I am no scientist but it stands to reason if the magnetic north is moving the earth is rotating differently than in the previous hundredths of years.
As a result as with any spherical shape that rotates, it is exposing a slightly different surface, either for longer or shorter to any light shining on it such as the Sun causing a difference in temperature to the exposed portion of the sphere.
What is causing the magnetic north to shift?
Whatever is causing it the weight distribution on the earth has to be contributing.
Human-made materials are now equal weight to all life on Earth.
The mass of everything people have built and made, from concrete pavements and glass-and-metal skyscrapers to plastic bottles, clothes, and computers, is now roughly equal to the mass of living things on Earth and could surpass that this year, according to research published today in Nature.
The Earth weight: 5,972,000,000,000,000,000,000 Metric Tons.
Every year we use a massive 4.3 trillion cubic meters of freshwater = 4,260,000,000,000 m3 / tons.
Concrete. After water the single most widely used material globally. It outweighs the combined mass of all living plants. China production of 2 billion tons alone is predicted to reach four times the 1990 level. 2 billion tonne quantities per year, by 2050, concrete use
Plastic. – 8.3 billion tons
The world produces a million plastic bottles a minute – many for water. That’s 500 billion in a year!
Asphalt. – 30% of the world is Land of which 2% is urban which is covered let’s say to the extent of 10%. Therefore 30%x2%x10% = 0.06% of the world covered in Asphalt.
Sand. – 15 billion tonnes.
Crude Oil. – Nearly 100 million barrels per day. The average barrel of domestic crude oil weighs 302.82 pounds. You do the maths this time.
The mass of earth’s life is about 1.1 trillion metric tons.
In 2016, a team of scientists estimated the weight of the “technosphere”—including not just wholly artificial buildings and products, but also the approximate weight of the land and seafloor that we’ve excavated, modified, or trawled to build cities, plant crops, raise livestock, and catch fish.
They came up with a figure of 30 trillion tons.
Now add, for example, ( The World Steel Association estimates that for every ton of steel we produce) almost two tons of CO2 are added to the atmosphere.
Then add on all the rest of Cardon produced and the amount the whole human race emits every year is 35 billion roughly.
It is no wonder the magnet north has shifted.
To finish I invite any environmental to tell me that I am wrong.
All human comments appreciated. All like clicks and abuse chucked in the bin.
We are coming up to another god-wobbling Climate Change gathering in Scotland which by any account will be A ZOME GATHERING because of COVID-19 on the 1 – 12 November 2021.
This one is the 26th UN Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP26).
A two-week showcase as to why the world is unable to come together to tackle the problems of climate change. Remember that these conferences started in the 90th.
This one is likely to include demonstrations of virtual reality technology; showcasing innovation helping to tackle global climate change and probably like the others will archive little or nothing.
Because they produce nonbinding promises without addressing the main problem of how or who is going to finance the changes needed.
We live in an age in which intersecting crises are being lifted to a global scale, with unseen levels of inequality, environmental degradation, and climate destabilization, as well as new surges in populism, conflict, economic uncertainty, and mounting public health threats.
The coronavirus pandemic may lead to a deeper understanding of the ties that bind us on a global scale., and there are, to a certain degree, parallels that can be drawn between the current COVID-19 pandemic and some of the other contemporary crises our world is facing. All require a global-to-local response and long-term thinking.
All need to be guided by science and need to protect the most vulnerable among us, and all require the political will to make fundamental changes when faced with existential risks. They all need Money.
It’s rational for an individual country not to drastically reduce greenhouse gases, given most economies are heavily based on energy resources that emit them. Yet, if all nations act that way — indeed, that’s what’s happening — most countries would eventually be worse off due to the cumulative impacts of all our emissions, not to mention the hoarding of covid-19 vaccines.
It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to see that Covid -19 is real and that Climate Change will wreak havoc on the planet. BOTH ARE ALREADY DOING SO.
Covid-19 has brought the entire world economy to its knees in a matter of weeks during a pandemic that scientists warned us would come.
While enacting policies today to cut greenhouse gas emissions won’t have a discernible impact on global warming for decades, if not centuries. That’s because we have already locked in significant warming due to our historical emissions. Unlike other policies, climate change is cumulative. The longer we wait to address it, the bigger the problem it becomes and the harder it gets to solve, fueling a feedback loop that makes solutions ever more difficult.
Although global emissions were not as high as last year, they still amounted to about 39 billion tonnes of CO2. Covid-19 has changed this narrative to one that involves avoiding a rebound in emissions.
The bottom line: Big climate policy would have to offer concrete benefits outside of its impact on emissions — think jobs or energy security — to overcome this time disconnect.
The bottom line: We are the first generation of humans to start paying the price for a warmer world, and we are also the first to face costs as we try to address it.
We’re paying now and later.
Cost No. 1: Responding to flooding, heatwaves, and other extreme weather that climate change is often making worse.
Cost No. 2: Enacting policies to reduce emissions, which would come in the form of higher fossil-fuel costs today.
Cost No. 3 will continue for decades, if not centuries, even in addition to Cost No. 2.
This is because of the aforementioned time disconnect: the amount of warming locked in already has also locked in associated costs — which will come in the form of not just money, but also health, lives, and nature losses.
This just might be the world’s greatest collective action problem, which is when rational, self-interested decisions of individuals make the circumstances of the group worse, and vice versa
Imagine getting taxed before you put that money into your fund and then not living long enough to reap the payoffs of your fund. That’s happening with climate change, on a global scale.
Even though climate change presents a slower, more long-term health threat, an equally dramatic and sustained shift in behavior will be needed to prevent irreversible damage.
When we eventually overcome the COVID-19 pandemic, we can hopefully hold on to that sense of shared humanity in order to rebuild our social and economic systems to make them better, more resilient, and compassionate
Joe Biden’s climate plan promises net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050, Biden would be pushing 110 years old when he’d have to check (likely from the afterlife) on how his policy did. I’ll be 65. How old will you be?
Essentially all organisms use weather cues to guide their lives, and when these change and fracture everyone takes a hit.
As I have said in previous posts there is only one way to finance the changes.
That is by making a profit for profit sake pay, by placing a World Aid Commission of 0.05% on all activities that are not sustainable. ( See previous posts.)
All human comments appreciated. All like clicks and abuse chucked in the bin.
Because there is no point any longer carry on claiming that we are a victim of world events…Climate change, Artificial intelligence, Capitalist greed etc.
If Everyone’s Finger–Pointing, Who’s to Blame?
The answer, it seems, is someone else.
We think blaming means we get away with it.
Getaway with what?
If we stop it may become evident that this blame game is getting us nowhere and maybe, we need to look deeper at that word RESPONSIBILITY.
Could it be possible that our choices got us in the mess and our new responsible choices could get us out of the blame game forever?
The issue at hand is a vicious circle. Greed versus Common sense.
It is important that the leadership of countries are responsible for governing but does anyone remember the last time that a government actually took responsibility for their own actions?
Politicians — hostage to the tyranny of short election cycles — instead wooed voters seeking instant gratification, the protection of unsustainable entitlements, and shortcuts to continued prosperity they pander to popularism.
Its no wonder we use blame like an auto-pilot switch?
At no point do we want to think that our choices may be contributing to what is going on in our life.
The media changed our perception of so many things preventing us from coming to a consensus not only on how to dig ourselves out of this mess but also on how to prevent it from happening again.
All that has been positive is slowly being replaced with only more negative.
And so no goes the endless, useless recriminations.
The blame game, however, is a lot more dangerous than it sounds. This never-ending cycle not only diverts responsibility but distracts from coherent responses.
That has two immediate consequences.
First, it is virtually impossible to generate a sense of shared responsibility that must underpin any sustainable, effective solution.
Second, the temptation increases for each country to turn inward, significantly raising the risk of protectionism.
As the species that have taken over the planet.
The world is looking for bold leadership, and in the absence of it, dysfunction that will make 2019 merely a flesh wound risks is becoming an ever more likely reality.
There is the possibility that our struggle to halt destructive climate change is going to make most of the people around the world very conscious of changes on the planetary level that need to be stopped, and species extinction is in that category. . . .However, unless humanity learns a great deal more about global biodiversity we will soon lose most of the species composing life on Earth.
Because we need to do one big thing that people could get together on that would solve the problem and it needs to happen politically, globally in order to fulfil this vision?
We might have achieved many small victories in a losing war but what is immediately relevant at the present time is our collective inability to act as one. If not what we will see soon—it is on the horizon—is a second great environmental crisis, and that’s a shortage of freshwater.
It’s a shortage of fresh water that is rapidly growing, that’s causing some of the most tragic humanitarian problems . . . and it’s going to get worse and worse.
We the grownups we have to start somewhere.
The era that we have to create ahead of us is going to have to include action and research in multiplicity.
I mean, lots and lots of people involved in order to keep the whole planet and all the plants and animals in it, in order to understand how the living world works….where life came from, where we came from, and what we need to be preserving in order to make Earth a livable, habitable place—a planet to be our home.
Billion of us live in our technologic bubble called cities, indifference to what is taking place outside our own worlds thanks to the Smartphone. If that remains true for the next decade what is left won’t be worth saving.
Where to start?
We now face a substantial possibility of seeing a complete collapse of the ecosystem which will have an irreversible impact of human activity.
The slide toward extinction with all our efforts around the world has not slowed, nor will it in the near future.
Like conservation efforts around the world had consisted of targeted procedures to save a species here or there or to save a habitat here or there.
Rather than point the finger of blame here a few things we could change.
Hope is after all one of the great attributes we are all ushered towards…
Profit-seeking Algorithms. Regulation
Technology leapfrogging. Transparency.
Currency manipulator. Emerging economies gained a competitive advantage by manipulating their currencies, weakening labour standards, degrading the environment, or engaging in various forms of implicit protectionism. Unsustainable national policies.
Consumption. Ban Media/TV Advertising that is promoting consumption for consumption.
Multilateral institutions. The UN are only as strong as our member nations let it be. When push came to shove, these institutions shie away from their duties, hindered by widespread representation and legitimacy deficits. Remove the Veto.
Bogus blame: Remove False News from Social media
All those things together intrinsic, to human instinctive behaviour?
They could go long way to helping us remain in the game.
Politicians, of course, will say: “It’s not our fault. They are right as to do not hold them to account.
Education. Stop educating for the market place. Children have to take out of the classroom and learn where fresh air, fresh water, fresh vegetables, fresh everything comes from. To learn true human instinct are not a Tweet, a Like, a Smartphone, a Virtual game.
And trust me — no one will want to take the blame for that tragedy.
Our evolution now is a competition, greed against all of us.
Everyone can get it eventually, if they just think.
All human comments appreciated. All like clicks and abuse chucked in the bin.
There is no doubt that climate change is a complex subject and is challenging us in ways we’ve never seen before.
Based on what scientists understand, the changes we are seeing today are far more rapid than anything that has occurred in our planet’s history.
How best to depict the climate emergency is down to the media to ensure that the images publish accurately and appropriately convey the climate crisis that we face.
To address Climate Change with or without an agreement is going to cost trillions.
when trying to depict what cannot always be seen.showing the direct impact of environmental issues on people’s daily lives as well as trying to indicate the scale of the impact,the effect of the reporting and how we perceive the risks. to unearth photography beyond the usual keywords of climate change, heatwave and floods.
The problem is: No one, No country, No government, No Organisation, No economy, wants to pay for it. T
THIS ISSUE IS CRITICAL IF WE ARE TO ACHIEVE ANYTHING WORTHWHILE.
Everyone is, however, paying lip service to the problem.
Delay action will drastically increase the costs of taking action, but no one ever talks about how the funding required can be achieved.
Because the costs will not be shared evenly.
The trillions have to come from somewhere.
The world’s most powerful institutions are still engaged in a game of lethal procrastination that threatens to speed up global ecological collapse and sow chaos throughout human civilization in the decades to come.
The world’s biggest asset managers remain heavily invested in climate-polluting industries ― and do little if anything to convince those companies to change.
Forceful engagement with the companies in these sectors to hasten their transition to low carbon technologies must occur.
A Bloomberg New Energy Finance chart shows investments in new solar, wind and other non-hydroelectric power projects dropping from 2017 to 2018. (Photo: Bloomberg New Energy Finance)
Clearly, it’s not enough.
At this juncture, to meet the growing demand for green and social investments we need to have a dual focus on maximizing the potential of our current financial instruments, while also creating space for the next wave of innovations for sustainable growth.
We all know that there is already technology that exits, or that are coming on stream to tackle the problem head-on. Not in thirty years from now.
This blog as I am sure are others have been posting a solution that addresses the fair spreading of the costs worldwide.
( See: 0.05% World Aid commission)
All human comments appreciated. All like clicks and abuse chucked in the bin.
I am sure that there is no need to remind you of the outcomes of previous Climate Change Conferences.
They all failed.
In the vain hope that any one of you might read this:
HERE IS THE REASON WHY and THE SOLUTION.
The debates that are likely to dominate the Paris talks will not be about emissions but about – Money.
If nations can meet and agree equitable goals on the climate, on economic development, on social and environmental issues, and do so in a spirit of cooperation, this alone will be a huge achievement.
That as you know this is hoping for a “miracle.”
We already know that the commitments made, and likely to be made by December, will not by themselves be enough to hold the world to no more than 2C of warming.
So far, countries have made formal emissions pledges. They cover more than 65 percent of current global emissions. The pledges vary. Some are absolute targets expressed as tons of carbon dioxide per year in 2030; others are targets measured against business as usual, or promises to reduce emissions for every dollar of economic activity.
The EU is to cut its emissions by 40%, compared with 1990 levels, by 2030. The US is to cut its emissions by 26% to 28%, compared with 2005 levels, by 2025. China is to agree that its emissions will peak by 2030.
Nations responsible for about two-thirds of global emissions have come up with their targets known in the UN jargon as Intended Nationally Determined Contributions or INDCs – but some countries, most notably India.
Are the current pledges enough to keep global warming below 2 degrees C?
Nobody can be certain.
Serious doubts remain as to whether these promised cuts will be nearly enough to avoid the most severe impacts of climate change.
There are too many scientific uncertainties about exactly how sensitive the atmosphere is to growing concentrations of greenhouse gases. We could get lucky, but equally there might be tipping points that could suddenly accelerate warming.
In the Unite Nations own words it is attaching a set of “sustainable development goals,” on to the Conference which will take over from the millennium development goals that were pegged to 2015.
These will include issues such as access to clean water and sanitation, access to energy, gender equality, education and health. ” Those SDGs will have a profound effect on whether the world can meet its climate change targets, and meet them in an equitable fashion that allows poor countries to lift their citizens out of poverty while not passing climate thresholds.”
While these United Nations aspirations are essential Climate Change has to tackled without interference.
Poor nations want all the money to come from rich country governments, but those governments are adamant that they will not provide such funding solely from the public purse. They want international development banks, such as the World Bank, to play a role, and they want most of the funding to come from the private sector.
There is strong disagreement over how this should be done.
At Copenhagen, where the finance part of the deal was only sorted out at the very last-minute, rich countries agreed to supply $30bn ($20bn) of “fast-start” financial assistance to the poor nations, and they said that by 2020, financial flows of at least $100bn a year would be provided.
These pledges are already backsliding.
This is a hugely contentious issue:
Why because any core agreement, will be contested over issues such as “loss and damage”, by which developing countries want assistance on coping with extreme weather events, likely to be made worse by climate change. An agreement on this is still possible.
African countries, and others with little or no responsibility for climate change, want a separate fund to compensate them for “loss and damage” resulting from climate disasters such as extreme heat, wild weather, floods, and droughts. This would be a 21st century equivalent of war reparations — for climate crimes rather than war crimes.
This will be one of the main obstacles to a Paris deal.
While you as a negotiator will be mired in the paragraphs, sub-headings and addenda of texts thick with square brackets denoting unresolved issues, heads of government have the power to sweep aside such details and order them to agree.
What can we expect before Paris?
Most delegates believe that funding issues are the most likely deal breakers in Paris.
That would be bad for the world.
So here is the solution:
Make Profit for Profit Sake Pay;
By placing a World Aid Commission of 0.05% on all High Frequency Trading, on all Foreign Exchange Transactions (over $20,000) on all Sovereign Wealth Funds Acquisitions, on all new drilling and mining Licences.
A commission rate ranging from 0.005 to 0.25 percent would generate between $15 and $300 billion per year, of which a substantial amount could be allocated to promote international peace and development and Climate Change.
This would create a perpetual Funded Fund to contributed to rectifying the very thing that caused the problems in the first place.Greed.
There will be one further week of negotiations, in October, before the Paris meeting agrees, so there is much work to be done on the software to make this possible.
The other day I was wondering how one would describe Earth to an alien or a classroom of our modern-day interconnects kids.
Where would one start.
Is it round? Not quite it is an oblate spheroid instead of a perfect sphere. It takes the Earth on solar day to rotate upon its axis.
An alien might come to earth and attempt to understand the planet by reading the literature of the planet, or just the dictionary. Looking up the word “earth” the alien may be surprised to see the this term has multiple meanings, referring to a planet and to a substance (soil/dirt).
May be the best place to start is to give an perspective of where we are in space.
As you look outward into space, you’re actually looking backwards in time. The light you see from your computer is nanoseconds old. The light reflected from the surface of the Moon takes only a second to reach Earth. The Sun is more than 8 light-minutes away. And so, if the light from the nearest star (Alpha Centauri) takes more than 4 years to reach us, we’re seeing that star 4 years in the past. There are galaxies millions of light-years away, which means the light we’re seeing left the surface of those stars millions of years ago. For example, the galaxy M109 is located about 83.5 million light-years away.
A radio signal to travel once around Earth in 1/7 of a second. To get to the moon from Earth, so the round-trip time is twice this or 2.46.
If aliens lived in those galaxies, and had strong enough telescopes, they would see the Earth as it looked in the past. They might even see dinosaurs walking on the surface.
Only a few of us have ever seen Earth from afar. It’s mankind’s rarest view of all.
To see it without borders, see it without any differences in race or religion, we would all have a completely different perspective. Because when you see it from space you cannot think of your home or your country. All you can see is one Earth….”Earth, our home planet.
It is a beautiful blue and white ball when seen from space. the only planet in our solar system known to harbor life.
All of the things we need to survive are provided under a thin layer of atmosphere that separates us from the uninhabitable void of space.
HERE IS HOW I WOULD DESCRIBE IT;
It was formed about 4.5 billion years ago.
Earth is made up of complex, interactive systems that are often unpredictable. Air, water, land, and life—including humans—combine forces to create a constantly changing world that we are striving to understand.
It is the third planet from the sun and the fifth largest in the solar system.
About 71% of its surface is covered by water; the rest by land.
It is orbited by one satellite, the Moon.
Earth’s total surface area is 196,950,000 sq. mi. The area covered by the oceans is 139,480,000 sq. mi. Total land area is 57,470,000 sq. mi.
Earth’s diameter is just a few hundred kilometers larger than that of Venus.
The Earth’s crust is about 6.5 miles thick beneath the oceans, and about 25 miles thick under the continents.
Our planet’s rapid spin and molten nickel-iron core give rise to a magnetic field, which the solar wind distorts into a teardrop shape. The magnetic field does not fade off into space, but has definite boundaries.
Our planet completes its elliptical orbit around the sun in an average solar year, 365.24219 days. Its average distance from the sun is 80,777,537.8 n.mi.
The Earth’s axis is tilted 23.45 deg away from the perpendicular to its orbital plane.
It wobbles very slightly.
The Moon orbits the Earth about once a month (every 29 days, 12 hours, 44 minutes, 2.9 seconds) The average distance from the Earth to the Moon is 238,857 mi., about 30 times Earth’s diameter.
The Earth’s crust is about 6.5 miles thick beneath the oceans, and about 25 miles thick under the continents. The surface layer is made of rock. This outer layer formed a hard, rocky crust as lava at the surface cooled 4.5 billion years ago.The crust is broken into many large plates that move slowly relative to each other. Mountain ranges form when two plates collide. The plates move about one inch per year. About 250 million years ago, most of the land was connected together, and over time has separated into seven continents. So millions of years ago the continents and the oceans were in different positions.
Scientists had previously concluded that the Earth was slightly older than 4.5 billion years old, but had not found a piece of the Earth’s primitive mantle.
The solid shell that is between the Earth’s crust and the outer core makes up about 84 percent of the Earth’s volume. Until recently, researchers generally thought that the Earth and the other planets of the solar system were chondritic. This means that the mantle’s chemistry was thought to be similar to that of chondrites, some of the oldest, most primitive objects in the solar system. Chondrites contain certain isotope ratios of the chemical elements of helium, lead and neodymium.
Sixty-five million years ago it looked quite different than it does to-day.
There are about 300,000 plant species and about 1,400,000 animal species on Earth.
In the next 6.4 billions of years it will be eating by it nearest star the Sun which is 149,597,891 kilometers away. It will take a little more than 8 minutes before we realized it is time to put on a sweater. It takes Sunlight an average of 8 minutes and 20 seconds to travel from the Sun to the Earth.
It weighs 5.9736×1024kg. That is about 13,170,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 pounds (or 5,974,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 kilograms).
80% of its fresh water is in its polar ice caps. Fresh water exists in the liquid phase only within a narrow temperature span (32 to 212 degrees Fahrenheit/ 0 to 100 degrees Celsius). The surface is unique from the other planets because it is the only one which has liquid water in such large quantities.
Its greatest present day threats come from humanity which is at a crossroads now, where we have to make an active choice.
Evolution, the Big Bang, and climate change are all things that were first proposed as hypotheses long ago.
Climate change is not. What are we doing about it. The same as always. Turn it into a product for profit.
One choice is to acknowledge these issues and potential consequences and try to guide the future (in a way we want to). The other choice is just to throw up our hands and say, ‘Let’s just go on as usual and see what happens.’ My guess is, if we take that latter choice, yes, humanity is going to survive, but we are going to see some effects that will seriously degrade the quality of life for our children and grandchildren.
The ongoing wars, the distortions of truth we have witnessed, the widening gaps between rich and poor disturb us more than we can say; but we have had so many reminders of powerlessness that we have retreated before the challenge of bringing such issues into our classrooms of our brains.
The best effort so far is the creation of an Earth Day this year. One day!
Population growth, widespread destruction of natural ecosystems, and climate change may be driving Earth toward an irreversible change in the biosphere, a planet-wide tipping point that would have destructive consequences absent adequate preparation and mitigation. No one knows how close Earth is to a global tipping point, or if it is inevitable.
Life on Earth is constantly changing and only the fittest organisms survive.
Every few of us appreciate how thin our little atmosphere is that supports all life here on Earth. So if we foul it up, there’s no coming back from something like that. The dictionary offers a firm set of definitions for this term, but no single definition, which leads to a sense of complexity. The complexities of perception are, in part, what post-modernism is all about. I describe it as pure insanity.
The Earth system now includes human society, Our social and economic systems are now embedded within the Earth system. In many cases, the human systems are now the main drivers of change in the Earth system. Earth system changes, natural or driven by humans, can have significant consequences without involving changes in climate. Global change should not be confused with climate change; it is significantly more. indeed, climate change is part of this much larger challenge.
Throughout history human societies have had to confront and adjust to climatic and environmental hazards. A long-term perspective that draws on such experiences must inform today’s climate policies. I argue that climate policies aimed at mitigating and adapting to hazards should be informed by our knowledge of past human experience.
In today’s globalised world our food tends to take a long route from farm to table, relying on international trade routes that pass through several bottlenecks. Sudden disruption of such delivery systems – via climate change or political volatility – can severely affect the food security of particular regions.
Large-scale governance is unavoidable in today’s world where hazards are regional and often transcend political boundaries, unfortunately at the moment we are relying on out of date World Organisations that are incapable of putting the Earth First!
The hope of the twentieth century rests on its recognition that war and depression are man-made and needless as is so with Climate Change.
Over the past 50 years, humans have changed ecosystems more rapidly and extensively than in any comparable period of time in human history, largely to meet rapidly growing demands for food, fresh water, timber, fiber and fuel.
All can be avoided in the future by turning from … nineteenth-century characteristics … and going back to other characteristics that our Western society has always regarded as virtues: generosity, compassion, cooperation, rationality, and foresight, and finding an increased role in human life for love, spirituality, charity, and self-discipline.
We now know fairly well how to control the increase in population, how to produce wealth and reduce poverty or disease. We may, in the near future, know how to postpone senility and death but to what avail if we continue to deny Climate Change.
It certainly should be clear to those who have their eyes open that violence, extermination, and despotism do not solve problems for anyone and that victory and conquest are delusions, as long as they are merely physical and materialistic.
Our problem is that capitalism provides very powerful motivations for economic activity because it associates economic motivations so closely with self-interest.
Money and goods are not the same thing but are, on the contrary, exactly opposite things. Most confusion in economic thinking arises from failure to recognize this fact.
Goods are wealth which you have, while money is a claim on wealth which you do not have. Thus goods are an asset; money is a debt.
You would think that policymakers with the dark future of Climate Change ahead would be addressing a new set of existential questions.
Such as: Should Economics that grew wealth bear more of the burden to stop climate change. Another words developed countries should take the lead allowing less developed countries to maintain emissions.
As we all know to date no international mitigation and abatement efforts have taken place on a large enough scale to freeze emissions. We don’t see any intense geopolitical cooperation. Countries will not do anything on behalf of other that requires them to sacrifice their own interests.
Off course when you introduce future generations into the question democracy as it stands is not equipped to represent the interests of future generations never mind the here and now. Humans that don’t exist have no say as to what will it mean to live a meaningful life in a world that has eliminated all wildness, and forms of life from the planet.
So here we are poised to become agent of the greatest catastrophic events ever to hit our planet which could have to support over 10 billion people by 2050.
We are currently on a trajectory to warm the planet 4°C. In such a 4ºC world most of us will not be able to adapt never mind our natural systems.
As we move beyond the stable state we are already well beyond the zone of uncertainty. The risk for all species – including ours- grow and grow.
We need to start thinking in terms that we are just not used to thinking of as a human species.
Will it be left to the market to decide. With businesses as hubs for democratic engagement this could unfairly shift costs onto either consumers or taxpayers.
I’m not convinced.. that we’ve ended up with a society that’s really able to harness the innovation potential of business.
Climate change challenges democracy. But climate change also needs democracy.
We live in a carbon dependent world. And for the most part, we are loath to forego this somewhat cosy arrangement. Carbon dependency is promoted in part by technology which gives us many good things on the cheap: electricity, personal mobility, affordable consumer goods, cooling and warmth. It is also encouraged by governments which promise easy options to low-carbon outcomes, without delivering these options. And for the most part, we do not seem to care, as the goodies continue to arrive.
We all know in our hearts that this is a cop out: we are duped but we connive in the deceit. Democracy is not a system that forces us to face up to these contradictions. We want to live in a sustainable society but the political system does not reward or support the innovators and entrepreneurs who would guide us to it.
Political institutions manipulate us, as do the power brokers who shape political opinion and guide policy. Democracy shuns the long-term.
The goal of equipping democracy to mitigate and adapt to climate change is not a one-time endeavor but a continuous process.
Today, the formerly contented European middle classes, sitting in the gap between the rich minority and the poor majority, for the first time in living memory cannot be sure their children will be better off than they are. Confronted by this austere prospect, this group – the natural allies of climate stability – will become unsettled.
The world’s nations are desperately looking for guaranteed techno-fixes to climate change. Democracy around the world has suffered as governments seek to lean on eco-technocrats to cut back on investment in education and health and invest instead in technology for climate mitigation and adaptation.
I really do believe that people can provide the answers – if only we could unleash the real power of that creative potential. Environmental innovation has to be about much more than technology. I’ve realized that, and I’m going to make it my business to ensure that as many other people as possible do too.
So where best to start than requesting your Television Stations to highlight Climate Change in their Weather Forecast. Join me. This is a war against no enemy other than ourselves.
A society that holds out for the younger generation prospects that are worse than those held out to their parents and grandparents is a society that has ceased to progress and begun to regress—one that has lost any claim to historical legitimacy even if it is technologically advanced.
The common experience for millions of young people is permanent economic insecurity.
Youth unemployment in the European Union stands at more than 23 percent, while in Spain it is 56.1 percent and in Greece 62.9 percent. There are 26 million young people in the “developed world” who are classified as not in employment, education or training (NEETS). Poverty and homelessness have become mass phenomena.
While the world may not be one big village in terms of lifestyle, it shares an image of “the good life” that’s proffered in movies, TV, and the Internet. That’s what teenagers in Afghanistan have in common with teenagers in England; they’ve been fed the same image of success in the global community and they know it’s inaccessible. They are angry and, ultimately, their anger has the same target — multinational corporations (and the governments that support them).
The political implications of these social transformations are far-reaching – ISIS.
Capitalism as we know it today—is an amoral culture of short-term self-interest, profit maximization, emphasis on shareholder value, isolationist thinking, and profligate disregard of long-term consequences—is an unsustainable system. Only today five of the biggest banks are fined Billions for fixing the Foreign Exchange Market.
Capitalism must change itself, from the inside. This kind of change will require a radically new leadership ethic, one driven by a new set of motivations and a broader understanding of wealth.
With global population rapidly marching toward 11 billion and with it the demand for food, health services, energy and security, we need to reexamine the models that have gotten us to this point.
There are far better men than I to undertake this reexamination.
The word “capitalism” was coined by the socialists and has historically described a system of state-granted privilege and plutocracy.“
Free market capitalism may be viewed as a system in which individuals make voluntary arrangements involving the exchange of capital.
Free market” implies voluntary arrangements, whereas “capitalism” has become (rightly so) known as a system in which business and coercive state forces collude to serve whatever arbitrary interests may be lobbied for by the businesses or championed for reasons of power by the politicians.
If it’s a free market, it’s not capitalism. And if it’s capitalism, it’s not a free market.
So why bother trying to apologize for “capitalism” when “free markets” are what you (and I) really wish to obtain? That is, if you really do believe in “free markets”, then you should probably distance yourself from the word “capitalism”.
The modern world is ruled by multinational corporations and governed by a capitalistic ideology that believes:
Corporations are a special breed of people, motivated solely by self-interest.
Corporations seek: to maximize return on capital by leveraging productivity and paying the least possible amount for taxes and labor. Corporate executives pledge allegiance to their directors and shareholders. The dominant corporate perspective is short-term, the current financial quarter, and the dominant corporate ethic is greed, doing whatever it takes to maximize profit.
Capitalist society is guided by the play of the market mechanism.
There is no better evidence of this than- The “recovery” of 2009-10 ensured that “too big to fail” institutions would survive and the rich would continue to be rich. Meanwhile millions of good jobs were either eliminated or replaced by low-wage jobs with poor or no benefits.
We’re living in the age of corporate dinosaurs that take the path of least resistance to profit; they’ve swallowed up their competitors and created monopolies, which have produced humongous bureaucracies.
There achievements are far to numerous to list here, but here are a few in no particular order.
Climate Change. Inequality of Opportunity, Stock Exchanges, Poverty, Wars, Lack of Fresh Water, Sovereignty Wealth Funds plundering the finite Natural Resources for short-term profit, Corruption, Privatization, People Trafficking, Drugs, ect You could say without fear of contradiction that conditions are far worse today than at any time since the 1930s.
The nearly universal opinion expressed these days is that the economic crisis of recent years marks the end of capitalism. Capitalism allegedly has failed, has proven itself incapable of solving economic problems, and so mankind has no alternative, if it is to survive, then to make the transition to a planned economy, to socialism.
Corporate executives don’t care about the success or failure of any particular country, only the growth and profitability of their global corporation.
Global corporations are ruining our natural capital. Four of the top 10 multinational corporations are energy companies, with Exxon Mobil leading the list. Global corporations have ravished the world and citizens of every nation live with the consequences: dirty air, foul water, and pollution of every sort. The world GDP is $63 Trillion but multinational corporations garner a disproportionate share — with banks accounting for an estimated $4 trillion (bank assets are $100 trillion). Global black markets make $2 trillion — illegal drugs account for at least $300 billion.
The past five years have demonstrated the impossibility of changing anything within the existing political system. Inequality has grown enormously. The stock market is booming, the Forbes 400 are richer than ever, yet the conditions for youth and workers are disastrous. War continues without end.
However the historical bankruptcy of capitalism does not bring about its automatic collapse as it will if not already doing so turn Climate Change into profits.
It is from the market that the capitalist economy receives its sense.
So what if anything is to be done.
At the start of this post I said that Capitalism must change itself, from the inside.
Is this possible. Yes but only by making it pay for our values. By putting humanity back into human.
We needed to make the private enterprise economy work better in a redistribution of wealth and income toward greater equality.
This can only be done by placing:
A World Aid Commission on all High Frequency Stock Exchange Transactions, on all Foreign Exchange transactions (over$20,000) and on all Sovereign Wealth Funds Acquisitions.
A capitalist economy is inherently unstable” It is one thing to recognize the instability of capitalism, but another to show that an alternative to it is possible.
Clearly no one has got a clue” about what might replace it.
What ever it is we can not going on tolerating a world … in which the needs of the many come before the greed of the few. It is time to recognize that “ Like what, exactly?” is an honest and profound question that demands straight and worked-out answers. And it is time to start working out those answers. I am not advocating abstract revolutionism here.
When questions about the future are bound up so intimately with day-to-day struggles, a new human society surely cannot emerge through spontaneous action alone. To transcend this impasse, people need to know not just what to be against, but what to be for, not just “ what is to be done,” but what is to be undone— what is it exactly that must be changed in order to have a viable and emancipatory socialism?
Unfortunately, this issue received almost no attention throughout most of the last century.
So it is only in recent years that any significant attention has been paid to whether another world is possible. But now, when the future of capitalism is a live issue, it seems to me that this issue needs to be understood as the central problem of revolutionary thought today.
The younger generation is “lost” not just in the sense that it has no future under capitalism, but also in the sense that it is increasingly “lost” to the ruling class and its political establishment. The forms through which the bourgeoisie seeks to maintain political control are losing their hold. Their conscious political experience has been dominated by unending economic crisis, war, the dismantling of democratic rights, political gangsterism and corruption.
And if that not bad enough The global economy is splintering with new and devastating trade agreements like the TTP.
If the function of the market as regulator of production is always thwarted by economic policies in so far as the latter try to determine prices, wages, and interest rates instead of letting the market determine them, then a crisis will surely develop.
It would be disastrous merely to call for socialism while ignoring the problems of mass unemployment. This brings me to the notion of developing socialism within capitalism, enlarging the space of the commons or whatever. Unfortunately, it cannot be done. It has been tried (for instance, in the Israeli kibbutzim ) and it does not succeed. The economic laws of the larger system will not allow it. If you buy from the capitalist world “ outside,” you also have to sell to it in order to get the money you need to buy from it, and you will not sell anything if your prices are high because your costs of production are high. And if you have debts, you have to repay them.
So it appears there is only the one option as I suggest : Make Global Capitalism contribute by a World Aid Commission.
We live in interesting times. The stakes are high. The time has come to face the future with sober senses. The good news is we’re witnessing the failure of global corporate capitalism. The bad news is we don’t know what will replace it.
Financial inequality in the 21st century is on the rise, and accelerating at a very dangerous pace turning into a conflict between billionaires.
Complete change will not happen overnight. It will not be built on the back of one investor or one innovative entrepreneur. It will be something that business owners, investors, political leaders, consumers and entrepreneurs must all work together toward.
Neither of these categories (Investor-Innovator) makes or produces anything but their wealth, which is really a super-wealth that has broken away from the everyday reality of the market, which determines how most ordinary people live.
Worse still, they are competing with each other to increase their wealth, and the worst of all case scenarios is how super-managers, whose income is based effectively on greed, keep driving up their salaries regardless of the reality of the market. This is what happened to the banks in 2008, for example.
So when you look at Climate change what you see is that it is true that it will take time to roll out the infrastructure and technologies to get off fossil fuels, and we will burn a lot of fossil fuel in the process.
What explains our collective failure on climate change? Why is it that instead of dealing with the problem, all we seem to do is make it worse?
Here’s is the inconvenient truth: when you tell people what it would actually take to radically reduce carbon emissions, they turn away.
What would it take to radically reduce global carbon emissions and to do so in a way that would alleviate inequality and poverty? The World Aid Commission.
Just building a clean tech innovation economy is not enough. We have to reinvent our economy from the ground up if we are to successfully address these challenges.
CLIMATE CHANGE IS GOING TO CHALLENGE EVERYTHING THAT CAPITALISM OR ANY SOCIAL SYSTEM STAND FOR.
What we need is “ethical capitalism,” Business leaders must become servant leaders, leaders who serve not just themselves and share holders, but leaders who serve employees, customers, the community, the planet, humanity, future generations, and life itself.
Science has made huge steps, society has not.
The sooner we fix Capitalism the sooner we move to the future we imagine.
The most valuable commodity in the world today, is not oil, not natural gas, not even some type of renewable energy. It’s water—clean, safe, fresh water and it is being privatized for short-term profit.
A gift of nature, or a valuable commodity? A human right, or a luxury for the privileged few? Will the agricultural sector or industrial sector be the main consumer of this precious resource? Whatever the answers to these and many more questions, one thing is clear:
That water will be one of the defining issues of the coming decade, not the internet, not the current conflicts, not poverty or Inequality, nor climate change, or the far of distant stars.
SAVE THE PLANET, WHEN WE DON’T KNOW HOW TO SAVE OURSELVES.
Some estimates say that 768 million people still have no access to fresh water.
Water isn’t traded on commodity exchanges yet but you would wrong to think that the most valuable commodity more valuable than oil will remain so.
These days we hear that sustainable development is the only way forward. There will be no sustainable development while the water issues remain unsolved.
It is our responsibility that fresh water does not become a commodity to be exploited for short-term profit to pump out billions in profit.
The Oil Industry wastes 2 million gallons each day in California Fracking.
Across the world Nestlé is pushing to privatize and control water resources. In 2000 at the world Water Forum Nestlé successfully lobbied to stop water being declared a universal right. Profits over people and corporate rights over human rights.
There is now a hunting season on local water resources by multinational corporations looking to control them. This means billions in profits with us paying 2000 times more for drinking water because it comes in a plastic bottle.
Safe water will become a privilege only affordable for the wealthy.
What are our Out of Date World Organisations doing to safeguard the human right to water other than more verbal diarrhea. (They are discussing the goals)
The World Water Forum which is described as a mouthpiece for transnational companies and the World Bank are falsely claiming to head the global governance of water. (See Below)
Water is essential for human survival and well-being and important to many sectors of the economy. However, resources are irregularly distributed in space and time, and they are under pressure due to human activity. Today, freshwater is used unsustainable in the majority of the regions of the world.
Everyone is demanding more of everything, more houses, more cars and more water. And we are talking of a world where temperatures are forecasted to rise by two to three degrees Celsius, maybe more. The situation is already dire.
China’s energy needs alone will grow by 100 percent by 2050. Since 1990, half the rivers in China have disappeared.
Globally, water pollution is increasing. Around 60 percent of the worlds nation’s groundwater resources are already polluted. In developing countries, an estimated 90% of waste water is discharged directly into rivers and streams without treatment.
At present, most water policy is still driven by short-term economic and political concerns that do not take into account science and good stewardship. State-of-the-art solutions and more funding, along with more data on water resources, are needed especially in developing nations.
Here are some hard facts.
Fragmentation of river systems due to dams is the single greatest threat to freshwater ecosystems’ health.
There are an estimated 800,000 dams worldwide, including around 45,000 large dams (over 15 metres high)and 1,000 mega-dams over 100 meters high. Over 60% of the world’s 227 largest rivers have been fragmented by dams, diversions and canals. An estimated 60 to 80 million people have been displaced by dams and nearly 500 million people have had their lives and livelihoods negatively affected.
Some 20 percent of the world’s aquifers are facing over-exploitation, and degradation of wetlands is affecting the capacity of ecosystems to purify water supplies.
People use 54% of the planet’s “blue water” (water that flows through rivers, lakes, and groundwater). Estimates suggest that this may increase to 70% by 2025.
2.3 billion people live in river basins which are under water stress, where less than 1,700 cubic meters of water is available for each person per year. If current consumption patterns continue, at least 3.5 billion people will live in water-stressed river basins in 2025 – half the world’s projected population.
Our Freshwater Living Planet Index (which tracks changes in populations of 714 species of fish, birds, mammals, reptiles and amphibians found in temperate and tropical lakes, rivers and wetlands) showed populations of freshwater species fell by 35% between 1970 and 2007 – a larger decline than in marine and land ecosystems. In tropical regions the decline was almost 70%.
Around 10,000 of the world’s 25,000 known fish species live in fresh water. An average of 300 new freshwater fish species are discovered every year.
Wetlands around the world provide goods and services to people worth an estimated US$70 billion a year.
Climate change is predicted to have a whole range of impacts on water resources. Variation in temperature and rainfall may affect water availability, increase the frequency and severity of floods and droughts, and disrupt ecosystems that maintain water quality.
Over the last 50 years, the frequency of severe flooding and the damage it causes have increased, in part due to the degradation of freshwater ecosystems.
In parts of the United States, Europe, Australia and New Zealand, over half of wetlands were destroyed in the 20th century, and many more were degraded across the rest of the world.
Freshwater is a highly valuable resource for a large number of competing demands, including drinking water, irrigation, hydroelectricity, waste disposal, industrial processes, transport and recreation, as well as ecosystem functions and services.
There is only one direction for water prices at the moment, and that’s up.
The United Nations estimates that by 2050 more than two billion people in 48 countries will lack sufficient water.
Approximately 97 percent to 98 percent of the water on planet Earth is saltwater (the estimates vary slightly depending on the source). Much of the remaining freshwater is frozen in glaciers or the polar ice caps. Lakes, rivers and groundwater account for about 1 percent of the world’s potentially usable freshwater.
95 percent of the world’s cities continue to dump raw sewage into rivers and other freshwater supplies, making them unsafe for human consumption.
Agriculture is responsible for 87 % of the total water used globally. Fresh water is crucial to human society – not just for drinking, but also for farming, washing and many other activities. It is expected to become increasingly scarce in the future, and this is partly due to climate change. Approximately 98% of our water is salty and only 2% is fresh. Of that 2%, almost 70% is snow and ice, 30% is groundwater, less than 0.5% is surface water (lakes, rivers, etc) and less than 0.05% is in the atmosphere.
Climate change will have several effects on these proportions on a global scale. The main one is that warming causes polar ice to melt into the sea, which turns fresh water into sea water, although this has little direct effect on water supply.
The direct impact of climate change is not the only reason.
The increasing global population means more demand for agriculture, greater use of water for irrigation and more water pollution. Rising affluence in some countries means a larger number of people living water-intensive lifestyles, including watering of gardens, cleaning cars and using washing machines and dishwashers.
Rapidly developing economies also result in more industry and in many cases this comes without modern technology for water saving and pollution control. Therefore concerns about climate change must be viewed alongside management of pollution and demand for water.
If we allow poverty related to water to exist in other countries, then we can expect jealousies between nations to rise, and we can expect acts of vengeance from those who are jealous. It is already a source of conflict in some parts of the world such as the Indus River, which runs between India and Pakistan. Another one would be, in fact, in Iraq, where the Tigris and the Euphrates rivers, rising in Turkey, flow into Syria, then into Iraq. And, in fact, much of Iraq’s water supply is from Turkey.
Fresh Water is why Palestinian must strive for a one nation-state solution with Israel. It is why we must stop oil exploration in the Arctic.
By the middle of the 21st century, 2 billion to 7 billion people will be severely short of water. The WHO estimates that more than 5 million people die each year from diseases caused by unsafe drinking water. By 2030, global demand for water will outstrip supply by 40 percent, a surefire recipe for war.
It takes some 5000 liters of water to produce 1 kg of rice.
General Electric Chairman Jeffrey Immelt said the scarcity of clean water around the world will more than double GE’s revenue from water purification and treatment by 2010—to a total of $5 billion.
Saudi Arabia is expected to invest more than $80 billion in desalinization plants and sewer facilities by 2025 to meet the needs of its growing population.
While China is home to 20 percent of the world’s people, only 7 percent of the planet’s freshwater supply is located there. Asian countries will have severe water problems by the year 2025. (demand is increasing)(supply is decreasing)
In France agricultural production is exempt from the Polluter – pays -principle and that it continues to deteriorate the quality of groundwater with impunity.
The state of the world’s fresh water warns that decreasing water supplies could lead to epidemics and international conflict. Over the next 20 years, the average global supply of water per person is expected to drop by one-third.
What does the future hold?
How can water resources be managed sustainable while meeting an ever-increasing demand?
We always have the same amount of water.
The six billion people of Planet Earth use nearly 30% of the world’s total accessible renewal supply of water. By 2025, that value may reach 70%. Yet billions of people lack basic water services, and millions die each year from water-related diseases.
And you Wonder why we have terrorism.
Water is a basis of international conflict.
Basic human needs for water should be fully acknowledged as a top international priority. Education and research will be essential to providing the knowledge, skills and technology needed to combat fresh water scarcity in the future.
The World Water Forum is a large-scale international conference that is held every three years since 1997 in cooperation with the public, private sectors, academia, and industries.
It was first launched in an effort to facilitate international discussions on global water challenges.
The last Forum attracted more than 35,000 participants in Marseille 2012.
This Council is made up of.
15 heads of State, of governments and European Commissioners.
145 represented countries.
112 Ministers, Vice-Ministers and Secretaries of State.
176 national delegations and international organisations taking part in the Ministerial Declaration.
More than 750 elected officials among which 250 mayors and 250 parliamentarians.
More than 500 sponsored persons.
3,500 NGOs and civil society representatives.
More than 2,600 children and youth.
Like all our Unfunded World Organisations it is an other gossip shop that lacks financial clout to make a differences.
There is only one way we can guard our Fresh Water we must Buy It.
Which can be achieved by Placing a World Aid Commission on all High Frequency Trading, on all Foreign Exchange transactions ( over $20,000) and on all Sovereign Wealth Funds Acquisition.
We than can create Drought Banks, that give Farmers an allocation of water. He must then decide what is the best return he can get from that amount of water on his property. It might be a big wheat crop or a small cotton crop. It doesn’t matter. The water is the fixed in the equation, not the type of crop.
Just in case you think that all of this is Hog Wash:
Here are over 80 organizations (community, academic, governmental, funding, and more) working on water and sanitation issues in multiple countries around the world.
Technologies are actually available but most of them are too expensive or far to time consuming to implement simultaneously with ongoing progress and changes.
Even within the European Union an estimated 20 to 30 million people do not have access to safe sanitation, and little action has so far been undertaken to address this problem.
The question is not whether we can afford it but can we afford not to do it?
For example, what is the cost of no action? Water is already under severe pressure and this will only increase with climate change. We cannot afford to lose the services and benefits that a healthy aquatic ecosystem provides. We need clean water in sufficient quantities for our living and for economic activities. In order to keep that, we need a determined action to protect water resources.
The global population is likely to reach 9.1 billion in 2050, if not sooner. While this alone has potentially dire consequences in terms of pressures on natural resources, especially water, Climate change sets its own agenda,
The world is changing faster than ever and becoming more and more complex.
Uncertainties about water availability and demand are increasing, as are the associated risks to development and well-being of people, societies and the environment. Unless we can generate the awareness and political will to react now, the crises we are experiencing now are likely to escalate and the odds of meeting our developmental goals will degenerate. This is why the most recent economic crisis could be seen as an opportunity; it provides an occasion for reflecting on a desired collective future.
For once we might act as one to the benefit of all. The future of the planet and the human race both depend on it.
Water is a common heritage of humanity and of future generations and must be protected as a public trust in law and practice. Water belongs to the Earth and other species. Water might teach us how to live together. How to tread more lightly on the earth — in peace and respect with one another.
This is a vast subject governed by innumerable historical beliefs some of which are set in concrete and blood so I am going to discuss this subject in two parts.
If I happen to offend anyone that has lost or might suffer the loss of a love one in defense of their Nation with anything I write in these posts I apologize.
I am not advocating that we should abolish the sense of Nationhood rather that we must look at what it means as there is going to be in the next hundred years a massive remix of people whether we like it or not.
Population mobility is accelerating and across the globe, people have become far more able and willing to re-locate in search of better employment prospects and a higher standard of living; or increasingly as a lifestyle choice where borders have remained open to them.
The theory of development that has been force-fed into dominant economic discourse all over the world is now contributing as to one of the main reasons we see immigration. With the predictions of climate change in the future this immigration can only increase.
In 2010 there were 214 million international migrants and if they continue to grow in number at the same pace there will be over 400 million by 2050 (IOM 2010).
Forced migration, where people have to move as a result of climate change, conflict and war, threaten to dwarf these numbers.
For the world as a whole at the moment 13% primarily considered themselves as “citizens of the world”, 38% put their Nation-State first, and the larger remainder put local or regional identities first.
There is no getting away from it that Identity is becoming more multi-faceted and whereas multiculturalism has been firmly rooted in racial constructs, ideas about difference has developed in other directions.
Sexual orientation, gender, faith and disability and other aspects of identity are now firmly in the public sphere and contributing to notions of personal identity alongside national identity.
Identity is increasingly complex. As well as the now routine hyphenating of nationality, faith and ethnicity, the consequence of people from different identity groups sharing the same society has also led to the growth of ‘mixed race’ or multiple identities.
This group is now the fastest growing minority in Britain and many other countries.
Inter-marrying, building new virtual networks, and creating real and tangible personal relationships at all levels is currently changing nations from the inside out. ( What once was Christian will be Muslim. What once was American will be Spanish Mexican, What once was German will to Northern African and so on.)
States – and especially their political elites – have inevitably tried to cling to the idea of clear national boundaries and governance and any suggestions of the loss of sovereignty or the advent political plurality are quickly contested. (For example the recent Resignation of the Israel Government over changing its Constitution to place Jews in a privileged position of citizenship. )
There are now 20 cities with more than 1 million foreign-born people and another 59 cities worldwide with a presence of 100,000 or more foreign-born residents.
These include 11 cities with an immigrant presence of between 500,000 and 1 million people, for example in Argentina, Canada, USA, Russia and Israel (Clark, 2008,). This is not simply about numerical growth however, migrant communities are also increasingly diverse and this inevitably leads to much greater complexity within nation states, particularly in the Western economies, which are often the target countries for migration.
The extent of population movement is such that all western economies are now characterized by ‘super’ or ‘hyper’ diversity with cities, like London, Stockholm, Toronto, New York and Amsterdam with over 300 language groups.
This is beginning to re-define our notion of multiculturalism which had previously been seen as the then essentially White countries coming to terms with migrants from a limited number of former colonies. Relationships are now much more complex and community relations are multi-faceted, no longer simply revolving around majority/minority visible distinctions underpinned by distinct sociology-economic positions (Cantle 2012).
The reality is however that national and cosmopolitan identities now also need to sit alongside each other – they are not opposed – something that multiculturalism has never acknowledged.
Governmental responses to date have been ambivalent.
The changing nature of personal identities, with the separate components shaped by increasing diversity in terms of faith, present locality, and ethnicity – as well as an apparently declining sense of nationality is changing what it means to be Irish, English, French, American. Take your choice from Australia to Canada and you finds this taking place.
For the most part, Governments have attempted to reinforce their view of national identity through such measures as the teaching of national history and promoting national citizenship and identity. By steadfastly retaining the pretense of the integrity of national borders and governance, and by attempting to deny the interdependence brought by globalization, they reinforce a fear of ‘others’.
They appear not to want to grasp or lag behind the current reality of multi-faceted identities within their communities and may well find that the new phenomenon of social media will begin to create new transnational relationships which transcend traditional power structures.
Already there is clear evidence of a decline in traditional democratic traditions across Europe, with election turnouts and political party membership in decline. There is also some evidence of the growth of new political movements from the indignados in Spain to that led by the comedian Grillo in Italy and the current lack of trust and disconnection from mainstream parties suggests that these movements could grow still further.
In the UK, along with many other countries, there have been attempts to restrict immigration and to ensure that those immigrants that do come are able to speak the native language and past various tests based on attitudes and knowledge of customs and history (Cantle, 2008).
There has been little by way of any systematic attempt to engage with globalization through intercultural education and to enable people to become more at ease with diversity and globalization
Identity remains promoted on the basis that it is fixed and within boundaries.
Sen, Suggests that conflict and violence are sustained today, no less than the past, by the illusion of a unique identity (Sen, 2006).
He argues that, the world is increasingly divided between religions (or ‘cultures’ or ‘civilizations’), which ignore the relevance of other ways in which people see themselves through class, gender, profession, language, literature, science, music, morals or politics. He challenges ‘the appalling effects of the miniaturization of people’ and the denial of the real possibilities of reasoned choices.
Interculturalism should be part of this response and has been proposed on the basis of a progressive vision (Cantle, 2012) to support the necessary changes, replacing multiculturalism which became completely out of step with this new world order.
The era of transnational relationships, the growth of diasporas, new and pervasive international communications and travel, mean that such policies are no longer tenable. ‘Interculturalism’ can provide a new positive model to mediate change across regions and nations and recognize the multivariate relationships across all aspects of diversity.
When power resides with a global elite, and the economic crisis links our fate across borders, we are, it seems, all ‘citizens of the world. A ‘global village’ mediated through electronic communication.
Globalism, global civil society, global consciousness and cosmopolitanism were to sweep away tribalism of nations to clear the path for a new and better world in which humanity would finally achieve unity and share happiness.
Globalization frees and unites us. Increased freedom of movement, a revolution of communication, the hyper-acceleration of cultural production, have together created a fertile ground for innumerable imagined communities, unrestricted by the limits of geography.
What is now called globalization is only the backlash of an age-old process, constantly fostered by capitalist expansion, which started with the constitution of rival national units, at least in the core of the world economy.
It is very hard to find any trace of this optimistic view of globalization
For me the world economy is evidence of the pervasive ideas of Liberalization, Privatization and Globalization as panacea for all the problems our countries faces today.
World-wide solidarity among workers, disadvantaged and oppressed appears to remain an ideal than a reality and anti-immigrant sentiment is on the rise in the many parts of the world.
The world is certainly globalized and is still globalizing but the old nations and nation-states have not withered away.
If you take Europe it does not exist except as a discursively constructed object of consciousness so it follows that Europeans also do not exist as a people with shared past, other than conflict. Europeaness consists as much in the way of values, interests,and beliefs, modes of justification, etc are mediated and negotiated as in a specific set of identifications. European identity or being European has not seriously undermined the centrality of nationalism in the modern world.
There is little point in contesting the ‘emptiness’ of so many arguments for global citizenship. It is easier to be a global citizen if you are secure in your rights as a national citizen.
The logic that ‘only if the rich get richer will the poor live better! is a joke.
So why are Nation-states forfeiting their sovereignty in order to support global and regional markets, by selling their natural resources and future infrastructure to Sovereign Wealth Funds. The idea that the Welfare State has failed its citizens is sold through the mechanism of the Public Private Partnership, to pave the way for the take over of public assets by private interests.
The handing over common owned resources by interlinking of rivers, mining projects and disinvestment corroborated by the stock market fly in the face of Nationhood. (see previous Posts) For example in 2007, the total volume of trade by private corporations world over was over $1171 trillion. The sum of the earnings of all countries was a mere $66 trillion, almost twenty times less!
It needs to be understood that the financial power of the multi-nationals’ private business is huge.
The sovereignty of the state is no longer linked to a territory, nor are today’s communication technologies or military strategy, and this dislocation does in fact bring about a crisis in the old European concept of the political Nation.
The nation’ is frequently presented under the banner of Globalization as an outdated inconvenience, a domain of racism and intolerance.
New kinds of national identity are being forged.
A conversion from an ethnic to a multicultural and cosmopolitan community are evolving with alternative forms of belonging. That modernity is almost unthinkable without capitalism (despite any such attempt to render modernity as a democratizing force tied to a conception and experience of time).
Divisions in society are no longer based on citizenship, but rather on economic factors: access to employment, housing conditions and education opportunities.
So is it time for us to redefine the meaning of Nationhood. To rewrite and rethink our individual and collective destinies. Can we turn away from the future of the past and embody the logic of a future to come.
States now need to come to terms with the new circumstances that confront them.
The composition of western societies has become far more dynamic and complex. Ideas about personal and collective identity have inevitably begun to change as a consequence.
While states attempt to assert their relevance in a global age through both multiculturalism and top-down nationalism, new models of identity and strategies of participation need to be developed to deal with the co-existing phenomena of national experience and cosmopolitanism.
We all know that it is all but impossible for races and cultures that have differences going to the root of their immigration to be assimilated into a united whole.
It is my view that a Nation without a written Constitution that enshrines equality across the board can no longer offer Nationhood.
Because the concept of Citizenship and Sovereignty that emerged during the 17th/19th Century have become outdated and remains to this day significantly flawed.
The state remains a very powerful force in the lives of many people and is the most significant unit of democracy in the developed world. For many, being a citizen of a particular state, having absorbed the traditions and cultures, being subject to its laws and economic regulation and taking part in the polity, a sense of belonging is still very evident. This is a key point.
As an elite of politicians, businessmen and media executives literally fly over the great unwashed it is important to recognize that the nation, by now understood as both an antagonistic and unequal grouping as well as the potential for collective sovereignty, really is dead for many of those in positions of global power.
Nationalism will have to develop a new way of comprehending the world.
The answer to all of this will have to wait for the next post.
Because our Politicians are driven by the economy and not by what their people need to live fulfilled lives.
In the Corporate world Nations only exist in the contested space of conversation. In part two we will address this concept.