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Rescue Plan for Planet Earth is a triumph. It belongs in a class with Thomas Paine’s “Common Sense.”

Just as Paine was a commoner who dared to advocate independence from British rule for the United States of America, Stark is a commoner who dares to advocate the creation of a democratic world government through a grassroots initiated global referendum.

The book provides a compelling argument for creating an effective structure for global governance, as well as a detailed description of how to make it happen. There is a companion web site at http://www.voteworldgovernment.org, at which people can vote today to “support the creation of a directly-elected, representative and democratic world government.”

Stark affirms the principle of “subsidiarity” which means that “all issues should be resolved by the smallest appropriate political unit.” So, national governments will continue to deal with national level issues, on down to municipal governments dealing with local issues. A democratic world government would best be able to deal with issues such as weapons proliferation and disarmament, and global climate change.

An appendix is included which contains a “hoped for sequence of events.” In this sequence, the online voting which has already begun will continue until at least 2013. Preliminary efforts to write a draft Earth Constitution would begin in 2009, a Global Electoral Commission would be set up starting in 2012, and the inaugural session of the Democratic World Government would begin in 2018.

Stark qualifies many of his ideas as “proposals,” and there are any number of ways some of his proposals could be challenged.  For instance, in order to guarantee some measure of transparency and corruption-proofing of the directly elected world parliament, members of this parliament and other top level officials would have “recorded lives.” This means that every word uttered and action taken by these individuals during working hours would be recorded and published.

A technical solution to the problem of concentrating power into the hands of a relatively small number of people may or may not work. Other proposals and gaps in the rescue plan will be challenged as well.

That is as it should be. The American Revolution was not completed by the publication of “Common Sense.” It wasn’t until six month later that the Declaration of Independence was signed, and almost six years after that when the Revolutionary War ended, and six years after that until the Constitution of the United States was written.

What Jim Stark has written is a starting point, advocating a totally nonviolent method, for humanity to take the next step in its social evolution.

John Kintree, Sub-Pool Librarian, St. Louis Public Library

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