Thursday, November 29, 2007

More Leadership?

After a recent meeting on global climate change Ban Ki-moon Secretary General of the United Nations called for the United States and China to take "a more constructive role." After all they are the worlds biggest greenhouse gas emitters. This meeting took place before the IPCC was to meet in Indonesia. The IPCC report says we need to take action immediately in order to slow global warming. They also say that global climate change could have a catastrophic affect on the world if we don't act now; island nations could be flooded and deserted, African crops could be reduced by 50%. Many articles I have read says that the people most effected by climate change will be in developing nations. Developed nations will be able to adapt because a main portion of their economy depends on services not agriculture like developing nations. The IPCC also look to the U.S. and China for a quick solution. They want them so spend money on new technology so that the whole world can benefit from it. If the U.S and China were to do this it would have to be because they are going to benefit far greater than by not doing it. That is one reason, I believe, they are not taking any action. The Global Climate is a public good we can not exclude one country from it. To me this means the only way we are going to stop global warming we need a government that can enforce everyone not just put pressure. Another aspect I think that should be explored is developing nations. There is more incentive for them to take action since they are going to be the ones most harmed by climate change. Policy makers need to explore this possibility when writing treaties. This point might be a bit controversial but we would not ask them to do much; just something simple like cutting back on deforestation. When it comes to global warming everyone is looking for more leadership, but no one is wanting to take action. We can not leave this problem to be solved in the hands of two countries.

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