Environmental Issues Global Warming Research Paper

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¶ … theoretical way using five scholarly sources the practical/social obligations, the need for appropriate actions, and the optimal ethical decision-making processes existing in environmental issues. The environment affects all aspects of life in one way or another irrespective of level within the society and global warming will remain the great concern (West, n.d). As the paper demonstrates, global warming is considerably contributed by human activities and everyone has a practical and social responsibility/obligation in the amounts of greenhouse gasses they emit and that indicates the need for appropriate measures that should positively impact decision-making to create viable solutions to global warming. The sacrifice to conserve the environment can seem costly in the initial stages but has long-term benefit (Houghton, 2004). Thus, individual values should be combined with environmental priorities to establish safer coexistence in ways that remain environmentally friendly (Brown, and Kurdys, 2009). Environmental issues are of great importance considering the consequences of adverse situations and should be understood well to apply necessary mitigation measures to make the world a safer place to live, not only today but tomorrow.

Environmental Issues: Global Warming

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Research Paper on Environmental Issues Global Warming Assignment

The environment dictates the quality of life that human beings live and thus environmental issues come with various insights affecting both health and activities. It is understood from research that if the environmental risks are reduced over the world, then approximately 13 million lives could be saved annually as per the statistics of the World Health Organization (West, n.d.). The poverty stricken/developing countries are the most affected, paying the price for the pollution caused by developed countries who continue polluting the environment with the release of greenhouse gasses that results to increasing temperatures over the world with China leading United States of America. Irrespective of this disparity, environmental risks does not render any country, either developed or not immune to its effects as far as human health is concerned. However, as countries such as Spain and Italy, which are considered more environmentally healthy, a significant proportion (1/6) of the environmentally related health cases and risks can be stopped, all ranging from disease to non-health matters such as traffic accidents. For instance, in the United States of America (U.S.), research indicates the approximately 398,000 deaths that happen in the country annually, can typically be mitigated if only there is a reduction of environmental risks where else approximately 1.8 million could be saved in 53 nations over Europe annually (West, n.d.). From the above statistics, it comes apparent that environmental issues are a priority and thus are important aspects that give an insight of the importance of the matter, creating a foundation for the initial stages that help decision-makers attached to health and environmental matters to have high priorities to initiate prevention measures. With regard to this, reducing environmental hazards in the quest to better health and save lives calls for appropriate measures at both grassroots and national levels where sensitization should help people understand the importance of mitigating risks and even completely stopping environmental hazards. Environmental issues are of great importance considering the consequences of adverse situations and should be understood well to apply necessary mitigation measures to make the world a safer place to live, not only today but tomorrow.

Risks of environmental issues

The effects of environmental issues cut across all sorts of life activities in human, animal and plant lives. If environmental risks are not managed, then significantly the global population becomes affected by the quality of air, health aspects, food supply chains, water for drinking as well as wildlife and their habitats due to the effect of global warming. At this point, it becomes necessary to first understand global warming as a key factor in environmental issues. From the controversies that exist on global warming, it has attracted a lot of concern due to the effects that accompany global warming; climate change. Global warming is the warming brought about by the increasing temperatures on the earth's atmosphere as a result of increasing greenhouse gasses (such as Carbon) that trap the escaping heat from the earth's surface and prevent it from escaping to the outer space/atmosphere. Despite the fact that greenhouse gases are necessary to support life, their excessive amounts in atmosphere are dangerous. The increase of these greenhouse gases results from human activities. For instance, considering the past 150 years, there has been increasing rate of industrialization and this has raised carbon dioxide (CO2) concentrations by 31%. In addition, methane concentration has increased to as much as 151% due to increased agricultural activities (cattle raring, rice cultivation) (Andrejc, 2007). Moreover, despite the increased agricultural activities, there has been a considerate decrease of forest covers globally due to deforestation and this reduction has reduced the amount of CO2 absorbed by trees. The long-term effects of human activities ends up modifying the atmospheric conditions hence bringing about climate change, some that can be too adverse to sustain life (excessive flooding, severe droughts, severe storms) (West, n.d.).

Practical, ethical/social obligations concerning environmental issues

Earlier researches have made efforts to assess the practical and ethical obligations of countries in their efforts to reduce greenhouse gases. Such like the Minimum Ethical Criteria For All Post-Kyoto Regime Proposals, have indicated that countries have the obligation and are responsible for the amounts of greenhouse gases released to the atmosphere through their respective laws. Therefore, they have the duty to reduce the amounts emitted to their fair contribution to cutting emissions. On this note, one is moved to inquire whether regional and local authorities, organizations, business industry and individual have a task to play in reducing the emissions. The answer to this is yes. This is because these are the parties that contribute the emission at their different capacities and the effects do not only affect others, but also themselves. Those who have higher emitting rates like China, U.S. And India cannot claim that they are remaining within their limits of emissions and fairly helping cut emissions simply because they generally have higher emission rates compared to others, there needs to be reduction of existing emission rates so as to be successful in stabilizing and making the atmosphere safer to live (Brown, and Kurdys, 2009). It is thus apparent that high rates of emissions that allegedly do not exceed the set limits cannot and will not be justified by moral values and respective nations have the obligation fast reduce their emission rates.

Theories that concern distributive justice direct that if anybody is severely injuring others at whatever circumstances, they should manage their characters to levels are in harmony with the others for peaceful coexisting where the burden for each is guided by distribution justice significance. In this perspective, those stakeholders be it governments, organizations, businesses and individuals who cannot justify that their emission levels are morally justified in their fair contribution towards reducing global warming, then they have full responsibility to cut their emissions to levels that they morally feel are fair contribution to reducing greenhouse gas emissions. A question may then arise on who are exceeding these safe levels. The best answer to this is that due to the "greed" of human beings, mostly governments, organizations, industries and individuals in developed countries are mostly violating these levels. For instance, in 2006, U.S. was emitting 19 tones of CO2 compared to 0.3 tones emitted in Kenya (Brown, and Kurdys, 2009). In addition, the history is clear that developed countries have been having high emission rates compared to developing countries and thus they cannot simply claim they need to share the responsibilities of their actions.

Need for appropriate actions on environmental issues

From the adverse climatic conditions currently being experienced over the world, there is definitely great need for necessary action to cut greenhouse gas emissions. As climatic models have indicated on the potential effects of increased global temperatures, where a smaller change can bring severe effects on life, policy makers have seen the need for accurate forecasting to better understand global warming for better actions (Farrar, 2007, p. 28). This is to avoid potential surprises as some positive correspondences from predictions are difficult to understand since the atmospheric activities are beyond human control (Houghton, 2004, p. 229).

Optimal ethical decision-making processes existing in environmental issues

Many of us would very much hesitate to fight for the environment considering the other engagements that takes much of our times. Nevertheless, the effects that come with environmental issues (global warming) are too serious to be ignored. On the same perspective, one is compelled to question how different stakeholders can combine eco-friendly reasoning and habits in their lives/activities and decision-making. Despite there being a wide variety of obligatory steps/considerations, it can end up being confusing, and doubting.

When it comes to ethical decision making, it goes down to prioritizing values in the social settings where some have more weight than others. For instance, families are more valued than a glacier melting at Antarctica. Many people would suggest that they would use all survival techniques on the available opportunities and thus environment comes last. The… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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