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Ethics and Global Climate Change - Essay Example

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Ethics and Global Climate Change

While focusing on the subject of global warming, the question arises whether the developed nations should take the greater burden of combating climate change. Climate change Greenhouse effect Global warming happens when the temperature of the earth’s surface rises. The major contribution towards global warming is the emission of greenhouse gases like carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide into the air. Global warming can cause serious climate change and can be a grave concern for the health of human beings and all other living beings on this earth. The “greenhouse effect” is considered as the principal cause of climate change. However, the contribution of greenhouse is a controversial issue. Without the effect of the greenhouse, the surface of the earth would have been much colder than the current temperature. This is one reason why greenhouse effect cannot always be considered as a problem. “The real problem is the enhanced, human-induced, greenhouse effect” (Gardiner, 2004, p.558). Major Impacts The effects of climate change can have vast impact on the biological life on this earth. Some of the impacts that have been observed so far are “melting of glaciers, changes in Arctic ecosystems, warming of lakes and rivers, effects on agriculture and forestry, sea-level rise and coastal flooding in some areas”. ...
This can be done by the use of “fuel-efficient vehicles” and by constructing “energy-efficient buildings”. The most important thing is to learn to become adaptive to climate change and also it is necessary to guide the developing countries towards economic development (Winston & Edelbach, 2011, p.363). Responsibilities of the richer nations According to Gardiner the industrial nations are more responsible for the current grave condition regarding climate change. There have been huge emissions of greenhouse gases during industrial revolution in the 19th century for which the industrial nations have played a major role. The burden of costs as a result of the emissions has fallen disproportionately on the developing countries. Gardiner suggests two ways to the solution. First, “industrialized nations should bear the costs imposed by their past emissions” and second, “one must characterize the earth’s capacity to absorb man-made emissions of carbon dioxide as a common resource, or sink” (Gardiner, 2004, p.579). Gardiner thinks that the richer nations have made maximum use of the earth’s capacity in the course of industralisation, and therefore the other countries have not been able to get their due share. According to Gardiner, the richer nations are liable to compensate for “overusing” the earth’s capacity (Gardiner, 2004, pp.579-580). Justifications It has been suggested by some writers that in the past the developed countries were not aware of the consequences of greenhouses gases on global climate and as such they should not be considered responsible. This argument cannot be conclusive if the impact on the poor population has been severe. If the poor countries do not have the resources to defend ...Show more

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Running Head: ETHICS AND GLOBAL CLIMATE CHANGE Ethics and Global Climate Change One of the most serious problems that face the modern world is climate change. This has been a major concern for politicians of every nation in this world…
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