There has been confusion about what climate change really means. Previously, various terminologies have been used to describe the problem. The most popular ones are greenhouse effect and global warming. Greenhouse effect came about as a result of the changes to the physical mechanism of the environment whose result was a partial blanketing effect. The terminology was later changed to global warming due to the fact that the main environmental problem was the general increase in temperature. However, the description did not indicate the full aspect of environmental threat which was in fact, climate change. Naming the environmental crisis as climate change captures the whole issue as opposed to the previous terminologies which just highlighted some of the effects. .
The extraction and the utilization of fossil fuels is the main contributing factor to climate change. The process has two effects which include serving the energy purpose of the planet and adversely affecting the climate. This twofold implication of fossil fuel usage somehow creates a paradoxical situation where one is torn between what should be done and what should not be done (Gardiner, Stephen M, 2006, p. 400). Firstly, the energy requirements of the current generation have to be met; otherwise life would become almost unbearable. On the other hand, going ahead with fossil fuel usage will destroy the environment and this will compromise the existence of the future generations. This paper aims at discussing this problem which renders the tackling of the climate change issue a difficult task. The essay will look at the problem from the perspective of intergenerational conflict. .
The intergovernmental panel on climate change (IPCC) is a body which was formed in 1988 with an aim of providing the member countries with state of the art information about the science, impact, the economic implication, and offer suggestions for mitigation or adaptation to climate change.