Scientists are extremely concerned that far too little action is being taken to stop climate change. Politicians have spoken about fighting climate change for over a decade, but virtually no meaningful legislation has actually been passed and our government continues to allow millions of people to carelessly emit greenhouse gasses with absolutely no regard for the future. This article examines some of the catastrophic implications of our planet’s careless behavior and what we can do to fix it.
A great resource for anybody who wants to learn about the science of climate change is Al Gore’s excellent film “An Inconvenient Truth”. Al Gore’s film notes the stark correlation between carbon dioxide and temperature.
As you can see, as the level of carbon dioxide increases, so does the temperature. Scientists have also developed realistic computer models that simulate the climate under thousands of permutations of every known climatic factor to see which factors affect the climate the most. The models show conclusively that of all factors, only greenhouse gasses produced by humans have a statistically relevant effect on the climate.
The implications of our reckless industrial greenhouse gas emissions include sea level rises of approximately 8 meters and an elevated risk of droughts, hurricanes, tornadoes and an assortment of other natural disasters. In addition, scientists predict that climate change will destroy natural habitats and cause many species to go extinct.
The Optimal Climate
Scientists are still working out what the best climate should be. It’s a tricky question, because there are millions of different ecosystems and billions of micro ecosystems all over the world, probably most of which have not been discovered yet. But this is not deterring scientists from looking for an answer. Some scientists believe we should divide the world up into different climatic sections and allocate an optimal climate for each section. Other scientists believe that we should change the climate over time, so that we have ‘managed climate change’ (Please note this is not the same as ‘climate change’ as it is managed according to scientific principles in order to provide maximum environmental utility). However every accredited scientist admits that we need to manage the climate by controlling greenhouse gas emissions in order to achieve better outcomes for the planet.
It’s time for us to start taking renewable energies seriously. And we can’t simply rely on the ‘market’ to come up with solutions on its own. Our government needs to aggressively fund innovative green startups who come up with creative solutions to reduce our dependence on fossil fuels. Our government needs to invest heavily in renewable energy sources like wind farms, bio fuels and solar panels. There is absolutely no reason why we should depend on fossil fuels, when there are so many renewable technologies capable of replacing them.
Global Emission Penalties
Despite the efforts of our leaders at the Copenhagen conference, the global carbon tax was never fully implemented. Once again, the extreme republican factions have held the world and future generations to ransom by refusing to pass a piece of sensible legislation regulating greenhouse gas emissions. The UN needs to start enforcing legislation on a global level and bypassing the nation states. Once we have a global legislative process and enforcement apparatus, we can begin to implement these changes at a global level.
Control the Population
The global population now exceeds seven billion people and population growth is only accelerating. Each of these people needs to be fed, housed and transported, and all of these activities emit greenhouse gasses. It may be a controversial view, but the scientific reality is that we absolutely have to cap the population in order to control greenhouse gas emissions and achieve the climatic optimum. China has already woken up to the dangers of uncontrolled population growth, and is implementing a firm one-child policy with forced abortions for those who choose to ignore this law. These kinds of measures are going to be necessary on a global scale in order to curb greenhouse gas emissions.
Crack Down on Climate Change Deniers
It’s sad that in the 21st century, we still have people who question official scientific conclusions. There is absolutely no disagreement among the world’s accredited climate scientists about the reality of climate change, but this hasn’t stopped climate deniers from questioning it. When scientists are predicting a global catastrophe unless we act soon, climate deniers are advocating no action whatsoever to curb greenhouse gas emissions.
One of the challenges of fighting climate change is that the benefits are in the future, but sacrifices are in the here and now. I wish climate change wasn’t real. I wish we could just have unregulated industry and uncontrolled population growth; but unfortunately that just isn’t possible. The green economy may not be as economically prosperous as we might have hoped, but at least it is sustainable. It’s time for America start taking climate change seriously and stop pretending that this is an issue we can simply ignore. It’s time for us to make sacrifices for our children and make the planet a better place for future generations.