[Letter to the editor]Make long-term global warming choicesFor movie lovers who have seen the movie “The Day After Tomorrow,” its scenarios might just turn into reality. A 2004 disaster film, “The Day After Tomorrow,” depicted a scientifically implausible assortment of climate disasters caused by global warming. As the G-8 summit held recently made global warming its main focus, all eyes are now on the effects of rapid climate change in the world. Whether it leads to global warming or not is still under debate, but the issue is clearly on the table.
According to the definition of global warming, the main cause of it is carbon dioxide and five other gases, generated by human activity. Since the Earth has been able in the past to balance the amount of carbon dioxide, it was not considered a problem until much more carbon dioxide than before began to be produced. Today, people are making great efforts to decrease emissions of the gas.
In 2002, however, President George W. Bush still said that the rate of emissions is not as high as expected. Though his view in 2002 is the opposite of the prevailing view right now, some U.S. climate policy makers are still saying that Bush’s administration was not completely on the wrong track.
Myron Ebell, who directs climate and energy policy for the Competitive Enterprise Institute, a group aligned with industries fighting curbs on greenhouse gases, said that it was right for Bush to acknowledge the inevitability of growing emissions, with the country growing at such a huge scale. He added that the United States actually had a better record of decreasing the emission of gases than the countries that took part in the Kyoto Protocol.
The Kyoto Protocol is an agreement among developed countries to reduce the amount of carbon dioxide and other gases that they emit. The protocol also introduced the principle that developed countries can pay for carbon credits, and supply technology to other countries for climate-related studies and projects.
Yet, here is the problem: Developed countries that are obligated to cut down on emissions give their technology to developing countries which have no obligations to reduce emissions. They then run their factories and release the gases; overall the amount of gas emissions remains the same.
The problem with the Kyoto Protocol, many environmentalists are saying, is that it may work in the short run but may not in the long run. Its purpose is to reduce the total amount of gases which cause global warming. Also, the Kyoto Protocol does not put any obligation on newly rising nations such as China or India. In an ideal world, the Kyoto Protocol may be the perfect way to cope with global warming. Humanity’s heedless acts are taking their toll, so it is true that humans must solve this problem. The Kyoto Protocol requires all countries to get involved. It also needs a lot of money to make progress.
Therefore, there should be more realistic solutions especially for the long run. The absolute superlative solution is to have new understandings and perceptions about global warming worldwide. There are still some people who do not feel global warming is a serious problem. There must be education, particularly for the next generation; an accurate map must show global warming. Of course technological development is important but popularization is more crucial for all of human society. The movie “The Day after Tomorrow” did a wonderful job of popularizing the coming climate catastrophe. Changing people’s minds and the popularization of alternative resources will help to slow global warming.
Jeong Boo-Young, a senior at Gwacheon Girls’ High School