ORIGINAL LETTER TO GOD

Lord, it must be a terrible thing!

Dear Father:
You know, the other night I was driving home from work when a friend of mine who runs a radio and TV network asked me to pull over to have a chat. It was around 11:30 PM.


I obliged and pulled over. As we both disembarked from our vehicles, soon we were engaged into political discussions and sharing our respective views on what we think about the upcoming elections and so forth.Then he began to link me with a certain political group based on speculations about my friendship with certain prominent individuals in society who are considered “my financiers” and are also friendly with some of the individuals in that group.

And when I said no, my friendship with these individuals does not involve my business; my friend took a step backwards and said wait a minute. Then I explained. The first thing he said was but you need to let the public know. I said no, I will not belittle myself. Let the public believe what they want to believe about me and these individuals relationship. I told him the only source of my success is the old man up there-God.

But here the thing though, when I also told him the speculations in town surrounding his business, he was like-are you for real? He almost went nuts.Father, what I have noticed in this village since I been back 12 years now is that our people believe that the only way to succeed in this place is to have someone spoon feeding you with their meager resources.

So it is beyond their wildest imagination that anyone can just succeed in this village without a financier who is just willing to waste their resource on you-even when it is very glaring that you are up to no good.

Yes, Father, it must be a terrible thing being a young successful person in our village. You have to justify to everyone how you got there, especially when you only came back to this country few years ago and met so many old hands on the ground doing the same thing over and over with no growth. But it gets even worse, unbelievably when the last thing they knew about you was that you were just working for somebody the other day.

And to add insult to these injuries, you will have to justify your story to the very people who go around telling all kinds of stories about you because of their own limitations and backward thinking-something which have robbed them of their successes, lack of self-discipline and uncontrolled appetite for waste.

So, it’s a terrible thing to see any young man or woman whose trust and hope is in the Lord succeeding. He must be linked with some powerful donors who just can’t resist his or her request or worse still into some cultic practice.

You know Father; I have often told people here again and again that when you don’t have set goals and objectives in life people will set it for you and when they do, your end is usually in disgrace.

No hard feelings, but there are certain individuals in our midst who have overly abuse opportunities they had and today they are nowhere, because they lack integrity. These are people you should fear most. They are the ones parading around pulling everyone down.

And Father, the truth is a failure is one of the most dangerous people. The fact that he or she did not succeed, no other person should. They have degrees in crabology.
This is why our village is so under developed. We never ask the how. We only castigate others as a way of comforting ourselves and justifying our failures. They are this, because they have that.

There are people who have sworn to never do business with me based on my personal stance and what they think to believe-that’s so sad, because we are still moving strong with or without them.

There were some elderly people that I look up to who said we could not survive the first six months. Today, they are moving from one agency to another telling people not to do business with us. These things we hear daily and laugh out too. But it’s really a terrible thing when you try to do things differently here. We all cannot continue to sing the same song and sit at the same table. Others must be taught to do it differently and we are doing it differently. So, if you like waste all your time and energy on talking about us. We are just going ahead, while you stay in your miserable poverty.

Lord, they say thru crab, crawfish can drink water

Dear Father:

Hahaha, ooh, hahaha! You know, when I tell you that the chiefs at the Traditional Council are complete hustlers you often don’t believe me, now you do-complete hustlers they are.


Most of them know very well that they have lost their moral standing with the people of our village and so they are roaming all over the place looking for places to hank their coats. And believe me Father; they will endorse just anybody or anything as long as they know that is where the fresh wind is blowing.

But my son, ehn they say thru crab, crawfish can drink water?

Ooh, yes, trust me Father, da complete hustle they on so-especially the ones from the lower end of the Traditional Council who will be sitting for their performance exams in October.They think they can shield themselves by riding behind the fresh prince on the block. But they will balance.

Like my friend will say “some of them will see themselves upside down in chief ZanzanCawah mirror. My name oo, put me down! Whether da horizontal or vertically, they will balance. Ehn they say cat that dog? In fact, what concern dog about family planning.

And you know its kina funny though-I mean the way they are all on this endorsement spree behind the Old-man from the Handshake-pretending to be pledging supports here and there.

But beyond those hypocritical smiles andrattling are hidden agendas. The Good Old Book says, they honor me with their lips but their hearts are far away from me.

But you just relax, that so, so hustle they on so. When da Old-man makes bay, they will chop his money wa-wa like that and for nothing too ooh.

Are you for real?

Trust me Father, I know these guys. Haven’t you heard the names of the various support groups that are emerging from all over the place? They are actually pledging their supports with their lips but their hearts are on what they can get for their belly.

If you think I am lying Father, go and ask the Old Lady’s son, who was being endorse everywhere around here and almost everybody thought he would have won this fiefdom with ease, but we all know how the story ended with the Footballer coming on top.

The reason was simple Father, the hustlers were too many. So instead of reaching out they were only filling their own pockets and leaving out the people who should have actually made the man’s dream a reality.

Anyway, I hope the Old-man learn his lessons from this and that he doesn’t allow some of these so-called chiefs to use his name and resources to benefit themselves while leaving him in the cold.

Lord, the animal farm rekindles?

Dear Father:
Um, they say when the thief is in your house, he is not a thief, but when he is from your neighbor’s house then he is a thief. What a world full of hypocrites? I know ehn, my son. So what is going on in that highly forested village of yours again?


Father, is it not our big, big people in this village; they see themselves as the alpha and omega here. They have total disregard for the very laws that they make. It is never a law when it comes to them. But ooh yes, it sure is, when it is their political opponent.

What do you mean my son?
Um, Father, haven’t you heard that our village has been turned into an Animal Farm-where four legs are good and two legs are bad? These days in our village laws are only made to suppress certain people or are only applicable to the plebeians.

So, today our village oracle is only meant for us the plebeians and not the big, big people like the chiefs from the Traditional Council, the heads from the Castles and the Elders from the Palaver hut.

The other day, they were all laughing through their teeth as they openly violated the very oracle that say no body must use our village property for their politics. But they did with pee and deed.

Are you sure my son?
Oh, yes Father, they did. And in their minds’ eyes, they are above our village oracles. And you know, come to think of it, when George Orwell wrote the Animal Farm, first released in Uncle Sam cousin’s village in 1945, the situation in our village was no different. As the saying goes, all animals are equal but not equally equal. Today, in our village, the story is no different.

In fact, our village leaders show this divide with total disregard to the very village oracles, they swear to uphold and protect. So, it is not surprising when some group of country boys who have found their way into the Traditional Council try to act more than those they criticized yesterday-it’s all about personal interests, gains and selfish power.

Tell me something!
Father, these people today see themselves as demi-gods and therefore are above anything called laws in our village. Today, laws in our village are only applicable to those who are not at the helm of village power, not connected to those at the helm of village power and not related to such people.

They drive on any lane as and when they want. They used one license plate for all their vehicles rotationally and whatever apply to their political rivals don’t apply to them.
And for now, they haven’t seen the harm that they are causing our village all because of personal aggrandizement.

But you see, like my friend always used to say: “pekin, enjoy your day will soon break.” What this simply means is that it doesn’t matter how long John can stay in the army? When they are no longer in power and can’t afford to enjoy free gas coupons and free allowances, then we will know when the chicken will arrive home for roasting. But until then, let them continue to laugh on with their thief on the other side.

Lord, where are they headed?

Dear Father:

Uhm, I wonder the people from the Footballer’s camp are watching the rise of the early morning sun? Hahaha, oooh, hahaha. My son, where have you come from with people watching the rise of an early morning sun again? Have you turned to an astrologist?

Huh, no ooh, Father. You know, our old people say you can tell that the market will boil from the rising of the early morning sun. So I just wanted to be sure if the guys from the Footballer’s Camp are actually taking note of the weather-just a thought though.

But I hope they do though, because there are troubling signs written all over the wall- I mean with everybody complaining about that camp, I can foresee a disaster for them.

What do you mean my son?

Father, um, having you heard the number of people that are running away from that camp? I mean these were people who were on fire yesterday-some of them old, others new converts.

But recent exodus from those who could once take our airwaves and paint all the glorious picture about the camp and its master is indicative of a troubling sign. It’s a no good for that camp especially at this time.

And come to think of it Father, it is the arrogance with which they try to put up defence for some of these dictatorial tendencies that worries me most. It only reminds me of a certain Trump somewhere-my name ooo.

Can you imagine this Father; they are even going after people who have left the camp because of reasons best known to them (people leaving) and some have even joined them into street fights. What a disgrace? Very unheard of anywhere in the most civilized era that you will jump on someone to fight them on the street because they no longer believe in your ideas and values-nonsense!

So, you see where the weather is actually looking gloomy for them and this might cause a disaster for the camp in its efforts to take over our village.

Ok, I know there were certain gravy seekers who thought in their little minds that they could use the camp as a spring board to achieve their long failed political dreams. Like a certain big man who have held all positions in our village-even including but not limited to representing our village in Uncle Sam’s Village and yet can’t count for one thing he has done is or is doing to empower the young people or the very down trodden in our village. Such a person leaving that camp is more of a blessing than a curse and therefore I can even sign the Hail Mary for that on their behalf.

The truth is Father; the guy was an excess baggage to the Footballer’s Camp than a blessing. And the funny thing is that the curse of the village people is upon him because he chopped the poor workers’ pension money he claimed to have credited when he was then a big man there under the Ray Hay man who is currently smarting in one little room in Uncle Sam’s cousin’s village.

Yes, Father, for his exit from that camp, I am so happy for the Footballer. In the first place, as I said earlier he was only using them as a spring board to achieve his failed political ambition.

But where I have problem with the camp is that it does not practice what it preaches out there and it makes it so scaring for anybody to want to trust it with village power.

If your own children in your house are complaining of lack of good care, what makes you think I will allow you to come adopt my child?

The people say charity begins at home. If your own children not happy and everybody is running away from you it’s not a good sign of someone who claims to be a man or woman of peace.

The truth is you have not shown any sign that you are able to father your own children, whose child or children you will be able to father and talk less of an entire village.

Lord, let them tell us the how

Dear Father:

You know, for a second there I think we the people of this village are tire of hearing the names of all those who spoiled things around here. Just as it is impossible to roll back the time reechoing this year in, year on mix with lies every time we are approaching another voting time will not help our village. We are looking for the best solutions, not the best reminders.


Yes, Father, if people are not innovative enough to come up with strategies that will win people over to them and think by repeatedly reminding us of what others have done as a reason to choose them, then they have actually missed the point.

Hmmm, my son what are you up to this time around?

Father, the truth is we are tired of being reminded of how others spoiled this village and what they did or didn’t do.

What we are interested in as a village and a people is a practical road map on how you are going to fix this thing you keep telling us that the people have spoiled.

Yes, we know people have “spoiled” it. Just tell us how you will fix it. Write it on paper. Make it plain and simple. So that he who reads it will run with your vision and begin to imagine his or her role within your vision.

How people have mismanaged this village over the last 100 years plus are nothing new. And in addition, for the past 12 years, how people have come to spoil it is no longer news. All the kids between 7 and 12 years can even sit and pass a state exam on how and who spoiled our village.

So hearing the names of those who destroyed our village or the kind of people that brought us to where we are as a people and village has become part of our history. Every student in this village has written exams about it- even our old people who did not enter classroom know that some people from far away Uncle Sam’s Village settled here and ruined our village- at least that is what they want us to know. So we know it.

We also know that certain people came and brought war to spoil everything too and that we know. At least for once Father, these are the devils living with us both past and present that we know what they are capable of and what they are not.

But for you who are parading around as an angel of light, we don’t know you. So do us this favor, sell yourself to us and tell us how you are going to fix our spoiled and rotten system.

Oh, my son, so you have started defending the people who spoiled the village already?

Father, take it or leave it, we are tire of learning everyday about how this village was spoiled and who are the brainchild of its backwardness. At least, everybody in this village can point to one or more incidences. But for the angels of light, nobody knows how they are going to fix it.

And let me make it simple for them Father, because this one they will stay long inside. We don’t want mere words put together that will even confuse yourself. We want you to write down a simple vision, like the founding fathers of this village wrote-simple words that is now a creed for civic education.

And you as an individual must believe in your own vision and not a prototype of some foreign neighbor that you will have to struggle to understand before I say explain to the ordinary people.

The truth is Father, we are tire of the too many con-artists who come in the middle of a voting year to remind us how we didn’t get good education because 12 years ago somebody who brought war became our ruler or 100 years ago, the people who founded this country messed it up. This is something; I have said over and over that we know. But for you, we don’t know you.

So stop spending your resources on history, use them to tell us about the future, which you claim is in you. Please we want to know the how. How you will do it. Tell us about yourself and stop promoting the people of the past, many of whom have no interest in the future you. Let us test your credibility too.

Lord, we want to do passport inspection

Dear Father:
This they say here is too much now. We need to put a stop to this whole gossip wahala, so that everything can be crystal clear. We want to do passport inspection first for all those who say they want to chop president job in this forested village and second for all those holding village positions.


Yes, Father, this thing is too much now. Everyday this other person is from Uncle Sam’s Village or that other person is from that other village. The village people tired hearing all of this. So all we need to do is make sure everybody present their passports for the last 12 years and let see which type of book people are holding around here.
My son, where have you come from with this one again?

Father you know in our village these days when the thief is your country man, he is not a thief but when the thief is from your neighbor’s house then he is a thief. Simply put, there are too many hypocrisy around here now a days. People are hurling and pulling when it comes to other people wahala. But when the story turns around then they want to push it under the carpet’

So let see who will chop president for our village this year. Ehn in addition to the passport we get a new law. You think they will do so my son? But Father ehn that the hypocrisy I talking about there-because somebody and you come from the same village and he or she want to chop president so whether he is fit or not, you must support him or her-and assuming that the person has bad past records, you rise up to their defense, yet we want our village to prosper.

It’s the same about the fan clubs we get around here called parties in our village today. When you are a fan of a particular so-called popular person from one of these big fan clubs around here, then the person is above our village oracle any attempt to ensure that the village oracle is apply is kicked against.

When you know our village oracle says no foreigner can hold certain position in our village and when your interest is caught pans down then there is some kind of witch hunt.
So like I said, Father, it boils down to the same thing. When the thief is from your house he is not a thief but when it is from your neighbor’s house then he is a thief.
Today in our village especially at this time people are only after what they can put in their pocket and for others their bellies. So integrity and honesty has been suspended for a while. They have been thrown out of the window.

Anyway, let leave stories Father, but me this year I can tell anybody we are not putting any square pig in round whole. If your taste is for small girls around here, we don’t want to desecrate our highest office-because a person who can’t keep his pans on can drop it anywhere.

Lord, who is playing the ehtnic card?

Dear Father:
You know few years ago, I was invited to a meeting with a very big mouth politician. I was his subject of interest. Oh, yes, Father, I was becuase I was wounded and fired up back then.


In such a state where vengence was the only vocabulary running through my tiny head-this big mouth self overratted politician invited me to a meeting. After being persuaded for days by some closed friends at the time, I reluctantly gave in to attend this meeting and for the first time sat at a table with him to hear him out. It was brunch-time on a fateful Sunday.

This guy started the conversation very well with how he can help me with the cost of the printing of the New Dawn. At that time, we had just started and Father, yours truly was the hottest and newest kid on the block. So, everybody wanted to win him over quickly.

But this is where I brought the whole meeting to an abrupt end after expressing myself. This big mouth politician told me (apparently this was his own way of trying to win me over) that this village belongs to the country people and that it was time to get it back becuase if the country people don’t, the settlers will continue to rule us. They will keep the village as is, send their children abroad to get western education and come back to rule our children-a kind of viscious circle.

Father, what he was simply trying to do was play the country-congo card. Throw few decks at me and see how I respond after which he would come with higher ranking cards.
But this is what I told him: I said, first of all, I have trained my kids as little as they were that nobody is superior than them-whether black, yellow or white. They should always see themselves as equally competitive. For someone to sit and put one tail between his or her legs and blame other people for your condition is your own failure, not those you blame making.

“ If you will sit and allow your kids to be subordinates to others not mine“, I said. After that speech I told the friends that accompanied me that it was time to leave and we left.
Today in this village Father, our people continue to play a card that only exist in politics but nolonger in our village.

When ever certain individuals try to seek power in our village, they try to draw an ethnic line. But the truth is those who played the ethnic cards as trump cards for seeking elections are more class concious than those they accused.
I remembered my father and uncles telling me stories about how they were brought up by settlers and how some of them were treated with respect-though some had bad upbringing.

In our village, the educated countryman at the time will not allow his relatives from the interior to pass through his front door rather directing them to pass at the back to-their sitting rooms were too decent for the person coming from the village to pass through.

Today, at our Traditional Council, 99.999% of the Parmount Chiefs there are country people, yet as it was in those days is still the same. They want to emulate those they have accused of impoverishing our village. They fly to Uncle Sam’s village for their agricultural breaks, as if they are making farms there; Most of them have their families residing there. In fact, whenever they visit their Fiefdoms, some want to be carried in hammock. They see themselves as the comtemporary colonial masters over thier people.

They have deliberately refused to give power to the people in the villages by draging their feet to sign the decentralization bills. By now all the Fiefdom roads in our village should have been paved. But hey, they want to live like those they criticized and yet want us to believe that there still exist something called Country and Congo-Nonesense!

Lord, who wants to put sand in the Oldma & Papy gari?

Dear Father:

You know, sometimes I can’t really understand the people in this our village here. They always like to look for ways to bring palaver between people, especially when the two people are so closed and very friendly.


And when they finish causing the problem then they go sit down like butter can’t melt.

Look at the other trouble they na bring here again. I don’t know who go say the Iron Old Lady and her Papy Joe na on speaking terms again? They even had the Papy speaking as if there is a serious bad blood and disappointment between their two.

My son what they say is really going on between these two people?

Can you imagine Father, the people even went further. They say the Old Lady had abandoned the Papy and was now pumping money behind that man who almost die out of frustration in 2005,
after some fake men of God told him to just go and sew his suit for his coronation as king for our village when in actual fact the people did not even consider him among the first two best choices.
And they say she is doing it at the expense of the Handshake and Papy Joe.Then they did not only stop there, they say the Old Lady say she na like the Papy. They say the Papy weak and he like sleeping too much.

Tell me something my son!

Father da small thing. The thing that made the people from the Castle couldn’t sleep. They were passing all around to all the Town Criers, explaining how the people are lying on the Old Lady and the Papy.
They even say before the Old Lady could leave for Queen Sheeba’s home town, she and the Papy had their heart to heart discussion as to how to give some people wah-wa.

Hmmm, they na stop there, they say the Old Lady is playing a very dangerous game for this year when she suppose to be retiring, by eyeing da other little man. My Name Ooh!

Aw wa, my son, who the other little man again?

Father, my name ooh, I na get ray shoes to go to court this morning ya, let leave stories. This one I na putting it in any hole. But no Father, like seriously, they say behind every smoke there is a fire-beit false fire or real fire.
Behind all these noise we are hearing come down to only one thing-money, money, money.

The people say the Old Lady too mean. They say she na want to conjugate the verb with some of her retirement money to help the Handshake Group and the Papy. But some people say even though the Old Lady get
glued on her hand, but she says the people from the Handshake group are very ungrateful-they don’t want to conjugate the verb too-you bring, I bring.

But my son, she thinks that the man who almost die from heart attack 11 years ago will give her what she wants?

Hmmm, Father you just don’t understand. These people in our village, um, na wa oo. Anyway, they will be just fine.

So my son, hey say what going on in the Footballer’s camp since he joined with the Ray Hay Man and da disgraced chief?

Father, da is another interesting place to ease drop. They say the disgraced Chief has been looking for attention. They say he is even trying to leave that whole group.

For what my son?

Father, they say the man says, the other two leaders-meaning the Footballer and the Ray Hay Man’s ex-wife suppose to be behind him sitting by him under the Palaver Hut when the Council of Elders called him to answer
questions about the stolen money he received. He says by so doing then everybody will know that they are together but the people are not helping him and they are leaving him alone so he wants to leave them.

But wait oo son, da the people told him to put his hands in the cookies jar? And in the first place, when he got his lay thing did he share it with them before they must come and sit behind him like that-nonsense! This village is
so interesting.

Lord, we will need more drips for 2017 oo

Dear Father:

Hahaha, ooh hahaha. I think we will really need a lot of reserved drips in this village to keep for the election oo, because the way I see plenty people hallucinating around here when reality sets in after the voting it will na be easy.


Are you for real my son?

But Father, what I should say na, for the past two voting we have done in our village this year own pa, da na small people want position.

The other day I went to my friend them radio station, I could not even find a place to pack my jalopy. When I asked what was going on, my friend told me that the people who want be chiefs at the Traditional Council oo.

You know, Father, the reason why I say the people should bring in more drips is because I can see many of the people who want to be chief at the Traditional Council getting heart attacks.

The plain and simple truth is that some of them are not even chief material and instead of taking that their little money to go and invest in some kind of business for they and their families, they want spend it on campaign.

Can you imagine Father there are some of them who are also transporting people from one fiefdom to another in our village?

What kind of person who wants to be a chief in a particular village will do such a thing?

Father, trust me; these are the conned artists who have failed miserably and know fully well that the people in those fiefdoms will never vote them there again. They are the ones now faring people to their fiefdom to register and vote for them.

And you know what Father; these shameless people go around boasting that even if some town criers are willing to be trucked in their fiefdoms they are willing to take them there. But for me Father, you know I am not freaked out by that.

There is a saying that he, who laughs last, laughs the best. And quite honestly, what dog cares about family planning? If they like they should go and burn the sea.

But one thing, I am sure of is there is going to be a lot of frustration around here after the 10th month of this year.

And Father, let me use this forum to warn all my friends them, if you know your fallback positionna strong and you go put your hand in wanting to be chief, when they people chop your money don’t come crying poor to me.

I know ehn. So what about the other people who making all the big mouth around here saying that they get plenty money to spend?

Father, just leave them, we are packing plenty drips around here.

Opinion

The Fight for Ocean Health

By José MaríaFigueres, Pascal Lamy, and John D. Podesta

NEW YORK – The ocean is changing – and not for the better. Well-established scientific evidence shows that it is becoming emptier, warmer, and more acidic, putting marine life under serious pressure. But there is good news: evidence also indicates that the ocean can regenerate, and the world has already agreed to enable that outcome.

The Sustainable Development Goal for the Ocean (SDG 14) was adopted by world leaders in September 2015 as part of the United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. It includes vital targets, such as mitigating ocean acidification, securing habitat and species protections, reducing pollution substantially, and ending illegal fishing and subsidies that lead to overfishing.

Ultimately, SDG 14 promises to preserve the ocean and ensure its sustainable use in the future. But it can be realized only with bold and urgent action, buttressed by solidarity among governments, citizens, and business.

This week, governments and experts are gathering in New York to begin crafting a global “call for action” to implement SDG 14. The call, which will be launched in June, at the UN’s first-ever Ocean Conference, should include a firm commitment to protect at least 30% of the ocean by 2030, and ensure that the remaining 70% is sustainably managed. UN member states must also pledge to secure the extension of legal protections to high-seas biodiversity by closing the gaping governance loophole that exposes the ocean to plunder.

There is one more priority area that the call for action must address: climate change. In fact, a healthy ocean will be impossible to secure without also addressing this pressing global challenge. Achieving SDG 14 therefore demands that the international community reaffirm its commitment to the Paris climate agreement, and to announce concrete steps toward achieving net-zero carbon emissions by 2050.

To avoid more empty promises, all commitments must be backed up by a clear financing plan and subjected to regular accountability checks. Governments, the UN, and other actors should set a schedule for monitoring and check-ins, to keep delivery of the targets transparent, funded, and on schedule.

To support these efforts, we urge UN Secretary-General AntónioGuterres to appoint a Special Representative for the Ocean, tasked with improving ocean governance and ensuring that the full potential of SDG 14 is realized. Such a representative must be given sufficient resources to do the job.

The ocean has suffered decades of abuse and neglect. It has been treated as a free-for-all garbage bin and race-to-the-bottom buffet. We have financed its destruction, with no regard for the consequences. But those consequences have become impossible to ignore. While we, as previous global ocean commissioners, had to campaign hard in 2014 for the ocean to have its own dedicated global goal, it is now hard to believe that the ocean’s position in the SDGs was ever in question. That is the sense that we should have in 2030, when the targets of SDG 14 are fully met.

The only way to get there is through concerted effort – and not just by the likes of ocean commissioners. People everywhere must stand up and demand real action to ensure the ocean’s regeneration. In short, the ocean must become everyone’s business.

To kick-start that process, we have joined the Ocean Unite network, which is galvanizing conservationists, business leaders, young people, and activists to take advantage of growing interest in these issues and create coalitions that can drive ocean health to the top of political and economic agendas worldwide.

Such efforts are already having an impact, with citizens mobilizing to defend the ocean and policymakers beginning to respond to their calls. Now, it is the business community’s turn to step up.

Business has a clear interest in reversing the decline in ocean health. The GDP derived from the ocean amounts to $2.5 trillion, or 5% of the world’s total GDP. That’s equivalent to the GDP of the world’s seventh-largest economy. The ocean is also the world’s biggest employer, directly supporting the livelihoods of more than three billion people, and is a source of food for over 2.6 billion. Restoring the ocean thus amounts to an unparalleled business opportunity.

But the ocean’s value goes far beyond economics. It provides half of the air we breathe, governs our weather, and helps to support peace and prosperity. The ocean’s future is the world’s future.

At a time when politics threatens to undermine cooperative action on the environment, fighting for our shared global environment is more important than ever. Our responsibility for the ocean’s health is as deep, fundamental, and permanent as our dependence on it. No political consideration can compete with that. Now is the time for all of us – citizens, business, and government – to unite and fight for our ocean.

José MaríaFigueres, former President of Costa Rica, is Co-Chair of the Global Ocean Commission. Pascal Lamy, a former director-general of the World Trade Organization, is a Global Ocean Commissioner. John D. Podesta, Chief of Staff to President Bill Clinton from 1998 to 2001, is the founder of the Center for American Progress.

Lord, only if they knew the power they have!

Dear Father:
You know the other day; I was in conversation with some unusual visitors in my little office when the topic of Adam’s whereabouts as at the time Eve had the conversation with the Serpent in the biblical Garden of Eden came up in passing.

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