Recently, Czech President Vaclav Klaus demonstrated the degree to which he deeply misunderstands the issue of climate change:
“Environmental issues are a luxury good,” Klaus added. “Now we have to tighten our belt and to cut the luxury.”
Global climate issues “are a silly luxury good,” he repeated.
Not only is maintaining a stable climate a fundamental requirement for human life and civilization, but it will be future generations who bear the majority of the pain if we fail to reduce emissions quickly. Far from being some unnecessary luxury, cutting greenhouse gas emissions is a vital moral requirement.
In Poznan, Al Gore did a much better job of explaining the ethical situation appropriately:
Very simply put, it is wrong for this generation to destroy the habitability of our planet and ruin the prospects of every future generation. That realization — that realization must carry us forward. Our children have a right to hold us to a higher standard when the future of all human civilization is hanging in the balance. They deserve better, and politicians who sit on their hands and do nothing to confront the greatest challenge humankind has ever faced.
Hopefully, that is a position that will rapidly becomore more widely held among politicians and the population at large.