Wednesday, September 23, 2009

"Our country will not exist ..."

President Mohamed Nasheed of the Maldives laid it on the line at the U.N. climate summit the other day. For his country, the rising seas that go along with the rising temperatures caused by human-generated carbon in the atmosphere, simply mean the extinction of his nation which sits one meter above sea level. Its people have lived off ecologically sustainable fishery for thousands of years. But unless the great carbon emitting nations -- the United States and Europe, but also East Asia, China and India -- get their pollution under control, that place and way of life is a goner. He's a dignified, impressive English speaker. [3:19]

My mother often recalled hearing Emperor Haile Selassie of Ethiopia beg the League of Nations to stop the fascist Italian invasion of his country in 1936. The League was paralyzed and that foretaste of World War II went unchallenged. Might President Nasheed be this generation's Haile Selassie?

Emperor Haile Selassie Speaking Before the League of Nations, June 30, 1936 For more, see this.

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