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Global governancers' get-together

I missed the occasion of the Earth System Governance conference in Norwich at the start of the month, but it looked as though it was a hoot. Every scientivist in the western hemisphere seems to have flown in for the occasion (#greensgobyair) to hear speakers as varied as, erm, Tony Juniper, Prince Charles and Bob Watson opining about how better "allocation" is the solution to all known environmental ills. No doubt if we take from each according to their ability and give to each according to their need then global temperatures will stop going up and the passenger pigeon will miraculously be found living in a dovecot in Droitwich.

To mark the occasion of the conference, UEA's Heike Schroeder has written an article in the journal Global Environmental Change. Dr Schroeder apparently believes that small-scale organic farming is going to be the solution to the world's problems, so it will not surprise you to learn that her article is a tour de force of economic illiteracy, wide-eyed inanity and bovine stupidity. We learn for example of the horrors of artificial fertiliser:

Modern fertiliser-intensive agriculture is a major threat to the first planetary system, the artificially enhanced nitrogen cycle (Gruber and Galloway, 2008 and Vitousek et al., 1997). Large-scale deployment of synthetic fertilisers enabled the expansion and intensification of agricultural production, resulting in hitherto unprecedented surpluses and a steep decline in food prices that have made agricultural producers in the global North dependent on government subsidies.

Global warming gets a look in too, with Dr Schroeder telling us that the IPCC has got it all wrong:

the global climate system is under threat of significant anthropogenic interference that could cause several potentially irreversible changes, including a collapse of the Atlantic thermohaline circulation, dieback of the Amazon rainforest and decay of the Greenland ice sheet...

But the article does at least demonstrate clearly that taxpayers are being forced to pay for a political programme:

Now is the time to recognise the linkages between poverty, injustice and usurped property rights with current modes of governance. The Earth System Governance Project addresses this mission by promoting innovative and interdisciplinary research on access and allocation of both material resources and non-material values.

Can anyone think of a paper that has packed so much drivel into so few words?

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Reader Comments (130)

Does this usurping of property rights refer to my money being taken from me in taxes and then spent on junkets like this one?

Jul 23, 2014 at 3:02 PM | Unregistered CommenterStonyground

The best way to rebuff this dangerous bunch of would-be villains is to sensitize the public to their villainy.
Unfortunately this relies on a free, open, and honest press actually doing their job.
Each topic these dangerous idiots covered needs to be spelled out, showing how this philosophy from the demented propertied aparacheks would impoverish, demean, and destroy ordinary people and threaten the lives their off-spring for generations.

What is the collective noun for a bunch of Malthusian misanthropic sociopaths - Green Nazis, or Greazis?

Jul 23, 2014 at 3:07 PM | Unregistered Commentertom0mason

Woe, woe and thrice woe. And if the planet was cooling they'd be just the same.

Jul 23, 2014 at 3:19 PM | Unregistered CommenterJamesG

Usurping property rights is flavour of the month. I could not believe that HMRC have got away with its wheeze to raid your bank account if in its opinion you owe it money. It seems to have gone through with little protest, on the grounds it will only affect 'the rich' who, as all agree, are the enemies of society and anyway they can afford it. This is wrong on so many levels. First, the amounts being seized will often be quite small, so it need not only be the rich who are affected. Second, HMRC is notorious for its propensity to make mistakes - but while it will seize your money in seconds, guess how long it will take you to get it back. Third, even assuming its the rich that will be affected, surely there is something wrong in the idea of 'one law for the rich, one law for the poor'. Equality under the law is the cornerstone of justice. My point is that usurping rights for spurious ends is not an original thought of Lefty half-wits: they are merely copying the gangster tactics of properly constituted governments!

Jul 23, 2014 at 3:21 PM | Unregistered Commenterbill

Pray for Plague!! Our only hope.

Jul 23, 2014 at 3:28 PM | Unregistered Commenterbetapug

The First Global Revolution: A Report to the Club of Rome

“In searching for a new enemy to unite us, we came up with the idea that pollution,the threat of global warming, water shortages, famine and the like would fit the bill. All these dangers are caused by human intervention, and it is only through changed attitudes and behavior that they can be overcome. The real enemy then, is humanity itself.”

ggogle books

Honorary Members of the Club of Rome

H.M. Doña Sophia – Queen of Spain, H.M. Juan Carlos I – King of Spain, H.M. Queen Beatrix – Queen of the Netherlands. H.R.H. Prince Philippe – Crown Prince of Belgium

Jul 23, 2014 at 3:31 PM | Unregistered CommenterE. Smiff

Utopia, a current drama on on C4 is about a shadowy group who want to sterilise the world. Same people. Warning - violent !!

Series 2

Jul 23, 2014 at 3:32 PM | Unregistered CommenterE. Smiff

Leading (as in "rich") Lefty, Naomi Klein, wants food prices to rise steeply to boost ag labour numbers and so, "cure" unemployment.
Doesn't say if she wants the full Pol Pot with all intellectuals and people who can read going first....

Jul 23, 2014 at 4:01 PM | Unregistered Commenterbetapug

I don't know about you guys but to me the most shocking name on the membership of the CoR is Dame Ellen MacArthur

Jul 23, 2014 at 4:11 PM | Registered Commentermangochutney

This is Monbiot's intellectual mentor, Sir Crispin Tickell, member of the eugenics Huxley clan.

He is also a patron of population concern charity Population Matters, (formerly known as the Optimum Population Trust), and told Radio 4's Today programme that the ideal population for Britain could be around 20 million. As a member of Lord Rogers' Urban Task Force, Tickell counselled against spreading cities saying that we need denser living, that young adults should not expect to leave home straight away, and that older relatives could live in 'granny flats'

Jul 23, 2014 at 4:15 PM | Unregistered CommenterE. Smiff

The first link provides summaries of all the presentations, and there are dozens and dozens of them. All from another world, a world of theirs or someone else's imaginings - the sort of enthusiastic torrent of stuff such as you might expect from teenagers deeply into some new and complex computer game, or perhaps from a convention of Star Trek buffs keen to share their insights with kindred spirits who won't laugh at them or tease them mercilessly. I suspect you could choose any of the papers at random and have hours of Fisking fun.

'Oh wad some Power the gift tae gie us,
Tae see oorsels as ithers see us.
It wad frae mony a blunder free us,
An' foolish notion...'

R. Burns

Jul 23, 2014 at 4:44 PM | Registered CommenterJohn Shade

Modern fertiliser-intensive agriculture is a major threat to the first planetary system

Does this mean that fertiliser-intensive agriculture is not only affecting the earth, but the rest of solar system as well?
How does Heike Schroeder know that this planetary system is the first in the Universe? Has she been hitching a ride with Doctor Who for the last few years, dating them all? Or is she saying the solar system is the premier planetary system in the Universe, without knowing the others?

Jul 23, 2014 at 5:03 PM | Unregistered CommenterKevin Marshall

These silly miserableness sanctimonious human hating sad bastards all went to sunny Norwich for their Zero Carbon Sheep and Tractors Sustainable Climate Change conference .

The Heartland Institute ,Dellingpole and Briebart they all went to Vegas Baby

So who had more fun.

I was in Vegas last month.Great time.
Just don't ask me what happened

Remember what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas.

PS Nothing ever happens in Norwich baby.

Jul 23, 2014 at 5:26 PM | Unregistered Commenterjamspid

“When people attempt to rebel against the iron logic of nature, they come into conflict with the very same principles to which they owe their existence as human beings. Their actions against nature must lead to their own downfall.” . Here, of course, we encounter the objection of the modern pacifist, as truly Jewish in its effrontery as it is stupid! 'Man's role is to overcome Nature!'

Millions thoughtlessly parrot this Jewish nonsense and end up by really imagining that they themselves represent a kind of conqueror of Nature; though in this they dispose of no other weapon than an idea, and at that such a miserable one, that if it were true no world at all would be conceivable."

Adolf Hitler - Mein Kampf

Jul 23, 2014 at 5:31 PM | Unregistered Commenteresmiff

Earth system governance. That's what we have been missing so long.

Why don't these guys move to another planet? They can take the University of East Anglia with them, and any number of princes.

Jul 23, 2014 at 5:41 PM | Unregistered CommenterCurious George

The 9th Hartland Institute Conference i vaguely saw it advertized ,what Vegas hotel was it held at ?

Jul 23, 2014 at 5:59 PM | Unregistered Commenterjamspid

The Good Doctor says "Large-scale deployment of synthetic fertilisers enabled the expansion and intensification of agricultural production, resulting in hitherto unprecedented surpluses and a steep decline in food prices"

His prescription- mass starvation- it would be good for the Planet.

Am I mistaken in thinked that his public rant could be classed as a "hate crime"?

Jul 23, 2014 at 6:49 PM | Unregistered CommenterDon Keiller

Down home, we called that whole thing ten pounds of shit in a five pound bag. What small brained, mean spirited people they must all be.

Jul 23, 2014 at 7:11 PM | Unregistered CommenterGary Turner

Jul 23, 2014 at 7:11 PM | Unregistered CommenterGary Turner

According to my dear departed father who was in the RCAF in England during WW2, the excrementally overladen bag that you refer to was termed a "blevit".

Jul 23, 2014 at 8:17 PM | Unregistered CommenterRobert Austin

RE Mangochutney

Amen brother. Rachel Welch is still hot.

Jul 23, 2014 at 8:36 PM | Unregistered Commentertimg56

Isn't this current CAGwanker conflation of vegetarianism and organic farming a little inconsistent? Organic farming is predicated on grazing animals to manure fallow land, implies surplus animals for slaughter and consumption.

Jul 23, 2014 at 8:39 PM | Unregistered CommenterMike Ozanne

@ Jul 23, 2014 at 11:29 AM | Foxgoose ...

let's hope some of those "projects" come through ...

like Port Augusta - some 13500 inhabitants -, replacing their coal fired power station by a solar thermal power plant ...

I'm all in favour of the experiment !

and they should publish all their data, if there's electricity available, in the public domain ...


Jul 23, 2014 at 8:56 PM | Unregistered Commenterducdorleans

On page 14 of the conference program (first link) we learn that:

"The system of governance is out of sink with the environmental challenges the world is facing"

Well I guess it's better than circling the drain.

Jul 23, 2014 at 9:01 PM | Unregistered Commenterpotentilla

Margaret Thatcher's 2002 memoirs 'Statecraft' contains ten pages on the subject of “Hot Air and Global Warming.

Magnificently summarised by this immortal quote:

”Global warming ‘provides a marvelous excuse for worldwide, supra-national socialism’

Jul 23, 2014 at 9:09 PM | Registered CommenterPharos

Earlier, Derek asked "Does Prince Charles really want to give his name to all of this?"

Not only that, but he provided the opening address, and there's a transcript of it, here:

Unless people, alive today and still to be born, can find better ways to husband the shrinking living space left by us and our predecessors, surely we cannot pass on the wisdom of sustainability that is our only hope and our most profound legacy.

According to the Prince, the most profound legacy of mankind is not mathematics, science, art, literature or language - it's sustainability. I wonder what Jacob Bronowski would make of that?

Jul 23, 2014 at 9:18 PM | Unregistered CommenterAlex Cull

Can anyone think of a paper that has packed so much talent-free careerism into so few words?

Jul 23, 2014 at 9:50 PM | Unregistered Commenterschadenfreude

One couldn't even parody text of this quality. The original text is the parody.

Jul 23, 2014 at 11:27 PM | Unregistered CommenterWill Nitschke

relevant to this thread ?
on BBC 4 just watched -

21:00Our Planet from the Air: Home[SUB HD]
Photographer Yann Arthus-Bertrand and French director Luc Besson reveal the fragility of planet Earth by means of aerial footage taken in 54 countries. This 2009 film delivers alarming statistics about climate change and how quickly humans are transforming their `home' into a place that could eventually become uninhabitable. Along with fascinating images, Home is a depiction of how Earth's problems are all interlinked General Education/Science/Factual Topics.

from BBC 4 -
Duration: 1 hour, 30 minutes
Featuring stunning aerial footage from 54 countries, this film from acclaimed aerial photographer Yann Arthus-Bertrand and ecology-minded French director Luc Besson reveals the beauty and fragility of our planet as never before.
Scientists tell us that we must change the way we live to avert the eventual depletion of natural resources and the catastrophic evolution of the Earth's climate. The film delivers alarming statistics about climate change and how quickly human beings are transforming our beautiful planet into a place that could eventually become uninhabitable.
Along with enthralling images, this is a depiction of how Earth's problems are all interlinked, through an extraordinary aerial portrait.

did not catch it 1st time round (2009), but beautiful PR from the BEEB, see the message at it's best.

PS. can't find a link on the web, but bet every primary school got a copy.

Jul 24, 2014 at 12:04 AM | Unregistered Commenterdougieh

I was rather agnostic on the idea of green groups and "global goverance". I might have to change my thinking...

Hmmm. 130 green groups and the UN ended a conference with this declaration:

The structural causes of climate change are linked to the current capitalist hegemonic system.

To combat climate change it is necessary to change the system.

Well, at least carbon markets and REDD were called a ""false solution"". Maybe because it has ""markets"" in the title?

More here:

Participants here:

Also as a participant was CAN International, which represents over 900 green NGOs. Including EDF, WWF, Greenpeace, Forest Watch and Sierra Club.

From a Climate Action Network's energy paper:

The central challenge is breaking away from the current entrenched fossil fuel-­‐based energy system and overturning the powers that control it, while ensuring the rewards of a sustainable energy system are shared by all equally.

I don't see much difference between the proclamation of a group representing 900 NGOs, and the final statement in Venezuela.

Jul 24, 2014 at 12:30 AM | Unregistered CommenterLes Johnson

Actually the original nitrogen fertilizers were not sustainable, like organic farming in general.

Blood meal from slaughtered animals and manure. This returned only some of the nitrogen they eat.
Mountains of bird poo from islands, plus some bat poo. This quickly ran out.
Mined potassium nitrate. Competed with gunpowder needs.
Green manure. Legumes plowed under before planting the crop.

Jul 24, 2014 at 5:13 AM | Unregistered CommenterEric Gisin

When do we get a vote on these global governances?

Jul 24, 2014 at 8:24 AM | Unregistered Commentergeronimo

"This semi-plenary will explore the psycho-social and agency dimension of resilience, bringing
together research on resilience in the context of governing global environmental change, research on
resilience and behaviour change in psycho-social contexts, and the evidence base for the practical
potential of mindfulness to strengthen key dimensions of psycho-social resilience. The goal is an
inter-disciplinary dialogue that connects these research perspectives to find practical ways to build
the agency dimension of resilience in the Anthropocene."
Anyone care to offer a translation?

Jul 24, 2014 at 9:21 AM | Unregistered CommenterContendo

Contendo - Anyone care to offer a translation?

Welcome to the Planet of the Apes.

Jul 24, 2014 at 9:48 AM | Unregistered CommenterE. Smiff

It's no surprise to me that MacArthur's name is on this.

I don't think she's ever had a real job in her life, makes her money from various forms of the "charity" game. Getting on the Green Gravy Train is a logical move for her.

Jul 24, 2014 at 11:30 AM | Unregistered CommenterNW

Contendo: in Urdu if that helps;

اس نیم مکمل لانے، لچک کی نفسیاتی و سماجی اور ایجنسی کے طول و عرض کریں گے
ایک دوسرے کے ساتھ عالمی سطح پر ماحولیاتی تبدیلی حکومت کے تناظر میں لچک پر تحقیق، پر تحقیق
لچک اور نفسیاتی و سماجی سیاق و سباق میں طرز عمل میں تبدیلی، اور عملی کے لئے ثبوت کی بنیاد
نفسیاتی و سماجی لچک کے اہم طول و عرض کو مضبوط کرنے Mindfulness کی کی صلاحیت. مقصد ایک ہے
ان کی تحقیق کے نقطہ نظر کی تعمیر کرنے کے عملی طریقوں کی تلاش کرنے کے لئے جوڑتا ہے بین الشعبہ جاتی بات چیت
Anthropocene میں لچک کی ایجنسی کے طول و عرض.

Jul 24, 2014 at 11:38 AM | Unregistered Commenterssat

Thanks, ssat. Well at least it looks better in Urdu. Now try translating it back from Urdu into English and let's see what you end up with.

Jul 24, 2014 at 12:41 PM | Unregistered CommenterContendo


The more moth-eaten the better, IMO.. :-)

Jul 24, 2014 at 1:11 PM | Registered Commenterjamesp

Is there a better argument against having a monarchy than Prince Charles? I find him extremely offensive.

Jul 24, 2014 at 1:14 PM | Unregistered CommenterSteve Jones

Its the institution not the person that matters. Charles will only be King briefly

Jul 24, 2014 at 1:41 PM | Unregistered Commenterbill

"No, so holp me Petault, it is not a miseffectual whyancinthinous riot of blots and blurs and bars and balls and hoops and wriggles and juxtaposed jottings linked by spurts of speed: it only looks as like is as damn it; and, sure, we ought really to rest thankful that at this deleteful hour of dungflies dawning we have even a written on with dried ink scrap of paper at all to show for ourselves, tare it or leaf it, (and we are lufted to ourselves as the soulfisher when he led the cat out of the bout) after all that we lost and plundered of it even to the hidmost coignings of the earth and all it has gone through and by all means, after a good ground kiss to Terracussa and for wars luck our lefftoff’s flung over our home homeplate, cling to it as with drowning hands, hoping against all hope all the while that, by the light of philosophy, (and may she never folsage us!) things will begain to clear up a bit one way or another within the next quarrel of an hour and be hanged to them as ten to one they will too, please the pigs, as they ought to categorically, as, strickly between ourselves, there is a limit to all things so this will never do." – James Joyce (“Finnegans Wake” 1939)

Jul 24, 2014 at 2:38 PM | Unregistered CommenterNikFromNYC

Contendo (Jul 24, 2014 at 9:24 AM), I'm unable to provide a translation. However, the form and substance of the statement suggests it was generated by an advanced version of Honeywell's SIMP kit...
...which tends to support the old adage "bullshit baffles brains"!

Jul 24, 2014 at 4:30 PM | Unregistered Commenterzebedee

Your Grace,

But what do you really think?
(written, as I trust you realize, with tongue firmly planted in cheek)

Jul 24, 2014 at 4:45 PM | Unregistered CommenterDiogenes

bill 1:41 PM

There's no saying he'll crack it if HMQ continues in robust health - I wish ...

Jul 24, 2014 at 5:11 PM | Unregistered CommenterGummerMustGo

"I don't know about you guys but to me the most shocking name on the membership of the CoR is Dame Ellen MacArthur"

You should not be surprised, since she is the founder of the Ellen Macarthur Foundation, "a charity that works with business and education to accelerate the transition to a circular economy."

Jul 24, 2014 at 7:12 PM | Unregistered Commenterdiogenes

If only....... mankind could develop some method to bottle Ms Schroeder's verbal issuance - for is she not a sustainable human mucksprayer.

And I'm betting that, the very idea of GM crops turns her a funny shade of deep crimson..........

The real question is, why is the taxpayer forced to fund this educational [loose term] establishment [UEA]?

Infamously, it was a place well known in the late sixties and early seventies as a hotbed of rabble rousing Marxist agitators and promulgators of and mostly 'Critical Theorists' and not much has changed - they're all certifiable whack jobs, Schroeder no doubt fitted in just nicely.

Jul 24, 2014 at 8:24 PM | Unregistered CommenterAthelstan.

037001002222 is an interesting telephone number .Its not a massage parlour but it is the land line telephone number for the BBC complaints department.

Something worth complaining about is "Our Plant from the Air"on BBC 4 at midnight

which as advertized grandly state "will deliver alarming statistics about Climate Change that could make the Earth Uninhabitable" .

Quite a sensationalist to claim the end of world as we know it.
Yet the BBC wont allow Nigel Lawson and GWPF on to put the counter view point that it is not the quite end of the world as we know it .Which is institutionalized bias from our national broadcaster.

Their enough of us hitting the Bishop Hill comments section quick enough so why not hit the BBC Automated Program Feed Back Department Instead.

Jul 24, 2014 at 9:06 PM | Unregistered Commenterjamspid

Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaargh! Started to watch that BBC prog, Our Planet from the Air: Home. Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaagh!!!!!!! Make it go away! First the woman’s voice – oleaginous doesn’t come anywhere close! The she calls this planet “Fragile” (or was is “Frajill”?). No, you numpties – if this planet was “frajill”, we would not be here! No – the planet is far, far from fragile; it is robust, hardy, and will outlive the human race, no matter what we do to it. What is fragile is the egos of these idiots, who will not be able to tolerate any criticism of their “babies”.

Then… then this awful voice is joined by some truly dire wailing, and tells us about the poisonous carbon that existed in the atmosphere. I turned off at this point, realising I could not hold my sanity should I get much more of it. Pure (impure?) and utter propaganda from the word, "Go!"

Hopefully, this programme will be so far from reality that even the more die-hard will start to see a chink of light of rationality.

That is the only hope it offers.

Jul 25, 2014 at 12:18 AM | Registered CommenterRadical Rodent

Wait... Norwich is the seat of global governance?

Who knew?

Jul 25, 2014 at 5:06 AM | Unregistered Commentermojo

Contendo - runing your excerpt through the readability score calculator gives a Flesch–Kincaid reading ease score of -0.8. Scores are usually (but not necessarily) positive -

90.0–100.0 easily understood by an average 11-year-old student
60.0–70.0 easily understood by 13- to 15-year-old students
0.0–30.0 best understood by university graduates

From the link -

Reader's Digest magazine has a readability index of about 65, Time magazine scores about 52, an average 6th grade student's (a 12-year-old) written assignment has a readability test of 60–70 (and a reading grade level of 6–7), and the Harvard Law Review has a general readability score in the low 30s.

So -0.8 probably puts it in the barely readable bin.

Jul 25, 2014 at 5:33 AM | Registered CommenterGrantB

Jul 24, 2014 at 12:30 AM | Unregistered Commenter Les Johnson

"I don't see much difference between the proclamation of a group representing 900 NGOs, and the final statement in Venezuela."

Venezuela. A socialist utopia if ever there was one.

Jul 25, 2014 at 9:36 AM | Unregistered CommenterJimmy Haigh

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