Fight Global Warming OR Poverty?

I was reading my gmail this morning, and a story teaser caught my eye -- it went something like "China says poverty problem more urgent than global warming". Gmail probably pitched that to me because of a TeachStreet blog post that I wrote yesterday about learning about microfinance; regardless, it piqued my interest.

The poverty vs. global warming article from the Associated Press essentially stated the difficult situation/tradeoff from China's perspective as:
  • Developing countries should be able to emit more greenhouse gases, as they work to reduce poverty for their populace
  • Developed countries, thus, bear more responsibility to cut emissions
While life isn't ever this binary/simple, I do agree with the basic premise. And, I'm sure that the United States in 1800 would have a vastly different opinion about the matter than we do now. In a perfect world, all countries would see this as a global responsibility, and strive toward goals that are in line with their current development stages. Fellow blogger UrbanOnramps highlights the fact that China accounts for more than half of global carbon emissions -- that is most definitely shocking, but again, I shudder to think about our own contributions during the Industrial Revolution. Best to find a common ground toward significant improvements over the next 30 years than reject negotiation altogether.

I'll leave with a small plug for a company/organization I'm a supporter of -- if you'd like to become a little bit more responsible with your greenhouse emissions and support a cleaner planet, I encourage you to learn a bit more about TerraPass -- they make it quick and easy to offset carbon emissions from your car, flights, home and more.