Gaia, by Anselm Feuerbach (1875)
|Primordial Being of the Earth|
|Consort||Uranus, Zeus, Pontus, andPoseidon|
|Parents||Aether and Hemera|
|Siblings||Eros, Tartarus,Uranus and Nyx|
|Children||Cronus, Pontus, the Ourea,Hecatonchires, Cyclopes, Titans,The Gigantes, Nereus, Thaumus,Phorcys, Ceto, Eurybia,Aphrodite, and Typhon|
Earth charter to replace Ten Commandments
In another context, the Earth Charter is now recognized in the Chairman’s Draft Political Declaration. Mikhail Gorbachev and company have been trying to introduce it at least since 1997. During the Rio +5 (1995), I heard Gorbachev say, twice, at two different press conferences: “The ten Commandments are out of date. They will be replaced by the 18 principles of the Earth Charter.”
He said it again, a third time, at another press conference. Speaking through an interpreter, Gorbachev spoke candidly about his hope for the implementation of the Earth Charter, which was drafted by Maurice Strong, ably supported by Stephen Rockefeller. Apparently, at the first State of the World Forum, Gorbachev had stated that the new world order would be achieved “step by step, stone by stone”. In Rio, Gorbachev and company were just thinking about the design of the new order:
“Experience in various countries is being gathered,” he said. The advanced countries should take advantage of the new openness to work with others, and should share their technological expertise with the world’s population, thus working toward a global village.
“What model (of one-world government) are we pursuing?” he was asked.
“The model will be a form of democracy or parliamentary body. There are many forms of democracy.
The Communist idea of Utopia was one and we all know the result of that experiment,” he said. “Now, the West is trying to impose its ideas on the rest of the world. Let us not indulge in another Utopia where we are trying to impose Western values and religions on the whole world. We should not impose a blueprint on the world (except, of course, for the Earth Charter — Edit). We should strive toward unity in diversity, taking into account the unique qualities of each country. Nor should we be so involved with domestic issues that we forget the problems of other nations.”
With regard to the economy–and more specifically a global economy– Mr. Gorbachev was not optimistic. “Will national economies disappear to give place to a one-world economy?” “This is unclear,” he said. Although he supports globalization, his attitude toward a global economy shifted during his press conference: “We must ensure that there are new ground rules for solving many problems.”
“We have come to a point where man’s intervention in nature cannot continue. Within 40 years at the latest (he said) changes in the biosphere will be irreversible. Nature has a mechanism for self-regulation. We cannot change this. We can only incorporate ourselves, restrict the activities that interfere with this, or nature will have to live without us. We must restrict or limit our consumption and reassess our way of life.”
Until now we had the Ten Commandments; now we have a new set of commandments, a new set of “ecological commandments,” the Earth Charter. “It is a powerful document,” said Gorbachev, “that will express a consensus toward common goals. Its importance will come from the authority from which it derives. . . .” In Rio, he urged the press to publicize this. Now, five years later in Johannesburg, it has moved forward into the Chairman’s Draft Political Declaration!
The second draft of the Charter referred to the Earth as our Mother, in terms that one outspoken delegate called “a love letter to our mom.” Principle 10 affirms that “gender equality” is a prerequisite for sustainable development. No. 11 secures the right to sexual and reproductive health, with special concern for women and girls. This has been moved up to 7(e) and now reads: Ensure universal access to health care that fosters reproductive health and responsible reproduction.”
No. 9 stated: “Reaffirm that indigenous and tribal peoples have a vital role in the care and protection of Mother Earth. They have the right to retain their spirituality, knowledge, lands, territories, and resources.” This is now No. 12 (b), and reads: “Affirm the right of indigenous peoples to their spirituality, knowledge, lands and resources, and to their related practice of sustainable livelihoods.” No. 15 is especially interesting: “Treat all creatures with compassion and protect them from cruelty and wanton destruction.” Did that include the wee human creature, the unborn baby? Probably not. In any case, this is now #15 (a), and reads:
(a)”Prevent cruelty to animals kept in human societies and protect them from suffering”
(b) “Protect wild animals from methods of hunting, trapping, and fishing that cause extreme, prolonged, or avoidable suffering”
(c) “Avoid or eliminate to the full extent possible the taking or destruction of non-targeted species.” So it calls for full protection of animals but not a word is said about the human species.
The Earth Charter has come a long way. It came to life as a document, on letter-sized paper, brought down by hand, from the 23rd floor of the Sheraton Hotel on Ipanema Beach, Rio de Janeiro, in 1997 by Gorbachev and company. Today it is a document on glossy 14×17 paper,ensconced in a gilt-covered “Ark of Hope”, made of cypress, decorated by Vermont artists, and borne into a conference at the World Summit on Sustainable Development in Johannesburg, is now immortalized in the Chairman’s Draft Political Declaration. Thank God, reason prevailed, and paragraph 13 was completely rewritten omitting the Earth Charter, deprived therefore of the hoped-for legitimacy.
Dr. Ferrari worked in the public health section of the Department of Immigration for many years. She writes from Ottawa, ON.
[This article is copied here for public interest educational purposes only, and originally appeared in Catholic Insight Magazine, and was found at the Free Library website. Links to these will be found in the comments section.]