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The time to act on global warming is now

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It appears that concerns about climate change from global warming have not been exaggerated. Climate change appears to be happening now and this can have potentially serious damaging effects on the health of people. A calculation of the cumulative cost of carbon dioxide emissions offers new insights into the question of who is actually responsible for climate change reported Taylor and Francis on July 4, 2014.

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One of the primary reasons for the failure of the 2009 Climate Convention Conference in Copenhagen has been the issue of carbon debt. Developed countries have been calling for emission decreases in developing countries. Meanwhile, the developing countries have been using the historical emissions of developed countries, or their carbon debt, as an excuse for inaction.

Jan Kunnas from the University of Stirling and his colleagues from universities in the UK and New Zealand have suggested using a single global price for carbon dioxide emissions, because actually over time there is no possibility for any single country to isolate itself from the negative impacts of climate change. Every country in the world will be hit by this problem to some degree. Consider that increases in food prices due to climate change has negative impacts on global food production. From an ethical perspective everyone is actually in the same lifeboat when it comes to the long-term consequences of climate change.

Although it appears the primary reason for a warming climate is the historical greenhouse-gas emissions of developed countries, the emissions of the primary contributors accounts for just 57–59 percent of the total cumulative costs. This leaves over 40 percent to the rest of the world. A global treaty to deal with this problem has therefore been suggested while leaving the dispute about historical responsibility behind us. This report has been published in the journal Scandinavian Economic History Review. It is emphasized that although a single country may be able to isolate itself from the detrimental effects of global warming in the short run, in the long there is no country that can get a free ride.

Weather and climate have a significant impact on people's health reports the United States Environmental Protection Agency. The average weather conditions which people are accustomed to is affected by changes in climate. It is likely that people will experience an increase the number of heat-related illnesses and deaths from hotter days and more frequent and longer heat waves.

Furthermore, climate change can lead to increases in the frequency or severity of extreme weather events such as storms which can increase the risk of dangerous flooding, high winds, and other serious threats to people and property. Unhealthy air and water pollutants are also seen with warmer temperatures. And the spread of some diseases can result from changes in temperature, precipitation patterns, and extreme events. The issue of global warming and resulting climate change is therefore a very important public health issue across the entire world which must be confronted now. To be naturally healthy our climate is important.

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