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Effects of Climate Change on Our Society and Remedial Measures

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The Crisis of Our Time

Acknowledged worldwide a devastating crisis, climate change is the debate of the century globally. Studies are being carried out around the globe to figure out how to tackle its worsening effects on our atmosphere as well as our lifestyles. There are worldwide protests to pressure those in power to take concrete actions against the life-threatening effects of climate change.

Since its inception, Earth’s atmosphere has always been subject to constant change; there have been marked fluctuations in overall temperatures worldwide when we map our planet’s climatic behavior since the beginning. At present, global warming is happening at its fastest speed, thanks to humanity’s modernization process.

Climate change includes increased temperatures, severe weather conditions, mounting sea levels, ever-changing wildlife populations and habitats, and a variety of other effects.

The Phenomenon

Put simply: the reason behind climate change is the "human activity." Massive “greenhouse emissions” are being released into the Earth’s atmosphere due to population explosion, burning fossil fuels to power our modern lives, methane produced from animals, refrigerant gases, etc.

Greenhouse gases are at their peak intensities during the past eight centuries, altering our climate faster rates than ever before.

When all the above-mentioned greenhouse emissions are released in the air versus when the sunlight gets into the Earth’s atmosphere, some of the heat gets trapped, resulting in the planet getting warmer and causing the "greenhouse effect."

Global Concerns

The United Nations says it is acceptable if the Earth warms by 1.5-2 degrees Celsius by the end of the 21st century. However, quite alarmingly, we are on track to hit 1.5 degrees in only a matter of just 10 years. Therefore, if we don’t slow down the process, we are about to hit worldwide catastrophes quite soon.

Worldwide Action for Climate Change Awareness and Policy Formulation

In the first week of June 2022, the world observed 30 years of the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (popularly known as the "Earth Summit"), in Rio de Janeiro, as well as 50 years of the first Human Environment Conference held in Stockholm.

These two focused on the interdependence of social, environmental, and economic factors in addition to deliberating on the environmental policies and actions globally.

Historically, climate change action over the year, has continuously manifested in various treaties and mechanisms, like the Kyoto Protocol, the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), and carbon trading, in addition to a variety of summits and awareness conferences around the world.

Penguins in Antarctica

Penguins in Antarctica

Negative Effects

Climate change causes adverse effects on oceans, weather, food, and our health as follows:

  • Oceans: Ice sheets of Antarctica are melting. The extra water that was once stored in glaciers is now causing rising sea levels and flooding coastal regions.
  • Weather. Warmer temperatures are also making weather more extreme; resulting in floods, storms, heavy snowfalls as well as droughts in various parts of the world.
  • Food. The arable area is shrinking due to weather changes. This is resulting in mass human migrations and extinction of precious flora and fauna as the water supplies are diminishing.
  • Health. Climate change can pose serious challenges to our physical health. The smog effect in urban areas can cause ailments such as asthma, heart disease and lung cancer.
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Remedial Measures

As human beings are the prime reason for devastating climate change; it is only humans who can fix the problem. Here are some solutions.

Depoliticize the Issue

Addressing climate change issues requires unconditional global commitment. The “Paris Agreement of 2016” advocates a clear commitment by various countries toward the implementation of eco-friendly frameworks in their respective countries to limit temperature rise beyond two degrees Celsius by the end of the 21st century.

However, implementation of the agreement by various countries has been politicized resulting in impediments to the accord’s practical applicatoin. Therefore, there is a need to ensure honest efforts worldwide in enacting Paris Agreement to combat the looming climate crisis before it is too late.

Behavioral Change

We need to develop an understanding of the issue, explain its negative effects to our family as well as our social circles, and adopt climate-friendly measures to create "clean and green communities." There is also a need for the national and international governments to provide a climate-friendly environment, legislation, and technologies to its masses.

Use of Renewable Energy Sources

We need to replace the use of fossil fuels in our lives with clean renewable energy sources such as wind and solar-based energy sources to reduce greenhouse emissions into the atmosphere.

Forestation

Annually since 2000, forests have removed approximately an average of 2 billion metric tons of carbon from the atmosphere. Oxygen produced by forests acts as an antidote to hazardous carbon emissions in the atmosphere; trees act as climate’s natural healers.

Increase Plant-Rich Diets

Plant-rich diets can reduce greenhouse emissions vis-à-vis methane-producing animal products. Plant-based diets are also healthier, leading to lesser amounts of chronic ailments. On the contrary, the animal agriculture industry now accounts for nearly 14.5% of the world’s total annual carbon footprint. The fossil fuel demands associated with animal feed, transportation, deforestation, and animal emissions make up a large chunk of global greenhouse emissions.

Regenerative Agriculture

In a conventional agriculture system, the farming approach to crops and livestock is kept separate. However, in regenerative agriculture, there is a symbiotic relationship between plants and animals where both feed each other, creating an eco-friendly system.

Family Planning

More population means more demand for resources like the demand for fossil fuels for daily needs, food, and water demands, the need for industrial expansion, and the need for deforestation to house a growing populace, etc. Therefore, there is a need to resort to adhering to family planning to balance the “population vs. resources” equation for a better world.

We Must Do It Together

As we move close to the end of the first quarter of the 21st century, our chances of avoiding worse climate change continues to dwindle. We cannot afford complacency in the face of climate chaos.

We have the solutions available; all we need to do is to turn our dreams into reality with an honest collective resolve for a better tomorrow.

climate-change-its-effects-on-our-society-and-remedial-measures

This content reflects the personal opinions of the author. It is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and should not be substituted for impartial fact or advice in legal, political, or personal matters.

© 2022 M Ayaan

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