Climate change: what should we do?

Here is an interesting article from Scientific American, authored by John Broome, that looks at the issue of weighing up our own comforts and prosperity of today, and how this will effect future generations. The article highlights the one issue that many of us ourselves: “What should we do about climate change?” – it discusses the costs and benefits of our actions.

“The costs of mitigating climate change are the sacrifices the present generation will have to make to reduce greenhouse gases. We will have to travel less and better insulate our homes. We will have to eat less meat. We will have to live less lavishly. The benefits are the better lives that future people will lead: they will not suffer so much from the spread of deserts, from the loss of their homes to the rising sea, or from floods, famines and the general impoverishment of nature.” states Broome. Read more.

What do you think? Is there an easy answer to this complex question?

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About Bioversity Library

Maintained by staff at Bioversity International Library, this blog aims to provide readers with updates on new information resources within the field of plant genetic resources (PGR), agrobiodiversity and conservation; [with a little fun thrown in as well].
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4 Responses to Climate change: what should we do?

  1. alexanjorge says:

    I think this is an issue we should really start to think about!!

    Last week I read that at least 8 kg of maize are needed to produce one kg of meat (not to mention the water consumption!). That made me stop and think. I do not mean we should become vegetarians (I really like a nice steak, cheese and creamy sauce!), but surely we do not need to eat so much meat sometimes. This could be one more reason (a good incentive!) to have one or more vegetarian meals a week.

    When I read the article tulip prices and food crisis and the price rises due to both (http://tinyurl.com/3gdh4f) shortages of food and increasingly high demands, that also made me think: how much food do we actually so often waste? How many times do you throw away food (especially if you do not have a dog or a cat to make some use of the leftovers…)? How frequently do you trash expired food products you did not have time to use? How often do you go to parties were huge amounts of food were prepared and are not eaten? I do not think we should eat more, to avoid throwing away food but we should plan better and waste less. This will both increase the amount available and reduce demand a bit (and perhaps improve the health for some of us…). If each of us can do a bit we can perhaps have some impact.

    We all learn practical ways to save water in the last years of wide public awareness: do not leave the tap running when brushing your teeth, flush the toilets less often, have a shower instead of a bath… We all know this and many implement it if not always perhaps at least a few times.

    We should think about doing the same about food. We should know more about the implications of consuming different agricultural products, not only from a nutritional point of view, but also from an environmental point of view.
    We also have to learn more and perhaps research more (for the professionals working on agricultural research projects) about how much it costs to grow a kg of rice or a kg or chicken? Is it environmentally better to eat a tuna sandwich instead of a chicken sandwich? I would like any of both, and if one would be environmentally cheaper I would not mind to choose that one! How much water and resources (and often pollution) are required to grow a dozen of roses (I love roses!…)? How many broccolis could be grown instead? We do not know much about the implications of these choices!

  2. Bioversity Library says:

    You have raised some very interesting points. I fully agree on your point that the general public needs to have easy to digest information about the everyday food choices they make, and what effect that decision will have effect on the environment.
    People need to be informed, sometimes over and over again until the message sinks in….not because we are stupid, but because we live busy lives and often we don’t take the time to assess the way we live our lives and the everyday decisions we make.

  3. fdipaolo says:

    I would like to submit to your attention an interested book I just finished reading

    Omnivore’s Dilemma
    A Natural History of Four Meals
    by Michael Pollen

    http://www.michaelpollan.com/omnivore.php

    It touches very interesting topics that made me think that we have to change the way we eat and the way we live if we all want survive and leave a better world to our successors.

  4. SILVER, Felix says:

    It is an interesting article I commend your writing but find more information on Climate Change

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