What are the pros and cons of restricting carbon dioxide emissions?

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pohnpei397 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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The pros of restricting these emissions are environmental and may be economic in the long term.  The cons are economic and tangible in the short term.

Restricting emissions actually hurts us in the short term.  It costs money to create the technology needed to restrict emissions.  This means that (for example) we will end up paying more for a low-emissions car than for a similar car that emitted more carbon dioxide.  This is a cost of restricting emissions that we can feel in the short term.

Meanwhile, the benefits are not felt in the near term.  The benefit of restricting emissions is that global warming will not be as severe at some point in the future.  That will presumably be a great thing decades from now when sea levels don't rise and we don't have to incur the expenses of trying to move whole cities to places that aren't underwater.  But that does not do us any good at the moment.

This is one reason why restricting emissions is so hard to do.  It costs us in the near term and has few benefits that we can feel right now.

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