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Critical discussion on Mainstream approaches to addressing climate change and environmental degradation are basically 'too little, too late'
In the modern times, one of the biggest challenges facing the earth includes climate change and degradation of environment. An overwhelming majority of the global scientific community has declared climate change being a real threat to this planet unless actions are taken to remedy this change immediately and on massive scales. It is also widely researched and accepted that the tipping point to climate change has been man-made activities and pollution from factories, billions of automobile vehicles, fuel for energy, and other things contributing to rise in total volume of CO2 released in the air.
As climate change is a global issue and its negative impacts are already getting witnessed in terms of rising sea-levels, increasing storm activities, and an overall growth pattern in global temperature; an immediate action plan is needed for implementation on global scale. Major efforts have been made by major countries in the world, including the Paris Climate Agreement and United Nations Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) (World Nuclear Assosication , 2017). While such resolutions to combat climate change have been very significant and have attracted majority of countries to join the agreements, there is still a risk that the long-term goals of these agreements and voluntary nature of participation is probably 'too little, too late.' In this paper, a critical analysis would be performed on global scale action plan to combat climate change, effectiveness of such plans, and overall scope of such actions against needed measures to mitigate the issue of climate change.
2. Background to the issue of climate change and environment degradation
In last century, mankind has made a lot of progress in terms of machinery, automation, technology, electricity usage, and transportation. While all of these developments have helped make everyday life easier and more convenient, a constant theme with all of these technologies is increased pollution of different sorts in manufacturing of such machineries and pollutants released in the air when equipment in factories and vehicles are used. In addition to this, deforestation and growing population also makes the issue of increased pollutants getting released in the atmosphere worse.
One of the first biggest efforts to test the probability and impact of climate change was done in Reagan era in United States with about 2,500 experts in the field being part of the Inter-governmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) (Clark, 2011). The first assessment report released by the IPCC in 1990 suggested an increase of 2 to 6 degrees in 21st century. However, by the third assessment report in 2001, the group had changed the prediction to about 10.4 degrees by end of 21st century (Ray, 2011). Prediction of IPCC also suggests that unless immediate efforts by global community mitigate the issue, rise in temperature by 10.4 degree by year 2100 would lead to 34 inches rise in sea level, causing massive land areas getting lost to sea in many countries, change in rainfall patterns, increased storm activities, and increased drought conditions in some areas (Clark, 2011).
Increased emission of CO2 is the major contributor to climate change issue as over the last two and a half centuries, CO2 levels have grown by 31%, the highest peak in C02 levels in about 400 thousand of years (NASA.gov, 2015).
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