Pragmatism can be defined as a philosophical school of thought that places emphasis on practical ways of solving problems or doing things. According to Carolan (4), pragmatic environmentalism is the key to offering real-world solutions to environmental sustainability. It balances the importance of economic necessity while at the same time trying to preserve the environment. This requires individuals to create societies that are environmentally and economically sustainable. In understanding the current environmental issues facing the globe, the author places emphasis on the interactions between the material and social worlds. The social world basically refers to the dynamics and structures that define a society. These include political systems, economic systems, legal systems-both local and international, population growth and inequality. On the other hand, the material world refers to the existing ecological resources such as air, water, biodiversity, as well as trash.
According to Carolan (24), greenhouse gases are gaseous compounds found in the atmosphere that can absorb infrared radiation and thus trap and hold heat in the atmosphere. An example of a greenhouse gas is carbon dioxide. These gases are related to rising temperatures. While they allow sun rays to enter the atmosphere, some of the sunlight reflected back by the surface of the earth as infrared radiation is absorbed by the greenhouse gases hence trapping heat in the atmosphere. This causes a rise in temperature. The author indicates that there exists a relationship between climate change and inequality, food security, and geographic areas. For example, the effects are more pronounced in developing countries where climate change has led to increasing food insecurity and poverty. The melting of ice caps is also an example that shows the relationship between climate change and geographical areas. The author does propose a number of mitigation measures such as the efficient use of fossil fuels, embracing of renewable energy, expansion of forests and the passing of strict legislation addressing GHG emissions.
Carolan, Michael. Society and the Environment: Pragmatic Solutions to Ecological Issues. Colorado: Westview Press, 2013.