Can we reverse global warming?
Can we reverse climate change?
If people were the sole cause of global warming then the answer would be a qualified yes, the qualifier is, would we?
Does the political and social will exist to do what would be necessary if indeed humans are responsible for climate change?
There is a debate still being waged over the human role in climate change, some say humans are the sole cause while others say humans have played no role at all.
There is another point of view and that is humans have contributed to a naturally occurring climate shift.
Before we move on let us look at the difference between climate and weather.
The difference between weather and climate is a measure of time. Weather is what conditions of the atmosphere are over a short period of time, and climate is how the atmosphere "behaves" over relatively long periods of time. When we talk about climate change, we talk about changes in long-term averages of daily weather.
I do not believe that humans are the sole cause of global warming but the fact that a debate rages and often fiercely makes it very difficult to undertake any action which could mitigate the human impact.
There is much that we could do to reeves the harm that humans have done to the planet and develop sustainable communities while we are doing so.
The United Nations secretary-General has called for a Green New Deal saying:
“Climate change threatens all our goals for development and social progress. Indeed, it is the one true existential threat to the planet.”
“On the other hand, it also presents us with a gilt-edged opportunity. By tackling climate change head-on we can solve many of our current troubles, including the threat of global recession. We stand at a crossroads. It is important that we realize we have a choice. We can choose short-sighted unilateralism and business as usual. Or we can grasp global cooperation and partnership on a scale never before seen.”
There is hope in what Ban says but I come back to the will that is required to do the work. I sense that it is missing and that people on all sides of the debate would rather sit around and debate than get out there and actually take action.
Let me give an example of one project that if duplicated in municipalities across the world would help reduce the amount of greenhouse gases we are spewing into the atmosphere, create employment and provide food.
First let us look at what an economy is. An economy is based upon trade. We go to the marketplace, either in person or digitally, and buy the goods (cabbages, shoes, DVDs, meat) we need. We also enter the market place to purchase services such as healthcare and education.
Urban agriculture which is simply the growing of food and the production of food based items (jams, jellies, eggs and s on ) in urban setting, cities, towns and villages, not only reduces the amount of fossil fuels used to move goods across country but when done organically reduces the pollutants used to grow the goods.
This has a positive effect on the community. If urban agriculture is combined with community energy generation then we create jobs and clean, renewable energy, such as wind, solar, micro hydro. There are spin offs in practical research and development of appropriate wind and solar technologies for urban settings.
I believe we have the knowledge and skills to take the steps we need to reduce the human impact on our planet and thus mitigate the effects of global warming. I am much less certain that the will or desire to do so exists at a level that will make a difference. Too many people are simply arguing and doing nothing.
So, yes we can reverse the human element of global warming the question is will we?
what can you do?
- Permaculture: An Introduction
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