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Proposed Global Warming Preventative Measures
by tyler Sunday February 01, 2004 at 12:59 AM

Section 6 of Perspectives on Global Warming: A Primer

Proposed Global Warming Preventative Measures

If human activities are causing global warming, it must be possible for humans to stop those harmful activities. Currently, efforts to curb global warming are dismally weak. The famous Kyoto protocol is little more than an empty gesture, setting its aims so low as to be almost meaningless. Also, most environmental activists spend most of their time pleading for individual action such as using fuel-efficient cars and energy-efficient appliances, riding a bike, planting a tree, etc. Of course, these activities do reduce emissions, but in themselves they have little significant. In terms of trying to provide a good example, these individual measures may be admirable, but the only real solutions to greenhouse gas emissions lie in drastic changes.

Fossil fuel use must be phased out and replaced with renewable, non-polluting energy sources. Chemicals such as aerosols, CFCs, halons, etc must stop being produced altogether. Massive deforestation and pollution of crucial carbon sinks, such as the rainforests and oceans, must be halted, and if possible, reversed. The implications of this are certainly dramatic. Many things currently taken for granted will have to be altered, though preventing global warming does not necessarily mean sacrificing comfort and freedom. It may be bad for the energy and automobile companies, but for the masses, there is little which could be more of a threat to comfort and freedom than environmental catastrophe.

Unfortunately, it is easy to say what needs to be done, but difficult to do it. Control of the forces listed above is not directly in our hands. These things must be changed indirectly, by writing letters to newspapers and government officials, backing that up with demonstrations, boycotts, spreading of education to others, etc. Worldwide demands for clean energy, clean transportation, and clean industry, as well as protection of vital carbon sinks, must be made. Specific solutions will not be listed here, simply because simple solutions are not available for this problem. As has been stated, global warming is an extremely complex issue, and therefore, requires an extremely complex solution, not only in terms of individual responsibility, but in international corporate and state practices as well. Sweeping reform of wasteful and polluting practices is the only way to make a difference.

Those who deny the threat of global warming, or at least see it as far-off and relatively manageable, scoff at such drastic measures, but for those who believe there is even a remote chance of global warming reaching catastrophic levels, these drastic measures are truly the only way of being sure the current trends are halted.


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