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Earth Charter undone

By Henry Lamb
web posted April 22, 2002

Sanibel, Florida was one of the first U.S. cities to endorse the Earth Charter nearly a year ago as a part of Earth Day celebrations; it was also the first U.S. city to withdraw its endorsement.

This controversial document, promoted by Mikhail Gorbachev and Maurice Strong for a decade, is seen by many to be an effort to create a new "Sixteen Commandments" to serve as the foundation for a new global religion.

Sanibel citizens were not happy about the endorsement. Forty-two citizens and five former mayors signed an open letter, published in a local newspaper, demanding that the endorsement be rescinded. Council chambers were packed, when three of the five Council members voted to rescind the endorsement. The three Council members who voted to rescind admitted they had not read the document before voting to endorse it.

Francis Bailey, speaking against the Earth Charter, said "You've got a smokescreen up here," referring to the charter's emphasis on the environment. "Everyone loves motherhood and apple pie, but what you've got here is abortion and rotten apples."

In an effort to counter the influence of the Earth Charter, the Acton Institute led in the development of the Cornwall Declaration on Environmental Stewardship which sets forth a different set of principles for protecting the environment, endorsed by many scholars and religious leaders.

The Earth Charter campaign is led by the Earth Council, a non-government organization in Costa Rica established by Maurice Strong shortly after the 1992 Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro. The Charter has been endorsed by both extremist, and mainstream organizations.

The sixteen principles advanced by the charter begin with the rejection of the historic belief that humans are created in the image of God, and are assigned to be stewards over all other creatures.
This first principle, after years of recrafting the language, advances the biocentric view that all creatures have equal intrinsic value; humans have no higher value than bugs or beetles or the AIDS virus.

The language of the document is syrupy - almost goo. A casual reading would likely not discover the basis for the concern of Sanibel's citizens. A careful reading, however, reveals the entire agenda of global governance: wealth re-distribution; population control; and managed societies to "protect" resources for future generations.

For example, consider this principle:

"Adopt at all levels sustainable development plans and regulations that make environmental conservation and rehabilitation integral to all development initiatives."

What's wrong with this rather bland statement? Who defines those plans and regulations that are to be adopted? Who defines "rehabilitation" and the extent to which it is required before development? Certainly not the people who are governed by them.

Implied, but not expressed, throughout the document is the existence of a central authority to draft the plans and regulations that are to be "adopted." The United Nations labyrinth of treaties provides both the plans and the regulations.

Nowhere in the document is there an appreciation for individual freedom, and individual achievement. Everywhere in the document, freedom is limited by responsibilities, which others define, to advance what they define to be the "common good."

The document calls for the elimination of "genetically modified" organisms - a direct threat to the world's food supply. "Adopt patterns of production and consumption..." which are sustainable. Maurice Strong announced in Rio that "...use of fossil fuels, appliances, home and
work-place air-conditioning, and suburban housing -- are not sustainable."

The document says it is necessary to:

"Guarantee the right to potable water, clean air, food security, uncontaminated soil, shelter, and safe sanitation, allocating the national and international resources required."

Who does the guaranteeing, and the allocating? The United Nations, of course. Who pays for the water, food, shelter? The United Nations is a full-fledged subscriber to the socialist philosophy "From each according to ability; to each according to need."

With the power of the new International Criminal Court, and the longed-for global taxing authority, the United Nations will be able to take wealth from those who have produced it, and re-distribute it to those who have not.

Those who have endorsed the Earth Charter have endorsed the principles of global socialism, administered by the United Nations.

Citizen members of those towns and organizations that have endorsed this document might want to follow the example of the citizens of Sanibel - and demand that the endorsements be rescinded.

Henry Lamb is the executive vice president of the Environmental Conservation Organization, and chairman of Sovereignty International.

Other related articles: (open in a new window)

  • Who needs Earth Day? by Henry Lamb (April 19, 2001)
    Officially April 22 may be Earth Day, says Henry Lamb, but every day is earth day to people who own and work the land
  • Earth Day is Lenin's birthday. Coincidence or Communism? by Alan Caruba (April 17, 2000)
    Of all the days that could have been picked for Earth Day, and there are 365 days in a year, Alan Caruba wonders why April 22 was picked
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