[Letter to the editor]When prosecutors fail in the lawThe unnamed prosecutor who told an executive to lie to the court has been transferred to a different office. This is probably considered to be a punishment by both the prosecutor and the Supreme Public Prosecutors Office. In Western countries, this individual would have been summarily dismissed, followed by serious criminal charges, including breach of trust and neglect of duty. More importantly there would likely be a charge of conspiracy to commit perjury. Lying to a judge (or trying to convince someone to lie) is a very serious criminal offense, the punishment being a lengthy prison sentence. To counsel someone to perjure attacks one of the pillars of the criminal justice system. To have a prosecutor involved in such an action is atrocious. Prosecutors are paid to preserve and uphold the law. Any judge would throw the full weight of the court at a prosecutor found guilty of counselling perjury. For Korea to be recognized as a developed country it has to follow the rule of law. One of the pillars of the rule of law is to follow the maxim “the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.” Ken Dinnery, Gaepo-dong, Seoul
Main global warming nations must act
A high-profile report has recently concluded that we only have ourselves to blame for global warming. The bleak result has rekindled the decade-old global movement to fight global warming dating from the Kyoto Protocol of 1997, and many are calling for global action. However, without the relevant actors on global climate, no global action will meet success, and this movement, too, will become a mere gesture, as many movements against global warming have become.
France is spearheading a movement that could be the beginning of something significant. On Feb. 2, members of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change announced that global warming is “unequivocal” and human activity is “very likely” to blame. The very next day, French president Jacques Chirac rallied 45 other nations to join France in calling for a global body to deter global warming and punish perpetrators. However, three of the five largest emitters of greenhouse gases ― the United States, India and China ― were yet again conspicuously missing. According to data from the United Nations Statistics Division in 2002, carbon emissions from the three nations account for 43.9 percent of total global emissions, and the United States is responsible for about a quarter. Because the newly invigorated movement will fall short of real action and will never be more than a feeble gesture if these significant actors in global warming again shy away from decisive action, global powers need to rally the “big three” before making bombastic plans.
It is simple reality that it is not the number of the participating nations but the significance of the nations in global warming that matters: The 27 nations of the European Union and all the nations in South America combined produce less greenhouse gases than the United States.
On a more optimistic note, the recent breakthrough is pressuring the biggest emitters of carbon pollutants to act. For example, the study has significantly weakened the United States’ adamant position on global warming. On June 12, 2001, President Bush said, “We do not know how much our climate could, or will change in the future. We do not know how fast change will occur, or even how some of our actions could impact it.” Now that the research by the intergovernmental panel has effectively disproved Mr. Bush’s assertions that “uncertainties remain in the causes of global warming,” he may be more open to persuasion. On February 5, Pan Yue, vice minister of China’s State Environmental Protection Administration, also announced that “as a responsible great power, China will not evade its duty.” An organized global effort to enjoin these nations may be just the thing that could change their reluctant positions into cooperative ones.
The lesson from the League of Nations teaches us well that rallying the needed forces is indispensable to success: without the United States, the League failed to prevent the Axis Powers from starting the Second World War. So it is with global warming; the relevant players must take part to meet success.
Yunsieg Kim, a senior at Daewon Foreign Language High School