Global Crises and the Earth Constitution: GUSI Peace Prize Acceptance Speech

Glen T. Martin

GUSI Peace Prize International Acceptance Speech, 27 November 2013,

I am very pleased and honored at receiving this wonderful GUSI International Prize for Peace.  Ladies and Gentlemen, I want to explain very briefly why the people of Earth need to ratify the Constitution for the Federation of Earth. You can find this Constitution on-line in many different languages.  Please look it up, think about it, and act on it.  Our future, our precious planet Earth, and the future of our children are at stake.

The first point I want to make is that I am a citizen of the Earth, as are all of you.  I was born in the United States, but I am first and foremost a human being, loyal to our common humanity and universal human dignity, as I hope we all are.  As human beings, we need to begin taking responsibility for our planet and its future.  We need to become self-governing.  Self-governing means human beings come together to govern their planet and end the horrific global chaos of war, lawlessness, and destruction that now rules the Earth.

For the first time in human history human beings are facing an interrelated series of crises that could mean the end of human existence on the Earth.   Our present planetary institutions are utterly incapable of dealing with these crises. Let me mention just two of these crises: (1) the crisis of the planetary environment and (2) the crisis of globalized weapons, militarism, and war.  I will make my points especially with regard to the first of these crises, impending global climate collapse, but what I say applies equally well to the problem of war and militarism. and to the problem of extreme wealth and poverty.

Let us consider the crisis of the planetary environment.  Greenhouse gasses, such as carbon dioxide and methane spew from every country on Earth.  Every country on Earth has cities struggling with millions of vehicles, huge traffic jams made up of automobiles with internal combustion engines, sitting, traffic-bound, spewing out heat and exhaust into the atmosphere of our planet.  We see this everyday right here in Manila. Nations of the world have come together in conferences to discuss the global environmental crisis, but, every year since the Rio de Janeiro conference of 1992, they have failed to reach any meaningful agreement concerning the threat to the future and even the threat of possible human extinction.

There are very clear reasons for this.  Every country is struggling with serious economic problems, problems of development, poverty, inflation, wealth creation, fear of terrorism, the power of its industrial-military complex, etc.  No country on Earth has the resources or will to convert to an effective sustainable economy.  Indeed, each country knows that this would not do any good to save the planet, for, unless all the other 192 countries do the same thing, one country operating sustainably will do no good.

Our planetary environment does not belong to any nation.  It belongs to the people of Earth. And nowhere on our planet do we have institutions that represent the people of Earth; nowhere do we have a democracy that represents people in their humanity.  Countries only represent people as Filipinos, Americans, or Russians, not as human beings with universal human rights and with the right to planetary peace and a protected planetary environment.  The air, water, forests and oceans of our planet form the global commons: the common air, earth, water, and soil necessary for all life.  Yet nations represent only territorial segments concerned with their fragmented interests, and they represent only the ruling classes within their territories, never people in their common humanity. There can be no substitute.  We need to ratify the Earth Constitution to protect our precious global commons and our inalienable, universal human rights.

The global commons is dying; the oceans, forests, and atmosphere are dying, clearly because the people of Earth have no representation and no forum to protect the global commons, their universal human interests, or their universal rights as human beings. Both our common humanity and our endangered global commons demand that we join together in a global social contract under the Earth Constitution.  We can only protect the future of our planet and its environment if we are represented by a World Parliament making enforceable democratic laws binding on all peoples and nations. 

The ecosystem of planet Earth belongs to all the people of Earth, not to the United States, China, or Russia.  The oceans of the Earth belong to the people of Earth, not to multinational corporations mining them and destroying them.  The atmosphere of the Earth belongs to the people of Earth, but what nation can possibly represent the atmosphere that is absolute necessary to our survival?   Clearly, the people of Earth can only be represented by institutions that transcend the nation-states. This cannot be the UN, which merely represents nations, not the people of Earth. We absolutely need institutions that represent the interests of all human beings everywhere, institutions that protect the global commons and our future on this planet.  

If we begin acting as citizens of the Earth and choose to become self-governing by ratifying the Earth Constitution, then we can take possession of the global commons (as the Constitution mandates) and prohibit its destruction. We can also take possession of our global commons and prohibit the corrupt warring nation-states from launching their weapons of death into our atmosphere, or onto our oceans, thereby ensuring both environmental protection and a framework for genuine world peace.

For the sake of the Earth and future generations, ladies and gentlemen, we need to unite together and ratify the Constitution for the Federation of Earth. Thank you very much.