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Catastrophic Climatic Events: How Did The World Get Here? (Essay Sample)


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Name: Hao Wu



The climatic events that have been witnessed in the past few years have shown the adverse effects roaming the planet due to climate change. Lives and property have been lost, economies have been destroyed, and a feeling of hopelessness is growing bigger than the day. It is not a secret that human beings are wondering whether anything can be done or if this is the end. However, before looking at whether the current situation can be remedied, it is important to look at the past. Was humankind too blind to the changing circumstances and allowed the situation to get here? Were there any warnings? Were they worked on or ignored? Would the situation have been any different had the warnings been heeded? This paper seeks to answer these questions by looking at the obstacles that the climate activists and politicians were unable to surmount in the 21st century in their quest to influence the policymakers as well as the public to take action. Ways in which global warming can be limited will also be discussed.
The Environmental and Social Consequences of the Massive Warming
In 2018, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), which comprised some of the best climate change researchers in the world, released a report stating that temperatures had to be capped at 1.5 degrees Celsius above the preindustrial levels to avoid catastrophic events in the future. However, they were worried that achieving the goal was exceedingly difficult (Irfan 2018). Time has confirmed their worries. They warned that failure to pursue the goal would mean that global warming would persist towards 3 degrees Celsius, which would lead to devastating changes. The fact that the planet had warmed by 1 degree Celsius when the report was released and various consequences such as rising sea levels, a decline in Arctic sea ice, and damaging weather events were being experienced emphasized on the big cost of inaction (Irfan 2018). Unfortunately, the modern world is paying this price. Heat waves have claimed thousands of lives around the world, storms have become more damaging over the years, and coastal flooding has led to the refugee crisis, which has fueled armed conflicts in various parts of the world. Large tracts of lands in poor countries in Africa and Asia have been rendered unusable. Inadequate food production and related factors have led to more than 150 million premature deaths around the world (Irfan 2018).
Obstacles to warming that Could Not be surmounted in the 21st Century
Even before the IPCC made their recommendations, the Paris agreement was meant to limit global warming to 2 degrees Celsius, which was more achievable than the 1.5 degree Celsius goal. Unfortunately, by 2018, only a few countries were on track to meet the target. On the contrary, emission of greenhouse gases was on the rise, and even strong champions of climate change such as Germany were bound to miss the target. Climate change campaigners described the battle they had to fight to get the world to work towards the target. It would call for huge economic, political, and technological changes. Fossil fuel generators had to be replaced with cleaner alternatives. Giving up fossil fuels and reducing the emission of greenhouse gases would not be enough to avert the looming catastrophe. Governments would be forced to pull carbon dioxide out of the air (Irfan 2018). This called for huge financial investment that different countries were not ready to make. For instance, the United States pulled out of the Paris Agreement during the Trump Administrations. Unfortunately, even if the pledges made under the Paris Agreement were fulfilled, the world would still have fallen short of averting the looming consequences. It would still have left...

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