President Mohamed Nasheed launched a vigorous assault on the current wave of climate change skepticism during his address at the Freie Universität in Berlin.
“In my mind there is a diabolical conspiracy to cloud the scientific evidence behind climate change,” he said. “The science is very clear and sorted, but there are vested interests trying to cloud the issue.”
The president was particularly critical of the hacked emails from the Climate Change Unit at the University of East Anglia, which he argued “make no material difference to the fact climate change is happening.”
“It is now so necessary to find out who distributed the emails, who hacked it, where they are placed, how the emails made the rounds, and how they became newspaper headlines. Where is the investigative journalism on the criminal element of it all?” he asked.
“And why are the emails such a big issue when there is no substance in them? I’ve read them all and they don’t add up. I believe there is a conspiracy, and I believe responsible journalists should think about who is behind this, who is this devil?”
Nasheed was also critical of the coverage surrounding inaccuracies in reports by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), which consolidates much of the accepted climate change science.
“Any report can have factual errors but that does not make any substantial difference to the facts,” he said. “Even if one page of a 1000 page report [is problematic], you cannot then deny the other 999 pages.”
He accused the media of being complicit in the loss of momentum around climate change following the lacklustre Copenhagen Accord, claiming that continual reference to the email scandal and mistakes in the IPCC report in articles on climate change was “clouding the issue and creating doubt in the general public.”
“We have to get rid of the perception that there something wrong with the science, and we need to pick up the momentum we had at Copenhagen,” Nasheed urged.
“Icecaps are melting, sea levels are rising, the weather is unpredictable, and rain and fish do not appearing at the same time they used to. European friends tell me they have experienced the coldest winter in the last 20-25 years, and by summer I predict they will be saying they’ve had the hottest summer in the last 30 years. We should not doubt the science in front of us – please visit the Maldives and have a look what happening to our beaches, our coral reefs and our oceans. There is no doubt.”