Whew! Looking at the comment storm from today, apparently I need to get internet access at work!
First off, thanks for keeping the discussion from becoming an argument, which is very, very easy when discussing core values.
Allot of good points were made. Personally, I side much more with E4 and Matt, but that is not overly surprising as we have discussed this matter a bunch this past year. We need to lead by example on this one and our consumption is driving China’s emissions. It is cold fact that we are exporting our pollution. If all the Cheap Plastic Crap that LA consumes was produced in their valley, the air would be unbreathable.
Jonolan, I agree with you in so far as that a growing population has a right to a high quality of life, but I will agree to disagree with you that that quality of life entails emissions at the current rate of the developed world. We have the technology today to provide very high quality food, transportation, and structures with drastically less impact than is currently the norm in the First World. True Global Leadership will push the world in that direction. That leadership may end up coming from a mass grass roots movement as Matt and the representative from New Guinea suggest.
I also contest your assertion that helping the 3rd and 4th worlds achieve their basic human needs has no impact on the environment. If my children are starving I will do WHATEVER it takes to get them food, so would you, so would any of us. I will burn forests, destroy wetlands, or start wars. Until we have basic human rights-and I consider having enough shelter, food and clean water to feed your children a Human Right-we will never have a Sustainable Society.
The motto of this blog is Being the Change. That means on the individual level to begin acting on your convictions to model the way that you wish the world to be. If you believe something to be Right; to be Good, then act in a way to Make It So.
Each of us has the power to make a difference. This is not a partisan issue. It is the defining crisis of our time.
The technology exists. The wealth exists. The only item lacking is political will to make the change before we lose our generation’s window of opportunity.