Glen T. Martin
Image suggesting our planet’s geosphere, enfolded by the biosphere, and then by the networked noosphere of mind
Earth scientists, biologists, and ecologists today have revealed the fact that our planet Earth is a single, holistic biosphere. Over its 4.6 billion years of existence the Earth has evolved into a dynamic unity in diversity of integrated geological features (core, mantle, surface, oceans, rivers, landmasses, glaciers, polar caps, atmosphere, etc., see Lenton 2016). These integrated geological features are famously known as its “geosphere.” The geosphere dynamically integrates with our planet’s web of life-forms that encompass the Earth (forests, grasslands, algae, phytoplankton, corals, bacteria, living creatures, etc., in endless variety). Together, they constitute a dynamic living planet or “biosphere” (Hazen 2012).
Climate scientists have uncovered the myriad ways in which the web of life has, over its 3.8 billion years of existence, molded and modified the geosphere into harmony with the development and maintenance of life, making the planet as a whole a living system conductive to life and its evolution into evermore complex forms. The most recent and most complex form of life is the human being. With human beings the vast underlying organizational intelligence of the biosphere has become self-conscious. With human beings a new level of connectivity and integration has appeared that surrounds and integrates (in certain ways) both geosphere and biosphere. This is widely known as the noosphere (from the Greek meaning “mind” and the French “sphere,” see Teilhard de Chardin 1975; Martin 2018, 22-3).
Mind, a self-aware manifestation of the imminent intelligence in the dynamic, fractal-based, organizational intelligence found in nature, now integrates everywhere with the biosphere—energy wave-packets organized to carry information fill every space on the Earth’s surface, organized energy that can be received and decoded by cell-phones, computers, radios, TVs, GPS systems, and other instruments that record and transmit the noosphere’s vast content. Mind also produces the cities, roads, malls, industries, ships, and trains that cover the surface of our planet. However, much of this structured information with its artifacts that permeates our globe is based on paradigms, assumptions, and perspectives that are not in harmony with nature’s organizational intelligence imminent within the biosphere. The noosphere includes the ways we organize our institutions, our economics, and our governing structures for the Earth. Human civilization is manifested mind that has colonized our entire planet largely in disharmony with the biosphere.
This is why the dominant modes of human civilization as it exists today are destroying both the biosphere and the geosphere that have evolved over 4.6 billion years to support evolution and developing life in evermore complex and integrated forms. If we do not want to cause the rapid extinction of most higher life forms on Earth, including human life, we must convert the paradigms, assumptions, and perspectives that now dominate the noosphere to a planetary consciousness in harmony with the organizational intelligence at the heart of the biosphere. The biosphere must be complemented by a holosphere consciousness.
Some thinkers have called the paradigm that harmonizes with the biosphere “integral science” (Goerner, et.al. 2008). Others have called it a new “Ecozoic” era (Swimme & Berry 1992). Still others have called it “biosphere consciousness” (Rifkin 2019). Global systems-thinker Ervin Laszlo calls it “planetary consciousness” (2008, 139). Such thinkers represent a growing chorus of voices calling for a planetary consciousness-shift from egocentric and anthropocentric modes of thought to a planet-centered, holistic, and integral mode of thought in harmony with the intelligence of our planetary biosphere. Such a transformed culture and consciousness would complement the biosphere. It would be sustainable, protecting higher forms of life and future generations. Karl Marx called this awareness of our “species-being.” We must begin thinking like a species.
Our planetary noosphere (our civilizational mind-patterns and consciousness) must become harmonious with the biosphere. Many thinkers have pointed out that the biosphere operates as a network of holarchies—smaller energy patterns like cells group together into larger units that again group together until we reach the level of the living ecological networks that together form a single planetary biosphere. “All natural systems,” Ervin Laszlo writes, “are wholes in regard to their parts, and parts with respect to higher-level wholes” (Laszlo 2002, 53; see Capra 2004). They are therefore holarchies. A biospheric consciousness would mirror the laterally dispersed, interconnected, and ascending levels of organized energy patterns that make our planet a living planet.
This requires that we organize life on Earth into a networked holarchy from local sustainable communities to ascending, cooperating, ever-larger communities up to a whole in which the networked parts empower the whole and the whole in turn sustains and empowers the networked parts. We join human beings into a planetary community: interdependent and interlinked from local to regional to national to planetary levels. This requires deep changes in global culture toward a culture of kindness, peace, justice, collaboration, compassion, and mutual recognition of our common humanity.
It requires fundamental changes in economics to an economics of cooperation, collaboration, enhanced creativity, shared resources, open-source information, shared profits, and concern for the economic well-being of all participants (Raworth 2008). It also requires deep changes in government to collaborative democracy, concern for the common good of the whole of humanity, along with institutions directed toward social justice, citizen participation, mutual respect, and true unity in diversity (Martin 2008). It requires uniting humanity within the collaborative framework of a true unity that respects and empowers all its parts worldwide.
The Constitution for the Federation of Earth is the master-document for converting our planetary noosphere into harmony with the biosphere (Martin 2010, www.earth-constitution.org). This is because the Constitution is designed for planetary transformation to a holistic world system. The ways we design our institutions are extremely important because different consequences flow from different design structures. All designers know this basic principle. All systems theorists know it as well (Laszlo 2002). Computer modeling of climate change also flows from this understanding (see Meadows, et.al. 2004). The chart below illustrates the design of the Earth Constitution as a holarchy.
If we change the world economic and political system to stop dumping greenhouse gasses into the atmosphere, the consequences of this design-change will necessarily result in a much more stable, life-friendly planetary environment. The ways our present institutions are designed (according to the outdated fragmented paradigms and assumptions of the “modern era”), are wrecking the biospheric, life-supporting harmonies of our planetary ecosystem. If we stop producing immense quantities of toxic waste and depositing these in ruined landfills and super-toxic wastelands around the planet, then future generations will have less poison in their water, air, soil and foods.
The planet’s life-supporting biospheric patterns evolved over billions of years. Yet within just 200 years, from the year 1900 to the year 2100, the design of human institutions will have wrecked that biosphere by the end of this period to the point where our planet will become incapable of supporting higher forms of life (Wallace-Wells 2019). The biosphere evolved as an integrated, balanced whole resulting in the Holocene geological period of the past 12,000 years (Ellis 2018). It supplies the resources, absorbs the wastes, and recycles the water and air necessary for life on Earth. Our planetary noosphere needs to become an integrated, balanced whole in harmony with the biosphere. It needs to become a holosphere. The Earth Constitution serves as a template for this conversion process.
We must get our clean energy primarily from sun and wind while recycling and reusing the products of our industries. We must bring to an absolute minimum the toxic waste and heat waste that we discharge into nature. And we must take a minimum of non-renewable resources from nature while converting what we do take to renewable forms that are managed for sustainability and planetary health. A collection of loosely connected localized planetary projects can never achieve this integration of whole and part that is necessary for sustainability. Our only credible option is to truly unite humanity under the principle of unity in diversity at the heart of the Earth Constitution.
The Earth Constitution overcomes the chaotic, fragmented governing of the Earth by some 193, mostly militarized, sovereign nations in rivalry and competition with one another. This fragmented global governing model, going back some 300 to 400 years, is entirely inadequate to allow the planetary noosphere to actualize its potential to exist in peace and prosperity in harmony with the biosphere. Similarly, the fragmented economic model of corporations competing for scarce resources and private profits for their investors is utterly inadequate to allow the noosphere to emerge in harmony with the biosphere.
Not only that, but the design of both these systems is precisely what is destroying the biosphere. Everywhere our planetary environment is registering the consequences of these fragmented designs in the form of environmental destruction and climate change. We absolutely need a design that unites the entire planet within a sustainable model, a design premised on the interdependence of the parts with the whole of humanity. This single, integrated design would clearly have transformative economic, political, cultural, and consciousness consequences. Let us look at some of the features of the Earth Constitution that are designed to have sustainability outcomes.
- The Constitution of explicitly based on the unity in diversity of the Earth’s peoples as expressed in its Preamble, establishing a holarchy in which “war shall be outlawed and peace prevail” and “when the Earth’s total resources shall be equitably used for human welfare.” It is therefore framed and embraced by the holistic vision of a sustainable noosphere.
- The Constitution is explicitly designed to deal with global problems and crises beyond the scope of nation-states. Article 1 outlines six ways that it is mandated to do this—to end war and disarm the nations, to protect universal human rights, to diminish social differences and poverty, to regulate global systems of trade and communications, to protect the global environment for healthy living for both present and future generations, and to address all other problems that are beyond the scope of nation-states.
- The Constitution integrates the diversity of humanity into all its institutions and governing bodies. The main governing institutions such as the three houses of the World Parliament all require diversity by design. The same applies to the World Judiciary, the World Executive, the World Attorneys-General and Police, and the World Ombudsmus, as well as to all seven agencies of the Integrative Complex. They all are required to have leadership from all continents on Earth, and they are designed so that no one nation or group can predominate. (This is symbolized by the pentagon structure of these agencies in the above chart.)
- The Constitution places the atmosphere of the Earth, the Oceans and Seabeds of the Earth, and the other “essential resources” of the Earth under the protection of the people of Earth. Hence, it is the first document that, by design, recognizes that the planet is a global commons belonging to all the people who live upon the Earth and that it must be preserved, restored, and protected in their name. In other words, it institutionalizes humanity as a holarchy. No longer is Brazil free to destroy the lungs of the Earth because the Amazon basin happens to be part of that “sovereign” nation. No longer can Saudi Arabia pump unlimited quantities of fossil fuel out of the ground because that oil happens to exist within their “sovereign” borders. Sustainability requires that our global commons be governed for the common good of all of us equally.
- The Constitution is democratic and cooperative in its structure and elicits the conscious participation from people everywhere in taking responsibility for the common good of our planet and its future. Its 1000 electoral districts energized by Global People’s Assemblies elicits global grassroots participation, which is one of the keys to sustainability.
- The Constitution establishes planetary public banking directed to empowering local communities with low-cost or free loans to develop sustainable infrastructure and cooperative institutions. It explicitly says that its development loans and grants will require no collateral or previous assets, so that access by poor countries and persons is both open and encouraged.
- The Constitution establishes debt-free money-creation by the World Financial Administration, and through this design fundamentally transforms the planet’s monetary system, which is now predicated primarily on money created as debt to private banking cartels (Brown 2007). The current system grants the huge private banks immense legal rights to economic inequality and undemocratic power everywhere on Earth. Debt-free money-creation means the old “scarcity system” of hierarchical power and wealth is eliminated. The Earth Federation government with its economic design features is founded on a sustainable prosperity and reasonable equity system for all peoples. In a holarchy, the common good of all the parts is reciprocal and assured.
- The Constitution sets up mechanisms throughout, including within its Integrative Complex, to monitor the health of the planet and coordinate local communities with the knowledge, technology, and support necessary for democratically distributed prosperity and resilience. The local and the global are now networked in a cooperative and collaborative union that will likely develop immense synergy for transformation and sustainability.
- The Constitution provides two Bills of Rights that roughly divide into social-political rights on the one hand (freedom of speech, assembly, due process, address of grievances, etc.) with social-economic-environmental rights on the other (rights to a decent standard of living, free education and healthcare, clean water and air, protection of the environment, etc.). By recognizing the “third generations rights” to both peace and a protected planetary environment, the design of the Constitution makes clear the kind of consequences we can expect, namely, both peace and sustainability.
- The Constitution is explicitly designed to progressively minimize levels of conflict and the uses of violence everywhere on Earth. Not only does it disarm the nations (at its second operative stage) but the World Police and World Ombudsmus are explicitly tasked to reduce violence in all compliance practices, law enforcement, and to implement non-coercive patterns of conflict resolution.
- The Constitution is explicitly a living document, mandating reexamination, reaffirmation, and periodic changes whenever necessary to achieve its mission of a peaceful, prosperous, just, free, and sustainable human civilization on the Earth.
- The Constitution creates a World Parliament that includes, among its 3 houses, one house recalling the “Council of Elders” that allowed many indigenous peoples to live under wise governance concerned with the common good of the whole. Hence the Parliamentary system under the Earth Constitution blends broad representation of the diversity within the whole of the Earth’s population in the House of Peoples with a wise governance system of counselors concerned with the common good of the whole in its House of Counselors. In its holistic vision of governance, it also includes the existing nation-states within its House of Nations. It reflects at the world level, to the best degree possible, the sustainable governance and holistic perception often found among indigenous peoples and integrates this with 21st century ecological knowledge and democratic vision.
- The Constitution is relatively easy to ratify—to initiate and launch from its current “provisional world government stage” to its “first operative stage” and then on its way to the second and final operative stages. In Articles 17 and 19, it lays out concrete actions and operating procedures that make its ratification and implementation both practical and possible. This is vital to conversion because time is rapidly running out and an effective world administration with both moral and governmental authority is crucial to bringing the whole of humanity into a sustainable noosphere or holarchy.
Systems have consequences. Designs have predictable consequences. The Earth Constitution is an integrated, relatively short, and comprehensive document designed to transform our planetary noosphere to a sustainability consciousness within the very short time yet available to us to make this conversion happen. This transformation cannot take place if we insist on retaining the unworkable UN system of militarized sovereign nation-states. Viable UN agencies will all be transferred to their counterparts under the Earth Constitution, which replaces the UN Charter, a Charter based on centuries-old, outdated economic and political assumptions. Nation-states lose their ability to destroy the world with their nuclear and other weapons and become administrative units within the Earth Federation.
Both the Earth Federation Institute (EFI) and the World Constitution and Parliament Association (WCPA) support promotion and ratification of the Earth Constitution. The EFI, which works with WCPA, is a 501C3 tax-deductible educational organization registered in the USA: www.earthfederationinstitute.org. A contribution to EFI can be securely designated for any program within WCPA. Both organizations are global in vision, commitment, and scope. If you care about the future of our precious Earth, its beautiful living creatures, and our emergent glorious human destiny of peace, justice, freedom, and sustainability, then please contribute to our common cause.
The cause is not just about EFI or WCPA. It is about all of us. EFI and WCPA are about the common good of humanity and our precious planet Earth. Please pledge a monthly, tax-deductible donation to the Earth Federation Institute. May God bless us all and the other living creatures on our planet.
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