Building a New Common Future:
Faith and Finance in a Global Order
By Carl Teichrib, Chief Editor
Forcing Change, Volume 3, Issue 6. Posted July 15, 2009
...what you don’t expect to read in an economic transcript is a discussion of cosmic evolution, or the veneration of Mother Earth. Yet this is exactly what was in the latest speech transcripts from the United Nations Conference on the World Financial and Economic Crisis, held from June 24-26 (with carry-over time on the 30th) at the UN headquarters in New York City.
During the past number of months the United Nations has been gearing up for this event, which followed in the footsteps of other international forums, such as the Group of 20 high-level meeting in London; and the joint meeting of the International Monetary Fund and World Bank in late April, which dealt extensively with the global financial crisis. So too, the United Nations has been trumpeting the call for leaders to rally under its flag. After all, the UN is supposed to be the world’s paramount gathering place. And gather they did; Prime Ministers, Deputies, and ministerial level delegates from around the globe.
Setting the Stage
All international events have an opening speech to set the tone. That’s where this UN conference took a different path than expected. Instead of a review of the economic challenges facing the international marketplace, the opening session went down a very wonky path.
Miguel Brockmann, the President of the 63rd session of the UN General Assembly, was the individual responsible for putting together the Conference on the World Financial and Economic Crisis. He also opened and closed the event, and was the residing President of this specific conference – working to guide the forum to a determined agenda.
So what was Brockmann’s agenda? The move towards "a new paradigm of social coexistence."
But what does that mean?
Brockmann was hoping the delegates would focus on a "new paradigm" – a different vision for the world. Remember, this was an international conference on the financial and economic crisis. Think carefully through these selections from Mr. Brockmann’s opening address.
1. Building Noah’s Ark: Global Solidarity
"…we must all join our efforts to prevent the global crisis… The challenges of the various crises are all interconnected and oblige us all, as representatives of the peoples of the Earth, to declare our responsibility one to another, and that together, with great hope, we will seek inclusive solutions. What better place than this United Nations General Assembly Hall to do so…
It is neither humane nor responsible to build a Noah’s Ark only to save the existing economic system, leaving the vast majority of humanity to their fate and to suffer the negative effects of a system imposed by an irresponsible but powerful minority. We must take decisions that affect us all collectively to the greatest extent possible, including the broad community of life and our common home, Mother Earth."2
NOTE: This statement demonstrates the drive to global solidarity – a social/ethical mandate to work as a unified people in an attempt to save the world. Brockmann sees the United Nations as the primary salvation delivery vehicle: a modern, political Noah’s Ark.
"Egotism and greed cannot be corrected. They must be replaced by solidarity, which obviously implies radical change…create something that strives towards a new paradigm of social coexistence."3
NOTE: "Greed" is viewed as capitalism. Keep reading for a deeper explanation of this linkage.
2. Globalized Ethics: An Earth-Centric View
"Now is the time to create globalized policy and ethics based on the many cultural experiences and traditions of our peoples.
…In other words, a different vision of the world also creates a different ethics, a new way for us to relate."
NOTE: So where does Mr. Brockmann’s ethical vision emerge from? He makes it clear that it’s the Earth Charter4 – a soft law document that seeks to change humanity’s behavior and belief towards a mystically oriented, evolutionary, Earth-centric view.
"The viewpoint that comes to us from the so-called earth sciences, that the Earth is contained within a vast, complex and evolving cosmos, must be incorporated. This Mother Earth, the term approved by the General Assembly this past 22 April, is alive. Mother Earth regulates herself, maintaining the subtle equilibrium among the physical, chemical and biological in such a way that life is always favoured. She produces a unique community of life from which the community of human life – humanity – emerged, as the aware and intelligent part of the Earth herself.
…There is a growing awareness that we are all sons and daughters of Earth and that we belong to her.
…we are so united with the Earth that we ourselves are the Earth: the Earth that feels, thinks, loves and worships.
…By virtue of the fact that it [Mother Earth] is alive and generated all living beings, it has dignity. This dignity demands respect and veneration and endows it with rights…"5
The President of the conference then presented five strategies and five more "ethical principles" to guide humanity through the global economic crisis. Here are the five strategies.
1. Sustainable use of natural resources: This isn’t about overfishing or overuse of some commodity per se, but changing the way we operate under an Earth ethic; "…strengthening a relationship of respect and synergy with nature."6
2. Making the economy the tool for transformation: "…it [the economy] should be seen as the activity that lays the foundation for the physical, cultural and spiritual life of all human beings on the planet, while respecting social and environmental norms."
An "economy" is simply the aggregate of society’s interaction as it pertains to the exchange of goods and services. What Mr. Brockmann envisions goes far beyond financial interchange.
3. Planetary Democracy: "To spread democracy to all social relations and institutions. It should not only be applied and strengthened in the political arena, with a new definition of the State and of international organizations, but also extended to the spheres of economics, culture and the relationship between men and women…"
This represents a shift from national sovereignty to planetary governance, and the socialization of cultures as a whole – it’s the utopian dream of international socialism.
4. Religious Pluralism: Brockmann asserted that the new ethics must be based on "multicultural exchange and the philosophical and religious traditions of peoples…"
Such a recommendation requires that spiritual pluralism and interfaith concepts take center stage. Judeo-Christian truth claims cannot be tolerated in this new social paradigm of global pluralism.
5. Mystical Reach: "To strengthen a spiritual vision of the world that does justice to man’s search for a transcendent meaning of life…"
Mr. Brockmann’s spiritual vision is couched in New Age views of cosmic consciousness and a "living Earth" (see his closing speech excerpts later in this article). In order for the UN to fulfill this mandate – and remember that the United Nations is considered a type of Noah’s Ark – this vision would have to be spiritually inclusive, and propagated through educational programs. Counter worldviews that challenge the new spiritual vision would have to succumb to the accepted planetary belief, or be viewed as subversive.
There really isn’t much "justice" in a global society thatenforces tolerance, regardless if it’s couched in the "search for a transcendent meaning..."
Is this reading too much into Brockmann’s worldview? When one weighs the balance of statements and documents from the interfaith/international community, and from Mr. Brockmann himself, it becomes increasingly evident that the old views are no longer tolerable. Pluralism must be instated; tolerance has to be accepted. The old ways are no longer viable.
As Mr. Brockmann hints in his closing speech: "The old gods are dying out, and new ones are emerging…"
These five main points are undergirded by five "ethical principles." Although these ethical directives sound good on the surface, the philosophies they are built upon will not solve the world’s economic woes. They will, however, help to mainstream a radical, socialist, world-view.
A. Respect: "Every being has intrinsic value and can serve the good of humanity if guided not by purely utilitarian ethics, such as those which predominate in the current socioeconomic system, but rather by a feeling of mutual belonging, responsibility and conservation of existence."
Do you see the philosophical blame game? It seems that the Western view of non-human life – that which is utilitarian such as farming, fishing, or forestry – is problematic. Rather, you should hold all creatures as having mutual value. This is a ridiculous position that emanates from deep ecology: humans, trees, trout, and even viruses ultimately have equal merit.
B. Care: According to Brockmann, "Care implies a non-aggressive attitude to reality, a loving attitude which repairs past harm and avoids future harm and, at the same time, extends into all areas of individual and social human activity. If there had been sufficient care, the current financial and economic crisis would not have occurred…In a market society which is driven more by competition than cooperation, there is a cruel lack of compassion towards all suffering beings in society and in nature."
This definition misses the mark. While compassion is often lacking in today’s society, Brockmann’s definition is more about cultural pacifism and socialism than about individuals extending empathy to others – somehow "care" is to manifest itself into all human activities. Underpinning Brockmann’s perspective, however, is the boogieman of calloused capitalism, which is barely hidden beneath the pretext of "care." In the socialist worldview, capitalism is the uneven distribution of wealth motivated by greed and indifference: it is a form of theft where one gains over the other. Socialism, according to the likes of Brockmann, is where everybody cares for and empowers all.
This is very misleading. Capitalism is not a ruthless system where one person does "whatever it takes" to get ahead. Rather, it is the mutual exchange of goods, services, labour and/or money from one whowants with one who has and is willing to trade. Capitalism is a free enterprise concept that does not function properly in an overly regulated or coerced society; it requires freedom to function.
(Howard Ruff puts it this way - "Capitalism is a way to capitalize income by turning a private business into a public company whose value is generally determined by some multiple of profits. It’s the way to create real wealth.")
The present economic crisis isn’t a free enterprise problem in the traditional sense. Now the fact that free enterprise is chieflyabsent from our economic culture may have played a special role in the crisis, but operating capitalism did not cause the current financial problem. In fact, good luck finding a true free-market, capitalist culture; we haven’t lived in one for decades. While there are elements of free enterprise and capitalism in the Western world, we have long since been operating in a mixed economy: a contentious blend of capitalism and socialism. [See Forcing Change, Volume 2, Issue 11 for the article "Free Enterprise did not Cause the Market Meltdown"].
Socialism, on the other hand, is a system where "all pays" and a bureaucracy is tasked with managing the common pot. After the bureaucracy has siphoned off what it requires then the crumbs are doled out, and maybe a few extra crumbs can be spared for special interest groups who have supported the political drivers of socialism.
Socialism has been aptly described as "theft of all for the misery of all." The United Nations calls it "economic solidarity," and social "care." Brockmann is quick to point fingers at the "market society," yet fails to note that civilizations built on free market ideals are the ones most apt to charity work, philanthropic giving, disaster relief, and diverse educational opportunities.
Good luck trying to find these qualities in what was the ultimate socialist economy, the Soviet Union.
C. Collective Responsibility: Brockmann sees more than just "caring" via socialism as a solution. Service is also required.
"We are all dependent on the environment and interdependent. Our actions can be beneficial or harmful for life and for the common good of the Earth and humanity. The many crisis now occurring are largely the result of a lack of responsibility in our collective projects and practices…"
In other words you must be a good global citizen, and a responsible global citizen actively serves by doing and promoting what is good for the Earth and the planetary community.
D. Cooperation: "If we do not all cooperate, we are not going to emerge stronger from the current crisis. Cooperation is so essential that in the past it enabled our anthropoid ancestors to make the jump from animality to humanity. When they had food, they did not eat individually but brought everything to share with everyone in the group in cooperation and solidarity. What was essential in the past is still essential in the present."
This is a fairy-tale at best; at worst it’s an attempt to create a pseudo-scientific basis for socialism.
E. Universal Mysticism: "…behind the whole universe, every being, every person, every event and even our current crisis, there is a fundamental energy at work, mysterious and ineffable, which is also known as the nurturing source of all being. We are sure that this nameless energy will also act in this time of chaos to help us and empower us to overcome selfishness and take the action needed so there is no catastrophe, but an opportunity for creating and generating new forms of coexistence…"
Here lies the final pillar of Brockmann’s new planetary ethic, an ethic that is to guide us out of the world financial crisis; it is the acceptance of a mystically based spirituality where humanity is moved by some benign, unknowable cosmic force. And this force is to shift Man’s thinking to accept new forms of living.
President Brockmann elaborated,
"Crisis purifies us and forces us to grow and find ways to survive that are acceptable for the whole community of life, human beings and Earth. The pain we feel now is not the death rattle of a dying man but the pain of a new birth. So far we have fully exploited material capital, which is finite, and now we have to work with spiritual capital, which is infinite…
As we all have our origin in the heart of the great red stars where the elements that form us were forged, it is clear that we were born to shine our light and not to suffer. And we will shine our light again – that is my strong expectation – in a planetary civilization which is more respectful of Mother Earth."
Here, ladies and gentlemen, is how the President of the UN General Assembly opened a world conference on economics. Two questions beg to be asked; who is Mr. Brockmann, and how did the delegates respond?
Lenin Meets Church – Let’s All Hold Hands
Miguel d’Escoto Brockmann was born in Los Angeles, California. He was the son of a Nicaraguan diplomat and later became a Catholic priest through the Maryknoll society, and later founding Orbis Books – the publishing arm of the Maryknoll Fathers and Brothers.
From the early 1960s on, Mr. Brockmann has been influential in the Latin American socio-political scene. In 1963 he founded the National Institute of Research and Population Action in Chile, and later joined Nicaragua’s left-wind Sandinista revolution – which was militarily countered by the US-backed Contras. From 1979 to 1990 he served the revolutionary government as Foreign Minister. It was during this timethat he received the International Lenin Peace Prize. That’s right; Brockmann received special recognition from the Soviet Union.
As a left-leaning Catholic priest in Latin America, it’s no surprise to learn that Brockmann staunchly advocated liberation theology. Sometimes described as "Christian Socialism," liberation theology blends helping the poor with political engagement. Primarily a Roman Catholic construct, liberation theology seeks to empower oppressed peoples in their continuing "class struggle" by arming them through radical social activism; it’s a blatant blending of Marxist philosophy and Catholic service work.
Mr. Brockmann is also known internationally for his anti-capitalist and anti-American stance. He is, in every sense of the phrase, an international socialist.7
How then did the delegates to this UN conference respond to Brockmann’s unorthodox opening? Did the United States or Britain challenge Brockmann’s worldview?
Not at all.
The American delegate, Ambassador Susan Rice, affirmed America’s commitment to global solidarity.
"President Obama understands that our collective response to the crisis will make up an important moment in world history. Just a few weeks ago, in Cairo, he noted that we ‘have a responsibility to join together on behalf of the world we seek.’ That is our goal here today – to join together and continue the important work of creating that world…
…The United States is here to participate in this important conversation, to listen, to exchange, to work with you in a spirit of cooperation."8
The British delegate, Lord Mark Malloch Brown, called for a strengthened United Nations system.9 China, too, called for an enhanced UN – one that can "play a bigger role" in "tackling the international financial crisis" and "send out a strong signal that the international community is united as one."10
The European Union said it would like to see the United Nations help "developing countries tackle a variety of global social, economic, financial and environmental challenges…"11
Alexey Kudrin, Deputy Prime-Minister and Minister of Finance of the Russian Federation, said it was time to reject "standard approaches." What was needed, he explained, was "a new global financial architecture" that enshrined "mandatory" rules all countries. His recommendation was "a new model of supranational regulation…"12
The World Bank representative reiterated "global responsibility."
"In this globalized world, we are all neighbors, and we are all connected. What happens in one part of the world is felt in many others. It is no longer feasible to hide behind artificial walls and pretend we can survive on our own – we are linked together, and we must act together.
…We must have a global and inclusive response [to the economic crisis]. The response must be a global one with attention paid to local specificities."13
Other world leaders made similar statements. Consider the wording of these conference participants and ask yourself; who’s social, ecological, and economic rules are we going to follow?
"We need to shape a global economy that serves the people and peoples – with social and ecological rules obeyed by all…
With this conference and its outcome document we strengthen the UN’s role in global economic governance! This is a remarkable success!
Let us seize this opportunity and adapt Global Governance to the realities of the 21st century." – Heidemaire Wieczorek-Zeul, German Federal Minister for Economic Cooperation and Development.
"…we must work to strengthen and re-position the United Nations system at the center of the international social and economic decision making process." – Marty M. Natalegawa, Permanent Representative of the Republic of Indonesia to the United Nations.
"…we need to work together to reform global rules and institutions." – Ban Ki-Moon, UN Secretary-General.
After reviewing the Outcome Document from this conference, reading the transcripts, and pouring over the press releases and other relevant material, it became obvious that a set of international expectations were taking shape. Here are some things to watch for in the months ahead.
- Under the leadership of the United Nations, a moral/ethical roadmap is expected. These ideals, which gravitate around environmental issues such as Climate Change, are to act as the social foundation upon which a global solution to the economic crisis must be found. In essence, the UN is to provide the moral framework for the "new international financial architecture." As the world gears up for the UN climate change conference this December, watch as environmental issues are used as "moral leverage" to "solve" the economic crisis.
- Expect nations to adopt carbon tax regimes and a "cap-and-trade" market program. This will result in higher energy prices and overall decreased economic growth. An environmentally-based bubble economy will develop out of the emissions cap-and-trade marketplace as "hot air" becomes a hot market. This won’t last, and when the collapse occurs it will trigger an even more robust drive for global financial governance.
- Expect stronger UN-directed educational programs to rally youth to this "carbon" cause. Propaganda for a global ethic based on environmentalism, with the stated goal of fixing the economy, will noticeably increase throughout the Western world.
- Watch as religious leaders, including Christian figureheads, openly side with the UN in this call for a new global ethic. Don’t be surprised if the UN or World Council of Churches convenes a special, high-level interfaith meeting to respond to the economic/environmental situation.
- Planetary citizenship, and the responsibilities that will accompany it, will supersede national loyalties.
- Capitalism will be branded as evil; Free markets as selfish. More regulations and bureaucracy will be coming at the local, state/provincial, national and international levels.
- Expect more calls for economic solidarity and global service. In the West the word "socialism" will be sidestepped; expect new language to mask the reality. In Latin America, Africa, most of Asia, and major portions of Europe, the language of socialism will be openly used and embraced.
- A continued push for Special Drawing Rights as the new global reserve currency. This is to be the replacement, and possibly only an intermediate replacement, to the US dollar as the existing reserve currency. An SDR, as it’s referred to, is an international accounting unit based on the combined value – a basket – of major world currencies. At this point the International Monetary Fund is being courted as the bearer of SDRs, making it a type of bank for a new global reserve unit.
- Increasing pressure to solidify an international financial and banking regulatory body. Under such an agency, national and transnational banks and financial institutions would have to comply with the new global standards. Expect economic affairs at the domestic level to likewise find itself under the auspices of this global regulator. At this point the Bank for International Settlements is fast gearing up for this task (see the article in this issue of Forcing Change by Joan Veon).
- More calls for an International Bankruptcy Court to deal with global debt defaults.
- Expect calls for and the development of more regionally oriented banks, regional currency blocks, regional trade agreements, and overall regional economic integration.
- Expect more calls for global economic solidarity, international harmonization, and tighter globalization. As Paula Quintana, Minister of Planning for Chile, explained at the UN conference; "…the challenge in the medium term is to move more rapidly towards global economic convergence."
- Finally, don’t be surprised to see the international community place a so-called system of checks-and-balances in place under the banner of a "new financial architecture." This is currently underway, and here’s how it might shake out.
- Global Financial Regulator: Bank for International Settlements.
- Global Trade Regulator: World Trade Organization.
- World Reserve Currency Bank: International Monetary Fund.
- World Lender: World Bank
- Global Ethics and Governance Agency: United Nations
Of course this could change to some degree, with emphasis and agendas placed upon different institutions – and there may be overlap. However, we are seeing this new international superstructure taking shape today.
More Than Just Economics
It’s obvious that the UN Conference on the World Financial and Economic Crisis was about more than just "money." It was about re-shaping cultures and nations to fit into a new planetary ideal.
President Brockmann made this clear in his closing, June 26th speech.
On Economic Solutions (notice how all encompassing this is):
"The issues to be followed up range from crisis mitigation – including global stimulus measures, special drawing rights (SDRs) and reserve currencies – to topics such as the restructuring of the financial and economic system and architecture, including reform of the international financial institutions and the role of the United Nations; external debt; international trade; investment; taxation; development assistance; South-South cooperation; new forms of financing; corruption and illicit financial flows; and regulation and monitoring.
At the same time, it has been recognized that the financial and economic crisis must not delay the necessary global response to climate change and environmental degradation through initiatives for building a ‘green economy’…"14
On New Visions for Living – NOTE: This gives context for the creation of a global civilization. And remember what this conference was about - economics! (Further note: Brockmann’s visioning made up the bulk of his closing speech; these are some excerpts):
"…we are once again on the threshold of a new step in the evolutionary process: a step towards a human family that is united with itself, with nature and with Mother Earth.
This reminds me of the vision of the great French scientist, archaeologist and mystic Pierre Teilhard de Chardin. In China, where he carried out his research on ‘Homo pekinensis’, he had something like a vision.
Looking at the advances in technology, trade and communications that were shortening distances and laying the foundations for what he liked to call planetization, rather than globalization, Teilhard de Chardin was already saying, in the 1930s, that we were witnessing the emergence of a new era for the Earth and for humanity.
What was about to appear, de Chardin told us, was the noosphere, after the emergence in the evolutionary process of the anthroposphere, the biosphere, the hydrosphere, the atmosphere and the lithosphere. Now comes the new sphere, the sphere of synchronized minds and hearts: the noosphere. As we know, the Greek word noos refers to the union of the spirit, the intellect and the heart...
The noosphere, then, is the next step for humanity. Allow me a small digression: if, in the time of the dinosaurs, which inhabited the Earth for more than 100 million years and disappeared some 65 million years ago, a hypothetical observer had wondered what the next evolutionary step would be, he probably would have thought: more of the same. In other words, even bigger and more voracious dinosaurs.
But that answer would have been wrong. That hypothetical observer never would have imagined that a small mammal no bigger than a rabbit, living in treetops, feeding on flowers and shoots and trembling at the possibility of being devoured by a dinosaur, would eventually become our ancestor.
From that creature, millions of years later, emerged something completely new, with qualities totally different from those of the dinosaurs, including a conscience, intelligence and love: the first human beings, from whom we who are gathered here are descended….
I firmly believe that today we are once again on the threshold of a new step in the evolutionary process: a step towards a human family that is united with itself, with nature and with Mother Earth…
They say that Jesus, Buddha, Francis of Assisi, Rumi, Tolstoy, Gandhi, Dorothy Day, Martin Luther King and many other great prophets and teachers of the past and present, of which every country and culture has an exemplar, were ahead of their time in taking this new step.
They are all our most formative teachers, our lodestars, who fan the flame of hope that assures us that we still have a future, a blessed future for all of us."15
And you thought a global economics conference was about financial concerns!
Understand, dear reader, that today’s world is changing in total: Economics, religion (for that’s what Brockmann is really talking about), politics, education, national sovereignty, and social norms are being systematically re-forged to meet a pre-described Common Future.
Ultimately, it’s the twisting of faith and finance to usher in a new global order. FC
Carl Teichrib is editor of Forcing Change (www.forcingchange.org), a monthly publication analyzing our shifting world.
1Joseph E. Stiglitz, "Wall Street’s Toxic Message," Vanity Fair, online edition, July 2009. Mr. Stiglitz works as an advisor to the President of the UN General Assembly.2 Miguel D’Escoto Brockmann, President of the UN General Assembly, Opening statement at the UN Conference on the World Financial and Economic Crisis, June 24. 2009. 3 Ibid.
4Ibid; "it is essential to seek what the Earth Charter calls a sustainable way of life."
7 The biographical information on Mr. Brockmann was pulled from his United Nations Press Kit Biography, Reuters’ FACTBOX, and other biographical sites online.
8Remarks by Ambassador Susan E. Rice, US Permanent Representative to the United Nations, at the Conference on the World Financial and Economic Crisis, June 24, 2009.9 Speech at the UN Conference on the
10 Yang Jiechi, Minister of Foreign Affairs of The People’s Republic of China, Statement at the UN Conference on the World Financial and Economic Crisis, June 24.
11 Helena Bambasova, on behalf of the EU, June 24.
12 Alexey Kudrin, Deputy Prime-Minister and Minister of Finance of the Russian Federation, Statement from the UN Conference on the World Financial and Economic Crisis, June 24, 2009.
13 Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Managing Director of the World Bank. Statement to the UN Conference on the World Financial and Economic Crisis, June 24, 2009.
14 Miguel D’Escoto Brockmann, President of the UN General Assembly, Statement made upon adoption of the Outcome Document from the UN Conference on the World Financial and Economic Crisis, June 26, 2009.
Giggling at Geithner
On Monday, June 1, US Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner addressed a gathering at Peking University. During the question and answer period, Mr. Geithner stated that the US dollar was a sound monetary instrument, a comment meant to reassure the Chinese; "We believe in a strong dollar…Chinese financial assets are very safe."1
The response from the crowd was laughter.
The Daily Bell, a Swiss-based web publication on global economic issues, had this to say regarding America’s economic credibility.
"Across the sea and around the world, people perceive what the current congress and administration apparently cannot comprehend: that America is bankrupt and that its current policies are only exacerbating the problem."2
Climate Cops: Policing Global Warming
On June 24, the Scottish government passed a new measure that effectively gives it the right to "crack down on wasteful homeowners and businesses."
According toThe Scotsman, "Measures voted through by Parliament included the power to fine householders and companies if they do not take action to improve the energy efficiency of their houses and buildings."
The Scotsman added; "Charges could be brought in for plastic bags, and businesses may be forced to reduce packaging under the powers granted to ministers in the Climate Change Bill."
Stewart Stevenson, the Climate Change minister for Scotland, expressed admiration for the new initiative,
Victims of Tiananmen Square
"Scotland can be proud of this bill, the most ambitious and comprehensive piece of climate change legislation anywhere in the world. As a country, we are leading global action and expect others to follow our lead as we look to the international summit in Copenhagen this December."3
Jenny Haworth, writing for The Scotsman, noted that, "…homes and offices would have to publish energy performance certificates – and could be fined if they did not take steps to improve their building’s performance within an allocated timeframe."
Environmentalists are praising Scotland for its "progressive" stance on climate change, and have expressed hopes that other nations will follow Scotland’s lead in developing and enforcing domestic climate change regulations.
Residents of Scotland, watch out – the Climate Cops may soon be knocking on your door.
Face to Faith: Equipping Schools for Global Solidarity
Former British Labour Party leader, Tony Blair, recently announced a new initiative through his Tony Blair Faith Foundation. Recognized as an international, interfaith lobby and education group, the Tony Blair Faith Foundation has now launched its Face to Faith program.
Designed as a teacher/school resource, Face to Faith is to be used in a classroom setting, seeking to build on a platform of religious understanding, interfaith tolerance, and spiritual diversity. Besides dialoguing with those of other faiths, the program challenges students through "critical-thinking" exercises through probing questions.
- "‘How can people of different faiths come together to tackle issues such as global warming or sustainable development?"
- "When are ‘religion’ and ‘belief’ a force for good?"
- "Where do you go to feel close to God?"
- "What gives your life purpose?"
- "What does it mean to be ‘religious’ or ‘spiritual’?"
- "What are your hopes for the future?"4
The Face to Faith website makes a statement that links global interdependence with education – demonstrating the heart of the program.
"In a world that is opening up at an astonishing speed, schools are recognising the need to equip young people with the skills to contribute to an increasingly global, interdependent society."5
Building a Revolutionary, Socialist Force
During the last three years of higher oil prices, Venezuela has been using its petro-profits to purchase Russian arms and advanced weapon systems. The Miami Herald notes that Chávez, Venezuela’s leader, "…has been on a weapons-buying binge since 2006."6
"…purchasing more than $4 billion worth of Russian Sukhoi jets, Mi helicopters and 100,000 Kalashnikov assault rifles for what he says is the professionalization of his 62,000-member armed forces and the defense of his ‘socialist revolution’ from U.S. aggression."7
This spring, Chávez publically displayed Russian SA-24 man-portable, shoulder-fired, anti-aircraft missiles during the annual armed forces’ parade in the Venezuelan capital of Caracas.
"The missile and launcher weigh just 42 pounds, can hit targets flying at up to 19,500 feet, employ a ‘fire and forget’ system that is highly resistant to countermeasures, has night-vision capability and is easy to maintain."8
US officials fear that this lethal device "could wind up in the hands of terrorists or guerrillas in neighboring Columbia." This is a valid concern, for the region is rife with faction tensions and low intensity conflicts, and the introduction of a portable, highly sophisticated anti-aircraft capability will add a new dimension to the mix.
Former British PM, Tony Blair
According to the Miami Herald, when the SA-24s were paraded, its unveiling was described as "part of the process of strengthening and transforming our revolutionary, anti-imperialist and socialist [armed forces]."9
Joining Hands for World Government
This past May, the Committee for a World Parliament – a Paris-based UN-support think tank – joined the Campaign for a UN Parliamentary Assembly. Olivier Giscard d’Estaing, the President of the Committee for World Parliament, noted that international collaboration is necessary in order to achieve their goals.
"The objective to create a world parliament is demanding and complex. However, I believe that eventually it will be achieved. Still, to make this possible, it is important that all like-minded institutions, groups and individuals in the world work together and coordinate their activities. That’s one of the purposes of the Campaign for the Establishment of a UN Parliamentary Assembly. We are therefore pleased to join this network."10
Given the support level for the Committee for a World Parliament by international figureheads, this collaborative move is a notable advancement in the quest for world government. Political leaders who have added legitimacy to the Committee for a World Parliament include the following:
- Andreas van Agt, former Prime Minister of the Netherlands.
- Jacques Delors, former President of the European Commission.
- Sonia Gandhi, President of the Congress Party of India.
- Valéry Giscard d’Estaing, former President of France.
- Felipe Gonzalez, former President of Spain.
- Nelson Mandela, former President of South Africa.
- Shimon Peres, former Prime Minister of Israel.
- Mario Soares, former President of Portugal.
- Gaston Thorn, former Prime Minister of Luxemburg.11
Adapting to a New World Order
From June 8-11, a high level meeting was held in Montreal, Quebec, titled Adapting to a New World Order.
Speakers included Madeline Albright (former US Secretary of State), Catherine Ashton (European Union Trade Commissioner), Compton Bourne (President of the Caribbean Development Bank), Mark Carney (Governor of the Bank of Canada), and Strobe Talbott (President of the Brookings Institute), along with many other prominent bankers and political leaders.
Each day held a specific theme, such as "Economy and Governance" and "International Finance." Working luncheons were also held, with the themes of "The Americas and the New World Order" and "The Economic Crisis and the Central Banks."
This global governance get-together, along with other like-minded events around the world, sets the stage for international management – "world government."
1For more on this story, see the June 3, 2009 issue of The Daily Bell, "Chinese audience laughs when Geithner says China’s US$ assets are safe."
3"MSPs get power to fine over climate change," The Scotsman, June 25, 2009, online edition.
6Juan O. Tamayo, "Missile buildup in Venezuela has US on edge," The Miami Herald, May 30, 2009, online edition.
10"Committee for a World Parliament joins global campaign," UNPA Campaign News, May 5, 2009.
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