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< Back to question What should we do about climate change? Show more Show less

We are in a climate crisis. People and natural systems around the world are feeling the impacts of a warming globe, from more intense heat waves, more intense storms, heavier rainfall, melting sea ice and retreating glaciers, etc, etc. No part of our world is left untouched, and the current rate of warming suggests things will only get worse. So what can we do to mitigate global warming? What would be most effective? Can we stop and repair the damage to the climate that has been done?

We shouldn't do anything to address climate change Show more Show less

There are other issues to address that are more important, and we shouldn't spend resources on the issue of climate change.
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Funds used for fighting climate change should be redirected to better causes

There is never enough money for governments and international organizations to address all of the world population’s needs. However, we are currently spending an inordinate amount of money fighting climate change while other issues are underfunded. This misdirected money needs to be reallocated to better help people suffering today.
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Context

We know climate change is happening due to the rapid warming of the planet and an influx of extreme weather [1]. We also know that climate change is caused by humans’ greenhouse gas emissions [2]. If we want to continue living on our planet as it is, scientists say we must stop climate change, but no one can agree on how to do so. People have been fiercely debating the issue for decades, but coming to a consensus is imperative so as to stop vacillating on our response to climate change because that wastes money and energy.

The Argument

We are currently spending a phenomenal amount of money to fight climate change. In the United States alone, the government has directed $154 billion towards the issue since 1993.[3] We’re still spending this kind of money, with contestable success. In the meantime, there are more pressing issues that need to be funded; like fighting hunger, expanding healthcare, and bettering education. The money mentioned above needs to be redirected towards these issues because they effect the current, living population. Climate change is not currently killing anyone; famines are. Without an unlimited amount of money in the world, we need to triage where it goes. In short, it’s not reasonable to spend so much money trying to protect the future population when the current one is suffering. The United Nations claims it could immediately eliminate world hunger with a mere $116 billion a year.[4] Is that not more important than climate change research and efforts? This argument assumes that governments have a finite amount of money at their disposable, which is the state of affairs for most modern, sustainable governments. Even when they take loans, they do not have unlimited funds. This fact is why government money for climate change needs to be reallocated rather than increased or maintained.

Counter arguments

According to all of the world’s scientists, we only have until 2030 to stop climate change. Otherwise, it will be irreversible and people will begin to die due to the subsequent famines, droughts, rising sea levels, and extreme weather as early as 2040[4]. The key is that what is going to happen post-2030 very much effects the current population. Most people under 50 will live past 2040, and could suffer lethal or catastrophic impacts on their lives due to climate change. This means that fighting climate change is as important and life-sustaining an issue as education, healthcare, or stopping hunger. Neglecting climate change entirely and allowing it to continue on unimpeded will mean that we’ll have to spend more money down the line to deal with its inevitable effects. Doing nothing about climate change is a short-sighted solution.

Premises

Rejecting the premises

Proponents


References

  1. https://climate.nasa.gov/evidence/
  2. https://www.brookings.edu/policy2020/votervital/what-to-do-about-climate-change-and-why/
  3. https://fivethirtyeight.com/features/how-much-is-the-government-spending-on-climate-change-we-dont-know-and-neither-do-they/
  4. https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2015/07/how-much-would-it-cost-to-end-hunger/

This page was last edited on Thursday, 10 Sep 2020 at 20:39 UTC

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