Posted by: Dr Churchill | February 11, 2012

We Failed and Climate Chaos continues

Environmental Science

A new thought has arisen out of our endless debates about the Climate and the Environment…

Not a pretty thought but there you have it.

We can forget about fixing the planet’s ecosystems, straightening out climate change and fixing the climate until we have managed to sort out our democratic governmental systems.

At least this is the consensus from a panel of leading international environmental scientists who met in London yesterday.

The solution, they said, may not lie with governments at all… but rather with the people. Simple people. Or Peoples.. from all over the world.

Something we’ve been saying all along, but coming from the experts it resonates differently.

And as usual a group of expert pundits gathers more moss… and now we have their  prescient statement: “We are disillusioned. The current political system is broken, etc.”  Or so said Bob Watson, the UK government’s chief environmental science advisor, who chaired the meeting.

The prestigious panel of scientists — all winners of the prestigious Blue Planet prize often seen as the Nobel prize for environmental science — were meeting to prepare a statement for the Earth Summit 2012.

As you know the Rio Earth Summit is to be held in Rio de Janeiro this June –- 20 years after the original Earth Summit in that city.

The consensus is that we have been wasting our time.

And subsequently the world has wasted all the intervening 20 plus years according to the group think…

Yet I don’t thnk so…

And although ecosystems are disappearing ever faster, the world is still warming faster and stronger, and the two 1992 treaties, on climate change and species loss, have failed to achieve any of their aims — we still remain optimistic.

Still the group said that the various Governments around the world, were largely to blame.

“Last time in Rio we had an unreasonable faith in governments. Since then we’ve lost our innocence in believing government was wise and benevolent and far-sighted. That’s been blown completely out of the water,” said Camilla Toulmin, director of the International Institute for Environment and Development, a non-profit organisation based in London.

To this we agree fully…

“Essentially nothing has changed in 20 years. We are not remotely on a course to be sustainable,” Watson said.

“What’s most discouraging is a loss of feeling that government would help us,” said Harold Mooney, a veteran biologist from Stanford University.

No one held out much hope that the forthcoming summit would usher in a new era. Politicians do not seem interested. The 1992 summit lasted two weeks, attracted most of the world’s leaders and garnered huge headlines. But this year’s event will last just three days, and so far China’s president Hu Jintao is the only head of state scheduled to attend. Ahhh and David… Cameroonian in case anyone knows him, plans to be there too.

“The UN text for the summit declaration is weak,” said energy researcher José Goldemberg, who was Brazil’s environment secretary at the time of the first summit.

The top priorities, according to Watson, are ending the fossil-fuel era to curb climate change, and investing in limiting population by making contraception available to all.

But neither were likely to happen because, said Syukuro Manabe, a climate modeller at the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, “the political system is not motivated to worry about the future”.

The laureates said leadership was most likely to come from local government, NGOs, civil society, tribals, culture groups, Peoples and even societies and corporations, rather than national leaders, governments, or the UN.

“Decision-makers should learn from and scale up grass-roots action and knowledge in areas like energy, food, water and natural resources,” the panel declared.

Otherwise all is lost…




Well not quite so dramatic but who can argue with Kassandras?

We happen to believe that the political system can be and will be reformed.

And that there will also be many smart technical solutions as time allows and progress is made.

But on these issue, unfortunately, time is not on our side…

So we have to adapt…


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