Saturday, February 17, 2007

I'm For and Against Nothing

My title above - " I'm For and Against Nothing"-a famous quote I heard somewhere, sort of describes what is not happening down here in the tropics. Instead, the air is rife with civil strife and we may soon be facing difficulties with our internet host server as the union workers at the telephone company have given their employers 21 days notice of strike action. What this means is that I may not be able to log on to blogger in a short while. I will miss communicating with you via this medium. So for now, I am taking the opportunity to reproduce below an article from the ICSA's Chartered Secretary magazine issue of January 2007 which is both startling, enlightening and applicable to all of us--
Apocalypse now-ish (Part One) written by Kevin Eddy (assistant Editor)
Imagine an earth much like our own, but different in fundamental ways. Across the planet, human settlements are battered by a combination of storms, droughts, soaring temperatures and flooding; long-distance travel becomes a risky (even luxury) business; famine is on the rise as crops increasingly fail; energy costs are so high, entire communities sustain themselves on only the most basic supplies of electricity; economies are nosediving as spiraling insurance costs and rising sea levels threaten major financial centres like London and New York; and once familiar species of animal and plant life go the way of the dodo. Just a little bit too sci-fi to be credible? Well, perhaps, but these are just some of the possible outcomes scientists are predicting we may see as a result of climate change.
For awhile, climate change was one of those issues which everyone knew about and most people had an opinion on, but which never seemed to catch the imagination of governments and regulators. Over the last 12 to 18 months, though, things have started to change. Weather patterns and increasing average temperatures have supported theories of global warming. Television pictures of the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina have brought home once again the economic hardship caused by extreme weather; and, even the British newspaper The Sun has been running features on how to 'go green'. At the end of October 2006, the publication of a new report took the debate on climate change to a new level. The final report from the Stern Review on the Economics of Climate Change is widely acknowledged as being the most comprehensive review ever carried out on the economics of climate change. The Review is the work of a team led by leading economist Sir Nicholas Stern on behalf of HM Treasury.
It delivers a damning indictment. Climate change is 'the greatest and widest-ranging market failure ever seen'. If left unchecked, its effects could 'create risks of major disruption to economic and social activity later in this century and into the next, on a scale similar to those associated with the great wars and economic depression of the first half of the 20th century. And 'it will be difficult or impossible to reverse these changes'.
Terrifying - The 700-page report arrives at its conclusions via a frankly terrifying series of deductions. It estimates that, at present, the stock of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere is around 430 parts per million (ppm), which compares with a level of 280 ppm before the industrial revolution. Even if the annual flow of emissions remain at today's level, the stock will increase to 550 ppm by 2050, which will almost certainly lead to an increase in global average temperatures of 2 degrees centigrade. This could result in lower crop yields, irreversible melting of ice sheets and concurrent increases in sea level; and, increasing incidences of extreme weather conditions such as storms, heat waves and flooding.
The damage from that cannot be underestimated. One study projects that even a small increase in hurricane intensity could lead to a doubling of damage costs in the US - a prediction already foreshadowed by the destruction wreaked by Hurricane Katrina in the Mississippi region last year. To repeat, that prediction assumes that emissions will stay at their current levels. Emissions, though, are not static. The rapid growth of emerging markets, along with increasing demand for energy and transport worldwide, means that levels are rising and the 550 ppm benchmark could be reached within 30 years. If that trend continues, greenhouse gas levels could treble by the end of the century - resulting in a 50% risk that global temperatures will rise by as much as five degrees centigrade.
The effects of a rise of that sort cannot be accurately predicted, but projections suggest that it would lead to abrupt, large-scale shifts in the climate system. The Gulf Stream would be disrupted and the West Antartic ice sheets would collapse. The result would be species extinction on a massive scale and sea level rises which would threaten major world cities including London, New York, Tokyo and Hong Kong. The change in global temperature would be equivalent to that between the last Ice Age and today. The Stern Review indicates that the total cost of the effects of climate changes over the next two centuries could be 5% of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP). However, if direct impacts on the environment and human health, possible environmental feedback loops and weighting of the potential impact between developed and developing regions are taken into account, this figure rises to around 20% of GDP. In other words, if we continue down our current path, we are headed for ecological and economic disaster.
Next week, conditions permitting, I will be providing part two of the Stern Review. A must read as far as I'm concerned. The time is late and I will sign off for now. Take care y'all, stay positive and think of ways in which you can assist in making the environment more healthier in your community.

16 comments:

sushil yadav said...

The link between Mind and Social / Environmental-Issues.

The fast-paced, consumerist lifestyle of Industrial Society is causing exponential rise in psychological problems besides destroying the environment. All issues are interlinked. Our Minds cannot be peaceful when attention-spans are down to nanoseconds, microseconds and milliseconds. Our Minds cannot be peaceful if we destroy Nature.

Industrial Society Destroys Mind and Environment.

Subject : In a fast society slow emotions become extinct.
Subject : A thinking mind cannot feel.
Subject : Scientific/ Industrial/ Financial thinking destroys the planet.


Emotion is what we experience during gaps in our thinking.

If there are no gaps there is no emotion.

Today people are thinking all the time and are mistaking thought (words/ language) for emotion.


When society switches-over from physical work (agriculture) to mental work (scientific/ industrial/ financial/ fast visuals/ fast words ) the speed of thinking keeps on accelerating and the gaps between thinking go on decreasing.

There comes a time when there are almost no gaps.

People become incapable of experiencing/ tolerating gaps.

Emotion ends.

Man becomes machine.



A society that speeds up mentally experiences every mental slowing-down as Depression / Anxiety.

A ( travelling )society that speeds up physically experiences every physical slowing-down as Depression / Anxiety.

A society that entertains itself daily experiences every non-entertaining moment as Depression / Anxiety.



Fast visuals/ words make slow emotions extinct.

Scientific/ Industrial/ Financial thinking destroys emotional circuits.

A fast (large) society cannot feel pain / remorse / empathy.

A fast (large) society will always be cruel to Animals/ Trees/ Air/ Water/ Land and to Itself.


To read the complete article please follow either of these links :

PlanetSave

EartNewsWire

sushil_yadav

Dagoth said...

Hi Enid

Good article. I just hope it isn't too late for us to do something about this. I just fear that our time to "pay the piper" is coming very soon. One of the best things I've heard lately that we can do to help is unplug our tv's when not in use. Even when they are off they are consuming large amounts energy just so people don't have to wait for them to warm up. The story said a tv put's something like 1.8 tons of CO2 (don't quote me on the number) into the air every year even when they are shut off....

I hope things calm down in Belize so that you can keep on blogging...

David said...

just visiting

HeiressChild said...

i hope things work out for the workers so they won't strike enid.

i have a friend who would unplug everything except the refrigerator when she went to work.

i miss you on I-M.

Belizegial said...

Thanks to everyone for visiting. I am still alive with my internet connection. However, I understand that things may get iffy by this weekend and into next week. However, I will be keeping y'all posted on my progress *<*

Dr. Deborah Serani said...

Very provocative post.

Michael Manning said...

Enid: I regret Civil Strife wherever it may be taking place. And as I've mentioned on my own site, I learned an important lesson from singer Dionne Warwick. "There is very little that cannot be resolved through dialogue". lol on the strike. As a 7 year board member of a Rainforest Preservation Group, I am also worried about people who ignore the reality of global warming. It has become politicized, much to my deep regret when it is a supportable and provable fact of Science. lol to you for a great post and hang in there on the issues where you live!

HeiressChild said...

hi enid, thanks for letting me know about the http error. i corrected it; that came from me copying the address, but i kept forgetting the http part was already on the element link.

i'm glad things haven't worked out for the strike. i hope that's a good thing to say. it's keeps you blgging with us.

we got a bad snowstorm here today. even the weather people didn't see this coming. God has His way of letting us know Who's really in charge. enjoy the rest of your day, and have a great week.

blessings,
sylvia

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