Year 2, Month 3, Day 12: Arkansas Traveler Edition

Sort of groping today. I stumbled across an article in the Solomon Times (Pacific Islands) about a regional conference to address climate change’s impact on the fish economy. Not really inspiring stuff, frankly — but I was too tickled by the thought of writing to an outlet in the Solomon Islands. Then I read this:

4 March 2011 – Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today pledged United Nations support to help Pacific Island States mitigate the impact of climate change, noting that many of them are “on the front lines” of the battle.

“As you know, the clock is ticking. We must do whatever we can, wherever we can, as quickly as we can, to protect the most vulnerable,” he said in a message to the Ministerial Regional Conference on Climate Change in the Pacific, which is being held in Port Vila, Vanuatu.

“It is critically important for the Pacific Island countries to continue to raise their voices on climate change. Your communities are on the front lines of this global threat. Small island developing States are among those that are most vulnerable to climate impacts. You know first-hand the destructive potential of rising sea levels, more intensive storms and other hazards.”

And that triggered the following letter, ostensibly sent WRT the Fish/Climate Change Conference, but actually addressing the UN committment.

Sent March 4:

Ban Ki-moon’s vow of United Nations support for Pacific Island States is welcome news. At this point, the juggernaut of climate change cannot be stopped; it may only be slowed — and island economies and cultures are among the very first to feel its consequences. It is grimly ironic that the nations which contribute least to the atmospheric greenhouse effect are the ones most affected by it. Unfortunately, in many industrialized countries the political climate has made reality-based discussions of global warming difficult, and actual policies impossible. For nations protected by geography from climate change’s initial impacts, devaluing scientific expertise in favor of short-term political exigencies is a luxury that the Pacific Island States can ill afford. The committed engagement of the United Nations is essential; the world’s industrialized nations must recognize the climate crisis as a universal threat and take immediate steps to transform their energy economies. But as long as the oil industry maintains its stranglehold on the world’s governments, such action is unlikely. Ban Ki-moon has his work cut out for him.

Warren Senders

…and as of March 11, you can find this letter online at the Solomon Times website.

There could be no deep disappointment where there is not deep love. – Martin Luther King, Jr


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