“Three categories of people: those who live hand to mouth; those who worry about something other than the next meal; and those who do not understand the difference.”
- Nassim Nicholas Taleb, on Facebook 25th of June 2011.
According to conventional social media “experts” no-one should be reading an article with a headline such as the one above. Yet here you are, friend. Enjoy!
#5: Actual MDG news: shuffling of priorities, some things more important than infant mortality and HIV prevention?
#4: YouTube clips
2 x rap videos, 2 x Greenpeace activism + 1 professor!
The First World Problems Rap
I'm A Climate Scientist (HUNGRY BEAST)
Missing: Cairn Energy's oil spill response plan
Barbie's rainforest destruction habit REVEALED!
Jared Diamond: Thoughts on Managing Change
#3: Activists murdered – the ecowar raging on every level
The past three months has had a bit of everything on my Ecowar blog: It was proved the Iraq war was all about oil to the Brits, a skirmish was fought in what could lead to another oil war in Africa, Wikileaks dropped the true greed of the US administration over the Arctic (that I wrote about in September 2010) and British railways revealed they lost £43 million in stolen copper wires the past three years. And it gets worse...
On separate occations in China two locals were killed by coal miners for protesting pollution. Both killers have been caught and sentenced to death. Similarly, in Brazil at least five environmentalists have been killed by loggers or land owners recently; one of them being a TED talk speaker. Brazilian police appears to have no clues but we can all chip in with our signature on the current AVAAZ petition to “save” the rain forest. (For more about saving the rain forest don't miss Bill McKibben's recent article - see below.)
#2: Big guns speak out: Al Gore, Thomas Friedman, Bill McKibben & Nobel laureates
Nobel Laureates says the Holocene is over
Kind of BIG news when you look at the time spans and meanings of geological eras.
“Science makes clear that we are transgressing planetary boundaries that have kept civilization safe for the past 10,000 years.”
Thomas Friedman address overpopulation, overconsumption and those tough questions
“We will not change systems […] without a crisis. But don’t worry, we’re getting there. We’re currently caught in two loops: One is that more population growth and more global warming together are pushing up food prices; rising food prices cause political instability in the Middle East, which leads to higher oil prices, which leads to higher food prices, which leads to more instability. At the same time, improved productivity means fewer people are needed in every factory to produce more stuff. So if we want to have more jobs, we need more factories. More factories making more stuff make more global warming, and that is where the two loops meet.”
Bill McKibben asks why only 3rd World should give up development for environment
We're expecting Brazil, a relatively poor country, to leave its rain forest intact. Yet we accept Canada, a rich country, clear cuts vast areas of forest to extract low quality oil resources which will only further pollute our atmosphere.
“Would the world stand by, as it has more or less done as Canada has accessed its tar lands, if Brazil's president promised to find new markets so that 'every splinter' of wood her country produced could be sold? It's hard to imagine so. Exploiting the tar sands is a crime, pure and simple -- and, given the stakes, it is one of the most staggering the world has ever seen. […] Let's say that President Obama was being asked to sign a certificate allowing a pipeline to carry an endless stream of logs from the Amazon. That, too, would create jobs -- but he wouldn't do it. He wouldn't do it because the world understands how crucial the rainforest is to its future, and because we seem to demand more from Brazil than from Canada (or the U.S., for that matter).”
Many people have read Al Gore's most recent article lured to it by the headlines it made elsewhere suggesting that he was attacking his fellow Democrat, US President Barack Obama. Actually, he gives about as much praise as criticism and his piece is about so much else. Best is, probably, the analogy from “wrestling” to the science vs. climate deniers debate which sports media as the corrupt ref. Survival of our planet is now entertainment.
“The public square that used to be a commons has been refeudalized, and the gatekeepers charge large rents for the privilege of communicating to the American people over [TV] the only medium that really affects their thinking. […] the concerns of the wealthiest individuals and corporations routinely trump the concerns of average Americans and small businesses […] We ignored reality in the marketplace and nearly destroyed the world economic system. We are likewise ignoring reality in the environment, and the consequences could be several orders of magnitude worse.”
Almost everything Al Gore said in his article Calvin & Hobbes said in this cartoon too:
WEMA (Water Efficient Maize for Africa; see official site) and AGRA (Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa; see Sourcewatch, official site) are projects sponsored in part by Microsoft's Bill Gates (making people too dumb to use Linux or too poor to buy Mac feel a little less ripped off, I suppose?). This season they have achieved opening up new African countries to genetically modified and patented crops (GMOs).
Thus, media sympathetic to “big ag” and genetic manipulation are praising the multi-billionaire for helping out in saving the world. While others notice how hunger acts as a loop hole for risky technology, farmers may end up financially dependent on multinational corporations and that, just coincidentally, Bill Gates happens to have just bought 23.1 million US dollars worth of Monsanto stocks.
Noun: The practice of claiming to have moral standards or beliefs to which one's own behavior does not conform; pretense.
Sources: Information.dk / Ny kritik af afrikanske GMO-afgrøder, foodconsumer.org / Genetically Engineered Rice is a Trojan Horse: Misled by Bill Gates and Monsanto, seattleglobaljustice.org / GATES FOUNDATION INVESTS IN MONSANTO - Both will profit at expense of small-scale African farmers.