The world has waited far too long for America to provide the necessary leadership to stop global warming. The situation has deteriorated and earth has gotten warmer (with all of its ecological consequences), while America keeps arguing that big developing countries like China and India should contribute more to the efforts to arrest global warming. We have waited long enough to know that neither side will back down, and that the debate in the coming years will still be confined to “I’ll do my part if you do yours” instead of discussing the actions that need to be taken.
It is also pretty clear by now that almost everybody on earth contributes in some way to global warming, and that generally speaking, the wealthy more so than the poor. This has to do with lifestyles. Few people are willing to give up the comforts they enjoy in life. Again, the attitude is that “why should I be the one to sacrifice, when there are other worst offenders than I am.”
Earth is heading for self-destruction, and no one is capable of, or willing, to stop it.
In the meantime, we are already feeling the impact of global warming through major floods, severe droughts, destructive hurricanes and typhoons, and other extreme weather conditions felt around the globe. Indonesia is particularly vulnerable as are other small island nations. The rise of the ocean level is fast encroaching upon the shores of the 17,000 or so islands that make up Indonesia. It would not come as a surprise if a new survey would find that a few thousands of these islands are now permanently submerged under the sea.
If we accept that everybody contributes to global warming, then each and every one of us could contribute to fighting it. We should not wait for others to start before we act. We all do what we can, and the more we do, the better it is for the world and for each of us in it. All it takes is a small sacrifice in our lifestyles.
Rather than asking what America, China, India and Brazil are doing to stop global warming, we should be asking ourselves, what have you done today to help conserve the Earth? This is one of those things where leadership will have to come from individuals and civil society. Government are too locked into the cycle of politics to do what we all desperately need.
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