Climate Change Is Not Hearsay
We’ve come a long way to realize remarkable gains on climate. We can’t stop.
The industrial revolution began in the eighteenth century. Factory workers spun cogwheel with hands then. But today, the manufacturing process is sophisticated but swift. Factories produce industrial products like fertilizers, medical drugs, laboratory chemicals, and foodstuff.
Farmers dress the soil with artificial fertilizers to give ample yield. Engineers charge refrigerants into air conditioners, refrigerators, and cooling systems. Medical physicians use drugs to cure ailments. And lab technicians use chemicals in medical tests and in manufacturing.
Some of these industrial products impact climate, and the process of their manufacture pollute the air.
In the early years of industrialization, pioneers propelled engines manually then later when their technology advanced, they used steam. Factory workers boiled water using wood charcoal to generate the steam. Later, industrialists discovered coal to be a more viable source of energy and dropped wood charcoal. Since then coal has been the longest serving non-renewable energy source.
There are many domestic and industrial uses of coal but its use as an energy source makes up the greatest percentage. In the US alone, around 56 percent of electricity is generated by burning coal.
To constantly generate electricity from burning coal, its mining must continue. This is also true for fertilizers, refrigerants, and chemicals. Stable supply requires continuous manufacture.
The upsurge of demand for these industrial products made manufacturing advancement go unchecked. Manufacturers focused on products’ value but failed to notice their side-effects to nature.
Pollution in early years of industrialization was negligible compared to today. There were fewer industrialized nations, and manufacturing wasn’t extensive. Overtime, the percentage of Greenhouse Gas emission increased. A typical example today is carbon dioxide emission at electricity generation stations. Coal burnt to generate electricity emits 37% of the total national CO2 emission in the US.
China and India are in the league of high carbon dioxide emitters.
Even Alexander Bell anticipated this industrial pollution more than a century ago.
Hydrofluorocarbon (HFC) refrigerants have High Global Warming Potential. If emitted to the atmosphere, remain there long enough to be well mixed. This means the amount of gas measured in the atmosphere is the same globally, regardless of the region emitting the highest. That’s the reasons environmental conservation is a global topic.
If pollution continues at the current rate, experts see 3.6 Degrees Fahrenheit increase in atmospheric temperature. At that point, there will be unpredictable weather: Rise in sea levels, great floods, severe droughts, and disastrous hurricanes. Hurricane Katrina of New Orleans and Hurricane Sandy of East Coast would be dwarf adversities.
What’s Currently Happening
All is not lost. Nations already formed agencies on national and international levels. The agencies’ environment experts come up with the solutions for countering environmental degradation.
Nationally, the US has its Environmental Protection Agency. China has Ministry of Environmental Protection. And Kenya has National Environmental Management Authority. These are among other agencies in different countries.
On the international level, UNFCCC marshals member-states of industrially developed nations to put in place treaties. United Nation Environment Program (UNEP) works with developing nations to put in practice workable environmental policies. The latest of UNFCCC’s footmark was in Marrakech, Morocco, and UNEP’s was in Kigali, Rwanda. In both meetings of member states, a framework on Global Warming mitigation strategies was the agenda.
These major treaties build on each other: Montreal, Kyoto, Marrakech, and Kigali. They are achievements made after acting on scientific research by scientists from member states. Montreal and Kyoto Protocols phased out chlorofluorocarbon (CFCs) and hydrochlorofluorocarbon (HCFC). Marrakech and Kigali Protocols are to phase out hydrofluorocarbon (HFC) refrigerants.
97% of experts agree that climate-warming in the past century is because of human activities. So it’s prudent to employ human effort to reverse the damage.
Far away in India, Asia, one environment-related research is scary. The Lancet, a medical journal, reports that polluted air kills two Indians every minute.
To turn around this dire global situation, all nations must implement mutually ratified treaties. At the conference of state parties, stakeholders engage in back and forth negotiations. Business persons on the deliberation table sacrifice to cede ground because climate change is a scientific fact. And their willingness to compromise is premised on that scientific fact.
Action on climate change has realized documented significant achievements. It is, therefore, reckless for a public figure to allude that it’s The Chinese who cunningly created climate change concept, and then oversee scrubbing of the word “Science” off EPA pages.
It now remains to be seen who will be vindicated in the climate war. Will it be the proponents or opponents? However, the basic action climate advocates can take is to spread the awareness and share articles that enlighten on climate change.