For instance, given the precariousness of US politics, where Republicans could retake Congress in 2022 election, I wonder if the US could even reduce our own carbon emissions, let alone help other countries?
It does take some spending to reduce our own emissions; either that or less consumptive lifestyles, in the US and other rich countries; a heavy lift politically.
I hope the Democrats hold onto and even expand their margins in Congress, but who knows what might happen. Republicans seem to care less about resolving climate change. At least the Democrats play lip service to solving climate change.
UK recently got a new prime minister who is calling for tax cuts.
Quite a few people, in Third World countries, have said, "you (the West) have had your turn at industrialization and consumerism, now it's our (the Third World's) turn."
That mindset is partially behind what has brought China to become the world's largest carbon polluter. The situation has lead to Donald Trump's style of pushback, in the US, as many folks say, "what good is cutting US carbon emissions as China and India pump out more carbon?
It's like kids fighting in a sandbox over who's to blame.
There may be no more turns. The old paradigm of industrialization, population growth and consumerism needs to change in all countries.
There is talk of Third World countries leapfrogging the old paradigms of industrialization and going to a more ideal model of sustainable living. Solar energy instead of coal, for instance. Technology can help, like in the case of countries bypassing phoneline networks and going directly to cellphone technology. Could Third World countries bypass the automobile as well? Seems unlikely, but I can still hope. Electric cars help, but energy still has to come from somewhere.
It seems like everyone, who can afford it, still embraces the automobile. Look at traffic jams in China, India, Nigeria and so forth. Population growth is still rampant in much of the Third World, though the growth rate is slowing.
Unfortunately, many Third World countries push old fashioned attitudes toward sexuality; for instance oppression of LGBTQ people and lack of women's rights. Even if consumption is low, in poor countries, I don't give them a pass on population as it seems like most people, in poor nations, aspire toward higher levels of consumption. The main thing holding them back is just poverty.
Hopefully there will be some new ways of thinking the world over. I remember the idea of poor countries bypassing traditional forms of industrialization and consumption being talked about, some, since my college days. It's also true that richer countries can learn some more sustainable ways of life from the Third World. For instance more use of buses and public transportation. The idea of slower traffic with streets for all. Slower speeds can fill the streets with walkers, animals, bicycles, rickshaws and so forth. Again, a heavy political lift in countries where life is already in the fast lane.
Here in the US, however, heavy traffic has slowed many of our "fast lane" freeways to a crawl, but the slow speed is not the intent of freeway planners. Freeways are still being built in poor countries as they are possibly not learning the lessons of things that have been troublesome in rich countries. Are they wishing to repeat the same mistakes?
There is a lot of room for rethinking the way humans function the world over.