The (Future) Unsung Heroes of Climate Change

Climate change is a difficult topic to cover, as there are a myriad of variables at play. And while we know that it is occurring because of human activity, there does not seem to be a consensus on a best path forward to combat its effects. More than likely, we will need to combine aspects of many solutions if we are to have a chance at achieving net-negative emissions by the end of the century. It is important to understand the severity of the problem and where the majority of emissions come from when discussing the climate in order to have a baseline for potential solutions. I will briefly cover that here but want to stick to a more nuanced problem hidden behind the fanaticism of impending disaster: our lack of story.

Who are the heroes and villains in all of this? Without a story, inciting global action will be nearly impossible.

But First, Why Do Anything?

At the heart of our moral obligation to do more for the environment lies a simple fact: those most likely to be negatively impacted by rising temperatures are among the poorest in the world, and they do the least to contribute to the problem. There is a stark correlation between energy consumption and global income per capita -- as incomes rise, so does energy consumption. This is great news for those climbing out of poverty and enjoying the fruits of the modern world but bad news for the atmosphere.