Sam was a great host the first night of my trek. I owe him alot for helping me to get started and teaching me about Couchsurfing.org.
Sam and I had a good conversation the night I stayed with him. Here is a summary of the conversation:
Sam: So why do see climate change as a problem?
David: One of the biggest consequences of climate change is that the polar ice caps will melt and there will be several feet sea level rise making many large population centers around the world uninhabitable.
Sam: When is this supposed to happen?
David: From what I have heard, this may occur as soon as 20 or 30 years from now.
Sam: There is one of your big problems. It will be impossible for people to concern themselves with something that does not happen for 20 or 30 years. People will only address a problem if there are immediate consequences. They need to start seeing the consequences of climate change before they will do anything serious about it.
David: But if we wait to take action until there are more serious consequences of climate change, it will be too late. Many scientists have said that we need to reach our peak of fossil fuel burning within the next few years and begin drastically reducing our fossil fuel burning from that point on. If we don’t seriously reduce our fossil fuel consumption in the next several years, we could see ‘runaway’ climate change may result in many parts of the earth becoming completely uninhabitable. Ultimately that would mean we could not sustain human civilization as we know it. There would likely be mass starvation because we would no longer have the capacity to grow food to sustain us. I’m worried about climate change because I’m worried that I will be leaving a huge problem for my children and grandchildren and future generations.
Sam: You really shouldn’t worry so much. Things have a way of working themselves out. What seems like a big problem now will not be a big problem in twenty years. Just consider the times when scientists were worried about an asteroid heading towards the earth. The asteroid changes course in the last minute and does not hit the earth. The same thing will happen with climate change.