Climate Change: Causes and Consequences

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There is no denying the fact that climate change has created multiple problems that are: deforestation which has impacted the environment in different ways; surge in population growth which is the most dangerous bomb for developing countries; burning of fossil fuels, industrialization which is considered the root cause of environmental degradation; utilization of personal transport over public transport; last but not the least, burning of fossil fuels which is the biggest cause of global warming. These causes have devastating consequences on society, including floods, melting of glaciers, natural disasters, increase in temperature, and mitigate agriculture production. These perilous situations are created by climate change. However, the situation could be controlled by better policies, usage of renewable energy, and plantation. of trees, there are possible ways to elevate the impact of climate change.

Firstly, climate change is deforestation that has created a devastating situation for human beings and animals. The forest is not only needed by human beings for oxygen but also for animals. According to the Intergovernmental Panel on climate change, approximately 12 percent of greenhouse gas emissions are due to deforestation and deforestation is considered the biggest cause of limiting global warming to 1.5 centigrade. Hence, it shows that deforestation and global warming have a great relation.

Secondly, the surge in population is another cause of climate change. It is a fact that the world population is increasing by the day. On November 15, 2020, the world population reached 8 billion Pakistan’s annual increase of 23 million people—a 25% increase in the world population is only due to Pakistan ranking 5th in the population index. Additionally, the “Population Bomb” by “Paul and Anne Elrich” painted a grim picture of environmental destruction if there is no halt to population growth. Therefore, it needs to decrease. 

Likewise, industrialization is the major indicator of affecting climate, as the persistent changes in the weather are due to and through anthropogenic activities mostly linked to industrialization. Industrialization and climate change have a great link even industry emits dangerous gases in the earth’s vast product mix in the ocean and massive level of burning fuel is dangerous for climate change. Even though Pakistanis contributed less than 1% to global warming but are more affected by the industrialization of developed countries. The World Bank stated that increasing industrialization is surging climate destruction. Industrialization ultimately leads to climate change. 

Another major cause of climate change is the utilization of personal transportation over public transport which is harmful to society, as it is the largest contributor of greenhouse gasses. According to the Inventory of United States Greenhouse Gas Emission 1992-2020, transportation has a large contribution to greenhouse gasses approximately 27%. Besides, it is also contributing to water pollution, and air pollution and directly or indirectly affects the ecosystem. The transport sector is made of transport causing 20 to 22% of global carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions. The above is proved that transportation, especially personal transportation, is contributing a huge amount to climate change.

Lastly, the burning of fossil fuels is another major cause of climate change that has created a great impact on climate change. By burning fossil fuels dangerous chemicals in the environment are absorbed as it is burned it releases an abundant amount of carbon dioxide and greenhouse gases that are dangerous for the environment. Global warming is mostly caused by emissions from fossil fuels, according to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), 89% of the world’s CO2 emissions in 2018 came from industry and fossil fuels. Global warming created by climate change is increasing world temperature by the day which caused the extreme rate of heat waves in recent years. Thus, a decrease in the burning of fossil fuels is needed for the world.

Climate change has a lot of consequences, the first consequence of climate change is the flood that many countries faced, but Pakistan was affected greatly, as the flood displaced 30 million people from their houses, and the high level of migration is seen toward a safe part of Pakistan. Food destroyed 2 million Arc of crops damaged due to flood. United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said: “Pakistan is facing a devastating situation that is an example for another country.” Moreover, the Pakistan Flood 2022 Damage Report stated that 81 districts, 33 million people, 13000+ injuries, and 4.4 million acres of land damaged, all are wrecked by the flood. Therefore, collective steps are needed to be taken to mitigate its impact. 

Furthermore, climate change added an abundant amount of contribution to melting glaciers that increased the sea level. According to research, glacier melt across the world has escalated over the past two decades accounting for 2.1% of sea level rise over the same period. Pakistan has more than say 7000 glaciers, but it is melting down by the day which is creating floods, drought, and destruction of agriculture in Pakistan. Pakistan is ranked among the top vulnerable countries to climate change. According to the global risk index Pakistan ranked among the top 10 countries. 

Likewise, national disasters like drought, forest fires, heat waves, and storms are increasing by the day. Moreover, natural disasters are not only dangerous for the environment but also for human beings as due to natural disasters many people get injured, die, or even lose their livelihood which leads to poverty. According to the United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund 280 million people are facing starvation and malnutrition due to climate change situations which created a problem for the people to nourish their children. 

In addition to this, the increase in the world temperature is proven by different reports. Al-Jazeera reported that 40 degrees Celsius temperature with a long-hour electricity shortage for the citizen—of Pakistan is facing.  South Asian Nations have been experimenting with an unanticipated heatwave— some areas reached 50 centigrade even though Pakistan is contributing less than 1% to climate change, it is affected due to other nation states: China, the United States, and India, who are at the top in contributing to the climate change. 

Finally, climate change causes a decline in agricultural production that directly affects the lives of people across the globe. According to a World Bank report 52% of agricultural production is affected due to climate change which increases malnutrition and decline in production. In addition to this, a report published on climate change and food insecurity in which it was stated that 8.9% of the global population is angry about food insecurity’s major cause is the drastic change in the climate. It is evident from the report that Pakistan faced a severe food crisis. According to the World Bank, 18% of Pakistanis are experiencing a severe food crisis, while 43% of our compatriots lack adequate food. 

To better get a consequence and be ready to create further devastating situations; the global world needed to make policy that should be clear and based on equal treatment of all countries those countries who are well developed for instance China and the United States should invest in climate change so that the impending devastating situation could be decreased not only making policy but also implementation is the best possible manner is more to be focused by policymakers.

In addition to this, the use of renewable energy is the solution for controlling climate change disasters, as only 12.5% of energy comes from a renewable source which is needed to increase so that climate change is less harmful. The Conference of Parties COP 26 and 27 focuses on the use of renewable energy sources. The developed world needs to invest in it; so that the causes and consequences of climate change could be mitigated. Henceforth, the world should be transferred to a renewable energy source to diminish climate change destruction. 

In the last, the plantation of a tree is needed, as trees provide oxygen and inhale carbon dioxide that is dangerous for the environment. Further, it also creates wildlife habitats to reduce air pollution. It reduces climate change which is one of the major problems of the world. There is one famous Quotation on trees that is: “To plant a tree is to give body and life to one’s dream of a better world.” Therefore, the plantation is needed. 

To conclude, climate change impacts every aspect of life and creates different issues which are deforestation, burning of fossil fuel, growth in population, preference for personal transportation or public and industrialization. These have diverse consequences on the lives of people, some of which are heat waves, surges in temperature, melting of glaciers, natural disasters, and a huge decline in agriculture production. To overcome these challenges the world should devise a policy in which proper steps should be taken to decrease the impact of climate change, furthermore, focus on renewable energy and increase the plantation that has a great contribution in decreasing disasters.

Inamullah Kakar
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Inamullah Kakar is a student of BS final Semester in Sociology, in Quaiid-i-Azam
University, Islamabad.

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