I think it’s a matter of giving the economy a little time to recover (it’s doing better now) first. Once we’re on a little better footing, we need to start figuring out how to use sustainability to our economic advantage. While we’re convincing countries to invest in the climate now, by doing so I think they will save money over time. Countries can start waning their dependence on foreign oil and stop having to spend so much money on energy. We’re going to have to do a lot of convincing about how this is an “investment” that eventually will save money.
As a species, our brains have a hard time grasping long term realities, so this is a difficult situation. The future threats don’t seem real enough to many people, so putting in the funding now doesn’t seem like a priority to them. I’m afraid to say that for many people who think like this, it will be very hard to change their mentality. It might take a huge disaster to finally hit it home to them. Perhaps seeing what is happening in countries getting hit with natural disasters might be a very convincing preview of what future threats might be like. Some people need to be scared into spending money to prevent the impacts of climate change.
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