Climate skepticism a “diabolical conspiracy” says Nasheed

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.”


President receives red carpet treatment in Germany

President Mohamed Nasheed has received a red carpet welcome in Germany by Chancellor Dr Angela Merkel, including full military honours.

Speaking at a joint press conference yesterday, Merkel said she doubted any global agreement on climate change would be reached in 2010, and blamed China and India for their unwillingness “to enter any binding commitments.” This lack of cooperation from two major powers was, she said, a “structural problem” for any climate treaty.

For his part, Nasheed appealed to the German public to push for a climate change agreement, claiming that “we won’t survive as a country if there is no understanding or agreement.”

Nasheed said he expected a global treaty to emerge following the UN climate forum in Copenhagen, but agreed “it may not happen this year.” He said he hoped Germany “will continue to assist the Maldives in its efforts to strengthen and consolidate democracy.”

redcarpet3This is Nasheed’s first official visit to Germany, a country widely considered to be one of the more environmentally concious in Europe and a leader in the practical and economically-sensible application of renewable energy technology. Germany has also been very vocal on issues relating to climate change and generous with development funding.

Later this week the president is due to speak at the Freie Universitat Berlin, where he is expected to press for the world to “ignore the deniers and continue the fight to save the planet”, in the wake of the Copenhagen Summit and leaked emails alleging scientists at the University of East Anglia in the UK colluded to falsify climate data.

Minivan News understands the president will likely call on the EU to be bolder in its commitments to reducing climate change, and perhaps even encourage it to commit to carbon neutrality and set a new direction for investors and industry.

The climate change cause is suffering something of a ‘crisis of faith’ across many countries in Europe following the economic downturn. A similar trend has been noted in the US, where a Gallup poll recently reported that 41 per cent of the population considered claims about climate change to be exaggerated, “the highest since Gallup’s trend on this measure began in 1997.”

Nasheed is expected to take climate change sceptics to task in his address, and condemn “lazy conspiracy theories”.