The (non-)movement of small green pieces of paper towards international science-policy interfacing – IPBES budget in some perspective

The first days of IPBES-4 reminded me as an unimportant, virtual dodo without a bank account and thus not at all existing in a human perspective of some of some of the first sentences of the dodo friend Douglas Adams’ Hitchhiker’s Guide intro that humans try to get happy by largely being concerned about the movement of small green pieces of paper (“which is odd because on the whole it wasn’t the small green pieces of paper that were unhappy” – according to Douglas Adams).

As stated in my opening address to IPBES-4, I had feared already that the work of this rather young science-policy animal called IPBES would be heavily depending, as we are dealing with humans here, on the non-movement of such small green pieces of paper to it – the budget. The tiny, tiny amount of less than 10 Mio paper pieces are missing to conduct the work programme that was agreed by all just 3 years back – and now some of those partners that agreed on this say to delay work because such few green pieces or paper are missing. O.K., today they are just numbers on a bank account, I know – even if I am extinct for 333 years, I am not ignorant to the modern world (– I am even blogging, you know, which is quite a challenge as extinct species !?).

And this modern world makes it so easy to put this into perspective:

10 Mio green pieces of paper are roughly equivalent to:

  • A few hundred metres of newly built motorway in a “developed” country [individual cars to be outdated soon anyway]
  • 2% of a what some humans assume to be a right way of flying – a jet fighter type F35 II [including share of development costs: 304m pieces of paper]
  • 00221% of the fine from the US Department of Justic to BP for Deepwater Horizon oilspill (or should I say oilkill? No, that would be politically incorrect) [according to dodopedia*, this was 4.525bn pieces of paper]
  • 00198% of the construction costs of the “Large Hadron Collider” at CERN [according to dodopedia* this was 8.345bn pieces of paper]
  • 00022% of the 2015 budget of agricultural subsidies (“Common Agricultural Policy” in the European Union [according to official numbers: 41.680bn Euro pieces of paper]

As said, this is just for perspective.


Your turn – it’s your pieces of wood mashed up and pressed flat, not mine.


*dodopedia is the free encyclopedia of us dead dodos up in extinction heaven. As we are few, we copy quite some stuff from wikipedia, which I hope you humans can bear…


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