Efforts to address global warming through a reduction in greenhouse gases pose an assortment of challenges. Critics of the concept decry changes in lifestyles or harmful economic impacts that could result.
There is also the fact that a single nation’s actions on global warming fail to address greenhouse gas production elsewhere. Efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the United States are often attacked on the grounds that developing nations such as China and India are contributing even more carbon dioxide to the atmosphere than this country.
Successful efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions inevitably will require international agreement. When one considers the battles in this country over issues that are far more straightforward, reaching a worldwide accord on greenhouse gases sounds unlikely.
But it needs to be pursued. The remaining uncertainty over global warming — primarily its longer-term impact — hardly justifies inaction. And common sense says that the longer the world waits to properly address this issue, the harsher the consequences will be.