Climate Change Essay

6 Pages   |   1,202 Words

Climate change has become one of the most pressing issues in modern society


The issue of climate change has dominated world news with rising concern coming from world leaders. This is due to the fact that a change in climatic conditions comes with negative effects which adversely affect people in different places (Beck 2009)[1]. The end result is that people bear the burden of negative consequences when some of the causes of climatic change could easily be avoided. Climate change is caused by different factors like emission of green house gases, deforestation activities, ocean currents and volcanic eruptions. Emission of greenhouse gases has got environmental, social and economic impacts.
 
 

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Greenhouse gases destroy the ozone layer which leads to global warming. This has a negative impact on the environment because it leads to a rise in global temperatures (Carvalho 2005)[2].

This will cause water bodies like rivers, lakes and streams to dry up due to excess evaporation. This is a negative effect on the environment. Furthermore, the increase in world temperatures will cause vegetation to dry up which in turn leads to the spreading of deserts across different continents. The end result is that water bodies will dry up and the vegetation including forests will also be adversely affected as they also wither which intensifies the desertification process. Moreover, the rise in global temperatures leads to melting or thawing of ice found on the peak of mountains. This will eventually lead to flooding of areas around the mountain which is a negative environmental impact (Hannigan 2006)[3].

Greenhouse gases released into the atmosphere do combine with moisture and this causes acidic rain which is destructive to the environment as it destroys crops and leads to corrugation of iron surfaces especially roofs leading to an eyesore (Demeritt 2006)[4].

Greenhouse gas emissions also have economic impacts. Thawing of snow peaks which leads to flooding has an adverse effect on the economy as floods normally lead to destruction of homes, buildings and infrastructure in general. Governments thus have to spend more in trying to replace the destroyed infrastructure and other facilities to ensure that normalcy is restored. Reconstruction of roads, bridges, schools, hospitals, homes and offices increases the rate of spending by governments without a direct return on the expenditure. This is adversarial to the economy as such funds would have been devoted to accomplishing other projects (Giddens 2009)[5].

This therefore slows down the pace of economic progress. Moreover, the adverse weather conditions brought about as a result of greenhouse gases such as desertification and flooding impacts negatively on the Gross Domestic Product of countries which rely on agriculture as the backbone of their economy (Smith 2009)[6].

For instance, most third world countries rely heavily on agriculture to sustain their economy by planting cash crops and food crops which they export for sale. They include coffee, tea, cocoa, pyrethrum and sugarcane among others. When such adverse weather conditions set in, the crops are affected as they will wither or get destroyed by floods. Eventually, the country will have nothing to export leading to little or no foreign exchange earnings (Boykoff 2009)[7].

People will also have nothing to spend as their agricultural produce is destroyed; industries will have no source of raw materials as the effect continues. Eventually unemployment sets in, the government lacks a source of revenue and this has an adversarial effect on the economy as it retards its growth.
Greenhouse gas emissions also have a social impact on people. To take on flooding as a result of thawing due to rising world temperatures, it normally leads to waterborne diseases like cholera, bilharzias, dysentery and diarrhea. Such diseases are normally dangerous and if they are not treated in good time, they normally cause loss of human life (McComas 1999)[8].

Furthermore, floods and droughts brought about by greenhouse gas emissions normally plunge a majority of people into poverty. When floods occur, they destroy property, crops, and buildings among others. Such may have been a source of livelihood for many people as it is their only source of income. People will no longer be able to do farming and engage in other activities which may be income generating as a result of the adverse weather conditions. In the end, the population will have nothing to spend as they can’t engage in any meaningful activity to raise income. Droughts and floods also cause hunger when food crops get destroyed. This is a negative social impact on the people (Antilla 2005)[9].

In conclusion, climate change is caused by a variety of factors like emission of greenhouse gases, volcanic eruptions and ocean currents among others. Greenhouse gas emissions have adverse effects on people and their activities. These can be divided into economic, social and environmental impacts. Most of the impacts are negative as they lead to destruction of property, crops, loss of human life. Diseases and cases of hunger are also caused by climate change. Climate change has thus been found to have more negative impacts as compared to positive ones. Causes of climate change thus need to be checked such as the emission of gases into the atmosphere. This can be done by treating or purifying the gases before releasing them into the atmosphere (Anderson 2009)[10]
 
Bibliography
Anderson, A. 2009, ‘‘Media, Politics and Climate Change: Towards a New Research Agenda’’,
Sociology Compass, 3(2):166–82.
Antilla, L. 2005, ‘‘Climate of Skepticism: US Newspaper Coverage of the Science of Climate
Change’’, Global Environmental Change, 15:338–52.
Beck, U.  2009, World at Risk, Malden, MA: Polity.
Boykoff, M. 2009, ‘‘We Speak for the Trees: Media Reporting on the Environment.’’ Annual
Review of Environment and Resources, 34:431–57.
Carvalho, A. 2005, ‘‘Representing the Politics of the Greenhouse Effect: Discursive Strategies in
the British Media’’ Critical Discourse Studies, 2(1):1–29.
Demeritt, D. 2006, ‘‘Science Studies, Climate Change and the Prospects for Constructivist
Critique’’, Economy and Society, 35(3):453–79.
 
Giddens, A. 2009, The Politics of Climate Change, Malden, MA: Polity.
Hannigan, J. 2006, Environmental Sociology, 2nd ed. New York: Routledge.
McComas, K. 1999, ‘‘Telling Stories About Global Climate Change’’, Communication Research
26(1):30–57.
 
Smith, N. 2009, ‘‘Climate Change in the British Press: The Role of the Visual’’,
Journal of Risk Research 12(5):647–63.
 
[1] Carvalho, A. 2005, ‘‘Representing the Politics of the Greenhouse Effect: Discursive Strategies in the British Media’’ Critical Discourse Studies, 2(1):1–29.
[2] Hannigan, J. 2006, Environmental Sociology, 2nd ed. New York: Routledge.
 
[3] Demeritt, D. 2006, ‘‘Science Studies, Climate Change and the Prospects for Constructivist
Critique’’, Economy and Society, 35(3):453–79.
[4] Giddens, A. 2009, The Politics of Climate Change, Malden, MA: Polity.
[5] Smith, N. 2009, ‘‘Climate Change in the British Press: The Role of the Visual’’,
Journal of Risk Research 12(5):647–63.
[6] Boykoff, M. 2009, ‘‘We Speak for the Trees: Media Reporting on the Environment.’’ Annual
Review of Environment and Resources, 34:431–57.
[7] McComas, K. 1999, ‘‘Telling Stories About Global Climate Change’’, Communication Research
26(1):30–57.
[8] Antilla, L. 2005, ‘‘Climate of Skepticism: US Newspaper Coverage of the Science of Climate
Change’’, Global Environmental Change, 15:338–52.
[9] Anderson, A. 2009, ‘‘Media, Politics and Climate Change: Towards a New Research Agenda’’,
Sociology Compass, 3(2):166–82.

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