There are some things that are just clearly out of our control. We cannot control the weather. We cannot control other people. To an extent, we are able to predict and manipulate these things, but never with complete certainty. Without a doubt, this was the aim of the Kyoto Protocol, Montreal Protocol, and the Copenhagen summit of 2009.
Ausubel claims that the reason climate change still exists in its current extent is because of the “biggest political failure in the history of civilization.” While it may be a bit of a stretch to call today’s political environment the worst in the history of civilization, I think I can see where he’s coming from. After several intentional meetings between world governments and organizations to curb necessary industrial processes which contribute to the “carbon footprint,” not much progress has been made. The error in Ausubel’s thinking is that just because little progress has been made, the blame should not be placed on the temporarily elected appointed “decision makers.” It is not out of the corruptness of their hearts that presidents, secretary generals, prime ministers, et cetera refuse to shut down factories, rather it is because such a decision would be unwise. Both the short and long term effects of such actions cannot be justified against the ever-changing scientific evidence and discoveries regarding climate change. As science and technology are able to place more of the pieces of the puzzle together, we will be able to make more concise decisions. Also, it is not that we are being held back by current scientific limitations, rather we are being pushed forward by them – we are just not as far along as we wished we could be.