Climate Change: Response Needed

Climate Change

The Asian countries that have been severely impacted by the climate change over the last few decades, not getting the response needed from the western countries in reducing their carbon emission footprint on the planet, are taking matters in their own hands. Adaptation and use of renewable energy is already starting to replace the old ways. These coastal countries have seen thousands of lives lost, land disappear, vegetation and homes destroyed, and billions of dollars in damage to the countries’ infrastructure. While the costly weather related occurrences are not limited to Asia, the impact is more significant due to dense population and shortage of dry land. For them, the proof is in the devastation they have already experienced. It would be a mistake for the U.S. and other advanced economies to take a backseat in this collective human problem.

The government, community organizers, scientists, teachers, and those who have learned from them, can look to these Asian countries to develop their own policies, and prepare for both short and long-term climate projections. China, U.S. and the European Union (EU) being the top three carbon emission offenders, should consider it their responsibility to continue to educate the skeptics, realizing that if the message is not getting across, it may be the mode of communication, or data that is presented without adequate examples that one can relate to. Though it may be frustrating, they should also realize that playing the endless games of accusations and back-and-forth remarks is in fact taking their energy and time away from critical work of finding solutions.

The politicians in U.S., regardless of their affiliations, need to get responsive to the climate change. This global threat that is imminent if something substantial is not done relatively quickly, should be off-limits to debating whether it is correct or not. The experts in this field are overwhelmingly united with numerous facts, figures and examples. Instead, more incentives need to be given for green technology to flourish. Special interest forces must be eliminated, or made to see the long-term benefits of a different approach to energy requirements. An example of such a case is the tobacco industry.

Population control is one of the best ways to reduce the future demands on the planet. The U.S. government should do everything it can to promote individual responsibility to one’s self, and to the planet. Governments, businesses, and celebrities should join the effort as one, and those who are blessed with more, should give more.

Open dialog can also be implemented in which questions, no matter how difficult they are to answer, are addressed clearly, and without bias. For example, there is a common argument that is often raised which questions the same scientists who cannot even predict weather two weeks in advance. How can they then be trusted to make such bold predictions about weather 10s of years from now? This is a valid question and one that the scientists should have done a better job of explaining to the public.

There are also many terms that need to be explained in a better way. Trend is one such word. For example, a particularly severe winter makes some of the skeptics confirm in their mind that the climate change could not be real. Scientists should understand that not everyone is familiar with terms and processes related to weather, no matter how basic they may seem. A better approach here can mean thousands understanding the situation, and joining the fight to save the planet.

Perhaps this is the Earth’s way of teaching humanity cooperation and teamwork. However, we have only a small window to do what needs to be done in response to climate change.

Opinion by Amit Singh

Source:

Washington Post

NY Times Learning Blog

U.N. Climate Panel

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