Friday, June 1, 2007

Global warming

A friend asked me to sign a petition asking the G8 leaders to take action to abate carbon dioxide emission. I signed the petition. This is good consolation to quiet some of my guilts induced by environmentalists on my fault to warm the planet earth. I must confess that I live in a city for too long and I cannot survive without the polluting and global warming lifestyle. On a hot day, I cannot avoid a heatstroke without air-conditioning. I cannot go far on foot and have to take polluting transportation. I have to buy inexpensive food produced using ingredients which harm the planet as well as myself. I cannot communicate with so many people without my computer and the Internet which rely on the polluting power plants all over the world. So these G8 leaders must be worse persons than me and only if they could turn for the better and save the world for me. The gibberish stops here and here are my views on the future.

I do not have the least faith on the G8 leaders to guard the planet earth. We may call them world leaders, but they are actually only leaders of their countries, and they are elected. That means their skins hinge on the success of the next election. In the present world where there is no true democracy, their actions are dictated by the dominant opinion leaders who are not necessarily environmentalists. Any resolution reached in such forum is bound to be a watered down version, just like the Kyoto Protocol which could only slow down global warming by a few years, if ever implemented.

While the world presses the developed countries to emit less carbon dioxide, there are many folds of human beings in developing countries waiting in line to join the polluting train. Development cannot be stopped. As we speak, obsolete polluting machines are being shipped to developing countries to continue the polluting process, in the name of reduction of waste.

Man-made global warming cannot be disputed. I read from another journal that the earth has already accumulated too much carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. It is like too many blankets have been laid on top of us. The process has crossed the threshold and the warming engine has already started. The natural carbon dioxide absorbing ability by the ocean has slowed down. Even if the carbon dioxide emission by human is not increased at all as from today onwards, the global warming effect will still go on for a long time. All the predicted damages cannot be avoided.

I think sufficient evidence of man-made global warming have been laid before us, but they do not necessarily kick off corrective actions owing to the immediate pain of remedy. We have not yet reached the critical point. It will take some more catastrophes before governments of the world start taking concrete actions.

However, I do not think this will be the end of the world. Human being is the most adaptive species. We can evolve to cope with the effect of global warming, just like the poster I saw yesterday: a garment brand is already promoting its global warming series.

There are some scientists who are proposing that we should not waste time arguing the cause and effect of global warming. We should instead concentrate on the preparation to deal with the damages caused by severe climate changes. The damages will come in the form of climate immigrants and climate refugees. Without the success or otherwise on the debate on man-made global warming, disasters are now happening in many places where water shortages, sea level crises, deteriorating pasture land, conflicts and famine are forcing people to move. I think catastrophe is in the making and the human population will decrease. I hope an equilibrium with nature will eventually be found leading to a smaller human population co-existing with planet earth. This may be possible if we are given sufficient time to adapt.

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