Will 195 Independent Nations Solve Climate Change?
Written by Gary Janosz and published in Medium.com
The Earth is divided into 195 independent nations and 39 dependencies. Those nations are further complicated by 6,500 languages. There are 4,300 religions practiced around the world, the two largest Christianity and Islam appear to hate one another. Both are actively cheering for the end of the world. They are fundamentally in opposition to one another, so somebody’s got it dead wrong — the ultimate Biggest Loser.
What about the remainder of humanity who are not rooting for Armageddon? Can we pull it together to stave off climate change?
Is there any chance for us? Is there any hope that reason and science might prevail? What about a bit of worldwide cooperation? How do we bring this diverse world together to solve our global problems? It’s a bigger problem than any one country can face on its own. Without a united effort, we are doomed to whatever ravages of climate change has in store for us.
Could the United States Take the Lead in the Fight Against Climate Change?
The country that was once the leader of the free world is leading the world in new COVID cases. It feels like we are being pulled into a reincarnation of the Dark Ages. Superstition and conspiracies seem more commanding than scientific reason. Look at how many in the US latched on to the QAnon Conspiracy Theory. QAnon has become more popular than some major religions. Look at how quickly a large percentage of our population dismissed the results of the presidential election — in the absence of any supporting evidence.
Even though the US was first with the COVID vaccine, we languish at a forty-nine percent vaccination rate. Instead of trusting the nation’s scientific experts, many Americans turn to Facebook for their medical advice. Ivermectin is a popular alternative pushed by America’s Frontline Doctors.
Ivermectin is a medication typically used to treat parasitic worms in livestock, but it’s touted as a “safe and effective treatment” for COVID-19 according to America’s Frontline Doctors
Who are America’s Frontline Doctors? They appear to be a group of physicians who practice medicine on social media. In the most advanced nation in the world, citizens would rather use a treatment for parasitic worms in animals than trusting our scientific community to recommend the most effective safest course of action.
For four years we were led by an imbecile president who suggested that drinking chlorine bleach might be effective in killing the virus. He belittled the pandemic from the onset and made ignoring mask mandates a political statement. Now he’ll likely be elected for another four-year term.
If we don’t trust our scientific experts to battle a public health crisis, how do we ever trust them to solve our global climate problem?
At a critical time, the supposed world leader is crippled by ignorance and paralyzed by greed. As Americans, we consume more than the rest of the world, much more than our share and we are not about to give that up. Our corporations will fight tooth and nail to rape every last resource from the Earth while squeezing every remaining penny of profit. Corporate America will never be satisfied. Capitalism is an insatiable beast. It demands growth, ever-expanding markets, endless consumer spending, and the constant desire for more.
Trash this phone because the new one with the cool features comes out tomorrow — endless fodder for the nation’s dumps
Between our ignorance, our greed, and total lack of leadership the US is a hopeless candidate to lead the fight against climate change. Clearly, the US is the biggest obstacle blocking any meaningful changes that could make a difference.
Given the size and power of America’s economy coupled with the might of our military, it’s probably game over right now unless Americans rise up in mass and demand change — very unlikely.
If the World’s Foremost Superpower Won’t Take the Lead, What Choices Remain?
Perhaps a coalition of the largest progressive countries could lead the charge. If enough world leaders began to make the sacrifices necessary to actually make a difference maybe they could guilt the rest of the world into following along.
The biggest obstacle is competition, countries are fighting for a slice of the world economy for the benefit of their own citizens. There is no mechanism that moves nations toward cooperation, while there is a long history of nations looking out for its own best interests. As our population continues to grow unchecked nations are left to compete for the Earth’s remaining finite resources. Basic necessities like water are being relocated globally by climate change. Some areas have suffered years of drought while others are slogging through unseasonable rains. As equatorial regions become uninhabitable vast numbers will migrate to less affected areas of Earth.
How do 195 independent nations deal with global problems while they are all looking out for their own best interests? We have not evolved that far from warring tribes — war and conflict are our default solutions to everything. There are many in the US eager to build a wall to keep everyone out. I suppose we can devolve into warring city-states as resources dwindle, each building higher walls to insulate ourselves from the others.
If climate change is as dire as predicted, walls are just a stop-gap measure forestalling the end, ensuring the comfort of some while the majority suffer. Isolation and exclusion are will not solve the long-term problems, they are just selfish means to continue our unsustainable practices.
The Solution is Worldwide Cooperation
But cooperation is so foreign, so alien that it’s almost incomprehensible. I can visualize the anger engendered at the very idea. Dominate, conquer, invade control, force, coerce are all options immensely preferable to cooperation. The concept of one world, one people, one common purpose, that’s unthinkable. That means we’d have to give something up, to make a sacrifice, to cede control and that’s just never going to happen.
Yet when you look at the immensity of the problem, what other solution is there? The rich nations, fat and happy behind a big wall while everyone else suffers — doable but it does not fix a thing. It draws out some people’s comfort and other people’s agony, but the end is the same.
“We couldn’t save our own life sustaining environment because we failed to make the sacrifices — in the end we were far too selfish” — the Earth’s final epitaph?
We have a governing body, the United Nations, we have the science — but we must submit to the solution. Sacred cows will be gored. Fossil fuel use needs to be curtailed. If that’s the basket that holds all your eggs, you should have diversified long ago. We can no longer drive and fly around the planet as we please. We can no longer eat as much meat as we want. We can no longer use as much energy as we choose. It’s time for sacrifice and drastic change, change that will never happen on a voluntary basis. We need to strictly ration items that ensure humanity’s survival— water, food, fuel, energy, and meat at levels that will guarantee a global impact to heal our planet.
Instead, resistance will mount. Climate change is not that dire. We have time. We need our automobiles. We need to fly. Nobody can tell me what to eat!
We can’t even stay focused on the problem. “Biden blunders destroy America,” climate change blunders, no, ending 20 years of senseless fighting in Afghanistan, ruining our economy, allowing unchecked immigration. “Idaho Has Started to Ration Medical Care,” we can’t bring an end to a pandemic because our population prefers death over a simple shot. “United States Civil War II,” many in the US would prefer civil war to cooperation within our own borders.
I’d like to end on an optimistic note, but it seems the logical solutions are contrary to human nature. We need to join hands, one planet, one people, one overriding common purpose, but laugh out loud at the absurdity — we just don’t have it in us.