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Enemies of the environment
by Thanos Kalamidas
2009-10-17 10:43:03
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The first time I found myself in Nordkapp, the northern cape in Norway looking at the North Sea and the ice of the arctic I was in awe and I consider the moment as a valuable landmark for my life. Looking at the ice that had become a floor on top of the sea and later walking on this ice floor still brings shivers to my body and this is not only from the cold I felt that day. Five years later I found myself coincidentally in exactly the same spot and it was exactly the same season, the same month, the very same week. Only this time there were pieces of ice here and there and it was simply impossible even to thin to walk on the ice.

The same year we saw snow only twice in south Finland and we didn’t have white Christmas after really long time and that only a thousand kilometers from the arctic cycle. If somebody had told me twenty years ago that I would complained because the temperature didn’t reach -25 for two years I would have thought that he was crazy but is true! And I did complain. Temperatures and in general weather in Finland has changed dramatically the last few years, so dramatically that I can see it and I moved to this country barely ten years ago.

So reading in the news that a specialist said that the arctic ocean could be largely ice0free and open shipping during the summer in about ten years I felt really depressed. And it seems that we are doing absolutely nothing to change it. I cannot find words to describe how I felt looking at this ice ocean the first time I was there and then imagine that perhaps I was one of the last lucky ones to see it like that. Imagine the black forest in Germany turning into Grand Canyon; the example is not an exaggeration, it is the same thing.

What we cannot understand or at least what the leaders of this world don’t want to understand is that the damage is not simple mathematical, this year we are losing one degree and ten miles of ice but it is adding logarithmically. The ten miles we lost last year will be fifty for the next and two hundred the year after. And the degree that the temperature raised two years ago it will be six two years after. Just imagine, in ten years will be ferries transporting tourists in t-shirts between Alaska and Russia!

Suddenly all the nightmare they were talking about is here, the temperature is raises, the oceans’ water is raising and the lower lands are sinking. The planet is changing and it is not for the best and it is happening because we are doing it. Kyoto treaty has warned us for all these things and most of the environmentalists and scientists have already warned that the Kyoto treaty is dead and there is a demand for a new treaty that can be effective globally immediately if we don’t want our own kids live the nightmare. Still there are countries that haven’t signed the Kyoto treaty including the ones mainly responsible for the emissions, the United States of America and China.

And reducing emissions is only the first step, more action is demanding including tense research on alternative energy sources and protection of the environmental treasures like the rainforest, the arctic cycle and Antarctica. If we don’t do so quickly I’m afraid the arctic cycle will soon be included in the Santa myth and it scares me the day my grandkids will go to a zoo to see a cow. But I’m afraid all these are coming as long when we are doing nothing to change the situation. But to return to the Kyoto treaty, even the countries that have signed it do seem so keen to follow it and despite the existence of a control committee from the United Nations most of the countries are crossing the lines and the limit measures that the Kyoto treaty has put. When most of us live in houses that are not environmentally friendly and there is nobody to tell us why and how to correct the mistakes.

But when the governments are the worst enemies of the environment what can you expect and is not me that calls them enemies but their behavior and attitude. I just hope Barack Obama since he used environment so much during his campaign to become president will do something starting with signing the Kyoto treaty. Not for anything else than to make his Nobel Prize worth of something.


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Emanuel Paparella2009-10-17 11:10:57
It is indeed a paradox of reason that the same specie ( of rational animals, so called...) that can go to the moon and back and put a telescope into outer space and repair it, cannot save the only planet on which it is bound to live and survive for the forseable future. Perhaps that ecological malaise's root is found in reducing the specie to a mere animal like any other determined by its instincts and bound to the environment, for indeed "corruptio optima pessima" [the corruption of the best is the worst].

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