stripey iceberg - an antarctic oddity pointing towards global collapse? EDITORIAL | COMMENT
Last week's report calling for zero carbon emissions by 2050 is the latest in a series of reports calling for yet more reductions.
Not so long ago, less than five years it seems, a majority of scientists talked in terms of centuries and millennia.Now, we are warned, action must take place within current lifetimes or face disaster by the end of the century.What can be said with certainty is that in global terms the Pacific Islands rate very lowly in terms of awareness of impacts. Other countries discuss economic loss, human displacement. Pacific Islands face loss of entire islands, for low-lying states, sovereign extinction. Lack of awareness can be traced back mostly to a lack of cohesion among island nations which, as they do with hiv.aids, regard global warming as a distant threat. Why is it, for example, that Tuvalu remains the region's leading advocate of global warming concerns, far ahead of much bigger and better resourced neighbours? Fiji attracts more headlines through outlets like google news, but that is to be expected when the stories use Tuvalu as a primary example. In urging Fiji to grow up, this agency is not focusing just on a lack of political maturity, more the astonishing scale of the challenges facing us as a region. We're young, we are not particularly wise in the ways of the world, and, economically, the world tends to do to us as Fiji does on the sevens field - fast, furious and defiant of laws of nature. There are big stories, in other words, to be tackled, savagely. How to start? Forty years ago, popular culture lept forward to a planet focused far beyond its own earthly boundaries.Instead of mysteries of interplanetary travel, however, 2001 is now remembered for an uncomfortably wide range of questions about the origins of a terrorism attack on the same country that inspired generations with visions of freedom, democracy and prosperity. Seven years later, the globe remains preoccupied with fallout from the deaths of 3,000 people in New York on 11th September 2001, on a planet where ten times as many people die every day from hunger and disease than could be solved with a snap of fingers in the same city. So, yes, global warming represents more of a challenge than hiv.aids, it can be said, but the same set of obstacles stands in the way of meaningful solutions - a postcolonial passion for divide and conquer and tactics. Clumsy context, to be sure, but Fiji media needs to aim higher than its current preoccupation with commander Bainimarama - or whoever else is next on the coup top 10. Already operating beyond the call of duty, Fiji media needs to learn how to fight smarter, not harder, in answering clear and present dangers not just to itself, but the whole of the region. Oh, alright, the world. Hopefully, it won't take the an iceberg floating into Suva harbour to wake up our media elites to those clear and present dangers - stripey or otherwise.
Details of exactly what the scale of that disaster might be and who it will effect most are not easily gleanable.