Climate nonsense from Mikhail Gorbachev

Climate change is like Berlin wall?

Climate change is like Berlin wall? Really?

Obviously there are thousands of stories today about the momentous events in East Germany back in 1989, but it’s a bit desperate to compare the Berlin wall to climate change. However, that is what former Soviet Union president is saying in an article reprinted in The Australian this morning. Gorbachev was a great agent for change in the 80s and 90s, but on climate change, he reads like a typical alarmist.

The fall of the Berlin Wall brought hope and opportunity to people everywhere, and provided the 1980s with a truly jubilant finale. That is something to think about as the chance to take another momentous leap forward appears to be slipping away.

The road to the end of the Cold War was certainly not easy, or universally welcomed at the time, but it is for just this reason that its lessons remain relevant. In the 1980s, the world was at a historic crossroads. The East-West arms race had created an explosive situation. Nuclear deterrence could have failed at any moment. We were heading for disaster.

Today, another planetary threat has emerged. The climate crisis is the new wall that divides us from our future, and current leaders are vastly underestimating its urgency, and potentially catastrophic scale. People used to joke that we will struggle for peace until there is nothing left on the planet; the threat of climate change makes this prophecy more literal than ever. Comparisons with the period just before the Wall came down are striking.

Like 20 years ago, we face a threat to global security and our very existence that no one nation can deal with alone. And, again, it is the people who are calling for change. Just as the German people declared their will for unity, the world’s citizens today are demanding that action be taken to tackle climate change.

To echo the demand made of me by my late friend and sparring partner Ronald Reagan: Mr Obama, Mr Hu, Mr Singh, and Ms Merkel and her European counterparts, “Tear down this wall!” For this is your Wall, your defining moment. You cannot dodge the call of history. I appeal to heads of state and government to come to the climate change conference in Copenhagen next month and dismantle the wall. The people of the world expect you to deliver. Do not fail them.

It is unfortunate that Gorbachev, a man of such historical significance, gets it so wrong.

Read it here.

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