Contents Latest Threats Report



Barriers to Confronting
a Warming Planet

The Blank Slate

Towards a 21st Century
Moral Compass

Vulnerability & Violence

Our attitude towards wealth played a crucial role in Brexit.
We need a rethink

... we are in perilous times. Our planet and the human race face multiple challenges. These challenges are global and serious climate change, food production, overpopulation, the decimation of other species, epidemic disease, acidification of the oceans.

Such pressing issues will require us to collaborate, all of us, with a shared vision and cooperative endeavour to ensure that humanity can survive. We will need to adapt, rethink, refocus and change some of our fundamental assumptions about what we mean by wealth, by possessions, by mine and yours.

Just like children, we will have to learn to share ...     Gdn  29 July 2016

Stephen Hawking needs other people for his survival in ways which most of us do not.

The present neoliberal-global anarchy is predicated on two nostrums:

"Greed is good, greed works" and "There's no such thing as society"

It is specifically a denial of altruism, which is to be regarded as a sign of weakness, as Ayn Rand confirmed.

It's social Darwinist: the weak must be allowed to go to the wall since the welfare bill is now deemed 'completely unsustainable'.

Let no one be in any doubt as to that reality: the new global order - born when the USA launched the Pinochet revolution in Santiago on 9.11.73 - is the mirror image of National Socialism: both are founded on the logic of Darwinism, as propagated not by Charles Darwin but by Herbert Spencer, who originated the term 'survival of the fittest', the nostrum underlying both Nazism and Neoliberalism.

In pre-responding to Stephen Hawking's 'global' challenges, ex-Bullingdon Club member and former Chancellor, George Osborne, dubbed anyone concerned about climate change as members of the 'green taliban' a reference to the Moslem fundamentalists struggling to take over Afghanistan.

In challenging the dystopic individualism which underpins the current global economy - which finds terms like 'collaboration' and 'sharing' anathema - Stephen Hawking may be assuming widespread support.

This is an assumption which may not stand up to examination since, (i) the corporate media - dominated by the likes of Rupert Murdoch - provides a 21st century version of the Roman emperors' bread and circuses; and (ii) the global economy is based on growth and, to that end, could not function without both aviation and shipping, neither of which were targetted in the final agreement ending Cop21.

Furthermore, the corporate obsession with the so-called 'carbon capture and storage' method of combatting the CO2 build-up, is little more than a get-out-of-jail-free card for the coal industry.

The current evidence suggests that no one with power - political or economic - is 'on message' with the need to control carbon emissions, and that the only person who has spotted the Spencerist line-of travel is Richard Heinberg.


Compare and Contrast:

Has globalization 'stalled' with Ocean warming

The FT's Martin Wolf is concerned that globalization has 'stalled'.

Looked at in the context of the wider threats to humanity, globalization is an addiction of the sort that prompts letters to the media demanding an increase in one of global warming's biggest drivers: aviation.

However, if you survey the current range of threats, and in particular the recent IUCN report, it's likely that both the degree of specialization that emerges from global trade, and the failure to focus fully on the causes of the migration crisis in Africa and the Middle East, is pushing humanity into the wrong choices, and doing so for the benefit of the wealthy.

Despite the tsunami of platitudes following Cop21, the people who meet up at the WEF every January are focussed on promoting the basic cause of the coming crisis: 'greed is good, greed works'.

The stock of cross-border financial assets peaked at 57 per cent of global output in 2007, falling to 36 per cent by 2015 ...
FT  06 Sept 2016

"Britain needs a new runway"   Gdn

"Toxic air pollution particles found in human brains"   Gdn

"Flooding of Coast ... Has Already Begun"   NYT

"Expand Heathrow and show Britain is open for business"   FT


Latest ocean warming review ...

That the effects of rising global temperatures, may make the current migration crisis look mild, can be inferred from the International Union for Conservation of Nature's report on ocean warming: ...

Ocean warming is already affecting ecosystems from polar to tropical regions, driving entire groups of species such as plankton, jellyfish, turtles and seabirds up to 10 degrees of latitude towards the poles, causing the loss of breeding grounds for turtles and seabirds, and affecting the breeding success of marine mammals ...

... ocean warming is causing increased disease in plant and animal populations, and impacting human health as pathogens spread more easily in warmer waters, including cholera-bearing bacteria and harmful algal blooms that cause neurological diseases like ciguatera.

Warming oceans are also affecting the weather, with a range of knock-on effects on humans. The number of severe hurricanes has increased at a rate of around 25-30% per degree of global warming ...

Ocean warming has led to increased rainfall in mid-latitudes and monsoon areas, and less rain in various sub-tropical regions. These changes will have impacts on crop yields in important food-producing regions such as North America and India ...

"Ocean warming is already spreading diseases ... "

"Soaring ocean temperature is 'greatest hidden challenge of our generation'"


Contact Tom Power is Global