You are here:  Home > Climate change > Proposed solutions
University of Bristol
Institute of Physics logo
Why not try our other site: BEEP Biology & Ethics

Actions we can take

Doing good - aiming for the best solution Most ideas for preventing further climate fall into two strateges,  Mitigation (finding ways to reduce CO2 emissions or to remove it from the atmosphere) or Adaptation (changing human and/or natural systems to reduce their vulnerability to climate change).

Mitigation tries to tackle the causes of climate change where adaptation is to try to manage its effects.

Question: Do you think we should stop carbon emissions or try to adapt to a changed climate? Use the different ethical principles in the Ethical Toolkit to justify your answer.

Proposed ways of tackling climate change include:

  • Carbon footprints 
    Calculating our carbon footprints allow individuals, businesses, even governments to work out which of our activities result in most CO2 release. 
  • IPCC logoInternational agreements
    between different countries, both industrialized and developing nations across the globe concerning reduction in greenhouse gases such as CFCs and CO2
  • Big projects - Geoengineering 
    other means include worldwide installations, or even in space, designed to blanket the Earth or reflect back the sun's rays.
  • Carbon offsetting
    attempting to make good the damage that will be caused by people's and companies' use of fossil fuels by setting about activities that can remove CO2 from the air or trading CO2 emissions.


Carbon Footprint

What's your opinion?

Average rating

Not yet rated

Read comments

speech bubble  No comments yet. Why not be the first person to add one?

Bookmark this pagefacebook myspace bebo delicious diigo stumbleupon twitter reddit yahoo google

Text equivalent:

Actions/inactions have consequences

Acting now to prevent further climate change may require drastic changes to how our modern society is organised, which could be difficult and expensive. However not acting now could lead to our planet becoming a place where it is much harder for humans to live. Either way, huge changes will happen to how many people live.

Text equivalent:

Managing conflicts of interest

Reducing carbon emissions in all areas of life will mean doing things differently. It will mean that all forms of business will have to restructure how they do their work, which could threaten how much profit is made. In legal terms, those who run any company (directors) have a legal obligation to make the most profit on behalf of those who own the company (shareholder). There is a big potential for conflict of interests between the need to change to emit less carbon versus the need to make profit.
Text equivalent:

Control of technology

Many new forms of technology will need to be developed, both to adapt to climate change or to do what we do using less carbon so as to limit climate change. Those in poorer countries have less money to develop these new technologies and methods. Those who do create them will have to choose whether to share them with poorer countries in order to prevent climate change, or whether to make the most profit from them through charging fees.




Pretend it isn't happening

A Channel 4 TV Programme 'The Great Global Warming Swindle' caused a stir in March 2007. Graphs used in the "documentary"  were distorted to make trends easier to spot. Obscure data were shown rather than the internationally accepted figures. When questioned, the director Mr Durkin said "The original Nasa data was very wiggly-lined and we wanted the simplest line we could find,".

Read this article. What do you think, would you prefer to see the original data even if they are challenging to understand?