UN Human Development Report: Less Than a Decade to Change Course

Posted by Brad Johnson Thu, 29 Nov 2007 19:49:00 GMT

Presaging next week’s Climate Change Conference in Bali, the United Nations has released its 2007-2008 Human Development Report, a call to action on climate change using stark moral language.
Climate change is the defining human development issue of our generation. All development is ultimately about expanding human potential and enlarging human freedom. It is about people developing the capabilities thatempower them to make choices and to lead lives that they value. Climate change threatens to erode human freedoms and limit choice. It calls into question the Enlightenment principle that human progress will make the future look better than the past. . .

Our starting point is that the battle against climate change can—and must—be won. The world lacks neither the financial resources nor the technological capabilities to act. If we fail to prevent climate change it will be because we were unable to foster the political will to cooperate.

Such an outcome would represent not just a failure of political imagination and leadership, but a moral failure on a scale unparalleled in history. During the 20th Century failures of political leadership led to two world wars. Millions of people paid a high price for what were avoidable catastrophes. Dangerous climate change is the avoidable catastrophe of the 21st Century and beyond. Future generations will pass a harsh judgement on a generation that looked at the evidence on climate change, understood the consequences and then continued on a path that consigned millions of the world’s most vulnerable people to poverty and exposed future generations to the risk of ecological disaster.

The New York Times coverage: U.N. Warns of Climate-Related Setbacks.

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