Man-made crises 'outrunning our ability to deal with them,' scientists warn

Sep 11, 2009

The world faces a compounding series of crises driven by human activity, which existing governments and institutions are increasingly powerless to cope with, a group of eminent environmental scientists and economists has warned.

In today's issue of the leading international journal Science, the researchers say that nations alone are unable to resolve the sorts of planet-wide challenges now arising.

Pointing to global action on (the Montreal Protocol), high seas fisheries and antibiotic as examples, they call for a new order of cooperative international institutions capable of dealing with issues like climate change - and enforcing compliance where necessary.

"Energy, food and water crises, climate disruption, declining fisheries, ocean acidification, emerging diseases and increasing are examples of serious, intertwined global-scale challenges spawned by the accelerating scale of human activity," say the researchers, who come from Australia, Sweden, the United States, India, Greece and The Netherlands.

"These issues are outpacing the development of institutions to deal with them and their many interactive effects. The core of the problem is inducing cooperation in situations where individuals and nations will collectively gain if all cooperate, but each faces the temptation to free-ride on the cooperation of others."

There are few institutional structures to achieve co-operation globally on the sort of scales now essential to avoid very serious consequences, warns lead author Dr Brian Walker of Australia's CSIRO.

While there are signs of emerging global action on issues such as climate change, there is widespread inaction on others, such as the destruction of the world's forests to grow biofuels or the emergence of through lack of appropriate animal husbandry protocols where people, pigs and birds co-mingle.

"Knowing what to do is not enough," says Dr Walker. "Institutional reforms are needed to bring about changes in human behaviour, to increase local appreciation of shared global concerns and to correct the sort of failures of collective action that cause global-scale problems."

"We are not advocating that countries give up their sovereignty," adds co-author Professor Terry Hughes, Director of the ARC Centre of Excellence in Coral Reef Studies at James Cook University.

"We are instead proposing a much stronger focus on regional and worldwide cooperation, helped by better-designed multi-national institutions. The threat of climate change to coral reefs, for example, has to be tackled at a global scale. Local and national efforts are already failing."

The scientists acknowledge that the main challenge is getting countries to agree to take part in global institutions designed to prevent destructive human practices. "Plainly, agreements must be designed such that countries are better off participating than not participating," they say.

This would involve all countries in drawing up standards designed to protect the earth's resources and systems, to which they would then feel obligated to adhere.

However they also concede that the 'major powers' must be prepared to enforce such standards and take action against back-sliders.

"The major powers must be willing to enforce an agreement - but legitimacy will depend on acceptance by numerous and diverse countries, and non-governmental actors such as civil society and business," they add.

"To address common threats and harness common opportunities, we need greater interaction amongst existing institutions, and new institutions, to help construct and maintain a global-scale social contract," the scientists conclude.

More information: Walker,B., S.Polasky, V.Galaz, C.Folke, G.Engstrom, F.Ackerman, K. Arrow, S.Carpenter,K.Chopra, G.Daily, P.Erhlich, T.Hughes, N.Kautsky, S.Levon, K.Maler, J.Shogren, J.Vincent, T.Xepapadeas, A.de Zeeuw. Looming Global Scale Failures and Missing Institutions. Science 325 (5946): 1345-1346.

Source: ARC Centre of Excellence in Coral Reef Studies

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mvg
4 / 5 (2) Sep 11, 2009
"We are not advocating that countries give up their sovereignty,"



Really that IS the core of the problem and the reason they are not suceeding in their efforts.
Corban
3 / 5 (2) Sep 11, 2009
Sovereignty is most salient when you disagree with consensus: if you can do nothing but act with instead of against, then you have no sovereignty. However, what if the consensus is theoretically sound? Is expressing sovereignty still a desired quality, or the very image of stupidity? Countries stuck up on this, rather than recognizing its transience, really ought to be squeezed.
otto1923
3 / 5 (2) Sep 11, 2009
@mvg
new [world] order of cooperative international institutions capable of dealing with issues like climate change - and enforcing compliance where necessary
Absolutely. And tell me what is so wrong about World Govt? The concept 'country' is a recent fabrication, regional nationalism not much older. The large 'empires' and entities- Russia, Britain, the 2nd Reich, even Belgium, were assembled to enable the capture of resources and manpower to fight the world wars and reap the benefits of them. 
otto1923
1 / 5 (3) Sep 11, 2009
USSR/US- 2 sides, 1 coin. Together we played good cop/bad cop and ruled the world, and our stance as 'enemies' is what justified it. Soviets could sell intended losers their junk weapons so western allies (Israel, Pakistan) could easily defeat them. Communism could finish the destruction of obsolete cultures begun in the world wars and bush wars afterward; which enabled the institution of birth control and the 1 BILLION abortions worldwide which could not have occured otherwise. As generations of Believers grow old and die, so do their concepts of identity and sovereignty. 
otto1923
1 / 5 (1) Sep 11, 2009
There has been One World Government on this planet for a very long time. Much work yet to be done: more ruinous cultures which have served their purpose need to be ended in order to save humanity! There is never Action without Crisis, never Progress without Action.
otto1923
1 / 5 (1) Sep 11, 2009
(Israel, Pakistan)
I meant Israel and India as 2 examples. What, we now have a limit on post size? Too tedious to scroll through AWT schmutz? Just like westmorland and Nixon this site thrives on the body count-
defunctdiety
5 / 5 (2) Sep 11, 2009
Communism could finish the destruction of obsolete cultures begun in the world wars and bush wars afterward; which enabled the institution of birth control and the 1 BILLION abortions worldwide which could not have occured otherwise.

This is pretty freaking ignorant otto1923... I really don't even know what you think you know or mean.

What "obsolete cultures" were exterminated? And do you really think women are making a choice to prevent or terminate a pregnancy to help society? Birth control and especially abortion is an extremely personal action, with extremely personal consequences, the vast overwhelming majority of women who use birth control or have an abortion don't give a flying f*** about population control. And how did any set of wars enable abortions!?

You my friend have some majorly f***ed up biases if this is truly your world view.
zevkirsh
not rated yet Sep 11, 2009
punctuated crisis is the natural order of things. the creation of earth , the creation of our atmosphere and of our water supplies, the creation of our ancestors and our early societies were the result of crises.


a proper mindset accepts that crises is an inevitable part of change. the question is, how will we react to crises, and how will our reaction lead us beyond the crisis to a new settled order of things.

alot of our how we react to the crisis depends on our (mostly pre-established) fear of death. of course, a crisis requires that there be plenty of death to go around. and as the crisis unfolds , so to will the changes in our baseline fear of death. those who survive the crisis will carry their societies forward and beyond the crises. ...

















otto1923
1 / 5 (1) Sep 11, 2009
And do you really think women are making a choice to prevent or terminate a pregnancy to help society? Birth control and especially abortion is an extremely personal action
ha ha and you are extremely gullible. Pre ww2 Catholicism, Russian and Jewish orthodox, traditional Chinese, Japanese, southeast Asian, German Protestant... All of them and the cultures based on them lost their hold on Eurasia. Those programs- paid for by the Rockefeller foundation- would not have had the chance to offer women the 'freedom to choose' had not those regions been under communist martial law for 3 gens and their medieval cultures slowly, methodically, destroyed. Even a little reflection can tell you this is true.
otto1923
5 / 5 (1) Sep 11, 2009
You my friend are extremely naive. Domesticated. Congratulations! The freedom to choose has little to do with womens rights. 1 BILLION abortions- where would all those people be living, eating? It's freedom to live without war, starvation. But much yet to be done.
otto1923
5 / 5 (1) Sep 11, 2009
Still far, far too many people in the world- what the articles about-
defunctdiety
5 / 5 (2) Sep 11, 2009
Pre ww2 Catholicism, Russian and Jewish orthodox, traditional Chinese, Japanese, southeast Asian, German Protestant... All of them and the cultures based on them lost their hold on Eurasia. Those programs- paid for by the Rockefeller foundation- would not have had the chance to offer women the 'freedom to choose' had not those regions been under communist martial law for 3 gens and their medieval cultures slowly, methodically, destroyed. Even a little reflection can tell you this is true.

LMFAO!!

Oops!! Somebody didn't do their homework before putting out their desperate crackpot conspiracy theories.

Otto1923, here's a little reflection on the actual truth, birth control and abortions have been common practices of humanity for just about as long as there has been civilization, there is concrete evidence of such dating back to 5000 BC, comrade. Last I checked the Rockefellers weren't around that far back, much less overpopulation concerns.
defunctdiety
4 / 5 (4) Sep 11, 2009
You my friend are extremely naive. Domesticated. Congratulations! The freedom to choose has little to do with womens rights. 1 BILLION abortions- where would all those people be living, eating? It's freedom to live without war, starvation. But much yet to be done.

Conclusions?
I am actually the better informed one here, you ARE in fact demonstrably ignorant and biased and a crackpot conspiracy theorist. At least now everyone knows they can completely disregard anything you say out of hand, as you obviously have some agenda other than truth.

I'm sorry you have such a problem with humanity, maybe if you didn't see so much of it in yourself you'd be able to cope with reality a little better.
defunctdiety
4 / 5 (4) Sep 11, 2009
...there is concrete evidence of such dating back to 5000 BC...

Correction: 5000 years ago; 3000 BC, sorry. But you can damn well know that it was going on loooong before that.

And sure, perhaps the majority of those were at the behest of men, to save inheritances or face or what not; I would never deny that historic society was not extremely androcentric. But your theory is contingent on this idea that a secret society of eugenicists have been plotting all this for centuries. It's as problematic as it is childish. You're looking too deep into it, perhaps because you don't want to admit you're part of it.

It's simply greed; the desire of mankind for money and power over all else, because of it's mortality. Simple and sad as that.
otto1923
not rated yet Sep 11, 2009
1 BILLION abortions c/o RU486 c/o the Rockefeller Foundation and others. Not that many coathangers in the entire free world (well maybe) You amuse easily but don't think very well. Birth control used to be a felony in many of those locations; abortion a capital offense, as it still is in some Islamist countries.
otto1923
not rated yet Sep 11, 2009
And what good is money and power if the enemy is at your gates?? Don't you think people with good lives and families, no matter how well off, read the above article with concern? People who look ahead would want to make sure the future is safe for their decendents. They would want to deal with inevitability before it broke their door down.

That's why Attack is the best Defense. At every level, in every venue.
otto1923
not rated yet Sep 11, 2009
statistics to ponder:
http://www.johnst...dex.html
Upwards of 1/3 to1/2 of all children conceived in some countries.

You spell 'long' with too many o's. Pudel.
defunctdiety
5 / 5 (1) Sep 11, 2009
I can understand your refusal to acknowledge fact, makes it much easier to preserve your own ideas. But repeating your rhetoric does not make fact. You're still a crackpot conspiracy theorist. Chihuahua.
otto1923
not rated yet Sep 11, 2009
theory is contingent on this idea that a secret society of eugenicists have been plotting all this for centuries
No it's not. Who told you that? The History Channel? Fox News? ONE BILLION ABORTIONS. And their decendents. One sixth of the worlds population not born to cause war famine plague collapse. And yet we have the article above. You are more domesticated than I sir. Arf.
defunctdiety
5 / 5 (2) Sep 11, 2009
Don't you think people with good lives and families, no matter how well off, read the above article with concern? People who look ahead would want to make sure the future is safe for their decendents.

I think you touched on a truth here. People do want to make sure their child has the best future possible. How is that attained, even in nature? Invest more in your offspring. Simple biological life history strategy. Evident with education. How is this accomplished when it is very difficult to increase the amount of resources you have to invest? Have fewer children. i.e. birth control.
defunctdiety
not rated yet Sep 11, 2009
ONE BILLION ABORTIONS.
...
ONE BILLION ABORTIONS.
...
ONE BILLION ABORTIONS.
...
Arf.

You're the one doing all the barking.
otto1923
not rated yet Sep 11, 2009
Otto must go out now and bury bones and sniff butts- it is Friday after all (just going to bookstore- too old for all that)
otto1923
not rated yet Sep 11, 2009
And no, Otto ist not Schwüle, his last name is not Turing, it was the dog metaphor, they would be only female butts etc etc-
otto1923
not rated yet Sep 11, 2009
abortions have been common practices of humanity for just about as long as there has been civilization
Actually, the preferred method throughout much of our history has been post-natal abortion ie infanticide. Native Americans would 'expose' unwanted or unfit infants by leaving them in the open for the wolves. In jerusalem infants were cast into Gehenna, a trash ravine outside the city, offered to Moloch, the reviled god of the neighbors. Gehenna became the Hebrew word for hell. Xians came along and outlawed all that, in part to begin filling up Europe with people of the faith who could be counted on to repulse mongols, Muslims et al as well as fighting all the many productive internecine wars which made us strong enough to conquer much of the world. All according to Plan.
Noumenon
4.8 / 5 (46) Sep 12, 2009
The environMentalist and eCONomist calling for world social engineering are dangerously naive, stupid or both. They are a far greater threat. The idiot UN full of these morons, proves they are inept. Human slaughter takes place right under their nose,.. Iran will end up with nuclear weapons,... UN will do zero.



Besides AGW is a absolute scam. Even if it was real, it would solve itself as oil becomes harder and more expensive to extract,.. prices go up, alternative markets then open up for investment. That's free market capitalism,.. not social engineering idiots pushing buttons & turning knobs. Unbelievable!



Btw, it's been cooling globally for the last decade and 40 years ago the grandfathers of the naive GW theorists wrote their thesis on global COOLING.



omatumr
2 / 5 (4) Sep 12, 2009
GOVERNMENT CREATED CRISIS

CO2-induced global warming is a crisis created by the UN's IPCC and "scientists" willing to find whatever requested, with advertising assistance from former VP Al Gore.

For the real facts about "Earth's Heat Source - The Sun," see:

http://arxiv.org/abs/0905.0704

http://arxiv.org/...5.0704v1

With kind regards,
Oliver K. Manuel
http://www.omatumr.com
Noumenon
4.9 / 5 (45) Sep 12, 2009
Human beings are fundamentally competitive and individualistic in nature. This is not a bane or a 'plague on the precious earth', but a powerful natural force, responsible for the entire of science, and the most powerful of economies in our entire history. The social engineering wack jobs don't like capitalism, as they think that is the core problem. This is their motive, redistribution of wealth, and to damage capitalism!

Once these type of morons are in power via social engineering they will decide who lives and how. No man or group of men have shown in human history to be qualified for this job.
Noumenon
4.9 / 5 (45) Sep 12, 2009
"The world faces a compounding series of crises driven by human activity"

These idiot environmentalist socialists regard 'human activity' as some plague infesting the world, like we're truspassing on nature,.. and they will act accordingly!. These people have the mentality of PETA, and are no where near qualified to design societies or 'fix nature'. Man is the epitome of nature. Man cannot hold back the ocean. The natural forces of free capitalism will solve all solvable problems or we will succomb to nature and go down with the ship.

The fact that the UN cannot achieve relativily simple things like prevent wars or genecide or poverty, is proof that "world government" is an idiotic sci-fi fantasy.
Noumenon
4.9 / 5 (45) Sep 12, 2009
Lol, Ottis1923, I was about to post what apparently you discovered on your own in regard to exposing babies to the elements in past history. You owe Defunct an ackowledgement that (s)he was right. You can't split hairs either because they didn't have the medical know how to perform abortions then as exists now ; exposure was their abortions, it was plain murder then as it is now.
otto1923
not rated yet Sep 12, 2009
Hello Nou,
Such vitriol this morning! Have you had your pap yet?
Human slaughter takes place right under their nose
Slaughter begins when the resources of a given region are no longer sufficient to support the population there. UN can only do... nothing. Well they can feed them in the desert until the next gen is born I guess.
Human beings are fundamentally competetive and individualistic in nature
Humans basically love company and cooperation against mutual threats is what has made us so successful. I agree competition is what drives innovation but basically we would rather sit back and make babies whenever possible. It's the result of this and the desire to protect our offspring which will cause us to fight like hell.
otto1923
not rated yet Sep 12, 2009
exposure was their abortions, it was plain murder then as it is now
Prenatal or postnatal, it was absolutely necessary then as it is now. Science has made it a little less... uncomfortable. Their system was actually better for the species- elder matriarchs would examine the newborn, decide if it would be a credit to the tribe or not-
Noumenon
4.9 / 5 (45) Sep 12, 2009
Slaughter begins when the resources of a given region are no longer sufficient to support the population there. UN can only do... nothing


Well that's my point. Famine and genocide are relatively simple problems compared to controlling the global climate or global society. If the left can't even do the simple things, they are not qualified to do anything on the proposed comically grand scale.
otto1923
not rated yet Sep 12, 2009
YoNou
prices go up, alternative markets then open up for investment. That's free market capitalism
Youre starting to sound more like Ayn Rand than Kant-
You're saying here that it's "absolutely necessary" to kill born babies! (?)!
Or you could let them get a little older and starve. But their fathers and big brothers wouldnt let that happen- they would arm themselves and go looking for those with food.
Overpop = War
-The pop philos you espouse (root word-spout) never acknowledge the concept 'inevitability'. Their doctors promise life without end, their psychs dispel guilt, their lawyers defray culpability, their insurance alleviates consequences. No difference really than the deities they replace.

Overpop has always been inevitable and still is in many parts of the world. If not for the 1 BILLION ABORTIONS we might already be dust. Luckily, shrinking pops up north leave room for ambitious resourceful 3rd worlders tired of the crowds and mayhem. Luck or Plan? I say Pla
otto1923
not rated yet Sep 12, 2009
n. Ran out of characters. I have 894 left in this post- wanna buy some? Like energy units- free markets -?
rubberman
not rated yet Sep 12, 2009
That entire string of "back and forth's" is hilarious. You guys are all arguing about WHICH human traits, accomplishments and ideals are prevailing currently AND historically on a global scale. You are all right, it just depends on which direction you're looking in. The issue for us on a global scale is whether our race will survive given the direction that it is going....the article says no it won't....it's correct.
otto1923
not rated yet Sep 12, 2009
Famine and genocide are relatively simple problems
Simple. Simple you say? Go to the top and read the article again. These are caused by overpopulation, the most difficult and long-lasting problem humanity has faced. It CAUSES war, famine, plague, economic collapse, suffering. Domestication of our species is not about breeding supermen or getting us to do tricks- its about restricting our ability to procreate. A time to embrace and a time to refrain.

@Gummipuppe
Thanks for 2 cents. Survive we will, according to PLAN. Providence thanks to the ingenuity of man, not grace of God.
Noumenon
4.9 / 5 (45) Sep 12, 2009
You're missing the point. Social engineering on a global scale by a bunch of idealist naive intellectual knuckleheads will never work, because their ideas are counter to human instincts. Windmills and stupidity will never tame natural forces, and this goes for wars , famine, and the GW.

I don't believe in God either, I believe in the power of natural forces by which I mean capitalistic free society. AGW is a con, invented to get a foot in the door for socialists for redistribution of wealth.
otto1923
not rated yet Sep 12, 2009
Your type are irrational simpletons.
Otto is one of a kind.
One the on hand you're all for 'civil rights' for the victim groups, but inconsistently you're all for abortion and redistribution of wealth.
I'm not 'for' abortion. I'm pointing out that its absolutely necessary until something better comes along.
You're anti-religious, but would accept a Spinoza God only without the humans.
That would be impossible.
You psuedo-socialist dipshits will never attain a world government.
I think youre mistaking me for a pseudo-religious dipshit. World Government the concept has been in place since the bible was written. The original sumerian bible. It just took awhile to convince everybody to join the club (or be annihilated).
otto1923
not rated yet Sep 12, 2009
idealist naive intellectual knuckleheads
But theyre belevolent.
will never work, because their ideas are counter to human instincts.
Its worked pretty well since Alexander, you must admit. Human instincts dwindle with every new western generation. Its the result of Domestication, no little feat-
otto1923
not rated yet Sep 12, 2009
AGW is a con, invented to get a foot in the door for socialists for redistribution of wealth.
socialists/capitalists - 2 sides, 1 coin. One cant exist without the other. Yin yang, up/down, noumena/the other thing.

AGW is probably the crisis, contrived or not, which will drive us to discard the older techs we have become comfortable with and embrace the new, whose time has come. This tech HAS to be developed now because it can be. We will buy it, use it, and be happy with it. It will allow humans to live comfortably in space, probably the reason for all of this. We are crisis-driven ie herded. Moo.
otto1923
not rated yet Sep 12, 2009
Moomenon,
I'm waiting for your antithesis- or did I just win another dialectic? I would certainly apologize to DeadGod if I thought he wasn't just talking about traditional forms of abortion- herbs, incantation, sharp blows, jumping up and down- instead of infanticide. Midwives were burned as witches for offering advice on abortion and contraception-