Climate Chaos, Capitalism, Cosmopolitics & Energy
London, UK - 24 July 2007, 18:41 GMT
Dear ATCA Colleagues
[Please note that the views presented by individual contributors are not
necessarily representative of the views of ATCA, which is neutral. ATCA conducts
collective Socratic dialogue on global opportunities and threats.]
We are grateful to:
. Prof Barbara Harriss-White, based in Oxford, UK, for "Climate Chaos,
Capitalism, Cosmopolitics and Energy Policy Coherence;"
. John Menzies, an Australian national, who operates between Sofia, Bulgaria,
and Vancouver, Canada, for "Climate Chaos or a Chaotic Climate?;"
. Elizabeth Marshall, based in Wick, Caithness, UK, for "Extreme
Weather's Result: Infrastructure and Harvest Damage plus Rising Food Prices;"
. Aurora Carlson, based on the West Coast, Sweden, for "Climate
Chaos, Potential Human Extinction and Our Thoughts, Intentions & Emotions;"
in response to the ATCA think-pieces: "Extreme
Weather: Flash floods Cause Chaos across Britain; Emergency Services in meltdown;
Claims to cross USD 4 billion" and "Climate
Chaos: UK Extreme Weather Update: Water runs out in flood-hit areas; Power
Supplies Threatened Government Emergency Committee Meets; USD 2 billion+ pa
for Flood Defences."
Barbara Harriss-White is Professor of Development Studies and Fellow of Wolfson
College, Oxford University, UK. Since 1969 she has carried out research in
South Asia through primary field studies of villages, small town economies
and markets. Her recent books are 'India Working: Essays in Society and Economy'
(2003); 'Trade Liberalisation and India's Informal Economy' (2007), ' Defining
Poverty in the Developing World' (2007) and 'Rural Commercial Capital: Agricultural
Markets in West Bengal' (2007). She is interested in long term agrarian and
regional capitalist transformation, the informal economy and social structures
of accumulation on the one hand -- and welfare (particularly poverty, gendered
life chances, nutrition, disability, destitution, caste discrimination, ageing
and social security) on the other. From 2004-7 she has directed the Department
of International Development, Queen Elizabeth House, Oxford University, handing
over this October. Having founded Oxford University's M Phil. in Development
Studies, she is now creating its new MSc in Contemporary India. For many years
she was a Trustee of ActionAid and is now a Trustee of the International Food
Policy Research Institute. Between 2004-6, she also used methods developed
to study food policy in India to take a look at energy politics in the UK.
Dear DK and Colleagues
Re: Climate Chaos, Capitalism, Cosmopolitics and Energy Policy Coherence
In the Guardian newspaper on July 13th, the distinguished sociologist Ulrich
Beck (Professor both at Ludwig Maximilian University in Munich and at the
London School of Economics) made a call to New Labour for a transnational
social and ecological agenda. It is a powerful piece not unconnected to the
ATCA postings on the extreme weather disasters being experienced in the UK.
The messages of climate chaos are so threatening to people's sense of order,
their ontological security, and local and national responses are so weak,
piecemeal and incoherent that it is hardly surprising that the aggregate public
reaction is to put up denial. I'm afraid that any political response that
allows for a strongly democratically regulated economy, equitable redistribution,
energy efficient technology and low waste as a disciplined starting point
for cosmopolitics must begin with the dissonance and denial that pervades
national political life. It must gain a mass democratic following of people
who hurt - and people do not hurt. It remains to be seen whether Britain's
floods turn out to be politically catalytic. It is for cosmopolitics to seize
the nettle involved in confronting the need of capitalism to grow and to require
growing material consumption; historically, confrontations with capitalism
have not been made for these reasons nor have they been made without bloodshed.
John C Menzies is the Chairman and CEO of EurOmax Resources listed in Toronto,
Canada, and Managing Director of Martern EOOD, a Bulgarian company, actively
exploring for metals -- specifically gold and copper -- in South East (SE)
Europe. Under the current management EurOmax has become profitable from oil
and gas operations in Canada and has expanded internationally. John is also
Chairman of the SE Europe Geoscience Foundation, an Earth and Environmental
Sciences education and research NGO, bringing the best in modern science and
technology to SE Europe with regular conferences and workshops and it recently
awarded 23 research grants to graduate students in five countries in the region.
He is also the Chairman of the Surya foundation which has a developing broad
range of community initiatives in Bulgaria.
John Menzies holds a BSc (Hons) in Geology. He has more than 25 years experience
in the resource sector. He was a senior geologist for Amax Inc responsible
for gold exploration in Western Australia from a base in Kalgoorlie. As a
consultant he advised companies on projects as diverse as gold, base metals,
diamonds and industrial minerals. More recently he has focused on the financial
aspects of the natural resources sectors and has been involved in the successful
development of mining and energy projects internationally. He has acted as
director and executive of both Australian and Canadian listed companies and
is a member of professional societies in Australia, North America and Europe.
Dear DK and Colleagues
Re: Climate Chaos or a Chaotic Climate?
Is it Climate chaos or just business as usual? The climate is always chaotic
-- and that is why is so difficult to model. These are 1 in 150 year events
in the UK -- these happen and they happen all the time strangely enough around
the world. In Australia, Brisbane recently saw the lowest ever temperature
of 0.1C with Ipswich at -4.87C (at least a 1 in 150 year event). Argentina's
capital recently saw snow fall (at least a 1 in 100 year event). Is this climate
chaos or just a chaotic climate? Although the impression we might get from
reading the newspapers is that weather until now has been normal and unchanging
-- the reality is very different.
3. Geographical Determinations of the Canadian Arctic Expedition F A McDiarmid
The Geographical Journal, Vol. 62, No. 4. (Oct., 1923), pp. 293-302
We look forward to your further thoughts, observations and views. Thank
For and on behalf of DK Matai, Chairman, Asymmetric Threats Contingency
ATCA: The Asymmetric Threats Contingency
Alliance is a philanthropic expert initiative founded in 2001
to resolve complex global challenges through collective Socratic
dialogue and joint executive action to build a wisdom based global
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as well as 250 Editors-in-Chief of major media.
The views presented by individual contributors are not necessarily
representative of the views of ATCA, which is neutral. Please
do not forward or use the material circulated without permission
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