Greed, Apathy, Politics This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

January 4, 2008
Global warming, ultimately, is not caused by greenhouse gas emissions, but rather by a devastating combination of greed, apathy, and politics. The role they play in global warming is evident, and if not addressed, they will go on to create more problems.

Greed is a powerful motivator. Companies want to make more money than their competitors, and as a result they avoid expenses not directly related to their bottom line, such as mitigating global warming. While some companies have taken steps to reduce carbon emissions, many continue to ignore the issue. Economists concede that going green may initially have adverse effects on the economy.

Another underlying cause of global warming is apathy. Where apathy is concerned, both businesses and individuals are guilty. Replacing just one incandescent light bulb with an energy-efficient one in every American home would be equivalent to taking more than 800,000 cars off the road, yet people persist in using ­conventional bulbs. Some seem to believe that if they cannot make a noticeable difference, they might as well not try. Others feel that energy-conserving methods will lower their quality of life.

In democracies like the United States, the interests of political parties and supporters often guide leaders. For example, Philip Cooney was chief of staff for the White House’s Council on Environmental Quality, despite the fact that he had lobbied for the petroleum industry. This ­obvious bias ought to have led to the appointment of a different person with less of a vested interest in petroleum. Later, it was revealed that he edited government climate reports to mislead the public. Even more unsettling is the statement he made last March: “My sole loyalty was to the president and advancing the policies of his ­administration.” If he was telling the truth, then his actions were done to further the goals of the government. I am forced to wonder who else has been concealing information for similar reasons.

The greatest problem facing the modern world is selfishness. We are so busy doing what we want that we don’t consider the consequences of our actions. We are unwilling to risk lowering our standard of ­living, so we don’t change our ways. How­ever, by not changing, we are adversely affecting ­future generations.

The problems will not end with global warming. Overpopulation, pollution, and irresponsible waste management are a few examples of other future problems. While short-term solutions may help slow the destruction of our environment, they can only delay the consequences of our ­actions for so long. Whether through global warming, overfishing, or irresponsible agricultural practices, our egocentrism will lead to our ­destruction.

This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.

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This article has 5 comments. Post your own now!

Jfw514 said...
Dec. 10, 2010 at 1:34 pm
This article is true. I do not like politics but your article I understood. Great job! Keep up the good work! 
^unshed.tears said...
Oct. 27, 2010 at 1:32 pm
This articel is really good! It has the formality of an official report, but the truth of a teenager's raw opinion. I loved it! :) Keep it up and keep on speaking the truth :)
WriterFanatic This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
May 4, 2010 at 4:41 pm
Very nice! Keep up the good work
Jenni123 said...
Feb. 18, 2010 at 12:34 pm
great article, so true and down to earth, I agree with most things you have said
kaseyparks said...
Nov. 9, 2009 at 5:30 pm
very well written!
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