Rio Summit: Scientists warn of 'emergency on global scale'

Mar 29, 2012
A farmer plows up a field where crops failed because of a severe drought in the region, in Texas in 2011.

Leading scientists on Thursday called on the upcoming Rio Summit to grapple with environmental ills that they said pointed to "a humanitarian emergency on a global scale."

In a "State of the Planet" declaration issued after a four-day conference, the scientists said Earth was now facing unprecedented challenges, from , pollution and to spiralling demands for food.

They called on the June 20-22 followup to the 1992 Earth Summit to overhaul governance of the environment and sweep away a fixation with GDP as the sole barometer of wellbeing.

"The continuing function of the as it has supported the wellbeing of in recent centuries is at risk," said the statement issued at the "Planet Under Pressure" conference.

"These threats risk intensifying economic, ecological and social crises, creating the potential for a humanitarian emergency on a global scale."

The conference gathered nearly 3,000 environment scientists, economists, business executives and policymakers in the runup to the UN Conference on Sustainable Development in Rio.

In a recorded message, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon said he welcomed the declaration, saying "its timing... could not be better."

"Climate change, the financial crisis and food, water and energy security threaten human wellbeing and civilisation as we know it," he said.

Ban added that he was considering appointing a scientific board or a chief scientific advisor to advise him and other UN organs.

The conference declaration said humanity's impact on Earth was now so great that a new era -- "the Anthropocene," a term derived from the Greek word for human -- had emerged.

Globalisation has shown that economies and societies are now "highly interconnected and interdependent," it said.

These changes have brought stability and innovation but created a system vulnerable to sudden stress, as the global and surge in had shown.

Tackling the problems of global environment change will mean major reforms, it said.

One is the question of governance.

"Existing international arrrangements are not dealing quickly enough with current global challenges such as and biodiversity loss," said the statement.

It called for a "polycentric approach" for planetary stewardship, meaning a diverse partnership between local, national and regional governments that also includes business and grassroots groups.

But another need was to scrap obsessions with gross domestic product (GDP) as the only benchmark of progress. Governments should also include environment, health and social factors.

"A crucial transformation is to move away from income as the key constituent of wellbeing and to develop new indicators that measure actual improvements in wellbeing at all scales," the declaration said.

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wlasley1
4 / 5 (8) Mar 29, 2012
My prediction, Business as usually will continue until well past the critical tipping points.
Corban
2.3 / 5 (3) Mar 29, 2012
We know what to do. We know how to do it. Alas, people are in denial. When in denial, apply the harshest plan.

Plan A is the simplest method to motivate, which is to have people die.
Plan B is to have them merely bleed.
Plan C is to plant the seed of jealousy.

Working backwards, we start with jealousy: hybrid cars and green products. If that doesn't work, have higher prices for inputs. If that doesn't work, time for starvation.
Doug_Huffman
1.9 / 5 (9) Mar 29, 2012
Wolf! Wolf. The sky is falling! The wolf ate Chicken Little long ago.
ryggesogn2
1.6 / 5 (13) Mar 29, 2012
"Governments should also include environment, health and social factors."
But not govt or scientist is willing to support the real solution: free markets, liberty and the end of socialist central planning.
These are just more scare tactics. Sounds very similar to the excuses given by the looters in Atlas Shrugged as the world descended into socialist poverty and slavery.
mosahlah
Mar 29, 2012
This comment has been removed by a moderator.
rubberman
4.3 / 5 (6) Mar 29, 2012
Wolf! Wolf. The sky is falling! The wolf ate Chicken Little long ago.


This would indicate that despite the 3000 experts in their various fields telling us to the contrary, you believe everything is just fine....follow news much?
ryggesogn2
1 / 5 (7) Mar 29, 2012
Why is the summit in Rio?
It's a long way for most to travel and expensive.
But then the taxpayers foot the bill so...beach and party!
Sigh
2.5 / 5 (2) Mar 29, 2012
But not govt or scientist is willing to support the real solution: free markets, liberty and the end of socialist central planning.

I would like to see a functioning libertarian solution, but because the solution actually working is more important to me than it being libertarian, I am concerned about Matt Bruenig's critique: http://mattbrueni...deology/ Do you have a counterargument?
ryggesogn2
1 / 5 (7) Mar 29, 2012
But not govt or scientist is willing to support the real solution: free markets, liberty and the end of socialist central planning.

I would like to see a functioning libertarian solution, but because the solution actually working is more important to me than it being libertarian, I am concerned about Matt Bruenig's critique: http://mattbrueni...deology/
Free markets saved the sperm whales and property rights have been saving elephants from poachers, and property rights were saving a rare antelope in TX until the govt interfered.
"Can hunting endangered animals save the species?"
http://www.nraila...&ps=
rubberman
4 / 5 (1) Mar 29, 2012
Why is the summit in Rio?
It's a long way for most to travel and expensive.
But then the taxpayers foot the bill so...beach and party!


I haven't checked the list of delegates, but I would assume that since it is a global summit, It really doesn't matter where they have it as everyone except the host country will have to fly there. And yes of course it's a beach party...they want to have it in a pleasant, protest free atmosphere with umbrella's in the drinks and all that jazz...just like you or I would if we were choosing the location for a summit.
ryggesogn2
1 / 5 (7) Mar 29, 2012
just like you or I would if we were choosing the location for a summit.

Not if we were serious about a 'serious emergency on a global scale'.
rubberman
5 / 5 (1) Mar 29, 2012
Rygg, they don't state the location of the conference the article references....but if it was in RIO I'll never post a thing supporting climate scientists again...swear.
ryggesogn2
1 / 5 (7) Mar 29, 2012
"Leading scientists on Thursday called on the upcoming Rio Summit "
"The United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development (UNCSD) is being organized in pursuance of General Assembly Resolution 64/236 (A/RES/64/236), and will take place in Brazil on 20-22 June 2012"
http://www.uncsd2...out.html
Sigh
4.7 / 5 (3) Mar 29, 2012
Free markets saved the sperm whales and property rights have been saving elephants from poachers, and property rights were saving a rare antelope in TX until the govt interfered.

Your link didn't work, so I don't know whether that has an answer.

Did you read Bruenig's critique? I ask because the sperm whale example doesn't address his point at all. They weren't saved because property rights were protected, but because a cheaper alternative became available. Bruenig's point is that libertarian views of property rights are incoherent and therefore no solution for many environmental problems. He says that gives libertarians an incentive to deny the existence of any problem that can't be solved by enforcing property rights. The incentive argument is often used by libertarians against scientists who warn of problems. If you want to be coherent, you can't deny the power of incentives over libertarians. Can you offer another counter?
Sigh
5 / 5 (1) Mar 29, 2012
Rygg, they don't state the location of the conference the article references....but if it was in RIO I'll never post a thing supporting climate scientists again...swear.

It saves travel if many of those scientists are also delegates to the following UN conference.
rubberman
4 / 5 (3) Mar 29, 2012
Yes, I know about the upcoming Rio summit, the 3000 scientists, scholars etc. weren't in Rio...

"In a "State of the Planet" declaration issued after a four-day conference, the scientists said Earth was now facing unprecedented challenges, from water stress, pollution and species loss to spiralling demands for food.

They called on the June 20-22 followup to the 1992 Earth Summit to overhaul governance of the environment and sweep away a fixation with GDP as the sole barometer of wellbeing."

I'll try to find out where the 4 day conference was....if all 3000 had to travel to get there then I would still have issue with that too.
rubberman
5 / 5 (2) Mar 29, 2012
London....still alot of people flying in....
ryggesogn2
1 / 5 (6) Mar 29, 2012
I said free markets saved the sperm whales.
Your link didn't work, so I don't know whether that has an answer.

Try Google.
libertarian views of property rights

What are they?
I don't think my views on property rights are incoherent. If you own a 2D plot of land you also own the air above and land below to the center of the earth. Now the challenge is defining and enforcing property rights, but not really, if personal property rights are paramount. Trump had to build a casino around a house that the lady refused to sell. Good for her.
What tends to happen is someone like Trump persuades some govt to take the property rights from others for the 'common good'.
A power plant is a 'common good' so the govt allows its pollution into your private air space. Under a libertarian concept, anyone can sue if your property rights are infringed. Infringement is the key, not damages. If you don't want their dirty air, they have to keep it off your property.
bhiestand
3.7 / 5 (3) Mar 30, 2012
I don't think my views on property rights are incoherent. If you own a 2D plot of land you also own the air above and land below to the center of the earth.
Not incoherent? Just wrong. If home owners also owned the airspace above their houses, homes near runways would be far more valuable. Every single aircraft or pilot would have to sign a contract with every single property owner along their path. Navigation would be impossible, and flight would become prohibitively expensive. Talk about unleashing the power of the markets.

I see you misunderstand "commons", so I'll explain that to you. Instead of carving up airspace like land, we call it a common good. To prevent its abuse, the society that collectively owns it establishes some basic rules. Like "you have to fly safe planes" and "you can't buzz houses at 50' AGL at 2am". This maximizes freedom for everyone by achieving the best balance between different freedoms.
Skepticus
1 / 5 (1) Mar 30, 2012
just like you or I would if we were choosing the location for a summit.

Not if we were serious about a 'serious emergency on a global scale'.

Lighten up a bit, would you? It is only a summit about a "serious emergency", not yet a funeral for the human race. You don't have to wear black and look somber...yet.
bhiestand
3 / 5 (2) Mar 30, 2012
Now, extending this logic to climate systems... let's say instead of planes in the air we're talking about chemicals that cause acid rain. After release into the environment, the polluter has no control over where the wind blows. They could cross into Canada, get sucked into a tornado, or just hover over his grandmother's house.

Whereas a plane comes from one point, acid rain comes from many. Multiple sources release sulfur dioxide, that mixes up with other stuff, and PRESTO! acid rain. Now who is responsible for the property damage this causes? SO2 polluters? How do you find them? How do you track down the source of each individual molecule?

You can't. Instead, we, as a society, say "no, we don't want acid rain and it's easy to prevent. Limit SO2 emissions." Then, hey, problem solved, and we don't have to set up some giant bureaucracy to assign serial numbers to every single molecule released in order to determine who caused which acid to drop on which piece of property.
bhiestand
3.7 / 5 (3) Mar 30, 2012
Here's a real libertarian solution to the above problem: Calculate the total damage caused by a source of pollution. Track ALL emissions of that pollution. Have the government or a representative agency fine or collect damages from ALL of the polluters for every single particle released (punitive optional). Distribute those funds as the voters choose (perhaps divided among those affected).
kochevnik
4.2 / 5 (5) Mar 30, 2012
Why is the summit in Rio?
Because Rio has a future, unlike your emerging police-state chirstopath petro-dumpster backwater.

I don't think my views on property rights are incoherent. If you own a 2D plot of land you also own the air above and land below to the center of the earth.
But don't you also own the galaxies in the patch of night sky? But it flies by so fast! And why stop at the center of the earth? Doesn't that mean you own the core? Why shouldn't you be able to spread radiation in your air as it passes over your shack? Property rights are absolute! When it passes to your neighbors THAT'S THEIR PROBLEM!
Sigh
5 / 5 (1) Mar 30, 2012
I said free markets saved the sperm whales.

I know, and that is irrelevant to Bruenig's argument, so I wonder why you offered that as part of your answer.
Try Google.

I did, found what looked like your link, still didn't work.
Under a libertarian concept, anyone can sue if your property rights are infringed. Infringement is the key, not damages. If you don't want their dirty air, they have to keep it off your property.

That I like. But here is a case for which I would like to know your solution. I have a view of the sea from my living room. If you built a house that blocked that view, it would reduce my enjoyment of my property and its market value. But if I insist you can't build what you like on your land between my living room and the sea, doesn't that infringe your property rights? It seems to me that property rights can be in conflict. Is there a principled solution? I see related conflicts in some property rights based solutions to environmental problems.
ryggesogn2
1 / 5 (3) Mar 31, 2012
Can hunting endangered animals save the species?
www.nraila.org/hu...&ps=

"Texas ranchers have switched from using their land, water, and capital for cattle to using it for wildlife. As a result, Texas now has more than a quarter-million exotic species, of which threethe scimitar-horned oryx, the addax, and the Dama gazellehave been brought back from the brink of extinction.

Early on, ranchers made the switch because they liked having the wildlife around, but if wildlife ranching was to be sustainable, ranchers had to find a way to make it profitable. They have done so by marketing hunts which can costs as much as $50,000 for scarce species such as the Cape buffalo. "
www.perc.org/arti...1464.php
Vendicar_Decarian
0.1 / 5 (35) Mar 31, 2012
"Can hunting endangered animals save the species?" - RyggTard

The Libertarian party is losing so many members that Libertarians are becoming an endangered species.

Perhaps RyggTard's solution should be tried.

Lurker2358
4 / 5 (1) Apr 01, 2012
I said free markets saved the sperm whales.


You don't think the discovery of radically new resources and technologies had anything to do with that?

That was completely irrelevant to the concept of a "free" market vs any other system, as anybody would have replaced whale oil and lard oil with petroleum for any possible application.
Sigh
5 / 5 (1) Apr 01, 2012
Can hunting endangered animals save the species?

Link works now. It misses the point. I don't dispute that property rights can help when a species can be physically confined. But you tried to convince me that tuna can be saved by dividing the oceans into privately owned parcels. Trouble is that tuna travel. What's to stop me from catching them all before they enter your parcel? What's to stop you from dumping waste in your parcel that flows into mine? Referring to power stations, you said
one could sue. But the monitoring needed for that is even more extensive than for regulation, because property owners in dispute will each want their own data. Then the courts must decide which data to accept. Where is the advantage over regulation?

This is not the first time you either failed to get the point or perhaps changed the subject when it comes to resources and effects that don't conveniently stay in one place. Each time you do that, it seems more likely you have no solution.
Howhot
3 / 5 (4) Apr 01, 2012
From the article;
"Climate change, the financial crisis and food, water and energy security threaten human wellbeing and civilisation as we know it,"


Obamma couldn't have said it better. Climate change, the finacial crisis, food, water and energy; all the things that conservative smucks in the US house have screwed up.

From the article, a "polycentric approach" for planetary stewardship is needed that includes diverse a partnership between local, national and regional governments that also includes business and grassroots groups. The UN will force this down the throats of deniers as they gag on their own toxic destructiveness in pollution of the environment and economies.

Everyone knows that Al Gore justly annunciated the issues of Global Warming as been shown to be fact in the UN IPCC an followup research. UN Mandates will have to be placed on countries for GLOBAL environmental protection. But that needs to be extended to Food, Energy, Water and well being of people.
ryggesogn2
1 / 5 (1) Apr 02, 2012
Where is the advantage over regulation?

Flexibility and power is held by the property owner, not the state.
Regulations are one size fits all created by bureaucrats influenced by moneyed interests, including the govt.
Govt needs tax revenue so it waives pollution controls like it did at Love Canal. The local school board wanted the land to build a school so they forced Hooker Chemical to sell.
Regulations have failed to protect the commons, which is a tragedy.
ryggesogn2
1 / 5 (1) Apr 02, 2012
What's to stop you from dumping waste in your parcel that flows into mine?

A lawsuit with an award for damages.
How do regulations stop this now?
ryggesogn2
1 / 5 (1) Apr 02, 2012
I said free markets saved the sperm whales.


You don't think the discovery of radically new resources and technologies had anything to do with that?

That was completely irrelevant to the concept of a "free" market vs any other system, as anybody would have replaced whale oil and lard oil with petroleum for any possible application.

What motivated the research for kerosene? The high cost of sperm whale oil.
Modernmystic
1 / 5 (1) Apr 02, 2012
UN Mandates will have to be placed on countries for GLOBAL environmental protection. But that needs to be extended to Food, Energy, Water and well being of people.


Good luck with all that :)

Let me know how that works out...
Howhot
3.7 / 5 (3) Apr 02, 2012
The UN Mandates will be put into place for several reasons, as the problems discussed won't be just Global warming. As big of a problem as Anthropogenic Global Warming is; by 2050, there really could be some big issues showing its head; namely the un-sustainability of human growth. That what this meeting in Rio is all about. Exponential growth in food needs, energy needs, finance needs, are unsolvable without cooperation of the major world political players; (basically the G20). I fully expect the UN to make an offer to the US that can't be refused in the face of extreme difficulties.

So, the UN won't just be talking about global warming, but the whole unsustainable ball of wax that MANKIND has built over the past 200 years.

Good luck to you too.
ryggesogn2
1 / 5 (1) Apr 02, 2012
the whole unsustainable ball of wax

Is it a coincidence that the confidence in the scientists started in the 70s when the Club of Rome made their dire predictions?
Erlich was wrong then and the non-scientist Luddite, Hottie, is wrong today.
"After a century of destructive and false scientific fads ranging from eugenics to Paul Ehrlichs population bomb scaremongering, among many others the American public could probably do with more skepticism, not less."

Read more: http://www.nypost...qwAgNXjR
ryggesogn2
1 / 5 (1) Apr 02, 2012
"Paul Ehrlichs 1968 bestseller The Population Bomb, meanwhile, rehearsed another of the green movements favourite themes: overpopulation. By the Seventies and Eighties, he warned, hundreds of millions of us would be dying like flies because there wouldnt be enough food.

Why did Ehrlichs prediction never come to pass? Because, like most of the greenies doomsday scenarios, it overlooked one vital factor: progress."
"look at where the worst ecological disasters happened in the last century under impoverished Communist regimes, from the Aral Sea to Chernobyl.

But the greens refuse to accept this because, according to their quasi-religious doctrine, industrial civilisation is a curse and economic growth a disease which can only be cured by rationing and self-sacrifice, higher taxes and greater state control."
"The real deniers are those ideological greens who refuse to look at hard evidence"
James Delingpoles Watermelons:
Howhot
3.7 / 5 (3) Apr 02, 2012
R2; yeah there is a "population bomb" if you would like to call it that, but really its an Oil bomb (or lack of oil by 2050) that will kick everyone in the teeth. Everyone knows that peak-oil has passed, and there are few alternatives.

I've been saying for a long time the "Soylent Green" scenario is a very real possibility in 2100. That probably is one of the best futurist stories that really could happen.

Anyway, you argue progress will fix these issues before us. What progress? What energy source will replace oil? Coal is nasty an there seriously is not enough of it to replace oil. Its time for you to make a major rethink of how you would deal with no oil.

You have to build a major electrical infrastructure now while you can IMHO. You need to build Solar as fast as you can. You have to relegate oil to lubrication and specialty chemicals.

ryggesogn2
1 / 5 (1) Apr 02, 2012
ack of oil by 2050

The world is swimming in oil, if the socialist watermelons stay out of the way.
peak-oil has passed,
This has been proven wrong for decades.
few alternatives.

Many alternatives, if the watermelons stay out of the way.
Coal is nasty an there seriously is not enough of it to replace oil.

Plenty of coal, if the watermelons stay out of the way.
Coal reserves..."Are capable of meeting domestic demand for more than 250 years at current rates of consumption."
And with breeder reactors, nuclear energy in nearly infinite.
ryggesogn2
1 / 5 (1) Apr 02, 2012
"Japan has serious plans to send a solar-panel-equipped satellite into space that could wirelessly beam a gigawatt-strong stream of power down to earth and power nearly 300,000 homes."
http://www.popsci...er-space
"As currently envisioned, the Toshiba 4S (Super Safe, Small and Simple) nuclear power system would be able to supply about 10 MW of electrical power for 30 years without any new fuel. "
http://atomicinsi...ska.html
"The Gen4 Module is a next generation design that uses a liquid metal cooled, uranium nitride fueled, fast-spectrum reactor that employs control rods for reactivity control. The reactor has been designed to deliver 70 MW of heat (25 MW of electricity) for a 10-year lifetime, without refueling."
http://www.gen4en...hnology/
Modernmystic
1 / 5 (1) Apr 03, 2012
I fully expect the UN to make an offer to the US that can't be refused in the face of extreme difficulties.


That's what all despots and tyrants think, more to the point that's HOW they think. The "problem" is that it's NEVER that simple...