Message to Extinction Rebellion

I would like to offer some suggestions on how we should be working as individuals and groups; how we should be prepared to work at every level of society, from schoolboards, city councillor, Provincial legislatures, Federal lawmakers, and internationally; I will suggest how to use NGOs and activist groups to contribute to the success of our goals.

First as individuals we need to be prepared to show the world that we are concerned and are working together in all 193 nations. We need to visually display to all that we have one mission even if our particular objectives many be different.

To do this we need to adopt a symbol that we are prepared to display openly on our person so that all will know our objective. We need to do it all the time and not just on rally days.

I have chosen to wear the XR hourglass symbol on my hat. As I could find no source for the symbol I made my own with old campaign buttons (of which I had quite a few.)

I made several with the hourglass, one with Greta’s  HOW DARE YOU and one that simply says “SENIOR CITIZEN FOR CLIMATE’ for those who do not recognize the XR group and wonder what the heck I am doing.

As an individual I will display my XR buttons everywhere I go. No one has asked me about it even though I have my morning coffee in the university restaurant with students and staff coming and going.

As an individual, I write to councillors and politicians and anyone I think might be swayed by my ideas.

As an individual, I tagged along with students and others at a rally of Cambridge City Hall. I was prepared to offer suggestions to councillors should any venture out to talk with me – none did. (more on this later)

As a member of a student group (or seniors for that matter) they collectively might actually prepare a list of things they expect the city Councillors to do if we ever get to speak with them. What is the point of hollering for attention and then having nothing specific to offer when asked?

As a place to start, how about asking city level lawmakers to pass a bylaw that eliminates plastic signage during elections or passing a bylaw that regulates minimum and maximum heating and cooling levels in municipal buildings.

As a group we might actually prepare letters to send to corporations asking them to be better corporate citizens. Like taking plastic out of tea bags, taking plastic stickers off of fruit and vegetables etc. These requests (for corporate participation) could be made without legislation of any kind.

At the Provincial level we might ask for legislation for the protection of arable land or for natural burial that eliminate embalming and the subsequent leaching of chemicals into ground water resources.

As groups, at the Federal level we could address bigger and bigger problems. In the category of human rights we might demand action of female genital mutilation; we might demand that oil and gas companies refrain from burning off waste gas as it is wasteful of a natural resource and creates greenhouse gas.

We could ask NGOs and activists to share data bases and resources to categorize and to make prior zed lists of what the heck they want done and when.

As combined concerned citizens of 193 nations we could use the Avaaz model and create demand petitions on a regular timetable and repeating order to address the priorities set by mutual consensus, to all nations simultaneously.

We need to work at every level in a better organized manner if we are ever going to put some structure into this challenge; and we need to make our personal concerns visible just as if you were proudly wearing a uniform.

There are more ideas at


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.



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 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?”


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



Consider a small adhesive paper sticker, strategically placed, to be similar to a small flyer or handout which we might use, to pass on information, gain public support, change attitudes and practices. Read more –

One day I had this simple idea which made me speculate. If food producers could put plastic stickers on fruit and vegetables, and make the public responsible for removing them and recycling them, then why could the public not do the same thing? We could conceivably put paper stickers in conspicuous places asking the public to stop buying products (or cease other destructive practices) that are creating a hazard to the health of our planet, and to ourselves. E.g. Like the aforementioned plastic stickers that get washed into the planets water systems. This of course is just a simple example of what could be communicated with a worldwide sticker crusade. Other examples might include stickers as follows –

  • On a product shelf – This product contains plastic micro beads – do not buy
  • On a display counter – This product contains a hormone mimicker chemical – do not buy
  • On a store window – For a healthier planet do not buy plastic toys this year and stop buying battery operated toys.
  • On a display shelf – This packaged food product has excess sugar/salt/fat/nitrates/ etc..
  • On a flower shop window – do not buy imported flowers as the impact on the planet is profound.
  • Tell your favorite political party that you will never put up a plastic campaign lawn sign – put a sticker saying this on the sign painter’s window so that all customers will see it.
  • On a funeral home window one might place a sticker that says – please provide formaldehyde-free burial to protect ground water.
  • On a restaurant window one might place a sign that says stop cooling this place below 75 degrees to avoid wasting finite energy.
  • On a supermarket window – Do not shop here until they stop selling GMO produce
  • On your car window or bumper – support a worldwide ban on Female Genital Mutilation
  • On Leaf Blowers – Buy a rake and save fossil fuel for something important, like the future for instance.
  • On plastic bladed snow shovels – the plastic on this implement will wear away and become part of the oceans toxic soup.
  • On the window of a carpet store – If you must have carpet buy only natural fibers as synthetics shed into the environment and become part of a toxic food chain.
  • On your car bumper – support Proportional Representative electoral systems, where a political party cannot have greater representation than it deserves.
  • On a car – Next time please buy something with less horse power.
  • On your own car – I promise – My next car will be more environmentally friendly.
  • On a power boat – Buy a sail boat and stop corrupting our waters
  • On the counter next to the coffee maker – Refuse to drink coffee made from single disposable K cups.
  • (added April 12 2019) A vote for any Conservative party is a vote for business interests and a vote against the interests of people

If we assume that the planet is in trouble then we should see it as our responsibility to do something about it. This is certainly something anyone could do to expose the many problems we have to address.

It would not be difficult to print and distribute stickers pretty much anywhere on the planet. The language needed would match the area being considered. They are cheap and non-destructive providing the proper adhesive is used.

We can go the political route, the activist route, the NGO route, the letter to the editor route, the prayer route etc.; we can read everything on the internet and in the alternative press but little is going to change without a common collective action. Working both domestically and locally are fine but the movement for change (like India’s goal for independence) needs to be global and all inclusive.

I offer this idea for public debate and consideration. Your thoughts are important.





Following the making of an extensive list of everything (my humble listing) and putting them all into categories, a decision must be made as to which issue in each and every category will be put to the membership as a campaign. Once a consensus is made, the information and an E-Demand/Petition would be distributed to all who have signed on as Civis Mundi*. Whether individuals choose to participate in any campaign is their personal decision, as no one should support anything they do not wholeheartedly believe in. Remember, to maintain some order, and to minimize chaos then only one campaign per category will be addressed per year. Each and every one of the 26* categories would follow a predetermined rotation over the course of 12 months, and then the order would be repeated, following the completion of the full order, with new demands. (I.e. second priorities)

As an example, if we collectively agree that in the category of PLASTIC  we might choose ‘the use of micro beads as the issue for worldwide attention. The relevant information and an invitation to sign an E-Demand/Petition would be conveyed to members via email. The email might read “Tiny particles of plastic have been added to thousands of personal care products sold around the world. These microbeads, hardly visible to the naked eye, flow straight from the bathroom drain into the sewer system. one campaign is here

The E-Demand/Petition, after an appropriate period of time, would be forwarded to each and every governing legislative in all 193** countries simultaneously in their own language.

This action meets the first two criteria that were noted earlier. It is certainly an essential demand. It is certainly nonviolent as all we are asking through our E-Demand/Petition, is for all governments to do their collective duties, and to pass laws to immediately eliminate microbeads from each and every product produced, and sold, within their nation’s borders.

The third criterion specifies that we need to communicate the desire for support in our efforts. If actual fact, in our communications, we are not only recruiting members to the Civis Mundi* movement we are asking all environmentalist and environmental groups to participate. They have the information, knowledge and memberships to add to the effort. Civis Mundi* would help to make their campaigns known to the world; they in turn would provide ideas and encourage their members to adopt the name Civis Mundi*, to wear the terra cotta uniform’ and to be part of the worldwide movement – everyone wins. Accepting the title of civis mundi* or world citizen* simply puts us all into one communication and action network. It takes nothing away from any individual or activist group or NGO

*If that is the final choice

** more or less




I recently read that Gandhi was not a perfect person. He had his own prejudices against other races, and had other human failings – as do all of us. Pretty much all I know about him and his struggles is from the great movie starring Sir Ben Kingsley. From the movie “Gandhi” I came to understand that it was necessary to use friendly persuasion and non-destructive/nonviolent civil disobedience to achieve his goal of India’s independence from Great Britain. Great Britain with its Imperialistic and corporate interests would never simply give up economic profits and total control without a military led backlash. For his ideas to work, the Indian people needed to be seen as unreservedly united behind the cause. His strategies and ideas in his domestic crusade need to be the basis for our worldwide citizen driven movement.

Today we have the ultimate global crisis on our doorstep. We can approach it in the same way as Gandhi did. Forget the local politicians and political parties. Forget begging corporations to do the right thing as you are wasting you breathe. Forget great expectations from well-meaning and fragmented NGOs, with their own agendas, Forget religious leaders as they pursue their own selfish interests. Forget the UN with its political intrigue and national interests. We need to take the problem of survival directly to the meek and humble masses and ask them to come to the aid of the planet and its entire population without reference to national borders.

Gandhi defined the goal for the whole nation in simple-to-understand terms; just as we must define the goals needed to save our planet and to lighten the injustices against its people in all our 190 plus diverse and independent nations. The Indian people eventually saw his clearly defined goal for independence from foreign rule as being long overdue, necessary and just and they eventually joined the struggle.

He started his nonviolent civil disobedience plan with a simple act of defiance. This initial campaign was his ‘march to the sea’ to challenge the British law that gave the making and selling of salt in India to a British corporation. In a nation of perhaps 500,000,000 he had 78 individuals who initially joined him on his 241 mile march to the sea. As his message grew, the followers numbered in the thousands.

It is worth noting that he took the problem directly to the people as he knew instinctively that all other avenues would simply lead to failure. The Indian people were the ones who 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 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.


Civil Disobedience by any name

Civil Disobedience by any name

In the fight for social justice and the continuance of the planet, civil nonviolent resistance is indeed not only necessary and it is certainly justifiable. I would prefer to call it ‘civil nonviolent resistance’ or possibly ‘people engagement’ or even ‘friendly persuasion’ rather than civil disobedience but ‘what is in a name?’ We will be undoubtedly be called hooligans whatever label we choose to use. Whatever we call it, it will be immediately labeled as civil disobedience so let’s accept that from the start.

Societies would be in constant turmoil if we did not obey just laws. Equally important – one has a moral responsibility to disobey unjust laws, (and unjust practices) just as many is history have said. We need to disapprove and to collectively rebel against the acceptance of long-established political, corporate, and common everyday practices that diminish and destroy any ray of hope for future generations.

Clive Hamilton is his book Requiem for a Species says “Reclaiming democracy for the citizenry is the only way to temper the effects of climate disruption and ensure that the wealthy and powerful cannot protect their own interests at the expense of the rest of us. To do so requires a new radicalism, a radicalism that refuses to be drawn into short-term electoral trade-offs and that aims to shift the ground of politics itself.”

He further says “When just laws are used to protect unjust behavior, our obligation to uphold the laws is diminished. In the usual course of affairs it is right to allow the normal democratic process, however slowly its wheels may turn, to change the laws to reflect the new reality. In 2008 the truth of this was acknowledged in the case of six Greenpeace protesters arrested for causing criminal damage to the Kingsnorth coal-fired power plant in Kent, scaling its smokestack and painting a slogan on it. Persuaded by the defense’s argument that the protesters had a lawful excuse – for in causing damage they were trying to prevent the greater harm being done by the power plant to the climate – the jury of ordinary citizens acquitted the six.”

“for in causing damage they were trying to prevent the greater harm being done by the power plant to the climate – the jury of ordinary citizens acquitted the six.”

Adrian Johnson in an article from 2009 (which I found on the net) suggested that civil disobedience must meet three specific criteria to be justifiable – Righteous intentions, nonviolent means and the desire to communicate the desire for change. I would add that participants in civil disobedience must also be prepared to accept the punishment and abuse imposed by the various authorities for their conduct.

“Thoreau, what are you doing in there?”

“Emerson, what are you doing out there?”

Henry David Thoreau saw that his taxes were being used to fund war and slavery and as a protest, he refused to pay his taxes. When Ralph Waldo Emerson expressed surprise at seeing his friend Thoreau in jail for his tax violation, Emerson asked, “Thoreau, what are you doing in there?” Thoreau replied, “Emerson, what are you doing out there?” Indeed – just as Thoreau implied; regardless of the consequences, we must unite and get on the correct side of a worldwide movement and get away from the status quo side.

Once a person makes the decision to engage in the philosophy of conscientious objection, the protester in fact demands that the penalty for such violations be imposed. Acceptance of penalties and abuse are in fact a fundamental part of the whole process.

Individuals must always expect to be verbally abused, beaten or jailed by those who resist change and the want the status quo. Resisters must be prepared to except this wrath or we collectively risk failure in our efforts. When one makes a decision to be engaged in acts of conscience then one must stand their ground and accept the consequences that will be imposed by law for their actions. Reacting with violence will only gain us all the unwanted label of militants, rabble–rouser, delinquents etc.

A New Approach


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


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


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


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


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


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.


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


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


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)



War! What war?




If I were to suggest that that the whole world was at war would you smile, tap you finger on your temple and roll your eyes? Well, I am going to try to explain why I see things that way; then I am going to ask you to put on a uniform and join me and fight back.

If there is a war, and we are in it, it begs the obvious question of who are the belligerents and what are the ultimate objectives?

As I see it, here are the two sides in our current conflict: On one side we have the plutocrats, oligarchs, multinational corporate leaders with their hopeful horde of yes-men and increasingly, religion’s theocrats.

On the other side, there are the six or seven billion poor, meek, frustrated, disheartened individuals from about 193 distinct and separate nations.

What are the belligerent’s objectives?

  • To create an occupation force in every nation possible so the whole world works for the financial gain of the aggressors; like the aggressor of occupied France during the last big war, they generously allow the leaders and populous a perceived freedom of being in control of their own affairs.
  • To systematically take over control of the governments of all countries so that the politicians and leaders are in fact de facto puppets who do the bidding of the belligerents, who in their ever-helpful manner will even write up all laws and trade agreements for them. (Trust us – we are the experts – we know what we are doing)
  • To control democracy itself so that it can never truly represent a cross-section of society, while doing their best to maintain the illusion that we are in control.
  • To disenfranchise anyone who might vote against the aggressors and the objectives.
  • To control and exploit the entire world’s natural resources for the benefit of the aggressors.
  • To manipulate and control manpower and wages and to cripple and destroy labour unions by any means possible.
  • To take total control of any “liberal” public media by withholding funding and appointing boards that support neo-conservative values so that news and information is indistinguishable from the corporate owned, controlled and edited media.
  • To join forces with fundamentalist religions so that the love of money and possessions becomes virtuous and part of the conservative/fundamentalist doctrine. (Eg. Prosperity Christianity – You do know that God wants you to be rich, don’t you?)
  • To exploit human frailty and anxiety over such ‘primeval’ issues as science, family planning, birth control, Darwinism, creationism, xenophobia, islamophobia, homophobia, communism, socialism, intellectuals, minorities, racism, abortion, euthanasia, women’s rights etc.
  • To undermine and stifle the efforts of the United Nations when it does not serve their global objectives and interests.
  • To keep the world on edge and fearful by finding a terrorist behind every rock and tree.
  • To create the highest wages and bonuses possible for themselves at the expense of shareholders’ and society’s interests.
  • To do everything possible to avoid paying taxes on their own wages, bonuses and other capital gains. (Contrary to the granting of a charter to operate a business – at the detriment of the infrastructure and social benefits to people)
  • To negotiate trade pacts that interfere with a government’s ability to control business and which give corporations the right of multinationals to sue governments (I.e. The people) for perceived lost earnings for any number of reasons.
  • To do everything possible to avoid environmental regulations, laws and responsibilities.
  • To spy on and to keep secret files on anyone who disapproves of their actions.
  • To keep societies constantly on edge by exposing threats to their views on ‘our way of life’.
  • To exploit patriotism and nationalism to their advantage.
  • To remove or stifle all progressive judges who might expose and undo their web of deceit.
  • To encourage family members and citizens to “rat” on those who try to expose them.
  • To play the tough-on-crime-bill-card and to fill jails to overflowing.
  • To advocate for small visible government, while building and financing a vast gang of lobbyists to influence fewer and fewer politicians.
  • To oppose any and all social programs that might make the lives of citizen’s better and more secure.
  • To dismantle any existing and established health care, elderly benefits/tariffs/labour laws/unemployment benefits/public, support of sports, arts, education, culture etc. whenever and wherever they can.
  • To sell off national institutions to private individuals and concerns whenever and wherever possible so that they can be neither recovered, nor rebuilt by a country.
  • There’s more but that will do for now.

If there is such an adversary that we acknowledge but do not readily see, then the same can be said for the opposition to this worldwide destructive adversary of both social and environmental concerns. Sure, I see them when I am at a demonstration or protest of some sort. I hear and read of them in the news and see them on TV carrying their placards and shouting their various chants and singing their songs of protest. Unfortunately however I never see them when I walk through town or sit with my coffee in the café every morning as I read my hard copy Guardian Weekly. We good guys and gals are just as invisible as those that corrupt the very air we breathe and ruin the water that sustains all life, from the humblest organism to homo-sapiens. I could write a list of the thousands of things they and we do; both consciously and unconsciously, but that is for later. As for making people visible I would like to change that situation once and for ever, now! – immediately! I would like to look at someone, whom I have never met, and know instantly that we are kindred spirits with regards to social and environmental issues. I would like to know that I am not alone in this city and world with my anxieties. But just how do we make a concerned person visible? – By giving them a ‘uniform’ of course.

Putting on a uniform like a soldier is not what I have in mind, so bear with me. Suppose that we all sewed something onto our clothing that was as immediately recognizable to others as a company logo. That something would have to be distinct and readily available to people in the poorest of nations. How about considering and using pottery clay? It is readily available and it is dirt cheap. It could be made into small everyday buttons and fired in a kiln into a more permanent form. They would then be distinctly little coloured “Terra Cotta” buttons. The name is perfect as it translates as “burnt earth”; which seems appropriate enough considering that our earth is burning up in the process of our activities; even if global warming is but one symptom of our diverse problems. For other individuals a terra cotta coloured neck tie; a right-hand shirt pocket of distinctive terracotta coloured cloth; a handkerchief for those a little shy; a terra cotta medallion to hang on a string around ones neck; the possibilities are extensive. – mugs, caps, socks, neckerchiefs, scarfs, toques etc. A very diverse uniform indeed! I love the contrasting terra cotta coloured shirt pocket idea, as who doesn’t need an extra pocket for comb or sunglasses? It could even be emblazoned with the words “CIVIS MUNDI SUM”. “I am a world citizen” tells it all.

So we now all have our subtle but distinct uniform; we can perhaps approach one another and gain an insight into their anxieties and get their suggestions for remedial action. (I cannot promise you will meet the girl or boy of your dreams simply because they were wearing a terra cotta ID, but who know? – You can approach them with something more original than “what’s your sign?” You might even say “Civis mundi sum?” “Are you a civis mundi?”


Next I would like to suggest a name for our far-flung gaggle of activists with their terra cotta ID proudly identifying them as having a sense of purpose, and a defined mission. Let’s consider this name idea as it relates to both people and planet or social and environmental. These two words (also in Latin) are CIVIS for person and MUNDI for world. Together we have CIVIS MUNDI © or world citizen. (A Hungarian would say Világ állampolgár perhaps) To be called a ‘citoyen du monde’ in French speaking nations is an honourable title which I would adopt in a Nano-second. Others would adopt 世界公民, वैश्विक निवासी, гражданин мира etc. in their own language, but universally we would be known as CIVIS MUNDI. As this name is in Latin, a decidedly dead language, it should not create a lot of friction or hostility. As I see it, the words CIVIS MUNDI can only indicate compassion for mankind and our planet earth, in its broadest sense.


What persuades people to go into combat? My father left my mother and two children the day the Second World War broke out; just as his father had done at the start of WW1. My grandfather never made it out of France and my dad was injured in training so he never served overseas; much to his lifelong disappointment. Following tradition, I joined the Air Force at 17. Why do we do this sort of thing? Not that I had any great hardship during my service but those in the two world wars and Korea suffered for their countries. They slept in the mud; ate rotten food; suffered dysentery; watched their buddies die. We do not have to die in our conflict, but we do have to commit to do something so that others will not suffer from our inaction. So how do we get people to become united in a worldwide movement for justice and plain common sense in this generation’s ultimate and horrific crisis? How can we instil a sense of comradery, adventure, excitement and purpose in this generation? Actually joining together to do something significant might be a place to start.

Joining the CIVIS MUNDI © movement (if that is the name chosen) is really important as it shows a personal commitment. Putting ones name on the dotted line and seeing it added to an expanding list of like-minded people would visually show that something tangible is finally happening. One could see their comrades-in-arms listed, one following the other, from 190 nations – a truly international movement; all colours, all languages, all sexual orientations, all religions, and all nationalities; with one strong voice. In this scenario, people could actually be given a ‘regimental number’ from the order that they signed on. How unique and personal is that?


First we have to use our brains to defeat this adversary; because there are no gung-ho generals to force you out of your foxhole into battles of their choosing. You will make the decisions of what battles you want to fight or not fight. Your weapons will be your brain, your computer, your participation and your signature. Let me elaborate:

HOW WOULD THIS ALL WORK? Here is the simplified version.


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.


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 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.


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)


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.


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.


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 overcome on a daily basis from multiple sources.


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 (Civis Mundi) 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.


Email the E-Demand/Petition to every participant 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 (lawmaker) in each and every country.


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, and laws to curtail the many ways of disenfranchising voters . 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.


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?


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.


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. (I suggest that everyone over the age of 15 should be able to patriciate)


AVAAZ and others use e-petitions quite effectively. They also have a good record for gathering members to the cause. They have an enviable 50,000,000 members at last count. Unlike AVAAZ we would cover all 26 categories and e-petition all 193 nations whereas they cover only a few categories and e-petition single legislations or corporations.


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 and those who perpetuate and profit get off scot-free.

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.


No problem was ever successfully resolved without an analysis of the problem and an overall plan. In our case we have enough information to categorize and make a list of what needs to be done. Then we need the determination to “tackle that at thing that everyone says cannot be done and just do it.” OK civis, where do we sign up for duty?

Before I waste time on this I would like to ask a question:  if I had a registry where you could sign up as a world citizen, who you sign up?



Although I have some rather grand and complex ideas on how we might approach our worldwide social and environmental crisis, it all kind of hinges on getting people more involved. To do that I think it would be a good idea if we all decided to become more visible to one another. Just as a Christian proudly displays a cross or fish symbol we need to display something that tells the bystander that we have anxieties; “hey! I am concerned for the welfare of mankind and of the planet.” Of course we all have different concerns and pet issues that we want resolved but they are all part of the same worldwide dilemma so why should we not use the same symbol of identification and show mutual support.

If we are looking for a symbol, I would suggest the color of fired terra-cotta pottery. . The name is perfect as it translates as “burnt earth”; which seems appropriate enough, considering that our earth is burning up in the process of our activities; even if global warming is but one symptom of our diverse problems. A simple medallion or a patch of cloth would suffice. It could also be a neckerchief, scarf, or necktie – even a handkerchief. The options are extensive – mugs, socks, toques etc. A very diverse uniform indeed! I love the idea of a contrasting terra cotta colored shirt pocket for men, as who doesn’t need an extra pocket for comb or sunglasses? I have actually done this on one dark grey shirt. The contrasting but complementary terracotta pocket looks great, but of course no one has any idea as to its intent yet.

If we should decide to adopt this terracotta colored symbol to show our solidary and worldwide comradery, we would now all have our subtle but distinct ‘uniform’; we can perhaps approach one another and gain an insight into our shared anxieties and get suggestions for remedial action. I cannot promise you will meet the girl or boy of your dreams simply because they were wearing a terra cotta ID, but who know? It is a better approach than the old line “Hey what’s your sign?”

I have about 20 kilos of clay in the basement and access to some terra cotta colored cloth. Does anyone know how to turn it into something we can use?

Have a look at for a better idea of how this might all work.


MRF – civis mundi sum