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The Role of Science and Technology in International Relations Regarding Climate Change Coursework


Science refers to a systematic approach or enterprise that helps gain knowledge in the form of empirical predictions and explanations. In other words, this is the body of reliable understanding of various concepts which real meaning can be explained logically and rationally. In a broad sense, the concept of science has been included in many fields of civilisation which existed before the modern era (Nina 10).

In this case, humans have always relied on the concept of science to focus on their understanding of various key aspects regarding their life on earth. On the other hand, technology simply refers to the practice of utilising techniques, machines, tools and systems of organisation to perform specific developments or to solve a situation.

Over the time, technology as a development factor has changed societies in a number of ways. For instance, many countries in the world have developed economically through the dynamic advance in technology, and this has caused many transformations in the global economy. As it is observed, science and technology are significant elements of change in the society. Over the years, the development of science and technology has used many channels of knowledge in diverse fields of study, theoretically and also practically.

This has enabled researchers to come up with explanations that nearly provide answers to some fundamental aspects of life. As science and technology continue to become more complex in the society, it has impacted our lives to a greater extent. The concept has continued to play a fundamental role in the development of nations all over the world.

Due to science and technology, people have been able to develop the necessary tools needed to address the various complex issues affecting the global populations in the current era of globalisation. Some of the profound challenges facing humanity include, but do not limit to, food security, weapons of mass destruction, water and resource scarcity, public health, climate change, and diminishing biodiversity. All these issues represent fundamental threats to the ecosystems.

In this regard, the ability and capability of nations to absorb and utilise the concept of science and technology could be beneficial in addressing most of the issues mentioned above through development of promising prospects. However, the possibility of applying science and technology in enhancing developments has been limited in most regions of the world due to factors, such as lack of scientific expertise and cultural predisposition (Ancarani 668).

This clearly explains the reason why many regions in the contemporary world are still suffering because of controllable and avoidable issues, such as food insecurity, and water and resource scarcity. If this is to change, there is a need for the future policymakers and opinion leaders to re-examine and understand the possibilities of science and technology in addressing and solving most of the issues affecting global populations today.

Through science and technology, people have been able to establish infrastructure and policies which have contributed to a significant understanding of the vast issues affecting the global population nowadays. This paper examines the role of science and technology as it has been used to address the challenge of climate change, which is one of the major issues affecting the global societies today.

Facts and Causes of the Global Climate Change

Climate change is a lasting transition in the statistical distribution of the patterns of weather over periods that last from centuries to millions of years. Some of the key indicators which reflect a change in global climate patterns include vegetation, change in sea levels, dendrochronology, ice cores, and glacial geology, among other factors. As it would be observed, there are many indicators which act as causative agents or forcing mechanisms for many of these changes.

These forces are either internal or external. External forcing mechanisms can either be anthropogenic or natural, while internal mechanism involves the various natural processes that do take place within the climate system, such as the thermohaline circulation. Some of these factors include human-induced effects or changes in the natural environment, variations in solar radiation reaching the Earth, oceanic processes, and volcanic eruption, among the others.

However, human-induced alterations remain at the fore-front among the many factors associated with the current climatic changes. Most human activities, such as burning of fossil oils and deforestation, have resulted in excessive accumulation and concentration of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, thus contributing to the burning issue of global warming.

Global warming has become the defining element of the global climate changes. Global warming is one of the most complicated issues in the world, considering the fact that the issue is emphasised every day as a result of human activities.

The progressive increase on global temperatures over the years has brought many effects to international societies. Global warming has been associated with many effects and weather-related implications that vary from one region to another with some places experiencing scarier effects than the others (Brunner 23).

Current scientific observations have concluded that there are already higher levels of carbon concentration in the atmosphere today, compared to any given time in our history. Moreover, even more, greenhouse gases are generated everyday. Global warming is a driving force of the other effects of the changes in global climatic patterns, and all these pose severe risks to human and natural systems across the world.

These changes, for instance, are expected to bring severe impacts on global water supplies. These shortages will, in turn, trigger future challenges in human and natural systems, owing to the threatened food production and hindered economic developments.

Some of the far-reaching effects of this issue as foretold by scientists will include rising of sea levels, expansion of deserts, changes in the patterns and levels of precipitation, and extreme weather catastrophes, such as heavy rains, heatwaves, frequents droughts, and extinction of some animal species.

Global warming is arguably the biggest international issue affecting global populations today. Both current and future effects of global warming on humans and the entire ecosystems are quite threatening, thus making it one of the most complicated issues, currently facing the world leaders and policymakers in their incessant efforts to save the world from the dangerous global issues.

Progressive rise in the global temperatures over the years is observed to bear far-reaching effects and implications on the living things and the world’s climate patterns (Sarewitz 394). As a matter of fact, some of the expected changes have already started showing up in various segments of life.

For instance, uncertain weather patterns have been witnessed in many regions of the world in the last few years, and this has resulted in numerous cases of wildland fire, owing to extensive hot and dry weather patterns in those areas.

As it happens, this has always caused the destruction of millions of acres of land, thus affecting the lives of people and wildlife in those areas. Also, there are reports by scientists that polar bears, among other species, face great danger of extinction following the big challenges of adaptation that they continue to experience as a result of extremities in the weather patterns and conditions.

There has been a rapid fall in Arctic sea ice in the Polar Regions over the last several decades. According to scientific observations, Arctic sea ice is melting away at an alarming rate of 11.5% every ten years, and this poses serious survival challenges to the animal species in those regions.

All these are living testimonies of the potential dangers of climatic change in the present and future ecosystems. These, however, are some of the reasons that have made ‘climate change’ one of the most debated issues in the media and politics across the world. No wonder, the issue has drawn overwhelming concern from governments and international organisations and institutions.

Role of Science and Technology in addressing Climate Change

The part of science and technology in addressing some of the world’s greatest nightmares is dynamic and far-reaching. The understanding of science and technology as a crucial intervention in addressing international affairs is no doubt the best management decision to make in dealing with the global climate change.

As it is observed, climate change is one of the profound challenges facing the global populations today. Just like any other global issue that draws the attention to the international relations, the progressive pressures of climate change are rooted in science and driven by technology. There is no way the management of this issue of transnational concern can be left to governments alone, but it also requires devoted engagement of crucial civil society networks, such as the media, NGOs, universities, business, etc.

All these are certain priorities which can be useful in establishing strong solutions in response to a world of complex and threatening issues like ours. However, no matter how many efforts may be directed towards the incessant challenges affecting the world today, the capacity to generate and apply science and technology-driven policies in addressing those challenges plays a crucial role, either directly or indirectly.

Indirect scientific and technological intervention can be used to address the needs of people at the community levels, thus improving prospects of development in various segments of the society (Brunner 291). For instance, when interventions aimed at reducing poverty are introduced in the society, they would tend to bear positive results in development of those societies.

Science and technology have made enormous contributions to the understanding of the issue of climate change. Apart from presenting possible opportunities of getting to understand the issue and its causes, the trend has also played a significant role in developing a strong knowledge about current and potential effects and implications which are likely to affect humanity, animals and the entire ecosystems today and in the future (Spence and Pidgeon 665).

In matters regarding human health, climate change continues to pose unique challenges and threats to humans across the world. As it is observed, there are numerous ways through which changes in global climatic patterns can result in health effects that are potentially harmful.

This understanding has been crucial in that it has enabled climate change to achieve a significant position in the context of the major global issues facing the world today. No matter how many uncertainties are associated with the complex nature of the Earth’s climate, there is a great empirical collection of various studies and research findings documenting the many factors surrounding this big issue, which continues to pose challenges to humans, animals, and the general environment.

Regarding the climate change, many materials have been studied, and scientific questions and hypotheses based on the issue have been examined thoroughly for careful evaluation of the possible alternatives which could be used to address the issue. There is an outline of some of the many ways through which science and technology help in addressing the profound challenges of climate change.

  • Promoting and encouraging understanding and evaluation of key concepts regarding global climate change through scientific study and research.
  • Promoting knowledge on qualitative and quantitative ways that can be applied in addressing the issue.
  • Through scientific and technological concepts, people are able to gain the necessary expertise in dealing with global challenges such as the ones presented by climate change.
  • Through this intervention, global populations are also able to recognise significant moral dimensions of these complex situations and be able to implement the right ethical frameworks or systems that will address these issues better.
  • More importantly, through scientific and technological approaches, policy makers and global leaders have been able to develop substantive and analytical approaches necessary in combating emerging challenges and threats as presented by global warming and other effects of climate change.

As it would be observed from various geographical regions, climate change is a serious issue which poses insurmountable challenges to the global economy, public health and national security, among other aspects in the society. One of the most promising ways of addressing the progressive issue of climate change is by implementing significant methods of reducing the forcing mechanisms which generate these changes (Copeland 76).

An example of one possible intervention which could be taken here is by applying significant methods that help in controlling and reducing emission of greenhouse gases. For effective outcome, this intervention would require crucial scientific and technological approaches. A good example through which international bodies have been involved in addressing climate change issues is through the idea of ‘flexibility mechanism’ as it has been defined in the Kyoto Protocol (Aldy and Stavins 56).

Even though some people are unsure about the impact that science and technology are likely to have on the issue, it is the most assuring option which can be used to address the many problems associated with climate change. Scientific process is much worthy in providing better explanations and suggestions regarding the heightening effects brought by changes in global climate and weather patterns.

Even though current scientific and technological efforts are yet to provide an alternative approach that adequately satisfies the global climate dynamics, there is still every reason for people to appreciate the contribution which has been made by scientists so far, in trying to address this issue.

The role of Science and Technology in International Relations regarding climate change can never be underestimated at any face value. Multiple framings to various contemporary challenges facing the humanity are much possible in the contemporary world, through democratised science and technology agenda (Pidgeon 83).

Some seemingly intractable issues currently presented by climate change can be addressed through democratised and pluralistic science agenda. Diversification of scientific study and research into policy problems such as the ones being presented by the global climate change has helped in promoting understanding of numerous possible framing of policy issues.

For these reasons, it should be acknowledged that the concept of science and technology is among the most significant interventions which can be applied in the mitigation of global climate change and its immense impacts to humans and the ecosystems.

As observed from this report, science and technology play a key role in promoting innovation processes in mitigation and adaptation of useful policies which help in addressing issues of climate change, among other global issues. Creating awareness of future human generations to be able to cope with changes in climate conditions is very crucial in the modern era (Weiss 305).

This, however, has been one of the main objectives of the science of climate change, which has been made available in many learning and research institutions across the world. More importantly, while the issue of climate change has been a major issue to the global populations, it has also presented vast opportunities.

Through the combined mitigation processes and development of significant policies as stipulated by the scientific study of climate change, the world has come up with constant coordination processes that would establish broader opportunities of managing global issues in the most appropriate manner. In that case, there is a big possibility of a satisfying solution to the issue of climate change in the near future, through the many opportunities which are presented by science and technology.

Works Cited

Aldy, Joseph and Robert Stavins. Architectures for agreement: addressing global climate change in the post-Kyoto world, United Kingdom: Cambridge University Press, 2007. Print.

Ancarani, Vittorioy. “Globalising the world: Science and technology in international relations.” Handbook of Science and Technology Studies 12. 6 (1995): 652—670. Print.

Brunner, Ronald. “Global climate change: defining the policy problem.” Policy Sciences 24. 3 (1991):291. Print.

Brunner, Ronald. “Science and the climate change regime.” Policy Sciences 34. 1 (2001):1-33. Print.

Copeland, Daryl. Guerrilla Diplomacy: Rethinking International Relations. Boulder: Lynne Rienner Publishers, 2009. Print.

Nina, Fedoroff. “Science diplomacy in the 21st century.” Biological Sciences 136. 1 (2009): 9-11. Print.

Pidgeon, Nick. “Public views on climate change: European and USA perspectives.” Climatic Change 77. 1 (2006):73-95. print.

Sarewitz, Daniel. “How science makes environmental controversies worse.” Environmental Science and Policy 7. 12 (2004): 385-403. Print.

Spence, Alexa and Nicholas Pidgeon. “Framing and communicating climate change: the effects of distance and outcome frame manipulations.” Global Environmental Change 20. 11 (2010): 656-667.

Weiss, Charles. “Science, technology and international relations.” Technology in Society 27. 3 (2005): 295-313. Print.

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IvyPanda. (2019, September 11). The Role of Science and Technology in International Relations Regarding Climate Change. Retrieved from https://ivypanda.com/essays/the-role-of-science-and-technology-in-international-relations-regarding-climate-change/

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"The Role of Science and Technology in International Relations Regarding Climate Change." IvyPanda, 11 Sept. 2019, ivypanda.com/essays/the-role-of-science-and-technology-in-international-relations-regarding-climate-change/.

1. IvyPanda. "The Role of Science and Technology in International Relations Regarding Climate Change." September 11, 2019. https://ivypanda.com/essays/the-role-of-science-and-technology-in-international-relations-regarding-climate-change/.


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IvyPanda. "The Role of Science and Technology in International Relations Regarding Climate Change." September 11, 2019. https://ivypanda.com/essays/the-role-of-science-and-technology-in-international-relations-regarding-climate-change/.

References

IvyPanda. 2019. "The Role of Science and Technology in International Relations Regarding Climate Change." September 11, 2019. https://ivypanda.com/essays/the-role-of-science-and-technology-in-international-relations-regarding-climate-change/.

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IvyPanda. (2019) 'The Role of Science and Technology in International Relations Regarding Climate Change'. 11 September.

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