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The aim of this term paper proposal is to outline a broad structure of a term paper while narrowing the area of interest to a specific topic. The proposal will present objectives, a research question, a thesis statement, and a methodology for the term paper.
- To examine the contribution of technology to climate change;
- To present a comprehensive review of technologically-mediated methods for responding to global flooding caused by anthropogenic climate change;
- To suggest the most effective and socially just methods of adapting to the global flood risk.
Throughout human history, many civilizations have been subjected to social disruptions caused by changes in climate. Whereas in the past these disruptions have been initiated by natural phenomena, climate change experienced by modern societies is a result of human actions, particularly, technological progress. The development of industrial sectors has contributed to an increase in carbon emissions in virtually every country in the world. A study on the patterns of carbon emissions in China reveals that residential energy consumption instigated by the proliferation of consumer electronics accounts for a carbon footprint that is considerably larger than that left by industrial manufacturing (Zhu and Peng 1).
There is ample evidence pointing to the fact that high-carbon technology and electricity are associated with negative environmental impacts that range from air and water pollution to increases in global temperature (Hertwich et al. 6279). In particular, over the span of the last several decades, the global gas-and coal-fired energy production has increased water and air toxicity by 12 percent (Hertwich et al. 6281).
Most importantly, high-carbon electricity has changed the natural patterns of flooding events, thereby endangering urban populations around the globe. Unfortunately, the majority of urban settings are characterized by extremely low levels of flooding preparedness, which can expose vulnerable social groups to severe risks (Wilby and Keenan 3). It should be borne in mind that the global flood risk is the major unintended effect of anthropogenic climate change that requires urgent adaptation. Hirabayashi et al. (816) argue that the 2 percent temperature increase would result in the global flood exposure of 27 million people.
Even though technology has immensely contributed to the problem, it can become a viable means of mitigating the consequences of climate change. For example, the application of high-resolution remote sensing in town planning schemes can become an effective remedial measure (Patel and Srivastava 2353). Digital elevation models (DEMs) can also substantially improve the scientists’ ability to forecast flooding events with a high degree of accuracy (Schuman et al. 169). However, when developing global change mitigation instruments, it is necessary to remember that all means for conquering the problem have to be socially just.
A study conducted by Williams et al. shows that global adaptation capacities can be aligned with the principles of social justice (517). The findings of the study suggest that by retrofitting sub-urban areas socio-economic compositions of which are characterized by “few amenities and poor-quality public space” (Williams et al. 517), it is possible to reduce both personal stress and financial damage caused by flooding events.
How technology has contributed to climate change and what it might do to mitigate the global flood risk by the principles of social justice?
The technological progress has led to a considerable increase in global carbon emissions, thereby precipitating anthropogenic climate change that disproportionately affects vulnerable populations. Therefore, there is a need to develop effective and socially just remedial measures for global flooding, which is the major unintended effect of climate change.
A systematic literature review will be used to contribute to the scholarly discussion of the issue.
The term paper proposal has presented a broad structure of the term paper. It has been argued that technology could be effectively used to increase humanity’s flooding adaptation capacities in a socially just manner.
Hertwich, Edgar, et al. “Integrated Life-Cycle Assessment of Electricity-Supply Scenarios Confirms Global Environmental Benefit of Low-Carbon Technologies.” PNAS, vol. 112, no. 20, 2015, pp. 6277-6282.
Hirabayashi, Yukiko, et al. “Global Flood Risk under Climate Change.” Nature Climate Change, vol. 3, 2013, pp. 816-821.
Patel, Dhruvesh, and Prashant Srivastava. “Flood Hazards Mitigation Analysis Using Remote Sensing and GIS: Correspondence with Town Planning Scheme.” Water Resource Management, vol. 27, 2013, pp. 2353-2368.
Schuman, Guy, et al. “Technology: Fight Floods on a Global Scale.” Nature, vol. 597, no. 7491, 2014, pp. 169-170.
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Wilby, Robert, and Rod Keenan. “Adapting to Flood Risk under Climate Change.” Progress in Physical Geography, vol. 36, no. 3, 2012, pp. 1-31.
Williams, Katie, et al. “Retrofitting England’s Suburbs to Adapt to Climate Change.” Building Research & Information, vol. 41, no. 5, 2013, pp. 517-531.
Zhu, Qin, and Xizhe Peng. “The Impacts of Population Change on Carbon Emissions in China During 1978-2008.” Environmental Impact Assessment Review, vol. 36, 2012, pp. 1-8.