Wednesday, December 9, 2009

World Leaders Meet in Copenhagen to Address Climate Change

Representatives from nations across the globe are in Copenhagen, Denmark trying to come up with a binding treaty that would commit the world's nations to meaningful reductions in the greenhouse gas emissions that are causing global warming. President Obama has agreed to come to the meeting only at the end, and so far our country has put no money on the table to help solve a problem that was largely caused by wealthy countries like our own, and is largely being felt by poor countries without the resources to cope. Needless to say, the U.S. response is totally inadequate.

To get climate change under control we basically have to stop using fossil fuels and start using clean/renewable energy like wind, solar, and geothermal. We have to stop eating so much meat, both because animals like cows fart methane (a powerful greenhouse gas) and because, growing animal feed uses fossil fuels and animals convert feed to flesh inefficiently. We also have to protect our forests, ensuring that they are cut down no faster than they can grow back (since trees absorb carbon dioxide).

The larger issue is we have to tackle our ever growing human population (which grew from about 1 to 6 billion over the course of the 20th century) and the idea that we can have an economy that expands forever on a finite base of resources and environmental capacity to absorb wastes.

1 comment:

  1. How can you expect to be taken seriously when the only option for dealing with global warming that you allow is to reduce fossil fuel use, then you don't even mention nuclear energy?

    It also seems to me fairly shortsighted to limit our methods of dealing with such a long-term problem to current means. People around the world are working hard on technologies that allow for the reversal of the damage done or the mitigation of the effects of that damage. This is something we need to do even if we stop emitting excess carbon dioxide right now. While cutting emissions may seem like the most effective thing to do at the moment, the effect on the world economy could leave us with less money to do something better later.