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The end of civilization?

A 2,700-expert study says climate change will lead to drastic political and social instability


 

climateAccording to the largest-ever single report done on the environment,  “billions of people will be condemned to poverty and much of civilisation will collapse” due to the dramatic effect of climate change. The study focuses on rising food and energy costs, water shortages, social instability—due to migrating populations—organized crime and the recession. And says that without significant sustainable growth, our environmental crisis will lead to social and political instability. The study, State of the Future (2009), includes the work of 2,700 experts and is backed by Unesco, the World Bank, the US army and the Rockefeller Foundation.

The Independent


 
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The end of civilization?

  1. What do you expect to happen if you are always taxing people to death and increasing the price of everything.You cannot tax yourself into prosperity,you cannot borrow your way out of debt and you cannot spend your way out of a recession.All you do is increase dependency on the government,nothing more.The thing about socialism is you will always run out of other people`s money to spend.You susally rob Peter to pay Paul in exachnge for his support.Peter will get fed up and leave at asome point.Then you can`t tax him,so whose gonna pay for Paul`s freebies?
    The rich people whose money you want to confiscate entirely will always find somewhgere where investors are appreciated,somewhere they don`t have to be bothered.No matter what the intentions are,leftist ideas lead to downfall.

    • "No matter what the intentions are, leftist ideas lead to downfall."

      The problem isn't "leftist ideas;" I believe the recession was started after "rightist ideas." You know, no regulation, not taxing the rich, letting the market run itself, etc. Far-right ideologies (Nazism and Fascism) have failed, far-left ideologies (Stalinism and Communism) have failed, right wing ideologies (capitalism in the modern age) has failed, left wing ideologies (socialism in Europe circa 1950's/1960's) have failed. The left fails because it assumes that everyone cares about the community over the individual; the right because it assumes the opposite.

      You ever hear of the Zeitgeist (the German philosophy, not the nutty conspiracy internet movie) or the swinging pendulum? Centrism, or balance, is the only way. Simply enacting what's best for the country without thinking of ideology; socialized healthcare works better than market healthcare; market economies work better than planned economies. Simple, no? Countries that are closer to the Centrist approach always fare better than those who take a "wing" approach.

      • Mac,
        I don't think your ideas of the pendulum and balance make much sense. The centre is defined only by the extreme poles between which it's bounded. In the US the centre is halfway between the Republicans and the Democrats, whereas in Canada it's halfway between the Green/NDP and the CPC. Leaving 2 centres that are not very similar at all.

        Furthermore, in debates where there is a black and white answer, choosing grey isn't correct. This is evident in human rights cases. For example, do homosexuals have the right to exist? The answer in an emphatic yes, despite folks like McVety trying to make that a No.

        Finally, we were not living in a capitalist system that failed. We were living in a capitalist system from which the consequences were socialised. Since the bailout of LougheedMartin in 1971 companies have operated under the assumption that if they fail they will be rescued or bailed out. The proper capitalist response to a failing company is to let it fail, and have the market replace it with leaner and better competing companies.

        What JP is alluding to is that socialism, without constant expansion of the economy or reduction of people is bound to fail because government allocates resources less efficiently than private interests…. arguably because the resources belong to the private company, rather than the government in the first place.

      • Why do "market economies work better than planned economies"?

        And/or how?

  2. MacCross states the situation fairly clearly. Politics and national governments, however, do not seem to have the reach or the world-view necessary to cope with the global issues. The UN, G whatever #s and other international bodies can sort of help sort out the obvious. The EU seems to have some power to move nations in sync that we lack in the Americas.
    China and India are wild-cards. What may be needed to succeed in reversing the awful trends upon us would be people everywhere supporting non-governmental organizations and efforts to mitigate the worst of climate change. Perhaps people will push over the the heads of their governments to affect the changes we need. Or not. Then we pay the big price.

  3. I didn't know that the number of signatories had anything to do with the veracity of the claim. I would expect that you could find something like the Oregon Petition which has been signed by 31,000 American scientists. Just my $0.02

  4. Over 9000 PhDs have signed the Oregon Petition.

    • And it's already been widely debunked as primarily crap, having come out over 10 years ago, with such luminaries signing it as Dr. Geraldine Halliwell, aka Ginger Spice, who apparantly picked up am advanced degree in microbiology sometime during her touring, and of the few legitimate scientists that actually could be found to have signed it, a good number have said that they would not sign the petition today.

      You may want to keep up with the times.

  5. I'm cheered that the writer used the term 'climate change' and not the wildly incorrect 'global warming'! As the planet warms, every variable changes: salinity, evaporation, winds, rainfall patterns. Everything. As such, the planet is trying to constantly re-adjust to the varying inputs. Rainfall increases in places while drought worsens in others, and/or spreads. We could very easily have a polar meltdown releasing not only huge amounts of fresh water but trigger massive methane release from Arctic tundra from Russia to Canada exploding the Co2 in the atmosphere. There could also be a 'trigger point' where the climate swings wildly the other way and we have a mini ice age shocking not only populations, food supplies, etc but also whole ecosystems that couldn't shift fast enough… Get ready folks, the 21 Century is going to be a WILD ride. Recommendation?! Buy farmland you can defend and build up a supportive local economy. Even in a shifting climate, a little local cooperation and locally grown food stuffs go a long way to keeping chaos at bay. The planet can support maybe 2 billion people without stressing the planets ecosystem. The rest of the (soon to be 8 billion) people are TOAST! …Sorry.

  6. Mac,

    The employees have the opportunity to stay with a company or leave. It's their fault if they're still on the deck of a sinking ship. If you think your company's business model is wrong yet somehow you're still making tonnes of money, it's your choice to continue the arbitrage (legal or illegal) or find a new stable job.

    You're right, the analogue was terrible but it was thought up in a minute. There are things that people consider absolutes that are often debated in the public sphere, so I still believe the point about choosing gray in a black and white situation is valid.

    Capitalism fails when socialism is mixed in. I don't see how that proves that capitalism itself is a failure, but rather that socialism destroys all it touches.

    I also don't agree with you about healthcare. The best healthcare is in the US. It's called the Mayo Clinic and world leaders have gone there for years to be treated. The best "on average" healthcare system is France (citation needed) but I never judge the "best" based on the average result but rather by the best result.

    The reason why firefighters make so little is because they're unionized wards of the city, or state. That has nothing to do with capitalism's allocation of funding, but rather collective bargaining failing to address the needs of the collective.

    If I was dumb enough to own HP stock I would have sold it all after that 22mil bonus. It shows that the company is unable to make rational, economical decisions. The market could have dictated the terms of these bonuses… instead of using your (the collective your) money to make the decision you (the collective you) decided to ask the government to intervene in business… again I wouldn't call this capitalism.

  7. It is remarkable how the alarmists get more shrill and apocalyptic as the evidence that global warming is not occurring gets clearer and clearer.

    • You speak with such certainty. It must be marvellous to be so sure of things that there is no need to err on the side of caution.
      I suppose that in other parts of the world that kind of certainty translates into a boatload of virgins greeting you in the next life….
      Certainty… it's a mighty intoxicating elixir, and you seem to have a bellyfull.

      • You're advocating the precautionary principle. It's the same reason why I don't go outside… there may be tigers there, but I'm not sure… so I'll stay inside in case there are.

        • There's reasonable and unreasonable things to take precautions against. Climate change has been supported by thousands upon thousands of scientists. Yes, there are those who do not support this belief, including a minority of climatologists, but these are the decided minority amongst such professionals. However, no one in the know believes that there are tigers outside your house.

          Know, ignoring the fact that no unchecked manmade pollution has ever been beneficial and the fact that there are many other environmentally destructive aspects to fossil fuel use besides just emissions, there is the added prospect of energy security to consider. The world population is growing and the demand for energy is increasing while carbon-based energy sources are getting more and more difficult to find and obtain. Our infrastructure is currently tied to a resource for which we have no guarantee of continued access to, at least not at good prices.

          Taking steps to reduce our carbon footprint is more than a precaution against climate change alone.

          • That's a solidly reasonable comment, but I would add one additional factor: climate change is a politically popular item. Climatologists have a vested interest in it (they get a lot of extra funding as long as the scare is on) and thus have a motivation to skew their results. I'm not saying this is the case, merely that it must be considered. Whenever scientists have a vested interest in their results, the results tend to be skewed.

            Politicians on the left also have a vested interest in it: it's a popular fad. You get automatic eco points for supporting any initiative that has to do with global warming. Left-leaning politicians can also use it to hammer on the overpopulation mantra, thus furthering the push for abortion/contraception and eugenics. The current US "science czar", John Holdren, has written a book about how forced sterilization/abortion might be a good idea for these reasons.

            All this said, your point about energy independence and prudence is very good. It is noteworthy that most of the ecopols talk a lot about entirely unreliable solar/wind energy initiatives while eschewing tried and true nuclear technology. Again – it's all about the political fads of the day.

          • That's a solidly reasonable comment, but I would add one additional factor: climate change is a politically popular item. Climatologists have a vested interest (they get a lot of extra funding as long as the scare is on) and thus have a motivation to skew their results. I'm not saying this is the case, merely that it must be considered. Whenever scientists have a vested interest in their results, the results tend to be skewed.

            Politicians on the left also have a vested interest: it's a popular fad. You get automatic eco points for supporting any initiative that has to do with global warming. Left-leaning politicians can also use it to hammer on the overpopulation mantra, thus furthering the push for abortion/contraception and eugenics. The current US "science czar", John Holdren, has written a book about how forced sterilization/abortion might be a good idea for these reasons.

            All this said, your point about energy independence and prudence is very good. It is noteworthy that most of the ecopols talk a lot about entirely unreliable solar/wind energy initiatives while eschewing tried and true nuclear technology. Again – it's all about the political fads of the day.

          • That's a solidly reasonable comment, but I would add one additional factor: climate change is a politically popular item. Climatologists have a vested interest (they get a lot of extra funding as long as the scare is on) and thus have a motivation to skew their results. I'm not saying this is the case, merely that it must be considered. Whenever scientists have a vested interest in their results, the results tend to be skewed.

            Politicians on the left also have a vested interest in it: it's a popular fad. You get automatic eco points for supporting any initiative that has to do with global warming. Left-leaning politicians can also use it to hammer on the overpopulation mantra, thus furthering the push for abortion/contraception and eugenics. The current US "science czar", John Holdren, has written a book about how forced sterilization/abortion might be a good idea for these reasons.

            All this said, your point about energy independence and prudence is very good. It is noteworthy that most of the ecopols talk a lot about entirely unreliable solar/wind energy initiatives while eschewing tried and true nuclear technology. Again – it's all about the political fads of the day.

          • That's a solidly reasonable comment, but I would add one additional factor: climate change is a politically popular item. Climatologists have a vested interest (they get a lot of extra funding as long as the scare is on) and thus have a motivation to skew their results. I'm not saying this is the case, merely that it must be considered. Whenever scientists have a vested interest in their results, the results tend to be skewed.

            Politicians also have a vested interest: it's a popular fad. You get automatic eco points for supporting any initiative that has to do with global warming. Left-leaning politicians can also use it to hammer on the overpopulation mantra, thus furthering the push for abortion/contraception and eugenics. The current US "science czar", John Holdren, has written a book about how forced sterilization/abortion might be a good idea for these reasons.

            All this said, your point about energy independence and prudence is very good. It is noteworthy that most of the ecopols talk a lot about entirely unreliable solar/wind energy initiatives while eschewing tried and true nuclear technology. Again – it's all about the political fads of the day.

  8. The study focuses on rising food and energy costs, water shortages, social instability—due to migrating populations—organized crime and the recession.

    All that is because of climate change?

    And 2,700 experts lead to one all-encompassing report? Is that number supposed to claim that all 2,700 concur with the conclusions? Please.

    Maybe the planet's frying, maybe it isn't. It's been warmer before than it is now, even without all that CO2 around. Social upheaval has ALWAYS been around, as has crime, war, famine. Comforting, though, that everything going forward can be blamed on global warm– oops, get with the bidirectional program of terror — climate change. Since I don't drive the car to work, does that mean I'm off the hook? Wow, I feel better already.

    • Yes, it has been warmer before. The thing is everything we know that could naturally cause this isn't in effect right now. The amount of energy the sun has been putting out the last three decades or so hasn't increased, though the temperature has. Volcanic activity has actually been unusually low over that same period. And Milankovitch cycles suggest that we should be cooling right now, not warming.

      However, what I find most interesting about your comment is the last line.. and that's really it isn't it? As a people, we just don't want to feel guilty. The fact that this crap is happening, that's unimportant, so long as I'm not the cause of it and can proceed along my merry way without worrying about it, that's about it, isn't it?

      • Um, that's false. The temperature has decreased over the past ten years. Originally NASA published data that said otherwise, but then admitted that they had used data from September twice in one year because they were missing data from October, thus skewing the result.

      • Um, that's false. Global temperature has decreased over the last ten years. Originally NASA published data that said otherwise, but then admitted that they had used Russian September data more than once because they were missing October data, thus skewing the result.

  9. The collapse of civilization from weather change?? Maybe the world trying to absorb another 6 billion people in the next 30 years might be more of a concern.

    Oh wait, we don't get any government grants for doing a report on that.

  10. "In regards to health care then… would you shorten your life (not the average life but your life) to ensure that 1 person you've never met lives longer?"

    I have no idea what you mean here. America ranks 37th in health care, and 50th in terms of life expectancy. If you want to shorten your life, move to the States. Smokers pay through buying cigarettes; tax money from cigarettes go into healthcare (I believe it's a 115% tax on cigarettes). Obese people should pay more taxes; if you are considered overweight by a doctor, your taxes should go up. My cousin, who lives in Maine, got insured by an American HMO. Since he has a history of heart failure in his family, he's not covered for that. Also, his father lost his right arm in a farming accident, so they refused to insure his right arm (but his left arm is insured). He works in construction, and was also refused insurance for eye and lung problems. When you privately fund healthcare, the most likely problem you will face health-wise likely isn't covered, and things you are covered for, you have to hound the HMO. He had to fight tooth and nail to get them to pay for the removal of his appendix (the HMO stated it wasn't necessary, even though it was infected and was probably going to burst). It was settled that the company would only pay for 80%; leaving him on the hook for $5,000, even though he was told he was covered. $5,000 for a construction worker is a lot of money; thus people, instead of going to the hospital when they think they have a health problem, wait it out and hope it goes away. When it doesn't and something bad happens, it's a higher bill than it would've been, a fight with an HMO, working, and raising a family all at once. Again, it's all about balance between capitalism and socialism; not one or the other. France does have private industry in their health service (you should actually read the article in my second post).

  11. "In regards to health care then… would you shorten your life (not the average life but your life) to ensure that 1 person you've never met lives longer?"

    I have no idea what you mean here. America ranks 37th in health care, and 50th in terms of life expectancy. If you want to shorten your life, move to the States. Smokers pay through buying cigarettes; tax money from cigarettes goes into healthcare (I believe it's a 115% tax on cigarettes). Obese people should pay more taxes; if you are considered overweight by a doctor, your taxes should go up.

    My cousin, who lives in Maine, got insured by an American HMO. Since he has a history of heart failure in his family, he's not covered for that. Also, his father lost his right arm in a farming accident, so they refused to insure his right arm (but his left arm is insured). He works in construction, and was also refused insurance for eye and lung problems. When you privately fund healthcare, the most likely problem you will face health-wise likely isn't covered, and things you are covered for, you have to hound the HMO. He had to fight tooth and nail to get them to pay for the removal of his appendix (the HMO stated it wasn't necessary, even though it was infected and was probably going to burst). It was settled that the company would only pay for 80%; leaving him on the hook for $5,000, even though he was told he was covered. $5,000 for a construction worker is a lot of money; thus people, instead of going to the hospital when they think they have a health problem, wait it out and hope it goes away. When it doesn't and something bad happens, it's a higher bill than it would've been, a fight with an HMO, working, and raising a family all at once. Again, it's all about balance between capitalism and socialism; not one or the other. France does have private industry in their health service (you should actually read the article in my second post).

    • Insurance is about spreading risk. If there is disease that 1 in 4 people get, the insurance for it would be roughly a little more than (to cover business costs, profit, etc.) one quarter of the cost of treatment. If you have an increased likelihood of suffering a particular disease, then your cost of coverage for that disease will increase because the probability is increased. However there will always be a price at which it makes sense to insure you, even for that disease of increased likelihood, unless that disease is applicable and contractible by you alone – in which case, you are not a human.

  12. "In regards to health care then… would you shorten your life (not the average life but your life) to ensure that 1 person you've never met lives longer?"

    I have no idea what you mean here. America ranks 37th in health care, and 50th in terms of life expectancy. If you want to shorten your life, move to the States. Smokers pay through buying cigarettes; tax money from cigarettes goes into healthcare (I believe it's a 115% tax on cigarettes). Obese people should pay more taxes; if you are considered overweight by a doctor, your taxes should go up. My cousin, who lives in Maine, got insured by an American HMO. Since he has a history of heart failure in his family, he's not covered for that. Also, his father lost his right arm in a farming accident, so they refused to insure his right arm (but his left arm is insured). He works in construction, and was also refused insurance for eye and lung problems. When you privately fund healthcare, the most likely problem you will face health-wise likely isn't covered, and things you are covered for, you have to hound the HMO. He had to fight tooth and nail to get them to pay for the removal of his appendix (the HMO stated it wasn't necessary, even though it was infected and was probably going to burst). It was settled that the company would only pay for 80%; leaving him on the hook for $5,000, even though he was told he was covered. $5,000 for a construction worker is a lot of money; thus people, instead of going to the hospital when they think they have a health problem, wait it out and hope it goes away. When it doesn't and something bad happens, it's a higher bill than it would've been, a fight with an HMO, working, and raising a family all at once. Again, it's all about balance between capitalism and socialism; not one or the other. France does have private industry in their health service (you should actually read the article in my second post).

  13. Canada's extreme anti-American left, are hoping that no one will hurt us as long as we drop to our knees and talk nicely. What they don't grasp is that thermal haline shutdown, will throw Europe into a type of ice age ( ironic isn't is) destroying agriculture and starving millions.

    While this is happening,other parts of the world will experience horrific droughts as well as scorching temperatures. With nothing left to loose, they'll head take the path of least resistance, Canada, by the millions in ships escorted by their military. And as all of this is occurring, Layton, Miller and McGuinty will be taking part in the annual Pride Parade

  14. Partial Summary of Pentagon Report

    Imagining the Unthinkable starts by hypothesizing an abrupt climate change when oceanic heat transfer mechanisms are disrupted by global warming.

    What follows is a hair-raising sequence of drowned or frozen countries, famine, vast population movements, shattered economies and wars — possibly nuclear wars — among survivors scrabbling for control of dwindling food and water resources.

    And while the study deliberately avoids the most optimistic outcomes — presumably for shock value in an administration that has been sleep-walking towards the precipice — it doesn't present the worst case, either.

    Although the report wasn't classified, it wasn't ballyhooed. Now a recent flurry of mainstream media interest has some wondering if the study isn't a bit more prescient than those who commissioned it are now letting on.

    • They would. They've always been fond of Pentagon sales brochures.

  15. Given the main backers of this "report" it's to wonder that's been given much credibility. None of them has been very good at estimating much of anything as of late.

  16. Sounds like nothing the invisible hand can't handle.

  17. The alarmism is really starting to get pathetic. The World Bank, US Army and the Rockefeller family are three of the most destructive organizations on the planet, so excuse me if I feel the need to disregard their advice. WAKE UP.

  18. It's the pagan earth-worship of the our times: stop emitting CO2 or the weather gods will afflict the world with war and floods. Also they'll impoverish you. If you must emit CO2 then invest in Al Gore's company like he does – this counts as a carbon offset indulgence and absolves you of all guilt for things like massive mansions and houseboats.

    At least they've stopped calling it "global warming" since NASA admitted that they fudged the data and the world has actually been cooling for the past decade. "Climate change" is so much more open-ended and less likely to contradict the data.

  19. It's the pagan earth-worship of the our times: stop emitting CO2 or the weather gods will afflict the world with war and floods. Also they'll impoverish you. If you must emit CO2 then invest in Al Gore's company like he does – this counts as a carbon offset indulgence and absolves you of all guilt for things like massive mansions and houseboats.

    At least they've stopped calling it "global warming" since NASA admitted that they fudged the data and the world has actually been cooling for the past decade. "Climate change" is so much more open-ended.

  20. Well, we've effectively gone to war with the earth, you and me and the 6 billion (and counting) people we count as our "kind". Unfortunately we can't win! Our arrogance has led us to believe that our intelligence and technology can overcome all the resources and time the earth has at it's disposal. Wake up everyone!

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