Russia, Saudi Arabia and the U.S. Are the New 'Axis of Evil,' Claims Paul Krugman

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Paul Krugman addresses the World Business Forum at Radio City Music Hall in New York, October 7, 2009.Credit: Bloomberg

New York Time's columnist slammed the U.S., Russia and Saudi Arabia as the "new axis of evil" for their recent efforts to curb action at the global climate summit in Poland. 

Over the weekend the United States joined a controversial proposal by Saudi Arabia and Russia to weaken a reference to a key report on the severity of global warming. Krugman tweeted in response to an article detailing that proposal, "There's a new axis of evil: Russia, Saudi Arabia -- and the United States."

Former President George W. Bush coined the term in 2002 in reference to Iraq, Iran and North Korea for their alleged support of terrorism and nuclear proliferation.

Several foreign environmental activists who have been detained or deported by Poland’s Border Guard since the start of the UN climate conference in the Polish city of Katowice are criticizing the actions as violations of their democratic rights and an obstruction of their climate-protection work.

Border Guards say a temporary measure put in place for the climate conference bars entry to people who potentially pose a security problem.

But Iryna Stavchuk, the executive director of a Ukrainian group, the Centre for Environmental Initiatives “EcoAction,” said in a statement Tuesday that she has been participating in climate talks as a civil society observer since 2006 “without a single violation.” She said she was denied entry to Poland along with eight other Ukrainian environmentalists for the period of the two-week conference.

Maria Kolesnikova, an activist from Kyrgyzstan, said she will be “deprived of the opportunity to voice my concerns” as investments into the development of alternative energy sources in Kyrgystan are decided.

An activist from Georgia with the group, Nugzar Kokhreidze, said he has been isolated at Katowice International Airport for four days. He said he has been working on climate issues by internet but will fly home on Tuesday.

Scientists are increasingly finding the fingerprints of climate change in droughts, storms and heatwaves.

A review of 102 scientific papers over the past three years, published Tuesday, found 73 concluded that climate change made extreme weather events more intense or likely.

London-based think tank Energy and Climate Intelligence Unit presented its review on the sidelines of the U.N. climate talks in Katowice, Poland.

The group’s director, Richard Black, said the strongest link between climate change and weather was found in heatwaves, such as the one in Europe this summer.

Adele Thomas of Berlin-based research group Climate Analytics said scientists’ growing ability to attribute extreme weather to climate change could have important consequences for international discussions about financial compensation for countries suffering loss and damage from manmade global warming.

The Associated Press contributed to this report

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