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Opinions of Sunday, 21 September 2014

Columnist: Amponsem, Joshua

Call For Climate Action Part 1.

“Earth provides enough to satisfy every man’s need, but not every
man’s greed”- Mahatma Ghandi. The world keeps increasing in population
and demand for resources keeps increasing; the thought of this should
be enough to inspire the attitude of conservation and ‘ecocentricism’
among individuals. However, world leaders are being economically
inclined to exploit more resources to better economy than to secure a
healthy ecological environment for future generations. Over
exploitation, and other anthropogenic activities is leading to a
predictable unsafe environment for future generations.
With our inability to ensure maximum biodiversity- which is essential
to sustaining the living networks and systems that provide us all with
health, food, wealth, energy and the vital services our lives depend
on, thousands of species are risk to extinction from disappearing
habitats, changing ecosystems and acidifying oceans. According to the
IPCC, climate change will put some 20% to 30% of species globally at
increasingly high risk of extinction, possibly by 2100. These
organisms, ecosystems and ecological processes supply us with oxygen
and clean water. They help keep our lives in balance and regulate the
climate. Yet this rich diversity is being lost at a greatly
accelerated rate because of human activities.
Countries of ecological interest has started campaigning and taking
action against global warming and climate change as well as every
activity that connote these impacts. On the other side, most
developing countries- due to economic instability and temporal
resource exploitation benefits do not prioritize climate action.
Most developing countries regard developed countries as more carbon
producers and therefore think it’s right for such countries to put a
price on carbon, however, climate change is a global phenomenon and
its impact will affect every country.
Ghana provides an excellent example of the additional challenges that
climate change and variability places on development. It has made
significant economic progress in recent decades and achieved middle
income country status. Like all other countries, this progress is
accompanied by rising greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, and Ghana has
moved from being a net carbon sink to a net emitter. The sink decline
is due to deforestation. Net GHG emissions rose from an estimated
minus 16.8 million tonnes of CO2 equivalent in 1990, to 23.8 MT in
2006, with 40% of the emissions from energy, 24% from agriculture and
25% from land use, land use change and forestry (MEST, 2011).
Diseases like malaria which result in the death of most citizens every
year in Ghana could become more difficult to control even in areas
where it's currently cold for the parasite to spread year-round. The
malaria parasite itself is generally limited to certain areas by
cooler winter temperatures since it is not able to grow below 16°C. As
temperatures rise, diseases can grow and disease vectors (the carriers
that transmit disease, such as mosquitoes) will mature more rapidly
and have longer active seasons. A warming planet threatens people
worldwide, especially tropical countries like Ghana -causing deaths,
spreading insect-borne diseases and exacerbating respiratory
illnesses. The World Health Organizationbelieves that even the modest
increases in average temperature that have occurred since the 1970s
are responsible for at least 150,000 extra deaths a year—a figure that
will double by 2030, according to WHO's conservative estimate.
As part of the Millennium Developmental Goal, food security is one of
the sectors that drive most developing countries into famine and
extreme poverty. Ghana currently depends on Agriculture for a higher
percentage of employment; the agriculture sector provides as with
foods and has a significant percentage of the nation’s Gross Domestic
Product (GDP). Farming basically depends on the fertility of lands and
more importantly weather conditions. Over exploitation in Ghana has
led to increased soil degradation caused by soil-nutrient mining,
erosion, deforestation and desertification, water logging, falling
water tables, over salinization and potentially, climate change render
barren the marginal cropland the poor had counted on for survival.
To be continued........