Unit 6: Sustaining environmental quality
In less than one sentence, this report is about climate change. Before explaining it further I believe that to fully comprehend what climate change is we should understand its definition, I would define it as the change (negative) of climate due to the increasing levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere that comes as a result of using fossil fuels (perhaps ‘over-use’ is better suited). It includes major changes in temperature, precipitation, or wind patterns etc. that occur over a long time (Doršner, 2015 pg. 252).The Merriam Webster dictionary simply defines it as - “Changes in the Earth’s weather patterns” (Merriam Webster, n.d.)
This report particularly focuses on the risks that are in support of the decisions made towards climate change issues. It assesses a wider base of scientific, technical and socio economic literature. It is divided into three main sections (A, B, C) A, explains the observed impacts, vulnerability, and the adaptive responses. B, examines future challenges in terms of risks and the potential benefits. And C, explores the principles for effective adaption with the broader interactions among adaption, mitigation, and development that is sustainable.
The climate change vulnerabilities identified for Africa are as follows:
To be honest I was not surprised, for the fact that these are problems that the African continent has been dealing with for a long time. In the case of food security, for about 75 years children in parts of Africa have been suffering from Kwashiorkor (a disease that occurs from a malnutrition associated with protein-according to most medical professionals). In the case of droughts and water shortage, in 2015 the city of Cape Town (South Africa) started experiencing a water shortage crisis and only recently (March 2018) have the measures (reducing daily water consumption) started showing effect. With water borne diseases there have been many issues, in my doctor’s office there is a chart with methods to use for cleaning water in order to prevent cholera (e.g. adding a tablespoon of bleach- I can’t remember it’s ratio to water) or boiling water before consumption. However there are initiatives (e.g. educating people, UN relief etc.) in place to help solve these problems and or lower the risks associated with them.
The adaptation measures that have been proposed for addressing global climate change in my region include:
In my opinion the best adaption measure is reducing the non-climate stressors on our water resources. Why? Because firstly our water resources are in danger-it is estimated that for the next fifty years the demand for water will grow from 30% to 85% (Corvalan et al., 2005, pg. 8). Secondly this is a measure that we can all get involved in. The excuses people normally make, like: “I don’t understand how” or “It’s too much work, I don’t have the time” can no longer be made. Something as simple as turning off the tap when brushing your teeth, or taking shorter showers is helping in the effort to reduce non-climate stressors on our water resources and climate change as a whole. All that is required of everyone is compassion and a bit of effort.
I would lower my climate impact through my electricity usage, and I am currently lowering it through my diet. Changing my source of power would help the climate by lowering my environmental footprint. I’m currently being provided with electricity generated from coal. I would like to switch to solar power, if it wasn’t for the cost of equipment and installation I would have done so already. I used to consume protein in the form of meat, until a year ago I cut it out of my diet for a healthier lifestyle. I didn’t know this until recently, but a vegan diet of all diets has the lowest impact on the environment (OMEGA, 2014, para. 9). Omnivores can lower their impact too by reducing their meat intake, making your diet more plant based is beneficial to your health, the animals and the planet.
Climate change (n.d.). Retrieved May 17, 2018, from https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/climate%20change
Corvalan, C. Hales, S. McMichael, A. Butler, C. Campbell-Lendrum, D. Confalonieri, U….Younes, M. (2005). A Report of the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment. Retrieved from www.millenniumassessment.org/documents/document.356.aspx.pdf
Doršner, K. (2015, January 8). Essentials of Environmental Science. Retrieved from www.ck12.org
OMEGA (2014, January 24). 3 Biggest Ways to Reduce Your Environmental Impact. Retrieved from https://www.eomega.org/article/3-biggest-ways-to-reduce-your-environmental-impact
The Eco Market (n.d.). Best Dishwasher Usage Practices. Eco Friendly Dishwashers. Retrieved from http://www.the-eco-market.com/eco-friendly-dishwashers/