Monday, July 21, 2008

Desmond Tutu on the Ultimate Price
of Business Travel

--celebrity + charity + global relief--

Scientists have predicted that 185 million Africans would die this century as a direct result of climate change. This group is only a percentage of the world's poorest who would be the ultimate victims of the climate crises. British economist Nicholas Stern, (whose seminal report in 2006 spelled out the global costs of climate change) said recently the developed world had to cut emissions by 80 percent by mid-century to address the problem. The richest nations, the U.S topping the list, are at the center of blame for contributing to global warming.

Last week, Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu lashed out, specifically blaming the most wealthy populations of the developed world, as being perpetrators in the crimes against the environment by way of extraneous business flights in an age where communication technologies offer viable alternatives.

"It is the countries which are the least responsible for causing climate change that are paying the heaviest price," he said in a video message to a meeting of the World Development Movement lobby group on Thursday night. "Do not fly in the face of the poor by allowing the emissions produced by endless and unnecessary business flights to keep growing."

"Climate change is for real," he continued "As I speak, famine is increasing, flooding is increasing, as is disease and insecurity globally because of water scarcity."

The Group of Eight rich nations agreed last week -- against strong resistance from the United States -- that global emissions should be cut by 50 percent by 2050 but they did little else.

Tutu called for a revival in our consciousness, not our consumption (as economists and industry promote), as a solution to the problem,

"As an African I urgently call on ordinary people in rich countries to act as global citizens, not as isolated consumers. We must listen to our consciences, and not to governments who speak only about economic markets."

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