The Dernogalizer

December 14, 2009

Mikhail Gorbachev: “We Have a Real Emergency”

Filed under: Energy/Climate,National Politics — Matt Dernoga @ 1:35 am
Tags: ,

Mikhail Gorbachev, the former president of the Soviet Union, penned a recent Op-Ed in the New York Times about the need for world leaders to step up and commit their governments to action on climate change.  I want to link to it since it’s very well articulated.  Below are some noteworthy excerpts

“As the climate change summit meeting moves forward in Copenhagen, it is increasingly clear that more than just the environment is at stake. The global environmental crisis is at the heart of practically all the problems now confronting us, including the need to create a global economic model grounded in the public good.”

“Excuses and pretexts for not taking action on the environment, and assertions that there are more important problems, are simply no longer credible. If we fail on this problem, we’ll fail on all the others.”

“The latest scientific research on climate change is extremely disturbing. We have a real emergency. Yet the gap between science and policy keeps widening, as does the gap between the negotiations and the urgency of the issue.”

“Yet policy compromises agreed to by negotiators involved in the Copenhagen talks virtually guarantee a temperature increase of around 4 degrees Celsius — well into the catastrophic risk range.”

“We also need a moral realignment of the business community. Companies and their C.E.O.s tend to define their positions on environmental issues according to the short-term or at best medium-term bottom line. Socially and environmentally responsible business is still the exception rather than the rule. Change is needed in the entire system of taxes, subsidies and incentives.”

“In Copenhagen, we will closely watch the political leaders. More than 60 heads of state will take a personal leadership test there. We have seen how easy it would be to fail. The weeks and months ahead offer them a chance to show that they can truly lead.”

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