Is the underwater meeting in the Maldives going to make other small island nations do more to bring attention to global warming?



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    I don’t think it’s the small island nations that need help in being persuaded to do something about global warming–it’s the big ones. In October 2009, President Mohamed Nasheed of the Maldives, a small group of islands off the coast of India, called a cabinet meeting in full scuba gear on the bottom of a lagoon as a publicity stunt to draw attention to the fact that his country may well cease to exist in the next century as a result of rising sea levels. Being usually of low elevation and surrounded by water, small island nations are more aware than any other of the imminent threat global warming poses to them. Kiribati, for example, is trying to find new places to relocate its population, since the islands will disappear eventually. (The Maldives are doing the same thing). Therefore, it’s not the island nations that aren’t paying attention–it’s the rest of us.

    President Nasheed himself said it better than probably anyone could:

    “[Developed nations] never make commitments, unless someone else does first. This is the logic of the madhouse, a recipe for collective suicide. We don’t want a global suicide pact. And we will not sign a global suicide pact, in Copenhagen or anywhere. I think a bloc of carbon-neutral, developing nations could change the outcome of Copenhagen. At the moment every country arrives at the negotiations seeking to keep their own emissions as high as possible.”

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