Sunday, November 11, 2007

Our $ Share

"Nations that have grown rich in part by polluting without facing the costs of doing so must now repay their carbon debt to the developing world," said Andrew Pendleton, author of "Truly Inconvenient - tackling poverty and climate change at once."

According to an estimate done by a British economist developed countries need to spend about 1% of their current GDP on efforts to help contain Global warming. Given that the US GDP is estimated to be at over $14 Trillion then our fair annual share would be around $140 billion. Would we ever pay even a tenth of that some? Do pigs fly?

8 comments:

MWEST said...

Unfortunately pigs do not fly; unless the government is willing to put in the money to research how to accomplish this feat that is. But that is never the case. People and governments are only concerned with what affects them at the moment rather than looking into the distant future. When most people do talk about the future, they typically aren’t extremely serious about it. That is why the U.S. would never pay $140 billion in order to stop our share of global warming; because it is not in our real current interests. It is like what we talked about in class – we are willing to pay over a trillion dollars to stay in a war that is going nowhere, but we won’t use that money for beneficial goals, such as education. Such an amount could go to global warming, education, and there would still be some left over. Instead, we need to make sure our missiles are state-of-the-art. So unfortunately I do not think we would pay that money for such an important cause like containing global warming.

Lianne said...

I agree that is unlikely we are going to implement any drastic environmental protection initiatives at this moment, considering that the war is what seems to take precedence. As we were discussing in class, the slow political process makes it difficult to make necessary changes happen quickly, and combined with a costly war, it is almost impossible. So while adopting a plan to designate 1% of GDP for controlling Global Warming does not seem unreasonable, it is unlikely to happen soon.

However, considering the tremendous urgency and importance of this issue and others related to out environment, we have to figure out how to make compromises and take the necessary steps to bring about a meaningful transformation. There are some promising signs: Global Warming seems to be on the national agenda, because Al Gore has brought a lot of awareness, and movements like the power shift summit show public concern, and news coverage seems to focus on the issue. So hopefully we could figure out a way to pay the $140 Billion in the near future.

Bobby Spence said...

I am sure we can cut down on $100 Billion of wasted spending and raise the rest through green regulations or taxes on industry. The problem with our government is the wasted amounts of money and resources for worthless programs. We need to focus on education and making changes to our environment. I agree it is not currently in our interest, but it should be as it may be one of the most important issues we now face. It is just amazing that simple technologies such as CFL light bulbs are available but not implemented. The initial cost is slightly higher but they pay for themselves. The government should begin to pass laws or offer incentives to simple ‘green’ technologies such as these. I am leading a bit off the track of the post as I clearly do not see the $140 billion being an issue at all. Our mentality and interest are the real issue. We have the resources, technology, and green paper bills available, but our government cannot manage money or programs correctly that is why we do not have a working education, health care system and our environment is in peril.

Tigerguardian said...

Based on the current world leaders-I doubt many if not any country is going to spend that much money on dealing with environmental issues such as global warming. Many US politicians won't even acknowledge the existance of Global Warming. This is their way of not having to deal with it or spend money on it. It would only take one strong world leader to start the trend and then most of the world will follow. We have not had this type of leader in the U.S. If anything laws are passed that hurt conservation and environmental issues. It's all about money. So what is a little thing like an endangered species, polluted water, or global warming gets in the way? If enough people do not believe these are major problems, they are not going to initiate change or pressure politicians to make change.

Dawn

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