Finding Balance in the Climate Debate

Almost everyone agrees that preserving the environment for future generations is important. Undoubtedly, the earth is a beautiful place, and future generations should be able to enjoys the beauty and wonder of our planet. However, there is some disagreement over how this protection should be achieved.

Currently, the UN is holding its Climate Change Conference, or COP 20, in Lima Peru, and many different youth groups have decided to take part in the conference. Generally, these groups have been focusing on the issue of climate change in regards to equality and social justice. In their eyes, everyone, no matter their race, economic background, or generation (present and future), should be entitled to a clean earth. Their ideas are admirable, but there is a down side to their optimism.

Many of the proposals at COP 20 would have an adverse effect on the developing world. Cheap energy is one of the key ingredients for helping poor nations to develop; however, cheap energy is often reliant on carbon based sources, such as coal. While there are alternative sources of power that are not reliant on carbon, such as solar and wind, they are very expensive. In addition to their cost, which is often beyond the budgets of developing nations, they have environmental issues all their own.

Everyone should be able to enjoy our planet, but everyone should also have the opportunity to live in the modern world. In our well founded desire to protect our planet, we must be careful to make sure we do not limit the future of those living in the developing world. This is not an easy issue, but it is an issue our generation must willing to tackle in a constructive way, so everyone can enjoy the promise of a brighter tomorrow.