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Jenny Rea Bulley

Reading about climate change is nothing new to our generation. I feel like this issue is brought up again and again, often with opposing opinions on what is actually taking place here. Is climate change happening? Are we just running around yelling that the sky is falling? The "data" suggest both. This article is a very clear, concise, and convincing argument that global warming is happening and that it would have severe effects, especially in the tropics. There would be food shortages, flooding, dryer climates, etc. I think it is safe to say that we do not want global warming to happen, regardless whether or not you think it will.
I spent last summer in Ilulissat, Greenland. This little town is home to the Ilulissat Icefjord, the most active glacier in the world. In the last few years, the fjord has been pumping out large (although not all-time highs)amounts of ice at record velocity. However, the people there, the locals and the Icefjord staff, seem unconcerned with global warming. They claim that it isn't anything new; that this has happened before. They have the mentality that there is plenty of ice, it isn't going anywhere. Even if melting speeds up four-fold, the ice cap still has thousands of years to melt before it is at dangerously low levels. I don't know how founded in science these opinions are, but they exists, nonetheless. I simply found it interesting that people who live in one of, arguably, the most affected by global warming, seem lackadaisical at best to address the issue.

Christine Pence

I am focusing my blog on the effect of rising temperatures on water resources. People always say that in the future, war will be fought not over oil, but over water. I think this is a completely true and terrifying claim. Water is one of only a few things that humans can absolutely not survive without and water scarcity will have resonating effects on nearly all aspects of society. In 2080, 43-50 percent of the global population will be living in water-scarce countries vs. the 28 percent that lives in water-scarce countries today. Data predicts that Africa will be particularly hard hit. Water scarcity is going to have the most detrimental effects on agriculture heavy developing countries whose farmers are often solely dependent upon rainfall since they do not have irrigation. Reducing harvest yields will drive struggling farmers farther into poverty. A rise is global temperatures will require further investment in water management infrastructure. However, this is going to be hard for countries that lack the money for such investments and even worse for those farmers who lack the credit and savings to make large-scale investments. Furthermore, if the risk involved in the agriculture industry increases, poor farmers will likely become less likely to take unnecessary risks. These types of risks include innovative farming techniques, such as agroforestry.


It is interesting to see how the issue of climate change has evolved over time. We cannot deny that a scientific consensus has emerged and that humans are directly contributing to a rise in global temperatures. Despite scientific evidence, the public within countries and countries themselves are divided over how to handle the issue. I think the executive summary presents a solid argument about the devastating effects of global warming but there are significant roadblocks to making positive policy changes. Negotiation costs are extremely high as action must be unified and global. This is difficult to maintain in a sluggish global economy with intense political pressure to stimulate growth. Voters seem to want more immediate returns, put another way, they have a very high discount rate. I think an interesting example is how Australia is removing its carbon tax amid political pressures. Thinking about current global efforts I found this article a nice brief source: http://www.politico.com/story/2013/11/us-serious-on-climate-kerry-tells-un-summit-100023.html


Nick Z.

The executive summary of this piece makes it very apparent that the earth is highly sensitive to temperature change. The negative externalities associated with human induced climate change will be most heavily felt by those in developing countries. Because CO2 emissions are primarily a result of industrialization in the developed world, it is our responsibility to remedy the affects. The failure to do this may have dramatic impacts not only the developing world but the developed as well.

I'm from Long Island, NY, a low elevation area thats highest point is only ~400 ft above sea level. Many on Long Island are aware that small changes in sea level can displace thousands, especially on the south shore. Residents are already weary to buy coastal houses in places like West Hampton because of the high risks associated with storms. I would imagine that those on the south shore of Long Island will be better informed and adaptive to climate change than those in developing countries though.

It's obvious that something has to be done in regards to climate change and it's important that people begin to recognize the costs associated with environmentally unfriendly practices.

Colleen Paxton

Like we talked about today in class, I arrived at W&L understanding the climate change was a real issue – not a myth or something that can easily be ignored. From a geology classes to journalism classes, I have seen even more evidence for the effects climate change has had and will continue to have on the earth. This Sunday, a tornado ripped through a town in Illinois, 5 minutes away and just across the Ohio River from my home in Kentucky. The destruction is devastating, and it is hard to say that climate change did not have something to do with rare tornadoes in this part of the year.

Whether it’s in the U.S. or LDCs, the effects of climate change are real. The worst effects are felt by the poor; they end up bearing the cost of global climate change. In order to reduce poverty, we also have to work to reduce climate change. Solutions to protect or minimize effects could come in the form of institutional or technological changes. But there must be a way to make solutions work between the public and private sector as well as civil society, as the executive summary points out.


This article makes a very convincing argument why global warming is a very real phenomenon and how it can have drastic impacts on the earth. Many of us could use anecdotal evidence to explain global warming. Above, Colleen mentioned the tornados in Illinois. We can also look at the devastating effects of Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines. Recent weather-related events follow the patterns mentioned in this article, only proving how serious climate change—be it a 2°C change or a 4°C change—is and how it will continue to affect more developed and less developed nation-states.

What I would like to focus my blog post on is the role of the LDC’s in the creation of policies to prevent global climate change. The article says that regions in Africa, Central and South America and Asia will primarily be affected by global warming. Being underdeveloped regions (relative to the US and Western Europe), I got the sense that these countries probably don’t have much of a voice in policy creation to prevent global warming. Countries like the U.S. are acting like a big brother to the LDC’s, which I think is absolutely necessary, but have they overstepped their boundary? I think that in the global climate change arena, it is probably mostly developed countries that decide policy prescriptions for the LDC’s, to which I argue, how can one prescribe a policy solution from the outside? This idea goes back to the division between theory/models and field work. I can only hope that the more developed countries are doing field work in the LDC's to back up their policy decisions.

Global climate change is a hotly contested topic today. I think that many people assume they know most of the repercussions of global warming, but this article definitely sheds a new light on the consequences of global warming.

Julia Murray

This article specifically focuses on how living in a world 4 degrees warmer than preindustrial temperatures, which they author claims could occur as early as the 2060s if mitigation does not happen soon enough, will affect developing countries. Although this warming is a global phenomenon and will impact many regions across the globe, developing countries will bear more of the costs, especially as they try to progress on their path to economic growth and development. This paper suggests that any attempts to mitigate the impacts of global warming and even adapt to new temperatures need to be global; global climate change is a negative externality that affects the entire world, not just a localized area. While, as Shelby points out, LDCs will need to participate in policy discussions, it will also be very important for developed countries to take the lead. Since most of the current level of carbon emissions was caused by the industrialization and growth of developed countries, we must recognize that any global policy would not be fair if it precluded LDCs from industrialization and growth. Instead, developed countries must be able to help LDCs implement growth strategies that are less carbon emission-heavy. Developed countries must also be willing to help LDCs adapt to the current effects of global climate change. If this cooperation occurs, policy aimed at preventing us from reaching a 4 degree world by the end of the century will be more effective, and LDCs will be more optimistic that these policies will not come at the expense of their own development.

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