Greenhouse Gas Emissions

by Devon Sarkissian on April 3, 2018 - 9:51pm

Climate change is a very serious issue today, and it is talked about quite a lot.  A major cause for climate change is the release of greenhouse gas emissions.  Although the world is aware of the main cause (greenhouse gas emissions), there are specific reasons that countries do not always do everything in their power to stop/diminish greenhouse gas emissions.  In “Climate Change Demands We Change.  Why Aren’t We? An Economic Perspective”, readers are informed of the three reasons that stopping greenhouse gas emissions is difficult.  First, it is economically unbeneficial for a single country to stop greenhouse gas emissions.  Since it happens all over the world, countries lose a lot of money when they try and individually reduce greenhouse gas emissions.  This is why single countries tend to not mitigate greenhouse gas emissions on their own.  Countries need to work cooperatively.  The second reason given in the text is that reducing greenhouse gas emissions is very expensive for all the nations.  Currently, it costs roughly tens of trillions of dollars.  Due to this, countries want to set very limited mitigation goals to save the most money possible.  Very little effort from countries does not give the most efficient outcome to reducing greenhouse gas emissions.  Thirdly, climate change is slow.  Oceans take decades and sometimes even centuries to warm, and ice sheets can take even longer to deteriorate.  Because of this, countries are less willing to spend such large amounts of money for an issue that will take a long time to see serious effects.  In all, “Climate Change Demands We Change.  Why Aren’t We? An Economic Perspective” explains that collective action is difficult.  This is because countries lose a lot of money to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, it is expensive for countries all together to decrease them, and countries are less motivated to help because climate change is slow.

I was intrigued when reading “Climate Change Demands We Change.  Why Aren’t We? An Economic Perspective”, because it was very interesting to see the reasons why countries are hesitant in helping such a pertinent issue.  I fid it disappointing how money is the main reason.  I personally believe that money should not prevent countries from helping reduce greenhouse gas emissions.  I ask myself; “is this issue going to continue while climate change worsens over the years?”.

Mendelsohn, R. (2015).  Climate Change Demands We Change.  Why Aren’t We? An Economic Perspective. Social Research,(82), 727-747,860. Retrieved from Academic Search Elite.  



But despite the length and cost to deal with it, the cost of ignoring it will be just as large. the Harvard business review said the cost to the US alone could be between 1.5 to 2.2 trillion USD and the world GDP output even worse. The effects of this of this lost GDP might be felt over a very long period or even not at all as it might be just lost GDP that is not even felt. So either way, the cost of doing nothing or fighting it will be huge either way and will affect us anyway.

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