Environmental issues are the harmful effects of human activities on the surroundings. Such activities include overpopulation, pollution, waste disposal, the greenhouse effect, global warming, and climate change. Among all these issues, climate change is the most concerning in today’s scenario. The issue of climate change has existed for the last few decades, with the major cause resulting from greenhouse gases. The climate change in our planet has frequently transformed over geological time, with major variations in global average temperatures. However, the present warming era is happening faster than any past events. Humanity has been the major cause of warming for the last century by releasing heat-trapping gases, known as greenhouse gases, to power our contemporary lives. This event occurs through burning fossil fuels, agriculture, land use, and other events that cause climate change. Greenhouse gases are reported to be at the highest levels they have ever been for the last 800 000 years. The fast increase is a major concern t our planet since it changes our climate faster for living to adapt to. Various environmental protection programs have been initiated at the individual, organizational, and government levels to establish a balance between man and the environment.
Problems of Climate Change
Climate change has had devastating effects on both human lives and the animals on our planet. The effects are already being felt worldwide and are expected to worsen with time. Global warming, as of now, has reached about 1°C above pre-industrial levels, and every degree cunts. The effects of climate change seemed to be more pronounced for certain groups, such as those communities dependent on agricultural or coastal livelihoods and those already disadvantaged, vulnerable, and subject to discrimination (Portner et al., 150). For instance, at a national level, the groups in low-lying, Small Island states and less developed nations will be and already are among those worst affected. Individuals from the Marshall Islands already face devastating flooding and storms that destroy their livelihoods and residence. In 2021, the heatwave in North America made headlines, but the worst effects of global warming were felt in Pakistan. The temperature in Jacobabad raised to 52°C, above the human body.
The climate change issues, especially concerning fossil fuels and pollution, run along ethnicity and class lines. For instance, in North America, poor communities of color are forced to breathe toxic air from their neighborhoods which are likely situated near power plants and refineries. These communities experience higher rates of respiratory diseases and cancer. African Americans are three times more likely to die of airborne pollution than the general US population. Climate change has also affected women and girls differently since they are more expected to be disadvantaged and marginalized in many countries. For instance, women worldwide are considered to take roles and jobs that depend on natural resources (Portner et al., 150). This act makes them less able to adapt to climate change. As such, they are at greater risk from the impacts of climate change. Indigenous people are also among the communities impacted most by climate change. As a result of their close relationship with the natural world and some cases of forced removal, they are constantly in negligible lands and fragile ecosystems, which are specifically subtle to changes in the physical environment. They are mostly excluded from climate change initiatives regardless of their significant knowledge about the natural world.
Possible Solutions to Climate Change
The solutions to climate change must be taken by cooperation between the states and corporations. For instance, the states are responsible for mitigating the harmful effects of climate change through ambitious measures to prevent or reduce greenhouse emissions in the shortest time frame (Yadvinder et al., 4). Even though all nations should take practical steps to minimize emissions to the full extent of their capabilities, prosperous states must be at the upper hand to decarbonize their economies more rapidly than developing nations. Those states responsible for climate change must offer compensation, and other remedies for the losses and damages individuals have already suffered due to climate change. States must respect the right to information and participation of all individuals affected and their right to access effective remedies for human rights.
Businesses worldwide must also have an obligation to respect human rights. They must assess the potential effects of their activities on human rights and develop measures to prevent adverse effects. Such findings and any measures they create to prevent climate change should be made public to the community. Organizations should also take responsibility to remedy human rights abuse they make or contribute by themselves or through cooperation with others (Yadvinder et al., 7). Corporations involved in fossil fuels must devise measures to minimize greenhouse emissions, such as using alternative fuels or renewable energy produced in ways compatible with human rights and provide important information about emissions and mitigation efforts to the community.
Setbacks from the Solutions
The opponents’ climate change solutions argue differently on how the plan will display adverse effects on the economy and people’s life. For instance, opponents of these solutions argue that they will reduce jobs and household income without substantially impacting global temperature. Some opponents, including those proponents of increased coal production, see the climate change solution plan as a war on coal, proposing that coal mining operations and employment at the plants will be adversely affected by the plan’s CO2 reductions (Alliance, Consumer Energy, para 2). Other opponents have also argued that such a solution will not impact reducing future global warming and temperatures.
Why Climate Change
I chose climate change as a major environmental issue since it greatly affects our fundamental rights. Climate change is a human right issue since its devastating effects are not just on the environment but our safety (Toussaint e al., 735). Besides threatening our existence, climate change is adversely affecting our rights to life, food, water, health, livelihood, and housing. Every person has a right to life and to live in freedom a safety, but climate change has made it difficult to enjoy this right as billions of people on our planet are facing different effects of climate change, causing death. In my research, I faced problems locating some important information that connects humans with climate change. Instead, it was all about economic drives. Future investigations focus on investigating this gap in the literature to provide information and statistics on how humans are the leading cause of climate change. However, I learned that we are the solution to climate change. It should all start with and through the help of the government, the problem we are facing today will soon be over, and we will have a planet back.
In conclusion, climate change is a serious environmental concern that affects every person in the world. Major causes of climate change result from greenhouse emissions. Greenhouse gases result from major economic activities such as transportation and manufacturing, especially in developed nations. Despite the critics from opponents of applicable solutions, more measures should be developed to prevent climate change to have a better planet.
Alliance, Consumer Energy. “Potential Energy Impacts of the EPA Proposed Clean Power Plan.” (2014).
Malhi, Yadvinder, et al. “Climate change and ecosystems: Threats, opportunities and solutions.” Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B 375.1794 (2020): 20190104.
O’Neill, Brian C., et al. “Achievements and needs for the climate change scenario framework.” Nature climate change 10.12 (2020): 1074-1084.
Pörtner, Hans-Otto, et al. “Climate change 2022: Impacts, adaptation, and vulnerability.” IPCC Sixth Assessment Report (2022).
Toussaint, Patrick, and Adrian Martinez Blanco. “A human rights-based approach to loss and damage under the climate change regime.” Climate policy 20.6 (2020): 743-757.