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Environmental Case Analysis: The Risks of Global Climate Change

Essay by   •  February 7, 2011  •  Research Paper  •  1,169 Words (5 Pages)  •  1,947 Views

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Environmental Case Analysis: The Risks of Global Climate Change

Introduction

"The natural world seems to be deteriorating around us, and it seems to be our fault. We are uncertain about the extent of the deterioration, the means that would reverse it, and the prospects for human life in the future" (Newton, Dillingham, & Choly, 2006, p. x). The environment and its protection is an extremely serious issue. Many environmental issues exist including endangered species, waste pollution, over population, and water pollution. Another fascinating, threatening, and potentially disastrous environmental issue is global climate change. This issue, global climate change, was discussed in a case within the book Watersheds 4. Global climate change is the gradual warming of the earth's climate due to the greenhouse effect. Many scientists and researchers believe this is a result of man-made emissions of greenhouse gases. The effects of global climate change are horrifying.

Objectives and Scope

The objective of this essay is to make people more aware of the controversial issue of global climate change and allow people to understand different perspectives of global climate change. This essay will summarize the case involving global climate change from Watersheds 4 and answer many common questions people have about global climate change. Next, this essay will identify who the stakeholders in this case are and what their perspectives, concerns, and interests are. This essay will end by examining the relationship between environmental science and ethics as they relate to the various stakeholders.

Literature Review

What People Are Doing and What May Happen?

This case begins by showing how most of the world's citizens do not take global warming seriously and "retreat to absolute denial that it is happening" (Newton, Dillingham, & Choly, 2006, p. 2). Next, the case describes the current concerns of global warming. The authors expressed their concern that the greenhouse effect is possibly being worsened by man-made increases in the effective gases, particularly carbon dioxide, threatening a disruption to the balance between incoming and outgoing energy and to average global warming. After that, the authors described the long repetitious list of destructive consequences of global warming which include flooded coastal areas due to melting glaciers; increased severity of droughts, heat waves, changes in precipitation, and the spread of disease due to warmer climates.

Policy Options

The authors then discussed national policy options to confront the issue of global climate with. The authors discussed the following four options: "(a) in effect, nothing; (b) not much; (c) lots; and (d) don't try to solve anything on the national level--re-engage with the Kyoto Protocol and the Kyoto process to define concerted global action" (Newton, Dillingham, & Choly, 2006, p. 8). The final section of this case discussed whether or not an international agreement can weaken the greenhouse effect. The author makes the point that there is no reason to rely on the state and federal levels of government to solve a global problem. Yes, the slowing of American vehicle and power plant emissions would be a good step, but the best way to solve the issue of global warming would be to get a global hold on the issue.

Discussion

Who Are The Stakeholders In This Case And What Are Their Perspectives, Concerns, and Interests?

Humans.

The stakeholders in this case of global climate change are all humans and every living thing that encompasses the earth. First, the most identifiable stakeholders are humans. Some humans are uneducated about the topic of global climate change, while others are in denial, while others think there should be a radical change to solve this issue or problem. The concern many people have is the numerous, and sometimes disastrous, consequences of global climate change. Some effects of global climate change include negative effects on the ecosystem, impacts on glaciers, destabilization of ocean currents, environmental refugees due to an increase in sea level, spread of disease due to warmer temperatures, and financial effects due to disaster relief. The interests people have are most important in future of humankind and protecting species in the ecosystem which make the world what is it. The pressures people face regarding global climate change are mainly economic pressures, but also ethical, and psychological. Many people cannot afford hybrid cars or solar electricity. The ethical pressure people are faced with

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