Welcome to the opening day of the World Economic Forum 2007 in Davos.
Although much hot air will be produced by both the delegates and the protestors in Switzerland, the majority of the output from the event will be of minimal real significance. The reason being that there is only one subject that matters - climate change.
One of the many absurdities of neoliberal capitalism is that it possesses a built in obsolescence. As we have stated previously, many of the movers and shakers in business, World Government and the military suffer from Psychopathic Personality Disorder (PPDs) - for details, see: http://footballisfixed.blogspot.com/2007/01/psychopathic-personality-disorder.html. Some of the underlying issues relating to PPDs are short-termism, no responsibility for the impact of their actions and a life goal to achieve power and prosperity by monopolistic abuse. Due to globalisation, the prize for the psychopathic man is greater than at any time in history. The downside for the rest of the planet is that these psychopathic individuals are making psychopathic decisions that effect all of us in all areas of our life in a manner not seen before in history.
There are individuals in power positions who are able to plan strategically and the future of our planet depends on the likes of Soros, Gates, Buffett, Gore and Paulson. If these individuals are unable to sway the PPDs then the clock is counting down to armageddon - one of the key problems to be built in to any analysis of our future is that many on the religious right see such an outcome as inevitable and proof that their god is coming to save them and them alone. Such absolutism is illogical and frightening. These are generally the same individuals who don't believe in birth control which is one of the main areas that must be addressed to prevent global catastrophe.
In the financial markets, there are concerns about the impact of feedback loops on the financial system. Due to the free movement of capital, computerised and speculative trading, there is the probability that a key global breakpoint will lead to a spiralling of reactions known as feedback loops. The financial system is stretched deliberately to it's limits to engender as much growth (and return to shareholders) as possible. If one of the big Hedge Funds or one of the big economies (the US has a housing bubble, no savings, a massive Current Account Deficit, a weak currency and is overstretched militarily) goes belly up, economists are uncertain as to the knock-on effects of such uproar.
The same issue of feedback loops permeate the analysis relating to climate change. Some of the major problems that will occur as climate change affects all of our existences are rising sea level, loss of biodiversity, loss of land mass, financial systemic volatility, transport gridlock, spiralling insurance, rampant population movement, global pandemics, lack of carbon sinks, pollution, climatic instability, industrial destruction, military conflict relating to water and land etc etc.
No computer model is able to predict the manner in which these individual realities will interact with one another via feedback loops. Additionally, some of the "solutions" currently being promoted by the globalisation brigade are laughably naive. For example, biodiesel is being pushed to reduce CO2 emissions. The amount of land and water required to achieve this changeover is scientifically invalid ie not enough land and not enough water. Hiding behind fake science is a standard tactic of the PPDs brigade.
Market Analysts, Speculators and Traders who play the global markets are fully aware of the impact of the short-sightedness of the PPDs with regard to climate change. The whole structure of the financial system depends on the concept of Market Efficiency but the mid-long term impact of climate change is not factored into the pricing mechanism. Currently, there is massive global liquidity due to the new slavery of globalisation. This is not sustainable. The markets are effervescent due to India and China (and their 2 billion people) coming online as consumers and producers. This is merely short-termist creative destruction. If China and India do industrialise to the extent that the globalisers desire, we are doomed. The brinkmanship of World Government is clearly demonstrated wherever one chooses to look.
The strategists amongst the elite (sic) are aware of the only option other than global destruction - massive economic slowdown on a scale that will make the 1929 Depression seem like a walk in the park. The prime reason that "defined-contribution" pensions schemes are being foisted on employees to replace the original "defined-benefit" option is that the neocons don't wish to have future financial liabilities and responsibilities. Employees, as ever, will take the full force of the mega-recession. We would strongly advise all and sundry to sell any shares, bonds or other links to a system that is past it's sell-by date. Otherwise, you will find yourselves sympathising with the great Groucho Marx who lost a quarter of a million dollars in one day in 1929 - "I have worked myself up from nothing to a state of extreme poverty". In addition to the evidence of our reality, Market Analysts see structures in the system that are indicative of a fall in the markets. We are literally short-selling the system as traders.
The feedback loops on the ground, so to speak, are nothing compared to the atmospheric feedback loops. Atmospheric science depends heavily on computer modelling as laboratories cannot hope to replicate the complexities of the system. We simply do not know the knock on effects of climate change atmospherically. However, the planet Venus (our nearest neighbour) shows Astronomers what happens when these feedback loops pass the point of no return. A rational and risk-averse planet would proceed with caution while incrementally determining the dangers inherent in the system. Shareholder capitalism insists on putting the financial profit cart before the global environment horse.
One of our Trading Team was invited to Davos due to some consultative work undertaken on behalf of Goldman Sachs. He would probably have been the first Libertarian Socialist to attend such a gathering! Instead, he chose to attend the World Social Forum in Nairobi to address "Africa and her unbroken history of struggle against foreign domination, colonialism and neocolonialism". A far preferable choice, I think you will agree.