The number one solution, in terms of potential impact? A combination of educating girls and family planning.All of our impacts on the planet are driven by rising population, and the best way to limit the impact is to limit population growth. And the best ways we know of to do that are to educate girls and provide birth control and family planning advice to those who want it.
Thursday, May 11, 2017
The Top Solution for Climate Change
Paul Hawken and a large team of experts tried to crunch the numbers for different proposed remedies to climate change, from vegan diets to offshore wind farms. The result:
Labels: climate change, demography, environment
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"All of our impacts on the planet are driven by rising population, and the best way to limit the impact is to limit population growth. And the best ways we know of to do that are to educate girls and provide birth control and family planning advice to those who want it."
So basically a non-solution.
It's not that it wouldn't work. If you could snap your fingers and make the changes overnight, the effect it would have on how our species affects the global climate would be massive and swift. Nothing else could realistically come close in terms of raw potential.
But the problem is that it can't be implemented fast enough. We're talking tearing down patriarchal systems and values that have been entrenched for millenia. The amount of inertia that has to be overcome is almost beyond imagining. In the absence of magic, it's going to take a whole heck of a lot of time to make the proposed changes on a global scale, and that's time we simply do not have.
Which isn't to say that we shouldn't go ahead and start work on enacting those changes anyway, and keep chipping away at the monstrous edifice of patriarchal injustice. We absolutely should, and for far more reasons than merely combatting global warming. But we're going to need to supplement that slow, gradual change with other, less potent but faster-acting options.
Remember - the option with the highest potential impact isn't necessarily always the best option.
A sledgehammer has a much greater potential impact than a rubber mallet, but if you're working with delicate materials you actually want to use the mallet, because the sledge will deliver far too much force and cause damage to what it hits.
A bank vault has a much higher level of security than a false rock hidden in your garden, but it makes a lot more sense to keep your spare house key in the latter rather than the former, because accessibility is far more important than sheer security.
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