Climate Change Again

I would rather be writing about the very controversial issues coming up this session of the National Assembly, but I have not been attending it, mostly because I was away.
Attending a capactiation for journalists to write about Climate Change, actually.
Which is why I have been yammering about CC. Lets just say the whole experience has left me seriously questioning my ethics, world ethics, etc etc.
I am a sceptic by nature. When I heard the whole deal about climate change, it didn’t bother me because I heard both the sides. Many people say it is not happening. Well, at least, it seems many people do, seeing as how vocal they are everywhere. Some people said it was, and it was a serious issue. The whole thing sounded like a sort of religion you had to join to me, so I wanted to stay away from it all.
But in my recent trip, I met scientists, who explained the science behind the change. And I think it is likely that what they are saying is true.
They have sensible arguments, they have evidence.
The non believers say that CC is not happening. And then some say it is, but it is not humans causing it.
In fact, they are not clear on what they do not beleive in, and mostly grab on to what little ‘evidence’ they find to grab on to, such as ‘this year was colder than last year.’
So here is my position after my very confused last entry.
A lot of scientists worldwide agree that global warming is happening.
And a lot of them say it is caused by human activities.
And their arguments/evidences sound reasonable to me.
But why is there such a debate on Climate Change? Why are whole countries opposing it, why are ‘rich’ nations not believing in it, why are poor countries already suffering the impacts?
Becasue really, CC is a lot of money. There are at least six ways Bhutan could get money in this whole CC issue.
I am not saying it’s not unreasonable. If our lakes flood becasue of global activities, and we do not have enough resources to cope with the disaster, whose fault is it?
That is the position of ‘poor and vulnerable’ countries. Scientists and pro CC people say the poor are going to be hit the hardest, as in all cases. It is true. The poor have no means to fight for survival.
I always thought the the most important thing in the world is individual rights.
Which is why it bothers me that the world is now planning to make all the rich people pay for a crime they didn’t know they were committing. Rapid industrialisation, which resulted in better healthcare, transport and communication, and generally a better quality of life, also resulted in massive CO2 emissions.
Is it fair to make people pay for a something that became a crime only after they had comitted it already? Courts would dismiss this case.
But there are the people who are apparently on the verge of losing their lives and properties because of this crime. What about their rights? They need safety, they need money to help adapt to the changing climate…they need money to cut down their own small emissions, they need money not to cut down their forests which is otherwise their very important source of livelihood, they need money to buy the latest clean technology, they need money to run clean projects in their country to compensate for a country who is already too deep into high emissions to reduce, and they need money as a compensation for not filling up their quota of allowed emissions from a country who exceeds that quota, to balance things out in the world carbon emission quantities.
No wonder there is so much hue and cry about the whole Climate Issue. Its not about believing that the earth is heating and we are causing the heat. It is about who should pay for it. And how much. And in how many ways.
This is a global issue, which comes home when our rivers swell up, we have road blocks and incessant rain. Our people are going to be there in the world climate summit in Copenhagen this year, negotiating about all the issues I wrote about. The world takes it seriously.
But deciding on right or wrong doesn’t end with agreeing that Climate Change is happening. Each issue has its own shades of gray. Its not necessary that the people who beleive in CC and want to fix the problem are the good guys. Everyone has vested interests.
What we need to keep in mind in the end is that we need to ensure that individual rights are protected. The best decisions wll be those that ensure that no one’s rights are violated. Actually, we already know that in Bhutan. The best decisions are those that ensure GNH.


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