(Whenever you hear of responsible climate policies being proposed, you almost invariably hear the response of “it is too expensive, we cannot afford that.” It is very difficult to properly describe how much a statement like this frustrates me. I do not think that there is a cheap fix for our climate issues, that would be naïve. But I find it to be infantile to look at the cost of action and ignore the cost of inaction!
The cost for responsible action is purely monetary. And money is something that we can certainly make more of in a sustainable environment. The money is invested and will spur job growth, create opportunities, provide a healthy environment, improve current technology, fashion new technology at the cutting edge of science, etcetera etcetera etcetera.
The cost for inaction? Rising sea levels that destroy coastal cities and island cultures. Increased droughts and famine that plague millions. Larger numbers of disease carrying insects. In short, a world much harsher than the one that gave birth to us; one that will kill millions more every year.
And somehow governments, politicians and civilians alike look at the enormous (but relatively small) cost of acting now, and view it is “too much.” To be able to speak and act this way is one of privilege. The knowledge that the impending climate disaster will impact you on a far smaller scale than those in innumerable other places on earth. This too is short sighted and selfish. While maybe they and their children will be fine, their grandchildren will undoubtedly suffer too.
Thankfully there are more who see than do not, and this gives me hope! If you are entering into the Clean Tech Competition then I am certain you have a reasonable view, and I hope you try to help others see the light!