Climate change isn’t just about bettering the environment, it has to do with economics, politics, social issues, etc. There is no easy fix because it involves all countries and all aspects of life.
Part of the reason that climate change has been such a difficult problem to figure out how to address is that the main source of the problem (burning fossil fuels for energy) permeates our entire economy. Most major environmental problems of the past – even very big ones – could be addressed through regulations on a particular industry or process. For instance, the problem of ozone depletion in the atmosphere can be greatly reduced by targeting a few chemicals that used for very particular purposes such as cooling agents and aerosol propellants. Other, less harmful chemicals can fill the same roles in the affected industries, so phasing out ozone-depleting substances is relatively easy. In contrast, much of the economy in the United States and many other countries is now powered by the burning of coal, oil, and other fossil fuels – and there is no obvious silver-bullet replacement for these sources of energy. That doesn’t mean replacements can’t be found, or that solutions don’t exist; but halting global warming will require a re-structuring of the whole economy to make it more sustainable and less wasteful.
Climate change is an enormous issue to take on. To completely end global warming the entire world needs to cooperate and plan together, which is no small feat in and of itself. Getting the multiple countries to work together on anything is difficult enough as it is. It’s politically a difficult situation to handle.
I think we also have a difficult time deciding how to address the problems associated with climate change because there are many associated problems affecting different areas in different ways and science is constantly trying to determine what are the causes and best solutions for them. Each country wants to protect its people from water and food shortage, natural disasters and increased water levels, but they also want to balance their economic and social standings.
Unfortunately, climate issues have huge political ties. Because of this, it seems like the government’s stance on environmental legislation is constantly changing. It is very hard to get any work done when perspectives are constantly shifting.
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