LSO120 Final Assessment Paper

LSO120 Final Assessment Paper

LSO120 Final Assessment Paper

The present society is confronted with several existential crises like environmental, economic, epidemiological, and ethical issues advanced by human activities and behaviors (Bak-Coleman et al., 2021). Climate change refers to an alteration of climate that is ascribed directly or concomitantly to human activity that alters the global atmosphere’s conformation and is in addition to natural climate variability observed over comparable periods (Hughes et al., 2020). While society experiences the impact of existential crisis, the problematic issues of climate change cannot be addressed by people groups. The purpose of this essay is to address climate change and why the challenges it poses around us cannot be changed by environmental people groups.

Climate Change

Climate change is a long-time bound alteration in the average weather patterns that have informed the earth’s local, regional and global climates. The alterations have observed adverse impacts. Climate change is linked directly or indirectly to human activities that alter the composition of the worldwide atmosphere (Hughes et al., 2020). Human activities extrapolate temperature, which is known as global warming.

Environment People Groups

An environmental people group is an organization emanating from the conservation or environmental movements that seek to safeguard, examine, or monitor the environment against misuse or degradation from human forces. The organizations view the environment as biophysical or natural habitats (Scheidel et al., 2020). The environmental people groups are vital in creating innovative and technological environmental panaceas and providing resources to meet the global environmental challenges through advocacy, policies, and financial funding to mitigate the impacts of the ecological changes (Scheidel et al., 2020). Example of these ecological defenders and advocates includes organizations such Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS), Natural Resources Defense Council(NRDC), Greenpeace, Environmental Working Group(EWG), Ocean Conservancy, and Friends of the Earth, among other agitating and advocating for environmental protection.

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The Disturbing Issues of Climate Change

Pollution of the atmosphere by greenhouse gases and other contaminants is one of the major global environmental issues. It happens due to the burning of fossil fuels, emissions from agriculture and pastoralism, and adverse land-use alterations that result from the destruction, clearance, and burning of forests (Tol, 2019). Climate change already has observable ecological and social effects. The adverse effects have resulted in profound alterations in global mean surface temperature, sea level, ocean circulation, precipitation patterns, climatic zones, species distributions, and ecosystem function (Benz et al., 2021). In addition, the depletion of stratospheric ozone due to the pollution of the atmosphere by contaminants such as chlorofluorocarbons is a severe environmental issue.

Moreover, the other form of environmental pollution that affects people significantly is unhealthy levels of air. The majority of air pollutants are the cause of degraded air quality. Key industrial pollutants include particulate matter, tropospheric ozone, oxides of nitrogen, oxides of sulfur, lead, and various aromatic compounds. Similarly, air pollutants cause and aggravate respiratory and cardiovascular conditions; some are known carcinogens, while some cause injury to vegetation and, as a result, produce a range of ecological side-effects (Tol, 2019). Similarly, pollution contamination has seriously degraded water quality, leading to multiple environmental and health-related effects.

Frequent and intense drought, storms, heatwaves, rising sea levels, melting glaciers, and warming oceans injure animals, wreck their habitats and wreak havoc on people’s livelihoods and communities. As climate change worsens, dangerous weather events become more frequent or severe (Maxwell et al.,2019). The people groups have tried to intervene through advocacy, environmental policies interventions, and protests to mitigate the genesis and impacts of climate change, but no substantial solution has been seen to address the crisis


Why Environmental People Groups Cannot Change the Patterns of Climate Change

The advocacy and promotion of public knowledge and understanding of the health risks of climate change have become essential work of the environmental people groups since it reinforces psychological change of behaviors and activities of nation-states that extrapolate and aggravate the effects of climate change. In addition, they help people make better risk management decisions. Moreover, prior research has indicated it to be an effective way to soar support for climate change policies and activities that can limit those risks. Nevertheless, the robust efforts of the environmental organizations have failed to change the patterns of climate change due to the politicization of climate change by the industrialized global north and the developing global south states.

Climate Change Seen as a Threat to State sovereignty.

State sovereignty is the ability of a nation-state to make laws for its citizens without external interference. While environmental rights are human rights, state sovereignty’s impact on human rights influences whether recognition, protection, or enforcement of such rights hold or apply. Seen through this lens, therefore, climate change presents a severe challenge to state sovereignty by exacerbating stresses on the critical resources underpinning national security, including water and food; climate change can degrade a nation’s capacity to govern (Volz et al., 2020). Thus the states will also work against the environmental organization to thwart their efforts through laws and foreign policies that circumvent the activities of the organizations. Climate change avails a labyrinth challenge due to the diffused nature of both causal responsibilities for greenhouse gas pollution and the dispersal of climate change effects. Developing countries like Kenya are disproportionately more vulnerable to climate change, despite their relatively tiny share of the atmospheric greenhouse gas concentrations resulting in these damaging impacts (Volz et al., 2020). Therefore, causality for any climate change impact is difficult to trace because of several non-linear avenues of the blame for the problem that cannot be assigned to any one state. Regardless of how accountability for greenhouse gas emissions is ultimately divided, it is evident that the atmosphere itself cannot be apportioned according to arbitrarily defined sovereign demarcation. Once in the atmosphere, greenhouse gases afford a series of universal climate activities resulting in a varying suite of climate change impacts that manifest worldwide (Volz et al., 2020).

Climate change can prompt states to redefine their core interests, which foresee altering the possibilities for the convergence of goods pivotal to regime formation. Therefore, egoistic self-interest arises as a variable in regime formation as a function of the anarchic international system. No supreme law exists to adjudicate the relations between states and their conduct relative to climate change issues (Volz et al., 2020). Countries are thus free to help themselves and maximize their interests through applying national power in all its forms, making it difficult for the people groups to undertake substantial climate change internationally.

Climate change brings about more complex problems of common interests around which international cooperation of the people groups is more difficult to mobilize. The difficulty of ordinary dividends lies in the inducement for mutual desertion from a reciprocally beneficial cooperative outcome when the prize for abandonment is greater than the gain made from cooperation (Kasperson et al., 2022).All actors are interested in limiting greenhouse gas emissions; however, out of rational self-interest, they are interested in its plundering because of the connection between economic progress and greenhouse gas discharge. There is an evident interdependence between gross domestic product, energy utility, and greenhouse gas contamination. Economic activity consumes resources and creates a carbon footmark (Kasperson et al., 2022).


Industrial economies engineered by fossil fuels indicate an evident interdependence between economic activity and greenhouse gas discharge. Therefore, it follows that if economic activity levels escalate, greenhouse gas emissions will automatically surge. In addition, efforts to decarbonize power generation systems through renewable energy technologies are challenging to completely halt industrial economies away from fossil fuels because these energy sources are integral at critical points across production chains (Martins et al., 2019). As such, the people groups can never change the pattern of climate change. Moreover, as the struggle of states continues, the payoff from maximizing economic development and extrapolating emissions in the temporary is higher than the payoff from partnership to curb greenhouse gas discharge, hence availing a greater impetus for actors to defect from the common objective of limiting emissions(Martins et al., 2019).

Development rights benefit from a significant defection dividend from the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change mediation action. The historic emissions load of the Global North has created two significant spikes of controversy. First, Global South states argue that developed nations should take the lead and bear most of the global effort to reduce emissions. The developing Global South states say that since the Global North had a long head start in industrialization, the countries of the South should be given time to build their economies (Myers, 2021). The implication is that they increase their carbon emissions before the same reduction targets bind them as developed states. Moreover, since  Global North states have had a head start in industrial growth, they also possess the financial capability and technical expertise to aid Global South countries to limit their emissions. The Global South’s under-development is a crucial factor undermining the ability of these countries to adapt to climate change impacts (Myers, 2021)


People and groups cannot change the patterns of the problematic issues of climate change due to the impact of state sovereignty, which circumvent the activities of the environmental organizations. They lack binding legal authority and law that would make the state comply with their requirements. Similarly, the politicization of climate change by the developed global North and the developing global South on who to take the lead and bear a majority of the costs in the worldwide effort to reduce emissions has led to the inability of the organization to change the climate change patterns. Moreover, industrial economies propelled by fossil fuels enhance economic activity. Equally, they escalate greenhouse gas discharge, thus increasing global climate change effects inhibiting the progress of the environmental organization work from changing the problematic patterns and results of the climate change.


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Benz, S. A., Davis, S. J., & Burney, J. A. (2021). Drivers and projections of global surface temperature anomalies at the local scale. Environmental Research Letters, 16(6), 064093.

Conca, K. (2019). Is there a role for the UN Security Council on climate change? Environment: Science and Policy for Sustainable Development, 61(1), 4-15.

Hughes, S., Chu, E. K., & Mason, S. G. (2020). Climate Change and Cities. Oxford University Press.

Kasperson, J. X., Kasperson, R. E., Turner, B. L., Hsieh, W., & Schiller, A. (2022). Vulnerability to global environmental change. In The social contours of risk (pp. 245-285). Routledge.

Martins, F., Felgueiras, C., Smitkova, M., & Caetano, N. (2019). Analysis of fossil fuel energy consumption and environmental impacts in European countries. Energies, 12(6), 964.

Maxwell, S. L., Butt, N., Maron, M., McAlpine, C. A., Chapman, S., Ullmann, A., … & Watson, J. E. (2019). Conservation implications of ecological responses to extreme weather and climate events. Diversity and Distributions, 25(4), 613-625.

Myers, G. (2021). Urbanization in the Global South. In Urban Ecology in the Global South (pp. 27-49). Springer, Cham.

Scheidel, A., Del Bene, D., Liu, J., Navas, G., Mingorría, S., Demaria, F., & Martínez-Alier, J. (2020). Environmental conflicts and defenders: A global overview. Global Environmental Change, 63, 102104.

Tol, R. S. (2019). Climate economics: economic analysis of climate, climate change, and climate policy. Edward Elgar Publishing.

Volz, U., Beirne, J., Ambrosio Preudhomme, N., Fenton, A., Mazzacurati, E., Renzhi, N., & Stampe, J. (2020). Climate change and sovereign risk.


In order to ease the burden on you in these troubling times and circumstances, you may choose one of two options:
1. You may write one short essay (approximately 1,500-2,000 words) on one of the following eight topics.

1. You may write two even shorter essays (approximately 750-1,000 words each) on two different topics selected from the following eight topics.
All work must be submitted as “Word.doc” documents (no PDFs).
All work is due on or before April 15, 2022
Some students have been asking me to tell them what pages of the ebook and the “free” textbook contain the “answers” to the questions. For this last time, please understand, that it doesn’t work like that. There are ideas and information relevant to the topics in both books.
Some other students have been asking me to reveal the rubric for the evaluation. Again, there is none. The price of freedom is responsibility. You are being asked to think for yourselves and to answer the questions as you see fit. Much of the assessment concerns how well you organize your thoughts and much depends not on what, but on how you think.

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