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Etiopiens premiärminister Abiy Ahmed får Nobels fredspris 2019 | SVT Nyheter

Nobels
— Läs på www.svt.se/nyheter/utrikes/de-vinner-arets-fredspris

An important and innovative decision for Africa and the rest of the world. The political stability of East Africa is a strategic corner stone for promoting peace in a very dynamic region with emerging socio-economic potential for developments. Congratulations for this very wise support for implementing stronger bases for future sustainable development in Africa and the rest of the world.

Announcement – New Ph.D. Course “Sustainability in Science and Technology”.

REGISTRATION is opened for participation in a new Ph.D. faculty (Science and Technology) COURSE at Uppsala University “Sustainability in Science & Technology”. As far as possible and if places are available Ph.D. researchers from the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences are also welcome to register.

Deadline of registration is the 10 of October 2019. Please register as early as possible. 
“Sustainability in Science and Technology” treats strategic worldwide questions for scaling up science and technology to achieve sustainable  societies. WHAT is sustainability? WHY it is needed? and HOW to achieve sustainability.
Water, energy and natural resources are imperative for our living on planet earth, yet they are not INFINITE. The ongoing transformation to sustainable societies is both urgent and necessary. Water and energy systems require natural resources in their lifecycles.
Increasing global pressures on yet declining water, energy and natural resources come with a heavy price of severe impacts on environment, biodiversity and life quality. Sustainability in science and technology is the only means to cure and heal this paradox, however this can not be achieved overnight. 
“Sustainability in Science and Technology” is planned in lectures, study-visits and group discussions with “lecture-based” assignments. Group discussion are designed to benefit from the IT-based “Laborative Lärosalen” of UU. Target groups are PhD students in all domains of Science and Technology. Participant will not only gain knowledge on how to structure their own future “Career Development Plans” but also to shape and reshape ongoing global transformation to sustainable societies. Also,  in shaping what is meant by Sustainability.
The Course will be given during November and is schedules in two parts: the first two weeks (4/11 – 15/11) we will have 12 Invited Talks of 24 hours followed by two weeks (21/11 – 3/12) of Seminar and Assignments of 27 hours. 
The Ph.D. researchers at Uppsala University who completed the course in 2018 have very positive, yet critical, feedbacks with an overall rating of 4.4 out of 5. Following their evaluation and recommendations, it gives us much pleasure to invite you to sign up, join and follow this interesting and innovative journey of sustainability. I am convinced that your contributions will allow us to penetrate deep in real life questions/issues for generations to come.
Scaling up science and technology to meet the UN-SDGs is not only a major challenge for politicians and professionals but more importantly for universities around the world. For young academics the question is how to create career-development-plans to cope with uncertain market and future? Would the Paris agreement achieve its goal? If not why? and if yes what are the supporting measures needed so as the Paris agreement can fulfill its mission? 

The European Paradox of Climate Change – Life Standard? or Life Quality?

The conflicting uncertainties regarding global warming and climate change is getting more and more real. It is not only a Chinese Hoax as described by the President of the United States (https://www.google.se/amp/s/time.com/5622374/donald-trump-climate-change-hoax-event/%3famp=true), it is also an European paradox causing social trauma (https://youtu.be/vGPU5SWV1DE) of two contrasting realities. A growing conflict and fear fueling collective social frustration about what we want in our life – Life Quality? or Life Standard? The Paris Agreement is now suffering from a new Hoax, a competition between two contrasting European (also global) interests, a comedian theatre 🎭 by the European Commission and the European Citizens. A blaming and shaming that is dividing Europe into two blocks. Whether you believe or not in global warming and climate change it is shame on you. Shame on you if you believe, though you want to protect and preserve the natural resources, as you are participating in the degradation of European standard of living. Shame on you if you do not, though you are concerned about promoting high economic living standard, you are not caring about the European life quality (also quality of life on planet Earth) by protecting and preserving our common natural resources and capital.

One example illustrating the European paradox and trauma what regards the Paris Agreement is the transport and air aviation sector. This also, applies globally. The transport and air aviation has huge emissions of greenhouse gases and contribute intensively in global warming and climate change. Still there are many other sectors that have more severe contributions (https://www.epa.gov/ghgemissions/global-greenhouse-gas-emissions-data). The standpoint of the European Commission what regards transport and air aviation is a comedian theatre 🎭 over global warming. On the one hand it supports the business-as-usual in transport and air aviation sectors (http://sorenandersson.com/aviation-a-climate-change-villain/; https://ec.europa.eu/clima/policies/transport_en; https://ec.europa.eu/transport/modes/air_en; https://ec.europa.eu/growth/sectors/aeronautics_en). The European Commission says “The Aviation Strategy is a milestone initiative to generate growth for European business, foster innovation and let passengers profit from safe, cleaner and cheaper flights, while offering more connections. This Strategy contributes directly to the Commission priorities of jobs and growth, digital single market, energy union and EU as a global actor. The Aviation Strategy of the Commisson will enable European aviation to flourish globally. So, despite the current economic crisis, global air transport over the long term is expected to grow by around 5% annually until 2030. While on the other hand the European Commisson supports the ongoing protests against business-as-usual in transport and air aviation (https://youtu.be/szdgJi2VKW8). The European Commission says, an air-flight from London to New York and back is producing carbon dioxide emission equivalent to the same emission that an average European citizen does by heating a home for an entire year.

Another important issue what regards carbon dioxide emission, is virtual emission. According to reports published by Our World Data Organization (https://ourworlddata.org) trusted by most reputed international Research and Media sources and institutions on “Carbon Dioxide and Greenhouse Gas Emissions” by Emissions” by Hannah Ritchie and Max Rose (https://ourworldindata.org/co2-and-other-greenhouse-gas-emissions). The report clearly indicate that the global emissions in greenhouse gases are still increasing and “if we switched to a consumption-based reporting system (which corrects for this trade), in 2014 the annual CO emissions of many European economies would increase by more than 30% (the UK by 38%; Sweden by 66%; and Belgium’s emissions would nearly double); and the USA’s emissions would increase by 7%. On the other hand, China’s emissions would decrease by 13%; India’s by 9%; Russia’s by 14% and South Africa by 29%”. This indicates Europe, and in particular Sweden, are doing very little for the rest of the world to decrease the global carbon dioxide emissions and to actively participate in the global mitigation of the impacts of climate change. It is indeed an inconvenient truth about the European paradox and trauma what regards following the Paris Agreement and taking international agreements seriously instead of blaming and shaming their citizens and the rest of the world.

We are just listening to ourselves debating what are the reasons? Is it the older generation that destroyed the planet? Is it the fossil fuel that polluted the air and caused climate change? Is it the piling-up of waste, where plastics became daily food for other species on planet earth? Is is the irresponsible production of industry and agriculture that degraded the land-water systems? Is it the accelerating population growth that is causing pressure on water, energy and natural resources? Is the younger generation that is protesting against a world that they are still trying to understand? Is it about managing science and technology developed by the older generation to bring about sustainable societies for future generations? Is it the growing gaps of inequalities between the rich and the poor? or the disparities between the developed and developing countries? The debate is about whether to kill ourselves or not and why by the end decide not to (https://youtu.be/fnyljp3X4jU). A modern Hamlet ‘to be or not to be’ in real time, a comparison between the pain of life and the fear of the uncertainty of death. As for the Hamlet’s dilemma, although dissatisfied with life, was unsure what death may bring. Climate change is an undiscover’d landscape from which what is gone doesn’t return (https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2019/06/david-attenborough-s-worried-about-this-ocean-threat-and-it-s-not-plastic). Only living species discover death for themselves but don’t return from it to describe it, it is a one-way ticket. So, if life with global warming is bad, the death from it might be worse.

Sailing on a luxurious boat as means of traveling is absolutely not a sustainable solution with astronomic costs and it is extremely unlikely to be a practical solution for public transport (https://www.google.se/amp/s/beta.washingtonpost.com/world/2019/08/15/swedish-climate-activist-greta-thunberg-is-sailing-america-amid-storm-criticism/%3foutputType=amp). However, it is an illustration of a disparate and a long-time human challenge to solve the complex issues of achieving sustainable living on planet Earth. To be united behind the science, as is given on Malizia, is to find affordable and sustainable solutions for the world population. If science is allowed to be defined by irresponsible consumption, the earth will be irreversibly and completely drained from its natural resources. We will gradually and definitely end up with an unhealthy planet over-populated and managed by an illiterate and poor majority. The history is repeating itself, challenges and adventures motivated to find better life on planet Earth, took place before, as in the time of Christopher Columbus during 1492-1504 (https://youtu.be/3fvXZzcrEcc). It has been always about finding better and prosperous alternatives of life. However, though the science and technology that we have today is far much advanced than at Columbus time the challenges facing humanity are much more severe for the majority of the world population.

Pre-announcement – The Imperatives of 2050-2100 “Sustainability in Science and Technology”

Currently science and technology can not predict how life on Planet Earth would look like in 2050-2100. In fact, we are facing huge uncertainties what regards how life would look like for us and other species that are sharing the declining and degrading resources on Planet Earth. With the exceptions of Ice Ages, this situation never existed before in human history. The Imperatives for life in 2050-2100 have fundamental prerequisies: the foundation of Science and Technology and the associated Scientific Method has to be based to solid Sustainability Pillars. A post graduate course for Ph.D. researchers at the Faculty of Science and Technology, Uppsala University “Sustainability in Science and Technology” will take place in November 2019.

This is a pre-announcement and an open invitation to get feedback from those who either wish to participate or to contribute in the course. The processes and actions for scaling-up science and technology to meet the UN-SDGs would require partnership for international collaboration. Information on the content and composition of the course, is given in the attached document.

http://www.teknat.uu.se/digitalAssets/395/c_395062-l_1-k_sustainability-in-science-and-technology-2019.pdf

Would Africa and Asia be the Future Destination of the Global rubbish?

While the world is talking about the severe threats and diverse degrading impacts of global warming, as the main driver of climate change (temperature, heat-waves, droughts, severe weather events, flooding, sea-level changes, malfunctioning of eco, bio-, agro- and aquatic-systems, ………. etc.), on all life forms on planet Earth. Many other threats, known but ignored for decades, appear and keep re-appearing in the horizon. What is more alarming and urgent is the running away from realities by deporting and exporting them far from our sight. It is the inconvenient truth about all other types of waste and pollution with far more harmful effects as is the case with greenhouse gases. It seems that the war for clean energy makes it acceptable to destroy the global water, eco-system resources and bio-diversity. These issues are triggered as the priority of the developed and rich countries is Energy on the first hand but it is a short-term vision of how we can deal with and treat our waste and pollution. We need to see the full reality of our planet and with all the increasing pressures on societies, politicians and the citizens to take actions, preserve and protect our planet Earth unified policies and actions need to be in place. It is not enough to have goals on paper “UN-SDGs” without transparent and accountable responsibilities. The increasing waste and pollution including but not limited to the enormous exploration and consumption of minerals, including fossil-fuel, and their diverse derivatives and products need to be dealt with otherwise we will end up feeding ourselves with rubbish as is already taken place in the developing countries.

Harmful and toxic waste and pollution (chemical, physical and biological) find their way to the atmosphere, hydrosphere and eco-sphere through different sources, pathways, processes and interactions due to diffuse or point sources, long-distant or short-distant, and direct and indirect injections. Their transport routes can be tropospheric or even stratospheric, also in the hydrosphere through surface water, groundwater and ocean transport systems. We have corresponding effects with different impacts on water and eco-systems as those caused by global warming. Parallel to the effects of greenhouse gases; carbon dioxide, methane, nitrogen, soot-particles and sulphur oxides; we have other chemical and physical waste that seriously degrade water, eco-systems and biodiversity around the world. Degraded air-quality is a real global problem and it is still expanding and growing, however degradation in water resources, eco-systems and biodiversity has to be taken seriously on equal footing. It is straightforward to remove the sources and causes rather that solving their secondary effects. Many companies and actors do scape, in a way or another, from following the rules and regulations to limit the waste and pollution sources causing emissions of toxic and polluting gases including greenhouse ones. This is the case even in developed countries though the ‘Paris Agreement’ (see “The hidden truth behind Sweden’s waste disposal infrastructure” https://youtu.be/caw-969W-D4; “Exposing Australia’s recycling lie: plastics dumped, buried, burned” https://youtu.be/lqrlEsPoyJk). Even journalists are not allowed to get access to facts and to know what is going on? Reality is being censored and we as citizens have no way to know what is what?

Unfortunately, the ‘Paris Agreement’ says nothing about what solutions and actions we have to do. To what extent we should be serious and responsible about the waste and to get rid of the toxic and harmful pollutants for health though the increasing degradation of air-quality worldwide. The situation of pollution and waste, especially in many parts of Africa, is very serious if not tragic for many reasons. For Africa, here are five different reasons why the growing cancer of waste and pollution should be dealt with urgently (https://africafreak.com/5-serious-waste-issues-in-africa). Richer countries have been dumping a lot of their electronic waste (https://youtu.be/yUCoToorc9M) on poorer African countries in places such as Ghana, rather than disposing it properly themselves. The West dumps a lot of their e-waste on poor African nations, Africa has an underdeveloped waste disposal system, there are massive problems with waste and waste disposal in Africa. Africa has very low recycling rates. Though Africa in 2012 generated 108 million metric tonnes of waste only 10 million tonnes were recycled and the rest went directly into landfills. While a lot of countries in Africa barely produce any waste due to economic poverty, there are some countries that do contribute a fair amount of waste, e.g. Morocco, Algeria, Botswana, and Swaziland. Indeed, Africa suffers from severe underdeveloped waste disposal and collection. This of course in addition to the disastrous sanitation situation for 80% of the African population. In certain states in Gambia there are far too few waste disposal units to collect rubbish and deposit it safely. There has been uprising of vigilantes who are attempting to tackle the growing waste disposal in Gambia. Recycling stops rubbish from entering unregulated landfills and stops people burning the trash and releasing harmful chemicals (burning plastics releases carbon monoxide, a carcinogen causing cancer). Cairo is also a city with significant trash problem. It has been reported that some Cairo citizens were feeding their trash to pigs. However, interventions were done to limit the trash problems in Egypt. The situation is even worse in many other parts of Africa.

The most serious situation in Africa is what is going on in Ghana; European e-waste were found to poison the Ghana food-chain (https://www.theguardian.com/global-development/2019/apr/24/rotten-chicken-eggs-e-waste-from-europe-poisons-ghana-food-chain-agbogbloshie-accra).

The question is how would the UN-SDGs be promoted and implemented? What is the responsibility of the developed countries what regards their waste? Is it acceptable that the developed countries continue to export and deport their rubbish to Africa and Asia? We need to keep in mind that the majority of the world population 80% will be living in Africa and Asia by 2100. As consumers and citizens in the developed world and in trust of our policy-makers we leave our waste to be recycled at our countries as promised by the responsible authorities. But instead such waste is deported and/or exported to harm the population, degrade the environment and damage the biodiversity in Africa or Asia, is this acceptable?

Climate Activists – Let Politicians Talk With Scientists BUT Can Science Stop Climate Change?

The answer is definitely NO. The science and technology of today has NO solution to stop climate change before reaching the tipping point of irreversible impacts. There are already many changes on planet Earth apart from the excess carbon dioxide in the atmosphere and the ongoing warming. It is what most experienced and internationally well-recognized scientists say. Anyone who does not believe in this is an unaware dreamer, uninformed or/and misinformed politician. It falls in the responsibility of decision-makers to regularly seek, check, select and compile proper, correct and up-to-the-date information. There are different tools and instruments to do so. It is a complex and comprehensive task where policy-makers need to have the possibilities, qualifications and capacities to navigate in the diverse global landscape of knowledge. This includes regular and tight interactions with science and technology professionals and advisors.

The same limitations can arise in other sectors and there are continuous needs to have timely, updated and validated knowledge. Some research is just repetitive as low-quality journals still need to fill there pages with whatever material they can find. This is waste of resources, confusing and counterproductive, if so it is primarily a mis-management in science. Even in high-quality science, there could be “scientists” that still go on with “negative emission” experiments but the message to them is to be careful in their statements and to take their ethical responsibility. They do not need to promise more than what can be delivered in the near future as the matter is serious and above all not in their hands. What we need to know is the hard reality and not hopes for “science fiction” experiments. We do not need to fool ourselves, take risks and force solutions that are still immature. Enough is enough. We do not need to gamble with planet Earth that is already at great risk. There is no space to give uncertain hopes that can put future generations in large-scale risky experiments. All scientific facts that are available today tell us that the “negative emission” of carbon dioxide can not mitigate both the excess atmospheric carbon dioxide, and the additional yearly increase of carbon dioxide emissions, in few years as we do not have such technology today. We do not have time to wait for decades of innovation, experimentation and implementation of something that is still in its infancy. Who for good sake can convince all countries in the world to implement unavailable, risky, costly and uncertain “negative emission” solutions? Let us be very clear about this. “Negative emission” is as an inconvenient truth as the fact that global warming is caused by us humans. It is not about if we can stop global warming or not, it is rather about when we can do so. No one can give exact, well-structured and validated approach about how “negative emission” can technically, economically and environmentally be a successful universal approach to stop climate change.

The existing “negative emission” solutions are highly risky and not agreed upon internationally. They are not an insurance policy, they are high-risk gamble with tomorrow’s generation in particular those living in less-favored and climatically vulnerable communities set to pay the price if our high-stakes bet fails to deliver as promised. To relay on future negative emission technologies would in practical terms delay the needs to stringent and politically challenges policies for proper and immediate sustainable solutions. This would mean to pass the costs for reducing carbon dioxide, and its enormous disastrous environmental impacts, on to future generations. Some scientists and politicians, including Scandinavian ones, still believe that “negative emission” technologies can save planet Earth. An example is the Swedish Center political party “C” proposing to invest huge amount of taxes for R&D on “negative emission” innovation and inventions (https://www.instagram.com/annie_loof/p/BuDhdNVArtw/?utm_source=ig_share_sheet&igshid=v7bit3k76m60). Naturally R&D is always good to do but it has to be based on realistic rational thinking and not on random ideas. “Negative emission” technologies have been heavily criticized for very longtime (https://www.economist.com/science-and-technology/2018/06/07/extracting-carbon-dioxide-from-the-air-is-possible-but-at-what-cost; https://www.vox.com/energy-and-environment/2018/6/14/17445622/direct-air-capture-air-to-fuels-carbon-dioxide-engineering; https://blogs.ei.columbia.edu/2018/11/27/carbon-dioxide-removal-climate-change/; https://www.nytimes.com/2018/02/28/climate/remove-co2-from-air.html). If this were done two-three decades ago that would have been probably much better, e.g. in connection with, or even before, the Kyoto Protocol of 1997 (https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kyoto_Protocol). In 1992 there was already a United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) that commits state parties to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. These issues were already known for politicians and scientists for about three decades ago. But no serious timely actions were taken politically, scientifically or technologically. To unify the whole world is still psychologically a huge challenge and would require intensive and huge efforts with no grantees for success (http://www.klimatupplysningen.se/2018/11/15/professor-jordan-b-peterson-ger-sin-syn-pa-klimatfragan/).

The only straightforward and acceptable solution is, on the first hand, to do what we should have done longtime ago and better late than never. Stop emitting carbon dioxide otherwise carbon dioxide will stop all life forms on planet Earth. Global warming, and many associated impacts and effects, are irreversible processes. The discovery that carbon dioxide can absorb heat is more than 150 years old (https://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-15093234) and the threat of carbon dioxide for developing global warming was known for 123 years (http://www.rsc.org/images/Arrhenius1896_tcm18-173546.pdf). These discoveries show that validated science can save us if it is seriously and ethically used by politicians and scientists. It is very clear that politics, science and technology did not deliver solutions to protect planet Earth from global warming. Both politics and science systematically supported growth “linear” economy for very long time and failed to tune science and technology for the benefit of preserving and protecting planet Earth. In terms of human generation time that ranges from 22 to 33 years, this means that we failed to solve global climate changes during 4 – 7 generations. This is of course a very serious shortcoming in particular for politics but also, to certain extent for science and technology.

The most realistic now is, also, to find out how we can live side by side with a planet being gradually warmed up and to avoid further degradation of the life quality on earth. We need to be prepared to live in a new reality as the planet is not any longer the same as it used to be.

For more similar issues visit http://sustain-earth.com/ also https://www.instagram.com/sustain.earth/

Me and My Planet Earth – Every Year A New Birth Day Down Hill to Hell

In my lifetime, the life on planet Earth went through considerable degradation. Me and my fellow inhabitants had good times but bad times too. I chose education and science as my career. I will unfold how I experienced the evolution around me that brought us in this mess and the considerable fear that many young people are experiencing today. In some cases, it is a constant nightmare but certainly not for all.

As far as I remember and since I started to be aware of the world around me, and the growing inconvenient reality of the majority of people around me, I sank in an internal black-hole inside myself. This is although me, my family and the nearest friends around me were relatively in good shape and economically much better off than many others around us. We had many dreams and imagination for better future because of our own favorable conditions and the “State” still had enough resources to offer free and good education standards for the citizens. But only for those that were aware of the needs for education, had the motivation and could afford to go to school.

A black-hole that held me tight inside myself as an eternal prisoner with an intensive internal and never ending dialogue with myself. What for good sake was going on around me, how would such masses of people with complex and inherited socio-economic inequalities could manage to change their realities with yet unsolved political instabilities driven by the distant past of regional and global conflicts. Was this the life I am going to have for the rest of my life and for many years ahead? Although one could solve own problems but yet could not escape the environments around. As children at that time, the fifties, we were not allowed to speak out our-minds, even if we did so, the responses were not helpful to understand the complex reality around us. Realizing problems and conflicts without finding ways to solve them, or at least possibilities to change them, was a very source of constant fear. This made me, and the nearest people around me, much more frustrated and scared, also from diverse unknowns of both the near and distant future. For the lucky new generations of the nineties, even if modern life came up with different modern difficulties, they still had the internet to communicate, to debate, discuss and understand the world much better than me and my generation at that time of the fifties and the sixties.

To be born in the middle of wars, conflits, misery, poverty and above all illiteracy, ignorance and conservatism was not fun at all. Though these conditions, the life was still easy and enjoyable as these were not felt as suffering but rather challenges and every small positive outcome brought with it some happiness. I was still lucky to have a better start of life than many other around me, also many millions far from me on the same planet Earth. At the age of eleven is was the time for me to be brought in a big war right in every place in my city and its streets “Port-Said”, the Suez War (https://medium.com/@harrystead17/how-the-suez-crisis-set-the-sun-on-the-british-empire-4b8771807f30). I lived with my family in Port-Said in 1956 and during this war the city became cut off and isolated from the rest of the whole world for more than three month, no food, no water, no electricity, no school, no hospitals, no transportation ……. no civil life at all. It was a huge and enormous battle every day, every hour and every minute inside the city of Port-Said exactly in every street and all corner of the city. Many destructions, fires, shootings, crimes, rapes and killing. This was a daily experience for us and for all who remained living in Port-Said. Naturally, some people left and escaped the hell. The rest of the world was just running as usual with the exception that I, my fellow citizens, had to pay the price for observing how the Sues crisis sat the sun on the British Empire. No one imagined that this would or even could be so “the empire on which the sun never sets“. I did not understand and still I do not find any logic reason why such crisis couldn’t be solved with any other peaceful means. What the aggressive Sues War achieved by the invaders was just nothing other than bringing more damage not only to my world but for many others as well. There were definitely many victims but I was extremely lucky to survive this war. I remember the tragedies of the heavy bombing of the city and some houses around us were totally destroyed. At that time the war also added more conflicts to the rest of the world. An emotional actions of the most powerful countries that have nothing to offer other than destruction and damage. As a child and a global citizen (at that time we did not think as global citizens, it was only global politics) was just to accept wars caused by disintegrating empires that still tried to gain their lost power but ended up in polarizing the world to smaller separate powers. I, as the rest of the world, have just to accept such cruel behavior from the most powerful countries in the world.

I will continue unfolding my story in small parts and how the wars on plants earth made us blind and to forget about our basic needs on planet earth. Probably, the evil in us was much stronger than we could have ever imagined. Time was needed to dismantle such evil with the price of more destructions before we get time to deal with our needs without the constant fear that kept us in the captivity of insecurity.

Is Activism a Democratic Tool to Solve the Existing Enormous Disparities in the World? Or is it a beginning of a Global Civil War?

Is Climate Change issue turning the world into an increasingly organized activism that can trigger global waves of new fanaticism. After the case of the Swedish 16-years climate activist ‘Greta Thunberg’ waves of mass global protests took and are taking place. Yet, new preparation of massive school protests against politics and politicians are on the way and more are likely to take place. In The Guardian we can read the following: What we want is more learning in schools and less activism in schools’, prime minister Scott Morrison yells after being asked a question about school students participating in a climate change strike. Greens MP Adam Bandt asked if the PM would ‘listen to these kids, who are demanding your government to keep coal in the ground?’ Morrison’s response was that they should stay in school and leave politics to those ‘outside of school’ (https://www.theguardian.com/global/video/2018/nov/27/scott-morrison-tells-kids-going-on-climate-strike-to-get-back-to-school-video). Then the question to Morrison is why do you ask the citizens to vote? Would Morrison encourage people in the U.K. to stay at home and not participate in political elections or be engaged in political decisions and policies?

Scientistswarning.org, as is given on their home-page, is a Union of Concerned Citizens with a mission for protection and preservation of life on Earth. This organization is giving their total support for school protests (https://youtu.be/R6s8YgRH5T0). The essence of their mission is a protest against Consumerism, with its cast of advertising executives, bankers and economists, corporate CEOs, politicians, etc. It is all about the evolving of defective ‘operating system’ that insists on infinite, accelerating economic growth despite the ecological costs – namely the destruction of Nature.  Many scientists have signed or endorsed what is displayed on the home-page of Scientistswarning.org to avoid the worst of ecological destabilization that we have inflicted on Mother Earth.  We are all, as is said on their home-page “therefore de facto members of what we are calling the Union of Concerned Citizens of Earth”.

The ongoing school protests triggered by activists supported by international and national organizations are likely to expand to uncontrolled protests on diverse and global wider scales as there are million if not billions of less-privileged-people. Climate Change action is only one goal of the seventeen UN-SDGs. If our focus will continue to be focused on only one goal we are likely to run in huge trouble in the future. We can expect some sort of global civil wars that may include avalanches and waves of brutal activities around the world. That if things grow out of control. The Climate Change issue, though is certainly of global importance, is only a small part of the UN-SDGs (https://www.un.org/sustainabledevelopment/sustainable-development-goals/) with 17 goals and 169 targets that summarize the global defects in the socio-economic-environment systems around the world. The UN-SDGs is global comprehensive agreement that are designed by all world countries, they are shaped to mitigate and solve multi-layered disparities ranging from poverty, hunger, education, clean water and sanitation, affordable and clean energy, decent work and economic growth for all, reduced inequalities, responsible production and consumption, acceptable global quality of life on land and under water, peace/justice/strong institutions and partnership for goals. By being signed by all countries around the world give the global citizens the right to protest and to be activist.

The ongoing school protests in the developed countries are primarily focused on solving the energy issue “the so-called Paris Agreement (https://unfccc.int/process-and-meetings/the-paris-agreement/what-is-the-paris-agreement), i.e. moving away from fossil fuel and turning over to renewables. The withdrawal of USA “Trump Administration” from the Paris agreement (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_withdrawal_from_the_Paris_Agreement) and the silent/passive acceptance of the world community of the USA action has indeed caused massive latent anger of the world citizens. The same scenario that caused enormous tragedies in the MENA region because of the Iraqi war (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Iraq_War).

The school protests initiated by climate activists, initially by Greta Thunberg’s family are not taking in their consideration the whole web of the UN-SDG thus are likely to trigger new series of violent protests around the world such as those took place in the MENA region in 2011, the Arab Spring.

Sweden’s Foreign Minister versus Canada’s Psychology Professor – Should Science be met by Political Insult?

In science, it is all about validated facts and reliable knowledge, the so-called Scientific Theory (https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scientific_theory), no more no less. It is not about opinions (https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Opinion) and emotions but it is rather about facts (https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fact). Science is the main driver of validated knowledge as being deduced from validated hard facts (https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fact) and it is the very bases of any healthy democracy. Opinions come and go but the domain of science is always based on hard facts and remains to be an ultimate reference based on neutral knowledge. However, in social sciences there are no absolute global facts as such as human diversity can be quite complex depending on many parameters. In exact science such as mathematics, physics and chemistry facts can be universal, absolutely correct and exact with high quantitative precision which is not the same as non-exact and qualitative sciences that can not be directly measured with calibrated instruments. In the later case observations can be bases in best cases on comprehensive compilation and statistical treatments of intensive arbitrary data.

Both politics and science should inform the public about how democratic decisions are made and how the public taxes are used to settle conflicts and disputes in the society. If both the Canadian professor Peterson and the Swedish Foreign minister Wallström were, as they are indeed, citizens like us they would demand to know what are the hard facts behind their arguments. Professor Peterson did, to a great extent, explain by “validated” science his views, indeed he has, to large extent, the scientific community behind him. The Swedish foreign minister Margot Wallström, on the other hand, did not raise any logic arguments and replied with an insult (https://youtu.be/7dJFa_cgero). The other members of the panel did not share the Minister views. I learned that “To think free is great, but to think rightly is greater”, this statement is written over the entrance of Uppsala University. Free thought and the right to express ourselves freely is absolutely fundamental but does not deserve insulation, it deserves free, ethical and fair debates. In this context, the question is, is the validated, or at least to large extent validated, science of Professor Peterson wrong? If so why? This was never explained by the Swedish Foreign minister and she even went on by insulting the people that listen, including university students around the world, to Professor Peterson. Well, the matter is so simple, if I was a politician, I would require an investigation about the facts stated by Professor Peterson. There are psychologists in Sweden and if professor Jordan Peterson is wrong then why the Swedish minister does not get a second opinion from the Swedish psychologists and just turn this matter to an open academic and social debate? That was much better than acting emotionally as she did. The same applies to Anne Lööf, the leader of the Swedish Center party, where she protested (https://youtu.be/Bv3ZNeoutjo) against Professor Peterson with a short statement by saying “WE” don’t agree with that? We, who is WE? Is it all the Swedish people? It is all the people of the Center Party? Or is it the liberals or the Alliance? This was not enough from her as she did not give any further explanations on why she does not agree on scientific facts and the reasoning of Professor Peterson? Even the host, journalist and leader of the Norwegian TV program, Fredrik Skavlan, did not do any follow-up events to find out which is which and why science and politics are in dispute? Unfortunately, any information that appear on the Internet spreads so fast and any corrections by experts my come with considerable delay. This was also the case here.

The topic of “Equal Outcome” and “Equal Opportunity” is very much discussed in literature and the basic definitions and explanations have been known for longtime (https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Equality_of_outcome). It turns out that there are great differences between the two concepts, i.e. “Equal Opportunity” and “Equal Outcome” in terms of politics (http://www.valuesandcapitalism.com/equal-opportunity-vs-equal-outcome/), i.e. to the left or to the right. As far as I know psychology is politically a neutral science and is always needed in democratic societies, it is the essence of healthy social fabrics. Psychology went through considerable advances, progress and developments and most of the content of modern psychology is still yet unknown to the public. Still the science itself is subject to several limitations by not being an exact science, as is the case in mathematics, physics and chemistry. Human behavior (psychology, sociology and anthropology) can not be modeled or parameterized, i.e. described by mathematical equations. The impacts of the two concepts, “Equal Opportunity” and “Equal Outcome” and their implementation, whether scientifically or politically based, on the society are enormous on several socio-economic and even socio-economic-environment levels. These differences should be explained to the citizens on every detail as at the end of the day the citizens should base their decisions and votes on what is what, why is why and how is how?

Definitely there is a big disagreement between science and politics on the highest levels (https://nyheteridag.se/swedish-foreign-minister-wallstrom-says-jordan-b-peterson-shouldve-stayed-under-a-rock/) though both are related. For us as citizens in a democratic society, we need to know what is the good science (correct and trustful news) and what is pseudoscience (bad and fake news). Science is always the main driver of healthy democracies and both science and politics are very much dependent on each other. Now, if politics continue to discredit science without validated facts then we will be in a very problematic situation for years to come. This will end up with an accelerating spiral of mistrust in science, research and education. It is a green light from politicians to the public to be suspicious about our education system. This is already taking place and it remains to see what type of society would be have in the future? Of course constructive criticism is very healthy for science and there is nothing wrong to question knowledge but this can not be on loose arguments, emotional opinions and definitely not through insulting the scientific community.

This said, there are still media-based concerns about Professor’s Jordan Peterson political argumentation (https://medium.com/s/story/a-field-guide-to-jordan-petersons-politicalarguments-312153eac99a). What concerns non-exact sciences, they have to be strictly validated and reproducible on several scales and levels as well as over very long periods of time. In this case, human science, they should be done preferably over generations. So, it is healthy to get a balanced debate of what is addressed by Professor Peterson but again through validated facts and fair debates from both sides, i.e. politics and science. Logically the scientific community should be more and more engaged in media debates as this in-fact one of the three duties and tasks of the universities and academies, i.e. research, teaching and outreach activities. Unfortunately, many universities and academies, if not all, are very passive in performing their third duty, and systematically ignore their third task, which indeed counterproductive what regards promoting and achieving sustainable societies. By being part of the scientific community I have to explain what science dedicates without mixing up science and politics. Then the citizens and voters have to take all these facts in their consideration to achieve more sustainable future for the coming generations as well. Very important questions in this context are: Do we need science? If, the political answer is yes, which indeed is, then we can ask is science a bad or a good compass for politics? Would “Equal Opportunity” or “Equal Outcome” be the best for promoting Circular Economy and sustainable societies.