How much longer until we start taking climate change seriously?

Many countries have started taking steps in reducing their carbon emissions. Cities around the world are independently making changes to counter the impacts of climate change.  They have started what should be a large trend regarding climate change and solutions for it.  Many developed countries have already under The Kyoto Protocol, committed to reducing their greenhouse gas emissions, but there is a lot more to be done especially by highly industrialized nations who release the largest amounts of green house gasses. Getting developed nations to change their reliance on fossil fuels and their consumption patterns can be difficult.  In developed countries like the US there are people responsible for ensuring that the nation commits to reducing emissions as part of a solution for addressing the impacts of climate change, the problem is that some of the people responsible deny climate change.  

Some congressmen and senators of the United States are climate change deniers.  Also, the lobbying efforts of powerful corporations help perpetuate doubt in regards to climate change and its impacts.  Economists say that the United States has better things to worry about, like, jobs and growing the economy rather than focusing on climate change.  With such influence of climate change deniers it is hard for the US to commit on implementing legislature that will truly reduce its reliance on fossil fuels, greenhouse emissions, and patterns of consumption to sustainable levels.  There are serious problems I find with climate change deniers especially with those who have the power to prevent our country from taking progressive action against climate change.  My first concern with them is that they are too vested in the present that they are failing to worry about future generations.  Second, climate change is really happening.  Lastly, they are a major setback.  Their opinions on climate change are preventing us from taking appropriate steps to become part of the solution.  Playing politics with climate change is a serious problem, and in doing so the US is standing on the wrong side of the issue especially when the emissions of highly industrialized countries are at unsustainable levels.      

Climate deniers must think about the future

Although several countries and individual cities have already pledged to take initiative in mitigating climate change under The Kyoto Protocol there is a lot more that needs to be done.  We need a long term global initiative, and getting international cooperation is anything but easy. If countries would start investing more in research of climate friendly technologies they can secure future generations with jobs, new technology, and deep reductions in carbon emissions. Changes in infrastructure can benefit not only the current generation but future generations as well. Now that there is a global trend of urbanization, cities are growing faster. Building sustainable cities will benefit both the cities and their citizens. Developing nations would benefit most with aid from highly industrialized nations and new technologies to be used toward infrastructure and meeting the demands of their growing urban populations. 

Climate change is happening 

There is mounting scientific evidence regarding climate change and its impacts. Just because you believe that the sun has a greater effect on climate change than man made greenhouse gasses doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t start changing our patterns of consumption and reliance on fossil fuels. Clearly if you agree that the climate is changing whether you believe its man made or by natural occurrence you can agree that climate change is happening so why not start taking steps in ensuring that we try and counter such rapid changes in the environment. 

Consequences of denial

Climate change impacts not only the environment, but the lives and well being of people as well. We should be alarmed that climate change deniers have a platform to stand on because they do not have substantial scientific support to do so. Another problem with climate change deniers is that many of them are so focused on the “negative economic impacts” of changing our patterns of consumption now, that they are overlooking the fact that these changes will affect future generations. If India who has to worry about eradicating poverty has taken a pledge to reduce its annual emissions by 11 percent, then richer countries can definitely afford to make some necessary changes. Yes, you can argue that future generations will probably have better technologies to address climate change but that doesn’t mean that they inherit a planet with less natural resources and more environmental problems. Their reluctance to change for a better tomorrow will have negative impacts on future generations who will be either unprepared to deal with the impacts of climate change or have to take drastic measures to adapt.  The best we can do in the present is take action and start mitigating greenhouse gas emissions and create a long term commitment to making progressive changes for the sake of future generations.  

Benefits of acceptance           

The benefits of accepting that climate change exists thanks to manmade greenhouse gas emissions can be new technologies, new jobs, a better environment, cleaner air, and better infrastructure.  If a global initiative takes place then change will occur on a global scale.  Highly industrialized countries can help developing countries by standing by their pledge to lower their levels of carbon emissions which are higher than the emissions of developing countries.  Also, developing countries are more vulnerable to the impacts of climate change because they do not have the resources necessary to adapt to its impacts, which is why international cooperation is very important. The ultimate benefit of taking steps to internationally mitigate climate change and reduce greenhouse emissions is a better future.

Cities that have already employed methods for mitigating their emissions have been enjoying the benefits of having taken initiative for a better environment. For example, the city of Santa Cruz, Ca saves about $65,000 annually by installing LED’S in 95% of traffic signals. Malmo in Sweden has adopted a ten year plan to have the whole city run on renewable energy resources.  In Sydney, Australia the city has been installing raingardens designed to filter stormwater and stop pollutants from reaching the city’s harbor and river.  The purpose of having raingardens is to conserve water, reducing stormwater and making Sydney greener.

The benefits of accepting the fact that climate change is real outweigh the impacts of remaining skeptical.  Many cites have already taken steps for a greener future and are starting to see the results and cost reduction of taking action against climate change. We need to start thinking of future generations and start taking long term plans for mitigating our greenhouse emissions. The outcome of giving climate change deniers a platform can be a future of unprepared individuals suffering the impacts of our carelessness.




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