Item description for Manifesto for the Earth: Action Now for Peace, Global Justice And a Sustainable Future by Johanna Collis Mikhail Gorbachev...
For more than a decade, Mikhail Gorbachev has been engaged in working to protect the Earth and its inhabitants through Green Cross International, the organization he founded in 1992. In an age when ecological crises, poverty, and military conflicts have become the primary global challenges, Gorbachev urges us to stop trying to view and solve these problems in isolation. The man who changed the destiny of Russia, Europe, and the world itself now calls for a global and comprehensive Perestroika (reform) for the twenty-first century.
Based on his many years of experience in international politics, Gorbachev appeals for urgent action based on a broad vision. This includes strengthening the UN and reforming the World Bank, the World Trade Organization, and the International Monetary Fund. To complement the Declaration on Human Rights and the Charter of the UN, he has coauthored the remarkable "Earth Charter," based on four key principles: 1) Respect and Care for the Community of Life; 2) Ecological Integrity; 3) Social and Economic Justice; and 4) Democracy, Nonviolence, and Peace.
In a partisan and polarized world, this "manifesto" never compromises its integrity to political, ideological, or national sympathies. Manifesto for the Earth is a courageous and thought-provoking work---a roadmap to a better world for everyone---by one of the world's most respected elder statesman.
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Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 8.35" Width: 5.43" Height: 0.63" Weight: 0.53 lbs.
Release Date Jul 30, 2006
Publisher Clairview Books
ISBN 1905570023 ISBN13 9781905570027
Reviews - What do customers think about Manifesto for the Earth: Action Now for Peace, Global Justice And a Sustainable Future?
PROPHET UNHONOURED Jul 31, 2008
So he is still around and still active. I for one am thoroughly pleased to see that, and when I read this short but clear, forceful, penetrating, commonsensical, humane and visionary volume I reflected that one major reason why the present-day world is in the appalling mess it's in is that there are not more like him. I last saw and heard him on a TV chat show, in which he was as lucid and good-humoured as ever. When the show's host suggested that his contribution to world peace had been enormous he replied `Can I have a certificate saying that?' As a politician he failed, of course, but maybe the kind of boldness that he showed is bound to fail politically, and such failures may be the price of progress. The Soviet Union that he inherited as General Secretary of the Communist party rested on an obscene economy dedicated to armaments production, and he told his generals that the show was over. The cold war confrontation in Europe and the burden of supporting reluctant allies had degenerated into a routine kind of official hostility looking for a purpose, and he told the satellite regimes that had to find their own way in the world. When this new policy was extended even to the talismanic presence of Soviet troops in East Germany the whole structure of ideological make-believe collapsed - back in Stalin's time Beria had said to his colleagues that East Germany was not even a real state, something perfectly obvious but a statement that breached Soviet official etiquette and doctrine, as we can read in the horrified report in Gromyko's memoirs. Back at home Gorbachev reversed 70 years of official secrecy in the belief that the citizenry had to take charge of their own salvation and that they therefore needed to be told some home truths. The rickety economy accordingly ground to a confused halt, Gorbachev got the blame, and he would probably have had to go whether or not the Soviet Union had survived.
One political Hercules had not survived his own labours, but who else in living memory can we even imagine showing the courage, conviction, and even for a while political skill, to set about anything of comparable ambition and scale? He tells us about this in outline but without heroics or self-dramatisation. One thing that he stresses from the start is the environmental degradation that even he had not been fully aware of until he stepped into the top job, he makes clear his belief that the western market economy is at least as much of a culprit in this matter, and the rest of the book is devoted to his vision of the morass that humanity has created for itself and to an account of the active steps he has taken in the hope of mounting a rescue. Two things come over to me strongly from this account. One is that collectively in the affluent west we are nearly as blind and uninformed as were the Soviet citizens when Gorbachev came to power, and with far less excuse - they were given no option, we have the option and many prefer to forget the matter. The other issue is that we cannot put the onus of dealing with the problems entirely on the shoulders of politicians and `leaders', feeling doubtless that God, who tempers the wind to the shorn lamb, can never have meant to place on our own tender shoulders such a burden as this.
Not a lot of the examples Mr Gorbachev cites are any kind of surprise to me, more a matter of touching in details in a general scheme that I have grasped in outline through decades of involvement with environmental causes. However there is nothing here that does not benefit from the straightforwardness and direct clarity of his way of expressing himself. There are no histrionics here and no grandstanding, but in case anyone could possibly be missing the general lesson it is that the consumer society and economy are riding for a bad fall, and that it could all happen more suddenly than we like to think. Whether we remind him of his Soviet generals placidly spending their way to economic and environmental ruin he does not say, but our behaviour reminds me of exactly that. There are always reasons, and often very good reasons, it seems to me, for postponing or watering down or rationalising away the looming threats, or for expecting our `leaders' to wave some magic wand while we go on our way rejoicing. Given that few of us on our own can do much to affect the outcome I suppose that to some extent we just have to hope like Mr Micawber that something will turn up. Something quite certainly will, and unless we can find a way through the tangle of pressing current problems to a new public, collective and international mentality that can face up to the certain pain of the adjustment that we have to make in the interests of avoiding even worse pain the `something' is something I don't greatly care to contemplate. Meantime Mr Gorbachev has set up his Green Cross International. Its aims and aspirations are admirable, but we have been there before. It is not a green light but a red light and the warning it gives is not something we can wish away on any grounds of perceived attitude or political orientation. You may have heard it all before, but I'd say read it here for as powerful and compelling a presentation of the case as I have ever seen.
Please Listen May 12, 2007
Mikhail Gorbachev is a true world leader. He speaks absolute truth for us to hear. We all need to listen. This book is easy to read in style, and difficult to read in content. Every word is meaningful for every one of us.