Are Humans Responsible for Climate Change

Essay details

Please note! This essay has been submitted by a student.

Humans are a risk averse species. Risks motivate us. It forces us into a position where we must act. We take precautions and note safety measures, so we know how to deal with situations where circumstances take a turn for the worse. When a problem comes our way, we find a way to solve it. This is how we humans work. Yet, the end of our kind and our planet doesn’t seem to scare us. The increasing impacts of climate change don’t seem to affect us at all. When it comes to risks, we are more concerned about immediate risks rather than gradual risks. According to Kristalina Georgieva, the CEO of the World Bank, “We are clearly the last generation that can change the course of climate change, but we are also the first generation with its consequences”. Even so, we are blissfully ignorant. Are humans responsible for climate change?

Essay due? We'll write it for you!

Any subject

Min. 3-hour delivery

Pay if satisfied

Get your price

Climate change is one of the biggest problems and it is understandable to think that an individual acting against it will not make a difference however, if everyone thinks this way, then climate change effects will only become more severe. We know what climate change is and we can see the changes around us. Yet, we do nothing and let it happen. Thousands of articles on how climate change is deteriorating our planet and the life on it are available over the internet, in newspapers, books, etc. Media channels and social media constantly display what’s happening around the world. The severity of climate change can be felt. Why are we still not giving it a second thought? Why aren’t we bringing changes? We know what climate change is and we can see the changes around us. Yet, we do nothing and let it happen.

Climate change is happening now, and humans are the root cause for its escalation. Greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide and methane produced in exceeding amounts by human activities play a key role in producing extreme weather conditions.

Aviation is very beneficial to our global economy as it carries goods and facilitates commerce. Demand for leisure flights and short period shipping services by companies like Amazon is increasing every day. These demands are expected to increase as the prices decline. The International Civil Aviation Organization projects that emissions from air travel will grow between 300 and 700 percent by 2050 compared to 2005 levels. Short flights produce a larger amount of greenhouse gas emissions per passenger compared to longer routes as 25 percent of the fuel used is consumed during takeoff. Aviation is a profound development but, must be used consciously by limiting it to use in emergencies and necessary circumstances. Presently, airlines use biofuels. If these biofuels are replaced by electro fuels then, the emission of carbon dioxide can be reduced.

Animal agriculture is an unexpected contributor to climate change. The animals involved here require a lot of care. Large lands are rid of trees to provide pastures for growth of crops, as food for the animals. The manure produced and the animals themselves produce methane and carbon. However, this does not mean that meat should not be consumed, only that it should be reduced. Food waste from field to kitchen bin contributes to 8-10% of global emissions. About 58% of food emissions is from animal products. An Oxford University study, published in the journal Climatic Change, shows that meat-eaters are responsible for almost twice as many dietary greenhouse-gas emissions per day as vegetarians and about two and a half times as many as vegans.

Fossil fuels contain large amounts of carbon. Fossils like coal, gas and oil provide 80% of our energy needs. When oil is refined and transformed it is used largely in producing plastics. Most of the consumer goods used are still wrapped in plastic knowing how harmful its usage is. Coal is packed with vast amounts of carbon and heat which is released into the atmosphere when it is burnt for use. It is largely used for generation of electricity even though alternatives such as solar and wind energy can be used. Natural gas is also used to produce electricity. Furthermore, fossils are responsible for water pollution and air pollution as well.

Climate change has increased the gap between countries. According to senior political advisor at Greenpeace Africa, Happy Khambule,” the poorest and most vulnerable are on the frontlines of climate change, and developing countries have to deal with the increasingly extreme climate impacts at the expense of their own development.” The richer and more developed countries in the world are to blame for global climate change however, they are not the ones who will suffer the most from it. The poorest countries in the world need help finding the money, resources and technology to move toward a sustainable future without further falling into the pit of poverty. The richer countries require large sums of money to fight climate crisis but, they also have a moral obligation to step up for the developing and poor countries. For more than a century, the largest emitters of greenhouse gases, have been the big developed nations like the United States and Europe, which grew their economies by burning fossil fuels and emitting carbon from their factories, homes and cars. They still emit carbon and other greenhouse gasses into the environment but, other countries like China and India have caught up. In 2010 and again at the 2015 Paris agreement on climate change, wealthier nations pledged to donate to the so-called Green Climate Fund, building up to $100 billion per year by 2020. The fund was created under the United Nations to help developing countries reduce the emissions. So far, donor nations have contributed only $10.3 billion and the Green Climate Fund has committed $5.2 billion of that to 111 projects around the world. While the world is literally on fire, the politicians and bureaucrats are busy creating a ruse.

However, this does not mean that the poor should sit back and enjoy all together. The wealthy countries and rich people are to blame for the climate crisis but, the comparatively poor also contribute in smaller ways like over usage of plastic, deforestation, improper disposal of waste and more. Curbing these small habits and changing them could not only benefit them but, also benefit the wealthier. Climate crisis is not an ‘I’ problem it is a ‘we’ problem. It is a fact that climate change has come to this stage because of the emissions created by big companies, rich people and wealthy companies and the lack of action taken against it by influential and powerful people. However, solely blaming them and depending on them for finding solutions and taking actions is not the answer. Poor people, poor countries and every individual has been and still are ignorant towards understanding how vast the problem really is.

This makes them equally responsible for fighting and acting in whatever way they can, against climate change. Humans are constantly growing, changing and creating. They are extremely resourceful and intelligent. They have the power to express their emotions through actions. Climate change is a known phenomenon and humans are aware about it. They are only adding to the problem if they don’t act. In general, the people aren’t resistant to the new changes that must be brought to prevent the existential crisis unless, it effects their livelihood. However, in order to bring change, it is necessary to make sacrifices and here, lies the problem.

According to Kumi Naidoo, Secretary General of Amnesty International, “It’s abundantly clear that climate change is already having an impact on human rights. And that this impact will only intensify in coming years”. The impact and effects of climate change can be seen now. It is very likely that heatwaves will occur more often and last longer, and that extreme precipitation events will become more intense and frequent in many regions. The oceans will continue to warm and acidify, and global mean sea level will continue to rise. All of this will have, and is already starting to have, a devastating impact on human life. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) warns that in order to avoid catastrophic global warming, we must ensure that the global average temperatures stay below 1.5 degrees Celsius and do not exceed 2 degrees Celsius. Climate change is now a human rights issue because in addition to threatening our very existence, climate change is having harmful impacts on our rights to life, health, food, water, housing and livelihoods. We have the right to live in safety but, climate change threatens our safety through extreme weather conditions like heat waves, storms, floods, forest fires, heat stress and more. The World Health Organization predicts that climate change will cause 250,000 deaths per year between 2030 and 2050, due to malaria, malnutrition, diarrhea and heat stress. Humans also have the right to healthy conditions to live in, good sanitation, clean water and housing all of which is affected by climate change. The most alarming impact is on the children who are learning that their future is only as far as the year 2030 or 2050. The children of today are often referred to as the keys to a brighter future however, the state of climate change now will most likely allow these children to live less than half their lives.

Scientists say that climate change can no longer be avoided. We can only fight against the consequences, be an example and raise awareness. We also need to anticipate, adapt and become resilient to the current and future impacts of climate change. There was once a time when children and youth looked up to their elders as their role models. It is refreshing yet, disappointing that the roles have reversed. The highly educated and resourceful now look up to the youth and children for solutions, who should be taking life for granted at this age, to fight a crisis that should have been avoided altogether.

Finnegan Harries is a British designer, filmmaker and environmental activist. He’s a student at the Parsons School of Design in New York, where he’s majoring in architecture and minoring in environmental studies. He believes that although climate change can be fought by taking small steps, a creative approach can be applied too. This creative approach involves a three-step action process. The first is to educate, understand and engage with the reality of the situation, on our own and with others. Secondly, we must organize ourselves into masses and groups because a single voice can grasp attention but, a mass can successfully bring a change. Lastly, we must lead by example. The changes we decide to make don’t necessarily have to be sacrificial for us. They could be beneficial for us and the environment. Some examples of such inspiring leaders are - Xiuhtezcatl Martinez, Youth Director of Earth Guardians who recently turned 18. He's an indigenous climate activist, hip-hop artist, and powerful voice on the front lines of a global youth-led environmental movement. He along with 21 other plaintiffs decided to sue the US Federal government for their failure to protect the atmosphere for future generations and violating their right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

Boyan Slat, an 18-year-old, is the CEO and Founder of the ocean cleanup organization. He invented a system to clean up plastic waste from the ocean is already in successful action and continually developing. Isabel and Melati Wijsen started the bye bye plastic campaign at the ages of 10 and 12 and have successfully banned the use of plastic bags in Bali, Indonesia. Azuri PayGo Energy has combined solar and mobile phone technology to bring clean energy to people living in Sub-Saharan Africa. The pay-as-you-go solar home system provides eight hours of emission-free lighting each day and enough power to charge mobile phones. After paying a small one-time installation fee, the user then purchases a scratch card, or uses an integrated mobile money service to top-up their unit. The Azuri system cuts weekly energy spending by up to 50%, which means people start saving money and reducing emissions immediately.

Climate change is a problem caused by the humans and it is now worsening because of the humans. It is not a short-term problem. We can't avoid it or run from it; we must fight it. Even if we fight it now and are successful, there is a chance of the crisis striking again. The cost of fighting against climate change is a heavy one but, the cost of what will happen if we continue to ignore it is unimaginable. The solutions and changes we choose to apply must be long term. It is important to ensure that anything new that is introduced is no longer just pretty and makes life easy for us but, is also healthy for the environment. Anything that already exists and puts our lives and the life on the planet in danger should be replaced or modified using materials that are sustainable and benefit the environment. Approaching climate change creatively is a long-lasting solution. Problems can be shared in different ways through creativity. We can use design to replace non-sustainable products with sustainable products and source alternatives for the required. This problem can’t be solved but, it can be fought if actions are taken now. Like Greta Thunberg says” the climate crisis has already been solved. We have the facts and solutions. All we have to do is wake up and change”. If we don’t start acting now, before the next alarming report from the climate change scientists, we are going to owe the future generations an explanation and an apology.

Get quality help now

Prof. Carstensen

Verified writer

Proficient in: Environment Problems, Earth & Nature, Human Impact

4.8 (459 reviews)
“ Excellent! She is very professional, meet all the requirements, fast turn around time, communicates, and an overall 100/10. ”

+75 relevant experts are online

More Climate Change Related Essays

banner clock
Clock is ticking and inspiration doesn't come?
We`ll do boring work for you. No plagiarism guarantee. Deadline from 3 hours.

We use cookies to offer you the best experience. By continuing, we’ll assume you agree with our Cookies policy.