Tuesday January 8, 2013, 7:57 pm
Waves crash against pier before landfall of Hurricane Sandy on October 29, 2012 in Atlantic City, New Jersey. (Agence-France Presse)
With this year's World Economic Forum in Davos quickly approaching, the WEF released a new report Tuesday which paints a dire picture of the future in the face of climate change, the global economic recession, and a lack of political will to deal with an interrelated "perfect global storm" ahead of us.
The annual Global Risks report, conducted by the WEF and based on a survey of over 1,000 experts from industry, government, academia and civil society, urges that an impending global catastrophe is in the works due to severe income disparities, debt and steadily rising greenhouse gas emissions.
"Continued stress on the global economic system is positioned to absorb the attention of leaders for the foreseeable future," the report states. "Meanwhile, the Earth's environmental system is simultaneously coming under increasing stress. Future simultaneous shocks to both systems could trigger the 'perfect global storm' with potentially insurmountable consequences."
Among the most immediate and impending 'Global Risks', the WEF lists: wide-scale systemic financial failure, a global water supply crisis and a worldwide food shortage crises, among others.
The World Economic Forum, and its annual meeting in the Swiss ski resort of Davos, taking place this year from January 23 to 27, is comprised of business leaders, politicians and central bankers—and is certainly not known to be a venue for climate action. As Ben Hirschler reports for Reuters Tuesday, the WEF Davos meeting is "where the rich and powerful will ponder the planet's future."
"Davos has come to symbolize the modern globalized world dominated by successful multinational corporations," he wrote, from which the greatest resistance to climate action has surfaced.
As was already seen at this year's international climate summit of world leaders, COP 18, business interests—particularly the fossil fuel industry—hold great sway over many of the decisions and agreements made, or passed over.
At the summit, leaders extended the Kyoto Protocol until 2020 but fell short of addressing the bulk of the exponential increases in greenhouse gas emission—releaving major developing polluters such as China and India from commitments while the United States refused to ratify the agreement at any level.
If there was a winner at the talks, it was the fossil fuel lobby, said Sarah-Jayne Clifton, Friends of the Earth International energy coordinator.
"The fossil fuel lobby won the Qatar desert climate battle, where we witnessed dirty industry elites still holding the reins of our governments. Meanwhile the climate crisis worsens and the window for action shrinks day by day. Developed countries did not even try to solve the climate crisis at these talks. Instead, they continued to protect the interests of fossil fueled corporations and helped financial elites grow their latest cash cow: the global carbon market scam," stated Clifton.
Asad Rehman, Friends of the Earth International spokesperson in Qatar stated, "The blame lies squarely with the rich industrialized world, most notably the US. The Obama administration is succeeding in its efforts to dismantle the UN global climate regime and other wealthy nations have joined in, paralyzing the climate talks and forcing the world’s poor to pay the price."
As Lee Howell, editor of this year's WEF report, told reporters Tuesday, "We are not seeing the state leadership necessary to tackle these risks."
The track record of these global summits begs the question, do the world's elite have it in them to act on climate change and steer us out of the 'perfect storm'?
***Links within body of article at VISIT SITE ***
By: - Jacob Chamberlain, staff writer | Common Dreams |
Tuesday January 8, 2013, 8:46 pm
"The track record of these global summits begs the question, do the world's elite have it in them to act on climate change and steer us out of the 'perfect storm'?" The answer to this question as things are going now would be NO.
The world's elite are concerned with keeping their money and power. They do not care to look beyond the ends of their noses.The "science" of climate change denial is matched by their apparent psychological denial of the truth as well. The fossil fuels industry is frantic to suck as much out of the ground as possible, and to sell it as fast as they can. Our policies in the U.S. and other industrialized countries are geared toward helping these industries to retain their power.
Tuesday January 8, 2013, 11:27 pm
Not only is there no easy cure for this disease called "GREED," but it appears to be contagious, as well. Over the years, Canada, China and India have joined the United States in its race to destroy the planet. I wonder what they're going to do with their profits when our planet can no longer sustain life.
Wednesday January 9, 2013, 7:08 am
The dire predictions for the consequences of climate change hold no pause for those in power. They will be insulated from the direct effects and disaster economics will ensure they profit from the scramble to deal with the aftermath.
Thank you Kit.
Wednesday January 9, 2013, 7:38 am
Greed kills.....we have had years to make changes and still are so far behind....I pity my children, their peers and all future generations that will have to face the dire future....including the extinctions and destructive weather.....
Wednesday January 9, 2013, 11:22 am
How many more Hurricane Sandy's does the corporate regime running this nation need to see that runaway climate change is the biggest threat, not only to their precious profits, but also to human survival? We have the best government that corporate dollars can buy, but no one has the spine to address the one thing most likely to kill us all. What we need now is someone who understands the Green New Deal and is willing to fight for it to be enacted.
If one is to dissect the profitability potential in climatic changes to this planet than we might see why this moves so slowly. It may benefit billions of people to have governments work together to begin to affect real change for the planet, but it would also interfere with a new profit boondoggle.
Wednesday January 9, 2013, 11:56 am
Thanks Kit. Probably our leaders, including international business, are of the mind set of "make hay while the sun shines" - etc. Most of us do Not want to believe this earth will become less of a heaven (or more of a hell) than it already is. Heck, we have a hard time believing our own personal lives actually include death!
Wednesday January 9, 2013, 1:27 pm
Man is killing our animals,polluting our water, destroying our forests and depleting our fish stocks. And this is now,imagine the situation in another 10-20 years..it's looking pretty damn grim. Already in somes cases,things are irreversable.VERY VOLATILE predicament.
Wednesday January 9, 2013, 2:21 pm
Despite the best efforts of protests over the past couple decades, multinational corporations continue to be in the drivers' seat to hell....not even paved with good intentions. I don't believe enough have awakened to this reality yet. What do we do to change that?....and put forth an agenda with humans, other living beings, and the environment of our planet being protected.
To tell the truth that, "an impending global catastrophe is in the works..." causes many to look upward and sigh in disbelief, even though this is stated in the Global Risks report. The corporate media isn't much help, either, since they're in the pockets of controlling corporations.
But, it can't be all "doom and gloom." We must work at the local level to contact our legislators and representatives, as well as local media--- to continue to distribute this information and press for change in every way we possibly can. We must enlist family, friends and neighbors by giving information and asking them to spread the word.
Wednesday January 9, 2013, 3:21 pm
A number of people say, "I love the warmth. I don't mind if it gets warmer, I'm from (name state with winter snow) and I HATED growing up there". No reasoning with them!
Wednesday January 9, 2013, 3:39 pm
I've read the article but then decided to read the one on Australia adding a new color code to their chart. We are in serious trouble when you have 129F in the center of Australia.
Yes, it seems that global corporations and politicians must have their heads in the sand. Do they have some kind of a special planet that they plan to go to that the rest of us don't know about? I love Mother Earth too much to just abandon her.
Wednesday January 9, 2013, 4:13 pm
I am very said that I have to agree with the sceintists who said its better to stop the climate-conferences. If world-leaders only talk without the reall will to tackle climate change, it will only cost more money and every climate-top will only inflict more CO2 emulsions.. Only if countries are willing to make offers themselves instead of only pointing to others what they have to do, it's ashamely pointless to meet again.
Wednesday January 9, 2013, 4:39 pm
Why shift responsibility away from ourselves, when our diet is destroying climate and poisoning water, air, earth? Eating animals creates so many horrible effects on every aspect for our selves, life forms, all that sustains life: spirit, body, mind; the circle.
If 1 person exchanges eating meat / animal products for a vegan diet, they'll reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 1.5 tons per year.
If every American dropped one serving of chicken per week from their diet, it would save the same amount of CO2 emissions as taking 500,000 cars off the road.
Chickens, turkeys, pigs and cows are collectively the largest producer of methane in the U.S.
Methane is 20x more powerful at trapping heat in the Earth's atmosphere than carbon dioxide.
The meat, egg, and dairy industries produce 65% of worldwide nitrous oxide emissions.
Nitrous Oxide is 300x more powerful at trapping heat in the Earth's atmosphere than carbon dioxide.
1 calorie from animal protein requires 11x as much fossil fuel as 1 calorie of plant protein.
The diets of meat eaters create 7x the greenhouse emissions as the diet of vegans.
Nearly half of all water used in the U.S. goes to raising animals for human food.
It takes more than 2,400 gallons of water to produce 1 pound of meat.
1 pound of wheat takes 25 gallons.
You'd save more water by not eating one lb of meat than you would by not taking a shower for 6 months.
A vegan diet requires 300 gallons of water per day vs. meat-eating diet which requires 4,000 gallons per day.
Animals raised for food create 89,000 lbs of excrement per second, none of which benefits from the waste-treatment facilities human excrement does.
Chicken, Hog, and Cattle excrement has polluted 35,000 miles of rivers in 22 states.
Raising animals for human food uses 30% of the Earth's land mass. That's about the same size as Asia! The moon has less area than that, at 14.6 million sq miles.
More than 260 million acres of U.S. forest have been cleared to create cropland to grow grain to feed farmed animals. Corn destroys to intestines and stomachs of steers and cows. GMOs and pesticides, whether sprayed or systemic, are destroy bees/pollinators, soil, air, human and animal health, and corrupt organic crops.
The equivalent of 7 football fields of land are bulldozed every minute to create room for farmed animals.
Livestock grazing is the number one cause of plant species becoming threatened or going extinct in the U.S.
70% of grain and cereals grown in the U.S. are fed to farmed animals. 90% of corn is.
Animals eat large quantities of grain, soybeans, oats, and corn; however, they only produce a comparatively small amount of meat, dairy products, or eggs in return.
It requires 16 lbs of grain to produce 1 lb of meat.
5 lbs of wild-caught fish to produce 1 pound of farmed fish.
Acidification of the oceans, coral reef death, dead zones are due to animal waste and "cides" from the GMO crops.
Wednesday January 9, 2013, 6:24 pm
I just watched the two documentaries Polar Explorer and Antarctica: A Global Challenge again (directed by Mark Terry) and while very grim they do hold out some hope for change as when the Montreal Accord happened and the global community addressed ozone issues. It was argued that there was an impact there. I personally have to hold onto hope for a brighter future, and hope for green options. The more people are educated about the issues the more that can be done. Water is definitely a global issue and it will only become more important in the future. Energy use is also a big issue. I highly recommend the documentary Peace Out (also a recent documentary) which is a candid in-depth look at the options for our energy use - hydroelectric, fossil fuel and nuclear. The director had the amazing privilege of speaking with the captains of industry and it is a documentary well worth watching. Thanks for posting this Kit.
Don't miss the big impact beyond using animals for food. Major corporations are dumping chemicals into our water supply and the oceans, expelling and belching tons of toxins into the air and ignoring all warnings for many decades. This didn't happen over night, even during the early years of the industrial revolution there were warning signs. We ignore what we choose to not see.
Indeed Susan, education and more education is the answer. People need to know the clear hard facts, not just those who work for the worst abusers and perpetuate false or doctored "science" reports.
Wednesday January 9, 2013, 8:12 pm
It is sad; because it is too late. Change is now inevitable More and greater superstorms are on their way as well as more years that set new all-time warmth records. We have to get ready for this, mostly by re-building infrastructere that can make it through superstorms.
Wednesday January 9, 2013, 11:18 pm
Dang it Kit....I had the perfect comment and POOF! Gotta sign off, but thanks and Mankind is greedy and won't be happy until all of the waves wash over all. Not what I had typed in but, Hugs and thanks!
Thursday January 10, 2013, 8:18 am
The amount of ice that as melted at the poles equals the area of the U.S. That SHOULD make our governments take notice (and action). But for political and monetary reasons (Greed) this problem is being ignored.
I don't know how ordinary people, animals, crops, trees, plants, birds etc will cope with extreme temperatures and weather. It's not fair that the elite/wealthy/politicians/oil barons can determine the fate of the rest of the planet through their greed.