Climate Change and Policy Development
The subject of climate change has been the topic of discussions across the world for many reasons. With the occurrence of the phenomenon, various impacts such as increased rate of adverse climatic events such as floods have been identified. Other effects associated with climate change include changing precipitation patterns, retreat f glaciers and rise in sea level. Despite efforts to mitigate the impacts of climate change, it is predicted that the constant rise in global temperatures will take place over decades and the effects are also long term. One of the main impacts associated with climate change with regards to human life is the agricultural production patterns.
Changes in climatic conditions have led to adverse changes in the agricultural sector such as reduced production of various cereals (Hulme, 2009). Human activities such as industrialization and subsequent release of greenhouse gases have been linked to climate change. However, contrary to expectations, the impacts of climate change are more severe in the developing countries than in the developed and more industrialized countries. This is cited to be probably due to resource scarcity and ineffective adaptation measures among other factors.
The adaptation measures taken by various countries are all aimed at reducing the impacts of climate change particularly to enhance food security. In the agricultural sector, measures are taken to curb the impacts of climate change and thus maintain food security (Seinfeld & Pandis, 2012). Climate change is linked to various impacts in human life. For instance, the constant increase in atmospheric temperatures is linked to increased air pollution which leads to respiratory diseases among humans.
Other impacts on health include increased occurrence of water borne diseases. Ultimately, such effects lead to the loss of productivity and subsequently reduced financial freedom. Additionally, losses in agricultural productivity, occurrence of adverse climatic events such as cyclones have also become the norm due to climate change. Because of the adverse climatic events, transportation systems are destroyed or limited in various ways leading to down time and subsequently financial losses (Stern, 2007).
In the tourism industry, the impacts felt are also negative. This leads to reduced tourist attraction levels, increased risk of revenue loss and destruction of property. The adverse climatic conditions are also linked to the negative impacts on tourism since activities such as skiing cannot take place due to the unfavorable conditions on the sea. Additionally, the flora and fauna in various aquatic environments are also impacted negatively through biodiversity loss as they are incapable of adapting to change at the same rate that the change is occurring. The habitat of the plants and animals is also increasingly being affected by climate change, increasing the potential for depletion.
In the agricultural sector, food production not only reduces due to the climatic conditions but also due to the increase in pest populations since the warm climate favors pest breeding. If the plants and animals are to survive, adaptation to the changing conditions would be the only viable option. However, they are also limited by the speed of adaptation.
Reducing the impacts of climate change requires the input of individuals, countries, societies and various communities. This will involve great policy changes towards practices that limit the release of greenhouse gases. Focusing on issues such as technological advancements, urbanization and scientific breakthroughs can help reduce the rate of climate change as well as mitigating the impacts of the same. Decisions made in the present day can determine whether there are future opportunities for the alleviation of greenhouse gas emissions (Shove, 2010). While setting climate change prevention programs, policy makers should take into consideration the need for protection of human life. The process will require an evaluation of various risks and returns that can be associated with each of the programs.
Hulme, M. (2009). Why we disagree about climate change: understanding controversy, inaction and opportunity. UK: Cambridge
Seinfeld, J. H., & Pandis, S. N. (2012). Atmospheric chemistry and physics: from air pollution to climate change. Hoboken: John Wiley & Sons.
Shove, E. (2010). Beyond the ABC: climate change policy and theories of social change. Environment and planning. A, 42(6), 1273.
Stern, N. N. H. (Ed.). (2007). The economics of climate change: the Stern review. London: Cambridge University Press.
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