Blog Action Day on Climate Change was on Oct. 15th, and I'd signed up to participate. Unfortunately, one thing led to another, and I didn't get a chance to blog that day. But anyway, I made a commitment, so regardless of the fact that Blog Action Day on Climate Change is over, it's never too late to talk about climate change. Especially when I have some extremely interesting stuff to share!
About a month ago I headed over to the National Mall for the National Book Festival here in D.C. On my way there, I came across a group of people who were talking about climate change. I figured I'd listen in and see what they had to say, and boy, did they have a lot to say. The organization, Truth About Green , basically pushes the notion that climate change or global warming is not actually a natural phenomenon, but rather a man-made phenomenon set up to advance the economic and business ideals of top business elements. Additionally, they said that green initiatives would actually result in higher taxes for the average citizen (in this case American). When I realized what they were talking about, I was a bit skeptical. Like seriously, who would call climate change a hoax? Well, they certainly had no qualms about making that accusation.
Anyways, I tried to upload a video of one of the speakers at the event, but it was too large (smart me, huh?). So here's a video I found on youtube that has similar (if not the same) argument. I'm only putting part 1 on here, but if you wanna watch the remaining parts, it's all on good ol' youtube:
I don't think I agree with the notion that climate change is a hoax. Politics aside, I think anyone can pretty much figure out that there's something seriously wrong with Mother Earth, and she's letting her frustrations show all around us. For one thing, look at the temperature change. It's only October and already, temperatures have dropped as though we're in the height of winter. Heck, some places have already gotten their first dusting of snow! Sure, there's the whole argument about the earth being in a "cooling off" period, but the way I see it, it's better to pay attention to climate change now, and ensure that we're putting our rubbish and toxic waste in the appropriate places, instead of having to deal with extreme environmental disasters in the future.
"Cap & Trade": Until this event, I didn't have any inkling about what "Cap & Trade" is. Generally, its a policy currently being debated in the U.S. Congress which would require businesses and corporations to monitor their emissions and ensure that they do not go over a certain limit. So essentially, its an attempt at controlling pollution. No problem there. The main criticism against "Cap & Trade" is the carbon trading element. A company which projects that its greenhouse emissions will exceed the limit can "buy" pollution allowances from other companies which might not be meeting their limits. Here's a wikipedia article on it for those of you who want detailed info. Now here, I might agree with the Truth About Green arguments. By making the issue of pollution reduction a business venture, we risk actually dealing with the issue of pollution at all.
Lessons for Ghana/Africa
Information & Education: One of the speakers at the event mentioned the fact that Spain, which was heralded as an economically stable economy,recently slipped into a recession. It was a model of sorts for the green campaign. I don't know that much about Greening in Spain, but what I do know is the fact that if we intend to incorporate models and structures from other countries, we need to educate ourselves. Ghana and other African countries are relatively better-off (I think) when it comes to pollution. How can we reduce what pollution we have, and how can we prepare for the future?
We should be doing our research and looking at all these models (failed or otherwise) to inform our own policy decisions. If we don't keep ourselves informed, we will have a situation similar to our current economic systems; we'll have policies, laws and structures that do not work for us. Already, many multi-lateral companies get away with polluting our countries without so much as a slap on the hand for this. That's where our concern should be: strengthening our legal structures to protect our environment and consequently, our population.
Essentially, this brings about the question of intent and accountability. If you are pushing for climate change and environmental awareness, then you shouldn't just talk the talk, but walk the walk as well. I remember in J.S.S. we would have a teacher tell us about how its important to not litter the environment, and then after school, that same teacher would finish eating an orange and throw it on the ground. If we want to make our earth and environments cleaner and more comfortable to live in, each of us is accountable. From the school kids to the politicians. Each of us.
Alors, since I'm all for democracy and fairness, here's a TED video on Al Gore and his ideas concerning climate change. Regardless of whether you agree or not, he's definitely got a humorous spin on his talk!