Kyoto protocol’s attemps to stop pollution have been in vain, lets assume this fact. Moreover, the economic crisis the world is facing has moved this imminent disaster away from the collective conscience.
Even when economy seemed to be healthy, many countries refused to renounce to any benefit. Now that we struggle with speculation and the so called “markets”, polar bears, trees and so on have been definitely removed from the average citizen’s mind.
From my point of view, there’s little economists can do about this, because any attempt to cut emissions has led to a cut in the income of companies, and this would be really traumatic for them. For example, when Kyoto protocol established the emissions trading system in Europe, Japan, Australia and some other countries, they came out with a way of avoiding any loss, by buying cheap carbon “credits” to companies in Africa.
So, who will save us? Is there anything engineering could do? I really think that future and present engineers have the key to face climate change, for the following reasons.
Engineers discovered renewable energies, invented the electric car, made low consumption machines, and have the knowledge to create new ways of transport, industry and the capability to replace nowadays technology. Engineers should provide society with more tools to satisfy Kyoto protocol’s demands.