Unlike shooting yourself in the foot, the effects of which are immediately apparent, the results of the world’s insatiable thirst for fossil fuels, climate change, have taken decades to manifest themselves.
If you shoot yourself in the foot with a traditional bow, the arrow, traveling 200fps, will register in your brain about 160ms after you release it. Ouch. Unfortunately, the world is shooting itself in the foot with an arrow that travels perhaps millimeters per year, actions that were taken decades ago are only just manifesting themselves, and these manifestations will only get worse.
For example, coal has been in use for millennia, but started greatly expanded use in during the Industrial Revolution, about two hundred years ago, and is still in use today, coal power plants being some of the worst emitters of carbon dioxide in the world, adding to the climate change phenomenon with every ton of carbon dioxide that gets pumped into the atmosphere.
According to Halldor Thorgeirsson, senior director of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, it could be too late to address the climate change brought on by emissions from power generation, the transportation sector, and industry, saying, “we are failing as an international community” and the world is not on target to curb climate change.
In school, I remember getting quarterly reports that sometimes I felt I needed to hide from my mother, but it had to be done. There was no way around it. Continue on the bad path and suffer the consequences, even if those consequences might be sometime in the future. The world needs to sit up and take note. Today’s actions are leading to tomorrow’s consequences. Will we work hard, now, perhaps make sacrifices to assure a better tomorrow? Of course, we could simply ignore the problem, maintain the status quo, and pay for it later?
Image © FreeDigitalPhotos.net