(ESSAY) Description: write a 1200 word paper that briefly critiques a global issue where shared responsibility for the common good is not being realised (approx. 300 words) and then, propose ways to address this challenge (approx..900 words). Example
GLOBAL ISSUE 6
Climate Change as a Global Issue that Requires Shared Responsibility
Climate change is regarded as being the most serious threats facing humanity today. Climate change is a global issue that no one on this continent is immune to as its effects if felt globally (Downie et al., 2009). Because climate change is a global issue, it requires a shared responsibility and consulted effort by all nations to address the issue. The need for a shared responsibility in addressing climate change for the common good of the everyone in the plant was recognized by the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) when it pronounced that «the global nature of climate change calls for the widest possible cooperation by all countries and their participation in an effective and appropriate international response, in accordance with their common but differentiated responsibilities and respective capabilities and their social and economic conditions» (United Nations, 2007). Indeed there have been many attempts by world leaders coming together in an attempt to address the problem of climate change for the common good. Unfortunately, shared responsibility for the common good has not being realized in this regard. This essay climate change as a global issue that calls for shared responsibility for the common good, why the common good has not been realized and propose ways to address the change.
Climate change has become a serious global environmental issue whose effect is felt in every corner of the world. Over the last few decades, the world’s average temperatures have increased significantly due to the global warming effect. According to the NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies cited by the National Geographic News (2007) report indicates that the planet’s average temperatures have increased at an average of 0.8 degrees Celsius since 1880, with much of the increase recording in recent times. The climate change that has been blamed mainly on increased emission of greenhouse gases has become a problem to the whole world with no any single region speared of its devastating effects. Because of climate change, most parts of the world have been experienced increased prolonged drought, unpredictable rainfall patterns, increased flooding in some regions like China and Southeast Asia, rising sea levels, and glacial melting on mountainous regions (Dahlman, 2017).
In addition to these, various part of the world has been experiencing increased incidences of natural disasters. For instance, in recent years, the Indian Ocean experienced the worst tsunami that affected most parts of Southeast Asia, hurricanes of high intensity have become a common thing, especially in North Atlantic and Caribbean and the same applies to earthquakes as has been seen in Haiti, Pakistan and India among other parts of the world (Dahlman, 2017). Moreover, wild fires have been increasingly common in various parts of the world, including Australia, the United States, Colombia and Mexico among others. Further, there has been a crowing link between the emerging health problems and climate change. For instance, there are scientific studies that link climate change and certain types of cancers (NASA, 2016). All these adverse climatic conditions are linked to climate change.
It is regrettable to note that, despite the devastating effects of climate change, the world has failed to address the problem for the common good of everyone on planet. In most cases, concerted efforts being made to address climate change, such as the Kyoto Protocol, the Copenhagen Agreement and the UNFCCC among others, politics have often made the achievement of a common goal on climate change a challenge as world powers, such as the United States and China are often at loggerheads on climate change issue (Edward, 2008).
Therefore, to address the climate change problem, first, it would be important that all the world leaders come together to ensure that climate change problem is confronted collectively because combating climate change is a shared responsibility (Downie et al., 2009). Although it is notable that some nations do not contribute much to climate change, every nation of this world must play their part in mitigating the threats of climate change for the issue to be addressed. This implies that the responsibility of addressing climate change ought not to be left to some countries or part of the world; rather should be shared by all nations of the world.
Second, to address climate change problem, it would be important that the entire world shift to the use of alternative sources of energy, such as solar, wind, geothermal, hydro, biogas and nuclear power. Maslin (2014) reports that climate change problem that the world is grappling with today has been caused mainly by large emission of greenhouse gases from factories, businesses and transport sectors among others. These industries depend heavily of fossil fuel, which most countries of the world still relies on heavily (Dahlman, 2017). Unfortunately, the burning of fossil fuel results in emission of carbon dioxide, which is largely responsible for climate change. Therefore, the most appropriate approach to mitigating the effects of climate change is for the entire world to work collaboratively and shift from the use of fossil fuels to greener sources of energy (NASA, 2016). It is encouraging to observe that many countries have started shifting from fossil fuel to alternative energy sources. Australia, for instance, is already started playing its part by investing close to $24 million in more than 30 solar and wind power projects. Chang (2017) reveals that about 8,000kW of renewable energy has been financed using community ownership model. If the entire world follows what Australia is doing by investing more on renewable energy and limiting the use of fossil fuel, this would help address the problem of climate change.
Third, to address climate change, it is important that people from across the globe be encouraged to plant more trees and to stop deforestation. Reports indicate that more than 33 million acres of forests are cut down every year. In the tropics alone, deforestation is projected to contribute about 1.5 billion metric tons of carbon to the ecosystem (Maslin, 2014). This accounts for about 20% of man-made emission. Fortunately, this is a habit that can be avoided easily by creating laws that prohibit cutting down of trees, but also encouraging people all over the world to take responsibility by planting trees for the common good of the current and future generation.
Additionally, the solution to climate change requires educating the world population to be more responsible with regards to energy usage. The appliances that people use at home, such as electric appliances emit a lot of gases into the atmosphere, thus contributing to climate change (Leary, 2003). For this reason, climate change effects can be mitigated by promoting responsible use of energy at homes, as well as encouraging responsible disposal of wastes.
Additionally, climate change is a problem that can be addressed by enacting tougher laws and policies on emissions. Burroughs (2001) argues that the lack of action on climate change is attributed to lack of tougher laws to discourage emission of excessive greenhouse gases globally. For this reason, the best approach to climate change is for world leaders to come up with tougher laws and policies on emission as this would discourage businesses and industries from emitting a lot of gases. One approach to this is for countries to introduce carbon taxing about a certain limit (Dahlman, 2017). In this respect, the world leaders should set emission standards for all industries, such as transport industry that is universal for all countries such that any person, country or business that exceeds the emission threshold is taxed heavily as this would discourage industries from emitting excessive greenhouse gases as is the case currently.
In conclusion, climate change is a serious threat to humanity today. Today, climate change is a global issue that affects every part of the world. Although addressing the problem of climate change requires a shared responsibility among all nations, addressing this problem for the common good of the people has remained elusive. Therefore, to solve the challenge, world nations need to work collaboratively by implementing effective mitigation strategies, such as shifting to the use of renewable energy, planting more trees and stoping deforestation, promoting responsible use of energy, as well as coming up with tougher laws and policies on emission.
Burroughs, W. J. (2001). Climate change: A multidisciplinary approach. Cambridge, MA: Cambridge University Press.
Chang, C. (2017). The surprising asset ordinary Aussies are investing in. News 1 May p. 1 http://www.news.com.au/finance/business/the-surprising-asset-ordinary-aussies-are-investing-in/news-story/d3bf05881302b185dd11fac8c7f6a4d5
Dahlman, L. (2017). Climate change: Global temperature. Retrieved from https://www.climate.gov/news-features/understanding-climate/climate-change-global-temperature
Downie, D. L., Brash, K., & Vaughan, C. (2009). Climate change: A reference handbook. New York, NY: ABC-CLIO.
Edward, A. P. (2008). Distributing the burdens of climate change. Environmental Politics, 17(4), 556-575, DOI: 10.1080/09644010802193419
Leary, N. (2003). Climate change and vulnerability. Oxford, NY: Earthscan.
Maslin, M. (2014). Climate change: A very short introduction. Oxford, NY: Oxford University Press.
NASA. (2016). The consequences of climate change. Retrieved from https://climate.nasa.gov/effects/
National Geographic News. (2007). Global warming fast facts. Retrieved from http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2004/12/1206_041206_global_warming.html
United Nations. (2007). Confronting climate change: A shared and global responsibility. UN Chronicle, XLIV (2), https://unchronicle.un.org/article/confronting-climate-change-shared-and-global-responsibility
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