The following sample essay on “Climate and Sustainability of Development”: sustainable development goals for people and the planet.
What have you done recently to stop global warming? Did you know that humanity can transform the planet? “Humanity faces many threats, but none is greater than climate change. In damaging our climate, we are becoming the architects of our destruction. We have the knowledge, the tools, and the money (to solve the crisis).”-Prince Charles, U.K. Transitioning to a more sustainable lifestyle can ensure that everyone’s quality of life is enriched while preserving and restoring our planet for the future generations.
Although some people would argue that climate change is a hoax and nothing to be concerned about, the simple fact that the planet’s average surface temperature has risen by two degrees Fahrenheit since the 1900s is undeniable (Copland,2017). Sustainability development is key to the survival of humanity because the climate crisis is threatening our existence.
In the article, Sustainable development goals for people and planet, David Griggs and Mark Stafford- Smith analyze the topic of sustainable development goals and millennium development goals.
They discuss transformative steps which are needed immediately to shift the world onto a sustainable and resilient route. They argue that planetary stability will fight poverty and secure human well-being. Griggs and Smith believe that sustainable development should be modified to include the security of people and the planet. Stating that growing evidence and real-world changes strongly show that humanity is driving global environmental change and has pushed us into a new geological period- the Anthropocene.
Focusing on the transition to sustainable lifestyles will protect Earth’s life support system and poverty reduction goals such as flourishing lives and livelihoods, sustainable food security, sustainable water security, universal clean energy, healthy and productive ecosystems, and governance for sustainable societies. Ultimately, what Griggs and Smith are trying to convey through their article is that sustainability is the ability to meet the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. (United Nations World Commission on the environment and Development).
“A walk on the beach or a hike in the woods are reminders that our forests, coral reefs, and even our deserts act as examples of sustainable systems. Oxygen, nitrogen, and carbon are all regenerated and redistributed in invisible chemical cycles throughout the world’s living (and not-so-living) systems, sustaining and adapting life since it first emerged.” (Marni Evans, August 2019) Strides toward sustainable living should be a global goal. The changes needed are imperative because our choices today will permanently affect all the generations that follow. Our impact on climate change mainly comes from what we eat, how our homes and cell phones are powered, and the mode of transportation we choose. Homeowners can reduce their carbon footprints by considering solar panels and checking if their utility company offers renewable energy options and then switching over. Commuting by way of carpooling, riding a bike, or using public transportation and avoiding food waste, is the largest part of landfills, significantly lessening methane-emitting landfill material.
“Global sea levels have risen eight inches over the last century. In the last two decades alone, the rate of rising has nearly doubled. This is a direct cause of melting ice caps and increased global temperatures. If this rise continues, entire countries, such as Bangladesh, could be underwater” (Copland, 2017). I have a theory that the planet is purging itself. When a person is sick the body’s natural defense system kicks into high gear to attack the unhealthy cells. Like the human body, the planet is a living organism and we’re making it sick so it’s fighting back. Therefore, things like volcano eruptions, sinkholes, tsunamis, and earthquakes are happening more frequently. Puerto Rico has been suffering earthquakes since December 28, 2019. On January 7, 2020, an earthquake of 6.4 magnitude killed a person and damaged hundreds of homes. This is just one place in the world that the earth is fighting back other examples are the fires in Australia and volcano eruptions in New Zealand.
So many people are misinformed about the climate crisis and unfortunately, not enough are talking about it or sustainable living. Individuals like Trump have brainwashed their followers into thinking that there is nothing to worry about when in fact we only have about a decade to make real change. The planet needs a more inclusive climate policy. The time is now to start on the path to one hundred percent clean energy. We have already started to feel the impact of global warming for example we just had the warmest January on record since scientists began recording 140 years ago. The lungs of this planet have been destroyed by blazing fires, first the Amazon in Brazil and then the brush fires in Australia. I’ve noticed that the weather has drastically changed since I was a kid. Where I live, we used to have all four seasons but for the past few years it seems like we’ve lost a season and now the years are colder for longer and when it’s hot, it is hot! Global warming will impact people, wildlife, and habitats everywhere. The risk of heatwaves, floods, ice-free Arctic summers, and habitat loss increases every moment we don’t act.
In the article, Debunking the myths of climate skepticism, Alexander analyzes the topic of skepticism when it comes to climate change. He states that disbelief is an inevitable part of scientific development and constantly comes with any new scientific hypothesis. Pointing out that the global warming hypothesis represents this situation because worldwide support for it does not exist. Professor Bob Carter from James Cook University in Australia wrote an article for The Telegraph in 2006, “There IS a Problem with Global Warming…it Stopped in 1998.” Carter got his conclusions from the fact that average global temperatures hit a record high in 1998, and all following years have been cooler. In 2008, the Danish mathematician and author of Skeptical Environmentalist and Cool It, Bjørn Lomborg, wrote in The Guardian that “in the last two years the ocean’s water level has not risen.” While technically right, he misconstrued the facts. Data from any other two years reveals that ocean water levels have annually risen to 9mm. Data from the last ten years conveys a long-term average increase of about 3mm per year. While periods exist when the range of glaciated areas may exceed those of past cooler periods, climate skeptics decontextualize this information to combat climate change. Ultimately what Alexander is trying to convey in this article is the conflict between climate skepticism and the efforts in combatting climate change.
However, The Paris Agreement is the first global commitment to fight the climate crisis it was signed by 196 countries and the European Union in 2015. This agreement allows every country to set its own emission reduction goals and implement its policies for achieving them. The Paris Agreement is the best way to ensure the global cooperation needed to tackle the climate crisis. Sadly in 2017 under the Trumps administration, the United States government announced its plan to withdraw from the agreement. Fortunately, the We Are Still In movement emerged within the United States announcing it will continue to support climate action to meet the commitments of the Paris Agreement. The time to act is now because our very existence hangs in the balance.