Save the Planet

Taking Law of Global Warming is really disheartening.

I want to save the planet and be a good citizen of the Earth, but after going through the last 14 weeks of class and writing my (simulated) recommendations to Todd Stern (Special Envoy to Climate Change in the US State Department) for COP16 of the UNFCCC, I just feel like the planet cannot be saved.

It’s a great notion.

But I think that’s all it’s ever going to be. Politics just ruins the crap out of moral intentions. But that’s reality. I’ve always been a subscriber of the realist notion that the world works based on a distribution of power. It’s a zero-sum game out there. When there’s a taker, someone’s gotta give.

Thus, even in dealing with carbon emissions, it’s all about a market and who gets how many credits to keep on polluting. It’s about whether third-world countries are willing to commit to something that would stunt their politico-economic growth. And it’s about alliances. Who can convince whom to do what and in exchange for what? If the U.S. goes and sits in a room with China and Sudan and gets them onboard with Copenhagen…that should be a good thing, right? But then, where is the transparency in the entire transaction? Why the closed doors?

Oh well.

Being the realist that I am, I understand how things work and I know that what is necessary must be done to accomplish the goal. I even understand the continued protection of coal and oil industries even as the country purports to move towards renewable energy sources. It’s done because they have the power to do this. In a realist world, change or the lack thereof always originates from a place of power. Only something more powerful could upset the balance.

Where is Captain Planet when you need him?

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