Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Paying for someone else’s misdeeds

The best way to save the Maldives from drowning is not to fly there anymore. And if you want to trek in the Himalaya, try doing it in Second Life, said Kunda Dixit, editor of Nepali Times at a side event during the UNFCCC climate conference in Bali.

By Kunda Dixit, Editor, Nepali Times (Presentation at Global Outlook for Ice and Snow Side Event 13 December 2007-12-13 UNFCCC Bali)

For many of us who live in countries in the periphery like the Maldives or Nepal, there is a real feeling that we don’t just have to suffer for someone else’s crime. We actually have to pay for their misdeeds as well.

You don’t have to be a scientist to see what is happening to our mountains. The people of Pokhara in Central Nepal saw something apocalyptic last winter: Machapuchre, the 7,000m high pyramid-shaped peak that towers over the town was snowless for the first time in anyone’s memory.

In the Everest region, the Imja Glacier now has a lake three km long where there was just ice 30 years ago. When one of these lakes burst 10 years ago it washed away a newly-built hydroelectric plant. Dorje Sherpa lost his daughter and grandchild. He blamed the gods, but had he known, he would have blamed fossil carbon. More >>>
[The mountain glaciers are reservoirs’ for South Asia’s water supply, supplying the rivers during the dry season. What will happen to the people who depend on this water not only for drinking but also for agriculture? The aquifers are falling at 6m per year in India and the population levels are rising. It is a recipe for disaster. Editor]