Philosophical and Moral Dimensions of Climate Change
Climate change has taken a turn for the worst with projected worse effects in the future. In an attempt to secure the habitability of earth for posterity, several groups at various levels of operation have set out to control climate change. This quest to control or limit climate change starts with tremendous researches into the cause of climate change. This has sparked a lot of controversy with different groups coming up with different reasons for the high rate of climate change. The debate over whether natural or human causes should get more credit for the plight of climate change has sparked many issues. The control of climate researches and innovator’s change has received billions in endorsements to deal with the plight (Doyle & McEachern, 2008).
This essay covers the credibility of climate change and the measures taken to control it. It surveys the morality in the actions taken by global leaders and the rest of the population in the control of climate change. It argues how the urgency and the cause of climate change are unnecessary, but also how it can be beneficial to humans.
The credibility of Climate Change Analysis
The reason for the insisting on the awareness of climate change was mostly political instead of being genuinely out of concern for the earth’s posterity. Ever since the 1970s, global concern on the deteriorating environmental conditions can make the earth inhabitable. The signing of the Kyoto Protocol in Copenhagen was after a series of horrifying statistics in an emergency conference that projected the earth heading into an abyss. The first Copenhagen conference on environmental issues culminated in leaving the world in a state of panic.
This was because of the alleged findings of researchers on the earth’s climate. The politicians aimed at enforcing the signing of the policy without much resistance. Therefore, radical measures were enforced to control global warming that was mentioned as the main cause of the plight. The conference was thus not a scientific one, but rather an out-of-the-way attempt to enforce the policy. An extensively expensive course of action to prevent the world that was looming according to the findings of the meetings followed this. These measures meant to reduce carbon dioxide emissions within countries. This puts to question the morality, behind which the issue of climate change got founded. The rash decision on signing the Kyoto Protocol was controversial. It has seen to the spending of large sums of money on climate change that could address more urgent problems on earth (Hamilton, 2007).
The Kyoto Protocol required member nations to regulate their carbon dioxide emissions by taking radical measures. The use of alternative sources of energy and the limitation of deforestation are among those measures. It left the world in a scare making this measure an obligation to safeguard life on earth. The “going green” campaigns have received massive acclamation to reduce the effects of global warming. The truth of the issue is that an unnecessary revolution got started over climate change.
Humans cause an estimated 1.2% of the atmospheric carbon dioxide, a clear revelation that most of the greenhouse gas comes from other avenues. The Copenhagen Conference exaggerated statistics of projected climatic conditions of the future. The rise in sea level over the next 100 years exceeded the 59 cm mark that got issued by an IPCC report. The Amazon Forest would diminish by an increased 85 percent; polar ice cap melting got an accelerated figure. All these figures became a global sensation creating worldwide panic.
The main cause of climate change is the natural, ecological balance. The Copenhagen Conference settled on global warming as the main cause of climate change. Sea level rising is among the signs of a detrimental climate change, but the 3 mm is that gets accorded to recent global change has, actually, been so for the last 200 years. Blaming it on human activity would be a false conclusion (Doyle & McEachern, 2008).
The sun’s activity has a significant effect on global temperatures and has significant effects on climate change. Over the centuries, the sun’s activity has changed and this goes a long way into determining the temperature of the earth. The earth’s orbit changes too, and this affects the radiation it receives from the sun. The earth’s orbit, over 100,000 years, changes between being circular and elliptical. When it becomes elliptical, the intensity of the sun’s radiation on earth is uneven. The south gets more incidence of solar radiation, thus, more evidence of global warming on the Antarctic Circle than in the Arctic Circle.
Volcanic eruptions lead to massive emissions of particulate matter that can spread over worldwide. Sulfates also get emitted in the event of a volcanic eruption (Ball, n.d.). These emissions have global warming effects on the atmosphere. They have absorptive properties, whereby they absorb and retain the atmospheric heat. This cumulative retention of heat within the lower atmosphere without releasing it into space causes a rise in atmospheric temperatures. The lifespan of these particles is considerably long; long enough to affect the climate of a vast region.
These natural causes also have a prominent role in controlling the climates of the world. Controlling human activity will surely reduce global warming, but it should also be noted that human intervention is not the only resolution to climate change. Nature has unavoidable mechanisms with which it causes the greenhouse effect among many others to control climate change. The treatment of climate change as a crisis, yet there are other pressing issues that need to be addressed, is unfair to humanity. Hungering children, insufficient health care, and warring communities are the crises that should raise such global red flags. People are dying, but governments allocate funds to the environment. What would be the use of a habitable planet without life to inhabit it? It is an issue of determining the reason for the course of action we take as a globe.
Education systems in most countries emphasize the control of climate change without offering more opportunities to study the crisis and note its urgency. This leaves the world in a state of emergency without knowing whether it is necessary or not. The idea that climate change is not that crucial does not get entertained. This is probably because of the substantial investments in the control of climate change. The losses that institutions, governments, and individuals would incur on this realization do not allow them to exploit the possibility of a lack of an environmental crisis (Hamilton, 2007).
On the other hand, it is crucial to note that climate change is a true phenomenon. Its effects are adverse to the environment, and as the earth’s inhabitants, we have a moral duty to ensure it remains habitable. The cumulative effects of human activity, no matter the scale, have far-reaching effects on the climate. The lack of incentives to control climate change would make our party to the destroying of the earth. History will not be kind to this generation for ignoring the looming danger to the environment. This justifies the measures taken by organizations to curb climate change. Global warming control has stipulated the control of emissions by industries, and this is a costly undertaking, but the significance of the existence of life cannot be overstated.
Climate change control enhances the conservation of the earth’s resources. Natural resources, such as water, air, land, oil, and trees, get protected simultaneously as climate change is being regulated. The control of emissions of carbon dioxide reduces global warming; it also reduces the acidification of oceans that causes depletion of bicarbonate ions in the seas and oceans. This saves numerous flora and fauna from looming extinction. The atmospheric carbon dioxide levels apart from causing global warming causes acidification of rain has adverse effects on oceans as already discussed. On soil, such rain depletes nutrients leave it infertile. The use of clean energy sources, such as solar energy, ensures the preservation of oil reserves around the world. It reduces the overdependence on oil that caused serious economic problems in the recent past. Trees have aesthetic value, enhance rain formation and prevent soil erosion apart from controlling atmospheric carbon dioxide levels. This shows how reducing deforestation and encouraging reforestation has numerous benefits apart from controlling climate change (Doyle & McEachern, 2008).
Climate change got global recognition after the Copenhagen convention and the signing of the Kyoto Protocol. The reasons behind the emergency conference that led to the stipulation of high-cost measures to control the plight are controversial. To ensure minimum resistance, climate change statistics got exaggerated. The fact that humans are known to be the main contributors to this situation makes the topic further controversial. Natural causes play a significant role in affecting climate change. The varying solar activity, changes in the earth’s orbital characteristics, and volcanic eruptions include some of the natural causes that cause a shift in global climates. Human intervention into the control of climate contributes to the bettering of the environmental situation, but the urgency, with which it is taken, is not necessary.
Ball, J. (n.d.). Volcanic hazards: Many types of hazards are associated with volcanoes. Geology: News and Information for Geology & Earth Science. Retrieved November 5, 2012, from http://geology.com/volcanoes/volcanic-hazards/
Doyle, T., & McEachern, D. (2008). Environment and politics. London: Routledge.
Hamilton, C. (2007). Scorcher: The dirty politics of climate change. Melbourne: Schwartz Publishing.
Plant fossils of West Virginia. (n.d.). Global Warming: A closer look at the numbers. Retrieved November 5, 2012, from http://www.geocraft.com/WVFossils/greenhouse_data.html