According to NASA, The Earth’s climate has changed throughout history. Just in the last 650,000 years there have been seven cycles of glacial advance and retreat, with the abrupt end of the last ice age about 11,700 years ago marking the beginning of the modern climate era — and of human civilization. Most of these climate changes are attributed to very small variations in Earth’s orbit that change the amount of solar energy our planet receives.

The current warming trend is of particular significance because most of it is extremely likely (greater than 95 percent probability) to be the result of human activity since the mid-20th century and proceeding at a rate that is unprecedented over decades to millennia.

Earth-orbiting satellites and other technological advances have enabled scientists to see the big picture, collecting many different types of information about our planet and its climate on a global scale. This body of data, collected over many years, reveals the signals of a changing climate. There is no question that increased levels of greenhouse gases must cause the Earth to warm in response.

Ice cores drawn from Greenland, Antarctica, and tropical mountain glaciers show that the Earth’s climate responds to changes in greenhouse gas levels. Ancient evidence can also be found in tree rings, ocean sediments, coral reefs, and layers of sedimentary rocks. This ancient, or paleoclimate, evidence reveals that current warming is occurring roughly ten times faster than the average rate of ice-age-recovery warming.

So today, we can safely say Climate Change is the defining issue of our time and we are at a defining moment. From shifting weather patterns that threaten food production, to rising sea levels that increase the risk of catastrophic flooding, the impacts of climate change are global in scope and unprecedented in scale. Without drastic action today, adapting to these impacts in the future will be more difficult and costly.

The Human Fingerprint on Greenhouse Gases          

Greenhouse gases occur naturally and are essential to the survival of humans and millions of other living things, by keeping some of the sun’s warmth from reflecting back into space and making Earth livable. But after more than a century and a half of industrialization, deforestation, and large scale agriculture, large scale animal farming, quantities of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere have risen to unprecedented levels. As populations, economies and standards of living grow, so does the cumulative level of greenhouse gas (GHGs) emissions and that’s not a good sign, until we do something about it.

In fact, the World Economic Forum’s Global Risks Report, which draws on assessments from 750 experts, found that one of the five biggest risks faced by the world in 2017, in terms of potential impact, is weapons of mass destruction. All of the four others are climate-related: extreme weather events, water crises, major natural disasters, and failure of climate-change mitigation and adaptation. Climate change has the potential to slow our economic growth in the coming decades as temperature changes could reduce incomes globally by roughly 23% by 2100.

 Another study found that a 4.5°C increase in global temperatures could cut the global domestic product by $72 trillion. Hidden within these global economic estimates are the effects on individual companies – and unpredictable weather will only intensify these effects, reducing the availability of raw materials and disrupting supply chains. 

The combination of changing prices and changing weather patterns would likely cause changing demand for goods. If global temperatures rise, people would gravitate more towards sustainable products and vegan businesses are needed for both: to mitigate these life-altering risks for people and cater to their growing demands.

 

  • Economies of India, Indonesia, Latin America at risk in ‘nature crisis’: WEF
  • South American deforestation could lead to $422 million losses annually in Brazil leading to 60 per cent of coffee varieties in danger of extinction.
  • Changes in temperature and water availability are putting food crops at risk globally.
  • Extreme weather events have the potential to disrupt supply chains making getting the resources and materials businesses need more challenging.
  • Severe drought and weather pattern changes may cause a shortage of crops used for food, apparel and other products.
  • Rising electricity and transportation expenses may also increase the cost of moving goods.
  • Smoke could affect cloud formation, rainfall patterns and energy balance
  • Regulatory restrictions on goods linked to climate change could also increase costs.
  • As temperatures rise and weather patterns change, working conditions in some sectors may become harsher. Jobs that require physical labor, especially outdoors, will become more challenging, and health and safety risk in these industries will rise. This will increases costs in these sectors.
  • Livestock produced for food and growing feed is responsible for more greenhouse gas emissions than all transportation exhaust combined.
  • Even companies that do not produce much pollution may be indirectly affected by climate change laws since their suppliers and/or customers may be affected.
  • According to the SEC’s report, climate change is expected to change weather patterns throughout the world. Storms are expected to become more severe leading to a variety of negative consequences. This would likely cause greater losses for insurance companies, and could make oceanic shipping more dangerous in addition to damaging marine life.
  • Established farming areas could become less fertile or lack sufficient rainfall causing losses for agriculture firms.
  • The subsequent influence of climate change may feed through to the domestic economy through lower demand for exports or higher prices of imports.
  • Reputation is supremely important to many businesses. More and more public opinion seems to be turning against firms who are perceived to be over-polluting.
  • Developing-world regions to be more prone to hunger
  • Children will be most vulnerable to malnutrition and pollution as temperatures rise
  • Infectious disease will also hit children hardest hit as droughts increase
  • Burning forests to create agricultural land emits particulates that are harmful to humans
  • Milder winters and the associated decline in cold-related mortality rates will be countered by a greater prevalence and severity of heat waves, bringing with it a higher number of heat-related mortalities.
  • Migration increased after floods and extreme temperature events