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Short Essay – Auto-ethnographic Reflective Analysis Example

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Climate Change

I was recently reading through Australia’s Federal Government Clean Energy Bill and found it a bit fascinating. The Australian Government drafted a comprehensive plan to build a clean energy future proposing a carbon price on every tone of carbon produced by industries. A price on carbon pollution will discourage pollution and encourage investment in clean energy. This will make sure that pollution is scaled down at the lowest cost to the economy (Jessup and Rubenstein 37).

Under this carbon price, approximately 500 of the major polluters in Australia will have to purchase and surrender a permit to the Government for each tonne of carbon pollution they emit. For the first three years, the bill stipulates that the carbon price will be fixed, after which an emission trading scheme will be adopted in 2015. In the fixed price stage, the carbon price would be set at $23 a tonne, and will rise progressively (Zahar, Peel and Godden 45).

The carbon price revenues collected from high carbon emitters will go into assisting and supporting households, employees, small scale businesses and communities, to facilitate their adjustments to the newly imposed system as well as enable them to lower their carbon emission while protecting Australia’s international competitiveness (Jessup and Rubenstein 37). Without doubts, this bill has been informed by the prevailing epidemic of climate change. Climate change has of late become an international economic predicament, which, according to the bill, results due to lack of the will by the governments to formulate and implement policies that deter anthropogenic emission of greenhouse gases, such as imposing a carbon price (Zahar, Peel and Godden 45).

Social meanings of climate change

Theories that have been advanced in environmental social sciences with regard to climate change are quite materialist (Garnaut 98). Among them is, one, industrial metabolism, two, treadmill of production and thirdly, ecological modernization (Dryzek and Norgaad 76). Industrial metabolism talks about the input of raw materials as well as other sources of energy in the industries. It posits that stakeholders need to holistically adopt regulations to this undertaking and invent better machines that reduce raw material consumption rate. On its part, the theory of modernization of the ecological articulates that going by the current transformation of industries and other relevant actors in the spirit of modernization, the society will be transformed to what Mercer calls a “green state” ( 87). This means that standardization of the environment coupled with environment friendly plants will yield a clean hereafter, as market oriented economies carry on to progress.

Lastly, the treadmill of production school of thought counters the modernization of ecology approach. It postulates that societies of today, especially those dominated by the market, are entirely informed by a necessity to grow without due regard to social and ecological costs (Leal-Arcas 35). Driven by profit motive, manufacturers regularly tend to increase their products in the market. Granted government nod, manufactures increase their product capacity, and this increases the quest for industrial raw inputs and leading to heavier carbon emissions. Capitalist expansion depletes natural resources in terms of raw materials that in turn shoot up capital production cost. This, if continued, brings about a dilemma to capitalists (Chavallier 67).

Ethnographic reflection

Silence on climate change by stakeholders creates a futile tomorrow for generations to come. In the event the prevailing moves intensify, the heating up of the globe will reach uncontrollable levels and threaten the very existence of humankind. There is likelihood of an ecological discontinuity. Climate change on a global scale may result to extreme weather patterns. These might adversely impact on developing nations, although their carbon pollution to the atmosphere is relatively less. Warming of the globe will occasions sea levels that are above normal. This will flood land masses surrounded by water and some countries in the lowlands (Kamienieki and Kraft 89). Carbon bears the blame for most of the expected warming of the globe in 100 years to come. This will result to alterations in the patterns of plant distribution on the planet.

In addition, some plants are more receptive to much more carbon concentration than others and may eventually lead to some plants becoming displaced. Biodiversity is as a result threatened. Worries are already building up that highland areas are becoming excessively warm, resulting to changes in the species of flora and Fiona cohabiting there. All these show that new constraints will engulf life and its development (Kaeda 56).

The alterations that are imposed on the earth will not work smoothly, with anthropogenic alteration of the earth’s structure and function. The alteration of natural biosphere brings about uncertainties. Alterations in the normal carbon cycle can exceed the normal levels and lead to a phenomenon referred to as abrupt climate change (Wanna 90).

Accumulation of carbon heats up the earth’s atmosphere which leads to melting of the polar ice. This increases the amount of fresh water that enters the oceans, reducing the salt levels of the ocean. Due to this thermo-haline cycle, saline waters could be severely interfered with. Consequently, the waters cool down very fast, building up severe winters that are icy, and expand aridity (Mercer 76). Expansion of capitalist operations aggravates carbon pollution challenges the future prospects of the planet to sustain living organisms.

Work Cited

Chevallier, J. Econometric analysis of carbon markets: the European Union Emissions Trading Scheme and the Clean Development Mechanism. Dordrecht [etc.], Springer, 2012

Dryzek, J. S., Norgaard, R. B., & Schlosberg, D. Oxford handbook of climate change and society. Oxford, U.K., Oxford University Press, 2011

Garnaut, R., & Garnaut, R. The Garnaut review 2011: Australia in the global response to climate change. Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 2011

Jessup, B., & Rubenstein, K. Environmental discourses in public and international law. Cambridge, U.K., Cambridge University Press, 2012

Kaieda, H. Evaluation of the first-stage reservoir in the Australian Hot Dry Rock geothermal energy development beneath the Cooper Basin. Tōkyō, Denryoku Chūō Kenkyūsho, 2006

Kamieniecki, S., & Kraft, M. E. The Oxford handbook of U.S. environmental policy. Oxford, Oxford University Press, 2013

Leal-Arcas, R. Climate change and international trade. Cheltenham, UK, Edward Elgar Publishing Limited, 2013

Makuch, K. E., & Pereira, R. Environmental and energy law. Chicester, Wiley, 2012

Mercer, D. A question of balance: natural resources conflict issues in Australia. Annandale, NSW, Federation Press, 2000

Wanna, J. Critical reflections on Australian public policy selected essays. Acton, A.C.T., ANU E Press, 2009

Zahar, A., Peel, J., & Godden, L. Australian climate law in global context. Cambridge, England, Port Melbourne, Vic. 2012