О необходимости уменьшения выбросов парниковых газов

ПАЛО-АЛЬТО – Прошлой осенью в Великобритании вышел в свет главный отчет правительства по вопросам изменения климата, выпущенный под руководством сэра Николса Стерна, первоклассного экономиста. Отчет Стерна по экономическим последствиям изменения климата призывает к действию: он утверждает, что огромных затрат в будущем, вызванных глобальным потеплением, можно избежать, потратив сравнительно скромную сумму сегодня.

Критики отчета Стерна не думают, что серьезное уменьшение выбросов CO2 оправдано, ввиду того, что все еще остается неопределенным размер тех затрат, которые может повлечь глобальное изменение климата, а также ввиду того, что эти затраты придется делать в далеком будущем. Тем не менее, я верю, что фундаментальное заключение Стерна оправдано: будет гораздо лучше, если мы значительно уменьшим выбросы CO2, чем если мы будем пожинать плоды нашего бездействия, даже если в отличие от Стерна сделать большую скидку на неопределенность и будущее.

Два фактора отличают глобальное изменение климата от других экологических проблем. Во-первых, в то время как большинство последствий нанесения вреда экологии – таких как, например, загрязнение воды, кислотный дождь или выбросы диоксида серы – можно смягчить быстро или относительно простым образом, после того как будет очищен источник, выбросы CO2 и незначительных концентраций других газов остаются в атмосфере на века. Таким образом, уменьшение выбросов сегодня – это очень важный шаг для человечества в далеком будущем.

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