The Global Climate Change created by present and past human activities poses a major ethical threat to ecosystem integrity, biodiversity, life and to the human welfare. Climate change is caused as a result of Global Warming which is increasing a typical temperature degree and it entails a lot such as; a durable period of changes in high tide levels, ocean acidity, ocean salinity, extreme weather events, wind patterns, heavy precipitation, droughts, magnitude of tropical cyclones and heavy waves which confront humanity with serious consequences. It will therefore be essential to create a sound and in-depth scientific knowledge of the methods through which climate change unfolds and on the essence of this understanding, to reduce its intensity as far as possible as well as adjusting to its changes.
Climate change presents us with various sets of challenges with respect to ethics. While there are various significant ethical values that we can describe to in our reasons to react to climate change and while these values are encouraged through certain ethical values; it is not apparent on how we should apply this principle and values when the attempt to devise obligations to foresee and seek understanding as well as adapt and present the climate change. We tend to be doubtful in respect to how to act on the understanding that there is an unpremeditated connection between climate change and human action. And we are doubtful of how to relate to those extremely susceptible to climate change as clear from those who distinctly contribute to climate change. The probabilities involve ambiguity in respect to the ethical repercussions of World Climate Change. A good understanding will occur when we first view what we are aware about the harms that world climate change already presents to the welfare of presently dwelling individuals and in the future and secondly some of the attributes in respect to World Climate change.
Climate Change does not only entail a maximizing average temperature on earth but also a durable change in weather patterns and precipitation. These tendencies are already obvious in intense weather important incidents which entail flooding in some parts of the globe as well as drought in other areas or alternating droughts and floods in the same part of the globe including a rise in the frequency and the intensity of hurricanes, tornadoes and also typhoons. Also directly connected with world climate change are increasing sea levels as a result of two processes: first; the dissolving of the polar land glaciers and ice maximizes the extent of water level; secondly, water increases as it warms.
Also, the appropriate climate models presently available determines these alterations under the appropriate case instances and despite all of the mitigation motives will directly affect several millions of individual within the next hundred years and no one on the planet will avoid the implications of climate change. In the absence of vigorous attempt in the next fifty years, these effects may actually occur much sooner and affect more individuals than presently anticipated and planned for.
The individuals most extremely susceptible to the direct implications of world climate change are those occupying in regions inclined to flooding such as large river –deltas, low lying islands and certain coastal regions including those dwelling in the Arctic where traditional ways of life and livelihoods are disrupted by the summer loss of polar sea ice. Also extremely susceptible are those individuals dwelling in semi arid or arid areas that will be or are already victims of prolonged period of dry weather (droughts) –such as those dwelling in some parts of South America, South Asia and Africa. As the heat waves in Europe in 2003 as well as Asia and Europe in 2005 emphasized; other vulnerable groups are the children and elderly as Children are at a severe risk of angina and cold; Elderly individuals suffer from heat which results to serious blood pressure and heart challenges. The consequences are worst for the poor whether rural or urban who have no ways of adapting or avoiding rapid climate changes. A less properly defined group is the various victims of serious weather conditions such as flooding, land storms such as hurricanes, tornadoes and typhoons. Another classification of possible victims are those who will be primarily vulnerable to infectious diseases as a result of shifts or changes in the variety of disease vectors as a result of increasing average of temperatures
Also, Global Climate Change will and does not affect human solely but will also reduce the integrity and flourishing of the biosphere in general. This entails minimal resilient organisms and their environments (ecosystems), a reduction in biodiversity and suffering of various animals; wild as well as domestic. There is a close relationship between welfares of animals and humans as visibly shown by the consequences of ocean acidification on fish, coral reefs and the livelihoods of individuals dwelling in the tropical coastal islands and regions. Individuals on these regions are majorly dependent on fish or aquatic animals for their protein. Coral animals require calcium carbonate to construct their shells but more acidic oceans make this chemically much more challenging. Loss of ridge of coral in ocean (coral reef) which acts as a base and nursery of the food chain for various fish species will therefore have a direct effect on the livelihoods and the lives of various people in these areas.
The decision of vulnerability entailing a number of popular issues entails the following below:
- Threats to the property, wealth, livelihoods as well as food security of people and traditional livelihoods exposed to climate change situations such as melting ice, the loss of coral reefs, prolonged storms, regular floods and frequent storms.
- Threats to the dignity or worthiness of individuals who become victims of climate change
- Threats to the lives of animals, individuals as well as plants dwelling on large river deltas, small islands, or other low lying regions
- Threats to the global, regional and local ecosystems
- Threats to the health status of animals, individuals and plants that become exposed to disease vectors that have migrated in varieties due to the changes in climate
- Threats to the economic and political stability in states most especially vulnerable to the pessimistic effects of climate change.
- Threats to the possible mass exit by climate change refugees most especially in respect to the prompt irreversible suppression of dwelled land
- Possible threats to the global economy and to the world order
- Threats to cultural heritage most especially to the traditional means of living or to architectural master pieces of different kinds most especially in the scenario of instant irreversible submergence of dwelled land
- Possible undermined and unstable health portfolio nations or of the economy receiving a huge numbers of refugees
In conclusion, it is vivid that Global Climate Change results to the present and distinct threat to the welfare of the community of life on earth which entail Non human life and also to the cultural and social dimensions of human existence. However, while it is necessary that climate change deserves a focused ethical intervention and consideration; vulnerability is not properly understood and must be worked upon. It is also vivid to create the basis of a systematic analysis of differential vulnerability and a long term approach as well as an adequate approach to disaster adaptation and relief
There exist a number of already accepted and shared objectives in the INTERNATIONAL ENVIRONMENT that could also be drawn upon to create elements of value basis in respects to the ethics of climate change. No précised evaluation of each of them will be provided here neither will there be instances of precise application to climate change. The list of the necessary principles entails the following:
- The principle of differentiated and common responsibilities
- The precautionary principle
- The principle of safeguarding human rights
- The principle of promoting and safeguarding the interests of future and present generations
- The principle that the costs or expenses of pollution should be bear by the polluter
- The principle of equal access to scientific, medical and technological developments including the major possible channel and the rapid dissemination of knowledge in respect to necessary developments and the dissemination of beliefs with serious attention to the demands of the developing nations
- The principle of sustainability particularly in respect to development
Also; the various principles in different INTERNATIONAL DOCUMENTS are also greatly significant to reacting to the ethical challenges in respect to climate challenges which are:
- The right to liberty, life and personal security
- An international and social order in which the freedom and rights presented in the Universal Declaration of human Rights (UDHR) can be completely be attained
- The right to a standard of living necessary for the welfare and health status of individuals including clothing, medical care, food and housing
- The Universal Rights and Freedom to disseminate the benefits of scientific achievement (which may entail as correlative task to share scientific resources, capacity or data)