Climate change is one of the most important global issues facing the world today and as such is a popular subject for essay writing assignments. Climate change has the potential to drastically impact the future of the human race, and is intrinsically linked to the water supply across the world. If you are enjoying this sample paper on environmental science, consider ordering a sample paper that discusses the relationship between climate change and fresh water supplies. This sample further offers an argument in favor of new, international efforts to combat climate change. If you have never heard of Ultius, read Ultius reviews and find out more about how writing and editing services can help you.
Climate change – A complex issue
The world now faces one of the most complex and important issues it has ever had to deal with: climate change. Though this was once an issue that would draw much argument and strife about its creditability, most of the world’s nations can no longer deny that it is a real issue. The impact that humans have had on the world has literally changed the climate. Higher temperatures are reported yearly, stronger storms are forming, and some of the planet’s critical nonrenewable resources are being depleted. For all of these changes that, in the end, affect everyone, the nations of the world have not all gone about this issue in the same way. Currently, the threat of global climate change does not threaten some to the same extent as others. The shortsightedness of those that are not yet drastically effected is one of the most serious issues that the world deals with now and fundamental changes must be made to advert a global crisis that everyone may face if no actions are taken. The severity of this matter has rightfully inspired many dissertations.
Water and climate change
One of the most basic resources that has been the most affected by climate change is water. Water is an essential component to many different areas of everyday life. From consumption to production, the use of water is so essential that without it, the continuation of human life on this planet would be impossible. It is quite worrisome, therefore, to examine the diminishing quantity of usable water for humanity is currently facing. According to Lester R Brown, what we are now experiencing can be seen as analogous to being on an edge, and we seriously face falling off. As he notes, the global population increases by 80 million people annually, and this could be disastrous to the supply and distribution of water. He states, “when water-based food bubbles burst in larger countries, like China and India, they will push up food prices worldwide, forcing a reduction in consumption among those who can least afford it: those who are already spending most of the income on food,” (Brown, 2011).
What is worth noting about Lester’s point is that those that are on the bottom rung of society’s wealth will be, and are already currently, the most susceptible to this problem. Those in poorer nations are often looked at with sympathy for their lack of the basic necessities of life, but in the end of the day, little is done to improve their situations. Take the declaration for declaring water as a basic human right. Under this proposal, water would be declared as a basic human right and the UN would set forth procedures and guidelines to help provide it to those countries where scarcity of water is a pending issue (PLoS Medicine, 2009). This resolution was voted down, exploiting one of the largest hindrances to acts to effect and deal with issues such as climate change: big money.
For the water issue, it should be noted that one of the largest issues is that the private water distribution sector is dominated by “three multinational companies who neither proved their ability to provide sufficient or affordable water source, nor effectively served the poor who suffer most from a lack of clean water,” and this industrial sector “entails a US$400-US$500 billion global water industry,” (PLoS Medicine, 2009). These companies did not want to see the declaration passed and have done all they could to see it fail. This is not an uncommon when it comes to getting money at the cost of global health and safety. When the UN attempted to “set voting rules to make decision-making by large group of treaty members more efficient, a handful of OPEC nations blocked the effort,” (Victor, 2011). When it comes to global action against climate change, it seems evident that economic interests of the immediate future have been placed ahead of the planet’s future.
Water crisis in eastern and central Asia
Nations around the world have taken their own means to secure the longevity of their homeland, even if it at the expense of others. A perfect example of this is the glacial water supply issue that currently faces eastern and central Asia. As global temperatures rise more and more yearly, the size of the glaciers of the area continue to diminish. For many nations that depend on the glaciers as a source of fresh water, the decrease in their size is quite alarming. For these nations (like Indonesia), the next available source of water is through rivers that run through their land, however the flow of said rivers can be altered by other nations. China controls the sources of many of the rivers of the region and they have been damming up those rivers to keep the majority of the water in their nation. One major concern for these actions is with the relations between China and India. “If Beijing follows through on tentative plans to divert the Brahmaputra, it could provoke its rival, India, in the very region where the two countries fought a war in 1926,” (Larmer). It seems strange that nations would come to open hostilities over an issue that could be solved by simple negotiations, however it is clear that many of the world’s nations are only concerned with their own safety and future.
Barren lands in Ladakh, IndiaSource: Wiki
Global warming causes the land to dry up, creating barren landscapes like the one shown in India. These kinds of environments are generally uninhabitable for humans.
What the world needs now is not conflict and strife between nations but a solution to this issue. The world must come together to try to address and solve some of the pressing issues of climate change. This can start with developed nations taking initiative, considering that they are historically the most responsible for this issue. The People’s Agreement lays out some steps that can be taken by these nations. Some of these suggestions include: “Assume the costs and technology transfer needs of developing countries arising from the loss of development opportunities due to living in a restrictive atmospheric space,” or “assume responsibility for the hundreds of millions of people that will be forced to migrate due to the climate change caused by these countries,” (Peoples Agreement, 2011). Though some of the other solutions offered by this agreement are a bit extreme, the message remains clear: the world must accept responsibility for its actions, and we all must do our part to take preventative steps before a global disaster arises from unchecked actions (click here to read more about the evidence for global warming).
What the world needs to do is to truly empower a multinational governmental body to combat these changes facing the planet. The UN, though excellent theoretically, is essentially toothless in inflicting punishments against nations that go against its mandates. An order must be established that not only can lay down actions that must be undertaken by nations, but this agency must have the ability to give meaningful punishment to those that go against its mandates and recommendations. As stated by Bill McKibben, “We’ve gone too far down the road we’re traveling. The time has come to sear the map, to strike in new directions,” (McKibben, 2011). Our actions against global climate change to this point have been ineffective. The developed, wealthy nations of the world have not had to suffer the consequences of climate change the same way that poorer nations have had to, however this may change with the way the world has been heading. If our actions go unchecked, the world will enter an era where wars may no longer be fought for land and oil but are fought for basic resources such as water.
To address and combat these issues, a new, multinational agency must be formed in order to fairly address these issues. As efforts like the Paris climate talks have been productive, it’s clearly not enough. The body will have the ability to force the world to adapt climate change legislature that will no longer be ignored. The options of the world are growing thinner. Should the US heartland see an increase in temperatures as Moscow did in its recent summer, the world could see a 160 million ton loss in grain production (Brown, 2011). This issue is of a magnitude that affects the entire planet and population and no expense should be spared studying it or publishing research papers to keep the citizens of the world informed. As our nonrenewable resources are depleted, the world grows closer and closer to facing a crisis of the likes never seen before by humanity. We truly now stand on an edge; if actions are not taken to step away from this edge, the future of humanity itself will be in serious question.
Brown, L. (2011). World on the edge: How to prevent environmental and economic collapse. Earth Policy Institue.
Larmer, B. (n.d.). The big melt. National Geographic.
McKibben, B. (2007, March/April). Reversal of fortune. Mother Jones.
Peoples Agreement. (2011, April). Peoples agreement. World people’s conference on climate change and the rights of mother earth. Retrieved from http://pwccc.wordpress.com/support/
PLoS Medicine. (2011). Clean water should be recognized as a human right. PLoS Medicine, 6(6), doi: 10.1371/journal.pmed.1000102
Victor, D. (2011). Global warming gridlock. Cambridge University Press.
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