Wednesday, January 24, 2007
Climate change in action?
It is rare when covering a story that doesn’t involve an immediate news event, such as a catastrophe, disaster or explosion that you get evidence of that which you are talking about in front of your very eyes.
But this year's delegates at the World Economic Forum can be in little doubt about the changing face of the world's climate -- they just need to look around them. Normally at this time of the year the snow on the mountainsides would be many feet deep – the base would be solid and skiers would be swooshing around in something approaching Alpine ecstasy.
That cannot be said this year. As my pictures show, much of the mountaintop is barely covered in anything like the normal amount of snow, and the reason is climate change and global warming.
Now some of you will say I am making a huge leap worthy of ski jumpers to take a few pics of poorly-snowed mountains and say this is climate disaster. So I asked on this morning's CNN Today, Professor Kiang from Peking University - a world expert on the subject - if this was the case. His answer left no room for doubt. Yes, this is just one small example of the climate change underway.
I wasn't satisfied, so I went back for another bash, less he had misunderstood my question (although there was no reason why he had.) Again the answer. Yes. By now, not unreasonably, he thought he was dealing with one of his duller students. Hadn’t he just answered that question in clear ringing tones?
The professor is a tolerant man. Yes again. Let there be no doubt. This is the sort of change we can expect to see in the years ahead.
I offer up this story not as a political statement nor position. That’s not my job. I offer it up because over the next few days the governmental leaders, business executives and NGOs will be debating the effect of global warming and climate change. As the head of the WEF, Klauss Schwab has said, this is one of the core issues on their agenda.
Well delegate. Look no further than the end of your nose – to be more precise at the mountain at the end of your nose. And now the debate can begin.
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