Accordingto the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), globalwarming is the tremendous increase in temperature of the earth’ssurface around the world. Global warming is mainly caused by climatechange, and this term can be described as the modification of theweather patterns of a particular location (Watanabe, 1). Risinglevels of carbon dioxide, methane and other greenhouse gasses lead toclimate change in a process known as the ‘greenhouse effect.` Thesegasses are produced from various human activities like in theindustrial sector and transport sector where most activities involvedthe massive burning of fossil fuels such as natural oil and coal andin the agricultural sector as a result of deforestation. Thesegreenhouse gasses trap the sun`s heat and prevent it from beingreleased back into space. Thus the earth`s temperatures increaseleading to this problem known as global warming. It is important toaddress this issue because it has had profound effects on the humanpopulation around the world. The effects of increased temperaturestranslate to more evaporation of moisture from the earth’s surfacewhich in turn leads to serious droughts and famine. Changes inweather patterns cause natural calamities such as hurricanes andtsunamis. All these consequences lead to adverse suffering amongsthuman beings through death, increased hunger and poverty anddiseases.
Airpollution is the biggest contributor to this problem of globalwarming. The gasses released into the environment through airpollution escalate the greenhouse effect even further. China is thefastest growing economy in the world because of the expansion of itsindustrial sector. This phenomenon has resulted in adverseenvironmental effects because of the disregard of climate-friendlyproduction ethics, and as a result, China is not only the world mostpopulous nation but also has the world’s highest air pollutionrates. The nation has experienced numerous natural catastrophes suchas tornadoes, floods as a result of air pollution. Recent reportshave indicated a very worrying discovery that Shanghai and Pudong areslowly sinking because of the rise in sea levels. According toBerkeley Earth, an environmental research organization based inCalifornia, an estimated 1.6 million people die in China annually dueto air pollution related complications which translate to a figure ofaround 4400 people daily (Levin, 1). All these findings are anindication of how serious the issue of air pollution and itsresultant effects has become.
Theglobal human population growth increases by a margin of around 1.1%annually which in figures it is estimated to be 75 million people(Population Bureau, 2). An increased human population is a threat toenvironmental sustainability because it suggests that every negativefactor contributing to climate change will also be amplified. Aspopulation increases, there will be a need for more human settlementswhich will contribute enlarged deforestation activities. There willalso be a need for more transport facilities and consumable productswhich will cause further exhaustion of fossil fuels. For human beingsto sustain livelihoods and leave a better universe for futuregenerations there has to be an environmental revolution. Therevolution will involve alternative uses of non-hazardous sources ofenergy such as the wind and solar. There is also need to tackle theheadache of air pollution by creating more awareness about theimportance of environmental conservation practices such asreforestation and instituting stringent regulations for offenders.The best way to execute this would be by involving the expertise ofgreen criminologists.
Greencriminology is a discipline that handles crimes associated withenvironmental degradation. When industries and individuals engage inactivities that harm the ecological biodiversity, there are somecriminal activities that are committed. These include poaching,illegal collection of natural resources such as illegal fishing anddeforestation, irresponsible disposal of toxic waste, adverse effectsof advances in technology such as the production of harmfulgenetically modified products and species amongst others (White andSouth, 3-10). Green criminologists are enthusiasts of environmentalconservation who not only view global warming as an intentionalhuman-made spectacle but also believe that such hazardous activitiesshould be considered as corporate crimes and be prosecuted like anyother because of their adverse effects on human population. They alsocondemn the actions of some states and organizations that advancethis adversity in particular parts of the world relative to others.The discipline has pioneered a fertile legal area that has a lot ofroom for development and promise in enforcing legal action onenvironmental degradation perpetrators, a situation that willseemingly improve the existing conditions.
Levin,David. “Study Links Polluted Air in China to 1.6 million Deaths ina Year.” The New York Times. N.p., 13 Aug 2015. Web. 8 Apr. 2017.
PopulationBureau. “2014 World Population Data Sheet.” Web. 8 Apr. 2017.
Watanabe,Susan. "What’s in a Name? Global Warming Vs Climatic Change."NationalAeronautics and Space Administration (NASA).N.p., 9 Dec. 2008. Web. 8 Apr. 2017.
WhiteRob, and Nigel South. “The Future of Green Technology: HorizonScanning and Climate Change.” AmericanSociety of Criminology Conference.N.p., Nov 2013. Web. 8 Apr. 2017.
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