There’s been no shortage lately of bad news about climate change and its growing risk to economic growth (not to mention health, water supplies and crops).
Levels of the heat-trapping carbon dioxide gas reached a record high in 2012, the World Meteorological Organization said in its annual greenhouse gas inventory last week.
Meanwhile, a leaked United Nations draft report indicates global warming poses a mounting threat to economic growth. The report says a rise in temperatures of more than 2.5 degrees Celsius could cut global economic output by 2%. According to Bloomberg, temperatures have already risen 0.8 degrees.
And former Vice President Al Gore is out there warning about a carbon bubble.
Alan Weisman, author of the new book "Countdown: Our Last, Best Hope for a Future on Earth," has a novel solution.
“Since we don’t really have technology ready to completely replace fossil fuels, maybe what we have to do is start limiting the number of consumers of fossil fuels,” he tells The Daily Ticker in the accompanying video. “We’re pretty addicted to [fossil fuels]. Everyone of us trying our best still is not going to be enough.”
How does he suggest limiting consumers? Contraception. (Check out the video to see why he’s arguing for this and the concerns he has over the quadrupling of global population in the 20th century).
When it comes to the political and social obstacles of this “solution” Weisman tells us it’s “probably easier than zero emission energy. We know how to use renewables, but don’t know how to scale them up to the degree that we are demanding energy.”
He also encourages educating women, arguing that if more women across the world are encouraged to stay in school, more will put off family formation and childbearing, having fewer children in the end.
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