Friday, March 07, 2008

Climate Crisis & Sustainability Update: For Ireland, It is Best of Times, for Philippines, it is Worst of Times -- A Tale of Two Island Nations

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The world could solve many of the major environmental problems it faces at an “affordable” price, the OECD said ... warning that the cost of doing nothing would be far higher. In a report presented in Oslo, the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development suggested a range of measures to address what it said were the greatest global environmental challenges through 2030: climate change, biodiversity loss, water scarcity and the impact on human health of pollution and toxic chemicals. Agence France Press, 3-6-08

The risks of climate change have turned from a threat to reality impacting the conflict in Darfur, migration from flood-prone Bangladesh and hopes for stability in the Middle East, according to a new EU report. From Africa to Asia, and from pole to pole, climate change has become "a threat multiplier which exacerbates existing trends, tensions and instability," warns the seven-page report on "Climate change and international security" Agence France Press, 3-7-08

Climate Crisis & Sustainability Update: For Ireland, It is Best of Times, for Philippines, it is Worst of Times -- A Tale of Two Island Nations
By Richard Power

It is the best of times, and the worst of times.

This is a tale of two island nations.

In recent years, I have visited Dublin and Manila to brief business executives on the 21st Century threat spectrum, and I was deeply moved by both cities.

The people of Dublin are my people. Their blood is mingled with mine and my father's and my father's father, etc., spiraling back into the mists at the dawn of time.

The people of Manila are beautiful and charming, but their hardship is heart-wrenching. They deserve so much more from their rulers and their rulers' enablers.

Ireland is striding into the hard decisions that have been thrust upon us all, and it is making healthy choices.

The Irish government unveiled a series of multi-million euro (pound, dollar) policy initiatives Thursday as part of a plan to make the Emerald Isle a more environmentally sustainable economy. "We are uniquely placed to secure our economic future by marking ourselves out as a centre of the global green energy boom. This is the decision we have taken as government," Prime Minister Bertie Ahern said. ... "We want to take a direct, interactive approach to inform future government actions so that Ireland becomes a leading low carbon economy," said Ahern, whose ruling three-party coalition includes three Green Party ministers. Agence France Press, 3-6-08

But the Philippines is already staggering -- even in this early stage of the climate crisis; systemic poverty and toxic greed have added a savage edge to the deepening impact of global warming.

Natural and man-made disasters affect nearly one in 10 people in the Philippines every year but millions of victims are largely left to fend for themselves, the Asian Development Bank said ... "Disasters, both natural and man-made, have been a major source of poverty and vulnerability in the Philippines," the Manila-based lender said in a country report.
Situated in the "Ring of Fire" of volcanic islands around the rim of the Pacific Ocean and situated in the typhoon belt, the Philippines gets a hefty dose of typhoons, floods, devastating waves, landslides, quakes and volcanic eruptions.
These "adversely affected an annual average of about eight million people, mostly in rural areas," the bank said.
"Only about one-half of the affected people received assistance from the government and private relief institutions.
Agence France Press, 3-6-08

Unfortunately, the world as a whole is looking more like the Philippines and less like Ireland. It, too, is already staggering.

Richard Power's Left-Handed Security: Overcoming Fear, Greed & Ignorance in This Era of Global Crisis is available now! Click here for more information.

For the Words of Power Climate Crisis Updates Archive, click here.

Click here for access to great promotional tools available on The Eleventh Hour action page.

To sign the Live Earth Pledge, click here.

For analysis of the US mainstream news media's failure to treat global warming and climate change with accuracy or appropriae urgency, click here for Media Matters' compilation of "Myths and Falsehoods about Global Warming".

Want to participate in the effort to mitigate the impact of global warming? Download "Ten Things You Can Do"

Want to join hundreds of thousands of people on the Stop Global Warming Virtual March, and become part of the movement to demand our leaders freeze and reduce carbon dioxide emissions now? Click here.

Center for American Progress Action Fund's Mic Check Radio has released a witty and compelling compilation on the Top 100 Effects of Global Warming, organized into sections like "Global Warming Wrecks All the Fun" (e.g., "Goodbye to Pinot Noir," "Goodbye to Baseball," "Goodbye to Salmon Dinners," "Goodbye to Ski Vacations," etc.), "Global Warming Kills the Animals" (e.g., "Death March of the Penguins," "Dying Grey Whales," "Farewell to Frogs," etc.) and yes, "Global Warming Threatens Our National Security" (e.g., "Famine," "Drought," "Large-Scale Migrations," "The World's Checkbook," etc.) I urge you to utilize Top 100 Effects of Global Warming in your dialogues with friends, family and colleagues.

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