Climate Change as a Man-Made Problem, and Solutions for The Prevention of Climate Change.
Human activities have had diverse effects on the environment and climate in general. The processes of urbanization, civilization, and industrialization that are attributable to human activities have led to climatic changes. Scientists hold different opinions towards the issue of climate change. Some claim that climatic changes have occurred due to general human activities while others attribute climate changes to particular human activities. The dilemma presents in these human activities, which people consider as necessary for their survival (News, 2013, p. 1). For example, industrialization has made things easier for a man. Industrialization has also caused climatic change. Such dilemmas revolve around the issue of climatic change since human beings rely on such activities while they continue to affect their environment and the climate. This paper focuses on the issue of climatic change in order to identify whether human beings have caused climatic change. This paper also highlights the viable solutions that can help in preventing climatic change.
The earth’s climate has changed and the pattern of climatic seasons has changed. This change in climatic seasons has taken a long time to the climate experienced today. Environmentalists attribute these changes to human activities, which contribute to the release of greenhouse gases (News, 2013, p. 1). The release of these gases causes the depletion of the Ozone layer. Consequently, global warming takes place. From this process, climatic change appears as a process, which has one cause: human activities. Therefore, climatic changes emerge due to human activities, which mean that a man has caused this problem.
According to a report released by the IPCC, scientists claimed confidently that humanity has caused changes in the climate. The report indicated that human activities have led to the warming of the ocean and the atmosphere. The parts of the ocean, which existed originally as ice plates, have melted. The melting of these plates has led to a rise in the sea level. Human activities have led to warming of the atmosphere, which has consequently led to diminishing of the snow. The increase of greenhouse gases has led to the warming of the atmosphere. Climatic changes have caused extreme climatic seasons to occur (Varsity, 2014, p.9). For example, between 1983 and 2012 the northern hemisphere experienced the warmest period in the recent 1,400 years.
In 2008, carbon dioxide had accumulated in the earth’s atmosphere to 50% more than the level of concentration in the period before the industrial revolution begun. The increase by 50% in carbon dioxide concentration, in the atmosphere shows that the process of industrialization has contributed to climate change (Solomon, 2007, p. 512). Man began the process of industrialization in the 1800`s. In a short period of two centuries, the atmospheric concentration of carbon dioxide increased by half. The process of industrialization has taken time to get to the point it stands today. Initially, the process took gradual steps. However, the process has advanced between 1950’s and the new millennium. This shows that the climate change has occurred over a short period.
An interesting fact emerges; life on earth depends on carbon dioxide gas for continuity. Notwithstanding, increased levels of carbon dioxide have caused global warming. This interesting fact creates the dilemma of identifying which levels of carbon dioxide should occur in the atmosphere. The earth’s atmosphere contains a very small amount of carbon dioxide. For example, in 2008, in every 100,000-air molecules 39 molecules of carbon dioxide existed (Varsity, 2014, p.7). To reach a ratio of 1:40 ratio of air to carbon dioxide it will take five more years. Understanding the climate change requires an understanding of the climate sensitivity. Climate sensitivity defines the way in which the earth responds to temperature changes. The temperature changes on earth depend on an activity referred to as radioactive forcing. The earth may respond in two ways to these changes. The first way entails a change in the absorption of sunlight by the earth. The second way entails a change in the infrared energy emitted by the earth to outer space.
The process of urbanization has also contributed to climatic change. Through urbanization, man has continued to destroy forests so that they can occupy areas initially covered by forests. Urbanization has led man to moving to the areas with conducive climate and occupying these areas even though it means destroying the forest cover. Deforestation has a great impact on the climatic change (Shrivastava, 2007, p.109). The trees in these forests help in maintaining the levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. Plants and natural vegetation use naturally existing carbon dioxide to perform their growth and survival functions. The process of clearing forests disrupts the natural ecosystem balance. People also cut down trees for their decorative purposes. Urbanization does not serve as the main cause of deforestation. The need for utility products made of timber such as wood cabins and chairs leads to the process of deforestation. People also destroy forests in search of fuel such as charcoal and wood. All these activities initiated by human beings contribute to the reduction of the forest cover. The reduction of forest cover reduces the users of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. Consequently, this leads to climate change.
Man who has created the problem of climate change continues to suffer from the same. Climate change leads to unpredictable weather patterns. These unpredictable patterns of weather and climate seasons lead to low food production. Man cannot predict the weather today. Therefore, they cannot prepare land for food production because they do not know when the rainy seasons begin (Shrivastava, 2007, p. 107). Attempts to produce food in this period of climate change have failed. Man has tried to produce food through planting, but the change in climatic seasons has led to low food production.
Industrialization has had its equal blame for climate change. Industrialization involves the process of using machines for mass production of equipment and utilities. Industries contribute to climate change through the emission of toxic gases. Some of these gases include aerosols. These gases alter the radiation from the sun, which in turn cause global warming. The main form of climatic change is global warming (Environment Agency, n.d: Para 2-4). The radiation from the sun has increased due to alteration on the atmosphere. The dilemma emerges because human beings rely on these activities to make life easier. The same activities lead to climate change. For example, people prefer driving to walking. Driving consumes less time and provides convenience, which people seek for in their lives. Cars use fossil fuels, which emit carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. People also prefer processed products rather than unprocessed products because they last longer. Processed products come from industries, which emit carbon dioxide in their operations. This leaves man in a dilemma. In this dilemma, man needs to identify methods of reducing climatic changes. The effects of changes in the climate range from food shortages to diseases caused by exposure to radiation. In recent times, researchers have tried to find out means of reducing climate change since they cannot reverse this process.
The first solution to climatic change involves abandoning the use of fossil fuels. People should abandon the use of coal and natural gas as sources of energy. Notwithstanding, abandoning fossil fuels will decrease the amount of carbon dioxide emitted by human activities. The greatest cause of climate change has been the use of fossil fuels (Biello, 2007, p. 4). Solutions to fossil fuels include the use of nuclear power to produce nuclear energy. Carbon neutral fuels provide an alternative to the use of fossil fuels. The change may take a long period, but it will provide a solution to climate change from use of fossil fuels.
The second solution entails upgrading the infrastructure. The current construction design of the building contributes to the emission greenhouse gases. Buildings in the United States contribute to 43% of the greenhouse gases emitted by buildings. The implementation of this solution entails installing thick insulations, which provide temperature regulation. Improving the roads will lead to less consumption of fossil fuels (Biello, 2007, p. 3). The implementation of this solution also entails improving the quality of cement used to build roads and buildings. Such buildings will help in regulating the emission of harmful gases.
Another solution for climate change involves traveling for less distance to work. People spend a lot of fuel as they travel from home to work and back. People should aim to occupy areas close to their workplaces. Occupying such areas reduces the need for transport using vehicles. People who live near their work places may opt to abandon the use of cars and cycle to their workplaces. Alternatively, people may walk to their places of work (Biello, 2007, p.5). In situations where occupying areas near the workplace proves challenging, people should carpool to work. Through carpooling, people use one vehicle to replace the use of multiple vehicles. Carpooling reduces the consumption of fossil fuels.
In an aim to reduce, global warming people should consume less. This reduces the emission of greenhouse gases. In reducing consumption, people should advocate for the use of products produced with renewable energy rather than fossil fuels. When shopping for vehicles people should choose those vehicles, which consumes less fuel (Biello, 2007, p.5). Similarly, people should purchase items in bulk to reduce the amount of plastic bags used in packing items shopped. People should also use reusable shopping bags to replace the use of plastic bags. Through consuming, fewer people should also aim to become efficient. This process starts by small activities such as leaving the lights off. Switching off the lights consumes less energy. People need to maintain their cars properly. This entails proper inflation of the car. Proper car maintenance ensures that the car consumes less fuel.
Environmental conservation provides a solution to the climatic change. People should plant trees and practice forestation. Increasing the forest cover will help in reducing the concentration of greenhouse gases in the earth’s atmosphere (Biello, 2007, p.2). Rather than cutting down trees and other forest vegetation people, should plant more to increase the vegetation. Individuals should also desist from cutting down trees.
People should practice family planning in order to reduce climate change. For example, every new family should aim at having one child. Family planning will reduce climate change by reducing the population growth rate. Consequently, this will reduce the consumption and destruction of natural resources. The society should adopt the proposed strategies to ensure that climatic changes are reduced.
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News. 2013, October 28. Man-made climate change causes 'even more certain'. BBC News. Retrieved April 1, 2014, from http://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-24289500
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Varsity. 2014, January 4. Global warming "man-made" says professor. Varsity Online. Retrieved April 1, 2014, from http://www.varsity.co.uk/news/124