Solutions to Climate Change: Exploring the Link Between Global Warming and Postcolonialism

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Climate change is popular and very talked about topic recently. Perhaps it is the fact that it was created by the human, and is affecting humanity's present and future. For finding answers on this major problem, the first thing one would do is to look back in history and create possible solutions. When did the global warming start? How did it unfold? Who is responsible for it? Is it possible to stop it? One thing is, however, is quite clear. The human is in the center of this change, consciously or unconsciously.

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Even if there are explanations and ideas on how to stop it, the commonly known fact that it is caused by the human doesn't change. First World countries can be blamed, as well as Third World countries, but the thing that everyone should consider is that humanity is highly involved. There shouldn't be researches and explanations, there should be a plan on how to stop it, and how to make the earth liveable again. There should be a solution on how to save nature, and not destroying it.

Global change isn't the only problem that humanity has to face. History can be used in order to see and understand the process of climate change and help the future. (Marks, 2007) According to Anthropocene, humanity is in the center of the world and has an influence on the things around itself. Anthropocene challenges ideas that an environment is a place where people go and get resources for free. But as long as these resources were used for creating a standard living, and the environment was not exploited, there was no global warming. But the past 2 centuries made a bigger change than the past few thousand years of humanity. The cause of global change is clearly human action. The industrialization over the past 2 centuries, especially the last 60 years has grown incredibly fast. (Marks, 2007) The human system is inside the environment, that means that people are cutting the bench they are sitting on. Earth is all the humanity has, it is the spaceship in the universe, so there should be found a tipping point, otherwise, it will go down.

Recently, only around 20 percent of the world’s population is living a standard life, and they are believed to be the rich, the aristocracy of the world. That leads to the idea that is not Anthropocene anymore, but Euroscene or Capitalocene. This statement points out that it is not about all the population, just a certain number of it. In this sense, Euroscene and Capitaloscene are the words that represent that the people who are shaping the history and challenging the environment are mostly from the Western countries. Moreover, Eurocentrism, as a worldview supports the theories about Europe (and Western civilization) being in the center. Eurocentrism can be seen as a problem in historical understanding since it created different layers. A gap between the developed and the developing countries started emerging and it grew to what is seen today. It might be viewed as a centrism with greater consequences than ethnocentrism, for instance. This leads to a clear deduction that Europe is an active shaper of the world's history, as well as the Western World taking a major influencing role.

The countries that had been put under the control of the Western world were called colonies. Colonies were part of the western empires and they were used for their ‘exotic' products, for their society's hard and persistent work, and several other seemingly beneficial purposes. They were used to help the developing of western empires, while their own had been exploited. This created a big diversity between the countries, and the gap between the developing and developed countries became huge. Colonialism, in this sense, had its own advantages and disadvantages. Postcolonialism, on the other hand, can be viewed as the cause of global warming. Developing countries made a long way for their independence, they recently had been able to be part of the industrialization and got the chance to develop. On one side this might be believed to be an advantage since they have the chance to develop and might be able to create a higher standard life. On the other side, however, they can be seen as part of the destroying process and be blamed for climate change.

The idea of blaming the developing countries for climate change might seem like an unfair statement, but it's believed to be true. The developing countries just became part of the global economy recently, but since they are using cheaper and faster forms of fuel to develop (that might be worse for the environment), they are believed to play a role in the climate change. (Agarwal and Sunita, 1991) Moreover, the population of countries like India and China is growing incredibly fast, and the living conditions are not good enough to keep all those people alive. These countries are extremely poor, and people are fighting for survival every single day. In this sense, it is clear that they are not using the pollutant energies in order to destroy the Earth, but because they don't have other chance. For example, many people from these poor countries still dream about having a refrigerator. (Agarwal and Sunita, 1991) The major question and the biggest problem of global warming are if the population keeps on growing how is the earth going to be able to support all those people. The life conditions might get worse in poor areas, and the differences between the countries might get even bigger, and these are just a few consequences to mention. The Western World, however, is able to afford more expensive and eco-friendly forms of fuel, that makes them less blamed for air pollution. There is a big selection of data that proves that developing countries are emitting more harmful substances than developed countries.

A critique of the previous statements can be interpreted from an essay written by Kapoor, where the question of colonialism is mentioned and put under perspective. Kapoor is talking about the way one country is controlling and using the other. He describes that the Western countries can be seen as 'us' and the Third World countries as 'them', so it creates an 'us versus them' dichotomy when the Third World is talked about. 'We help them' means that the western countries help the third world countries, but at the same putting themselves in a controlling position. The Kapoor essay also mentions the global inequality, that was created by the colonialism and this inequality has affected the present. (Kapoor, 2004) By analyzing his idea of the First World being above the Third World, a philosophical conclusion can be drawn that even though there is evidence that the developing countries are part of the global change, the Western world should be blamed for it too.

Another theory that supports the interpretation of Spivak's essay is a text about four theses by Chakrabarty. In the third thesis, he mentions that the climate is affecting everyone, but not in the same way. It hits unequally and it widens the gap between the rich and the poor. Moreover, in the fourth thesis, Chakrabarty explains his thought about people needing a universal, shared sense of catastrophe, a global approach to politics without myths of a global identity. (Chakrabarty, 2009) People should realize that there is a problem, and start to focus on it, instead of finding excuses. He also claims that climate change is triggered by capitalism and industrialism, that is According to Chakrabarty catastrophes hit lower-income populations much, much harder, that can be connected to the unfair statement that the developing countries are blamed for the climate. (Chakrabarty, 2009) An example that might support this statement is the issue of the waste and the huge amount of plastic in the oceans. Developing countries like the Philippines and Indonesia are facing the problem of the big amount of waste on their beaches, washed out by the ocean. Tons of plastic waste lands in the ocean, and afterwards reaches the beaches of islands and coasts.

The problem of the plastic seems to be one of the biggest issues recently, since it became uncontrolable an it seems like there haven’t been found a successful solution for it. All of climate change’s effects are sersious and warning, however the case of plastic is quite recent and affects the Earth’s environment directly. The animals have been under a serious danger because of climate change, especially plastic waste. A number of birds, fishes and marine mammals are found dead between the mountine of plastic. They are believed to be the real victims of global change. People are using plastic on a daily basis, without realizing it. Plastic is everywhere, and in the poor parts of the world there is no recyling. Developing countries can’t afford starting to recyle the waste, and it just keeps accumulating. Western countries are aware of this issue, and they are trying to reduce the plastic use. Waste is everywhere and the environment is under a serious danger, animals are suffocating because the humanity is careless and negligent.

Even though most of the world still doesn't know or care about global warming, there are very active and determined communities, who try to make a change and save the environment. Veganism, for instance, is a lifestyle that became popular in the past few years, and it is believed to be one of the solutions for climate change. Veganism might include a low-waste and a no-plastic lifestyle as well. Committed vegans are organizing movements, to get the attention of the people, and make them more aware of what is happening, and how is possible to stop the catastrophe. There are many other activists, besides vegans, who are fighting for the environment and trying to open people's eyes. By organizing marches and social events, these activist show their commitment to the environment. These movements supposed to be beneficial, and hopefully, they will manage to head the people in the right direction.

There are clear explanations that climate change can be viewed as an unintentional consequence of human action. The perspectives of the future might shape the understanding of the present. Postcolonialism can be connected to climate change, in the sense of the developing countries joining the industrialization, and becoming part of this huge and incredibly fast change. The Third World countries are believed to be part of the destroying, but in a certain way, everyone is guilty of global warming. Human-induced climate change pushing the vital parts of the environment over the edge. As the years are passing by humanity should react, act and change faster. The problems don't just disappear, and things are going to speed up even more. This leads to the conclusion that there must be a solution on how to stop global warming, and the human is the one that has to start to make that change. No one is going to save the Earth, but the human.

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