Planet Under Pressure 2012 "Is this global enough?" Jean Valayer reports

An old owl's perspective.



Planet under pressure 2012, an Ocean of spirited people, from all over the world, is tackling the global anthropocene ecosystem shift, with energy, dedication and increasing knowledge. Old owl is proud to belong to this community, and very proud of Greenloop positioning and offering in this community. 

Myriads of bottom-up intitiatives are taken in all fields concerned by the global ecological stress. They are also encouraged by leading personalities, such as Professor Elinor Ostrom and Lord Anthony Giddens. Transition towns are frequently taken as examples. Bottom-up networks are self-organizing, while progressively reaching formal executive status. They associate with intergovernmental bodies, and self-generate "the authorized spider" in the center of the web. The Antarctic web is an inspiring example.  Experiments of sustainable resource nurturing, such as agroforestry, are proving perfectly "competitive".  The "multivariate" aspects of ecosystem changes are finding, at least, smart minds, if not yet enough business people to tackle them. Inspiring, the "developing" world is nurturing entrepreneurs who offer self-sufficient local farming, helped with free internet access to shared knowledge, facilitated by government and micro-credit support. Much to learn from and to clone else-where.


Is this global enough? Shall we avoid a major ecological collapse? 

The scientific community is now demonstrating its ability, especially on specific cases, to take the responsibility of providing simple and unambiguous assessments to hand over to deciders. The forum did address  global instruments and modelling, with appropriate questions. For example, should a carbon tax be considered for  fossil energy carbon only, rather than for all energy-carbons? Causing further food shortage from land usage reallocation? Current subsidies, were questioned, as perpetuating obsolete and counter-ecological measures. Yet, fast corrections of regulatory measures are perceived as problematic, in view of the adjustment time required by the concerned stake-holders! Is consistency with past boundaries more relevant than consistency with future boundaries? Do the stakeholders realize the imminence of this "future"? For their own sake?

Although the old owl could attend only a few of the numerous sessions, he perceived a major risk, affecting the Ocean of initiatives, like the real Ocean. The real Ocean is considered as a major CO2 "sink". In actual fact, it is the dump for half the CO2 emitted by the industrial world, as we know it today. At unquantifiable cost:  it acidifies rapidly, seriously endangering its own capacity to further absorb CO2, and to provide  the bounty so many depend upon today. Likewise, can the wonderful Ocean of initiatives witnessed in Planet under pressure 2012 be assigned a role of "sink" for the major industrial emissions forecasted by IPCC?  Let us not choke, acidify the Ocean of initiatives with an overwhelming task. Very needed, they cannot be the alibi for an unacceptable Rio failure, nor for the world wheaning from fossil source of energy. 

An inspiring moment, was Lord Giddens  vibrant appeal for a  global and immediate response to what amounts to an ecological upheaval  occurring at a totally unprecedented rate,  for which we have no prior experience, plunging humanity into unfathomable uncertainties. Old owls will remember similar appeals in the 1940's to face up to the barbary of the unacceptable conquest for an exclusive "vital space" which turned up with its  "final solution".  It is a call full of hope, because old owls have experienced the resilience and the formidable strength of those who responded to the call and refused the unacceptable. Let us just respond in time!  We'll find ways, mylord ;-) !