Everything started in 1988. That year the topic of climate change was more than ever before covered in media, having caused increased public attention to the issue. In the US it was caused by James E. Hansen’s senate speech regarding a threat of global warming. (McCright and Dunlap, 2000: 500) The same year Hansen’s concern was supported by Margaret Thatcher, a Prime Minister of Great Britain at that time, who outlined the possible risks of climate change (Carvalho, 2007: 223-243).
The concept of climate change itself, however, wasn’t new to the world at that time. Climate of the planet has always been changing periodically, making people adjust to colder or hotter environment all the time. Probably everyone has heard about so called ‘ice ages’, when great parts of the planet were covered with ice. At the same time, such cold periods were changed by hot ones, like the Medieval Warm Period (A.D. 1000), when most parts of the planet were experiencing hot and dry weather (National Research Council, 2006: 2).
During the last 2000 years the most significant climate changes were the mentioned above Medieval Climate Anomaly, the Little Ice Age of 1500-1850, and the warm period of the industrial era, which is lasting during the last 100 years (ibid). These climate changes were caused by various factors, including changes in the planet’s orbit, changes in solar activity, and eruptions of volcanoes. (US Environmental Protection Agency, 2009) The current warming of climate, however, is believed to be much intensified by the influence of human activity that has lead to increased levels of greenhouse gasses emissions. Greenhouse gasses, in their turn, are believed to be the cause of raise in average temperatures on the Earth.
David Adam of Guardian outlines that emissions of carbon dioxide produced by human activity are the major cause of the above natural level of greenhouse effect. While before the industrial ...
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A few important foreign policy cases are taken to support arguments.
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