Greenpeace are campaigning for a clean energy movement. They want to world to stop using fuels like oil and coal, and start using sustainable sources such as wind turbines and solar panels.
Greenpeace argue that global warming is an increasing concern, and that “coal-fired power plants are the single largest U.S. source of global warming pollution” (global).
Nevertheless, in spite of the negative outlook, the environmental organisation have big plans for combatting this particular problem. Over the next three years they plan to join local communities in closing coal plants all over the U.S. They are also pressing the government to pass firm laws regarding halting global warming and using green energy. Furthermore, Greenpeace plan to “expose climate deniers, like the Koch Brothers, and hold them publicly accountable for providing millions of dollars to lobby against climate and clean energy policies” (global). Finally, they aim to launch an Energy Revolution by promoting clean-energy alternatives like wind and solar power (global).
Al Gore recently declared global warming to be a ‘moral’ matter (americanthinker). It is an interesting term to use in this context. For many years, global warming appeared to be a factually-based debate. However, advocates have found conflicting scientific opinions to be a problem. After all, some highly-respected scientists claim that global warming may be a result of natural phenomena such as the strength of solar radiation.
If global warming is a moral matter, it suggests that the opinions of people such as the scientists of the radiation argument, are somehow immoral. If this is true then it appears to be the duty of “good” people to discard these alternative viewpoints on the basis of morals, and ignore the possibility that they may be true.
This concept of ‘morality’ with reference to global warming is worrying as it could spell the end to scientific inquiry, instead favouring one viewpoint only and labelling it as ‘moral’ (americanthinker).
Nevertheless, perhaps whether or not global warming is indeed a moral matter is irrelevant. It seems that no-one really knows for certain what is causing global warming, and therefore perhaps we should be doing all we can to eliminate the possible causes.
Assuming our local community chooses to follow the advice of Greenpeace, there are obvious hurdles to be overcome. In order to scrap the use of coal, oil and other ‘dirty’ energies, we will need to install clean alternatives.
Wind turbines, for example, are expensive to manufacture and install. They can also be very noisy, which may not please the local residents. However, engineers are working on methods of reducing the noise (wind). Additionally, wind turbines can cause flickering of light and dark as the blades rotate beneath the sun's rays. The flickering can cause annoyance for local residents in the mornings and the evenings, when the sun is low in the sky. However, we could ensure that the turbines are set back far enough from houses that this won’t be a problem (wind).
The basis for making a moral judgement on this matter should be on what emphasis we place on the negative effects of global warming. If we agree with Greenpeace that the world is heating up fast, and that it is likely to have disastrous consequences, then we would be sensible to put some time and money into trying to rectify the problem. As it appears to be proven that global warming does exist, then it seems only right to attempt to stop it, or at least slow it down, for future generations.
“Global Warming and Energy”. Greenpeace. 19 March, 2011.
“Why did Global Warming become a Moral Matter?” The American Thinker. 19 March,
“Wind Power: Pros and Cons”. DigTheHeat.com. 19 March, 2011.