Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

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February 24, 2003
By: Kevin Drum

TONY BLAIR ON TERRORISM, POVERTY, AND GLOBAL WARMING....Carla Passino of The International Sentinal links today to a speech by Tony Blair that's mostly about global warming. But not entirely:

On the one hand there are the very clear and dangerous threats of unstable states developing or proliferating weapons of mass destruction and the evil of terrorism exemplified by September 11th. These are the issues, if you like, of immediate security. They are a threat we can see confronting us directly and now.

On the other hand, there are the issues that affect us over time. They are just as devastating in their potential impact, some more so, but they require reflection and strategy geared to the long-term, often straddling many years and many Governments. Within this category are the issues of global poverty, relations between the Moslem world and the West, environmental degradation, most particularly climate change.

....The only answer is to construct a common agenda that recognises both sets of issues have to be confronted for the worlds security and prosperity to be guaranteed. There will be no lasting peace whilst there is appalling injustice and poverty. There will be no genuine security if the planet is ravaged by climate change. Yet we know we cannot wait to tackle terrorism and WMD. They are affecting us now and have to be dealt with now.

I have absolutely no idea whether Blair will actually act on these sentiments or if they're just nice words, but I'm so starved for nice words that I'll take what I can get.

Read the whole speech. It's intelligent, it combines an appreciation of both short term and long term actions, and it makes a good case that we can fight global warming without bankrupting ourselves:

Are these solutions expensive? Not against the scale of the problem. And it is a myth that reducing emissions makes us poorer. The UKs economy has grown by nearly 17% since 1997 in that time, emissions have fallen by 5%.

That boy is sure a smooth talker, that's for sure.

Kevin Drum 5:59 PM Permalink | Trackbacks

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