Can mankind adapt to the changes in environment caused by global climate change?
Will mankind be wise enough to protect our planet for future generations?
There are no easy answers to these questions, time for action is short, and our lifestyles must change. At issue is no less than the survival of our civilization.
The fundamental demographic disparity between the developed and the developing nations presents extremely difficult cultural, technical and moral challenges to any attempt to manage global climate change. For example, in 2002 the International Energy Agency reported(4) that 1.6 billion people, or 25% of the worlds population, did not have access to electricity and 2.4 billion rely on primitive biomass for cooking and heating; with dire economic, health, and environmental impacts.
The biological components of our environment have evolved in harmony with the physical and climatic surroundings. The presence, characteristics, structure and behavior of both individual organisms and co-assemblages, or communities, of organisms are largely determined by climate. The ability of natural communities to adapt to changing climate, and nature of community change is of utmost importance to the survival of man.
It is indisputable that human combustion of fossil fuels for energy is causing global climate change that threatens the very survival of our civilization. It is equally indisputable that our civilization is dependent upon cheap, reliable, and widely distributed energy for both mobile and stationary utilization. The obvious conclusion would be to decrease our reliance upon fossil fuels, and to seek energy from alternate sources. But neither solution is as simple, nor effective, as it appears.
Climate change is real, the actions of mankind are the origin of climate change, and there is no know way to reverse climate change - we can only hope to slow the rate of change for the next several thousand years. These basic truths must be accepted by nations and form the basis for national policy.
The warming planet Earth needs our help! The magnitude of Global Climate Change is so great that it might appear that any individual actions will be inconsequential, and to some extent that is quite true. However acting collectively much can be accomplished. Individually, we should: