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  • Where in the World is Global Warming a Priority?

    Not in the small island nation of Vanuatu even though its government lists addressing global warming as a top priority. Take one of Vanuatu’s residents, Torethy Frank, who asked a researcher for the Copenhagen Consensus Center, “What is global warming?”

    Her bigger concerns?

    Torethy and her family of six live in a small house made of concrete and brick with no running water. As a toilet, they use a hole dug in the ground. They have no shower and there is no fixed electricity supply. Torethy’s family was given a battery-powered DVD player but cannot afford to use it.

    Three of Torethy’s four teenage children have never spent a day in school. The eldest attended classes on another island, which cost Torethy and her husband 12,000 vatu ($110) a year, but she now makes him stay home because “too many of the kids at the school were smoking marijuana.”

    Three years ago, an outbreak of malaria ravaged Torethy’s village, Utanlang. The mosquito-borne illness is a big problem in Vanuatu, although aid from the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria is helping. This deadly disease causes fever, headaches and vomiting, and can disrupt the blood supply to vital organs.

    One small clinic in Utanlang provides basic medicines like painkillers and bandages. For real medical care, Torethy must travel to the capital, Port Vila. In perfect conditions, that involves a 30-minute boat trip and then a two-hour car ride. Because the villagers are too poor to own any boats other than outrigger canoes, it can take up to five hours.”

    In the United States global warming is becoming less of a priority and there’s even a rapid decline in those who believe there is solid evidence the earth is warming. According to a new poll from the Pew Research Center, 57 percent of respondents believe there’s solid evidence, down rapidly from 71 percent in April of 2008. Only 36 percent believe it is from human activity, down 11 percent from last year’s poll and only 35 percent believe it is a serious problem, which is down from 44 percent. This comes after a January 2009 Pew poll which asked what is our nation’s top priority, and global warming was ranked 20th out of 20 possible answer, even ranking behind moral decline, lobbyists and trade policy.

    Caring for the environment in the United States is a luxury good. Because we have running water, electricity and shelter, we can devote resources to protecting and improving the environment. And because we have well-established private property rights, owners of land and resources have the proper incentive to care for these goods for the future. The only thing capping carbon dioxide is will direct and reduce resources away from processes that can have a direct and immediate impact on places like Vanuatu if climate change adversely affects its residents. The Heritage Foundation’s analysis of cap and trade would make the United States alone $9.4 trillion poorer from the years 2012-2035. Signing an international treaty at Copenhagen would make matters worse since it would restrict the economic growth and resources available from all developed countries.

    Sure, there would be a huge transfer of wealth from the developed nations to developing nations, but that’s not what Torethy Frank wants. She says, “There is too much corruption in the government and it goes in people’s pockets. Give the money directly to the people for businesses so we can support ourselves without having to rely on the government.”

    As David Kreutzer mentions in his Politico chat wrap, there much faster and much less expensive ways to adapt to climate change than trying to change the temperature by capping greenhouse gas emissions. Mosquito nets and attacking breeding grounds of mosquitoes and building levees to protect against potentially rising sea levels are all much cheaper but dramatically more effective than signing on to something that would prohibit these countries to develop.

    Proponents of a climate treaty or cap and trade believe it’s our moral obligation to help these countries and it can be done by paying billions of dollars in carbon dioxide reparations for growing our economy. But the truth is that it is morally wrong and it is those countries we want to help the most that will suffer the most.

    Posted in Energy [slideshow_deploy]

    9 Responses to Where in the World is Global Warming a Priority?

    1. David Cognito says:

      You're out of date with your polls:

      Global survey has found that people from diverse backgrounds in the US and worldwide overwhelmingly want faster action, deeper GHG emissions cuts and stronger enforcement than either US climate legislation proposals or Copenhagen treaty conference preparations are currently contemplating: http://www.reuters.com/article/pressRelease/idUS2

    2. JD, alabama says:

      Cap N Trade is a hoax. Simply a tax and control grab.

    3. Ross writes from Bra says:

      There is no such thing as humans creating global warming; never has been nor never will be! We're destined to destroy ourselves through wars of greed and power,probably in the name of religion. The human race hasn't the power to control nature.

      I would entertain the idea of the people of the world stopping global warming when the human race has conquer tornadoes/cyclones, hurricanes/typhons, earthquakes/volcano eruptions/tsummias, ability to end devastating droughts/flooding,(I'm not even mentioning collisions from outer space.), etc. I'll take my chances with "acts of God" through prudent preparation and "Divine Intervention".

    4. Mike, Scotland says:

      Don't you know? CO2 causes cooling! Apparently the very thing that makes it a better absorber of IR also means it emits more IR. OK, that means it traps (small) amounts of heat from a warm surface like the earth, but when that hot air rises above the clouds, it actually helps cool down the earth by emitting IR.

      Another fact, we weren't going to be told about until after natural climate variation brought in a period of cooling and the "scientists" needed another doomsday scenario to con us into funding their research.

    5. John , Virginia says:

      It is laughable to believe that mankind can control the earths climate. It may be in a warming trend now, but these variations in temperature have been going on for eons, long before mankind became a dominant species. Cap and Trade is a disaster waiting to happen.

    6. Bobbie Jay says:

      David, for any global government poll to express these concerns of people wanting this, is due to manipulation or lack of education. Open your mind, eyes and see for yourself. IT'S A SCAM!

    7. Bobbie Jay says:

      David, answer the question. Where in the world is man-made global warming a priority?

    8. Nicolai Alatzas says:

      Last time I checked 54% of the people in this country live and have the majority of the assets are located on the coast.

      I live in New Orleans and fully understand the environmental impact the oil and shipping industries along the gulf coast primarily Louisiana. Living in a city that was designed to fail will bring about a greater sense of awareness.

      I am not sure how you may or may not be impacted by global climate change. But for us it is a priority and a matter of national security for us here.

      And where do you guys keep reading about "Global Warming" you can't even find that term on Algore.com. Global Warming seems to be a term reserved for the right wing agenda in the US. I would love for someone to prove me wrong.

    9. Bobbie Jay says:

      Nicolai, what was that in your first sentence relevant to?

      Could you be more specific about the environmental impact that isn't pollution? Why is anyone living in a city designed to fall?

      The reason why it is referred to as "global warming" is because that is what authorities told the people it is! When the majority of people were not convinced of this lie, it was changed to something more broad. "global climate change." To cover all temperatures and inclement weather.

      "Man-made global warming." May the people NEVER FORGET.

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