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Week of 11.27.09

Climate Crisis

Desperate efforts to keep climate change from drowning entire nations.

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The Maldives, a nation of roughly 1200 low-lying islands in the Indian Ocean, could be underwater by the end of this century if feared climate change causes ocean levels to rise. On the eve of the big climate summit in Copenhagen, the country's president, Mohamed Nasheed, is warning of a massive exodus from the Maldives if drastic global action is not taken. This week, NOW talks with President Nasheed about the climate crisis and why he compares it to genocide.

Could the same calamity be coming to a coast near you?

NOW Reports on Coastal Countries at Risk
Water World
Is a coastal catastrophe approaching, and what should we be doing about it?
Paradise Lost
Climate change crisis: An entire nation risks being washed away.
Washed Up?
See how the remote island nation of Niue is relying on new techniques—and some old ones—to save itself.
Ocean Tipping Point?
The world's oceans face a global-warming catastrophe. What can we do about it?

Related Links

350.org: Climate change petition
350.org, an environmental group, will deliver this "survival pact" with the names and messages of those who signed the petition to President Nasheed at the Copenhagen Climate Talks.

Hopenhagen: U.N. climate petition and "Spread Hope" campaign
Hopenhagen aims to "build a better future for our planet" and provide a platform from which to act.

U.N. Climate Change Conference
Official website of the conference, to be held from December 7 - 18, 2009 in Copenhagen, Denmark.

News and Background

CIA: World Factbook: Maldives

BBC: Maldives cabinet makes a splash

New York Times Magazine: Wanted: A New Home for My Country


Viewer Comments

Commenter: Little Rock Girl
Tis a lie that man is causing global warming and the faulty science with the climategate shows man's duplicity IN THIS FARCE!!!
History channel has shown many ice ages followed by warming periods,(thank goodness). We are still in a warming period following the little ice age of 1300's-1700's.
The first recorded global warming was in Genesis and Noah's flood. This same flood was recorded by another group in the book called Gilmesh.
All this happened before any greenhouse gases,before cars or factories.
Sorry Al Gore, give back the money and the title!


Commenter: Mary
You got to be kidding me. This President Mohamed Nasheed is so terrified of man-made global warming, it is so sad. The man-made global warming theroy has not be proven to be true. Can someone please help this man ASAP and send him information on all the fallacies of man-made global warming? Shame on Al Gore for what he is doing to people like Mr. Nasheed.


Commenter: Jon Hughes
I like how you present those who are critical of the science behind man made global warming claims as ignorant. How sad it is that only 44% of Americans believe it's an important issue. You must feel so ashamed and embarresed.

Don't worry, things will cool down soon.


Commenter: Stephen Wolfe
The paucity of information on the email revelations coming out of the UK and now being investigated at a US university reveals to me that PBS is not the "unbiased" organization it claimed to be. I don't pretend to know the reality of the facts re: climate and man made changes. But I do know science and when scientists are not lining up to disprove a theory (it's hard to prove anything) I know that there is a huge group not acting very "scientifically." The self-revelations of fraud are an immense story and you're not reporting it. My goodness, let's hear more about Tiger! First year in many that I will send my end of the year contributions elsewhere.


Commenter: Ellen
What is TRAGIC is that we now have the COMPLETE FARCE with Climate-Gate. What is wonderful is that BBC exposes just how far this has "snowed" them and the public.... the politicians are paid to conform. How truly sad and dead!


Commenter: Robert
Will you be making a transcript of the 11/27/09 program available (interview of Maldives President Nasheed about the climate crisis and why he compares it to genocide)?


Commenter: Marita Prandoni
I would like those who gather in Copenhagen to listen to Wangari Maathai: "The elites have become predators, self-serving and only turning to people when they need them. We can never all be equal, but we can ensure we do not allow excessive poverty or wealth. Inequality breeds insecurity.... It's in the interests of the rich to help Africa adapt to climate change and preserve its forests. By allowing them to be destroyed, a lot of the efforts made in the rich world will be negated and undermined."


Commenter: Axeman
I searched pbs.org for "climategate", the biggest scientific news story of the year, and only got ONE hit and it was for this page here. Shame on you, pbs.org!


Commenter: Richard Rose
From the 'Science & Public Policy Institute' and "35 Inconvenient Truths" about Gore's Movie: "There are several coastlines (the east coast of England, for instance) where the land is sinking as a consequence of post-ice-age isostatic recovery, or where (as in Bangladesh) tectonic subduction is similarly causing the land to sink. But such natural causes owe nothing to sea-level rise.

In the Maldives, a detailed recent study showed that sea levels were unchanged today compared with 1250 years ago, though they have been higher in much of the intervening period, and have very seldom been lower.

A well-established tree very close to the Maldivian shoreline and only inches above sea level was recently uprooted by Australian environmentalists anxious to destroy this visible proof that sea level cannot have risen very far.


Commenter: sritter91@yahoo.com
It seems that Mr Broncachio could give equal time to the opposing view point of climate change and the scientific data that is present. Also the recent hacking into computers that raise questions of the validity such a thing as "globel warming". I have contributed to pbs and I want to see less bias.


Commenter: David Dillberg
It's amazing to see there are still people who believe we have no problem with global warming. The amount of pollution already in our atmosphere is easy to see. The long term effects are debatable but there is one effect I don't hear much about that should be included. The "Momentum Effect" is the amount of pollution already in our atmosphere will take 50 to 75 years to get rid of. That's if we could stop all pollution now. But we can't because we are so intrenched in our ways. If we don't change now it will be too late. Not only do we need to change now we also need to retrieve the pollution we have already emitted. We have only one home. Take care of the Earth or we will not have a future.
We are the cancer on the face of the Earth. It is called civilization. It's in the water on the land and in the air. Our metropolis has turned into the disease that is engulfing the livable surface of the Earth. We need to wake up and do what we need to do. Let's clean up this mess.There can be many jobs created taking care of the Earth. All we need to do get our heads out of the sand and get creative. Waiting to save the economy is not recomended. Make the changes now and create employment for our people. We have the resorces for clean energy but we have to stop polluting. The people who make their money from sources that pollute will not want to give up their ways. It's very clear to see the atmosphere is not. Take action NOW.


Commenter: Thor
"Climate Change" is real... hey, I believe the data. It shows that climate on this water envelope planet is truly dynamic. When you think 'climate' always think in geologic or evolutionary timeframes, not annual, decadal, or even a century. True climate is related to centuries or more of natural variability. (sidebar: the 'average drought' in our southwest US lasts for 50 years, so says peer reviewed scientific data.) Look at the scintilla of knowledge we humans possess about natural planetary climate change. Climate is never 'static' as stagnation is not how our planet functions. True evolution also requires a constantly changing climate. Actual climate drivers are long-term variations and fluctuations in atmospheric water vapor, methane, carbon dioxide, etc, etc. Other climate effects are from normal earth polar instability and re-alignment occurring as earth's magnetic poles move annually and sometimes switch. Then there are obvious effects from both cyclic and sporadic solar radiation, and not infrequent cosmic collisions. Remember in proper climate discussions and the primary understanding of climate variables, Einstein's time is truly relative. The tree-line in North America continues to move northward, and has for the past 9,000 years. That is what the news media calls "global warming". Remember just a short 7,000 years ago Canada was underneath 1-2 miles of snow and ice. But yet, there are alligator bones and Cyprus stumps in arctic Canada. Bottomline: Life forms like mosquitoes or humans have very little to do with Earth's planetary climate variability, and even less ability to alter, reverse, or stop actual climate change. The short existence of humans on earth and our impact appears to be like a single wave on an ocean beach. The idea that mere humans have the ability to stagnate planetary climate at an 'average' condition we approve of, is hubris and arrogance with a big dose of ignorance.
Sorry President Nasheed, if humans produced zero CO2 starting right now, the climate would continue to change naturally. Sea levels and earth crust are also in constate natural flux, hence seashells are found at 4000' elevation in many states.


Commenter: David Burley
I find the plight of the Maldives compelling as it is for Bangladesh. Unfortunately no intervention by man can change the fate of these areas. Climate change is real, and to the extent it affects low lying areas, unstoppable.

Recently new science has determined that man made CO2's contribution to climate change is only about 16% as measured by satellite data. When asked about this, AL Gore grumbled that any contribution needs to be cut back. I agree, to the extent it makes sense.

However, it makes no sense to spend trillions of dollars on carbon credits dispensed by Goldman Sachs. If you have any doubt about the end game, consider the housing crisis or the fate of oil as a commodity.

Those interested may want to read the treaty draft called 'Reordering and consolidation of text in the revised negotiating text' link http://unfccc.int
/resource/docs/2009/awglca7/eng/inf02.pdf This is the draft version of the Climate Change Treaty.

A prominent political figure, Lord Monckton, has blasted the document and raised quite a fuss http://2gb.com.au/index2.php?option=com_newsmanager&task=view&id=4998
Another article sites the Wall Street Journal:
http://dissidentvoice.org/2009/11/copenhagen-treaty-premises-and-motivations/
Google search for 'copenhagen treaty text' will bring out more.

I urge you to read the thing for yourself. The entire exercise contemplates the biggest transfer of wealth in the history of the world. If you don't want to be owned by a third world country, contact your representatives now.

Cordially, David Burley


Commenter: PhotoMaineAC
I find it sad that the people of Planet Earth can be financially manipulated so easily. We are slaves to a failing system of many great injustices. Corruption does not even begin to describe the America paralysis. Many are finding it hard to believe in system of such deceit and frauds of gigantic proportion. All the way from false health care system that is built only to sustain pharmaceutical profit, down to control the food you can eat and grow.
Humans are causing their own self destruction based on a theory that paper money is what it takes to have a healthy and happy population. The American people as well as many across the globe, have a lot to learn about the people that pay to control their live VIA the TelyurVersion! Paid Programming!! Paid to tell you their side of the story? They pick your life for you, they tell you what to buy, they tell you where to go, they tell you to do all of the things you do. What would people be like if they were not all programmed with the same information. The very secrets that are held from the population are the ones that could help save it. But money in the form of material things, always get in the way of rational thought process's. I advice everyone to look around at the Planet and take a very good look at how our government is operating and who it is that is operating it? I sincerely wish peace and good health for all, but Money and War is not the way to achieve true peace, only better slaves? We need less Government!


Commenter: OMOtunde Pusey
Thank you so much for the reminder that the 1st World nations need to be more responsible to 3rd World nations who suffer from climate change destruction they did not create.
Lately, perhaps I am a minority in this point of view, that there seems to be more dramatization of climate disasters in the movie theater and television. Perhaps this is an attempt to get the national and collaborative international awareness up to par. This is a good thing, but it is not enough. The millions of dollars that are spent to create these movies (more like profitable investments) could be used to help countries who are actually recovering from these natural disasters caused by climate changes.
What is it going to take to achieve an awareness and concern for countries who are crying out for relief? How many lives is it going to take? International collaboration and support should be consistantly supporting the countries, like Maldive, to prepare for the catastrophic rise in sea levels. America and other 1st World nations should, at least, use Maldive as a model for scaled recovery efforts.
Thank you PBS, again, for you diligence and aspirations we need. God speed.


Commenter: Xcorps
Let's be thankful we are not experiencing some REAL climate change like a SUPER-VOLCANO throwing us into darkness for 30 years!
Then there is the strong scientific argument that there is actually a really GOOD effect from our carbon footprint in the form of thousands of JET-TRAILS that cover our skies reducing the suns rays and COOLING the earth in a measurable way! Should we stop them??

Here in the U.S.its a luxury to live on the beach! We have to worry about our people living in Miami and most of Florida!
What doesn't kill us will make us stronger!
Xcorps


Commenter: My voice
PBS is just another corporate owned/operated propaganda outlet. It's a shame. Search " ClimateGate - A Comprehensive Archive" to see the climate change hoax exposed. Again, shame on you pbs.


Commenter: Joe Montoya
Your Program was just that a "Programming moment." Your show blows foul winds of propaganda! Stop the Carbon Dioxide LIES! You people are fraudster Criminals! Just as Fat Albert Gore the Fascist LIAR and Criminal is getting shouted down and chased away, so will you LIARS!
Carbon Dioxide is a building block of life not a toxin to tax and control society over!
The Whistle blower that hacked the emails at East Anglia CRU have broken the news that YOU ARE CONNING US! May all of you LIARS have to go to PRISON for Fraud and racketeering!


Commenter: Norman Stanley
NOW,

The global worming advocates have just been exposed for their lying and prefabrication of data in order to convince governments, corporations and the public that the world is at jeopardy. Actually new data indicates global cooling is actually being recorded. A hacker obtained over a hundred emails of omitting to fraud and cover-up by environmental scientists.

NOW, has just interviewed President Mohamed Nasheed how is waving the environmental banner. I do not deny that Maldives's islands are being consumed by the Indian Ocean. President Mohamed Nasheed said that his seven year old daughter is worried about global worming. These global worming environmentalists have infiltrated our scientific community, and are guilty of brain washing students as young as seven years old.

Why don't you expose the environmental liars also?

Norman Stanley
1534 Apache Point Rd.
Hereford, Arizona 85615


Commenter: Denis Murphy
Can someone tell me why PBS is completely ignoring the scientists - the CLIMATEGATE scientists who have been shown BY THEIR OWN EMAILS to be carrying out all sorts of fraud and skullduggery in order to push their global warming agenda. It's bad enough that these fraudster scientists (incl. the director of one of the four climate reporting units in the world) want to silence dissent of 'skeptical scientist' but it seems that PBS also have some agenda that requires them to ignore and silence from their own viewers the CLIMATEGATE revalations. Could the agendas be the same???


Commenter: Dave Jugenheimer
The piece on Maldives was brilliant. I make efforts to be environmentally friendly for many reasons. I never would have thought of the effects that the rising seas have on places like Maldives. It is a shame that so many Americans just don't care enough to try to be part of the solution. I have seen many phenomenal episodes of NOW. I applaud your contribution to the human experience.


Commenter: ybhtz8
This is such a tragedy. My question is, can the effects of global warming actually be stopped or reversed? Even if we do something now, can countries like the Maldives actually be saved?


Commenter: allynh
The ground rises, the ground falls. Sea level rises, sea level falls. The Earth is not static. It is a dynamic living planet. Man made global warming is a lie.

Check out "Climategate". Over the next few months it will become clear that you guys have been conned all this time, and you swallowed the lie, hook, line, and sinker. How does that feel to be so gullible.


Commenter: Alan Lance
Please stop the propaganda. We would be more willing work to gather if we were being told the truth from the experts but it appears we have been lied to again. We are now learning of the underhanded lies. We are hearing way too much about scams containing fictitious numbers and hidden agendas with global warming statistics. Most clear thinking Americans with open a minds want to take care of the earth but our government's credibility has been questionable for a long time now. Now we know scientists are fudging numbers for political gain and the media is representing that false information as truth. It would be wrong for us to put the same government promoting fictitious science in charge of the same perceived problem. That's putting the fox in charge of the hen house. Please stop the tripe and dribble barrage on public television like global warming and start rebuilding the faith of the public by being honest. Admit when you're wrong and attempt to write the wrong. Alan Lance

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