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  • Homo Disruptus

    Posted on October 28th, 2010 Jo No comments

    Image Credit : FerdiEgb

    Some straight-talking in the New Zealand Parliament (see below). But just what does he mean by “…[a]fter 10 millennia, especially the past two centuries, it is the moment of truth” ?

    Our species is not “Home Sapiens”, it is “Homo Disruptus” and we’ve been interfering with the Climate for about 10,000 years.

    This speech was made by [Green] Dr Kennedy Graham in the New Zealand
    Parliament within in the last few hours.

    To send him some appreciation his address is: –
    kennedy.graham [at] parliament.govt.nz

    C&C on the growing record: –
    http://www.gci.org.uk/endorsements.html


    “As the Minister made clear recently in question time, the state of play
    is the Copenhagen Accord, with voluntary commitments to national cuts.
    These are demonstrably inadequate to the science-based judgment of what
    is required to avert failure, but we pretend that it is a useful start
    to greater things. We are told that global emissions must peak within
    about 7 years, and we know that the Accord is way short of achieving
    that, so we mumble about bigger cuts later and avoid looking into our
    children’s eyes.”

    “Let us address some facts. To achieve a 2 degrees Celsius threshold, we
    must reduce our global carbon budget from 50 gigatonnes today to 36 by
    2020, and seven by 2050. The rich countries must cut from about 40 today
    to 11 by 2020 and one by 2050. That is correct: we in the rich world
    must emit only one gigatonne in 2050, out of the seven emitted by the
    world that year. It is called contraction and convergence, and it is the
    only way humanity will successfully deal with climate change. That is
    when our moral and political standards will merge at the global level.”

    http://www.greens.org.nz/speeches/un-climate-change-negotiations-cancun-and-new-zealand-dr-kennedy-graham

    “I rise to address the issue of climate change and this Government’s
    failure to develop adequate national policy to combat it. Climate change
    has slipped below the threshold of daily media focus and that is the way
    that this Government seems to want it.”

    “The failure at Copenhagen to tackle the global threat head on has sent
    the international community into a state of collective catatonia. We see
    this in the lack of leadership from the UN itself, in the actions of
    national Governments around the world, and in the attitude of much of
    the public around the world. The problem we have is that Nature is not
    disposed to wait for humanity to iron itself out morally and get its
    political act together.”

    “The poor countries rail against us for historical responsibility and
    insufficient reduction targets. The rich countries fear the projected
    population growth among the poor and insist that they enter binding
    commitments before we sign on to medium-term cuts.”

    “Humanity probably faces only two global threats: immolation through
    nuclear conflict, or suffocation through global warming. The first is
    the product of traditional enmity; the enemy was the other tribe or the
    other nation. Climate change is the product of a new enemy: it is us.”

    “We try to cut nuclear arsenals by changing the enemy’s behaviour; we are
    required to cut carbon emissions by changing our own behaviour. It is no
    surprise that we are not succeeding. Most Governments lack the political
    courage to convey the magnitude of the climate change threat to their
    peoples, and they lack the political insight to prescribe the required
    global and national policies that are necessary.”

    “Before, during, and since Copenhagen the threat of serious unpredictable
    climate change has grown. Our scientists do not know when non-linear
    change might occur, but they warn that tipping points exist. If the
    precautionary principle is to mean anything, we must all move with
    speedy purpose and resolve. Translated politically, that means we must
    act not as an international community of states, but as a global
    community of peoples who are represented by Governments. If the
    difference seems vanishingly small, then we do well to act on it none
    the less, lest our prospects of survival prove to be the same.”

    “Our professional negotiators are rearranging the deckchairs,
    contemplating whether we shall have one or two legal agreements, and
    whether it will be next year or 3 or 10 years from now. Our political
    leaders dampen our expectations with appeals to realism. We all suffer
    from cognitive dissonance. Every so often we see the magnitude and
    imminence of the threat, and it is simply too frightening to accept
    individually and politically, so we basically return to business and
    government as usual.”

    “As the Minister made clear recently in question time, the state of play
    is the Copenhagen Accord, with voluntary commitments to national cuts.
    These are demonstrably inadequate to the science-based judgment of what
    is required to avert failure, but we pretend that it is a useful start
    to greater things. We are told that global emissions must peak within
    about 7 years, and we know that the Accord is way short of achieving
    that, so we mumble about bigger cuts later and avoid looking into our
    children’s eyes.”

    “Let us address some facts. To achieve a 2 degrees Celsius threshold, we
    must reduce our global carbon budget from 50 gigatonnes today to 36 by
    2020, and seven by 2050. The rich countries must cut from about 40 today
    to 11 by 2020 and one by 2050. That is correct: we in the rich world
    must emit only one gigatonne in 2050, out of the seven emitted by the
    world that year. It is called contraction and convergence, and it is the
    only way humanity will successfully deal with climate change. That is
    when our moral and political standards will merge at the global level.”

    “After 10 millennia, especially the past two centuries, it is the moment
    of truth. For our part, New Zealand has to agree through treaty or by
    voluntary declaration in advance to cut our national emissions
    proportionately. That means we must cut from 78 million tonnes today to
    56 million tonnes in 2020, down to 1.6 million in 2050.”

    “That is the scale of the challenge before New Zealand. It is as well
    that we face up to it now, not when it is too late.”