Facing the climate change threat

Today’s “dominant economic theories” and conceptions of modern capitalism are inadequate because they falsely assume societies will have continued access to cheap energy, like fossil fuels

The evidence which shows that our  climate is shifting is considerable
The evidence which shows that our climate is shifting is considerable

Climate change is a discussion which polarises people and creates endless discussions about the environment around us.

The evidence which shows that our climate is shifting is considerable and the fact that we’re affecting the environment where we live is also an important factor. We have grown accustomed to luxuries, which today are found throughout. Owning multiple vehicles within the same family is something that progress has allowed us to do, but there is a cost to this.

I don’t think that, on our own, we will realise that the damage being caused is enough to even disown things like personal cars. We have to have a bigger picture approach to this as otherwise we’ll be slow-walking off a cliff.

As an island, climate change should concern us even more. It can affect even areas which are not directly linked to the environment, such as tourism.

Research by biophysicists with the BIOS Research Unit in Finland who were asked by the UN to contribute research for the UN Global Sustainable Development Report (GSDR), had some sobering thoughts on climate change and how it relates to the economic models we use.

The team argues that today’s “dominant economic theories” and conceptions of modern capitalism are inadequate because they falsely assume societies will have continued access to cheap energy, like fossil fuels. Also, these theories generally don’t factor in sink-costs – meaning costs that can’t be recovered – like climate change, and they fail to account for the potential socio-political consequences that could result from continued unchecked consumption and growth.

“Because economies are for the first time in human history shifting to energy sources that are less energy efficient, production of usable energy (exergy) will require more, not less, effort on the part of societies to power both basic and non-basic human activities,” the scientists wrote.

The paper called for societies to start thinking about new models of governance and economics that relate better to the climate change.

“It can be safely said that no widely applicable economic models have been developed specifically for the upcoming era,” they wrote, suggesting that the global economy is approaching a new era. “Our focus is on the transition period, the next few decades.”

Instilling important principles at a young age is a very important step to countering all this. The sensitivity to environmental issues is increasing as time goes on, with more young people growing up in an age where caring for the surroundings is seen as important. Social media is helping this, with important initiatives such as minimising the use of plastic gaining ground online and creating movements across the world.

The idea of a movement for a cause can be an important factor. We have seen different ones growing in the US and Europe, and even in Malta we have social movements with worthy causing growing and expanding thanks to the internet.

We must work harder because as a country our environment is a major resource that contributes to our well-being. Change might be difficult, but in the case of climate change it is obligatory.

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