When Business as Usual Means Suicide

“If things go business as usual, we will not live, We will die.” Maldives President Mohamed Nasheed in a speech to the UN Climate Change Summit on September 22.

It is a truism of climate change, as with war, poverty and economic collapse, that so often it is those who have the least control over the situation who suffer the most.  This fact is brought home to the world again this week by the President of the Maldives.  His gorgeous island nation in the Indian Ocean is under threat from rising ocean levels brought on by climate change.The highest point in the island chain is a less than six feet  above sea level (1.8 meters), leaving the entire nation of over 300,000 inhabitants vulnerable if scientists’ predictions of a three-foot rise in sea levels by the end of this century is even close to accurate. It is estimated that, at current rate of global warming, his entire country will be gone by the end of the century.  The Maldivian government has instituted several efforts to model climate change mitigation, including a tax on tourists to fund green programs, experiments with alternative energy and carbon storage, and an ambitious goal for the entire country to achieve carbon neutrality by 2020.  Yet those efforts have been stymied by the decline in tourism income, attributed to the global financial downturn.  What’s a small country to do?

Mr. Nasheed’s call to action is given further clout by virtue of the president’s history: a former Amnesty International prisoner of conscience, he spent six years in jail or work camps during a long campaign to bring human rights and democracy to the Maldives. Inspired by the words and work of Mahatma Gandhi, he became the first democratically-elected head of the nation in 2008, running on a platform of change in the face of social inequity in the nation.

President Nasheed’s speech comes as hope is faltering for a strong climate pact to emerge out of the pivotal Copenhagen talks in December.  Finger pointing and scapegoating are easier than accepting that some tough decisions have to be made and action has to be taken…fast.  Nasheed states, “”The threat posed by climate change is so now acute, the science is so clear, the solution so apparent, and the cost-benefits analysis of action and inaction so alarming, that such horse trading and brinkmanship must be left in the past.”

With health care reform, war, the recession and other concerns making claims on the the United States’ attention, now is the time to stay informed, stay focused, and keep up the pressure on our politicians so that smaller nations do not lose the corner of the world they call home.

Learn more:
http://www.care2.com/news/member/193692282/1256616
http://www.care2.com/c2c/share/detail/1242137
http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/environment/article6845261.ece

Photo: Nattu via Flickr, Creative Commons license

18 comments

LMj Sunshine

Thank you for article.

LMj Sunshine

Thank you for article.

LMj Sunshine

Thank you for article.

LMj Sunshine

Thank you for article.

LMj Sunshine

Thank you for article.

Lionel Mann
Lionel Mann6 years ago

Mr. Ainslie and others, I always taught my pupils, "Beware of experts; today's expert may well be tomorrow's fool." I have often experienced that. My teachers taught me academic caution.
This earth has been around some 4,500,000,000 years yet our ancestors came down from the trees a mere 5,000,000 years ago, became recognisably hominid only 150,000 years past and are alleged to have become civilised a minute 10,000 years ago. (Arguable; we still go to war, a descent in utter barbarism). With something like 3,000,000,000 years ahead for the human race before the planet becomes uninhabitable there is a very great deal to be learnt; we are in the nappy stage of knowledge and it behoves us to be very cautious in making any pronouncement. Nevertheless it is beyond doubt that global warming is taking place, the physical evidence is irrefutable, and that we are contributing to it through our prodigal use of the earth's resources; again there is ample evidence. Therefore it is imperative that steps are taken urgently to repair the damage. That is not a matter of opinion; for many people it is a desperate matter of survival. Ignorant resistance must be overcome; people's lives are at stake.

Kenneth L.
Kenneth L.6 years ago

Ainsley mentions 'we all need CO2 to balance the PH in our body'. So. How much? If a body got too much CO2 into it through breathing it would die.
As for 'evolution is a lie', well that's an opinion. That hasn't been settled exactly anywhere. You have scientists on both sides, yes and no.
IMO the evolution of BODIES is a correct idea. However a human being is not just a body so there's more to him than just evolution of bodies. (and this has nothing to do with creationism---it isn't necessarily and only an 'evolution or creationism' scenario, though most people make it so).

Koo J.
greenplanet e.6 years ago

Yes, we need alternative energy such as solar and wind, and to pull together with sustainable and green initiatives to save the planet. This is the only planet we have, and it and all its flora and fauna are precious.

Ainsley Chalmers
Ainsley Chalmers6 years ago

I am not convinced that we have a problem with carbon despite brainwashing from the press and media. As far`as i am aware the weather goes in cycles and that seems to be a normal course of events. i am not sure carbon is the culprit. I am a scientist and scientists are not infallible. The most significant greenhouse gas is water vapor. Without doubt, we need to reduce world pollution. Carbon dioxide is not a pollutant. Plants love it as it generates its food and we humans use it to adjust our body pH. So it serves an important natural function. Anyone who believes in evolution is very nieve. I did for 55 years of my life. What a huge lie it was.

Ross L.
Ross L.6 years ago

Tim C
WHAT?
I think this is an attempt at some anti global warming humor from a right winger. What are you doing here? Doesnt fox or rush limballs have a blog you can go mis-spell on?