Climate Change

 2-ours-polaireClimate change is a problem due to the global warming of Earth since the end of the 19th century. Temperatures are increasing because greenhouse gas is increasingly present in the atmosphere. Humankind is the reason for this over-release of carbon. This climate imbalance leads to several problems: rising temperatures, melting ice causing the rise in sea levels, and melting glaciers which slow down the earth’s rotation (cbc.ca), affecting the seasons and sun exposition. The term “global warming” appeared in public discourse for the first time in 1998 when it was used by the scientist Dr. James Hansen.
Every country should undertake efforts to prevent pollution compatible with their history and their culture. Some countries will have more difficulties enacting these efforts because they are economically or politically difficult or because they have already put in a lot of effort and are already very sustainable.

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To minimize climate change we must use alternative energies and change our way of consuming. Humankind is anchored in habit, consumption, and cultural tradition. In fact, human activities since the Industrial Revolution that occurred starting in 1750 have produced a 40% increase in the atmospheric concentration of carbon dioxide. (UNEP-United Nations Environment Programme) Carbon dioxide emissions produced by human activities come from combustion of carbon-based fuels, principally coal, oil, and natural gas. Other causes include deforestation, soil erosion and animal agriculture. (IPCC)
Some organizations are already good participants in this debate. Some companies like Patagonia decided a long time ago that they wanted to help give children a clean world. Thinking in a greener way with alternative energies is a long term investment. Countries like Denmark intend to produce 50% of their energy with wind turbines by 2020 (denmark.dk/en/green-living/wind-energy). Governments have a great role to play here because they have the power and the money to change their country’s bad habits and emit less carbon dioxide. When the Paris agreement occurred this past year it forced countries to inspire each other and improve themselves.

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Unfortunately, some people are not in favor of alternative solutions. This makes them bad participants in the debates about climate change. These people and their employees are the ones making money off of carbon emissions. They created an “ecosystem” based on polluting products and do not want to lose that. ExxonMobil, a petroleum company, is one of the biggest companies that does this.
In September 2016 we passed the point of no return for climate damage. This means we cannot undo the damage we have done, but we can minimize future damages. Most people do not want to think of this problem because it is too huge and too complex to be easily understood. It is hard to change the habits of one single person so changing 7,458,844,600 people’s habits is much harder. Bea Johnson writes in her book Zero Waste Home, “it is not hard to smoke, it is not hard to not smoke, what is hard is to change”. I think education is the best weapon against climate change. Schools should teach this topic starting at a young age to introduce the idea and good ecological habits early on. It is already happening in some North European countries where students learn about self-needs, not overconsuming, and the impact of human activity.
We have to find and use alternatives for each activity emitting carbon dioxide. In my opinion, humans are the source of global warming, but we are also victims of it. Global warming is leading to big social and humanitarian problems. It is beneficial to change our world now in order to continue in the future. Changing habits and traditions is a long process that we should pursue now in a more active way. Humans manage companies, so to change the companies’ way of producing we should start by changing our own thinking processes. People should also solve climate change by alternative solutions that don’t involve producing as much carbon dioxide, if any at all. Earth is overpopulated by overconsuming people. Companies should learn how to do more with less. People should learn how to refuse, reduce, and reuse. Finding renewable energy is a good way to minimize pollution but it has its limit. The best waste we are creating is the one we are not producing. Minimizing our material possession could also have direct and fast effects on our soul. Edward Bernays, Freud’s nephew said that the best customers are unhappy people. Climate change is a sociologic problem first, habits and cultural changements can only minimize the damages.

 

 

References :
Melting glaciers, rising sea level slow down Earth’s rotation : http://www.cbc.ca/news/technology/sea-level-earth-rotation-1.3361446
starting in 1750 have produced a 40% increase in the atmospheric concentration of carbon dioxide : www.unep.org
 “CLIMATE CHANGE 2014: Synthesis Report. Summary for Policymakers” (PDF). IPCC. Retrieved 7 March 2015. The evidence for human influence on the climate system has grown since the Fourth Assessment Report (AR4). It is extremely likely that more than half of the observed increase in global average surface temperature from 1951 to 2010 was caused by the anthropogenic increase in greenhouse gas concentrations and other anthropogenic forcings together”.
Countries like Denmark intend to produce 50% of their energy with wind turbines by 2020 : denmark.dk/en/green-living/wind-energy
ExxonMobil : exxonosecrets.org
Climate models : https://www.skepticalscience.com/climate-models.htm
Bea Johnson “Zero Waste Home”
https://www.ted.com/speakers/hans_rosling
www.bsr.org/reports/BSR_Sustainable_Design_Report_0508.pdf
Obama, Leonardo DiCaprio and climate scientist Dr. Katharine Hayhoe on protecting the one planet : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t-HYPL8Cdbo
http://www.grdf.fr/english French gas company
http://www.world-nuclear.org/information-library/safety-and-security/safety-of-plants/fukushima-accident.aspx
 “CO2 time series 1990-2014 per region/country”Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency. Retrieved 2015-11-30.
http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/Features/WorldOfChange/biosphere.php

 

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