Global Warming Is Real, But What Can We Do About It?

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Fortunately for all of us, global warming is winning the policy debate, but we still need to convert it into workable solutions to save this earth from our own reckless acts. The good news is that scientific breakthroughs have placed us in a position to wage a successful war against factors that have brought us where we are today, with the vagaries of weather that seem to be the order of the day. In this discourse, I will chronicle advances in cooling our earth from self-annihilation.

Climate change encompasses rising average temperatures, extreme weather events, shifting wildlife populations and habitats, rising seas, and a range of other impacts. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), which synthesizes the scientific consensus on the issue, has set a goal of keeping warming under 2°C (3.6°F) and pursuing an even lower warming cap of 1.5 °C (2.7 °F).

However, according to the Climate Action Tracker, no country has created policies that will keep the world below 1.5 °C. Current emissions have the world on track to warm 2.8°C by the end of this century.

The costs cause part of the inertia for global collective actions against global warming and who should ultimately bear it. We seem bogged down by corporate greed and the associated invasive politics that global residents find it difficult to accept that we may need to tighten our belts to make strides towards a goal of capping temperatures to 1.5°C annually. The war against Climate change may require multidimensional solutions that attack the problem from all angles.

New technologies are Certainly Welcomed!

New technologies are needed in the driving and manufacturing sectors to reduce carbon footprints and help save the planet. A project to produce hydrogen to power zero-emission fuel cells and for transportation and electricity is underway.

The World is also working to muster a combination of renewable energy sources such as wind, solar, water and other sources. New technological developments may lead to improved battery storage, a smarter electronic grid, and inhaling carbon dioxide from power plants and reserving it underground or converting it into precious products such as gasoline.

Read Related:  Adaptation Funding amidst the growing Climate Crisis

Nuclear power may need to resolve worries over safety, water consumption and neutralisation of toxic waste before aligning with solving many global warming sources. One basic point about the beauty of nuclear plants is that they do not directly exhale air pollution while operating.

Carbon dioxide extraction from the atmosphere is another challenge on the horizon. As much as we are obsessed with pinching greenhouse gases, inhaling carbon dioxide from the atmosphere may be more effective and efficient. This field of science that may lead to an onslaught is geoengineering, which meddles with Earth’s natural systems. However, it has attracted plenty of controversies lately over approaches to muzzling climate change.

Another type of geoengineering involves blocking direct sunlight from reaching the Earth by spraying sunlight-reflecting aerosol into the air or deploying a giant space mirror to stop sun rays from reaching the Earth. However, most experts in the field raise red flags that little is known of the consequences of applying these novel scientific approaches.

Repairing the Earth is Also Within Reach!

Denudation can be addressed by aggressive tree, seagrass, and agricultural vegetative cover crop planting. Such a reversal of man-made actions may lead to carbon dioxide absorption at a much faster rate.

While the Amazon rainforest is a natural reservoir of the Earth’s carbon, human activities have contributed to global warming. Negative human activities include deforestation to clear arable land and harvesting trees for wood makers. Clearing land reduces the number of trees that could have been storing carbon, and burning forests releases tons of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, contributing significantly to global warming.

Restoring and protecting nature may provide as much as 37% of the climate mitigation needed to reach the Paris Agreement’s 2030 targets. Protecting these ecosystems can also benefit biodiversity, providing a win-win for nature.

Also, read: Carbon Trading Symphony: Tanzania and UAE Dance Towards Green Prosperity

Communities have learnt the hard way the ramifications of global warming, which are seen in the form of higher temperatures, destructive precipitation leading to floods, soil erosion, landslides, and rising sea levels. The impacts of global warming are also seen in the destruction of properties, and of curious interest, renewable energy investments have come under attack.

From twisted and uprooted windmills, washed and destroyed solar panels, overflooded or water-scarce nuclear plants, and other calamities caused by strong winds, heavy rainfall, and landslides have negated efforts to contain global warming. However, such challenges have taught us to innovate and develop better designs to cope with challenges initiated by adverse weather conditions.

While most focus is on infrastructural investments, changing habits may also reduce the demand for products that generate too much carbon dioxide and assist in preserving our earth. Walking, running and cycling more than driving may dent carbon dioxide production. The number of livestock that generates methane that adds to global warming may also be on the cards. Less meat eating without evaluating the mitigating alternatives may be counterproductive.

Overall, the world knows where the problem is and is more consensus today than it was a few decades ago, feeding us with optimism that, over time, we shall ensure the future of this earth is very much in our hands.

The author is a Development Administration specialist in Tanzania with over 30 years of practical experience, and has been penning down a number of articles in local printing and digital newspapers for some time now.

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