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2012 Earth Summit (Rio+20)-UN Conference on Sustainable Development

June 16, 2012

A couple of articles about the 2012 Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro, June 20th-22nd.

 Rio+20 Earth summit: scientists call for action on population

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By  Jonathan Watts

The Rio+20 Earth summit must take decisive action on population and consumption regardless of political taboos or it will struggle to tackle the  alarming decline of the global environment, the world’s leading scientific  academies warned on Thursday.


In a joint statement, the scientists said they wanted to remind policymakers at Rio+20 that population and consumption determine the rates at which natural resources are exploited and Earth’s ability to meet the demand for food, water, energy and other needs now and in the future. The current patterns of consumption in some parts of the world were unsustainable. A sharp rise in human numbers can have negative social and economic implications, and a combination of the two causes extensive loss of biodiversity.

Full Article at

 Global Exchange Brings Rights of Nature to the 2012 Earth Summit (Rio+20)

Full Article at

By Shannon Biggs

The Green Economy put forward by the United Nations Environment Program (nicknamed the “Greed Economy” by many) is about promoting the idea that we can only “save” nature by putting a price tag on what nature “does” for us. Proponents call it “ecosystem services” and from forests generating the air you breathe to the decomposition process resulting in the ground you walk upon, everything has its price, and corporations are wringing their hands with anticipation of what the Greed Economy could do for profit margins.

But the human connection to the rest of our living system is not contained in the calculation of the “flow of value to human societies.” Our Earth’s value is not merely that which serves people.  You cannot put a dollar value on what is truly lost when island nations like the Maldives succumb to the rising tides of climate change, or when the seas themselves are void of fish—both of which are projected to occur in the next 50-100 years.  So how is it possible to put a price on the system that governs all life, or break down an ecosystem into units of “service” and to what end?


Building a movement capable of actually changing culture and law to institute new economies based on community values and Earth rights is the civil rights struggle of our time.  Changing the structure of law and shifting our culture toward a new way of living in balance with nature is the hardest work imaginable. But if we are really to change the course of humanity, we must be bold and believe we are able and strategic enough to know that building a real movement is not about ownership of an idea, but working together in solidarity toward a common goal in myriad ways.

Full Article at

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