Climate change is one of key global issues today. Governments have been discussing this problem for a long time but their initiatives are not effective enough. This paper will analyze the moral aspect of the climate change and the role of individuals and small communities in deciding the crisis. Only cooperation of all stakeholders can bring significant improvements to the environment.
Climate Change as a Moral Problem for Everyone Right Now
We often hear about the importance of environmental protection and addressing climate change. However, we usually put the full responsibility on governments and business. This approach is wrong because climate is a moral obligation of everyone living on the planet. Moreover, it is our moral problem right now. Our wrong actions make other creatures suffer, so everyone should act rationally. For example, intensive use of cars leads to deteriorating of the quality of air and global warming, which is negative for other species. We also produce a significant amount of garbage. Developed countries try to recycle it to avoid negative impact on the environment. However, some developing countries still collect and leave garbage just outside cities. As a result, soil and underground waters suffer. Therefore, these two examples demonstrate that even ordinary people have negative impact on other creatures and the environment in general. I believe that the first thing that we should do is to accept that each of us makes the planet suffer. The next step is to realizing that it is our moral obligation to reduce pain of other species.
On the other hand, it could be difficult to realize own responsibility for the climate change because it seems to be distant from our life. I agree with James Garvey, who says that we should begin with small, daily thoughts about right things. I think that it helps to make some connections between our own life and life of others. For example, it would useful to compare ignoring climate change with not helping a drowning person. Analyzing both cases would help to understand that helping a drowning person is as natural as helping our environment. At the same time, I agree with James Garvey that we should have capacity to make some climate changes. It is like with countries. Only rich developed countries have enough capacity to address the environmental issues. Capacity means that governments have economic power, room for reduction, impact, technological instruments and brains. I think it is unfair and inappropriate to force poor countries to deal with climate changes. People in these countries cannot live happily themselves; particularly their governments cannot satisfy their basic needs. Therefore, it is wrong to say these humans that climate change is their moral obligation. I think that they should first protect and save themselves and only after that help environment.
However, even the presence of capacity does not automatically mean that governments and individuals achieve success in addressing the climate change. As we see from the current situation, developed countries failed to solve environmental issues. They still prefer protecting their own interests than other creatures on the Earth. I think that one of the reasons of this failure is thinking too much about money. Environmental protection requires each government to sacrifice some financial resources and reduce production of goods. I believe that most of governments still do not realize the urgency of the issue. Otherwise, they would have reached some understanding in this field.
I also agree with James Garvey that individuals should not forget about their influence on governments. Today, it is not enough to reduce own emissions. Individuals can create some groups to press their governments and business. In developed countries, the role of the public is outstanding. Unlike people from developing counties, they are able to change something in the work of their governments through protests, media and even elections. For example, citizens can vote for politicians, who are ready to solve climate problems.
Despite numerous obstacles, the current crisis could be solved. Vandana Shiva offers to change the decision-makers. Today, the business community normally chooses solutions, which are not right because they do not consider the needs of others. For example, rich countries support the idea of carbon trading, which allows the most polluted countries and businesses to transfer their emissions on other communities through investing in “green technology” there. I think this idea is completely wrong. Although, the following policy helps to develop “green” technology in poorer countries, it does not address the factors that lead to climate crisis. Thus, I believe that the major problem is that corporations use technology, which causes pollution. Therefore, they have to improve production process but not transfer pollution on other countries and corporations. The excellent example is nuclear industry. Companies producing nuclear power need uranium, which is very toxic. Despite this, some politicians and environmental group still support the production of nuclear energy.
Energy use is very connected with two other global issues, such global warming and food. Thus, pollution can cause both global warming and food crisis. Thus, climate change does not allow farmers to grow plants properly. Besides, I agree with Vandina Shiva about the effects of improper energy use. It is especially vivid in countries with numerous rural areas. For example, the increase of car use leads to rising demand for oil production. Besides, it requires road instruction, which means that farmers loose some part of their land. As a result, they start to produce less food. Reducing of supply leads to rising of prices for food, so some people might have difficulties with nutrition. If local had voice, they would have fought against road construction. As a result, I think the Earth would have fewer issues with global warming, energy use and food.
On the other hand, I think that allowing small communities to decide all the questions connected with their land is not reasonable. The problem is that some communities could be against all new ideas. From my personal experience, people living in rural areas enjoy their quiet life, so they are afraid of any changes. However, the Earth does need some development. The population of the planet has been increasing, so humans should search new sources of energy and food. For this, people need to occupy new territories and expand the capacity of inhabited areas. For example, new territories could be used for expanding the sizes of the cities.
Taking into consideration arguments for and against involving small communities into decision-making process, I think big corporations and small communities should have equal rights. This cooperation would allow the planet to develop and meet the needs of ordinary people. This approach is against the ideas of Vandina Shiva, who thinks that only small communities can make a right decision. However, I believe that only cooperation of all sides can help the Earth to survive.
In conclusion, small communities, governments and business should work together to decide the global crisis. Such cooperation would allow addressing the needs of all sides. Thus, small communities would be able to protect their lands from occupying by big corporations. The pressure of people on governments would accelerate adopting effective policies for dealing with climate change. Corporations would be able to develop and maintain progress on the planet.