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Some Remarks on the Individual Contribution to Climate Change

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DOI: 10.4236/ajcc.2013.23020    3,783 Downloads   6,479 Views   Citations

ABSTRACT

Climate change is one of the most important challenges of the 21st Century. As greenhouse gas concentration of the atmosphere has reached the 400ppm threshold of a 2°C global warming on 9 May 2013 and irreversible tipping points of the climatic system at some point of time have got even more likely, the question of the individual contribution to climate change becomes more and more virulent. For a long time, the absorption capacity of the environment has been regarded as limitless, and based on this perception, the economic entities used the environment for hundreds of years without constraints. Today, with progress of scientific knowledge, we are now aware of the possible negative impacts of climate change to environmental, economic and social systems on Earth. This awareness, however, did not lead to a significant change of individual behavior, because the perceived individual contribution to both the anthropogenic cause of climate change and its mitigation is still regarded as marginal. To encounter this misperception or diffusion of environmental responsibility, this article presents an alternative calculation of the individual contribution to climate change taking the incremental approach to a tipping point or a 2°C global warming threshold into account.

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A. Oberheitmann, "Some Remarks on the Individual Contribution to Climate Change," American Journal of Climate Change, Vol. 2 No. 3, 2013, pp. 198-202. doi: 10.4236/ajcc.2013.23020.

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