Sunday, March 18, 2007

You can't win for losing

As awareness of the effects of climate change increase, Europeans are becoming more conscious of the impact of their actions on the environment. There is a campaign in Europe to urge consumers to buy locally made goods and locally produced food. Europeans are also being urged to vacation closer to home. There are because the transport of consumer items and of people is seen as a key contributor to climate change. Additionally, European Union leaders agreed to cut greenhouse gas emissions substantially by 2020.

This should please Africans. Africa is the continent already most adversely affected by climate change.

Yet, this piece lambastes the campaign, claiming it will destroy Africa's tourist and agricultural export industries.

Some people will whine about whatever's done or not done. The west is blasted for contributing to climate change that hurts Africa, but when Europe tries to take actions to mitigate this problem, it's blasted for that too.

Maybe the populist whiners can figure out what they want the west to do. But I guess it's easier to instead of criticizing everything instead of coming up with constructive solutions.

However, some are taking the bull by the horns and addressing problems proactively. Radio Netherlands has a good piece on how some African cities are better managing their urban settings.

4 Comments:

At 9:12 PM, Blogger Don Thieme said...

I do not believe that sustainable economic practices necessarily preclude strong international trade. The neocolonial system where some countries only supply raw materials while the developed countries do the manufacturing and heavy consumption of fossil fuel energy, however, is not sustainable.

 
At 9:14 PM, Blogger Brian said...

Don, no doubt. However, your comment does not address specific actions that ought to be take or by whom.

 
At 5:49 AM, Blogger sokari said...

BSJ @ We dont generally agree with each other but in this case I believe you are right - see my comment in PZ news out on Friday.

 
At 7:03 PM, Blogger Don Thieme said...

I do not think that one can be as specific on an international basis as one can be in one nation. Somehow the emissions are going to have to be capped by an international agreement like the Kyoto protocol. I think developing countries have a good argument that some allowance be made for the fact that they are currently emitting only a fraction on a per capita basis of what we are emitting in the U.S. and Canada. Still, there are going to have to be caps that each country must be held to or else trade for credits somehow. What alternatives to fossil fuel energy they can turn to will depend upon their geography, economic history, and trading partners.

 

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