Posts Tagged ‘Cancun’
Exposé | The 2º Death Dance – The 1º Cover-up
Above: Courtesy of Stephanie McMillan | CODE GREEN
Bolivia Versus the World
“Political language is designed to make lies sound truthful and murder respectable …” – George Orwell
11 December 2010. United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) Conference of the Parties (COP) 16 in Cancún, Mexico.
Bolivia repeatedly opposes attempts to pass the text. Bolivia’s UN Ambassador, Pablo Solon, objects on the grounds that the draft proposals are far too lax to stop global warming. Solon stands his ground until conference chair Patricia Espinosa bangs the gavel at 3:31 a.m. saying: “The objections and complaints will be noted duly.”
A key clause of United Nations rules is that all agreements must be reached in harmony. However, Espinosa seems to have a very broad interpretation of this rule. Harmony, Espinosa stated, does not necessarily mean unanimity. Despite the lack of unanimity, Espinosa approves the text, which includes a deadly 2-degree limit for global warming. The negotiators and heads of state cheer like ravenous hyenas, drowning out Bolivia with rapturous applause. Bolivia stood alone, strenuously opposing the pyrrhic victory.
The overruling of Bolivia’s position demonstrates the clear disdain and callous disregard for vulnerable countries who refuse to be coerced – reflected clearly by the jettisoned UN principle of consensus. This clear abuse of the framework agreement on climate protection would never have been attempted or tolerated if the state in opposition had been a rich, powerful state such as the United States or the European Union (EU). (One may recall COP13 in Bali – American resistance stood in the way of an agreement. Papua New Guinea had to suggest that they “lead or get out of the way” before the US would join the consensus.) Bolivia, the world leader in the battle on climate change, has vowed to file a complaint with the International Court of Justice against the text approved in Cancún.
A primary reason why Bolivia opposed the so-called Cancún “agreements” was the fact that the 2ºC target – identified as extremely dangerous – completely disregards the climate science as well as the accelerating climate impacts and climate feedbacks already happening today. Another very revealing component to this document is the language: “4) … with a view to reducing global greenhouse gas emissions so as to hold the increase in global average temperature below 2°C above pre-industrial levels, and that Parties should take urgent action to meet this long-term goal ….” The word “should” in policy does not demand commitment. In legal documents, “shall” is considered mandatory. If I tell my son he “should” clean his room rather than he “will”, “shall” or “must” clean his room, I know damn well it is never going to happen. A future binding or non-binding agreement, one that parties “should” take urgent action on, demands no accountability whatsoever. The word “should” appears in the document 38 times. In stark contrast, the word “must” appears only four times.
The fact that the Cancún Agreements passed without consensus (the UNFCCC consensus rule is adoption by virtue of no objection or unanimity – meaning all 192 members voting in favour) is revealing. On 7 December 2009, at COP15 in Copenhagen, Papua New Guinea proposed that, rather than descend to the lowest common denominator, the parties should strive for consensus with a fallback of 75%. This proposal was summarily dismissed by the Chair. 
21st Century Suicide Pact
SOLD. Our Earth’s shared atmosphere. A catastrophically dangerous 2ºC temperature rise, as well as the commodification of Earth’s final remaining natural resources, was accepted by all countries save Bolivia. Over 70% of atmospheric space (the US is historically responsible for 29% of greenhouse gas emissions; the EU, 27%) has been designated to the wealthiest 20% of the world, thus denying developing and vulnerable countries the opportunity to achieve the fundamental development necessary in order to meet their basic needs and transition to zero carbon societies. This leaves 80% of humanity competing for the less than 30% remaining interest. The suffering and devastation that will result from the greatest heist in history is unparalleled desperation, starvation and death on a massive scale.
SOLD. Life itself. During the last days of the Cancún climate summit, 5,000 Latin American campesinos blocked the main (and only) highway leading in and out of Cancún. In stark contrast, the rich of the wealthy obstructionist states lit a candle in the window of their warm, comfortable homes. How will citizens react when they finally realize – after wading through the rubbish heaps of corporate media propaganda – that the value of human life was tossed on the garbage heap in Cancún in order to protect the global economy? It is true that those in the Pacific Ocean, the vulnerable atolls, Bolivia and Africa will be burying their children and loved ones before the wealthy, obstructionist states, such as my own, must bury theirs. But make no mistake. Very few people, if any, will escape nature’s final performance. Without urgent emergency action, rapid climate shifts resulting from runaway climate change are practically inevitable with the suicide pact that was passed – without consensus – in Cancún.
The art of propaganda has been nothing less than brilliant. The deceit is so thick – you need a knife to cut through it. The corruption and greed so deep you need wings to stay above it and thigh high boots to wade through it. An alluring tapestry of luminous lies, interwoven with finely textured deception and silk-like corruption – as smooth and seductive as freshly churned butter. The pursuit of man’s mind by way of domination has been the greatest and most successful experiment – the manipulation of man’s mind has resulted in a massive erosion of empathy, which has allowed status quo “business as usual” to continue uninterrupted with little resistance. Capitalism effectively bred a contempt for our Earth that multiplied like a virus. The pollution of mind mutated into narcissism with inflicted self-hatred to form a suicidal Molotov cocktail. Those who have succumbed now hold hands in a circle and taunt the very planet that gives us life. The ugly side of humanity continues to violently pierce our Earth Mother with drills and slash her beautiful skin with razors. She is losing breath. She is dying. Yet, when she lashes back, it will be with an Armageddon deathblow against which our own actions will resemble childish prattle. And perhaps not until this time will global society finally recognize that our shared purpose was not to compete with one another and claim dominance and superiority over our Earth Mother – but rather our role was to protect, defend and nurture. The human family – under the arm of its EuroAmerican “big brother” – will have finally succeeded in conquering our shared planet, only to find that we have destroyed ourselves.
Major greenhouse gas (GHG)-emitting developed states continued to dominate the climate talks in Cancún as the Earth burned. Corporate media continued to pander to those who own them, those who control the system. The major GHG-emitting developed states have and will continue to coerce, bribe and bully the strong developing states such as Bolivia and the vulnerable states such as Tuvalu. Such vulnerable states, as well as Africa, will be decimated if temperatures are allowed to rise by 2ºC. In reality, we are now looking at 3ºC to 5ºC. Further, a global temperature rise of 3ºC to 5ºC will mean much higher temperature extremes for Africa – a furnace for African agriculture. Certain death. The harsh history of the continued exploitation, the raping and pillaging of beautiful Africa and her people, will finally be complete. There will be nothing left for rich nations to steal except for the sun’s energy falling on an empty landscape void of life – and there is little doubt the world’s wealthiest, ethically-bankrupt states will steal this, too.
Genocide is the deliberate and systematic destruction, in whole or in part, of an ethnic, racial, religious, or national group. While a precise definition varies among genocide scholars, a legal definition is found in the 1948 United Nations Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide (CPPCG). Article 2 of this convention defines genocide as “any of the following acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group, as such: killing members of the group; causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group; deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life, calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part; imposing measures intended to prevent births within the group; [and] forcibly transferring children of the group to another group.” Because of the influence of Joseph Stalin, “this definition of genocide under international law does not include political groups.”
It should. This genocide is being carried out openly by the world’s wealthiest – individuals and corporations alike – in collusion with the governments of the obstructionist states, with full knowledge of the consequences.
Agriculture | The Disappearing Bread Basket
Strangely and eerily absent in scientific papers and IPCC reports is any reference to protection of agriculture. This is not an oversight. In 1987, the US Senate Foreign Relations Committee noted the threat to agriculture in particular, and stated its belief that “global warming is a potential environmental disaster on a scale only exceeded by nuclear war.” Once the United Nations Advisory Group on Greenhouse Gases (AGGG) low risk temperature rise of 1ºC was dismissed and essentially buried, the emphasis on protecting agriculture disappeared as well.
When global temperatures increase by more than 1ºC, approximately half of the world’s agricultural regions will experience crop decline. But due to the ocean heat lag effect, that 1ºC of increase will commit us to more than 1.5⁰C, which is food catastrophe for low latitude (the most climate change vulnerable) nations and disastrous for food security and agricultural productivity in other regions. Above 2⁰C is global food catastrophe with agriculture in decline globally, taking civilization with it.
Keep in mind that scientists believe the “agreements” from Cancún represent a real life 3⁰C to 5⁰C temperature rise this century (as early as 2040-2050) and a global 7⁰C if even the paltry commitments are not honoured.
This coming loss of agriculture – known yet ignored – will amount to certain mass genocide as millions, becoming billions around the world, will be left without food. There will be no sharing of food as even wealthy countries will be hard pressed to feed their own people. Importing for wealthy countries will be a thing of the past as vulnerable countries struggle to feed their own people. And all the while the Monsanto’s of the world will be salivating over the potential profits of genetically engineered foods, which could come to dominate and control the entire remaining food chain. An economy – no matter how strong – cannot provide nourishing soil, nor the right conditions to grow food. An economy – no matter how strong – cannot magically create water. Bolivians will lose access to water and, following, Africa will lose the ability to produce food. And all of the money in the world will not make this not so. 
Exposé | The 2º Death Dance – The 1º Cover-up
Part one of an investigative report.
December 10, 2010
“If you do not change direction, you may end up where you are heading.” – Lao Tzu
Behind every tragedy there is a story. This story is non-fiction and begins in the 1980’s. It involves the Rockefeller funded Villach conferences, the entrance of the neoclassical economists, propaganda, and most importantly the disappearance of the 1ºC temperature threshold cited as the safe limit in 1990 by the United Nations Advisory Group on Greenhouse Gases.
Like so many stories there was a villain. In this story, the villain’s name was ‘Insatiable Greed’ – like the Agent Smith virus, uploaded into ‘the Matrix’, Insatiable Greed was a terminating virus capable of multiplying.
Insatiable Greed was warned by the United Nations working group that “ beyond 1ºC there might be “rapid, unpredictable and non-linear responses that could lead to extensive ecosystem damage.” He was also warned that a 2ºC increase was “viewed as an upper limit beyond which the risks of grave damage to ecosystems, and of non-linear responses, are expected to increase rapidly.” Non-linear in this case means runway climate change.
Earth and her inhabitants would clearly be threatened if the 1ºC threshold was to be exceeded. However, Insatiable Greed, did not listen. Insatiable Greed dismissed the wise advice – only interested in knowing how much further destruction could be continued before the Earth would reach her maximum limit where catastrophe would be unavoidable. Being the virus he was, Insatiable Greed used the tools available to successfully infect and multiply – effectively burying the initial warning of 1ºC, thus ensuring the Earth’s inhabitants would believe the extremely dangerous threshold of 2ºC would be safe. This is the story.
The Origins of 2ºC – Neoclassical Economist Bill Nordhaus
The 2ºC temperature rise “target,” which is the only limit in the text of the ‘noted’ Copenhagen Accord, may well be one of the least understood cover-ups in history. The first suggestion to use 2° Celsius as a critical temperature limit for climate policy was not made by an esteemed climate scientist. Rather it was made by well-known neoclassical economist, W.D. Nordhaus, in a discussion paper of the prestigious Cowles Foundation. In 1977 Nordhaus stated: “If there were global temperatures more than 2 or 3° above the current average temperature, this would take the climate outside of the range of observations which have been made over the last several hundred thousand years.”
This temperature increase is in fact well outside of the natural limits of the past 10,000 years during which agriculture and civilization developed. It is also higher than has existed over the past couple of million years.
“A rich man’s cat may drink the milk that a poor boy needs to remain healthy. Does this happen because the market is failing? Not at all, for the market mechanism is doing its job – putting goods in the hands of those that have the dollar votes.”
The author of the ice cold quote above is none other than our neoclassical economist and Yale University Professor Bill Nordhaus (Nordhaus and Samuelson, 2005), originator of the now infamous 2ºC threshold target that has come to dominate climate discussions and to dismiss all sensibilities as our Earth spins toward a terrifying, irreversible apocalypse.
Today, this 2ºC target, largely defined as the maximum allowable warming to avoid dangerous anthropogenic interference in the climate has replaced an almost unknown 1ºC target highlighted in the 1990 UN AGGG (United Nations Advisory Group on Greenhouse Gases) report when climate change as a global issue was widely unknown.
Nordhaus has been one of the most influential economists involved in climate change models and construction of emissions scenarios for well over 30 years, having developed one of the earliest economic models to evaluate climate change policy. He has steadfastly opposed the drastic reductions in greenhouse gases emissions necessary for averting global catastrophe, “arguing instead for a slow process of emissions reduction, on the grounds that it would be more economically justifiable.” In a brilliant review by Richard York, Brett Clark and John Bellamy Foster, the frightening “logic” of Nordhaus is fully exposed.
The Origins of 1ºC – United Nations 1990
“…[B]eyond 1 degree C may elicit rapid, unpredictable and non-linear responses that could lead to extensive ecosystem damage.”
- United Nations Advisory Group on Greenhouse Gases
In 1986, three international bodies, the World Meteorological Organisation (WMO), the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and the International Council of Scientific Unions (ICSU), who had co-sponsored the Villach Conference in 1985, formed the Advisory Group on Greenhouse Gases (AGGG), a small international committee with responsibility for assessing the available scientific information about the increase of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere and the likely impact.
In 1990 the AGGG calculated what level of climate change our planet could tolerate, also referred to as “environmental limits.” These levels and limits were summarized in the document, “Responding to Climate Change: Tools For Policy Development,” published by the Stockholm Environment Institute.
The targets and indicators set limits to rates and total amounts of temperature rise and sea level rise, on the basis of known behaviour of ecosystems. The AGGG report identified these limits in order to “protect both ecosystems as well as human systems.” The report states that the objective is: “stabilization of greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere at a level that would prevent dangerous anthropogenic [human made] interference with the climate system.”
It adds: “Such a level should be achieved within a timeframe sufficient to allow ecosystems to adapt naturally to climate change, to ensure that food production is not threatened and to enable economic development to proceed in a sustainable manner.” Thus the report requires limits to both the total amount of change and the rate of change.
Further, they warned that a global temperature increase “beyond 1 degree C may elicit rapid, unpredictable and non-linear responses that could lead to extensive ecosystem damage.” A temperature increase of 2ºC was viewed as “an upper limit beyond which the risks of grave damage to ecosystems, and of non-linear responses, are expected to increase rapidly.” [For “non-linear,” read “runaway global climate change.”]
The Framework Convention on Climate Change signed at the Rio Earth Summit in 1992 should have ensured that staying within the AGGG-identified ecological limit of a 1ºC temperature rise is a central objective. But it didn’t. This investigation attempts to spell out why.
From the AGGG report. The low risk indicators:
Sea level rise
· maximum rate of rise of 20–50 mm per decade
· maximum total rise of 20–50 cm above 1990 global mean sea level
Global mean temperature
· maximum rate of increase of 0.1ºC per decade
· maximum total increase of 1.0ºC
The AGGG report also identified the CO2 [equivalent] concentrations corresponding to these as 330 – 400 ppm for 1ºC and 400 – 560ppm for 2ºC. It is critical to understand these concentrations cited from the report are far below the 350 ppm that has become the status quo target of today.
Citing a need for climate stabilization, a Dutch Ministry of Environment funded project concluded in 1988 that this would preferably be at just 1ºC above pre-industrial temperatures, but certainly with a maximum target of 400 ppm CO2 concentration (Krause, 1988).
Further Origins of 2ºC | Environmental Defense Fund & Rockefeller
Altering the framing of the climate change issue