Rio Earth Summit "doomed to fail"


New Scientist analyses 20 years of climate inaction since the original Earth Summit in Rio in 1992, blaming “government systems” for the failure. Just the incentive we need to “suspend the democratic process” in order to save the planet, perhaps, as extremist Clive Hamilton has suggested.

Climate change has already been airbrushed out of the Rio 2012 summit, and adding this to the embarrassing failures in Copenhagen, Cancun and Durban, it’s pretty clear that the appetite for tackling climate change has all but disappeared. Not surprising really when the economies of Europe and the US are on shaky ground.

And people are slowly waking up to the political machinations and interference which have corrupted the supposedly impartial and unbiased investigation and reporting of climate science. Combine all these factors and further failure is a foregone conclusion:

We can forget about fixing the planet’s ecosystems and climate until we have fixed government systems, a panel of leading international environmental scientists declared in London on Friday. The solution, they said, may not lie with governments at all.

“We are disillusioned. The current political system is broken,” said Bob Watson, the UK government’s chief environmental science advisor, who chaired the meeting.

The panel, all winners of the prestigious Blue Planet prize, often seen as the Nobel prize for environmental science, were meeting to prepare a statement for the Earth Summit 2012, to be held in Rio de Janeiro in June – 20 years after the original Earth Summit in that city.

The world has wasted the intervening years, the group said. Ecosystems are disappearing ever faster, the world is still warming, and two 1992 treaties, on climate change and species loss, have failed to achieve their aims. Governments, the group said, were largely to blame.

“Last time in Rio we had an unreasonable faith in governments. Since then we’ve lost our innocence in believing government was wise and benevolent and far-sighted. That’s been blown completely out of the water,” said Camilla Toulmin, director of the International Institute for Environment and Development, a non-profit organisation based in London.

“Essentially nothing has changed in 20 years. We are not remotely on a course to be sustainable,” Watson said.

“What’s most discouraging is a loss of feeling that government would help us,” said Harold Mooney, a veteran biologist from Stanford University.

No one held out much hope that the forthcoming summit would usher in a new era. Politicians do not seem interested. The 1992 summit lasted two weeks, attracted most of the world’s leaders and garnered huge headlines. But this year’s event will last just three days, and so far China’s president Hu Jintao is the only head of state scheduled to attend. 

Never mind. I’m sure the delegates will have a wonderful time at someone else’s expense. And hints at “changing the system” sneak in:

We do believe that the political system can be reformed, and that there will be technical solutions. But time is not on our side,” Watson said. (source)

Wonder what that means…


  1. Ian Somerville via Facebook says:

    The earth will still be in control of it’s own processes and functions,something these money spending idiots have yet to realise.Sustainable global and national financial sustainability will always be vital to how our markets and standard of life function.Environmental issues , where sensible, can be handled within fiscal means.Of course the world could really be cooling,another use age perhaps.These goons are only interested in their own paranoia,bank roll and junket’s.It really surprises me that there are people out there with a brain in their skull who really think they can modify this planets behaviour.Global failed economics,greed,conflict and pending war in the middle east,starving populations, brutality, injustice,draconian dictatorships and selfishness.These are ALL MAN MADE! Not Global Warming it’s a figment of some bozo’s imagination.

  2. The Loaded Dog says:

    “We are disillusioned. The current political system is broken,”

    This is very, very disturbing, bearing an uncanny resemblance to the formative years of the Nazis.

    All that’s needed is a Reichstag fire…

    • The Loaded Dog says:

      “The Reichstag Fire Decree suspended most civil liberties in Germany[5] and was used by the Nazis to ban publications not considered “friendly” to the Nazi cause.”

  3. Ray Anderson via Facebook says:

    They don’t seem to mind wallowing up to the public trough funded by governments, when it comes to their “source of funds”.. The earth is doing just fine, their religion was a non-starter. Only the usual morons bought into the guilt trip of their New Age religion.

  4. Save the planet from the new ice age!

  5. Stop funding this drivel and make all the new age climate scientists sell their ferraris.

  6. One of the major think-tank groups behind Earth Summit 2012 is the Stakeholder Forum. Their socialist economic agenda is plainly evident from this (pdf) paper entitled Green Economy. Their 6 aims for a systemic change in world economies include:
    1- Enforce countries to operate within a ‘green’ economy
    2- Realise that GDP growth is harmful to the planet
    3- Develop new ‘green’ measures of economic success
    4- Reduce income and wealth inequalities through mechanisms such as carbon taxation to account for inequality of consumption, emissions and influence behaviour
    5- Rebalancing the economy away from debt-fuelled over-consumption by implementing The Green New Deal initiative
    6- Rellocate economic resources to ecologically sustainable activities

    Scarey stuff!

    • The problem is these “activists” have failed to realise that “green” solutions such as solar panels have resulted in a huge “welfare for the rich” wealth transfer – the poor cannot afford solar panels even at subsidized rates and may not own their residence – the rich can afford systems several orders of power greater than they could and reap subsidies several times the “average”.

      Everybody pays more for electricity and achieves no emission reductions.

      All the years of green initiatives have not reduced emissions one jot !!

  7. but a one world government has always been their intention….. nothing surprising in this is there?

  8. There are so many papers floating around en route to Rio+20 that it’s almost impossible for anyone to read ’em all (least of all any of the key participants, I’m sure!) But, I have highlighted a few on my own blog (including the one you’ve cited in this post), for those who might be interested :

    On the road to Rio: Sustainability swamps climate change

    Of hypocrites, high-level panels and … sherpas and silos

    A profusion of panels and pronouncements en route to Rio+20

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