Once upon a time there lived a man in a castle by the sea. Every night he would sit by his fire next to the window and gaze at the beach below. He would watch the waves crash up on the beach safe and warm in his castle.
One night there was a tremendous storm that threw up rocks, seaweed and hundreds of starfish all along the beach as far as he could see. A single girl was walking along the beach and throwing the starfish back into the sea one at a time. The old man thought nothing of it.
The next week there was another storm, worse this time, and he saw the same girl throwing the same starfish back into the sea. When he saw the girl picking up the starfish a third time he could retain his curiosity no longer. He ran down the steps of his castle, out onto the beach and up to the young girl. He said to her, 'Why do you so throw these starfish into the sea night after night? You are picking up the same starfish that you did yesterday and the same starfish that you will be picking up tomorrow. Not only that, but this beach is hundreds of miles long and you can only do this tiny area. What difference can you possibly be making?!'

The girl bent down, picked up another starfish, and as she threw it back into the sea she said, 'It makes a difference to this one.'

The very fact that you are reading these words right now demonstrates that every single person in this world can make a difference to the world we live in.

You too can help by printing off this petition (download a text file), collecting as many signatures as possible and sending it to the environment secretary Margaret Beckett in support of the Earth Summit.

The address is: Derby South Labour Party Office,

32 Charnwood Street,

Derby, DE1 2GU