People's Needs or People's Greed

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People's Needs or People's Greed

Ali H. Sayed
It is an amazing sign of the times when the youth across many nations are uniting in their will to raise awareness about the perils of global warming and the need for immediate action.
Former U.S. President Obama cautioned about the urgency of this debate when he declared at the UN Climate Change Summit in September 2014 in New York [1], “For all the immediate challenges that we gather to address this week - terrorism, instability, inequality, disease - there is one issue that will define the contours of this century more dramatically than any other, and that is the urgent threat of a changing climate.” Eight years earlier, former U.S. Vice President Al Gore helped raise awareness of global warming through his 2006 Academy Award-winning documentary An Inconvenient Truth. There is also a push in the U.S. Congress toward adopting legislation in favor of a Green New Deal to address challenges posed not only by climate change, but also by economic inequalities. It is not clear how successful this legislative effort will be due to its broad scope and the many critics of its viability. However, it is testimony to how the dynamics in the realm of climate change is evolving across continents.
Fewer than five years after Obama’s remarks, we now witness a wave of protests sweeping the globe led by the younger generation. They are driven by the inaction at higher levels of decision power, and by the lack of a political will to address the problem of global warming more systematically. Although 97% of climate scientists agree that some of our actions are contributing to warming and climate change with a high degree of confidence [2], we have nevertheless been slow at adopting viable counter measures and policies. Some even go as far as disputing the validity of the scientific evidence. Understandably, there are many issues at play, including the nontrivial economic implications for any new policies and their impact on the modern way of life. 

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