climate change ain’t the whole thang

triple threat

One seldom remarked aspect of global warming is the remarkable finding that how the world develops is vastly more important than how it responds to climate change.

Indeed, our climate change response must be embedded in our development path.

Seems straightforward, no? Climate change action is necessary but not sufficient.

Yet, there has been a tendency (at least since the Stern Review) to focus almost exclusively on mitigation of and adaptation to climate change.

We're told the planet is approaching a tipping point, and nothing is more important than avoiding such a catastrophe.

True, as far as it goes.

On the other hand, some folks focus almost exclusively on resource shortages, such as peak oil.

We're told the planet is running out of resources, and nothing is more important than developing new energy sources and closed-loop production systems.

Oh, and, then there are others who focus almost exclusively on equity considerations.

We're told the planet is brewing unrest, and nothing is more important than averting a devolution into barbarism.

Wot's it gonna be? All three, say we.

We cannot mitigate climate change without also resolving resource shortages and achieving global fair shares.

The unavoidable conclusion: we should be discussing development pathways, and not simply carbon dioxide.

Published by Ken on July 1st, 2007 tagged Climate Change, Systems Thinking

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