We Can’t Afford to Care About the Environment

With temperatures rising and new environmental issues becoming revealed, we all feel the need to act out, become heroes, and save the planet, but is this thinking truly reasonable? Global warming has become a common topic of debate in the modern world, some arguing it is a persistent problem that needs to be resolved, with others not even believing it is happening. While global warming becomes a conflict in our world, we cannot blind ourselves to other issues. Global warming is just that: global. It is a substantially large issue that currently cannot be resolved without wasting large amounts of money that would hurt the country and prevent it from succeeding and growing. Although a problem in today’s world, global warming needs to be resolved step-by-step without major changes. There will be no future to protect if we only choose to resolve global warming.

Large steps have been made to prevent and reduce global warming, yet they have not yet proved successful. “In February, the Kyoto Protocol to reduce global warming took effect, requiring participating countries to reduce their greenhouse-gas emissions to below 1990 levels over a five-year period beginning in 2008,” (Kyoto Protocol.) This act was created to help reduce the harmful greenhouse-gas emissions that continue to plague our planet and encourage global warming. It is expected to become the first major reaction that will help slow the onslaught of environmental issues and benefit conservation efforts. One overlooked flaw will keep the protocol from becoming successful, however. While it’s expected to become a major change in order to help the world, it does not change enough. “The Kyoto Protocol currently negotiated has cuts of emissions relative to 1990 levels of between three and eight percent for just over half of the developed world with no restrictions for the less-developed world, while scientists have suggested up to a sixty-percent global cut is required to prevent major climatic change,” (Maslin.) The Kyoto Protocol may help, but it will not help enough to show effective improvement. Not only will this plan not create enough change, but it will also detract from our society, taking money and resources that we currently cannot afford.

While people wish to become environmentally-friendly and “go green,” they do not wish to pay the price. Installing solar panels and purchasing vehicles with lower greenhouse-gas emissions are expensive and so are plans to prevent and reduce global warming. This money can be spent on more-appreciated causes, especially with the United States’ currently declining economy. “Only when we get sufficiently rich can we afford the relative luxury of caring about the environment,” (Lomborg.) An issue of morals and global economics, we are faced with the decision to spend money on global warming resolutions or other world affairs, such as the protection of future generations and the development of the Third World. “We have to find a level at which there is sufficiently little pollution, such that our money, effort, and time is better spent solving other problems,” (Lomborg.) With only so much money to spend, we must choose what is more important.

Because people feel the need to make things right and fix problems, it’s no wonder that they all feel the need to act on the urgent situation of global warming, but at the moment, it’s not reasonable or quite possible. With more urgent issues, such as the economic recession of the United States, the government needs to resolve greater problems at hand and not put as much effort or money into failing programs like the Kyoto Protocol. We need to focus on resolving current problems and fixing the simpler situations. We simply do not have the money or the resources to battle global warming. At this point in time, we cannot afford the luxury of supplying the world with its own thermostat.