The Human Cost of Cutting Back on Emissions

2010 Words9 Pages
In a world where money basically talks, one has to wonder how far the pursuit of profit can actually go. That problem can easily be answered by a short mathematical equation: human life is greater than monetary gain. In a capitalist system, where inherently someone has to suffer for someone else to prosper, this simple and effective equation that should be at the basis of global functioning just does not seem to be grasped. An upcoming crisis with climate change – though already present for many, many years – adds yet another facet to the inequality that the world’s population is subject to, mainly from a Global North-Global South perspective. When money comes in between discussions about sustainable environmental policies, especially to prevent human lives from encountering danger or adversity, something is fundamentally wrong. Ian Angus, in his book The Global Fight for Climate Justice asks his readers: “In a global context, how can the financial costs of cutting emissions in the richest countries be compared with the human costs of climate change for the world’s poorest people?” To truly comprehend the extent of this dilemma, one must be able to notice and foreshadow the negative effects, and cross out the unsustainable, unrealistic, and false solutions, to be able to concentrate on short-term and long-term solutions to the global crisis that is climate change, and the cost in human lives. Firstly, it is important to note the concrete effects of the green-house gas emissions on this planet through the phenomena known as climate change, or from a more radical perspective, global warming. This is a slow, long-term rise in the average world temperature. Angus’s book compiles many possible outcomes provided by the Intergovernme... ... middle of paper ... ... the Western, capitalist, easy-going, consumerist way of life, people are essentially telling those in the poorest country that their – the Westerners – happiness is worth more than their – the poorest peoples’ – lives. On a very simple level, when a person cannot even think of giving up a petty entertaining object or unnecessary commodity to help save thousands upon millions of children and whole families from one of the worst fates possible – dying from hunger – or from losing their homes and lands, there is something fundamentally wrong with him or her. It does not take a college degree to notice that. Works Cited Angus, Ian. The Global Fight for Climate Justice: Anticapitalist Responses to Global Warming and Environmental Destruction. Black Point: Fernwood Publishing, 2010. Martin, Cynthia. Class Lectures at Dawson College. 24 and 29 Mar., 14 and 19 Apr. 2011.

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