The Biomass Fraud and the Myth of Decoupling emissions from economic growth.


At the last global climate conference (UNFCCC-COP 23, Bonn 2017), tropical forest countries and others, including Indonesia and Brazil, jointly declared goals “to increase the use of wood … to generate energy as part of efforts to limit climate change”.


A whole deforestation industry has developed around a loophole in the Kyoto Agreement which allowed the burning of Biomass, (wood), to be classified as a “renewable” energy. ie – an emissions free source of energy.

According to the IPCC, a tree emits the same amount of carbon that it sequesters from the atmosphere when growing. A very easy calculation in Land Use Management when assessing deforestation, these amounts are NOT included in global carbon emissions totals as they are rated to have zero emissions, they are ‘accounted for’ under Land Use Emissions in the European Union Emissions Trading Scheme.

The European Union now openly states that 60% of it’s renewable energy comes from burning wood, countries who have “advanced” renewable energy reductions are those that have invested in Biomass energy production. U.K. Sweden, France Germany, Denmark and Finland, Norway and the U.S.A.

A study found that the annual smokestack emissions from biomass in the EU emission trading system (ETS) – where they are given a zero-rating – are between 90 and 150 million tonnes of CO2 (1)

Over 1 billion tonnes of CO2 emitted over the last 10 years completely unaccounted for. The scientific opinion though is quite clear, as expressed by 800 scientists and researchers in Biomass energy.

“overall, replacing fossil fuels with wood will likely result in 2-3x more carbon in the atmosphere in 2050 per gigajoule of final energy. Because the likely renewable alternative would be truly low carbon solar or wind, the plausible, net effect of the biomass provisions could be to turn a ~5% decrease in energy emissions by 2050 into increases of ~5–10% or even more”. (2)

Bioenergy is not carbon-neutral and can have seriously negative climate impacts. The combustion of forest biomass generally releases more carbon dioxide to the atmosphere than fossil fuels, because of the lower energy density and conversion efficiency of biomass (more has to be burnt relative to fossil fuels) (3)

Large-scale forest harvests have a climate warming effect for at least 20 to 35 years, said University of Helsinki climate and forest scientist Jaana Bäck, who noted that scores of evidence-based studies all say basically the same thing. “And if we look at the Paris targets, we are in critical times at the moment. We need to reduce emissions now, not in 50 or 100 years,” she said. (4)

A 2012 study by Synapse Energy Economics estimated that the average smokestack of a US biomass plant emitted about 1.67 tons of CO2 per megawatt-hour of electricity generated, or 50 to 85 percent greater than emissions from a coal-fired plant.
CO2 emissions from a biomass plant are more than triple the CO2 emissions from a natural gas facility.

The E.U. is more concerned with the “lobby” from Scandinavian countries who all support Biomass as “renewable energy”, which is IPCC approved. This “fraud” allows countries such as the U.K. to change from coal energy generation using existing facilities to a less potent, more polluting source (wood), and completely hides the emissions associated with economic growth.

This blatant fraud is nowhere better demonstrated than in the European “gem of Carbon Nuetrality”, Copenhagen lauding it’s anti climate strategy in their report to the C40’s Cities report recently.

“Most savings were achieved through increasing the share of green energy from biomass used in the city’s combined heat and power plants, and wind energy. Furthermore, the conversion of a power plant unit from coal to sustainable biomass is underway and is expected to be completed by the end of 2020”; (5)

Oslo, Norway’s “star” climate performer – 99% of the energy sources now consists of heat from the sewer system, recovered heat from waste, bioenergy (pellets and bio-oil) and electricity from hydro power. (5)

This gives countries the ability to prove “decoupling” is actually happening.

Decoupling economic growth from energy emissions

Decoupling economic growth from emissions generation is now the direction of all United Nations departments, and policies, including U.N.F.C.C.C. and I.P.C.C. “Green Growth” is locked into political strategy.

The European Union “fraud” of Biomass, whereby 60% of E.U. carbon emissions are simply ignored allows the advancement of the Myth of Decoupling.

The inclusion of consumption based carbon footprints rather than “territorial footprints”, (emissions produced within a City or country boundary), provided a shock, and a much truer picture of individual consumption habits was shown. This meant a doubling down on “circular economies”, zero waste, and of course more efficiency.
Green Growth is the nadir, and we can keep things exactly as they are under the illusion that emissions are reducing and “green” economic activity (GDP) continues at 2 – 3% p.a.

A study by the UN’s Department of Economic and Social Affairs points towards a 1.4 percent increase of energy-related carbon dioxide emissions in 2017 due to a combination of accelerated economic growth, relatively cheap fossil fuels and weak energy efficiency efforts.
“While recent evidence points to progress in decoupling emissions growth from GDP growth in some developed economies, it is still manifestly insufficient. The rate of global energy efficiency gains has been slowing since 2015, reaching 1.7 percent in 2017—half the rate required to remain on track with the Paris Agreement”, say the authors of the report ‘World Economic Situation and Prospects as of mid-2018.’ (6)

The authors of the report have no doubt realised this fallacy even more in 2018 when emissions increased to the previous “highs”, providing a 2.7% increase in emitted greenhouse gases from GDP “growth” to record levels.
Ever since the global total of emissions generation either side of the Paris 2015 conference “slowed” to 0.5% there has been over exaggerated optimism about “Decoupling” and how a technological basis to the “service” economy is the “key” to energy efficiency.
Even articles published in 2018 lauding Decoupling as fact, it is mainly based on territorial limits. The countries used as examples all “hide” emissions with Biomass, to a massive extent, AND do not include consumption based emissions, when included, the results are disastrous for Decoupling advocates, but that does not stop the headline.

Decoupling of emissions and incomes: It’s happening .

To account for the effects of globalisation, we make a distinction between production-based and consumption-based emissions, . . This does make some difference to our results and in the expected direction. The evidence for decoupling for the richer nations gets weaker, including for many European countries (France, Germany, Italy, and the UK). (7)

This is not a new debate but as Prof Tim Jackson points out, it is a MYTH.

“It’s vital here to distinguish between ‘relative’ and ‘absolute’ decoupling. Relative decoupling refers to a decline in the ecological intensity per unit of economic output.

Relative decoupling
Put very simply, relative decoupling is about doing more with less: more economic activity with less environmental damage; more goods and services with few resource inputs and fewer emissions.
Decoupling is about doing things more efficiently.
The global carbon intensity declined by almost a quarter from just over 1 kilogram of carbon dioxide per US dollar (kgCO2/$) in 1980 to 770 grams of carbon dioxide per US dollar (gCO2/$) in 2006

Absolute decoupling
The situation in which resource impacts decline in absolute terms is called ‘absolute decoupling’. Needless to say, this latter situation is essential if economic activity is to remain within ecological limits.

Despite declining energy and carbon intensities carbon dioxide emissions from fossil fuels have increased by 80% since 1970. Emissions today are almost 40% higher than they were in 1990 and since the year 2000 they have been growing at over 3% per year.” (8).

This book was written in 2009, 10 years of worsening emissions and impacts the annual reductions are greatly amplified. It has taken a refining of emissions data, whereby “offshored emissions” from imported goods have finally been accredited to the country of use.

“An apparent reduction in emissions of 6% between 1990 and 2004, as reported under UNFCCC guidelines is turned into an 11% increase in emissions, once emissions embedded in trade are taken into account.
The message here is not that decoupling is unnecessary. On the contrary, absolute reductions in throughput are essential. The question is, how much is achievable? How much decoupling is technologically and economically viable?

The intractability of addressing both population and income has tended to reinforce the idea that only technology can save us. Knowing that efficiency is key to economic progress, it is tempting to place our faith in the possibility that we can push relative decoupling fast enough that it leads in the end to absolute decoupling. But just how feasible is this?

There is a convenient ‘rule of thumb’ to figure out when relative decoupling will lead to absolute decoupling. In a growing population with an increasing average income, absolute decoupling will occur when the rate of relative decoupling is greater than the rates of increase in population and income combined.

The IPCC’s Fourth Assessment report suggests that achieving a 450 ppm stabilisation target means getting global carbon dioxide emissions down to below 4 billion tonnes per annum by 2050 or soon after. This would be equivalent to reducing annual emissions at an average rate of 4.9% per year between now (2008) and 2050.

At an average population growth of 0.7% each year under business as usual conditions,
the decline in carbon intensity just about balances the growth in population and carbon emissions will end up growing at about the same rate as the average income – 1.4% a year. It might not sound much, but by 2050, under these assumptions, carbon emissions are 80% higher than they are today.

To achieve an average year-on-year reduction in emissions of 4.9% with 0.7% population growth and 1.4% income growth, – T (emissions intensity), has to improve by approximately 4.9 + 0.7 + 1.4 = 7% each year – almost ten times faster than it is doing right now.

By 2050 the average carbon content of economic output would need to be less than 40 gCO2/$, a 21-fold improvement on the current global average

Simple arithmetic hides stark choices. Are we really committed to eradicating poverty? Are we serious about reducing carbon emissions? Do we genuinely care about resource scarcity, deforestation, biodiversity loss?26 Or are we so blinded by conventional wisdom that we daren’t do the sums for fear of revealing the truth? (8)

Recent opinion again challenges the notion of “green growth” at a fundamental level,

The notion of green growth has emerged as a dominant policy response to climate change and ecological breakdown. Green growth theory asserts that continued economic expansion is compatible with our planet’s ecology, as technological change and substitution will allow us to absolutely decouple GDP growth from resource use and carbon emissions. This claim is now assumed in national and international policy, including in the Sustainable Development Goals. But empirical evidence on resource use and carbon emissions does not support green growth theory. Examining relevant studies on historical trends and model-based projections, we find that:
(1) there is no empirical evidence that absolute decoupling from resource use can be achieved on a global scale against a background of continued economic growth, and
(2) absolute decoupling from carbon emissions is highly unlikely to be achieved at a rate rapid enough to prevent global warming over 1.5°C or 2°C, even under optimistic policy conditions.

We conclude that green growth is likely to be a misguided objective, and that policymakers need to look toward alternative strategies.(9)
The truth of Biomass, the truth of decoupling, the truth of carbon offsets, “green growth” are fantasies. Having already been sold a fantasy with “Negative emissions technology” and the resulting pushback, the IPCC and E.U. needed “good news” stories. So these fantasies are pushed all the way down the “administrative chain of command” through national and regional governments, down to local government level where they are often a “trusted voice”.


(1) Reasons to change the zero-rated criteria for biomass in the EU ETS March 2015


(3) Open Letter to E.U. from 800 scientists and researchers. £Scientific Basis of E.U. Climate Policy on Forests” Sept 2017.





(8) Prof Tim Jackson, “Prosperity Without Growth” 2009.

(9) Abstract, “Is Green Growth Possible?” – Jason Hickel, Giorgos Kallis April 2019.





Climate change on display this Mediterranean summer.

The “reality”, of climate change, not metaphor, continues to hit the Mediterranean coast with the death toll rising to over 60, from 1 “weather event” that has lasted for over a month.

What are we told ? It’s “La Gota Fria”,  “happens every year, look the snow is here, we can all go skiing”

This is an article written by one of the world’s leading climate scientists, Michael Mann.

“It’s not rocket science, Climate Change was behind this summer’s extreme weather”



These are the record temperatures, driven by man made global warming, that created the “ambience”, that turned Autumn rain into a perfect storm claiming many lives.


The last six months in Europe have averaged nearly 2.5 C (4.5 F) warmer than historical averages for the period of April to September. This is nearly 0.8 C (1.4 F) warmer than the previous record for this six month period. This is not normal. – Robert Rhode. – Berkley Earth Sciences.


Record high temperatures registered all over Europe in June, when the Arctic circle was on fire,



Air and water temperature increases caused by increasing carbon emissions continued through the northern summer until September.


Mediterranean water temperatures were up 1.5C, above average, releasing much more moisture into the atmosphere.

The Jetstream atmospheric air current, which delivers all the “weather” in the Northern Hemisphere, continued in chaos caused by the ever decreasing Arctic Ice cover.


For the first time ever this year, the thickest most stable ice in the Arctic circle, broke away from the north coast of Greenland, renewing the prospect of an IMMINENT ice free Arctic summer.

The southward movement of the Jetstream (cold air), causes havoc when it hits the warm air of the equator creating the perfect elements for flooding and the disastrous October death toll in Europe.

Billions of euros will need to be found to repair infrastructure damage, hundreds of thousands of people in Europe have been ruined, they have nothing.


Of course, this just brings climate change closer to home, the same weather “malfunction” that happened in Europe, caused massive flooding in Indonesia and Bangladesh, causing the deaths of around 5,000 people. There is a willing blindness to live in metaphor provided by the media and refuse to appreciate the global reality that is now upon us caused by climate change.

Global warming is causing the earth to dry up, seasons that could be relied upon have vanished, when rain falls now, the increased volume of water that falls scrapes away the dry earth it falls on. It undermines foundations of buildings and infrastructure that have stood for a thousand years. The winds speeds that are created by the “man made” mix of climate change, are unprecedented, new categories are needed as with temperature charts. 200 klm an hour winds flattened forests in northern Italy. Bushfires in Australia in 2009 were driven by 120 klm an hour winds that carried burning embers 35 kilometres in ahead of the fire front, creating new fires.

When no one knows what is happening, the truth is a good starting point.

The Future Laid Bare.

Scientific research and climate events over the last 2 years paint a different picture to the one the I.P.C.C. provides for COP21 in Paris this November. The U.N. and governments, have championed economic growth and technological development as necessary for a warming world. Sir Nicholas Stern (an economist), speaks as an ‘authority’ on the future “compatibility” of earth systems and economic growth.

“There is no conflict between economic growth and action on climate change.” (1)

The increase of research/data in 2006, compared to 2015, is staggering, as is what the reports say.   The UNFCCC has overseen 20 years of COP meetings to limit warming to “under 2 degrees C”. This is not legally binding. (2) There was no penalty when Canada, Russia and Japan withdrew from the “legally binding” Kyoto Protocol.

JHScientists such as James Hansen, Michael Mann (3) and Kevin Anderson (4), have since 2006 consistently been critical of the official climate change “doublespeak”, which, with climate denial, has allowed apathy, disinterest and confusion to develop at a grass roots community level towards climate change.

The I.P.C.C. “language” now explains we are “likely to achieve 2C with a 60% probability”(5), even though it now knows 2C is a marker between “dangerous” and “very dangerous” impacts. The IPCC knows that at a 90% “certainty” of staying under 2 degrees there is no carbon budget left, and reduces the “risk” from 90% “must stay under”, to a 60% “probability”. (RCP2.6). (6)

The IPCC announced a “carbon budget” which “allows” us to continue contributing to a cumulative emissions total that is “dangerous” now. (7)

The underlying economic concerns since 2007/8, and a considerably weakened environment movement since the 2009 Copenhagen fiasco, provided a vacuum now filled by Ecomodernism.   New age economic “winners”, such as Gates (8), Branson bransonspacesuitand Musk have thrown their support behind the Ecomodernist movement with heavy research funding, whilst paying lip service to what is left of “the environment”. The centre of the climate denial industry, the Heartland Institute, and the Koch brothers, have recently given support to the Ecomodernist Manifesto, strange bedfellows. (9)


The manifesto’s geo-engineered, “virtual” climate future (business as usual), is nuclear fuelled, negative emissioned, GMO fed, Apple inspired and technologically spellbound by ideas of recreating extinct species and living on Mars. (10)

The recent announcement by the head of the I.E.A. that “decoupling” carbon emissions from growth is hailed as being “on the right track”, came after 46 billion metric tons-e of carbon was emitted. (11)

Along with prosperity, growth and a safe climate through technology, the I.P.C.C.’s “low/zero/no carbon” (RCP 2.6 /4.5 A.R.5), vision of negative emissions technology, “sometime between 2070 and 2100” (12, 13), is completely untried at scale, (or still theory), has unknown consequences and is far too late.

Ecomodernism has wide appeal, wait for technology and the markets, and do nothing for 70 years. The Anthropocene is here. This is the future Christiana Figueres is taking to Paris.

Governments, the I.P.C.C. and neoliberalism cannot control nature and time. Try as they may to control the science, the weight and consistency of proof over time, and nature’s response in the form of climate “events”, is becoming overwhelming, and exposing the doublespeak and lies up to now passed as “information”.

“Earth Will Cross the Climate Danger Threshold by 2036” is a paper by Dr Michael Mann that contains a dire warning. (14)

In Brief

  • The rate at which the earth’s temperature has been rising eased slightly in the past decade, but temperature is still increasing; calling the slowdown a “pause” is false.
  • New calculations by the author indicate that if the world continues to burn fossil fuels at the current rate, global warming will rise to two degrees Celsius by 2036, crossing a threshold that will harm human civilization.
  • To avoid the threshold, nations will have to keep carbon dioxide levels below 405 parts per million.


As the carbon content of the atmosphere is above 400 ppm now, this research indicates that there are 2 or 3 years at most, until we reach the atmospheric carbon content equivalent of 2 degrees of warming above pre-industrial times.

Relevant factors, not publicised in a Murdoch world, include Mann’s “cooling effect” of particles (from coal burning particularly), preventing temperature increases relative to emissions generated. As coal use declines, temperatures rise to equilibrium.

Thermal lag/inertia. Recent research from Katherine Rike and Ken Caldeira, give a 10 year “cause/effect” time, between emissions generation and heat increase. This indicates there is already “built in”, a further 0.5C warming, supported by Dr Mann’s research. (15)

Cryosphere “tipping points” are being reached far in advance (75 years) of IPCC projections at the north and south poles. (16) RCP 8.5 is the do nothing scenario the Arctic is heading for soon.




In an attempt to activate negotiators at the Paris COP21, James Hansen has published a paper open for public comment called “Climate Danger in the Hyper-Anthropocene” and reopens the debate which the IPCC avoided about ice melt and rapid sea level rise over decadal periods. (17)

Climate scientist Paul Beckwith in conversation with Alec Smith examines many of these issues and suggests Arctic summer ice melts could see ice free summers in 5 years. (18)

Slide1Author David Spratt, following research by Dr Mann, says the temperature “now”, from pre 1880 modelling, and observations, is 1.17C above pre-industrial times. (19)

Given the “thermal lag” of 0.5C “built in”, we are very close to the 2 degree limit and the 405 ppm stated by Dr Mann.

Spratt also observes the “El Nino” event “brewing” in the central Pacific Ocean, as big at present as the 1998 EN which began a new level and regime of temperature increases.

These points lead us to an uncomfortable conclusion: we are already at risk of failing to meet a target that is itself inadequate to avoid dangerous climate change”(20). and ;

“The world needs to understand the plausible worst-case scenario for climate change this century and beyond — something that the media and the IPCC have utterly failed to deliver.”(21)


  5.   I.P.C.C. 2013 WG1AR5 report p. 27.
  6.   I.P.C.C. 2013 WG1AR5 report “The Physical Science Basis”, slide 5.
  7.    Ibid.



The Low Road.

Politicians have taken regard of historian Simon Schama’s comment that no one ever won an election by telling voters it had come to the end of its “providential allotment of inexhaustible plenty”. The official policy articulated, in a moment of unusual candour, by Jean-Claude Juncker, the current head of the European Commission, was that when the situation becomes serious it is simply necessary to lie.

For the moment, to paraphrase Alexander Solzhenitsyn, the “permanent lie [has become] the only safe form of existence“.

The issue of climate change is no different, with the exception that blind faith in technology also incorporates a collective “amnesia” about the problems that we face because of technology. As pointed out to Stewart Brand by Winona LaDuke.

The politics of the “Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change” are based on the most powerful (U.S.) corporate intellect, the same philosophical basis upon which all governments are run.

The very oil, coal, and gas giants that have brought us to the brink of catastrophe are not just at the negotiating table—they are coming dangerously close to running the show. Examples of Big Energy’s influence in the talks abound: from corporations actually sponsoring the last round of talks (COP19), to industry front groups like the World Coal Association and IPIECA (the International Petroleum Industry Environmental Conservation Association) gaining official status, to solutions on the table that seek to enrich the private sector above all else.


Naomi Klein’s book “The Shock Doctrine” on “disaster capitalism” is a stark reminder of what will happen to those who cannot pay, and the institutions on which they rely.

One of those who saw opportunity in the floodwaters of New Orleans was Milton Friedman……He wrote an op-ed for the Wall Street Journal three months after the levees broke. “Most New Orleans schools are in ruins,” Friedman observed, “as are the homes of the children who have attended them. The children are now scattered all over the country. This is a tragedy. It is also an opportunity to radically reform the educational system.”…….. George W. Bush backed up their plans with tens of millions of dollars to convert New Orleans schools into “charter schools,” For Milton Friedman, the entire concept of a state-run school system reeked of socialism. In his view, the state’s sole functions were “to protect our freedom both from the enemies outside our gates and from our fellow-citizens: to preserve law and order, to enforce private contracts, to foster competitive markets.” In other words, to supply the police and the soldiers—anything else, including providing free education, was an unfair interference in the market.

Within nineteen months, with most of the city’s poor residents still in exile, New Orleans’ public school system had been almost completely replaced by privately run charter schools. Before Hurricane Katrina, the school board had run 123 public schools; now it ran just 4. Before that storm, there had been 7 charter schools in the city; now there were 31

For more than three decades, Friedman and his powerful followers had been perfecting this very strategy: waiting for a major crisis, then selling off pieces of the state to private players while citizens were still reeling from the shock, then quickly making the “reforms” permanent.

From “The Shock Doctrine, The Rise of Disaster Capitalism”. Introduction

Governments who make the decisions in the IPCC forum have no thought to change the economic/social system to a more egalitarian climate justice base, but the IPCC is complicit by blind adherence to science fiction and the ecomodernist answers, Corporate ideology, and feeding this back into Government thinking as “viable”.

The Papacy turned the eye once more to the “moral” case for climate justice, but known skeptics within the church such as Cardinal George Pell from Australia, said the Catholic Church had no business issuing statements about politics.

The “Precautionary Principle” has morphed into ‘cost /benefit, risk analysis’ where GDP and profit are “privatising” what were once “Human Rights”

Naomi Klein’s book set the debate in the most analytical way possible. The logic is irrefutable, but is answered with silence and has failed to produce the required debate. Read it.

This is the “low road”, but requires more crowdfunding than is possible. Needs more emissions reductions that seem possible, more “Degrowth” than seems possible. It needs new financial taxes, redistribution of wealth and social reforms that don’t seem possible. More than that, it needs a sizeable majority with Climate Justice as its main talking point. Its a road we know instinctively but haven’t travelled before, its starting again.


The High Road or the Low Road.


Understanding the consequences of which direction we take at the fork in the road requires a knowledge of the circumstances which brought about the birth of “Eco Modernism”, which has lobbied as an environmental organisation, and gained support, particularly in the corporate world (Gates, Apple, Branson, Musk) for a technological solution to climate change.

The Bush administration had refused to ratify the Kyoto Protocol, leaving (then) 35% of global emissions unregulated, emphasised by Dick Chaney’s famous comments, “the American way of life is non negotiable”.

In 2004, Ted Nordhaus and Michael Shellenberger, co-wrote a paper called “The Death of Environmentalism”,

It stated the obvious that the environment movement had failed to secure political support for climate change. Whilst recognising the increasing environmental impact of growth, a school of thought emerged advocating “technological solutions” to ecological problems.

Nuclear energy for a secure baseload electricity supply, spreading Genetically Modified Organism’s to feed the expected billions added to world population.

Dow Agroscience “promotion” of 2 4D resistant seed.


Carbon Capture and Storage and Geoengineering to save climate problems include “negative emissions technology” which can “suck” carbon out of the atmosphere.

Stewart Brand was likewise an established “environmentalist”, and became a firm supporter of the Breakthrough Institute, now establishing the credentials for the Bio engineering of extinct species, in case there’s a particular one we want to save.

6200213Mark Lynas too was a well respected environmental commentator who wrote a book called “6 degrees” and appeared in the film “The Age of Stupid” as a hard and fast environmentalist who now sees nuclear power as the only answer to energy questions.


Dr Clive Hamilton wrote a stinging response to the Breakthrough Institute’s recently released “Ecomodernist Manifesto” ~

And this has led them to their most audacious declaration to date: the publication, last week, of what they are calling An Ecomodernist Manifesto, a self-consciously provocative attempt to make sense of what some scientists are calling “the Anthropocene,” or the Age of Humans. In the end, however, the manifesto’s faith in technological breakthroughs means it substitutes a kind of Californian positivity for the hard reality of climate politics. As a roadmap out of our ecological and social predicaments it leads us nowhere.

Only nuclear power can give us climate stabilization. But, the authors concede, the nuclear industry is flat on its face in most places, so we must wait for the next generation of nuclear fission (or even fusion!) plants, before which opposition will surely melt away. In the meantime, we will need to build more hydroelectric dams and construct “fossil fuel plants with carbon capture and storage” technology.

Here the ability to set aside science is on full display. The manifesto does not say how long we will need to wait for the next generation of nuclear plants, or how much of the global carbon budget will be used up while we cool our heels. Perhaps it might take 20 years for the first plants to be built, and 40 before they are making a large dent in global emissions. By then the planet will be, in Christine Lagard’s arresting phrase, “roasted, toasted, fried and grilled,” and there will be no way to rescue the situation.

Sad to say, this “Great Anthropocene” has won support from the business community where Christiana Figueres has been actively seeking support. The International Energy Agency is also a key player as advisor to ALL governments on energy policy. It has laid out a “roadmap” for the development of a global carbon capture and storage industry that is twice as large as the existing global oil industry. There will be no “zero carbon” FOR 50 YEARS or more.

All scenarios in the Unep report now require some degree of ‘negative CO2 emissions’ in the second half of the century, through technologies such as carbon capture and storage or, possibly, controversial, planetary wide engineering of the climate known as geoengineering.

So as we enter the Paris COP 21 it is with an IPCC “vision of business as usual”, displaying the worst possible arrogance that prevents us from admitting we have made a mistake, a BIG mistake. To save face, we must insist that our hubris will save us, so the Dolce Gabbana life can continue.

So this is the high road, the high emissions, “crisis what crisis” positivity that has brought us to this point and will lead us nowhere. Relying on totally untested (at scale) technology is the final abandonment of the “Precautionary Principle” replaced by “Blind Faith”.

So the low road is the alternative. It offers no glitz, is a very hard challenge for a very long time. Its a very different world based on living within planetary limits, a Steady State System after a Degrowth Transition. The demands of a 90% cut in carbon emissions are non negotiable.  Starting Again.

Naomi Klein sets the scene very very well, and gives a mountain of research in her book to establish “Climate Justice” as the objective. The political palatability of the needed “redistribution of wealth”, globally, and restraints on the “extractivist economy” prevents serious wide discussion of the only effective solutions.

Of course, effective solutions means being able to finance the necessary transitions, and whilever tax havens remain open, financial transactions unregulated, and tax avoidance rampant,  climate change will remain merely a distraction from the next IPhone roll out. Business as Usual.

A fork in the Road to Paris.

The last 3 posts have centred on the “Road” the I.P.C.C. , U.N.F.C.C.C. , Governments think tanks and business are approaching the near future, and the CLIMATE REALITY which science informs us is developing.

Stewart Brand speaks of the science allowing re-creation of extinct species “The dawn of de-extinction. Are you ready?”

Brand is aligned with “eco modernists” who see a “Good Anthropocene” where (obviously) technology blossoms, geo-engineering, negative emissions technology, carbon capture and storage on a MASSIVE scale and Genetically Modified Organisms miraculously produce twice as much food on the same land for the extra 3 billion people. Its nuclear fueled business as usual, the new normal.

Is this the “new normal” for Iran ? I think a fork in the Road develops when the path advocated by the complete western iran-iraq-heat-DEE_3394697bnegotiating process is heading for a climate catastrophe. So much information is missing from IPCC projections in the name of palatability and long term political blindness, that what is happening today is of no consequence until the next 7 year cycle reports are published. As detailed previously, in 2012 the summer Arctic Ice, (which has a MAJOR impact on northern hemisphere weather extremes, through the Polar Jet Stream), was 75% LESS than the average ice cover since measurements began. Bringing into play scenarios that the IPCC had not considered at all until after 2100. Things are happening at a MUCH faster rate than IPCC are arguing. What happens when lots of 150 kilometre diameter methane expulsions begin, or permafrost begins to melt.

The IPCC AR5 details the following ICE COVER IN 2081-2100 !!! (Click image for a larger view)

Arctic ice 1

The IPCC has encouraged the thought of a “carbon budget” since the 5th AR report, and also redefined the terms of urgency of action. To keep temperatures below 2C based on the “science” and “equity”, was the promise of 2009. We MUST NOT exceed 2C is the correct emphasis as 2C has, through more research NOW been determined as “dangerous”. 2C now represents the border between “dangerous” and “very dangerous”.


Prof K Anderson, Climate Change, going beyond dangerous.

Emissions reductions trajectories at levels of “Representational Concentration Pathways” (RCP’s) of between 2.6 (which is the only “safe” trajectory), and RCP8.5,  (which is the one we are on now), show the details.

RCP-s (2)

The scenarios are used to assess the costs associated with emission reductions consistent with particular concentration pathways. The RCPs represent the range of GHG emissions, they include a stringent mitigation scenario (RCP2.6), two intermediate scenarios (RCP4.5 and RCP6.0), and one scenario with very high GHG emissions (RCP8.5). Scenarios without additional efforts to constrain emissions (‘baseline scenarios’), lead to pathways ranging between RCP6.0 and RCP8.5.  RCP 2.6 is representative of a scenario that aims to keep global warming likely below 2°C above pre-industrial temperatures. The majority of models indicate that scenarios meeting forcing levels similar to RCP2.6 are characterized by substantial net negative emissions by 2100, on average around 2GtCO2/yr.

IPCC Synthesis Report AR5 p 58

Even the language of the urgency is gone, the change from “not exceeding” to the (only) path “likely” to prevent 2C warming. Recent press releases from Canete and Figueres say, “it doesn’t matter if we don’t reach a binding agreement in Paris as this is an ongoing process”, or “deep and steep emissions reductions AFTER 2050”.

The 2013 IPCC reports have now “reduced the commitment” of NOT exceeding 2C, to >33%, >50%, and >66% “CHANCES of not exceeding 2C, best shot a 1 in 3 chance of failing. Would you cross the road, get on a plane or even leave the house if there was a 1 in 3 chance you wouldn’t return ?

As can be seen from the following table, ONLY when we speak of 33,50 and 66% “chances” IS A CARBON BUDGET AVAILABLE. When we seek a “severe risk” equivalent of 90% “certainty” of AVOIDING 2C we see there is NO CARBON BUDGET.

NO budget

The IPCC’s AR5 report followed the “path” of 66% chance of staying under 2C but this budget “uncertainty” also brings the possibility of a 3C rise in temperature !!!

risk 2

David Spratt, Climate Code Red, The Myth of Burnable Carbon.

The idea of a carbon budget and “allowable” emissions is dangerous, according to climate scientist Ken Caldeira: “There are no such things as ‘allowable carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions’. There are only ‘damaging CO2 emissions’ or ‘dangerous CO2 emissions’. Every CO2 emission causes additional damage and creates additional risk. Causing additional damage and creating additional risk with our CO2 emissions should not be allowed. If you look at how our politicians operate, if you tell them you have a budget of XYZ, they will spend XYZ. Politicians will reason: ‘If we’re not over budget, what’s to stop us to spending? Let the guys down the road deal with it when the budget has been exceeded.’ The CO2 emissions budget framing is a recipe for delaying concrete action now.” (Caldeira, quoted by David Spratt, Myth and Reality, 2014)


Prof. Kevin Anderson has been outspoken on this issue for many years. He points out that the single most “crucial” issue facing reductions, IS WHEN WILL EMISSIONS PEAK ? Given the surge in emissions from Chinese modernisation and their attempt to peak their emissions in 2030, it is reasonable to assume that India (similar population) would not peak until 2045, Africa and Sth America in 2060. If Annex 1 countries are still emitting half of the current emissions, it would  be very optimistic to assume a peak before 2030, before the remaining “carbon budget” is gone.


You would notice Prof Anderson does not return emissions to zero on these graphs as it is felt impossible to reduce emissions from agriculture. The later the “peak” the harder the reductions, bearing in mind that it is the area under the lines (cumulative emissions) which ensures a 2C outcome. The 2020 peak (below) indicates the “unprecedented” 10% reductions trajectory giving only a 50/50 chance of staying under 2C.

2020 peak

Anderson says there is no longer a non radical option, and for developed economies to play an equitable role in holding warming to 2C (with 66% probability) emissions compared to 1990 levels would require at least a 40% reduction by 2018, 70% reduction by 2024, and 90% by 2030. This would require “in effect a Marshall plan for energy supply”. Low-carbon supply technologies cannot deliver the necessary rate of emission reductions, and they need to be complemented with rapid, deep and early reductions in energy consumption, what Anderson calls a radical emission reduction strategy. All this suggests that even holding warming to a too high 2°C limit now requires an emergency approach. Emergency action has proven fair and necessary for great social and economic challenges we have faced before. Call it the great disruption, the war economy, emergency mode, or what you like; the story is still the same, and it is now the only remaining viable path.

David Spratt, The Myth of Burnable Carbon, Climate Code Red, 2014.



The Road to Paris, What the UNFCCC ISN’T telling us.

Follow link in top LH corner of screen to view.

This excerpt from “The Newsroom” just about says what needs to be said, but its T.V. right? No, its bang on the money, as Dr Michael Mann stated in this interview:

“If we had acted when we already knew that there was a potential problem [back in 1988],” says Mann. “If we had acted then, then the emissions curve would be a bunny slope…a pretty gradual, smooth transition. It wouldn’t be very hard to do, it wouldn’t be very expensive. Instead, what several decades of delay have bought us is that we now face the black double diamond slope. That’s what we’re confronting now.”

“With modern technology humans have become so powerful that we now rival the great forces of nature, so much so that we have diverted the planet from its natural course, taking it out of the Holocene’s 10,000 years of climatic stability and clemency into a new, unstable and dangerous geological epoch, the Anthropocene.

The International Commission on Stratigraphy is now going through a formal process of deciding whether it should add the Anthropocene to the Geological Time Scale, the scale on which the entire 4.5 billion year history of the Earth is divided.”

The last Road to Paris post described the technological basis for the future UNFCCC emissions reductions program. Over the last 2 years there has been a succession of high level reports of how the “Green Economy” would change the world, how the re-wiring of the world would be ‘doable’ at $90 TRILLION, how this would only amount to a small % of GDP. Green jobs, sustainable future and “yes we can” stay under 2 degrees.

The 7 year delay between the IPCC reports ensures that information published can be 4 or 5 years old, and more relevant information can miss the cycle of IPCC inclusion.

What is important to realise about the IPCC process is that it is conservative. Predictions made in past reports have been attributed 100’s years in the future in the reports, when they are happening before our eyes now. Witness the melting of Arctic Sea Ice, described by eminent scientists as being in a “death spiral” and the IPCC’s timescale of melt pushed out to the 2090’s-2100

These graphs of ice melt show the new “normal” as opposed to the IPCC RCP 4.5. (Used as the basis for climate “survival” trajectory. (click to see larger graph).


This overlay of 2012 measured ice melt on IPCC projections of Arctic Ice published in 2013. The delay in collating information, checking and publishing often means the IPCC data is outdated, and projections “optimistic”.


This years ice melt may not be less than the record low of 2012, but the melt season has another month to run in the hottest half-year start ever, for the 2nd year in a row. It is interesting to note that this years “melt” season began with a record LOW ice mass.


Another major issue we are misled on is “THERMAL INERTIA”, the time taken for emissions to convert to heat increase. Estimates current in IPCC literature infer many decades difference between “cause and effect”. Previous research seemed to indicate a 40+ “time lag” before temperatures were impacted. This perhaps, as with the IPCC reports, tended to push things out further into the future, leaving responsibility for future generations. Allowing technological development to play catch-up.

Recent research how has brought the “effects” much closer.                

This has an amazing “oh f^+k” immediate impact on me. It appears that the level of warming NOW, (0.8C), that is causing the extreme weather events globally,  IS CAUSED BY THE CUMULATIVE EMISSIONS UP TO 2005 !!!!!!

2005 emissionsAs can be seen, emissions generated in 2005 was 27 billion tonnes, China was a few years into its economic growth spurt which only slowed down when the Financial crisis hit in 2008. This had next to NO impact on emissions rise as the BRICS nations took up the slack of OECD emissions and maintained emissions generation.

Fast forward 10 years and we have hit 40 billion tonnes, A 50% INCREASE. The “carbon budget” is not impacted but the effects of the “locked in” temperature increase of TODAYS CARBON EMISSIONS WILL NOT BE FELT FOR 10 YEARS.

Many scientists are predicting that we have ALREADY 1.2C warming.

2014 saw no increase to this emissions figure, and was hailed by IEA chief Fatih Birol as evidence that the world was finally de-coupling economic growth from emissions generation. everything IS FINE AND WE ARE ON COURSE.

Even the best climate sceptic would avoid using 1 years data to predict the future, however, Fatih’s Crystal Ball detailing the continued use and expansion of fossil fuels past 2050, OR the creation of a liquid carbon industry sequestering hundreds of BILLIONS of tonnes (TWICE AS BIG AS THE PETROLEUM INDUSTRY), can be achieved without pushing global temperatures past 2 degree before he has a chance to become Emperor. But, Christiana Figures is also “spellbound” after having gazed into the Crystal Ball, and this is the road we are taking to Paris.

” . . . . the 450 ppm level will soon be crossed, the question remains, how will we respond . . . . . ”    The Newsroom.

The Road to Paris. The U.N.F.C.C.C. Agenda for the 21st Century, where are we going?


Expectations of a climate change agreement in Paris this year were ‘brightsided’ by Christiana Figueres’ vision of a carbon free planet, but in 2100 not 2050.

It has taken over a year for the IPCC 5th A.R. Report to be digested and spread from the science into the policy sphere, and in front of us is pure science fiction.

The energy policy sector is centred on the International Energy Authority and their insistence that Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) will enable a “negative emissions” technology to dominate emissions generation post 2050.

The cat has slowly been let out of the bag since February this year when the Guardian reported :

“EU climate chief and UN’s top climate official both play down expectations that international climate talk pledges will help hit 2C target”.

Canete (2)“The European Union climate chief, Miguel Arias Canete, says talks at a major climate summit in Paris this year will not be a failure even if governments fail to keep warming below the dangerous 2C threshold”

The recent comments by Figueres amplify that;

The overwhelming consensus is that Paris 2015 needs to send an unequivocal signal that the world will take a path towards a steep and deep decline in greenhouse gas pollution by the second half of the century.”

The ramifications of the IPCC 5th A.R. report are only just being ‘teased out’, there is a new era dawning, “the Anthropocene”, and the solutions now advocated are suitably heavily reliant on Geo engineering, Negative Emissions Technology, intellectual arrogance, hubris and science fiction.




“Stranded Carbon Assets and Negative Emissions Technologies, a Working Paper” Oxford University.

So we have a technology based IPCC future where the interim years will be the last thrashings of a dying economic system attempting to scour every last $ from the planet’s resources before 2050.

In the process the ‘mythical carbon budget’ becomes a toy for the use of the fossil fuel industry. If an 80% + chance of staying under 2 degrees is chosen, and equity remains a guiding principle, then ALL the carbon budget is allocated to Non Annex 1 countries.

The “Great White Hope” or great white elephant.

ALL IPCC RECOMMENDED emissions reduction progress is based on the continued development of carbon capture and storage. The development programme designed by the IEA shows the 22 established CCS projects up and running or under construction, to be in line with the IEA forecast of 30 plants by 2020. Capturing and storing 40 million tonnes of carbon underground, 0.1% of the 40 BILLION tonnes emitted this year.

HOWEVER, the fact that in 16 of the plants the liquid carbon is being used to pressure pump oil out of hitherto “spent oil wells” makes a farce of CCS being regarded as ‘emissions free’. Even now CCS is regarded as only being 85% efficient so there are fugitive emissions from the process, and a big Uranium sized “storage” question mark.


“In order to explain the extent of the requisite effort I have been using a revealing comparison. Let us assume that we commit initially to sequestering just 20 percent of all CO2 emitted from fossil fuel combustion in 2010, or about a third of all releases from large stationary sources. After compressing the gas to a density similar to that of crude oil (800 kilograms per cubic meter) it would occupy about 8 billion cubic meters—meanwhile, global crude oil extraction in 2010 amounted to about 4 billion tonnes or (with average density of 850 kilograms per cubic meter) roughly 4.7 billion cubic meters.

This means that in order to sequester just a fifth of current CO2 emissions we would have to create an entirely new worldwide absorption-gathering, compression-transportation- storage industry whose annual throughput would have to be about 70 percent larger than the annual volume now handled by the global crude oil industry whose immense infrastructure of wells, pipelines, compressor stations and storages took generations to build.

Technically possible—but not within a timeframe that would prevent CO2 from rising above 450 ppm.”

The staggering growth of the IEA’s CCS industry ‘visioning’, by 2030 it hopes to be storing 2 gigatons of CO2, out of 40+ gigatons.


 “By 2050, CCS is routinely used to reduce emissions from all applicable processes in power generation and industrial applications at sites around the world, with over 7 000 MtCO2 annually stored in the process.”

IEA. Technology Roadmap. Carbon Capture and Storage. P24.

“The IPCC sees CCS capturing as much as 60,000 million tonnes in 2100, a scale 15 times that of the world’s current oil industry. ”

“Various trends make deep emissions reduction unlikely.  There is a lack of global political consensus on the most appropriate strategies to reduce emissions, and we are locking ourselves into a long-lived energy system fuelled mostly by coal, oil and gas. At the same time global population continues to rise, as does the expectation of a higher standard of living – especially in rapidly developing countries pursuing a perfectly equitable growth agenda.

These points lead us to an uncomfortable conclusion: we are already at risk of failing to meet a target that is itself inadequate to avoid dangerous climate change. Against this backdrop of increasingly challenging news, what are our options?”

Many eminent scientists are calling for very deep emissions reductions immediately, whilst a growing part of the “environmental lobby” support a reliance on technology. Time however may cut that short.

The basic mathematics of emissions generation and “the carbon budget” are very simple.

*  The atmosphere contains over 400 ppm CO2. The temperature has risen at least 0.8C.

*  2 degrees temperature increase is accepted as 450 ppm CO2. This is not a “safe” target

*  The world is currently emitting 2 / 2.5 ppm CO2 in the atmosphere every year. 40 Gigatons.

*  In 20 years’ time, (i.e. 2035), at current emissions levels, the atmosphere will contain the level of CO2 to exceed 2 degrees of warming.

What do we know?

1/ China will not peak emissions until 2030, it has a large CCS contribution projected.

2/ India has not completed its INDC, but is talking of a doubling of coal consumption. India’s emissions are not expected to peak until 2045.

3/ Africa, South America, Asia are not expected to peak emissions until 2060

4/ Governments of Annex 1 countries are doing all they can to preserve the “trickle down” neo liberal theory of “sustainable development”.

5/ Western Industrialised Nations need to cut their emissions generation 80% under 1990 levels by 2030 to allow the Non Annex 1 countries what little there is left of the “carbon budget”. Part of the “climate Justice” reparations and principles of “equity”.

6/ The “postponement” of deep emissions reductions until post 2050 (when it is expected that CCS will be fully proven and tested), allows the complete saturation of the core of the earth, down to a level of 1 kilometre, with poisonous liquid carbon. As well as the pernicious cocktail “mainlined” into immediate subsurface through “fracking”.

7/ All Western Industrialised countries are going gangbusters for Bio Mass renewable energy. All emissions reduction strategy used by the IPCC to arrive at under 2 degrees rely heavily on Bio Mass combustion (Bio Energy > B.E). and Carbon Capture and Storage BECCS).

8/ CCS technology, (negative emissions) is regarded as “the silver bullet” precisely because it can “suck carbon out of the atmosphere”, should there be a failure in emissions reductions targets.

The IEA admits,

“The largest challenge for CCS deployment is the integration of component technologies into large-scale demonstration projects. Lack of understanding and acceptance of the technology by the public and some stakeholders also contribute to delays and difficulties in deployment.”

NO large scale demonstration project exists, CCCS may NEVER be proven as safe OR possible, at scale, and yet incredibly, the future of UNFCCC and IPCC emissions reductions strategies relies on CCS.

With the increasing likelihood of there being a carbon budget overshoot, such global ‘net negative emissions’ may be required to actively reduce atmospheric GHG concentrations to safer levels. However, while this type of large scale removal of CO2 may eventually be required, there are two reasons why hoping to reach emissions targets via such an overshoot trajectory is a dangerous alternative to timely mitigation.
First, there are serious limitations to our ability to predict technological and social development over subsequent decades, and thus, the feasibility of large scale deployment  in the future.
Neglecting to reduce emissions now on the assumption that NET’s can recapture emissions in future would be dangerous if NET deployment on the required scale could not then be realised.
There are also significant dangers of passing tipping points, such as the dieback of the Amazon Rain Forest or the rapid collapse of the Greenland Ice Sheet, that increase of CO2 levels rise. Once alternative Earth System States have been realised, the system may not return to where it originally started if CO2 concentrations are then reduced.
One thing is certain – without viable Carbon Capture and Storage, large scale post 2050 Negative Emissions Technologies, or Carbon Budget increases, will NOT be available.
It is clear that very large-scale negative emissions deployment, if it were possible, is not in any sense preferable to timely decarbonisation of the energy and agricultural systems.
“Stranded Carbon Assets and Negative Emissions Technologies, a Working Paper” Oxford University. Feb 2015.




The Road to Paris, would you buy a used car from this woman?


As the world again struggles through what is predicted to be the hottest year on record, FOR THE SECOND YEAR IN A ROW, it would appear that denialist propaganda is having less impact, but we need to constantly re examine the trust being placed in those who say they want a safe climate for the future.

Twitter-Quote-Christiana-Figueres_735 11

In Spain a heat exhaustion death was reported 12th July (abcnews) and scientists are preparing for next year’s ‘El Nino’ event of similar level to 1998. For the populations of Spain, Australia and the World, the media is silent about any connection between weather events and climate change.

There is no trace of urgency, no sense of direction, and, as with the global finances and systemic change, the can continues to be kicked down the street to provide the ‘lag time’ to extract every last dollar out of the earth’s resources.

01_%2520Langelle_UNFCCC_Gag-1_preview_0In 2013, initiated an open letter objecting to Christiana Figueres’ close ties with the fossil fuel industries within the COP19 at Warsaw. The letter was also signed by 75 organisations from across civil society.

It would be appropriate for a similar initiative to be mounted now with the growth of the ‘Divestment/Leave it in the Ground’ campaign bringing new scrutiny to IPCC projections.

The woman who is guiding the UNFCCC process, Christiana Figueres, closed the ‘Our Common Future’ conference in Paris on July 10th with these remarks.

“The world’s leading researchers on climate have underlined the crucial importance of nations focusing on a long term goal–call it zero emissions, net zero or climate neutrality. The overwhelming consensus is that Paris 2015 needs to send an unequivocal signal that the world will take a path towards a steep and deep decline in greenhouse gas pollution by the second half of the century.”

This recipe for disaster allows business as usual for the next 35 years and then is solely reliant on carbon capture and storage as the ‘silver bullet’ to prevent planetary collapse.

Ms Figueres is well aware of the work of Kevin Anderson who categorically states that if we are interested in preventing 2 degrees of warming an 8/10% emissions reductions pathway is needed immediately. As most economists agree, this is incompatible with a growth economy.

Ms Figueres is also aware that current emissions trajectories predict a 4 / 6 degree celsius temperature increase and yet we are not to have a “steep and deep decline in greenhouse gas pollution” until “the second half of the century”.

Ms Figueres is also aware of the fact that many leading scientists regard 2 degrees as the beginning of the end and the goal should be BELOW 1.5 degrees.


Ms Figueres is also aware that there is NO carbon budget if the world were to set out to achieve 90% CERTAINTY of STAYING UNDER 2 degrees of warming.

Ms Figueres is also aware of the term “climate emergency” being used by the highest qualified scientists in the world. Her response is to move into the world of science fiction where “negative emissions” will be generated from 2050 from technology. Emergency, what emergency?

Geosequestration, third generation nuclear technology, genetically modified food and business as usual from the “Environmentalists” of the Breakthrough Institute have won the day. Andrew Revkin, Nordhaus/Schellenberger, Stuart Brand and their vision of the “Good Anthropocene”, where western industrialised lifestyles can be unaffected, is found to be much more palatable than the Degrowth Transition required.

The highest possible importance is being placed on business as usual, BY the woman who is overseeing the document which will be given to the Paris COP conference in November.

As Naomi Klein points out in her book, “This Changes Everything”, vested interests which have so much influence in the C.O.P. process know very well what the “only” solution can be to achieve climate and social justice. Shutting down the energy generation industry as soon as possible, a recognition of historical responsibility for emissions, including redistribution of wealth/technology with the Third World. Bigger government to regulate the remaining resources left in the world. Regulating the shipping/airline industries and taxing carbon emissions.

The governments that are now issuing the INDC’s to the U.N. are aware of this too.

There is no thought of financially regulating the fossil fuel industry to prevent a climate disaster. No thought of introducing a financial transactions tax to pay for climate change, or to close tax havens in an effort to have corporations ‘pay their share’.

So the U.N.F.C.C.C. has to go ‘cap in hand’ to the private sector for mitigation and adaptation costs immediately ruling out one of the cornerstones of climate change negotiations, equity.

Prepare for more hot summers.

For those interested, the following are extracts from the I.P.C.C. reports of 2007 and 2013 indicating the “emergency situation as it relates to Spain”. Bear in mind that “steep and deep” emissions reductions are now recommended, by Ms Figuerres AFTER 2050, TOO LITTLE TOO LATE.

This is how the 2007 IPCC report saw the future of Europe.


The scenario paints a very desertified Spain being 5 degrees celsius hotter in the summer months by 2090 with up to 50% reduction in rainfall. In some journals Spain is described as becoming an extension of the Sahara Desert. The major problem is that 2.5p.p.m. of co2 is added to the atmosphere every year making the very real possibility of 2 degrees of warming being “locked in” by 2030.


Source IPCC 4th A.R. 2007 p 875.

The 2013 IPCC report has recognised the extreme impacts that are projected for the Mediterranean region and devoted a lot more research and analysis. Southern Europe has been separated and its main climatic heat influence, the African Deserts, have been analysed.



A different methodology has been used to arrive at the regional projections. In 2007, the projections were based on the average of 21 models. The 2013 projections contain the RCP numbered “variations” of emissions projections. The regional maps temperature variations are based on the selection of RCP4.5 which strangely enough has us arriving at 2 degrees !!

In ACTUAL FACT, the emissions trajectory we are on NOW is RCP8.5 which is the extreme emissions trajectory, and will be until 2050 if Christiana Figueres’ recommendations are accepted.


The charts above relate to ‘winter temperature’ increases. Below are anticipated summer temperature increases.

euro7euro8euro9Source IPCC 5th A.R. p1354>

2004 report into Mediterranean Desertification.

Spain desertification (2)



Ken Loach, ‘The Spirit of ’45’ – ‘Starting Again’

Ken-Loach-in-Cannes-2010--006Ken Loach has been a long standing voice against inequality, poverty and fascism. Films such as ‘Truth and Liberty’ portrayed the Spanish Civil War in a replay of George Orwell’s ‘Homage to Catalonia’.

The Spirit of ’45 is Ken Loach’s new documentary about the 1945 general election and the creation of the welfare state by Clement Attlee’s Labour government. He tells Andrew Pulver why a feeling of group ownership was so important in the postwar years and how that ideal still rings true today                             

His latest documentary harks back to the euphoria of victory post WW2, and the hopes for a ‘better’ world for the ‘majority’, with the single mindedness that ‘fascism’ would never happen again. It has, with unemployment, inequality and poverty mirrored in the mass evictions, suicides and homelessness going UNSEEN alongside the wealth glamour and billionaires of the age of “individual  choice.”                                                                                                                                      1362848391_274343_1362849287_noticia_normalReal Madrid football players with nothing better to do with their millionaires wages than get caught racing sports cars at 200 kph.

A world that can produce a statement like ; ” I DON’T SEE A WORLD WITHOUT MY PHONE”  as Gen Y – fi expect a limitless future. art-CONNECTED1-620x349




The Rise and Fall of Spain

“THIS WORLD”, B.B.C. produced a very accurate documentary on “The Spanish Crash” which details the reasons why the stupid idea of unlimited growth failed in the past and will fail again. Here ’tis . . . .



Arctic/Shell article + “Chasing the Ice”.

Here’s an incredible trailer for a new doco, “Chasing the Ice”, detailing a massive “calving event”. Then have a look at how Royal Dutch Shell is contributing perhaps, more than anyone else, to ensuring an ice free industrial zone at the top of the planet.



An oil rig collapsing and other “too bad to think of” Arctic events that could turn a white wilderness into a black environmental hole came closer yesterday when a drilling ship, the ‘Kulluk’, owned by SHELL, drifted in stormy weather before being driven on to rocks on Kodiak Island.shell_aground3


Royal Dutch Shell have been ‘gung ho’ to get their teeth stuck into some cold icy water since last summers “Big Arctic Melt” saw the “VOLUMN” of arctic summer ice fall to 25% of the level in the 1980’s. Ice free Arctic summers are now forecast by a growing number of scientists as alarming new reports about increasing Methane levels from the Arctic seas .  823564784554645-7

Undaunted, Royal Dutch Shell continue throwing billions at the possibility of destroying the Arctic. The now grounded Kulluk had completed preliminary drilling and was returning to ice free waters when it ran aground. It had hoped to accomplish much more this (2012) Arctic summer, HOWEVER a second drill ship, the Discoverer, was briefly detained in December by the coastguard in Seward, Alaska, because of safety concerns. A mandatory oil-containment barge, the Arctic Challenger, failed for months to meet coastguard requirements for seaworthiness and a ship mishap resulted in damage to a critical piece of equipment intended to cap a blown well.

HELP STOP THE INDUSTRIALISATION OF THE ARCTIC WILDERNESS – Go to the Greenpeace website now and leave your support.


Adbusters “A New Way of Being This Christmas”.


This from adbusters ;




Attention shoppers!


As our planet gets warmer, as animals go extinct, as the humans get sicker, as our economies bail and our politicians grow ever more twisted, we still find ourselves lurching to suck from the breast of the capitalismo machine. This is our solace, our sedative – consumerism is the opiate of the masses.

We’re in a state of “pathological consumption,” George Monbiot explains, “a world-consuming epidemic of collective madness, rendered so normal by advertising and the media that we scarcely notice what has happened to us.”

For those of us who do notice it, who decry it, abstain, and try to eschew capitalism … Christmas is the one time where we suddenly absolve ourselves of this stance, as we feel compelled, by a strange and powerful force within, to join in the momentous, orgiastic ritual of America’s consumerist cult.

As we max out our credit cards, we hope we will become America’s economic heroes – saving the nation from the fiscal cliff. But instead, we plummet further into a complicated recession, and as our spirits sink once again, the economists coo into our ears that there is a way out – consume more, they say! This is the paradox of our addiction – filling the void only to fall deeper into it.

The call to consume less – where it is heard – is denounced as pedantic, naive, authoritarian, even insane.

Decide for yourself where the insanity lies. Four out of five Americans are on Adderall, Ritalin or Prozac. One in three are obese. People in the Congo are massacred to facilitate our latest smart phone upgrades. America, Europe, Canada, Australia, we are all living 5 planet lifestyles. If you still need a reason to stop consuming – consider that manufacturing and consumption are responsible for more than half of the global carbon dioxide emissions. And if we heat up just 4 degrees more, we will witness a total and irreversible collapse of human civilization. We’re killing ourselves – and even as the denial about global warming is slowly breaking over us, we still choose – sheeplike – to join the throngs in the malls. Without significant rituals, we clamour to participate in the only ones we have, like the Christmas shopping binge, driven by our desire for meaning – of which our culture is devoid.

It’s not the “fiscal cliff” you should worry about … it’s the culture, stupid! We are hanging by a nail onto our collective sanity – a cultural cliff hanger.

Buy Nothing Christmas gets to the heart of this matter. Reclaiming the ritual of this magical season – consciously and deliberately – is a radical, emancipatory choice. As Christmas approaches, can you find the strength to break the addiction, to wake up from the nightmare … will you be brave enough to plant the seed of a new way of being? Make your life a demonstration, a defiance, a piece of art, a heroic journey. Start this Christmas – dare to gather your friends and family together and vow to do it differently this year.

And if you’re ready, bring this message to the streets. From now until the New Year, gather your fellow revellers and march around NYC’s Times Square – the iconic centre of global advertising – proudly holding up #BUYNOTHINGXMAS signs for the whole world to see.

Here’s to the coming year of the snake!

From all of us here at Adbusters

The Call That Made a Killing.

When to Start Again, – when no one is to blame for the death of innocents.

Jacintha Saldanha

Jacintha Saldanha, who took a hoax call from Australian DJs posing as members of the royal family before she was found dead. Photograph: AP


The profound apologies that d.j.’s Mel Greig and Michael Christian have made quickly, and publicly, followed the trend by the radio station involved. The day after the news broke the 2 Day FM CEO promptly stated that nothing “illegal” had occurred, “no one could have foreseen this”, i.e. we are not responsible. At the same time in full knowledge of the stations historic and recent breeches of broadcasting standards.

The P.R. machines are at work now, deflecting, working on the front foot, attack is the best form of defence.  There is a rush by ALL the media to point out that “this sort of thing happens all the time, in every radio station in every country in the world”. This is mainstream radio, Southern Cross network, which owns 2 Day FM, reaches 5 million people every day. It’s NORMAL.

It’s the sort of majority readership “enjoyed” by News Limited who were also reminded that the end, (the daily thirst for shock horror front pages), DOES NOT justify the means (hacking mobile phones).

And after the deflection from Greig and Christian and the radio station, (who desperately need their advertising revenues back), the world’s conscience goes in search of another scapegoat to deflect attention from the sickness in a global society which is getting worse, not better, for the enjoyment of the few.

Autumn Statement

The “investigation” is being driven by a collective mind set, a level of intellectual arrogance and hubris fed by “lifestyle prosperity”, that cannot countenance the existence of “low incomes”, people struggling to get by, nervousness, humility, trust.

Soooooooo 20th century, so Welfare State . . .

I mean ‘look at ME, I’m being outrageous, isn’t that cool’? Who needs all that baggage, we all make our own choices . . . . . . . .don’t we?

If it’s legal do it, even if it’s ‘not quite’ legal, do it – we need to push the boundaries. A corporate mind-set that imbues the world with ‘faux’ and ‘emoticons’. That is ‘market savvy’ and chained to wealth creation, and finding that opportunity in the most unpredictable circumstances, a 1 in a million chance that the call would get through, who could be so stupid ?

And so Jacinta Saldhana probably died because she could not bear the shame. Alone working in London with her family in Bristol, who she did not tell about the “prank”.

A newcomer to a new country, working to help build a new life for her family. A stranger in a strange land, nervous, humble, unsure, unable to tell one accent from another. How much could she take, how much shame had she brought on her family.

Made to look like a fool for her gullibility, I wonder if she read the Tweets of Michael Christian as he jumped into the deep end of celebrity OH SO WILLINGLY, determined to milk this for all it was worth, I could make a killing from this . . . . . . . . .

Wouldn’t anyone? –  the DJ’s WERE making a killing. I mean everyone was still laughing, there are millions of “reTweets”, it’s gone viral, 50,000 hits on the website, and shit this is my first week at the station. This is the new NORMAL, kick where you see a head and milk it for all it’s worth – gone viral. “WHERE’S THE NEXT SUCKER”

The laughing lasted 3 days until Jacintha Saldahna couldn’t take any more and she hanged herself.

4 degrees warming by 2040 – at least the truth is out.

When the WORLD BANK, PriceWaterhouse Cooper, and the International Energy Authority release reports warning of global warming reaching 6 degrees by 2100, the work of climate scientists such as America’s Dr James Hansen and England’s Dr Kevin Anderson stand out as being people that should be listened to.

The international energy agency’s (IEA) view on climate change –


“on track for a 3.5°C rise by 2040”      (i.e. 4.2°C relative to preindustrial)
“When I look at this data, the trend is perfectly in line with a temperature increase of 6 degrees Celsius, which would have devastating consequences for the planet.”
“we have 5 years to change the energy system – or have it changed”
Fatih Birol – IEA chief economist

Kevin Anderson, gave this lecture, in Bristol U.K. in Nov 2012 – “From Rhetoric to Reality”, he lays out the grim reality of climate change, and our inability to address it globally. Anderson has become the U.K. equivalent of Prof James Hansen in the ability to communicate the inescapable reality which “business as usual” will bring.



We are currently heading for 4 degrees C of warming and planning for 2 degrees C. As Anderson points out, that’s ass backwards. Further, he sees absolutely no way we can meet those targets, given the rapid industrialisation of China and the emerging economies, and the current state of global political inaction.

WORLD BANK. – Turn Down The Heat: Why a 4°C Warmer World Must be Avoided

PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) – Even to have a reasonable prospect of getting to a 4°C scenario would imply nearly quadrupling the current rate of decarbonisation.

International Energy Authority

Kevin Anderson: “Rapid and deep emissions reductions may not be easy, but 4°C to 6°C will be much worse”

Dr Kevin Anderson is the Deputy Director of the UK Tyndall Centre and is an expert on greenhouse-gas emissions trajectories. He gave this lecture in 2011 warning of the VERY STEEP emissions decent required to keep global temperature increases under 2 degrees. It’s 80 minutes long and gives a very detailed answer to projected emissions reduction scenarios.



18 months later he is interviwed by Rob Hopkins for Transition Culture website, and the message is no better especially as  “Sandy” came and went and left a calling card costing up to $50 billion dollars for a weeks work.

“I think the rhetoric that we should not exceed this 2°C rise is still there. . . . . . It’s not just about our emissions now.  If you look at the emissions we’ve already put out into the atmosphere since the start of this century, and you look at what’s likely to be emitted over the next few years, then I think it tells a very different story.  It’s hard to imagine that, unless we have a radical sea-change in attitudes towards emissions, we will avoid heading towards a 6°C rise by the end of this century.  . . . . . . . .the Annex 1 (developed countries) .. . . . . In those parts of the world, the rate of reduction in emissions that would be necessary for us to even stay within an outside chance of avoiding dangerous climate change, characterised by the 2°C rise that we’re all internationally committed to, would be in the order of around 10% per annum.”                         

Film on what a 6 degree warmer planet ‘may’ look like from National Geographic ;

And some chilling words from Yvo de Boer the UN climate chief during the 2009 Copenhagen climate change talks who last year openly stated that the target of 2 degrees was ‘impossible’.

The IPCC’s fifth assessment report is due to be published in late 2013 and early  2014. “That report is going to scare the wits out of everyone,” Mr de Boer said  “I’m confident those  scientific findings will create new political momentum.”  He said superstorm Sandy may spur more Americans, and people elsewhere, to  consider the risks of climate change, but warned: “It’s a bit like being shocked  into stopping smoking when you’ve been told you’ve got terminal cancer.”


Hurricane Sandy meets the Arctic. The “big refreeze” of the Arctic after extraordinary record summer ice loss pushes stronger cold air currents southwards, on course to meet late season northward moving tropical hurricanes, fuelled by the warmer waters of the Atlantic.   . . . . . . . . . .. . . . . . New Orleans, Brisbane, Bangkok and now New York.



And a NASA time lapse film of Sandy . . .



“It’s Global Warming, Stupid” . . . . . . . .

Bloomberg Business week ran the headline above this call for sanity on climate change

Bloombergs Business coverage had this footage of Sandy ‘live’ from New York.

“What $20B of Damage Looks Like”

Greed, Fear and a $1 Quadrillion debt.

Max Keiser “On the Edge” interviews Nicole Foss from “the automatic earth” explain ‘austerity’ and the necessity for banks and governments to sell assets in a vain attempt to collateralise the existing $1 quadrillion derivative debt. The impossibility of this happening in a flatlining global economy will re-ignite the fear that stopped the world in 2008.

“They can’t get ahead of the curve; everything they’re doing is too little too late, and when fear is in control then you have a downward spiral and it won’t stop until deleveraging has run its course. Until the small amount of remaining debt is acceptably collateralized to the few remaining creditors, and we’re absolutely nowhere near that point at the moment, we’re far closer to a top than a bottom.”



Nicole Foss has also presented a ‘book length’ article, one of the most comprehensive I have read explaining why a global transformation to renewables is not going to happen.

Renewable Energy: The Vision And A Dose Of Reality

“JUST DO IT” – new age film.

“JUST DO IT” is a film about the direct action taking place in the U.K. and all over the world. It is a great relief and a sense of hope to see a new generation of climate change activists taking peaceful protest to new levels. Emily James’ film follows a lineage of independent film makers such as Franny Armstrong (The Age of Stupid),  Annie Leonard (The Story of Stuff) and the thousands of filmakers all over the world who are chrystallising events and providing a community memory of efforts to save the planet despite governments and vested interests.



The film is part of the “ INTERNATIONAL ENVIRONMENTAL FILM FESTIVAL ” being held in Barcelona from the 5th – 11th November. It is being screened in many locations but can be downloaded from the website at

Mike Reynolds, how to Start Again.

Mike Reynolds has been a constant campaigner for eco living, fighting against planning and building regulations to the point where he can no longer practice as an architect. His globally acclaimed documentary “Garbage Warrior” was seen as an example of how the building of the future could follow ecological principles. Whilst filming a programme on “the nuclear” industry in Los Alamos U.S.A., “Democracy Now” presenter Amy Goodman, interviewed Mike Reynolds.



This is Mike Reynold’s “Earthship” website and here’s the Australian Earthship website ;

2-4D IN THE FOOD CHAIN, “how would you like your breakfast sir, with or without poison”.

As the American ‘corn belt’ shrivels under the extended drought, the future of food has taken an amazing turn as DOW AGROSCIENCES  ‘proudly’ announces the introduction of 2,4D into the food chain.


A predictable ‘glyphosphate immunity’ was evident less than 5 years after the introduction of  Monsanto’s “Round-Up Ready” seeds. Now, of the 200 million acres a year sprayed with Round Up, 15 million acres is affected by “giant Ragweed” which is able to survive 24 TIMES the recommended usage.

GMO food is regarded by ALL world authorities and governments as the “silver bullet” for the looming food crisis to feed the expected population of 10 billion people by 2050. Monsanto’s early promise   was absolutely shredded by a new report detailing the usage of chemicals in agriculture. 

The promise ;         “Roundup agricultural herbicides and other products are used to sustainably and effectively control weeds on the farm. Their use on Roundup Ready crops has allowed farmers to conserve fuel, reduce tillage and decrease the overall use of herbicides.”

The report  ;   “Impacts of genetically engineered crops on pesticide use in the U.S. — the first sixteen years.”

found that ;  Monsanto’s Roundup Ready technology, which dominates corn, soy, and cotton farming, has called forth a veritable monsoon of herbicides, both in terms of higher application rates for Roundup, and, in recent years, growing use of other, more-toxic herbicides. Overall, GMO technology drove up herbicide use by 527 million pounds, or about 11 percent, between 1996  (when Roundup Ready crops first hit farm fields) and 2011. For several years, the Roundup Ready trait  actually did meet Monsanto’s promise of decreasing overall herbicide  use—herbicide use dropped by about 2 percent between 1996 and 1999. But then weeds started to develop  resistance to Roundup, pushing farmers to apply higher per-acre rates.  In 2002, farmers using Roundup Ready soybeans jacked up their Roundup  application rates by 21 percent, between 2009 and 2010 alone, herbicide use  jumped 24 percent.

The report’s author, Chuck Benbrook, research professor at Washington State University’s Center for Sustaining Agriculture and Natural Resources, cites 2,4D use on corn crops went from 4.4 million pounds in 1995 to 2.4 million in 2000 before jumping to 3.3 million pounds in 2010, as farmers increasingly resorted to it to attack Roundup-resistant weeds. If 2,4-D resistant corn is widely adopted, 2,4-D use will hit 103.4 millon pounds on corn fields per year by 2019. Overall, Benbrook projects a 30-fold increase in 2,4-D applied between 2000 and 2019. Because 2,4-D is so toxic, the result will not be pretty.

Such a dramatic increase could pose heightened risk of birth defects and other reproductive problems, more severe impacts on aquatic ecosystems, and more frequent instances of off-target movement and damage to nearby crops and plants.

BBC News has a full expose titled ; “Agent Orange chemical in GM war on resistant weeds”



Scottish fish farmers use record amounts of parasite pesticides

Farmers have been forced to increase amount of chemicals as the sea lice parasite becomes resistant to treatment.

The absolute sovereignty of the European Stability Mechanism (ESM)

No wonder Mario Draghi is looking pleased with himself, he, and his Goldman Sachs inspired “administrators” have, as John Ward said in a recent post ; “Reinvented the Divine Right of Kings”

The ESM is the ‘vehicle’ through which sovereign bond buying (bail-outs) will be delivered (watch out Spain) and which is ‘above the law’. The full document can be downloaded here ;

This extract from John Ward, (below), highlights what is being set in place to ensure the (now) quadrillion dollar derivatives market stays afloat. This is DEBT. The Real News film interview gives an outline of the ‘problem’.


So, back to Mario and the ESM and the John Ward report, these “exemptions” should scare anyone.

Article 32, para 3: The ESM, its property, funding and assets, wherever located and by whomsoever held, shall enjoy immunity from every form of judicial process. (There is one exception – entirely in the ESM’s favour)

para 4: The property, funding and assets of the ESM shall, wherever located and by whomsoever held, be immune from search, requisition, confiscation, expropriation or any other form of seizure, taking or foreclosure by executive, judicial, administrative or legislative action

para 8: To the extent necessary to carry out the activities provided for in this Treaty, all property, funding and assets of the ESM shall be free from restrictions, regulations, controls and moratoria of any nature

Article 35, para 1:  In the interest of the ESM, the Chairperson of the Board of Governors, Governors, alternate Governors, Directors, alternate Directors, as well as the Managing Director and other staff members shall be immune from legal proceedings with respect to acts performed by them in their official capacity and shall enjoy inviolability in respect of their official papers and documents.

There are other worms in this charity tin, but trust me, these two articles are the ones that ensure it really isn’t the standard contract, and if I Mario Draghi deems it in the public good to stuff 46,000 gold bars in a Gnome’s private bank, it’s none of your business.

But there is one astonishing phrase in there which I feel duty bound to lift and separate from even this stuff above:

The archives of the ESM and all documents belonging to the ESM or held by it, shall be inviolable. The premises of the ESM shall be inviolable.’

The International Law Society definition of ‘inviolable’ is ‘unassailable and impregnable’. Or in one word, untouchable. Or an yet another word, supreme.

Or in a final word, Sovereign.

You have been warned.

Fires, heatwaves and protest, red hot in the Med.

Just when you thought everything was hunky dory  . . . . . .


Democracy Now reports from Greece and Spain on recent mass demonstrations against yet more austerity. Maria Carrion’s accurate analysis of the systematic looting of the public purse being carried out to maintain corporate and financial dominance over democracy reveals the human cost of austerity.



The report highlights many elements of the Goldman Sachs/IMF/ECB requirements which further remove citizens freedom. At the end of the report is a reference to those arrested at the demonstration facing much higher ranked criminal charges “against the nation”. This was reported below

“Spain converts passive resistance into a crime” & “Spain accused of ‘draconian’ plans to clamp down on protests”  Naomi Klein “Tweeted” on her website                 “Shock Doctrine in Spain: after ruining Welfare State, Law will criminalize pacific protests”

Worse to come when SuperMario Draghi’s “anything it takes” money printing (the same as is piling up debt in the U.S,) obtains an “untouchable” level above the law as Illargi warned on The Automatic Earth.

“Any country that wants a bailout under Draghi’s terms, that is: any country that wants its bonds to be bought by the ECB, must relinquish a substantial part of its sovereignty. At the very least, such a country will no longer be in charge of its own economic policies.”


And here’s a sample of Space Kadet rhythm ; Reaching Out. Check his MySpace page.


Barcelona Fiesta – La Sagrada Familia

LA MERCE fiesta is held on the September equinox, and is a 4 day mix of pagan festivals, catholic ceremony, traditions, music and parades. One of the highlights is ‘la projection’, this year the “Moment Factory” from Montreal offered a multimedia show on the Nativity facade of the Sagrada Familia, an ode to the creation of the world and man and to life itself. (Apologies for the editing).

This is the illuminated Nativity facade;







…. and this is the same facade, as you’ve never seen before.

Do the Math, postscript 3. How would you like your planet sir, with or without ice?

Since 1979, the volume of summer Arctic sea ice has declined by 75% and accelerating.…  This video by Andy Lee Robinson illustrates the dramatic decline from 1979 until September 2, 2012.

Bad news comes in 3’s, so here’s the third installment of “melt news” from this summer.

1/ Greenland ice melt hit a record.

2/ Surface sea ice area minimum hit a record.

3/ Surface sea ice VOLUME has also hit a record low. The importance of this is when thickness is reduced the ice is susceptible to break up caused by storms and wave movement. It also provides a less stable base for new ice forming.

We have already seen this summer that melting ice on Greenland reached altitudes 2 – 3 kilometers above sea level causing an unprecedented 97% of Greenland to experience melting ice. (below).

The next data set showed a dramatic increase in melting of the Greenland ice sheet this northern summer, breaking the previous record ice melt on Greenland in 2010.

At the same time a new record low in summer Arctic sea-ice COVER broke the 2007 sea ice surface cover record minimum. (below).

Average July through September Arctic sea ice extent 1870-2008 from the Un. of Illinois (Walsh & Chapman 2001 updated to 2008) and observational data from NSIDC for 2009-2011.  Black vertical dashed lines indicate the years 1938-43, used by some sceptics to repeat the tired old line of “natural variation” being responsible for this years melt..
Arctic sea ice extent from August 2012 from NSIDC (purple) overlaid on a map of sea ice extent in August 1938 from the Danish Meteorological Institute.  Red symbols indicate direct observations in 1938. (below).
Thirty years ago, the summer sea-ice extent was around 7.5 million square kilometres, but this year it will end up at half that figure.
Sea ice volume hit a new low with this years total being APPROX 75% OF THE AVERAGE VOLUME SINCE SATELLITE RECORDING BEGAN. 
There seems to be no doubt in the scientific community that the “melt is on”. Forcing almost 20 billion tones of CO2 eqv. into the atmosphere every year is unlike ANY ‘natural’ forcing experienced for at least 10,000 years.
 Arctic temperature change reconstructed by Kaufmann et al. (2009) including data updated for and including instrumental measurements for the Arctic region (60 to
90° N) from



SIGN THEIR PETITION AT to stop this before it starts.

Greenpeace activists have chained themselves to anchor lines preparing to launch Shell’s Arctic exploration. This seasons ice melt has been calamitous, with  outcomes for the coming decades, which the 2007 I.P.C.C. reports  put “towards the end of the century”.

George Monbiot’s latest article forces the environment movement to consider whether the term “Sustainability” is now a dirty word ;

“As I write, activists from Greenpeace, whom I regard as heroes, are chained to Gazprom’s supply vessel, preventing the rig from operating. These people are stepping in where all governments have failed. David Cameron, who still claims to lead the greenest government ever, is no longer hugging huskies. In June he struck an agreement with the Norwegian prime minister “to enable sustainable development of Arctic energy”. Sustainable development, of course, means drilling for oil.”

For millions of years the Arctic ice has regulated the planets temperatures to a level conducive to human habitation, this years record melt eclipses the 2007 “record” with 3 weeks of the summer season left.

Good idea for a warming planet, grow your own food.

Once upon a time the U.S. government offered good advice in uncertain times as the above poster from 1917 shows. The uncertainty of those days was not settled until the end of the 2nd WW and a period of stability (relative) achieved which saw previously undreamed of prosperity able to be claimed by all, even amongst a surging global population – until now that is.

“Food Security” is now a buzz phrase due to the avalanche of ‘fast food’ outlets and reduction of the availability of fresh nutritious food in what is now termed “food deserts”. Obesity, diabetes and many other health issues can be a direct result of what we put in our mouths, and it can be seen that placing the stewardship of nutrition from “cradle to grave”, into the hands of the “market” has led to the ‘maladministration’ of the health of society.

There is no doubt that an appreciation of the needs of starving millions prompted the “Green Revolution”, sadly, it was brought about by blind adherence to applying petro-chemically derived “NPK” to ‘industrial agriculture’ on a scale large enough to feed the world. “Get big or Get out” was a mantra which drove the post war food industry where “supply security” was the focal point of farming. Theoretically the trickle down of this global prosperity and green revolution can feed the world, at population levels of “the last century”. However, over 1 billion people still remain below the poverty line ($1.25 per day) and another 2 billion are said to be below what western society would call a “subsistence” level.   There has been a stark reminder that the rules applying to “last century”, no longer apply as the world adds 1 BILLION people to the planet every 12 years. Genetically modified organisms are now being touted to be the scientific answer, pushing food production into the realm of science fiction, and food monopolies into the bank balances of global corporations. Not only is the thought of the existing 7 billion becoming 9, 10 or more billion challenging enough, even with GMO, but no one has had a real handle of what effects a warming planet will add to the mix.

The “Arab Spring” of 2010 and ongoing has been attributed to many issues of democracy, governance, foreign interference etc, but as BoB Marley pointed out many years ago ;

“A hungry man is an angry man,        A hungry mob is an angry mob”

The flash point came as the effects of the Russian drought hit, and all grain exports were stopped to service the domestic population.  This caused a 40% increase in the price of basic global foodstuffs. What happened then was not new, but there is an additional factor which is appreciated by many of the world’s leading scientists that the frequency and intensity of drought conditions will increase. The U.S. is now experiencing its second year of drought. Last year it was Texas, this year it is 85% of the whole country. A by-product of this is the collapse of the corn harvest, highlighting the stupid practice of corn being used as an ethanol fuel base feeding cars instead of feeding people.

Similar conditions can be seen in the Mediterranean  where wildfires are raging through Greece, Bosnia and Spain, countries not new to wildfires but identified in I.P.C.C. climate reports as being particularly susceptible to warmer temperatures, a precursor to wildfires.

From an economic perspective Dmitri Orlov gives a dire warning, it is the “supply chains” that will be hit first. The ‘Russian experience’ demonstrated that shops and supermarkets were suddenly emptied of produce, then things got worse.

A GOOD IDEA. Grow your own food.    The ABC’s Gardening Australia website gives an easy to learn example of how this can be achieved with the “No-Dig” garden which can be established on almost any type of surface. It is advocated by Permaculture and is practised in many countries where space is at a minimum. The English and European tradition of allotment gardens is undergoing a resurgence and makes it possible to share ideas and food within the community.

Community gardens have many benefits such as preservation of the environment, a place of encounter with many different types of people, an education forum for recycling, composting the 40% of food waste sent to landfill, healthy eating as well as information and reflection around issues like food sovereignty, food crisis and the ecological footprint. It is also important to consider that in the urban areas of many countries, public land is OWNED by the public, – it may well be time to consider what is the best use of that public land.













To see some very sharp visuals of “food security” visit ;

SPOIL : Brazil – the Amazon Basin and the Olympics, what to expect in 2016.

The world has spoken. The success of the Olympic games in London showed global support for ‘business as usual’, for a continuation of the march of society toward prosperity. We like this institution, and we want it in our future, and only a watermelon could argue with that. (Green on the outside, Red on the inside)

Who could deny the unbridled joy and exaltation of the thousands of athletes who have given their lives for a moment of glory. Some to fail, some to win, is this Andy Warhol’s “15 minutes of fame” ? Tears were shed on this side of the screen as hope and expectation turned rhythmically from dust to gold and back to dust.

But there was also a trace of sadness in the tears as the inevitability of Rio 2016 saw through the moments of joy to the accompanying inevitability of the “progress in train”.

The ‘budget’ London Olympics (using many existing facilities), still cost £19 billion, to bring Brazil to the world stage will cost much more. Brazil is one of the ‘BRIC’ countries that have been experiencing high growth rates over the last 10 years. At present ‘ponzi scheme’ growth has slowed in Brazil as in China and India. Brazil is even borrowing failed policies from industrialised countries to provide “stimulus” to “keep the dream alive”.


Brazil plans to build 21 dams in the Amazon Basin to fuel and maintain the economic growth that has reportedly lifted 30 million Brazilians out of poverty, and provide the impetus to repeat the medicine for the remaining 60 million poor. The problem of the Rio+20 environment summit “encroaching” on these proposals can be seen as a very motivating factor in the abject failure of the summit to produce anything of ecological value, except for the following ;

“The expansion of trade with China can be infinite,” said Brazil’s Finance Minister Guido Mantega, as he announced a new bilateral deal on the sidelines of the Rio+20 sustainability conference. “China is fast growing and wants to stimulate consumption so they will continue to buy our commodities. There are no limits.”

The Rio+20 conference produced an “occupation” of the Belo Monte dam site by Indigenous Brazilians who will be severely impacted by the project, and went largely unreported due to the ‘predetermined’ Rio + 20 outcome It is the 3rd largest hydroelectric dam in the world

It was important for Brazil to be able to strut the world stage confidently with its contribution to “social well-being” established in its own country. But if the experience of South Africa hosting the World Cup is an indication of “developing”,  it will be a disastrous experience.

The indigenous leaders, representing the Xikrin, Juruna, Arara, Parakanã, Kuruaya and Kayapó tribes, are led an occupation by approximately 300 people at the main earthen coffer dam that cuts across channels of the Xingu River.  The occupation began on June 21, in the midst of the Rio +20 conference, halting construction at the site. The majority of the occupiers come from a region of the Xingu downstream of Belo Monte that will suffer from a permanent drought provoked by the diversion of 80% of the river’s flow into an artificial dam to feed the powerhouse.

We don’t seem to be speaking the same language . . . .

On the 15th August a group of judges from Brazil’s Regional Federal Tribunal (TRF1) upheld an earlier decision that declared the Brazilian Congress’s authorization of the project in 2005 to be illegal. The decision concludes that the Brazilian Constitution and ILO Convention 169, to which Brazil is party, require that Congress can only authorize the use of water resources for hydroelectric projects after an independent assessment of environmental impacts and subsequent consultations with affected indigenous peoples.

As well as the Olympics in 2016, Brazil is host to the 2014 FIFA World Cup. “President Dilma Rousseff will invest nearly $69 billion to improve transportation systems by the end of 2014. There are big demands on Brazil to improve its transportation systems before the nation hosts the 2014 World Cup and the 2016 Olympics. Brazil has long been beset by bottlenecks at its ports, railways, roadways and airports. Experts say that hobbles Brazil’s economic growth by making it difficult and costly to get the nation’s bountiful commodities to foreign markets.”

12.5% of the total freshwater in the world.

The 21 dams reflect the “trend” to hydroelectric power in ‘developing’ countries – (the Asian ‘Tiger’ economies are planning their future electricity needs on over 100 dams planned for the Mekong Delta) – and will cost Brazil almost $50 billion to construct by 2021. But Brazil  which overtook the UK as the world’s sixth biggest economy last year, and is now the worlds leading exporter of soy beans and beef is now going all out for more economic growth. The Belo Monte dam will flood 500km2 of land in the Brazilian state of Para and displace at least 20,000 indigenous people, and is billed as a silver bullet to Brazil’s blackouts and as a means to bring power to people across the country, but a conservative estimate earmarks 40% of Belo Monte’s capacity for the mining industry.

President Lula da Silva began the dam process with Rousseff as his environment minister, since she became President environment laws have been wound backwards. She issued an executive order to shrink or repurpose seven protected woodlands, making way for hydroelectric dams and other infrastructure projects, and to legalize settlements by farmers and miners.

Brazil’s well-established environmental movement is aghast. Rousseff’s policies, they say, endanger the world’s largest rainforest, the storehouse of one-eighth of the planet’s fresh water, a primary source of its oxygen and home to countless rare and undiscovered plant and animal species, as well as tens of thousands of native tribespeople. The short-term economic gain, Rousseff’s critics say, isn’t worth the potential long-term cost to the global environment, as well as Brazil’s economy.

“This is a government willing to sacrifice the resources for thousands of years in exchange for a few decades of profit,” says Marina Silva, a former environment minister and a pioneer of Brazil’s green movement.

Rousseff recently touted figures showing that the rate of deforestation in the Amazon fell to a record low in the 12 months ended July 2011, the most recent yearlong period for which data is available. Total land cleared – about 6,400 square kilometers, was down 77 percent from 2004, a trend that preliminary data suggests has continued in recent months. The Brazilian Amazon is home to 40% of the world’s tropical forest and one of the most biodiverse regions on the planet. About 54% of the area is under environmental protection, and in the past five years, stricter controls and better compliance have driven deforestation rates down to a historical low. The push for economic development, reversing protection for areas in the Amazon Basin, approving hydroelectric projects and removing federal officers who police the Brazilian Forest Code will see a reversal of that trend.

A recent report by the University of East Anglia has identified Jaguars, tapirs, giant anteaters and spider monkeys have become “virtually extinct” in Brazil’s Atlantic forest, while other species are being lost faster than previously believed due to the fragmentation and emptying of the once dense canopy by farmers and hunters. The authors of the study say their findings have global implications for conservation because they confirm the quantity of forest cover is an unreliable indicator of biodiversity – more important is the quality of the forest and the measures taken to protect the fauna within it.

The two-year research project, which was led by the University of East Anglia, looked for signs of 18 mammal species in 196 fragmented areas of forest. They found little more than a fifth of the 3,528 possible mammal populations. White-lipped peccaries, a native pig species, were completely wiped out. Many others were on the brink of disappearing.

“We uncovered a staggering process of local extinctions of mid-sized and large mammals,” said Gustavo Canale of the State University of Mato Grosso, which was a partner on the study which is published in the journal Plos One.

About 90% of the original Atlantic forest, which once covered an area of about 1.5m km sq (about six times the size of Britain) has been converted to agriculture by cattle ranchers, cocoa farms and rubber plantations.

The focus of the study was on the thousands of clumps of forest – many no bigger than a football pitch – that were left behind. Together they add up to a sizeable area, which previously prompted some scientists to assume they may provide a viable habitat for wildlife.

However, the authors of the new research say that no matter how pristine forest fragments appear from the outside, they are quickly emptied of all but the smallest creatures due to “edge effects” which make fauna more vulnerable to fire and hunting.

Forest clearing has already claimed casualties, but the animals lost to date in the rainforest region are just one-fifth of those that will slowly die out as the full impact of the loss of habitat takes its toll. In parts of the eastern and southern Amazon, 30 years of concerted deforestation have shrunk viable living and breeding territories enough to condemn 38 species to regional extinction in coming years, including 10 mammal, 20 bird and eight amphibian species.

Writing in the journal Science, Robert Ewers and his co-authors reconstructed extinction rates from 1970 to 2008, and then forecast future extinction debts

“For now, the problem is along the arc of deforestation in the south and east where there is a long history of forest loss. But that is going to move in the future. We expect most of the species there to go extinct, and we’ll pick up more extinction debt along the big, paved highways which are now cutting into the heart of the Amazon”.

Let the Games begin.

Dmitri Orlov interview with Jay Taylor

Dmitri Orlov discuss’ his book ‘Re-inventing collapse’ in a radio interview with Jay Taylor and gives hints at the new book underway – ‘The 5 Stages of Collapse, a survivor’s toolkit’. ( Some parts of the telephone interview are a little patchy).

Do the math – Postscript 2, Artic “death spiral”.

Greenland melt index (2012 red bar)

Melting over the Greenland ice sheet melt shattered the seasonal record on August 8 — a full four weeks before the close of the melting season, reports Marco Tedesco, assistant professor of Earth and atmospheric sciences at The City College of New York.

The melting season in Greenland usually lasts from June — when the first puddles of meltwater appear — to early-September, when temperatures cool. This year, cumulative melting in the first week in August had already exceeded the record of 2010, taken over a full season, according to Professor Tedesco’s ongoing analysis.

“With more yet to come in August, this year’s overall melting will fall way above the old records. That’s a goliath year — the greatest melt since satellite recording began in 1979,” said Professor Tedesco.

The film clip below details how the melting Artic ice impacts northern hemisphere weather patterns by equalising the temperature differences between the Artic and the Equator. As this happens cold Jet Stream air does not penetrate as far south from the Artic therefore causing more heatwaves, drought and wildfire susceptibility.

Do the math – postscript.

12 hours after posting “Do the math, goodbye Artic . . .” NASA released satellite data indicating that for the first time since records have been taken, the summer ice melt covered the whole of Greenland including the highest point 2 miles above sea level. (It should be clear that this refers to “ice melting” over 97% of Greenland, NOT that the “ice disappeared” over 97%. The land ice at points is 3,000 metres thick, that is why a sea level rise of 7.5 metres SHOULD the ice disappear, is forecast).

Extent of surface melt over Greenland’s ice sheet on July 8 (left) and July 12 (right). Measurements from three satellites showed that on July 8, about 40 percent of the ice sheet had undergone thawing at or  near the surface. In just a few days, the melting had dramatically accelerated  and an estimated 97 percent of the ice sheet surface had thawed by July 12. In the image, the areas classified as “probable melt” (light pink) correspond to those sites where at least one satellite detected surface melting. The areas classified as “melt” (dark pink) correspond to sites where two or three satellites detected surface melting.


“On average in the summer, about half of the surface of Greenland’s ice sheet
naturally melts. At high elevations, most of that melt water quickly refreezes
in place. Near the coast, some of the melt water is retained by the ice sheet
and the rest is lost to the ocean. But this year the extent of ice melting at or
near the surface jumped dramatically.

This extreme melt event coincided with an unusually strong ridge of warm air, or a heat dome, over Greenland. The ridge was one of a series that has dominated Greenland’s weather since the end of May. “Each successive ridge has been stronger than the previous one,” said Mote. This latest heat dome started to move over Greenland on July 8, and then parked itself over the ice sheet about three days later. By July 16, it had begun to dissipate.”


Do the maths, goodbye Artic, goodbye Coral Reefs.

Several scientists and environmentalists have recently published pictures of the future which, under “normal” circumstances would provoke some kind of dramatic response.

“Greenland ice sheet reflectivity at record low, particularly at high elevations”


Ice sheet reflectivity is crucial in that the opposite means greater heat absorbtion, which, in an area covered in ice and snow, becomes an irreversable loop. The system collapse has been caused by a mere 0.8 degree C global increase in temperatures, current trajectory is for a 4 – 6C average warming by 2100. Artic air temperatures have risen 4C since 1980 but this a minor factor. The chief culprit in “calving” events such as the glaciers shed from the Peterman Glacier in NW Greenland in 2010 and again this week in 2012 is WATER TEMPERATURE.

Peterman glacier ‘calving’ in 2010.

and below last week.



These events are a prime indicator of irrevrsible ice loss as NASA’s website indicates, caused by the 22,000,000,000 tonnes of CO2 human beings ‘force’ into the atmoshere.  “Even if the ice declined a large amount in one year, it should bounce back,” says Walt Meier of the US National Snow and Ice Data Center in Boulder, Colorado, research shows a permanent alteration. According to data from the past five years, the Arctic sea ice has not recovered from the 2007 extreme low. “The system has passed a tipping point,” he says.

Perhaps the most staggering image from the U.S. National Snow and Ice Data Centre (below) is this years ‘ice cover total’ and it’s departure (mostly on the Atlantic side) from the 1979 – 2000 average ice cover.



ON THE OTHER SIDE OF THE WORLD, the same WATER TEMPERATURE INCREASE has even more dramatic effects ;

“A World Without Coral Reefs”  was a New York Times op-ed last week by Roger Bradbury, expressing the very reasonable fear that Pacific Coral reef systems would collapse within a generation. Given the thin precarious temperature range under which pacific reefs survive, other oceanographers such as Ove Hoegh-Guldberg, have been long time outspoken advocates of a reduction of carbon emissions which is the root cause of ocean acidification. Other issues such as overfishing and shoreline pollution from land based uses and waste play destructive roles



See also

Bill McKibben published a stunning article inviting readers to analyse 3 simple numbers which combine to provide “Global warming’s terrifying New Math”

2 degrees celsius.

The only significant agreement from the Copenhagen Climate Conference was to limit temperature increases to 2 degree or less. This provides a “carbon budget” to apply between 2009 and 2050.

The Second Number: 565 Gigatons

The “carbon budget” means humans can pour roughly 565 more gigatons of carbon dioxide into  the atmosphere. The 565-gigaton figure was derived from one of the most sophisticated  computer-simulation models that have been built by climate scientists around the  world over the past few decades. And the number is being further confirmed by  the latest climate-simulation models currently being finalized in advance of the  next report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. CO2 emissions last year  (2011) over 32 gigatones, at that rate, we’ll blow through our 565-gigaton allowance in 16 years,

The Third Number: 2,795 Gigatons

This  number is the scariest of all, highlighted last summer by the Carbon Tracker Initiative. The number describes the amount of carbon  already contained in the proven coal  and oil and gas reserves of the fossil-fuel companies, and the countries (think  Venezuela or Kuwait) that act like fossil-fuel companies. In short, it’s the  fossil fuel we’re currently planning to burn. And the key point is that this new  number – 2,795 – is higher than 565. Five times higher

We have five times as much oil and coal and gas on the books as climate  scientists think is safe to burn, this coal and gas and oil is still technically in the soil. But it’s  already economically aboveground – it’s figured into share prices, companies are  borrowing money against it, nations are basing their budgets on the presumed  returns from their patrimony. It explains why the big fossil-fuel companies have  fought so hard to prevent the regulation of carbon dioxide – those reserves are  their primary asset, the holding that gives their companies their value.

CO2 emissions by fossil fuels [1 ppm CO2 ~ 2.12 GtC, where ppm is parts per million of CO2 in air and GtC isgigatons of carbon] via Hansen.  Significantly exceeding 450 ppm risks several severe and irreversible warming impacts. [Estimated reserves and potentially recoverable resources are from U.S. EIA (2011) and German Advisory Council on Global Change (2011). We are headed toward 800 to 1,000+ ppm, which represents the near-certain destruction of modern civilization as we know it — as the recent scientific literature makes chillingly clear]

Read more:


THE WORLD GROANS yet again at the unimaginable contortions governments will go to SALVAGE THE WRECK of the financial industry. The Environment, Climate Change, targets for decreasing emissions, the imminent death of global coral reef systems, biodiversity loss and ocean acidification, just get kicked down the road as easily as the solutions to the fundamental flaws in society.

But this is different, this is beyond “AMBIVALENCE”, it is “willing blindness”.  A determined strategy to re-start the engines of growth which hammers the final nail in the coffin. There is a point to this ignorance, to demonstrate the “sense of entitlement” of human beings, their arrogance and hubris. To wilfully ignore blindingly obvious evidence of imminent environmental collapse, akin to sanctioning mass murder.

The BBC documentary “Global Wierding” spotlighted the U.K.’s experience with savage weather extremes and this was expanded by YALE Forum on Climate Change and through U.S. scientists highlighting the “new normal” in America. Jeff Masters and Jennifer Francis give a “spellbinding” demonstration of the “Jetstream” air currents and their impact (thro’ Artic temperature increases) are a driver of “extreme weather”.





THE NEW YORK TIMES published an Op Ed piece entitled ;

A World Without Coral Reefs By ROGER BRADBURY, speculating on the imminent destruction of The Great Barrier Reef and the Pacific Reef System

“Zombie ecosystems” caused by overfishing, ocean acidification and pollution are pushing coral reefs into oblivion. Overfishing, ocean acidification and pollution have two features in common. First, they are accelerating. They are growing broadly in line with global economic growth, so they can double in size every couple of decades. Second, they have extreme inertia — there is no real prospect of changing their trajectories in less than 20 to 50 years. In short, these forces are unstoppable and irreversible. And it is these two features — acceleration and inertia — that have blindsided us.

Jellyfish swarms wash up on Costa del Sol in the U.K. Telegraph highlights the natural processes now in chain of ocean acidification preventing the formation of ‘shelled’ predators and destruction of plant matter (coral reefs) that rely on a very narrow temperature range for survival.

OVERFISHING and biodiversity loss in the Mediterranean has lead to a vast reduction in natural predater abundance around SPAIN (swordfish, marlin, and turtle) – so with warmer water temperatures, “the once in 10 year” infestation of the Med coast line, has, since 2002, been ANNUAL.

Over the past weekend, more than 1,000 people sought first aid treatment along the Malaga coast.


Major Cities air quality such as Madrid (pictured), and Barcelona have consistently exceeded  European Union levels even tho’ enjoying wonderful public transport systems – many cities still struggle to find effective answers to constant advertising of ‘snappy new cars’ and S.U.V.’s. Shipping remains a completely uncontrolled source of toxic emissions from the massive ramp up of global trade spewing sulphur and nitrous oxides over coastal communities.

It is clear that excess nitrogen is not good for our environment; it is also not good for our health. Reactive nitrogen is an important driver of air pollution worldwide and as sulphur emissions have lessened, nitrogen is now the principal acidifying component in acid rain.  Nitrogen may join with oxygen to form nitrogen oxide (NO), a precursor of smog, and also a respiratory irritant. Nitrogen oxides, along with volatile organic compounds, contribute to the formation of ground level ozone, nitrous oxide (N20) is also one of the three most important greenhouse gases, being almost 300 times more potent as a greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide.

The nitrogen cycle and health by Elizabeth Cullen

In June 2009 Deutsche Bank launched the Carbon Counter opposite New York’s Grand Central Station. The amount of carbon in the atmosphere was 3.64 TRILLION METRIC TONNES. ON TODAY’S INSPECTION THE NUMBER WAS –




STARTING AGAIN, one thing that works, PERMACULTURE.

GEOFF LAWTON gave this TedTalk earlier this month explaining the progress and development of Permaculture.


There is no doubt that environmentalists can be seen to grasp at straws as each new scientific report points to collapse but Geoff Lawton points to very positive secure systems creation.

David Holmgren was the inspiration and co-founder of Permaculture with Bill Mollison. The Australian pair wrote the foundation and launched what would become a blindingly succesful programme. Permaculture is a Global phenomenon, highlighting it’s effectiveness through adoption in Cuba when trade and oil embargos forced a drastic rethink of agricultural practices. Havana now supplies 90% of it’s fruit & vegetable needs from over 200 community gardens in the capitol.

The global movement of Transition Towns has Permaculture at its heart, and it is aligning with traditional patrimony of community gardens the world over to provide an environmental alliance that is only now emerging as food security becomes a major problem.

David Holmgren gave this talk recently.



Geoff Lawton gives the steps needed to produce a “Forest Garden”, a very simple process which has soil fertility as its destiny.



For more information on Permaculture ;

The Permaculture Research Institute of Australia ;

NORTH CAROLINA STATE UNIVERSITY    “Introduction to Permaculture”                  

31lectures ;

RIO + 20, “INSIPID?”, no much worse.

The stunning truths of Agenda 21 (from the ’92 Rio Earth Summit) were discarded, no mention of addressing consumption and production, ecological limits, biodiversity loss, fossil fuel subsidies or emissions reduction targets.

“The Green Economy” was the buzzword along with ” valueing what we can measure” as corporations salivate over future “opportunities”.


“The expansion of trade with China can be infinite,” said Brazil’s Finance Minister Guido Mantega, as he announced a new bilateral deal on the sidelines of the Rio+20 sustainability conference. “China is fast growing and wants to stimulate consumption so they will continue to buy our commodities. There are no limits.”


Politicians (who turned up) no doubt felt relieved at not having to make ‘spur of the moment’ decisions at Rio+20 and were quick to declare “progress”. What actually happened was inconceivably worse.


Alec Smith from “Radio Ecoshock” interviews Dr Arne Mooers, co-author of a report “Planetary Boundaries”, presented to leaders at Rio+20 introducing “State Shifts”, whereby new circumstances are occurring,  (through climate change) that are irreversable. Steven Leahy sends extracts from speeches from Rio+20 –                   Kate Rallworth from Oxfam talks of fundamental errors of current economic philosophy regarding “externalities”, and Johann Rockstrom (co-author with Arne Mooers) speaks of the anti-science and scepticism launched against “planetary boundaries” since the reports release.     


David Suzuki was at the Rio +20 conference with daughter Sevrin Cullis Suzuki as a babysitter for his grandsons. “Democracy Now” host Amy Goodman spoke with both Sevrin and David Suzuki.



The Great U Turn: Rio plus 20 – Vandana Shiva

It was a great U turn in terms of human responsibility to protect the life sustaining processes of the planet. Rio+20 will be remembered for what it failed to do in a period of severe and multiple crises, not for what it achieved.

It will be remembered for offering a bailout for a failing economic system through the “Green Economy”- a code phrase for the commodification and financialisation of nature. The social justice and ecology movements rejected the Green Economy outright. A financial system  which collapsed on Wall  Street in 2008, and had to be bailed out with trillions of tax payers dollars, and continues to be bailed out through austerity measures squeezing the lives of people, is now being proposed as the savior for the planet. Through the Green Economy an attempt is being made to technologise, financialise, privatize and commodify all of the Earth’s resources and living processes.

Our collective will and collective actions will determine whether corporations will be successful in privatising the last drop of water, the last blade of grass, the last acre of land, the last seed, or whether our movements will be able to defend life on Earth, including human life, in its rich diversity, abundance and freedom.

Fellow Canadian Cam Fenton, spokesperson for the Canadian Youth environmental lobby was again to the fore as he was at the Durban COP 17 summit.



Peter Bakker, the president of the World Business Council for Sustainable Business (WBCSD), believes that the corporate sector currently offers the best opportunity for saving the world. He rejects criticism that the 1,000 businesses that descended on Rio are not serious about creating change, pointing out that the 200 CEOs who attended the Business Action for Sustainable Development conference in Rio “don’t fly to bullshit around, but to have real discussions.”

A four point action plan has been developed by Bakker and he plans to spend the next few months getting it properly underway. The WBCSD will focus on sector and cross-sector coalitions, dialogue with government and encouraging more companies to join the progressive business camp.

George Monbiot penned this ;

After Rio, we know. Governments have given up on the planet.

It is, perhaps, the greatest failure of collective leadership since the first world war. The Earth’s living systems are collapsing, and the leaders of some of the most powerful nations – the United States, the UK, Germany, Russia – could not even be bothered to turn up and discuss it. Those who did attend the Earth summit in Rio last week solemnly agreed to keep stoking the destructive fires: sixteen times in their text they pledged to pursue “sustained growth”, the primary cause of the biosphere’s losses.

The efforts of governments are concentrated not on defending the living Earth from destruction, but on defending the machine that is destroying it.

The most talked about comment from Rio +20 was from British Deputy P,M. Nick Clegg, who described the conference as “INSIPID”



Friendly Fascism, Corruption and Bubbles. How Spanish banks survived the crash of 2008.

This article gives a short history of fascism and corruption in Spain before describing the current financial problems and their relationship with property and finance.

“Looking back, we probably should have known Spain’s banks would end up this way, and that their reported financial results bore no relation to reality.”

Spain is attracting a great deal of news coverage for all the right reasons lately, but the Spanish people have suffered enough.

It has a recently re-instated monarchy, On 22 November 1975, two days after fascist dictator General Francisco Franco’s death, the Bourbon heir Juan Carlos was designated King according to the law of succession promulgated by Franco. In 1969, when Franco named Juan Carlos as the next head of state, Spain had had no monarch for 38 years.

It has a King who,  as head of the Spanish “branch” of the World Wildlife Fund, thinks it appropriate to holiday in Botswana shooting elephants. That’s the King on the right (ahem)

The king’s daughter, la Infanta Christina Federica Victoria Antonia,  is married to Inaki Undangarin, Duke of Palma de Mallorca, who is currently facing charges of embezzlement of millions of euros.

It has a justice system in tatters, the Supreme Court suspended fellow Judge Baltasar Garzon from practicing for 11 years after investigating so called irregularities in Garzon’s investigation into wide scale corruption within the conservative Partido Popular. Up to 70 senior members were being investigated.

Supreme Court Chief Justice Carlos Dívar on Thursday resigned under pressure for charging 32 long weekend trips to Marbella and other Spanish destinations to the judiciary.

Carlos Divar had bi partisan support when appointed in 2008, the only candidate acceptable to the PP because of his “low profile”. This followed the appointments to the supreme court initiated by Jose Louis Aznar, ex- prime minister of Spain from 1996 – 2004. Aznar, now a very prominent member of Rupert Murdoch’s  News Ltd board, was a founder member of the “coalition of the willing” leading the “oil wars”, even before John Howard. The only natural resources Spain has is a small amount of coal in Asturia.

Aznar was “scholared” in politics by Manuel Fraga.  From 1951, Fraga served in various posts in the Franco regime, including minister for information and tourism.  He took part in the Transition (restoration of the Monarchy),  and formed the conservative People’s Alliance (AP), the precursor to the Popular Party (PP).

Fraga was known as a heavy-handed politician,  the drastic measures he took as chief of state security during the first days of the Spanish transition to democracy deeply damaged his popularity. The phrase “¡La calle es mía!” (“The streets are mine!”) was attributed to him. This phrase was his answer to complaints of police repression of street protests. He claimed that the streets did not belong to “people” but to the State.    

A certain sexual liberality in films was popularly summarized in the expression Con Fraga hasta la braga (“With Fraga [you can see] even the panties”).

Manuel Fraga with Gen Franco, “El Caudillo”, ‘the leader’.

Continue reading

Dr Bill Rees, “Why we’re in denial”

Dr Bill Rees founder of “The Ecological Footprint” and co-developer with Matthis Wackernagel, spoke at the recent International Conference on Degrowth in Montreal. “The Extraenviromentalist” team of Seth & Justin did a great job of covering the conference.

It is very rare that someone is able to concisely and clearly spell out what the inhabitants of the Earth are facing, but someone as respected as Bill Rees who has studied many areas of life on earth is worth listening to.




Max Keiser reports from Europe as the Euro limps along, bouyed for the time being by “event heaven”. Let them eat cake.

Back in the real world La Nina Ninja displays a disdain unequalled as her “many  woman show” moves into another bank in Seville.

The shadowy world of the Murdoch enquiry continues to draw the ‘rich and powerful to the witness box and the eyes of Max & Stacy, who were quick to pick up on the pre jubillee hysteria and Christine Lagard’s comments that “the Greeks should pay their taxes” by revealing that infact Madam Lagard herself payes no tax.

…………….La Nina Ninja hits the exact spot once again, beautiful performance.


Max and Stacy “do” Europe.



Meanwhile for all you monarchists out there here is a time lapsed capture of the first cab off the rank this summer as far as the events go. The Queen’s Jubilee. Next is the Euro football tournament, then the Olympics, then Para Olympics then its Christmas !!


The Problem – Rising Greenhouse Gas Emissions


The International Energy Association which advises world government on energy/fossil fuel production, last week noted THE INCREASE in 2011 of 1 Gt of carbon emissions over 2010 (which in itself was a “record”). The 450 ppm Scenario of the IEA’s World Energy Outlook 2011, which sets out an energy pathway consistent with a 50% chance of limiting the increase in the average global temperature to 2°C, requires CO2 emissions to peak at 32.6 Gt no later than 2017, i.e. just 1.0 Gt above 2011 levels.

“Under current policies, we estimate that energy use and (carbon dioxide) emissions would increase by a third by 2020, and almost double by 2050,” said IEA Deputy Executive Director Richard Jones.

“This would likely send global temperatures at least 6 degrees higher. Such an outcome would confront future generations with significant economic, environmental and energy security hardships,” he added.

In its recent report, The Critical Decade, the Australian government’s Climate Commission outlined a budgetary approach to avoid surpassing the danger limit.  The Commission estimated that humanity can emit not more than 1 trillion tonnes of CO2 between 2000 and 2050 to have a 75% probability of avoiding the danger limit.

The graph details emissions reductions cuts necessary as time progresses. The last time anyone had a 5% emissions reduction was when Russia collapsed. The only international agreement in sight is the Durban Platform which will not be enforcable before 2020.

Currently we are 22% of the way through the budgetary timeline, but we have emitted 328 Gt of fossil fuel CO2, burning through nearly 33% of the budget.  Thus we need to change our path soon from one of rising to decreasing annual emissions.

The IEA has its own 2°C scenario, in which emissions peak at 32.6 Gt no later than 2017.  Although emissions increased by 1.6 Gt in 2010 and 1.0 Gt in 2011, they can increase no more than 1.0 Gt (total, not annual increase) between 2011 and 2017 to meet the IEA scenario.

The Financial Problem

More neo conservative governments globally are decrying emissions reductions.   Canada has already pulled  (SPOIL 1) out of the Kyoto Protocol in an effort to be the No 1 oil exporter from tar sands.                                                                                       Australia’s Queensland Government ( SPOIL 2) “put coal before coral” when responding to a damning report from UNESCO on ALL levels of government in Australia handling development on the Great Barrier Reef. But Premier Campbell Newman has made it clear he will not stop  development in and around the  reef despite the UNESCO threat to classify  it as  a World Heritage site in danger.

”There are 35 major development applications seeking approval within the next  18 months that would impact on the reef. The scale and pace of proposed  development is out of control.”



This corporate mythology that growth of the existing economic system will guide the world to sustainability is dillusionary, as at least the I.E.A. have discovered.

Air pollution with Nitros Oxide levels off the charts in many parts of Europe are causing a return to levels last seen in the 1960’s, this in London.



WE HAVE ALREADY SEEN HOW THE FINANCIAL INDUSTRY (City of London and Wall St) IS KICKING AND SCREAMING all the way to the legislature to STOP A FINANCIAL TRANSACTIONS TAX which would raise hundreds of millions of dollars.

WE HAVE ALREADY SEEN HOW THE AVIATION & SHIPPING INDUSTRIES HAVE FAILED TO introduce regulations on international transport emissions.


THERE IS ENOUGH MONEY TO FIX THIS – IT IS TIME FOR  POLLUTER PAYS.     For far too long environmental damage has not been factored into the “costs of doing business”, The idiotic situation exists whereby disasters such as the Gulf of Mexico oil rig fire and release of 4 MILLION barrels of oil into the Gulf is seen as being part of GDP GROWTH !!!

Emissions from international travel, (people or freight) REMAIN OUTSIDE THE KYOTO PROTOCOL and are NOT ASSESSED for their respective MASSIVE CONTRIBUTION TO GLOBAL WARMING. Aircraft emissions are 4% of global total and set to TRIPLE by 2020. Shipping emissions account for up to 4% of global total as 90% of trade is carried out by sea with 90,000 vessels pouring sulphur dioxide and other noxious chemicals into the atmosphere along coastal shipping routes. This says nothing of the regular shipping and marine disasters, such as the Costa Concordia or the idiotic situation whereby disasters such as the Gulf of Mexico oil rig fire and release of 4 MILLION barrels of oil into the Gulf is seen as being part of GDP GROWTH !!!

As a comparison U.S.A. and China account for 23% of global emissions EACH and the remaining 50%+ is divided amongst the other 192 countries. I.E. U.K. contributes 1.4%, Australia 1.4% etc etc.

THE EUROPEAN UNION IS RIGHTLY TAXING AIRCRAFT EMISSIONS on travel INTO the European Union from 2012, despite legal challenges from the U.S.A. and China.

Europe’s highest court gave unreserved backing to a hotly contested EU law charging airlines for carbon emissions on flights to and from Europe, a decision likely to escalate tensions with the United States and other trading partners.

All airlines flying to and from EU airports will buy permits under the European Union’s emissions trading scheme from 1 January 2012, the European court of justice ruled.

Oxfam estimates $80-100 billion could be raised anually to fund environmental initiatives from taxing shipping emissions The European Union has lead the way by including aviation in it’s tax regime this year. New moves have just been announced by the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) to reduce sulpher content in bunker fuel emissions to less than 0.5% (from 3.5% in cargo shipping).

Sulpher being the most carcinogenic and responsible for up to 50,000 premature deaths along shipping routes globally.

Shipping industry must regulate to reduce climate change impact and damage to health and environment           LONDON (UK) July 18, 2005 —

Environmental groups said today that the International Maritime Organization (IMO) is failing to protect the environment and human health from global shipping pollution.


MAY 15th, 15M, LOS INDIGNADOS, news.

12 months ago on 15th May Los Indignados made Spain and Europe aware in fundamental terms of the complete inequality of society. October 15th saw the “official” Occupy movement erupt globally. It has had a profound effect on millions worldwide and had gained the support of world renowned thinkers. An article in today’s Gaurdian by Katherine Ainger “Indignados make change contagious” provides an update from Barcelona of the evolution in train.



It is also worth looking back, (very well worth looking back) at Eduardo Galeano’s impromptue “discussion” at Placa Catalunya. A man very much “in tune” with Los Indignados, it is worth hearing his comments on what to “expect” from the Acampada.

“A FIT and PROPER PERSON” – 3, Sheldon Adelston.

The Governments of Madrid and Barcelona have finished the acrobatics and “bidding” to attract America’s 3rd wealthiest man  Sheldon Adelston to their respective Cities. But what is known about the man and what he does, a shadowy figure with casinos in Las Vegas, Macau and Singapore and money to burn in Spain. A recent article in Rolling Stone makes a great deal of his $16.5 million donation to Newt Gingrich’s presidential tilt which just collapsed. Not only renowned for his search for political influence, he is also renowned for his union busting exploits in America and use of cheap foreign labour to work 24/7 on Asian projects where labour laws are ill defined.

Indeed, Adelson’s anti-union mania is the most important thing  to know about him. For it reveals just how crazy, and how unscrupulous, the man  is.

The following film is of a “sworn deposition” given by Adelston accompanied at the hearing by an armed bodygaurd !



A recent news item on Adelston’s proposal, “from a crisis to the gutter”, looks at the issue of prostitution as an ‘unwanted’ outcome, but little is said of the known “side effects” of the gambling industry – domestic violence, indebtedness, money laundering, racketeering, and, given the already vociferous approval by regional and federal Spanish governments, the “impression” that gambling is a legitimate “business” that should be encouraged.

Adelston’s backing of Newt Gingrich has recently made reporters look at the history of the pair back to 1996 when Gingrich was able to “neuter” the proposed Federal Gambling Commission,

“House Speaker Newt Gingrich (R-Ga.) has recommended a substantial weakening of a bill to examine the runaway growth of legalized gambling in America.”
The issue of Adelston’s desire for political influence must be high on the agenda when deciding whether “EURO VEGAS” is a acceptable for Spain. He is recently quoted as saying;     “I got to tell you something, I don’t want him (Rick Santorum), to run my country,”  and with Adelston’s fortune, and Murdoch’s News Corporation as a mouthpiece, money doesn’t talk, it screams.
The Catalan Government is presenting the “brand Barcelona”, buildings of Antoni Gaudi and the Barcelona football club as references. Reports suggesting that Adelston build Guadi’s model of a New York hotel are being suggested. The proximity of the land at Viladecans  to the airport, despite the fact that it is good for attracting tourists, cannot accommodate Euro Vegas as seen by Adelson, whose intention is to build several skyscrapers. The Mogul made already clear what meant by skyscrapers: when he visited Barcelona to talk about the project, the Catalan authorities showed him the Agbar Tower, the third highest in the city, 145 meters in height. Adelson responded that “it was not a skyscraper.”
Adelston’s list of requirements before investing in the city that is chosen, include :       the complete renouncement of rights over all public property in the defined zone; exemption from social security contributions for two years; exemption from the Value Added Tax for ten years; the reform of workers’ legal status, notably that of foreign workers; the bearing of the costs by the Autonomous Community for the building of all public transport infrastructure to the complex; authorised access to the casinos for minors and banned gamblers.
Madrid is in the lead. Its regional premier, Esperanza Aguirre, has met Adelson five times. “We should change whatever norms have to be changed,” she said recently. “We have to encourage this … and spoke of creating a “fiscal and legislative island” – though there are some demands that can be accepted and others that cannot.” Aguirre said.
Despite the governments making all the right noises, the EuroVegas No! initiative has come out firmly in opposition ; “Jobs and investment are not worth what they want in return,” Maria Fernández says as she passes out flyers in Madrid’s main plaza, Puerta del Sol. Could she be persuaded with more information though? “No. This is not the economic model we need. We don’t want a Sin City here. We don’t want Adelson’s money here. The entire project is intolerable.”
Adelston is no doubt using his experience in Asia to promote the Euro Vegas. Jose Maria Aznar is interviwed below setting out the types of reforms Adelston would welcome, no doubt spruiking Spain to Asia as a gambling destination of choice. Spain already has 30 casinos operating, creating an existing unacceptable level of social disruption. Portraying Euro Vegas as a creator of 350,000 jobs has obviously impressed the Spanish authorities but there are no details at this stage so they are very “rubbery” figures, some estimate 35,000 jobs will be created. What is known is that Adelston seeks to build cheaply, both land value and labour, and is succesful at both. His Singapore Sands Casino and casinos in Macau used both elements, construction continuing around the clock until the projects were finished.
Singapore Sands casino, and an endless pool 53 stories in the air.
It is the profits from the Asian casinos that is bankrolling Adelston as the economic growth in Asia shows little sign of decling. New figures show that “shopping sprees” to Europe are common, with the average Asian shopper snapping up bargains to the tune of $10 – 15,000 per visit. Spains extreme surplus of airports (twice as many as Germany !), is no doubt another reason governments, and more than likely Aznar, are backing Euro Vegas.
Gambling the future? most certainly, and remember the fate of the Hungarian Euro Vegas stated in 2011 as a project to be completed in 2010, then in 2012 ??? A blog begun in 2008 suddenly went quiet with the GFC but you have to wonder whether this was Adelston too

“A FIT and PROPER PERSON” – 2, Jose Maria Aznar.

Aznar at his zenith, the “boys” club.

Jose Maria Aznar is elevated to the “Fit and Proper Person” test as the U.K. Independent reveals scorching details of his involvement in “arrangements” made by News International to switch their support from Labour (Gordon Brown) to Conservative (David Cameron) in 2009. Secret talks between Mr Cameron and Jose Maria Aznar, the former prime minister of Spain and a member of Mr Murdoch’s News Corporation board ocurred at a previously undisclosed meeting in November 2009, and also shows how Mr Cameron was being assiduously courted by News Corp executives beyond the Murdoch family, as the company was gearing up for its bid to take over BSkyB.–camerons-secret-summit-with-news-corp-7717644.html


The secret meeting shows the extent to which Mr Cameron was engaging with News Corp executives, as well as the media tycoon himself, his son, James, and Mrs Brooks, just weeks after The Sun ended its support for Labour and backed the Conservative Party. At the time, News Corp was preparing to announce its bid to take over BSkyB. It is not known whether the future of the digital broadcaster was discussed at the meeting, but it is likely that the commercial interests of News Corp arose.

Mr Aznar, who was prime minister of Spain from 1996 to 2004, was appointed as a non-executive director of the News Corp board in 2006. As well as in the UK and the US, News Corp has made inroads into Spanish media, including the launch of Fox España in 2002.

Mr Aznar accompanied Mr Murdoch when he flew into London last June ahead of Mr Hunt’s decision on whether to grant approval for the BSkyB takeover – which was pulled weeks later when it emerged that the News of the World had hacked Milly Dowler’s phone. Aznar’s thoughts on Spain’s economic future are here detailed .

It’s easy enough once we get the bubbles started again, get people into debt and everyone can be happy. Easy enough for Mariano Rajoy, (Aznar’s puppet) to follow especially if you have people like Sheldon Adelston just waiting for the biggest concessions to offer a $20 billion “ray of light” (Esperanza Aguirre) to Spain.
Aznar’s friends in the pro Israeli lobby have no doubt included Adelston, a similar socially “liberal” minded conservative whose career seems to have benefited from busting every union organisation he comes into contact with. This naturally suits the conservative party in Spain whose determined attempts to break union influence is only just beginning.

Aznar’s fingerprints are all over the current Spanish authorities, from the Prime Minister to the mayor of Madrid, his wife Ana Botella, to the stacked Supreme Court whose main purpose was to silence Balthasar Garzon. The “Euro Vegas” project will be decided in the near future,  but will it be the panacae as is projected ?

“A FIT AND PROPER PERSON”, 1 – Rupert Murdoch.


Rupert Murdoch has been head of News Limited before, during and after the News of the World phone hacking broke. It highlighted the extent of political influence the Murdoch press has, and uncovered illegal payment of police, “willful ignorance”, sham investigations, and political favouritism in the process of the takeover of BSkyB televison.

He was seen as “NOT A FIT PERSON” to be the head of an international corporation by the Leveson Inquiry report, an opinion quickly denied by the News Ltd Board of Directors which includes Jose Maria Aznar, who have “full confidence” in Murdoch senior, although not commenting of James Murdoch, who once headed BSkyB.

The fact that the takeover has been abandoned may thankfully prevent a “launch” in the U.K. of the rabid Fox News network which has now contributed to America having the lowest political standards anyone can remember due mainly to corporate influence.

Some of the resignations and arrests so far.



For an in depth report from September 2011 Rueters ran this story by John LLoyd “WHAT RUPERT DID” ;

First, the News of the World (NotW), for many years the highest circulation newspaper in Britain, systemically hacked into the phones of politicians, celebrities, and people in the news – including murder victims and their relatives – in order to produce exclusives. Their journalists also bribed policemen, both with petty cash and – allegedly – with large payments: an early estimate was that News International (NI) had spent £100,000 on such bribes.

Second, many political figures have felt bound to confess they had sought to placate and woo Rupert Murdoch. In one of the debates on the issue in the House of Commons, David Cameron made the humiliating comment that ‘your bins are gone through by some media organization, but you hold back from dealing with it because you want good relations with the media’. Peter (Lord) Mandelson, in an interview in mid-July, said that all politicians avoided confrontation with the press ‘because we were too fearful’.

Third, now that this bubble has burst, it seems we ‘knew’ that these things happened. We – really, the political and media people – ‘knew’ that phones were hacked, policemen were paid off, and politicians were exposed, or threatened with exposure if they felt like attacking News International. As with the Wikileaks’ revelations, ‘knowing’ becomes knowing only when detail, context, and impact are combined. We ‘knew’, for example, that Saudi Arabia feared Iran (or, again, the political/policy/media circle ‘knew’). But we knew the scale of it and depth of it only when a diplomatic cable exposed by Wikileaks quoted members of the Saudi ruling house asking the USA to ‘cut off the head of the snake’.

Fourth, the News International titles, in common with all newspapers and especially tabloid newspapers, had huge reservoirs of indignation ready to be poured over governments (especially), corporations, and other institutions which lie, cover up, disguise, obfuscate, and spin. Yet here is another thing we ‘knew’: that, though the news media relentlessly promoted transparency and accountability, they are of all institutions the least likely to live by their rules – indeed, they reject these rules in the name of freedom.

Fifth, journalism has been at the heart of a generally optimistic narrative of freedom and openness over the past three decades, as communism collapsed in central and eastern Europe, apartheid ended in South Africa, media deregulation in India saw an explosion of news media in both broadcasting and print, and partial privatization and the granting of a measure of editorial freedom was allowed to the news media in China, which has elevated the struggle for a journalism of accountability to one of the major elements of a wider push for democratic change. At least until recently, it has been assumed that the world was getting freer, and in getting freer was becoming more open; and that this was due, in considerable part, to the globalization, and liberating effects, of independent news media and their democratic ethic.

John Lloyd however ends with this chilling thought ;

The columnist Nick Cohen wrote that the ‘News of the World routinely humiliated and taunted its targets because of their sex lives. Far from throwing the paper aside in disgust, the News of the World’s audience wanted more of the same.’


SPOIL 3, The Mekong River.


…………………………… – brilliant site for info on Chinese/Mekong dam projects and Tibet.

As development drives China and Asia, it is their economies, and the search for energy to power that development that is keeping the world afloat. Canada and Australia, both energy “rich” countries have been the subject of the previous ‘Spoil’ articles, and both their destructive environmental “Spoil” programmes, can be directly attributed to the economic benefits of supplying the 2nd, (but soon to be 1st) biggest global economy. China.

The World Bank sponsored this film clip by the U.S. Geological Service, (ho hum), but it does point out some vital issues centred around not only the 12 dams proposed for the Mekong, but the 89 further hydroelectric plants planned for the Mekong’s tributory rivers which are approved by each country unilaterally.

China is not only causing havoc in remote parts of the world, it is also destroying much of it’s own back yard, and the Asian Region’s natural Heritage. It has already killed the Yangtse River through hydroelectric damn projects, and now despite 6 other nations being ‘downstream’ below the source of the Mekong in Tibet, China has 8 dams built, under construction or planned on the Mekong before it flows into Laos/Myanmar. It  has thirteen projects planned on the Salween (known in China as “Nu”) River above its entry into Myanmar, including several adjacent to or within the ecologically sensitive heritage site in Yunnan Province. These waterways, along with the Yangtze River (one of China’s domestic targets for intensive development), constitute the Three Parallel Rivers UNESCO World Heritage Site in southern China.

It is also reported that China has been given a major planning role on Thailands Mekong dam projects, Natural Resources and Environment Minister Preecha Rengsomboonsuk said China had modern water-resource management laws and an efficient water system.

“Its water policy is comprehensive. All relevant agencies are well integrated too,” Preecha said.

Thai Water Resources Department director-general Jatuporn Buruspat said Thai officials would discuss how best to manage the Chao Phraya River with Jiao’s team. He said the Chinese officials would cruise along the Mekong River from Chiang Rai’s Chiang Saen district today to check the conditions of this international river. Jiao insisted that China’s dams did not have any adverse impact on the Mekong.

“When drought conditions got very serious in 2010, China released water for [use in] Thailand,” he said.

According to Thailand’s Water Crisis Prevention Centre, 48 provinces have been declared drought-hit this year.

Downstream riparian nations include Bangladesh, Cambodia, India, Laos, Myanmar, Thailand and Vietnam. All of these countries will be affected by China’s dam building and hydropower operations in upstream reaches of the aforementioned rivers.



12 months ago when I crossed the Mekong River en route to Vien Tien a reprieve was in the air over the 12 massive damn projects proposed for the river. In December 2011 a moratorium was called by the Mekong River Commision (MRC) to allow a 10 year period of environmental research.

The search for reason has once again become a victim as news leaks out that a Thai construction company began work on March 15th on the  Xayaburi damn on the Mekong in Laos. The Peoples Republic of Laos has unilaterally made the decision despite the MRC moratorium and a “damning” report issued in March siting the damage to the worlds largest freshwater fishery from which 60 MILLION PEOPLE gain their livelyhood and from where 80% of the protein needs of those people come. Financing and construction are from Thai companies and banks, but the example followed, by one of the poorest, and least developed countries in Asia is the Chinese way, displacing millions of people in its bid to provide energy.  A demonstration was held in Bangkok recently
The 4,900 kilometer river which forms the borders between Laos/Myanmar and Laos/Thailand and flows on through Cambodia and and Viet Nam, is recognised at Angkor Wat as the provider of food  3,000 years ago.
It is the lifeblood of the millions of people of the region and has already been affected by China’s dam construction on the upper reaches of the Mekong with noticable falls in water levels on the lower reaches. Specifically, the dam will not only involve the resettlement of about 2,100 people; the means of subsistence, income and food security of 202,000 people living around Xayaburi dam will be affected due to the reduction of farmland and decimation of fisheries.As the downstream country, the impact on Cambodia will be even greater.  When the dam is constructed on the main stream of Mekong river, the food source of 80% of the population will be affected. The Tonle Sap lake area will face most serious problems due to the impact on its wild fish resources, which currently constitute the primary source of food and livelihoods for 1.6 million people and approximately 10% of current national GDP. The reduction of alluvium caused by the stagnancy of water in the dam’s reservoir will also negatively affect Cambodia food security.Thailand will likewise experience serious environmental impact on fisheries, alluvium and aquatic products, as well as social issues such as the destruction of subsistence-based livelihoods for people living along Mekong River and increased migration to urban areas, both internal and transboundary.Located in the lowest part of Mekong basin, Vietnam will suffer the most from the negative impacts of dam on main stream of Mekong river. The Xayaburi dam and other proposed main stream dams on the Lower Mekong would add significantly to the projected impact of China’s massive dams in Yunnan on the Mekong Delta of Vietnam, where 18 million people are living as well as to regional and even international food security.  Vietnam is the world’s second largest rice exporter and the Mekong Delta-already one of the areas most vulnerable to sea level rise–produces nearly half of its rice crop.

………………………….Full text on pictures at
Oxfam made this film to raise awareness.
There are 60 million peoples voices to be heard on this matter that are discounted on the assumption that this is progress – buying into the “prosperity” bubble as suickly as possible. There is no doubt that the mainly young populations of Asia want progress and energy needs are projected to increase 15% per yer for the next 10 years. Viet Nam has already accepted encrochments by dam flooding in nearly 80,000 hectares of lush lowland forest and expansive wetlands, rare animals like the duoc langur and the pigmy slow loris make a home, alongside 100 other endangered mammals.
But much of that could change if the government approves plans to build two hydropower dams on the Dong Nai River, which runs through the park.
For a lengthy but in depth discussion on the hazards and geopolitical movements of the Mekong development Stimpsons talk given by Dr Richard P Cronin in 2009, is still very relevant. No doubt slowed by the GFC, the need for electricity generation has picked up and now trade off’s are happening of which no-one can know the consequences.
Key information sites about Mekong River development include ;                                                                                                                                                                     

Banco Flamenco.

As 15M and Los Indignados showed, the Spanish society really know how to put on a protest. This is the Indignados in Puerta del Sol Madrid.


There protests are realistic, – news hit the streets of Spanish banks who borrowed €316.3bn from the ECB in March compared with €169.8bn in February. It is the Spanish banks lending to property speculators which has caused the Spanish bubble to burst.

The innovation continues as “La Nina Ninja” continues her dance troup bank protests throughout Spain, they have even taken notice in the commercial t.v. news.

…………….    “This is no crisis, they call it capitalism . . . “

……………….   The ;rumba’ song that accompanies the flamenco, “Banquero, Banquero, Banquero”, is proving an underground smash.


………………  La Nina Ninja on t.v. . . . .

TAR SANDS, Avaaz petition, new documentaries.

As Tar Sands production steadily increases it is news of hunger strikes by Indigenous Americans of the Lakota Nation. and the emergence of the 3rd global supply line to the east, that reminds us that this activity must stop.  

Details have been released of a proposal to export tar sands oil from the east coast of America. Strong opposition met the proposed Keystone XL pipeline through the U.S. although a “section” of the pipeline has ominously been approved by Obama. The western route through the pristine Great Bear National Park on Canada’s west coast must be seen as the least possible option. The 3rd option is a doozy. Why build a pipeline when you have a leaky old one there already ? Opposition is beginning to mount within Canada and the U.S. as the pernicious nature of tar sands oil and its destructive planetary potential – emissions from Tar Sands oil are 20% greater than “conventional” oil emissions, due to the highly energy intensive processing of tar sands.









See previous Tar Sands posts

A “global” petition has been set up by AVAAZ to send to the Canadian government at

A new documentary “White Water, Black Gold”, is now being screened throughout Canada Here is a trailer.


Desmogblog has produced a film showing the silent damage to wildlife, including wolf culls and decreasing caribou numbers due to tar sands encroachment of habitat. It also highlughts the ridiculous “ethical oil” campaign, the film is called “Cry Wolf”.

Naomi Klein, Why the Right fears Climate Change.

Naomi Klein has been an outspoken activist, best selling author and filmaker for many years. This interview is cross posted from “Solutions” website and delves into Ms Klein’s investigative research into the wildly swinging opinion on climate change action, and the reality of finding a solution that is equitable globally, not just for the 1%.

Throwing Out the Free Market Playbook: An Interview with Naomi Klein

Perhaps one of the most well-known voices for the Left, Canadian Naomi Klein is an activist and author of several nonfiction works critical of consumerism and corporate activity, including the best sellers No Logo (2000) and Shock Doctrine (2007).

In your cover story for the Nation last year, you say that modern environmentalism successfully advances many of the causes dear to the political Left, including redistribution of wealth, higher and more progressive taxes, and greater government intervention and regulation. Please explain.

The piece came out of my interest and my shock at the fact that belief in climate change in the United States has plummeted. If you really drill into the polling data, what you see is that the drop in belief in climate change is really concentrated on the right of the political spectrum. It’s been an extraordinary and unusual shift in belief in a short time. In 2007, 71 percent of Americans believed in climate change and in 2009 only 51 percent believed—and now we’re at 41 percent. So I started researching the denial movement and going to conferences and reading the books, and what’s clear is that, on the right, climate change is seen as a threat to the Right’s worldview, and to the neoliberal economic worldview. It’s seen as a Marxist plot. They accuse climate scientists of being watermelons—green on the outside and red on the inside.

It seems exaggerated, but your piece was about how the Right is in fact correct.

I don’t think climate change necessitates a social revolution. This idea is coming from the right-wing think tanks and not scientific organizations. They’re ideological organizations. Their core reason for being is to defend what they call free-market ideology. They feel that any government intervention leads us to serfdom and brings about a socialist world, so that’s what they have to fight off: a socialist world. Increase the power of the private sector and decrease the public sphere is their ideology.

You can set up carbon markets, consumer markets, and just pretend, but if you want to get serious about climate change, really serious, in line with the science, and you want to meet targets like 80 percent emissions cuts by midcentury in the developed world, then you need to be intervening strongly in the economy, and you can’t do it all with carbon markets and offsetting. You have to really seriously regulate corporations and invest in the public sector. And we need to build public transport systems and light rail and affordable housing along transit lines to lower emissions. The market is not going to step up to this challenge. We must do more: rebuild levees and bridges and the public sphere, because we saw in Katrina what happens when weak infrastructure clashes with heavy weather—it’s catastrophe. These climate deniers aren’t crazy—their worldview is under threat. If you take climate change seriously, you do have to throw out the free-market playbook.

What is the political philosophy that underscores those who accept climate change versus those who deny it?

The Yale cultural cognition project has looked at cultural worldview and climate change, and what’s clear is that ideology is the main factor in whether we believe in climate change. If you have an egalitarian and communitarian worldview, and you tend toward a belief system of pooling resources and helping the less advantaged, then you believe in climate change. And the stronger your belief system tends toward a hierarchical or individual worldview, the greater the chances are that you deny climate change and the stronger your denial will be. The reason is clear: it’s because people protect their worldviews. We all do this. We develop intellectual antibodies. Climate change confirms what people on the left already believe. But the Left must take this confirmation responsibly. It means that if you are on the left of the spectrum, you need to guard against exaggeration and your own tendency to unquestioningly accept the data because it confirms your worldview.

Members of the Left have been resistant to acknowledging that this worldview is behind their support of climate action, while the Right confronts it head on. Why this hesitancy among liberals?

There are a few factors at work. Climate change is not a big issue for the Left. The big left issues in the United States are inequality, the banks, corporate malfeasance, unemployment, foreclosures. I don’t think climate change has ever been a broad-based issue for the Left. Part of this is the legacy of siloing off issues, which is part of the NGO era of activism. Climate change has been claimed by the big green groups and they’re to the left. But they’re also foundation funded. A lot of them have gone down the road of partnerships with corporations, which has made them less critical. The discourse around climate change has also become extremely technical and specialized. A lot of people don’t feel qualified and feel like they don’t have to talk about it. They’re so locked into a logic of market-based solutions—that the big green groups got behind cap and trade, carbon markets, and consumer responses instead of structural ones—so they’re not going to talk about how free trade has sent emissions soaring or about crumbling public infrastructure or the ideology that would rationalize major new investments in infrastructure. Others can fight those battles, they say. During good economic times, that may have seemed viable; but as soon as you have an economic crisis, the environment gets thrown under the bus, and there is a failure to make the connection between the economy and the climate crisis—both have roots in putting profits before people.

You write in your article, “After years of recycling, carbon offsetting, and light-bulb changing, it is obvious that individual action will never be an adequate response to the climate crisis.” How do we get the collective action necessary? Is the Occupy movement a step in the right direction?

The Occupy movement has been a game changer, and it has opened up space for us to put more radical solutions on the table. I think the political discourse in the United States is centered around what we tell ourselves the American public can handle. The experience of seeing these groups of young people put radical ideas on the table, and seeing the country get excited by it, has been a wake up call for a lot of people who feel they support those solutions—and for those who have said, “That’s all we can do.” It has challenged the sense of what is possible. I know a lot of environmentalists have been really excited by that. I’m on the board of, and they’ll be doing more and more work on the structural barriers to climate action. The issue is why? Why do we keep losing? Who is in our way? We’re talking about challenging corporate personhood and financing of elections—and this is huge for environmental groups to be moving out of their boxes. I think all of the green organizations who take corporate money are terrified about this. For them, Occupy Wall Street has been a game changer.

What comes after communism and capitalism? What’s your vision of the way forward?

It’s largely about changing the mix in a mixed economy. Maybe one day we’ll have a perfect “ism” that’s post-communism and -capitalism. But if we look at the countries that have done the most to seriously meet the climate challenge, they’re social democracies like Scandinavia and the Netherlands. They’re countries with a strong social sphere. They’re mixed economies. Markets are a big part, but not the only part, of their economies. Can we meet our climate targets in a system that requires exponential growth to continue? Furthermore, where is the imperative of growth coming from? What part of our economy is demanding growth year after year?

If you’re a locally based business, you don’t need continual growth year after year. What requires that growth is the particular brand of corporate capitalism—shareholders who aren’t involved in the business itself. That part of our economy has to shrink, and that’s terrifying people who are deeply invested in it. We have a mixed economy, but it’s one in which large corporations are controlled by outside investors, and we won’t change that mix until that influence is reduced.

Is that possible?

It is if we look at certain choke points like corporate personhood and financing, and it makes sense for us to zero in on aspects of our system that give corporations massive influence. Another is media concentration. If you had publicly financed elections, you’d have to require public networks to give airtime to candidates. So the fact that networks charge so much is why presidential elections cost more than a billion dollars, which means you have to go to the 1 percent to finance the elections. These issues are all linked with the idea that corporations have the same free-speech rights as people, so there would also be more restrictions on corporate speech.

Entrepreneur and writer Peter Barnes has argued that what’s missing is adequate incorporation of the “commons sector” in the economy—public goods like natural and social capital. “Capitalism 3.0” he calls it, which we’d achieve not by privatizing these goods but by creating new institutions such as public-asset trusts. What’s your opinion of this approach?

I definitely think it’s clear that the road we’ve been on—turning to the private sector to run our essential services—has proven disastrous. In many cases, the reason why it was so easy to make arguments in favor of privatization was because public institutions were so cut off and unresponsive and the public didn’t feel a sense of ownership. The idea that a private corporation has valued you as a customer was a persuasive argument. Now it turns out both models have failed. So this idea that there is a third way—neither private nor state-run public—is out there.

Spain converts passive resistance into a crime

Meanwhile, back at the Ranch. . all this in the name of austerity.

Many Spaniards were puzzled at the choice of an election on 20th November 2011 by then Prime Minister Jose Louis Zapatero. Most Spaniards would know that the 20th November is the anniversery of the death of the fascist dictator General Francisco Franco. Was Zapatero subliminally suggesting that at an election he knew he would lose, a vote for Rajoy’s P.P. conservative party would mean a return to the Franco era fascism ?   Many would now shout a loud YES after news that ;

“Spain converts passive resistance into a crime” & “Spain accused of ‘draconian’ plans to clamp down on protests”  Naomi Klein “Tweeted” on her website                 Shock Doctrine in Spain: after ruining Welfare State, Law will criminalize pacific protests

…………  This was a sample of the violence that put 128 people in hospital when Plaza Catalunya was peacefully occupied by Los Indignados in May 2011. Not much has changed except an election and the sanctioning of this brutality with the re appearance of an official authoritarian fascism. The law is designed to prevent “the questioning of authority”. The recent General Strike in Barcelona produced a similar “military” response.



Indiscriminate firing of projectiles such as these, provide near fatal injuries such as this,






Testimonies to the level of violence in Barcelona (in Spanish) can be found at  After sordid details of the “undercover penetration” of environmental groups in the U.K. by secret police, further stripping away human rights is underway across the world.

Australia’s biggest “climate criminal”, ENERGY MINISTER MARTIN FERGUSON has already unleashed the secret service on Australian environmentalists. Ferguson’s irrational thinking now elevate environmentalists to be “a greater threat to society than terrorists”.

FOI documents confirm that Mr Ferguson pressed then attorney-general Robert  McClelland in September 2009 to see whether ”the intelligence-gathering  services of the Australian Federal Police” could be used  to help energy  companies handle increasing activity by coalmining protesters.
Read more:

THE PAIN IN SPAIN of the crushing austerity is not being felt by the political elite. Following Balthasar Garzon’s suspension from practice for 11 years the path is clear to re-establish an authoritarian regime with “austerity” as their mantra.

Deputy Prime Minister Soraya Sáenz de Santamaría referred to those who did not respect the Garzon decision.

“I would like to tell those political leaders to keep in mind that all judicial decisions are worthy of respect. All Spaniards must respect court verdicts, but even more so public representatives,” she said. “When you question the institutions, you are also questioning democracy – here and beyond our borders. I am appealing to their sense of responsibility. Spain is a democratic country. I am very worried about the image that some are trying to convey about a Spain that is not really Spain.”

Just which “image of Spain” Ms Santamaria is referring to is now more then ever unclear after the proposal to criminalise peaceful protest.

Spain converts passive resistance into a crime.

Those who organise protests over the internet now face charges ‘of integration in a criminal organisation’. The debate in Congress on Wednesday revealed that passive resistance will be considered ‘a crime against authority’ in Spain. The Minister for the Interior, Jorge Fernández Díaz, has explained some reforms to the Penal Code which he has been working on with the Minister for Justice, Alberto Ruiz-Gallardón.
The ‘crime against authority’ will include passive or active resistance, a violent attack against a policeman was the example given, threats and intimidating behaviour, and the throwing of dangerous objects.
Those who organise gatherings of protest groups which turn violent, for example over the internet, now face being charged with the crime of ‘integration in a criminal organisation’. Any violent conduct by a protestor will be considered to ‘aggravate’ the charges.
Converting passive resistance into a crime is a major step and observers think the move has been taken because the Government realises only now the social cuts and labour reforms will start to take effect.
The 15-M indignant protests in Spain showed the power of such gatherings, and it seems from now on you can be arrested for sitting down with others in a plaza.

Spain accused of ‘draconian’ plans to clamp down on protests


“This tomorrow – I have no tomorrow”, , , , , ,