Environmental Studies Essay Example

Climate Change: Man’s Accountability

The issue with climate change is a universal concern that has long been debated by nations. There are accounts stating that the current trend in climate change is a natural phenomenon while strong researches are convincing the public that human anthropogenic is a great factor for the rapid increase of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere thereby hastening climate change. While there are recommended actions presented by various organizations all over the world to alleviate the global concern of climate change, the actions taken by each nation remains to be assessed. There is a disparity of the sharing of the global green house gases emissions from developed countries such as US, Europe, Canada, Australia and China as compared to the developing countries. There is a great advantage to the developed countries that argue against the national commitment in reducing ghg and oppose to the various proposed policies related to climate change. Their passivity towards their ethical obligation in sharing the global burden creates controversies that remain unsettled until today.

Arguments posed by developed countries include the uncertainty and insufficiency of scientific bases that climate change is due to human causation and the impending costs that entails the various policies for climate change. The IPCC report in 2007 and other international bodies such as NASA, and NOAA, all share unequivocal results. That is, the observed increase in the average temperature of the Earth since the mid 20th century is due to the increase in anthropogenic and man-made greenhouse gases concentrations. Their collected data over the years reveal that the amount of Carbon Dioxide in the atmosphere is undisputedly rising due to human induced factors as seen in the infrared energy of the atmosphere.  Simulations for climate change has detected that pre-industrial factor do not contribute to the increase in the temperature as much as when the industrial revolution started (IPCC). Thus, taking the natural courses of nature’s responsibility is bound to uncertainty. The anthropogenic sources come from burning of fossil fuels which are widely used in today’s time for power generation. Global warming causes the loss of sea ice, the retreat of the glaciers, intense heat waves, droughts, and stronger hurricanes and storms. The world will continue to experience catastrophic weather events due to the significant drop in the environment’s capacity to carry the massive greenhouse emissions (ProCon.org).

It is but right and ethical for all nations to act upon their share of duty to keep the ghg emissions below their share of the global ghg. However, most countries are comparing their set of actions to other countries claiming that their actions towards the global policies would be negligible unless the big countries (like the US, China and other developed countries) that contribute highly to the global ghg participate in their ethical obligations as well. This premise is very true since developing countries have lower share of ghg emissions compared to the highly industrialized nations. Countries with high emission of ghg cause great harm to the whole world especially to those poor countries with very low ghg emissions. The participation of these developed countries would greatly contribute to the alleviation of the global ghg emissions. They are at advantage when they remain indifferent to the international policies since their continuance to exceed ghg contribution level leads them to economic and industrial rise. However, this unethical response compromises the global atmosphere which retards the overall actions of nations to combat climate change. All nations have an ethical responsibility to act upon the reduction of ghg emissions in accordance to the fair share of the contributed global emissions. It is imperative that they do their respective duties regardless of the efforts undertaken by other nations. The obligation to the climate change is a matter of global justice. And it is this justice that demands for every nation to get involved in their ethical responsibilities.

Works Cited

Procon.rog. “Is Human Activity a Substantial Cause of Global Climate Change?”. Procon.org.

  1. Web. 30 November 2014.

IPCC Fourth Assessment Report: Climate Change 2007. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate

Change. Climate Change 2007: Working Group I: The Physical Science I. Web. 30 November 2014

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