Global environmental challenges
Stuart Gaffin is a climate researcher at Columbia University and will be a regular contributor with his blog “Exhausted Earth”. Reuters is not responsible for the content — the views expressed are the author’s alone.
The root cause of all environmental problems-from beer cans floating on a lake to global warming-can be explained using the following two contrasting scenes:
You are in the passenger seat and I am at the wheel. We are waiting for a third passenger from inside the building. Suddenly I reach for the ignition and turn the engine on. Alarmed by the thought of being poisoned by the exhaust, your eyes widen in amazement as you say, “What are you doing?” When you reach to turn the ignition off, I block your hands and soon a life-and-death struggle begins for control of the vehicle. You are screaming: “Are you crazy! You’re going to kill us both!” If we manage to survive the episode you will seek to have me put under psychiatric care. Heck, I might even end up in prison for attempted manslaughter. My days as an ordinary law-abiding citizen are over.
Scene 2: Exact same situation except that now the car is sitting a mere ten feet back on the driveway outside the garage.