A little over 60 years ago in Eastern Europe the Nazi’s were experimenting with ways to achieve ‘The Final Solution.’
Their early attempts though crude were effective. Before moving on to industrial scale gassing and incineration in purpose built crematoria the ‘Solution’ entailed loading people into box vans, attaching a pipe to the exhaust which vented into an airtight and locked cargo hold and taking a ride. It was a neat and convenient process; load up live Jews, Gypsies and homosexuals, make the short journey to the disposal site and unload the now deceased undesirables. Exhaust emissions in service of the Reich and the holocaust.
Today the developed nations of the earth hold the ignition keys to another genocide in the making. Climate change created by the economic activity of the wealthy nations is set to wreak havoc upon the poor.
The Stern Report, a government sponsored review of the likely economic impacts of climate change spells out in no uncertain terms the disaster that awaits us if we fail to act. It appears certain that large tracks of Africa will be uninhabitable scorched earth, low lying countries like Bangladesh will disappear as sea levels rise. Food scarcity will increase by up to 60% and millions and millions of people will die.
Gordon Brown gave Nicholas Stern the job of finding out the cost of combating climate change; according to Stern itâ€™s 3% of global GDP. The alternative is perhaps the end of civilization. The job he sayâ€™s must start now; there is no time to loose. Yet we are bogged down in a war in Iraq that makes for as much distraction as the war on terror. All the time the earth warms and the options shrink.
Our leaders must act on the big projects but the keys are in our hands too. Our life styles are so connected to the causes of climate change that every time we drive to the supermarket we might just as well be driving a gas filled hearse to dump African babies in a convenient grave.