The Wide Spread Threats of Climate Change

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The clock is ticking! Global Co2 emissions have increased exponentially since the industrialization of today’s developed world. Emissions have now passed the absorptive capacity of the earth and are accumulating in the earth’s atmosphere, warming the surface of the earth and inducing localized climatic changes. Climate change is often a localized issue. Many regions of the world will continue to become hotter, while others may experience highly variable weather patterns. Climate change poses a serious threat to ecosystems, economic sectors, and human welfare. Although almost entirely caused by the developed world, climate change will disproportionally affect the world’s poor.
It is the responsibility of the developed world to change. They have the resources and technology to significantly curb emissions and dampen the effects of climate change. As the world’s second largest emitter of Co2, and as the world’s largest economy, the US must become a leader in the battle against climate change. However, historical incidents of environmental degradation indicate that will power is simply not enough. Unless environmental problems are seen and felt, the US population has been slow and reluctant to act. Unfortunately this lack of will power is still present. As a citizen of the United States, I see no hope for change without the help and intervention of government. Without economic incentive, individuals and firms will not change. I believe that the US government must intervene and implement emission reduction policies, and work toward limiting emissions to the earth’s natural sink function.
The reluctance of individuals and firms begs the question, “what can be done?” The optimal solutions fall within the category of preventative mea...

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...tlined the economic impacts of extreme weather events and found that recent extreme freezing in the US chipped almost $3billion off American output in a week (Economist). Needless to say, the US can cope with such a loss. Developing countries, on the other hand, cannot. Many poor subsistence farmers around the world rely on predictable weather. One year with extreme weather variations can destroy an entire years worth of their crops. The world cannot wait for wealthy nations, like the US, to slowly curb emissions through will power. The wellbeing and survival of developing countries is reliant on wealthy nations taking appropriate policy action to curb and limit their emissions. The US must realize that it is disproportionally impacting the world, and that the wealthiest nation on earth must become a leader in the battle against climate change. The clock is ticking.

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