Top Scoops

Book Reviews | Gordon Campbell | Scoop News | Wellington Scoop | Community Scoop | Search


Principles To Reverse Global Warming & End Poverty

Pacific Ecologist, issue 13, summer 06/07.

View Contents In PDF Format

Pacific Ecologist Editorial

Principles To Reverse Global Warming And End Poverty

What will bring unity to the world community so we can stem conflict and the alarming growth in twin problems, global warming and global inequity? Global warming emissions continue to rise steeply. If this trend is not reversed soon, temperatures will reach a dangerous level as early as 2035, the Stern report noted in October 2006, p.10-14. This report is particularly sobering as it was prepared by a group of eminent mainstream economists.

Unchecked greenhouse gases will lock us into terrible consequences, floods, droughts, hurricanes, and ultimately sea levels rising 25 metres higher than they are today, destroying the lives of hundreds of millions of people, p. 9. Even before the end of the century, small island nations, including many of our Pacific neighbours will have been submerged with a one-to three meter rise seeing to this, p. 9 & 15.

Global warming and global inequity are linked, as global warming exacerbates poverty. Even now it is far more devastating globally than terrorism, which currently distracts western powers, the Oxford Research group finds, p. 4/7. As Mikhail Gorbachev, Green Cross International chair, said in Brisbane in July 2006, “Trillions are spent on weapons of war. Less than half that money would be enough to address many of the problems of the third world in just a few years,” p. 46. Inequity is growing, particularly in sub-Saharan Africa, p.8, already badly hit by global warming, yet funds can’t be found to meet even agreed limited targets to help developing countries adapt, p.16/17. And as the Stern report noted, global warming is the historic responsibility of a few rich countries who “since 1850 have produced 70% of all carbon dioxide emissions due to energy production.”

Justice, equity and compassion are core principles treasured by all civilised nations. We must uphold them if we are to restore our conflict-ridden global society. By applying the equity principle, enshrined in the UN Charter and the U.S. Declaration of Independence, as Aubrey Meyer reminds us, p.18-20, we could avoid the vortex of rising global warming calamities, and increasing inequity. Additionally, it would stop conflict now threatening the ultimate violence, nuclear war, p54/57. Meyer’s action plan is a globally inclusive, transparent framework, fair and equitable to all nations. “Averting climate change actually means ending global apartheid,” he says. Under the plan everyone gets a fair share of emission entitlements, with the total capped at a sustainable level and moderated by convergence to the global average of equal shares per capita over 20 to 30 years to ease the transition. Shares created this way allow poor countries to finance their defence against climate change and for clean energy by trading their unused emissions rights with rich countries.

It’s vital a plan of this type is implemented soon. The sooner an agreement to converge to equality is set, the better prospect we have for a healthy, sustainable planet, where the goal of world poverty reduction has a chance of succeeding.

– Kay Weir.

Pacific Ecologist, issue 13, summer 06/07.

Issue 13, Pacific Ecologist -available for $10 - PO Box 12125, Wellington, New Zealand. Pirmeditor @

© Scoop Media

Top Scoops Headlines


Julian Assange: A Thousand Days In Belmarsh
Julian Assange has now been in the maximum-security facilities of Belmarsh prison for over 1,000 days. On the occasion of his 1,000th day of imprisonment, campaigners, supporters and kindred spirits gathered to show their support, indignation and solidarity at this political detention most foul... More>>

Binoy Kampmark: The Mauling Of Novak Djokovic
Rarely can the treatment of a grand sporting figure by officialdom have caused such consternation. Novak Djokovic, the tennis World Number One, has always had a tendency to get under skin and constitution, creating a large following of admirers and detractors. But his current treatment by Australian authorities, and his subsequent detention as an unlawful arrival despite being granted a visa to participate in the Australian Open, had the hallmarks of oppression and incompetent vulgarity... More>>

Binoy Kampmark: Voices Of Concern: Aussies For Assange’s Return

With Julian Assange now fighting the next stage of efforts to extradite him to the United States to face 18 charges, 17 of which are based on the brutal, archaic Espionage Act, some Australian politicians have found their voice. It might be said that a few have even found their conscience... More>>

Forbidden Parties: Boris Johnson’s Law On Illegal Covid Gatherings

It was meant to be time to reflect. The eager arms of a new pandemic were enfolding a society with asphyxiating, lethal effect. Public health authorities advocated various measures: social distancing, limited contact between family and friends, limited mobility. No grand booze-ups. No large parties. No bonking, except within dispensations of intimacy and various “bubble” arrangements. Certainly, no orgies... More>>

Dunne Speaks: Question Time Is Anything But
The focus placed on the first couple of Question Time exchanges between the new leader of the National Party and the Prime Minister will have seemed excessive to many but the most seasoned Parliamentary observers. Most people, especially those outside the Wellington beltway, imagine Question Time is exactly what it sounds... More>>

Gasbagging In Glasgow: COP26 And Phasing Down Coal

Words can provide sharp traps, fettering language and caging definitions. They can also speak to freedom of action and permissiveness. At COP26, that permissiveness was all the more present in the haggling ahead of what would become the Glasgow Climate Pact... More>>