Global Warming: Why it Needs the Kyoto Protocol
Thesis Statement: A unified international effort through the Kyoto Protocol is necessary to mitigate global warming
I. Introductory Paragraph
Global warming is a problem faced not only by a few countries today but the whole world.
II. Global Warming is caused by man- made activities
How global warming occurs
Man- made activities aggravated and greatly contributed to global warming
III. Destructive effects of global warming
effects to wildlife
IV. International cooperation can effectively mitigate global warming
It initiates a global trend that will minimize the use of global warming substances.
It can compel other countries to take action against global warming
It can initiate awareness on global warming
V. Why Kyoto Protocol embodies a promising unified international effort to mitigate global warming
It expedites the implementation of anti- global warming measures
It necessitates the compliance of industries and countries
It initiates global cooperation to mitigate global warming
Summary of the discussion
Global Warming: Why it Needs the Kyoto Protocol
In 2005, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Control-Climate Change reported that the Earth is heating up 0.6 degrees more than its average temperature. Scientists proposed that this is largely due to the increase in greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. This phenomenon is otherwise called as global warming which poses destructive implications when left unsolved and unmitigated. This environmental problem is faced not only by a few countries today but the whole world. It is thus necessary that actions be taken in a global scale to solve the global warming crisis. A unified international effort through the Kyoto Protocol is necessary to mitigate global warming.
Man- made Activities as Primary Cause of Global Warming
The sun heats and warms the earth by emitting energy in the form of shortwave radiation and visible light. This energy changes from light to heat when it strikes the surface of the earth. This energy is released back as a long- wave infrared radiation but not all of these goes back to space because some of them are trapped by greenhouse gases in the earth’s surface. The process, also called as the greenhouse effect, is a natural process needed by the earth so it would not become very cold and become uninhabitable by the living. However, the growing concentration of greenhouse gases in the earth’s atmosphere has also resulted to the current problem on global warming. As such, global warming can be attributed to the growing concentration of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere and the activities that increase this concentration are factors to global warming.
Human activities and innovations are said to have artificially increased the concentration of the greenhouse gases, mainly carbon dioxide and methane in the earth’s atmosphere which results to greenhouse gases to build up and prevent additional thermal radiation from leaving the Earth, thereby trapping excess heat. Man made activities that cause global warming include the operation of coal-burning power plants and use of automobiles which become sources of carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide and ozone; the use of air-conditioning units and refrigerators that utilize chlorofluorocarbons; deforestation that creates more heat and increases the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere as trees play a significant role in removing carbon dioxide from the air; increased cattle production such that methane gas is released from animal waste; and the use of fossil fuels as the burning of fossil fuels is considered the largest source of emissions of carbon dioxide, one of the greenhouse gases that allows radiative forcing and contributes to global warming.
Destructive Effects of Global Warming
Global warming has destructive effect on the environment. The increasing global temperature alters the earth’s natural order. Global warming, for example, has been linked with intensifying hurricanes. A Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) research suggests that hurricanes will only get more powerful and last longer as global warming increases ocean temperatures (“Stronger Hurricanes”). This correlates to the idea that more human lives and properties are at stake given the devastating impacts of hurricanes. The growing intensity of the hurricanes that hit United States in 2005 for example resulted to a loss of a number of properties and lives. Similar occurrence in other parts of the world is likely to happen when global warming is not mitigated.
Global warming has destructive effects on wildlife. Global warming brings about the warming of the seas which in turn affects sea wildlife. In 1998, for example, the combination of El Niño and global warming triggered the largest mass die-off of tropical corals destroying in
some areas more than 70 percent of the reef-building creatures (Warrick AO3). This threatens the oceans’ coral reefs that serve as home to the most productive and diverse ecosystems on earth. Coral reefs provide food and shelter for at least one million species of animals including fishes, plants and microbes, and bring humans food, medicines and tourism income (Warrick AO3)
Global warming affects economies. Global warming can lead to several effects on agriculture and hence, affect the livelihood of farmers. The effects of global warming on agriculture, for example, are the emergence of new variations in pest and disease problems; damaged crops; and an increased need for ventilation in animal accommodation (“Global Warming Fears for,” 43). The consequential rise in water temperature and melting of glaciers and icecaps due to global warming can also accelerate the rate of sea level rise (Chanton). Too much rise in sea level will affect the densely populated coastal plains by making the areas uninhabitable, creating refugee problems and hampering economic activities. The occurrence of these situations among coastal cities in the world will create potential impacts on world trade and economy.
Global warming also has effects on health. Expanded tropical weather is likely to increase tropical diseases. As such, global warming will accelerate the spread of many diseases and increase instances of mosquito-borne diseases that include malaria, yellow fever, dengue fever, and viral encephalitis (Johansen 210). The warming of air temperature also increases the concentration of ozone at ground level which can bring about serious problems for those with asthma and other lung diseases (“Ozone (O3),”).
International Cooperation can Effectively Mitigate Global Warming
It has been established that man’s activities and innovations have primarily increased and worsened global warming. As such, man should also be responsible in mitigating this problem. While this view may be shared by several countries which already accounts for its citizens to
mitigate the release of greenhouse gases, the urgency in solving the global warming crisis is not acknowledged by some countries. This situation poses a problem in that regardless of efforts by other countries to curb global warming, the continued practice of other countries in engaging in greenhouse gas- emitting activities will weaken the efforts of concerned countries. An international cooperation is therefore necessary to so as to effectively mitigate global warming.
International cooperation can initiate a global trend that will minimize the use of global warming substances. International cooperation can help mitigate global warming by initiating a new global trend in technology that will minimize the use of global warming substances. When the use of greenhouse gases are globally controlled and reduced, new technologies that will not utilize greenhouse gases will become available. Trade of global warming substances will thus be reduced, and their production will eventually decline, bringing to an end their production preventing the release of more substances that contribute to global warming.
International cooperation can compel other countries to take action against global warming. When countries cooperate to solve the global warming crisis, they would be able powerful enough to criticize and discipline dissenting countries that fail or refuse to do their part in addressing global warming. An international cooperation can lead to international agreement that can provide a legal framework to sanction countries that fail to comply with anti global warming measures. Countries may sanction uncooperative countries by refusing to engage in international trade with them. With countries cooperating to achieve a common goal in combating global warming, the ill effects of global warming may be alleviated.
International cooperation can initiate awareness on global warming. When countries, through their leaders, acknowledge their crucial responsibilities to the issue of global warming, they effect great change in the international community. International cooperation can help in disseminating to the people the dangerous implications of global warming and thus strengthen international responses to the risks of global warming.
Why Kyoto Protocol can Embody an Ideal International Effort to Mitigate Global Warming
The Kyoto Protocol embodies an international effort to effectively prevent and mitigate the disastrous effects of the warming of the Earth’s surface. It is an international agreement made under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) through which nations that ratify it are bound to reduce their emission of carbon dioxide and greenhouse gases.
The Kyoto Protocol expedites the implementation of anti- global warming measures. The Kyoto Protocol will help in addressing global warming more efficiently and more effectively because it expedites the implementation of anti- global warming measures. The Protocol calls for urgent action by countries and concerned industries by compelling companies of almost every sector to engage in engage in massive retrofitting of equipment to put in place technology that emits less and/or is more energy efficient, thereby reducing emissions (“Implementing the Kyoto” 66).
The Kyoto Protocol necessitates the compliance of industries and countries. It will help in addressing global warming more efficiently and more effectively because it necessitates the compliance of industries and countries to mitigate the emission of greenhouse gases. For example, countries that failed to ratify the Protocol face economic sanctions by other countries. This is exemplified in the case of United States which has consistently argued against doing anything for the Protocol. Following the failure of the US to sign the Protocol, countries such as China has charged US as irresponsible for being a major producer of carbon dioxide and greenhouse gases but care little to curb global warming (Kluger 30). The European Union has also threatened to apply economic sanction to the United States because the latter’s unwillingness to cooperate with other countries to mitigate global warming.
The Kyoto Protocol will help in addressing global warming more efficiently and more effectively because it initiates global cooperation. The Kyoto Protocol has not only initiated
environmental awareness from countries but from many industries as well. The global effort to mitigate global warming has also effected environmental awareness from many industries which in itself, significant in the effort to mitigate global warming. For example, shortly after Kyoto was signed, British Petroleum CEO Sir John Browne set his company’s
goal of cutting CO2 output 10% below its 1990 levels; four years
later, he is halfway there (Kluger 30). International Cooperation in addressing the global warming thus influence many stakeholders who are as willing to help curb global warming.
It has been established that global warming is a looming global threat that calls for action and mitigation. Without a unified effort to address the problem, global warming cannot be easily and effectively mitigated. Thus, international cooperation is necessary because it initiates a global trend that will minimize the use of global warming substances; compels other countries to take action against global warming; and initiates awareness on global warming. The unified international effort to address the situation is best embodied by the Kyoto Protocol through which global warming can be effectively mitigated because it expedites the implementation of anti- global warming measures; necessitates the compliance of industries and countries, and initiates global cooperation to mitigate global warming.
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