← Environmental ethics

Climate change: Too hot to handle?

Describe the issue (150 Words)

Explain why this is an issue of justice or the common good (150words)

Identify the people or groups who have a stake in the issue and analyse their perspectives on it. Why may some stakeholders not want the situation to change? (750 words)

Analyse the issue in terms of the common good and the principles that promote human flourishing (750 words)

In light of your analysis, how might the common good best be served in relation to this issue? (200 words)

Climate Change

During the last and previous century, the Earth’s climate has obviously changed. The average temperature of the planet has increased during the 21st century, and changes related to it have occurred. All the evidences that are available for the human’s eye say that the main cause of such bad consequences is the human’s activity on the Earth. It is obvious that if people’s activity in business and diverse industries continues growing, the temperature of the Earth will increase during the 21st century and beyond (Australian Academy of Science, 2010).

What are the detailed causes of those processes? First, the greenhouse effect is increasing and becomes well-established. It happens, when the Earth’s surface absorbs the heat and after that evaporates the liquid water. Then, it also exudes that energy as the infrared radiation.

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Another consequence is the difference between the weather, which people experience day-to-day, and the global long term trends that are called the climate. Measurements of average temperatures around the world are highly significant (Schneider & Lane, n.d.).

Nevertheless, there is a substantial amount of people, who absolutely deny that global warming was caused by human actions. Those skeptics are scientists. They should always try to challenge each other and reconsider the problem of the topic. Such scientists always criticize any evidence supporting the fact of the human fault in terms of global warming and still try to convince themselves and other people in their blogs and articles (“Explaining climate change science & rebutting global warming misinformation”, n.d.).

Climate change in terms of the world’s globalization takes the form of paramount significance that obviously plays a vital role in the life of every country. Climate change is substantially hot topic for today’s debates. It still continues to be a subject of intense public and political discussions. There are a lot of undeniable evidences to show that climate is constantly changing, and it has occurred in different times from decades to many millions of years. The human activity is a significant addition to that amount of potential causes of climate change (The Royal Society, 2010).

Thus, the climate change is an issue of the common good. Moreover, decision-making on this problem plays a crucial role in the life of the whole planet and has a global meaning. Since the very beginning of human life on the Earth, humanity was deeply connected to its environment. We must consider that the future of our common home depends on the action that humanity is about to take in case of such problem.

In 2010, World Day of Peace Message stated that:
The ecological problem must be dealt with not only because of the chilling prospects of environmental degradation on the horizon; the real motivation must be the quest for authentic world-wide solidarity inspired by the values of charity, justice and the common good.” (2010)

With regard to such crucial problems, developed countries have to take the responsibility for ecological issues and assume that they have contributed towards such a situation considerably, whereas their industry is much bigger than that of developing countries and others (“Kyoto Protocol to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change”, 1997).

First of all, the US should care about global warming. There are two reasons for it: it has an economic opportunity because of its success in its industrial sphere; secondly, climate change will affect first of all the developing countries that are most vulnerable to instability.
The American power in economics, politics and military sphere has been rising in a lot of indicators during the last 2 centuries. For example, GDP of the USA has grown to 12,4 trillion in 2005. The Wealth of America has made it exceedingly powerful and influencing (“Who is responsible for climate change?”, 2009).

Furthermore, such kind of problems makes people united and connected with common goal. Thus, it provides an opportunity for separate citizens and individuals to become the whole nation. The US as the main contributor to greenhouse gases has got to shape responses and serve not only their own interests, but also the interests of the entire human family.

In addition, climate change is a global problem, and its solution should be found by all countries. The emissions generated in one country will affect the others. Climate provides an opportunity for people to act more responsibly and link a personal care and practice solidarity (Climate Commission, 2012).

Another question is what groups of people suffer from the global warming the most, what perspectives are to be seen in terms of such an issue.

First of all, international and intergovernmental organizations have their responsibility for those problems and perspectives, as well as the solution of them. For example, the IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) and UNFCCC (United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change) are international environmental treaties that regulate the stabilization of greenhouse gases and improvement of atmosphere as objectives of the work.

Moreover, Article 3 of this document established the main principles for the Parties of the UN to implement its provision. Several main statements can be outlined:
-Protection of the climate system.
-Leadership of developed countries in dealing with global warming.
-Full consideration for developing countries.
-Minimization of climate change causes and damage (United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, 1992).

Another question concerns the Australian country and community. It is another vulnerable group to heating. What makes this country be that vulnerable? Firstly, it is heat. The extreme heat across Australia is increasing every year. Certainly, cold weather takes place in this country, but hot records happen three times often than cold ones. Secondly, it is bushfire weather. The amount of extreme fire weather has also increased, partly in Tasmania, Victoria and other lands of Australia. Thirdly, there are rainfalls. They took an increasing trend around the globe. Over last 3 years, Australia’s east coast suffered from rainfalls, fuelled by surface water temperatures.

Fourthly, it is a drought. A drying effect took place in the Western Australia (Climate Commission, 2013).

The year 2010 for Australia is ranked as the warmest on record; moreover, the global average temperatures are increased. For Australia, 2009 was the second year after 2010 with the warmest temperatures ever. Such events as fires in Victoria in 2009 and major cyclones in Queensland can be regarded as the outcomes of the process of the world’s warming, but still people cannot draw conclusions about the direct cause and effect (Garnaut, 2011).

Other groups of suffering countries are those with the democratic form of government. Modern liberal democracies also suffer because of structural characteristics that can prevent such countries from climate changes. First characteristic is short-termism. The electoral period makes officers focus on short-term gains and goals and the satisfaction of an average voter. A short duration of officer’s term makes such people be concerned only with their reelection. That may reflect their policy’s affection. In many times, such changes are not for the best. It is the problem that should be considered now, otherwise, deeds of current politicians will be felt by future generations (Held & Hervey, 2009).

Therefore, such groups of people can benefit from the global problems. Not always they are concerned about that issue, and the decisions they take are rarely effective, but funds and money are spent anyway (Collins, 2012). It is crucial to note that islands are disrupted most of all. Moreover, long and harsh droughts affect the ocean water and the vegetation, on the basis of which humanity makes its food (Collins, 2012). The winds have certain changes in the way they blow because they have become more violent. They started to strike 21 inhabited islands. Their wild and unique culture has also begun to suffer from those processes.

It was approved in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in 1948. Catholic social teachings were also used as arguments on the concept of human rights. Pope John wrote a full listing of the many types of human rights called universal.

Furthermore, theological classes, like those of Christians, have always been involved into social deals and human rights issues to decide the injustice (Himmes, 2001).

It is a substantially interesting question whether indeed religion has nothing significant about environmental problems relating to the changing climate. Such a thought is not without the basis. Christianity studies and its objectives over the centuries reveal significant biases about human concerns (Ayre, 2010).

Ecology means the existence of certain relationships that maintain a proper level of the environment’s quality. Good ecology is only possible, when people foster and promote the respect to it and honor the dignity of the common good. The right to life of every human being in a good ecology is undeniable and inherent (“Prudence, poverty, the common good, and solidarity”, 2010).

The most valuable principle that promotes human flourishing is the global solidarity. The reason for this is the creation committed to humans and not to one person, certain group or collective. Thus, common resources and responsibility for what happens should be shared by all. That process means the solidarity between all people and future generations. It also can be called as the “intergenerational solidarity” (Barnes, 1982).

Solidarity with the poor is also of key significance for humanity. Their ability to get access to the common goods is often unequal with other humans.

Solidarity has its basis on the requirements of the common good and justice, which means that the common good is made not for people living now, but for those, who have not been born yet (Episcopal Commission for Justice and Peace of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops, 2013).

Social justice is an idea, which is being ensured by the set of social and political institutions in terms of the just distribution of benefits and costs throughout the society. This idea first emerged in the late 19th century and stood at the heart of political debates.

As some sceptical scientists, a group of philosophers insist on the fact that there is no harm from global warming. These people think that decreasing population will cause no problem except for the deaths. Others disagree with those statements. This kind of problem remains one of the most discussed in philosophy, economics, and international politics. In the end, until the answer of how it affects humanity is found, one will be not able to judge about it (Broome, 2008).

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