Year 3, Month 2, Day 11: I’d Like To Be / Under The Sea

The Pakistani daily “Dawn” runs an article on the plans of island nations to attempt legal pressure on the irresponsible giants:

UNITED NATIONS: Small island nations, whose very existence is threatened by the rising sea levels brought about by global warming, are seeking to take the issue of climate change before the International Court of Justice.

Johnson Toribiong, president of Palau, said Friday his country and other island nations had formed an expert advisory committee to bring the issue before the U.N. General Assembly. That would allow the world court in the Hague to determine the legal ramifications of climate change under international law.

”If 20 years of climate change negotiations have taught us anything, it’s that every state sees climate change differently. For some, it is mainly an economic issue … for others it’s about geopolitics and their past or future place in the global economy, but for us it’s about survival,” Toribiong said.

”Pacific countries are in the red zone, a swell of ocean where waters have risen two or three times higher than anywhere else in the world. That differential might explain why we speak about climate change so urgently and we look to everyone in every corner of the United Nations to find a solution,” he added.

Michael Gerrard, director of the Center for Climate Change Law at Colombia University and a member the advisory committee, said the idea is to have a court determination compelling developed nations to control emissions of the greenhouse gases believed to cause global warming in the absence of an international treaty.

I would loooooove to see that happen. Sent February 5:

The incapacity of the developed nations to address the looming climate crisis would be pathetic if it did not hold such tragic consequences for the rest of the world. Paralyzed by the overwhelming influence of multinational corporations, the United States and its allies are unable to respond even to an obvious emergency like the plight of island nations. It’s a curious irony that even as countries like Palau, Kiribati and the Maldives unflinchingly confront the rising sea levels that may soon submerge them, the industrialized West is drowning, unawares, in a toxic flood of corporate cash and media misinformation.

Eventually, of course, those petrol-paid politicians and their enablers will discover that in the wake of the greenhouse effect, there is no safe harbor. In a sad reversal of John Donne’s maxim, even those living on the economic high ground will learn: in a climate-changed world, every nation is an island.

Warren Senders

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