We face the greatest moral crisis of our time, warns Harrison Ford

Harrison Ford praised the UAE for its efforts to preserve mangroves on its coast. (World Government Summit/Screen grab)
Updated 12 February 2019
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We face the greatest moral crisis of our time, warns Harrison Ford

  • Hollywood star makes a jibe at President Trump saying climate change is something that should be left to the experts
  • Ford questioned the environmental legacy that was being left for the next generation

DUBAI: Now, more than ever, the world needs to protect nature as humans are faced with the “greatest moral crisis of our time,” warned actor and philanthropist Harrison Ford on Tuesday.

In a moving and passionate speech, Ford warned a packed hall during the third day of World Government Summit in Dubai that “all of us, whether rich or poor, powerful or powerless, will suffer the effects of climate change and ecosystem destruction as we’re faced with the greatest moral crisis of our time.”

“The land and the sea are the legacy we will leave to future generations…we must intervene and act before it is too late,” he said, adding that “We need to protect nature because nature does not need people, but people need nature.”

In what was seen as a dig at US President Donald Trump, Ford said climate change was real and should be left to the experts.

The 76-year-old actor, best known for his roles in "Star Wars" and "Indiana Jones," stressed the importance of acknowledging the effects of climate change on the world in a speech on the closing day of the World Government Summit in Dubai.

Though never saying Trump's name, he clearly targeted the American president within the opening moments of his remarks.
"Around the world, elements of leadership — including in my own country — to preserve their state and the status quo, deny or denigrate science," Ford said. "They are on the wrong side of history."
Ford, known to be a strong advocate of climate and environmental protection, has given several speeches at large conferences on the dangers of destroying the environment, as well as produced and presented the climate change documentary series “Years of Living Dangerously.”

“More than 3 billion people live on fish and depend on them as a source of livelihood and food, so we have to protect water wealth,” he told the room filled with heads of state, thought leaders, journalists and more from across the world sitting silently, absorbing the warnings.

“Earth's temperature has risen by 40 percent, so you should invest more in science and adopt climate-protecting behaviors,” Ford said, adding that “Strenuous evidence should guide us to develop plans and develop practical strategies to address climate challenges.”

Ford spoke of not only the necessity, but also the beauty of mangroves, small trees that grow on coasts and stabilize coastlines, protect communities from storms, provide critical habitats for many animals, and store vast amounts of carbon.

He praised the UAE for its efforts to preserve the mangroves on its coast.

“75 percent of world’s biggest cities are next to the coastline. As our oceans melt, they will endanger these cities and its population,” he said, before looking at everyone in the hall, saying “When it comes to oceans, covering 71 percemt of the planet, our efforts have been inadequate.”

Speaking before Ford was UAE’s Minister of Climate Change and Environment Thani Al-Zeyoudi, who said “Humanity has reaped countless benefits from oceans for thousands of years, yet we are not doing enough collectively to protect one of our most valuable resources.”

“If not addressed immediately, climate change will lead to the loss of 250,000 lives by 2030,” Al-Zeyoudi warned.


US backs Delhi’s right to self-defense over Kashmir attack: Indian government

Updated 8 min 36 sec ago
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US backs Delhi’s right to self-defense over Kashmir attack: Indian government

  • India’s government said it had evidence the group Jaish-e-Mohammad, had the backing of Pakistan and demanded Islamabad take action
  • India has for years accused Muslim Pakistan of backing separatist militants in divided Kashmir

NEW DELHI: The US supports India’s right to self-defense against cross-border attacks, India’s foreign ministry said on Saturday after a deadly car bombing in disputed Kashmir raised tensions with rival neighbor Pakistan.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi has promised a strong response after a Pakistan-based militant group claimed responsibility for the suicide attack on a military convoy on Thursday that killed 44 paramilitary policemen.
India’s government said it had evidence the group, Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM), had the backing of Pakistan and demanded Islamabad take action. Pakistan has condemned the attack and rejected India’s allegations.
US National Security Adviser John Bolton spoke to his Indian counterpart Ajit Doval on Friday night, promising to help bring those behind the attack to justice, the foreign ministry said in a readout of the phone call.
“The two NSAs vowed to work together to ensure that Pakistan cease to be a safe haven for JeM and terrorist groups that target India, the US and others in the region,” the foreign ministry said.
“They resolved to hold Pakistan to account for its obligations under UN resolutions,” it added.
India has for years accused Muslim Pakistan of backing separatist militants in divided Kashmir, which the neighbors both claim in full but rule in part.
Pakistan denies that, saying it only offers political support to the Himalayan region’s suppressed Muslim people.
Modi, who is facing an election in the next few months, has called a meeting of political parties on Saturday to build support for action against Pakistan.
Indians have poured onto social media to vent their fury over the suicide bombing in Kashmir, with many of them calling for swift retribution against Pakistan as TV news shows hosted jingoistic debates.
When he swept to power at the head of a Hindu nationalist-led alliance in 2014, Modi vowed to pursue a tough line with Pakistan. The two countries have gone to war three times since independence from Britain in 1947, twice over Kashmir.
The attack comes at a difficult time for Pakistan, which is struggling to attract foreign investment and avert a payments crisis, with its swiftly diminishing foreign currency reserves at less than $8 billion, equivalent to two months of import payments.