I am going to go off-topic in this last blog and talk about why climate change does matter and much more importantly especially to our generation. The effects of climate change have yet to hit drastically. However, according to the scientists there is very little doubt that the effects of climate change will take hold in the years to come. In fact that there is little doubt that if the current pace is kept there will be severe consequences not even twenty years down the road.
Although it seems that climate change is always getting talked about in the media and even on the world stage there seems to be very little action taken in order to combat it. Take for example what many people called an historic climate agreement between the United States and China, negotiated at APEC, which calls for only small reductions in the increases of carbon dioxide emissions. If this is supposed to be considered an historic deal on climate change then how low can our standards be for progress. If we do not demand more then how can we expect to enact real change on the very important and pressing issue of climate change? If we continue to congratulate the most basic of agreements, how can we expect to gain a truly transformational deal that is needed to affect the change that is necessary?
I would argue that we have been too complacent with such an important issue and that has hurt the speed in which green policies have been enacted. In fact in my mind there is no doubt that in order to create real change we have to do it at the voting booth. I know that many people, especially in my generation, has found apathy in politics because it always seems like the people matter less than the lobbyists, but it is still the very best way to create change in the direction the country is going. I say this because there will always be a better candidate by no means a perfect one but a better one that will enact the policies that will help solve the fundamental problems surrounding big issues like climate change. For our generation we need to use our voice to affect change on the big issues, like climate change, that will affect us the most by far.
This is an important point because many people voting or enacting policy today feel that climate change is so far removed from them and they will never have to deal with the consequences of their action, so therefore why bother. This is of course ridiculous because although climate change’s effects are weaker now than what they will be there is no doubt that there are negative consequences going on right now. For example, the drought in California, which is slowing the agricultural sector of the economy, showcases the very real negative effects of climate change. However, the line of thinking that this problem is not going to be mine therefore I am going to do nothing about it is unfortunately much more prevalent than we think and it has been the main roadblock in policy progression on the issue of climate change.
This is a problem in progressing climate change policy but it can easily be overcome by showing not only the environmental and moral reasons to advocate for climate change policy, but more effectively articulate the economic reasons why good policy on energy and agriculture will help put more money in the everyday person. The reason why we should argue more on the economic benefits of climate change is that there are many people out there who are unwillingly to pay any economic cost in order to stop the effects of climate change. However, there is nobody out there who would argue against an economic benefit and if that goes hand in hand with reversing the effects of climate change then it becomes a win-win.
We have already seen this strategy succeed when Ronald Regan (by no means a liberal environmentalist) got the international community to enact policies that would help protect by arguing the economic case if we did not take this policy prescription. Overall, there is no doubt in my mind that the costs of not taking action are huge, so I suggest that we understand that this debate if not won will have huge consequences in the future. A video about the effects of climate change,https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oyiNyWQeysI, check it out.