Ratify the Moon Treaty, Protect the "Common Heritage of Mankind" from Corporate Takeover
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The current Outer Space Treaty, adopted in 1967, bans states from claiming any territory on the Moon or other celestial bodies. The proposed Agreement Governing the Activities of States on the Moon and Other Celestial Bodies, commonly called the Moon Treaty, declares that outer space is the "Common Heritage of Mankind" and requires an international framework of laws to ensure the safe and orderly development of space resources and the sharing of benefits from them. It has been proposed by the United Nations and adopted by 18 nations, but not the United States or any other space-faring nation. Instead, the United States is unilaterally granting property rights to any of its corporations who get to a space resource first, in violation of the "No Claim of Sovereignty" clause of the Outer Space Treaty. Go to spacetreaty.org for more information.
Sharing the benefits of outer space is not just a pipedream. The United Nations recently approved a project that would fly experiments from developing countries aboard Sierra Nevada's Dream Chaser space plane (pictured above as configured for the mission). But the project is currently unfunded. For details, go to http://www.unoosa.org/oosa/en/ourwork/psa/hsti/FreeFlyer_Orbital_Mission.html
The mission of The Space Treaty Project is to restore humanity's hope for the future by providing an alternative to the wars, violence, and neglect that have dominated our history. In December 1968, our view of the world changed, literally. As Apollo 8 first rounded the Moon, the astronauts on board were suddenly overwhelmed as humans saw the Earth rising above the lunar horizon for the first time. The picture taken at that moment showed our beautiful planet hanging in the vastness of space. Humanity as a species began to realize that we are all one, living together on a fragile planet hurtling through the cosmos.
But even though no borders were visible, war and suffering continued to wrack our home world. In the half-century since, people have begun to lose faith in their governments, their private institutions, even in humanity itself. Every day we wake up to the news of yet another mass killing, more terrorist attacks, the disastrous effects of climate change, and an increased threat of nuclear war. Our governments seem to care more for corporations than the people, and the corporations seem to put their bottom line above everything else. The people of Earth are beginning to despair, wondering if there is anything they can really believe in. They are losing hope.
The mission of the Moon Treaty, and those who support it, is nothing less than to restore that hope, to give the people of our planet a future they can believe in. To counter the despair of war and violence and neglect. We have a unique opportunity to set an example and create a new future for humanity, to build that shining city on a hill that will light the way for all.
It has been 500 years since the world has had such an opportunity to start anew. At that time, we chose to perpetuate slavery, military conquest, and economic exploitation, all of which caused misery and countless wars. And when the Industrial Revolution came along, we placed profits ahead of people, resulting in economic and environmental catastrophe. Much of humanity stopped believing in our ability to control our own destiny.
We can change that. But we must act now. There will be only one time when humanity leaves its home world, only one chance to create a new pattern that will lead each of us, and all of us, to our best destiny. That time is now. Please join in this effort to restore hope and create a better world – and a better universe – for all of us.
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