"Earth provides enough to satisfy every man`s need,
But not every man`s greed".
-- Mahatma Gandhi
If anything, Copenhagen showed how fluid the global distribution of power has become. But Copenhagen stands out because it sits at the intersection of major trends that will define our coming century, from globalization and economic competition to resource scarcity and great power politics.
Every country came to the table with concerns that ranged from the existential - the tiny Maldives and Tuvalu islands are threatened with destruction - to the serious - most countries finally understand the human, environmental and economic cost of delaying action - to the perplexing demand by Saudi Arabia to be compensated for any action that results in lower oil consumption.
Some of their leaders, like Mohamed Nasheed, the president of the Maldives, a nation made up of more than a thousand islands in the Indian Ocean, have emerged as tigers, ready to fight. He is, in other words, unwilling to treat global warming as a normal political issue. On the dying coral reefs of the Maldives, the government's entire cabinet held don scuba gear and held an official underwater meeting to pass a 350 resolution for the Copenhagen -
Copenhagen leaves real work still to be done. For all the wrangling, the discussion was necessary and Copenhagen did focus the public eye on climate change. The best case scenario is not falter in taking many small steps forward.
But the greatest challenge is to lead the world into a new era of peace and humanism, to create more inclusive, just and equitable societies, through sustainable economic and social development, based on science, innovation and new technologies that will serve mankind and preserve the environment. Climate change, biodiversity, mitigation of natural disasters, water resources management energy and pandemics are the new key challenges in science which should be given priority.
Dr. Vladislav Bevc, welcome to the interview
Dr. Bevc: Let me comment, the implication here seems to be that there is some action indicated. In the following comments it is apparent that any action of the kind IPCC and the Maldivian "tigers" are trying so hard to foist upon us would be ill advised.
So Tuvalu and Maldives islands are threatened with destruction by flooding by the rising sea level. And the Americans are to blame for it! Let me explain, Tuvalu is an atoll resting on volcanic rock that is gradually subsiding into the sea. It is not the sea that is rising. On top of the volcanic rock is coral which grows rather slowly. Its lower layers die off by natural causes as they sink deeper into the ocean where the sunlight is blocked. Possibly, Tuvalu might not survive a rapid sea level rise predicted by global warming alarmists. These claim that the ocean level rose 8 to 12 inches in the previous century and predict it will rise another 18 inches by 2100.
On the other hand satellite radar measurements show that Tuvalu sea levels fell 4 inches over a decade. Tide gauges installed on Tuvalu in 1978 show that in 1997-1998 Tuvalu's sea level dropped by about one foot. This was caused by El Nino/Southern Oscillation which is a natural periodic event that does not affect long-term sea level trends.
Let me ask, why is Tuvalu's prime minister [they've got one, too] concerned?
Tuvaluans actually hope they may file suits against the United States and obtain large chunks of money as reparations for "global warming". In addition Tuvaluans hope to be allowed to move their 11,000 residents to Australia and New Zealand where they would be permanently supported by the relief agencies as they are neither capable nor willing to perform any useful work.
How these people treat their own native environment was described to me by two missionary friends who had lived on Kiribati, pronounced Kiribas, another such island. The beautiful beaches there are used as latrines for the local population so that they are all messed up. But then they do not flush toilets and this certainly earns them praise from the environmentalists.
On Tuvalu the islanders have been excavating sand for building projects. The holes they left behind were filled by sea water giving impression of flooding in places where there was no flooding 15 years ago.
The bottom line is: Tuvalu is not sinking! People are simply telling those lies to persuade Australia and New Zealand to take them in where they would live in idleness supported by the working citizens of these countries.
As far as Maldives is concerned, it does appear that it is geologically similar to Tuvalu, Kiribati and the like, namely that the volcanic rock on which the coral superstructure rests may be gradually sinking - quite unrelated to any atmospheric phenomena or ocean level fluctuations. For Maldives neither satellite altimetry nor tide-gauge records have registered any significant sea level rise.
Contrary to IPCC prognostication sea level there fell by 20 to 30 centimeters in the past 30 years (as reported by Morner in an article published in 2004). Here is an example of a natural phenomenon to which man may have to adapt rather than demand that the global evolution of the Earth be altered - as if this were possible in the first place. Perhaps scuba diving equipment is a good idea for the Maldivian cabinet - it will keep their mouth shut - for a while at least.
Throughout history people have migrated from areas where living was difficult or impossible to other areas, the situation with which Maldivians are faced in no different other nations have faced in the past. Instead of whining Maldivian government should prepare its population so that they would be welcome wherever they eventually move.
Q: Politicians struggle to cast Copenhagen as a success, while most observers will judge it a failure. What is your opinion ?
Dr. Bevc: The objective of Copenhagen was to put in place a worldwide agreement on mandatory restrictions on energy use, rationing, government control of industry and all economies. That agreement did not materialize for the time being for politicians smart enough not to knowingly join a suicide pact which such an agreement would represent.
The result of an agreement contemplated by Copenhagen would be that developed countries, mainly the United States, would be given a quota on how much fossil fuels they may use. As the quota would be discriminatory low such countries (mainly the United States) would be forced to buy so-called "carbon credits" from undeveloped countries, like Ghana, Zimbabwe, Tuvalu and the like which have no industrial production to speak of. Such purchases would represent a permanent entitlement to those countries or, rather, to the ineffectual and most often corrupt regimes.
The "program" would not reduce any emissions at all, it would only sap and eventually destroy the free market economies of advanced countries - the perennial objective of Marxists and the Greens.
Q: What we have witnessed in Copenhagen was a rare spectacle in global affairs: a massive exercise in political group think reaching its pinnacle precisely as the rational foundation for it begin to unravel in every public way. Let me ask what's cooking, is it the planet, or just the evidence?
Dr. Bevc: There certainly is no evidence of an impending catastrophe.
Q: It's like nothing we've ever faced before -- and we're facing it as if it's just like everything else. Is that the problem?
Dr. Bevc: If a problem such as depicted by alarmist promoters of industrial restrictions and control existed on a global scale we could do nothing about it.
The only way to deal with it would be adaptation with appropriate technological approaches.
Q: We Can't Wish Away Climate Change, can we?
Dr. Bevc: We cannot! Climate has been changing for about 4 billion years and has evolved in a rather stable situation. Climate changes are cyclical and are part of the world we live in. Life on Earth has adapted itself and evolved with the changing climate. It is megalomania to attempt to control the climate.