Carbon Reduction or Poverty Reduction, Not Both

NAIROBI – Immediate steep global reductions in the emissions of the chief greenhouse gas, carbon dioxide, turn out to be a fantasy.

What this means is we’ve screwed the pooch. It’s not that it can’t be done (maybe…), it won’t be done. But the problem isn’t just with India’s poor, or even the poor throughout the world. The real problem is with the “rich” and wealthy countries.  And even that problem is a symptom of something else – unchecked global growth and greed.

Poor countries want what rich countries have, and they’re willing to risk further environmental destruction to get it. But that’s no different then rich countries wanting unlimited growth and the “good life”, even though it’s guaranteeing the total destruction of the planet.

This comes as no surprise. The Stern Report revealed the economic impacts – but what about the sociological and cultural impacts? This is what we really need.  An attitude adjustment that comes into line with the planetary levels of sustainability.

Our current economic models (and attitudes) do not even remotely begin to represent these concepts. We know we’re out of sync with our planet, but what we haven’t managed to figure out is how to get into synchronization. And we probably won’t, either.

Amazingly, there is already ample proof of what we need to do, but we refuse. Even now, indigenous tribes exist in remote parts of the world as examples to us.  But since this does not even remotely meet the economic demands of the corporate slave-masters, it won’t even be considered. Thus, we’ve screwed the pooch. Our civilization will run out of good ground and quickly sink into the garbage it has created.


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