”

I smile politely and somewhat patronizingly I ask “What does the ribbon signify?”

“This is the color that was chosen to represent our worldwide movement – it is called Terra Cotta and it means Burnt Earth – kind of appropriate right? – considering the mess we have made,” she says as the young girl joins us. I note that she is wearing a kerchief of the same cloth while the lady has a terra cotta ribbon pinned to the shoulder of her blouse.

“If you would like to support our movement, I can give you a Terra Cotta paper sticker for your mail box or your car bumper,” kerchief girl says. “It will show that you are willing to consider remedies to anything that diminishes our hopes for future generations.”

I smile again and say, “girls, I have a drawer full of campaign ribbons, lapel buttons, political badges and even a few kerchiefs from every sort of activist, environmental and political group you can imagine – why should I wear this one?”

Ribbon lady says “Well – for a start this simple color is our ‘uniform’ – we wear it, or display it in all 193 countries, so that we are readily identifiable to one another anywhere we go – Asia, Africa, Europe, and the Americas – everywhere. Because we are visible we can share ideas and show solidarity with whoever has a concern for both the environment and social issues – If you have a concern that needs to be addressed then you are one of us”

Kerchief interjects, “It means we are as mad as hell and we are not going to take it anymore – it means listen to the voice of the people – it means we are putting politicians everywhere on notice – it means pass some laws to fix the problems or we will put you out of office and put someone in who will fix them. It means that the wealthy and powerful cannot protect their own interests at the expense of the rest of us. For corporations we are saying you are being given notice that things are going to change. Wear the ‘uniform’ and you are automatically a part of the Civis Mundi community and movement”

“And what does Civis Mundi mean?”

Ribbon lady says “In English speaking nations we are known as World Citizens but International we are known as Civis Mundi simply to avoid any animosity where one language is favored over another – in Quebec and France we are proudly identified as Citoyen du monde – in Germany we are Weltbürger – every nation uses their own words for world citizen”

Kerchief looks at me and asks “In all seriousness, do you have an issue that bothers you? – one you would like to see addressed on a global scale?”

Glumly I said “Yes – plastic in the environment – particularly in the oceans is a threat that is killing everything and we cannot seem to accept that we need to severely regulate manufacturing in this deadly and toxic material – manufacturers should be charged a tax of $1,000,000 for every pound they use just to cover the cost of removing it from the oceans”

Ribbon lady says “Plastic is one of the 26 categories of problems we at Civis Mundi consider – one issue from each category is addressed once each and every year until we eventually get it under control; we suggest a long range plan of 25 years overall – one issue per year – we would start with something we all can readily agree on, like stopping the use of plastic micro beads and then moving up to tougher and tougher problems.

I try to counter her enthusiasm with ”How can you possibly hope to find resolutions to every problem on the planet with one small group of people? – that’s insane!”

Ribbon says “That’s not the way it works – consider your category of plastic concerns. All of the hundreds of NGOs and groups working on plastic issues come together separately and independently; they are asked to come to a consensus as to what is the one single issue that they want addressed in year one and perhaps in years two and three. They write up their decision and give it to the Civis Mundi site for presentation to the membership. The membership either support it or they don’t support it but once it is signed it is sent off to all legislative bodies on the planet – all 193 nations – it is not just sent to your local city council or your provincial or federal legislation, it is sent to every legislative body that considers problems and makes legislation – like it or not, these are the only people that can change things”

“OK” I say “I get that – pollution and social problems have no borders. Can you tell me why you have tried to put all of the issues into 26 categories?”

Ribbon continues with “There are 52 weeks in the year so each of the 26 categories would get a chance to be considered once per year – there is a two week period between categories – no single category would be dominant – all would have equal weight – Water, Human Rights, Waste and Recycle Programs, Population, Land and Soil use, Toxins, Food to name some – all are equal.”

“How can I possibly get involved in so many issues?” “You only subscribe to the categories you are interested in and you can add or delete categories whenever you like. You won’t be overwhelmed with information unless you ask for it; you will only be asked to consider the categories and issues you have selected from the 26 categories – personally I subscribe to Nuclear Issues, Genetically Modified Organisms and Water Resources – my friend here has other concerns like Democracy and Voting as she wants to get a Proportional Electoral system and for her vote to count for something – you may wish to be informed only when Plastic issues are addressed which would be once per year.”

“How large is your group?”

With a big smile, ribbon girl says, “We have been active for about a year now and we have close to 25,000,000 members. At the rate we are gathering support, we expect to pass 500,000,000 in two or three more years; I think that with this many we will be taken seriously”

“Amazing! How do you handle translations?”

“The Civis Mundi web site is something like the United Nations where everything is in every language. It is all done by volunteers” she adds.

I question – “So you send your petitions to all legislations?”

“These are NOT petitions. These are DEMANDS – do something about this or find another job”

“Is there a role to play in the movement for us old folk? We’ve got time on our hands and generally more assets than young people”

Seniors could put their talents and time to good use. Knitting skills could be used to make terra cotta toques and socks for new members. Old sewing machines could be brought out of closets and used to make terra cotta ribbons and turn old cotton shirts and sheets into handkerchiefs – Just think of the trees that alone would save. I like the idea of sewing on a terra cotta colored pocket on shirts as a ‘uniform’ – who doesn’t need an extra pocket for sunglasses or cellphone? I’m sure you could find something to do; here is my membership card; it has the paint code number on it if you want to get into mischief.”

I am now getting more enthusiastic and ask “It sounds like something worth considering – do you advocate civil disobedience?

“Civil disobedience is perhaps necessary in extraordinary times – like today; we are here “defacing” these trees and posts with our ribbons, but violence and property destruction are not tolerated. I know that a lot of acts of civil disobedience were justifiable when looked at it in hindsight – look at what rights and privileges we now have because others took it upon themselves to disobey the law or convention.”

“Yes, look at history” I add. “We can learn a lot from Gandhi and his mission to free India from Imperialistic Britain. The Indian people took direct action and would have to share and endure the physical, and the verbal abuse of those in control; in addition, they accepted the scorn of fellow citizens who were truly afraid of the unknowns that independence might bring. They accepted the initial hardship, and the prospects of future hardship, from their action – whatever the hardships might be, knowing full well that the cause of independence for India was worthy of their efforts and physical pain – if you want to change the status quo you had better be prepared to get pushed around, tear gassed or even jailed for your efforts.”

Changing the subject back to my plastic concerns, I said “I have often thought that I would like to put paper stickers on fruit in the grocery store that says “Do not buy fruit with plastic stickers attached” I said as I grinned at the prospect of this 80 81 year old getting unceremoniously escorted out of the super market.

“That would make a really great campaign” Kerchief girl said enthusiastically. “We could do that anywhere on the planet – they are cheap to make and not polluting, providing the glue is safe of course – how about you put them on the doors and windows of the store and see how much they like removing and recycling them – when they take them off you could put more on the checkout conveyors so they go around and around for all to see – we could have a thousand campaigns that used this one idea. The stickers could be terra cotta in colour of course”

“OK I’m sold on the idea – where do I sign up?”

JUST IMAGINE IF THIS WAS ALL TRUE.

If you have any thoughts on how we might continue with our little story please contact me.

A New Approach

CAN CIVIL DISOBEDIENCE BE JUSTIFIED WHEN WE ARE TRYING THE SAVE THE PLANET?

Simple answer – yes, providing it is of the Gandhi nonviolent variety. Read more

COULD WE USE PAPER STICKERS AS A NONVIOLENT TOOL FOR CHANGE?

Consider a small adhesive sticker, strategically placed, to be a small flyer on which we hope to pass on information, gain public support and change attitudes and practices. Read more

MUST WE INCLUDE ALL NATIONS IN ANY PLAN?

There are about 193 nations on the planet; pollution knows no boundaries or borders. There is little point in changing the practices of a single corporation or the laws in a single country while the other 192 continue corrupting and destroying the planets life support systems. We are all in this together so let’s address it as a single worldwide movement – read more

CAN WE COMPARE OUR MISSION TO THAT OF GANDHI?

In the 1930s India had multiple states and territories, multiple languages, multiple religions, multiple shades of skin colour, multiple castes and countless political ideologies. They also had one easily identifiable problem and desire that most of India’s people shared. “They wanted to be free to govern India and their own affairs regardless of the consequences.” Our problem has many of the same characteristics even if it is more complex. Read more

WHAT WOULD OUR MISSION STATEMENT BE? Ideas follow for consideration

  • CIVIS MUNDI – World citizens working for the world and it citizens (my favorite as it has the two single words which identify both problems – world and people – and the single solution – people from all 190 plus nations working as one)
  • STOP – Save This Our Planet
  • Putting your concerns to a worldwide vote
  • The plan – one E-Demand/Petition at a time
  • Putting some structure into resolving all problems, one at a time
  • Put your idea here

WHAT IS THE ROLE OF E-PETITIONING IN ANY LONG RANGE PLAN?

Avaaz and many other groups use e-petitions effectively. They general confine their efforts to HUMAN RIGHTS issues in single countries whereas Civis Mundi intends to embrace all 26 categories of issues and e-petition legislations in all nations on the planet simultaneously. Read more

WHAT WOULD A 25 YEAR PLAN LOOK LIKE?

As there are 26 categories of issues that need to be addressed they must all be given a turn at being heard. Therefore each and every category would select one issue to present to the Civis Mundi membership each and every year for the next 25 years. Read more.

WHY WE NEED TO BE VISIBLE

If all those individuals concerned for the welfare of the planet and concerned for social justice wore a ‘uniform’ it would be easy to see who was on our side in this global crisis we have made for ourselves. We could conceivably strike up a conversation and make friends most anywhere on the planet. Read more

HOW DO EXISTING NGOS, ACTIVIST GROUPS AND INDIVIDUALS FIT INTO THE PICTURE?

NGOs, activist groups and individuals all have concerns for the survival of the planet and the welfare of others. We can share information and pool memberships without compromising any particular agenda. Everyone profits when we create a worldwide movement. Read more

CLOSING STATEMENT

Let future generations say that citizens coming together from 190 plus countries worldwide achieved what governments, politicians, scientists, corporations, religious leaders, NGOs and activist groups and the UN could not begin to do. They rediscovered that only through resistance could things change. Adrian Johnson is an article on civil disobedience says it best. “Most acts of civil disobedience are justifiable. I urge you to look at your own lives, at what rights and privileges you now have because others took it upon themselves to disobey.” (1)

References

1 http://www.mlive.com/opinion/kalamazoo/index.ssf/2009/03/is_civil_disobedience_justifia.html

WORLD CITIZENS UNITED

No one group or any individual has the solution to all of the environmental and social problems facing us and our planet, but here at http://civismundi.net there might be a spark of an idea as to how we might empower the people so that we (the meek, the weak, the underdogs, the ignored) have some say in our questionable future here on earth.

That’s it! It is all about empowering people on a worldwide basis. It’s about the development of one place where all social and environmental issues can be listed, categorized, prioritized and presented in a systematic and orderly manner for action in a long range plan. Imagine, people-powered action directed to all 190 nations, based on the wishes of the people away from the intrigue, influence and self-interests of politicians, oligarchs’, and corporations.

If this idea sparks your interest, I invite you to offer your input and advice.

Signed – Matthew Foster – civismundi (aatt) civismundi.net

Why we need to unite people (and NGOs) worldwide

CM boy girl

I would imagine that it was fairly easy to form the organization we call the United Nations. One national leader suggested the concept to another and the idea escalated until all 190 plus nations were together under one roof trying to find ways to keep some semblance of peace on the planet. This is all well and good but what happens when the planet’s seas, fresh water, atmosphere, soil, biodiversity etc. are so badly degraded and poisoned that all life is threatened and diminished? On top of this we have rapid breakdowns of human rights, diminishing democracies, the increasing concentration of media and information, population problems, nuclear concerns, genetically modified organism concerns, and a plague of plastic turning the oceans into a toxic soup. In this dire and ever-expanding situation the people desperately have formed literally millions of NGOs and countless activist groups in pretty much every community on earth as they try to persuade our elected political representatives to please do something.
While we frantically organize and chaotically struggle for corrective action, we are hassled, hampered and patronized by moneyed market forces which have a strong interaction and collaboration with politicians and political parties, not to mention despotic leaders in non-democratic countries. (Where they trample on human rights, steal resources, expropriate the people’s commons and ignore environmental laws and practices.)
We socially and environmentally minded individuals and groups are completely fragmented and disorganized beyond all belief; consequently and regrettably we have little hope of effectively impacting on any of the disasters facing us unless we somehow find a new innovative way to make a significant number of our diverse and scattered world’s citizens collectively more influential and forceful. We have the will but we have yet to find ‘the way’. It as if we are knocking on closed and locked doors trying to be heard all at the same time. We are ignored while our political representatives and corporate power are inside forging our destiny without any significant input from us.
This dire situation could be much improved if we could just get ourselves established into a powerful enough cooperative worldwide organization with a shared universal mission.
The first questions we need to ask ourselves are “must we do something and is it worthwhile” To this I think it is obvious. Is success attainable? I think that it really is, providing we put the power of united world citizens both before and behind corrective initiatives and bypass the naysayers.
NGOs would still operate their organisations independent of any new org. They could collaborate if they wish, and together sort the issues and put them in order. They would be free to independently offer advice to legislations when it became apparent that the people are demanding action and that their expertise is needed to implement such action.
If the United Nations was seen as the hope for peace then why do we not see the need for a similar group; possibly called United World Citizens or something similar; as a means to correcting pressing social and environmental issues?
Let’s assume for a moment that we could somehow bring all of the problems to one place. What would we need to do?
IDENTIFY THE PROBLEMS
Collect and write out all of the problems that need addressing so that the depth of the overall situation is clear to one and all. I can guarantee you that there are more active NGOs then there are problems, and that there are many problems that have no defenders or representatives whatsoever.
CATEGORIZE THE PROBLEMS
Next we need to put the problems (separate issues) into categories. I am going to suggest that there are be no more than 26 categories for reasons that will be apparent later although this is not absolutely essential.
PRIORITIZE THE PROBLEMS
Prioritize the issues within each category and put them into a 25 year plan. Don’t worry, as the priorities can be changed and rearranged as data comes in and membership grows.
CHOOSE THE FIRST ISSUES
It may be best to put something relatively simple at the top of the list rather than the most ominous issue/problem, remembering that it will take time for this new organization to gather significant worldwide member support. (I will put examples for a single category at the end just to show how this would work)
Simple mathematics will now show that we have 26 X 25 issues to put to the membership for their personal input and consideration – the total equals 650 separate issues spaced over 25 years. (A good start)
USE EXISTING INFORMATION
NGO’s and other groups have a lot of information in their data bases with which we can make informed decisions. These groups will be important to the new organization and movement as they can help with identifying and prioritizing and establishing the first and subsequent issues that will be put forward.
PUT THE CATEGORIES INTO A REPEATING ORDER
Take the 26 or so categories and put them into a sequence so that they can be presented to the membership for input and consideration one at a time. If we use 26 categories, and allow a two week period between publication and email distribution of a new petition to the membership, we can address an issue in each and every category in each year of the plan. (This is not absolutely essential)
ESTABLISH A SET TIME FRAME
It is important that the membership is not overwhelmed with action requests too frequently. A minimum of a 14 day interval is suggested as this allows time to research, ponder and sign. Also, governments receiving such petitions will not be overwhelmed on a daily basis from multiple sources.
PUT THE WORLD ON NOTICE
Remember that we must visualize the whole world and all the people as one community with all problems affecting all its citizens’ welfare. Once the categories and issues have been established, the whole world including business leaders and politicians everywhere on the planet, will effectively be put on notice that we are determined to press for remedial action now and in the foreseeable future, or until the job is done. Anyone, anywhere, will be able to see for themselves what is in the proverbial “pipeline” and slatted for corrective action.
SEND E-PETITION TO THE LEADERS OF EVERY NATION
Email the petition to every member for consideration and signing. If the member agrees with the suggested petition’s objectives then it is signed and the totals tabulated. After a designated time frame the signed e-petition is sent to every political legislative power in each and every country.
WHY CATEGORIES?
I personally have a great desire to see reductions in the unrestrained use of PLASTIC for reasons I will make clear below. Alternatively hormone-mimicking chemicals in products create a host of problems beyond the scope of this paper. I also have concern for FOOD safety. In the category of HUMAN RIGHTS I would like to see a worldwide ban on female genital mutilation. Therefore, I would enthusiastically subscribe to the categories of PLASTIC, TOXINS, FOOD and HUMAN RIGHTS. With these choices I would then be asked to participate and consider only 4 petitions per year. If I choose to support others in their causes, I could then simply change my settings to include or perhaps exclude categories at any time. Someone who hates the phony governments produced by plurality/majority voting might sign up for DEMOCRACY/VOTING as they push for proportional representative voting. The same person may dislike nuclear power plants and add NUCLEAR ISSUES to his or her list. Another might prefer WATER RESOURCES and LAND/SOIL LOSS DEGRADATION as they push for natural burial of the human body to prevent formaldehyde from leeching into ground water. Another might choose POPULATION CONCERNS as it gets little attention from anyone. Eventually all categories would have their champions.
SET CRITERIA FOR PETITIONS
Most groups that currently use e-petitions are reacting to human rights violations within single nations. Other petitions may be to protect a species like a butterfly (always the Monarch) or bees and other pollinators. (Category SPECIES) Our petitions however must meet more stringent criteria. I suggest that the following two questions be asked before an issue is put to the members.
Does this action benefit the welfare of the planet?
Does this action undo or prevent an injustice against all humankind?
DEVELOP MULTI LANGUAGE CAPABILITIES
As this is a global effort we need to have multi-language capabilities just like the UN. As the movement grows, volunteers would provide translation services.
AVOID POLITICAL AND MARKET FORCES
The UN is awash with political intrigue and corporate pressures. Powerful nations exert their will on the less powerful and use money, economic pressure and veto power to get their own way. Assassination is also now an accepted policy of many nations which includes all of the permanent Security Council. This new organization must avoid such outside influence and stick with the concept of one member, one vote. Every citizen on the planet can participate if they have access to social media.
STEAL GOOD IDEAS FROM OTHERS
AVAAZ and others use e-petitions quite effectively. They also have a good record for gathering members to the cause. They have an enviable 42,000,000 members at last count. Unlike AVAAZ we would cover all 26 categories and e-petition all 190 plus nations whereas they cover only a few categories and e-petition single legislations or corporations.
EXAMPLE OF HOW THIS MIGHT WORK
As an example of how this might work, let’s assume that in step one we decided that PLASTIC was a distinct and separate category that needed to be addressed. If you watched a recent documentary regarded the pollution of the oceans with plastic you might agree that this would be a suitable and essential category. The program suggested that the problem lies in the world’s recycling and waste management programs. This is a grave error in judgment as plastic and the manufacturing in plastic is the problem itself. It is a problem so harmful that it potentially threatens all that exists.
Can we eliminate all manufacturing in plastic? – Not realistically or likely! Can we eliminate manufacturing of drinking straws from plastic? Why not? Using straws made of waxed paper would not diminish my lifestyle at all, but it would be a small step for correcting earth’s ecosystem. So, we make it an issue for inclusion and our collective attention somewhere in the 25 year plan.
Using the above logic, after demanding “No manufacturing of plastic straws” we could combine several related issues and demand “No manufacturing of plastic net bags for citrus, onion and garlic.” Manufacturers and suppliers could revert back to twisted paper code bags. Sure, some manufacturers will cry foul and that is unfortunate. We survived the problems they created when they destroyed our shoe industry, our appliance industry, our textile industry, our ship building industry etc. They will adjust just as they forced us to adjust.
Next might come “No excess plastic may be used as fillers in packaging of food products.” My life style would not be diminished.
As we progress we might demand “No manufacturing of toys in plastic”. Kids would still have toys to play with, as manufacturers look to alternative material. Life would not be diminished what-so-ever.
Let’s try attempting something that might be more contentious. “No packaging of toothpaste in plastic tubes” I’m not sure that this could ever be accomplished but really, if my tooth paste came in powder form in a little tinned or cardboard container I’m sure I could cope. Also, billions of empty non-biodegradable tubes would be essentially removed from the ecosystem each and every year, forever and ever. (Imagine the number of albatross that might survive because there were billions fewer plastic caps to feed (and kill) their fledgling offspring)
Here are a few more to consider. (You are welcome to offer more.) “No plastic in razor manufacturing”, “No plastic coat hangers”, “No plastic stickers on fruit and vegetables”, “No plastic inserts in bottles”, “No plastic to be used in vegetable/olive oil containers” “No injection molded chairs” etc. Again my life style would not be diminished.
We eventually get to harder and harder issues. It we look to the problem with manmade fibers we will find a singularly horrendous problem. All clothing and carpets break down and shed fibers. Millions of tons of these fibers are washed into the oceans where they become part of the food chain that reaches ever upwards. This ocean of toxic soup is a crisis that can be reduced because we know what is causing it. We have about 35 natural plant and animal fibers that can be used as replacements to synthetics. We just need to accept the obvious and make some dramatic changes.
In this exercise, I have addressed only one category of problems and only a few issues within said category. NGOs, individuals and other groups could put together a much more comprehensive list.

In conclusion, the people themselves must become united and empowered if we are to make any headway. To do this we need an organization free from intrigue and political posturing; one where the meek, the weak, and the marginalized become willing to participate in the process and forge their own destiny, free from market and political influences.

I Report

Team member “I” gives report

“My assigned question was as follows — “Would you look into religion’s role in democracy and politics? I think that there are wolves in the flock that are up to misguided mischief. We need to know if this will hamper our efforts.”

Team Leader – “If anyone reading this report would like to help please contact civis mundi here

I REPORT .     

When you asked me to evaluate any problems that we might encounter from religion I was dubious that I would find any; however I now believe there are major concerns that need to be exposed for what they are.

It would appear that Christianity moved from being a compassionate leftish religion to one fraught with right winged dogma and ambitions. Some now call it Prosperity Christianity.

This shift from left to right came about because of the issues of abortion, homosexuality, gay marriage, Darwin, science plus other controversies. The Evangelicals made a deal with the right and are now pretty much a Theocracy political party.in both Canada and the USA; because it is taboo to talk about religion anywhere, including the media, this fact goes pretty much ignored – to our ultimate peril, I am afraid.

Other nations have to run all laws reviewed by religious leaders so it is not just a problem with the west.

I’m not sure how we can overcome this obstacle at this stage but forewarned is forearmed.

Team Leader- ’Well, thanks team for keeping the reports brief. Let’s hash things over so that I can make a condensed report to the boss.’

The subsequent report is at the opening of this paper,

H Report

Team member H gives report

“My assigned question was as follows — Let’s assume we will start a new global movement to address all of the problems- what would our mission statement be? How would we motivate people to work with us without annoying the hell out of the population with all the demonstrations and unhelpful hollering? I want you to think about a name, a logo and anything else that brings about comradery and a sense of purpose.”

Team Leader – “If anyone reading this report would like to help please contact civis mundi here

 

H REPORT .

Let me start with a name for a new movement; it probably should not be an English word as this sometimes creates animosity. I thought that world citizen would work as it indicates both problems – i.e. people and planet. Latin should work as this is Civis Mundi and can be translated into all languages for individual nations and probably into all dialects. The Latin words Terra Cotta also translates as Burnt Earth which might be appropriate; maybe as a color banner or whatever.”

“Another idea I considered was just using a STOP sign as both a name and logo. As all nations have stop signs it is already translated. It could perhaps have an upraised had rather than the word stop. If we used the STOP sign there are a number of ways of using the letters to create the mission statement such as SAVE THIS OUR PLANET or SUPPORT THIS ONE PLAN or SOCIETY THRIVES ON PARTICIPATION. I’m sure others can come up with better acronyms and even better mission statements.”

“The logo should be easy to reproduce and universally recognizable even without colors. For example, the octagon is even recognized as a stop sign from the back without the letters visible.”

“I’m sure that it would not be difficult to create a sense of purpose though an image. Greta’s name or face evokes an immediate sense of purpose. The ER hourglass suggests that time is running out and the logo evokes an image of energized young people, demonstrations, chanting, nonviolent disobedience, traffic disruptions and frustration from all concerned; but no plan and no priorities.”

“Visibility – was this covered elsewhere?”

“I think that visibility is important. When people see you wearing a “uniform”, they know your concerns, your determination and resolve. This visibly aspect cannot be only when you are with friends and likeminded people – it needs to be all the time, as saving the planet is not a part time job at this stage. Showing commitment invites debate and comradery. Meeting people and making friends should be relatively easy.”

“Comradery might come about through shared email server addresses like Joeblow@chosenname.ca . The country codes for all nations could be used as an identifying suffix. There could be humorous ID cards, greetings and whatever the imagination can dream up.”

G Report

Team member G gives report

“My assigned question was as follows — – “I am going to guess here that we will have a lot of categories of problems once we have compiled the list and broken them out into separate and identifiable groups. Will we probably need a new international organization? Estimate how big it would be?”

Team Leader – “If anyone reading this report would like to help please contact me here”

 

G REPORT .

“This crisis is probably far bigger than most environmentalists have imagined and it is certainly much too complex to approach without an overall long-range plan. As mentioned there are about 25 categories of problems.”

“To be effective there should be a single organization with a single global membership and a single web site; there would have to be hundreds, if not thousands, working in the background gathering input and setting priorities. Drafting of petitions would require research and legal expertise plus translation into every language just like the UN. People would have to find contact info for all lawmakers in all 195 nations; that alone would require a lot of research in itself.”

“Breaking it into individual groups responsible for each separate category would be the best idea I think.”

How big it would be is open to speculation but saving the planet, humankind and all life was never a requirement before. The task at hand would need an organization much larger and much more complex than anything that now exists.

 

F Report

Team member FE gives report

“My assigned question was as follows — – Let’s assume we will start a new global movement to address all of the problems- what would our mission statement be? How would we motivate people to work with us without annoying the hell out of the population with all the demonstrations and unhelpful hollering? I want you to think about a name, a logo and anything else that brings about comradery and a sense of purpose.

Team Leader – “If anyone reading this report would like to help please contact me here

 

F REPORT.

I believe that there should be a different approach for different levels even if the priorities are set through a specialized body of individuals. Let’s assume that we had students who pressured school boards and universities to clean up their act first. They could look at heating, cooling, supplies, transportation, and landscaping, cleaning supplies – whatever.- maybe even banning annoying leaf blowers.”

“We could then have any citizen work with or on a Citizens group to get City Hall into the game. e.g., road salt, community tree planting, clothes lines, housing and feeding of the poor and homeless, board of works practices, plastic election campaign signage etc.”

“There could be similar efforts at Provincial level but the issues would be tougher E.G. power generation, roads, sidewalks (which might be made and maintained like cobblestones that do not get discarded when torn up for work below and could be maintained with a man and a shovel and a wheelbarrow)”

“At the Federal level we have Citizen Assemblies with a much higher responsibility E.G. pipelines, power transmissions, dams, fisheries etc.”

“There could be Citizen Assembles that are given the responsibilities to work with business and corporations to offer ideas on process and materials, transportation etc. These assemblies could come from retired executives and engineers with experience. We could pressure directly for removal of plastic components, excess salt and sugar – anything. It would appear that no one has considered just asking for help from these people. There could be some arm twisting with treats of public boycotts etc. “

“Now all priorities that are set for all levels might come from a priority list put together and maintained by a single universal group so that there would be no shortage of ideas to call upon for any group.”

“The Global level needs a different approach even if everyone is identified with the same overall objectives. I cannot possibly see how a Citizen Assembly would work globally. This is where the Demand/Petition concept could come into play.”

E Report

Team member E gives report

“My assigned question was as follows — – As I understand it there are a million NGOs and activist groups out there. They all have research data bases, agendas, memberships, fund raising and so on. I want you to start contacting them and ask them for their top priorities for saving ourselves.

Team Leader – “If anyone reading this report would like to help please contact civis mundi here

E REPORT .    

“This was a tough assignment. Communicating with NGOs and activist groups is like pulling teeth. They want to send info out but it is all prepared press releases. Although I asked for priorities I never actually received any specifics.”

“There is certainly a lot of work being done to lobby governments, there does not appear to be a lot of collaboration of effort.”

“I sincerely think that these groups have the greatest potential for success of any new global movement but first there has to be an understanding that no one is trying to steal their ideas, their memberships or that their financial support will be threatened. “

“The fact is that any new movement will need some financing and I would suggest that we cultivate the senior community for funds as their contribution to the cause as their chance to put thing right.”

“Activist groups and NGOs can only benefit if we ask members to support something if they are concerned. It is like hiring someone to do something you cannot do yourself.”

“Sorry that I did not get a list of priorities at this stage but perhaps for one. The worldwide elimination of plastic microbeads did come up with a lot of supporters.”

“In my humble opinion we will need to have some organizational structure before we can get meaningful input for these diverse and independent groups.”

“Regarding a couple of rules required to select priorities I suggest:

Does this action benefit the welfare of the planet?

Does this action undo or prevent an injustice against all humankind?”

Team Leader – That is a bit disheartening but I am sure they will eagerly come on side once the objectives are understood. I wrote a paper on tis some time back. It is here

D Report

Team member D gives report

“My assigned question was as follows — Will you make a rough list of identifiable problems in everything from GLOBAL WARMING, PLASTIC, TOXINS, HUMAN RIGHTS and the like? Don’t neglect anything as we will sort out the priorities later on. Just start by making a big long list in no special order. Nothing is too small or controversial to consider.”

Team Leader – “If anyone reading this report would like to help please contact me here

 

D REPORT .

have prepared a list of problems as I randomly found them. It has about 300 social and environmental problems all together. There are many more not on the list. A copy is attached.

I think that it is necessary to address both social and environmental issues together as very often one hinges on another – which I will try to make clear as we go along.

The rough list I have compiled was broken out into 25 categories – this can be refined up or down as we progress. Some may not be as relevant as others but all are important in the grand scheme of things.

  1. CLIMATE CHANGE is the most often sited problem in the media and with the environmentalists, but as this is a symptom of the problem then perhaps MISUSE OF ENERGY or simply ENERGY might be a better heading. Let me list the headings alphabetically. In an effort to be brief, I will not speak to some categories.
  2. AIR QUALITY –
  3. DEMOCRACY/VOTING – There are a lot of issues with this category, from Gerrymandering, robo callling, fraud, voting periods, ballot complexity, crazy ID rules and on and on. There are forces that work hard to distort the wishes of the electorate, particularly in countries with first past the post electoral systems.
  4. DRUGS – I put this here as pharmaceuticals end up in all water and elsewhere where they still affect other life forms. Maybe a global commission could look at this.
  5. ENERGY – a primary concern that will not be resolved by driving electric cars alone. We need to stop the waste starting at the well head where they indiscriminately burn off excess gas. We need to curtail the nonsense of tourism space travel before it gets a foot hold; we need to turn down the thermostats and turn off the AC; we need to slow down and reduce engine sizes. We need to make travelers pay for their waste of our primary resource. Realistically we will never stop people from travelling but we can restrict how they do it.
  6. FARMING/FORESTRY-
  7. FISHING/WHALING –
  8. FOOD – a few words of this. There are forces at play that could care less about what is in your food so long as you buy it. These forces are as bad as those of the tobacco industry. They need regulations generated by the people who use the products. More about this is in INFORMATION/EDUCATION
  9. GENETIC ENGINEERING – similar to food argument. They don’t care what happens in the long term as long as there is money made in the short term.
  10. HEALTH – money that should be spent on health of society is squandered on “middlemen” insurance interests. Also health is jeopardized by food interests etc.
  11. HUMAN RIGHTS –
  12. INFORMATION & EDUCATION – I think that we need to start to systematically educate people primarily through dedicated TV. There are no shortage of NGOs with experts and prepared documentaries to satisfy every aspect of every issue. All peoples should demand that our representative governments provide this service and pay for it. That is what democracy is supposed to do.
  13. LAND/SOIL DEGRADATION – lot to be done to protect the soil that provides our food. E.g. stop embalming corpse’s and corrupting ground water.
  14. Mining,
  15. Institutions – I put this here as there are a lot of institutions that work against the interests of people from blatant usury to false information
  16. Nuclear Issues,- like depleted uranium usage
  17. People’s Commons/natural resources – simple -stop wasting finite resources.
  18. Plastic Dangers – possibly as big a problem as energy waste. Again we have a situation where manufactures could care less for the continuance of the planet if they can make a profit today. Recycling plastic is a farce perpetuated to make us feel like we have it under control.
  19. Population – the problem that no one wants to talk about. We need a commission to report on this.
  20. Species (or biodiversity),
  21. Toxins – thousands of problems from many sources.
  22. Trade and Labor –
  23. Transportation – we cannot stop mobility and transportation but we can regulate and tax it.
  24. Waste/Recycle – important to extend resources but plastic usage should be curtailed as recycling is a joke.
  25. Water Resources,
  26. Open category,

“At this point I should mention that I have made a spreadsheet that has room for all of these categories. It has room for 25 categories and runs out for 25 years. The space for year one is for the priority that would ultimately be penciled in for attention. There are enough spaces for 625 problems overall.” – “25 times 25 equals 625.”

“I have prepared a list. It has about 300 social and environmental problems all together. A copy is attached at the back. “

Team Leader – “I guess that penciled in would be the right term as it would take some negotiating and consensus to finally ink in a priority. II like the concept of actually seeing a plan on paper so that everyone knows the extent of the crisis we face. As you said it will take more than a switch to electric cars and banning drinking straws – for that matter.”

C Report

“My assigned question was as follows:

“There is a lot of civil disobedience advocated by some groups. There is also a lot of chanting and shouting. Please look into this and report on the effectiveness of such programs. What are the negatives of this approach?”

Team Leader – “If anyone reading the following report would like to help please contact civis mundi here

Team member C gives report

C REPORT .

Civil Disobedience has been effective in many instances in the past. As an example, India managed to get the British out by using nonviolent CD. However this was a single issue within a single nation against another single nation. The problem was easily defined as GO HOME AND LET US HAVE OUR COUNTRY BACK. A straight forward problem with one solution! If we looked at our concerns – even if we concluded that Climate Change was the only concern, then we have literally thousands of problems that concern all 196 nations. IE All manufacturing, all transportations, all travel, all fossil fuel extraction, all fossil fuel usage from heating and cooling to national defense etc. etc etc. It is mind boggling. It is not as simple as chanting SOLVE ALL THE PROBLEMS. Civil Disobedience works best when one issue is presented and addressed one at a time, so that a different issue can be considered in sequence.”

Team Coordinator – “Interesting; demonstrations really don’t seem to have a lot of success and may annoy the people who are inconvenienced and CD works best when addressed a well-defined single problem “

 

B Report

Team member B gives report

“My assigned question was as follows”:

“See if you can find any groups that have effective ideas and movements. We don’t want to reinvent the wheel here if it is not necessary. It might be the small groups that have the best ideas.”

Team Leader – “”If anyone reading this report would like to help please contact me here

 

B REPORT .  

 

Wikipedia suggests that there are 10,000,000 NGOs and countless activist groups. I think it is safe to say that most are seriously trying to make some changes for making a better world; most are run on donations and efforts of volunteers. Within these groups there are literally millions of concerned members. Collectively these would make quite a large membership in any new “umbrella” type movement – if that is part of the solution. A lot produce films and documentaries but have little global impact as the audience is fragmented and they seldom get on TV.”

Avaaz has a great membership of over 50 million. They use petitions that members sign if they are swayed by the objective of their petition; objectives are generally chosen from “hot button’ issues in the news and there is no long range plan that I can detect. There are other groups who use the same concept and social media is literally full of petitions of every sort – mostly for single nation issues and not relevant to lawmakers of all195 nations. Many nations now allow petitions to be presented formally – including Canada.”

“I think people join Avaaz, and others like it, as it gives instant satisfaction as one is contributing to a noble but not necessarily a global cause. The petitions do have a positive effect at altering a nation’s actions but do not change much in the overall global world.”

“Why? Well drafting a petition to stop trophy lion hunting or to stop stoning of one wayward woman for adultery are just and noble but these are not earth changing issues. Now if we made Demand/Petitions that demanded no trophy hunting worldwide or no “stoning” of anyone under any circumstances then that would be more significant, as the issue would be resolved globally and we could move on to a new priority. Of course all lawmakers in all nations would need to be presented with the petition at the same time to get the best result. BTW I would like to call these Demand Petitions as we need to demand change.”

“I think the petition idea is a good one if we could grow a worldwide movement that addressed only ideas that affect all of us or the entire planet; the concerned people are out there is large numbers if we can just find a way to harness their combined power to pull in a logical and reasoned direction.”

“I should mention Extinction Rebellion– XR – out of the UK. They are growing like wildfire in membership, but I have not seen a plan beyond asking for demonstrations – there are no specific demands on lawmaker s except to make things right.”

“I should also mention Greta Thunberg but she has possibly millions chomping at the bit wanting action; phenomenal energy there”

 

Team Leader – OK B, To summarize; in a nut shell can we say that Avaaz has a great concept that people flock to as it makes them all warm and fussy because it is effective. We can say that EX has a great recruiting concept but needs some priorities and a plan. Can we say that the petitions (if that is the way to go) could be referred to as Demand Petitions? However you will need a couple of rules to set priorities to make them reasoned demands and not emotional demands.

A Report

Team member A gives report

“My assigned question was as follows — I want you to tell me why we cannot seem to make any headway with social and environmental issues. Look at everything you think is relevant.”

Team Leader – “If anyone reading this report would like to help please contact civis mundi here

 

A REPORT.

 

“Simply put we are hopelessly fragmented. Our modus operandi is pretty much confined to organized demonstrations where we chant slogans and beg for climate action, but never any specifics or priorities. There is no overall plan whatsoever, particularly when it comes to coordinating the efforts of lawmakers in 195 plus nations.”

“I looked at the role of individual politicians and political party ideology; I looked at business and corporate objectives. As for corporations and business interest they will do most anything to make a product and profit. If there is a cheaper way to do it they will do it regardless of the consequences. I looked at the UN, scientist’s efforts, climate summits etc. None of these can possibly cope with the magnitude of the problems facing all life, including both that of mankind – and the planet.”

“If I were a politician, I would be hard pressed as to know where to start. I am not an expert and neither are most of the politicians. What is needed is a well-considered spreadsheet where priorities are set out for at least a year; no lawmaker is capable of doing a thousand things at one time. I have attached a draft spreadsheet at the back of the report for your consideration.”

Team Leader to team, “I will not ask many questions until all reports are presented. Then we will try to condense everything into a few statements – OK?”