How Can Global Climate Be Changed, Slowed, Reversed?
Scientists have strived to come up with strategies to prevent the planet from excess heating, which could save the world from natural disasters like droughts, rapid rising of sea levels, as well as widespread wildlife extinctions. They have warned that immediate action to reverse global warming is necessary if the international community is keen to stop the Earth from experiencing a temperature growth for more than 2oC above the normal industrial levels to evade catastrophic ecological consequences. Although the strategy to minimize greenhouse emissions is a complicated task, reversing climate crisis requires collaboration from individual levels up to the international agencies, including private sector, which can contribute to this endeavor through funding.
The Cause of Global Climate Change
Global warming incorporates an ongoing rise in temperature in the earth’s atmosphere, owing to an increase in the concentration of greenhouse gases. This process is the main reason why climate is changing. The phenomenon is closely linked to the expansion of the international economy, since the rise in concentration of carbon dioxide within the atmosphere is attributed to increased human activities (Li 2016: 49). Since the WWII, human operations have been upgrading, leading to global warming, rise in sea levels, as well as frequent incidences of flooding and drought. A minor shift in temperature is enough to trigger disasters all over the planet, thus, measures to curb the causes of global warming are paramount for the safety of the future generation.
Measures to Reverse Global Warming
The situation on the Earth is not as bad as many people tend to believe, as long as humans can agree to take measures to reverse it. The Kyoto Protocol is one of the remedies that gave high expectations concerning global climate change mitigation. Unlike the treaty that was signed in Copenhagen in 2009, and which ended in embarrassment, the Kyoto protocol, which is expected to come into force in 2020, underlined the need for industrialized nations to cut greenhouse gas emissions to attain a speculated level (Byrne and Maslin 2015:432). The document was based on the notion that the threat of global warming could be eradicated if the reduction targets set by the signatory countries were achieved. States that approved the Kyoto protocol vowed to decrease carbon dioxide emissions, as well as five other greenhouse gases.
One of the most appropriate ways to reverse global warming is to minimize the amount of substances flow. Society should endeavor to replace fossil burning with the new technology that utilizes wind, water, and solar energy (Howarth 2014: 60). However, the substitution of greenhouse gases cannot be completely eliminated from the Earth’s atmosphere because they play a critical role in heat regulation. Without them, life would be unsustainable on the planet, as such gases help absorb warmth within the lower part of the atmosphere and reflect it back to the land. The use of natural gas instead of coal can assist in minimizing the concentration of greenhouse fumes in the atmosphere; hence, reducing global warming.
The private sector should be allowed to contribute directly to decrease the threats of global climate change. Most of the regulations made by governments and international agencies usually target the corporate and free enterprises, which are perceived as “rule-takers.” Despite being a “rule taker,” the non-public sector indirectly advocates for strategies that minimize global warming (Andrade and de Oliveira 2015: 375). Incorporating the industry to make decisions on the issue of climate change can help influence them to adopt effective strategies to decrease greenhouse gas emissions.
Scientists should not forget the underlying causes of the phenomenon, thus, they should base their strategies on simple ideas, rather than going for complicated solutions that demand high levels of training and incur excessive costs. Policy makers should think of what an individual, or a nation, can do to slow down the effects that lead to the environment problem. They should advocate for simple activities, such as plating trees, using renewable energy, less driving, recycling waste, and appropriate waste disposal, which could have long-term impact to solve global climate problem. Planting of trees not only assists to minimize carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, but also makes environment more beautiful. Trees also give out oxygen, which is utilized by humans. Adopting the use of renewable energy can help reduce the amount of greenhouse gases released to the atmosphere.
Policy makers should push for more treaties to be ratified to avoid a situation where the global temperature rise will hit 5oC above data levels by the end of the twenty-first century. Everyone knows that unabated burning of fossil fuels will lead to global warming and its consequences would be beyond repair. Since 2012, China’s greenhouse emissions have been larger than the combination of fumes release in the EU and the U.S. (Vennemo and Aunan 2016: 8). Thus, new treaties need to be signed to incorporate China in the climate change plan.
Why Strategies to Reverse Global Climate Change Fail. In most cases, policy makers heavily rely on governments to implement strategies to avert global warming. They expect the authorities to fund their ideas, in addition to adhering to the regulations, which are quite costly. Sometimes it does not make sense to communicate with the government to finance something that it does not support. For instance, the U.S. was not a part of the signatory of the Kyoto Protocol, and there is no way the international community can expect America to contribute positively in global warming termination. Developed countries can take the leading role in the mitigation of the phenomenon, but they would end up being hurt by such strategies because these nations would be forced to close industries that release excessive amount of carbon in the atmosphere.
Action by the U.S. not to ratify the Kyoto protocol implied that nations can only join other states to advance their self-interests. The U.S. refused to sign the document to evade situation that could adversely affect its economy (Kawabe, Wang and Yamashita 2014: 209). They will only agree to contribute if they believe that their interests are considered as matters of priority. No nation requires more efforts to curb global warming than the U.S. The Western democratic national states, which include the U.S., Canada, and Australia, have the most dominant fossil fuel industries, but do not restrict the use of money to lobby for certain interests in order to sway electoral outcomes.
Government regimes also contribute in the poor implementation of strategies to terminate the phenomenon through hindering other sectors to join the struggle. Such governments form state-centric systems that restrict the inclusion of multiple international agencies, as well as the private sector, which can be influential on matters of funding and planning actions on the problem (Andrade and de Oliveira 2015: 375). The non-public sector will continue interfering with the struggle to avert global warming, as long as the penalties instilled by governments are less than the benefits they can accrued by breaching the rules on pollution.
The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), a creation of the UN, has incorporated views from climate scientists to guide on the efforts that can help mitigate environment change. Since its inception, the IPCC has undertaken several tasks that include (1) evaluating the scientific information with regard to climate change, and (2) articulating potential response strategies (Luton 2015: 145). However, the agency’s affiliation to the UN makes it become more political than science; hence, cannot be relied in policies proposal to solve the puzzle of global climate change. IPCC has also been blamed for being too slow in acting due to its rigid bureaucratic process.
International community, in conjunction with climate scientists, needs to maintain the warming of globe to a level not exceeding 2oC above the normal industrial data to escape calamitous ecological consequences. Progress in curbing climate change has seen the signing of several treaties to minimize the rate at which greenhouse gas is released into the atmosphere. Rapid and radical reductions in fumes emissions should not be perceived as matters of national interest, but rather acts of national self-sacrifice. It is the high time that the so-called democratic nations realize that global warming requires urgent response than terrorism threats from Islamic States. Individual country’s effort is necessary in the struggle to minimize the threats of the phenomenon. Simple activities, such as tree-planting, using renewable energy, effective waste disposal, and driving less, contribute immensely in taming global climate change.
Andrade, José, and José Puppim de Oliveira
2015 The Role of the Private Sector in Global Climate and Energy Governance. Journal Of Business Ethics 130(2): 375-387.
Byrne, Adam, and Mark Maslin
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Howarth, Robert W
2014 A bridge to nowhere: methane emissions and the greenhouse gas footprint of natural gas. Energy Science & Engineering 2(2): 47-60.
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2016 Hopes of Limiting Global Warming? China and the Paris Agreement on Climate Change.” China Perspectives 1: 49-54.
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2016 Air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions in China: An unsustainable situation in search of a solution. Oslo Business School, Working Paper 3.