Gorbachev tutors Obama: The book says 'Perestroika'

or in English, 'restructuring.'

[Novosti, Russia]



Rossiyskaya Gazeta, Russia

Gorbachev Presses World Leaders to Deliver on Climate


"All excuses and pretexts for inaction, including conversations about how we now have more important issues to address, must be completely tossed aside. If you won't solve this problem, you won’t be able to solve any of the rest."


By Mikhail Gorbachev,

Former USSR President


 Translated By Yekaterina Blinova


December 8, 2009


Russia - Rossiyskaya Gazeta - Original Article (Russian)


A demonstrator wears tree roots at the Climate Summit in Copenhagan, Denmark. About a thousand people were arrested during demonstrations on Saturday.


BBC NEWS VIDEO: Arrests sour Copenhagen climate rally, Dec. 12, 00:01:18RealVideo

The U.N. summit in Copenhagen devoted to the issue of climate change is set to begin, but it's increasingly obvious that the agenda in no longer purely ecological.


The global environmental crisis encapsulates almost all of humanity's most pressing difficulties. From it stems a direct link to security and an even more dangerous likelihood of additional domestic and international conflict, flows of migration in the multimillions which are already destabilizing politics and the economy, rising poverty and social inequality, a water crisis, and shortages of energy resources and food supplies.


Therefore, all excuses and pretexts for inaction, including conversations about how we now have more important issues to address, must be completely tossed aside. If you won't solve this problem, you won’t be able to solve any of the rest.


Governments, business, science and civil society - all must contribute to the rescue of our planet. Each of the partners in this great cause has its own role and capabilities. But the world today is such that the primary responsibility rests with governments and their agencies.


Only a government can establish firm standards and regulations, without which the battle against climate change is unthinkable. Only a government can mobilize resources and the means to promote and implement fundamentally new technologies. Only a government can provide the necessary support to those most vulnerable to climate change.



Government representatives gather in Copenhagen to lay the foundation for an important phase of the global effort to combat climate change. It is up to them to decide what kind of foundation this will be: strong and convincing or weak to the point of undermining hope.


The latest scientific data on climate change is extremely disturbing. This is the last call. But even more alarming is the discrepancy between the warnings of science and the status of negotiations.


Scientists believe that the maximum allowable temperature increase is no more than 1-2 degrees. The leaders of all major countries at the summit in Akvilė support this conviction. And even under these conditions, the inevitable consequences are serious, such as the disappearance of most coral reefs.


However, the compromises adopted during the course of negotiations effectively open the way for a rise in global temperatures of 4 degrees, which would have catastrophic consequences for the ecosystem of our planet.


Why is this happening? There are several reasons. It is due to the inertia of the current economic model, which is based on the desire for super-profits and super-consumption; the incapacity of politicians and business leaders to think of the future; and the fear that measures to lower emissions would slow economic growth. These fears are exploited in every possible way by those who don't want any kind of change.


But the global financial crisis has shown that the economy is undermined not by caring about providing normal living conditions for present and future generations, but by something else entirely: the irresponsible race for super-profits at any cost, blind faith in the “invisible hand of the market,” and failure to act on the part of the state.


A search for new forces and incentives to drive economic development is required. The transition to a “low carbon economy” with minimal emissions will be accompanied by the creation of qualitatively different, cleaner modes of production, technology and employment.


But a low-carbon economy is just one part of the new economic model we need today like the air we breathe. Of course, we won’t replace a model that has existed for half a century overnight.


The transition to a new model will require a change in values. The economy must be reoriented toward public goods like a sustainable environment, human health in the broadest sense of the term, education, culture, equality of opportunity and social cohesion, including the absence of egregious gaps between wealth and poverty.


And it's not only in terms of moral imperatives that society needs this. The cost-effectiveness of these “goods” is enormous. But economists haven't yet learned to measure this. Here there is where we need an intellectual breakthrough. Without that, building a new economic model will be impossible.


A moral “refitting” of the business community will be required. Today, as a rule, companies and their leaders determine their position on ecological issues based on their short-term or at best mid-term impact on businesses. Exceptions - socially and ecologically responsible businesses - do exist, but they should be the rule. This must occur under the impact of changes in the tax system and mechanisms of subsidies and incentives.    



[International Herald Tribune, France]



Kurier, Austria : Potentially Negligent Mass Murder: Climate Change Must Be Faced

Guardian Unlimited: Climate Summit in 'Disarray' After Leak of 'Danish Text'  

Frankfurter Rundschau, Germany: The 'Grotesque Behavior' of the Climate Powers

Financial Times Deutschland, Germany: Beijing Instead of Copenhagen  

Hurriyet, Turkey: History's Judgment of Our Generation Depends on Climate Summit  

Rossijskaya Gazeta, Russia: Gorbachev: Dialogue Only Way to Resolve Korea Crisis


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At this critical juncture, the role of civil society is changing and increasing: it will become a full participant in the development and implementation of decisions that will shape the environment and economy for decades to come.


Today, on the eve of Copenhagen, our attention is especially drawn to the heads of state. Over 60 of them will participate in this summit, which will be a real test of political leadership. Recent weeks have shown how easy it is to miss an opportunity. In the coming weeks and months, these government leaders must demonstrate their capacity for true statesmanship.


















































Posted by WORLDMEETS.US, Dec. 14, 12:59am


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