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6. SUMMARIZE WRITTEN TEXT
Diasporas – communities which live outside, but maintain links with, their homelands – are getting larger, thicker and stronger. They are the human face of globalisation. Diaspora consciousness is on the rise: diasporas are becoming more interested in their origins, and organising themselves more effectively; homelands are revising their opinions of their diasporas as the stigma attached to emigration declines, and stepping up their engagement efforts; meanwhile, host countries are witnessing more assertive diasporic groups within their own national communities, worrying about fifth columns and foreign lobbies, and suffering outbreaks of ‘diaspora phobia’.
This trend is the result of five factors, all of them connected with globalisation: the growth in international migration; the revolution in transport and communications technology, which is quickening the pace of diasporas’ interactions with their homelands; a reaction against global homogenised culture, which is leading people to rethink their identities; the end of the Cold War, which increased the salience of ethnicity and nationalism and created new space in which diasporas can operate; and policy changes by national governments on issues such as dual citizenship and multiculturalism, which are enabling people to lead transnational lives. Diasporas such as those attaching to China, India, Russia and Mexico are already big, but they will continue to grow; the migration flow which feed them are likely to widen and quicken in the future.
6.12 Nobel Peace Prize
This year’s Nobel Peace Prize justly rewards the thousands of scientists of the United Nations Climate Change Panel (the IPCC). These scientists are engaged in excellent, painstaking work that establishes exactly what the world should expect from climate change.
The other award winner, former US Vice President Al Gore, has spent much more time telling us what to fear. While the IPCC’s estimates and conclusions are grounded in careful study, Gore doesn’t seem to be similarly restrained.
Gore told the world in his Academy Award winning movie (recently labelled “one sided” and containing “scientific errors” by a British judge) to expect 20 foot sea level rises over this century. He ignores the findings of his Nobel co-winners, the IPCC, who conclude that sea levels will rise between only a half foot and two feet over this century, with their best expectation being about one foot. That’s similar to what the world experienced over the past 150 years.
Likewise, Gore agonizes over the accelerated melting of ice in Greenland and what it means for the planet, but overlooks the IPCC’s conclusion that, if sustained, the current rate of melting would add just three inches to the sea level rise by the end of the century. Gore also takes no notice of research showing that Greenland’s temperatures were higher in 1941 than they are today.
The politician turned movie maker loses sleep over a predicted rise in heat related deaths. There’s another side of the story that’s inconvenient to mention: rising temperatures will reduce the number of cold spells, which are a much bigger killer than heat. The best study shows that by 2050, heat will claim 400,000 more lives, but 1.8 million fewer will die because of cold. Indeed, according to the first complete survey of the economic effects of climate change for the world, global warming will actually save lives.
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