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Tuesday, November 13, 2007
Managing Earth's Restoration as a UN Project
Image: courtesty of NASA (www.nasa.gov)

Earth: Establishing The Agenda

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), part of the U.N. Environment Program, starts its meetings in Valencia, Spain today which will run from November 12-17. The meetings that the U.N Panel scientists have this week will be critical in establishing whether sufficient Earth saving environmental objectives are put forward to the UN delegates meeting in Bali in December.

What is becoming clear to the U.N. panel of scientists, is that today we are in the most critical period of our human existence on Earth. A very rapid environmental decay is happening that could move quickly into an uncontrollable one if we don't act to repair Earth now. This article suports the concept of an overall project under a United Nations mandate that would drive the chance for us to actually survive this decay by making the whole Earth restoration effort a project.

There is so much work to do. Coal power plants are a huge contributor to Earth pollution (CO2 and SO2) and within the next five years, we must shut most of these power plants down and replace this energy with zero emissions wind and solar energy sources. We also need to switch over quickly to zero emissions cars, and reduce all other CO2 and Ozone destroying gaseous emissions. We need to bring back the aquatic life in the oceans that is dying. We cannot afford to have sewage or chemicals flowing into life sustaining rivers, lakes and oceans without water treatment. We need to re-plant everywhere the native plants and trees that have been cut down and not replaced, so that we can use their conversion capability to turn CO2 into oxygen. We need to support and enhance the number of species that have been destroyed by us, and we can't encroach on all of their wildlife habitats. In the last one hundred years, we have destroyed the Earth to such an extent that it is close to entering an organic freefall, and yet most people still do not care?

Why a Project? Because without a project management structure for change management, humanity will be very slow to react to save our planet from the severe environmental decay it is in. It is also possible that there is only a small amount of time left for us to begin the essential repairs to Earth.

A United Nations project management team, with representation from all Countries, would identify the key Earth restoration projects for each country, and also those projects that were international. Each country would need to adjust their internal economies to support these projects, and the financing of these would be by both governments and private consortiums. To motivate all Countries to rapidly implement the environmental repairs, strictly enforced international environmental trading regulations would need to be adopted, in an arrangement similar to the Kyoto Protocol. All Countries would need to restrict trade with any countries that violated these international environmental regulations. For this process to work well, the countries and companies that were the most compliant would also be the ones benefiting the most financially. This is almost the opposite of the international trading system reward structure in place today, as the largest violators are the ones increasing their international trade.

If all Countries in the UN can approve the international regulations required for our survival and implement these, then the resulting economic revival will be huge and last longer than any other sustained growth that we have known before. There is so much environmental repair work to be done and long term investment required. Investment Banks would profit greatly from this process, if they moved themselves to a long term capital investment approach in new 'zero emissions' renewable energy companies and also in environmental restoration companies.

Investment Banks are a key element in supporting this Earth restoration project. They will need to create the investment vehicles for environmental 'start ups' so that companies can get financing. A long term finance approach has to replace a short term investment mentality. Trying to make a quick gain is what has contributed to the Financial Crisis that we are now experiencing and the overall approach needs to be in long term investment growth strategies for the us to have a future.

This whole process may sound like a dream to some, but if we are going to survive the environmental decay we are in we must move quickly to implement an overall project process. The objectives must vastly exceed the 1997 Kyoto Protocol requirements, and include environmental restoration activities for each country to implement, and specifically identified far reaching objectives. There are many ecosystems in the world today that are in a severe decline and need our help. It is absolutely essential that we push zero emissions technology, like wind, solar and wave energy, and move to phase out energy that generates pollution.

The United Nations is our best vehicle to unite us to work together to repair Earth. We cannot fail in providing for our future, as we have all come so far already.

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