I have recently been re reading "Only One Earth", which was written as a "guide " to the 1972 UN conference on the Global Environment.
All the issues now being reported on by George and others were well known and debated 40 years ago.
Such was the apparent concern that world leaders and Governments prepared and duly signed in 1992 various documents to address the ever growing seriousness of the problems facing us all. All the reports from Rio +20 are worrying. Below is part of one of those reports.
Just to try and cheer myself up I've added at the end a few photos taken in our local meadow this last week!
Please read on:
Posted: 22 Jun 2012 06:06 AM PDTThe Rio Declaration rips up the basic principles of environmental action.
By George Monbiot, published on the Guardian’s website, 22nd June 2012
In 1992 world leaders signed up to something called “sustainability”. Few of them were clear about what it meant; I suspect that many of them had no idea. Perhaps as a result, it did not take long for this concept to mutate into something subtly different: “sustainable development”. Then it made a short jump to another term: “sustainable growth”. And now, in the 2012 Earth Summit text that world leaders are about to adopt, it has subtly mutated once more: into “sustained growth”.
This term crops up 16 times in the document, where it is used interchangeably with sustainability and sustainable development. But if sustainability means anything, it is surely the opposite of sustained growth. Sustained growth on a finite planet is the essence of unsustainability.
As Robert Skidelsky, who comes at this issue from a different angle, observes in the Guardian today:
“Aristotle knew of insatiability only as a personal vice; he had no inkling of the collective, politically orchestrated insatiability that we call economic growth. The civilization of “always more” would have struck him as moral and political madness. And, beyond a certain point, it is also economic madness. This is not just or mainly because we will soon enough run up against the natural limits to growth. It is because we cannot go on for much longer economising on labour faster than we can find new uses for it.”
Several of the more outrageous deletions proposed by the United States – such as any mention of rights or equity or of common but differentiated responsibilities – have been rebuffed. In other respects the Obama government’s purge has succeeded, striking out such concepts as “unsustainable consumption and production patterns” and the proposed decoupling of economic growth from the use of natural resources.
Goats Beard in seed with a Grass Vetchling which happened to be nicely placed in front.