Something of epochal importance happened in Egypt last week – the most significant event since Cheops shoved up his triangular monument, four thousand odd-years ago at the dawn of ‘civilisation’. But the world media, true to form, missed it almost completely.
The nations of the world voted to terminate human civilisation and commit all our grandchildren to bake and starve on an uninhabitable ruin of a Planet.
The failure of the UN Conference of the Parties 27, like the 26 which preceded it, is another fallen domino on the road to civilisational collapse – something the UN itself is now at last daring to voice out loud. (Though nobody is listening yet).
The nations had gathered to try to develop a rational plan of action to prevent a Hothouse Earth and, again, failed to do so. The fact that the second largest contingent at the conference – over 600 delegates – was from the $7 trillion nation of Fossilfuels may have had something to do with it. The largest contingent was from the UAE, another oil lobby, with 1073 delegates!
Two thirds of the 33,000 delegates were also males, who, when it comes to a preference for catastrophe and war over peace, stability and reason, are not the sharpest tools in the human shed.
You could chart the rising despair and alarm in the utterances of UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres, who must be close to slashing his wrists by now…
(Nov 4) – “#COP27 must deliver concrete action on loss & damage caused by the climate crisis.”
(Nov 7) – “I have just warned global leaders at #COP27: We are on a highway to climate hell with our foot on the accelerator.”
(Nov 8) – “The climate crisis is the fight of our lives – and we are losing.”
(Nov 8) – “The impacts of climate change are here now, and the loss & damage they cause can no longer be ignored.”
(Nov 9) – “The transition to net-zero emissions must be rapid, global, inclusive & just. It must be country-led, country-driven & supported by the international community.”
(Nov 9) – “Those that have contributed least to the climate crisis are being hit first & hit hardest.”
(Nov 12) – “Global leaders need to put the world back on track to limit global warming.”
(Nov 16) – “We are on the way to a raging food catastrophe, and the world appears to be indifferent.”
(Nov 18) – “I have returned to #COP27 to appeal to all negotiating to deliver the ambitious & meaningful #ClimateAction we so desperately need. This is no time for finger pointing. The blame game is a recipe for mutually assured destruction.”
But of course, hunted, bamboozled, threatened, blackmailed, sabotaged and conned by the relentless Fossilfuels lobby, little was achieved. De facto, the nations of the world opted for “climate hell” as the easy way out. This was the bit the media seems to have missed.
All this goes to show that nations, as systems for human self-management, are utterly unfitted for coping with the roiling mass of global megathreats, which humanity as whole now confronts. All they really know is how to one-up or fight one another. Their childlike flags, narcissistic anthems and nationalistic bombast only distract from the task of uniting humanity against its common perils.
That nations can opt for self-destruction over stability and wellbeing is increasingly obvious. America, Britain, Australia, Brazil and Russia are all cases of nations which have recently chosen leaders liable to destroy, or at least injure them very badly. And all of them have or had regimes whose policies lead to the wreck of civilisation.
The UN Global Risks Report, issued in May 2022, warned “a dangerous tendency for the world to move towards a global collapse scenario”, which is putting it as bluntly as the UN – an entity founded in the circumlocution of diplomacy – ever likes to go. The end of civilization thus passed almost without comment, by either nations or world media.
Guterres, plainly, agrees. His increasingly colourful language on climate, famine, conflict, refugeeism, inequity, portrays a man fast losing patience with the bovine stupidity and brute self-interest of national governments which, like the oil industry that owns them, are determined to ride the road to ruin. (In Australia, for example, over 100 fossil fuel projects are in contemplation. When it comes to engineering global catastrophe, we ‘punch above our weight’ and our governments, Liberal or Labor, endorse it.)
Is Guterres right – or is he just a tad frustrated? Well, here from lips of the world’s numero uno climate scientist, Johan Rockstrom is what failure at COP27 means: “If we go past 2°C of #globalwarming, we will enter completely unknown terrain, a planet that is not even resembling our own planet… We can today say scientifically, without any hesitation, that anything beyond 2°C of global warming is nothing but catastrophic. Every tenth of a degree matters.” Here, in graphic form, is depicted how far from safe our present ‘policies’ are:
At +2°C, world agriculture begins to collapse, unable to withstand the multiplying hammerblows of climate: heat, drought, storms, fires and floods of rising intensity and frequency. At three degrees the world food supply is halved – but population has swollen to nearly 11 billion.
We know what happens next from previous great famines in Russia, China, India, Eastern Europe and Africa in the past century. Nations manufacture excuses to invade their neighbours and seize the foodlands. In these wars, more perish from hunger than military violence. Ordinary families are left wondering who they will have for dinner…
Let there be no doubt. Our leaders have together chosen catastrophe as our default future. Our grandchildren will be its chief victims.
It is time to get angry.