The worldview towards global warming continues to change with time. The situation once thought as mythical, is now a major worldwide concern with factual effects. However, what remains controversial is the difference and similarity of this phenomenon across regions. One side views the economic impact of global warming as varying with differences in geographical locations. On the other end, the opposition suggests that global warming effects remain the same regardless of regional differences. This paper explores the economic effects of global warming and climatic change on countries. It seeks to prove that there exists a difference in this effect between the US and the rest of the world.
This paper exists under the assumption that the rest of the world primarily refers to the developing countries. Thus, it will examine this impact regarding the US as a developed society against developing regions in Africa and Asia. In general, it shows that there is a negative relationship between climate change and the economy.
This paper concentrate on the relationship between warmer earth surfaces and key economic pillars such as industries and natural resources. Note that the media portrays global warming in instances that reveal limited knowledge on the issue. Therefore, this paper offers insight into the particular impact of this situation from both national and international perspectives.
It takes a course that is of primary interest because of the skewed portrayal and the author’s limited understanding of the issue. The paper perceives the overall understanding of climate change on an international platform as minimal. Therefore, the author hopes to conduct research that will offer a clear understanding of the issues attached to global warming. It uses information from peer reviewed articles to makes conclusions on the possible adverse or positive effects of global warming on economies. However, the paper hypothesizes that the economic effects of global warming are different as stated above.
Global warming is a period of ever increasing temperatures on the earth’s surface. According to this phenomenon, the earth keeps warming along trend. According to EPA (2013), Earth’s surface temperature has increased by about 1.4°F in recent times. The agency projects a future progression of between 2 and 11.5 °F. The implication of these changes is that they have caused adverse adjustments in global climatic and weather patterns (EPA, 2013).
Now, increased human activity is a significant contributor to global warming and climatic change. According to Liverman & Glasmeier (2014), human activity handles the rise in the carbon footprint in the atmosphere. Carbon, among other similar gasses, are by-products of fossil fuel combustion in energy production. Other practices that cause global warming include increased industrialization, irresponsible forest management, as well as some agricultural activities (Liverman & Glasmeier, 2014).
Indeed, there exist an array of evidence to back up this global warming argument as factual. For instance, numerous areas continue to witness extreme changes in rainfall patterns and intensity. Such areas are now prone to floods, intensive rainfall, and droughts. Also, oceans are now becoming warmer, more acidic, and larger than they were a decade ago. These changes are likely to spell additional challenges to the environment and societies as they increase in future.
Science continues to grapple with ways through which they can explain the storm surrounding the past, present, and future issues of climatic change. On the contrary, policymakers are looking into responding and proposing policies that could help reduce the level of greenhouse gas emissions. However, the importance of these systems does not sit well with the media and public. Almost too often, non-action positively relates to the perceived high-level expenses involved in the reduction of pollution. They fail to notice the cost of ignoring these challenges with respect to various aspects and regions of the global economy. The following is a discussion of these similarities and differences of global warming from a world perspective (Desmet & Rossi-Hansberg, 2015).
On one hand, most individuals would claim that the effects of global warming are different between the US and the rest of the developing world. Supporters of this ideology base on the fact that the impacts differ with location and economic endowments. The following is a discussion of these economic differences.
The first difference comes with damage to infrastructure and property because of extreme weather. According to Matthias, Coelho, & Karetnikov (2007), extreme weather conditions are equals to floods, rise in sea levels, wildfires, and storms. The adverse impact will require massive repair of vital structures such as roads, homes, rail tracks, airports, and levees. Unlike the developing world, the US has a lot to lose if its billions of dollars’ worth of investment in property become victim to global warming. They could also have adequate protection in terms of risk management and superior construction techniques. As a result, the country is far much at a better place surviving the effects of infrastructural and property damage in the event of climatic elements (Matthias, Coelho, & Karetnikov, 2007).
The second difference exists in the extent of productivity loss. Pin & Xiaobing (2011) find that extreme weather would mean increased absence from work, school, transportation, tourism, and trade among others. Unlike the US, the developing world is more dependent on fundamental economic drivers such as agriculture and tourism. Therefore, extreme weather can cause enormous financial losses as a result of delayed agricultural practices and travel. On the contrary, the US invests heavily in various levels of production. Therefore, may lose in huge amounts in the event of extreme weather attacks regardless their level of investment in insurance and risk management. Extreme conditions will also threaten both regional and international trade due to canceled flights (Pin & Xiaobing, 2011).
Third, global warming has a direct effect on security threats and migration. Based on Desanker (2009), it is highly likely to increase the population proportion that seek refuge in developed economies, primarily the US. People from the developing world often find a way of leaving their homes because of harsh conditions following flooding, drought, and poverty. The effect of such movements is a strain on the US economy as a host nation. Worse still, unlike the US, extreme climatic conditions in the developing world could attract domestic migration and security downturns. The movements could result in social disruptions and civil unrest. The ultimate effect is uncontrolled military intervention and increased poverty levels (Desanker, 2009).
The fourth difference manifests itself in terms of survival expenses following a climatic change outbreak. Matthias, Coelho, & Karetnikov (2007) suggests that the US is a developed society that can find it easy to prepare and deal with most impacts of climatic change. The country also can address issues related to carbon emissions. However, the developing world sees the preparation and coping mechanisms as expensive and unnecessary given their economic status. As a result, the effects of climatic outbursts are more likely to be fatal in developing countries than the US (Matthias, Coelho, & Karetnikov, 2007).
Consider the events that follow a drought. Farmers will need to revert to irrigation practices in farms once fed through rainfall. Droughts may also have damaging effects on livestock and other agricultural operations. Though costly, both state and local governments in the US have the capacity of handling such requirements. They can provide farmers with additional water supplies to help cope with environmental changes. They may also reconstruct other critical areas adversely affected by climatic change. However, this reconstruction is more costly and unplanned for developing countries. Desanker (2009) notes that such economies prefer curative to preventive measures. They may also lack the resources to calculate and account for the resources and lives lost following extreme weather occurrences (Desanker, 2009).
Other climatic change experts view it as a global menace that has an equal weight across regions in terms of impact. They perceive weather-related disasters as occurrences beyond control with comparable effects on all humankind. Some of their arguments are as follows.
First, everyone around the world is equally feeling the adverse effects of climate change when it comes to food production and economic welfare. According to Eide (2007), the changing weather patterns have adversely affected the health, settlements, and livelihood of people in all countries. Just like the developing world, American citizens rely on natural resources for their livelihood. They too till the land, keep livestock, hunt, and fish for food. However, changes in climate reduce chances that the environment becomes sustainable for all livelihood, their social identity and culture. Also, as food supply declines, farmers and countries resort to controversial farming practices to meet the growing demand (Eide, 2007).
Second, the impacts of global warming are similar across countries in terms of property and infrastructural damage. According to Desmet & Rossi-Hansberg (2015), other countries are just as vulnerable as the US when it comes to wildfires, floods, storms, and droughts. Floods and extended frosts cause damage to critical structures such as roads, railway lines, airports, homes, power lines, and commercial buildings.
Extreme climatic conditions can specifically cause disruptions in major transport and communication media. For instance, a domestic traveler caught up on flooded Ghanaian roads is just as affected as his counterpart on frozen Alaskan roads. Though on different time zones, both travelers risk their lives should they choose to travel under such circumstances. Most highways in and out of the US lie in the paths of weather elements. These conditions place travelers at a constant risk of attack when it comes to feeling nature’s wrath. Most transport and communication systems are at risk of disruption in the event of frost thaws and floods. Therefore, the climatic change would have equal economic effects in both instances (Desmet & Rossi-Hansberg, 2015).
Third, extreme weather changes result in productivity losses of the same magnitude. According to (Perry, 1992), extreme weather occurrences have similar effects on productivity regardless of the region. In this case, climate outbursts would mean an adverse loss in work, school, and trade hours. It could also disrupt other significant economic aspects such as fishing, agriculture, energy, and tourism. For instance, severe weather patterns can delay labor intensive large scale farming in both the US and developing countries. Also, it would make it hard for individuals in both societies to go about their daily activities (Perry, 1992).
Fourth, climate-related outbreaks have their equal impacts across geographical locations. In both cases, extreme weather increases chances that individuals fall sick, develop allergies and die. The higher the occurrences, the greater the likelihood that countries lose work and school hours. Both economies may find it harder to prepare and cope with health-related issues developing as a result of global warming. Note that greenhouse gas emission is almost beyond a single nation’s control. It also remains an enigma and a partial recipient of attention during budgetary allocations. Such instances expose all countries alike to equal health-related issues from an economic perspective (Nordhaus, 2001).
In the above argument, it is precise that there exist two opposing views on the effects of global warming as a largely geographical associated phenomenon. On one end, experts urge that there exists a difference concerning the economic effects of global warming on the US compared to other countries. On the other end, other experts suggest that the effects are the same regardless locational differences. However, the former seems to have more substance than its opposing view.
Indeed, it is true that global warming is largely a curse than a blessing on planet earth. However, the intensity of this curse to any society concerns its location and preparedness to handle subsequent occurrences. The reason behind these sentiments is that the US seems better prepared to tackle the effects of global warming compared to countries in the developing world. It also has a lot to lose in the event of an occurrence. Therefore, it is best to support the idea that there is a difference in the adverse effects of global warming on the US versus other countries.
Conclusion and Recommendations
Five primary lessons emerge from the above reviews and discussions as follows. First, the economic impacts of global warming are widespread and far-fetched across countries. Second, the adverse effects of climatic outbursts far much outweigh its benefits for all countries. Third, adverse climatic changes have the ability to place massive strains on national budgets. Fourth, the most infamous effects of extreme weather changes include increased fuel prices, loss of jobs, and increased poverty. Finally, the economic effects of global warming have an uneven distribution across economies, regions, and societies. Ultimately, they leave governments, private sector players, and citizens exposed to the direct and indirect expenses that arise because of increased environmental disruption. From this argument, it is adequate to conclude that there is a difference in the adverse economic effects of global warming on the US versus other countries.
Interesting to note is that these conclusions and lessons exist because countries lack sound frameworks to prepare for and deal with climatic change. Therefore, it would be of their best interest to consider the following recommendations. First, all countries, developed and developing alike, should engage in the collection of greenhouse gas emissions information. Such information will help them track the trends and opportunities that arise with emissions reductions and increased efficiency.
Second, countries should encourage reductions in emissions. They can do so by taxing pollutions and rewarding efforts on conservatism. The reduction of emissions and promotion of clean energy economies offers a significant step towards reducing global warming. Third, they could evaluate options, benefits and costs that are available with various policies. Such analyzes help in understanding the efficiency and impact of policies aimed and tackling global warming.
Lastly, there is a need to seek international partnerships with economically endowed nations. The US should engage in global strategies that try to advance the discipline of environmental conservation in the developing world. Such partnerships are the source of policies and behaviors aimed at reducing carbon emissions.
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