2014 - This was the year: Green economy, collaborative consumption and do it yourself

2014 - This was the year: Green economy, collaborative consumption and do it yourself

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The ETC Group shares its thoughts on the year that ended. At the bottom you will find the article in PDF format, some (irreverent) predictions for 2015 and a calendar of the activities that will be most important for our work.

12 January 2015

In 2014, the green economy —which dominated the environmental scene and the negotiations at the UN long before the Rio Summit in 2012— led to “collaborative consumption”, in a new edition of the “maker movement”, and we even believed it possible that the transnationals will be humanized. The ETC Group irreverently describes the true developments of 2014 and exposes the lies of a supposed human economy.

The green economy:

Throughout 2014, the United Nations in New York refined its list of Sustainable Development Goals that governments hope will guide global and national development towards a green economy after 2015. The beverage and processed food industry, in The center of attention due to its enormous use of energy and water waste, its gas emissions and its role as "promoters" of the obesity epidemic, spent more time in the corridors of the United Nations than most governments in the United Nations. world, trying to persuade policy makers that they are at the green forefront of a new paradigm in food, health and environmental care. Lobbyists at PepsiCo, for example, told the world that more and more of their packaging is made from bioplastics, and bragged about their fight against hunger in Mexico (the same country where they are evading taxes on sugary drinks by manipulating the rations in the bottles, the same country with a third of its obese population [1]). At a meeting in Bonn, civil society groups made it clear to Pepsi that the issue is not the bottles, but what they contain.

On another issue related to the goodness of mega corporations, the Nestlé director flew to Jalisco, (also Mexico!), To inaugurate the first “Zero water” plant. The facility extracts water from cow's milk and recycles it to wash machines and water gardens. [2] Building on this success, Nestlé plans to build a similar facility in South Africa. What will Nestlé's super green factories produce? powdered milk, which is promoted to children who do not need it and mothers who cannot afford it.

This year we learned that Coca Cola serves 1.8 billion drinks every day and uses more than eight billion gallons of water in one year in its manufacturing processes. More water than a quarter of the population consumes. [3]

Also at the end of the year, the McKinsey Global Institute warned that obesity and binge drinking cost the world $ 2 trillion in spending per year, equivalent to 2.8% of global Gross Domestic Product. [4] It was Coca-Cola in the 1990s that partnered with McDonald’s to launch “extra large” portions, and carbonated beverages are now the main source of calories in the American diet. [5] The rhetoric hasn't changed much. The green economy continues to serve the economy of greed.

Throughout the year, the debate on “green” and the cost / benefit of the industrial food production chain intensified. While agricultural input companies promoted studies to intensify industrial production ("from field to table"), retailers insisted on misleading advertising and manipulation of laws and consumers ("from table to field"). The ETC Group insisted on a much broader analysis, starting with genetics at one extreme and greenhouse gas emissions at the other. The debate got ugly when in an electronic forum on geoengineering between Andy Parker of the Institute for Advanced Sustainability Studies in Potsdam and Jim Thomas of the ETC Group, Parker attacked us for emphasizing the important role of farmers in reducing emissions, and made public, without authority, a list of ETC Group donors. [6]

Collaborative consumption:

Very discursively related to the green economy, in 2014 we saw a lot of interest in collaborative consumption. In the 2013 vacation season, more travelers stayed in beds offered by AirBnB than would fit in Las Vegas with full occupancy. By Christmas 2014, AirBnB accommodations offered one million places, 300,000 more than those offered by its closest rival, the Intercontinental Hotels and Resorts. What began a few years ago as a clever use of social media to offer low-cost accommodation (by individuals who could get a little extra money by renting their vacant room), has been totally supplanted by AirBnB, a concept that includes rent of rooms, but also ultra-luxurious suites or entire villas in Brazil for $ 3,000 a night.

AirBnB's mobile counterpart in cities is Uber, a telephone taxi service. In addition to getting money from the study, or from the room of the son who has already left the house, Uber proposes to profit with the extra space in the car, or with the route we take to the market in itself, but it does not end there: There is a furor for renting, sorry, sharing, granny's clipper, jewelry, party dress or silverware. If you enter Mechanical Turk you can rent your brain [7] and there are other places where of course you can offer your muscles. Internet-based and coordinated collaborative consumption makes it easier for buyers and sellers to connect, set prices, pay, and protect themselves and their products.

The notion of rent-instead-to-own has blossomed so quickly that some of the big auto companies anticipate a slump in late-model car sales, and their new marketing plans include parking their newer models on the streets to rent by the hour, day or week. This would not only imply fewer cars, but also less parking, a reduction in emissions, traffic accidents and less maintenance of roads.

So what's wrong? There is a lot of good, but not everything. And none of this is new. Roman homes in the 17th century did not have kitchens, however some wealthy families had crystal glasses and ceramic or porcelain plates, cutlery and table linens that they rented daily, or exchanged or pawned as they saw the opportunity. [8] In the 1920s, Michelin rented its tires to customers who did not have enough cash to buy them. [9]

Before the degradation of working conditions destroyed the family unit and made many of us disposable, on a daily basis neighbors and families shared their workforce, rented or loaned their cars and farm tools, their sewing machines and their shovels. What strikes us is the speed with which collaborative consumption is being monetized and monopolized. Those who can rent or rent their assets will want to have more to rent or rent, to make more money. So we can say goodbye to the illusion that there will be fewer cars, less pollution, and so on.

This kind of collaboration economy is less of a social revolution and more of an adjustment to traditional capitalism. The new entrepreneurs are disdaining the old guard. The founders of AirBnB and Uber are already (or soon will be) billionaires. Mechanical Turk belongs to Amazon, mother of all monopolies in this cyber age. While we used to find inns that retirees established to receive a little money and pay their mortgages, now a single landlord in Manhattan rents 272 beds per night through AirBnB. Not long ago, families rented their studios or penthouses by the month or year. What happened to that? For all their flaws, local taxi service cooperatives are being displaced by a multinational monopoly (Uber) that already operates in more than 50 countries. Hosting your niece so that she can continue with her studies in the city already means losing a cash “ticket”. If your neighbor asks you to borrow your lawn mower, it has to be worth something, why not rent it to him? Post what you want to negotiate on any "neutral" website and you can literally "close the deal" with your neighbors, family and community.

Why is there this craze for collaborative consumption? In part it is the Internet, in part the economic crisis, poverty. In 2014 the financial markets announced that the crisis had passed. Employment in the United States recovered its 2008 levels. However, it is undeniable that two million full-time formal jobs were lost in that country and the ILO says that there are 67 million new unemployed in the world. Most of those who are employed are part-time or self-employed, or both. An old friend of the ETC Group, René Salazar, made a list of what 60 unemployed young people did for a time to earn money in Metro Manila. The list listed incredibly creative activities, including sophisticated abilities and skills, group assignments, and sometimes… legal. It is what the marginalized have always done, to struggle in the informal economy, to take advantage of the collective to survive.

Neth Daño (the director of ETC in Asia) gives a key example of true collaborative consumption: seeds. For at least 12 thousand years farmers around the world have raised, safeguarded and exchanged seeds. Then the intellectual protection of plant varieties was imposed and the World Trade Organization came in, and now it is becoming illegal to share the most crucial element for any food system. The resources (material, intellectual) of the vast majority of humanity are being monopolized.

Do it yourself: the maker movement:

Three-dimensional (3D) printers and gene synthesizers were introduced in 2014 as the new face of the maker movement. In more than 98 cities and 56 countries (only in New York and San Francisco 200 thousand people recognized themselves as "makers") there were meetings and manufacturing conventions [10] from weapons to absurd phosphorescent plants, but mostly ugly magnets for refrigerators, jewelry disposable and bad beer. Even public libraries (not knowing what to do with their consultation rooms now that Wikipedia reigns) are installing 3D printing services and hospitals and laboratories with incubators and accelerators, from Barcelona to Bangalore, are making them available to biohackers so that try to find the Ebola cure or (better yet) to grow natural botox. 3D printer manufacturers and biohackers have joined forces to print skin, blood vessels, and organ parts. Aside from the ugly magnets for refrigerators, the makers see themselves on the threshold of a true and libertarian industrial revolution. Whether they are individuals or global consortia, makers believe they can beat General Electric, General Motors (or even BP). They think that desktop manufacturing will reduce energy costs, transportation costs, storage costs, and waste. And no less important is the belief that these new technologies can bring to light the Galileo or Mendel that each of us has in potential. In short, capitalism, as we have known it, is over.

Again what's wrong? And again, there are many good things. But this is not new and makers are not safe from the control of multinationals.

In 2014 the first “Do it yourself” movement turned 60 years old. TIME magazine in the summer of 1954 talked about the "new billion dollar hobby," the home improvement and self-build movement. [11] By then the achievements (which began with World War I and accelerated into the 1930s) concerned the new uses of logging and harvesting machinery linked to highway construction. But the real impetus behind do-it-yourself households was poverty. Unanswered needs from the Great Depression that put unemployed families in the position to build and repair their homes themselves. We are exactly the same as in the thirties: more and more live in poverty and abandonment.

In the United States there was another maker movement at the beginning of the Industrial Revolution, when access to English machinery - made of iron or steel - was limited and manufacturers were forced to use wooden parts instead of metal parts. The unexpected side effect was that American industry — out of necessity — was constantly inventing new machinery while their British counterparts had no incentive to replace their metal parts. The Singer sewing machine also promoted the maker movement. Suddenly families were able to wear designer clothes, cheaply, use bulk goods, tailor dresses for a fraction of the price of Paris or New York design. By the 1970s, however, the home builders and seamstresses were displaced by legions of IKEA stores and Wal-Mart Super-Centers. The products are not so cheap, they have lower quality, they are made by super-exploited workers, creativity was put aside and corporations win again.

Collaborative consumption and "do it yourself" cannot depend on new technologies for independent and libertarian development. There is no such thing as a "technical" social revolution. We will achieve nothing unless we defeat the economy of greed.

The economics of greed:

2014 was also the year of inequality - even for the rich. From the French director of the International Monetary Fund, to the Bank of England in Canada, to the head of Unilever, all the great and powerful blushed and had to agree with the arguments that denounce the concentration of wealth according to Thomas Piketty in his book Capital in the XXI century. The concentration of wealth - and the attendant inequality - is catching up to levels that existed before the Industrial Revolution. Oxfam International made headlines at the World Economic Forum in Davos when it said that the 85 richest individuals on the planet have wealth equal to that of 3.5 billion people. In March, Forbes declared that there were 67 (and not 85) the world's arch-millionaires whose incomes equaled that of half the planet's population. According to The Economist (that bastion of the radical left):

“Global wealth has increased from $ 117 trillion in 2000 to $ 262 trillion this year. Which is equivalent to $ 56,000 for every adult on the planet. But fortune is far from being distributed. In 1906 the Italian economist Vilfredo Pareto observed that 80% of the land was in the hands of 20% of the population of Italy. Today, 20% of the adult population of the planet concentrates 94.5% of the wealth that would correspond to all the families in the world. ”[12]

But those righteous regrets faded with the year. In August, the chief executive of Standard Chartered Bank of Asia, Jaspal Bindra, told Reuters that regulators are being over-the-top if they expect banks to monitor all financial operations in the world. Said executive complained that banks are expected to assume the role of police, and finds it especially unfair that banks are penalized when they make mistakes, if nothing happens to the police when they fail to catch the crook. (The next day, the bank disagreed with what its official said). [13]

Also in August, Bernie Ecclestone, Formula One's chief executive, evaded a prison sentence for bribery by paying $ 100 million to a Munich court. (This payment was not a fine as Ecclestone admits no fault). However, the official Ecclestone tried to bribe was jailed. Although banks and investment houses have worked hard to persuade governments and the public that they have learned the lessons of the 2008 financial disaster, in 2014 they demonstrated otherwise:

  • The six largest banks in the world agreed to pay $ 4 billion in fines for having distorted international exchange rates since the 2008 crisis.
  • In 2014, antitrust regulators fined various companies 30% more than in 2013 for price speculation. [14]
  • By the middle of the year, the world's largest banks paid governments $ 125 billion in fines for various judgments and abuses related to the 2008 debacle. More fines are expected. At the same time, the IMF reported that banks deemed “too big to fail” received $ 630 billion in hidden subsidies from governments and central banks between 2011 and 2012. [15]
  • The governor of the Bank of England warned that the problem is not some rotten fruit, but barrels and barrels of crap.

Illustrative was a report on integrity published by the Financial Times, which studied the behavior of 200 bankers and found that they tend to be more cheaters than executives in the telecommunications and pharmaceutical industries. [16] Despite this, bankers and investment houses insist that they are cleaning up their actions and that they have made enormous progress in regaining confidence in the market. At the same time, the speed and efficiency of the stock market continues to increase. After World War II, the stock market indicators remained in the same place for four years. For 2000, the indicators moved on average every eight months, and every two months before the dark days of the financial debacle of 2008. Today, bankers and investors can analyze the implications of the rise and fall of the stock market and buy or sell shares in 22 seconds. [17]

In 2015 the ETC Group will publish a series of reports on different aspects of the economy of greed.

The world of ETC in 2014:

2014 marked the 30th anniversary of the Bhopal tragedy, the horrific criminal negligence that led to a leak of toxic substances from Union Carbide pesticides, resulting in more than 12,000 deaths in India and more than half a million affected, virtually unrepaired after three decades. Together with our allies, we have tried to connect the dots between inequality of power, growing economic inequality, political corruption and environmental devastation. Cases like the hundreds of girls abducted in Nigeria, the 43 missing students in Mexico, the devastating drought in Sao Paulo (due to deforestation in the Amazon), and even the erratic responses to the spread of Ebola highlighted the challenges we all have to face.

Negotiations around the UN Sustainable Development Goals - 17 goals with 193 objectives, after 13 sessions and 18 months - are not encouraging at all. But the process is not yet closed and we continue to work with the major groups in New York to contribute to possible actions.

Here are some of the important stories to remember from 2014:

Transgenic organisms: 2014 marked another year in which the transgenic invasion in Mexico was kept at bay. Civil society and peasant movements, along with the Permanent Peoples' Tribunal, frustrated the corporations in the center of origin of corn. Mayan farmers and beekeepers maintained their sovereignty over Monsanto, as a judge ruled that the company's transgenic soybeans were a threat to the lands of the Peninsula and could not be planted. Monsanto had further setbacks when UPOV 91 (nicknamed “Monsanto Law”) in Chile and Guatemala was suspended; a court in Italy upheld a ban on planting MON810 corn, and in Córdoba, Argentina, protests against Monsanto's glyphosate factory escalated.

However, companies continue working to remove the "genetically modified" from GMOs. Three years ago no one in the world of genetics had heard of CRISPR-CAS9. Now it is the madness that is revolutionizing the genetic engineering of living beings. A technique dubbed "the greatest advance in biotechnology of this century" is the ability to rapidly "edit" genomes at multiple locations within the cell. It is presented as a promise to achieve everything from the extinction of the dinosaurs to the eradication of all diseases. It is also the subject of bitter intellectual property and patent litigation over the first “genetically edited” organisms that are managing to market themselves as non-GMOs.

Corporate concentration: Mega mergers and acquisitions are back. According to Thomson Reuters, there were 40,298 transactions worth nearly $ 3.5 trillion in 2014. [18] In November alone, two mega-mergers were announced: (1) the $ 66 billion acquisition of botox factory Allergan by Actavis, a Dublin-based pharmaceutical company. With the acquisition, the new company became one of the 10 largest pharmaceutical companies in the world based on sales revenue and (2) the $ 34.6 billion takeover of the oil services firm Baker Hughes by the powerful Halliburton.

Friendly skies? Rosetta, the European space probe, has traveled 6.4 billion kilometers in the solar system to this day since it was launched in 2004. It has found water, methane and hydrogen as well as formaldehyde and hydrogen cyanide in his ostensible search for an "alternate planet." Rosetta is worth $ 1.4 billion, which would cost three Airbus A380s.

In October 2014, a test ship belonging to Virgin Galactic, the leading company promoting space tourism, exploded over California's Mojave Desert, killing a pilot. The company assures that the tragic accident will not stop them from launching a space race for consumers - although the dramatic images of the explosion have not done good propaganda - which is to see the bright side of the climate crisis, given the emissions that could generate a space tourism industry. Meanwhile, Virgin boss (and owner) Richard Branson is offering a $ 25 million prize (the Virgin Earth Challenge) for the geoengineering technique that captures carbon from the air.

And speaking of space travel, the United States Federal Aviation Agency (FAA) granted a series of exemptions to its standards for unmanned aircraft systems and is expected to allow commercial use by 2015. [19] A week before 2015, the FFA granted the first exemption for drones to be used in agriculture. The company Advanced Aviation Solutions will be able to fly robot ships over the US plots to take photos and measurements that will be used as inputs for "precision agriculture."

Digital Manufacturing: In September 2014 during the International Manufacturing Technology Show, Cincinnati's leading digital manufacturing company, Local Motors, introduced the first 3-D “printed” car, the Strati. The car is made up of just 50 pieces and was assembled in two days, before the company director drove it to the show floor. With an excellent public relations campaign, the demonstration seeks to draw attention to the fact that “flexible manufacturing” is possible, which will be offered in the form of “micro-factories” (according to its page, co-creation platforms for the manufacture of automotive and parts). With micro-factories, anything from a coffee maker to a car can be manufactured on demand.

Should we worry about artificial intelligence? In 2014 warnings about the risks of artificial intelligence began to grow. The alarm sounded when Google acquired for $ 500 million DeepMind, an intelligent machine company that developed what is known as a "neural Turing machine." A Turing machine is a device conceptualized by Alan Turing in 1936, which theoretically can serve to simulate the logic of any algorithm as computers do today. Before 2014, the best neural computers could recognize cats and play video games. By the end of 2014, DeepMind technology can describe what happens in a photographic image with specific actions and elements. [20] Google claims to be working on a computer that can program itself. [21] What made headlines, however, was the string of strident warnings from Silicon Valley wonder boy Elon Musk [22] who claims that current experiments in artificial intelligence are "summoning the devil" and, according to leaked confidential emails , warns that “something very dangerous will happen within the next 5 or 10 years. It is not the case of those who shout that the wolf is coming. I'm not talking about something I don't understand. " [23] His warnings found an echo in Stephen Hawking and one of DeepMind's own founders, Shane Legg.

New Oil Boom? In 2013, BP and other major oil companies promised that new technologies to extract trapped oil and shale sands would trigger a new boom, with the United States overtaking Saudi Arabia in the flow of gold. black. While enthusiasm remains in full swing, a very even-handed analysis published in November by the Post Carbon Institute suggests that the shale oil party will not last long - in fact it may already be ending - as the largest oil reserves in Shale in the United States will reach its limit in the next five years. [24] The industry disagrees, but whoever is right, we can expect investments in fracking oil and gas extraction to include spending on synthetic biology, nanotechnology and other risky tools. It is expected that companies will pump pools of engineered microbes into shale rocks and that there will be new ways to increase the value of trapped natural gas and oil by feeding it to synthetic microbes to produce gasoline and fish food.

In Latin America, Mexico and Argentina have already changed their energy regulations to allow fracking companies to take shale oil wherever it is found. In Mexico, extraction was by law above food production. The region seems to re-edit the Colonial period. The new laws revive the food / fuel debate. It is the same international division of labor, but now they say, pompously, "neo-extractivism."

Most notable and citable of the year

The Best and Worst Books of 2014: Our Picks Have Much in Common: They both address the most pressing environmental issues, both were written by incredibly talented women, both are fundamentally optimistic. We recommend both for very different reasons.

Best book: Naomi Klein, This changes everything (Paidós). Naomi's 2007 book, The Shock Doctrine, is more relevant today than when it came out, and it reads like a detailed foreword to her new book on climate change, capitalism and inequality. Some who began to read it — and were unable to finish — found it hopeless and depressing. Those who continue reading it will be questioned intellectually and emotionally for its optimism. Yes, we are in a terrible moment. No, the future is not impossible. We have the necessary tools not only to survive climate change (although she admits that it will cost a lot) but we must simultaneously change the economic system so that the environmental disaster we are experiencing does not happen again. The book abounds with the facts, figures, and conviction we need to get on with the task.

Worst Book: Diane Ackerman's The Human Age - The World Shaped by Us, published by W.W. Norton & Company. Ackerman writes very well and takes us through our climatic and environmental sufferings with a fine scientific mind and wonderful prose. His book is full of examples of the resilience of nature and mankind. Their examples and descriptions are breathtaking. The scope of your reflection, no. In contrast to Naomi Klein, Diane Ackerman believes that we can survive and prosper without fundamental economic changes. In fact, "we can" is an uncertain pronoun. His book practically does not talk about poverty and never refers to inequality. Despite this great lack, it is worth reviewing.

The 2014 Mathematics Award for Harvard Business School Professor Robert G. Eccles, who emphasizes the bright side of concentrating corporate power, and expresses a logical desire for the universal benefits that "improved business" brings. civil society". The teacher writes:

La oportunidad del mercado, la presión entre iguales, la presión de los inversionistas y la reputación de las firmas están haciendo por las empresas lo que de otra forma podría lograrse solamente mediante regulaciones. 200 países del mundo tendrían que poner en vigor regulaciones de este tipo. Qué dolor de cabeza. En vez de ello, el mercado mismo ya ha avanzado bastante en adaptar la economía global, mediante la concentración del mercado y el liderazgo moral de unas mil juntas directivas.

El osito de las relaciones públicas de las nuevas tecnologías:este reconocimiento va para Derby, el perrito rengo, que corrió por vez primera en su vida gracias a unas prótesis imprimidas en tercera dimensión. ¿Quién podría negarse? (Aparentemente, nadie, el video en You Tube se viralizó).

Arrogancia inocultable de la biología sintética: “Queremos hacer organismos totalmente nuevos que nunca hayan existido y remplazar cada uno de los organismos actuales con unos mejores. Es obvio que eventualmente cada ser humano será diseñado en computadora.” Austin Heinz, fundador de Cambrian Genomics.

La mejor noticia para el status quo: Los científicos del Panel Intergubernamental sobre Cambio Climático (IPCC) urgieron el pasado octubre a tomar acciones para evitar mayor calentamiento del planeta. Ante la exigencia de organizaciones ambientalistas de reducir la quema de combustibles fósiles, el presidente del IPCC nos tranquilizó: “No pienso que se puedan traducir los hallazgos del IPCC a que los combustibles fósiles no deben utilizarse. Con la captura y almacenamiento de carbono es totalmente posible que los hidrocarburos puedan seguir usándose en gran escala.” Rajendra Pachauri, enThe Daily Telegraph.[25]

Premio a la transparencia 2014:“Si se trata de jugar a la representación numérica, entonces obviamente están dirigiéndose a la mitad de la gente en Hong Kong que gana menos de $1,800 dólares por mes.” Leung Chun-Ying, jefe ejecutivo de Hong Kong, explicando porqué no puede aceptar la propuesta de los estudiantes de escuchar la opinión del público sobre los candidatos al puesto más importante de la ciudad.

Evaluación de las tecnologías: Una idea que se vuelve realidad – 1ª Parte:“Cada vez más los científicos piensan que debe existir alguna vigilancia regulatoria, a nivel nacional e internacional, solo para asegurar que no hagamos algo estúpido.” Director ejecutivo de Tesla, Elon Musk, cuando se refirió, ante el público del MIT, a los peligros de la inteligencia artificial. (Octubre de 2014).

Evaluación de las tecnologías: Una idea que se vuelve realidad – 2ª Parte:“Pienso que la extinción humana ocurrirá eventualmente, y que la tecnología seguramente tendrá que ver con ello.” Shane Legg, uno de los fundadores de DeepMind de Google.

12 Predicciones (irreverentes) para 2015:

  1. Craig Venter anunciará alegremente que está a solo “dos cervezas” de lograr una forma de vida totalmente artificial. El chico malo de las biociencias ha estado diciendo que está a solo dos años de su objetivo desde 2008. Casi lo logró en 2010, con Synthia, pero el AND artificial que desarrolló requería un huésped natural.
  2. Una vez que haya resucitado a Mary Shelley, George Church, de Harvard, presentará la empresa de riesgo compartido de ambos, que florecerá a partir de los derechos de patente sobre Frankenstein. La feliz pareja demandará a Monsanto por violación de su propiedad intelectual.
  3. David Keith (ocasionalmente de Harvard), anunciará que en vez de desarrollar tecnologías de captura de carbono para secuestrar gases con efecto de invernadero, su compañía capturará dióxido de carbono para bombearlo en donde hay petróleo atrapado. (Perdón, eso ya lo han estado haciendo).
  4. La nueva empresa de diagnóstico genómico23andme, que fue clausurada por la Agencia de Alimentos y Fármacos de Estados Unidos en 2013, anunciará que, con base en la última información sobre el genoma humano, saldrá nuevamente al mercado como “23 Mil y quien me pague 100” (hace pocos días, 23andme anunció que Genentech le pagará $60 millones de dólares por su base de datos genómica).
  5. Después de las noticias de que los campesinos que cultivan artemisia se están quedando sin empleo por la artemisinina sintética, y que la OMS reporta que cada vez hay mayor resistencia al tratamiento antimalaria en Asia, Amyris Biotechnologies se redefinirá, de ser “una compañía farmacéutica que lucha contra la malaria” a ser “una compañía de malaria que lucha contra los campesinos.”
  6. El debate electrónico sobre geoingeniería entre Jim Thomas del Grupo ETC y Andy Parker del Postdam Institute, nuevamente develará el papel de los hombres en la agricultura: Jim aclarará a Parker que la Pachamama funcionaría perfecto si no fuera por todos los Machopapas que existen, mientras Parker, llamando “siniestra” a la Pachamama, demandará que ETC publique una lista de todos los financiadores de la Madre Naturaleza.
  7. Barack Obama ofrecerá disculpas por abusar de su cargo como Comandante en Jefe de las Fuerzas Armadas por comandar un dron que sacó “selfies” de su familia en las vacaciones de navidad. El Vaticano negará que el Papa Francisco ofreció a la Primera Familia de la Casa Blanca usar su flota de arcángeles (acicalados con naftalina) después de los recortes hechos a los gastos de la Curia y las emisiones de metano de la Santa Sede (es que las facturas por incienso para San Pedro estaban volviéndose astronómicas).
  8. Las empresas de alimentos y bebidas reafirmarán su compromiso para reducir los desechos y promoverán que 2015 sea declarado “El año internacional del contenedor.”
  9. La campañaCero aguade Nestlé hará equipo con la campañaExcrementos compostablesde Bill Gates. En su boletín de prensa, los líderes de sus respectivas fundaciones revelarán planes que sacudirán al mundo: su estrategia productiva, ambiental y de negociosDe la caca a la leche. En noticias relacionadas, George Church anunciará que tal vez resucite a Jonathan Swift.
  10. Después de su participación en la reunión del Papa Francisco con movimientos sociales de todo el planeta, nuestra Silvia Ribeiro negará que está reconsiderando su perspectiva espiritual. Sus colegas de ETC, sin embargo, han notado que su nuevo cargo aparece como “Hermana del movimiento perpetuo” y a sus seguidores en Facebook se les pide dar “te bendigo” en vez de “me gusta.”
  11. Los planes para des-extinguir a los Neanderthal serán suspendidos cuando las simulaciones por computadora revelen que la progenie es la viva imagen de Vladimir Putin.
  12. La industria de los combustibles fósiles, entusiasmada por el éxito de su estrategia de “emisiones netas CERO”, premiará al presidente del IPCC, Rajendra Pachauri, con la presea “El planeta puede esperar, ustedes no” durante la conferencia sobre cambio climático en París.

Último brindis: Según Naciones Unidas, 2014 fue el año Internacional de la Agricultura Familiar y 2015 es oficialmente el Año Internacional de los Suelos. El año entrante, el mundo (bueno, al menos tres empresas) promoverá que se bautice como “De los “Agronegocios”, concepto acuñado hace unos 60 años (en 1955) por John H. Davis del Departamento de Agricultura de Estados Unidos.[26]

El calendario del Grupo ETCActividades para 2015 (y las que se acumulen)

Fecha, lugar, eventoNotas

Enero-julio, Nueva York

Negociaciones intergubernamentales en la Agenda para el Desarrollo Post-2105

Las negociaciones mensuales comienzan a mitad de enero y terminarán en julio. En septiembre habrá una reunión de jefes de Estado en la que se comprometerán a seguir la agenda del desarrollo para 2030. Un vínculo crucial entre todas las metas del desarrollo es la negociación sobre la transferencia y evaluación de las tecnologías.
19 al 23 de enero en Roma, sede de la FAO. Sesión no. 15 de la Comisión sobre Recurso GenéticosLa Comisión se encuentra en su fase final, crítica para preparar el primer informe mundial sobre todas las cosas relacionadas con la diversidad genética agrícola. Un descomunal ejercicio intelectual que el Secretariado está luchando por completar a pesar del muy limitado apoyo financiero. Los gobiernos y las organizaciones de la sociedad civil deben poner atención.
A fin de enero y principios de febrero, en Washington DC, se publicarán los reportes de la Academia de Ciencias y de la Comisión Nuclear Regulatoria de Estados Unidos sobre geoingeniería: manejo de la radiación solar y captura y remoción de dióxido de carbono.Se espera que ambos informes promuevan el financiamiento de la investigación sobre geoingeniería, incluyendo la experimentación en campo. Si lo hacen, la estrategia de los geoingenieros se definirá en los meses que conducen hacia la cumbre sobre cambio climático en París a fin de 2015. Se espera que allí peleen la aceptación del “Plan B” es decir, la geoingeniería, única solución que atisban los países industrializados para enfrentar el caos climático.
3-4 de marzo, Roma. Segunda reunion del Comité Técnico Ad-Hoc sobre el uso sostenible de los recursos genéticos para la alimentación y la agricultura.Después de una serie de procesos informales bilaterales, los gobiernos tal vez logren romper la inercia política del Tratado sobre Semillas y Recursos Fitogenéticos para la Alimentación y la Agricultura. Los resultados de las negociaciones estarán listos para la próxima reunión del organismo gobernante del Tratado (este año). Según algunos este tratado (con 10 años de vida) está caducando, según otros, tiene crisis de madurez.

24-28 de marzo en Túnez

Foro Mundial Social 2015

En Túnez, el FMS está en el lugar correcto y en el momento correcto. Los movimientos sociales se están preparando para la cumbre sobre cambio climático en París. Cada vez más reconocen que la geoingeniería se está convirtiendo en un tema caliente de la lucha contra el cambio climático.
20-24 de abril, Nueva York Asamblea General de la ONUSe discutirán los Medios de Implementación y la Alianza Global para el Desarrollo Sostenible

18-20 de mayo, Bangkok

Reunión Ministerial Global del Programa de Naciones Unidas para el Ambiente Asia-Pacífico.

La Segunda Asamblea Ambiental del PNUMA ocurrirá hasta 2016, pero los procesos regionales de la agencia están creando nuevos espacios para la participación de la sociedad civil.
27-30 de mayo, Brasil. Conferencia internacional “Dilemas de la Humanidad”Reunión global de los movimientos sociales organizada por el Movimiento Sin Tierra para discutir el amplio rango de retos que confrontan los movimientos sociales y la humanidad ahora y en las próximas décadas.

29-30 de mayo, Alemania.

Reunión de la Coalición Clima 21 y aliados. (A confirmar).

Debates sobre el poder de las corporaciones, los combustibles fósiles y el rechazo a las compensaciones de carbono en el contexto de la reunión del G7 en Alemania, hacia la conferencia de París y más allá.

3-14 de junio, en Bonn

Sesión intermedia de los organismos del Convenio Marco de la ONU sobre Cambio Climático

Después de esta reunión, tendremos una idea muy buena de qué decisiones tomarán los gobiernos en París sobre un Nuevo régimen climático.
25 al 27 de septiembre, reunión Post-2015 en Nueva YorkLos jefes de Estado firmarán la Agenda para el Desarrollo Post-2015. Esperemos que nadie se sonroje.
12-17 de octubre, Comité sobre Seguridad Alimentaria Mundial en Roma. (CFS-42)Si bien el CFS es el campo global de batalla de todas las cuestiones relacionadas con la alimentación y la agricultura, su papel sustantivo es claro, pero el problema de fondo es si otras agencias multilaterales (PNUMA, CDB, OMS, UNCTAD, CGIAR) se pondrán al día y participarán en el trabajo.

1-7 de noviembre, Montreal,


El comité científico del Convenio sobre Diversidad Biológica retomará las decisiones de su COP12 del año pasado en lo que respecta a la biología sintética y también podría debatir el estado de la moratoria sobre la geoingeniería acordada en 2010.
30 de noviembre al 11 de diciembre. París, COP21 sobre Cambio Climático¿Adoptarán los gobiernos un nuevo régimen de cambio climático del cual todos estemos orgullosos? ¿O pretenderán que una tecnología mágica como la bioenergía con captura y almacenamiento de carbono (BECCS) permitirá que la industria de los combustibles fósiles rebase los límites y aún así logre las “emisiones netas cero”?

Video: Climate Change - Causes, Consequences and Mitigation Solutions. Duncan Stewart. Talks at Google (June 2022).


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