STAFF NEWS & ANALYSIS
UN Swaps One Fear for Another
By Staff News & Analysis - May 24, 2010

Goods and services from the natural world should be factored into the global economic system, says UN biodiversity report … The economic case for global action to stop the destruction of the natural world is even more powerful than the argument for tackling climate change, a major report for the United Nations will declare this summer. The Stern report on climate change, which was prepared for the UK Treasury and published in 2007, famously claimed that the cost of limiting climate change would be around 1%-2% of annual global wealth, but the longer-term economic benefits would be 5-20 times that figure. The UN's report – dubbed the Stern for Nature – is expected to say that the value of saving "natural goods and services", such as pollination, medicines, fertile soils, clean air and water, will be even higher – between 10 and 100 times the cost of saving the habitats and species which provide them. To mark the UN's International Day for Biological Diversity, hundreds of British companies, charities and other organisations have backed an open letter from the Natural History Museum's director Michael Dixon warning that "the diversity of life, so crucial to our security, health, wealth and wellbeing is being eroded". – UK Guardian

Dominant Social Theme: OK, OK, global warming didn't work out, but now we've got one that will really run shivers up and down your spine – the "destruction of the natural world."

Free-Market Analysis: There are many that would maintain the larger Daily Bell approach to news and analysis is fatally flawed by its analysis of a non-existent power elite. For those who adopt this argument, the world runs on serendipity and there is no rhyme, nor reason to current events, human triumphs, disasters, etc. This is a perfectly logical "conditioned" way of looking at the world and one that, especially in the 20th century, was most understandable. But today there is the Internet, and here at the Bell we think the Internet has given serious students of the world-as-it-is an opportunity to "connect the dots" when it comes to the socio-political manipulation of Western nation-states and the world in general.

In this article we want to use the above news report from the UK Guardian, also featured yesterday on the Drudge report, to illustrate why we believe the Bell's way of looking at the world may have something to it. (We want to "promote" our point of view in other words!) We think we have a case to make.

The Internet, in our opinion, has revealed a great deal of connectivity between some of the wealthiest funds, families and non-profits and various manipulations of industries, politics and even military initiatives. These connections are abetted by the power elite's lack of anticipation as regards the Internet, and the maintaining and expanding of a fairly sizable paper trail throughout the 20th century – one that in large part has found its way on-line. It is thus fairly easy to find out who funded what initiative and who was in favor of this promotion or that one. (We have noticed in our several decades of trolling the web that this paper trail has diminished rather markedly of late – at least as it concerns Google. But the information is still "out there.")

Another reason the elite left a paper trail is because those involved (not very many) were fairly paranoid about being accused of doing anything in secret. If one is worth literally trillions, then it makes sense to support an ever-expanding regulatory democracy because regulations can always be traduced by smart lawyers, accountants, etc. – given access to enough funds.

This is the reason, in our opinion, that the power-elite feeder system focuses on symbol manipulators from the best Western universities. Thus it is, that the smartest symbol manipulators (often those with unusual mathematical aptitude) are hired by the biggest corporations and financial firms because these entities need to work around the rules and regulations hemming in the "little guy."

The elite may take its decisions in private, but it has constructed a vast matrix of academic, political and non-profit entities that "paper" the decisions that likely have already been made. This is the reason that those in elite positions are often seen as giving speeches or disseminating policy statements that provide valuable clues to as to what is going to happen next from economic, industrial and sociopolitical policy perspectives.

The above report in the Guardian is a good example of how this elite programmatic element actually works. The UN, from our perspective anyway, is a perfect example of a power elite vehicle, one established primarily as a receptacle for the elite's fear-based dominant social themes. These themes propose a problem – anything from global-warming, to over-population, to economic catastrophe. But it is just as important to have an authoritarian receptacle providing a solution (the UN) that can further consolidate the wealth and power that fear-based promotions are supposed to generate.

In the case of the upcoming announcement about biodiversity and humans "destruction of the natural world," we would argue that the powers-that-be are returning to the hoary global-warming promotion from a different angle. UN-o-crats are still arguing that the environment is "at risk" – only now humans are creating problems through industrial EXPLOITATION rather than outright "carbon pollution."

Being somewhat cynical (it's true), we don't buy either of these memes. We didn't believe in carbon pollution causing global warming even when it was fashionable to do so. We believe even less, if that's possible, that individual human beings are "degrading" the environment – its flora and fauna – in catastrophic ways, or that the UN can actually do anything about it even if it were occurring. (It is the nature of evolution to shape and reshape all living things via extinction, which is a natural process not some sort of manmade disaster.) That this latest warning comes from the same outfit that documented the "damages" from carbon pollution, is not exactly a confidence builder. Here's some more from the article:

The UN report's authors go further with their warning on biodiversity, by saying if the goods and services provided by the natural world are not valued and factored into the global economic system, the environment will become more fragile and less resilient to shocks, risking human lives, livelihoods and the global economy. …

The report will advocate massive changes to the way the global economy is run so that it factors in the value of the natural world. In future, it says, communities should be paid for conserving nature rather than using it; companies given stricter limits on what they can take from the environment and fined or taxed more to limit over-exploitation; subsidies worth more than US$1tn (£696.5bn) a year for industries like agriculture, fisheries, energy and transport reformed; and businesses and national governments asked to publish accounts for their use of natural and human capital alongside their financial results.

And the potential economic benefits are huge. Setting up and running a comprehensive network of protected areas would cost $45bn a year globally, according to one estimate, but the benefits of preserving the species richness within these zones would be worth $4-5tn a year. The report follows a series of recent studies showing that the world is in the grip of a mass extinction event as pollution, climate change, development and hunting destroys habitats of all types, from rainforests and wetlands to coastal mangroves and open heathland. However, only two of the world's 100 biggest companies believe reducing biodiversity is a strategic threat to their business, according to another report released tomorrow by PricewaterhouseCoopers, which is advising the team compiling the UN report.

[This] report shows that on average one third of Earth's habitats have been damaged by humans – but the problem ranges from zero percent of ice, rock and polar lands to 85% of seas and oceans and more than 70% of Mediterranean shrubland. It also warns that in spite of growing awareness of the dangers, destruction of nature will "still continue on a large scale". The International Union for the Conservation of Nature has previously estimated that species are becoming extinct at a rate 1,000 and 10,000 times higher than it would naturally be without humans.

We remember when hysteria was at its manufactured height prior to the miserable failure of the Copenhagen conference on global warming. At the time, top officials at the UN were literally claiming that the "world" was at risk and that the next few months were going to be critical in terms of humankind's survival and life on the planet as we know it. Well, Copenhagen fizzled and life has gone on. In fact, as we have long-maintained, the effective dissemination of these fear-based promotions is foundering thanks in large part to the Internet (and also the anger and enlightenment caused by the ongoing financial crisis). People actually understand the mechanisms and are catching on to the manipulation.

Admittedly, this is non-scientific opinion, but we read feedbacks at mainstream media news sites and inevitably they are filled with comments that make our Bell articles look, well … tame by comparison. The amount of non-believers roaming the blogosphere is large, astonishingly well informed and not at all inclined to take the authorities at face value anymore. And those circulating in leadership roles at major, elite groups seem increasingly aware. Alternative news reporter Paul Joseph Watson recently pointed out the following in an article entitled Brzezinski Decries "Global Political Awakening" During CFR Speech, as follows:

At a recent Council on Foreign Relations speech in Montreal, co-founder with David Rockefeller of the Trilateral Commission and regular Bilderberg attendee Zbigniew Brzezinski warned that a "global political awakening," in combination with infighting amongst the elite, was threatening to derail the move towards a one world government. … Brzezinski then explained another significant factor in that, "For the first time in all of human history mankind is politically awakened – that's a total new reality – it has not been so for most of human history."

Brzezinski continued, "The whole world has become politically awakened," adding that all over the world people were aware of what was happening politically and were "consciously aware of global inequities, inequalities, lack of respect, exploitation. … Mankind is now politically awakened and stirring," said Brzezinski, adding that this in combination with a fractured elite "makes it a much more difficult context for any major power, including currently the leading world power, the United States."

We will stick with our paradigm until we see evidence that it doesn't explain what's going on in the world today. But the UN's transparent (almost pathetic at this point) attempt to swap one global, environmental fear-based meme for another and Brzezinski's startling admission in Montreal provide us additional confidence we're on the right track. In fact we'll go even further out on a limb by writing – as we have before – that the power elite has not yet shown it has any answers to the truth-telling of the Internet. What was secret in the 20th century is common knowledge in the 21st.

Of course, we hope we are not foolish optimists. We try to stay level headed. But so many elite memes are under attack or foundering these days that we are having trouble keeping track of them. We are also fully aware that when powerful people are being pushed the usual solution is to push back with some sort of military activity. A war in, say, Iran might fit the bill, given other economic and socio-political difficulties faced by the elite. We don't necessarily anticipate it, but we are certainly more concerned about that possibility than humankind's gross, planetary depredations. Here is some war news from the Western intel-analysis webiste DEBKAfile:

Obama starts massive US Air-Sea-Marine build-up opposite Iran … DEBKAfile's military sources report a decision by the Obama administration to boost US military strength in the Mediterranean and Persian Gulf regions in the short term with extra air and naval strike forces and 6,000 Marine and sea combatants. Carrier Strike Group 10, headed by the USS Harry S. Truman aircraft carrier, sails out of the US Navy base at Norfolk, Virginia Friday, May 21. On arrival, it will raise the number of US carriers off Iranian shores to two. Up until now, President Barack Obama kept just one aircraft carrier stationed off the coast of Iran, the USS Dwight D. Eisenhower in the Arabian Sea, in pursuit of his policy of diplomatic engagement with Tehran.

For the first time, too, the US force opposite Iran will be joined by a German warship, the frigate FGS Hessen, operating under American command. It is also the first time that Obama, since taking office 14 months ago, is sending military reinforcements to the Persian Gulf. Our military sources have learned that the USS Truman is just the first element of the new buildup of US resources around Iran. It will take place over the next three months, reaching peak level in late July and early August. By then, the Pentagon plans to have at least 4 or 5 US aircraft carriers visible from Iranian shores.

After Thoughts

The difficulty with attempting to decipher elite memes and actions in the era of the Internet is that as the workability of fear-based memes has decreased, the level of uncertainty regarding elite actions – and their effectiveness – has actually increased. There are many ways of looking at them. Military analysts, for instance, point out that additional naval strike forces could actually be aimed at dissuading Israel from a nuclear attack on Iran. Yet, just as possibly, America may be positioning itself for a quick and overwhelming attack on Iran, one that could conceivably utilize "tactical nuclear" weapons to ensure victory. If military activities do commence in this part of the Mideast, one could conceivably see huge price hikes in precious metals, oil and other important or valuable commodities. On a more basic level, a nuclear war, even a limited one, would constitute a REAL degradation of the environment. There's something for the UN to work on.

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