One is delighted that President Muhammadu Buhari is one of the many world leaders who signed the global Agreement or the Paris Accord on Climate Change/Global Warming for checking the destructive changes in
widespread negative global climatic conditions; while one is also highly-disappointed by the action of President Trump of the United States from withdrawing the American membership from the global fight against Climate Change as epitomized by the Paris Accord/Agreement. As a result of this withdrawal from a group of about 200 world leaders, the US, Syria and Nicaragua are the only three countries that are opposed to the sacred Paris Accord. World scientists, engineers, technologists, highlevel politicians and business men/women, entrepreneurs, artists, the religious such as Pope Francis etc. strongly-support the Paris Accord. The unfortunate and destructive events of Climate Change and Global Warming are real and active! The President based his decisions on his campaign promises to take “America first” actions to make “America great again” and to improve the American economy, create more jobs and reduce unemployment. A negative amalgam may result where a leader mixes issues of Physical Sciences with Political Science without critical analyses; it is like mixing cold water and cold oil; a lot of thinking and planning is required. The purpose here is not to challenge the American President who may be acting on what he feels is to be in the best interest of his nation; but one desires to throw some light on what Climate Change entails particularly with respect to its possible effects on Nigeria and also highlight its deleterious effects on local. regional and global environment; so that national and global political leaders are not misguided or misled into taking retrogressive decisions/actions that might ultimately destroy the earth’s global environment against the over-riding interests of the lives of the present and future generations, yet unborn. Unfortunately, the destructive scenario is already at play globally including in our country, Nigeria; and unless it is checked, it is horrible impacts/effects shall become worse outcomes.
“The Earth’s climate has changed throughout history. in the last 650,000 years there have been seven cycles of glacial advance and retreat, with the abrupt end of the last ice age about 7,000 years ago marking the beginning of the modern climate era — and of human civilization. Most…climate changes are attributed to very small variations in Earth’s orbit that change the amount of solar energy our planet receives…Ninety-seven percent of climate scientists agree that climate-warming trends over the past century are…due to human activities, and most of the leading scientific organizations worldwide have issued public statements endorsing this position. The current warming trend is of particular significance because most of it is extremely…to be the result of human activity since the mid-20th century and proceeding at a rate that is unprecedented over decades to millennia…Earth-orbiting satellites and other technological advances have enabled scientists to see the big picture…This body of data, collected over many years, reveals the signals of a changing climate…The heat-trapping nature of carbon dioxide and other gases was demonstrated in the mid-19th century…There is no question that increased levels of greenhouse gases must cause the Earth to warm in response…Ice cores drawn from Greenland, Antarctica, and tropical mountain glaciers show that the Earth’s climate responds to changes in greenhouse gas levels. Ancient evidence…also found in tree rings, ocean sediments, coral reefs, and layers of sedimentary rocks. This ancient, or paleoclimate, evidence reveals that current warming is occurring roughly ten times faster than the average rate of ice-age-recovery warming” (Google).
Since the advent of the industrial revolution and the use of coal for firing up engines, heavy loads of noxious gases like carbon dioxide etc. have been uploaded into the environment. This carbonaceous fuel was later followed by fossil fuels of petroleum and natural gas which exacerbated the output and overloading of the carbonaceous materials into the atmosphere. Increased human and animal populations, deforestation and bush burning events increase further high outputs of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. This loaded excess carbon dioxide moves up to the upper atmosphere. Here it forms the problem of greenhouse-gases effect and attacking the ozone layer that forms an envelope around the sun and that also shades the earth from its harmful radiation. The attack opens holes through the ozone layer through which the sun’s heat energy/radiation passes and impacts upon the earth causing high temperatures with destructive effects and skin cancer in humans. The consequent severe rises in temperatures worldwide results in Global Warming and global Climate Change with widescale harmful environmental effects worldwide. Physical Scientists, Geologists and Naturalists have studied, identified, measured and monitored the processes and impacts of Climate Change globally. Even if the person is the doubting Thomas, one can see effects of Global Warming and believe. Climate Change impacts negatively upon the global environment physically, socially, politically, economically etc. Rises in sea levels and drowning up of beaches and coastal environments; global rises in temperature; the oceans have increased temperatures as a result of warming resulting in massive deaths of large fauna/flora within coral reefs; the ice sheets in the Antarctica are shrinking dangerously; the Arctic Sea has been declining; there has been recorded glacial retreat in the Arctic and Antarctic regions; as a result of the excessive carbon dioxide loadings there has been acidification of oceans and seas; drought and desertification phenomena, sand and dust storms have become more frequent and debilitating; dangerous thunderstorms, windstorms, too heavy rainfall patterns and damaging floods have become very regular and destructive; there have been distortions in seasonal outlays as winter forces itself into summer in the Temperate regions while rainy season forces itself into the dry season in the Tropics and vice versa. All these global changes adversely affect life and Socioeconomy; and we are exposed to such negative impacts in Nigeria and beyond. Scientific studies and research have shown that these would continue in increased dimensions in the coming years with more destructions unless a stop is put to man’s anthropogenic activities in the reckless uses of fossil fuels by developed countries of US, Russia, China, India, EU countries etc. They lead the pack of heavy users/polluters and encouraging developing countries to learn from bad History of Environmental Pollution. This is what the Paris Accord that took many years to succeed is all about. There are great encouraging economic investments of funds in applied studies/research to develop alternative clean energy resources from solar, wind, water and non-carbonaceous materials which have opened up a lot of wealth and major employment opportunities to many. Political leaders, entrepreneurs and human resources managers should uphold and support the Paris Accord and concentrate development of energy from non-carbonaceous sources; abandon prime interests on coal, petroleum and natural gas so that the present and future of the earth and universe can become secured.
By Boniface Egboka, UNIZIK, Awka, Anambra State; E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
“By virtue of their age, many of our youths may not know that the first elected mayor of Enugu was Umaru Altine, a Fulani from Northern Nigeria elected in 1956. Or that a year later a South easterner, Felix Okonkwo, was appointed a member of the Northern Nigeria House of Chiefs.”
Source – authorityngr.com