Response to Climate Change

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I absolutely agree with Ausubel that the failure of the world to mitigate climate change is due to a crisis of government and political action, rather than a limitation of science and technology. Though there is plenty of room for advances in renewable energy that would help make dealing with climate change easier, the technology that exist today is more than adequate to reduce our use of fossil fuels by a large amount, and eventually completely. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change released a report detailing the ability of renewable energy sources to meet our energy demands. According to the report, from a technological standpoint, renewable energy can more than meet our energy demands, and by the year 2050, nearly 80 percent of our energy needs can be met with existing technologies alone. So what is the problem? Why all the doom and gloom in discussions about climate change is the solution is already available to us? The problem is that the transition will not be easy. In fact it will be extremely hard and expensive. Switching away from fossil fuel use is a painful process, and it is one that doesn’t seem to have the political support to get done. Supporting renewables would require the government to spend enormous amounts of money, as well as ignore the lobbyists of the already established energy industry, who will surely resist this change with all of their power. Ultimately I believe it will come down to the public, led by a few political members who understand the situation, to demand drastic change in our energy industry.

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2 responses »

  1. Since you criticized lobbying, do you think the consumer demand to make the transition from fossil fuels to renewables would have to take place through radical action like what the Yes Men do?

  2. I agree that the issues that we see today stem mainly from inaction from our government. But this isn’t the government’s fault but our own. The government is in place to represent the people but when the people don’t have the time to form opinions or educate themselves in the policy and develop sound interests to represent how can a government function. At this current time our government is manipulated by corporate elites who have manipulated government to believe that they are there to represent the interests of the people. Even if we invest in sustainable energy it has been found that this alone cannot solve for our environmental woes. Among sustainable technology everyone must change his or her behaviors of consumption and there must be stricter regulation. Corporations lobby to keep a guise on the truth and push for people to stay on the path they currently support. They use brighter technology to keep people under the assumption that it is the only solution but the truth is we must not just invest in these technologies, but instead change our system and change the behaviors that they have reinforced.

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