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2 April 2000 Issue
HOPE World Petition

* 1 million names needed worldwide by Dec. 31, 2000 *

[We, the people of Earth, in view of its global environmental crisis, hereby petition the UNITED NATIONS GENERAL ASSEMBLY to vote towards a U.N. RESOLUTION for all nations to each reduce its own annual military budget by 10% of its 1999 spending, thus collectively reducing the $1.6-trillion annual global arms expenditure by $160-billion per annum. The funds thus liberated shall be placed into a U.N.-administered Global HOPE Fund - to heal our planet Earth.]

To sign this petition and/or download the petition forms, please or go to:

http://www.HOPE-GEO.org

To distribute this petition, please forward this invitation-letter to your friends and colleagues worldwide, and link http://www.HOPE-GEO.org to your website, thank you. HOPE-GEO will do likewise.

So, why the HOPE World Petition?

For a deep philosophical view, please read “Earth’s Shining Destiny – a New Millennium Vision” (see http://www.HOPE-GEO.org - New Articles section). This article has been published in newspapers globally.

For a short, direct answer, please read on.

This is a crucial time for our Earth. The term “Global Environmental Crisis” is serious, true and real. 1500 of the world’s leading scientists are giving us 10 years “before the chance to avert the threats we now confront will be lost and the prospects for humanity are immeasurably diminished.” (The World Scientist - Warning to Humanity) And yet, how many worthy and needed environmental projects are gathering dust on shelves due to lack of funding? How many people in shopping malls, who vote and ultimately determine the future course of history, are not walking in a state of blissful denial? Tell us that our loved ones have fallen seriously ill, and we’d rush to their aid, but tell us that our beloved Earth has not one, not two, not three, but six serious illnesses, and what would we do?

Consider the following analogy of the Six Planetary Ailments:

1. Planetary Fever - global warming, caused by excessive emission of greenhouse gasses into the atmosphere.

2. Planetary Auto-Immune Deficiency Syndrome (P-AIDS) - damage to the ozone shield - Earth's own auto-immune system (protecting her biosphere from harmful solar UV radiation) - caused by releasing CFCs and other ozone-depleting gasses into the atmosphere.

3. Planetary Cancer - human and cattle populations multiplying unchecked, corrupting and destroying natural ecosystems. (Some say that the only difference between us humans and cancer cells is that we have a choice.)

4. Planetary Wasting Disease - unsustainable consumption of Earth's resources, resulting in rapid loss of biomass (trees, fish, etc.), biodiversity (extinction of 6 species per hour) and soil (50,000 super-tanker-loads per year from India alone).

5. Planetary Blood-Poisoning - no aliens are dumping pollutants and toxic waste into our atmosphere, hydrosphere and biosphere; we are doing a good enough job ourselves.

6. Planetary Suicidal Tendency - no aliens are going to nuke us, but we may nuke ourselves.

Those who are still with us will begin to ponder the “planetary medical bill” - How much? - which basically is to calculate the incalculable. To save just one species, say the tiger, will cost millions, and this is but one tiny part of just one out of six planetary ailments - the Wasting Disease. To research and develop alternative energies enough to replace fossil-fuels technology - to just alleviate the Planetary Fever a little - will cost billions. To cure all six Planetary Ailments simultaneously - trillions, just for starters.

When must we pay? The Global Environmental Crisis says, “Now or never.”

What with? THIS is the question. One thing we do know. Our Earth has no medical insurance, and full-scale treatment must commence without delay. Grants and donation are needed and always appreciated, but they are but a spoonful in the bucket, enough perhaps to barely keep the dedicated planet-healers from starvation. So, does this planet-healing fund exist at all?

Thankfully, yes. Where is it? Finally, we’re in a little luck, for there is a clue, and this clue, ironically, is in one of the planetary ailments.

While doing recent tiger conservation work in India (see the Tigers Forever Campaign section of http://www.HOPE-GEO.org ), I found at least 6 tigers poached in one year at Bandhavgarh National Park from a supposed population of only 40, and witnessed what little left of wild India besieged on all sides, losing ground on most fronts. At the same time, I saw desperately needed work, such as anti-poaching, anti-smuggling, anti-poverty, species preservation, habitat protection, birth control and techno-change (e.g. solar cooking and biogas to displace wood burning) not being done or done inadequately due to shortage of government funding, while reportedly, the government was spending US$1.8 billion (Times of India, March 1997) to develop a new Star Wars system, in addition to their nuclear weapons program. In India at least, the answer is glaringly obvious: her tiger conservation funds should come from a reduction of her military budget.

Look to other nations and what do we see? Parallel scenarios in various ways, to various degrees. The result is that worldwide, the global military expenditure stands at an atrocious $1.6 TRILLION PER ANNUM, and to what civilized end? Just 10% of this colossal waste can fund thousands of much needed environmental projects worldwide, towards the healing of our Earth.

To facilitate this Third Millennium swords-to-ploughshares process – to free two birds with one key, as it were - a possible first step is for all concerned citizens of the world to exert their collective will by means of an international, multilingual petition. The HOPE World Petition is the realization of this possibility:

To answer several main objections:

1. No nation will suffer any weakening of military strength relative to any other, since all will be set back by the same proportion. There will be no significant disturbance of the current balance of power. Rather, the resulting multilateral international treaty will be a document of trust amongst nations, by which global security will be strengthened.

2. No nation need suffer financial drain since all nations (their GOs and NGOs) can reclaim their portion of the HOPE Fund to solve their own environmen tal problems.

3. No military personnel need be laid off, since they can be retrained for environmental projects and conservation operations, such as anti-poach ing, anti-smuggling, reforestation, remediation and restoration.

4. No arms manufacturers need lose business, since their technical capabilities can be channeled towards making high-tech conservation tools and environmental instruments.

5. Some say that the arms race spurs technological advancement. But we say, a “peace race” can do the same or better.

6. Regarding the UN's internal workings as well as those of the various national governments, the HOPE World Petition will doubtless encounter a bureaucratic nightmare of unprecedented proportions. But all dreams, good and bad, big and small, must end each in its new dawn.

A petition is worth little more than its weight in paper, unless it can generate a media wave in its wake. The HOPE World Petition has the potential to generate a global media tsunami. To achieve this, HOPE-GEO will deliver the first million signatures by means of a 5-month, 70-city, media-oriented road tour from Vancouver via California and the Great Lakes to the UN HQ in New York for formal presentation (see Road Tour Itinerary section of

http://www.HOPE-GEO.org). Meanwhile, the HOPE World Petition will keep on growing, until its critical mass is surpassed, and its aim achieved.

Some say, “It is possible, but difficult.” We say, “It is difficult, but possible.” And further, that given blood, sweat and tears, and global solidarity and commitment, and time, it is inevitable.

Again, please sign the petition, link our websites, and forward this letter to your friends worldwide. Together, speaking out in diverse languages yet in one voice, we can make it happen.

For Earth’s sake,

Anthony Marr, Founding Director

Heal Our Planet Earth Global Environmental Organization (HOPE-GEO)

4118 West 11th Ave., Vancouver, BC, Canada V6R 2L6

tel: (604) 222-1169, fax: 604-682-4107, Anthony_Marr@HOPE-GEO.org 

http://www.HOPE-GEO.org,

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