Posted by : Posted on : 02-Aug-2019

Polluting nations must wake-up to the reality of climate change for the sake of humanity

Climate change does not respect borders; it does not respect who you are - rich and poor, small and big. Therefore, this is what we call 'global challenges,' which require global solidarity.” Ban Ki-moon

Watching international TV news in the past few months I have noticed something of a political swing in the USA in the public’s perception of the cause of climate change and a call for action.

There is a degree of truth in this observation in a new article in the Guardian, from which I quote.

“US President Donald Trump announced his decision to withdraw from the Paris climate agreement in 2017 and in the US there is a hotbed of climate science denial when compared with other countries, with international polling finding a significant number of Americans do not believe human-driven climate change is occurring.

But despite these views, the great majority of US citizens do accept the science of climate change, with nearly four in 10 saying human activity was at least partly responsible, potentially with other factors, and a further third taking the stronger view that human activity is the dominant cause.

“Scientists overwhelmingly agree that people are causing climate change through the exponential increase of greenhouse gas emissions over the years. Global emissions are still rising, and the last four years have been the hottest since records began.

“Last October, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, the body of the world’s leading climate scientists, warned of the dire consequences of continued global warming, indicating the window of opportunity for action had narrowed to as little as 12 years.

In the US the political landscape around climate change has been transformed by the Green New Deal, an effort by the Democratic congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez to spur a second world war-level mobilisation to stem the increasingly severe hurricanes and wildfires that are racking the country.

As an aside, last week the UK government’s statutory adviser, the Committee on Climate Change, recommended ways in which the UK could reduce its greenhouse gas emissions to net zero by mid-century, and the UK parliament voted that the world was in a state of “climate emergency” and that action must be taken accordingly.

Source:  The Guardian.

The sooner the USA recognizes the science on global warming and takes the necessary measures to reduce green house gas emissions the better it will be for those nations now seriously threatened by global warming, especially those small island states in the Pacific, including the Solomon Islands.

An example is in Tuvalu where the small country is really battling rising seas, sweltering temperatures and struggling to stay above the waves.

A Radio New Zealand news feature today, Friday, had this to say about Tuvalu’s struggle.


“But the forces of nature they are trying to counter are relentless and Tuvalu's ability to fight is small. The nation is a low-lying group of atolls and reef islands a three hour plane ride away from Fiji. The atoll of Funafuti is a narrow circle of land around the lagoon, about 20 metres wide at its narrowest point, and not much more than 400m across at it’s widest. Land is already being washed away by higher tides, people have to cope with sweltering days and nights and the growing land is poisoned by seeping salt water. But scientists say it is going to face continued sea level rise, hotter temperatures, less frequent but more intense cyclones and increased ocean acidification as the century progresses.

“For some time the fight has been to hold back the waves with measures such as sea walls to ensure Tuvalu's people and its culture services. But those ideas are now not the only plan. According to their glossy presentation, which has already been shown at climate meetings overseas, the elders' aim is to create "a new land where Tuvaluan people, who may become environmental refugees, can live safely in peace".

“The elders are proposing speeding up the deposit of sand and gravel in the south, which is already taking place naturally, helped by currents from the north of the lagoon.

“The Ulu believes the new land would be "a sanctuary."

“What is definitely going ahead is the government's own reclamation plan.

Work has been approved by the Green Climate Fund (GCF), an international funding facility, to extend the foreshore out by about a hundred metres along a kilometre stretch of the lagoon edge.

“The $53m given by the GCF will also be used to reclaim land washed away on two outer islands.

“Finding solutions in Tuvalu has wider implications than just the survival of this tiny nation of about 11,000 people. To save Tuvalu is to save the world, is the mantra pushed at global climate talks by Tuvalu's Prime Minister, Enele Sopoaga; and he has support at home.

“In defending his robust call to polluting nations for both help at home and for action against climate change, Sopoaga is unapologetic.”It's not a selfish call. It's a very practical call. It is a humanitarian call," he says.

"It's basically reminding everyone ... if we allow this planet to be burned down ... it will be a disgrace to humanity."

Source:  Radio New Zealand.

Yours sincerely

Frank Short

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