Climate change is a result of global warming which has caused an increase in global temperatures. The release of excessive greenhouse gases like Carbon Dioxide (CO2) increases global warming and reduces the greenhouse effect. These gases and water vapor block the solar energy from escaping from the surface of the earth after being reflected. Although the process of global warming occurs slowly, it is enough to cause a lot of damage to the surface of the earth. NASA states that these climatic changes are mostly accelerated by human activities (2015). However, Geoengineering has been pursued to answer and respond to these climatic changes, but there is a need for the government, corporations, social activists, the local communities, and everyone, in general, to respond to these environmental changes
Environmental Challenges: Volkswagen Case
Apart from global warming, other environmental challenges are contributing to climatic changes. They include pollution in different forms, depletion of natural resources, destruction of ecosystems, and nuclear waste (Martin and Schinzinger, 2010). However, the recent case of pollution involves the Volkswagen case. The company is accused of producing diesel cars whose engines are releasing excessive CO2 and emitting pollutants of nitrogen oxide up to 40 times above the allowed amount in the US. The company was found by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to have installed a diesel dupe or a defective device or software that would detect when the cars were being tested. They would then change the performance and improve the performance of this engine to detect low emissions (BBC, 2015). The Volkswagen case has caused a lot of uproar throughout the world with politicians, environmental groups, and regulators as they question the VWs emission testing legitimacy. These excessive gases released from these VW cars will increase the global warming situation resulting in increased climatic change.
Geoengineering Solutions to Climate Change
The geoengineering community has come up to design and produce a global effect on climate change and one that is capable of impacting the timescales of climate change for years. Primarily, geoengineering intervenes in the functioning of geosystems. Lawhead, one of the contributors, gave some ways of managing solar radiation and the capture and sequestration of carbon. One of them is Aerosol injections which is a popular idea on how to solve the excessive CO2 in the atmosphere (2015). The process involves injecting hydrogen sulfide or 5-7 Tg of sulfur dioxide every year which will decrease insolation offsets of CO2 doubling by 2%. But this process has challenges as it will cause the global mean temperature to drop by 0.5 degrees Celsius. The increased water vapor is increasing the greenhouse effect. Another method is Ocean fertilization which involves the introduction of iron atoms with one atom of iron locking up to 10000 carbon atoms, but challenges involve algae blooming and downstream robbing of nutrients (Lawhead, 2015). Finally, the chemical manipulation of the natural carbon cycle would enhance weathering on land.
How Can the Government Help Climate Change?
Additionally, the government has taken a step in protecting against climate change. It has set guidelines regarding the degradation of the environment. It should set essential ways of tackling the global warming problem. It should also control and establish standards for energy efficiency in the vehicles being produced like in the Volkswagen case. According to Martin and Schinzinger (2010), Engineers are showing leadership in improving ecological awareness. They should be able to work in the context of an organization where an eco-friendly approach is valued. They singularly should be well placed to make environmental contributions. They should encourage corporations in the direction of environmental concern and make that concern economically feasible. Corporations, on the other hand, have tried to have sustainable development and should work in a market that rewards sustainable processes and products working with a policy that encourages environmental protection (Martin and Schinzinger, 2010). Social activists raising public awareness on matters of climate have increased. They include the Engineers without Borders, Sherwood Rowland, and Rachel Carson among others.
In conclusion, the environment is the responsibility of everyone. The local communities and all the other stakeholders should conserve the natural resources for future generations.
Jon Lawhead on Prezi (n.d.). Geoengineering: Climate Change by Design. Retrieved from https://prezi.com/xtp819vy5m2x/geoengineering-climate-change-by-design
Martin, R., & Schinzinger, M. W., Schinzinger, R. (2010). Introduction to engineering ethics. Boston: McGraw-Hill Higher Education. Read more
NASA: Climate Change and Global Warming. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://Climate.NASA.gov
Volkswagen: The scandal explained - BBC News. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.bbc.com/news/business-34324772
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