Rio: any hope?

Written By: - Date published: 3:04 pm, June 20th, 2012 - 41 comments
Categories: climate change, economy, food, sustainability - Tags: ,

A draft agreement has been negotiated for the Rio+20 summit that starts today, but anyone who cares about the future of our planet should be disappointed.

The expert panel of nobel laureates, scientists and ministers’ call to ‘seize the moment‘ has largely gone unheeded, as the agreement is full of empty promises and lacking in concrete commitments.

The world will apparently aim for “urgent action” on unsustainable production and consumption, but the draft gives no detail or timetable on how to achieve this; no clear direction on how the world economy can be put on a greener path.

The panel warned:

“The combined effects of climate change, resource scarcity, loss of biodiversity and ecosystem resilience at a time of increased demand, poses a real threat to humanity’s welfare.”

“There is an unacceptable risk that human pressures on the planet, should they continue on a business as usual trajectory, will trigger abrupt and irreversible changes with catastrophic outcomes for human societies and life as we know it.”

with Prof Will Steffen from the Australian National University saying:

“There are intrinsic limits to the planet’s capacity, and we must recognise that we’re transgressing them – in fact, have transgressed some of them.”

“Business as usual is not an option.”

but what we got was a document that largely it merely “reaffirms” commitments nations have made previously.

World leaders were too busy with the euro crisis at the G20 meeting that finished today; with Obama, Merkel and Cameron among many world leaders who will not be going to Rio. The immediate monetary crisis overshadows the much bigger and longer-lasting environmental and developmental ones.  Apparently we can’t worry about getting poor people fresh water, or the fact that we’re consuming more than the planet creates while we’re not sure how the sharemarket will react to Greece’s budget.

41 comments on “Rio: any hope? ”

  1. BLiP 1


    No sign of the 100% Pure New Zealand Minister of Tourism, then?

    • Fortran 1.1

      Why should anybody attend this talkfest.
      Like so many UN type meetings nothing of consequence will evolve, except the date and time for the next meeting.
      Why waste money when it will achieve nothing but more “hot air”.

  2. Draco T Bastard 2

    Rio: any hope?

    Nope, just more of the unsustainable Business as Usual.

    • Colonial Viper 2.1

      But any serious observer knows that BAU = “growth” has been over for a few years now, and that BAU = “stagnation and decline” is starting to bite pretty hard.

      Bottom line is that a persistent Great Recession is the only way which carbon emissions will reduce significantly.

  3. captain hook 3

    There is no hope from Rio.
    somehow we are going to have to work out our own path and it will be become the defining epoch of new zealand as we face resource depletion and uh other stuff.
    maybe humanity is going to evolve to meet the challenge.

  4. no – another bullshit talkfest, fuck the kids,

  5. Oscar 5

    If any government wants to be brave and ensure a “sustainable” future for the resources which are by and large finite, then just implement a two child policy.

    One child to replace each parent. If a child dies, turns out to be gay, or is sterile, think of it as “natural attrition”

    Then in 200 years when the worlds population is vastly reduced, let them clamour for years on how to deal with the reducing population thus limiting the spread of genes.

    A bit like the never ending gabfest that is focused on NS (what a wonderful distraction – lets focus 10 years out rather than right now) when it’s a clearly sustainable system if the following were done

    – only NZ born residents to be eligible for National Super. You moved here from South Africa 25 years ago and paid taxes and worked all that time? Swell, thanks for contributing to our economy. Weren’t you aware that NZ focuses on “personal responsibility” so you should have been saving for those 25 years? Don’t like it? Tough bikkies.

    – Remove the anomaly that allows for the partner who is UNDER 65, of someone who is OVER 65 to claim National Super. Stupid Anomaly, saving millions, but it’s a start.

    – Any Directorships, Board Appointments or any public position that is held and remunerated to the tune of $30K or more a year aggregate, then no eligibility for NS until those positions are rescinded.

    As for the Climate Change debacle, what a crock of shit. Sea levels were supposed to have drowned Tuvalu by now, but it’s still going on. None of the forecasts even take into consideration land uplift due to earthquakes which will increase the weaker the magnetosphere gets. Wellington facing a 1M sea level rise in the next 88 years? Pshaw! Any earthquake that happens before then will uplift the land at least a good 4Metres.

    It’s bullshit psuedo science focused only on cherry picked data, ignoring the bigger picture.

  6. If humans have a chance then it will take something like this
    About 80% unemployment (on 2008 figures)
    Everyone will have to stay home and collect a food ration every week, you will be aloud to do whatever you want, except harm anything (as we will also have to go vegetarian) that would even include harming another human, also there would have to be a 30 year moratorium on having children, mainly so in 30 years ‘we’ can see if the planet managed to support 7 billion people, and what chance a child born now or then will/would have had.
    Because with the continued worship of growth, or even the ‘common man’ trying to maintain his/er lifestyle, and spitting out a couple of kids is definitely going to turn this rock into a death planet, the joke is it might have been the only ‘live planet’ in the universe.
    The 20% or so employed will be for supplying the food rations, sort of a ‘dads army’ but of the 15 – 35 year olds, and law and order, and teaching I guess, health?
    Maintaining the power supply say at 20%.
    No more computers, flat screen TVs, panty shields.
    Any child born will become a ward of the state, the parents will be sterilized, and made to work in the dads army for the rest of the kids life.
    Or we can just wait till things get a shit load worse than that suggestion, because if we do not start acting like adults, then this fucked up spices is gone.

    • Matthew Hooton 6.2

      Robert – thank you for so clearly outlining the true agenda of the green movement. Not many people involved in green politics are prepared to be so honest.

      • felix 6.2.1

        I’m not sure you understood that comment, Matthew. It wasn’t laying out an agenda.

        • Matthew Hooton

          Oh, I think it did outline an agenda and you should read it again. Robert suggests we need to do these things now – sterilise people, make them stay at home, introduce rationing and so forth – and that, if we don’t, things will get worse on their own and our “fucked up species will be gone”. I applaud him for outlining the green movement’s true policy agenda to avert the imminent Tribulation they fear.

          • Te Reo Putake

            Robert doesn’t speak for the green movement, Matthew. That’d be like me claiming that you speak for the failed ideologies of the past … oh, wait …

          • felix

            Matthew, this is a little embarrassing. As far as I can tell, Robert is outlining what he believes are the inevitable results of our way of life.

            I can’t see the bit where he advocates sterilisation or rationing (or anything else for that matter). Is that just you ‘filling in the blanks’ or have I missed something?

            Because if he didn’t advocate those things, then all we have is evidence of your thoughts about what the green movement is about.

            Which we already knew.

            • Matthew Hooton

              You need to read it again obviously.
              He says that if humans are to have a chance, then a number of things will have to happen.
              These include:
              * Everyone will have to stay home and collect a food ration every week
              * There would have to be a 30 year moratorium on having children
              * Any child born will become a ward of the state, the parents will be sterilized, and made to work in the dads army for the rest of the kids life
              He then says that, if we wait to do these policy suggestions, the world will become worse than the policy suggestions. It is these unnamed worse things, including the human species becoming extinct, that, to use your words, he believes are the inevitable results of our way of life.

              • Does Robert eat watermelon when it’s in season?

              • felix

                So he does, I missed the first line.

                What does any of this have to do with the green movement?

                • Carol

                  Nothing I suspect.

                  If you look at RA’s past comments, he has lost hope that organised political parties/movements have any solution to our problems, As I understand it, he kind of sees the Green Party and the rest of the left as having left it too late, and now they are just so many fiddling Neros:


                  Good on the Greens – yeah right
                  Like I’ve said you get what you vote for, and idiot selfish humans will always vote for idiot selfish leaders, the Greeds are the green wash, and we have been hung out to dry.


                  But fighting for what?
                  Fighting to save something that is lost?
                  Fighting to keep your head above water, while being trapped bellow decks?
                  I thought fighting for some honesty from our scum politicians was worth a crack, but then I was a very naive young lad back in 1999, little did I understand that if a bunch of uneducated selfish humans vote, they are going to get exactly what they want, = a bunch of uneducated selfish leaders… and just look what we have.
                  I’m not curling up into a hole, I’m enjoying sitting front and center watching this world go to crap, understanding it all just adds to the humor.
                  Alas the children

                  • Thanks Carol, you summed up my opinion well.
                    In this movie Captain Paul Watson describes the green movement, and how it has been taken over by the likes of Russell Norman types, the green party’s continued support of Kiwi Saver, just makes them look so bad, they are as deep in denial and conforming to BAU as much as National.
                    That is why I have always said the greeds were set up as a BAU plot to suck in the tree huger vote, sort of – done the shopping at the organic store, put the recycle bin out now go and vote …. umm, well Clark and co saw a lost opportunity, so along with Fitzsimons and Donald, they set up the far left wing of Labor, and as we saw when Kiwi Saver was voted on the greeds ignored reality and went along with the BAU bullshit.

                    Just like the Transition Town movement, they got into bed with the local councils, and nek minute, they were promoting toxic (mercury) light bulbs being placed over the heads of every New Zealand child. It happened in Kapiti, not sure about the rest of the country?

                    The greeds bought Richard Heinberg out here in 2007. This is Richard speaking in NZ with a bloody big green party flag behind him.
                    And here he is talking about the end of growth
                    Richard spoke in Parliament buildings when he was over here, I don’t know, but I would guess at least every green polly attended his lecture (they bought him over here after all) …… well if you have listened to Richard, you would know he would think investing in a retirement plane that is invested in global stock markets etc would be as insane an act as you could imagine. And if you had attended any of his talks, you would agree, unless you are a green politician under the thumb of your political masters, in this case Helen Clark and co. Hence the greens utter BAU lie Kiwi Saver.
                    And if the greens or the mercury light bulb pushers are the best we have …. then we are 100 % screwed.
                    Walking through a crowed is like swimming in cadavers, except they haven’t fallen over yet.
                    A payout in 40 years, Norman should be taken out and shot.

                    • Matthew Hooton

                      I was just wondering, moderators, what your attitude would be to a RWNJ posting on here calling for forced sterilisation, bans on people having children and having the leader of a parliamentary party taken out and shot?

                    • MH I object to being classed as a green fool or a Right wing idiot, I am a realist, politics doesn’t enter into it, as politicians of all shades are lying criminals, who are as far from reality as over 99.5% of the general dumb public, as you have confirmed, and continue to do so.
                      As far as shooting them ……. well if we took out the top 1,000 wankers .. you know -120 od politicians, top public servants, bankers, lawyers etc, it would not make a difference, we are still going extinct.

                    • vto

                      Why don’t you start the ball rolling and make yourself extinct. You sound like an absolute waste of the last bits of precious energy and resources. See ya, thanks for coming.

                    • I think Robert is to the left what Redbaiter is to the right, they are very similar in ways, including suggesting anyone they don’t like shoukld be shot or hung or otherwise eliminated.

                      They both cry about how everyone but them is wrong and dumb.

                      And various moderators seem to let their oft repeated comments stand as symbols of self defeating nonsense – but we should keep speaking against them in case some potentially dangerous nutter gets some encouragement from their extreme but gutless rants.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      I think Robert is to the left what Redbaiter is to the right

                      Uh, I’m not sure how you managed to get this so completely wrong. Its clear that you understand very little about RA’s points.

                      This is not surprising since most people (and political movements) have perspectives set by the historical environment of increasing energy availability and subsequent real, consistent GDP growth.

                    • vto you are a nasty little girl aren’t you?
                      As far as killing myself, this will come to pass I am sure, but until then as an innocent victim of my last generations ego driven breeding insanity, I think they should all go first, and that goes for all 4 billion idiot breeders, leave the 3 billion innocents who have no choice but to be alive on this fucked up planet, to try and survive the best we can with what the fuckhead parents have left us.

              • Actually, Matthew, he wasn’t advocating any such thing.

                He was positing a scenario where such things might come to pass, should certain activities continue unabated.

                But I suspect you knew this already, and in the manner of one of your colleagues, you are “happily fomenting mischief”.

                Not to be taken seriously, in other words… 😀

                • Matthew Hooton

                  No Frank – we’ve dealt with this before, and you should read it all more carefully. See my exchange with Felix from 11am on 22 June. Your friend is advocating these things, because he fears that if they aren’t implemented as policy even worse things will come to pass. So we force people to stay at home, ration their food, confiscate their children, sterilise them and perhaps shoot Russel Norman, to stop other worse things from happening. And this is, of course, the logical extension of warmist extremism. Robert is just more honest than most warmist extremists.

  7. SandFly 7

    Those deck-chairs look really untidy, what with the deck leaning over like that. And the money keeps sliding off the betting tables…

  8. True Freedom is Self-Governance 8

    Well, this young Wellingtonian has hope for us, and has asked those gathered in Rio for their support. They look pretty unenthused at the end and clap more out of duty than enlightenment, but hey, we can dream can’t we?

    • fatty 8.1

      she shouldn’t have wasted her time talking to those crooks…if I was her I would’ve been on the beach playing soccer. They don’t really care.

      • xtasy 8.1.1

        If she had any real and greater awareness of what is going on, perhaps she should found a movement, which will take resolute action against the very perpetrators who are responsible for the state of affairs. That includes politicians, governments, economic lobbyists, big business, industry producing, selling and praising unsustainable products and systems.

        Maybe take real action and sabotage the system, disown the capitalist stakeholders, the land owners responsible for exploitation of resources and people, the mining corporations that dig and pollute, take over the agricultural and other resource rich land, occupy it, get independent from systems that uphold all that goes on now – and grow your own, make your own and only deal with like minded people.

        Start with the oil and car industries, block highways, roads, occupy, occupy and seize.

        Occupy also the courts that will enforce laws protecting the interest lobbies, their political lackeys and so forth, set up a totally new system, based on economic activity that only relies on sustainable production, energy generation and use.

        This may seem bizarre and cracy, but in reality, some very radical changes are needed. Otherwise the whole present system will collapse, lead to wars over resources, endless divisions, the stronger taking control of what they want and the weaker being exterminated by starvation, poverty and poor health. The industrialised agriculture common today will not be sustainable for a start anyway. It leads to large scale soil erosion, exhaustion, pollution and so forth.

        Just look at Brazil and neighbouring countries, where soy and other oil seed plants are now grown on massive estates of land, in monoculture, which were also partly former forests and other natural habitats. This is done to feed the needs of industrialised nations elsewhere, who want alternative energy generated from such plants, as well as more food of course.

        I see NO solution at Rio de Janeiro, for sure. It will turn out to be another big farce and cop-out.

    • deuto 8.2

      Thanks for that link – I was about to search out Brittany’s speech and all kudos to Brittany for caring enough to put herself forward in the worldwide competition to give the opening speech on behalf of the young people of the world – and to have won that right. Her speech was straight and simple – fine the detractors here may think it is a waste of time, and it may well be, but good on her for having the guts etc.

      • True Freedom is Self-Governance 8.2.1

        No problem, deuto. I think she definitely has guts, and after seeing a couple of interviews with her it would appear she has brains as well. I hope she doesn’t let any negativity about the futility of her speech stop her from pursuing the cause with continued passion.

  9. “Maybe take real action and sabotage the system”
    The first point of action should be at the source of the problem ie maternity wards.

    And as far as the so called 1%, well that is just how the rules of nature stack up, there is always someone at the top, with 7 billion people any attempt of a so called fare distribution of the ‘wealth’ – be that 3 meals a day (x 7 billion) or a flat screan TV for all, there simply isn’t enough ‘shit’ left on the planet to lift many more humans up, and as things are looking you will be lucky to only lose 10% of your so called wealth per year for the foreseeable future.
    Those were the good old days.

    Egypt is fast finding out no matter how many springs they have the reality of winter will remain. There ‘leaders’ are as broke as everyone else. Anyone want a 49% share of a pyramid?

    The per barrel price has gone down 27%
    The per liter price is down 9%

    • Colonial Viper 9.1

      And the cheaper petrol becomes, the more we get confirmation of a global economic slump.

      BTW team, PMI prints throughout the Eurozone and in China are all contractionary and the worst that they have been over the last 7-9 months.

      We’re in for a hell of a tough 2H 2012.

      • Robert Atack 9.1.1

        Just as Parliamentary support predicted 2010

        When a supply crunch forces oil prices beyond a certain point, the cost of oil forces consumers and businesses to cut other spending, inducing a recession. The recession destroys demand for oil, allowing prices to drop. Major international organisations are warning of another supply crunch as soon as 2012.

        The world may be entering an era defined by relatively short periods of economic growth terminating in oil price spikes and recession.

        New Zealand is not immune to the consequences of this situation. In fact, its dependency on bulk exports and tourism makes New Zealand very vulnerable to oil shocks.

        Clint Smith
        Research Analyst, Economics and Industry Team
        Parliamentary Library

        • Colonial Viper

          New Zealand is not immune to the consequences of this situation. In fact, its dependency on bulk exports and tourism makes New Zealand very vulnerable to oil shocks.

          And this was purely from a transport perspective.

          When we factor in how much energy is required to make industrial agricultural systems work – diesel powered farm machines, high embodied energy fertilisers, etc. we get a truer picture for NZ.

  10. randal 10

    hey who cares about rio as long as you got a lexus and a leaf blower and a hardly davison.

  11. Mollymawk 11

    George Monbiot at his best, re Rio and the wider context-

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