• An honest future
    July 11,2014

    An honest future

    Recent articles about climate change continue to talk about various efforts to stop global warming. Carbon taxes, renewable energy sources, electric cars, weatherization, etc. What we must accept is that we have not yet even begun to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. On a national level, we have made only a very small reduction in the rate of increase of those emissions. On a global scale, the rate of increased emissions is increasing. The most ambitious viable international environmental proposals would reduce the rate of increase to a point that there would be a doubling of emissions every nine years or less.

    Even if we were miraculously able to stop 100 percent of all the greenhouse gas emissions overnight, the momentum of the damage we have already done would continue for decades to come. There is nothing we can do to avoid further global warming and all of its related consequences within the next 50 years. The effort it will take to make a meaningful reduction in greenhouse gases and begin to actually reduce the damage to the atmosphere is measured in many trillions of dollars. No nation on Earth will willingly stop using fossil fuels as long as it is the cheapest form of energy or it can be sold at a profit. Although noble and well intentioned, our local efforts are negligible without a global consensus. However, planning for how to deal with the inevitable effects of global warming can be done effectively locally. We can begin the adaptation process now before it becomes a crisis. Let’s look to the future honestly.

    Tom Watkins


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