Sustainable Development Can Reduce Global Warming Essay
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"Global warming is too serious for the world any longer to ignore its danger or split into opposing factions on it."
-- Tony Blair, speech, Sept. 27, 2005
According to the latest scientific data there is a direct human influence on the climate system. An upward trend in global temperatures can be clearly seen over the last three decades. The effects of this human induced climate destabilization can be seen in the present and are projected to worsen over time, regardless of the level of carbon emitted into the future. This does not mean that global and regional systems should not be overhauled to reduce carbon emissions. A rapid decrease in emissions is necessary to avert further warming of the planet and changes in the climate…show more content…
While posing significant threats to the stability of society, it is a driving force of this newfound development scheme. With changes in line with sustainable development, great gains in living conditions can be seen.
In looking at the driver of climate change, fossil fuels, an obvious need for doing away with all fossil fuels can be seen.
Just as important to look at though, are the public health benefits that come from reducing the burning of fossil fuels. Smog and airborne particulate matter are a huge health risk all over the world, from the smog filled skies of Beijing to the United States, where in 2013 118 of the 231 counties in the United States exceeded the EPA’s allowed level of ozone. These dangers are a direct result of burning fossil fuels. Switching to power-generation systems that do not emit will not only slow global warming, it will directly save lives and promote healthier activities.
The alleviation of poverty is one of the United Nation’s direct responsibilities. Taking a look at poverty one will find that about 1.3 billion people in the world do not have access to electricity. One solution to this would be to build large centralized coal plants, which would be the centers of massive electricity transportation networks. This inefficient and unsustainable system is currently in place in much of the developed world. However other solutions exist. There has been a great deal of work done on the link between renewable energy and
Increasing ocean acidification
Although it has gained less mainstream media attention, the effects of increasing greenhouse emissions — in particular carbon dioxide — on the oceans may well be significant.
Scientists have found that oceans are able to absorb some of the excess CO2 released by human activity. This has helped keep the planet cooler than it otherwise could have been had these gases remained in the atmosphere.
However, the additional excess CO2 being absorbed is also resulting in the acidification of the oceans: When CO2 reacts with water it produces a weak acid called carbonic acid, changing the sea water chemistry. As the Global Biodiversity Outlook report explains, the water is some 30% more acidic than pre-industrial times, depleting carbonate ions — the building blocks for many marine organisms.
In addition, (See p. 58 of the report.)
Although millions of years ago CO2 levels were higher, today’s change is occurring rapidly, giving many marine organisms too little time to adapt. Some marine creatures are growing thinner shells or skeletons, for example. Some of these creatures play a crucial role in the food chain, and in ecosystem biodiversity.
Some species may benefit from the extra carbon dioxide, and a few years ago scientists and organizations, such as the European Project on OCean Acidification, formed to try to understand and assess the impacts further.
One example of recent findings is a tiny sand grain-sized plankton responsible for the sequestration of 25–50% of the carbon the oceans absorb is affected by increasing ocean acidification. This tiny plankton plays a major role in keeping atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) concentrations at much lower levels than they would be otherwise so large effects on them could be quite serious.
Other related problems reported by the Inter Press Service include more oceanic dead zones (areas where there is too little oxygen in the sea to support life) and the decline of important coastal plants and forests, such as mangrove forests that play an important role in carbon absorption. This is on top of the already declining ocean biodiversity that has been happening for a few decades, now.