The break-up of a massive chunk of Antarctic ice is convincing evidence that the developed world's inaction on pollution control is having dire consequences. The mild winters and dry, hot summers of the past year auger badly for the future. It is a sign that the Kyoto climate control pact needs urgent attention. The United States and Australia, which have refused to ratify it, are harming eco-systems beyond their shores. The speed of the disintegration of the 3,240 square kilometre Larsen B ice shelf shocked scientists. In 35 days, 200-metre-thick ice fell apart and there are fears that bigger parts of the world's polar caps are at risk. Although the collapse is not expected to noticeably raise sea levels, experts now realise that the melting of Antarctica's four remaining ice shelves is occurring faster than previously estimated. No wonder that people living on low-lying islands are worried. Their push for pollution control measures to be implemented to slow global warming is understandable and they deserve more consideration from the worst perpetrators, the world's rich, energy-hungry nations. The El Nino weather phenomenon has also returned, bringing dry weather to Asia - including forest fires to Indonesia and the threat of regional haze - and flooding to the Americas. The blatant disregard of the US and Australian governments for their fellow global inhabitants is shameful. International condemnation of their governments for ineffective pollution-control policies should be more vocal. Through diplomatic means, they must be forced to ratify the Kyoto accord.