Gwynne Dyer visits Wave, talks climate change

Tuesday, April 7th, 2009

Gwynne Dyer

Jonas Hrebeniuk

TAKE PUBLIC TRANSIT...BUT PIMP IT OUT WITH HYDRAULICS, FOOL! WHAT!? BRRRUP! Political commentator Gwynne Dyer made his annual visit to Western Wednesday, lecturing about climate change and its relation to global politics.

Standing behind the podium with his signature leather jacket and beer in hand, political commentator Gwynne Dyer spoke to a crowded house at The Wave Wednesday afternoon.

Dyer, who has visited Western annually to talk about the world political landscape for years, discussed the impact of climate change on world politics.

Dyer opened by saying most of the world’s governments are beginning to acknowledge the reality of climate change.

“People who are really worried about climate change are not worried about rising sea levels in 2020, but about famine in 2040,” Dyer said.

He added the effect on food production scares governments because of moving refugee populations.

According to Dyer, the world is already straining to meet food production demands for its population. Predicted rising global temperature would significantly cut current production, he added.

Dyer said this forecast is causing some governments to move toward protecting themselves from moving populations of famine refugees.

“That is why Britain is getting a new generation of nuclear weapons,” he said, adding they’re sending the message they won’t be letting starving people onto “lifeboat Britain.”

“How inevitable is this? Not inevitable at all,” Dyer said. “We can still come in under a [two-degree Celsius global temperature increase] with drastic action worldwide.”

Deals to reduce emissions must be global, Dyer said.

“There’s only one atmosphere and only one economy.”

He said the major hurdle will be emerging developing nations like India and China that don’t want to accept an equal share of emissions reductions. They have been poor for a long time and want their chance at prosperity when they develop, he said.

Dyer said developing nations are demanding developed nations take deeper cuts to their emissions because they’re guilty of producing the emissions that have created the current problem.

According to Dyer, we are living in an unprecedented golden age of peace and prosperity.

“No great power is preparing for war with another power,” he said.

Next, Dyer discussed the political landscape’s link to climate issues.

He said the U.S. is threatened by China’s emergence as a global power.

“China’s GDP will beat the U.S. in the early 2040s,” he said. He argued U.S. policy-makers are panicking and have begun forming alliances to encircle China. This includes luring India into a military pact by offering nuclear technology, Dyer said.

Dyer said the average Chinese person isn’t aware of U.S. actions because public opinion is so well controlled in China.

“The paradox is we must allow this to persist,” Dyer said.

He said if the Chinese become aware, they will want the Chinese government to react, resulting in a cold war with the U.S.

This cold war would eliminate any chance of a global deal on climate change, Dyer said.

Dyer said he’s reasonably optimistic about the future, especially since a new U.S. administration might change course and stop encircling China.

Share this article on:

Facebook | DiggDigg |

Copyright © 2008 The Gazette