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Sierra Daily

Feb 14, 2012

Climate Hero Washed Away in Coup

Island1_1Earlier this week Mohamed Nasheed, the democratically elected president of island-nation of the Madlives, was deposed under murky circumstances. Nasheed was most famous in the West for bringing attention to the very immediate danger climate change poses to his low-lying nation. He personally installed solar panels on his house, lobbied international meetings like 2009's climate talks in Copenhagen, and even held a cabinet meeting underwater in order to dramatize the danger of rising sea level.

There are more dangers in the world, however, than climate change. Here's the NYT on his ouster:

After Mr. Nasheed left office last week in what he says was a coup, the government issued a warrant for his arrest on unspecified criminal charges and invited members of the business elite and representatives of the former dictatorship to join the cabinet, raising fears among many people here that the country’s progress toward democracy may be slipping away.

So too is the country's leadership on climate change. Bill McKibben, when he isn't collecting 700,000 signatures to stop the Keystone XL pipeline, is also circulating a petition through 350.org calling on national leaders around the world to put pressure on the Maldives to achieve a peaceful, democratic resolution to the crisis. You can find the petition here. And for a review by Sierra editorial assistant Jake Abrahamson of The Island President, a new documentary film about Nasheed, see here.

--Paul Rauber

--Image by visitMaldives.com

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