31 October 2012 - "McKibben's & Hansen's maths needs checking on 'systemic causation." Huffington Post
George Lakoff argues in the Huffington Post that 'Hurricane Sandy' was not 'directly' so much as 'systemically' caused by Anthropogenic Global Warming [AGW]. But he then says, "Are Bill McKibben's and James Hansen's numbers right? We had better have the science community double-check the numbers, and fast."
For some the first point has been obvious for a long time and George Lakoff is right to be concerned at the use of 'weasel-words' by scientists, even James Hansen. He writes: - "Consider this quote from 'Perception of climate change' by James Hansen, Makiko Sato, and Reto Ruedy, Published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences:"
" ...we can state, with a high degree of confidence, that extreme anomalies such as those in Texas and Oklahoma in 2011 and Moscow in 2010 were a consequence of global warming because their likelihood in the absence of global warming was exceedingly small."
Lakoff goes on: -"The crucial words here are 'high degree of confidence', 'anomalies', 'consequence', 'likelihood', 'absence', and 'exceedingly small'." These, he says are: - "Scientific weasel words!" Going on he says, "The power of the bald truth, namely causation, is lost. This no small matter because the fate of the earth is at stake. The science is excellent. The scientists' ability to communicate is lacking. Without the words, the idea cannot even be expressed. And without an understanding of systemic causation, we cannot understand what is hitting us."
Well OK there really is a point here. In twenty years of the workings of the IPCC scientists have tended to generate caveat-ridden laguage whilst simulataneously presiding over the deepening crisis of causing the AGW problem much faster than we are responding to avoid it.
However, Lakoff's second point should really apply more to checking the maths of what they Hansen and McKibben say about what we should do in response to what is being systemically caused. This is definitely the math that should be checked as it definitely doesn't add up.
Generically GCI says: - "The math that needs checking concerns conspicuous contradictions within and between the 'response-positions' laid out by McKibben the campaigner and Hansen the scientist on whom the math.350.org campaign depends. These contradictions are significant and obvious and will likely raise another raspberry from the fossil fuel lobby."
31 October 2012 - "C&C best prospect; GDR guarantees no agreement." The urgency of Mitigation Prof R Attfield
Contraction and Convergence is not the only proposed international regimen, but it has the advantages of supplying incentives to all parties to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and through its provision for trading being redistributive, at least in the early stages.
However, this regimen does not make provision for funding development, and some of the alternative approaches seek to do this at the same time as promoting mitigation and adaptation. This is the rationale of the system of Greenhouse Development Rights, proposed by Paul Baer, Tom Athanasiou and Sivan Kartha (Baer et al. 2008). In this system, everyone with an income above a certain level would be expected to contribute to a fund to pay for development, mitigation and adaptation, and international arrangements would be made to deploy it. An advantage is that rich people in developing countries would be required to contribute, something not included in Contraction and Convergence.
But a major disadvantage is that enough of the worldâ��s governments would have to agree to this substantial form of international taxation, and to the creation of an international agency with considerable powers over those same governments. If this could all be agreed, then this system would solve more problems than Contraction and Convergence, including the need for development mentioned earlier.
But in view of the urgency of attaining some kind of agreement, it seems best not to insist on the principles of the Greenhouse Development Rights scheme being implemented, since doing so might be the best guarantee of no agreement being reached at all.
The prospects of success seem much greater if negotiators aim at implementing the principles of Contraction and Convergence, a scheme that has already attained some degree of international support, and tackle the problem of funding development separately, or perhaps as part of a related agreement on Adaptation. Accordingly the moral case for mitigation is sufficiently urgent that an agreement involving mitigation is urgently needed â�� so urgently that we should not wait for one that is morally ideal to be agreed.
This, I suggest, makes the principles of Contraction and Convergence the best prospect, and ones well supported by the moral case. But as the moral case is more important than principles such as Convergence, some other kind of agreement would still be desirable, as long as it provides significantly for mitigation.
23 October 2012 - Very strong C&C advocacy to UNFCCC Delegates and Executive from Climate Sense Australia
Contraction and Convergence
The 'Sydney Bridge' proposal to the UNFCCC is from Climate Sense Australia.
It adopts Contraction and Convergence [C&C] the emissions management model based on equity and clear logic here. An excellent movie is available here and a technically detailed submission to the UNFCCC is here.
C&C is arguably the oldest and most widely accepted model for the difficult task of sharing the carbon space equitably, simply and transparently.
The graph here provide a synopsis of C&C, in this example with convergence of per capita entitlements in 2030, though dates can be from 2013 to 2050.
The date of convergence is the most contentious and contestable condition. Once a convergence date can be agreed upon, the rest should be relatively resolvable in a short period.
30 October 2012 - "C&C tackles health and fairness globally." D Pencheon NHS Sustainable Development Unit
What can health systems and health professionals do?
Most importantly we need to appreciate that the challenges of population growth, consumption, poverty, and environmental degradation are not isolated problems but are connected and have shared solutions. Many actions that improve future global health also deliver more immediate health benefits.
These co-benefits for health happen at three levels. Examples at the level of the individual include eating better, moving better, improving womenâ��s control over their fertility, and using drugs wisely. At a system level models of care should empower patients; deal with long term complex needs; and use modern preventive, therapeutic, and information technologies closer to home.
All these can contain cost, improve quality, and reduce inequalities and environmentally wasteful consumption, all of which benefit the system and the patient. Healthcare systems need to aim for better rather than more healthcare, and to measure success not by activity but by how health needs are fairly dealt with and health outcomes consistently improved at similar or lower cost.
At a global level health professionals can raise awareness about interventions such as contraction and convergence which simultaneously tackle global health and the fair redistribution of resources across the world.
30 October 2012 - "Our model is a Global Suicide Pact." UNSG & C&C supporter Ban Ki Moon in DAVOS
UN Secretary General and C&C Supporter Ban Ki Moon, tells DAVOS Economic Forum our model is like a global suicide pact.
Full Statement here.
High Level Dialogue on Climate Change - Statement on C&C
Asia Development Bank - Full Signatory List - Back to endorsements UN Bodies Reducing disparities through Contraction and Convergence [C&C]
In order to allocate responsibility for emission reduction, numerous theories have been suggested, ranging from the simple 'total emissions' estimates to the much more complex 'contraction and convergence' estimates that seek to quantify a country's responsibility at a 'fair' level by which emissions should be reduced. The framework of contraction and convergence provides a flexible methodology to address the problem of allocation of emission rights. The contraction of overall world emissions pursued along with the convergence of countriesâÂ�Â� average per capita emissions, allows developing countries to partake of the carbon budget. This is achieved while both the developed and the developing countries put in place mechanisms to minimize growth in overall emissions, the developed countries taking into account the developing countries need to exceed their current emission levels in the pursuit of economic growth. The per capita entitlements approach is an effective one in that it takes into account historical responsibility and is based on the egalitarian distribution of the commons, within which international justice positions of causal responsibility such as the 'polluter pays principle' come in (Vivekanandan, et al. 2008).
This is significant because historical emissions amount to about 1100 tonnes of CO2 per capita for the US and the UK, while the PeopleâÂ�Â�s Republic of ChinaâÂ�Â�s stand at 66 tonnes per capita and India's at 23 tonnes per capita. Currently, the per capita emissions figures for the US, the People's Republic of China, and India stand at 20 tonnes, 6 tonnes, and 1 tonne respectively. Post 2012, a multi-track framework that takes into account historical responsibility, equity implications, and future emissions would address some of the more critical issues in building a consensus on âÂ�Â�common but differentiatedâÂ�Â� responsibilities of countries, and enable action by countries at all levels of development, if not in the form of quantitative reduction targets, then by policy-based commitments. This would involve more stringent reduction responsibilities and clear quantitative targets for Annex-I countries, and more sector-specific policy-based initiatives in other countries, including the fast-growing emerging economies. Over time, this flexible mechanism could be made more stringent for developing countries as they reach a certain level of development. This would enable developing countries to participate in the emissions reduction process while also pursuing low-carbon economic growth.
Ban Ki-moon Secretary General of the United Nations. Ban Ki Moon's career encompasses many years of service in government and on the global stage, including as his country's Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade; postings in New Delhi, Vienna, and Washington DC; and responsibility for a variety of portfolios, including foreign policy, national security, and policy planning. His ties with the United Nations date back to 1975, when he worked for the foreign ministry's United Nations division. He holds a bachelorâÂ�Â�s degree in international relations from Seoul National University and a master's degree in public administration from the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University.
28 October 2012 - Contraversy as Daniel Barenboim gets Wolf Prize for work with East West Divan Orchestra
In his acceptance speech Daniel Barenboim cited parts of the THE DECLARATION OF THE ESTABLISHMENT OF THE STATE OF ISRAEL from the 14th of May 1948 to remember the spirit and the fundament for establishing the state of israel.
The reactions in the Knesset and after that speech in press and media shows that there are a lot of people in society, in politics, culture and economy who forgot the beginning and the idea for the state of Israel.
27 October 2012 - "Turning the White House into a Green House" FORBES MAGAZINE ON-LINE
FORBES ON-LINE 26 October 2012
Green Party International Traction
In the U.K., (including Wales) whose Green Party is now headed by Natalie Bennett, there is one Green MP in the House of Commons (Caroline Lucas), two Green Members of the European Parliament and two members of the London Assembly in addition to 140 councilors from all over the UK. They are calling for an end to factory farming, animal experiments, genetic engineering, and the patenting of animals, among countless other measures. On Climate Change they have prudently proposed a twelve-point plan to comport with the Global Commons Institute â��Contraction and Convergenceâ�� (C&C) [per capita/per country] reduction strategy â�� one far more innovative and equitable than that initiated in Kyoto.
Green Party USA 2004
We endorse the Contraction and Convergence model under discussion at international talks (which as proposed would eventually give every human being an equal right to the atmosphere) as the most practical way to achieve justice and participation for developing countries.
26 October 2012 - Voyager Jet Propulsion Laboratory [JPL] Pasadena USA
24 October 2012 - Supporting C&C submission to UNFCCC - Meena Subramanian Villa Prakriti Kerala India
Yes please add me to the support for the submission to the UN Climate negotiations on â��Contraction & Convergenceâ�� [C&C].
24 October 2012 - Supporting C&C submission to UNFCCC - Tim Wendler Pasadena California USA
I’m writing in support of your concept of Contraction and Convergence to address global climate change.
Tim was born on June 10, 1967 in Whittier, California to Ronald and Lynn Thibodeau. Tim's father had enlisted in the Navy and served as a radarman on the U.S.S Frank E. Evans during the Vietnam War. On June 3, 1969, tragedy struck as the Evans was cut in half in a collision with an Australian ship, the H.M.A.S. Melbourne, in the South China Sea. The bow section sank and Tim's father was lost at sea. Tim's mother later remarried and Tim was adopted by Bill Wendler. Tim's sisters are Jennifer and Jill Wendler.Tim attended Harvey Mudd College in Claremont and received a Bachelor of Science in Engineering in May 1989. At Harvey Mudd, Tim served on the student council for two years and was a dormitory President. Tim went to work for a minority-owned environmental engineering small business in the San Gabriel Valley. He worked on hazardous waste investigations and cleanups, water reclamation design, and construction projects. In December 1993, Tim completed his Masters in Civil/Environmental Engineering at Loyola Marymount University while working full-time. On April 9, 1994, Tim proposed to Joanne Young at the Pasadena Playhouse courtyard fountain during the intermission of "The Fourth Wall." Joanne and Tim had met ten years earlier in their senior year of high school, but had lost track of one another for seven years. Joanne attended UCLA, and received a Bachelors in Psychology in 1990. They married on February 25th, 1995 at the Altadena Town and Country Club. Tim and Joanne wanted to start their new life together in a place of diversity with a strong sense of community. Pasadena is that place. In the 1940s, Tim's grandparents settled in Northwest Pasadena after their own marriage. Over fifty years later, Tim and Joanne found a charming 1909 Craftsman home in Northwest Pasadena where they now live happily with their cats, Mars Pathfinder and Athena. Joanne works for IndyMac Bank as their stock plan administrator and Tim manages environmental projects at Parsons Engineering Science. In 1996, Tim became President of Washington Square Neighborhood Association and now serves as Vice Chair of the Pasadena Code Enforcement Commission, representing District 5. Tim and Joanne enjoy being able to live and work within their favorite city - Pasadena, California.
24 October 2012 - What would Jesus Do? "Promote C&C, CH4 reduction, C-Sequestration" PERMAVEGAN
Inspire high-level support at COP-18 for a vegan ecological approach to food security and emergency methane reduction through 2019 under Kyoto II.
Promote contraction and convergence, vegan ecological methane reduction, and forest carbon sequestration as the climate stabilization pillars of a 20-goal, 20-year Millennium Development Plan that begins in 2020.
24 October 2012 - The Power of We; "We need real C&C numbers to quantify reductions & share costs." Civitas
On this blog action day, it's appropriate to talk about how countries can collaborate and bring about change in the control of greenhouse gas emissions, the biggest threat to our planet and its life that we've ever seen. The carbon is building up, heating the planet, acidifying the oceans and melting the arctic. Clearly the people of the world need to get together and rapidly agree on what the carbon limits must be. That's why it's so important to frame this around a constructive approach which is put out there in a big way as global public policy, and it's a powerful motivator if there's a consensus-based template out there that gives people tools to use immediately within their local ecosystems.
These numbers have to be based upon actual real-time carbon measurements, which are completely do-able. There's also the possibility of anecdotal experience and its recording of climate change and its effects on people all over the world. It's a "witnessing" of the real climate impacts by people who have lived in a place for decades. The solutions are pretty obvious in a lot of areas, but something needs to be mapped out by region and agreed to, quickly. Global policies have to change, and the many multiple ways in which these mitigation measures can be implemented can also be financially productive.
The focus on these solutions could be collaboratively managed by region, with the highest emitting countries responsible for the majority of the carbon reduction management, working in tandem with the smaller countries on the same continent. All would have access to the same data pool and observations (transparency). It's like online cybergaming but with real world impacts. Then these countries can trade off resources and carbon taxes locally, and use this balance to bring down the carbon impact in their region, according to agreed-upon global targets. Then each continent compares its carbon reduction rate to the others, and the race is on!
The diagram here represents a conceptual grouping for North and Central America.
Who pays for the cost of these solutions? How are these costs quantified, the solutions actually implemented, enforced in the face of corruption, and the measurement of improvement communicated in a reasonably unbiased way? That's what's important about carbon reduction, otherwise known as contraction and convergence. It's a creative exercise done in a collaborative way.
22 October 2012 - Fixed Carbon Budget Rising Concentrations or Fixed Concentrations Shrinking Budget?
This is the final, all-day workshop in this Crisis Forum series, on this occasion taking place on a Saturday at a very fitting central London venue, with many thanks to the team at St Ethelburga's. See provisional programme here The workshop is open to all. But as space is limited and we anticipate a large group of participants please contact Marianne McKiggan marianne(at)crisis-forum.org.uk asap to ensure your place Registration Â�20.00 waged, Â�11.00 unwaged and students, and will include the cost of a vegetarian buffet meal
The exact formulation of this final workshop will emerge out of discussions of those which precede it. Our workshop series has not offered direct prescriptions. But it has been founded on the premise that we are already on the brink. Ironically, for many communities around the globe, with or without climate change, that brink was actually already passed a long time ago.
This workshop has to review both past and present experience of violence, not to say with the broadest human interests in view - not simply those of the richest and most powerful â�� before it can begin to move forward to offering formulas, or otherwise, for not simply considering, negatively, the avoidance of extreme and unrelenting violence in the age of rapid climate change, but positively, the reproduction of human society both globally and locally, as if this were something worth fighting for.
How can we still fashion a tolerable and sustainable society for all humanity on this planet? What does that imply about our long-term relationship to the biosphere? Must we, more concretely, now look to radical solutions which political elites have to date eschewed? How will protection of the worldâ��s degraded and residual bio-sinks be ensured with immediate effect?
Where is Contraction and Convergence on the global agenda? Are religious and/or spiritual wisdoms actually now our last meaningful line of defence? Can self-destruct be avoided? Or is it too actually late? In which case, how do we save an element of the biosphere so it itself can regenerate?
19 October 2012 - "Jim Skea quoted as saying economic expansion must happen before C&C" ACSEE 2012
Those nations in the developing south inevitably differ in their approaches to sustainable development (Skea, 2008).
The imperative to reduce poverty and increase economic activity means that resource use will grow to meet the legitimate aspirations of both government and society and this has to be reconciled with transnational concerns to promote sustainable strategies for the future.
Our research engages with sustainable development in its widest sense as formulated through the Bruntland (Brundtland, 1987) definition of interdependence between social, economic and environmental realms.
19 October 2012 - "We follow the principles of Contraction and Convergence" Livelight
Design Out Carbon
We all know that climate change is a big deal, but it so often seems that our individual efforts are pointless against such a huge global issue. LiveLight focuses on the things that can improve our lives now, and also do what is necessary to give future generations a better chance of enjoying our beautiful world.
At LiveLight, we follow the principals of Contraction and Convergence. You can read more about this here, if you wish. Contraction and Convergence means that people who currently produce very high levels of greenhouse gas need to reduce very quickly, mainly by reducing how much fossil fuel we burn. As fossil fuels are getting more and more expensive anyway, and create numerous health and social problems, this has potential to have huge personal benefits for us all.
Designing out carbon is the easiest and cheapest way to move to a low carbon lifestyle. It is different for everyone, according to your own personal circumstances. We will post further thoughts on how to design out carbon over the coming months - keep an eye on our inspiration page and newsletters. In the meantime, you can sign up to LiveLight and get our free cost and carbon helper, to find out how you can start doing your bit to keep our world beautiful.
18 October 2012 - Cinque-Foil Window Monastery Manchester captured in Venus Penta-Dance
The United States contains around 5 percent of the world's population, yet emits about 25 percent of the globe's greenhouse gas emissions. According to the New Math (above), there is a decreasing budget for remaining fossil fuel use and emissions this century.
Should the industrialized world limit their use of fossil fuels in order to "create space" for less-developed countries to be able to increase their energy use toward a goal of global per capita equity? Would you work with other countries and the United Nations to implement an international climate treaty centered around Contraction & Convergence?
17 October 2012 - "No to High Speed Rail - Yes to C&C." TCPA
We are at a defining moment in history: it is essential that we recognise both the gravity of the situation and the necessary steps that have to be taken in light of it. There is now near-consensus in the scientific community that human-induced global warming poses the greatest threat ever to have faced mankind. A recent IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) report included the calculation that a curtailment of fossil fuel use down to zero carbon emissions must be speedily achieved â�� that is way beyond the widely accepted figure in the UK of an 80% reduction by 2050, which is, in any case, a seriously insufficient target to prevent irreversible climate change.
What is overlooked is the fact that the planetâ��s atmosphere has only a finite non-negotiable capacity to safely absorb the gases from further burning fossil fuels. The absence of suggestions as to how the ice cap in the Arctic can be returned to its former area rather than continuing to rapidly decline provides disturbing evidence for believing that that capacity has already been exceeded. HS2 would make a costly, socially unjust and environmentally damaging contribution to a highcarbon future, just at a time when the need to urgently reverse this process is becoming ever more imperative.
The spreading addiction to fossilfuel- based lifestyles around the world, not least in the transport sector, is pointing to the very real prospect of ecological catastrophe on such a scale â��The spreading addiction to fossil-fuel-based lifestyles around the world, not least in the transport sector, is pointing to the very real prospect of ecological catastropheâ�� as to gravely prejudice the quality of life â�� if not life â�� prospects for the generations succeeding us. The time is long over for burying our collective heads in the sand on this most critical of issues.
Politicians and the public alike need urgently to realise that there is only one way of achieving the essential and early goal of close-to-zero carbon emissions. It is the adoption of the GCI (Global Commons Institute) â��Contraction and Convergenceâ�� framework, which may well lead to the introduction of per capita carbon rationing. If we are to limit the extent of further loss of the planetâ��s habitability, that ration will have to be so small that little rail travel â�� especially at carbon-intensive high speeds â�� will be possible. We cannot continue to deceive ourselves that long-distance journeys, even by rail, are not too profligate in fuel use, albeit that they may be less than by air. So, one may ask, what is the logic of planning to cater for more and faster rail travel?