Responding to the Climate Change Challenge is a Social Imperative and an Economic Opportunity
Thomas Pedersen, School of Earth and Ocean Sciences
Wednesday, July 13, 2016
Fossil fuel combustion and associated release of carbon dioxide to the atmosphere is warming Earth. The warming is particularly profound in high northern latitudes but its impacts are global, ranging broadly from insults to human health to distortions of world food prices to an increasing frequency of deluges and floods. Moreover, carbon dioxide emissions are acidifying the sea, with serious pending consequences for marine life including coral reefs. We have a small window of opportunity to slow such changes; a first step must be to remove coal from our energy diet. The good news is that acting now–seizing the challenge of the next industrial revolution––will generate new economic activity and a healthier living environment. So, why aren’t we vigorously tackling that challenge? The answer is clear: a lack of political will coupled with societal apathy––a potent recipe for inaction––is holding us back.
It’s time we changed that recipe.