Monday, November 29, 2010

Maria Ronay's We Have to Change: Taking Action to Stabilize Climate Change, Curb Population Growth Including Immigration, End Poverty, and the Liquidation of Nature's Capital

Maria Ronay's insightful exploration of the world's climate change--and all the
problems thereof, including the liquidation of nature's capital, world poverty and
population growth are all presented in the globally aware We Have to Change. This
important work outlines the problems the world currently faces, the steps necessary in order to fix them, allocation of funding in order to do so.

While addressing climate change she suggests that in addition to the industrial revolution taking place in the developed countries, the population explosion of developing nations(starting in the 1050s) was also a large contributor. Since this trend continues in Sub-Saharan Africa, the Middle East, North Africa and India, coupled with the fact that living standards will have to rise for people living in poverty, she states that the first and most urgent task that must be taken toward the mitigation of climate change is stabilizing the world's population; this will have both the largest and the longest-lasting impact on climate change.

Ronay further suggests that large scale energy needs call for large investments in nuclear energy. Furthermore, in carbon capture and sequestration at coal-fired power plants, as well as from the ambient, these necessary investments can only be covered from a carbon tax.

In addition to climate change the population explosion is greatly contributing to maternaland child mortality rates, extreme poverty, hunger, disease, and ecological degradation..

The solution to this problem is the voluntary use of modern long-term contraceptives,administered in health facilities providing also reproductive health services, prenatal and postnatal care for infants and mothers as well as services for the prevention of HIV/AIDS. The yearly cost of these programs, while having the greatest impact on climate change, ecosystems and world poverty, is relatively modest, estimated to be about 0.1% of the GDP of developed nations, who would have to finance them.

The ecosystems of Earth are being degraded and used in unsustainable ways, therefore
it is important to realize that biodiversity is essential to healthy ecosystems. The UN Convention on Biological Diversity called for action and the resulting treaty was adopted in 2002, but not much resulted. There are still actions aimed at achieving its goals as recommended by Jeffrey Sachs, but we have to start implementing them now.

Another urgent task is securing water. Again the UN Convention to Combat
Desertification, adopted in 1992, lead to a treaty that has been mostly ignored by wealthy, developed countries, as much greater funding is required here.

Last, she reviews The Millenium Development Goals (MDGs), which center around
the reduction of poverty, hunger, disease, illiteracy, environmental degradation and
discrimination against women. The least developed countries (637 million people in total)are presently unable to achieve long-term growth and poverty reduction on their own and need help from the wealthiest countries in the order of 0.7% of their GDPs.