Category Archives: Earth Changes

Children of the World Want Change, Be the Change You Wish to See Kids!!

Greta is being heard because she is a child and those in power do not know how to remove a child from asking for a better world for children.

I knew this was one of the ways that change will be evoked as those of us who are committed to another world are silenced, stonewalled and ignored in the corridors of power.  However, children evoke strong public responses and this is why they have power at this time.

My wishes go to the children to be the change they wish to see.  HOwever, with power comes responsibility and they too need to learn a new way.  the future will sing out the words ‘we are ONE’.  The future will be about a highly evolved consciousness whereby we learn to treat each other with respect, we recognise that destroying the earth is destroying our very selves, we recognise that what you do to another returns to the self as life is circular.   The species must evolve into a collaborative, values based future culture that no longer extends power through force but discovers inner power through love.  This future society will live in harmony with the planet, it will not be rewarded on the basis of self interest but shared interest where all win/win.    This advanced society will be taught from childhood that the family is the central foundation to peace and parents and children will interact in ways that are peaceful, respectful and not based on domination models on the basis of age.  Parents will learn how to parent in a way that is more akin to coming alongside with experience and counsel, there will be no force or punishment but rather a pointing to consequences for actions, experiential ways of learning why an action shouldn’t be taken and reflective thinking to look back over what went wrong and why.  It will be community based where we will know our neighbours, we will live on fresh food and resources that are local and we will be producing and sharing that produce with each other recognising that we must be close to the earth to respect it as the source of our lives, indeed our very mother.

This generation that are here now will express this higher consciousness as they too have destinies that must be experienced.  This comes from a greater ecosystem beyond the earth and is part of our own lifting in consciousness.  It is not unlike the child who has played with toys for a long time to realise they have outgrown their interest in those toys.  Those who are here to be the wayshowers will think and see differently and are here to guide humanity to a new future based on harmony.  There will be clashing it up on this journey as the clashing is what expands into this high consciousness.  It is inevitable as it is destined for our species to evolve.  Many with vested interests will resist, will use the old power structure as they cling to their New World Order paradigm which is not sustainable and will not play out the way they believe.   We have been down the totalitarian path and we do not desire to go through it again.  The climate change issue and those who have tried to take control of the agenda indicating their industries are sustainable have not understood real sustainability and the ecological footprint that we must live within.  It is not revisiting eugenics which arose out of Hitler’s regime and population control.  It is about learning to live within natural limits.    There is a saying ‘the meek will inherit the earth’, this is a truism. Those favoured for natural selection will be living in harmony with natural systems, and like any species in nature, those that cannot adapt to the earth will not continue.  As there are forces far greater than the few at the top and some off world influences which governments are well aware of and the Navy recently announced.  The power of love is not a word, love itself is not human it has come from a higher awareness that created all of us.  This essence is the natural unity that exists in nature and is the very resilience that ensures species survive or die off.  Human’s must reconnect with loving themselves, each other and the earth as if their family.  Until they do they will be out of step with this new future.  So it is time now to come together and heal the past, face what we deny and move towards a far greater future where we not only survive but thrive.  I feel that will come to pass.

Here are two videos of Greta Thornberg.

Greta Thornberg, climate change activists.  It is time for the children to learn to speak up and reclaim their democracy before their future is altered.  By 2020 the curve must go downward, politicians don’t want to talk to the children she says, she says she wants the politicians to speak to scientists.  She advocates for the Paris Agreement.  She says unite behind the science.

Ecological Economics is the Future

In my book A Fool for Peace I speak of Wholistic economics.  This is based on real needs and wants.  Ecological economics is a step closer in that we start to factor in the real costs of economic activity.  When I studied economics the first thing I realised was that economics only deal with infinite growth modelling.  It regarded all activity as wealth, whereas real wealth must factor in Gross National Happiness (actual purpose of economics) and optimal resource use whereby we do not denude future resources for future generations.  We have to understand the real meaning of balance and homeostasis not only with the planet but within ourselves as all needs arise from inner narratives that say ‘I need…I want…’  When we become happier the needs and wants narrow as we no longer fill gaps but meet actual needs.  This runs counter to the economic narrative that depends on expansion in expenditure (wants) and profit (wealth) rather than balance where need=want.  So this is where the tension is. We see this in how the government deals with environmentalists and the resistance of industry to living a truly sustainable life, rather than marketing one that sounds good but does not have any real impact on nature, no matter the digital rhetoric. The outer world always reflects the inner state of ourselves.  The outer will not change until we address the inner state, this is universal law not man made law.  Even ecological economics has not understood the fundamental link with inner peace.  I am waiting still, I am still waiting… for change.  Now to the article on ecological economics…

http://theconversation.com/what-is-ecological-economics-and-why-do-we-need-to-talk-about-it-123915?

Ecological economics focuses on sustainability and development, rather than the traditional economic concerts of efficiency and growth. thodonal88/Shutterstock

What is ‘ecological economics’ and why do we need to talk about it?

November 5, 2019 6.03am AEDT

Anitra Nelson, Brian Coffey, RMIT University

Authors

  1. Anitra Nelson

Associate Professor, Centre for Urban Research, RMIT University

  1. Brian Coffey

Vice-Chancellor’s Research Fellow, Centre for Urban Research, RMIT University, RMIT University

Disclosure statement

Anitra Nelson is Vice-President of the Australia New Zealand Society of Ecological Economics (ANZSEE), has been on the ANZSEE executive (2015–19) and is Chair of the Organising Committee for the ANZSEE 2019 Conference at RMIT University. An Australian research team she has led also received funding associated with entries made for the online data-base EJAtlas.

Brian Coffey is on the Organising Committee for the ANZSEE 2019 Conference, which is to be held at RMIT University.

Partners

RMIT University provides funding as a strategic partner of The Conversation AU.

View current jobs from RMIT University

View all partners

This article is part of a series on rebalancing the human–nature interactions that are central to the study and practice of ecological economics, which is the focus of the 2019 ANZSEE Conference in Melbourne later this month.

As environmental crises and the urgency to create ecological sustainability escalate, so does the importance of ecological economics. This applied, solutions-based field of studies is concerned with sustainability and development, rather than efficiency and growth. Also, given that cities account for 70-80% of global economic activity and associated resource use, emissions and waste, they are central to finding solutions to the challenge of sustainability.

Ecological economics recognises local to global environmental limits. It ranges from research for short-term policy and local challenges through to long-term visions of sustainable societies. Ecological economists also consider global issues such as carbon emissions, deforestation, overfishing and species extinctions.

Read more: Our cities fall short on sustainability, but planning innovations offer local solutions

Core concepts

You’re probably familiar with some core concepts of ecological economics. These include “steady-state economies”, “carrying capacity”, “ecological footprints” and “environmental justice”.

Nicholas Georgescu-Roegen was one of the first economists to argue that an economy faces limits to growth as a result of resource depletion.

A steady-state economy is both relatively stable and respects ecological limits. Drawing on the work of mathematician and economist Nicholas Georgescu-Roegen, economist Herman Daly elaborated the model, editing a 1973 anthology, Toward a Steady-State Economy.

In 1990, Daly co-founded the International Society of Ecological Economics (ISEE). It had three key principles:

  • the human economy is embedded in nature, and economic processes are actually biological, physical and chemical processes and transformations
  • ecological economics is a meeting place for researchers committed to environmental issues
  • ecological economics requires transdisciplinary work to describe economic processes in relation to physical reality.

Joshua Farley, who has worked with Daly, discusses some of these principles in an opening address to the Australia New Zealand Society of Ecological Economics (ANZSEE) conference at RMIT University later this month.

In a partnership program of several North American universities, Farley teaches Economics for the Anthropocene postgraduates. They apply ecological economics to “real-world environmental solutions”. Some will talk at the conference about their research.

Today overconsumption is measured against Earth’s carrying capacity.

Read more: Human carrying capacity and our need for a parachute

William Rees and Mathis Wackernagel developed the related concept of the ecological footprint. It’s an indicator of the ecological impacts of everyday activities and practices.

Ecological footprints are useful ways for industries, governments and people to assess which practices we need to reduce to keep within the limits of Earth’s regenerative capacity.

The ecological footprint explained. See https://youtu.be/fACkb2u1ULY

 

Read more: Chinese migrants follow and add to Australian city dwellers’ giant ecological footprints

ISEE co-founder Joan Martinez-Alier established the global Environmental Justice Atlas. Activists and scholars developed this online database of around 3,000 environmental justice conflicts. It provides open access to many and various ecological and economic value assessments.

Issues of environmental justice in Australia include:

Read more: An environmentally just city works best for all in the end

Mountains of waste are a stark reminder we are consuming more than the Earth can sustain. ThavornC/Shutterstock

A new kind of economics

Ecological economics partly developed from frustration with the narrowness of environmental and resource economics. These approaches apply mainstream economics to the environment. In doing so, they fail to incorporate critical environmental concerns that arise with inputs, outputs and waste.

Read more: Beyond GDP: are there better ways to measure well-being?

In addition, ecological economists have a broader view about what “progress” is and how to measure it. Ecological econonomists are more sceptical about how much human-made capital improves on the benefits we get from nature. Critically, they ask: “How useful is it to put a monetary value on nature?”

Ecological economist Clive Hamilton discusses that question in the case of Coronation Hill in Kakadu National Park. He argues that market-based assessments such as “willingness to pay” favour market-based solutions. Similarly, Brian Coffey highlights the conundrum of monetising ecological values:

I would rather ask “why is nature important?” and “how can we live with, and within, it?”

Despite this, certain ecological economists use monetary data to make powerful ecological statements. For instance, Ida Kubiszewski and her co-authors surveyed land uses under different future scenarios. They concluded that continuing business as usual could wipe out a third of the value of Asia-Pacific ecosystems by 2050.

Read more: Without action, Asia-Pacific ecosystems could lose a third of their value by 2050

Solutions for sustainable and just futures

In short, ecological economics has contributors from diverse disciplinary and professional backgrounds.

Presenters to the ANZSEE conference of course include ecologists and economists. But there are also social and physical scientists, sociologists, philosophers, historians, planners and sustainability experts.

Sustainability expert Samuel Alexander speaks about living well with degrowth. Others argue that a climate-safe world requires radical forms of economics.

Read more: Limits to growth: policies to steer the economy away from disaster

Contributors will also talk about just transitions, commoning, the genuine progress indicator (GPI), School Strike for Climate (SS4C), resilience, decarbonisation and ethical investment. Keynote speaker Jon Altman presents a model of hybrid economies that’s useful in the context of Indigenous peoples

 

David Attenborough, Cher, Chomsky and Climate Denial

The video below features a few experts commenting on the times we are moving through.  The selfishness and greed of economic narratives are the barrier to healing our planet. Yet until we look into ourselves, become very still, speak our truth and work together it is a struggle to the bottom.  What sort of world are the children going to inherit?  The lower video is David Attenborough speaking to a Parliamentary inquiry.

One of the World’s experts on the dynamics of our planet, David Attenborough.  Here is a video on climate change.  I certainly can feel the heat.  I wonder if he will get the Nobel Peace Prize for his educational work informing us about nature.  Watching this film with its brushstroke across the world from the perspective of a biologist given a deeper impression of our footprint.  I think about the butterfly effect and can see it works in nature.   When you think about self interest can you make the quantum leap to best interest?  Global temperatures have risen 0.6 degrees (average) since 1900.  David asks how can such a small increase create such havoc.  He speaks of places cooling and then refers to the Arctic warming by 3 degrees.  The environment is highly specialised and he describes the extraordinary animals living above and below the ice.  He has explained the Arctic is melting so fast that the wildlife is under threat, especially the animals at the top of the food chain, the polar bears.  As the ice melts earlier each year mothers are finding it harder to provide for cubs.

 

Here is a video featuring David Attenborough.  We must wake up!

 

My poem.

SINKING THE PLANET

Are you top of the world,

Can you see the northern lights?

A ribbony weave waving

providing a natural display of great beauty,

Yet the ground feels unstable under my feet,

As the ice is melting,

The polar bears are starving,

As climate change is the Mount Everest of humanity

that cannot be climbed in a day,

For mountaineers are no longer adventurers with the courage

to acknowledge the peak in CO2 emissions,

As denial provides the immunity from an

inconvenient truth.

 

Yet the ice caps are unable to cap trade,

Humanity is unable to understand the missing links,

The feedback loops,

The wildlife pressures in search of diminishing food stocks,

As stock and trade is the human food security,

Detached from the natural economics of supply,

For we keep demanding business-as-usual,

Unconscious of the sinking ship,

In a climate of real change,

As we wait to see who ‘will be the change’

of a new future and a new earth

of awakened stewardship.

 

The Earth Institute Columbia University

The Earth Institute is based at Columbia University in the United States. It is multi-disciplinary.

In the spirit of Einstein:  

“No problem can be solved from the same consciousness that created it.”

14 Mar 1951, Princeton, New Jersey, USA --- Albert Einstein sticks out his tongue when asked by photographers to smile on the occasion of his 72nd birthday on March 14, 1951. --- Image by © Bettmann/CORBIS

14 Mar 1951, Princeton, New Jersey, USA — Albert Einstein sticks out his tongue when asked by photographers to smile on the occasion of his 72nd birthday on March 14, 1951. — Image by © Bettmann/CORBIS

A few questions at the outset.

  • What do we want to create?
  • What is the core problem?
  1. Is it an analytical problem?
  2. Is it a spiritual problem?
  3. Is it a political problem?
  • Should contemplation on the earth be multidisciplinary or multi-faceted opening conversations with people from all walks of life.
  • When did the earth community live in harmony with the natural world?  What have we learned?
  • Is it about knowledge or wisdom?
  • Is it about evidence or awareness?
  • Is it about being right or happy?
  • Is it about sustainability or symmetrical balance?
  • Is it about harmony?

The answers arise from the questions. Are the questions we ask going to provide the answers we need  given our desires?

Here is an overview of the Earth Institute followed by a listing of the board (next blog).

Prospectus
 

Introduction

The governance of the Earth Institute includes a group of scholars who will address the challenges that humans face as Earth continues to develop. This group, the Earth Institute faculty, will ensure the quality of the research of the Earth Institute’s research clusters as well as educational activities, which the Earth Institute develops and coordinates in conjunction with Columbia University schools and departments. The Earth Institute faculty will also advance integration across disciplines in both research and education.

Membership

Members of the Earth Institute faculty will be appointed by the Provost of Columbia University. The Earth Institute faculty are a group of 50 faculty members with a diverse set of backgrounds who are providing leadership in the defining and implementing activities critical to the mission of the Earth Institute. The Earth Institute faculty includes 8 ex officio members to ensure representation of the clusters and affiliated departments.

Areas of Responsibility

The general areas that the Earth Institute faculty will oversee include the following:

  • Intellectual guidance of the Earth Institute – The Earth Institute faculty will provide the intellectual underpinning of Earth Institute activities. It will formulate and update the general vision and specific goals of the Earth Institute including a strategic plan. In the framework of this general activity, The Earth Institute faculty will have responsibility for writing case statements for development targets such as Earth Institute Professors.
  • Curriculum Development – As the Earth Institute develops, it will expand not only research, but also educational activities, in conjunction with Columbia University schools and departments. The Earth Institute faculty will coordinate undergraduate and graduate education programs and will oversee the developments of new degree programs.
  • New appointments and visitors – Accomplishment of the ambitious goals of the Earth Institute requires new hires to (1) fill crucial gaps in the existing expertise, (2) augment existing core strength to enable Earth Institute scientists to compete at the highest level, and (3) to facilitate interdisciplinary research which is the key to the success of Earth Institute goals. The Earth Institute faculty will be the body that designs a plan for hires that helps to meet the overall goals of the Earth Institute, and recommends candidates for appointment to Earth Institute positions and for visiting appointments.
  • Intellectual Balance – Throughout the Earth Institute units there is much variation in strength of the programs that are vital for its success. As the Earth Institute moves toward closer interaction and integration, it is necessary to review the status of the individual clusters and to develop procedures that ensure balanced strength to accomplish Earth Institute goals.
  • Guidance of specific programs – The Earth Institute faculty will oversee a variety of programs that are important for development of new ideas and development of intellectual resources. These programs include the Earth Institute Fellows program.
  • Workshops, conferences and seminars – The Earth Institute faculty will review these activities to the extent that they carry Earth Institute imprimatur. The Earth Institute faculty will have resources to hold and sponsor these activities as they see fit.
  • Home of the Earth Institute academic activities – The Earth Institute faculty will consider the most appropriate intellectual structure and physical home for efficiently conducting Earth Institute academic affairs.

Committees

The Earth Institute faculty will have 6 committees:

  • Academic Appointments Committee: This committee will oversee contributions of the Earth Institute to academic hires and design a plan for academic appointments and promotions through the core of the Earth Institute. The Earth Institute’s Appointments and Promotions Guidelines can be found here.
  • Education Committee: This committee will oversee the development and integration of the Earth Institute’s educational programs.
  • Executive Committee: This committee will oversee and further develop new initiatives of the Earth Institute and its faculty, using the strategic plan and the 2003 Strategic Vision Document as a baseline.
  • Faculty Development & Diversity Committee: This committee will promote diversity and disciplinary balance among Earth Institute faculty.
  • Practice Committee: This committee will oversee the work of practice-oriented scholars at the Earth Institute, and foster their work as it relates to the mission of the Earth Institute.
  • Unit Review Committee: This committee will establish a review process for assessing the operations and performance of Earth Institute centers and programs.

Bylaws

Bylaws of the Earth Institute faculty (pdf)

 

UN Climate Change Report – Where’s Wally?

It is interesting when Governments concerns become more focused on economic growth then preserving the environment.  I was reflecting on how the Green movement were perceived and often referred to as ‘greenies’ and how that rhetoric has disappeared from the narrative.  Silent agreement arose.  I reflected on propaganda most of us just accept without reflection.  Yet the environment, apart from its incredible beauty, is here to support all life and indeed, a celebration of life itself. Do we reduce it to ashes, pollute it, ignore climate change given political/business interests and leave behind for children a wasteland?  Or do we take responsibility and start to acknowledge that we do not have the answers, that our current way is not working?  To face that our way is not in harmony with the natural world.  That we are slowly destroying a precious jewel, the value of which, cannot be calculated.  Of course the real extinction will be us as the planet will eventually regenerate, but the test is definitely for humanity.

The message I send with love to the Australian government is – do no fear tourism issues, show courage and face what is happening, show leadership as a steward.  A bleached coral reef is soon going to dissuade tourists, how about we learn how to restore it?  How about we lead the world as environmental pioneers of a new way of working that balances our activity with nature?  Could be fun. When you focus on solutions new portals of higher understanding will open.  Fear shuts down possibilities and interestingly enough, through the law of attraction, we attract what we most fear.  This is the secret to creating a new future.  Focus on what you want. Most believe they are vulnerable to change, they have no power to change the future. The truth is when we shift our consciousness to one of oneness with all life, miracles can happen.  I am curious to see who the visionaries will be.  When will we wake up to Oneness?

http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2016/may/27/australia-scrubbed-from-un-climate-change-report-after-government-intervention

Australia scrubbed from UN climate change report after government intervention

Exclusive: All mentions of Australia were removed from the final version of a Unesco report on climate change and world heritage sites after the Australian government objected on the grounds it could impact on tourism

Revealed: Guardian Australia has obtained the Unesco report Australia didn’t want the world to see. Read it now

 
Great Barrier Reef
The Great Barrier Reef is in the midst of its worst crisis in recorded history. Unusually warm water has caused 93% of the reefs along the 2,300km site to experience bleaching. Photograph: XL Catlin Seaview Survey/AFP/Getty Images

Every reference to Australia was scrubbed from the final version of a major UN report on climate change after the Australian government intervened, objecting that the information could harm tourism.

Guardian Australia can reveal the report “World Heritage and Tourism in a Changing Climate”, which Unesco jointly published with the United Nations environment program and the Union of Concerned Scientists on Friday, initially had a key chapter on the Great Barrier Reef, as well as small sections on Kakadu and the Tasmanian forests.

But when the Australian Department of Environment saw a draft of the report, it objected, and every mention of Australia was removed by Unesco. Will Steffen, one of the scientific reviewers of the axed section on the reef, said Australia’s move was reminiscent of “the old Soviet Union”.

No sections about any other country were removed from the report. The removals left Australia as the only inhabited continent on the planet with no mentions.

Explaining the decision to object to the report, a spokesperson for the environment department told Guardian Australia: “Recent experience in Australia had shown that negative commentary about the status of world heritage properties impacted on tourism.”

As a result of climate change combined with weather phenomena, the Great Barrier Reef is in the midst of the worst crisis in recorded history. Unusually warm water has caused 93% of the reefs along the 2,300km site to experience bleaching. In the northern most pristine part, scientists think half the coral might have died.

The omission was “frankly astounding,” Steffen said.

Steffen is an emeritus professor at the Australian National University and head of Australia’s Climate Council. He was previously executive director of the International Geosphere Biosphere Programme, where he worked with 50 countries on global change science.

“I’ve spent a lot of my career working internationally,” Steffen said. “And it’s very rare that I would see something like this happening. Perhaps in the old Soviet Union you would see this sort of thing happening, where governments would quash information because they didn’t like it. But not in western democracies. I haven’t seen it happen before.”

The news comes less than a year after the Australian government successfully lobbied Unesco to not list the Great Barrier Reef in its list of “World Heritage Sites in Danger”.

Guardian Live election special event with Lenore Taylor and Katharine Murphy

Join our political editor and deputy political editor for a panel discussion about policies, candidates and key battlegrounds being fought during what will be one of Australia’s longest election campaigns

Click here

The removals occurred in early 2016, during a period when there was significant pressure on the Australian government in relation to both climate change and world heritage sites.

At the time, news of the government’s science research agency CSIRO sacking 100 climate scientists due to government budget cuts had just emerged; parts of the Tasmanian world heritage forests were on fire for the first time in recorded history; and a global coral bleaching event was beginning to hit the Great Barrier Reef – another event driven by global warming.

The environment department spokesperson told Guardian Australia: “The department was concerned that the framing of the report confused two issues – the world heritage status of the sites and risks arising from climate change and tourism.”

The report said the case studies were chosen partly because of their geographic representation, their importance for tourism and the robustness of evidence around the impact of climate change on them.

Burnt alpine vegetation at the Lake Mackenzie fire in Tasmania
Pinterest
Burnt alpine vegetation at the Lake Mackenzie fire in Tasmania. Photograph: Rob Blakers for the Guardian

A recent study found the conditions that cause the current bleaching on the Great Barrier Reef was made at least 175 times more likely by climate change and, on the current trajectory, would become the average conditions within 20 years.

Without mentioning the Great Barrier Reef, the report notes: “Research suggests that preserving more than 10% of the world’s corals would require limiting warming to 1.5C or less, and protecting 50% would mean halting warming at 1.2C (Frieler et al. 2012).”

The full statement from the environment department said:

The World Heritage Centre initiated contact with the Department of the Environment in early 2016 for our views on aspects of this report.

The department expressed concern that giving the report the title ‘Destinations at risk’ had the potential to cause considerable confusion. In particular, the world heritage committee had only six months earlier decided not to include the Great Barrier Reef on the in-danger list and commended Australia for the Reef 2050 Plan.

The department was concerned that the framing of the report confused two issues – the world heritage status of the sites and risks arising from climate change and tourism. It is the world heritage committee, not its secretariat (the World Heritage Centre), which is properly charged with examining the status of world heritage sites.

Recent experience in Australia had shown that negative commentary about the status of world heritage properties impacted on tourism.

The department indicated it did not support any of Australia’s world heritage properties being included in such a publication for the reasons outlined above.

The Department of the Environment conveyed these concerns through Australia’s ambassador to UNESCO.

The department did not brief the minister on this issue.”