Wednesday 8 May 2019
Two days ago, on May 6, The United Nations released its Intergovernmental Report on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES)
The warnings from the report are stark:
"Nature is declining globally at rates unprecedented in human history. The rate of species extinctions is accelerating".
“We are eroding the very foundations of our economies, livelihoods, food security, health, and quality of life worldwide,”
The report says that its not too late to reverse the damage.
"if we put a huge amount into transformational behavioural change",
but notes that:
"The current global response is insufficient"
Given the stark warning, our leaders should convene an international summit urgently to discuss and work out what we can do and to implement the huge changes needed. But nothing is being done.
The report also says:
"Opposition from vested interests can be overcome for public good"
Opposition from vested interests must be overcome or human civilisation as we know it will cease to exist. It is as stark as that, but the silence from our leaders is deafening.
David Obura, one of the lead authors said 'This is fundamental to humanity. We are not just talking about nice species out there; this is our life support system'
The vested interests - Oil companies, Banks, Agri-Business, weapons manufacturers etc are not only at the root of the decline of nature, of the loss of biodiversity, they are also at the heart of the capitalist system. The problem of biodiversity loss revealed by the report is inherently linked to the economic and political system we are living with - capitalism.
But the capitalists, the vested interests, will not give up their profits and see their capital dismantled without a fight. They will fight to keep things as they are.
This is the problem.
They have to lose, if we (and the rest of life on the planet) are to win.
Although the UN report identifies that "transformative change is needed" they don't say how that change can be brought about.
If the Existing governments do anything, they will try to make us, the huge majority of people on the planet, the 99%, pay for the transformation and try to fix things to allow the system to continue.
But the system is the problem and can not be part of the solution; and also, we cannot pay for it! The capitalists horde and control the 'huge amount' referred to in the report. We need those resources the capitalists have stolen from us so we can build the required alternative society.
Its up to us to make the capitalists pay for the damage they have caused.
We need system change. Extinction Rebellion and Greta Thunberg and many others have helped to raise the issue in the public consciousness, but concrete action is needed now.
Saturday 27 April 2019
If our leaders continue with 'Business as usual', we will get change. The change we will get will be more and more extreme weather events and eventually a situation that is out of their control. Out of their control and our control.
But, if people who understand the problem of climate change act now, there is still time to avert the climate disaster that is heading our way.
My book Safe Planet was published five years ago. When I started writing it, in about 2011 I reckoned that a twenty year timescale to convert all fossil fuel consumption to renewables was just about doable. If a program had started then in 2010, we would now have been about halfway through the massive effort of building all the infrastructure required and been on target to be carbon free in 2030. But as we know, nothing of the sort has been implemented. Our leaders are marching us, at an ever increasing pace to the point of no return.
In Safe Planet I tried to describe the scale of the technical task and also the political task. The tasks can be accomplished, but this will not be done under business as usual arrangements.
Extinction Rebellion and an exceptional sixteen year old young woman, Greta Thunberg have successfully raised the alarm and I hope they have raised the consciousness of enough people so that we can plot a course to avert the otherwise certain disaster. As Greta said referring to Trump 'Climate Change is not an opinion! it is fact'
Lets get on with it!
I think my book is even more relevant now than it was five years ago.
Buy it here or here or here or get it direct from me (slower, but I can then also send you if you want a copy of the Xcel spreadsheet model I constructed for the book!).