No matter how big or small we might think our impact is we are all climate change decision makers. This moment, the time you are reading this article is always the chance to make a difference.
Today’s dilemma is that economics tells us how to do something but does not tell us if we should do something. Brought to you by the people who introduced the advent of the nuclear bomb, climate change politics has always been divided between the voice of reason and compromise. In other words, scientists focus on how climate change affects the environment and policymakers focus on how the environment affects our actions. The hardest challenge of this cultural dilemma is to overcome the tendency to ignore problems that won’t ‘burn’ us in short-term. For wealthy countries, it is projected that their GDP will only suffer by a few degrees, however, for developing countries of the global south, this is a different story.
For a country that single handily contributes to almost a quarter of the world’s global emissions, there are no scientists represented in the US Senate and only a sliver in the House of Representatives. It is this very lack of understanding that promotes disagreements in the international arena in regards to whom is responsible for climate change.
Dale Jamieson, the author of Reason in a Dark Time, suggests that we…
- Integrate adaption methodologies to the current strategy of climate change mitigation
- Encourage the growth of carbon sinks while honoring human and environmental values
- Establish transparent criteria for energy life cycle analysis
- Raise the cost of GHG emissions to be reflective of their impact
- Establish technology adaption and diffusion through proper legislation
- Invest in future research regarding carbon capture and utilization
It goes without saying that these issues of governance, economics, science and human rights are challenged by the uptake of new institutions, taxation systems, common understanding and cooperation between all classes and cultures. In these regards investment should compete against one another and policy should not favor a single ‘replacement’ for fossil fuels.