The Way I See It

Governments of All Sizes Should Address Climate Issues
By Mike Bryan | January 01, 2008
The recent report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has solidified what many already knew: Climate change is real, we are a large part of the problem, and time for change is of the essence.

It seems as though this report, if nothing else, has refocused the world's attention on the importance of reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Now the question is not so much why this is necessary, but by whom, when and how will it get done? If history is any indicator, governments around the world will step in and begin developing plans of action that may be non-achievable, onerous or terribly inefficient. They will throw huge amounts of money at the problem, make a few corporations fabulously wealthy and then claim success. That's what governments seem to do best. Sorry if I sound a bit cynical, but we have all seen this happen time and time again.

In my opinion, this is a problem that can't be solved by government alone. The old axiom, "Think globally and act locally," has never been more relevant. The reduction of GHG emissions must be done on a local level. The federal government needs to work with state and local governments to establish the goals and objectives, and then provide the funding to help them get the job done.

Communities around the world need to step up and address these issues on a local level. It isn't just a good thing to do; it is their responsibility. They must not wait for the federal government to intercede and make this happen from the top down. This initiative has to begin at the local level by identifying polluters, identifying ways to mitigate pollution and becoming more energy self-sufficient in the process. There is hardly a community or city anywhere in the world that doesn't have the option to develop greater energy sustainability through indigenous renewable resources and, in the process, help reduce GHG emissions.

The variety of opportunities is impressive: solar, wind, geothermal, municipal solid waste, biogas, ethanol, biodiesel and home heating oil are only a few examples. Then, as cities begin the process of drilling even further, the opportunity for home energy savings, and reductions in industrial energy use and pollution can greatly reduce GHG levels, while creating impressive economic benefits. Multiply this effect from cities around the globe, and the cumulative environmental and economic impact will be staggering.

Global warming is a problem created by wealth, and wealth needs to be instrumental in helping to solve the problem. Environmentalists and capitalists can no longer afford to be at odds. Rather, they need to join hands to utilize the vision of the environmental community and the wealth of capitalism to create a safer, cleaner world.
That's the way I see it!

Mike Bryan
Publisher & CEO