Capital One's advert for its World Mastercard is quite emphatic: "No, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, there's no limit." That kind of certainty normally comes wrapped in fundamentalist religion. It could be the magical thinking of an economic system drifted dangerously far from its real world roots, or just the "bring it on" machismo of banks desperate to forget the consequences of reckless lending.
Either way, it neatly illustrates Ban Ki-moon's suspicion that the world's economic model is an ecological "global suicide pact". Whichever data set you refer to, his concern is well grounded. Last year was either the equal warmest year on record, or second warmest...
...This month – number 70 in this countdown for action on climate change – saw BP publish its latest, industry standard projections of future fossil fuel demand and production. They predict that global carbon emissions will keep rising until at least 2030, in spite of the fact that to prevent dangerous climate change they should already be reducing. Presented in numbing pages of graphs and tables, this is the "global suicide pact" written invisibly into the world's economic model referred to by Ban Ki-moon. And it will remain so, until we can break the spell of magical thinking which allows us to believe that, economically and environmentally, there are no limits...
70 months and counting ... Andrew Simms Comment is free guardian.co.uk
Wednesday, 2 February 2011
Labels: 'market forces', Ban Ki-moon, banking, BP, climate change, economics, environment, environmental limits, oil, reason, religion, science, United Nations
Open University Tutor, Environmental Science and Management; Former Secondary School Science Teacher; Former Research & Development Technologist/Chemist (Polymer Industry); Campaigner for a sustainable society for several decades; Parliamentary candidate in 1987, 2001, 2010