Earth Day Contributor

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When the sun set and the moon and the stars came up on the clear evening sky above the NGO Internet Fiesta, it was time to cherish nature with the Earth Day celebration …

Two video presentations were intended to get people in the mood for the topic of “Global Resources”.

“The Global Brain” by Peter Russell.  Based on the book “The Awakening Earth”, he illustrated an inspiring and optimistic image of the future of mankind. He starts from the theory that the Earth is a self-regulating organic system and that the evolutionary future of mankind is dependent on deliberate interaction and co-operation with this organism. Human communication capacities become increasingly vital. Using analogies from the human evolution, Russell showed that the development of a noosphere, a planetary nervous system/consciousness, is nothing special. Diversity and richness can turn into harmony and order, while dominance has always led into disaster in the history of evolution.

“Tamera” (Center for Human Ecology) by Sabine Lichtenfels.

This video continues the global brain idea on the basis of a concrete example of self-organized life in harmony with the Earth. A new renaissance, a culture of diversity, mutual respect and the understanding of inherent richness calls for setting up laboratories and centers for experimentation. Tamera, in the Portuguese Alentejo, founded in 1995, is such a laboratory. Many topics are being addressed in this “curing biotope”, all of them based on a system of structural non-violence. Information on Tamera can be found in the web:

The digital performance “Kunstlabor Planet Erde” (Art Lab Planet Earth) was presented as a Late Night Special of the NGO Internet Fiesta by Franz Xaver and Sascha Ignjatovic:

“Within the framework of the NGO Internet Fiesta an “electronic sculpture” was created and integrated into the global system as an open system. From this sculpture the signals were directly transmitted to the recipients in the hall of events. The observer then was no longer outside the sculpture but had become part of it.  Live transmission of acoustic signals from a weather satellite and the additional acoustic translation of hydrogen radiation of the universe, received from above the Austria Center Vienna, helped to integrate the global perspective into the Fiesta. A “near realtime” image of the planet Earth together with the acoustic signals from the depths of the universe was projected on a huge screen. The content of these perspectives was supported by an electronic greeting by Vinton Cerf – the father of the internet – relating to the future of the internet and the inter-planetary internet.”

Franz Xaver, Sascha Ignjatovic

It was past midnight, the calendar showed March 21, 1999 …… when the story of the “Earth Day” was told.

The celebration of an “Earth Day” or “Nature Day” was prompted by the City of San Francisco (Saint Francis is the saint of ecology).  Responding to the initiative of John McConnell, the day of the beginning of spring, i.e. March 21 with the equinox was proclaimed the “day of nature’s equipoise” and “Earth Day” in 1970. This initiative ( ) is open to everyone being a trustee of “Earth’s beautiful systems of balance” and of the principle of equality of all human beings. A Proclamation of Earth Day was signed by United Nations Secretary-General U Thant. This proceeded his ringing the UN Peace Bell on Earth Day, March 21, 1971, at the moment of Spring.  Ever since then the UN-Peace Bell in New York is rung on Earth Day at this special moment as a symbol of solidarity.

Since 1996 Vienna has been active in this “promising and global moment” – thanks to the initiative of Hans Janitschek, Information Habitat and Labor g.i.v.e and its own Peace Bell donated by the Japanese Embassy.

At the NGO Internet Fiesta Kurt Waldheim, former UN Secretary General, submitted a video message for the celebration of the Earth Day ’99. He called to mind that this intercultural tradition has become tried and tested and said he was convinced that this common global remembrance was an indispensable, unifying moment in bridging the gaps between the various cultures of the world.

Reflections on the Earth Day ’99 – again on video – were presented by Arnold and Wilhelmine Kayserling, with their contribution: “Space and Time – Bridge between Cultures”. This philosopher-couple interprets the natural coincidence of space and time in the tradition of the Earth Day as the common structures of human cultures and religions.

“Space and time were inherent patterns making up human cultures and religions. This would be the key to a real global culture, since identities as well as differences could be understood and turned into productive and creative energies by using this model. This would not mean a relapse into rituals but a deliberate use of “unity-creating” tools. The knowledge and wisdom of indigenous populations and cultures, which in former times was denounced to be irrational, turned out to be surprisingly in accordance with the latest scientific findings on the principles of self-organization. And this is a key, which particularly the Third Sector must use in its quest for identity and integration – a tool to create meaningful unities from various perspectives, beyond hierarchical abstractions and sheer egalitarianism.”

Summary by Franz Nahrada

And finally a small group of brave heroes left on time … … for the Vienna International Centre to ring the Peace Bell at exactly 2:46 a.m. to celebrate the beginning of spring and the Earth Day principles…


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