by Adam Goodwin | 2013
Global warming. The environment. Sustainability. What does this all mean?
Pick up a newspaper, turn on the news on TV, and these are very hot issues and topics in the media and in politics. A current trend by individuals, corporations, and governments to show they care about the world’s sensitive environments and ecologies.
With the planet and physical environment as such a sensitive ecology that humans heavily and greatly rely, why is more not being done by individuals, governments, businesses, and other parties, to ensure the long-term sustainability of human civilization?
The Economic Costs
There must be trust between nations and countries. Many countries have signed environment treaties with partner-countries. One of the biggest and most well-known treaties between many countries is the Kyoto Protocol. I wondered why many countries have not taken their commitment to signing the Kyoto Protocol seriously.
With the current global recession, many governments are focused on the economy. As they say, stimulating the economy to grow jobs and opportunities for its people. I wanted to take a step back and take a quick look at individual traits.
An example. Let’s say, both Country A and Country B sign the Kyoto Protocol. There must be much trust between these two nations in order for them both to agree to binding and lawful environmental targets. If Country A actually starts moving towards the targets it has agreed to, its economy may take some hits as industries such as forestry and manufacturing most adapt to help its country meet its targets. Meanwhile, Country B is going full-steam ahead, ignoring the targets it has agreed. This may hurt Country A’s economy even more – Country B is growing its economy and the opportunities for its citizens while A is slowing down progress to ensure it has a sustainable lifestyle and industry practices.
Countries must develop trustful and interdependent relationships. Country B must understand it too must follow Country A’s lead, because both countries will rely on these environmentally-friendly policies in the not too distant future. The environment is global. If Continent A’s ecology is destroyed, this will have a drastic impact on Continent B’s ecology. The world is interdependent. Nations are interdependent.
Many young, developing minds grow up with a role model and mentor. You can see some of my mentors in this old blog post. People need this to develop healthy understandings of the complex global world many of us now live and interact with others in.
This is likely similar to many countries around the world. The elite countries in the world must take a leadership role when it comes to the environment. Currently, most have not. Why would a small, developing country care about the environment, if the superpower nations do not care. If all countries are meant to eventually develop into a superpower, these smaller countries have no good role model to have the health of our environment is a priority.
The world’s superpowers (the big brothers, the little brothers are meant to look up to) must take a leadership role in developing and nurturing societies that are sustainable, smart, and livable for the fore-see-able future.
Developing countries are trying to get out of a downward spiral. Limited natural resources, poverty, debt to the superpower countries, and oppression on the world stage by more developed countries, is keeping many of these developing countries where they are economically, socially, politically, and environmentally.
To step into the shoes of the political leader of a developing country for a moment. If you are trying to develop a system where your citizens can have jobs to feed, clothe, and shelter their families, you will likely say yes to most opportunities presented to you. If a dirty, polluting manufacturing company wants to open a factory in your country, there is very little option except to say yes. Your people need these jobs so they can provide the very basic necessities to their children. You are not concerned with how this will impact your country over the long-term. Now, today, you must find ways to bring money and investments into your country to help your people. It is understandable why you put economic growth over the care of the environment. You are tired of having one of the world’s largest infant mortality rates due to many factors. You see this as a golden opportunity.
If you ask economists, and other professionals and analysts, there is little doubt, today is the Global Era. Where great oceans are no longer a barrier to visiting families and friends around the world. Where a short vacation a few thousand kilometers, is not a barrier due to the speed of today’s commercial jets.
With this, we must be careful. Many airplane manufacturers are now designing and selling more efficient airplanes. Airplanes are some of the world’s worst and largest polluters. Additionally, most international airports are massive. The size of some towns. They take up much space and area. They have planes, land vehicles (luggage carts, fuel trucks, etc), passengers to and from the airport, and a considerable amount of destruction of land to pour pavement for runways and taxi-ways. We must find ways to ensure our airplanes and airports are working interdependently with nature.
Forests help take care of the air and soil. We must protect these sensitive resources. If we must use wood then we must find ways to replenish these forests quickly and naturally. We must be careful who we allow to cut down our forests – taking care to evaluate the process (how they cut down the trees and process the wood) and not just the end result (the quantity of trees they cut down, and the amount of volume of wood they manufacture).
Individuals must also take responsibility to live in unison with the environment and natural occurrences on the planet. Click here, for a list I am currently developing about every-day actions individuals can utilize to better live in harmony with the sensitive planet’s planets, animals, natural resources, ecologies, and environments.
Everyone – toute le monde in French – must do their part. Each individual, government, organization, business, group, family, friend, industry, person – they each must do their part to help ensure the environment is here for tomorrow’s citizens (those not even yet alive). It will take each party to have a profound impact.
Your Call To Action
Do you have any ideas or insights into the causes of global warming and climate change? Do you have some easy-to-implement solutions individuals can do to live in harmony with nature? Share by commenting below or connecting on social media!
These are one person’s thoughts and opinions. I welcome and strive to get your feedback and own thoughts. Feel free to comment below or connect with me via social media.
Adam Goodwin is a Canadian working in the United Kingdom, and is a proud shameless idealist. His parents currently work in Cairo, Egypt. He has siblings and distant family in Canada and around the rainbow nation’s only home. Follow his year+ overseas on Twitter (@adam13goodwin) and on this blog.