What if, back in 2009, Obama had followed in President Kennedy's footsteps and made a moonshot speech about the climate, pledging to make the US the world's first carbon-neutral country within ten years? What if he did that right now?
Climate change is real. Slowly, journalists are starting to acknowledge this -- without attribution and without apology. And I hope Sandy serves as a tipping point in the way the mainstream media reports on the link between extreme weather events and climate change.
The man who takes over from the democratically elected leader should not wear military fatigues, as Commodore Frank Bainimarama did in Fiji; instead wear a lounge suit, as former Vice President Waheed Hassan did in the Maldives.
Most people think of the Maldives as a high-end tourist destination. But the country has a high rate of heroin addiction. Salafist Islam is on the rise. And its deficit is unsustainable. Add to this a stalled political reform, and you have a volatile mix.
Going carbon-free is not only impossible for the Maldives, but it would severely penalize the country's main industry: tourism, which would, needless to say, cause the Maldives to slip into dangerous financial waters.
Who pays for the increasing weather-related disasters? Where do we move if we are left with no choice but to leave our homes? Why does climate change deal its toughest blows to those that contribute to it the least?