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Farewell Tuvalu - a victim of global warming.

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    Farewell Tuvalu - a victim of global warming.

    Goodbye, to little Tuvalu. the first nation-state victim of global warming. How many other little nations will be victims to climate change before the world takes any serious action?

    ---------------------------------------------


    Farewell Tuvalu

    The world has just shifted on its axis, but not in the way you might first imagine. A group of nine islands, home to 11,000 people, is the first nation to pay the ultimate price for global warming. For many years the most interesting thing to happen to the Pacific island state of Tuvalu was the sale of its internet domain name, .tv, for $50m (35m). But, just as Tuvalu has traded in its virtual domain, it is about to lose its real one. The authorities in Tuvalu have publicly conceded defeat to the sea rising around them. Appeals have gone out to the governments of New Zealand and Australia to help in the full-scale evacuation of Tuvalu's population. After an apparent rebuff from Australia, the first group of evacuees is due to leave for New Zealand next year.

    Today governments will converge in Marrakesh for the first meeting since agreeing the Kyoto protocol on climate change; the scale of the challenge ahead is still emerging, as is the gross inadequacy of current plans. Tuvalu is paying for the rich world's experiment with the global atmosphere. At that price you could say that it has become the world's greatest creditor nation. Although a land of no mobile phones and one radio station, Tuvalu is literally going down in history. The archipelago may be home to only 11,000 souls, but on other islands another 7m are threatened. It doesn't stop there. Go further and in Bangladesh alone another 20m people stand to become environmental refugees.

    New and old claims to nationhood are at the root of the conflicts through which today's global economic powers are reasserting themselves. But the impact of climate change means the familiar mental landscape of international relations could be turned upside down. Several decades of dubious management of the global economy made whole parts of the world in Africa and Latin America synonymous with debt. However, the orthodox debt crisis will pale next to the scale of the emerging ecological debt crisis of climate change. Conventional debtors will become new environmental creditors and vice versa. And the world is not prepared for the implications.

    At the least, a new standard of universally recognised global citizenship will probably be needed to deal with the loss of nations. That will need to be coupled with an inclusive plan to tackle climate change and a commensurate compensation framework. Eun Jung Cahill Che, of the Honolulu-based Pacific Forum, asks in relation to Tuvalu: "What will become of its territorial waters? What are the economic and security implications of disappearing exclusive economic zones? Can there be compensation for the loss of a country, its history, its culture, its way of life? How do you put a price on that?" For at least 200 years, two dynamics have driven the global economy. One is the enormous growth of material wealth underwritten by humankind's rampant exploitation of fossil fuel. The other is the relentless widening of the gap between rich and poor. Now, everyone from Tony Blair to the head of the World Bank and former head of the IMF, agrees that the rich/poor divide fuels conflict.

    James Marriott, a writer, shows how brief the reign of the fossil fuel economy is going to be. His great-grandfather was the first in his family to smell petrol, and James's parents are the first, and due to climate change probably the last, generation to spend their pensions on international air travel. Costs and benefits in a warming world are grossly unfairly distributed. While countries such as the US enjoy a cheap fuel policy, the brunt of climate change - floods, rainstorms and drought - is borne by countries least able to cope - such as Tuvalu, Bangladesh and Mozambique. Ecological debt - where the rich take up more than their logical share of a finite environmental space - gives developing countries the moral high ground in international negotiations. There should be no question now of poor countries giving one cent of unpayable debt service to any rich country creditor before ecological debts are reconciled. A realistic global deal on debt would acknowledge the logical entitlement to share equally the global commons of the atmosphere and the economic opportunities it brings, within a plan to reduce the emission of greenhouse gases to environmentally tolerable levels.

    Rockefeller once said that the poor shall inherit the earth but not its mineral rights. He could never have guessed that the world would soon face a challenge so potentially apocalyptic, that giving the poor their rights would become the minimum necessary to clear up the mess and agree a global solution to climate change. Andrew Simms works for the New Economics Foundation and is writing a book about ecological debt.

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/Archive/Ar...286947,00.html


    #2

    wow! i wrote the above lines for some new topic ('Pakistani text book says Indians r lazy'), and when i finished it, some admin deleted the topic.


    Why dont you refrain from messing up other threads. X2

    [This message has been edited by X2 (edited October 29, 2001).]

    Comment


      #3
      Tivalu should start on a huge ecoological tourism thing, maybe the funds would preserve some part of the land or atleast the heritage. and hopefully more people would be able to see the consequences of short sighted environmental planning on others.

      But heck, what do I care. Until London or Chicago start sinking. I am happy with my fish n chips and deep dish pizza http://www3.pak.org/gupshup/smilies/tongue.gif sounds crude, but that is the sentiment of many people. if it does not affect me directly..why should I really bother.

      Maybe its time people did start "bothering" because the implications are grim otherwise
      The greatest trick the devil ever pulled was convincing the world he did not exist. And like that... he is gone.

      Comment


        #4
        At the least, a new standard of universally recognised global citizenship will probably be needed to deal with the loss of nations. That will need to be coupled with an inclusive plan to tackle climate change and a commensurate compensation framework. Eun Jung Cahill Che, of the Honolulu-based Pacific Forum, asks in relation to Tuvalu: "What will become of its territorial waters? What are the economic and security implications of disappearing exclusive economic zones? Can there be compensation for the loss of a country, its history, its culture, its way of life? How do you put a price on that?" For at least 200 years, two dynamics have driven the global economy. One is the enormous growth of material wealth underwritten by humankind's rampant exploitation of fossil fuel. The other is the relentless widening of the gap between rich and poor.
        This is really an excellent article but it's so sad. Imagine nine islands with a combined population of 11,000 - challenging to imagine that a significant amount of the global carbon emission rate would be due to these people, and yet they are having to pay so dearly for the grossly irresponsible actions of other countries and govts. I wonder what will happen to them in New Zealand and how drastically their culture will alter.

        There was a sad quote from a UN page regarding Tuvalu's situation (this was published just a little over a year ago): Tuvalu said its lack of capacity meant it was not easy to compile and analyse all the data required for its National Communication, but it had done the work because it was serious about its commitments under the Climate Convention. It now looked to industrialised nations to honour their own commitments under the Climate Convention: to reduce their emissions and help with capacity building and adaptation activities. Real emission reductions were important, Tuvalu said. "Providing us with capacity building, adaptation and other imaginative measures to mitigate climate change while refusing to institute domestic policy and political measures that will genuinely reduce global emissions is like treating us like the pig you fatten for slaughter at your eldest son's 21st birthday party," Tuvalu said. http://www.unescap.org/mced2000/paci...ound/tuvcc.htm

        Comment


          #5
          What is sad is that for all the talk about preserving indigenous cultures and ways of life, we don't apply that to little Tuvalu. Hopefully when and if the worst comes for these people they will be able to maintain their traditions and ways of life in New Zealand? The article talks about impending ecological danger to 7 million people in the pacific region, and some 20 millions in Bangladesh. Effects of global warming are moving surely closer to our door step, and as they move closer we will no doubt to more action than we are now over Nauru?



          [This message has been edited by Mursalin (edited October 29, 2001).]

          Comment


            #6
            What I find interesting is the difference of opinion within scientists about the causes of Global Warming. Many scientists agree factors such as gas emmissions from combustion of fossil fuels are the main cause. But I have read other reports which speak of natural factors within the Earths structure such as volcanoes and naturally changing weather patterns. Man made factors like De-Forestation, Mass cultivation of crops, destruction of natural habitats, destruction of wildlife, chemical leakages, heavy reliance on non-sustainable fuels and mis-management of the Earths resources are all possible causes.

            But the Biggest Threat to Global temperatures has to be from Nuclear Radiation which has to be the Greatest threat to all living life. As for Tuvalu it maybe just the first of many countries being reclaimed by the sea.

            Comment


              #7
              At the moment a UN conference on climate change has just started in Marrakesh, Morocco. According to the schedule the delegates from 160 countries will spend the next two weeks thrashing out the final legal framework for the Kyoto Protocol. The treaty will enter into force when ratified by 55 countries who are responsible for around 55 percent of the gas emissions in 1990. So far, 40 of those nations have ratified the treaty. A notable exception to the treaty is the United States, the biggest producer of greenhouse gas emissions which pulled out of the treaty earlier this year. Though it seems supporters of the treaty are confident it will get the necessary 55 signatures of ratification. I was reading today that Greenpeace while welcoming the 5% reduction targets in the treaty said that only reductions of 80% were needed to prevent dangerous levels of climate change. So is the international community only scratching at the surface to please the environmentalists?

              Comment


                #8
                Not pot calling the kettle black as some Bharati guppies would say http://www3.pak.org/gupshup/smilies/smile.gif!!

                Tuvalu was in the news again today. Apparently an evacuation is being planned in the coming months by the local authority due to Rising sea levels which will cover much of its land. Surprisingly, Australia has 'REFUSED' to take the people for re-settlement. (WHY ????). New Zealand a very 'Helpful' Nation has decided to take them instead !!

                Even more surprising is Australia is instead trying to force a 'Sinking Island' to take Boat Refugees ! This is rather a shameful act dont you think ?
                Article about this: http://straitstimes.asia1.com.sg/wor...,84305,00.html

                Comment


                  #9
                  Quick note on global warming....sea levels would not necessarily rise due to melting icecaps.

                  A relatively small amount of melting of the icecaps would create huge cold currents of bottom hugging water serving to further cool the polar regions and actually increase the amount of ice....leading to global cooling.

                  The cause and effect of the increase in temperature and effects on climate are not fully understood. Fluctuations in sea level are common throughout geological history and are to be expected.

                  So no....sealevel changes from time to time Milankovitch cycles due to various reasons out of our control.

                  Want me to link it?.....well my BSc notes.

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Thap, By the way Aren't the Ice caps in the Arctic already receding?? If so WHY is Global warming continuing? Its certainly a a very complex Subject to study.
                    _______________________

                    Melting Arctic Permafrost May Accelerate Global Warming

                    By Cat Lazaroff

                    NAIROBI, Kenya, February 7, 2001 (ENS) - Global warming may be set to accelerate as rising temperatures in the Arctic melt the permafrost causing it to release greenhouse gases into the atmosphere, a United Nations scientist warned today. An estimated 14 per cent of the world's carbon is stored in Arctic lands.

                    Full article at: http://ens.lycos.com/ens/feb2001/2001L-02-07-06.html
                    ________________

                    It seems the permafrost is melting away causing organic materials to be broken down by Bacteria which release carbon and methane into the atmosphere. (green house affect).

                    Comment


                      #11
                      What we have to bear in mind is that the polar ice caps are not static but melt and grow in pulses....these growing pulses when occurring over an extended period of time are known as ice ages and the intermediate periods as inter-glacial periods...we are in an inter-glacial period right now.

                      There have been periods in the recent geological past when the amount of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere has been many fold higher than today...the oceans act as a huge sink for this carbon.....creating carbonaceous rocks which are in turn cyclically broken down again releasing carbon into the atmosphere.

                      To suggest that we are affecting the carbon cycle to such an extent is still debatable, i for one having studied this and currently employed to model similar phenomena do not see anything we can do to avert the odd Island being sunk. Sea levels will rise and fall....we have little control over this. However, I do agree in decreasing greenhouse emissions for the sake of reducing pollution.

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Originally posted by Dil he Pakistani:

                        Even more surprising is Australia is instead trying to force a 'Sinking Island' to take Boat Refugees ! This is rather a shameful act dont you think ?
                        Article about this: http://straitstimes.asia1.com.sg/wor...,84305,00.html
                        Now that is shameful behaviour for a normally responsible state like Australia.

                        Comment


                          #13
                          US is the leading emitter of greenhouse gases, and is doing too little to limit them. US has a duty to do more to save our planet for future generations. If US is a leader, it should lead by example. There has to be harmony between industry and nature.

                          Comment


                            #14
                            Grits,

                            One could argue that Industry is Nature.

                            Comment


                              #15
                              A balance between a stong economy and respect for the environment.

                              Comment

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