Mercurial Essays

Free Essays & Assignment Examples

Research Paper

Is global warming a recent phenomenon or it’s been around since ages? How an one tell that global warming is that global warming is a fact or fiction? What are some of the effects of global warming? After proving the existence of global warming this paper will dig further to figure out if global warming requires international intervention. How should the world fight global warming? Should countries and international bodies join their arsenals to win this fight? Should organizations such as the United Nations, the African Union, and others make global warming a priority and solicit measures to combat it?

Or are individual countries like Ghana and the United States capable of successfully dealing with global warming? If it turnout that global intervention is the best way to combat global warming, How should it be done? Should it be through global laws and regulations that would force every country to comply or through global treaties and accords that are only binding on countries that sign them? What resources must the world sacrifice to win the fight against global warming? Is there opportunity cost associated with using these resources in the fight against global warming?

We Will Write a Custom Essay Specifically
For You For Only $13.90/page!

order now

Analyze these cost What are some of the sets back (challenges) that must be circumvented to in other Who is to make the biggest sacrifice (how should the cost of fighting global arming be apportioned? Should Ghana and the United States be made to bear the same cost? If no, then how? ) Why the need for these actions (why should the world unit against global warming)? What is the situation on global warming now? How the future looks with respect to global warming? What difference will global action against global warming utter this future Who is to blame for global?

Is it industrialized nations such as the US and Germany that used all means necessary to build huge empire? Is it developing countries like china and India thus consume tons of coal each It is human beings in general who have sorted greedy behaviors and abandoned their task as ambassadors of the Earth? Conclusion At the end of this research, a detailed conclusion summarizing the various points and our positions on them would be presented. The conclusion would give concise and definitive response to questions such as, Does global warming require international intervention?

How should international bodies fight global warming? Who is to blame for climate change and global warming? CONTENT In less than three decades, global warming has joined the ranks of poverty, war, and diseases as the most discussed international issues. While the noted States is being bombarded with catastrophic hurricanes, people in East Africa are starving to death due to global warming. Whether one believes in global warming or not, the recent spike in storms, floods, droughts, bush fires, and other unbearable weather conditions cannot be ignored.

According to formal vice president AH-gores “An Inconvenient Truth,” modern day climate change is the result of human activities and it will take nothing but the efforts of all humans to end this catastrophe. The rising effects of climate change are a call to duty for countries across the globe. It is incumbent upon Mounties around the world to unite and take action such as cutting on carbon emissions, forestation, and carbon sequestration to curb climate change.

From the website of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), climate change has to do with the gradual modification in the statistical weather pattern of a region. Thus a region that experiences relatively high precipitation, sunshine, wind, and other elements of climate can change with time as a result of human and natural processes to experience relatively low or high amount of these climatic elements, “Climate Change Evidence” (P . 38). When we humans began experiencing climate change termed it global warming, which occurs when the temperatures of the earth and its immediate atmosphere are rising.

But with time and numerous scientific studies, it has been proven that global warming transcends the borders of just heating and warming of the earth but encompasses everything that has to do with weather, be it precipitation, sunshine, humidity, you name them. Base on this discovery, the term global warming was modified to climate change, which best labels the process. Greenhouse is a term used in agriculture to refer to a place where plants are grown in glass alluding in regions where the climatic conditions would not support the development of these plants.

But in climate study, greenhouse refers to the situation where carbon dioxide and other gases known as greenhouse gases such as water vapor, methane, nitrous oxide, chlorofluorocarbons, and ozone combines in the atmosphere to form a blanket like layer around the earth. This blanket looking layer traps sun’s rays leaving the earth causing temperatures of the earth to rise. Climate change has two major effects. There are the environmental effects, which include the immediate impacts of Hess catastrophic weather changes on the natural environment, and the economic effects, which encompass the financial sectors such as job and capital growth.

According to research reports by the Organization of Climate and Earth Scientists, modern day climate change has been around since the ass, as such the current inconsistencies in weather conditions started over three score years ago. The first effect associated with climate change is the increase in atmospheric temperatures. High temperatures will consequently cause the melting of the ice at the poles, Arctic and Antarctic. The melting Of CE will trigger a rise in sea levels and this will eventually lead to the submerging of island nations such as Jackrabbit, Marshall, and Devalue.

Some experts say that if a solution is not found, the mentioned countries in the Southern Pacific will soon become ‘uninhabitable’, (Huff Post World). This does not mean the above nations will just disappear under the surface of the ocean in one or two decades; they will still be there but life on them will simply become unsustainable. The report continues that it would become cheaper and more effective to move the people to other parts of the world: to Australia, New Zealand, Fiji, or anywhere else, rather than to import food, water and all the other basic necessities.

Droughts, famine, and other natural disasters including heavy flooding, widespread bush fires, and disastrous hurricanes will be more prevalent in the future as a result of climate change. As the climate changes, vectors like mosquitoes that carry disease-causing organisms would spread to new regions that the vectors were formerly not able to survive in. These and many other effects will cause high deaths in both plants and animals and will in the long-run lead to the endangering and extinction of some species as it is the case today. The other major effect is economical.

Some economic analysts purport that the impact of climate change is costing the world more than S 1. 2 trillion each year, wiping 1. 6% of annual global GAP (guardian. Co. UK). In 201 1 alone, there were 14 separate weather disasters in the United States (US) with each costing SSL billion or more in damages. Hurricane Irene alone caused 45 deaths and $7. 3 billion in damages across nine Northeast States. Total U. S. Lost to climate change in 201 1 is said to be about $55 billion, roughly equivalent to the budget Of the Department of Homeland Security.

Extreme storms require extensive repair of essential infrastructure such as homes, roads, bridges, railroad tracks, airport runways, power lines, dams, levees, and seawalls, (EPA). Second is the loss of productivity. Disruptions in daily life related to climate change can mean loss of work and school days as well as it can harm trade, transportation, agriculture, fisheries, energy production, and tourism. Severe rainfall events and snowstorms can delay planting and harvesting, cause power outages, snarl traffic, delay air travel, and otherwise make it difficult or people to go about their daily businesses.

Climate-related health risks also reduce productivity, such as when extreme heat curtails constructions or when more potent allergies and more air pollution lead to the loss labor hour. Third is a situation that economists call “Supermarket Sticker Shock”. Extreme weather -? the kind scientists expect to see because of climate change -? is one cause for skyrocketing beef and milk prices. In 201 1 , drought in Texas caused more than $5. 2 billion in agricultural losses and forced ranchers to bring cattle to market early, prompting shortages and higher ricers later.

Globally, food prices have shot up 79% in five years, in large part due to weather disruptions. Most hard hit are those in the developing world, where people live on the edge. Prolonged drought in East Africa caused tens of thousands of deaths in 2011 , with 13 million still at risk. Though the Earth is divided into several continents and several sovereign countries with different laws and regulations, the issue of climate change is one that requires a unified action.

After all, the one thing the whole world share is planet earth and its atmosphere; hence the need to maintain it is a must. The effects of global warming on the planet are impossible to overlook and in fact, constitute an imminent danger to all mankind no matter their geographic location. Over the years, measures have been taken to remedy the effects of climate change but the impacts of these remedies have not been substantial. The Kyoto Protocol for instance was adopted in 1997 at the third conference of the parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFROCK).

The Kyoto Protocol’s objective was to commit industrialized nations to reduce their emissions of greenhouse gases (GOGH) by a certain percentage of the base year, 1990. In the fight to limit or control global warming, one of the most recurrent questions is whether to impose global laws and regulations on greenhouse gases or to have treaties and accords that are only binding on the countries who sign them. As for the former, the very essence of the different nations being “sovereign” poses a problem.

The West’s Encyclopedia of American Law defines sovereignty as ‘the supreme, absolute, and uncontrollable power by which an independent state is governed and from which all specific political powers are derived; the intentional independence of a state, combined with he right and power of regulating its internal affairs without foreign interference” (2008). This definition of the sovereignty Of a nation implies that countries may not be forced to comply with universal laws on how to manage their productions and/or how to maintain their land.

Therefore, the second approach -? to have treaties and accords that are only binding on countries who sign them – is more feasible. Fortunately, because pollution for example deprecates primarily the immediate environment, industrialized countries usually find themselves obligated to seek measures to limit or stop pollution. For example, according o the New York Times article of January 31st, 2013, in late January 2013, the Beijing government had to put in place emergency measures to combat thick smog. The measures included temporarily shutting down more than 100 factories.

Beijing had gone through two straight days of air that was rated “hazardous” by the standards of the United States Environmental Protection Agency, which means that people were not advised to even step out of the homes. So although no one can impose environmental laws to sovereign countries, most of them will have to implement them anyway to care for their population’s welfare. The Kyoto Protocol for instance, which entered into force on February 1 5th, 2005, has been ratified by 1 92 parties to date, 37 of which were industrialized countries.

They all committed to reducing their emissions of greenhouse gases by 5% in average compared to that Of the sass between 2008 and 2012. Despite all the efforts that are being made, the aim was not reached by the time frame imposed by the Kyoto Protocol. This is mostly due to the fact that some parties are not convinced that global environmental laws are beneficial to them. In fact it can be argued that the marginal costs that arise from implementing those regulations exceed the marginal benefits that they bring about.

And this is for several reasons: First, developing countries are still struggling to improve their economy. In 2001, the estimated unemployment rate of Cameroon according to the CIA world fact book was 30% with 48% of the population living below the poverty line in the year 2000. For such a country, the main concern is to generate more jobs for the unemployed, and to improve the living conditions of those under the poverty line. To do so, they might have to put whatever knowledge or technology they have at the moment to use in order to create more industries.

Taking on challenges such as reducing their greenhouse gases emissions would require and extra investment first to learn those processes and then to develop the technologies for it. Even then, because most developing countries are not able to develop those technologies, they probably would have to borrow them from the industrialized world. Extra funds allocated to acquiring green technology could have been used to put more people to work. So there is opportunity costs associated with such undertakings. Furthermore, the marginal costs would exceed the marginal benefits.

Considering the fact that out of the five (05) most prominent causes Of global warming, only deforestation mostly OCCUrs in developing countries, it could be argued that developing countries are no significant contributors to global warming; industrialized countries are. Consequently, drastic measures enforced in developing countries could have little to no effect on the planetary situation in the short run; hence the developing countries’ reluctance to follow the clauses of global treaties such as the Kyoto Protocol. Second, abiding by such treaties will have a tremendous negative impact on a country economy.

In the case of heavily industrialized countries such as he United States of America, most of their energy comes from electricity. According to the US Energy Information Administration (EIA) “more than one- half of all US electricity generated in 1 997 was produced from coal – a fuel that emits more carbon dioxide during combustion than any other fossil fuel. Thus, electricity production and consumption is likely to be a major focus in meeting Kyoto targets, accounting for between two-thirds and three-fourths of the domestic carbon reductions in 2010 in the various cases examined. (1998). Thus, implementing environmental laws such as those of the Kyoto Protocol, because of the price of carbon that comes with it would cause a hike in the price of electricity. The IIS EIA found in the aforementioned report that “the various cases studied for show prices for electricity between 20 and 86 percent higher in all end-use sectors, reflecting both the increased fuel costs and the incremental capital investments for non-coal generating capacity-?either by traditional utilities or by non-utility generators in an increasingly restructured industry. (7), only to conclude that neither of the alternatives to coal electricity can significantly make up for the deficiency in he 2008-2012 timeshare. So the trade-off is important and the marginal costs even more. But this is just an analysis of the impact of the Kyoto Protocol on the coal and electricity industry Where big scale climate control regulations and laws have failed, in some cases small, more local approaches have proved to be successful. As much as we do not want to admit it, cities and even towns should be regarded as key components in this fight against climate change.

It is only true that even big states like the State of New York are composed of cities such as New York City, Albany and so forth. So a good ay to have a significant move towards adopting new regulations would be to start by touching local governments. Here are some statistics from the Pew Center on Global Climate Change: “As of 2005, the majority of the world’s population lived in cities. Seventy five percent of the world’s energy is consumed in urban areas. Together, greenhouse emissions from the 10 largest U. S. Cities account for 10 percent of total U. S. Consumption. ” (Climate Change 101 Local Action).

Therefore, cities and towns around the world are an important part of the climate change problem, and they can also be an important part of the solution. The same source finds “to date, climate protection initiatives reported by cities and counties have reduced greenhouse gas emissions by more than 23 million tons annually equivalent to the emissions produced by 1. 8 million households or 2. 1 billion gallons Of gasoline. These initiatives also have substantial co-benefits such as reducing local air pollution and saving more than $535 million in energy and fuel costs every year. Thus the solution to our climate problems do not necessarily need to be tackled by global organizations that at times are unaware of the challenges that the incumbent countries face locally. Each country can also come up with initiatives and projects than can prove themselves even more efficient than big scale treaties. The US, Canada, and Australia are among the most industrialized nations and somewhat among the leading advocates of climate change but have refused to ratify the Kyoto for a number of varying reasons.

These leading countries inability to ratify and comply with international treaties like the Kyoto Protocol reveals how complicated a global fight against climate change is. Starting with Canada, in 2005 Canada’s greenhouse reduction target was 5% of 1990 emission between 2008 and 012. However, federal indecision led to increases in GOGH emissions since then. Between the base year (1990) and 2008 Canada’s GOGH emissions increased by around 24. 1%. The question then why did Canada fail to reduce its GOGH emissions despite its initial commitments to help fight climate change?

In Canada, debates surrounding the implementation of international treaties like the Kyoto are made by national, provincial, territorial, and municipal jurisdictions. For example, on the issue of energy, the federal government of Canada can negotiate multilateral agreements and enact isolation to ensure their implementation. However, the provinces have higher jurisdiction in implementation of energy laws therefore, to a large extent climate change policies. This is the number one reason Canada did not ratify its compromise with the Kyoto Protocol.

Another stumbling block to a global fight against climate change is who should bear the cost of this fight. As noted in the previous paragraph, as going to be detailed in later paragraphs the US refused to ratify Kyoto because it felt unfair treatment in the allocation of cost in the Kyoto Protocol. Apportioning the cost of fighting climate change s a huge step the international community needs to take before making any head way in this fight. It is obviously clear that global measures such as the Kyoto Protocol are not going to be easy to implement.

As said earlier, the sovereignty of countries allows individual countries to cherry pick treaties to comply with and those to ignore. Even if countries should agree to comply with global treaties like the Kyoto, there are a number of loopholes in these treaties that makes them possible for developed countries to relocate their carbon-intensive industries to nations that are not in compliance with these treaties. The Kyoto Protocol states that each country within Annex 1 has to reduce its emissions, on average, by 5. 2%.

Annex 1 countries are countries that are determined by the UNFROCK to be industrialized or developing. Some countries costs to lower their carbon emissions outweigh the potential benefits. An example of this is the United States. In 2001 , President Bush decided not to ratify the Kyoto protocol because he claimed it would “harm our economy and hurt our workers” (Con). This view was supported earlier when the Kyoto Protocol was first introduced in 1997. In 1997, the senate “unanimously passed a resolution (S. Re’s. 98) stating that it would not ratify any global climate treaty that would seriously harm the U.

S. Economy or that failed to require developing countries to reduce their emissions within the same time frame as the developed countries” (Con). The main problem the senate sites is that the United States should not be forced to reduce emissions more than another country. Granted the United States is the leader in emissions. The United States has produced over 25% of the emissions since the sass. The United States emissions are much larger than second place China with a little over 9%. A 5. % reduction in carbon emissions for America would be the result of billions of dollars.

While the same reduction for China will be a fraction of the cost. The Kyoto Protocol wants all Annex 1 countries to commit to a 5. 2% emission reduction. This is not how global warming should be dealt with. Even though global warming is a world issue, not every country is equipped to deal with this large scale issue under a unified approach. So, we believe that specific measures should be tailored to certain countries. If you look at all the countries that are within Annex 1, all that they have in common is that hey are industrialized or developing. However their economies are all completely different.

Some of these countries do not have the funds to reduce their emissions by 5. 2%. Each country should be assigned an independent auditor that can figure out how much emission that is created by the country. The UNFROCK should then figure out the most economically feasible plan for that country to reduce their emissions. The goal should not be for all the countries to reduce their emissions by a certain percentage, it should be for the world as a whole to reduce their amount to a certain level. Some countries can reduce their missions by more using less costly methods.

More developed countries will have to reduce their emissions using more complex and more expensive methods. Also instead of focusing just on reducing the amount of carbon countries emit into the environment, we should look at ways we can take the carbon out of the atmosphere and such examples as planting trees and carbon sequestration common ways to do this. A big drive of the amount of carbon in the atmosphere today is deforestation. All countries are involved in some form of deforestation. The killing of trees and other plants is reducing the amount of photosynthesis that s taking place each and every day.

Photosynthesis is the process in which plants take carbon from the atmosphere and convert it into oxygen and energy for the plant. One acre of trees can absorb about “30,000 pounds” of carbon dioxide. A single car in the United States emits about “1 1 ,OHO pounds of carbon dioxide” each year. This means that a single acre of trees will compensate for 2. 7 cars. Planting trees is an inexpensive way Of fighting the battle against global warming. All the countries that signed the Kyoto Protocol can commit to planting acres of trees every year.

Although some may criticize hat these trees will take years to grow, they forget to realize that the problem of global warming is also a long term ordeal. If about 100 acre of trees is planted year after year, this means that the amount of carbon being sucked out of the atmosphere will only grow more and more as the trees that were planted become mature year after year. If the countries decide to adhere to the Kyoto Protocol they will be subject to monumental amounts of costs. Eventually a method of getting rid of carbon becomes less effective in a country. A perfect example of this is the developed countries of the world.

They must now use price methods to eliminate the carbon that they produce. A popular method of reducing carbon in the atmosphere is carbon sequestration. Carbon see sequestration involves three steps: “Capture of CO from power plants or industrial processes, transport of the captured and compressed CO (usually in pipelines), underground injection and geologic sequestration (also referred to as storage) of the CO into deep underground rock formation” (EPA). Carbon sequestration has the potential to greatly reduce the amount of carbon dioxide that is produced by countries. “As estimated in the US.

Inventory Of Greenhouse Gas Emissions and Sinks, more than 40% of CO emissions in the United States are from electric power generation. CSS technologies are currently available and can dramatically reduce (by 80-90%) CO emissions from power plants that burn fossil fuels. Applied to a 500 MM coal-fired power plant, which emits roughly 3 million tons of CO per year, [1] the amount of GOGH emissions avoided (with 90% reduction efficiency) would be equivalent to: Planting more than 62 million trees, and waiting at least 10 years for them to grow. Avoiding annual electricity-related emissions from more than 300,000 homes. ERA) However there are some negative consequences to carbon sequestration. The deposits that the carbons are put in have to be airtight. Fifth carbon is able to leak then it will end up in the seas. If the carbon ends up in the seas then it will reduce the amount of oxygen within the water. If the amount of oxygen is reduced then fish will strain themselves to breathe and can die. More carbon within the water will also slow the metabolism of fishes within the sea. The fact cannot be denied that huge resources would have to be sacrificed if the world is to make any substantial twist on climate change.

It is also true hat countries around the world, developed and developing alike have come to the realization that global warming is a fact, not fiction. In light of this realization, various governments around the world are either actively or passively doing one thing or the other to help fight climate change. But to win the fight against global warming, all countries around the world must be actively involved in initiating policies that would lower carbon and other greenhouse gas emissions (G HAG). Though almost every country agrees Of reducing global GOGH emission, there are huge disagreements when it comes how this should be done.

Countries such as the United States would only comply with international treaties like Kyoto Protocol if equal emission standards are set for both developed and developing countries. Tropical countries around the equator also lament that it would be unfair to given the same GOGH emission standards as industrialized countries. In conclusion, global warming is a serious threat to mankind and ARQ requires every country’s unified effort in order to curtail this imminent disaster. The Kyoto Protocol presented at the UN is a step further into the right path for each country to follow, but it is not the best solution for each country.

The Kyoto Protocol sets a standard where every country who signs have to reduce the carbon emission rate by 5. 2%. However, this plan does not take into account each country financial situation as well as each country’s technological advances. Our proposed solution is to have an auditor monitor each country status and report on there emission level. Then the environmental experts will meet as a group and come up with a feasible plan that the individual country is able to comply. We believe that our plan is the best solution as a whole because it takes into account each variable that is involved with such a complex subject.


I'm Belinda!

Would you like to get a custom essay? How about receiving a customized one?

Check it out