Saturday, January 16, 2010

Reference: Maldive state of mind, Bangkok Post, January 17, 2010

World leaders went to the climate meeting in Copenhagen to "negotiate" not to discuss "the laws of physics" (Maldive state of mind, Bangkok Post, January 17, 2010). The language of these negotiations was cloaked in pretensions of lofty environmental goals but there was really only one item being negotiated and that item was and is money not physics.

At one level, the money negotiations had to do with the chicanery of the rich countries willing to pay billions to developing countries to stop developing; and at a more seedy and greedy level there were the so called "vulnerable countries" like the Maldives. An extreme form of greed had set in among them when it seemed that they had won the global warming lottery because they apparently stood to collect an immense fortune as reparations from the rich countries. Thereafter, climate negotiations quickly devolved into money negotiations - how much, when, by whom, and to whom. In poker terms, the poor countries called the bluff of the rich and that caused the meeting to end in disarray.

Although much maligned by Thai journalists, Thailand's position in these talks - that it recognizes the Kyoto Protocol as the only international agreement on climate change - has been singularly clear and consistent from beginning to end without a greed component that might have required a media circus like holding a cabinet meeting under water.

Cha-am Jamal

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