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International Maritime Organization

June 2008

Honourable Ministers, Mr. Chairman, distinguished delegates and observers, media representatives, ladies and gentlemen,

It is a pleasure for me also to welcome you all to this first Intersessional Meeting of the MEPC Working Group on Greenhouse Gas Emissions from Ships, here in Oslo, a great maritime capital, the roots of which date back to the time when the Vikings ruled the seas of the known world.  I would, first of all, wish to thank the Norwegian Minister for Trade and Industry, Mrs. Sylvia Brustad, for her warm welcome and kind words in praising IMO’s work, and the Minister of the Environment and International Development, Mr. Erik Solheim, for his encouragement on the challenging work before us this week and his generous depicting of the Organization’s achievements.

Today, a substantial part of the world’s merchant fleet is still managed from this city, despite the fact that geographically Oslo lies closer to the North Pole than to most of the world’s markets.  In fact, I am told that only one in ten of all the ships flying the Norwegian flag has ever sailed in Norwegian waters or called in a Norwegian port, a fact that clearly illustrates the true character of Norwegian shipping that thrives beyond national boundaries and, at the same time, the global nature of international shipping.  For the last century or more, Norway has risen to becoming one of the major carriers of world trade – and, as a flag, port and coastal State, is one of the most active and influential IMO Member State, as well as being a generous supporter of the Organization’s technical co‑operation programme.

<…> The last time I visited Oslo was in November 2006, when I spoke at an equally crucial IMO intersessional meeting, also hosted by the Government of Norway, concerning the control of exhaust emissions from ships and, later, had meetings with Ministers and representatives of the maritime industry, as I will do later today. At that meeting, the work on the revision of MARPOL Annex VI on Prevention of air pollution from ships and its closely related NOx Technical Code was given vital impetus and the momentum was maintained until MEPC 57 approved, less than two months ago, the resulting proposed amendments by consensus, for adoption at the Committee’s next session in October.

The successful outcome of the revision of MARPOL Annex VI was a remarkable achievement, given the complexity of the issues involved and the controversy surrounding the very diverse sets of possible options presented to the Committee.  The approved amendments represent the last significant step towards the formal revision of existing global standards, which will significantly enhance the protection of the marine and atmospheric environment, having thoroughly addressed all the foreseeable risks to human health and the environment, as well as the possible repercussions to the shipping and petroleum industries, that each of the original options would have entailed.  What pleases me immensely, in the context of the agreed provisions, is that, by no means, do they represent the lowest common denominator – rather, they represent the highest practicable standards that could be attained in the circumstances; standards that, once in force, will impose the strictest emission limits, while enabling shipping to continue serving, efficiently and effectively, world trade and sustainable development.

Through the April decisions of the MEPC, a clear message has, again, been sent to the entire world that we, at IMO and the shipping community, as a whole, are responding to current and emerging environmental challenges with a due sense of its seriousness, proactively and decisively, motivated by our own green agenda, our genuine and ever-present aspiration to serve the best interests of the marine and atmospheric environment and our own duty of care for the planet we inhabit and the seas and oceans that sustain us – a planet we are only temporarily borrowing from our children and their descendants.  The exceptional spirit of co-operation and flexibilty, so patently displayed by all Member States and observer delegations during MEPC 57, should be widely acknowledged and greatly appreciated by all.  It demonstrated, beyond any doubt, that IMO is capable of taking important and difficult decisions to protect the environment and human health in a thorough and timely manner.  I am confident that the same spirit will prevail throughout this week’s deliberations and beyond, thus enabling us to address effectively the intricate and complex issues surrounding our efforts to regulate the emission of greenhouse gases from ships.

Ministers, distinguished delegates,

Although I am, this morning, addressing an audience well-versed in the realities of today’s maritime world, I will not mind repeating on this occasion that, in the context of sustainable development, shipping is a very positive force, as it makes a massive contribution to global prosperity with minimum adverse impact on the global environment.  Notwithstanding its excellent environmental credentials – largely the product, I should add, of internationally agreed standards developed through IMO and technological developments introduced voluntarily by the industry – shipping and its regulators are actively and diligently engaged in efforts to reduce its environmental impact even further, in response to our own and growing worldwide concern about the sustainability of our planet and of the quality of life that we all seek for ourselves, our children and grandchildren and which some of us are fortunate enough to enjoy.

Distinguished delegates,

There is no denying that, today, climate change and acidification of the world’s oceans caused by emissions from the burning of fossil fuels are matters that are uppermost in the thoughts of the leaders of most countries and of civil society at large (according to the United Nations Secretary-General “climate change is the defining challenge of our generation” and for him it represents the No. 1 priority).  The threat is far too serious to be neglected and the shipping industry, although the most environmentally-friendly and fuel-efficient of all modes of transport, must join, to the extent feasible and necessary, in the efforts already being made by other, mainly land-based, industry sectors.

Although, at present, no mandatory IMO instrument covers the emission of greenhouse gases from ships, the Organization has been deliberating on the matter and considering possible solutions at each and every session of our Marine Environment Protection Committee for some considerable time.  And because of its steadfast determination to address the issue effectively and from a universal perspective, the Organization stands poised to develop and deliver, in accordance with a work plan and timetable agreed unanimously by its Members, realistic, pragmatic and well-balanced solutions aimed at contributing substantively to worldwide efforts to address the phenomena of climate change and global warming.

To that end, as most of you will know, at its last session in March/April, the Committee decided to proceed along certain fundamental principles for a coherent and comprehensive future IMO regulatory framework as its reference for further debate. This was the culmination of considerable and in-depth discussions within the Committee, where centre stage was often taken by a recurrent debate on whether any GHG emission reductions agreed in IMO should apply exclusively to countries listed in Annex 1 to the Kyoto Protocol or whether their application should extend to all ships, no matter what flag they fly.

In my view, if reductions in CO2 emissions from ships are to benefit the environment as a whole, they must apply globally to all ships in the world fleet, regardless of their flag.  To help you understand my view, I will ask the following simple question: why should two ships of the same tonnage and horse power, carrying the same quantity of cargo, loaded in the same port, sailing at the same speed and having the same destination, be treated differently because they are registered under two different flags?  They might even be sister ships, built by the same yard and operated by the same company but one flying the flag of a non-Annex 1 country and, the other, that of an Annex 1 country; they would each be releasing the same amount of greenhouse gases, wherever they might sail to.  If mandatory reduction measures are applied only to ships flagged in Annex 1 countries, which in today’s shipping reality represent a mere 25 percent of the world’s merchant fleet, the net benefit for the global environment would be minimal and that, clearly, should not be an objective that an Organization such as ours, with its excellent record on environmental protection and, more importantly, its global mandate and responsibility, could possibly espouse.

If the suggestion is made that the “IMO measures” should not be extended to countries not on the list of annex 1 to the Kyoto Protocol – in other words, that their application should be left for industrialized countries only – then, one might not ask how the developing countries will benefit from such discrimination, but would, however, feel tempted to ask how will developing countries benefit from such a measure not applying to ships flying the flag of non-listed developing countries visiting their ports or sailing along their coasts, such ships constituting, in today’s shipping reality, more than 75 percent of the world fleet?

And what service will we be rending to the cause of reducing GHG emissions to halt climate change if, in case we legislate in a fragmented manner leaving out developing countries’ shipping, we see a massive exodus of ships from the registries of industrialized countries for the want of the owners of such ships to avoid complying with whatever measures we decide in order to add shipping’s contribution to reduce/limit GHG emissions?

In the circumstances, it might be wiser to concentrate our attention and direct our resources, at present, towards discussing and identifying the most effective measures to achieve our objective, leaving their application and possible phase-in timetable for elaboration once the technical measures have been agreed.

The divergence of opinion on this crucial issue is not, in my view, unbridgeable and, if the willingness to serve the environment is there, we can find the solution, designing measures that can be phased-in in a manner that will ensure that the interests and capabilities of developing countries are properly taken into account.  It is there and then that I could see a ‘common but differentiated approach’ being applied.

We should, therefore, come up with a regime that will contribute positively, fairly and visibly to the endeavours of the international community as a whole to combat climate change; a regime, where international shipping in its entirety, not a small fraction thereof, engages comprehensively in efforts to regulate effectively greenhouse gas emissions.

In the Organization’s sixty years’ history, the guiding principle has always been that, in order to avoid unfair competition, a level playing field should be created for all ships irrespective of their flag and this has been sought by ensuring that all IMO instruments impose the same requirements and obligations equally to all flag States.  This is one of the reasons why the IMO Conventions, from the most to the least significant, have been so widely ratified and are being implemented by countries that represent the overwhelming majority of the world’s tonnage of merchant shipping. There is no precedence in any of the nearly fifty IMO treaty instruments currently in existence where measures are applied selectively to ships according to their flag.

These considerations will, of course, be debated at length in October by the MEPC, the proper forum where issues of policy, and the fundamental principles under which a future IMO regime, to reduce and control greenhouse gas emissions from ships, will continue to be elaborated until agreement is reached.  Your task here in Oslo should, instead, be to embark, with vigour and convincing argumentation, on the development phase of the issue from its technical point of view.  To this end, you should progress the CO2 design index for new ships; improve the interim operational CO2 index; and consider how these indexes should be applied in the future. You are also expected to further develop a range of mechanisms with promising reduction potentials, as well as best practices on the range of measures, which were identified by the Committee at its last session. The level of reduction that can be achieved through these measures, and matters related to their implementation, together with consideration of their regulatory and legal aspects, are among the aspects of the issue on which the MEPC expects advice from you. The outcome of this intersessional meeting will, therefore, be of great value to your parent body to enable it to make balanced decisions on a global issue of global dimensions, which has, unsurprisingly, generated global interest as well.

In doing so, the Organization and the maritime community at large should act in concert with, and contribute to, the wider international efforts aimed at swift and substantive action to combat climate change – which, in the context of the UNFCCC and, as agreed by last year’s Bali Conference, entail the development and adoption of a new global treaty to be negotiated at next year’s Conference of Parties in Copenhagen.  The same call to concerted action was expressed, only last Monday, by the Secretary-General of the United Nations, Mr. Ban Ki-moon, when addressing the Organization as it celebrated a number of milestone anniversaries falling this year.  He said, and I quote:  “I am personally doing all that I can to galvanize global action on climate change. All of us have a stake in this – individuals, Governments and industries.  The IMO has carried out laudable work to deal with pollution and reduce greenhouse gas emissions from ships... In order to respond to what the world’s scientists have told us, we must step up our efforts to respond to calls to further reduce air pollution and tackle greenhouse gas emissions. We need strong policies and, at the same time, it is essential to help developing countries implement such measures. I have confidence that the IMO will play its part in this global campaign to address the problem of climate change.”

Therefore, to ensure that IMO can, and does, contribute effectively and in the appropriate manner to the resolution of the defining challenge that climate change presents us with, the new treaty, which is intended to succeed the Kyoto Protocol after the first commitment period ends in 2011, should recognize IMO as the sole intergovernmental body responsible for regulating greenhouse gas emissions from ships engaged in international trade, with the UNFCCC playing its role as a framework convention, as has been the case with UNCLOS.  The Kyoto Protocol has, wisely in my opinion, left the task of limitation and reduction of GHG emissions from shipping to IMO to regulate – and, from civil aviation, to ICAO; and I see no compelling reason why we should, in any way, depart from this arrangement.  That is why I feel strongly that, at the Copenhagen Conference, we should seek the same decision.  It would, again in my opinion, be unwise to allow shipping to be treated as an industry belonging to the same league as industries of domestic spread and application.  If this were to happen, we run the risk of losing control of the situation – and this would end up with rendering a disservice not only to the industry but to the environment as well.  However, in seeking to maintain control of the situation, as we should, we should also be clear about two things:

  • one, that we go about achieving this objective fully conscious of the responsibility we should be determined to continue shouldering; and

  • two, that our firm position not to lose control derives from our equally firm determination to do more, not less, about the environment – and that we successfully convey this message to all concerned:  here in Oslo today, at MEPC 58 tomorrow, in Copenhagen the day after tomorrow.

And while focusing on the technical aspects of the issue and how best to respond to them, we should ensure that the complex challenges associated with the limitation, control and reduction of greenhouse gas emissions from international shipping are properly understood by the international community – and that, to succeed in this, we must show leadership, not only by moving in parallel with, but also by foreshadowing developments within, the agreed UNFCCC process, and taking early action as appropriate.

An instrumental step in the process of forging ahead in IMO’s respective endeavours is the update of the 2000 Greenhouse Gas Emissions Study – an exercise, which is currently underway by an international consortium of research

institutions, thanks to financial contributions generously provided by a number of Member States and international organizations.  The findings of the updating exercise will provide the Committee with the factual and objective information it needs to make well-informed, sound, workable and balanced decisions.  We expect that a report on Phase 1 of the update will be submitted to MEPC 58 for consideration.  In the meantime, and since scientists engaged in the update are attending this meeting, I think it would be useful if they gave you a presentation of the progress made thus far.  I am hopeful that the preliminary information they may be able to provide will be of help to you, although no conclusions should be drawn at this stage until the updated study is submitted to the Committee as a whole in due course. 

Distinguished delegates,

Of all the items on your terms of reference, I have highlighted just a few, but I acknowledge that you have not only a heavy workload to deal with this week but also several crucially important issues to address in your task to assist the MEPC to make the right decisions for the benefit of the environment – first and foremost.  Very rarely in the past has an intersessional meeting generated such great interest – here and in almost all capital cities around the world and within international organizations, including the United Nations.  Your task will not be easy at times; the stakes are high and the expectations even higher – failure is not, therefore, an option.  I am confident that, with IMO’s renowned spirit of co‑operation and under the able leadership of your Chairman, Mr. Chrysostomou of Cyprus (the Chairman of the MEPC – and this underlines the importance and significance of this meeting), you will rise to the challenge, respond to the expectations and, thus, serve well the worthy cause of protecting and preserving the marine and atmospheric environment against the harm caused by increased levels of greenhouse gas emissions.

As I have seen for myself this morning, our hosts are making available to us excellent facilities and services in a splendid setting and I reiterate my thanks to the Norwegian Government for their hospitality and generosity.  The stage has, therefore, been set and it is now up to you, distinguished delegates, to play the very important role that the Committee has entrusted you to perform.

I wish you every success and good luck in your deliberations and look forward to a productive meeting.

Thank you.


1. Identify the target audience of the speech and the channel of communication.

2. Analyse the verbal means the speaker uses to carry his communicative strategy. Pay special attention to abstractions.

3. What is peculiar of the structure of the speech?

4. What methods and means are used to grab the attention of the listener, ensure comprehension, acceptance, retention and retrieval?

Ex. 2. Discussion. Express your opinion about the following. The topic of the speech is of no interest for mass audience, is it?

Ex. 3. Follow-up. Analyse the following components of communication situation: sender and receiver, code, channel, message, noise. Take into account the communicative context.

Task 4. Jimmi Carter’s Nobel Prize Lecture

Ex. 1. Identifying aspects of communication. Read the following speech and get ready to dwell on the main elements of the communicative episode under consideration.

Jimmi Carter’s Nobel Prize Lecture

Your Majesties, Members of the Norwegian Nobel Committee, Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen,

It is with a deep sense of gratitude that I accept this prize. I am grateful to my wife Rosalynn, to my colleagues at The Carter Center, and to many others who continue to seek an end to violence and suffering throughout the world. The scope and character of our Center’s activities are perhaps unique, but in many other ways they are typical of the work being done by many hundreds of nongovernmental organizations that strive for human rights and peace.

Most Nobel Laureates have carried out our work in safety, but there are others who have acted with great personal courage. None has provided more vivid reminders of the dangers of peacemaking than two of my friends, Anwar Sadat and Yitzak Rabin, who gave their lives for the cause of peace in the Middle East.

Like these two heroes, my first chosen career was in the military, as a submarine officer. My shipmates and I realized that we had to be ready to fight if combat was forced upon us, and we were prepared to give our lives to defend our nation and its principles. At the same time, we always prayed fervently that our readiness would ensure that there would be no war.

Later, as President and as Commander-in-Chief of our armed forces, I was one of those who bore the sobering responsibility of maintaining global stability during the height of the Cold War, as the world’s two superpowers confronted each other. Both sides understood that an unresolved political altercation or a serious misjudgment could lead to a nuclear holocaust. In Washington and in Moscow, we knew that we would have less than a half hour to respond after we learned that intercontinental missiles had been launched against us. There had to be a constant and delicate balancing of our great military strength with aggressive diplomacy,

always seeking to build friendships with other nations, large and small, that shared a common cause.

In those days, the nuclear and conventional armaments of the United States and the Soviet Union were almost equal, but democracy ultimately prevailed because of commitments to freedom and human rights, not only by people in my country and those of our allies, but in the former Soviet empire as well. As president, I extended my public support and encouragement to Andrei Sakharov, who, although denied the right to attend the ceremony, was honored here for his personal commitments to these same ideals.

The world has changed greatly since I left the White House. Now there is only one superpower, with unprecedented military and economic strength. The coming budget for American armaments will be greater than those of the next fifteen nations combined, and there are troops from the United States in many countries throughout the world. Our gross national economy exceeds that of the three countries that follow us, and our nation’s voice most often prevails as decisions are made concerning trade, humanitarian assistance, and the allocation of global wealth. This dominant status is unlikely to change in our lifetimes.

Great American power and responsibility are not unprecedented, and have been used with restraint and great benefit in the past. We have not assumed that super strength guarantees super wisdom, and we have consistently reached out to the international community to ensure that our own power and influence are tempered by the best common judgment.

Within our country, ultimate decisions are made through democratic means, which tend to moderate radical or ill-advised proposals. Constrained and inspired by historic constitutional principles, our nation has endeavored for more than two hundred years to follow the now almost universal ideals of freedom, human rights, and justice for all.

Our president, Woodrow Wilson,was honored here for promoting the League of Nations, whose two basic concepts were profoundly important: “collective security” and “self-determination”. Now they are embedded in international law. Violations of these premises during the last half-century have been tragic failures, as was vividly demonstrated when the Soviet Union attempted to conquer Afghanistan and when Iraq invaded Kuwait.

After the second world war, American Secretary of State Cordell Hullreceived this prize for his role in founding theUnited Nations. His successor, General George C. Marshall, was recognized because of his efforts to help rebuild Europe, without excluding the vanquished nations of Italy and Germany. This was a historic example of respecting human rights as the international level.

Ladies and gentlemen:

Twelve years ago, President Mikhail Gorbachevreceived your recognition for his preeminent role in ending the Cold War that had lasted fifty years.

But instead of entering a millennium of peace, the world is now, in many ways, a more dangerous place. The greater ease of travel and communication has not been matched by equal understanding and mutual respect. There is a plethora of civil wars, unrestrained by rules of the Geneva Convention, within which an overwhelming portion of the casualties are unarmed civilians who have no ability to defend themselves. And recent appalling acts of terrorism have reminded us that no nations, even superpowers, are invulnerable.

It is clear that global challenges must be met with an emphasis on peace, in harmony with others, with strong alliances and international consensus. Imperfect as it may be, there is no doubt that this can best be done through the United Nations, which Ralph Bunche described here in this same forum as exhibiting a “fortunate flexibility” – not merely to preserve peace but also to make change, even radical change, without violence.

He went on to say: “To suggest that war can prevent war is a base play on words and a despicable form of warmongering. The objective of any who sincerely believe in peace clearly must be to exhaust every honorable recourse in the effort to save the peace. The world has had ample evidence that war begets only conditions that beget further war.”

We must remember that today there are at least eight nuclear powers on earth, and three of them are threatening to their neighbors in areas of great international tension. For powerful countries to adopt a principle of preventive war may well set an example that can have catastrophic consequences.

If we accept the premise that the United Nations is the best avenue for the maintenance of peace, then the carefully considered decisions of the United Nations Security Council must be enforced. All too often, the alternative has proven to be uncontrollable violence and expanding spheres of hostility.

For more than half a century, following the founding of the State of Israel in 1948, the Middle East conflict has been a source of worldwide tension. At Camp David in 1978 and in Oslo in 1993, Israelis, Egyptians, and Palestinians have endorsed the only reasonable prescription for peace: United Nations Resolution 242. It condemns the acquisition of territory by force, calls for withdrawal of Israel from the occupied territories, and provides for Israelis to live securely and in harmony with their neighbors. There is no other mandate whose implementation could more profoundly improve international relationships.

Perhaps of more immediate concern is the necessity for Iraq to comply fully with the unanimous decision of the Security Council that it eliminate all weapons of mass destruction and permit unimpeded access by inspectors to confirm that this commitment has been honored. The world insists that this be done.

I thought often during my years in the White House of an admonition that we received in our small school in Plains, Georgia, from a beloved teacher, Miss Julia Coleman. She often said: “We must adjust to changing times and still hold to unchanging principles.”

When I was a young boy, this same teacher also introduced me to Leo Tolstoy’s novel, “War and Peace”. She interpreted that powerful narrative as a reminder that the simple human attributes of goodness and truth can overcome great power. She also taught us that an individual is not swept along on a tide of inevitability but can influence even the greatest human events.

These premises have been proven by the lives of many heroes, some of whose names were little known outside their own regions until they became Nobel laureates: Albert John Lutuli,Norman Borlaug,Desmond Tutu,Elie Wiesel,Aung San Suu Kyi,Jody Williamsand evenAlbert SchweitzerandMother Teresa. All of these and others have proven that even without government power – and often in opposition to it – individuals can enhance human rights and wage peace, actively and effectively.

The Nobel prize also profoundly magnified the inspiring global influence of Martin Luther King, Jr., the greatest leader that my native state has ever produced. On a personal note, it is unlikely that my political career beyond Georgia would have been possible without the changes brought about by the civil rights movement in the American south and throughout our nation.

On the steps of our memorial to Abraham Lincoln, Dr. King said: “I have a dream that on the red hills of Georgia the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slaveowners will be able to sit down together at a table of brotherhood.”

The scourge of racism has not been vanquished, either in the red hills of our state or around the world. And yet we see ever more frequent manifestations of his dream of racial healing. In a symbolic but very genuine way, at least involving two Georgians, it is coming true in Oslo today.

I am not here as a public official, but as a citizen of a troubled world who finds hope in a growing consensus that the generally accepted goals of society are peace, freedom, human rights, environmental quality, the alleviation of suffering, and the rule of law.

During the past decades, the international community, usually under the auspices of the United Nations, has struggled to negotiate global standards that can help us achieve these essential goals. They include: the abolition of land mines and chemical weapons; an end to the testing, proliferation, and further deployment of nuclear warheads; constraints on global warming; prohibition of the death penalty, at least for children; and an international criminal court to deter and to punish war crimes and genocide. Those agreements already adopted must be fully implemented, and others should be pursued aggressively.

We must also strive to correct the injustice of economic sanctions that seek to penalize abusive leaders but all too often inflict punishment on those who are already suffering from the abuse.

The unchanging principles of life predate modern times. I worship Jesus Christ, whom we Christians consider to be the Prince of Peace. As a Jew, he taught us to cross religious boundaries, in service and in love. He repeatedly reached out and embraced Roman conquerors, other Gentiles, and even the more despised Samaritans.

Despite theological differences, all great religions share common commitments that define our ideal secular relationships. I am convinced that Christians, Muslims, Buddhists, Hindus, Jews, and others can embrace each other in a common effort to alleviate human suffering and to espouse peace.

But the present era is a challenging and disturbing time for those whose lives are shaped by religious faith based on kindness toward each other. We have been reminded that cruel and inhuman acts can be derived from distorted theological beliefs, as suicide bombers take the lives of innocent human beings, draped falsely in the cloak of God’s will. With horrible brutality, neighbors have massacred neighbors in Europe, Asia, and Africa.

In order for us human beings to commit ourselves personally to the inhumanity of war, we find it necessary first to dehumanize our opponents, which is in itself a violation of the beliefs of all religions. Once we characterize our adversaries as beyond the scope of God’s mercy and grace, their lives lose all value. We deny personal responsibility when we plant landmines and, days or years later, a stranger to us - often a child – is crippled or killed. From a great distance, we launch bombs or missiles with almost total impunity, and never want to know the number or identity of the victims.

At the beginning of this new millennium I was asked to discuss, here in Oslo, the greatest challenge that the world faces. Among all the possible choices, I decided that the most serious and universal problem is the growing chasm between the richest and poorest people on earth. Citizens of the ten wealthiest countries are now seventy-five times richer than those who live in the ten poorest ones, and the separation is increasing every year, not only between nations but also within them. The results of this disparity are root causes of most of the world’s unresolved problems, including starvation, illiteracy, environmental degradation, violent conflict, and unnecessary illnesses that range from Guinea worm to HIV/AIDS.

Most work of The Carter Center is in remote villages in the poorest nations of Africa, and there I have witnessed the capacity of destitute people to persevere under heartbreaking conditions. I have come to admire their judgment and wisdom, their courage and faith, and their awesome accomplishments when given a chance to use their innate abilities.

But tragically, in the industrialized world there is a terrible absence of understanding or concern about those who are enduring lives of despair and hopelessness. We have not yet made the commitment to share with others an appreciable part of our excessive wealth. This is a potentially rewarding burden that we should all be willing to assume.

Ladies and gentlemen:

War may sometimes be a necessary evil. But no matter how necessary, it is always an evil, never a good. We will not learn how to live together in peace by killing each other’s children.

The bond of our common humanity is stronger than the divisiveness of our fears and prejudices. God gives us the capacity for choice. We can choose to alleviate suffering. We can choose to work together for peace. We can make these changes – and we must.

Thank you.

1. Identify the target audience of the speech and the channel of communication.

2. Analyse the verbal means the speaker uses and the structure of the speech. Pay attention to the immediate language.

3. What methods and means are used to grab the attention of the listener, ensure comprehension, acceptance, retention and retrieval.

Ex. 2. Discussion. Express your opinion about the following. What is the persuasive potential of allusions and quotations that are used in the speech?

Ex. 3. Follow-up. Analyse the following components of communication situation: sender and receiver, code, channel, message, noise. Take into account the communicative context.

Task 5. Mending Broken Hearts

Ex. 1. Identifying aspects of communication. Read the article and get ready to dwell on the main elements of the communicative episode under consideration.

Mending Broken Hearts

By J. Kahn

Cheeseburgers, smoking, stress, the rise of the couch potato: These are the usual suspects on the list of risk factors for heart disease, a malady reaching global epidemic proportions. Now discoveries about genetic triggers may help us spot trouble before it starts.

Gloria Stevens is lying on her back, sedated but alert, staring at an image of her own beating heart. Metaphorically, Gloria’s heart is the very core of her emotional self – not to be worn on the sleeve, much less displayed on an overhead monitor. More literally, it is a blood-filled pump about the size of a clenched fist whose rhythmic contractions have kept Gloria alive for 62 years, and with a little tinkering will keep her going for an indeterminate number more.

At this moment, her doctor is threading a thin catheter up through her femoral artery from an incision in her groin, on into the aorta, and from there into one of the arteries encircling Gloria’s heart. At the tip of the catheter is a small balloon. The doctor gently navigates the tip to a spot where plaque has narrowed the artery’s channel by 90 percent. With a quick, practiced movement he inflates the balloon to push back the artery wall, deflates the balloon, then inserts an expandable stent – it looks like a tiny tube of chicken wire – that will keep the passage open. As Gloria

watches on the monitor, the crimp in her artery disappears, and a wide laminar flow gushes through the vessel, like a river in flood.

The procedure is over. It has lasted only half an hour. In all likelihood, Gloria will be able to go home the next day. So will a few thousand other patients in the United States undergoing such routine angioplasty – more than a million of them a year. Pipe fixed, patient cured, right? Wrong.

Because of her treatment, Gloria’s quality of life will likely improve. She’ll breathe easier and maybe live longer. But she is hardly cured. Her coronary atherosclerosis – a hardening and narrowing of the arteries that supply the heart with oxygen-rich blood – still leaves her vulnerable to future blockages and coronary heart disease.

Although hearts suffer many maladies – valves leak, membranes become inflamed – coronary heart disease, which can lead to heart attack and ultimately to heart failure, is the number one killer of both men and women in the United States, where 500,000 die annually. Worldwide, it kills 7.2 million people every year. Exacerbated by the export of Western lifestyle – motorized transport, abundant meat and cheese, workdays conducted from the comfort of a well-padded chair – incidence of the disease is soaring.

To help stem this lethal tide, cardiologists can prescribe such cholesterol-lowering drugs as statins to help keep arteries clear. They can advise patients to change their habits, or they can operate to fix an immediate problem. Angioplasty is one procedure, and surgery to bypass the diseased arteries is another—each year more than 400,000 bypasses are performed in the U.S. Transplants can replace severely damaged hearts, and artificial ones can keep people alive while they wait for a donor heart. But in the face of an impending global epidemic, none of these stopgap measures addresses the essential question: Who gets heart attacks and why?

The human heart beats 100,000 times a day, propelling six quarts of blood through 60,000 miles (97,000 kilometers) of vessels – 20 times the distance across the U.S. from coast to coast. The blood flows briskly, surging out of a ten-ounce (0.3 kilograms) heart so forcefully that large arteries, when severed, can send a jet of blood several feet into the air. Normally the relentless current helps keep blood vessels clean. But where an artery bends, tiny eddies form, as in a bend in a river. This is where bits of sticky, waxy cholesterol and fat can seep into the artery wall and oxidize, like butter going rancid. Other matter piles up too. Eventually, the whole mass calcifies into a kind of arterial stucco, or plaque.

Until recently, cardiologists approached heart disease as a plumbing problem. Just as mineral deposits restrict the flow of water through a pipe, an accretion of plaque impedes the flow of blood through an arterial channel. The more crud in the system, the greater likelihood that a dammed artery will trigger a heart attack. Doctors now dismiss this “clogged-pipes model” as an idea whose time has passed. It’s just not that simple.

Most heart attacks are caused by plaque embedded within the artery wall that ruptures, cracking the wall and triggering the formation of a blood clot. The clot

blocks the flow of blood to the heart muscle, which can die from lack of oxygen and nutrients. Suddenly, the pump stops pumping.

Contrary to the clogged pipes model, heart attacks generally occur in arteries that have minimal or moderate blockage, and their occurrence depends more on the kind of plaque than on the quantity. Scientists have been struggling to figure out what type is most responsible. Paradoxically, findings suggest that immature, softer plaques rich in cholesterol are more unstable and likely to rupture than the hard, calcified, dense plaques that extensively narrow the artery channel. But understanding the root cause of the disease will require much more research. For one thing, human hearts, unlike plumbing fixtures, are not stamped from a mold. Like the rest of our body parts, they are products of our genes.

Don Steffensen was putting duck-hunting decoys out on a small lake one fall afternoon in southwestern Iowa when his heart attack hit. The infarction was massive and unexpected. It’s likely that Steffensen survived only because a buddy was carrying nitroglycerin tablets and quickly slipped one under his friend’s tongue. Nitroglycerin is used to make dynamite; in the body, a heavily diluted form releases nitric oxide, which signals the smooth muscle cells in veins and arteries to relax, dilating the vessels.

The Steffensen clan is enormous: more than 200 relatives spread over three generations, many of the youngest are now dispersed from Iowa to New York and beyond. Although heart trouble is common in the family, it had never struck anyone as unusual. “I attributed it to diet,” shrugs Tina, a slim 38-year-old and the family’s only vegetarian.

It was a reasonable conclusion. The Steffensens were raised on the kind of farm food that the state is famous for – ham balls, meatloaf, pie, macaroni and cheese – and still popular even as careers have moved indoors. Driving north through cornfields to meet some of the family in Buffalo Center, I dined at a restaurant offering deep-fried sandwiches. A single ham and cheese hoagie – dunked in hot fat and served sizzling – seemed capable of stopping a heart all on its own.

But could the high incidence of heart trouble among the Steffensens be related to something else besides high-fat diets? Eleven years after Don’s attack, his wife, Barbara, happened to overhear a doctor describing a study about the genetics of heart attacks.

Curious, Don and 20 of his relatives each sent a vial of blood to the Cleveland Clinic, where the research was being conducted. Eric Topol, a cardiologist and genetics researcher at the clinic, spent a year studying their DNA. Each person’s genome comes with millions of individual variations, but Topol was looking for something distinctive – and shared only by the members of the clan with heart trouble. The mutation he and his team finally spotted, in a gene called MEF2A, produced a faulty protein. “We knew we had something,” Topol says. “But the question was: How does this sick protein, present at birth, lead to heart attacks 50 years later in life?”

Topol himself is as lean as a greyhound and weathered in a cowboyish way. He talks slowly and eats minimally: salads for dinner and high-fiber cereal for

breakfast. He doesn’t eat lunch at all. Like almost every cardiologist I’ve talked to, he takes statins preventively, and his cholesterol count is a low 135. His children, 22 and 25, also eat uncommonly well for their ages. “People have looked at the cadavers of men in their 20s who died in car accidents or as casualties of war, and nearly all had arterial cholesterol deposits,” Topol said as we walked to his lab. “This disease starts much earlier than people realize.”

Using endothelial cells (which line the inside of the artery wall) grown in culture, Topol set about figuring out what the MEF2A mutation does. He and his coworkers created some cells carrying the Steffensen variant, and others with the normal form of the protein. Both cell proteins were tagged fluorescent green so their locations could be visualized on a computer screen. The resulting images revealed a striking difference.

In a normal cell, all the MEF2A protein was inside the nucleus; on the screen, the cell resembled a fried egg with a fluorescent green yolk. But in the cells carrying the mutated version, the nucleus did not glow; instead the cell membrane was edged by a thin, luminous green line: a layer of MEF2A protein, trapped where it cannot serve its usual purpose. Topol believes that this defect affects the integrity of the coronary artery walls, rendering them more vulnerable to cracking when the plaque embedded in them ruptures. And each crack brings an increased chance of a heart attack.

Since this discovery, the Steffensens have become famous, appearing on shows like 60 Minutes II. Their mutant gene turns up in a Robin Cook novel titled Marker, about a health insurance company in New York that secretly screens patients for the MEF2A mutation and then kills them to preempt future medical-care payouts. Lively reading, but the Steffensen gene is an unlikely target for an insurance company, in part because it is an uncommon genetic defect.

Topol’s study did find that although dysfunctional MEF2A is very rare, the chance of heart disease in those carrying it may approach 100 percent. Most other genetic variations identified thus far increase the risk by much less. As it turns out, Topol himself carries a bum gene: apoE4, which affects inflammation in the arteries. Unlike MEF2A, it is common; every fourth person has it.

“Heart disease is not a one- or two-gene problem,” says Steven Ellis, a Cleveland Clinic cardiologist who oversees a 10,000-person genetic study known as GeneBank that collects DNA samples from patients who enter hospitals with atherosclerosis. Ellis, like most cardiac researchers, suspects that dozens of genes end up contributing to a predisposition: Some affect arterial integrity, others inflammation (which both causes and exacerbates arterial cracks), and still others the processing of lipids (the fats and cholesterol that turn into plaques). Of the several dozen genes, each may contribute just one percent to a person’s total risk – an amount that may be compounded, or offset, by outside factors like diet. As one doctor told me, any person’s heart attack risk is “50 percent genetic and 50 percent cheeseburger.”

The point of tracking down all these small mutations, Ellis explains, is to create a comprehensive blood test – one that could calculate a person’s genetic

susceptibility by adding up the number of risky (and, eventually, beneficial) variables. Combined with other important factors, such as smoking, weight, blood pressure, and cholesterol levels, doctors could decide which patients need aggressive treatment, such as high-dose statins, and which ones are likely to benefit from exercise or other lifestyle changes. Some genes already can predict whose cholesterol level will respond strongly to dietary changes and whose won’t. Assessing risk is crucial, Ellis says, because heart disease is often invisible. In fact, 50 percent of men and 64 percent of women who die of heart disease die suddenly, without experiencing any previous symptoms.

Although standard tests can detect atherosclerosis, they aren’t foolproof. They may reveal plaques, but give no indication whether or not they are life-threatening. Tests like angiography, for example, where doctors inject a dye into the bloodstream and track it with x-rays, can show how much blood is flowing through an artery, but not discern the plaques embedded inside the artery wall – often the culprit in a heart attack.

Researchers have been working to solve this problem with scanners that provide pictures of the arterial wall itself, but it’s a tricky task. Normal cardiac artery walls are about a millimeter thick. Coronary arteries move with every beat of the heart, 70 times a minute. It’s tough to get a clear image of something so small in constant motion.

Difficult, but not impossible. As I walk through the basement of the Cleveland Clinic, I pass a room containing a large, blue, plastic doughnut as tall as I am, with a woman’s legs sticking out of the middle. The doughnut is a computed tomography (CT) scanner, a kind of three-dimensional x-ray machine that’s also used for imaging tumors. The scanner, aided by medications that reduce a patient’s heart rate and an injectable dye that highlights the arteries, can produce startlingly clear pictures.

Scrolling through images on his computer monitor, Mario Garcia, the clinic’s director of cardiac imaging, retrieves one that looks like a black-and-white landscape photographed from a plane, with a single, large river running through it. As Garcia zooms in on the river, a series of white lumps appears on the bank – hard plaques bright with calcium. But there is also a tiny black smudge. “That’s the type we believe causes a heart attack,” he says with satisfaction, pointing to the smudge of soft plaque. “It’s a rare opportunity to see that.”

As compelling as the CT scan is, it’s still an imperfect tool for predicting heart disease. It’s expensive, for one, and the dose of radiation from the x-rays makes it ill suited for use in healthy-patient annual exams. And although it sees arterial plaques, even soft plaques inside arterial walls, it can’t reveal whether those plaques are likely to crack and cause a heart attack.

Until there are tests, genetic or otherwise, that give a clearer measure of risk, everyone would be advised to exercise, watch their diet, and take statins for elevated cholesterol—the same advice doctors gave when the clogged-pipes model of heart disease reigned unchallenged.

At the Cleveland Clinic, cardiologist Stephen Nissen has conducted several studies on statins such as Lipitor, which reduce the amount of LDL (“bad” low-density lipoprotein) cholesterol made by the liver. Nissen is an advocate of lowering cholesterol by any means necessary. Does he take a statin? “You bet!” he says. “I have no intention of dying of the disease I treat.” His LDL level is a paltry 51. Of eight cardiologists I spoke with, all but one were taking the medication. (Some studies now seem to show that lowering even normal cholesterol levels has a protective effect.) HDL (“good” high-density lipoprotein) cholesterol is another story. Nissen calls it the “arterial-wall garbage barge” because of its ability to remove cholesterol from clogged arteries. Not all HDL can do this; some is dysfunctional. But tests have shown that raising the HDL level in genetically engineered lab mice can shrink their arterial plaques.

A drug that could raise functional HDL levels in humans would likely become the next multibillion-dollar blockbuster, and a few are in various stages of testing. However, the trial of a Pfizer drug called torcetrapib ended in failure. Torcetrapib had been shown, in combination with Lipitor, to raise HDL levels 44 to 66 percent with a once-a-day pill. But the increase was not necessarily in functional HDL, and the drug was also associated with elevated blood pressure. In December, when data showed a 60 percent higher death rate in patients taking torcetrapib with Lipitor than in those taking Lipitor alone, Pfizer abruptly ended the trial.

It’s not clear whether the problem lay with one drug or an entire class of drugs. Until further research is completed, the several different statins on the market will remain the most prescribed class of drugs in the world, with 11.6 million prescriptions filled monthly in the U.S. alone. Pfizer’s Lipitor may be the best-selling drug ever made, with 12 billion dollars in annual worldwide sales.

But statins, like any drug, carry the risk of side effects: Muscle aches are a well-known effect, and periodic blood tests to check liver function are recommended. The fact is, many of us just like to eat cheeseburgers, watch television, and get around in cars. And it’s hard, says Leslie Cho, director of the Cleveland Clinic’s Women’s Cardiovascular Center, for a person to worry about a disease that hits ten years down the road—particularly since heart patients, unlike cancer patients, can’t easily observe the progress of their disease. “You’ve done damage over years, and it will take years to undo that damage,” she says. “That’s a very hard thing to sell to Americans. We do what we can, but then people go home.”

The good news is that genetic research continues to thrive. Should we want to, we will soon be able to know the state of our hearts – and our genes – in ever growing detail. That knowledge, and what we do with it, could make the difference between dying at 65 and living until 80. The choice, increasingly, will be ours.

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