Prompt 2: Climate Change

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I definitely agree that failures to mitigate climate change are due to crises of government. We have proven that we have technology to at least greatly limit our carbon emissions (hybrid vehicles, limestone scrubbers, solar energy, etc.), but the government has not placed strict enough limitations on these emissions. Until limitations are in place, companies will continue to cut corners and destroy the environment. The result is our clean technology practically going to waste. As stated in the prompt, President Bush was more concerned about the economy than the future of the environment. This mindset, especially in powerful political figures, must change if there is any hope for significant environmental regulation.

I do not think these resolutions will easily fit into a dichotomy between government and technology. Again, strict regulation would greatly interfere with the economy. While greener products could be sold at a similar rate to products now to prevent an economic collapse, to truly make progress we must stop this need for growth that capitalism is founded upon. Unless this happens, it does not matter how many green products are on the shelf to be consumed. There is not an infinite supply of anything, so infinite growth is clearly out of the question. Stopping this growth would require government to put more interests into the environment than into the economy, which I cannot see happening anytime soon.

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3 responses »

  1. I agree with you that mitigation of climate change cannot easily fit into our current scheme of government. However, I like how you mention regulatory obstacles…I hadn’t considered that! I also agree with you that the government and policymakers need to be more cognizant of the limits to growth, but this is only going to happen via decentralization and movements on behalf of concerned constituencies, who certainly first need to become more educated on the issues.

  2. I would also agree with you that our current government structure fails to properly take climate change seriously or rather places priority on other issues. I think one of the more positive things we can do to create change is to prove that clean and sustainable technologies can help to improve the economy while also improving the environment. The issue is that there are people heavily involved in both the current economic and political system that can prevent advancement and create a legal environment in which their model works. because of this I agree governmental decentralization would greatly improve the situation as you brought up.

  3. I agree with you that the lack of governmental regulation hurts the effort for a proper approach to climate change. What kind of laws or regulations do you think would be best put forth? I think regulations on corporations would be beneficial. If not regulations, then a way for companies to have an incentive to be more environmentally friendly, in a competitive way, like with carbon credits. As you said, though, the thought of the government putting the environment over the economy seems far fetched. That being said, is the government not “of the people, by the people, for the people”? The government is made of up people we elect, so the change is not going to happen until we as a society changes.

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