S:     Hello, come in, come in. Oh, and can you turn off a few lights, the switch is right next to the door. We don’t need so many, plus, we would be wasting precious energy.

A:     Sure I can. So, energy saving? Is that your new passion these days? How long will this one last I wonder, I give it two weeks tops. And while we are on the subject of energy saving, tell me where do you stand on the global warming debate?

S:     Global warming debate? There is no debate. This is a scientific fact, don’t tell me you’re one of those idiots who claim it’s “just a theory”.

A:     Calm down, how dumb do you think I am? Wait, don’t answer that, it was a rhetorical question. I meant the debate on who gets to shoulder the responsibility for reducing carbon emissions: the first world, who has been consuming fossil fuels for the better part of the last two centuries, or the developing world, who is just beginning to experience their own industrial revolution?

S:     my answer aside, your question has made it quite certain which side you stand on. I believe everyone should cut down emissions, even developing countries. This is a global problem and the solution must be similarly global.

A:     It is a global problem, yes, but its cause is not the globe. Only a few nations are responsible for this mess. And now while they have developed to their fullest extent, unchecked, you would have the developing countries burden the cost of their sins? This would perpetuate inequality; not only would it deprive the developing countries from utilising fossil fuels to their fullest extent, the funds to switch to alternative sources may be beyond their means too. This is a double blow.

S:     Maybe you’re right, but asking the developed world to cut down is equally flawed. Why should they cut down while the rest can pollute to their hearts extent? That was the sole reason the Kyoto Protocol failed. The developed world can just as easily shift operations to these developed countries to benefit from looser regulation, as they already do. And we are back at square one. But most importantly, your way would see equal development, but continuing pollution, my way would perhaps perpetuate inequality, but it would save the world.