Daniel Halliday
May 23 · Last update 5 mo. ago.
What should be done about global climate change?
As countries have started to legislate against certain plastic products and some private companies and charities are concentrating on removing rubbish from the world's seas and oceans, what else should be done?
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Climate change is a natural thing, and the risks posed to mankind are being exaggerated
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Multiple considerations need to be taken with every decision made about climate change.
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It is short sighted to only legislate against climate change when there are so many possible natural, and/or human accelerated, disasters that are equally plausible or inevitable.
1 agrees
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Legislate, fund technology and educate to change industries that have caused climate change
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The most effective solutions are always the ones with a financial incentive
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Climate change is a natural thing, and the risks posed to mankind are being exaggerated

Climate change is a natural process, and it will balance itself out, or may not... However, we have no control over it, and there are still big questions that climate scientists are not able to answer. Limiting industry and pretending/praying something will change is not the answer to what may or may not happen in the future. Talk of only one side of this argument in classrooms constitutes brainwashing.

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Multiple considerations need to be taken with every decision made about climate change.

It is obvious that the issue needs enormous scientific innovation to be solved, though it cannot be left to the scientists, engineers and entrepreneurs. One of the things others could do meanwhile, is to stay eager to catch up with the latest efforts of specialists. Acting to keep the world aware of the issue is beneficial, however one of the most important things to remember when considering an action for a better world is that justice can be subjective. It is important because mankind is prone to thinking that their personal view of what is “just” is always unquestionably righteous. To avoid that, the ability to see a subject from different angles is vital and what empowers us to do so is a well rounded education.

Early 2018 in the UK, a plastic straw ban was proposed, and no later than that a disability group started a campaign for a pause to the proposal, claiming their dependancy on the product. This brought up a majorly unseen fact about what was initially a question of pollution and wastefulness. It also proved that it is very easy to just consider one side of an issue, without fully contemplating alternative concerns. For instance, when someone carries out a little change in their life, they tend to notice the difference, good or bad. They are likely to be aware of the negative side effects on the decision making. However, when a change is enforced in a society, it is easy to neglect the negative impact the change could have, which could turn into a struggle for those who may not have a voice politically or statistically. In an environmental campaign it should not be a handful of people blindly trying to ban products until the earth is cleaner. It is also necessary to adjust peoples agendas and ethical beliefs according to unrecognised opinions or the new discoveries that may be encountered along the way.

When reaching for the solution to the case mentioned above, governments and companies should also consider finding alternatives for those who could suffer as a result of the solution, instead of people blindly blaming the opponents of a policy for being unreasonable, or disregarding other opinions. The number of local authorities in the UK that banned balloon releasing is limited to 50 in 2017, despite damage to the environment, wildlife, and an outright waste of helium, a limited resource also. Regardless releasing numerous balloons remains a popular activity for expressing grief, or for celebrations in certain areas/cultures. There have however been alternatives suggested, such as bio-degradable balloons, it could be argued that taking both sides into consideration, the environment and human behaviour, is the way forward.

Being passionate about harm reduction in modern society often causes labelling the whole human race as careless. However, education enable us to know/learn things more efficiently, it helps us realise what we do not know yet. Additionally, it might lead us to what we do not see, and hopefully to what needs to be concerned. It does not only keep us to remain humble, but also helps us form generous societies in which people care for others. Any global issue should involve consideration of the various values from each culture. Therefore, it should require an open understanding/attitude towards different philosophies, alongside a broad knowledge on the subject to move in the right direction on climate change.

bbc.com/news/uk-wales-43485362 localgov.co.uk/Councils-urged-to-ban-balloon-releases/42786

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E. Sato
Aug 10
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DH edited this paragraph
Being passionate about harm reduction in modern society often causes labelling the whole human race as careless. However, education enable us to know/learn things more efficiently, it helps us realise what we do not know yet. Additionally, it might lead us to what we do not see, and hopefully to what needs to be concerned. It does not only keep us to remain humble, but also helps us form generous societies in which people care for others. Any global issue should involve consideration of the various values from each culture. Therefore, it should require an open understanding/attitude towards different philosophies, alongside a broad knowledge on the subject to move in the right direction on climate change.
It is short sighted to only legislate against climate change when there are so many possible natural, and/or human accelerated, disasters that are equally plausible or inevitable.

We have recently seen policies implemented in many countries and cities, like the banning of plastic straws, and the introduction of charges for plastic shopping bags. But, this is arguably looking too closely at small details of a massive multifaceted issue. When we are talking about waste affecting the environment we are actually worried about both environmental catastrophe and human lifestyles having a detrimental effect on the world.

It is obviously an important issue to want to minimise the harm that the human population brings to the natural world. However, straws are arguably the tip of the iceberg when you consider other forms of plastic waste, not to mention chemical and nuclear waste, when we start to look at the full spectrum of human waste.

But worrying solely about waste management when considering environmental disaster is also short sighted. When we consider the wider scale of environmental detriment, we can also count oil spills, waste water mismanagement, and air pollution from cars, industry, and agriculture also. These are all contributors to some form of climate change and a possible global climate catastrophe.

However, as we again consider the wider forms of global disaster as a whole, there are a number of other catastrophes caused annually by weather also. Avalanches, hurricanes/typhoons, tornadoes, wildfires, floods and drought, for example, can pose a huge threat to human populations. We can also count geological natural disasters such as, volcanoes, landslides, earthquakes and tsunami as threats to the human population and the environment. If we keep extrapolating in this way and consider possible disasters of an astrological nature, such as meteor impacts and major solar flares, we get a fuller picture of how lucky we have been in recent history to have a fairly stabile climate.

Human civilisation has advanced to this degree in a relatively short state of environmental stillness, compared with what we know to have been a violent geological world history. We need to look at global catastrophe evasion as a whole, and recognise we live on a planet in flux, ever changing. Then we need to develop ways to alter and address climate changes to suit our necessary environment for life as we know it now. Otherwise we run the risk of eventually loosing not only human civilisation but quite possibly all life on Earth as a result of a slow climate change or a rapid catastrophic event.

We should be looking to manage the atmosphere and the world so that it stays comfortable for the human race, while protecting all other life on Earth. This would include not only policy to control the amount of plastic waste we produce, but technology to increase the efficiency of recycling, provide waste free power, and most importantly climate engineering techniques and systems to avert massive global disasters.

theguardian.com/science/2016/dec/13/space-asteroid-comet-nasa-rocket popularmechanics.com/science/environment/a6468/4337799 nasa.gov/feature/jpl/catalog-of-known-near-earth-asteroids-tops-15000 psmag.com/environment/banning-straws-wont-save-the-oceans

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Daniel Halliday
Jul 31
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DH edited this paragraph
But worrying solely about waste management when considering environmental disaster is also short sighted. When we consider the wider scale of environmental detriment, we can also count oil spills, waste water mismanagement, and air pollution from cars, industry, and agriculture also. These are all contributors to some form of climate change and a possible global climate catastrophe.
Legislate, fund technology and educate to change industries that have caused climate change

Attempting to limit the amount of plastic ending up in the oceans is a honourable target, considering the tragic health consequences posed to wildlife and humans alike. Bans to straws, plastic bags, plastic cutlery and micro plastics have been put into place in countries such as Kenya, Taiwan, Australia and France to name a few. In addition, entrepreneurs such as Boyan Slat have initiated private solutions such as his floating screening system which uses the ocean currents to passively catch plastic rubbish. Although this will improve the environment, health and quality of life for humans and wildlife, this will not change the rate at which climate change occurs.

There is overwhelming scientific consensus now that mankind is accelerating the rate of global warming through intense combustion of fossil fuels and intensive livestock farming. This is often somewhat convoluted and combined with other forms of air, land and sea pollution. But it is arguably this air pollution, specifically that of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases that is causing global climate change. The current level of atmospheric carbon dioxide being at 400 parts per million, an unprecedented level considering 300 parts per million was not exceeded in the last 400,000 years.

The largest change that needs to occur is the switch to sustainable and clean electrical energy. The world wide use of fossil fuels needs to be replaced with renewable, waste free, electricity generation, namely the large scale integration of solar, hydrological, wind and geothermal energy sources across the globe. Technology is key here, not just to increase large scale efficiency, but also to be integrated at an individual consumers level. When fossil fuel combustion is necessary, stricter emissions tests and regular externally regulated checks need to be in place, with heavier levies imposed over time.

The biggest issue however, still remains with the current, historically high, atmospheric carbon dioxide levels. Even if the release of carbon dioxide ceased today, the level is still currently high enough to increase the rate of glacial melting, ultimately releasing larger amounts of carbon dioxide and more worryingly methane. In recent years the amount of methane pockets in the arctic tundra were discovered to have been previously underestimated by many thousands of giga-tonnes. This discovery lead to many environmental agencies labelling artic methane the most serious risk factor that could cause abrupt climate change. Wallace Smith Broecker’s green house gas removal research, and solutions posed by scientists such as Klaus Lackner, have proposed the development of technologies to filter out greenhouse gases present in the air. This line of research and technology requires large scale investment, but aims to reverse the rising rate of greenhouse gas emission and therefore global warming.

The foundation for these changes needs to be in education, and not just with the goal to inform people. Greater efforts made to fund education in the climate science engineering and research sectors is the only thing that will lead to the technological advances needed here. This will naturally increase the rate of new energy solutions, with new technology generating new industries and more money to fund further education, research and expensive policy changes.

Life on planet Earth is a self sustaining feedback cycle of food webs and nutrient chains. Mankind have learned to manipulate these natural cycles for its own gain, thus massively disrupting the rate at which carbon is recycled back into life and the Earth. As can be seen in Boyan Slats example, the most realistic solutions the ones that employ or utilise natural cycles and integrate them. Where that is not possible, changing lifestyles to fit into natural systems more closely is the only solution. The Earth’s methods for self sustaining are marvellous, we should be fitting into the reality we live in not going against it.

globalcitizen.org/en/content/plastic-bans-around-the-world theoceancleanup.com/updates/pacific-cleanup-set-to-start-in-2018 climate.nasa.gov/evidence nature.com/scientificamerican/journal/v302/n6/full/scientificamerican0610-66.html

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Daniel Halliday
Jul 31
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DH edited this paragraph
The foundation for these changes needs to be in education, and not just with the goal to inform people. Greater efforts made to fund education in the climate science engineering and research sectors is the only thing that will lead to the technological advances needed here. This will naturally increase the rate of new energy solutions, with new technology generating new industries and more money to fund further education, research and expensive policy changes.
The most effective solutions are always the ones with a financial incentive

The focus here should not be on simply punishing the bad acts, more focus should be on incentivising the right behaviours. Levies and sanctions need to be upheld in the long run, but they are not affective at achieving the large scale cultural global change that is needed here, rewarding good behaviour is much more effective here. Solar panels are a good example, and revolutionising solar panel technology so that they are too cost effective not to buy would be the best way to encourage adopters of the technology, rather than just minimising the culprits through punishment.

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