Thursday, December 31, 2009
Part 2 of Copenhagen Analysis
One of the reasons for "business as usual" at the Copenhagen meetings is because many people, don't get the magnitude of the impacts of climate change. For instance, a 2-3 degrees Celsius increase in global temperatures over the course of the next 50-100 years (the estimates vary considerably, so I'll use these longer range for the sake of my example), is not very perceptible, as it is over the course of one, or even two or three lifetimes. In addition, the consequences, such as a rise in sea levels of only a couple feet, or weather that's a few degrees warmer, don't seem to be too significant. Yet, the impacts of global warming can lead to the destabilization of nations (such as Bangladesh and drought-ridden countries), and the deaths of millions (due to increased droughts, increased range of diseases, and increased severe weather-hurricanes, El Nino's, etc., and changes in "normal" weather patterns [changes in monsoon times, etc.]). Yet, if the people dying or getting injured aren't close to us, then many people can't relate and therefore can't understand or altogether dismiss climate change as a mild threat, when in reality, it is one of the greatest threats ever. Consequently and regretfully, I believe that until a large number of people are suddenly and detrimentally affected by climate change very close to/in America, the issue will take a backseat.