Sympathy for the Maldives

It’s happened again. A good man has been silenced by the corrupt powers that keep our world from becoming better. It happened in the Indian Ocean, in Male, on an Island nation called the Maldives. Former President Mohammed Nasheed was ousted last week in what he claims was a coup.

To understand how Nasheed’s story is a parable for climate change you need to learn a little bit about the precarious position the Maldives are in.

According to 2006 Geophysical Research Letters linked from NASA, global sea levels rose about 17 centimeters in the last century. The rate in the last decade is rising at double this amount. 

The atolls of the Maldives are nearly at sealevel. If climate change continues unchecked. Nasheed faces the very real possiblity his nation could be wiped off the map in the next 50 to 100 years.

During his presidency Nasheed became a vocal advocate against global warming. He vowed in 2009 to make his nation carbon-neutral as an example to the world. He planeed to introduce electric vehicles and to buy carbon credits and green electricity. Samoa, Costa Rica and Ethiopia also comitted to becoming carbon-neutral following his example.

The problem was, as I said earlier, Nasheed appears to be a good man. He is the first democratically elected president in more than 20 years. He was put in prison in 1990 for writing against government corruption. As he began to prosecute that same corruption against the remaining members of the old gaurd they turned against him and ousted him from power.

Nasheed is a man commited to doing the right thing. An order for his arrest has since been issued. Heroes like this individual frighten the old denisins of power. We are seeing his struggle repeated throughout the world today. Dictators against reformists. The struggle to end climate change is no different. It is old gaurd resistance to what is right.

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