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?