Mid-agenda warm period detected in biodiversity hockey stick

Not sure about you, but I always thought of a “pavilion” as being a physical structure. However, as you can see, in United Nations (UN)-speak it obviously means something completely different!

The “Rio Conventions Pavilion” (RCP) was evidently dreamed up to:

raise awareness and disseminate information on best practices and scientific findings on the benefits realized from joint implementation of the three Rio Conventions: the CBD [Convention on Biological Diversity]; the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC); and the UN Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD).

The International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD), the UN’s quasi-official rapporteur, has been dutifully reporting on the proceedings of the RPC; the above quote is taken from their introduction to the Summary Report [pdf version available here], dated Sunday, October 21.

Considering the context, one might expect all three “pillars” of this “Pavilion” to be given equal treatment in the proceedings and report thereof. Let’s take a look at the word-counts in the IISD’s Summary Report:

There can be little doubt that, in the grand scheme of things, consideration of CBD unequivocally outweighs that of both the UNFCCC and the UNCCD. I wonder how the experts ooops … sorry, “objective, transparent, inclusive talent” who are busy compiling the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)’s Fifth Assessment Report (AR5) feel about the conspicuous absence of any mention of the IPCC.

This must be somewhat galling in light of the fact that the IPCC’s younger “sibling”, the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES), the ascendancy of which I wrote about two years ago (here, here and here), was granted no less than nine mentions.

That CO2 rates only one mention in this Summary Report – and “greenhouse”, two – may prove to be somewhat, well, alarming to the “non-policy prescriptive” IPCC’s stable of “objective, transparent, inclusive talent” … as well as to the “climate hypochondriacs” [h/t Eduardo Zorita] whether they are “Regional” [20 mentions], “Global” [58 mentions] or “Local” [72 mentions]. Incidentally (as noted below), like its progenitor, the IPCC, “global warming” rates a big fat zero mentions.

Just for the fun of it, let’s take a look at the BIG word picture in this Summary Report:

* Includes 4 “bioeconomy”


For the graphically-inclined, the above word-counts demonstrate overwhelming evidence of a clearly emerging signal: “Biodiversity”, “Ecosystem” and “Sustainable/Sustainability”. Alas, “Climate Change” and “Science” appear to have been relegated to what might be appropriately dubbed the Mid-Agenda Warm Period, while “Green” and “Model” are very much on the lighter side of pale.

Ladies and gentlemen … drum-roll please … welcome to the Age of The Biodiversity Hockey Stick ;-)

Note that “climate change” and “science” appear to have been relegated to the Mid-Agenda Warm Period, while “global warming” has dropped out of the statistical picture.


7 thoughts on “Mid-agenda warm period detected in biodiversity hockey stick

  1. Heh. Interesting that, in operational terms, protecting biodiversity means “Stop evolution and adaptation in its tracks! Preserve every extant species, and prevent any and all extinctions! (And pay no attention to that bloke counting new species found and muttering that their count exceeds documented extinctions by a large factor.) “

  2. This is fascinating, and reminiscent of Kremlinology during the Cold War, your excellent word count analysis being the equivalent of reading carefully between the lines in Pravda. Before this, I would have put my money on sustainability being the overarching umbrella for everything, rather than biodiversity, and am still trying to work out their angle. What’s going on, behind the scenes at the pavilion?

    There’s an article I read today by Matt Ridley (author of The Rational Optimist) in which he argues that by focussing on CO2 mitigation rather than on countering exotic pests and diseases (such as Chalara dieback, which is beginning to kill off the ash trees here in the UK), environmental organisations are actually making things worse for the plants and animals they profess to care for.

    It’s intriguing, though, how far global warming has slipped down the chart. It’s certainly looking as though COP18 in Doha will be very low key. There’s barely a whisper about it in the media here in Britain, even though it’s only a few weeks away.

    • Alex, I don’t think that “sustainability” has fallen from its position as “overarching umbrella” … it’s just that “sustainability” alone doesn’t lend itself to “scary stories” in the way that either “climate change” (now fallen from grace) or “biodiversity” (now, evidently, on the rise) have “performed”!

      Nonetheless, while the “climate hypochondriacs” [h/t Eduardo Zorita] continue to desperately indulge their “carbon fetish” [h/t Matt Ridley in the excellent article you linked to above], as they seem to be doing in their attempted transmogrification of “Sandy”, the UN has pulled together yet another “High Level” gathering from the “maze” – although this time it was a 2-day “Forum”, not a “Panel” meeting:

      Economic Community Of West African States (ECOWAS) – Global Forum for Sustainable Energy (GFSE) – Global Environment Facility (GEF) – UN Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) High Level Energy Forum

      The Economic Community Of West African States (ECOWAS) Centre for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency (ECREEE), the Global Forum for Sustainable Energy (GSFE), and the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) organized this High Level Energy Forum Towards Sustainable Energy for All in West Africa, themed “Paving the Way for Sustainable Energy for All in West Africa through Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency” from 29–31 October 2012, in Accra, Ghana. The event was hosted by the Government of Ghana and took place as part of the UN Sustainable Energy For All (SE4ALL) Initiative, which aims, by 2030, to: ensure universal access to modern energy services; double the share of renewable energy in the global energy mix; and double the global rate of improvement in energy efficiency.

      The forum brought together 323 participants, including energy and environment ministers, leaders of international organizations, diplomats, and other high-level actors to facilitate the establishment of a regional implementation framework for the SE4ALL Initiative in the ECOWAS region. The main outcomes of the meeting included the adoption by ECOWAS energy ministers of resolutions on the: ECOWAS Policy on Renewable Energy; ECOWAS Policy on Energy Efficiency; ECOWAS Small Hydro Power Program; and the ECOWAS Bioenergy Strategy Framework. [emphasis added -hro]

      SE4ALL is quite catchy, isn’t it?! In fact it’s catchy enough that evidently the UN General Assembly have declared:

      2012 the “International Year of Sustainable Energy for All (SE4ALL),” and in this context, the UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon launched an SE4ALL Initiative to identify and mobilize action on sustainable energy by stakeholders from across government, business, civil society, academia and the development community. The SE4ALL Initiative aims to achieve three objectives by 2030: ensuring universal access to modern energy services; doubling the global rate of improvement in energy efficiency; and doubling the share of renewable energy in the global energy mix. The International Year and the SE4ALL includes initiative such as: the UN Secretary-General’s High-Level Group; national dialogues to facilitate stakeholder involvement; and policy formulation and evaluation, as well as a public-private partnership of practitioners in the energy community.

      And to think we almost missed SE4ALL ;-) Amazing, eh?!

  3. I searched on Twitter for #SE4ALL and there are around 24 tweets, none dating to before 29th October. It seems to be more a sort of “International Two Months of Sustainable Energy for All”, really. I agree – not one of their most noticeable efforts!

    • So it would seem that the catchy acronym did not evolve until quite recently! But, now that I think about it, I had actually commented on this “initiative” back in August when I first stumbled across Ki-Moon’s Jan. 27/2012 remarks:

      Remarks at Panel Discussion on the Sustainable Energy For All Initiative

      There is a website (which isn’t particularly up-to-date as far as I can tell … no mention of SE4ALL, just the long version!) But SE4ALL is mentioned in:

      UN Secretary-General Announces New Leadership for Sustainable Energy for All initiative:

      UN Headquarters, New York (September 24, 2012) –UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today strengthened his commitment to achieving sustainable energy for all by announcing new leadership arrangements for his Sustainable Energy for All Initiative.

      In an address today to UN Member States and other stakeholders at a High-level Event on the margins of the UN General Assembly meeting in New York, the Secretary-General confirmed that he had asked Dr. Kandeh Yumkella, currently the Director-General of the UN Industrial Development Organization and Chair of UN-Energy, to serve as his Special Representative for Sustainable Energy for All and chief executive of the initiative. The Secretary-General also announced that he had invited the President of the World Bank, Dr. Jim Yong Kim, to serve with him as co-chair of the initiative’s newly formed Advisory Board.

      “Providing sustainable energy for all could be the biggest opportunity of the 21st century,” said the Secretary-General. “Sustainable energy is the golden thread that connects economic growth, social equity, and a climate and environment that enables the world to thrive. This initiative is bringing together governments, the private sector, and civil society in a partnership that’s delivering real results.”
      At today’s event, significant new commitments to action in support of achieving Sustainable Energy for All were also announced. These include:

      Inter-American Development Bank (IDB): The IDB’s commitment of $5 Billion in 5 years to SE4ALL related work in the Latin American and Caribbean region reflects IDB’s leading role in the region’s energy sector and its interest in pursuing innovative new projects in the future.
      [emphasis added -hro]

      I’m not sure how “significant” a “High-level Event on the margins …” might be. But, perhaps they intended to type SE$ALL ;-)

  4. This is an interesting development – Dr. Pachauri states that the IPCC has not been invited to COP18 in Doha:

    ‘…he told Gulf Times he did not know why the IPCC has not been invited to COP18, something that has happened never before.

    “I don’t know what it is. The executive secretary of the climate change secretariat has to decide. I have attended every COP and the chairman of the IPCC addresses the COP in the opening session,” he explained.’

    • Wow! That’s a fascinating development, if ever there was one!

      It seems to have been foreshadowed by the word-counts I’ve collected pre, during and post Rio+20 … but I’m sure it must just be “coincidence”!

      No doubt, though, that Pachauri will soon find a way to blame it on the skeptics and/or the media – as he has in the past, e.g. Pachauri’s three shades of gray/grey

      Considering his literary endeavors, I wonder how long it will take him to increase the count to 50;-)

      Mind you, it must be somewhat disconcerting to die-hard IPCC defenders that the IPCC’s “main client” (according to Pachauri) seems to have lost interest – or been very disappointed – in Pachauri’s performances.

      It’s also interesting to note that earlier today the GWPF had reported that:

      The US is considering a funnel of substantive elements of the Doha Climate Summit away from the UN framework and into the Major Economies Forum (MEF), a platform of the world’s largest CO2 emitters, EurActiv has learned.

      Needless to say “I, Chrstiana [Figueres]” head honcho of the UNFCCC – who stepped into the shoes of Yvan de Boer had declared:

      “the one and only place where formal negotiations and, above all, decisions take place and where treaties are negotiated is the UNFCCC,”

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