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Maurice Strong: I don’t want to rule the world but global cooperation needed on climate, population, and consumption

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Okay, fair enough Mr. Strong. Let’s have a look at that fine, nuanced, sophicticated distinction between government and governance that we plebes can’t possibly grasp. Just for you. From the Merriam-Webster online:

gov·er·nance (n.) \ˈgÉ™-vÉ™r-nÉ™n(t)s\
See government

Perhaps, next, we should look up doublespeak. Or doublethink, for those who buy his line. Who’s he kidding? The EU was sold as being merely a system of economic cooperation as well. While the UN and international relations wonks use the term ‘governance’ in a wider context to apply to “corporate governance, international governance, national governance and local governance”, there is no real daylight between the two, unless the intention is to imply states are to be run as corporations. Which, on further reflection, is probably not too far from the truth. Nice try smearing everyone who disagrees with you as ‘right wing’, though. Tell us another story, Mr. Strong.

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Leo Hickman, The Guardian
June 23, 2010

What I do want, says the man self-labelled ‘the planet’s leading environmentalist’, is for nations to co-operate fully on issues they cannot deal with alone

Maurice Strong, the founding executive director of the United Nations Environment Programme and self-proclaimed “world’s leading environmentalist”, has hit back at his critics in a rare interview with the Guardian.

Responding to internet speculation and repeated attacks by prominent rightwing climate sceptics that he is using the climate change issue to establish a global government, the 81-year-old Canadian, who organised both the Stockholm Conference on the Human Environment in 1972 and the Rio Earth Summit in 1992, said his only motivation was to alert the world that mankind’s current actions are environmentally unsustainable.

“I’ve always made it clear that I do not believe that global government is either necessary or feasible,” said Strong, who was a key official at the UN for decades until his retirement in 2005.

“What I do believe is that we need a system of global governance through which nations can co-operate and deal with issues they cannot deal with alone. Maybe that statement is too sophisticated for some, but it shouldn’t be.”

Last month, Glenn Beck, the conservative Fox News host and popular US talk radio presenter, portrayed Strong as a malevolent figure using his UN contacts to bring about the “collapse” of the world’s “industrialised civilisations”.

Beck said: “[Strong is] involved in collapsing the global economies into the hands of a global government.

Last year, Lord Monckton, the prominent climate sceptic who recently became the deputy leader of the UK Independence Party, accused Strong during a US TV programme of being a central figure in a “collusion” between UN officials, business leaders and scientists to use climate change as a device to make money.

Strong, a former oil and utilities industry executive who is currently a director of the Chicago Climate Exchange, North America’s only exchange trading credits for greenhouse gas emissions, rejected the accusation.

“It’s true that I do get a modest fee from Chicago Climate Exchange, which I helped [to found], because I believe the cap-and-trade system, while not perfect, is one of the best ways to ensure that people have the incentive to reduce their emissions at the lowest cost,” he said.

“That’s a long way from suggesting that I could invent the climate change issue to make profit.

“I have business interests, but they are pretty modest and I believe that business has to contribute to the solutions. To do that, they have to be profitable.”

Strong also rejected internet speculation by conspiracy theorists that he is a member of clandestine groups, such as the Bilderberg Group and the Illuminati. “I have got lots of connections, but they’re not amongst them,” he said.

On the issue of whether humanity can tackle the environmental challenges he believes it now faces, Strong was downbeat.

“Analytically, I’m pessimistic,” he said. “I believe the odds are against us for making the changes we need to make in time.

“But, operationally, I’m optimistic because I believe that it is still possible. [It becomes] tougher the longer we delay it.

“That’s why I’m trying all these things because I believe we should still be trying as long as it is still possible. My pessimism is based on whether I think we will actually make these changes …

“The combination of population growth and the growth in consumption is a danger that we are not prepared for and something we will need global co-operation on.”

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