A not so Brave New World

COP27, the meeting of the rich and powerful with a smattering of people who actually know something about global warming and its impacts, was a total disaster for the planet. No agreed reductions in fossil fuels but an agreement to ‘compensate’ poorer countries for the impact that rich countries ongoing CO2 production will have on their local environment.

The fact that there were at least 36 private jets which flew participants into the COP27 conference, spewing huge amounts of CO2 into the atmosphere is one small demonstration of what these conferences are about- looking good and taking no action while our living planet dies.

While there were many indigenous peoples attending the COP27 who were able to voice their concerns about the current state of the earth and make suggestions for change, their voice had absolutely no weight in the final decisions made by the big power-brokers ( who depend on a CO2 producing economy to keep the electoral money rolling in).

Those indigenous groups talked not only about climate change, but more importantly, about the loss of biodiversity and our dis-connection with the rest of nature which industrialization and commodification has done to our beautiful living world in the last 200 years. Without our fellow living things on this planet ; we are done .

The idea that giving some money to a poor country to compensate for a now unsolvable problem of environmental destruction is frankly bizarre, and amply demonstrates that mental vacuity of those rich and powerful people.

No doubt the money will be useful and may help poorer countries mitigate the losses to their local ecosystems and help humans survive in their devastated environment a little longer, but in many cases that money will simply be spent on more ‘development’ and ‘progress’ and thus more environmental destruction.

And as we can already begin to see, many of the global ‘rich’ countries are already struggling to cope with the environmental ‘costs’ to their own economies, so their capacity to pay anybody else for their own stupidity is soon going to be substantially diminished.

Everywhere we see the powerful and the media portraying climate change as some little problem we can solve- at some stage- but lets get on with the business of despoiling the planet now -while there’s money to be made!

I see sublime examples of this on my local state television news channel, who in one news segment show how our magnificent government has made some new pledge to reduce carbon emissions and the next news segment extols the virtues of that same government encouraging tourists from half way round the world to travel to New Zealand.(and home again). Those enormous jet plane carbon emissions (about 5 tonnes of Co2 each way) will of course not be counted in New Zealand’s carbon emissions but to the tourist’s home country, so naturally everything is ok!

We will undoubtedly exceed 1.5C increases in global temperatures in the not so distant future , and will also certainly reach 3.5C increases if we do not dramatically reduce our consumption of energy globally. Green energy solutions; solar, wind and wave can make that transition a little easier, but they cannot ever replace the quantity of energy from oil gas and coal we continue to consume at ever increasing rates.

We all need to come to terms with consuming less and helping to recreate the natural world .

If we don’t, and very soon, Nature will decide for us in not so pleasant ways.

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Links

https://doomberg.substack.com/p/exit-stage-left?

The Cult of ‘Personality’

The cult of ‘personality’ is not however limited to kings and queens; we see it everywhere in the world; the adulation of rock and movie stars whose lives are constantly shattered by trauma and misadventure and a role model for no-one, the president of an Eastern European country with an addiction to cocaine and ill-gotten gains who sacrifices the lives of thousands of men for his glory, or another Eastern European president whose addiction to patriotism and ‘duty’ has resulted in the ruthless death and destruction of so much

Kings and Queens are human beings too, and the grief and loss they leave behind should be respected and not trivialised..

However, it does astound me how not only people in the U.K. but around the world are now eulogising the late Queen of England for her glorious ‘service’ to the country and (British) Commonwealth. Exactly what that ‘service’ was I am yet to discover.

Was it perhaps those queenly waves from her limousine, or maybe the way she delivered her annual speeches from the Crown which had been written for her by the government of the day, or perhaps the way she shook hands with even the lowliest of commoners and smiled so graciously?.

In compensation for that annual ‘service’ we are told she and her retinue are paid $78million (USD) per annum by the British taxpayer, while the Windsor family’s assets currently stand at $28 billion (USD). The contrast between the royal family’s obscene wealth and the poverty of many in the U.K. could not be more extreme.

And let us not elaborate on the assets that the Crown has’ acquired” from British colonies over the centuries at the point of a gun, or the Crown’s enthusiastic embrace of the tyranny and abuse of those colonies, or the British Crown’s continued support of genocide in Yemen, to name just one war..

And yet, the downtrodden poor of Britain and many across the world have wept real tears of grief and loss at her passing- creating an account of a person whose apparent only wish was to ‘serve’ her people. (it is in passing, extraordinary how the entire Western media have all enthusiastically leapt onto the bandwagon of the Queen’s ‘service’ terminology , as one )

There are of course many in the world who do not share those views of a noble and glorious British monarchy- but most Western media are careful to avoid such inglorious inputations.

But let us leave those who wish to mourn, to do so in peace. Their grief is no doubt in most cases genuine- their loss is real..

And all the while, the voices of those who are calm and rational; who call for a safer, sustainable, kinder and compassionate world, are silenced by demagoguery and the power of the corporate media who attach themselves so comfortably to that demagoguery- there is, after all- money to be made with the latest craze…

The cult of ‘personality’ is not however limited to kings and queens; we see it everywhere in the world; the adulation of rock and movie stars whose lives are constantly shattered by trauma and misadventure and a role model for no-one, the president of an Eastern European country with an addiction to cocaine and ill-gotten gains, who sacrifices the lives of thousands of men for his glory, or another Eastern European president whose addiction to patriotism and ‘duty’ has resulted in the ruthless death and destruction of so much. And then, for many Americans, the eulogising of the latest president-whoever he is , to our ‘democracy’ and our ‘exceptional nation’, and the consequent demonisation of those who disagree with us.

What is it in the human psyche that permits many of us to succumb to this irrational and dangerous fervour?- to march in lock step with our current hero to oblivion? For our ‘hero’ will soon become our next ‘monster’ when the current vogue for them has dissipated.

We desperately need to let go of those ‘heroes’, we need to focus instead on what we all need to do right now to save as much as we can of what is left of this planet- both for ourselves and the other living things we have imperiously assumed dominion over.

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Links

https://consortiumnews.com/2022/09/09/cruelties-of-the-queens-reign/”

A Descent into Fantasyland

All wars are, without doubt, pointless, tragic and foolish affairs that also play a significant part in destroying the remainder of our natural environment and a future for our children.

Western media are continuously playing a looped recording that Ukraine and its president Zelensky are defending the ‘free world’ – democratic ‘white” nations- against the evil Russian hordes. What is most interesting is that the language used in this messaging is consistent right across the Western media, regardless of the country you live in .

The downright lies and half truths about Ukraine that I read and hear about from New Zealand media are the identical lies and half-truths that are being published in the U.K. the U.S. or anywhere in Western Europe.

We are for instance told :

  • That the Russian and its allied armies are, any day now, going to run out of ammunition, equipment or manpower.
  • That the Ukrainian army will (very soon) start pushing the Russians back to the Russian border, and perhaps beyond..
  • That the Kiev government is a free and democratic state, fighting a desperate war against unprovoked aggression.
  • The Russians are bombing themselves in a nuclear power plant that they took from Ukraine in March 2022.

And we are for instance not told :

In the last few days we have also heard about the killing of the daughter of the ‘ultra-nationalist” Alexander Dugin. Dugin is, in my opinion, an obnoxious idealogue who has for many years promoted a Russia first meme. However nobody deserves to die because of their beliefs, (let alone their children) – be they Russian, Ukrainian or any other nationality.

What is however scary, is the identical use of language by Western media in describing Dugin as an ‘ultra-nationalist” – what exactly an ‘ultra-nationalist’ is, as opposed to simply being a ‘nationalist’, is somewhat unclear- but one is left with the clear understanding that only Russians can be ‘ultranationalists’ (or for that matter ‘oligarchs’) and never of course those Americans who have the ludicrous belief in the United States as the ‘exceptional nation’ who wanders the world doing good deeds for the benefit of those of us who are less enlightened.

Patriotism is one of the scourges of humanity; an absurd belief in the superiority of the culture and land to which you were accidentally born into. A scourge that blights and distorts the mind into believing that any action ; however intrinsically evil it is, is good as long as it benefits the country you were born in.

We see that evil in the blue and gold banners that enswathes everything in Ukraine, the United State’s ‘Stars and Stripes’, and the blue white and red flag of Russia, to name but three.

So now, as Westerners, we are told to hate all Russians, all Chinese, because they are a threat to our expensive lifestyles….And as true patriots, we should consume more, build more and destroy more , because we are the epitome of ‘civilisation’.

And all the while, we move ever faster into a new world where the climate is already more unpredictable and dangerous, where global warming and sea-levels continue to rise and rise for the next hundred, maybe thousand years, and where we ever more rapidly, destroy what is left of our living world.

Western media may pay occasional lip-service to the climate ’emergency’ (as though it will conveniently go away in the next few years if we just try harder), but refuse to say out loud the only solution we have to this global catastrophe- to drastically reduce consumption.

And why?- because their media profit margins and their sponsors depend on more economic ‘growth’.

So it becomes clear that the only path to ‘de-growth’, and retaining some semblance of a live-able world for humans and other species, is one where Gaia herself creates that economic destruction.

When hurricanes, huge storms, enormous amounts of rainfall, oppressive high temperatures and sea level rise ( among many other ‘natural’ impacts), result in it being impossible to buy insurance for industry to sell your products or to have a market where people can no longer afford to buy your useless junk; only then will we start to see a return to a sustainable (but hotter) world where all species can live in harmony, and even some contentment!

Media have indoctrinated us all to believe that we need to consume more, do more, travel more – that we cannot live lives of contentment without all those things we need to buy and consume..

Its a lie.

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Links

https://en.interaffairs.ru/article/did-cia-train-ukrainian-torturers/

https://thescrum.substack.com/p/head-spinning-disorientation?

Ukraine’s Massive Money Laundering Scam
https://www.thepostil.com/the-hidden-truth-about-the-war-in-ukraine/
American Hegemony and the Politics of Provocation

https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2022-08-23/meaning-darya-dugina-assassination

https://www.opendemocracy.net/en/odr/ukraine-draft-law-5371-workers-rights-war-russia/

https://rumble.com/v1dqx82-bidens-shame-the-8-minute-expose-of-ukraines-biggest-lies.html

Where to from here?

As two of the world’s ‘superpowers’ fight it out in Ukraine for the spoils of war, the world descends into a dystopian whirlpool of economic stagflation and environmental catastrophe.

While the Western propaganda war of obvious lies to its populations about the war in Ukraine is deeply disturbing, what is far far worse is the psychotic behaviour of all the world’s political classes in talking about the need to address climate change while doing the exact opposite- promoting ‘growth’, trying to revitalise tourist air travel, more production of goods, more industry..

The evidence is unequivocal; only a reduction and stabilization of human ‘growth’ will allow species on this planet to barely cope with the ongoing and now inevitable climate and ecocide we are experiencing. Promoting more growth is simply going to push us all faster off the cliff to a far deeper environmental catastrophe.

Sadly the Ukraine war has given us ample evidence of the concerted activity of Western media to consistently lie to its populations. The refusal to acknowledge the war of terror by the Kiev government on its Donbas population for 8 years since 2014 ( with 14,000 deaths), the refusal to acknowledge the existence of the well documented neo-nazi military groups working to eliminate Ukrainian Russian speakers (even while promoting videos made by them), or even the refusal to acknowledge that much of the fighting against Western Ukrainians is being carried out by Russian speaking Ukrainians from the Donbas against Western Ukrainians and the neonazis, are all examples of the subterfuge Western governments are required to commit to ensure a compliant population supports their war against Russia, while ignoring the horrors of Palestine’s slow genocide by Israel or the rapid genocide in Yemen by the Saudis, both enthusiastically supported by the U.S. and U.K.

My ‘favourite’ so far from New Zealand state tv , TVNZ, is their recent video clip of an interview with an elderly man in Donetsk (a Donbass city held by Russian speaking Ukrainians and constantly bombarded by Kiev’s troops since 2014) after shelling of his apartment building by the Western Ukrainians, while the commentator pretends the damage has been caused by Russian shelling.

The level of ineptness and stupidity of politicians across the globe is staggering: countries with artificially determined boundaries lurch towards war with each other and potential nuclear armageddon, for no apparent reason other than the engorgement of weapons contracts and politicians and bureaucrats’ egos. This craziness is fuelled by corrupt and inept journalists who parrot the ‘official’ line of their country’s equally inept politicians.

When media have no compunction to consistently lie to get their ‘message’ across, one knows we have no hope of the media presenting an honest case about the desperate need for genuine action about climate change. We are instead presented with occasional short media articles about climate change, followed by a psychotic switch to the main propaganda barrage of ‘produce more, work more, buy more, sell more, fly more’. Greenwashing is now the ‘in thing’. Half-truths and pure lies infest our mainstream media.

Perhaps the one saving grace of our incompetent leaders is that they are, through their own incompetence, leading the world into a severe economic depression, which, together with the impacts of climate change, will inevitably reduce consumption and consequently allow some restoration of our natural world.

Sadly however that economic depression will lead to much suffering and many deaths. A planned and systematic approach to de-growth would have been a far more humane response.

Unfortunately , politicians’ and bureaucrats’ responses to the various crises enveloping the world is either to make war, or ‘grow’ economies more.

Because that’s ‘progress”?- isn’t it?

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Links

https://phys.org/news/2022-02-planet-mind.html

https://thescrum.substack.com/p/the-defactualization-of-america?s=r

https://www.rt.com/russia/556334-ukrainian-camp-nationalistic-narrative/

What’s left of Our World

While Russia and the United States fight it out by proxy in Ukraine for the spoils of war, or the 70+ year old war against Palestine and the war in Yemen to name just a few, the world continues, at an ever faster rate, to descend into climate and natural disintegration.

This is not to denigrate the appalling suffering and damage to the living world that wars bring- or to deny that there are evil people in the world (but not always the people that you consider are evil )

However, the recent IPPC 6th report of 2022 clearly articulates that the world is now in a perilous state. Climate change is now and will increasingly devastatingly impact on human’s lives and the other living things on this planet.

The cumulative scientific evidence is unequivocal: Climate change is a threat to human well-being and planetary health. Any further delay in concerted anticipatory global action on adaptation and mitigation will miss a brief and rapidly closing window of opportunity to secure a liveable and sustainable future for all.

And in recent days, reports of astonishly high temperatures at both North and South Poles simultaneously, are ringing a lot of alarm bells as to where climate change is truly headed- and how quickly!

Despite all the hype and speeches from ‘important global people’ at the COP26 climate change conference in Edinburgh in 2021 , the rate of global CO2 emissions continues to increase, not decrease. The natural world of indigenous forest is increasingly rapidly being hacked to oblivion for quick bucks for agribusiness, and along with it’s demise- all the species that depend on that living world.

The use of chemical pesticides and herbicides (poisons) that eliminate the insects and birds that provide life for the rest of us on our planet, is not being reduced. Even our supermarkets and hardware stores continue to be lined with rows of poisons to ‘tame nature’.

It is abundantly clear that politicians around the world have absolutely no intent to eliminate the ongoing destruction of our planet, let alone begin to restore it to a sustainable living world.

The current bizarre and mythical obsession with “growth” and “progress” constantly spewed out by planners, politicians and the media provides humanity with a completely flawed sense that we are ‘going somewhere’, ever upwards! We are in reality not going anywhere (unless to oblivion if we continue our current tack); we simply exist as safely and comfortably as we can for as long we can, as part of our living planet-nothing more-or less. Psychotic illusions of human ‘progress’ will damn us all to oblivion.

We need to take both individual and collective action to save our planet from human greed and undeniable human stupidity.

The destructive changes human activity has wrought on this world in the past 40 years; let alone from the start of the Industrial Revolution and earlier, are horrendous in magnitude and depravity. And, as ‘State of the Planet’ notes, those changes are not just temporary blips in our march towards ‘progress’ . Many of those devastating environmental changes will be with the planet (and maybe humans ) for thousands if not tens of thousands of years from now.

We can and must therefore do what we can to stop the continued and accelerating destruction of our living world, and begin to reverse that damage through dramatic reductions in consumerism, through tree planting and through simply acknowledging that we as humans are interconnected with the rest of this living world we inhabit.

Every human child needs to be taught now and forever, to respect and cherish every other living thing on this planet– not just their human neighbours; to learn that they don’t need to consume the ‘stuff’ that’s ‘pushed’ at them by media, and to consider what each and every one of their actions will have on the living things around them.

A study by the University of Bath last year found that climate change is causing severe mental health concerns among people aged 16–25 years. It found that nearly 60% were “extremely worried” about climate change and that the concerns were exacerbated by governments’ lack of action.

We no longer, and never again, will have the option of disregarding the rest of our natural world- there are now simply too many of this human species on this small planet to pretend that each one of our actions do not matter !

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Links

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2022/mar/20/heatwaves-at-both-of-earth-poles-alarm-climate-scientists

https://www.sfchronicle.com/opinion/openforum/article/My-first-job-was-slitting-the-throats-of-chickens-17017934.php

Gaia Strikes Back!

The invasion of Ukraine by the Russian Federation and the subsequent explosion of sanctions on Russian oil and natural gas, wheat and other products by Western nations, is likely to result in a substantial long-term economic downturn in both the West and Russia because of rapidly escalating oil, natural gas and nickel and paladium prices, consequent substantial increases in global transport costs, supply chain disruptions and inflation.

Food costs will also rise from shortages of chemical fertilizers, increased wheat prices and transport costs for many in the West and the third world , and this will have the most impact on those who are already struggling.

The only upside from all this chaos is that consumption in the West is likely to substantially diminish in the short to medium to…… Given that, per head of population, the West is by far the biggest producer of CO2 and the cause of much of the deforestation, species loss and environmental destruction in non Western countries, Gaia will be smiling.

Along with the impacts on consumption because of COVID- (less air travel, less conspicuous consumption because of lockdowns etc), we are likely to see a significant reduction in the production of CO2 into the atmosphere with a higher proportion of renewable energy sources, and a higher proportion of more organic fertlizers .

Of course the actual measurable processes and outcomes are much more complex than the above simplistic outline. Just two examples ; possibly coal production will increase significantly in Europe to cope with the reductions of access to natural gas and oil resulting in, at best, a status quo level of CO2 production, and/or commodity prices in the West increase to such an extent that revolutions on the street occur, and result in even more violent and extremist governments than we already have…

One of the biggest likely impacts will be on the confidence of European and U.S. populations that this current way of life of excessive consumption is both realistic, sustainable or even possible.

Combine that with the predicted but certain dire impacts on climate and global livability by the recent IPCC report on climate change, and we have an existential crisis of confidence in the Western way of ‘life’- ( or should that be ‘way of consumption’?)

Of course the other option for Gaia is nuclear war- not an impossibility given Vladimir Putin’s insistence that there can be no world without Russia, and Washington’s neoliberal and media blood-lusting for ‘no flight zones’ over Ukraine and their wish for dismemberment of Russia. Human beings have some significant cognitive problems with resolving conflict issues in reasonable ways.

Gaia may well be calculating that human beings were an unfortunate and highly destructive anomaly, and we need to start from scratch again…

Billion Dollar Deals to Destroy the Environment Just a Little Bit More

when our New Zealand government announces its fully supportive of measures to reduce climate change impact and reduce biodiversity loss (except not quite right now), and then announces a one billion dollar free trade deal with the United Kingdom, we sense there is a little mismatch!-or perhaps, dare we say it? -even a little smattering of psychosis?

The ‘environment’ is everything on this planet; its not some separate piece of work or concept that we can occasionally pull out and look at and say, ‘well we achieved this climate or biodiversity goal, now we can get back to the real work of human progress’..

So when our New Zealand government announces its fully supportive of measures to reduce climate change impact and reduce biodiversity loss (except not quite right now), and then announces a one billion dollar free trade deal with the United Kingdom, we sense there is a little mismatch!-or perhaps, dare we say it? -even a little smattering of psychosis?

That billion dollar deal will result in more dairy production in New Zealand (more polluted and depleted water sources, more natural environment destroyed for more dairy farmland, and more processing infrastructure like roads and factories), more vineyards using prodigious amounts of poisons to keep nature at bay from their precious grapes, and more sheep and cows being brutally killed in our slaughterhouses. And that’s just the start!

In return, we will be able to access cheap goods from the U.K. that we don’t really need, and that rely on exploiting third world countries for their resources; more polluting U. K. factories and encourage Britons to eat more unsustainable beef and mutton!

But that’s progress! Isn’t it?

When are we going to see governments across the world really accept that every bit of ‘progress’ they encourage in connivance with their business allies, is destroying the planet?

A steady state economy in every country around the world is literally not going to be the end of the world – (but more ‘progress’ will be). The desperate, futile and farcical arguments that we can somehow escape global climate change and loss of diversity with more technology, is simply fiction. Every new piece of ‘alternate’ industrial production, whether it be lithium batteries, hydrogen production or carbon capture is simply sleight of hand- robbing the environment to pay for more ‘progress’.

We need to start consuming less- a lot less: Eat more local food, grow our own where we can, repair broken items, buy second hand when we need something different, stop the fiction of a housing crisis in the Western world and ensure housing bought by speculators (because of low bank rates) is occupied affordably stopping the unnecessary building of houses over land and nature, get rid of the expectation that we need that overseas holiday, or that we need to kill other species for fun and relaxation…lower our expectations that we ‘need’ this or that, and more of it- we don’t.

As the climate rapidly evolves globally into some new unknowable and unpredictable chaotic pattern, we will see more drought, more floods, more storms, more climate extremes of every kind- becoming more and more intense as we rapidly, and seemingly inevitably, head towards a 3C warmer world.

In consequence, large scale human activity; industrial farming, mining and goods production is becoming more at risk- supply chain problems are escalating, production costs are rising, transport costs are ballooning, and insurance premiums will go through the roof to cover that increasing wild unpredictability. We will have to move towards smaller and more localised production; we will not have a choice.

We know that, as they have repeatedly done before, almost all, if not every statement and commitment made at the COP26 Glasgow Climate Change conference 31st October to 12th November 2021, by politicians there will be outright lies and obfuscations-pretending to respond to the climate emergency while continuing to support big business and the media who keep them in power..

Curiously, the equally important U.N Conference on biodiversity this October 2021 in China, received almost no media attention. Yet retaining as much as we can of the remaining species now left on this planet, is vital to humans and every other species’ survival- just as much, if not more so, than climate change. The difference of course is that species loss doesn’t, apparently for now at least, impact on human economies, so its not worthy of the same attention. However, almost every aspect of human ‘progress’ requires the depletion of natural environments for other species and species’ death. The level of destruction of sentient organisms in the world via human ‘progress’ is phenomenal, and has already potentially reached a tipping point of no return for the remaining species- including humans.

To mitigate some of the impacts of climate change and biodiversity loss, we urgently need large areas of the planet to re-wild, to enable more trees to grow that don’t get cut down for profit, but that provide a long long term home for the remaining diversity of microbes, fungi insects, birds, reptiles, mammals and other species that we unknowingly rely on for our own survival; to ensure our fresh water resources are not used for profit but are fairly shared between the species we live alongside; and to build nature into our cities so that they are no longer concrete and tar cancers on the land.

It can be done- it must be done!

SIGN THE EMERGENCY APPEAL FOR CLIMATE ACTION!

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Links

https://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/politics/uk-and-new-zealand-agree-to-1bn-free-trade-deal/LN6EYDF6NBPMY6X7EHJB7ZAVDU/#:~:text=New%20Zealand%20and%20the%20United%20Kingdom%20have%20agreed,the%20appropriate%20use%20of%20the%20haka%2C%20Ka%20Mate.

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2021/oct/23/new-trade-deals-are-unfair-on-farmers-and-wont-help-emissions

https://www.leonard.vinci.com/en/the-technology-mirage-building-a-future-based-on-eco-sufficiency/

https://unfccc.int/process-and-meetings/conferences/glasgow-climate-change-conference

https://www.globalcitizen.org/en/content/what-is-cop15-biodiversity-summit-nature-cop26/

https://www.nature.com/collecti

https://www.commondreams.org/news/2021/11/01/over-700-groups-demand-real-climate-solutions-not-net-zero-promises?

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2021/nov/02/beware-gaia-theory-climate-crisis-earth

The ‘Coming’ Climate Crisis

We are told that if we do not change our ways, reduce carbon emissions, ‘soon’ it will be too late.

If we haven’t guessed by now , that ‘soon’ is right now. We are already in a climate crisis- of massive fires out of control in the United States, in coastal Mediterranean areas, in Siberia to name just a few. Of “Once in a 100” or 200 year floods, of temperatures in parts of the world that are close to killing any living thing.. We are there – right now…and its not going to get better any time soon- no matter what we do.

This is not a ‘crisis’ that will go away if we just behave ourselves.

This is a crisis that will be with those who survive on this planet for at least the next thousand years- and many more years than that, if we cannot reduce our carbon consumption and start planting trillions of trees.

Even if we were to stop creating more carbon dioxide right now, the planet will continue to warm, the climate will become more unpredictable and unstable. And of course our great politicians are not talking about anything as radical as eliminating our carbon footprint any time soon!- no!- they want us to reduce the ‘rate of increase’ of carbon by 2030 or 2050 or – some other target date far away…that doesn’t impact on their corporate ‘sponsorship’.

However, right now that rate of increase of carbon emissions is just going higher and higher- we are indeed ‘accelerating towards the cliff’.

But somehow many of us continue to believe that those great human minds will save us with some new technology -perhaps detonating some nuclear bombs to provide a nuclear winter for us, or sending dust particles into the atmosphere!

Are we consuming more and more to cope with our fears for the apocalyptic future?- bigger and bigger cars, more and more tinsel and useless consumption, more and more glorification of killing of defenseless animals for pleasure- hunting and fishing ?

But the answer , while not immediate, is simple.

  1. We have to adjust to a world where the climate is warming rapidly- first by accepting that infinite ‘growth’ on a finite world is just plain stupidity. We need to rapidly traverse to global no-growth economies.
  2. We need to try and reverse our rapid destruction of nature around us- encourage insect, bird and other non human populations to rebuild in the face of a rapidly warming world- create new perpetual habitats for other species, stop the chemical spraying, return habitats to their natural states as much and as quickly as possible .. and most importantly, plant more indigenous forest- not for forestry- but for life!
  3. We need to acknowledge that technology is not going to ‘save’ us from the climate crisis- in fact it is one of the significant causes of species loss and habitat destruction that is killing our planet.
  4. We need to acknowledge that humans simply need to support nature to get back to doing its job of making this planet a living world for every remaining species here – there’s nothing fancy about it, it won’t create many new jobs, and it wont seem like ‘progress’ – but it will save us.
  5. We need to encourage politicians to stop lying about what they intend to do about the environment and the climate. There’s no money in it from their company ‘sponsors”, and its not going to boost their fragile egos.
  6. Saving the planet from global heating and species loss is not a side issue to any decisions any of us make. Every bit of ‘progress’ and ‘development’ we make as humans must now put the cost to the climate and species loss at the forefront of EVERY decision. In most cases, human ‘progress’ is not worth the cost to the planet.
  7. We need to accept that we don’t need ‘more’. Teaching people how to be thankful and at peace with what they have and how to re-build their connection with nature – along with a respect for all living things.-that we don’t have a God-given right to treat other living entities as resources.

It’s not going to be easy- but it is simple…..

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Links

https://www.nature.com/articles/s41558-021-01092-9.epdf?

https://www.ipcc.ch/assessment-report/ar6/

https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/earth-is-warmer-than-its-been-in-125-000-years/

https://www.ipcc.ch/report/ar6/wg1/

https://scheerpost.com/2021/08/09/code-red-for-humanity/

The unraveling of the web of life

The Leaf in  the Concrete Pool
The Leaf in the Concrete Pool

A U.K.  February  2021 report by Professor Sir Partha Dasgupta,  entitled ‘The Economics of Biodiversity’ outlines the ‘extreme risk’ the ‘world’, is being put by  not taking into  account the  ‘rapid depletion of the natural  world’.

While the overarching intent of the paper is to  be applauded in attempting to  reduce species loss,  the underlying assumptions outlined in  the paper  about humans’ relationships to  the rest of this living world  are,  to  put it mildly,  grotesque.

Prof. Dasgupta’s comment that  ‘Truly sustainable economic growth and development means recognising that our long-term prosperity relies on rebalancing our demand of nature’s goods and services with its capacity to supply them’, is truly bizarre.

The natural  world (including the human  species) does not exist  to provide ‘goods and services’. This arrogant and ignorant perspective of the living world around us  is the root cause of  why  the  living planet around us, is dying. All  living things on  this planet exist  in their own  right and to  construct  a web of  interdependent life around themselves; a web  that  humans have been  unravelling at  ever-increasing speed for the past 3000  years.

To  view other living organisms as ‘good and services’  for humans, is not only  to  debase the sanctity of life, but also confirms our  fundamental  lack of understanding of how life on  this planet life continues to  maintain  itself,  and once thrived. The more humans choose some organisms as being ‘worthwhile’  ( for humans),  and others not-  the more we destroy the web that  holds all  life on this planet together.

There are many humans on this planet who  have never known  what  it is to  be connected with  the living world around them – who  look  out their windows in  the morning at  the dead concrete jungle surrounding them  and think  this life. Who  truly do  think  of the living world as a commodity solely for humanities’  use, and who  never once consider that  the view from  their window  would have once been  a joyous riot of life-   of birds,  trees  insects and many other  animals. What  humans have not known, we do not miss. The more humans become immersed in  an inanimate world of concrete  and tar, the more it becomes ‘normal’.

We do  not comprehend what  we have done to  our world, and what  awaits us at the end of this journey  of ‘commodification’.

 


Links

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2021/feb/02/economics-failure-over-destruction-of-nature-presents-extreme-risks

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/final-report-the-economics-of-biodiversity-the-dasgupta-review

Recognising the Environmental Impact of Consumption

Tena koutou
While the NZ Government’s decision to  declare a climate emergency  in New Zealand is to be applauded-  currently there appear few mechanisms  to   achieve a carbon-neutral  government by  2025. Prime Minister Jacinda Adern’s touted response to  have all  government vehicles  electric,  is a case in  point of the contradictions in  environmental  policy. There is an  urgent  need for all  citizens to recognise the  impact of product and service consumption.
While electric cars will  reduce carbon  emissions through  vehicle  exhaust pipes, the production of the required number of  electric vehicles will  result in  further destruction of our environments-  lithium  mining for batteries ,  steel  production,  plastics production. to  name just  a few.  A sleight of hand process that  reduces emissions in  one area and replaces it with  more consumption in  another-  is simply deceitful  and will  not improve our environmental impact. Any  climate “emergency planning (an  ’emergency’  implies a short -term  problem- this is not a short-term issue)  must  also  address the collateral  bio-diversity loss that  is occurring in New Zealand and everywhere in  the world.
As a recent Israeli  study  amply demonstrates;  production of inert ‘stuff’  by  humans now literally out-weighs  the living  things on  this planet https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2020/dec/09/human-made-materials-now-outweigh-earths-entire-biomass-study
We are replacing  living entities with  dead inert  matter at  a rapidly  increasing rate-  a recipe not just  for  an  emergency,  but a planetary  disaster.
While moving to  a steady  state economy is the only plausible  response to   the disaster rapidly unfolding  on our little plant; current levers of power and influence globally and in New Zealand clearly will not allow that  to  happen in  the short -term.
Consequently ,  rather than moving gently and steadily to  a slow-down  and cessation of human  ‘growth’ ,  we are  rushing headlong and ever faster  towards the precipice of environmental  catastrophe,  before we  fall over…and reach ‘steady-state’  in a way  that  will  cause huge immediate human  and other species’ suffering  and death.
To   hopefully avoid that precipitous  fall, I would suggest a measure that  will  in a relatively short  time ,  allow all  members of New Zealand society to   appreciate we cannot continue  this headlong dash  to  oblivion.
A requirement  that all animate and non-animate goods   and services in New Zealand carry  a warning label  which  indicates how much  the product has impacted on  both  climate change ( positive or negative) but also  ( and more crucially)  biodiversity. The labeling could be something similar to   cigarette warning labels and provide an  opportunity for purchasers to  be aware of the environmental  impact  of their purchase,  to  compare  goods’  environmental impact  and to encourage producers to  reduce their  environmental  footprint..
Over time this labeling would also  provide an opportunity for government  to   additionally tax those products and services  that  were  high in  environmental  impact,  once public support had reached an  acceptable level.
From  there, the public debate on how to  implement a  sustainable  steady  state economy  could proceed.
As you will  be well  aware, as you see the  data continue to   pile in at  an  ever increasing rate  on  global  warming and bio-diversity loss ,  we now  have little time and opportunity  to change our trajectory.
nga mihi

Footnote
The response to  my email   from  New Zealand’s Ministry of the Environment  courteously noted my suggestions,  but declined to  support it,noting that there were some unnamed private New Zealand companies interested in such  an idea.
Subsequently my daughter has suggested that  there would be web  companies out there who  could develop  an  app  which   could provide information online  for ‘consumers’  on  the relative  carbon  footprint and impact on  biodiversity of products being sold.
Yes please!