[mgj-discuss] [globalization] Too Much of Nothing
communications at irc-online.org
Wed Aug 3 19:31:23 GMT 2005
Globalization News from FPIF
August 3, 2005
Introducing the latest policy analysis from Foreign Policy In Focus
Too Much of Nothing
By Tom Athanasiou
Its getting harder to hide the climate crisis.
February, for example, saw a landmark conference in which leading
scientists, one after the other, stepped forward to draw a clear,
unambiguous line. No more uncertainty for these guys. As John
Schellnhuber, director of Cambridges Tyndall Centre for Climate
Change, put it: We now know that if we go beyond two degrees we will
If, of course, we want to avoid hell. To help you decide, imagine the
current global drought deepening, and settling in to stay; imagine 3
billion people, packed into Southern mega-cities, under severe water
stress; imagine a loss of 1/3 or more of terrestrial species,
including, of course, polar bears; and imagine the die-off of a drying
Amazon. Imagine the melting of the Greenland and West Antarctic ice,
and the rising of the oceans. Imagine, too, that development itself
goes Up in Smoke. Do so because global warming threatens to make the
international targets on halving global poverty by 2015, the
Millennium Development Goals, entirely unattainable.
No wonder, as all this seeps gradually into our resistant minds, were
getting a wee bit alarmed. We have, in effect, run out over the edge of
the cliff, and just now, like Wiley Coyote tempting the laws of
physics, were looking down.
Obviously, this situation requires a global response. What seems less
obvious, at least among the elites, is that this cant be a
business-as-usual response in which the climate crisis becomes just
another excuse for strengthening the winds of neoliberalism.
The stakes would be clearer if it werent for the Bush regime. Because,
frankly, even neoliberalism--especially the European sort--can look
pretty good when compared to the kind of fundamentalism now being
exported from Washington.
The South really does not intend to agree to anything that does not
guarantee it a path to developmental equity, and until a regime that
meets this rather daunting criteria is on the table, the Bush people,
and indeed the whole fossil-fuel/development-as-usual cartel, are going
to find it easy to sow discord and division.
Tom Athanasiou is the co-director of EcoEquity
(http://www.ecoequity.org) and, most recently, the co-author, with Paul
Baer, of Dead Heat: Global Justice and Global Warming.
See full article online at:
With printer-friendly PDF version at:
Produced and distributed by International Relations Center (IRC). For
more information, visit http://www.irc-online.org.
If you would like to receive specific topic or regional material from
either FPIF (http://www.fpif.org) or the Americas Program
(http://www.americaspolicy.org), please email:
communications at irc-online.org, with subscribe and giving your area
You can join the IRC and make a secure donation by visiting
http://www.irc-online.org/donate.php. Thank you.
To manage your subscription to the Globalization ezine:
International Relations Center
Siri D. Khalsa
Email: communications at irc-online.org
P.O. Box 2178
Silver City, NM 88062
-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
More information about the mgj-discuss