Global Warming and Carbon Credit, Essay Example

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Essay

Global warming is not only real but one of the greatest threats to humanity’s future. Numerous research studies and expedition reports lend credibility to the idea that global warming is indeed real. A team of American researchers discovered by utilizing nuclear submarines that the ice depth in the entire Arctic Ocean had declined by approximately forty percent over the previous forty years (Lever-Tracy, November 2007). Global warming has also been affecting global climate and seven of the ten deadliest natural disasters from 1987 to 2007 occurred over a period of seven years only between 2000 and 2006 (Berry, November 2007).

The fact that almost all of the world’s leading national science organizations unanimously believe in global warming should also silence critics. These national science academies include those from the U.S., U.K., France, Japan, and China. An expedition by British Antarctic Survey made a shocking discovery that the ice was being discharged by the Antarctic glaciers at three times the rate observed a decade earlier (Lever-Tracy). Almost all of the necessary conditions that should confirm global warming have been occurring. For example, sea-surface temperature in the Gulf of Alaska has increased by three percent over the past 30 years and hurricane frequency has also increased by about three percent over the past 150 years in the western Atlantic (Vardiman). The thinning of Arctic ice has already been mentioned above. There is a need for immediate action on global warming because it is believed that we may reach a point of no-return in a decade if we continue to emit greenhouse gases at the current rate (Lever-Tracy).

There are some solutions that have been suggested as a way of reducing carbon emissions. One of the solutions that have received ample coverage is carbon taxes. Like any other solutions, carbon taxes are not perfect and have both advantages and disadvantages. One advantage of carbon taxes will be that it will penalize those more who are responsible for higher emission rates. Thus, it will result in more accurate costing methods because companies often don’t take into account the social costs of their production activities. Another benefit may be that carbon taxes will encourage the development of cleaner technologies to replace fossil fuels technology. This is because it will improve the economic incentives for alternative technologies that may have low or zero emissions. The third benefit of carbon taxes may be more responsible behavior by the organizations. Once a price has been put on the emissions, the organizations may be more responsible in their production activities since they cannot avoid paying for social costs to the society anymore.

One of the shortcomings of this method is that it will put the organizations in countries that impose carbon taxes at a disadvantage against the competitors in countries without carbon taxes. Carbon taxes may also encourage companies to move to developing countries without carbon taxes and the result will be even higher environmental pollution in developing countries that already have weak environmental laws. The third problem with carbon taxes may be that it will put a greater burden on small organizations with fewer resources than large organizations with a greater capacity to absorb higher production costs due to economies of scale.

But shortcomings should not discourage us to try potential solutions because even a small step is better than no step at all. The magnitude of the problem such as global warming justifies any measure that could lower emissions even slightly.

 

 

References

Berry, Lynn. “Disasters.” USA, Macmillan Reference. International Encyclopedia of the Social Sciences. 2nd. Macmillan, November 2007. 463-464.

Lever-Tracy, Constance. “Global Warming.” USA, Macmillan Reference. International Encyclopedia of the Social Sciences. Ed. 2nd. Macmillan, November 2007. 327-330.

Vardiman, Larry. Evidence for Global Warming. 3 May 2012 <http://www.icr.org/article/evidence-for-global-warming/>.

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