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.


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.

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.


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.”

“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 ;

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 ;


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 ;

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.

Welcome to the Anthropocene, (or Welcome to my Nightmare.)

A conference in London is currently discussing the theme, “Planet Under Pressure” which began today (26th March) and ends on 29th March.  

The conference will discuss solutions, at all scales, to move societies on to a sustainable pathway. It will provide scientific leadership towards the 2012 UN Rio +20 conference, in June 2012. To set the scene, the conference organisers have produced a short called “Welcome to the Anthropocene”. Speaking on ‘Sustainable food systems for food security’, Marianne Banziger, a scientist at the CGIAR maize and wheat centre (CIMMYT), began with a bald statistic:

To meet the food security challenges converging over the next 50 years, she said, we will have to produce as much food as has been consumed over the entire history of humankind.

A 3-minute journey through the last 250 years of our history, from the start of the Industrial Revolution to the Rio+20 Summit. The film charts the growth of humanity into a global force on an equivalent scale to major geological processes




PAUL GILDING – Aussie logic (and faith in human beings) on FACING FEAR.

Whilst governments the world over squirm in the face of CLIMATE REALITY and exhibit a common political aversion to action, Paul Gilding provides some realistic logic to the problems ahead, “this is just another problem, lets NOT wait until the lights go out to fix it.”

‘ONYA PAUL ! (Another example of the value of “TED Talks”)

Paul Gilding’s website (well worth a visit)  


SUSAN GEORGE, – “Transforming the Global Economy.”

Susan George has been in the “economic” limelight for many years in Europe, Canada & the U.S. This 2008 lecture given in Ottawa is prescient in many areas, Her tireless calls for an end to tax havens, full tax collection, financial institutions tax are logical, practicle, (given issues such as climate change mitigation/adaptation funding) and moral. The discussion talks across social, economic and environmental crisi that we now face and provides startling figures that show solutions are possible.




AND NOW THE CLOCK POINTS HISTRIONICALLY TO NOON,                                      SOME NEW KIND OF NORTH,                                                                                   AND WHICH WAY DO WE GO ?                                                                                     WHAT ARE DAYS FOR ?                                                                                                   TO WAKE US UP,                                                                                                           TO PUT BETWEEN THE ENDLESS NIGHTS.                                                                  Laurie Anderson, “Another day in America”.


In a year when “Time” magazine awarded the “Person of the Year” to “The Protester” we are bound to examine the society that gave rise to the nomination. If we are unable, in truth, to question the viability of the society that gives the protester this status, then that society is not free. It is captive to a mindset that is totally subjective.

When a burning man sparks a global movement  in the middle east, against the intellectual conspiracy that maintains brutal dictatorships with oppressive regimes, it is no wonder that the virus of protest spreads to those places where the myth originate, to the west.

The year 2011 has been a defining year, and as another defining year approaches, each successive year will herald a yet more defining year. There is a choice we have to make NOW.

To accept the “neutrality” of progress and all that technology offers as we sleepwalk towards a future made baron for generations to come, or to progressively rid ourselves of the shackles of amnesia and be the advocate of change rather than the victim.

Highlights from Stewart Brand and Winona LaDuke Debate.  A Spirited Exchange on Technology and the Environment.  (Eart Island Journal)

An audience question from Actor/activist Peter Coyote presents the “debate” as one between “Intelligence and Wisdom”.

Winona Laduke, anti-tar sands activist, reminds us what role amnesia plays in the acceptance of lifestyle and the intellectual hubris it promotes. The argument from Stewart Brand to accept the “neutrality” of consumerism and marketing  is totally rejected by La Duke.



Post war hardships subsided to the illusion of a vision of “You’ve never had it so good” and that was before the credit boom. The 30’s depression mantra that, “my kids will be better off than I was”, will in a very short time, not only be unrealizable, but a fool’s paradise. The next “new bubble” emerges marketing “choice” based on amnesia, but the big economic bubble is now bursting. The “lifestyle” experiment is coming to an end.

When we look to the west, we observe a social form that has tried to engineer world domination with a century of world wars, until it was taken to its science fiction conclusion with star wars.         So the west opted for a more subtle method of ideological domination, “Lifestyle”, free market capitalism, another vote winning  “no brainer.”

The global ”Occupy” virus has exposed amnesia by revealing the extent of the “inequality” that has evolved, both within western society, and between developed and developing. When the attempt is made to share the “pie” with “other than” western society, the magnanimous gesture is based on the unsustainable demand that the “American lifestyle is non-negotiable”.


 29 experts, including Herman Daly, were asked,  “What do you think should be the two or three highest priority political outcomes of the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20), scheduled for Rio de Janeiro in June 2012?”

His answer succinctly sums up the Steady-State perspective.

“The conclusion of the 1972 Limits to Growth study by the Club of Rome still stands 40 years later. Even though economies are still growing, and still put growth in first place, it is no longer economic growth, at least in wealthy countries, but has become uneconomic growth. In other words, the environmental and social costs of increased production are growing faster than the benefits, increasing “illth” faster than wealth, thereby making us poorer, not richer.

We hide the uneconomic nature of growth from ourselves by faulty national accounting because growth is our panacea, indeed our idol, and we are very afraid of the idea of a steady-state economy. The increasing “illth” is evident in exploding financial debt, in biodiversity loss, and in destruction of natural services, most notably climate regulation.

The major job of the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development is to help us overcome this denial and shift the path of progress from quantitative growth to qualitative development, from bigger to better. Specifically this will mean working toward a steady-state economy at a sustainable (smaller than present) scale relative to the containing ecosystem that is finite and already overstressed.

Since growth now makes us poorer, not richer, poverty reduction will require sharing in the present, not the empty promise of growth in the future”


DURBAN COP 17, success or failure ?

 The recent U.N.F.C.C.C. climate change conference in Durban was largely greeted with howls of derision by the majority of NGO’s and the environment movement. “Just another talk fest with no reductions in targets” was the common response. “Another wated decade”, a “win for the polluters.”

An analysis by Andrew Light, Senior Fellow at the Center for American Progress and Director of the Center for Global Ethics at George Mason University.  goes beyond this rhetoric and provides a more in depth view of COP 17.

He gives ” Six Reasons Why the Durban Decision Matters ” and delves into the U.N.F.C.C.C. process as a necessary part of understanding why the Durban outcome and process has significance.


I’m going to assume that anyone reading this post is driven as I am everyday by alarm at the growing climate crisis and the apparent lack of progress in responding to it.  We all articulate this existential worry in various ways, but I feel that at bottom our alarm is commonly driven by a deep moral concern about what is and is not being done with respect to the welfare of current and future generations and the planet we inhabit, along with moral outrage at the roadblocks that are intentionally thrown up against our efforts.

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2015 – PEAK EMISSIONS, or the planet gets it ……

MORE SCIENCE – PROFESSOR KEVIN ANDERSON GAVE THIS HOUR LONG PRESENTATION IN MAY 2010. It is a discussion on the need to be clear what limiting global average temperature increase to 2 degrees above pre industrial levels MEANS.

Anderson explains the intricacy of “sharing” the remaining CARBON BUDGET between now and 2050 and harks back to the Stern Report which set 2015 as the date when carbon emissions must peak.


Below is a link to the slideshow.




Dr James Hansen.

Jim Hansen has been researching climate science through Paleontology (ice core samples) since 1988. He heads NASA and is regarded as the leading climate scientist in the world. Not only has he authored many scientific papers and books, he has also taking off his white coat for the principals he advocates, and being arrested – most recently at the anti TAR SANDS Washington rally.

This panel discussion with associates explores climate “sensitivity”, or “at what speed the climate reacts to FORCINGS”. The “FORCINGS” in discussion are the 800 metric tonnes of CO2 -e PER SECOND that “civilization” pumps into the atmosphere.          70,000,000 ( seventy million ) tonnes  a day.                                              25,500,000,000 (25 billion metric tonnes per year)

An “unprecedented” amount of the same stuff that has caused ALL OTHER “NATURAL” ice ages and “interglacial” periods where sea levels are up to 100 metres HIGHER.

Dr Hansen REITERATES that a “safe climate” MUST be regarded as one with CO2 content of 350ppm. To reduce emissions to achieve that target, beginning in 2015, requires a reduction in emissions of 5% per annum. If it is left UNTIL 2020 (AS SOME SIGNATORIES TO THE “DURBAN PLATFORM” (i.e. USA) SUGGEST, the reduction in emissions to achieve 350ppm is 15% p.a. This requires the decarbonisation of the power generation sector – when France introduced nuclear power in the 70’s-80’s, their reduction in emissions was 4% per annum.




Participants: James Hansen Director, NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies, New York, New York, USA;

Ken Caldeira Senior Scientist, Department of Global Ecology Carnegie Institute of Washington, Stanford University, Stanford, California, USA;

Eelco Rohling Professor of Ocean and Climate Change, Southampton University, Southampton, United Kingdom.

“SHOW ME THE MONEY”, …..o.k.

As the world staggers at the ability of 194 nations of the world to agree that the planet is, after all, worth saving, and then agree to do something about it, the $100 BILLION per year to finance a Green Climate Fund immediately springs to mind.                 SHOW ME THE MONEY …… Here it is …….



After 2020 the world will unite to stop global temperature reaching 2 degrees above pre-industrial levels. The world will reduce its global carbon emissions by 50% (average) to prevent 2 degrees warming. Many countries will have to reduce their emissions ‘drastically’ by over 90% to meet their individual “share” of the reductions.

We are now faced with the “Green Economy” which was discussed here at ;

The compliance with this “grand plan” depends on replacing the world STATIONARY energy infrastructure, ELECTRICAL  ENERGY GENERATION MUST BECOME EMISSION FREE BY 2050. Australia has a plan prepared by Beyond Zero Emissions for a 10 year transfer of Australia’s energy sector which they estimate will cost $375 BILLION over 10 years.

A report issued by the U.N. (W.E.S.S. 2011), “costs” this ‘global transition’ at between $15-20 TRILLION to “rewire” the world with renewable energy. So where is the money coming from?

SUSAN GEORGE, HEAD OF THE “TRANSNATIONAL INSTITUTE” (TNI) here further details the necessity for a Tobin Tax, but ALSO STRESSES THE NEED TO SHUT DOWN TAX HAVENS which deprive global governments of over $100 BILLION p.a.



Only a few weeks ago, the I.E.A. released its World Energy Outlook stating that cost to maintain and extend the existing and proposed fossil fuel demand would, by 2035, be $38 TRILLION.










!0 Mw ocean based wind turbine. Prototype by ARUP.



Hannah Stoddardt from OXFAM states below in a discussion with Chris Huhne, U.K. environment minister the possibility of a bunker fuel tax that would ‘compensate’ for the 6% of global emissions resulting from the SHIPPING INDUSTRY, at present NOT part of the KYOTO PROTOCOL. 10’s if not 100’s of BILLIONS of dollars are owed the planet from the 90,000 FREIGHTERS that deliver goods completely unregulated using the worst fuel possible – bunker fuel,  60,000 DEATHS REPORTED ON SHIPPING ROUTES FROM SULHUR DIOXIDE HELPED DESEASES.

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DURBAN OUTCOME, U.N.F.C.C.C. link, news blog & more.



Alden Meyer from Union of Concerned Scientists commented;

Environmentalists criticized the package — as did many developing countries in the debate — for failing to address what they called the most urgent issue, to move faster and deeper in cutting carbon emissions.

“The good news is we avoided a train wreck,” said Alden Meyer, recalling predictions a few days ago of a likely failure. “The bad news is that we did very little here to affect the emissions curve.”

………………………………… blog ;

After a long debate, South Africa’s Maite Nkoana-Mashabane sought to broker a spontaneous compromise that has been years in the making by forcing negotiators to work out their differences on the floor of the plenary, in plain view and earshot of media and anyone else willing to push their way into a crowd (or onto a chair). All of this took place at 3 a.m. Sunday morning, making Durban the longest of 17 annual conferences convened by signatories to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change.

Be the cause clever politicking, schoolyard peer pressure or sheer fatigue, it worked. After some 45 minutes of shifting scrums punctuated by occasional applause, India, the European Union, the United States and other key players worked out their differences on a host of interrelated issues. This time it came down to five words: “agreed outcome with legal force”. To recap, the final language states that countries will begin new negotiations on “a protocol, another legal instrument, or an agreed outcome with legal force,” which apparently falls somewhere in the legal spectrum between a binding treaty and a nonbinding decision. Both India and the EU promptly dropped their objections.

The so-called “Durban package” was adopted shortly before 5 a.m. Sunday. It extends the Kyoto Protocol and commits the world to negotiating a new agreement by 2015 that covers all countries, developed and developing. Among other things, it also advances some details of the new Green Climate Fund established last year in Cancun as well as language intended to promote efforts to reduce emissions from deforestation. Despite universal acknowledgements that the deal does nothing to reduce emissions or increase funding beyond existing commitments, environmentalists and scientists generally endorsed the decision as a significant step that could put all major emitters onto the same playing field in the years to come


“Responding to Climate Change”,  reported ;

Speaking to RTCC in the Plenary Hall, the UK’s lead climate diplomat John Ashton said the talks had been a success, adding the roadmap and accompanying measures “represented closure” after Copenhagen.

Chris Huhne, UK Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change, warned there was still work to do but was enthusiatic about the deal. “There are still many details to be hammered out, but we now need to start negotiating the new legal agreement as soon as possible and there are still many details to be hammered out,” he said.

Adrian Macey, Chair of AWG-KP, the track of the talks dealing with Kyoto said: “We’ve got a package with clarity on the Kyoto Protocol, and importantly we also have clarity on the long term too, and it’s quite momentus I think looking at this longer term agreement. Better than people expected.”

Norway’s Climate Change Minister Erik Solheim told RTCC they were “very, very pleased, it’s in the upper range of what we hoped for. We’re pleased both with the substantive outcome and also the agreement on this process.

“For us this is a great outcome. The key aspect is that it is crucial, when you have a Kyoto Protocol with limited scope…[it’s] crucial we get a legally binding framework for all major emitters and that’s the core here. It’s also important the deadline for the negotiation process is not too far into the future. So it’s the ambition level and also the urgency. We have somethig to take climate action forward and we now have an ambitious pathway to go forward,” said Solheim.

…………………………………. have a good synopsis ;

U.N. climate change talks in Durban, South Africa, agreed a package of measures early on Sunday that would eventually force all the world’s polluters to take legally binding action to slow the pace of global warming.

After more than two weeks of intense talks, some 190 countries agreed to four main elements — a second commitment period under the Kyoto Protocol, the design of a Green Climate Fund and a mandate to get all countries in 2015 to sign a deal that would force them to cut emissions no later than 2020, as well as a workplan for next year.


New U.N. climate deal struck, critics say gains modest

After a 36 hour extension to COP 17 in Durban there is a new agreement which must be finalised by 2015 to begin in 2020. The Kyoto Protocol will be extended until at least 2017.  These are the Sunday morning press that declare the agreement to the World.

N.B. – It should be noted that emissions reduction tergets have not been addressed to ensure that global warming is reduced to less than 2 degrees as agreed at Copenhagen and Cancun. HOWEVER,  a new I.P.C.C. report is due in 2014 which will update the science and the existing 2007 Data Set from I.P.C.C.

2012 NEEDS TO BE A BIG YEAR FOR THE PLANET – AS WELL AS THE COP 18 CONFERENCE AT QATAR, THERE IS THE 20th ANNIVERSARY OF “THE RIO EARTH SUMMIT”,  –  the U.N. conference which began all these discussions in 1992.


 The 194-party conference agreed to start negotiations on a new accord that would ensure that countries will be legally bound to carry out any pledges they make. It would take effect by 2020 at the latest.

The package of accords extended the Kyoto Protocol, the only global pact that enforces carbon cuts, agreed the format of a fund to help poor countries tackle climate change and mapped out a path to a legally binding agreement on emissions reductions.

But many small island states and developing nations at risk of being swamped by rising sea levels and extreme weather said the deal marked the lowest common denominator possible and lacked the ambition needed to ensure their survival.

“We came here with plan A, and we have concluded this meeting with plan A to save one planet for the future of our children and our grandchildren to come,” said South African Foreign Minister Maite Nkoana-Mashabane, who chaired the talks.

“We have made history,” she said, bringing the hammer down on Durban conference, the longest in two decades of U.N. climate negotiations.

Britain’s Energy and Climate Secretary Chris Huhne said the result was “a great success for European diplomacy.”

“We’ve managed to bring the major emitters like the U.S., India and China into a roadmap which will secure an overarching global deal,” he said.

U.S. climate envoy Todd Stern said Washington was satisfied with the outcome: “We got the kind of symmetry that we had been focused on since the beginning of the Obama administration. This had all the elements that we were looking for.”

“It’s certainly not the deal the planet needs — such a deal would have delivered much greater ambition on both emissions reductions and finance,” said Alden Meyer of the Union of Concerned Scientists.

“Producing a new treaty by 2015 that is both ambitious and fair will take a mix tough bargaining and a more collaborative spirit than we saw in the Durban conference centre these past two weeks.”


I’VE NEVER HEARD OF PATRICK BOND BEFORE, he is involved with Occupy Durban ROOTS, but he is professor ay Kwa Zulu Natal and South African govt advisor, social activist and OCCUPY participant. Early Saturday morning Patrick gave his impressions of the conference.

Bond points to the positive victories on TAR SANDS thro’ mass opposition, and is critical of the vested interests that have prevented a legally binding agreement. Bond’s optimism uses the “wins” that are being made, Occupy, and the connectivity of the global climate/social justice network as a basis for the future.

Just one of the many individuals involved that give hope for the future.



DURBAN “live” (cont)




“It is very encouraging that the EU’s roadmap is the focus of the intense negotiations here in Durban.”






ALDEN MEYER FROM THE Union of Concerned Scientists gave this statement on Friday –  negotiations continued until 4 am.(Sat)






BACK “live” (ish) for the FINAL HOURS of DURBAN.



News round-up from One Climate early Friday morning, good summary.



7pm GMT A day of hurried drafting of texts, geopolitical alignments, allocating work with an eye on 2020. I wonder what will happen when the new I.P.C.C. Reports come out in 2014 with even worse news than we have today.

7:01pm GMT update from Bill Gunyon

Before we encounter any more draft texts, here’s an outline summary of the day’s events. (I invite my colleagues to follow up with any errors or omissions).
With the overnight wind in her sails, the European Commissioner, Connie Hedegaard used the day’s opening press briefing to add pressure on those parties yet to be won over by her roadmap.
Soon we heard that Brazil and South Africa had been seduced, leaving China, India and US as the main hold-outs. Perhaps the gameplan was to isolate the US and repeat the endgame of the Bali conference in 2007.






DURBAN “live” (almost)



Human beings and the natural world are on a collision course. Human activities inflict harsh and often irreversible damage on the environment and on critical resources. If not checked, many of our current practices put at serious risk the future that we wish for human society and the plant and animal kingdoms, and may so alter the living world that it will be unable to sustain life in the manner that we know. Fundamental changes are urgent if we are to avoid the collision our present course will bring about


ALDEN MEYER FROM U.C.S. gives an opinion on the DURBAN negotiations to date.






CHRISTIANA FIGUERES  executive secretary of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), delivers the 2011 Robert Schuman lecture TO THE BUSINESS COMMUNITY in Lisbon PRE DURBAN.

WITH DURBAN IN MIND 3 (Durban “live”)

Meanwhile, media interest in the subject has crashed. Dr. Robert J. Brulle of Drexel University describe a ‘collapse of any significant coverage of climate change in the [US] media. We know that 2010 was a record low year, and 2011 will probably look much the same. If the media doesn’t draw attention to the issue, public opinion will decline’.

WHAT ISN’T IN THE NEWS is the thousands of people working their a’s off in Durban

There is a dearth of information in the “Main St” press about the Durban Climate Conference IN GENERAL, NOTHING EXPECTED NOTHING GAINED. Maybe it’s “newsy” around Copenhagen, but hey, once you’ve filmed a “human sign” with 5,000 bodies in it demanding ‘climate justice’….. you’ve filmed ’em all.

PREVIOUSLY,  I have not been able to have the “live feed” which puts you in touch with the 20,000 people WHO REALLY CARE ABOUT THE FUTURE, but are portrayed in the media as dithering whimps who cannot agree, you can gaurantee that the media “lords” have their own agendas. Below is a series of film clips of people who are intelligent and well respected and are part of a global process of agreement.

THESE &  MORE can be found at ; They are placed randomly but ALL reflect the necessity of URGENCY. Something that is seldom portrayed in the “main st” press.

I think it’s fair to say that Canada has been “black balled” with it’s open hostility to the KYOTO PROTOCOL, along with Russia and Japan. But Canada had the TAR SANDS motive bubbling away in the wallet. The one thing about these conferences is that people who attend are pretty well educated, and aren’t so STUPID as to be fooled by “ETHICAL OIL”, or the ‘marketing’ bluster of such a poisonous industry. The E.U. is putting the “cradle to grave” “LIFE CYCLE ANALYSIS”  blowtorch to ALL FOSSIL FUELS, – SHIPPING IS VERY MUCH ON THE HITLIST – so that ALL EMISSIONS are  approached in a “scientific way”, (as is the E.U. inclusion of airline emissions) –  and pursue the ‘carbon budget’ approach explored in Europe.

MARY ROBINSON. Ex President of Ireland and United Nations Commissioner for Human Rights. Brilliantly speaks of how “OCCUPY” can be involved with the climate process.



ANNIE PETSONK, Career Diplomat in previous climate negotiations for the U.S.A. assesses the FIRST WEEK of negotiations.






CHRISTINE MILNE ON THE DENIAL INDUSTRY IN AUSTRALIA. Greens senator Milne takes a swipe at the campaign of disinformation in the MURDOCH PRESS.




CANADIAN YOUTH DELEGATE CAM FENTON, part of the very brave crew of intelligent Canadians prepared to “Occupy” a speech by Canadian “environment” Minister Kent whose in town to do business with oil. 6 people stood and turned their backs on Kent wearing ‘T’ shirts that said “Turn Your Back On Canada”, the 6 were roundly applauded but ejected by security, such is the power of a ‘T’ shirt.




JIM LEAPE of W.W.F. with a concise evaluation of the “URGENCY” needed.



CHRIS HUHNE – U.K. ENVIRONMENT MINISTER AND DURBAN U.K. REP, Gives a high level view and frank appraisal of his concerns PRE DURBAN, along with Hannah Stoddardt from OXFAM giving their “wish list”. HANNAH points at the $30 BILLION CONTRIBUTION A TAX ON “BUNKER FUEL”  (SULPHUR DIOXIDE PARTICLES) for the shipping contribution to emissions (5% + -) in the global total. Discussion moves to FINANCIAL TRANSACTIONS TAX.









KEITH ALLOTT FROM W.W.F. critical of U.S.



YOKE LING, MALAYSIAN DELEGATE and long time attendee of the UNFCCC “circuite” speaks frankly about the pros and cons of negotiations.



PABLO SOLON BOLIVIAN DELEGATE AT CANCUN on the systemic problems in the negotiation process. Again reiterates the part the “OCCUPY” movement can adopt.



TOD STERN, U.S. DELEGATE an “everpresent” at the head of the U.S. “team”. Still there after being told at the 2007 BALI conference, “TO GET OUT OF THE WAY” if they didn’t want to be part of the solution.






Occupy Melbourne, Police move in again.

All praise to the dogged Occupy Melbourne, who, despite suffering extreme police harrassment and violence, have returned to Occupy sites again and again only to be moved on. This is the latest update, more violence, pepper spray ?




Professor Tim Jackson has been stirring serious intellectual involvement since he launched “Prosperity Without Growth”. He along with Andrew Simms at “nef”, CASSE and many NGO’s have been through 2 “Degrowth” Conferences and are holding a 3rd in Venice next year. There are no rational answers being proposed by the existing economic system. The refusal to instigate a “Robin Hood Tax” universally shows a direct bias and an obstruction to change. It throws every decision impacting the future to the mercy of it’s “ECONOMIC BENEFIT”, and farther away from social and environmental needs

In this Deakin Lecture speech Jackson questions the basic fundamentals of growth and introduces “Degrowth”.



This Tim Jackson film is part of a series of speakers from all over Europe at a conference with CEECEC a sustainability body funded by the E.U. The whole day of lectures on Degrowth with excellent European academics can be found at ;




The Climate Change conference in Durbam begins shortly and no-one has presented a message as forcefully as Bill McKibben and Bill has been a champion and a master strategist. and has been joined by Naomi Klein who is a real inspiration through her tireless advocacy against the greatest minds of conservative thought.      Bill will always have the Tar Sands to his credit. He took James Hansen’s dire warnings and chrystallized them into action, Seeing the seriousness of the situation and having put out this film clip shortly before.

This Durban climate conference MUST DO SOMETHING. – BIG. So if we have to be reminded of the purpose of Durban, it’s to stop this getting worse. Soon we should all be able to ask a question raised by Laurie Anderson ;                                                     “Are things getting better, or are things getting worse.”



Here is a film on “the great white hope for black coal”, Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS). “Trials” are collapsing in the U.K. and elsewhere. Meanwhile by 2030 the world is scheduled to have “up and running”

467 projects

31% OECD

69% non-OECD

This is according to IEA/UNIDO emissions reductions ROADMAP TARGETS. That huge amount of infrastructure would see a reduction of less that 1 gigatin by 2030, and only 4gt by 2050 when there would be

1 806 projects

25% OECD

75% non-OECD


This film shows the progress of the Australian venture. It should be born in mind that there already is a surplus of CO2 in the atmosphere which must be removed. C.C.S. is needed, but it will never be the “big bazooka”.




This film clip from Brandon Jourdan on how the Acampada has devolved from Placa Catalunya into the Barrio’s (suburbs). although the election result didn’t fully explain the absentee/spoil vote issue well, they do have polled support of 70%+, THIS WAS an election though, one that was selected by Zapatero to co-incide with the anniversary of the death of Generalisimo Franco, November 20th. Did Zapatero give some thought to the possible re-emergence of new fascist philosophy, based on “market fundamentalism” ?

Anyway the “Occupy” movement is alive and well, and will grow when further austerity measures are announced. Spain isn’t done with the financial shocks to its banks just at present.


Ixpieth comment; Having read an article in the Guardian by fellow 15M author/journalist Katherine Ainger called “The Spanish election is a mandate for the indignados” , many comments were lodged stating this was a misinterpretation of the result. Katherine did “adjust” her comment and admit the absentee were part of claimed 15M “swing”. The absentee vote was, in fact, almost the same as the last election, and the “spoiled” vote had barely changed.

Accepting that in the last election many conservatives did not vote, and the enthusiastic socialist vote was Zapatero’d out, and possibly DID accept the advice from 15M to “absentee or spoil” it is feasible that there was strong electoral support. But this was an election which should be considered in that light. 15M is  the basis of a global movement and has progressed, and is as impressive now as then, ON 15M.

It’s claims will be subject to heated debate and their arguments must be solid.          “WE ARE GOING SLOW BECAUSE WE ARE GOING FAR”..

Naomi Klein described Occupy as a global “state of mind”, Eduardo Galeano described it as the “birth of another world”. It has been a totally unexpected and great beginning, who knows what the future will turn up.


Naomi Wolfe on her experiences being arrested in New York after speaking with demonstrators.

The shocking truth about the crackdown on Occupy

The violent police assaults across the US are no coincidence. Occupy has touched the third rail of our political class’s venality

 Naomi Wolf

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Naomi Klein, Occupy and Wombat.

Naomi Klein gave an inspiring acceptance speech when she was given the  “Challenging Business as Usual Award” at the Rainforest Action Network Conference   in San Francisco. She portrayed the “Occupy” movement as a “state of mind” which was based on “sharing”. This is something the current economic fundamentalism knows nothing about, and given the projected population increase to 10 billion by 2050, we are all going to have to learn.



One of Naomi’s major points was the need to change the system, unlock the radical imagination, and share. WOMBAT explains it as no human being could. Jason ABles made this clip in 2005 perhaps realising that it was the pnly hope for humanity.      Thanks Jason.



Jason Ables

Good news from the Home of the Brave.

Despite this blog being quick to point out the failings of Obama, it is also prepared to acknowledge and give credit where due. Today’s statement regarding the Keystone XL Pipeline is one such occasion. Bill McKibben and has produced a completely unexpected turnaround which has countered the lobby groups intent on seeing tar sands proliferate, to the extreme detriment of ALL those that call this Earth Home.

No doubt the fact that over 1,250 people were prepared to be arrested helped, including some very eminent people, which gives an indication of how hard the victories of the future will become. It should also be noted that this “review” merely postpones the ultimate decision until after the Presidential election. Nonetheless, we have to say thanks Obama, this is why you were elected.

Naomi Klein interrupted her discussion of Occupy Wall St to announce the decision.



President Obama released this statement:

I support the State Department’s announcement today regarding the need to seek additional information about the Keystone XL Pipeline proposal.  Because this permit decision could affect the health and safety of the American people as well as the environment, and because a number of concerns have been raised through a public process, we should take the time to ensure that all questions are properly addressed and all the potential impacts are properly understood.  The final decision should be guided by an open, transparent process that is informed by the best available science and the voices of the American people.  At the same time, my administration will build on the unprecedented progress we’ve made towards strengthening our nation’s energy security, from responsibly expanding domestic oil and gas production to nearly doubling the fuel efficiency of our cars and trucks, to continued progress in the development of a clean energy economy.

Extract from the State Department statement: “Keystone XL Pipeline Project Review Process: Decision to Seek Additional Information.” It states:

… given the concentration of concerns regarding the environmental sensitivities of the current proposed route through the Sand Hills area of Nebraska, the Department has determined it needs to undertake an in-depth assessment of potential alternative routes in Nebraska….

Based on the Department’s experience with pipeline project reviews and the time typically required for environmental reviews of similar scope by other agencies, it is reasonable to expect that this process including a public comment period on a supplement to the final EIS consistent with NEPA could be completed as early as the first quarter of 2013. After obtaining the additional information, the Department would determine, in consultation with the eight other agencies identified in the Executive Order, whether the proposed pipeline was in the national interest, considering all of the relevant issues together. Among the relevant issues that would be considered are environmental concerns (including climate change), energy security, economic impacts, and foreign policy.

Nicole Foss – How I Prepared My Home for Peak Oil and Economic Uncertainty

Nicole Foss gave this talk in October 2011 which explained her personal preparation for Peak Oil depletion. As a guide to supplement her “inside” knowledge of Peak Oil and financial uncertainty it is invaluable, and gives excellent guidance on where her thoughts are for future everyday living. It details the preparations she and her family undertook in order to get ready for tough times ahead. Foss concludes with, “There is a hell of a lot we can do.  We can’t have business as usual.  We have to get over it.  It is gone.  It is done.  We cant’ have that.  We have to be happy with what we can have; that is really what it means to be human, and that is incredibly important. Perhaps the first solutions to “Starting Again”.

In February 2011 Ms Foss gave a talk on “Peak Oil & Economic Crisis – A Century of Challenges” which is a presentation of a DVD that is available from The Automatic Earth website (see “Links” om Home page). The Q & A after the talk is well worth listening to and replayed below.


Andrew Simms, Limits to Growth

Andrew Simms is the head of new economics foundation (nef), a U.K. “think tank” that has published many reports centering on consumption, economic growth, and in this talk, Limits to Growth. Again he cites the pioneering work of Herman Daly and ecological economics as a response to resource depletion, climate change and exponential growth on a finite planet. An excellent and energetic speaker.

Their website is full of great stuff to download and at the forefront of solutions.

Tim Jackson at Transition Town Totnes.

This blog has to date portrayed the various problems associated with current economic, social and environmental systems. The “Occupy” movement appears to present support for that disquiet. What will be included now are the systems that appear to present solutions. Most center around The Steady State Economy, one of the most eloquant advocates is Professor Tim Jackson

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Paul Gilding, The Great Disruption

I haven’t read Australian Paul Gilding’s book yet, but I have seen it reviewed in places like the New York Times and through that found this YouTube clip. I have also posted an interview he did recently with Radio New Zealand’s Sunday Morning show in the “Words” section.

Susan George on finance options for a “Green economy” and Social Justice.

Susan George is President of the board of the Transnational Institute,  and honorary president of ATTAC-France [Association for Taxation of Financial Transaction to Aid Citizens]. Her areas of expertise are:

European Union reform; European trade policy; Debt and International Financial Institutions; Alternatives to Corporate Globalisation; Currency Transaction Tax; Food Security; International Trade. In this short film clip Ms George elaborates on possible funding for the future.

Four Degrees or More

Hans-Joachim Scellnhuber, is one of the most respected scientists in the world and was in Melbourne in July to give the first keynote speech entitled “Climate Change, the Critical Decade” at the :Four Degrees or More” conference.. Here it is.


Hans Joachim “John” Schellnhuber is the founding Director of Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research, (PIK) and Chair of the German Advisory Council on Global Change. He is also providing advice to the President of the European Union Commission, José Manuel Barroso. In 2007, he has been appointed as Chief Government Advisor on Climate and Related Issues during Germany’s EU Council Presidency and G8 Presidency. Continue reading

Prof Tim Jackson’s Economic Reality Check

The 2008 Global Financial Crisis and subsequent recession has provided the ONLY reduction in greenhouse gas emissions in over a decade. The following years have seen repeats of economic instability, severe social unrest and a resumption of record levels of greenhouse gas emissions. An eloquant solution has been provided by Prof Tim Jackson in “Prosperity Without Growth”

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