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Science Wrestles With A Crisis Worse Than Global Warming

Commodities / Climate Change Aug 23, 2012 - 03:37 AM GMT

By: Andrew_McKillop

Commodities

Best Financial Markets Analysis ArticleGiving this year's BBC Dimbleby lecture, Sir Paul Nurse the president of the UK's prestigious science institution the Royal Society unveiled a select list of what he considered were the "follow on crises" now that anthropogenic global warming has become so controversial, to scientists, and so boring to the general public. Without saying he specifically drew from Charles Darwin when thinking about the finance sector, bankers, brokers and traders, Nurse said that Darwin recognized the "low origins of Man". In Darwin's book 'The Descent of Man', he wrote: “Man with all his qualities, with sympathy… with benevolence ... with his god-like intellect... with all these exalted powers – man still bears in his bodily frame the indelible stamp of his lowly origin”.


Nurse is a Nobel prizewinning biochemist, with more than a few ideas on how living cells can be 'tweaked', and almost certainly will be increasingly modified using a range of technologies, including nanotechnology, but he took the time in his lecture, before moving on to "the unsustainable economy", to give some attention to the now weakening and failing "great cause" of global warming. This of course is anthropogenic. Over the last 10 - 15 years, this "great cause" has certainly drawn the lowest-possible indelible stamp of greed, lying, and junk science charlatanry.

Nurse, being an "institutional scientist" with a role to defend, seamlessly equates global warming - in the space of one sentence - with climate change. Other forms and types of climate change, supposedly, either do not exist or do not attract enough funding and media razzmatazz to be "relevant". For the head of the UK's most prestigious science institution, global warming (anthropogenic of course) and climate change are one and the same thing.

In his Dimbleby lecture he said:  "The majority of expert climate scientists have reached the consensus view that human activity has resulted in global warming, although there is debate about how much the temperature will rise in the future. Others argues that warming is not taking place at all or that it will happen in a catastrophic way, but they have failed to persuade the majority of climate experts, who have judged the scientific arguments made to support these more extreme views as being too weak to be convincing".

Put another way, to remain in the swim and the show, to pass go and get research funds you are obliged to say: 1) you believe in anthropogenic global warming, and 2) you do not believe it is catastrophic, but real enough for politicans and corporate players to get excited about. In other words, this particular Crisis Show is built for long-term (that is sustainable) operation, to the benfit of the science community and whoever else can manipulate the theme and suck power, cash and kudos out of it. Nevertheless, despite all this, the global warming theme is losing traction, and needs new Companion Themes to keep science relevant.

ENTER THE NEW CRISES
The big problem is that AGW (anthropogenic global warming) can easily be questioned on nitty-gritty basic science grounds, and the "moderate position" defended by Nurse, where only-moderate warming may possibly take place, perhaps over the next 25 - 50 years, using an arbitrary but sufficiently long timeframe to prevent any possibility of demanding concrete proof, makes this "terrible crisis" somewhat uninteresting for the Average Consumer, taxpayer and voter. AGW has lost an awful lot of traction in the past 3 years, since the ill-fated Dec 2009 Copenhagen climate "summit". Despite the heartwarming (even climate warming) sincerity of 'scientific commitment' to the AGW thesis, by those scientists who still get paid from spinoff research, support to AGW is literally melting away, the same way that glaciers and even Polar ice sheets are supposed to.

As a leading scientific advisor to an OECD government, Nurse felt it was necessary to wheel on the New Crises, kept in the back pocket so to speak, when or if AGW bites the dust and raises only a sardonic laugh from the public. Nurse therefore added, in his lecture, that the world faces other crises

He identified: food security, global health threats, and "making economies sustainable". In particular, Nurse said, these are "real crises" which "science can help resolve".

Like any scientist or even humble journalists such as myself, any research on any one of the 3 New or Replacement Crises shows they are completely interrelated and interdependent. His argument that the economy is now "unsustainable" and must be made sustainable, using science, is like noting that Christmas comes near the end of the year, but should be reset to mid-June "using science". One part of the statement is real, the other is pure fantasy.

If Sir Paul Nurse cared to look at the Chicago BOT or any other large food commodities trading market, anywhere in the world, he would find they run on the high octane fuel of round-the-clock speculative plays and feints, using a barrage of propaganda, that is information and disinformation on "real world agriculture", and the factors which could or might affect the production, stocks or demand of any one of the food commodity "assets" being played with, daily. Also, science is already heavily involved - in making markets and economies unsustainable - for example through the invention of algorithm based computer trades and with communications technology enabling a literal 365-day 24-hour global financial trading system. Vast amounts of proof, especially since 2008, show that a supposedly "science based" math-oriented "seamless" trading system is inherently rotten, as well as totally crisis-prone.

Moving on to public health threats, the world's major pharmaceuticals firms could well be placed under Nurse's electron microscope - showing a ghastly sight - but in fact highly similar to what the same microscope would show, when studying the world's major agribusiness firms. The bottom line, that Nurse himself repeated several times in his Dimbleby lecture, is simple: none of this is sustainable.

The basic problem in Nurse's lecture is that this scientist avoids discussing any of the real issues; the last few pages of his lecture's text version is given over to promoting the coming Francis Crick Institute, being built near St Pancras station in London for opening in 2015. The "open plan organization" Crick Institute will Nurse hopes, become the world's biggest biomedical lab with more than 1500 research scientists, addressing a mixture and range of different health issues, but surely with no "revolutionary goal" in mind. While biomedical research could or might help resolve "the public health crisis", its potential role in solving the food supply - as well as food security - crisis will effectively be close to zero. Biomedical research and the sustainable economy are an interesting twosome, but one of the few possibilities of using biomed research to "make economies sustainable" might be the genetic re-engineering of bankers, brokers and traders - back towards the status of human beings - rather than allowing them to stay what they are: badly programmed zombie gamblers with a deathwish urge to always lose - other peoples' money.

NO NEW GREEN REVOLUTION
Nurse was obliged to pay hommage to the "science based" Green Revolution starting in the late 1960s, and in his lecture quoted Norman Borlaug's one-liner ripost to "armchair critics" of his fertilizer-irrigation-pesticides-petroleum based "revolution" of farming, particularly in the then Third World. This was simply due to this "revoltuion" already being the one-only way of producing more food, while marketizing and financiarizing the supply of food, in the developed countries.

The Borlaug quote is worth citing in totality, because it also applies to armchair scientists, who think they might have a Silver Bullet solution for the world's economy, as well as producing more food, and preventing public health threats from multiplying. Nurse quoted Borlaug as saying:

“Some of the environmental lobbyists of the Western nations are the salt of the earth, but many of them are elitists. They’ve never experienced the physical sensation of hunger. They do their lobbying from comfortable office suites in Washington or Brussels. If they lived just one month amid the misery of the developing world, as I have for fifty years, they’d be crying out for tractors and fertilizer and irrigation canals and be outraged that fashionable elitists back home were trying to deny them these things.”

Pretty surely, if any well-paid science researchers spent a year or more, permanently unemployed like 27 million persons in the European Union, today, they would be crying out for really simple, but very radical solutions to the mostly-fake "economic crisis". They would quickly identify exactly who is not only denying them the human dignity of being a citizen - but also "inviting" them to die in the gutter. Bankers, brokers and traders are the Petri dish outgrowths of a dysfunctional economy, easily able to be treated with a large range of pesticides or biocides, or simply put on trial, given long sentences of forced labour, and (at last) made marginally useful to society.

Paul Nurse does not believe in Action Directe or RAF solutions, but claims (along with supposed "new agricultural visionaries" such as Bill Gates) that science can do the following for agriculture: increase crop yields with GM hybrids; decrease pesticide and irrigation needs; reduce oil intensity; and make profits. As Bill Gates is already finding, this simply isnt possible - but the Great Windows Man is trying! Rather incredibly, Nurse terminates or concludes his brief listing of gee-whiz science "solutions" to the food crisis, by shifting back to the subject of climate change (that is AGW). Supposedly, CO2-driven global warming could be reducing world crop yields - but the complete falsehood of this absurd claim is shown by any research on what plants, and therefore crop plants do when they are exposed to rising levels of CO2 in the air. Up to about 25 000 parts per million (present atmosphere: 386 parts per million), plants grow much faster. Paul Nurse can check out that simple science fact, very fast.

Bill Gates has himself "played moderate", because he has no other choice, on what his own downsized Green-ish Revolution might do for world food: not much. The reasons for this start with, and do not end with the stark impossibility of the global economy as-we-know-it being able to tolerate sustainable aagriculture, farming and food production. Whether the constraints, limits or impediments concern land ownership and access, water supply, seeds, infrastructures, financing, marketing, regulations, norms and standards they are all very powerful limits - even individually. What science can do here, apart from already largely discounted "technology breakthroughs", is hard to identify but the unsustainable economy surely and certainly begets the unsustainable global food production and supply system. Paul Nurse gave no estimates or forecasts on coming "pinch points" for the global food system, but 2012 is shaping up quite fast to be a record year - for food speculators. The proof of this will come in the shopping basket and supermarket tab of Average Consumers, taxpayers and voters.

TOWARDS THE SUSTAINABLE ECONOMY
Nurse's Dimbleby lecture said almost nothing about scientific "silver bullets" that could or might make the economy less unsustainable. By a curious twist of compartmentalized thinking, many scientists say that either they cannot understand the economy, or that it is "unscientific". How they might set about changing that state of things is therefore a black box - but we can help them out.

The vast surge in unsustainability, of the economy in any country, since at latest 2008 is a daily fact, and also a feat of what materials scientists, among others, call "remanence". Without too much Druid Science we can say that well-known but only recently fully defined phenomenae like the magneto-optical Kerr effect, show that negative remanence, or the creation of "anomalous hysteresis loops" can exist and do exist in various multilayer combinations of metals and alloys, such as the permanent high-density magnets used in a range "green goodies" like Toyota Prius motors.

Global finance and trading is very easily defined as a parasitic anomalous hysteresis (or hysteria) loop in the economy, and for some while has been showing extreme high feedback reinforcement.

The solution is both radical and very rapid: the parasitic disturbance is removed from the economy, the same way that multilayer metal combination, generating or enabling "anomalous hysteresis loops", cease to show any kind of remanence when they are separated. State changes like hard grain-soft grain magnet materials changes are not enough, what we could analogize to Obama-type "finance sector reform and regulation", but complete separation will work wonders!

At this point our concerned scientists might have to don their "hoodies" or balaclava helmets and play urban terrorist, to remediate the problem, because Big Government and Big Finance are rather closely linked and interdependent: they feed off each other in an ecological food web of grotesquely wasteful proportions. Their ability to listen to scientists, or anybody else, is as low as their willingness to change except under highly specific and well-known circumstances: complete system breakdown. At present, this is exactly the "rendez-vous with History" that the parasitic global financial system has cooked up for the global economy - and all of us.

After that, we could surmise, it might take some while to get the hysteresis humming again in the hedge fund trading rooms, and the banks back to permanent near bankruptcy, making it possible the future downsized economy will be a lot less unsustainable for a while, until world finance is saved - again.

By Andrew McKillop

Contact: xtran9@gmail.com

Former chief policy analyst, Division A Policy, DG XVII Energy, European Commission. Andrew McKillop Biographic Highlights

Co-author 'The Doomsday Machine', Palgrave Macmillan USA, 2012

Andrew McKillop has more than 30 years experience in the energy, economic and finance domains. Trained at London UK’s University College, he has had specially long experience of energy policy, project administration and the development and financing of alternate energy. This included his role of in-house Expert on Policy and Programming at the DG XVII-Energy of the European Commission, Director of Information of the OAPEC technology transfer subsidiary, AREC and researcher for UN agencies including the ILO.

© 2012 Copyright Andrew McKillop - All Rights Reserved Disclaimer: The above is a matter of opinion provided for general information purposes only and is not intended as investment advice. Information and analysis above are derived from sources and utilising methods believed to be reliable, but we cannot accept responsibility for any losses you may incur as a result of this analysis. Individuals should consult with their personal financial advisors.


© 2005-2019 http://www.MarketOracle.co.uk - The Market Oracle is a FREE Daily Financial Markets Analysis & Forecasting online publication.


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