Tuesday 11 January 2011

Global Warming And The Effects Of Carbon Emissions

Global warming and the effects of carbon emissions seem to be the elephant in the room in our world. We are all aware of the abuses of our environment and yet we do not compromise our lifestyles. Corporations will minutely compromise their profit margin knowing even more so than us how their plants effect the world we live in negatively. Damage control would cost money, regulating carbon emissions to an effective degree would cost money, and who would want to deplete their pocketbook? So I ask, how worthwhile is the pursuit of wealth if your children's children will not benefit from it? Is wealth truly so pleasurable at the expensive of mankind?

While many Americans remain naïve and feel that by curb recycling they are proactive environmentalists, the reality is the effects of global warming have disastrous potential on the human race, and the species that inhabit this earth and it is going to take more effort on our parts. We all know this. We are confronted with it every day as the seasons become increasingly erratic, and with the ever growing endangerment and extinction of animal species due to a loss of habitat and natural resources. We have done significant damage to the earth and you can't just blame it on the big guys. You, the consumer make choices everyday by what you purchase and whom you purchase from. Your hard earned money lines the pockets of your destroyers.

At present, diplomats and leaders, corporations, scientists and environmentalists, environmental activists, and everything of the like are discussing this global threat at the 2010 Cancun Conference for Climate Change. It is hoped that some consensus will be reached in which every country takes some responsibility in the regulation of carbon emissions and deforestation.

REDD+ is being proposed which SOUNDS good at least. But is it? REDD+ stands for a unified front to reduce emissions from deforestation and forest degradation, and foster conservation, sustainable management of forests, and enhancement of forest carbon stocks. In a nutshell, the idea is to pay tropical countries to stop cutting down their forests and releasing the carbon they contain to the atmosphere. It seems like green lobbyists would welcome something like this that promises to conserve forests rich with wild life that will also reduce 12%-14% of global emissions that come from countries like Brazil and Indonesia simultaneously.

Here are a few of the issues that are causing a large divide. In many of the countries where there are prominent rainforests there also lies the threat of corruption and weak governing. This means there will be difficulty regulating these forested areas and there will surely be greedy hands stealing and/or misusing the funding. Another issue is the UN's loose definition of forested areas and what falls into these categories for funding. Also, there seems to be a disregard for the issue of those indigenous people that live within the rainforests. If these rainforests are supposedly safeguarded against human activity will these people be booted from their homes? What rights do they have?

Wealthy countries love this idea, because it is a seemingly cheap solution that doesn't compromise the carbon rich lifestyles of its citizens. We can go on in the US, business as usual. Problem with that is we can't go on business as usual at this rate. Our carbon footprint will surely trump these idealistic efforts. Not to mention, those corporations and all of their hefty emissions also going on with business as usual. To recap, there will be a multitude of abuses rendering the actual rainforest habitats unprotected, people that actually respect the land that they live in will be booted from their homes, and wealthy countries will continue to pump carbon dioxide into the air and destroy that which all of this fuss was about in the first place.

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