Climate Change 101

International organizations, such as the United Nations (UN), have attempted to address the complex issue of climate change.  The UN has dedicated a vast amount of resources over the past 30 years to advance climate change knowledge. 

Extensive research by the UN as well as hundreds of other organizations has indicated that humans are responsible for generating excessive levels of Greenhouse Gases (GHG) such as carbon dioxide.

The theory of climate change is boiled down into a few sentences: Human activity is leading to increasing levels of GHG emissions from a wide variety of sources (e.g. utilizing fossil fuels for automobiles and electricity) which are difficult for the earth to adequately absorb through its natural cycles.

GHGs that are not absorbed remain in the atmosphere, which in turn create erratic, but severe, changes in weather patterns such as temperature increases in the arctic region.

In theory, excessive amounts of GHGs will alter the Earth’s ecosystems leading to events such as the extinction of various plant and animal species and the rise in sea levels. 

If the theory is correct then climate change poses significant challenges for humanity.

In order to avoid some of the catastrophic effects of climate change such as extinction, natural disasters and mass migration, scientists and economists agree on the need to drastically reduce man-made GHG emissions.

These reductions will require significant investment and often the countries most at risk of climate change impact are ill equipped to make these investments.

Hence, there is a need to have varied and differentiated responsibility across the world’s nations to reduce emissions; meaning that richer countries which have benefited from the use of fossil fuels should carry a greater burden than developing countries which do not have the resources to invest in tackling climate change.  

How do we tackle climate change? Every green business has a different approach – whether it is a fuel-efficient automobile, a longer lasting light bulb or renewable energy.  The task is to create a compelling service or product that people want to use that addresses a particular ‘green’ issue. It may not be climate change – perhaps its water quality, endangered species, protected forests and parks? Pick your passion and help make the impact you want. But, start with understanding the issue so that you can educate others.