University of Chicago
Type of paper: Thesis/Dissertation Chapter
Climate Change, Deforestation and the Media
Various factors exist that are causing a negative impact and damaging the natural ecosystem. Various emissions from motor vehicles and different industries and chemical plants, processes like deforestation and various other activities continuously contribute to the deterioration of the well-being and livelihood of individuals and the ecosystem. Various researches conducted worldwide have detected various changes in the terrestrial ecosystems marked with the various activities propagated by the actions of human beings towards the environment (Midori, 2014, p 105). The alterations that exist have been attributed to climate change as opposed to any other types of activities and factors that may have arisen.
There are various marked causes and effects of climate change towards the natural terrestrial organisms and all the other substances that consti0tute to the natural ecosystem. For instance, different animal, plant and biomes ranges have undergone shifting. The different timings in which various organisms and plants take to perform various activities such as flowering have been altered (Maxwell, 2013, p 779). The migration of animals has also been shifted since the prediction of the climate which facilitates there movement has significantly been altered. There have been instances in which the scotching sun has led to the development of various wild fires. Moreover, various amphibians, for instance seventy-five different frog species have been driven to extinction because of the climate change.
Projections and various statistics have it that the various greenhouse emissions may lead to an overwhelming supply of various poisonous gases into the atmosphere hence altering the natural adaptive mechanisms of various organisms in the ecosystem. If the situation were left unmonitored and uncontrolled, vast areas would turn into ASALS thereby contributing to the alterations of the biochemical cycles that are experienced worldwide (Maxwell, 2011, p 779).
The aquatic ecosystems form a very functional and important role in the interrelation and existence of the global environment. Apart from playing a key and functional role in the ecological productivity and their contribution towards biodiversity, they play a very important role to the human beings. However, they face direct threats from the activities of human beings either in a direct or indirect manner. Climate change has an impact on the aquatic environment in the sense that an increase in the temperature of water significantly alters the basic ecological process facilitated by the marine life and the aquatic life species geographical distribution. The marine life may show tendencies of migration to various suitable habitants but various human activities may hinder their respective migration (Brulle et al, 2012, p 182). They may be unable to migrate thereby leading to their extinction of the various treasured species. Climate change influences the precipitation patterns. Moreover, the surface run off may have been contaminated by various gases that exist in the atmosphere thereby influencing marine life.
Agriculture forms a vital component of many economies. Agriculture is a composition of various cash crops, domestic livestock and various aquatic fish species, which are consumed or reared for commercial and consumption purposes. Climatic conditions highly influence the existence of fish and various agricultural produce. The effect of climate change on agriculture can be viewed from various dimensions since various factors exist that favor the process of agriculture while some hinder growth and production (Christensen et al, 2012, p 201). The excess existence of temperature and release of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere contribute to increase in productivity and synthesis of various crops. However, for these conditions to have a positive impact on the various crops, various other factors such as the correct soil pH, the availability of water, moisture content of the soil, and other factors must be met. Massive periods of droughts and excess floods are always a challenge to various farmers. Moreover, when the temperature of water that harbors the aquatic life becomes warmer, the fish may migrate or die hence influencing the ecosystem (Corner et al, 2012, p 470).
Crops are influenced by warm temperatures. They hasten the growth levels but reduce on the quantity of the yields produced. Moreover, an increase for carbon dioxide in the atmosphere also increases the amount of yield that is expected from a given type of crop. The growth process of crops is hindered by the existence and presence of extreme occurrences of rain and temperatures. The occurrence of drought and foods hinder crop growth since the crops become washed away and wither (Doherty et al, 2011, p 265).
Human beings are affected by the occurrence of various climate change processes. These effects vary from the influence and diverse effects of heat waves, extreme weather events, air quality and occurrences of climate-sensitive diseases. Instances of hydration and the occurrences of heat strokes are prevalent and major causative agents of weather-related ailments and deaths. The impact would be a shift in the population patterns. Weather events, which are extreme, may contribute to various challenges that may be faced by human beings (Dotson et al, 2012, p 69). For instance, there would be a general reduction of water supplies and food in various parts of the country. Various health care services and communication utilities may be interrupted. Storms and various other factors may contribute to the excess concentration of carbon monoxide gas, which is poisonous to the human life. Climate change can therefore be seen to have various diverse effects on the natural ecosystem and if not properly controlled can lead to the extinction of various life forms and species.
Mitigation of climate change
Mitigation of climate change refers to the various actions adopted with the aim of reducing the affect of the natural ecosystem.
The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change consists of a numerous enrolment of countries that have united to adopt various measures and practices to curb climate change. The principle aim of UNFCCC is to ensure the stabilization of various concentrations of atmospheric gases as a block of various human related activities that would contribute to the interference of the atmosphere (Fahey et al, 2013, p 134). Some of the main activities involve the control of emission of green house gases into the atmosphere. There was a universal consensus to the fact that the level of green house emissions should be limited to 1.5 to 2.0 degrees and below.
Governmental and intergovernmental action
Majority of the countries are adopting various policies proposed by various organizations such as the Green Belt Movement to extensively use clean technologies in their daily business operations. The mitigation process is promoted by the action that may be adopted by the various firms. Many countries aim at reducing carbon dioxide emissions into the atmosphere (Hajer et al, 2012, p 300). The government aim is to ensure reduction and minimization of emissions containing carbon into the atmosphere, the utilization of renewable energy and a boost in the efficiency of energy that is being consumed in the industry. The adverse effects of climate change are always felt greatest in nations, which have a low economic status. There exists the Commitment to Development Index, which analyses the various policies adopted to curb rising instances of emission of gases to the atmosphere. There are various activities that majority of the countries engage in that may be seen to contribute to the emission of gases in top the atmosphere. Activities such as the burning of fossil fuels and various emissions always influence the emissions. Therefore, the effective regulation of the particular emissions facilitates control of the climate change.
Various strategies have been formulated with the main aim of curbing the spread of the adverse effects of climate change. These strategies include the Kyoto protocol, which remains to be the existent international agreement with the sole purpose of curbing climate change.
These refer to policies that are aimed at reducing the extents of climate change through the effective funding from private investors and other business entities. They may also take the form of various environmental groups, which are seen to promote personal initiative when it comes to the process of fighting crime (Christensen et al, 2013, p 12). The non-governmental bodies also thrive through the encouragement of various personalities to adopt various effective means of using energy for instance the lowering of cooling usage and house heating, the effective use of renewable energy sources, minimization of exhaust fumes from vehicles through finding of means of transaction and operations that do not involve mobility with a vehicle.
Apart from the road transport, various researchers have also expressed concern about the emissions produced by the air travel (Dotson et al, 2012, p 76). Various emissions are produced by the air travel, which may influence the atmospheric balance and the resultant ecosystem. The non-governmental bodies therefore aim at finding methods and means through which the emissions can be minimized to maintain an eco balance to the environment.
Implications of climate change for sustainable development in rural areas.
Rural areas have been known to hold and be a major backbone when it comes to agricultural production. The main occupation of majority of the people who reside in these regions is farming. Majority of the climate alterations because of climate change are diverse in urban areas, which are populated by industries. Rural areas experience constant and predictable rainfall patterns (Fahey et al, 2013, p 143). However, the effect of climate change resulting from various emissions to the atmosphere can easily alter the weather and climate patterns of a vast area of land. It therefore becomes important to note the fact that the sustainable development of rural areas whose people’s livelihood is dependent on the main economic activity which is agriculture.
Rural areas are known to consist of vegetation that regulates the atmospheric gases in the atmosphere. They play an important part in balancing the ecosystem (Takahashi, 2011, p 249). Therefore, the efficient regulation of climate change may result to increase in various product output with a rise in production due to the occurrence of precipitation and adequate rainfall to facilitate growth of crops and the existence of livestock and fisheries.
Coverage of Climate Change by the Media
The media has played a pivotal and vital role in the influence of international, personal and national actions and efforts to address the issue of climate change. The mass reporting off climate change has been predominant in the United States of America and the United Kingdom. The level and extent of climate change is hugely attributed to the massive reports and collaborations with the Scientific Consensus on Climate Change. The media hit the sky during the early 2007 when featuring the Al Gore documentary and the Fourth Assessment Report on Climate change (Sheppard et al, 2012, p 235). Media reporting was also heightened in the year 2009 when the world held a conference on climate change organized by the United Nations. It was referred to as the United Nations Climate Change Conference. Consequently, another forum was referred to as the Climatic Research Unit email controversy that had been held earlier in November.
Besides the USA and the UK, various other countries have shown massive efforts in the reporting of climatic changes and sensitizing the world on better policies to be adopted to minimize the effect and extent of the climate change. Countries such as Australia, Canada, Japan, Sweden, New Zealand and India have shown particular interest in climate change and this has been made possible through the media coverage that is received (Segerberg et al, 2011, p 201).
The media has also been though t to attribute the findings of climate change to the public opinion and politics. Through the reporting, various governments have held numerous sittings with the aim of coming up with climate policies that various industries such as transport and manufacturing industries should adopt with the principle purpose of maintaining the ecosystem. The media has largely contributed towards the sensitization of the public to be able to know what happens when industrial chemicals and toxins are thrust into the sky (Olausson, 2011, p 290). For instance, a survey conducted indicates that when people were asked about the urgency of control of climate change and whether it was a problem or not, the following responses were obtained:
It is not a problem 8%
It is a future problem 14%
It is a present problem 41%
It is an immediate problem 36%
I do not know 1%
Climate change remains to be an eminent threat to the existence of natural and human beings. Campaigns by all media types and other institutions should be encouraged. The governments should come up with stringent climate change policies to curb the spread of acidic rain, drought, floods and any other extreme weather conditions (Dotson et al, 2012, p 80)
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