Now that there’s a consensus that global warming is primarily caused by our industrial activities, should we be optimistic about a solution that serves everyone’s interests.
By: Vanessa Uy
Have you noticed that anything designed by a committee is seldom aesthetically and functionally pleasing? I hope that this fate doesn’t befall the well-intentioned actions of the Global Community / Powers-That-Be to limit the impact of our industrial processes on our climate. Believe me, I’m all for establishing resolutions to limit the generation of greenhouse gasses that’s causing global warming that would eventually cause a catastrophic climate change and sea level rise. But chances are, the United States will have the loudest voice on formulating policies to solve this somewhat intransigent dilemma because herein lies the true extent of the complexity of the task at hand. But first, lets take a look back on the United States Government’s track record on how might they deal with this problem.
During the end of the 1960’s, the gravest threat to the Global Community was the all-out nuclear exchange between the U.S. and the then Soviet Union. The Nixon administration at that time was in a unique position to declare a détente or and end to the “Cold War” and the ability to enforce it. Sadly, the U.S. Administration at that time was extremely reluctant to reformulate the “canon” of their “interests” and foreign policies. This was immortalized in that famous Richard M. Nixon quote; “Peace in our time with honor.” A lot of people will argue that it was a good thing because the almost imminent all-out nuclear exchange was postponed indefinitely. But as time went on, this flawed foreign policy has created Al-Qaeda and despotic Persian Gulf Heads-of-State.
If the U.S. Administration’s involvement in formulating laws that are of benefit to the Global Community in tackling catastrophic climate change is still based on a 40-year-old “canon” that protects U.S. interests in maintaining their Military-Industrial-Complex above all else would probably result in two scenarios. One, it would be doomed to fail; two, it would create more problems that it intends to solve.
Maybe, we should take solace on what Abraham Lincoln said about slavery more than a hundred years ago. He said that the institution of slavery was “formulated on both injustice and bad policy.” This is much like our present “agricultural subsidies” that only benefit the rich and powerful. Policymakers really should think carefully on how they should formulate solutions to protect our climate that not only benefits the poor but also rich industrialists can live with.
Most “common folks” that I know have been doing their part in protecting our planet. Some of them for more than thirty years by reducing energy consumption and recycling in order to conserve our dwindling natural resources. Let us just hope that when run-of-the-mill politicians use their heavy handedness on environmentalism, Russian Literature buffs won’t be saying: “The road to hell is paved with good intentions.”