The article titled It's Already Too Late to Stop Climate Change by Coral Davenport expresses pessimism about current global initiatives aimed at reducing fossil fuel emissions. It concludes that ambitious counter measures are not being considered despite the evidence of global warming effects and the warning that more devastating consequences may be faced in the future.
The Doha conference of December 2010 brought about world leaders, non-governmental organizations diplomats and environmentalists to discuss how global temperatures would be reduced by 2 degree Celsius/3.6 degrees Fahrenheit. According to scientists and experts, the 2- degree mark is the point through which polar ice sheets ill melt. The point would make the driest and hottest regions of the world unable to grow food. There would be devastating effects such as extreme weather and rise in sea levels.
Attendants in the conference, 18th annual United Nations Climate Summit, would discuss how they would come up with a world treaty that would reduce fossil fuel emissions. The treaty would be signed in 2015. Fossil fuel emissions are associated with the heat trapping in the atmosphere that causes global warming. Global warming can be defined as an increase in global temperatures. Reduction of fossil fuel emissions has been the basis of climate change conferences.
The effects of a continued increase in global temperatures have been witnessed; sea levels have risen over the years while some agricultural areas are now producing less food. Additional rise in temperatures would have devastating consequences. For example, when ice sheets melt, there would be increased water flowing into lakes, seas and oceans. More land surface will be submerged by water. In addition, a rise in temperatures will cause arid and semi-arid areas to increase. This would cause famine and droughts as fertile agricultural lands will be turned into a desert. This would cause acute food shortages and increase in food prices.
There is growing pessimism about the success of current global initiatives in reducing carbon emissions. The 2-degree mark may be an eventuality. Scientists and other experts argue that the mark will increase to 4 or 6 degrees points. This would cause natural catastrophes. Recent studies have shown that the world will eventually experience the 2- degree Celsius average temperature because there is a rapid increase in projected pollution. Such pollution arises as a result of increased burning oil, coal and gas. According to other surveys, existing factories, buildings, power plants and other carbon-emitting companies are enough to cause an increase in average temperatures beyond the 2-degree mark. Conclusively, urgent measures aimed at cutting fossil fuel emissions need to be put in place.
The conclusion by Price waterhouse Coopers that the 2-degree mark would be avoided if countries cut carbon emissions by 5.1 percent for about 37 years has helped understand the ineffectiveness of current global strategies. Drastic cuts of emissions would not mean that economic growth is slowed from now. This would not possible since all countries are in a rush to make more wealth and create employment for the increased population. Slowing economic growth is not sufficient to reduce the current levels of pollution. More resources need to be invested in planting trees, among other purification measures. Furthermore, world countries are not prepared for abrupt changes in production and pollution levels. For instance, the Doha conference, along other conferences were, have been focused on the creation of a 2015 global treaty in which major polluters would agree to cut carbon emissions. The terms of agreement would be enforced as from 2020. Clearly, the PricewaterhouseCoopers recommendations cannot be adopted. World leaders are not committed to a significant reduction of carbon emissions, a matter that needs urgent attention due to the catastrophic consequences involved.
Potent dangers of global warming exist, yet countries are not at least developing any coping mechanisms. For example, there are no countries that are planning for safety of coastal cities and tourist beaches, in case water levels suddenly rises. Since some agriculturally productive areas are likely to turn into arid and semi arid areas, there is a necessity to plan for diversity in future food sources. In general, adequate plans need to be formulated by individual countries since current global initiatives are likely to have less significance. These plans would cost a lot of money, and create a burden for taxpayers, including those from wealthier countries.
In order to lead by example and reduce the likelihood of catastrophes, major polluters need to cut fossil fuel emissions by a significant margin. The United States and China are not only the largest economies; they are also the world’s biggest polluters. These countries need to lead the fight against rapid carbon emissions. When average temperatures hit the 2-degree mark, there will be a greater urgency to reduce carbon emissions. According to some scientists, the point is the beginning of irremediable changes. In addition, there is the likelihood that when average temperatures will hit the 2-degree mark, they will keep increasing. The world will not have effective control over carbon emissions. Therefore, world countries need to presently call upon China and United States, Japan, Indonesia, among other major pollutants to be responsible and set an example.
Important leaders of United States have previously supported emission reduction treaties but the Senate has always refused to support them. When Vice President Al Gore supported the Kyoto Protocol in 1997, the Senate declined to support the treaty. This has also happened in the current administration. During the 2009 Copenhagen summit, President Barrack Obama called upon countries to sign carbon emission reduction pacts. The senate declined to support such pacts, again.
It is necessary for United States to use her position as the superpower and global leader to urge other countries to sign carbon emission reduction pacts. The United States has many coastal cities than any other country and ought to be at the forefront in the formulation of treaties. The senate has often declined to support treaties. In order for the current administration to succeed in ratifying such treaties, there is a need to have a climate law in the United States. This will demonstrate commitment by the whole government to ratify the 2015 treaty. Without any law, the senate will probably shoot down the treaty.
The Doha conference, like other conferences, has not demonstrated the seriousness with which the issue of global warming needs to have. Scientists argue that the focus to reduce global temperatures by 2-degree Celsius will not succeed in averting potent dangers of global warming.
Additional increase in temperatures will cause ice sheets to melt, and the water will flow into lakes, seas and oceans. Excess water will cause more land surface to be submerged by water. A rise in temperatures will cause arid and semi-arid areas to increase. This would cause famine and droughts, acute food shortages and increase in food prices. When average temperatures hit the 2-degree mark, there will be a greater urgency to reduce carbon emissions. There is the likelihood that when average temperatures will hit the mark, they will keep increasing.
The United States’ senate has frustrated the efforts of United States leaders in calling for reduced carbon emissions. In order for the current administration to succeed in ratifying the 2015 treaty, there is a need to have a climate law in the United States. A climate law would demonstrate commitment by the whole government.