“Since I gave up hope, I’ve felt a lot better.”
This is a reply to a recent article in The Guardian: “Kopenhagen Climate Change talks must fail says top scientist”
Hansen is right, of course. All these big climate conferences lead to nowhere because the political “leaders” who attend them, have not even begun to understand the REAL problem. The central problem is not the emission of greenhouse gases (they are just a symptom) but the quasi- religious doctrine of “market-rule, economic growth and global competition” (which is basically a race to the bottom).
Industrial production is embedded in the natural production cycle but the economic “experts” chose to ignore the ecological imperatives which ensure the stability and functioning of ecosystems.
These ecosystems are the basis of our lives, their services are indispensable and invaluable and although most idigenous people did not know what “ecosystems” are, they had a natural reverence for all forms of life because they experienced themselves as part of nature, not her conqueror. This is also evident in the language i.e. the indigenous people of Latin America call the earth “pacha mama” and of course the ancient forms of religion are also rooted in this attitude (i.e. the worshipping of a (soil) fertility goddess like Demeter in ancient Greece).
But economic “progress” and “enlightenment” changed all that completely: “Mother Earth” became a huge, untapped reservoir of natural “resources” waiting to be exploited by the industrial revolution and today, only a hundred years later, literally everything, every living being (even their genes) has been turned into a “commodity” to be bought, patented and sold – or rather to be sacrificed on the altar of the omnipotent “market” whose “forces” are now ruling over us, no matter how devastating they are (see the latest “financial crisis” and the massive growth of global poverty and inequality).
The only thing that counts is: everything has to be “profitable”, the GATS and the WTO treaties have created a legal obligation for governments to obey the overriding principle of our society: “investors’ interests” – this means in practice the predominance of property rights (and an invented “right” to profit with full externalisation of environmental and social costs to society) for an economic elite over human rights for all ….
Funny, most people think about political rights in the context of Human Rights but never about economic or social rights. In fact, today we have no say in determining economic policies, the right to vote for a political party does not really entail this power (it is an illusion, because practically all parties have now accepted market-rule, to say nothing of the EU …). We can only choose the lesser of two or three evils ….
All natural systems have a self-limiting principle i.e. the growth of cells is controlled by genes (which react to environmental changes) and therefore all living organisms cannot grow indefinitely. Infinite economic growth (which is of course exponential) is complete madness and can only be compared to a cancer cell: at first glance, it seems to have the “competitive advantage” over normal cells because it can grow fast and soon “beats” the normal cells in the competition for blood supply, etc. But in the end of course, it kills the host organism. So the “unregulated”, unhindered growth ends in a castastrophe.
The socially devastating results of unhindered (artificial) growth in the ongoing global Ponzi scheme that passes for “finance and investment” should have been the final proof that our economic system is totally insane and that we must no longer accept the “rule of the market” or the absurd notion that “business” thrives best when all moral constraints have been removed. We do not live to serve “the economy”, the economy must be embedded in (a humane) society, not the other way round. When price and value do no longer correspond, something is very wrong ( … when a ton of gravel sells for more than a ton of wheat…)
When we accept that a Wall Street trader makes (“earns” is not applicable here) more than a thousand dollars PER HOUR (for organized fraud and selling AAA rated “toilet paper”) but a firefighter, a nurse, a policeman, a farmer, a teacher, etc. (whose services are badly needed) has to put up with a steadily declining income and in the end, many even lose their homes as a result of predatory lending, we have turned democracy into a farce and a fraud which resembles more and more a plutocracy.
In the 18th century, our forefathers fought against a rich aristocracy who extracted their wealth from the exploited, powerless masses and paid no taxes. “No taxation without representation” – wasn’t that the battle cry in 1776?
It seem to me we are approaching similiar circumstances today – a refeudalisation of society is taking place. We are paying for insane wars and insane economic doctrines while the new aristocracy controls the “government” whose only function is to assist them in increasing their power and wealth so that they can accelerate the destruction of our environment and the last remnants of ideas about social justice.
The special role of the unspeakable PR-industry in this charade should be dissected in the public debate but it is mostly ignored (see also the surreal Kafkaesque rhetoric of the “Middle East Peace Process” or the “War on Terror”-Scam )
The crazy notion, that this perverse system can go on with just a little “cap and trade” on the side (which is just another Ponzi scheme from Wall Street) and miraculously, carbondioxide-levels will go down within a decade or so, clearly shows how stupid and hypocritical our leaders are.
As long as the economy must keep “growing” (to pay the interest on the astronomical debt the banks have created – see also the ZEITGEIST Addendum videos on YouTube) and the enormous value of intact (“undeveloped”) ecosystems is ignored, nothing will change for the better. As long as the likes of Goldman-Sachs and ExxonMobil rule the world, we are doomed.
What is necessary is a huge paradigm shift in economic thinking. The “theoclassical economic theory” has one big problem: it is just a theory and does not work in the real world. Alan Greenspan called this ” a flaw in his model” when he testified before a congressional committee, investigating his role as chief of the Federal Reserve in the financial “meltdown”. To cling to the absurd idea that markets are “rational”, because their behaviour is driven by insatiable greed for profit (which Greenspan obviously considers “normal” & & rational” for the “homo oeconomicus” in the form of the modern “investor”) shows, how blind these people are to anything outside their economic ideology.
Perhaps the biggest problem is, that we have been duped into accepting the immoral and insane as “normal” (rational) and inevitable behaviour: How can anyone accept the fact that trillions (in the form of debt created by and for the banks) are spent for corporate crooks, Ponzi schemes and military aggression but that “there is no money” for health care and other badly needed social programs?
I cannot help thinking that the absolutist kings in France were sent to the guillotine for lesser crimes …. The looting of public wealth by a (monetary) aristocracy is bad enough, the (shrugged-off) consequence of poverty and hunger even worse, but destroying the natural basis of our lives, the fertility of the soil, the wonderful biodiversity of this lonely, blue planet and the dynamic equilibrium that has held a complex system of thousands of eco-subsystems together is the ultimate crime … In the end it amounts to a form of collective suicide (in slow-motion) so “climate change” is a totally unsuitable euphemism to initiate real change in production or consumption patterns …. (which the political-economic elite do not want, of course)
So, coming back to Kopenhagen:
As Einstein said “You cannot solve a problem with the same way of thinking that created the problem in the first place…”
As long as the media repeats these meaningless phrases about “reduction of greenhouse gases (and even that simplification has been further reduced to CO²)” without explaining the bigger context (the whole economic paradigm must be changed fundamentally), nothing will change. A global order, based on brutal “competition” is expected to suddenly change shape to a “international community” in order to solve huge problems? How is this supposed to work?
Besides: Has anyone ever bothered to question how these alleged “emission-cuts” are measured? By whom? Let alone the huge scam of “offsetting” (see the above link [‘cap and trade’] to the report “A Dangerous Obsession” by Friends of the Earth for details)