The focus on reducing carbon emissions has blinded us to the real problem - unsustainable lifestyles, says Eamon O'Hara. In this week's Green Room, he argues that bigger problems await us unless we shift our efforts.
Is it not time to recognise that climate change is yet another symptom of our unsustainable lifestyles, which must now become the focus our efforts?
Yet governments, and those organisations who have now assumed the role of combating climate change, subscribe to the notion that climate change is our central problem and carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions is the cause of this problem.
Undeniably, climate change is a serious problem but it is only one of a growing list of problems that arise from a fundamental global issue.
For many decades, the symptoms of unsustainable human exploitation of the natural environment have been mounting: species extinction, the loss of biodiversity, air and water pollution, soil erosion, acid rain, destruction of rainforests, ozone depletion - the list goes on.