The Two Differing Agendas Regarding Climate Change

There are two differing agendas regarding climate change: sex and food. In a previous post, I argued that the reason people do not tackle the issue of climate change is because the solutions (renewable energy, solar panels, energy conservation, fuel efficient cars, alternative/public transportation, walking, etc.) are not attractive to potential mating partners. Suggest taking a public bus to transport  your dating partner around New York City and you won't have a date for very long because actions that make sense for the environment just do not bode well for mate selection.  In a passing conversation with my solar professor, he disagreed with my progressive theory and suggested that the concerns of the heart and the libido were the concerns of the developed world. In a different, developing country, like India he said, people would do anything for food - dating is not even on the agenda.

Being in a country and a city where one must do conscious work to avoid food, it is easy to forget that there are about a billion or so members of the world population that go hungry. Thousands die each year due to malnutrition and starvation. How do you get these people behind the issues of climate change? You can't if they are busy going hungry. The developing nations have an entirely different agenda altogether. If more energy consumption was seen as a way to end poverty, what better solution than to burn oil/coal, the cheapest solutions for energy on the planet?

But we know the consequences of burning oil and coal on the environment. It leads to global warming and climate change, and that ironically will diminish the food supply. If we lose arable (good) soil to plant food because of warmer temperatures, then there's less room to grow food.

We all stand to lose a lot in a world of accelerated climate change. The developed world is slow to solve climate change because the solutions are not sexy. The developing world is slow to solve climate change because it doesn't feed enough people fast enough. Both sides are arguing and it is already likely nothing is to get done at COP16. This is why legislation needs to be enacted. The decisions regarding climate change that will affect the future generations should not be based on sex and nor on food.

Photo Credit:  See-ming Lee