There may be different opinions regarding global warming, its causes and its impact on ecology. However, there is a crucial issue that should be considered in the most careful manner – the influence of global warming on global community. This essay highlights some present and future consequences global warming will have for the nations and societies of the world.
Although ecologists constantly urge governments to decrease the amounts of CO2 emissions, some major scholars claim that these measures are belated, and that humanity has already lost the first part of its battle against global warming. The Kyoto protocol, according to one of its opponents, “did not do anything important” regarding climate change. After this protocol was signed, global carbon dioxide emission increased to the very same extent to which it was expected to decrease. Under such circumstances, the most desperate attempts of future generations to prevent drastic changes in ecology, water resources, and agrarian production may lead to no result.
The old world, the one humanity has known for the last 12 thousand years, ceased to exist. This verdict was attained by the Stratigraphy Commission of the Geological Society of London. Founded in 1807, the Society is the oldest geological association in the world. According to its 2008 report, The Antropocene age, e.g. the age of industrialization and urbanization, has replaced The Holocene – the stable climate era that made possible the existence of human civilization as we know it. Except for accumulation of greenhouse gases, the Antropocene era is characterized by the transformation of landscape by humans, dangerous oceans’ oxidation, and the disappearance of biodiversity. But the most significant feature of this era is its tendency towards temperature increase. In a world where annual temperatures are higher, social and economic inequities will lead to the situation where rich countries of Northern hemisphere that emit most of the dioxide will not have any reasons to share their adaptation resources with poor subtropical countries, in spite of the fact that the latter are the most vulnerable in terms of draughts and desert invasion.
The social prognoses appear to be favoring some societies more than the others, too. Global warming is directly linked to deforestation and lack of important natural resources, which, in turn, leads to loss of huge territories suitable for human life.
One of the most detailed researches of possible influence of global warming on the agriculture in tropical forests was made by William Cline. Even in the most optimistic of Cline’s models, the agricultural lands of Pakistan and India will be deserted almost entirely, same as Middle East, Magrib, and South Africa. Twenty-nine of developing countries will lose 20% or more of their current farm production due to global warming, whereas agriculture of the Northern hemisphere countries will receive 8% more income.
These consequences of loss of agricultural production in the world sound even more dramatic in the light of United Nation’s warning that in order to keep the population of the Earth from hunger in the middle of the century, the production of food should be doubled. The crisis of nutrition affordance, which worsened due to biological fuel boom, is just a premise of the chaos that can result from the mixture of depleted resources, inequality, and climate change.
Therefore, climate changes do endanger the existence of human race; however, they will have different effect on the world’s regions and social classes. U. Srinivasan argues that the global warming and related processes will mostly affect the poorest countries that do not have sufficient resources for adaptation. There is a dramatic disruption between those who produce the greatest amounts of dioxide and those who have to bear the consequences. Due to this fact, the UN Development program admits that global warming endangers those who are not born or too poor – the two groups with the least political influence.
Yet the cause of global warming may as well give humanity the key to solve its consequence. The only remaining option is overcoming borders between the privileged and non-privileged countries and the widest cooperation on the international level, not only in ecological, but also in social and economic terms. However, there is a danger of seclusion and separation of “elite” groups from the rest of the world’s population. The key question is whether the governments and citizens will be able to refuse from a part of their comfort and well-being, or whether they will create a fence to separate themselves from the rest of the devastated planet.
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Taking everything into consideration, the crucial danger of global warming is not the ecology, but human solidarity as such. The world’s adaptation to climate change is going to involve investments into the infrastructure of cities and villages in the world’s poorest countries, as well as massive migration from the countries affected by global warming. These factors will result in the need for mobilization of all the economic and political resources in order to ensure that these processes will be going on peacefully and efficiently. Thus, the world’s leaders should reconsider their policies in order to take the full responsibility and to cooperate for the sake of peace. Only coherent actions of all countries and all people on Earth can ensure further existence of human race: even if global warming cannot kill us, egoism and greed definitely can.