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There are ways to cope with global warming outside of simply asking people to reform their ways for the sake of the environment. Let us look at three possibilities.
- Geoengineering. In this approach, people take actions to counteract global warming. They do so through ambitious programs of changing the Earth and its atmosphere to stop warming. For example, there are some who believe that we should fertilize the oceans with iron so as to encourage the development of plankton which would draw carbon dioxide from the air. This would reduce the greenhouse effect. This sort of approach is not widely accepted because there are many unforeseen side effects that could arise.
- Appealing to economics. Instead of appealing to people to protect the environment, countries could appeal to their economic interests. They could, for example, focus on the costs that global warming would impose on their country. They could try to convince people that action should be taken not for the sake of the environment but for the sake of the economy. For example, they might show how warming would cause sea levels to rise, inundating coastal areas that drive tourism. This could encourage more attention to global warming.
- Planning for the effects of warming. Finally, countries could cope simply by accepting that warming will happen and trying to plan for its effects. Countries could determine how various regions would be affected. They could look at what economic activities would no longer be possible and what new opportunities might arise. They could then plan to deal with those changes.
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