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Global Warming from a Social Ecological Perspective Research Paper

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Updated: Dec 25th, 2020

Introduction

In recent years, much news and exciting information on global warming have been published. There are several reasons for this phenomenon, and they are related both to cyclical fluctuations of solar activity and to people’s activities. It is rather difficult to adhere to only one point of view. Thus, the combustion of hydrocarbon fuel has a negative impact on the state of the atmosphere and the Earth’s climate. At the same time, high solar activity is also scientifically proven, and this factor can not be denied. In any case, the solution to this problem today is one of the primary tasks if it is a global scale. Many efforts and financial resources are spent every year on preserving the balance of the environment and preventing excessive accumulation of greenhouse gases. It is almost impossible to avoid natural factors that are the causes of warming. However, anthropogenic causes can be prevented or reduced to a minimal extent. Therefore, it is essential to examine global warming from a socio-ecological point of view and determine which levels of influence will be most optimal for solving this problem.

Intrapersonal Level of Influence

The solution to the problem of global warming concerns everyone. The task of the population is to eliminate this dangerous natural phenomenon’s consequences by collective efforts and preventing the further impact of greenhouse gases. It is possible to achieve significant success even at a personal level without resorting to the help of political associations or communities. According to Brown (2014), the approaches to finding new ways of solving this issue are continually changing, and it is vital to not only discover a global way but also ensure that everyone understands the importance of such work. Accordingly, the awareness of the problem contributes to a faster resolution and dissemination of information about a potential threat that global warming can carry.

First of all, it is vital to ensure that as many people as possible know about the negative consequences of carbon dioxide emissions into the atmosphere. If people understand that a constant increase in the number of heavy equipment, which operates on toxic fuels, worsens an already complicated ecological situation, things can change for the better. An intrapersonal level of influence is a way that has a significant impact on people’s behavior and forms their perception of a particular problem (U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 2005). Accordingly, having made sure that everyone understands the importance of any measures applied, the government and scientists will be able to make essential progress in solving the issue.

One of the possible ways of an intrapersonal level of influence is the dissemination of information through advertising campaigns, charitable actions, etc. The more actively people start to struggle with the consequences of their ill-considered activities, the greater the chances that the level of harmful consequences will decrease will be. For example, the use of environmentally friendly transport, such as a bicycle, will reduce the emission of poisonous gases in to the atmosphere and thereby make a positive contribution to the overall struggle. Therefore, each person’s awareness of the problem is undoubtedly essential, and to achieve it means making significant progress in resolving the issue.

Interpersonal Level of Influence

The possibility of a positive impact on the state of the environment and global warming, in particular, can be achieved not only at the individual but also at the public level. Thus, the involvement of family members, friends, and other acquaintances can be considered an interpersonal level of influence (U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 2005). It is logical to assume that the more people participate in solving the issue, the greater the chances of success will be. Therefore, joint activities and the encouragement of many people’s participation in protection programs will certainly become additional sources of influence on global warming and the elimination of its consequences.

Adaptation to new living conditions will be more natural if the process of change concerns as many people as possible. According to Jabareen (2013), the measures of influence include various urban restructuring methods, for example, changing the fuel sales regime or disseminating relevant information regarding a potential threat. Cities in which active actions will be taken to eliminate the negative consequences of the human-made and industrial activity may become an example for many megacities where the problem is particularly acute.

Also, a possible solution to the issue at an interpersonal level is the organization of conversations and meetings aimed at popularizing the problem. As Nadakavukaren (2011) remarks, the task of counteracting the negative consequences of greenhouse gas pollution rests not only not with the government but with residents. As practice shows, indifference in such matters leads to gradual deterioration of the situation. If people can mobilize their family members to fight against global warming, positive effects will certainly be noticeable. Even a small contribution to a common cause can be vital. If the activity is organized competently and many people can learn about the problem and try to help the state, the result will not belong in coming. Therefore, an interpersonal approach is sufficient enough if it is implemented reasonably.

Community Level of Influence in the Ecological Perspective

Despite the use of intrapersonal and interpersonal influence to solve the issue, the community approach is probably the most efficient way. The fact is that with this method of intervention, significant human resources are used, and the activities of groups are usually supported by the state and government. As it is known, the solution to a problem is greatly accelerated by joint efforts. Thus, it concerns not only citizens but also authorities who can provide substantial assistance in the fight against environmental harm. Perhaps, their support will be even more significant than the attempts of ordinary people to change the situation for the better. If such work is organized correctly, the effect will be positive, and its power will depend on the degree of interest of its stakeholders.

Institutional Factors

The activities of groups aimed at a particular task usually relate to the distribution of duties. It turns out that institutional changes are intimately connected with individual changes since the participation of each person is essential (U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 2005). The essence of such factors lies in the informal call of people for active actions. Nevertheless, as Nadakavukaren (2011) claims, proactive measures and calls for changes in the policy on environmental protection may be disapprovingly perceived if they are too intrusive or harsh. It is quite logical since people usually are rather wary of those who are interested in a particular goal and are trying to change something with all their might, doing everything for this purpose. A possible optimal measure maybe not too intrusive calls for recommended behavior (U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 2005). When people know that they have the right to decide for themselves the fate of their city and the planet as a whole, they probably will be able to realize the importance of the mission entrusted to them.

Additional opportunities that institutional factors can give related to the popularization of the problem and the search for new members who are ready to join the ranks of environmentalists. It is not a secret that greenhouse gases, penetrating the atmosphere, destroy the ozone layer, causing damage to the Earth’s atmosphere and being one of the causes of global warming (Baer & Singer, 2016). Accordingly, the more people will know about these nuances and subtleties of the whole process, the greater the chance that preventive measures like reducing the consumption of toxic fuels will have a significant positive effect will be.

Community Factors

A community-level impact can be both formal and informal, and this activity is not less favorable than previously described methods. Moreover, according to Cole (2015), a regular interaction of interested people with one another positively influences the speed of decision-making. At the same time, it is rather challenging to achieve visible and significant success when acting alone. Working in communities opens up great prospects for environmentalists and other concerned people and allows them to develop their potential to the maximum extent possible so that a solution to the problem to be found as soon as possible.

Many people’s standards of behavior are formed through the propaganda of public communities and groups. The degree of influence of such organizations is determined by their size, budget, and membership, and their social orientation is the principal factor of success (U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 2005). Despite rather limited tasks (dissemination of information on the causes and consequences of global warming), communities can have a sufficiently substantial effect on the formation of people’s increased interest in this issue. For example, the participation of celebrities in such organizations can be a significant incentive for many citizens to join these groups and work coherently with their idols. Perhaps, the current situation can be improved by using modern means of disseminating information: social networks, television, etc. If people see and hear about a particular problem often, a large number of them will likely take the initiative and contribute to the strengthening of a particular community’s work. These measures are rather successful, and their realization may be of considerable use.

Public Policy Level of Influence in the Ecological Perspective

Perhaps, the greatest impact in dealing with the effects of global warming and its prevention can be achieved through public policy decisions. State and federal laws can regulate behavior concerning specific actions and determine work procedures aimed at identifying and controlling specific areas (U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 2005). Undoubtedly, an attempt to introduce radical changes in society will be sufficient if a relevant law is adopted, unlike the situation when a group of activists is fighting for its purpose. Nadakavukaren (2011) argues that policy-making bodies are the ruling force and capable of conveying specific messages to the masses of people. If it is about problems with the environment, in particular, global warming, decisions can be made at the federal level, and essential laws that determine certain norms of behavior will be adopted to achieve a common goal. While talking about real changes that can be organized, it can be a ban on deforestation in large volumes as abundant vegetation contributes to the conservation of the ozone layer and, as a result, inhibits warming. In addition, relevant rules can be adopted concerning transport. For example, tightening control over the number of unsuitable vehicles that pollute the air in cities will clear the streets of too many harmful gases. All these measures can be effective and useful.

Nevertheless, in the process of work of such bodies, there can be some difficulties. For example, not all people can agree on fundamental changes in their lifestyle and the service sector. Also, some acts may require significant financial expenses for their implementation, and possible errors can be costly to their performers. Despite all these potential problems, the influence at the level of political bodies is still the most efficient and successful. Therefore, the introduction of reasonable bills and the observance of moral and ethical standards will allow achieving positive results and at the same time not violating anyone’s interests.

Conclusion

Thus, it is essential to examine global warming from a socio-ecological point of view and find out which levels of influence are the most useful and efficient. Environmental protection and work to address the effects of global warming can take place both at the local level using limited human resources and on a federal scale. Appropriate measures can have a significant impact on the stabilization of the situation and help to ensure that the melting of glaciers ceases and the ozone layer does not deform under the influence of the humans.

References

Baer, H., & Singer, M. (2016). Global warming and the political ecology of health: Emerging crises and systemic solutions. New York, NY: Routledge.

Brown, K. (2014). Global environmental change I: A social turn for resilience? Progress in Human Geography, 38(1), 107-117.

Cole, D. H. (2015). Advantages of a polycentric approach to climate change policy. Nature Climate Change, 5(2), 114-118.

Jabareen, Y. (2013). Planning the resilient city: Concepts and strategies for coping with climate change and environmental risk. Cities, 31, 220-229.

Nadakavukaren, A. (2011). Our global environment: A health perspective (7th ed.). Long Grove, IL: Waveland Press.

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. (2005). . Web.

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IvyPanda. 2020. "Global Warming from a Social Ecological Perspective." December 25, 2020. https://ivypanda.com/essays/global-warming-from-a-social-ecological-perspective/.

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IvyPanda. (2020) 'Global Warming from a Social Ecological Perspective'. 25 December.

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