This short piece will certainly not help the reader gain any greater understanding of the United Nations: its strengths, weaknesses, successes and failings. I’d love to get my wits wrapped around the UN, largely regarded, I believe, as insufficiently aggressive in taking action into pressing world affairs, even where it’s clearly and urgently needed. But regardless of one’s opinion of the organization and its shortcomings, I’d have to think that the article it released today should have some level of impact on our thinking.
For instance, is it true, as the report posits, that humanity is near to breaching the sustainability of Earth, and needs a technological revolution greater and faster than the industrial revolution to avoid “a major planetary catastrophe?” That’s pretty strong stuff.
The report, “The World Economic and Social Survey 2011: The Great Green Technological Transformation,” places a great deal of blame on our energy use – particularly oil, coal, and gas.
“It is rapidly expanding energy use, mainly driven by fossil fuels, that explains why humanity is on the verge of breaching planetary sustainability boundaries through global warming, biodiversity loss, and disturbance of the nitrogen-cycle balance and other measures of the sustainability of the Earth’s ecosystem.”
“A comprehensive global energy transition is urgently needed in order to avert a major planetary catastrophe.”
I would think that this would get people’s attention. But, of course, I’m known to have been wrong before….