These are self-evident truths:
That all humans are a single family living on a fragile and endangered planet whose life support systems must remain intact if we are to survive;
That the well-being of the planet and the well-being of humanity are one and the same;
That the well-being of each requires the well-being of all—security is common;
That all humans have a natural right to peace and a healthy planet;
That all war is a crime against humanity and nature;
That any war anywhere degrades the quality of life for all of us everywhere;
That we live at the decisive moment in history when we will choose between break down or breakthrough on a planetary scale;
That we here now dedicate our intellectual, spiritual and material resources to the establishment of permanent peace and the conservation of nature, and,
That we are fully endowed by our Creator with the wisdom and the ability to achieve these ends.
We live at a unique and dangerous moment in history, an unprecedented planetary emergency defined by permanent war, the threat of nuclear annihilation which still lurks just over the horizon, and our rapidly deteriorating ecological life-support base. But it is also a moment of opportunity, the chance for a great turning—away from war and environmental destruction to a civilization based on peace, justice and sustainability. To make the turn we need to reject the old story that the world is a zero sum game, that violence will ensure us security, that nature is just so much stuff we can rearrange for our out-of-control consumerist culture, and that we are the masters of nature. We have lived under these dysfunctional illusions too long. We need to recognize ancient and eternal truths. The Declaration of Peace is meant to be a concise and compelling statement of these truths and it is my conviction that if we spread them around the world they will be recognized and we will make the turn toward a new era in planetary history. We really have no other choice.
Kent Shifferd is a writer and lecturer who taught environmental history and ethics and directed a peace studies program at Northland College (Wisconsin) for many years. He is author of From War to Peace: A Guide to the Next Hundred Years, and other works and has just finished the manuscript for a new book, The Planetary Emergency. He blogs at Peace With Each Other and the Earth, at wordpress.com.