Friday, March 30, 2012

Connect the dots: Between extreme weather and climate change

This video is based on an op-ed by Bill McKibben, author and founder of partner organizations, Make sure to visit to connect the dots between extreme weather, and join Climate Impacts Day on 5/5/12.


Thursday, March 29, 2012

Connecting the Dots Between Extreme Weather and Climate Change

On Wednesday, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) will release adetailed, new report that helps connect the dots between extreme weather events and climate change. The findings confirm what millions of us around the world are beginning to see with our own eyes: climate change isn’t a future problem anymore, it’s happening here and now.

Here at the Cayman Institute, we think that starting to make the connection between extreme weather and climate change is crucial. I look at weather and climate events happening every day in various parts of the world and the trends are there for those that are willing to look. Unfortunately, by the time the policy makers and the majority of of citizens from around the world notice the trends we may have passed a tipping point, at which these events start happening fast and furiously.

Last week, announced plans for a new global day of action called “Climate Impacts Day” for people from the flood zones of Pakistan to the drought stricken fields of Texas to come together and “Connect the Dots” between extreme weather and other impacts, climate change, and the root causes of the crisis? More



Thursday, March 22, 2012

Earth Hour 2012 - Dare The World To Save The Planet


We only have one planet. You can help protect it. Participate in the world’s largest single campaign for the planet: Earth Hour. It starts by turning off your lights for an hour at 8:30 pm on March 31, 2012 in a collective display of commitment to a better future for the planet. Think what can be achieved when we all come together for a common cause.



Sunday, March 18, 2012

Space Ship Earth: Our Only Home



Playing in the Major Leagues.


George Town, Cayman Islands - 19 October 2009 - Prime Minister Gordon Brown’s recent speech on climate change catastrophe in the UK applies to the entire world.


Climate change is the most serious peril that has faced humanity in its long history. However, we are faced with more than climate change, there is peak oil and an out of control population, as well as concerns for water and food security in the years to come.


As I said to a colleague earlier today “failing to plan is planning to fail”.


Humanity is today playing in the major leagues. We are in a sink or swim situation. If we can keep the planet habitable by mitigating and adapting to the changing climate, switching to alternative sources of energy such as solar, wind, geothermal, wave, ocean thermal and nuclear, sequester CO2 and provide the population with adequate supplies of water and food and bring the population under control, humanity may survive .


Warfare and conflict will also need to become a thing of the past as climate change and energy may well exacerbate conflict situations. With a 9.5 billion global population by 2050 ensuring that everyone has adequate food and water could be problematic.


There is however, no ‘Plan B’ if we fail to resolve all the problems facing us.


When playing in the major leagues there is no time out, there is no one that is going to offer help, let alone rescue us. Look around, the neighbourhood is somewhat sparsely populated and there are no other worlds on which humanity can survive. Even if there were other habitable worlds nearby they would in all probability belong to someone else.


There are, in all likelihood, other intelligent races out there somewhere however, in the major leagues one survives on ones own. As a young civilisation it is up to us to solve all our problems, to make peace among ourselves, to bring the population under control, to implement the Millennium Development Goals (MDG). We must solve our own problems. As a young race we are as children, and as such we may not be able to solve our own problems. But solve them we must.


If we are able to solve the situation facing us and make it to adulthood, in the galactic meaning of the world, we may then be introduced to the neighbours.


If we do not make it to adulthood we will be just another minor statistic, a failure, a insignificant footnote in the universal history book.




Friday, March 16, 2012

Climate Connections: Questions from Glacier National Park

America has questions about climate change, and the USGS has real answers. In this episode of Climate Connections, USGS scientists answer questions gathered from the beautiful Glacier National Park in Montana. Questions include:

- When I come back in ten years, what will I see in Glacier National Park?
- How is climate change impacting the glaciers?
- Does all the snow we received this winter help the glaciers?
- How do receding glaciers and climate change affect the local economy in terms of recreation, agriculture, tourism?
Also at:

Monday, March 12, 2012

Climate Change: An Emergency But For Denial

“The world is perfectly on track for a six-degree Celsius increase in temperature. Everybody, even the schoolchildren, knows this is a catastrophe for all of us.” International Energy Agency's World Energy Outlook report.

in extreme climate change danger that we should be in emergency mode; but our awareness of climate dangers and all our mitigation planning remain completely within - ideologically trapped within - business as usual (BAU): the present socio-economy in which we are all so fortunate to live.

Several years ago I postulated what I called society-wide denial : because we have been so slow to react and begin effective mitigation - because the economy and especially economic stability in our service sector dominated economies has been the prime focus of business and government - effective mitigation must now happen at a scale and pace that is not possible within, is not compatible with our present socio-economy."We're stuck between temperatures we can't possibly accommodate and carbon reduction pathways we can't possibly achieve. A rock and a hard place." The default mode is BAU and so we are in denial and don't think or talk about real mitigation.

The science is clear. Effective mitigation (I argued) to stay under the agreed upon 2C 450ppm precautionary ceiling required a 100% emission reduction by 2020 in countries with a large personal carbon footprint like the US, Canada or Australia. Systemic change, a massive reconfiguration of our economies, was now necessary, but such systemic change was not only not possible it was heretical to even consider in our dominant free market ideology.

Therefore, even though informed publics recognized that climate change was a building threat to everything we know and love and for species we share creation with on this small blue planet, the only mitigation planning allowed was incremental change within continuing BAU: green consumerism, greener building codes, electric cars, clean coal, etc., a slow transition to a green economy - obvious crackhead addict denial given the pace and scale of emission reduction demanded by state of the art climate science, especially the global carbon budget science. More


Sunday, March 11, 2012

The Georgia Guide Stones: A Guide To The Age Of Reason or...

The Georgia Guidestones is a large granite monument in Elbert County, Georgia, USA. A message comprising ten guides is inscribed on the structure in eight modern languages, and a shorter message is inscribed at the top of the structure in four ancient languages' scripts:Babylonian, Classical Greek, Sanskrit, and Egyptian hieroglyphs.

  1. Maintain humanity under 500,000,000 in perpetual balance with nature.
  2. Guide reproduction wisely — improving fitness and diversity.
  3. Unite humanity with a living new language.
  4. Rule passion — faith — tradition — and all things with tempered reason.
  5. Protect people and nations with fair laws and just courts.
  6. Let all nations rule internally resolving external disputes in a world court.
  7. Avoid petty laws and useless officials.
  8. Balance personal rights with social duties.
  9. Prize truth — beauty — love — seeking harmony with the infinite.
  10. Be not a cancer on the earth — Leave room for nature — Leave room for nature.

Given the events that humanity will have to deal with going forward into this century the Guides inscribed in these stones are certainly worthwhile precepts to follow.

We have Climate Change, Energy Security, Water Security, Food Security and a Burgeoning Population. All of these topics are potential Conflict Triggers. Do you see any corelation to the ten precepts above?

The question, will we be smart and altruistic enough to heed warnings like these on the Georgia Guide Stones or will these stones become the Stonehenge of 2112?

The choices we make today, as spoken of by James Hansen (climate change link above) of making drastic cuts to CO2 and methane output, instead of Business as Usual (BAU) and subsidies to the oil companies will will have either positive or negative effects on our children and grand children's quality of life. making the right decisions now may well be creating the conditions to avoid conflict in the future.

There are many of us who work for non-governmental and research organizations who question how we are going to feed 9.5 billion of this planets population in fourty years time. When we think about agriculture irrigation immediately comes to mind. As the worlds climate heats up rainfall patterns will change with some areas having drought and others having devestating flooding as Australia and Pakistan have experienced in recent years.

These threats were first raised by The Club of Rome fourty years ago. The Club of Rome was founded in 1968 as an informal association of independent leading personalities from politics, business and science, men and women who are long-term thinkers interested in contributing in a systemic interdisciplinary and holistic manner to a better world. The Club of Rome members share a common concern for the future of humanity and the planet. The aims of the Club of Rome are: to identify the most crucial problems which will determine the future of humanity through integrated and forward-looking analysis; to evaluate alternative scenarios for the future and to assess risks, choices and opportunities; to develop and propose practical solutions to the challenges identified; to communicate the new insights and knowledge derived from this analysis to decision-makers in the public and private sectors and also to the general public and to stimulate public debate and effective action to improve the prospects for the future. Humanity however, have not heeded this warning. Time is runing out and a tipping point will be reached at which point we will have a runaway, out of control catastrophe.


Watch David Wasdell, Director of the Meridian Programme as he talks about climate change. At 24 minutes into the presentation he talks about NASA being afraid to release findings of methane releases off the coast of San Diego for fear of retribution by the Bush administration. David Wasdell, Director of the Meridian Programme, is a world-renowned expert in the dynamics of climate change. He is also a reviewer of the International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) assessment reports and the author of numerous papers and presentations on climate change and related topics. For more on David Wasdell visit:

In politics we must remember what Mikhail Gorbachev said, "Today one often hears that politics is a dirty business, incompatible with morality. No, politics becomes dirty and a zero-sum, lose-lose game only when it has no moral core". Mikhail Gorbachev - The Soviet Union’s last General Secretary and first President.

Are we smart enough to heed the advice given to us by some of our best thinkers or are we headnig for centuries of conflict, theocratic states and a new dark age? The choice is ours. Act now while there is still a little time.

Nicholas B. Robson

Cayman Islands

11th. March 2012



Friday, March 9, 2012

Barbara Ward Lecture: Implications of the Durban outcome for enhancing action on climate change on the ground towards a more sustainable future.

And so today I stand before you with a clear request to all of you: Whether you represent government, business or civil society, take the unambiguous low-carbon policy signals from COP 17 Durban, and help us increase action through new partnerships.” - Read the entire speech given by Christiana Figueres at the IIED in London today…

While it gives me great pleasure to deliver this yearís Barbara Ward lecture atthe IIED, I will frankly admit that it is daunting to participate in a lecture series namedafter what Time Magazine called one of the most influential visionaries of the 20thcentury.

This visionary woman once said: We live in an epoch in which the solidground of our preconceived ideas shakes daily under our certain feet. Already in the1970s, Barbara knew that business-as-usualî no longer represented solid ground.

Always ahead of her time, she knew that we have to combine our immediatecommitment to meeting human needs with our longer term need to protect the Earthas a place suitable for human life now and in the future. She consistently stressed theneed to simultaneously address the ìinner limitsî of human requirements and theìouter limitsî of what the Earth can sustain. With this, she laid the basis for theBrundtland Commissionís eventual definition of sustainable development.

Barbara gave us a firm foundation 50 years ago. The question for us is, whathave we built on this foundation? We are all aware of the increasing understandingthat has evolved since then. We all know of the advances surrounding sustainabledevelopment that have been achieved since 1972, not least the 1992 Rio Summit, thebirth of the Rio Conventions of which the United Nations Framework Convention onClimate Change is one, and the work that has been done under each of these.

We are now fast approaching the opening of the Rio+20 conference which willallow the world to take stock of past efforts, as well as look to the future. And withìbusiness-as-usualî making the ground under our feet shake now more than everbefore, with billions of people still in abject poverty and with environmental depletionand greenhouse emissions at an all time high, one cannot help but conclude that thiswas not what Barbara Ward had in mind. More



Thursday, March 1, 2012

Many Strong Voices Launches New And Updated Web Site

Many Strong Voices (MSV) has just launched its new web site, which has been revised and updated. There are sections with downloadable materials -- publications, posters, postcards, etc. -- which you should feel free to use. We will shortly about linking to other projects and material as well. Click Here