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Climate Change and Mitigation Approaches

Introduction

Climate change is an important modern issue, which requires worldwide attention and common efforts. There are three main approaches to minimize the negative effects of climate change, including mitigation, adaptation and activation. Activation represents actions that contribute to broader acknowledgement of the issue and encourage both individuals and social groups to participate in its solvation. The adaptation approach implies that there already are some inevitable climate change consequences, which require specific actions to be taken in order to reduce possible harm. Mitigation may be considered to be the most important of these approaches as it directly contributes to the reduction of environmental problems.

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As humanity produces significant amounts of pollution and particularly air pollution leading to climate instability, actions should be taken in order to reduce these harmful emissions. To develop a proper way to solve the problem it is crucial to understand that climate change is not caused by the heat produced by factories and power plants but by the damage dealt to the atmosphere. If there was no proper atmosphere, the sun would burn the planet, hence it is important to focus attention on any emissions, which destroy the air layer. The ultimate decision would be to reduce the production of carbon dioxide as much as possible. However, it may be necessary to divide the solution into concrete steps to achieve the goal. The first solution is to reduce the existing emissions by carbon dioxide capture technologies and filters. The second solution involves the broader use of renewable resources in power production. Another option is to use electric motors as an alternative to internal combustion engines.

Mitigation as an Approach to Climate Change

To prevent further climate change, it is necessary to decrease carbon dioxide emissions to a certain level. However, the sectors, which produce the most greenhouse gas emissions, are not flexible enough to reduce the amount of production to acceptable levels (Freeman, 2019). If it is not possible to decrease air pollution by directly lowering production, technology may be used to achieve the same goal. Carbon dioxide capture and storage technologies may be able to remove approximately ninety percent of greenhouse gases from the atmosphere (D’Aprile, 2016). Therefore, the technology is effective enough to be widely applied. Reduction of greenhouse effects may contribute to climate stability and prevent further increase in temperatures. Nevertheless, there are some problems related to the technology, which should be considered. First, the technology requires worldwide implementation, which may contain some significant difficulties caused by political and economic issues. Second, the installation of filters and capture devices may be costly and unattractive for businesses. For the mentioned reason, it is important to enforce these projects by legislation.

Over the last century, humanity mainly relied on energy produced by burning fossil fuels (Jones & Mayfield, 2016). As technology develops, it may also be possible to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by using alternative energy sources. The primary alternative sources of energy are wind, solar, hydro, and nuclear power. These types of power do not produce greenhouse gas emissions, and their usage may prevent a climate crisis. Even though, for example, nuclear power may appear to represent another significant environmental danger, in reality, it is safe enough and may be highly effective as it does not depend on weather conditions. There are also some economic reasons for the transition to fossil fuels. Oil reservoirs are limited, and use of alternative sources of energy may prevent economic crisis in the future (Guerrero, 2018).

As already mentioned, some of these alternative sources may also have some environmental issues that should be considered. Hydroelectric power plants, for example, may cause damage to the ecosystem, solar and wind energy may contain some other matters, which are not yet discovered. In many cases, costs and potential positive impacts of such projects are wrongly evaluated, which leads to both environmental and economic problems. Therefore the field should be thoroughly studied in order to provide eco-friendly and economically effective alternatives. However, alternative energy sources may be the only viable option to reduce the dependence on fossil fuels. Significant financial support should be aimed at both technological development and implementation of such energy sources as solar, wind, tidal, hydropower, and nuclear power. Technological improvement may allow these alternatives to become not only ecologically but economically competitive.

Wide usage of electric vehicles is another option to reduce the emissions of carbon dioxide. The industry made a significant technological and economic leap during the last decade (Barkenbus, 2017). Nevertheless, numerous predictions of electric vehicles considerably replacing traditional cars did not fulfill. Tesla Energy and Tesla Motors may seem to be the most successful representatives of the sector as they introduced their first mass-produced electric cars in 2008 and dramatically expanded since then (Naimoli & Tsafos, 2020). Despite that, even Tesla, with almost 30% of the electric vehicle market share, holds less than a quarter of a percent of the global car market. There are several reasons why electric vehicles did not manage to replace combustion engine vehicles. First, they are technologically behind and do not provide the same technical characteristics, particularly travel distance. Second, electric vehicles are relatively expensive and not globally affordable. Finally, there is no proper infrastructure for such vehicles in most countries yet. Even though there is sufficient demand for electric vehicles in the U.S., it is not the same abroad. Since carbon dioxide emissions are a worldwide issue, it is crucial to bring up the problem of combustion engines on international levels.

There are some possible ways to encourage electric vehicle usage. Tax benefits may be introduced for users, as these vehicles are less harmful to the environment, production may also be supported by legislation and grants. The issue should be covered by the media in order to increase the demand for eco-friendly vehicles. Another aspect of the solution is related to public transport. The introduction of electric trucks and buses may significantly reduce global warming emissions (Heffling & O’Dea, 2018). Moreover, government purchases in the sector may increase production rates and economies of scale, leading to lower prices and higher availability of electric vehicles.

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Conclusion

Climate change is an emerging issue, which may cause irreparable damage not only to humanity but to the planet itself. Preventing further problems and adapting to current difficulties related to the environmental crisis is the responsibility of society. As greenhouse gases are the main cause of climate change, the reduction of such emissions should become the priority concern on governmental and international levels. There is a list of effective methods, which may contribute to the solvation of the environmental problem. The introduction of carbon dioxide capture technologies may decrease its concentrations in the air. The use of alternative energy sources might both decrease fossil fuel combustion and prevent a possible oil crisis. Replacement of combustion engine vehicles with electric cars may also lower greenhouse gas emissions. Conclusively, global acknowledgment of the issue and systematic fulfillment of presented solutions may prevent the climate catastrophe.

References

Barkenbus, J. (2017). Electric Vehicles: Climate Saviors, or Not? Issues in Science and Technology, 33(2), 55-59.

D’Aprile, A. (2016). Advances and Slowdowns in Carbon Capture and Storage Technology Development. SSRN Electronic Journal. Web.

Freeman, M. (2019). Can Technology Innovation save us from Climate Change? Journal of International Affairs, 73(1), 171-182. Web.

Gillingham, K., & Stock, J. H. (2018). The cost of reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Journal of Economic Perspectives, 32(4), 53-72.

Guerrero, D. (2018). The Limits of Capitalist Solutions to the Climate Crisis. In Satgar V. (Ed.), The Climate Crisis: South African and Global Democratic Eco-Socialist Alternatives (pp. 30-46). Johannesburg: Wits University Press. Web.

Heffling, E., & O’Dea, J. (2018). Union of Concerned Scientists.

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Jones, C., & Mayfield, S. (2016). Methods for Reducing Our Fossil Fuel Usage: Renewable Energy Sources and Uses. In Our Energy Future: Introduction to Renewable Energy and Biofuels (pp. 41-58). Oakland, California: University of California Press.

Naimoli, S., & Tsafos, N. (2020). Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS).

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