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Contemporary Issues in Green House Gases Emission and Climate Change

Introduction

The recent increase in the levels of Green House Gases (GHGs) and incidents of subsequent climate change disasters has become a major global issue. The present concern about the green house effects began with the realization that human activities are upsetting the natural balance by increasing the amount of CO2 and similar gases in the atmosphere. All heat retaining gases are referring to as GHGs. They are CO, CO2, CH4, O3, NOx etcetera. Global warming occurs whenever the levels of these gases in the atmosphere increase or much of deadly ultraviolet ray escapes from the sun into the surface the earth when ozone layer in the atmosphere is depleted.

In essence, all factors that contribute to GHGs production and emission are directly related to human population and their activities. The production also involves individual house hold, communities, and national and international societies, in general. When the human population was very small, the quantities of these gases were far below the threshold limits and effects were hardly felt. However, the sporadic growth in world population in the eighteen century and the current dispensation- of up to 20 billion has definitely increased atmospheric level of CO2 and the associate gases. What is particularly worrisome is the total absence of national plan for reporting and controlling the level of GHGs in Nigera, as in many other developing countries at the moment.

Causes

The causes of GHGs in the environment range from human respiration to major activities performed to sustain and maintain livelihood. For instance, every living creature contributes CO2 into the atmosphere through respiration. Farming, transportation, industrialization, urbanization, as well as economical growth and development are another major cause GHG emission. In addition to this, the causes due to civilization and changes in cultural practices cannot be undermined. The number of vehicles on the roads increases at alarming rate. The fact is that more and more CO and CO2 gases are produced by vehicles during traffic hold up on urban highways. Consider how long such hold ups persist in most African countries where everybody wants to move in his or her own car on the very narrow and usually un-motorable roads. With power outage and erratic supply of electricity in the country, the use of generator and electric power plants of different sizes compounds the problem further.

Many things that God created as natural defensive mechanisms to remove the excess GHGs are constantly being removed by man as he struggles to make advance in technology at an alarming rate. In many cases, big trees that are supposed to reduce the level of CO2 in the environment are cleared during major developmental projects like building, road construction, and, oil exploration and exploitation exercises. Unchecked deforestation has promoted the avoidable desertification of green lands especially in Africa. Desert is now moving from arid to savannah land at jet speed! The impacts of aero planes and ultra-modern jets on GHGs production on air cannot be overemphasized. Poor management of mountain heaps of refuse especially in urban cities, including, open burning, uncontrolled incineration, sea dumping are potential source of environmental pollution and GHGs generation. Studies have showed that abattoir wastes including carcass, blood, and animal dung and so on, if not properly managed, can produce GHGs in a manner that can pose treat to public health. The advent of sophisticated weapons, including nuclear and atomic bombs and their use during the civil wars and those that were used in the recent military attacks in Afghanistan and Iraq cannot be dissociated from current GHG effects in the world.

Effects

No doubt, excess GHGs in environment lead to global warming and this leads to climate change. Climate change has brought loss of rainfall (as much as 30%) in some areas of the world with corresponding problems to agriculture, food supplying, drought, soil nature, drinking water supply and so on. On the other hand, other areas in the universe have gained up to 60% in annual rainfall. Environmental catastrophes like heavy storm, hurricane, flooding, agricultural losses, earthquake and other public health problems are rave of the moment. In this case, any country that depends on one crop or agricultural produce as a foreign exchange earner may face serious economic problem at soonest future. Global warming brings increase in temperature of oceans, leading to melting of ice in Polar Regions and flooding being experienced in some parts of the world. Coastal areas of economic importance are eroded while water that could have meant for drinking is contaminated as a result of salination.

In 1982, Ogunpa flood claimed several lives and destroyed properties worth million of naira. Also in 1989, in Sudan, 200m of rain fell in less than 24hrs and more than a million people were rendered homeless. The incidents go on and on. In contrast to this, in 1990, portion of Uruguay and Argetina remained dried for 12 years, leading to failure in agriculture. The cluster of islands that make up Samoa, and the neighbouring US territory of American Samoa, appear to have been worst hit- Samoan villages destroyed as magnitude 8.3 earthquake strikes between islands. Other countries with perceived climate change impacts include: New Zealand, Japan, and Australia. Threatened by starvation, and agricultural losses, large numbers of people are now being forced to move within and between countries of the world. The UK and Netherlands, together with the World Bank, has just announced funding of up to £3 million (Euro 4 million) for a new research study that would support developing countries to prepare for the impacts of climate change.

Control Steps taken in the Past and Action Planning for GHGs Reduction in Nigeria

Before it became a global issue, the problems associated to GHG on the environment had earlier on been felt in the developed countries of the world. Then, the efforts made by these countries to control the menace of GHG in their regions included: disposing of fairly used materials to developing countries. These include smoky vehicles, refrigerators that produced chloro fluoro carbons (CFCs), air-conditioners, television, computers and many other out-dated electronic gadgets. In Nigerian context, these are popularly tagged as ‘TOKUNBO’. At the same time, government of these countries introduced mass car transit like long buses and trains to reduce number of individual cars that plied their roads and therefore minimize the vehicular emission of CO, CO2 and other GHGs. Because of poverty and ignorance that ravaged in most African countries, some shipping companies connived with government of advanced countries to dump containerized toxic wastes in some African countries. This action was considered inhuman and condemned environmental conscious people through out the world. Then, who can adequately estimate the quantity of toxic wastes that might have been dumped in ocean and major water ways in the universe by these perpetrators?

To be straight forward, the global efforts to reduce and control the amount of GHGs generated in the world have been focused more on industrialization and economic growth; the impacts of culture and other aspects are being undermined. The strategy to reduce green house gases should be holistic. All the contributive factors and human activities should be treated with equal attention, using up-down and bottom-up approaches. The cultural activities that contribute to GHGs emission should be replaced by those ones that prevent them. Nature building and conservation should be encouraged. Researches should be funded to investigate new territory for heat and light energies generation through solar, wind and hydro-electric power development. Vehicular emission can be reduced by recycling crankcase ventilation air into the engine or changing the properties of gasoline and redesigning the engines. Conflicts and miss-understandings at both local and international scenes should be settled through bargaining and constructive dialogue at United Nation forum instead of going into warfare. Wastes of all natures, both hazardous and non-hazardous, should be properly managed in environmentally friendly and sustainable manner. In fact, if properly managed, methane gas can be produced from organic fraction of waste stream. The use of charcoal and firewood in making fire for domestic cooking can be replaced by energy produced from wastes. Also, in African countries, mass transit buses should be encouraged to reduce vehicular emissions.

Finally, there is no anticipation that level of GHGs generation and their consequences can be reversed unless quick and holistic steps are taken world-widely. One practical step that can be taken in Nigeria is to design an action planning at community level. At each local government area there wards. Each ward should have a programme for environmental management and protection, whereby people would be trained on proper waste management strategies like composting. Those people would also be trained on how to plant trees and flowers within the courtyard of every compound, inter-compound open space, districts, community market squares and along pedestrian and vehicular routes. This singular act will check GHGs emissions and purified atmospheric air. To be well coordinated and effective, the programme can be put under the Department of Community Development Inspectorate at each local council. At the end of the year, there would be competition organized by the three tiers of Government (Local, State and Federal), whereby the most environmentally beautiful ward, council and state will be compensated. The compensation can be in terms of money or developmental projects like bridge, cinema and television viewing centres, roads, in case of wards. The earlier this planning arises the interests of concerned policy formulator and stake holders; the better it becomes for this country and the world, in general.

More Than Just Accidents and Tools – The Importance of Farm Insurance

Insurance is something of a contentious issue at the moment, particularly in regards to the current economic crisis which is causing many of us to cut back on cover we do not consider essential. However, with an increase in thefts and burglaries in rural areas of the UK, farm insurance is becoming more of a necessity – and companies are highlighting the customisable nature of their cover in a sector where each customer has different priorities.

Public Liability
Despite the specific individual needs of each farmer and their business, public liability cover is often considered a necessity when it comes to taking out insurance for a working farm or farmland. The reason for this is simply because if anything should go wrong (i.e. damage, injury or worse) involving a member of the public and for which you are held responsible, the cost can be ruinous and without insurance you may be forced to sell your business to satisfy the claim made against you.

Employers’ Liability
Employers’ liability cover is a legal requirement if people work for you, though the law does not state that you must have cover for yourself or a member of your family. However, employers’ liability is there to give you piece of mind and financial security should an accident happen that is your responsibility.

Property
Insuring your property against theft and damage is where farm insurance starts to become more tailored to your specific priorities, and the term “property” can mean anything from buildings, through machinery and vehicles, to animals (see below). With property insurance it is very much up to you to decide which property to insure and for what range of perils e.g. fire or flood.

Livestock
Livestock is a very customisable insurance sector and it depends on what risks you want to insure against. Farm insurance cover options include fire, lightning, accidental injury, death, straying and disease. Various additional risks can be insured against including, for example, the loss of value in a bull if it proves to be infertile.

Property Investment Future

The cyclical effect can be seen in property investment as any other business, in this there are peaks and troughs. The house prices never risen so fast, this effect was found in almost every country. Many factors contributed to the property boom like ease of credit availability, which fueled the residential and commercial property bubbles and makes it easier for peoples with little deposit or no deposit to purchase property. When ever the investment market crash, investors start searching for better and reliable investment sectors. Like in 80′s stock market crash and in 2000 dot-com bubble burst. Peoples start investing in property.

The history shows property values never seen this continuous risen. There are times when property values remains flat or no growth but there are times of extreme growth. This trend continues to be expected for future property investment. For investors point of view the important thing is overall market continue to rise providing strong supply and demand balance. To understand the property market you have look the actual returns and statistic. There are two fundamental forces which driven the market which are Fear and Greed, so positive attitude toward property investment is important.

In financial planning the key part is real estate. Our homes are the biggest part of our net worth. For security and stability we purchase a house, further more this also gives us social boost. We build equity in our homes which help our children education as well as our retirement. Fifty years back property really did not consider as an investment vehicle. Last few years property market has seen its booms and busts which help the property market to be declared as investment.

Even stabilized economies cannot escape from the fluctuations of the real estate cycle. As suitable condition prevail, house price can or do move up. Current rising interest rates, excessive debt levels, economic conditions and more global terrorism are the main factors of property values increase. Sustained high growth rates may not realistic but there will be a place for property.