Greening of Gorbachov

AS THE first president of the International Green Cross (IGC) -- an organisation that has been set up to help victims of human-made disasters and is to have offices at Geneva and The Hague -- ousted Soviet president Mikhail Gorbachov's new responsibility is to save the planet. At IGC's formal launching in Kyoto recently, Gorbachov urged the need to base the philosophy of survival on "a purposeful programme of studies".

Ironically, Gorbachov's green credentials are suspect because the world's worst nuclear disaster occurred in Chernobyl a few months after he assumed power. The former Soviet Union is also accused of having dumped nuclear wastes at sea while he was in power.