[pic] ATENEO-REGIS MBA PROGRAM CEBU BRANCH FINAL PAPER FOR ECOMAN “THE ECONOMIC IMPACT OF CLIMATE CHANGE and GLOBAL WARMING” PRESENTED TO: ENRICO MINA, MBA PROFESSOR PRESENTED BY: MARY ANN S. TAPAYAN STUDENT Table of Contents Page I. Introduction3 II. What is Climate Change? 4 III. The Science of Climate Change and Global Warming6 IV. Impact to Economy12 Global Impact13 Impacts in Asia15 Impacts in the Philippines17 The Economics of Climate Change in the Philippines23 A challenge we can meet24 V. Practical Solutions to Global Warming25 We must act now26 What can we do? 27 VI. Conclusion31
VII. References32 I. Introduction “Treat the earth well: it was not given to you by your parents, it was loaned to you by your children. We do not inherit the Earth from our ancestors, we borrow it from our children. ” -Ancient Indian Proverb- Scientific history shows that climate changes, my question were what were new about it? In my own perspective, there were nothing to worry about the changes if it not leads to global warming, that in a span of time it will slowly destroy our ecosystem and kill hundreds, thousands and even millions of living creature on the crust of our planet.
Nowadays, the effect of climate change is quiet worrying. What made sad about it was, we, our human activities were the biggest contributing factor of this climate changes. Due to the various effects of climate changes, I will consider this issue a problem and it is not just an ordinary problem, I personally considered it the biggest problem of this generation that needs immediate attention and solution. Global warming sounded like a good idea, especially to people in Northern climes, the people in polar region.
But starting in the 1960s, scientists recognized long-range effects of climate changes, changes were generally follow in three major categories such as (1) linear increase in atmospheric temperature, (2) the changes in weather and precipitation patterns and, (3) rising of sea levels. New items were gradually added to the list, ranging from the degradation of ecosystems to threats to human health. Experts in fields from forestry to economics pitched in to assess the range of possible consequences.
It was impossible to make solid predictions given the complexity of the global system, the differences from one region to another, and the ways human society itself might try to adapt to the changes. But by the start of the 21st century, it was clear that many places were liable to suffer serious harm — some more than others. Indeed many kinds of damage were already beginning to appear. Terrorist attacked creates panic and fear to people but its effect was only localized.
But if we allow global warming to continually heating the earth surface in this industrial age due to what we called “greenhouse effect”, it will not only affects world economies and threat human lives. The possibilities were generation to come cannot enjoy this beautiful plant any more cause its surface will –gone. Cause it’s sunk underneath the water. Prevention, adaptation and mitigation of the worse scenario of global warming lies at our hand, if we join the global campaign of lessening the greenhouse gas emission and will help protecting our forest.
Let’s act now, tomorrow might be late. II. What is Climate Change? Climate change, more commonly known as global warming, is caused by the emission of heat trapping gases produced by vehicles, power plants, industrial processes and deforestation. As these gases build up, they act like a big blanket, over-heating the planet and threatening our health, our economy and our environment. It is any long-term significant change in the “average weather” that a given region experiences. Average weather may include average temperature, precipitation and wind patterns.
It involves changes in the variability or average state of the atmosphere over durations ranging from decades to millions of years. These changes can be caused by dynamic processes on Earth, external forces including variations in sunlight intensity, and more recently by human activities. Research shows that the world has now become hotter than at any time during the past 1000 years. Climate models that project future conditions show that global warming will continue if emissions of heat-trapping gases continue to increase.
See Figure 1 below, an illustration of temperature changes from past 2000 years. The world’s leading scientists suggests that without actions to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, the Earth’s surface temperature is likely to rise by 1. 0? C-6. 4C? by the end of this century. Likely outcomes are reduced water availability, more heat waves, fewer frosts, less snowfall, more storms, stronger tropical cyclones and rises of 18-59cm in sea levels. Figure 1 — Various reconstructions of temperature over the last 1000-2000 years, relative to the reference period 1961-90.
All reconstructions have been scaled to the annual, full Northern Hemisphere mean, over an overlapping period (1856-1980), using the NH instrumental record [Jones et al, 1999] for comparison, and have been smoothed on time scales of >40 years to highlight the long-term variations. The smoothed instrumental record (1856-2000) is also shown (from Mann et al. , 2003). (Source: Bradley, 2003) III. The Science of Climate Change and Global Warming “Facts are stubborn things; and whatever may be our wishes, our inclination, or the dictates of our passions, they cannot alter the he state of facts and evidence. ” -John Quincy Adams, 1767-1848- In science, it seems everything has an explanation and this include climate change. Figure 2 is a simpler illustration of greenhouse gas effect that causes the changes in climate. See Figure 2 below. Basic Science on climate change: • Projections of future climate change suggest a global temperature increase of 1 to 6°C (2 to 10°F) from 1990 to 2100. • Current scientific research shows that climate change will have major effects on precipitation, evaporation, and runoff — and ultimately on the world’s potable water supply. While the net impacts of a doubling of atmospheric CO2 concentrations on world agriculture as a whole are likely to be small, the impacts are likely to vary considerably from one country to another. • Climate change will lead to substantial sea-level rise along coastlines, due mostly to thermal expansion of the oceans. • The very real possibility exists that warming over this century will jeopardize the integrity of many terrestrial ecosystems and will pose a threat to our world’s biodiversity.
Figure 2 – Demonstrates how the atmosphere acts as a barrier, trapping a sufficient amount of solar radiation to maintain an average temperature of 15 degrees Celsius. Source: Environment Canada, The Science of Climate Change [pic] It was obvious that human activities are the main contributing factor of climate changes. Below were tables that summarized various human activities, its climate effect and the scale of importance, and another table that illustrates the projected effect of global warming in the 21st century. See Table 1 & 2 below.
Table 1 — Summary of Principal Human Activities That Can Influence Climate Change (presented as a background document against which to compare modern conditions) (Source: Schneider and Londer, 1984) |Activity |Climatic effect | Scale and importance of the effect | |Release of carbon dioxide by burning fossil |Increases the atmospheric absorption and emission|Global: potentially a major influence on climate| |fuels |of terrestrial infrared radiation (greenhouse |and biological activity. | |effect), resulting in warming of lower atmosphere| | | |and cooling of the stratosphere. | | |Release of chlorofluoromethanes, nitrous |Similar climatic effect as that of carbon dioxide|Global: potentially significant influence on | |oxide, carbon tetrachloride, carbon |since these, too, are infrared-absorbing and |climate. | |disulfide |fairly chemically stable trace gases. | |Release of particles (aerosols) from |These sunlight scattering and absorbing particles|Largely regional, since aerosols have an average| |industrial and agricultural practices |probably decrease albedo over land, causing a |lifetime of only a few days, but similar | | |warming and could increase albedo over water, |regional effects in different parts of the world| | |causing a cooling; they also change stability of |could have non-negligible net global effects; | | |lower atmosphere; net climatic effects still |stability increase may suppress convective | | |speculative. |rainfall, but particles could affect cloud | | | |properties with more far-reaching effects. | |Release of aerosols that act as condensation|Influences growth of cloud droplets and ice |Local (at most) regional influences on quantity | |and freezing nuclei |crystals; may affect amount of precipitation or |and quality of precipitation, but unknown and | | |albedo of clouds in either direction. potentially important change to earth’s heat | | | |balance if cloud albedo is altered. | |Release of heat (thermal pollution) |Warms the lower atmosphere directly. |Locally important now; could become significant | | | |regionally; could modify large-scale | | | |circulation. | |Upward transport of chlorofluoromethanes and|Photochemical reaction of their dissociation |Global but uncertain influence on climate: less | |nitrous oxide into the stratosphere |products probably reduces stratospheric ozone. total stratospheric ozone probably allows more | | | |solar radiation to reach the surface but | | | |compensates by reducing greenhouse effect as | | | |well; however, if ozone concentration decreases | | | |at high altitudes, but increases comparably at | | | |lower altitudes, this would lead to potentially | | | |very large surface warming; could cause | | | |significant biological effects from increased | | | |exposure to ultraviolet radiation if total | | | |column amount of ozone decreases. | |Release of trace gases (e. g. nitrogen |Large atmospheric heating occurs from |Local to regional at present, but could become a| |oxides, carbon monoxide, or methane) that |tropospheric ozone, which enhances both solar and|significant global climatic warming if | |increase tropospheric ozone by photochemical|greenhouse heating of lower atmosphere. |large-scale fossil fuel use leads to combustion | |reactions | |products that significantly increase | | | |tropospheric ozone levels; contact with ozone | | | |also harms some plants and people. | |Patterns of land use, e. g. urbanization, |Changes surface albedo and evaporotranspiration |Largely regional: net global climatic importance| |agriculture, overgrazing, deforestation, |and causes aerosols. |still speculative. | |etc. | | | |Release of radioactive Krypton-85 from |Increases conductivity of lower atmosphere, with |Global: importance of influence is highly | |nuclear reactors and fuel reprocessing |possible implications for earth’s electric field |speculative. | |plants |and precipitation from convective clouds. | | |Large-scale nuclear war. Could lead to very large injections of soot and |Could be global, but initially in mid-latitudes | | |dust causing transient cooling lasting from weeks|of Northern Hemisphere. Darkness from dust and | | |to months, depending on the nature of the |smoke could wipe out photosynthesis for weeks | | |exchange and on how many fires were started. |with severe effects on both natural and | | | |agricultural ecosystems of both combatant and | | | |noncombatant nations.
Transient freezing | | | |outbreaks could eliminate most warm season crops| | | |in mid-latitudes or be devastating to any | | | |vegetation in tropics or subtropics. | Table2 — Projected effects of global warming during the 21st Century (adapted from IPCC 2001b, table SPM-1). |Projected Effect |Probability estimate |Examples of Projected Impacts with high confidence of occurrence (67| | | |– 95% probability) in at least some areas | |Higher maximum temperatures, more hot days and |Very likely (90-99%) |Increased deaths and serious illness in older age groups and urban | |heat waves over nearly all land areas | |poor | | |Increased heat stress in livestock and wildlife | | | |Shift in tourist destinations | | | |Increased risk of damage to a number of crops | | | |Increased electric cooling demand and reduced energy supply | | | |reliability | |Higher minimum temperatures, fewer cold days, |Very likely (90-99%) |Decreased cold-related human morbidity and mortality | |frost days and cold waves over nearly all land | |Decreased risk of damage to a number of crops, and increased risk to| |areas | |others | | | |Extended range and activity of some pest and disease vectors | | | |Reduced heating energy demand | |More intense precipitation events |Very likely (90-99%) over|Increased flood, landslide, avalanche, and mudslide damage | | |many areas |Increased soil erosion | | | |Increased flood runoff | | | |increasing recharge of some floodplain aquifers | | | |Increased pressure on government and private flood insurance systems| | | |and disaster relief | |Increased summer drying over most mid-latitude |Likely |Decreased crop yields | |continental interiors and associated risk of |(67-90%) |Increased amage to building foundations caused by ground shrinkage | |drought | |Decreased water resource quantity and quality | | | |Increased risk of forest fire | |Increase in tropical cyclone peak wind |Likely |Increased risks to human life, risk of infectious disease epidemics | |intensities, mean and peak precipitation |(67-90%) over some areas |and many other risks | |intensities | |Increased coastal erosion and damage to coastal buildings and | | | |infrastructure | | | |Increased damage to coastal ecosystems such as coral reefs and | | | |mangroves | |Intensified droughts and floods associated with |Likely |Decreased agricultural and rangeland productivity in drought- and | |El Nino events in many different regions |(67-90%) |flood-prone regions | | | |Decreased hydropower potential in drought-prone regions | |Increased Asian summer monsoon precipitation |Likely |Increase in flood and drought magnitude and damages in temperate and| |variability |(67-90%) |tropical Asia | |Increased intensity of mid-latitude storms |Uncertain (current models|Increased risks to human life and health | | |disagree) |Increased property and infrastructure losses | | | |Increased damage to coastal ecosystems | IV. Economic Impact of Climate Change and Global Warming Climate change is affecting businesses and economies at home and to all the countries around the world. If action is not taken to curb global carbon emissions, climate change could cost between 5 and 20 percent of the annual global gross domestic product, according to a British government report.
In comparison, it would take 1 percent of GDP to lessen the most damaging effects of climate change and it could fall up to 20% if the effect of climate change were severe. In this report, I will try to describe the impacts in Global terms, in Asia and in the Philippines. Global Impact A large body of scientific studies, exhaustively reviewed, has produced a long list of possibilities. Nobody can say that any of the items on the list are certain to happen. But all the world’s climate experts, virtually without dissent, agree that the impacts listed below are more likely than not to happen. For some items, the probabilities range up to almost certain.
The following are the likely consequences of warming by a few degrees Celsius — that is, what we may expect if humanity manages to begin restraining its emissions soon, so that greenhouse gases do not rise beyond twice the pre-industrial level. Without strong action the doubling will come well before the end of this century. By 2007, many of the predicted changes were observed to be actually happening. (For details see the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) impacts report. ) 1. Most places will continue to get warmer, especially at night and in winter. The temperature change will benefit some regions, at least for a time, while harming others — for example, patterns of tourism will shift.
The warmer winters will benefit health in some areas, but globally, mortality will rise due to summer heat waves and other effects. 2. Sea levels will continue to rise. The last time the planet was 3°C warmer than now, the sea level was roughly 5 meters higher. That submerged coastlines where many millions of people now live, including cities from New York to Shanghai. The rise will probably be so gradual that later generations can simply abandon their parents’ homes, but a ruinously swift rise cannot be entirely ruled out. Meanwhile storm surges will cause emergencies. 3. Weather patterns will keep changing, probably toward an intensified water cycle with stronger floods and droughts.
Most regions that are now subject to droughts are expected to get drier (because of warming as well as less precipitation), and most wet regions will get wetter. Changes in extreme weather events are hard to predict, but in some regions storms with more intense rainfall are liable to bring worse floods. Mountain glaciers and winter snow pack will shrink, jeopardizing many water supply systems. Each of these things has already begun to happen in some regions. 4. Ecosystems will be stressed, although some managed agricultural and forestry systems will benefit, at least in the early decades of warming. Uncounted valuable species, especially in the Arctic, mountain areas, and tropical seas, must shift their ranges. Many that cannot will face extinction.
A variety of pests and tropical diseases are expected to spread to warmed regions. Each of these problems has already been observed in numerous places. 5. Increased carbon dioxide levels will affect biological systems, independent of climate change. Some crops will be fertilized, as will some invasive weeds (the balance of benefit vs. harm is uncertain). The oceans will continue to become markedly more acidic, gravely endangering coral reefs, and probably harming fisheries and other marine life. 6. There will be significant unforeseen impacts. Most of these will probably be harmful, since human and natural systems are well adapted to the present climate.
The climate systems and ecosystems are complex and only partly understood, so there is a chance that the impacts will not be as bad as predicted. There is a similar chance of impacts grievously worse than predicted. If the CO2 level keeps rising to well beyond twice the pre-industrial level along with a rise of other greenhouse gases, as must inevitably happen if we do not take strong action soon, the results will certainly be worse — probably including a radical reorganization and impoverishment of many of the ecosystems that sustain our civilization. Impact on Asia Based on IPCC’s Fourth Assessment Report (AR4), new evidence shows that climate change has started to affect many sectors in Asia.
The future changes will likely affect agriculture, thereby increasing the risk of hunger and water resource scarcity with enhanced climate variability and more rapid melting of glaciers. The marine and coastal ecosystems in Asia are likely to be affected by sea-level rise and temperature increases. Forest expansion and migration are also projected, and these exacerbate threats to biodiversity resulting from land use/cover change and population pressure in most of Asia. Future warming will adversely affect human health in Asia. Multiple stresses in Asia will be compounded further due to climate change. An enhanced hydrological cycle and an increase in area-averaged annual mean rainfall over Asia is projected.
The increase in annual and winter mean precipitation would be highest in boreal Asia; as a consequence, the annual runoff of major Siberian Rivers would increase significantly. A decrease in rainfall during summer is likely over the central parts of arid and semi-arid Asia, leading to expansion of deserts and periodic severe water stress conditions. Increased rainfall intensity, particularly during the summer monsoon, could also increase flood prone areas in temperate and tropical Asia (IPCC AR4, 2007). A study in Southeast Asia and South Pacific was conducted to detect significant changes in regional temperature and rainfall trends (Manton et. al, 2001). The analysis included a 38-year period (1961 to 1998) dataset of daily temperature and rainfall. Manton, et. l, looked at temperature and rainfall measurements for extreme events, not mean values, and tested outlier values if they were significantly different, thus, indicating climate change. The results showed significant increases in the annual number of hot days and warm nights, with significant decreases in the annual number of cool days and cold nights. In terms of rainfall patterns, the number of rain days (with at least 2 mm of rain) has decreased significantly throughout Southeast Asia and the western and central South Pacific, but increased in the north of French Polynesia, Fiji, and at some stations in Australia. However, the proportion of annual rainfall from extreme events has increased in most stations. This indicates lesser rainfall events but having greater amounts of downpour.
These changes will definitely affect countries such as the Philippines, where temperature and rainfall patterns are important variables for economic activities that include agriculture. Impact on Philippines In the IPCC AR4, there is no specific mention of how the Philippines will be impacted by climate change. In fact, the country is mentioned only once in the text. Local studies are needed to further understand climate variability and climate change impacts in the country. The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) commissioned a study executed by the Manila Observatory to establish data on the impacts of climate change on the country and identify appropriate courses of action to address the adverse effects.
The main findings, summarized below, indicate a changing environment that requires adaptive measures. Sea Level Rise One of the most discernible effects of global climate change on the Philippines will be the accelerated rise in sea level. As the oceans expand due to warming, and as mountain glaciers and polar ice melt and drain into the oceans, some islands and many coastal areas are in danger of being inundated with the rising waters. Sea-level rise due to thermal expansion is a threat to this country, given its archipelagic nature and long stretches of coastline. Rising sea levels may contaminate groundwater sources and expose communities to harsh storm surges.
The UK Climate Research Unit analysis of records in Manila and Legaspi provide evidence that the upswing started in the 1970s. Studies on sea-level rise (SLR) in the Philippines showed slight increases in values (Yanagi and Akaki, 1994). However, the data was limited to five tidal stations located in Manila Bay, Legazpi, Cebu, Jolo, and Davao. In urban centers, the impacts of sea level rise are compounded by ground subsidence sue to over-extraction of ground-water for domestic and industrial use (Rodolfo and Siringan, 2006). The projected impacts of 1 m SLR in selected areas of Luzon (Cavite, Metro Manila, and Bulacan) show vast areas being inundated, thereby affecting coastal settlements and livelihood (Perez et al. 1999).
Another study led by PAGASA estimates that a 1-meter rise by 2025 will flood over 5,000 hectares and displace more than 2 million people around Manila Bay. Sea-level rise will increase the risk of flooding and storm damage. Water logging after heavy rains may also affect infrastructure. It will also enhance the danger of ground liquefaction brought about by earthquakes and will influence shifts in tidal action in rivers and bays (Perez, 2001 in Villarin, 2001). The following are the other potential impacts of accelerated sea-level rise: • Increased frequency and intensity of storms and storm surges, causing backflows in rivers and bays. • Salt-water intrusion into surface and ground water, affecting the amount and quality of water supply; Mangroves and other habitats of benthic organisms will be greatly affected by the changes in salinity; and • High precipitation would increase run-off, move fresh water seaward, and result in low dissolved oxygen availability. The pattern of fish reproduction would be affected. Livelihood based on subsistence fishing would be put to risk. Low pressure systems could pump nutrient-rich waters from outer to middle shelves, and affect spot fish yields. Trends in Surface Temperatures The pattern of surface temperatures in the Philippines parallels the global trend over the last half-century. The length of the cold dry season has been decreasing, while that of the warm wet season has been increasing.
A regional study conducted in 2001 by Manton, et. al. highlights an observed increase in regional land and sea surface temperatures in Asia and Australia over the last 40 years. The prognosis is that there will be more hot days and warm nights with fewer cold days and nights in the coming years (Manila Observatory, 2007). Tropical Cyclones Due to the shifts in the climate patterns, there are projections for fewer typhoons in January to March while frequency will increase in July to November. Typhoons will affect Visayas and Mindanao mainly in December when sea-surface temperatures (SSTs) remain warm enough. In theory, warmer SSTs mean more frequent and stronger storms.
At present, there are no clear trends as to how global warming will change the vertical wind structure (or wind shear) which, with the distribution of moisture, influences typhoon development (Manila Observatory, 2007). Geographical Trends in Tropical Cyclones The number of tropical cyclones is observed to be increasing in the Western Pacific. In the Philippines, the rise in typhoon crossings is most pronounced over the Visayas area (Manila Observatory, 2007). It is reasonable to assume that this recent trend will continue throughout the present century. Stronger Typhoons There is very little research on the changing intensity or strength of typhoons in the Philippines. While a notable number of super typhoons have been recorded of late, a pattern of increasing typhoon intensity is not yet discernible.
What is certain is that the direct and indirect risk from typhoons, i. e. , the probability and magnitude of damage and harm due to typhoon disasters, has risen over the years. With more people living along the coasts, river banks, and landslide-prone areas, exposure to typhoon hazards is increasing. Thus, whether or not typhoon intensity increases, the number of persons at risk from such hazards continues to increase (Manila Observatory, 2007). Changes in Mean Annual Rainfall over the Philippines Predicting the many possible changes in rainfall over the country in the coming years is hampered by the dearth in research and technical capability.
While the global prognosis is a greater amount of rainfall over this region of subtropical Asia, the geographical patterns of rainfall especially within the Philippines will be difficult to ascertain and predict. Current local research has focused on detecting trends in the changes of rainfall in the historical record, with a view to using these diagnostic trends as a basis (however imperfect) to extrapolate into the near future. While the Manton study indicates a subtle historical decrease in mean annual rainfall over the country, it, likewise, notes the marked shift in its distribution. Rainfall patterns of the past 50 years show increasing rainfall over the northeastern areas, while rainfall has been decreasing over the south-central areas of Mindanao.
One significant study, for example, has shown that rainfall distribution in the island of Mindanao has important geographic differences (Villarin and Avila, 2006). This situation may or may not continue within this century but it is reasonable to assume that the pattern will not reverse itself suddenly in the coming decades. Downstream Effects of a Changing Climate: Making a Bad Situation Worse Various sectors in the Philippines will be affected by the changes in climate. In agriculture, the country is expected to experience dry days that are drier and wet days that are wetter, which may result in poorer crop production, storage, and distribution since changes in the timing and volume of rain are critical.
In addition, a CO2 rise favors crops, but weeds are more likely to proliferate simultaneously, thereby necessitating the development of new crop varieties or herbicides. Forest areas will also be affected. Moist forests will shrink and turn to dry forests (Lasco et. al, 2007). Biodiversity loss will be aggravated since global warming will raise the risk of floods, worsening degradation and species loss. Marine resources will be affected as well, since warmer waters induce coral bleaching which eventually leads to declining fish populations (Manila Observatory, 2007). Roughly 20% of total power supply in the Philippines comes from hydro-electric sources.
Changes in the patterns, volume and geographic distribution of rainfall threaten to increase and perpetuate intensified reliance on imported coal and oil. As discussed earlier, rainfall is increasing in rainfall over the Visayas and decreasing in Luzon and Mindanao. This trend points to implications on the hydropower generation of the country; since the country’s major dams are located in Luzon and Mindanao. There are also health implications due to a warmer wetter environment. Prolonged periods of high temperature and water impounding due to sudden heavy downpours serve as ideal breeding conditions for disease vectors such as Aedes and Anopheles mosquito for dengue fever and malaria.
Severe flooding on the extreme can totally re-write the contours of the land. Water shortages due to drought, salt-water intrusion, or floods will influence decision-making on investments in engineering and infrastructure. Political conflicts and civil unrest may intensify due to the impact of food and water constraints on areas already experiencing socio-economic pressures due to a historical clash of cultures. Lastly, climate-related disasters, coupled with geo-physical hazard-related disasters (such as landslides or rain-induced lahar flows), increase the risk to vulnerable populations. Thus, more displacement will result in the necessary relocation of communities and rehabilitation of the ffected areas (Manila Observatory, 2007). The Economics of Climate Change in the Philippines While the threat of climate change is long term (a 50-100 year horizon), the expected impacts on ecosystems, livelihoods, human health, and food security are enormous. Costing the impacts of climate change is a challenge because of all the uncertainties (both scientific and economic) and vast distributional issues of the actual extent of these impacts. Ironically, while the biggest contributors to global warming with the largest greenhouse gas GHG emissions are the industrialized countries, the greatest impacts of climate change will be first felt by the poorest countries of the world.
Profound economic repercussions will be accompanied by social displacement in these countries where the burden will fall disproportionately on local and impoverished communities that depend greatly on climate conditions and natural resources for their daily survival and sustenance. They also do not have enough resources to adapt to the changes global warming will bring (IPCC AR4, 2007). Studies on the actual costs of climate change adaptation and mitigation are often difficult to determine. Several economic approaches have been suggested on how to effectively cost these impacts. Although studies vary in presenting the costs of adaptation and mitigation, there is a broad consensus on implementing adaptation and mitigation activities because the cost of preventive action is relatively cheaper in the long run (Reay, 2002; Stern, 2006; IPCC AR4, 2007). A Challenge We Can Meet
Global warming doesn’t just mean balmy February days in northern climes. It also means increasingly hot days in the summer, and a host of negative impacts that are already under way and are expected to intensify in the coming decades. • More heat waves will likely increase the risk of heat-related illnesses and deaths. • Cities and towns along the nation’s major rivers will experience more severe and frequent flooding. • Some areas will likely experience more extensive and prolonged droughts. • Some of our favorite coastal and low-lying vacation areas, will be much less appealing as sea levels rise, dunes erode, and the areas become more vulnerable to coastal storms. Many families and businesses, which have made their living from fishing, farming, and tourism, could lose their livelihoods, and others who love hunting, boating, skiing, bird watching, and just relaxing near lakes, streams, and wetlands will see some of their favorite places irretrievably changed. The solutions to climate change are here and it’s time we put them to use. If we get started today we can tackle this problem and decrease the unpleasant outcomes that await us if we do nothing. The steps we need to take are common sense. And, more often than not, they will save consumers money. The cost of inaction, however, is unacceptably high. V. Practical Solution to Climate Change “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. ” Margaret Mead, 1901-1978- Mark Twain might as well have been talking about global warming when he famously remarked, “Everybody talks about the weather, but nobody ever does anything about it. ” For years we have heard so much about the causes of climate change, that we’ve missed the fact that there are simple, practical solutions that can slow this growing problem. Technologies exist today that can cut emissions of heat-trapping gases and make a real difference in the health of our planet. And these solutions will be good for our economy, reduce our dependence on foreign oil, and enhance our energy security. We Must Act Now The scientific consensus is in.
Our planet is warming, and we are helping make it happen by adding more heat-trapping gases, primarily carbon dioxide (CO2), to the atmosphere. The burning of fossil fuel (oil, coal, and natural gas) alone accounts for about 75 percent of annual CO2 emissions from human activities. Deforestation—the cutting and burning of forests that trap and store carbon—accounts for about another 20 percent. Procrastination is not an option. Scientists agree that if we wait 10, 20, or 50 years, the problem will be much more difficult to address and the consequences for us will be that much more serious. We’re treating our atmosphere like we once did our rivers. We used to dump waste thoughtlessly into our waterways, believing that they were infinite in their capacity to hold rubbish.
But when entire fisheries were poisoned and rivers began to catch fire, we realized what a horrible mistake that was. Our atmosphere has limits too. CO2 remains in the atmosphere for about 100 years. The longer we keep polluting, the longer it will take to recover and the more irreversible damage will be done. Common Sense Solutions Fuel-efficient vehicles. Renewable energy. Protecting threatened forests. These common sense solutions won’t only reduce global warming; many will save us money and create new business opportunities. Best of all, these solutions exist now. We just need to insist that business and government take the necessary steps to make them available and affordable.
Then we have to let consumers know what to do and provide incentives to help all of us make better choices. What can we do? Ten Personal Solutions Individual choices can have an impact on global climate change. Reducing your family’s heat-trapping emissions does not mean forgoing modern conveniences; it means making smart choices and using energy-efficient products, which may require an additional investment up front, but often pay you back in energy savings within a couple of years. 1. The car you drive: the most important personal climate decision. When you buy your next car, look for the one with the best fuel economy in its class. Each gallon of gas you use is responsible for 25 pounds of heat-trapping gases in the atmosphere.
Better gas mileage not only reduces global warming, but will also save you thousands of dollars at the pump over the life of the vehicle. Compare the fuel economy of the cars you’re considering and look for new technologies like hybrid engines. 2. Choose Clean Power. None of us can live without electricity, but in some states in the United States, you can switch to electricity companies that provide 50 to 100 percent renewable energy. I think in the Philippines it is not applicable cause we can’t chose electricity provider. 3. Look for Energy Star. When it comes time to replace appliances, look for the Energy Star label on new appliances (refrigerators, freezers, furnaces, air conditioners, and water heaters use the most energy).
These items may cost a bit more initially, but the energy savings will pay back the extra investment within a couple of years. Household energy savings really can make a difference: If each household in the United States replaced its existing appliances with the most efficient models available, we would save $15 billion in energy costs and eliminate 175 million tons of heat-trapping gases. 4. Unplug a freezer. One of the quickest ways to reduce your global warming impact is to unplug the extra refrigerator or freezer you rarely use (except when you need it for holidays and parties). This can reduce the typical family’s carbon dioxide emissions by nearly 10 percent. 5. Get a home energy audit. Take advantage of the free home energy audits offered by many utilities.
Simple measures, such as installing a programmable thermostat to replace your old dial unit or sealing and insulating heating and cooling ducts, can each reduce a typical family’s carbon dioxide emissions by about 5 percent. 6. Light bulbs matter. If every household in the United States replaced one regular light bulb with an energy-saving model, we could reduce global warming pollution by more than 90 billion pounds over the life of the bulbs; the same as taking 6. 3 million cars off the road. So, replace your incandescent bulbs with more efficient compact fluorescents, which now come in all shapes and sizes. You’ll be doing your share to cut back on heat-trapping pollution and you’ll save money on your electric bills and light bulbs. 7. Think before you drive.
If you own more than one vehicle, use the less fuel-efficient one only when you can fill it with passengers. Driving a full minivan may be kinder to the environment than two midsize cars. Whenever possible, join a carpool or take mass transit. 8. Buy good wood. When buying wood products, check for labels that indicate the source of the timber. Supporting forests that are managed in a sustainable fashion makes sense for biodiversity, and it may make sense for the climate too. Forests that are well managed are more likely to store carbon effectively because more trees are left standing and carbon-storing soils are less disturbed. 9. Plant a tree. You can also make a difference in your own backyard.
Get a group in your neighborhood together and contact your local arborist or urban forester about planting trees on private property and public land. In addition to storing carbon, trees planted in and around urban areas and residences can provide much-needed shade in the summer, reducing energy bills and fossil fuel use. 10. Let policymakers know you are concerned about global warming. Our elected officials and business leaders need to hear from concerned citizens. “Don’t asked what government can do to you, but asked yourself what you can do to the government. ” VI. Conclusion “The main hope of a nation lies in the proper education of its youth, “ -Desiderius Erasmus, 1466-1536-
This report was based on gathered facts and evidences, and was known to all countries, we will not act independently to solve this problem but as one global community, after all we live in same planet –our mother earth. In my own opinion the best way to help solve the problem is through education and practice. Practice will always start at home –by us. In conclusion, though climate change is a huge problem but a long-term collectively small act of lessening greenhouse gas emission will definitely help make our planet a better place to live. VII. References www. obsevatory. ph www. ask. com www. wikipedia. com www. greenpeace. org www. climatechange. net www. climatechange. com http://www. aip. org/history/climate/impacts. htm http://www. pewclimate. org/node/1081 http://www. ucsusa. org