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Argo Spier - argospier -Argo Spier argospier The Ethic concerning Climate Change - 2010

Relevant topics & links - 2010

"In the developing countries , we can no longer equate progress with economic growth. Above a certain level of affluence, growth no longer correlates highly with wider criteria of welfare. Placing such a notion of welfare at the forefront might mesh very closelywith climate change goals. Economic growth elevates emissions; what is the point of making a fetish of growth if in some large part it diminishes rather than promotes welfare. Most prescriptions about how to cope with climate change are negative. They are about saving, cutting back, retreating, retrenchment. Many are important. For instance, driving more economic cars, cutting back on airtravel, reducing domestic energy bills, walking more often, or taking fewer baths are all small actions that can add to a big difference in terms of reducing emissions. Yet ... no approach based mainly on depreavation is going to work. We must create a positive model of low-carbon future..."
- Anthony Giddence, The Politics of Climate Change, 2009.

"We are not asking ourselves what we will replace capitalism with, but what kind of capitalism we want? We must re-engineer capitalism to restore its moral dimension, its conscience. By placing free trade above all else, what we have is a weakening of democracy."
- Nicolas Sarkozsi, President of France, Davos 2010


"Part of the drive towards a renewed ethic ... and the exercise of looking for new realistic formulations of concepts concerning lifestyles in a changing world, is the very destruction of that what was once known as the 'the old way'".
- Argo Spier, Opera Pages, 2010.

The links below do not involve the buying or selling of information. We refuse to participate in the exchange of knowledge for money. The Climate Change debate stirred all of us deeply and we hope to provide here efficient and to-the-point links to sites dealing with this issue. The dire need for unadulterated, non-commercialised and non-politicised information, and the need to develop a (new) unadulterated ethic of how to deal with the future, is what this page is about - I extend to you the invitation to re-think with me, in a serene and objective way, old definitions of convivial co-habitation and growth processes. It is obvious that many of our firm convictions, concepts and intepretations haven't cut the edge. For example, 'affluence' was automatically taken as proof of 'growth' up to now, but nobody was concerned, really, with the content and definition of both concepts - what is it to 'grow'? What to be affluent ... conviviality or over-consumption? What is the value of money if it can only buy more of the same? And how much is this 'more' that should be bought to sustain convivial co-habitation?

I hope that you will partake in the rethinking of present and contemporary value systems and consumption patterns, become aware (as I am becoming) of the grossness of the environmental impact we have on our surroundings and try (with me) to develop a different alternative ethic that will enable us all to leave a lesser CO2 footprint behind us.

You may assist me by sending me links dealing with Climate Change and/or summarised ideas and discussing the content on as many as possible Ezboard Communities. I cannot however enter discussions per mail. No advertisements please.


An euology

The following eulogy from Donella H. Meadows gives food for thought and shows a clear route towards the exploration of an ethic concerning climate change:

A CEO was having to babysit for his daughter. He was trying to read the paper but was totally frustrated by the constant interruptions. When he came across a full page of NASA photo of the Earth from space, he got a brilliant idea. He ripped it up into small pieces and told the child to try and put it back together. He then settled in for what he expected to be a good half-hour of peace and quiet. But only a few minutes had gone by before the child appeared at his side with a big grin on her face.
'You've finished already?' he asked.
'Yep' she replied.
'So how did you do it?'
'Well, I saw there was a picture of a person on the other side, so I put the person together, the Earth got put together too...'

- Thomas L. Friedman, Hot, Flat & Crowded, 2009.

Code Inox - a 'new' type of Green

’How to live responsibly’is a question that has immediate bearing on how heavy our CO2 footprints are. What is driving us to be so wasteful in our dealings with the use of fossil fuels? What ethic may help us to become worthy of the title 'man'? Changing our 'ways' ... well, wearing woolen socks and having 'Save the Planet' days with huge formations of rock bands and plenty of Coca Cola (with user-supplied brandy) won't cut the difference. And as for the movements Green and Code Green ... the hidden agendas behind them are too aggressive and don't cover the issue of 'change' nor the 'ethic' needed - we need a different type of 'green', a shiny steel-coloured green ... inox. We need the silvery shiny bluish colour of inox ... that may be a good symbol of our 'new real green' intentions.
- Argo Spier, 'Wash - A Study in Dead Poetry, 2009.


Method of Code Inox

'Any intelligent fool can make things bigger, more complex, and more violent. It takes a touch of genius -- and a lot of courage -- to move in the opposite direction.'
- Albert Einstein

1. GET as much unadulterated, non-commercialised and non-politicised information as possible and familiarise yourself with the complexity of the issue of Climate Change. See to it that you acquire a thorough understanding of concepts such as the precautionary principal; sustainable development; over development; the ensuring state; political convergence; economic convergence; foregrounding; climate change positives; the percentage principal; development imperative; proactive adaptation and others, so that you can 'think' in 'real time scientific terms' and motivate your conviction.

2. Do NOT sign up with any movement that says it's GREEN and don't involve yourself in protest marches. Code Inox is the supreme political deed, in itself. It doesn't compete or engage for flat political gain nor does it compromise. Code Inox is about re-discovering an ethic that can enable sustainability for you personally and secure your stand in your surroundings. It is not interested in the status quo. It is pro-creative in its growth. It redefines definitions and uses language as a vehicle to re-define values. Accept that in Code Inox nobody is showing the 'way' and that none of the gained perspectives achieved by redefining meaning are about a prescribed code of conduct of 'how to save the world.'

3. POST your stand on the web, on Facebook, Twitter and other networks and in Ezboard chat rooms. But NEVER engage yourself in a situation where you feel you have to justify and explain your convictions. Code Inox is not about proving, it is about inviting others to join the 'big re-think' and that is all. It doesn't wish to provide quick solid solutions to grave problems - it wants to change the attitudes towards those problems and promotes a solid ethic in the individual to enable her or him to make responsible, not regrettable, choices.


Argo Spier


'Mountains' of e-waste threaten developing world

Precious and hazardous materials go into making electronic gadgets
Urgent action is needed to tackle the "mountains" of e-waste building up in developing nations, says a UN report. Huge amounts of old computers and discarded electronic goods are piling up in countries such as China, India and some Africa nations, it said. India could see a 500% rise in the number of old computers dumped by 2020, found the survey of 11 nations. Unless dealt with properly the waste could cause environmental damage and threaten public health, it said.

Precious hazard

The report gathered information about current levels of e-waste in 11 nations and also looked at how those totals might grow in the next decade. Globally, e-waste is growing at a rate of about 40 million tonnes per year as consumers, in both developed and developing nations, buy new gadgets and discard their old ones. Many of the older items end up in developing nations. By 2020, China and South Africa could see e-waste generated by old computers rise by 400% by 2007 levels. In a decade, estimated the report, e-waste from mobile phones will be seven times higher in China and 18 times higher in India. Some nations are happy to take in e-waste to use in order to extract some of the precious materials and metals that go into making modern consumer electronics. For instance, said the report, in an average year global production of mobile phones and computers uses 3% of the silver and gold mined, 13% of the palladium and 15% of the cobalt.

Dumped e-waste can cause environmental problems. However, it found, in some places efforts to extract these metals are inefficient and do not do enough to handle the hazardous materials recovery produces. For instance, it said, e-waste treatment in China typically involved back yard incinerators which were a wasteful and polluting way to recover precious materials.

"China is not alone in facing a serious challenge," said Achim Steiner, executive director of the UN Environmental Programme (UNEP) which issued the report. "India, Brazil, Mexico and others may also face rising environmental damage and health problems if e-waste recycling is left to the vagaries of the informal sector."

"One person's waste can be another's raw material," said Konrad Osterwalder, rector of the UN University. "The challenge of dealing with e-waste represents an important step in the transition to a green economy."

Newsreel, Copied from BBC On-line, 22 Feburary 2010

BP spill: 5 apocalyptic scenarios

It’s just an oil spill — how bad could it get? Truly catastrophic, according to some of the out-there theories being floated by concerned "experts". The scenarios that doomsday-minded commentators have suggested are dire indeed. Here are five "predictions of Armageddon" that, if fulfillied, would make the already awful consequences of the spill look like a minor inconvenience.

1. "World-killing" methane explosion
The theory: While drilling the Macondo well, BP tapped a giant methane bubble trapped under the seabed. This sub-sea pocket of explosive gas — many miles in diameter — is similar to the one that exploded in the Gulf roughly 250 million years ago, wiping out more than 96 percent of all life in a series of tidal waves, toxic chemical releases, and fiery cloudbursts.
Who's behind the theory? Proponents cite research by Northwestern University biochemical engineer Gregory Ryskin. (Ryskin says his work is being misrepresented.)
Key quote: "The bottom line: BP's Deepwater Horizon drilling operation may have triggered an irreversible, cascading geological Apocalypse that will culminate with the first mass extinction of life on Earth in many millions of years." (Terrence Aym, Helium)

2. The oil gushes for decades, threatening all the planet's oceans
The theory: The underground casing of the BP well has been so irreversibly damaged that the wellhead cap is only forcing oil out through leaks deep below the sea floor. As the casing further deteriorates and the oil eats away at the seabed, a literally unstoppable leak that will spew 150,000 barrels a day into the Gulf for decades on end — with "truly unimaginable" consequences for the earth's oceans.
Who's behind the theory? Most prominently, a widely cited and "seemingly very knowledgable" commenter, Doug R, at The Oil Drum, an online community frequented by petroleum geologists and other industry experts.
Key quote: If this theory's right, "the already weakened sea bottom beyond the wellbore... would crack wide open like ice on a pond... turning a wide area of the outer continental shelf sea floor into an underwater sinkhole that could bleed 2 billion to 3 billion barrels of oil." (David Phillips, CBS BNET)

3. Poisonous chemical rain kills everyone/everything in a wide radius
The theory: In the event of a hurricane, Corexit 9500 — the oil dispersant BP is using in large quantities — and methane gas could combine to form toxic rain clouds with the potential to kill all plant and animal life, including humans, for hundreds of miles around, says Kurt Nimmo in Alex Jones' Infowars. Russia's Ministry of Natural Resources is even warning that the toxic oil-spill rain could lead to "total destruction" throughout the entire eastern half of North America, reports The European Union Times.
Who's behind the theory? Former "pipeline chaplain" Lindsay Williams, "investigative journalist" Wayne Madson, and followers of conspiracy radio host Alex Jones.
Key quote: Under government contingency plans, "30-40 million people would need to be evacuated....If people living within the 200-mile zone do not relocate voluntarily (i.e. on their own initiative), it appears likely that a forced evacuation through a martial-law scenario may occur within the coming weeks and (possibly) months." (SoCal Martial Law Alerts, Infowars)

4. It's literally a sign of the Apocalypse
The theory: The BP gusher is fulfilling the Book of Revelation's end-times prophesies, a scenario in which BP is the diabolic "agent of the end of the world." The signs include blood-red oil spreading throughout the Gulf and the widespread destruction of sea life.
Who's behind the theory? Eschatalogists (end-times scholars), including Pastor Phil Hotsenpillar, a teaching pastor at Yorba Linda Friends Church in Southern California, with support from members of America's 20-million-strong evangelical Christian community who believe the world will end in their lifetimes.
Key quote: "The second angel blew his trumpet, and something like a great mountain, burning with fire, was thrown into the sea. A third of the sea became blood, a third of the living creatures in the sea died, and a third of the ships were destroyed... A third of the waters became wormwood, and many died from the water, because it was made bitter.” (Revelations, 8:8-11, via Newsweek)

5. BP causes the earth to implode by secretly tapping its molten core
The theory: Under the guise of digging four-mile-deep relief wells, BP is secretly boring much deeper — 1,800 miles — to harvest magma from the earth's molten core for cheap geothermal energy. Unfortunately, that would lead to the collapse of the planet.
Who's behind the theory? A rather mysterious group of "international energy experts"
Key quote: "BP would get all the profits while tapping this amazing source of energy, which would bring them trillions until it ran dry, causing the earth to implode on itself like a raisin. Which would mean the only buck left to be made on this orb would be selling tickets to the surviving yahoos who want to jump on the last rocketship off it." (Energy industry "insider" quoted by Dan Lee Hope, Jr., Ask Doc Paranormal)

Newsreel, Copied fromThe Week On-line, 24 July 2010

Deepwater Oil Spill - A Longer Term Problem, Personnel - and Open Thread 2
A 'must read' discussion on The Oil Drum - dougr
The Methane 'bomb' in the Gulf of Mexico
22nd of August 2010 - latest reports re oil spil by The NewScientist


'Tolerance and apathy are the first signs of a dying society.'

Great Pacific garbage patch - stop using plastyic

'Tolerance and apathy are the first signs of a dying society.'

Scientists have discovered an area of the North Atlantic Ocean where plastic debris accumulates. The region is said to compare with the well-documented "great Pacific garbage patch". Karen Lavender Law of the Sea Education Association told the BBC that the issue of plastics had been "largely ignored" in the Atlantic. She announced the findings of a two-decade-long study at the Ocean Sciences Meeting in Portland, US. The work is the conclusion of the longest and most extensive record of plastic marine debris in any ocean basin.

The nine vital World Ecological Systems & their sustainable boundaries

[Update soon - Ed]

Life-Cycle Assessments

"In principle, all decisions that affect or are meant to improve the environmental performance of a product/service should be scrutinized in terms of their life cycle implications. For the environmental perspective, a product's life cycle can be represented as a circular movement that ties together resource extraction, production, distribution, consumption and disposal. In other words, all the phases of organized matter and energy that are in some way related to the making and use of a product can also be linked to an impact on the environment."
—Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development,
Paris, France, 1995

A life-cycle assessment (LCA) is a systematic, cradle-to-grave process that evaluates the environmental impacts of products, processes, and services. Its quality depends on the life-cycle inventory (LCI) data it uses.

An LCA tracks a product's environmental impact from resource extraction through disposal and examines the energy it uses and the pollution it creates. The LCA methodology is shown in Figure 1. The interpretation step evaluates the processes and impact indicators to determine how to reduce environmental burdens. LCAs benefit manufacturers, architects, builders, and government agencies by answering environmental impact questions and identifying areas for improvement.


Text books - clarification of concepts
[*Don't buy these books - Get your local library to order them for you. Others may want to read them too.]

'The politics of Climate Change' - Anthony Giddens, 2009 - Polity Press, 350 Main Street, Malden, MA 0218, USA and 65 Bridge Street, Cambridge CB2 1UR, UK.
'Cradle to cradle' - Michael Braungart & William McDonough - ISDN 978 90 5594 577 1 NUR 740/964

Links - Climate Change

Timeline: Climate Change - New Scientist Environment
An Arctic Under Stress - Long-term Changes in Polar Ecosystems - The" Club of Rome Report
The Global Warming Debate - Introductory

New Scientist
Wiley Interdisciplinary Reviews Climate Change Journal - 2010
The Inter-governmenta Panel on Climate Change - latest reports
The shame of the emmission rights sales - Companies make millions yet no CO2 reduction

A treasure of links by Jackie Miers - Educational & Schools
Inspiration - The Blue Economy, essays on new approaches and change

Rising sea level - epic

Extinction risk from Climate Change - Nature
Green Machine - Tackling the plastic menace - New Scientist

Call for Papers on Climate Change, Food Security and Resilience of Food and Agricultural Systems in Developing Countries
Pioneer aquanaut: How not to clean up an oil spill - NewScientist

Global Warming hysteria or not - 10 Myths?


Cradle to Cradle - Remaking the way we make things
Park 20|20 The Netherlands - William McDonough & Partners, Masterplan Architect and Design
William McDonough's Homepage - C2C Architect
National Geography Magazine - green roofs

LCA's and DALY links
* Life Cycle Analysis

GoodGuide Inc, Berkeley - Complete Transparancy re ecological footprints in consumer goods and foodstuffs
Life Cycle Assesment - What are the 4 732 materials in your broken down TV set still worth? - LCA 2009 Conference, Cape Town, South Africa
LCA Research, USA
Life Cycle Org - More Links
National Renewable Energy Research
Stoneyfield Farm Inc - Download 'Going Greener Guidebook'
L.E.E.D. - USA Green Building Council
Wohn Vision 2020 - Exciting recycling design news from Germany (German)
Zweit Sinn - Ecological design with recycled materials (German)

Toxidants and transparancy

Skin Deep Cosmetic database - do you stimulate cancer cells by a 'bad' shampoo?
Contaminated Air Protection Conference - poisonus gasses in aeroplanes - report

Educational movie clips

TED Ideas - Hype ideas
Jane Poynter - Life in Biosphere 2 clip


International Labour Migration Statistics
International Labour Organization (ILO)
International Organization for Migration
Population Index
Population Reference Bureau
United Nations Development Fund for Women
United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA)
Comittee for International Cooperation in National Research in Demography
International Data Base (IDB)
United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF)
World Health Organization

Things to know that'll help to reduce CO2 footprints

Healthy home tips

Healthy and Toxics - Environmental Working Group
How safe is your cell phone? - EWG
Cellphone radiation - Environmental Working Group
Why tap water is better than bottled water
More re cellphone radiation

Dutch links [Nederlands]

Groene daken

Resitrix daken met lastenboek motor

Floradax - 'Green roof tools' & technische aspecten bij het plaatsing van groene daken
Vlaamse Renovatie 2020 - Premies en Advies

Toxica in voeding

Pangasius: de waarheid over de wondervis uit het vriesvak -
Bart Staes - verslagen Europese Commissie