Human Actions and Climate Change
Published 20 Dec 2016
Along a busy street, a bearded man looking like a prophet is ringing a medium-sized bronze bell in his right hand and holding a sign in his left hand which reads, “The end is near.” Is humanity to blame or is it just an environmental phenomenon that is induced by nature? The recent facts have shown that the increase in climate change is attributed to many human-induced advances and errors in society have created. Moreover, the progress and development of each society has been set in the forefront at the expense of the environment. In this effect, the policies that have been created to answer the problems of the environment have been ignored in the sidelines. This does not even account for the fact that the traditional ways of living that are detrimental to nature is not being addressed. This in turn is largely affecting the very values and actions each person has towards the environment. Therefore, let it be stated that the recent issue on climate change is human-induced.
Human-Induced Climate Change
Asking what the cause of climate change is a basic thing to do. Actually, from a scientific perspective, the recent change in climate or global warming is a global environmental phenomenon which is a result in the increase in the earth’s average temperature of the near-surface atmosphere and bodies of water (Smith & Reynolds, 2005, p. 18). This will then result in the alteration of agricultural yields, glacier retreat, reduced summer stream flows, species extinctions and increases in the range of disease vectors (Choi & Fisher, 2003, p. 149). There are still those who deny the existence of any hazardous effects that these phenomenon brings save for the obvious fact that it causes a rise in the sea levels and changes the patterns of precipitation all around the globe (Gregory & Stouffer, 2002, p. 22). It is even asserted that based on statistics, the temperature of the world with continue to rise even given the hypothetical scenario of stopping the emission of greenhouse gases because of the way people have been living (Haigh, 2003, p. 322)..
There are a lot of reasons why humans are responsible for the climate change. The greenhouse gases have been contributing a significant amount of damage that is drastically changing the world’s climate. The more people use technologies that are not environmentally friendly, the more the environment is hurt. The major greenhouse gas contributing end-user sectors are the industrial, transportation, residential, commercial and agricultural (U.S. Greenhouse Gas Reports). Major sources of an individual’s greenhouse gases include home heating and cooling, electricity consumption, and transportation.
Moreover, the pollution brought by cars and other heavy machineries such as equipments used in factories are making the atmosphere worse every minute. The fact is that in the United States, more than 90% of greenhouse gas emissions come from the combustion of fossil fuels (U.S. EPA). Combustion of fossil fuels also produces other air pollutants, such as nitrogen oxides, sulfur dioxide, volatile organic compounds and heavy metals.
There are also the problem of dumping garbage and other waste materials. These heavily infect land, water and the atmosphere. People have been consuming a lot and as a result, they are also producing a significant amount of wastes some of which are not properly disposed of. There are those who have been keeping records for a long time and studied the effects of pollution such as air contamination, water contamination, soil contamination, solid waste mishandling, and environmental assessments of certain localities and concluded that it is getting worse (Gari, 2002, pp. 475 – 488).
Another factor for human’s induced climate change is deforestation due to the prevailing focus on progress and development. New cities are raised and forests and mountains are eradicated. The main cause of deforestation in some countries is the growing population and subsequent higher demand for agriculture, livestock production and fuel wood (Sucoff, 2002, pp. 358 – 359).
Finally, the government and private corporations are cutting costs when it comes to being environmentally friendly. The problem or the excuse most are saying is that economic profits or gains will be cut and funds will be needed for the environmentally friendly technologies (Rudiman, 2005, p.153).
I think that the Canadian government must reinforce and fully implement its policies with regard to the environment. They can reinforce their policies by first removing those laws which further deal damage to the environment. And also, the government must amend any policies that are outdated or that is detrimental to nature. Moreover, since this is a global phenomenon, the Canadian government must not work alone but work with other governments to combat this issue by strengthen or creating an international body to deal with this issue (Torn & Harte, 2006, p. 41). It is expected that the global response to such a threat will revolve around enacting or establishing global protocols in relation to the rate of economic growth of developing countries and the shift of production to lesser developed countries (Torn & Harte, 2006, p. 33).
The Canadian government must also be stricter and more persevering in dealing with the lawbreakers that his hampering the environment. They can start by enforcing strongly the regulation of the emission of greenhouse gases like some countries do (Wigley, 2007, p. 15).
This will indeed by a huge factor in affecting who I will vote in the next elections. This is because the advent of the human-induced climate will surely have a great impact to the whole of humanity whether they are aware of it or not and whether they care or not. This issue is very important and valuable to society because our future, our children’s future and our children’s-children’s future is on the line.
- Choi, O. & A. Fisher. (2003). “The Impacts of Socioeconomic Development and Climate Change on Severe Weather Catastrophe Losses: Mid-Atlantic Region (MAR) and the U.S.” Climate Change, vol. 58 pp. 149.
- Gari, L. (2002). “Arabic Treatises on Environmental Pollution up to the End of the Thirteenth Century”, Environment and History 8 (4), pp. 475-488.
- Gregory, J. M. & R. J. Stouffer, S. C. B. Raper (2002). “An Observationally Based Estimate of the Climate Sensitivity” (PDF). Journal of Climate 15 (22): 3117-21.
- Haigh, Joanna D. (2003). “The effects of solar variability on the Earth’s climate”. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society A: Mathematical, Physical and Engineering Sciences 361 (1802): 91-111.
- Ruddiman, William. (2005). “How Did Humans First Alter Global Climate?” (PDF). March 2005 issue. Scientific American. 153.
- Smith, Thomas M. & Reynolds, Richard W. (2005). “A Global Merged Land–Air–Sea Surface Temperature Reconstruction Based on Historical Observations (1880–1997)”. Journal of Climate. 18 (12): 2021-2036.
- Sucoff, E. (2003). Deforestation. In Environmental Encyclopedia. (P.g.358-359).
- Torn, Margaret & John Harte. (2006). “Missing feedbacks, asymmetric uncertainties, and the underestimation of future warming”. Geophysical Research Letters. 33.
- US EPA. (2000). Inventory of U.S. Greenhouse Gas Emissions and Sinks: 1990-1998, Rep. EPA 236-R-00-01. US EPA, Washington, DC, http://www.epa.gov/globalwarming
- U.S. Greenhouse Gas Inventory – U.S. Greenhouse Gas Inventory Reports | Climate Change – Greenhouse Gas Emissions | U.S. EPA
- Wigley, Tom. (2007). “The Kyoto Protocol: CO2, CH4, and climate implications”. Geophys. Res. Lett. 25 (13): 2285. 15.