Rio+20 Was Different

APPARENTLY, the Rio + 20 Conference ended on Friday. The word apparently is used jokingly. Saturday’s headlines of both the New York Times and the Washington Post failed to include any mention of the closing of the conference. These “newspapers of record” focused on sensational sex trials instead. It seems the conference did not end as the editors wished. According to reports, the conference was tightly controlled by the BRIC countries – Brazil, Russia, India, and China – particularly Brazil which headed the conference. The leaders of Brazil, India and China have made it clear that they will not punish their citizens by stopping economic growth. Russia needs revenues from exports of oil and gas to maintain its budget and government spending.

The conference was different than past conferences for several reasons. There was no grand announcement of Western governments committing huge sums to the governments of the third world. There were no political rock-stars flying in at the last moment to put a deal together. There were no all night sessions extending far beyond the scheduled close of the meeting.

The European ministers were disappointed in the failure for the world to adopt their agenda. The non-government organizations (NGOs) were largely locked out of the process of reaching an agreement, their demands were ignored. The disappointment, even despair, expressed by a number of environmental groups is indicative of the success of the BRIC countries.

Those in the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), under whose auspices this conference was given, are no doubt disappointed that they will not have a $100 Billion a year Green Fund to manage. The leaders of some third world countries are no doubt disappointed they will not be receiving huge sums from the UNFCCC, dashing their hopes of expanding their Swiss bank accounts or obtaining that special villa in the south of France. But the conference gave some political leaders the opportunity to stay at a luxurious resort while preaching austerity for others. And the conclusion gives the opportunity for many ordinary citizens in the world to sigh with relief…

By Ken Haapala at


18 Responses to Rio+20 Was Different

  1. spangled drongo June 25, 2012 at 5:21 pm #

    They go on and on about sustainability ad nauseum. I guess they mean this:

  2. Robert June 25, 2012 at 7:40 pm #

    While professional pollies are okay at submerging their excesses and perks, the suddenly-sexy climate lobby seem to be incapable of holding back from the trough, even under the close glare of publicity. Preaching incoherently about climate justice and CAGW is a perfect chance for beige people to take on a little brief colour. Being thoroughly beige, they would never do anything too radical at their own expense – but when it’s OPM, they just can’t control themselves.

    The only thing better than the parties is the chance to play at being anything but white and middle class. To be thought just medium-cool by Kumi Naidoo, even for a second, would be all their wet dreams come true. Punish my imperialist flesh with that organic Fair trade hemp, Kumi – but not too hard!

    That’s the good thing about Rio, Cancun etc. The world gets to look at a bunch of publicly paid, safely insured and fully superannuated bores acting rad and trying to be sexy on everybody else’s dime. I say let them keep leaving jet trails to and from expensive resorts. If conscious reason fails, unconscious comedy will eventually succeed.

  3. Pikey June 25, 2012 at 8:01 pm #

    If you ask me this is the story of a sex trial.
    The warmers and the IPCC have been trying to screw the economies of the western world for the last 20 years.
    Some of us a yelling – Rape.

  4. spangled drongo June 25, 2012 at 9:05 pm #

    The conference’s outcome certainly upset Zena, the Warrior Princess. Rio+20 just will not save us:

  5. Neville June 25, 2012 at 11:56 pm #

    Lord Monckton sums up Rio+20 and there’s a video as well.

  6. marc June 26, 2012 at 8:23 am #

    Rio +20 was an unsuccessful event in it primary objectives, however successfully demonstrated that interest in ‘sustainability’ issues and global cooperation is clearly waning on environmental issues. Does this mean that the environmental health status of all nation-states as a collective is of little concern and doesn’t require intervention or change? Importantly, environmental issues are not solely the domain of the so-called ‘greenies’ (who ever ‘they’ are). Environmental issues encompass public health and economic concerns also.

    It is easy to criticise, make fun of and pebbledash Rio +20 participants with contempt and ridicule. There may even be a degree of smugness and celebration amongst some that the event didn’t result in any significant progress. To me this speaks of energy wasted.

    Furthermore, it is easy to be in opposition, to oppose and be negative. It is much harder to cooperatively develop, promote and demonstrate practical solutions through a lens of objectivity and a sound treatment of risk.

    I challenge the participants of this forum blog to take the ‘harder’ path.

  7. Debbie June 26, 2012 at 8:57 am #

    please define the ‘harder’ path.
    ‘The lens of objectivity and the sound treatment of risk’ is meaningless if you are unable to supply a concrete example.
    What risk?
    What do you think is a ‘sound treatment of risk’?
    How do you envision people taking up your challenge?
    In what practical manner do you personally take ‘the harder path’?
    What will taking this ‘harder’ path achieve?

  8. Neville June 26, 2012 at 8:59 am #

    Can Lewis be correct? If he is it’s all over red rover. See Steve McIntyre on this paper as well.

  9. Robert June 26, 2012 at 9:32 am #

    Marc, most of the people who hang out here are conservationists.

    To protect land, water and wilderness – whether for production or heritage – we need a maximum of wealth and a minimum of waste.

    In recent times a community of manipulators, trough-swillers and wastrels has begun to lead a march under the banner of Conservation. They call themselves Environmentalists – but they are merely the old crowd of collectivists seeking a re-run of last century’s miseries. The presentation is different, the mentality the same.

    There are plenty of dangerous philosophies about, but Environmentalism is, at present, the globally dangerous philosophy. It alone can cloak itself in currently fashionable scientific theories and hold an aura of intellectual respectability. National and Marxist Socialism had a similar aura in the universities and the drawing rooms of the 1930s.

    Environmentalism, a mass neurosis based on no-think dogmas such as “sustainability”, has unique appeal to the mind of the middle class and educated of the West. It has already infested all the control points of modern Western society. Our children have already been saturated in it.

    Marc, the danger is Environmentalism. The answer is Conservation. The one has nothing to do with the other. Environmentalism will do for the earth what Communism did for the workers (and the earth, for that matter.)

    Reject Rio+20 and all the fear, greed, waste and manipulation which generated it. Become a conservationist today.

  10. marc June 26, 2012 at 9:49 am #

    Debbie – a quick response to your questions . . .

    Please define the ‘harder’ path? Innovative solutions that serve to engender a common understanding and cause as opposed to smug negativity, attack and ridicule that only serves to polarise and divide.

    ‘The lens of objectivity and the sound treatment of risk’ is meaningless if you are unable to supply a concrete example. Objectivity as opposed closed-mindedness! Communication, education and a willingness to listen and learn by all is the key to this and unfortunately there are not too many good examples at the macro scale where this has been successfully. At the regional scale, I have successfully worked with farming communities to address coastal erosion and protection issues over a long-term time frame that accommodates immediate climatic events whilst reducing the risk of any sea-level rise impacts over the long term.

    What risk? The risk of inaction or delayed reaction to respond effectively respond to environmental change. Risk is, and should be treated as, a collective social assessment of the likelihood of something happening and its likely ‘negative impact’. Furthermore risk is time dependent and an assessment should be clear about the time frame.

    What do you think is a ‘sound treatment of risk’? A sound treatment of risk is not an academic exercise and needs to be undertaken and placed in the context of the lives of people and our relationships with each other and the social institutions that provide the ‘rules’ by which we live in a society and community.

    How do you envision people taking up your challenge? Being positive and innovative. Devising practical solutions that have collective appeal and resonance, finding common ground and collective understanding.

    In what practical manner do you personally take ‘the harder path’? Don’t waste energy on negativity and arrogance, redeploy that energy into building constructive relationship and understanding the perspectives, positions and actions of others.

    What will taking this ‘harder’ path achieve? Greater social cohesion, an openness and willingness for collective action and greater appreciation for the things that matter – relationships, strong social institutions and a collective willingness to invest in the natural resource base for the long term, underpinned by a common understanding and appreciation for need to live off the interest and not the capital

  11. Johnathan Wilkes June 26, 2012 at 12:32 pm #

    I find your smug condescending attitude insulting.

    You do not know any of us and what we do for the environment and conservation.
    Yes “energy was wasted”, it was because the whole premise this meeting was organised on is a flawed political ideology of one world government as an ultimate aim, and wealth distribution in the meantime.

    That is what most of us object to.

    Nothing, or very little of consideration was given to practical matters.
    And yes it was a waste of time and resources, because as we learned, the decisions were made well before the delegates even arrived.

  12. toby June 26, 2012 at 1:40 pm #

    Marc, strategy one and two and three and four, improve the living standards and incomes of the poor. Only in rich countries can people “afford” to care about the environment because survival comes first.
    perhaps if we didnt waste billions on token environmentalism and CAGW we could actually target some real problems. Whilst we have so many pushing motherhood agendas ntg will happen but hot air.

    If environmentalists start to approach issues with real cost benefit analysis and not with socialist agendas and finger pointing, perhaps the environment within the poorer countries can start to approach the quality that we have in rich countries like australia.

    recognising that some harm has to be done for humans to live and develop would be a good starting point.

    Human progress should be celebrated.

  13. Robert June 26, 2012 at 2:13 pm #

    Exactly, toby. Exactly.

  14. Debbie June 26, 2012 at 5:22 pm #

    I admire your passion and I do not want to dent your appeal for positive thinking….I also believe in positive local action for all manner of issues, not just environmental issues.
    I have to ultimately agree with Toby. Human progress should be celebrated, not sneered at and punished.
    Very fortunate societies like ours don’t understand that the places we are judging do not need our smug superiority about environmentalism and animal welfare. For many of those places the environment is still a deadly enemy because they do not have our technology or our comfortable standard of living to mitigate its extremes.
    As Binny commented at a previous post, people who drive to work in their climate controlled cars from their climate controlled homes to their climate controlled offices are the only ones who can be truly alarmed about climate change.

    Further, because we are a very fortunate society, we are already learning to be ‘environmentally responsible’ and many of us are understandably highly insulted that we are being told the opposite. It is simply not true. We’re not perfect by any means but we are moving in good directions and we can continue to do so without the added burden of screeching and expensive Green Bureaucracy.

    And lastly, the ‘precautionary principle’ has stymied progress. Or as you defined it: “Devising practical solutions that have collective appeal and resonance, finding common ground and collective understanding”
    PP sounded plausible in theory but it has had time to prove its worth…..and the result is overwhelmingly negative.
    The overwhelming result is that genuine progress can be totally obstructed. It has given red light power to people who do not deserve that power. I am watching the results of it in my patch every single day.
    The simple truth is that whatever we do and however we progress we will always have an impact. Sometimes that could be a negative impact but we’re smart enough and fortunate enough to fix those mistakes if we were ever allowed to admit to them.
    The vast majority of the human story is actually a positive story….especially in our very lucky country.
    IMHO that’s where we really need to focus your desire for some positive thinking.
    I actually live and work in a relatively harsh environment, well removed from Eastern Seaboard comforts and I can let you know that it is far more adaptive than most of our self appointed green betters will ever understand.
    The return of native fauna and flora here in the middle of the MDB is nothing short of spectacular.
    Us mere mortals are a long way short of that type of adaptability.
    We still do silly things like build expensive dwellings on coastlines that we know are subject to erosion or we have important people like our Climate Commissioners tell us that people living in the relatively temperate climate of Sydney are going to suffer badly from a few extra summer hot days…..TALK ABOUT NEGATIVE????????
    Most of what we’re told by the so called “environmental movement” is alarmist and negative. They seem to deliberately aim to alarm us and put an ugly negative spin on most of what we should be proud of.
    I think the ‘harder path’ is actually helping people to recover from this overwhelming alarming negativism and start learning to feel good about themselves and their lifestyles.

  15. Dave Shorter June 26, 2012 at 9:53 pm #

    Are you the same Marc who thought Animals Australia and 4 Corners Pearl Harbour like attack on the cattle industry was all okay ?
    How does that fit with that “finding common ground and collective understanding” stuff ?

  16. cohenite June 27, 2012 at 6:44 pm #

    Is “environmental change” the latest incarnation of AGW? If so, what does it mean now?

    I think it is rich for a pro-AGW advocate, if indeed that is what marc is, after supporting a ‘theory’ which was promulgated on the basis of exclusivity and an attitude of you are with us or against us, to now say it is sceptics who are standing in the way of being “positive and innovative”.

    But is marc wants “common ground” presumably between sceptics and believers then maybe he should read this which spells out the scientific common ground between the 2 groups:


  1. Jennifer Marohasy » Rio+20 Was Different | Cranky Old Crow - June 25, 2012

    […] Jennifer Marohasy » Rio+20 Was Different. Like this:LikeBe the first to like this. […]

Website by 46digital