Tag Archives: Ban Ki-Moon

Global Warming Obsession Takes Over BBC Religious Programme

Letter sent to “Sunday: Religious News“, the BBC Radio4 weekly broadcast.

(see also: “At The BBC, Not Even Religious Programmes Are Sacred“, July 9, 2009)

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From: Maurizio Morabito
To: Sunday: Religious News” at the BBC
Date: 8 Nov 2009
Subject: About your obsession with global warming

Dear Roger Bolton, Jane Little and all at the “Sunday: Religious News” programme

Your obsession with global warming is starting to worry this long-time listener of yours.

In the first “incident” of 5 July the topic of “Global Warming” took over 27% of what is presumed to be 45 minutes dedicated to “the religious and ethical news of the week“. On 1 November, that number went up to 29%. Today 8 November, Global Warming occupied almost 44% of your programme.

(actual statistics for Global Warming time on “Sunday”: 5 July: 11m47s in two tranches; 1 Nov: 12m45s; 8 Nov: 18m56s)

By the look of it, by the time of the broadcast on the eve of the 7 December United Nations Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen, you will have renamed the programme to “Sunday: Global Warming News” and drone on and on about it for more than 100 minutes.

Is that truly the right away to deal with the richness of contemporary religious discourses?

You might reply that Global Warming has recently become part of that discourse, with the build-up to the Windsor oecumenical gathering on Tuesday 3 November. Still, does that justify allocating 5m8s on 1 November to a long interview/monologue with UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon? Especially after having provided 5m27s to the UN Assistant Secretary General on 5 July.

In both cases, their interest to World Religions as mere tools to convince people to act on Global Warming was as apparent as bordering on the disrespectful. One cannot fail to think they’d just as easily go to footballers and X-Factor winners and runners-up if that could serve their goals (somebody please check, that might have already happened!).

Today’s (8 Nov) programme took the biscuit. The entire second half, a whole 18m56s out of 43m44s (as per the podcast) was about nothing else but…Global Warming! Now, would anybody seriously think that there was truly nothing else to report about, in matters of “religious and ethical news“, so that you really had to dedicate to a single topic a grand total of 31m44s across two weeks?

Have you ever allocated anything of that size to any other topic, one wonders? And did you really have to miss the opportunity to review for example the present state of major and minor Religions in the former Communist States of Eastern Europe, when the XX anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall is tomorrow 9 Nov?

I have no reason to doubt your genuine interest in Global Warming. So let me suggest a way out of the present situation. A few days ago, Justice Michael Burton has put the “belief in man-made climate change” under the religious/belief radar. Why, you can now in all honesty report about Globalwarmists alongside your news items and discussions about Christians, Hindus, Muslims, Jews, Sikhs and all other beliefs of interest.

Who knows…after such a choice, your audience size might even increase, as there’s plenty of people that can fall under the “Globalwarmism” category: indeed, and ironically, most of Globalwarmists I know, they declare themselves atheists.

Doesn’t that suggest a tantalising reason for the popularity of Global Warming scare stories among the intellectual classes?

Now, that’d be a great topic to see analysed in “Sunday”!

Best regards

maurizio morabito

Ban Ki-Moon Has Lost The Plot

What the &^%$ did UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon think he would be doing, by going to Burma only to come back absolutely empty-handed?

The risks were fully known, but Ban Ki-Moon vowed the “right things” and then dedicated a speech in Yangon with the “right words” inside but…is it really the business of the UN Secretary-General to fly around the world begging to visit local dissidents, and then to lament his “disappointment” when not allowed to?

There’s plenty of low-ranking UN diplomats that perfectly able to do just that.

The bloody Burmese junta has made the usual electoral promise (this time for 2010…yeah, right!).

It could all have been so simple:

  1. Ban Ki-Moon lands in Yangon
  2. Ban Ki-Moon asks to see Aung San Suu-Kyi
  3. Ban Ki-Moon is refused to see Aung San Suu-Kyi
  4. Ban Ki-Moon flies away (immediately that is)

One would think even the current UN Secretary-General could devise such a complex plan, couldn’t he?

Perhaps in the post-Cold War world there is something fundamentally wrong in the way UN Secretary-General are chosen.

Kill a Man One is a Murderer…

…kill a million, a Conqueror (quote by Jean Rostand).

And so this had to come to pass: “Ban Ki-moon Condolences For Indonesia’s Suharto

Ban Ki-Moon’s Remarks on Chilean Children

In “Alarming UN report on climate change too rosy, many say” (IHT, Nov 18) Elisabeth Rosenthal and James Kanter report that UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon has “described […] children in Chile having to wear protective clothing because an ozone hole was letting in so much ultraviolet radiation.

Is that actually happening in Chile?

I have not been able to find any evidence supporting such a strong statement.

(1) Pubmed through keywords “chile”, “ultraviolet” and “children” shows an article by Aranibar et al [Association between sunburn in children and ultraviolet radiation and ozone layer, during six summers (1996-2001) in Santiago, Chile (33,5 degrees S)] Rev Med Chil. 2003 Sep;131(9):1011-22.

I cannot find the original article, but the abstract seems to report that the behaviour of children 6-10 is at risk of sunburn (hardly world-shattering).

(2) From that article I was able to find more relevant stuff. There is one by Abarca JF, Casiccia CC., “Skin cancer and ultraviolet-B radiation under the Antarctic ozone hole: southern Chile, 1987-2000. Photodermatol Photoimmunol Photomed. 2002 Dec;18(6):294-302.

It reports that people of whiter skin may suffer in Punta Arenas due to repeated exposure, and increased rates of skin cancer may be occurring, and recommends further research.

(3) Another related article is by Abarca JF, Casiccia CC, Zamorano FD., “Increase in sunburns and photosensitivity disorders at the edge of the Antarctic ozone hole, southern Chile, 1986-2000”, J Am Acad Dermatol. 2002 Feb;46(2):193-9.

It indicates the worries but lists no actual skin cancer data.

(4) Then of course there is Molgó M et al, [Sun exposure behaviors and knowledge among Chileans] Rev Med Chil. 2005 Jun;133(6):662-6. Epub 2005 Jul 22. In Spanish.

It’s a survey and reports risky behaviours. Once again, no data on Skin Cancer.

(5) I then visited the website for CONAC, the Chilean ONG about Cancers. The pages of the National Network of Ultraviolet Medicine mention a prevalence of 10/100,000 among Chileans for skin cancer

(6) As a comparison, in England the prevalence among Europeans is 13/100,000

(7) “Environmental Journalist” Stephen Lehay writes a year ago that “Ailments Surge as Ozone Hole Widens” indicating that “Diagnoses of malignant melanoma, a deadly form of skin cancer, have doubled in recent years, leading Chilean health authorities to recommend avoiding direct exposure to the sun between 11:00am and 5:00pm, and especially to protect children”.

No sources and no absolute values are reported for this information.

(8) The same Lehay writes a couple of months ago “Skin Cancer Rising Despite New Ozone Deal to Cut CO2 Emissions” making a controversial connection betweeen skin cancer rates in the USA and a “crippled” ozone layer.

Being an environmental article (here in full) it can’t help predicting soaring numbers of cancer victims by 2060

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In conclusion:

(a) Peer-reviewed work has not find much interest in Chilean children, or better yet in any Chilean skin cancer.

(b) At best, CONAC (the Chilean ONG on Cancer) is recommending protection in the middle of the day, but that is good advice the world over especially in summer, and nothing special about Chile.

Either children in South America are risking their lives as we speak among a global indifference, or the UN Secretary General has “sexed up” the truth.

One wonders.