# UN COP17, meet reality.

## Recommended Posts

I always knew that the connection of beauracrats and (many) NGOs to reality was tenuous at best, but this out of Durban simply shows how far from the real world they are.

From the UNFCCC agreement that they wanted to get signed at durban;

39. Developed country Parties shall provide developing country Parties with new and

additional finance, inter alia through a percentage of the gross domestic product of

developed country Parties, for technology, insurance and capacity-building in order to

enable and implement adaptation actions, plans, programmes and projects at all levels, in

and across different economic and social sectors and ecosystems;

47. The provision of the amount of funds to be made available annually to developing

country Parties, which shall be equivalent to the budget that developed countries spend on

defence, security, and warfare. Fifty per cent of that amount shall be for adaptation, 20 per

cent for mitigation, 15 per cent for technology development and transfer and 15 per cent for

forest-related actions in developing country Parties;

So America, your share is around $800 Billion. I'm so glad you can afford it. But seriously, how far divorced from any form of economic reality do you have to be to even make such a suggestion? Only people living in a total fairyland could think that Germany has a spare 30 Billion Euros to throw at this. (There are other ways of funding this, see below.) All up it would come to around$1.3 Trillion, a nice little earner for the UN that I'm sure has them swooning at all the great deeds and marvelous works they could accomplish with the money. (After management fees, their wages and a few conferences in very nice places are deducted of course.)

Some other really cool bits (Are you listening America?)

80. Stopping wars, defending lives and ceasing destructive activities will protect the

climate system; conflict-related activities emit significant greenhouse gas emissions to the

atmosphere.

81. The guarantee that all Parties shall cease destructive activities that contribute to

climate change, in particular the activities of warfare, production of materials and services

that support warfare, and to divert associated financial resources and investments into the

shared global effort to combat a common enemy: climate change.

You are required to stop all "warfare" related activities and shut down your defence industries, giving all the saved money to the UN for redistribution. (See 47 above) What you do about the hundreds of thousands unemployed is presumably your problem.

74. Ensure respect for the intrinsic laws of nature.

75. The recognition and defence of the rights of Mother Earth to ensure harmony

between humanity and nature, and that their will be no commodification of the functions of

nature, therefore no carbon market will be developed with that purpose.

Can somebody enlighten me as to exactly what an "Intrinsic Law of Nature" is? Or is it just a greenies wet dream?

But I'm sure the "Climate Court of Justice" will be able to rule on this;

79. Requests the Conference of the Parties to develop, by its eighteenth session, an

International Climate Court of Justice in order to guarantee the compliance of Annex I

Parties with all the provisions of this decision, which are essential elements in the obtaining

of the global goal;

BTW, "Annex I Parties" are the West, the developed nations, a full list is here. The court is to have the power to judge and fine only the developed nations. The West is to comply or else, the ROW can do what they like. I guess some animals are more equal than others.

I've always thought that those who think that "Climate Change" was a cover for some UN conspiracy were fools. However, having read the UN documents and seeing the sheer amounts of money it wants and the power that it is demanding in that name, I'm starting to wonder if they might not have a point. The documents are long on power and authority over the people of the planet, but very short on responsibility to the people of this planet. It seems to be very much assumed that the UN knows best and would never act except in the best interests of the people or the planet. If that is true then they would be the first organisation in history to manage that little feat.

The UN needs to be introduced to reality, very soon.

Edited by JohnB
##### Share on other sites

Sadly, such large amounts of money are exactly what is needed.

But of course, most of you will agree that it is impossible to relocate all the defense budgets to sustainable energy.

I just cannot imagine that I would have to explain that to some alien, who isn't brainwashed by our modern world:

Me: "Yes, we know that it is quite likely that we have a massive problem, and the entire climate might change."

Alien: "Ok, so you allocate a lot of resources to fix that, don't you?"

Me: "No, we prefer to spend that on tools to destroy each other."

Alien: "Oh, that's sad... so, war is inevitable, isn't it?"

Me: "Well, where I live, the climate change seems a lot more likely to happen than war, actually."

Alien: "Eeh..."

##### Share on other sites

Of all the developed countries in world, look how many are touched by recent economic strife. Like having your own countryman's problems to deal with isn't enough, now they want us to shell out money to them to redistribute how they see fit? Give up our defense programs so they will get the chance to be the biggest super power in the world? Next they'll ban weapons altogether and invite us over for a bar-b-que. None of this will ever fly in america. If we need to give money to a good cause then we probably would, and we're fine with that. But try to push something down our throats and we tend to get a little stubborn. ahhh, sweet independance, it's candy for the soul.

Okay, lets say for some unimaginable reason this thing is passed in the future. The UN will be allowed to allocate the funds, but who will be held accountable for making sure it gets spent properly. Does anyone here believe that a country, like North Korea or Iran for example, would spend money on carbon emmisions rather than more nuc's. I think it's outrageous to want to give someone so much power over the world even if it's for the "greater good".

I've said it before and I'll sasy it again, One man's good intensions can easily become another man's nightmare.

##### Share on other sites

I just cannot imagine that I would have to explain that to some alien

Out of curiousity, and since change is actually the normal state for the climate, could you explain to the hypothetical alien how somebody made you afraid of it? Are you afraid of night following day as well? Or Summer following Winter?

Whether you live in a Supercity or a grass hut, war is not inevitable but climate change certainly is.

However, to keep things in this thread on the political side. My point in posting was to show that the UNFCCC answers to the percieved problem are so divorced from reality as to need a ouiji board and a star map to find Earth again. Don't people find it uncomfortable to be arguing that the UNFCCC is sane, practical and rational as to the "problem" when their "solutions" are insane, impractical and irrational?

JustinW, one day it will "fly", not just in America but all over the planet. The day is coming when there will be a World government, the question is "What type?". ATM it's forming from the unelected beauracrats of the UN simply because nobody else is speaking up and there is nobody to regulate or stop them. While there must be some with nefarious ideas, the majority simply want to standardise things and why not? Isn't it a reasonable and laudable aim that all people on the planet have access to the same standards for food packaging as we do in the West? So things just naturally grow.

The problem is that we might finish up with a world beauracracy that has no Parlimentary oversight and therefore no responsibility to the governed. That is where it gets dangerous to freedoms and liberties. It isn't government that is dangerous, but a government with a lack of checks and balances. Checks and balances is what the UN currently lacks.

But make no mistake, a World government is coming and will be neccessary in the future. This is one planet with one intelligent race on it and some problems that we will face will require united action. It might be climate or it might be to avert an asteroid collision. Or it might be simpler than that. Our satellites are discovering more and more extra solar planets each day. It is only a matter of time before we find another intelligent race and when that day comes there must be somebody who the united people of Earth have decided will speak for them. Not for Americans or Chinese or Australians, not for Caucasians or Asians or Negroids, but for all of us.

Besides, think of how many manned ships we could have exploring the Solar system if we weren't spending trillions on defence. Especially since if you look at it logically, most of the money is wasted because the things never get used. The third largest Airforce in the world lies in boneyards across America. Billions of dollars worth of aircraft that never did anything but fly around and drop expensive ordnance on billions of dollars worth of tanks and trucks that never saw combat. Think of how many warships have been built, paid for and decommissioned without ever seeing action.

I'm no peacenik and I'm not in a hurry to give up the defence spending of the West, but at the same time I can see the subtle lunacy in what we are doing as a planet. If someone can come up with a way off this crazy merry go round, I'll at least listen.

##### Share on other sites

Out of curiousity, and since change is actually the normal state for the climate, could you explain to the hypothetical alien how somebody made you afraid of it? Are you afraid of night following day as well? Or Summer following Winter?

Gotta love climate discussions. JohnB, you start your post with a nice fallacy (above), and since this is climate-change-discussion, I will accept that as a standard method of discussion.

No, I am not afraid, and fear has nothing to do with it. But I will dress different in winter than in summer. In summer, when it is warm, a t-shirt and shorts can be sufficient, while in winter I wear multiple layers to prevent hypothermia, and I usually make sure that the outer layers of my clothing are water proof when it is likely to rain. Also, when it is going to rain and there is not much wind, an umbrella will keep me dry. Rain in the Netherlands is inevitable, but I generally stay dry.

And if I am myself the reason I am cold, then I will address this problem, either by turning on the heating when inside, or by improving my cloting when outside. The winter is inevitable, but I have many options to survive it. I can make sure that the air around me does not cool me down, or I can make sure that some insulation (clothing) keeps the heat in.

Regarding the climate, you may oppose the idea of reducing our footprint. I think it's a bit selfish, but that's only normal for humans. But do you also oppose any ways to deal with any climate change? Will you walk in a metaphorical blizzard in shorts and sandals? Or will you at least support building dikes in areas that may flood or improved irrigation to reduce water losses in areas where drought may be a problem?

Personally, I think it would be wise to allocate an amount of money similar to the military expenses to prepare for climate change. Luckily, in the Netherlands we do that already. We sadly spend very little on sustainable energy, but luckily we at least acknowledge the possible changes, and we are continuously improving our dikes. War might be avoided, but high water will surely come to us, from the rivers or from the sea. And we have already spent many billions to prepare. And guess what, that even turned out to be good for business. The Dutch now sell their expertise.

##### Share on other sites

JustinW, one day it will "fly", not just in America but all over the planet. The day is coming when there will be a World government, the question is "What type?". ATM it's forming from the unelected beauracrats of the UN simply because nobody else is speaking up and there is nobody to regulate or stop them. While there must be some with nefarious ideas, the majority simply want to standardise things and why not? Isn't it a reasonable and laudable aim that all people on the planet have access to the same standards for food packaging as we do in the West? So things just naturally grow.

The problem is that we might finish up with a world beauracracy that has no Parlimentary oversight and therefore no responsibility to the governed. That is where it gets dangerous to freedoms and liberties. It isn't government that is dangerous, but a government with a lack of checks and balances. Checks and balances is what the UN currently lacks.

Alright... I can follow, but have my doubts. Once this GLOBAL GOVERNMENT is established how long do you think it will take before it maneuvers it's way into a position of no checks and balances? Who's going to speak up then? I can say that I do not enjoy the prospect of a world government.
##### Share on other sites

JohnB, I also find it hard to follow the rationale of the COP frameworks that ....

...Wait! What?

Alright... I can follow, but have my doubts. Once this GLOBAL GOVERNMENT is established how long do you think it will take before it maneuvers it's way into a position of no checks and balances? Who's going to speak up then? I can say that I do not enjoy the prospect of a world government.

World Government?!?

How does global cooperation translate into "world government?" A generation ago, when governments cooperated to set a baseline limiting the industial effects on stratospheric ozone, did that lead to a world government? Why would it now?

In the same way that the American people demanded guiding limits to harness the excesses of American industrialization back in the early 1900's, the global population is now increasingly demanding guiding limits to harness the sustainability of global development and avoid the new excesses of industrialization and financialization, injustices that derive from growth-fueled income disparities, and long-term degradation and/or exhaustion of resources simply to subsidize short-term growth. ...or words to that effect....

===

A global microtax on automated, high-speed, computerized, short-term financial transactions could raise hundreds of billions of dollars for compensating the rape of global and indigenous resources. Europe (except for the Brits) are advocating for such a fund--though simply to "insure" the financial sector. But an "environmental development fund" would be a fair use of such a levy on financial excesses imho.

Sure, there would be arguments over who, how, where, what, etc. should benefit; but does that constitute a world government?

===

The only thing--other than global action/inaction on managing climate--more deterministic of civilization's future, would be a large asteroid predicted to collide with our planet. In that case, global cooperation and resources directed into space-based research should be the priority. Whatever the problem with our local environment happens to be (asteroids, or acidification via CO2), we should focus our abilities on the management of that problem.

===

Indigenous land- and biomass- managers should be the most highly valued people on the planet. That is not to say they must be paid the most cash, but they should be afforded the most consideration and accomodation. And science is now in a position to tease out the wisdom of their old ways.

Just once in the course of human history, can we try to avoid repeating the rapacious patterns leading to so many rise'n'fall, or boom'n'bust, cycles? Can we learn from history or are we doomed to repeat it? We've reached the point where that cyclical pattern of civilization will now occur on a global scale, instead of just locally or regionally. We've also reached the point where we are capable of global understanding and management.

What a coincidence! Just at the time when our fate will be determined by globally-acting forces, our species has attained a global consciousness and capability.

Politics: What will we do?

===

JohnB, it's not fear--re: your comment, "Out of curiousity, and since change is actually the normal state for the climate, could you explain to the hypothetical alien how somebody made you afraid of it? Are you afraid of night following day as well? Or Summer following Winter?"

How long have we had the 4-5 regular seasons? How long since these continents seen anything but seasons of light and dark (depending on latitude), instead of the wonderful variety of warm and cool seasons that drive the formation of temperate soils in the lower latitudes?

[slide #37] ...before earthworms, honeybees and hominids (and seasons?) evolved.

It is not "fear" of climate change. It is grief for the loss of so much potential, which civilization has struggled to bring forward to this point, that will be lost so quickly over the next several generations. Our children will see this, through their grandchildren's eyes, and that is to be grieved.

~

Edited by Essay

(...)So America, your share is around $800 Billion. I'm so glad you can afford it.(...) I don't think that's the point. The US military budget for 2010 was roughly 680 Billion.(source Wikipedia) The point is to split the budget: 340 billions for defence & warfare, 340 billions for help. America will not have to afford overcharge, it is a question of repartition of the investment. If I understand correctly the UN suggestions. ##### Link to comment ##### Share on other sites CaptainPanic, Gotta love climate discussions. JohnB, you start your post with a nice fallacy (above), and since this is climate-change-discussion, I will accept that as a standard method of discussion. What fallacy? You are equating climate change with war and anybody who isn't afraid of getting caught up in a war is either psychotic or foolish, I assume that you are neither. The other point I was trying to make concerns how people think about climate change, as if there is some choice involved. You can choose not to go to war, you cannot choose for the climate not to change. People are being given the impression that if we "do something" then climate change won't be a problem and this is incorrect. Natural climate change has been written out of the story. Concerning CC there are really only two possible courses of action. Attempt to "do something" about it or simply to "deal with it" and the problems as they occur. I happen to think that "dealing with it" is the best course. You might think that not being too worried about "reducing our footprint" (whatever that means in reality) is selfish, I OTOH think it silly to spend a fortune on "reducing our footprint" for little to no practical purpose. Is it worth spending the money to ensure that the next hurricane has winds of only 150 mph instead of 153 mph? Or the next flood is 10 mm lower? Or that the sea level will rise by 50 cm by 2100 instead of 59 cm? Far more sensible to me to spend the money on dams and sea walls and better buildings. Because even if we do spend all that money on reducing our footprint, we will still have to build dams and sea walls and better buildings, won't we? The benefits of mitigation are very small compared to the costs, this isn't the case with adaptation. Take the extreme case. Let's say that everybody puts in a huge effort and the entire planet becomes carbon neutral or whatever term you wnat to use. The activities of man no longer have any effect whatsoever on the climate and even more we found a magical way of taking CO2 out of the air and reduced the concentration to 280 ppm. So the world is now just like preindustrial. What then in this magical world? We'd be spending money on adapting to the natural CC, wouldn't we? There is something bizzarely Kanute like going on here. In case I'm not fully clear, I'm pretty much with you and the Dutch Gov. No matter what, with or without an anthro component, the water will come. It is good to plan, prepare and adapt. Essay, World Government?!? How does global cooperation translate into "world government?" A generation ago, when governments cooperated to set a baseline limiting the industial effects on stratospheric ozone, did that lead to a world government? Why would it now? In the same way that the American people demanded guiding limits to harness the excesses of American industrialization back in the early 1900's, the global population is now increasingly demanding guiding limits to harness the sustainability of global development and avoid the new excesses of industrialization and financialization, injustices that derive from growth-fueled income disparities, and long-term degradation and/or exhaustion of resources simply to subsidize short-term growth. ...or words to that effect.... Wouldn't you say that a group that has the power to tax and the power to pass rules by which the population lives is, in effect, a government? The difference between what is happening and the example you use of America is that in America the people demanded that their duly appointed government give those "guiding limits". What we are evolving is an EPA without Parlimentary oversight. I'm not against international co-operation or even a world gov eventually, but consideration has to be given to form. If we finish up with the WTO making the rules for trade and the WHO making the rules for health plus many others making the rules for their little piece of the action, all under the auspices of the UN in the name of "International Co-operation", would we not then have a de facto world government? Once that state occurs, getting the power away from the beauracrats and back into the hands of the people will be very, very difficult. Mankind has always been afflicted by the psycho minority, those to whom the dream of unfettered power is a narcotic. What is evolving is a wet dream for them, the power to instruct and tax whole nations with absolutely nobody looking over their shoulder. These people have always worked from within the system to subvert it. Now unless you think that this trait has been bred out of the human race in the last 60 years or so, then you must accept that these people are around today and are currently within the system and working to subvert it for their own ends. Where are the checks and balances? Indigenous land- and biomass- managers should be the most highly valued people on the planet. That is not to say they must be paid the most cash, but they should be afforded the most consideration and accomodation. And science is now in a position to tease out the wisdom of their old ways. This is an attitude I find interesting. These would be the indigenous peoples that have lived in harmony with nature for thousands of years.? (or whatever the current descriptive fad is) The people whose "old ways" are credited with stampeding hundreds of Mammoths off cliffs for food and the extinction of the megafauna in the known world? How people whose ways haven't changed for thousands of years can be both the guiding light for future conservation and responsible for massive extinctions is a dichotomy I have yet to fathom. It was the "rapacious patterns" of these primitive peoples that supposedly led to the extinctions in the first place. At least the "Noble Savage" myth is still alive and well. How long have we had the 4-5 regular seasons? How long since these continents seen anything but seasons of light and dark (depending on latitude), instead of the wonderful variety of warm and cool seasons that drive the formation of temperate soils in the lower latitudes? [slide #37] ...before earthworms, honeybees and hominids (and seasons?) evolved. I'm not sure how to respond to this. The seasons, last I heard, were caused by the axial tilt of the Earth and it's orbit around the Sun. Are you suggesting that there was no tilt until 30 million years ago or so? You've made the point mentioned on the slide before and I have to ask "So what?". You use the "levels not seen in 30 million years" as though it is a bad thing. Tell me why. As I pointed out last time, life was flourishing all over the planet at that time. Your argument seems to boil down to "Change = Bad", well "Change = Inevitable". I frankly don't see the problem. Even giving that the comment is factually correct, I don't see the problem. Expand the idea please. It is not "fear" of climate change. It is grief for the loss of so much potential, which civilization has struggled to bring forward to this point, that will be lost so quickly over the next several generations. Our children will see this, through their grandchildren's eyes, and that is to be grieved. Soooo, you're grieving for people yet unborn in a civilisation that doesn't exist who were maybe effected by speculative things that might not happen. Have I got that right? Whereas I'm p*ssed at people like Oxfam who want an extra tax on bunker fuel, making shipping more expensive and thereby increasing the price of food for the 900 million people who are malnourished right bloody now. Isn't it funny that concern for "our (predominantly white) children and grandchildren" having problems in the future is so much more important than the millions of (predominantly black) people dying today. michel, The wording is "shall be equivalent to the budget that developed countries spend on defence, security and warfare", that was$800 billion for the US according to Wiki. (Counting Homeland Security, CIA, etc.) So the yanks are to pony up that much and the UN will spend it.

BTW, your share is $9.3 Billion USD. Greece is an Annex I developed nation. I'm sure that the Greek gov has a spare$9.3 B lying around somewhere.

##### Share on other sites

CaptainPanic,

What fallacy? You are equating climate change with war and anybody who isn't afraid of getting caught up in a war is either psychotic or foolish, I assume that you are neither.

Not true. I equated one sum of money with another sum of money. That's apples and apples.

I'm glad to see you wish to prepare for catastrophes at least. We agree on that. Unfortunately, countries like the USA still seem to fail to understand the danger of mother nature, and they seem to spend money emotionally rather than rationally.

When you look at the responses to 9/11 and Katrina, they are significantlty different in terms of money and attitude, and I just don't understand that. It is surprising that a country with the most powerful army in the world couldn't protect New Orleans, couldn't protect thousands of people. But what's more surprising is that the US hasn't declared a War on Flooding, because that at least is a war you can win.

I mean, even now, 6 years after Katrina, there are large areas that are virtually unprotected against flooding, and only recently the Mississippi flooded large areas. I'm not sure anything is being done in those areas at all.

If the climate changes (regardless of whether humans caused it), there is a chance that such floodings increase. Why can't the US protect its own citizens?

And (to come back to the main point I made), you can compare the responses of governments, and the allocations of resources to such catastrophes and to war. The US government has a choice to spend a certain amount of dollars on war, and a certain amount of dollars on protecting its citizens. And they made a very clear choice (and a very different one compared to the Dutch). And I just don't get it.

##### Share on other sites

Hind sight's 20/20 there, fella. Why anyone would build a city by the ocean on a piece of land that's lower than sea level never made since to me.

I'm glad to see you wish to prepare for catastrophes at least. We agree on that. Unfortunately, countries like the USA still seem to fail to understand the danger of mother nature, and they seem to spend money emotionally rather than rationally.

Can you please explain what you mean by emotionally instead of rationally?

When you look at the responses to 9/11 and Katrina, they are significantlty different in terms of money and attitude, and I just don't understand that. It is surprising that a country with the most powerful army in the world couldn't protect New Orleans, couldn't protect thousands of people. But what's more surprising is that the US hasn't declared a War on Flooding, because that at least is a war you can win.

Of course they were responded to differently, the only thing they had in common was the loss of life. The government wasn't prepared for either event, even after they were warned about both. I think everyone can agree that the response to Katrina was lacking. I can see where you can make a comparison of the allocation of funds, but I still can't see where one can compare the responces. The mind frame on the two were totally different. I live one state over and we didn't get the information to know exactly how bad Katrina was until it was already too late. So yes, preperation was lacking.
##### Share on other sites

Acting emotionally is to build a city on land lower than sea level and then spending money on "vote winning" things rather than maintainence, rationally is spending on maintainence first.

Don't worry, others do the same. In 1974 Brisbane flooded. So we went to the hydrologists and they told us to build three more dams to mitigate or prevent future flooding in the area. We built one (rational) and didn't build the other two because they might flood the habitat of the hairy nosed something or other (emotional). Also we were taking the "latest and best" scientific advice of the climate change crowd who were saying that the heavy rains weren't going to come again. (emotional) The result was that heavy rains came and the single dam filled up and Brisbane and other cities got flooded.

Thinking that the climate is stable and that since it is changing we are all going to die in horrible ways due to massive natural catastrophes is emotional and not rational.

##### Share on other sites

Hind sight's 20/20 there, fella. Why anyone would build a city by the ocean on a piece of land that's lower than sea level never made since to me.

Simple: it's a fantastic location. You're right by the sea. Often on a main river. Such a location is guaranteed to be a harbor for transit of cargo from ocean vessels to inland vessels. In addition, those rivers have transported fertile soil downstream for millennia, which means agriculture is excellent there. It is no coincidence that some of the largest ports in the world (e.g. Shanghai, Rotterdam) are in low lands, right by a major river.

Can you please explain what you mean by emotionally instead of rationally?

What I meant is that the expenses of most governments are in no relation to the threats that the populations face.

Cancer is the highest risk for almost all of us. Yet, cancer research and treatment does not receive the percentage of the tax payers' money you would expect.

And a terrorist attack is actually a pretty small risk. But it receives a very large portion of the tax money.

And the reason for that is that it is a very emotional shock if a city center gets bombed, and innocent people die. It is very sudden, and people get afraid that it might happen any moment to themselves (or worse, to their children).

But if you look at the dry facts - the statistics - then it is far more likely that they die from cancer, or some cardiovascular disease than from terrorism.

That is what I meant by emotional, not rational.

Of course they were responded to differently, the only thing they had in common was the loss of life. The government wasn't prepared for either event, even after they were warned about both. I think everyone can agree that the response to Katrina was lacking. I can see where you can make a comparison of the allocation of funds, but I still can't see where one can compare the responces. The mind frame on the two were totally different. I live one state over and we didn't get the information to know exactly how bad Katrina was until it was already too late. So yes, preperation was lacking.

I am sure that the US government was bliss of the dangers before both events (and I don't see the need to criticize that). And I am sure that they did everything to their ability right after the disasters struck. And in the case of Katrina, that was a lot harder in an evacuated flooded area, than in the downtown area of an otherwise fully functional New York.

No, I meant the response weeks, months and years afterwards. The funding going into the wars in Iraq/Afghanistan is enormous compared to preparing against the next flood (which will inevitably come).

Agreed.

##### Share on other sites

I just thought I would add, to point out the disconnect from reality that the UN suffers from.

South Korea as a developed nation and a party to the Covention is expected to disarm while North Korea, who is not a party to the Convention is not. I can only assume that the UN believes the assurances of "The peace loving people of the Peoples Democratic Republic of Korea" that they have no militaristic ambitions towards the South.

##### Share on other sites

CaptainPanic,

What fallacy? You are equating climate change with war and anybody who isn't afraid of getting caught up in a war is either psychotic or foolish, I assume that you are neither. The other point I was trying to make concerns how people think about climate change, as if there is some choice involved. You can choose not to go to war, you cannot choose for the climate not to change. People are being given the impression that if we "do something" then climate change won't be a problem and this is incorrect. Natural climate change has been written out of the story.

Concerning CC there are really only two possible courses of action. Attempt to "do something" about it or simply to "deal with it" and the problems as they occur. I happen to think that "dealing with it" is the best course. You might think that not being too worried about "reducing our footprint" (whatever that means in reality) is selfish, I OTOH think it silly to spend a fortune on "reducing our footprint" for little to no practical purpose. Is it worth spending the money to ensure that the next hurricane has winds of only 150 mph instead of 153 mph? Or the next flood is 10 mm lower? Or that the sea level will rise by 50 cm by 2100 instead of 59 cm?

Far more sensible to me to spend the money on dams and sea walls and better buildings. Because even if we do spend all that money on reducing our footprint, we will still have to build dams and sea walls and better buildings, won't we? The benefits of mitigation are very small compared to the costs, this isn't the case with adaptation.

Take the extreme case. Let's say that everybody puts in a huge effort and the entire planet becomes carbon neutral or whatever term you wnat to use. The activities of man no longer have any effect whatsoever on the climate and even more we found a magical way of taking CO2 out of the air and reduced the concentration to 280 ppm. So the world is now just like preindustrial. What then in this magical world? We'd be spending money on adapting to the natural CC, wouldn't we? There is something bizzarely Kanute like going on here.

In case I'm not fully clear, I'm pretty much with you and the Dutch Gov. No matter what, with or without an anthro component, the water will come. It is good to plan, prepare and adapt.

Essay,

World Government?!?

Wouldn't you say that a group that has the power to tax and the power to pass rules by which the population lives is, in effect, a government? The difference between what is happening and the example you use of America is that in America the people demanded that their duly appointed government give those "guiding limits". What we are evolving is an EPA without Parlimentary oversight.

I'm not against international co-operation or even a world gov eventually, but consideration has to be given to form. If we finish up with the WTO making the rules for trade and the WHO making the rules for health plus many others making the rules for their little piece of the action, all under the auspices of the UN in the name of "International Co-operation", would we not then have a de facto world government? Once that state occurs, getting the power away from the beauracrats and back into the hands of the people will be very, very difficult.

Mankind has always been afflicted by the psycho minority, those to whom the dream of unfettered power is a narcotic. What is evolving is a wet dream for them, the power to instruct and tax whole nations with absolutely nobody looking over their shoulder. These people have always worked from within the system to subvert it. Now unless you think that this trait has been bred out of the human race in the last 60 years or so, then you must accept that these people are around today and are currently within the system and working to subvert it for their own ends.

Where are the checks and balances?

This is an attitude I find interesting. These would be the indigenous peoples that have lived in harmony with nature for thousands of years.? (or whatever the current descriptive fad is) The people whose "old ways" are credited with stampeding hundreds of Mammoths off cliffs for food and the extinction of the megafauna in the known world? How people whose ways haven't changed for thousands of years can be both the guiding light for future conservation and responsible for massive extinctions is a dichotomy I have yet to fathom. It was the "rapacious patterns" of these primitive peoples that supposedly led to the extinctions in the first place.

At least the "Noble Savage" myth is still alive and well.

I'm not sure how to respond to this. The seasons, last I heard, were caused by the axial tilt of the Earth and it's orbit around the Sun. Are you suggesting that there was no tilt until 30 million years ago or so?

You've made the point mentioned on the slide before and I have to ask "So what?". You use the "levels not seen in 30 million years" as though it is a bad thing. Tell me why. As I pointed out last time, life was flourishing all over the planet at that time. Your argument seems to boil down to "Change = Bad", well "Change = Inevitable". I frankly don't see the problem. Even giving that the comment is factually correct, I don't see the problem. Expand the idea please.

Soooo, you're grieving for people yet unborn in a civilisation that doesn't exist who were maybe effected by speculative things that might not happen. Have I got that right?

Whereas I'm p*ssed at people like Oxfam who want an extra tax on bunker fuel, making shipping more expensive and thereby increasing the price of food for the 900 million people who are malnourished right bloody now. Isn't it funny that concern for "our (predominantly white) children and grandchildren" having problems in the future is so much more important than the millions of (predominantly black) people dying today.

michel,

The wording is "shall be equivalent to the budget that developed countries spend on defence, security and warfare", that was $800 billion for the US according to Wiki. (Counting Homeland Security, CIA, etc.) So the yanks are to pony up that much and the UN will spend it. BTW, your share is$9.3 Billion USD. Greece is an Annex I developed nation. I'm sure that the Greek gov has a spare \$9.3 B lying around somewhere.

**__**

Mankind has always been afflicted by the psycho minority, those to whom the dream of unfettered power is a narcotic.

Really?

Do you mean to suggest that progress toward social "consolidation" or "organization" has always been bad, or that it should not be attempted now or in the future (at least until your "psycho minority" has been neutralized)?

===

And please! Your oversimplified characterization of the "Noble Savage" is problematic. Please read "Vestal Fire" and "1491" or at least a summary of these; or even the much shorter "Changes in the Land" or "Larding the Lean Earth" to get a more realistic picture of how indigenous land managers blindly evolved while struggling to develop sustainable practices. There is no "magic" to those noble folks, only the collected, even if partial or erratic, wisdom of successful survivors. Science could still "tease out" reasons, meaning, and significance, to learn from this dwindling, endangered resource.

===

Land managers (whether indigenous or not) are key to our problem and our solution. It is the soils (amplified by axial tilt) that gives us our present-day seasons--evolved since the tropical world of the Eocene. The developing soils were a large part of the greatly increasing biodiversity of that era.

Y'see the key is soil carbon, and its evolution over the past 50 Myr. The rise of soil carbon (associated with the rise of temperate soils) drew down much of the atmospheric carbon--cooling the climate.

Are you familiar with the paradox of tropical rainforests; and how all of the nutrients are locked up in the biomass above ground, while the soils are nutrient poor?

Picture that on a global scale....

Tropical soils hold much less carbon than temperate soils, so in a tropical world (50Mya) the carbon stayed actively cycling between the biomass and the atmosphere. Do you see how the grasses and mammals co-evolved to spread the temperate soils from the highest latitudes down to the mid and lower latitudes? This was a major factor that cooled the climate over the past 50 Myr, allowing the polar caps to form and bring cold and warm seasonality to our temperate regions.

In a tropical world, without polar caps, the only "temperate" regions are in the higher latitudes. You'd get long-day seasons, and short-day seasons that were cooler on average, but you wouldn't get drastic swings in winter and summer temperatures--or day/night temps either.

[slide #38] …before temperate soils came to predominate, which itself was…

...long before Earthworms, Honeybees & Hominids Evolved.

Just google: seasonality in the Eocene

http://bulletin.geos...ntent/112/4/628

"Temperature seasonality in the early middle Eocene North Atlantic region: Evidence from stable isotope profiles of marine gastropod shells"

Abstract

Temperature seasonality, the difference between summer and winter temperature, is an important component of the climate.

....Relative to the present temperatures in the area, the Eocene summer temperature was similar, whereas the winter temperature was 7–8 °C higher. A probable reason is a smaller impact than today by cold continental air from the north because of higher continental winter temperatures.

....The latitudinal temperature gradient in the summer seems to have been insignificant, whereas in the winter the gradient was prominent but significantly less steep than today.

OR....

http://wolfweb.unr.e...archibald10.pdf

"Seasonality, the latitudinal gradient of diversity, and Eocene insects"

Abstract.—In the modern world, biotic diversity is typically higher in low-latitude tropical regions where there is abundant insolation (light and heat) and low thermal seasonality.

....Because these factors broadly covary with latitude....

....The Eocene was a much more equable world, however, with low temperature seasonality extending into lower-insolation higher, cooler latitudes....

....Modern correlations between latitude, species diversity, and seasonal climates were established some time after the Eocene.

"Increased seasonality through the Eocene to Oligocene transition in northern high latitudes"

...or google: seasonality in the Miocene

http://www.ucmp.berk...ary/miocene.php

The Miocene Epoch, 23.03 to 5.3 million years ago, was a time of warmer global climates than those in the preceding Oligocene or the following Pliocene and it's notable in that two major ecosystems made their first appearances: kelp forests and grasslands. The expansion of grasslands is correlated to a drying of continental interiors as the global climate first warmed and then cooled.

....A mid-Miocene warming, followed by a cooling is considered responsible for the retreat of tropical ecosystems, the expansion of northern coniferous forests, and increased seasonality. With this change came the diversification of modern graminoids, especially grasses and sedges.

....Because the positions of continents in the Miocene world were similar to where they lie today, it is easiest to describe the plate movements and resulting changes in the paleoclimate by discussing individual continents.

===

Cool, huh?

...and speaking of grasslands... and cooling....

The evolution of an extra, large, soil-based carbon reservoir--for that actively cycling carbon--is an interesting function for those recently evolved, temperate soils.

For one thing it limited tropical diseases, and for another it limited competition with many of our cereal crops. Cool... and cooler....

===

But about focusing upon the future, over current problems (while my focus currently addresses most millennium development goals and food security steps); yes, I am more concerned about long-term resilience, compared with short-term profit, comfort, security or sanctity. My reasoning is that anyone with an understanding of the scientific view of our future owes it to humanity to share that capability.

Specifically, I think it would be too selfish to focus only upon today's problems--for which there is plenty of responsibility to assign and ongoing work to solve--while ignoring a looming problem that will affect our species' future much more drastically than any of today's problems, and for which there is too little responsibility being taken or ongoing work to solve.

It's like that "impending asteroid impact" analogy; wherever there is a small percentage of folks who scientifically grasp the significance of a prediction, there should be a correspondingly large percentage of effort directed to convey that significance.

There are so few who can appreciate the breadth and depth to the ramifications devolving from these scientific revelations about how the future will unfold. I would rather just work and enjoy the nice weather, but history invested much in my education and is owed some return (plus there are my kids to worry for). It only seems fair that those few who can understand the science should also work to validate their civilization's investment.

===

What will 30 million years of change, occurring over our grandchildren's lifetime, do to the planet and our civilization? I can't predict anything with certainty, but I can with certainty predict problems greater than we face today. Are you seriously trying to argue, that since life was "burgeoning" 30 million years ago, it'll be fine to impose 30 million years of environmental change onto the lifetime of our grandchildren?

##### Share on other sites

Isn't it funny that concern for "our (predominantly white) children and grandchildren" having problems in the future is so much more important than the millions of (predominantly black) people dying today.

I agree on that.

##### Share on other sites

I agree on that.

Yep!

Which is why focusing on solutions that help indigenous peoples, and also promote and ensure the Millennium Development Goals and Food Security Steps, is critical.

~

Edited by Essay
##### Share on other sites

• 3 weeks later...

Do you mean to suggest that progress toward social "consolidation" or "organization" has always been bad, or that it should not be attempted now or in the future (at least until your "psycho minority" has been neutralized)?

Not really, no. My concern is simply that a global beauracracy will grow without good governance oversight. When an organisation is designed and implimented proceedures are put in place to "neutralize" the psycho minority and to simply minimise the damage that an incompetent can do. With the way things are growing it is undirected and checks and balances are not being considered or put in place. Consider the IPCC and its existent but wholy ignored "Conflict of Interest" policy.

I do believe that there will and must one day be a global government. However it needs to be designed, not grown. It isn't the fact of its evolution that is cause for concern, but the way it's evolving. Pick any large gov department, let's say the EPA. What would it be like if the EPA never had to answer to a court, or a Secretary, or a Parliment and could impose fines and levies to pay for itself? Would this be a part of good governance or bad? So planned progress towards consolidation and organisation is I would think good, but haphazard progress is just as likely to go very wrong.

On the soils.

Perhaps I'm just not getting it. What is the problem? Are you expecting the soils to degenerate into tropical ones again? Tropical rainforests won't generally expand unless we let them. Aside from plants growing better from the extra CO2 what will the difference be? Why would we expect the soil to change? On a more practical point. To my west is the Darling Downs, a large food growing area. What is supposed to happen? Will it become rainforest? Or will we just grow other crops instead of the wheat, etc we do now? What exactly is the problem? "But it's changing" isn't a problem to me. Climate is changing, it always has and always will. We will have to deal with that. As to whether it's changing faster than before, it's not. Far more rapid changes are shown in the record.

What will 30 million years of change, occurring over our grandchildren's lifetime, do to the planet and our civilization? I can't predict anything with certainty, but I can with certainty predict problems greater than we face today. Are you seriously trying to argue, that since life was "burgeoning" 30 million years ago, it'll be fine to impose 30 million years of environmental change onto the lifetime of our grandchildren?

Here is where we differ. All your worry is based on CO2 being the main driver of the planetary climate and that the climate models have their predictions right for the next thousand years. Also (it appears) on a belief in the essential fragility of nature. I look at all the predictions of doom from a degree or so of warming that we have had over the last 20 years and I find nothing. No doom, no major destruction. And absolutely nothing that compares to the massive changes when going from a full blown Ice Age into an Intermediate period. If life was half as fragile as some people think then there would have been 20 extinctions in the last 400,000 years alone.

The concerns are based on a particular theory being correct. So where is the missing tropical tropospheric "Hotspot" and where is the missing heat? These are things that the theory says should be happening right now in a measurable sense. They aren't. Why should I pay attention to model outputs for 100 years time when the underlying theory cannot accurately predict what is happening right now?

##### Share on other sites

Not really, no. My concern is simply that a global beauracracy will grow without good governance oversight. When an organisation is designed and implimented proceedures are put in place to "neutralize" the psycho minority and to simply minimise the damage that an incompetent can do. With the way things are growing it is undirected and checks and balances are not being considered or put in place. Consider the IPCC and its existent but wholy ignored "Conflict of Interest" policy.

I do believe that there will and must one day be a global government. However it needs to be designed, not grown. It isn't the fact of its evolution that is cause for concern, but the way it's evolving. Pick any large gov department, let's say the EPA. What would it be like if the EPA never had to answer to a court, or a Secretary, or a Parliment and could impose fines and levies to pay for itself? Would this be a part of good governance or bad? So planned progress towards consolidation and organisation is I would think good, but haphazard progress is just as likely to go very wrong.

Happy New Year!

I'm honored that you were thinking so much about this subject. However, I think the reply to the "soils" part would be off topic here; so I'll reply over on:

http://www.sciencefo...post__p__646720

===

But politically speaking...

Why do you go on about "Global Government?" Couldn't we talk about global cooperation, as with the 1987 Montreal Protocol on remediating stratospheric ozone problems; or simply talk about global coordination and monitoring--of strategies to manage our resources more judiciously and pragmatically--i.e., in pursuit of achieving the Eight Millennium Development Goals and Five Food Security Steps?

slides: 2, 22, 21...

-> ->

=== ...and 15, 17, 18

-> ->

...AND 4 out of the 5 Food Security Steps!

Global education about this--and global cooperation, with this--as a focus for economic development, would help ease competition for resources as the future unfolds (which also might count as MDGs #2 & 8) .

I agree that haphazard planning has caused a lot of problems, and it should be avoided as we move forward. I would also advocate for more coordinated, or "planned" progress, as long as there is a level playing field for free enterprise to flourish.

I'd prefer to reduce pressures from increasing population and dwindling resources, rather than allow those things to get worse and then need to rely upon military/industrial power to protect and acquire... security/prosperity...

...as a socioeconomic/political strategy (or "planned progress").

Edited by Essay
##### Share on other sites

Yep!

Which is why focusing on solutions that help indigenous peoples, and also promote and ensure the Millennium Development Goals and Food Security Steps, is critical.

~

There is a huge flaw in your and CaptainPanic's assessments here. The problem with the developing world and the people dying in poverty in the third world is their governments. Zimbabwe was once a jewel of the African continent until Mugabe and the kleptocrats took over and ruled their nation with an iron fist. Likewise, Somalia is a pirate state for all of the warlords vying for power in that region.

Millions die in refugee camps all over the world, driven from their homes by power hungry juntas ruling their countries.

It's not lack of funding, it's oppressive governments and terminal civil war that create the countries in which these people starve.

Now, how do you fix this? By dumping more money on these blood thirsty tyrants in a hope that eventually civilization will take root? Of course not. The tyrants need to go before anything can change. Now explain how you propose to accomplish that peacefully.

##### Share on other sites

There is a huge flaw in your and CaptainPanic's assessments here. The problem with the developing world and the people dying in poverty in the third world is their governments.

Now, how do you fix this? By dumping more money on these blood thirsty tyrants in a hope that eventually civilization will take root? Of course not. The tyrants need to go before anything can change. Now explain how you propose to accomplish that peacefully.

Good point. Monied interest, whether industrial or military, tend to overwhelm any land-use economic interests. That is why global cooperation is needed; to keep land-use primary in economic interests. If we recognized good productive soil as a valuable commodity, then socioeconomic pressures would shift.

Focusing on land use makes people more self-sufficient, and less dependent on the whims and needs of an evil ruler (whether that be a dictator or a corporation). Land use also distributes labor and is a low-profit sector, so there is less pressure or facility for large-scale corruption. Although lately, the financial sector has figured out ways to grab land for investments on a global scale.

That sort of "land grab" economic strategy needs to be avoided--through global recognition of land use as a valuable, critical, and necessary ethos for our species.

"...fundamental changes in cultural values and human societies...."

The Millennium Development Goals and Food Security Steps are not about throwing money at problems; they are about creating sustainable systems.

~

##### Share on other sites

Good point. Monied interest, whether industrial or military, tend to overwhelm any land-use economic interests. That is why global cooperation is needed; to keep land-use primary in economic interests. If we recognized good productive soil as a valuable commodity, then socioeconomic pressures would shift.

Well, I think more Western civilization does value "productive soil". The History of Europe is filled with great wars fought, at their root, over productive soil. There is a tangent here for the differences in cultures the grow in areas of abundant resources versus those in limited resources.. but I will leave that for another thread. Anyway, places like Rhodesia were clawed out of inhospitable wilderness and turned, using Western technology, into lands of plenty. When Mugabe took over the country and named in Zimbabwe, on a largely anti-colonialism platform, he rejected the technology of the west, and the country has all but reverted to it's inhospitable wilderness yet again.

Trying to help the people of Zimbabwe with the current government is unproductive, but being a regime willing to use unbridled violence to gain and keep power means that Mugabe isn't leaving until he's dead. The only way to accelerate that eventuality is with bullets.

Focusing on land use makes people more self-sufficient, and less dependent on the whims and needs of an evil ruler (whether that be a dictator or a corporation). Land use also distributes labor and is a low-profit sector, so there is less pressure or facility for large-scale corruption. Although lately, the financial sector has figured out ways to grab land for investments on a global scale.

Self sufficiency is anathema to tyranny. The Mugabes of the world work diligently to make their people dependent, not independent.

That sort of "land grab" economic strategy needs to be avoided--through global recognition of land use as a valuable, critical, and necessary ethos for our species.

It's nice in thought, but there will always be people willing to use force rather than sweat to get what they need. There is no avoiding this because pointing a rifle is a lot easier than operating a shovel.

Edited by jryan
##### Share on other sites

Well, I think more Western civilization does value "productive soil". The History of Europe is filled with great wars fought, at their root, over productive soil. There is a tangent here for the differences in cultures the grow in areas of abundant resources versus those in limited resources.. but I will leave that for another thread. Anyway, places like Rhodesia were clawed out of inhospitable wilderness and turned, using Western technology, into lands of plenty. When Mugabe took over the country and named in Zimbabwe, on a largely anti-colonialism platform, he rejected the technology of the west, and the country has all but reverted to it's inhospitable wilderness yet again.

Trying to help the people of Zimbabwe with the current government is unproductive, but being a regime willing to use unbridled violence to gain and keep power means that Mugabe isn't leaving until he's dead. The only way to accelerate that eventuality is with bullets.

Self sufficiency is anathema to tyranny. The Mugabes of the world work diligently to make their people dependent, not independent.

It's nice in thought, but there will always be people willing to use force rather than sweat to get what they need. There is no avoiding this because pointing a rifle is a lot easier than operating a shovel.

Thanks,

Somehow we need to make those problems irrelevant; to move beyond them, rather than overcome them... (or words to that effect).

The points about "wars over soil" come when we see losses to erosion, declines in productivity, or land exhaustion. Tropical soils are a unique problem also.

The Green Revolution greatly boosted productivity (by circumventing and tricking natural systems), but it also has long-term negative consequences and is unsustainable....

That may have had something to do with the situation you describe; but whatever occurred in the past, a new way forward needs to be established. Land use seems to be at the root of many socio-political and socio-economic, as well as energy and environmental, problems.

We just don't have the luxury of solving all our problems individually anymore, so we must find solutions that tackle multiple problems with the fairest/simplest single solutions.

Land use provides many opportunities along those lines.

~ISTM

##### Share on other sites

Thanks,

Somehow we need to make those problems irrelevant; to move beyond them, rather than overcome them... (or words to that effect).

The points about "wars over soil" come when we see losses to erosion, declines in productivity, or land exhaustion. Tropical soils are a unique problem also.

The Green Revolution greatly boosted productivity (by circumventing and tricking natural systems), but it also has long-term negative consequences and is unsustainable....

That may have had something to do with the situation you describe; but whatever occurred in the past, a new way forward needs to be established. Land use seems to be at the root of many socio-political and socio-economic, as well as energy and environmental, problems.

We just don't have the luxury of solving all our problems individually anymore, so we must find solutions that tackle multiple problems with the fairest/simplest single solutions.

Land use provides many opportunities along those lines.

~ISTM

Well, the Green revolution as a solution to strife hasn't panned out. As I said, the green revolution was in full swing in Rhodesia before the anti-colonial movement ended it and brought famine back to the region. Likewise, the green movement was/is in full swing in Côte d'Ivoire in it's booming cocoa industry... harvested by an equally booming child slave trade in the country that is fed new slaves by an equally booming civil war.

Africa is a different place, and it's foolish to apply western sensibilities to African problems. Any time I start drifting to believing that I remind myself of a situation in Congo that I read about in the 1990s. The state run TV and Radio and print media was forced in that time to run a "The More You Know" style ad campaign for the people of Congo... but it was not "Don't do drugs" or "stay in School"... nothing like that. The ad campaign was to tell people that Pygmies are people too, and therefor shouldn't be hunted like wild animals for meat.

Like a said.. a whole different set of problems on that continent.

## Create an account

Register a new account