“Fundamental steps needed now in global redesign of Earth system governance”
story and commentary in red
Some 32 social scientists and researchers from around the world, including Kenneth W. Abbott, a professor of international relations in ASU’s Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law and a Senior Sustainability Scholar in the Global Institute of Sustainability a Senior, are calling for fundamental reforms of global environmental governance to avoid dangerous changes in the Earth system.
Some 32 social scientists and researchers from around the world, including a senior sustainability scholar at Arizona State University, have concluded that fundamental reforms of global environmental governance are needed to avoid dangerous changes in the Earth system. The scientists argued in the March 16 edition of the journal Science that the time is now for a “constitutional moment” in world politics. Comment: there is always a sense of urgency, as they have to get these things in place before humanity wakes up to their scheme.
Research now indicates that the world is nearing critical tipping points in the Earth system, including on climate and biodiversity, which if not addressed through a new framework of governance could lead to rapid and irreversible change. Comment: Absolutely false. The data do not support such claims. And notice how the only way to stop the perceived threat is by government intervention!
“Science assessments indicate that human activities are moving several of Earth’s sub-systems outside the range of natural variability typical for the previous 500,000 years,” wrote the authors in the opening of “Navigating the Anthropocene: Improving Earth System Governance.” Comment: What systems? The only system that is outside the range is the atmospheric CO2 concentration, but if you examine a longer timeframe it becomes clear that the Earth has been CO2-starved for the past several millions of years. And the real-world data show that higher CO2 = higher crop yields and numerous plant growth benefits result.
Reducing the risk of potential global environmental disaster requires the development of “a clear and ambitious roadmap for institutional change and effective sustainability governance within the next decade,” comparable in scale and importance to the reform of international governance that followed World War II, they wrote. Comment: the “potential” risk is based solely on admittedly flawed computer models
In particular, the group argued for the creation of a Sustainable Development Council that would better integrate sustainability concerns across the United Nations system. Giving a leading role to the 20 largest economies (G20) would help the council act effectively. The authors also suggested an upgrade of the UN Environment Program to a full-fledged international organization, a move that would give it greater authority and more secure funding. Comment: All about power, prestige and wealth.
To keep these institutions accountable to the public, the scientists called for stronger consultative rights for representatives of civil society, including representatives from developing countries, NGOs, consumers and indigenous peoples. Comment: translation here is to put in place policies to force the redistribution of wealth from richer to poorer nations, as well as to support crony capitalism and rent seeking companies who profit from the “emerging technologies” and alternative energies.
“We should seek input from people closest to the ground, not just from the elites, not just at the 30,000-feet level,” noted Kenneth W. Abbott, a professor of international relations in ASU’s Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law. “Consultations should not take place only at the global scale, where the broadest policies are created, but also at local scales, smaller scales, all scales,” he said. Comment: Two reasons for doing this, one, because people at the local scale can be duped into thinking a local extreme weather event was caused by global warming (false of course), and two, because they really want to get down into running our personal lives, telling us how many miles we can drive, how many children we can have, etc., all in the name of saving the planet.
To improve the speed of decision-making in international negotiations, the authors called for stronger reliance on qualified majority voting. “There has to be a change in international negotiating procedures from the current situation, in which no action can be taken unless consensus is reached among all participating governments,” Abbott said. Comment: They have been frustrated with many of their plans, so why not make it easier to legislate what they want?
The authors also called for governments “to close remaining regulatory gaps at the global level,” including the treatment of emerging technologies. Comment: same as above, let’s make it easier and eliminate dissenting voices.
“A great deal of attention has been given to issues such as climate change, yet nanotechnology and other emerging technologies, which may bring significant benefits, also carry potential risks for sustainable development,” Abbott said. Comment: The climate change issue is only one means to their end. They will attack other industries/issues to continue to pursue their agenda to run/control our lives.
Relying on research by Abbott and his colleagues at ASU’s College of Law, the authors wrote that emerging technologies “need an international institutional arrangement – such as one or several multilateral framework conventions” to support forecasting and transparency, and to ensure that environmental risks are taken into account.
“Working to make the world economy more green and to create an effective institutional framework for sustainable development will be the two main focal points at this summer’s United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development in Rio de Janeiro,” Abbott said. “This article was written to bring urgency to those discussions and to outline specific ‘building blocks’ for a more effective and sustainable Earth system governance system.” Comment: Everyone knows that a green ecomomy is a crippled or destroyed economy. They like this because it topples nations and allows them to come to the rescue with a global government, subverting the constitutions of nations.
The authors also argued for increased financial support for poorer nations. “More substantial financial resources could be made available through novel financial mechanisms, such as global emissions markets or air transportation levies for sustainability purposes,” they wrote. Comment: Again, a forced transfer of wealth.
Lead author Frank Biermann, of Free University Amsterdam and Lund University, Sweden, said, “Societies must change course to steer away from critical tipping points in the Earth system that could lead to rapid and irreversible change. Incremental change is no longer sufficient to bring about societal change at the level and with the speed needed to stop Earth system transformation. Comment: Appeal to authority, trust them that they know what is best. And trust them now before it is too late — the science notwithstanding.
“Structural change in global governance is needed, both inside and outside the UN system and involving both public and private actors,” said Biermann, who also is chair of the scientific steering committee of the Earth System Governance Project.
All 32 authors of the Science article are affiliated with the Earth System Governance Project, a global alliance of researchers and leading research institutions, specializing in the scientific study of international and national environmental governance. ASU’s Abbott is one of some 50 lead faculty of the Earth System Governance Project. Lead faculty are scientists of high international reputation who share responsibility for research on earth system governance. Additional information is at http://earthsystemgovernance.org.
Among the other authors of “Navigating the Anthropocene” are: S. Andresen, Fridtjof Nansen Institute, Norway; K. Bäckstrand, Lund University, Sweden; S. Bernstein, University of Toronto, Canada; M. M. Betsill, Colorado State University; H. Bulkeley, Durham University, U.K.; B. Cashore, Yale University; J. Clapp, University of Waterloo, Canada; C. Folke, Stockholm Resilience Centre Stockholm University and Beijer Institute, Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences, Sweden; A. Gupta, Wageningen University and Research Centre, Netherlands; J. Gupta, Free University Amsterdam and UNESCO-International Institute for Hydraulic and Environmental Engineering Institute for Water Education, Netherlands; P. M. Haas, University of Massachusetts at Amherst; A. Jordan, Tyndall Centre, University of East Anglia, U.K.; N. Kanie, Tokyo Institute of Technology and United Nations University Institute of Advanced Studies, Japan; T. Kluvánková-Oravská, CETIP, Slovak Academy of Sciences, Slovakia; L. Lebel, Chiang Mai University, Thailand;
And, D. Liverman, University of Arizona and Oxford University, U.K.; J. Meadowcroft, Carleton University, Canada; R. B. Mitchell, University of Oregon; P. Newell, University of Sussex, U.K.; S. Oberthür, Vrije University, Belgium; L. Olsson, Lund University, Sweden; P. Pattberg, Free University Amsterdam; R. Sánchez-Rodríguez, El Colegio de la Frontera Norte, Mexico, and University of California, Riverside; H. Schroeder, Tyndall Centre, University of East Anglia, U.K.; A. Underdal, University of Oslo, Norway; S. Camargo Vieira, Universidade de Itaúna, Brazil; C. Vogel, independent scholar, South Africa; O. R. Young, University of California, Santa Barbara; A. Brock, Free University Amsterdam; and R. Zondervan Lund University, Sweden. CDI Comment: Any wonder what group will have leading roles in the “new” government? —
Abbott is also a senior sustainability scholar in the Global Institute of Sustainability, a transdisciplinary unit in ASU’s Office of Knowledge Enterprise Development that advances research, entrepreneurship, innovation and economic development, and a professor of global studies in the School of Politics and Global Studies at ASU’s College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.