Maldives President and Climate Change Activist Resigns Under Pressure

The president of the Maldives, Mohamed Nasheed, has just resigned after facing weeks of violent protests and policy mutiny. The first democratically elected president of the Maldives, Nasheed was also a darling for environmentalists. Back in 2009, Nasheed donned scuba gear and held an underwater press conference to protest inaction on global warming. He even planned for the Maldives to become the first "carbon-neutral" country by 2020. Since most of the Maldives is just a few feet above sea level, climate change could overwhelm this island nation. According to Nasheed, “If we can’t save the Maldives today, we can’t save London, New York or Hong Kong tomorrow.”

But it looks like Nasheed couldn't save the Maldives today. Uprisings began after he ordered the arrest of Judge Abdulla Mohamed, chief judge of the Criminal Court. Mohamed had recently released an illegally detained a government critic, so his arrest was incredibly controversial in the Maldives:

The vice president, Supreme Court, Human Rights Commission, Judicial Services Commission and the office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights all called for Mohamed to be released.

Outraged, demonstrators took to the streets, and were soon joined by rebel police, Islamic fundamentalists, and a few soldiers. To keep the peace, Nasheed decided to resign and has been replaced by his vice president, a former top official at UNICEF.

Bill McKibben, a leading climate activist (and Keystone XL opponent) founded 350.org, which helped organized the press conference under the sea. He weighs in:

No government has been more forthright in the climate fight than President Nasheed's. He is a hero of our time.

Aside from unknowingly comparing Nasheed to a manipulative, cynical Russian antihero, McKibben overlooks a few inconvenient truths about the Maldives. Like its struggles with Islamic fundamentalism. Only Islam can be practiced publicly in this archipelago. So when a restaurant put up Christmas decorations last year, a riot broke out. (The war on Christmas is real! It's just on the other side of the planet.)

In addition, alcohol is outlawed through the island nation (except for tourists). In December 2011, the tourism ministry banned all spas and sports centers, after Islamists claimed they were fronts for prostitution and featured "lustful music." But perhaps the most troubling practice is that the Maldives publicly flogs women accused of adultery. Nasheed's Foreign Minister, Ahmed Naseem, even blasted the UN for suggesting that the Maldives should ban flogging:

What’s there to discuss about flogging?...There is nothing to debate about in a matter clearly stated in the religion of Islam. No one can argue with God.

It's clear that residents of Maldives are more worried about the role of religion and the rule of law today than uncertain sea level changes in the future. The Maldives was long portrayed as the first possible casualty of global warming. But Maldivians have more pressing concerns:

An Asian diplomat serving in Male told Reuters on condition of anonymity: “No one remembers the underwater cabinet meeting. They remember Judge Abdulla Mohamed,” a reference to the arrested judge.

Meanwhile, concern about climate change is falling amongst Americans. In a recent poll by the Pew Research Center, only 25 percent of Americans viewed global warming as a "top policy priority" for 2012. Five years ago, that figure was 38 percent.

Reason on climate change.

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  • Ice Nine||

    Back in 2009, Nasheed donned scuba gear and held an underwater press conference to protest inaction on global warming.

    Thanks for the clarification. I had initially thought that the photo was one of him resigning under pressure.

  • ||

    Rofl. 100 Internets.

  • Tim||

    Excellent.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    Farnsworth: Dear Lord, that's over 150 atmospheres of pressure!

    Fry: How many atmospheres can this ship withstand?

    Farnsworth: Well, it's a spaceship, so I'd say anywhere between zero and one.

  • ||

    Farnsworth: Fry, you half-mad, half-insane maniac, be reasonable. Don't you realize that if you stay at this depth your body will permanently adapt to the pressure?

    Fry: Realize it? I don't even understand it!

  • lily||

    looking for the bilover?---datebi*cO'm--- is a site for bisexual and bicurious singles and friends.Here you can find hundreds of thousands of open-minded singles & couples looking to explore their bisexuality.sign up for free.
    "

  • Kyle Broflovski||

    In a recent poll by the Pew Research Center, only 25 percent of Americans viewed global warming as a "top policy priority" for 2012.

    Yes. I'm saying one-fourth of Americans are retards.

  • ||

    I find your use of the "R" word offensive even if it is accurate.

  • Filthy air & water||

    Got that right kyle!

  • Zeb||

    People who disagree with you on policy matters are retards. Got it.

  • Bob||

    Please attempt some sensitivity: I had a son who was retarded, and let me assure you it is no laughing matter.

  • HnR||

    Except to us.

  • ||

    My severely retarded six year old, who's lying across my lap as I type this, takes no offense when people call people retards.

  • ||

    You *had? He got better?

  • ||

    Died is most likely the case.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    Who cares about a little flogging when the polar bears are at stake!

  • ||

    Who cares about a little flogging when the polar bears are at steak! (1st come, 1st serve)

    ftfy

  • A Secret Band of Robbers||

    That would have been the ideal environmental conference. It's hard to be shrill and alarmist when you have to do it with hand gestures.

  • ||

    The progressive stack finds your microaggression against hand gestures to be othering.

    down twinkles, dude.

  • ||

    "What’s there to discuss about flogging?...There is nothing to debate about in a matter clearly stated in the religion of Islam. No one can argue with God."

    Come to North Carolina, good sir. Our firearms have been resting idly by the door, and they need oppressive pieces of shit to shoot at.

  • Barack Obama||

    What am I? Chopped liver?

  • ||

    For some reason, you're invisible in bad lighting/the dark.

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    Maldivians are exactly glow-in-the-dark themselves.

    A shame though. The population of the Maldives used to be Buddhist. Imagine what a friendly, inviting paradise those islands would be if they still were.

  • ||

    Not necessarily. It could have, with Buddhism, just as easily been a 'Demolition Man'-esque pussy-dise.

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    Oh yeah? Why don't you come to my Buddhist temple and say that?
    *cracks knuckles*

    Somehow it doesn't feel right saying that.

  • ||

    Can I bring my 1911? Pretty please? :}

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    Sure. Considering most of our sangha/congregation are martial artists of some sort, I'm sure you'll find some folks who are big gun geeks.

  • o3||

    rrrrrrrrrrrrrrrRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAccccccccccccccccIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIsssssssssssssssssTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTT 11!1!!!

  • real shrike||

    A Santorum proponent.

  • The Flogger||

    I've been hired to flog, and flog I will!

  • Tim||

    I thought that photo was of the President signing legislation to help Americans whose mortgages are underwater.

  • ||

    Lol. Nice. You guys are on a roll today.

  • ||

    In a recent poll by the Pew Research Center, only 25 percent of Americans viewed global warming as a "top policy priority" for 2012. Five years ago, that figure was 38 percent.

    Well, if the average American isn't worried about it, then I guess it's not a big deal!

  • Ms Conflation||

    Oh Nickie, you lil cutiee. Rest TEH MALE gaze upon me!

  • ||

    Bill McKibben, a leading climate activist (and Keystone XL opponent) founded 350.org, which helped organized the press conference under the sea. He weighs in:

    No government has been more forthright in the climate fight than President Nasheed's. He is a hero of our time.

    -

    Birds of a feather flock together underwater in scuba gear and they have hands and fingers and can sign things and flog women.

    Bill McKibben? When did you stop beating your wife?

  • ||

    I can't fathom tolerating a wife-beating scumbag living next door to me. Fuck, it enrages me.

  • ||

    Now, technically, he doesn't beat his adulterous wife, he just has his good buddy Mohamed "The Green Diver" Nasheed do it for him. Division of labor and all that.

  • Paul||

    I can't fathom

    I see what you did there.

  • ||

    I'll be here all week, or until whenever it is I get shipped to Gitmo for owning guns and "insurrectionist sympathies".

  • Ice Nine||

    I see what you did.

  • ||

    I can't fathom tolerating a wife-beating scuba...

    *re-reads*

    awwwww

  • ||

    OT: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p9I1Szfr6lM -- sorry if you ain't got no Russian in your heads, brohims.

    Can you guys think of any American/non-Russian stars you'd like to see do a music video like that?

  • Neu Mejican||

    I am impressed with the effort to present this as a climate change story.

    I mean, sure, you've heard of the guy because of climate change being in the news, but the story ain't about climate change.

  • Reason Hit & Run||

    Climate Change shocker - Al Gore involved in traffic accident.

    While he has been a long term climate change activist, Al Gore should have been watching for more immediate problems as he was recently in a fender bender. He wasn't on the way to a global climate change conference this time, but he has been in the past.

  • ||

    ...police estimated his carbon footprint at the time of the crash at around 1,350 g/kWh.

  • ||

    Missing out on the connection between being a heavy-handed authoritarian and a climate change activist, NM?

  • ||

    *A heavy-handed, morally depraved, theocratic, existentially despicable piece of despotic shit.

  • ||

    This makes it a climate change story:

    Bill McKibben, a leading climate activist (and Keystone XL opponent) founded 350.org, which helped organized the press conference under the sea. He weighs in:

    No government has been more forthright in the climate fight than President Nasheed's. He is a hero of our time.

    -

    McKibben could have just said nothing.

  • ||

    He does exactly that -- every time he opens his mouth and spews retarded shit. Nothing worth hearing, anyway.

  • Neu Mejican||

    This makes it a climate change story:

    No it doesn't.
    I can see how you could write a story about how McKibben is using every pretense in current events to make the subject climate change, but this post wasn't about that topic. This post was doing just what McKibben did, taking an unrelated event and trying to wedge climate change into it. McKibben is a climate change activist, so that "everything is always about climate change" attitude is hardly unexpected. But here it seems like there is plenty to talk about without trying to push some silly meme in a partisan tit for tat (like RC Dean's comment, say).

  • ||

    You have little appreciation for cruel fun.

  • Neu Mejican||

    That is not true.
    Rather, I have little tolerance for lameness.

  • GILMORE||

    McKibben could have just said nothing

    But hey, as long as you support global enviro-panic, it means *you're a good guy*. Whats a little subjugation of women, religious opression, corrupting the legal system, etc when you're talking about *global temperature trends*??

    ...

    Besides, if we ever are going to impose a global series of controls over population growth, economic development, use of technology, etc, we're going to need some tough guys who get the job done. Benign Dictators. Just ask Thomas Friedman!

  • cynical||

    Pretty much my thoughts. Hitler was a vegetarian. So the fuck what.

  • ||

    Not in the mood to see any climate change stories, are we? It seems almost every day there's a new report about climate scientists behaving badly.

  • cynical||

    But he isn't a scientist, he's a politician, and politicians behaving badly isn't a story.

  • ||

  • ||

    Shouldn't you have posted "Holy Diver"?

  • ||

    I would have, if Nick had put the phrase in the alt-text.

    But fine.

  • EscapedWestOfTheBigMuddy||

    Don't go down to the water's edge...

    Not as metal as the stuff you link of course, but a good bit all the same.

  • ||

    Whoa, unwelcome 8th grade memories. Thanks for the awkwardbacks, dick.

  • EscapedWestOfTheBigMuddy||

    You're so cute when you're angry.

    Eighth grade was a bit further back than that for me.

  • The Bearded Hobbit||

  • I||

    I think this site is too fast and needs more embedded videos to slow things down.

  • ||

  • Loki||

    Sounds to like that shithole couldn't be flooded soon enough. If anything we should be doing all we can to speed the process up.

  • ||

    And then offer them asylum in the United States (in exclusively gun- and SYG-friendly states) and watch half of them get shot in the first week for assault and battery, at least the married ones.

  • Zeb||

    To their credit, the Maldives government isn't just bitching about sea level rise and whipping adulterous women. They have actually been buying up land in other countries so that when/if they are forced to move, they won't have to be refugees living on other people's charity.

  • Fluffy||

    Does it make it a climate change story if I send these guys an email telling them to have fun trying to flog adulterous women when Glorious Climate Change puts them all in fucking rafts and outrigger canoes?

    Will they give their whips names like "Wilson"?

  • ||

    Islamists claimed they were fronts for prostitution and featured "lustful music."

    Which begs the question, what is Swedish death metal band Opeth doing in the maldives? http://www.opeth.com/home/

  • ||

    Opeth is dead to me. Dead.

  • ||

    Well, they are death metal...or were anyway.

  • ||

    Dead.

  • Zeb||

    Did you catch them on their "unplugged" tour too? I saw their first US show and was... confused, I guess.

  • ||

    My sister did, I think. She was not amused.

  • Invisible Finger||

    If it's Maldives versus global warming, I'm rooting for global warming.

  • dagmar||

    Can't the Islamists just drown the women instead? If you got global warming, make non-alcoholic lemonade or something.

    I wonder if they do studies to find out how many of the adulterers used alcohol. I'd have to be drunk to fuck a Muslim, but they'd have to be drunk to fuck me, too.

  • Yert||

    Why am I the one who has to post this?

    trailers.apple.com/trailers/independent/theislandpresident/

    It makes me think his resignation is a publicity stunt.

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