The gloves come off We are two scientists who are sufficient furious at the state of our global environment and society to forget about political correctness. We are willing, even eager, to attempt to recruit you into the growing mass of people who are determined to divert society from its “business as usual” path toward disaster manifested already by morbid coral reefs, climate disruption, extinctions, tree die-offs, industrial toxification, loss of pollinators, and declining fish stocks. We are disgusted with the way politicians and the press ignore the realities that civilisation is sliding toward irreversible environmental damage, and that universities are not providing any leadership to change our course because of chronic underfunding, a reticence to embrace true inter-disciplinarity to solve society’s complex problems, and a lack of environmental training across all disciplines. We are tired of the erosion of public education in both nations, especially in science, technology and sustainable agriculture, overlooked or encouraged by politicians who would never be elected by a public that had a basic understanding of environmental science.
“My great-great-grandchildren ask me in dreams, ‘What did you do when the planet was plundered?'”
In September, heads of state are going to New York City for a historic summit on climate change. With our future on the line, we will take a weekend and use it to bend the course of history.To make this moment count, we need to act — together.All around the world, people will be coming together for a weekend of historic action on climate change. Our collective demand is for Action, Not Words: take the action necessary to create a world with an economy that works for people and the planet.Find a Peoples Climate Mobilisation event near you and join.Want to host an event? Click here.Find an event near you:City/ZIP/Postal & CountryShare on FacebookTweetLINK:
“I write this as an open letter to environmentalists, but to be honest, it isn’t truly an open letter. Many of you (probably most) will continue to call for these unsustainable forms of energy, despite knowing that to do so is to beg murder upon the migratory birds, the (very few remaining) unpolluted streams, rural Chinese farmers, and ultimately upon what remains of the living world. Many of you don’t want a truly sustainable way of life, but to sustain a functionally unsustainable civilization. Many of your salaries and personal identities depend on “clean energy,” and you won’t dare challenge it. And for me, this is incredibly saddening and disheartening, as I know many such people. So this letter is not written to you.”
Here is a wakeup call. One that insists we strip off the blinders and face our own delusions in order to survive.
I had heard some of these statistics, some of these uncomfortable truths, yet allowed myself to cling to the fantasy (is it? really?) of solar cells painted onto rooftops, of wind power made small scale and affordable and powering local homes in local grids .. while worrying underneath about rare minerals (yes, I own a cellphone) and migratory birds and hoping technological advances would quickly resolve these anomalies. The kicker, though, is that the same argument is used by the industrial giants against whom I want to (and often do) rail… the Enridges, the BPs, the Shells, of this world. They, too, rely on technology to ‘solve the problem’ of carbon emissions and climate change and those billions of gallons of spilled and leaked oil contaminating our world. and so for now they continue, comfortable in their conviction that one day, some day, technology will clean it up and resolve it all.
Yes, there’s food for thought here and more research to be done. Here may be a very good starting place. But I warn you, it may make you deeply, even frighteningly, uncomfortable.
Paris, 1 July 2013 — The International Council for Science (ICSU), on behalf of the Science and Technology Alliance for Global Sustainability, announced today that Professor Frans Berkhout will be the new Interim Director of Future Earth, a major new interdisciplinary research programme on global sustainability.
Professor Berkhout will lead the implementation of Future Earth – bringing existing and new research communities and stakeholders together to deliver solutions-oriented knowledge for global sustainability.
He will take up his 18 month role on July 1, 2013. By the time he completes his mandate, Future Earth will be fully operational, with a permanent, regionally-distributed programme secretariat in place.
“Making transitions to sustainability is one of the biggest challenges humanity faces today,” said Berkhout. “Delivering the scientific knowledge to make that transition is a complex and challenging task. Future Earth offers unprecedented opportunities to rally scientists and other stakeholders around this common goal. I look forward to working closely with the scientific community to make that a reality and am honoured by the trust the Alliance has placed in me,” he added.
We care about giving plastic a second chance yet we don’t do the same for people?