Factors Causing Homegrown Violent Extremism

Research Question and Hypothesis Exercise


Homegrown violent extremism has become an increasingly complex threat in the intelligence community, with continual changes in defining this threat and new, preventive approaches in combatting the threat. The puzzle of defining an individual who becomes self-radicalized by various influences at various points in time and in different situations results in unclear definitions in this field of study. However, for purposes of this research, homegrown violent extremism, as defined on the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) website, states “homegrown violent extremists are global-jihad-inspired individuals who are based in the U.S., have been radicalized primarily in the U.S., and are not directly collaborating with a foreign terrorist organization”. Homegrown violent extremists, hereinafter called HVEs, are determined to radicalize to violence for multiple reasons and at different paces but tend to follow a radicalization continuum and show signs of mobilization at different points in the continuum. Radicalization is far from a black and white process, but rather a set of processes, and therefore has varying definitions. For the purpose of this research proposal, radicalization will be defined as “process of developing extremist ideologies and beliefs” (Borum 2012, 9).

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HVEs are currently the number one terrorism threat to the United States because finding a radicalized individual is like finding a needle in a haystack, and these radicalized individuals often go unnoticed until he or she reaches the resolve phase of the radicalization continuum wherein the individual commits a violent attack. If the HVE threat is the number one counter terrorism priority to the United States, the initial research area and general question of interest is what is the United States specifically doing to understand and address the evolving and increasingly difficult HVE problem? Expert researchers in this field of study agree that HVEs are very different than the members of Islamic State of Iraq and ash-Sham (ISIS) or al-Qaeda in that these ‘lone wolf’ actors tend to go through a “roughly predictable process of radicalization related to ideology”, and the radicalization process could happen very quickly or over the course of years (Klausen et al. 2016, 68). In addition, it is unknown if all HVEs experience radicalization in the same way.

Field research on homegrown violent extremism indicates there are multiple social science approaches to looking at the process of radicalization. Social movement theory is a framework through which radicalization can be viewed in that a social movement provides an identity through a large group of people who display discontent through collective behaviors (Borum 2012, 17). Another framework for viewing radicalization is through social psychology, which views radicalization as a group related phenomenon, states that these group atmospheres cultivate extremist views and thinking which illuminate terrorist behavior, also referred to as “group polarization” (Borum 2012, 20).  Lastly, a different paradigm to view radicalization is conversion theory, which depicts radicalization as a very personal, individual process through which an individual will convert their belief system into a radical ideology. Lewis Rambo describes conversion as having seven “stages”: context, crisis, quest, encounter, interaction, commitment, and consequence which ultimately come together to enhance the impact on the individual and reinforce their belief system (Borum 2012, 22-23).

The process in which a United States citizen is radicalized includes a multitude of factors, all of which vary depending on the individual’s circumstances and ideological attachment. The most important aspect of radicalization is how the threat is countered, which can only be identified through mobilization indicators – that is, the intelligence community will only know about an HVE if they expose themselves to others in their inner circle or display mobilization indicators that may lead to things like dry runs or verbalizing a resolve to commit violence against other people.

I am studying the threat of homegrown violent extremism in the United States because I want to find out the various factors that contribute to the dynamic of radicalization so that readers understand the influence of foreign terrorist organization propaganda on the homegrown violent extremist ultimately immersing the individual into radicalization and mobilization to violence. My tentative research question is “how are homegrown violent extremists in the United States radicalized by foreign terrorist organizations and a need for significance amongst personal grievances, and how might this impact the ability of the individual to deradicalize or mobilize to violence?” And my tentative purpose statement is “this paper examines paths to radicalization in the United States, and the various indicators or factors that contribute to individual vulnerability to radicalization by a foreign terrorist organization, including mobilization indicators and resolve to commit violence.

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Case studies of HVEs will help with measuring the influence that factors of radicalization have on an individual turning to homegrown violent extremism and ultimately conducting an attack against the United States. There are research studies in the field that identified rejection or ostracization by others as strong factors in ultimately “displaying irrational aggression against third parties not involved in the original rejection”, and these studies have allowed the same application of this concept to the risk factors in radicalization of HVEs (Jasko et al. 2017, 816). The various case studies available depict specific mobilization indicators as well as display opportunities for off-ramping/deradicalization from violence, and for this research project I would like to use homegrown violent extremism as the dependent variable in the study, defined earlier, to attempt to explain why HVEs radicalize and ultimately mobilize to violence. The independent variable here is the radicalization process; this proposal aims to show the influence or effect of radicalization processes on the individual that causes an HVE to mobilize and commit a violent attack against the United States.

 I plan to measure the impact that the radicalization process has on the homegrown violent extremist by looking at the radicalization continuum which includes introduction, immersion, frustration, and resolve, as well as analyzing the dynamics of radicalization (personal grievances, community, global incidents, ideologies). Therefore, it is likely the relationship between these two variables will show the tendency or likelihood of an individual becoming radicalized. The proposed hypothesis of this paper is: if an individual or group displays vulnerability to radicalization based on risk factors, then the individual or group is more likely to adopt a violent form of action directly linked to an extremist ideology and display indicators of mobilization to conduct a violent attack.The HVE phenomenon and the lack of clarity in the radicalization process is an increasingly concerning threat now and for the future, not only because of the inspired Islamic extremist ideology which has been around and freely available for a long time, but the rise of terrorist organizations and other extremists using social media promoting terrorist attacks with propaganda, all of which is inflated by the sheer number of al-Qaeda and ISIS supporters that exist across the world (Zekulin 2016, 47).


Borum, Randy. “Radicalization into Violent Extremism I: A Review of Social Science Theories.” Journal of Strategic Security 4, no. 4 (2012): 7-36. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5038/1944-0472.4.4.1

Jasko, Katarzyna, Gary LaFree, and Arie Kruglanski. 2017. “Quest for Significance and Violent Extremism: The Case of Domestic Radicalization.” Political Psychology 38 (5): 815–31. DOI:10.1111/pops.12376.

Klausen, Jytte, Selene Campion, Nathan Needle, Giang Nguyen, and Rosanne Libretti. 2016. “Toward a Behavioral Model of ‘Homegrown’ Radicalization Trajectories.” Studies in Conflict & Terrorism 39 (1): 67–83. doi:10.1080/1057610X.2015.1099995.

Zekulin, Michael. 2016. “Endgames: Improving Our Understanding of Homegrown Terrorism.” Studies in Conflict & Terrorism 39 (1): 46–66. DOI:10.1080/1057610X.2015.1084161.

Fossil Fuels: Causing Climate Change

The problems of all of humanity can only be solved by all humanity. -Swiss author Friedrich Dürrenmatt
Generally, the climate of our planet has always changed over the time since many years ago. However, Climate change has recently become a common issue in our daily lives. It has gained much attention from worldwide countries as it has affected many regions in the form of disasters. In most of the time, climate change is brought about by an increasing of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere especially CO2.
NOAA whose measuring location is Mauna Loa Observatory in Hawaii shows that the level of atmospheric CO2 keeps increasing every year. For example, it rose from 387.74ppm to 390.09ppm between 2009 and 2010 (NOAA, 2010). And this is resulted from different kinds of human activities which released CO2 into atmosphere every day.
As a result of that, it has brought up a question which remains debatable among the society; is the climate change mainly induced by human?
Due to the greenhouse gas emissions by human activities such as burning fossil fuels, deforestation and growing world population, it is beyond doubt that climate change is mainly caused by human.
This report will indicate the greenhouse gas emissions by human activities can induce the change in global climate. Furthermore, the research results are related to the United States of America, China and some European countries, because these countries are considered as world’s significant emitters of greenhouse gases.
2.1 Fossil fuels share a large proportion in greenhouse gas emissions
Fossil fuels are materials of biological origin occurring within the Earth’s crust that can be used as a source of energy, such as coal, oil, natural gas etc (fossil fuel, 2010). The burning of fossil fuels emits greenhouse gases directly to the atmosphere and are mostly used for the purpose of energy production, transportation, manufacturing and home or buildings heating. In addition, fossil fuels are the key source for human to generate energy; it provides 80% of the commercial energy supply. It is also a significant anthropogenic factor of greenhouse gases emissions. Most of global greenhouse gases are emitted by fossil fuel production and consumption. For instance, fossil fuels account for 70% of carbon dioxide (CO2), 29% of methane (CH4) and 20% of nitrous oxide (N2O). (Dawson & Spannagle2009, p.184)
At the same time, industrial Revolution is known as a starting point for the fossil fuel era, it induces a rapid rise in greenhouse gases in the air. Some believe that climate change is not necessarily caused by fossil fuels because more than half of the current changes occurred before the Industrial Revolution. There is no doubt that most of the changes existed before the Industrial Revolution. However, by looking at the rate of greenhouse gas emissions over the years after the Industrial Revolution, it indicates that fossil fuels have to be responsible for the change in global climate. This can be proved by Archer and Rahmstorf (2010); they claimed that due to an increase in the fossil fuel consumption by human, there is a rise in the rate of atmospheric CO2 by 20% higher than the rate before the Industrial Revolution, so do the other greenhouse gases such as methane (CH4). Hence, fossil fuels share a large proportion in greenhouse gases emissions.

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For example, China’s economy has grown quickly since 2000, and China has become one of the most noticeable emitters of C02 due to a persistent increase in fossil fuel consumption for energy production. The energy consumption in China increased by 14% in 2004, 15% in 2005 and 11% in 2006, therefore, fossil fuel consumption also increased which leads the amount of atmospheric CO2 to rise. (Dawson & Spannagle2009, p.21)
Similarly, according to Environmental Protection Agency (2010), the main source of greenhouse gases emissions especially CO2 is from fossil fuels combustion. The process of electricity generation accounts 41% of the CO2 emission in the United States, whereby the transportation is the second largest source. In addition, the industrial process and product uses can also produce the greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide (CO2), nitrous oxide (N20) and other gases in the form of by- product.
Some have argued that fossil fuels would not be blamed for the climate change because the consumption of fossil fuels has improved our living standard and the development of the economy. However, as the fossil fuels continue releasing a vast amount of greenhouse gases into the air, it will eventually affect human society and economy earlier than what it is expected to be. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) stated that the fossil fuel consumption is expected to increase and the atmospheric CO2 concentrations will reach 550 ppm by 2035- 2040 which will result in serious climate change (Dawson & Spannagle2009, p.186).
In conclusion, fossil fuels are definitely a main cause of climate change by releasing a vast amount of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere. Clearly, humans are responsible for the climate change.

Greenhouse gas emissions causing climate change

Climate change is the consequence of any kind of adjustments in the climate system. Change in climate is caused by fluctuations in the factors that influence climatic patterns. This phenomenon has become one of the greatest environmental threats and risks that the world is facing. Persistent human activities such as driving cars, farming, deforestation, and industrialization result into production of greenhouse gases. These gases gather in the atmospheric space, and trap the heat from the sun. This is what causes climate change manifested through global warming and other processes. The effects of disruptive changes have led to catastrophic events like storms, droughts, rise in the sea levels, and floods (Kammen & Casillas 2010, p. 1181).

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Climate change is majorly caused by greenhouse gas emissions. Most of the intervention efforts meant to mitigate the impacts of climate change thus target human activities that contribute to additional emission of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere (Letcher & ScienceDirect 2009, p. 67). Therefore, renewable energy has been considered as one of the leading solutions to climate change. Provision of ‘carbon-neutral’ sources of power, heat, transport fuels and renewable energy options has been considered by environmental scientists as a great move in the right direction. The objective is to enact a transition from high to low carbon economy.
Although the renewable energy sector is quickly changing, climate change crises dictate that the energy system be drastically transformed. This will help in combating the dangers that are associated with global warming that threatens to slump the global economy in the face of globalization and industrialization. Roggema (2009, p. 211) cited air pollution caused by transport and power sectors of the economy have been a great threat not only to the human health but have also shifted the climate systems.
Prospective Interventions to Address Climate Change Crisis
Climate change as an environmental problem is essentially a problem caused by the extreme utilization of fossil energy. Agriculture, changes in land use, cement production and use of chemicals all contribute to the emission of the greenhouse gases (Roggema 2009, p. 234). However, 70% of the global warming/climate change problems is caused by unsustainable use of fossil fuels. Therefore, in order to deal with the problems related to climate change, there has to be a shift from use of fossil fuels at home, in the industries, transport and generally the entire sectors of the economy (Roggema 2009, p. 203).
In order to avert the challenges associated with climate change, saving of energy is essential. Electricity, automobiles and carbon emissions are the main causes of problems related to climate change. The regular incandescent light bulbs should thus be changed and replaced with the energy saving compact fluorescent bulbs which are more efficient and energy saving. The emissions that result from automobiles like motor vehicles, motorcycles should also be reduced (Letcher & ScienceDirect 2009, p. 154).
Climate change has been caused by human activities such as deforestation in search of more space for agricultural activities. Therefore carbon dioxide concentration in the atmosphere continues to rise. Being a greenhouse gas, carbon dioxide has contributed to the rise of global temperatures. Roggema (2009, p. 183) cited that human activities that encroach to the environment should thus be limited to prevent further crises associated with global warming.
Traditional methods of conservation of forest ecosystems should be embraced to preserve the ecosystem and mitigate the effects of climate change (Tracy 2010, p.353). Therefore reforestation should be encouraged so that the greenhouse gases like carbon dioxide are reduced from the atmosphere. Farming activities that promote environmental hazards such as soil erosion should thus be limited and replaced with farming approaches that are environmentally custodial.
Industrialization is the major contributor to climate change. This is because of the emission of the greenhouse gases like Nitrous Oxide and Carbon dioxide (Tracy 2010, p. 354). In order to avert climate change challenges there should be focus on change in the energy used in the industries from the dirty to clean energy. Climate change scientists have advocated for the use of renewable energy as the solution to the climate change problems that are caused by the use of environmentally hazardous fuels like coal and nuclear energy in the industries in the global economy (Tracy 2010, p. 355).
Climate Change and the options for Renewable Energy
Human activities and natural environmental processes are all responsible for climate change. Natural causes include volcanic eruptions, ocean currents, changes in the earths orbit and solar variations. An eruption of volcanoes throws out great volumes of sulphur dioxide, water vapor, dust, and ash into the atmosphere (Wengenmayr 2008, p. 141). The large volumes of gases and ash have the ability to influence climatic patterns by increasing the planetary reflectivity leading to atmospheric cooling. The aerosols are produced by volcanoes also affects the purity of air in the atmosphere. These contribute greatly to climate change.
The oceans currents are considered a great threat to the climate stability. The currents release great amounts of heat across the planet. Besides, the interaction between the ocean and the atmosphere can produce El Nino. The oceans determine the atmospheric concentration of carbon dioxide. This implies that changes in the ocean circulation greatly affects climate and significantly contributes to the climate (Wengenmayr 2008, p. 231).
Climate change has been caused by human activities. MacZulak (2010, p. 9) cited that this is majorly through the burning of fossil fuels, changes in the land use, and industrialization. With industrial revolution of the 19th century, fossil fuels have been used to support industrial processes. Fossil fuels such as oil, coal and natural gas have been great energy supplies for the industrialized economies. However, these sources of energy have contributed to great emissions of the greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. These are responsible for climate change (MacZulak 2010, p. 8).
Carbon dioxide concentration in the atmosphere has increased because of human activities such as deforestation and agriculture. Methane is released through oil drilling, mining of coal, leaking gas pipelines, landfills and waste dumps (MacZulak 2010, p. 9). These greenhouse gases cause great increase in the climate change and are significantly responsible for global warming. The greatest cause of climate change and global warming however is the burning of the fossil fuels. These fuels cause emission of greenhouse gases into the earth’s atmosphere leading to depletion of the ozone layer and global warming (Twidell & Weir 2006, p. 143).
Options for Renewable Energy
The term renewable energy is used in reference to the energy resources that occur naturally in the environment and can always be re-used after the initial function. Examples of this energy are the solar, wind, hydro, and geothermal energy.  Rivers, biomass and garbage are also considered as renewable energies (Abid, Crawford & Davoudi 2009, p.167). Renewable energy is the future of the earth’s energy needs.
However, in order to effectively combat climate change-related challenges, the global mean temperatures have to be kept below two degrees Celsius. This calls for prior planning and transformation of the industrial sectors’ use of energy. Renewable energy has the potential decreasing the use of fossil fuels that are to blame for most of the problems associated with climate change (Abid et al 2009, p. 169).
Renewable energy sources such as wind energy, solar energy, and the bio-fuels are increasingly being used as energy alternatives. With the climate change and its crises, such form of energy has the advantage of energy security since the fossil fuels will be depleted as a result of climate change. Climate change is largely a consequence of anthropogenic activities such as burning of the fossil fuels, industrial processes, deforestation and the release of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere. It is estimated that the power sector by itself contributes about 40% of the total carbon emissions (Abid et al 2009, p. 297). This can only be altered by shifting to the use of renewable energy.
Climatic impacts such as tsunamis, droughts, wildfires, floods, storms, heat waves and tornados are consequences of climate change (MacZulak 2010, p. 8). However, according to the climate change specialists, clean air policy that includes use of renewable energy can substantially mitigate the negative impacts of climate change caused by fossil fuels. Renewable energy technologies are considered to be the most potential mitigation for greenhouse gases. In the steadily growing awareness on the importance of environmental protection priorities, renewable energy is considered appropriate in the mitigation of climate change effects (Chiras 2007, p. 67).
Renewable energy is the alternative to the climate change crises since it does not produce greenhouse gas emissions and pollute the air as is the case with the fossil fuels. Chiras (2007, p. 17) indicated that biomass energy for example, has been used as an alternative for fossil fuels so as to conserve the environment. It is considered a greenhouse gas neutral since its combustion releases no more carbon dioxide than was absorbed during growth period of the organic material. Biomass fuel also contain little sulphur and low combustion temperatures. This limits the formation of nitrogen oxide which is a greenhouse gas dangerous to the environment (Abid et al 2009, p. 269).
Responding to Climate Change
The transport industry is driven mostly by petrol. This causes emission of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. The carbon dioxide combines with other greenhouse gases in the atmosphere and cause global warming. In order to deal with this menace, there is need for countries to invest in energy efficient technologies like plug-in hybrid electric vehicles and new technologies such as hydrogen cars (Abid et al 2009, p. 297). This has the potential of reducing petroleum emissions of greenhouse gases into the air. Further, there is need to shift from air and truck transports to electric rail transport that reduces emissions significantly.
Industries should shift from the fossil fuels to use of bio-fuels such as ethanol and biodiesel fuels should be used in the gasoline engines in the industrial economies. Abid et al (2009, p. 169) cited that electric vehicles can contribute into reduction of dangerous gases into the atmosphere especially if the energy is produced through the renewable energy sources.
In order to deal with climate change and environmental crises associated with it, elimination of waste methane is required. Methane is considered to be one of the strongest greenhouse gases that are responsible for the climate change problems. Waste methane should thus be dealt with responsibly. This is through careful handling of oil wells, landfills, coal mines and the waste treatment plants (Chiras 2007, p. 17). This will provide a net greenhouse gas emission benefits.
Biomass as a source of bio-energy can be used to capture carbon. Biomass traps carbon dioxide in the atmosphere through photosynthesis. When biomass is decomposed through combustion, carbon is released as carbon dioxide. This is the process involved in the carbon cycle. Biomass fuelled power plants result into a net-negative carbon dioxide emission. This implies that there will be less carbon in the atmosphere will be trapped through the technology and reduce greenhouse gases that are a threat to the environment (Abid et al 2009, p. 169).
The adoption of renewable energy technologies is strategic in addressing the problems associated with climate change and global warming (Ehrfeld 2009, p. 113). From 1970s and 80s, development agencies have promoted small-scale renewable energy technologies. This includes the use of biogas, cooking stoves, the wind turbines and solar heaters in the industrializing countries. In the large scale developing countries have responded to climate change through the use of ethanol in the transport sector. This is especially the case in Brazil. In India, biogas is being used in households for lighting and cooking. Grid connected power in India and hydropower are being used in India and Nepal respectively as renewable sources of energy and safe energy for environmental conservation (Ehrfeld 2009, p. 119).
Naturally Sustainable Renewable Energy
As oil reservoirs and oil wells in the world run dry due to extensive exploitation and use in the energy sector, there is also an outcry in the environment that is caused by their consequences. Renewable energy sources include geothermal energy, solar, hydroelectric, biomass and wind energy (Chiras 2007, p. 233). These forms of energy have been considered to be the most environmental friendly because they don’t produce high levels of greenhouse gases and other substances that are not environmentally friendly. The challenge that these forms of renewable energy have is sustainable use.
Hydroelectric power uses the movement of falling water to run the turbines. Unlike other sources of energy, hydroelectricity does not depend on the fuels like natural gas or petrol to run the engines. This makes it more environmentally friendly. Besides, it is more sustainable with the sustainability of the environment so that water capacity of the dams is not interfered with. It uses the natural progression nature to generate electricity (Chiras 2007, p. 117).
Hydroelectric power does not produce direct waste that pollutes the environment. It is thus considered to be environmentally sustainable (Ehrfeld 2009, p. 114). The carbon dioxide levels produced by hydroelectric power plants are considerably very low. This is however only produced during the construction stage of the plants and not in the operational phase of the plants making it environmentally friendly.
As a renewable source of energy, hydroelectric power does not need the use of fuels to run the turbines. The use of petrol in the production of hydroelectric energy is not existent. This implies that when the price of the fossil fuels rises, the hydroelectric plants are often not affected. This makes it a sustainable and reliable source of energy when compared to other sources of energy (Ehrfeld 2009, p. 116). It also means that the consumer price of this form of renewable energy is fairly constant. In terms of sustainability, hydroelectric power stations last longer than the energy plant stations that are powered by fossil fuels. They are generally easy to maintain and pose no much threat to human life and property.
Hydroelectric energy plants contribute to conservation of the environment. In the countries where great investments have been done in the hydropower such as Bhutan, environmental stewardship and custodianship is encouraged. Ehrfeld (2009, p. 119) cited that since it depends on water, a lot of forest conservation and reforestation is encouraged. This helps in the reduction of the carbon dioxide concentration in the atmosphere. The human activities that contribute environmental degradation are also reduced through investment in the hydroelectric power plants.
Climate change is caused by human activities that tamper with the environment. However, when a country invests in the hydroelectric plants, environmental conservations efforts are boosted. With the conservation of the water catchment areas and the forests, hydroelectricity becomes a very sustainable and reliable source of renewable energy. As it produces clean energy through environmentally friendly approaches, it also helps in the protection of Mother Nature (Ehrfeld 2009, p.121).
International Agreements and Government Interventions in Climate Change
Various intervention efforts have been made at the community and individual levels to combat climate change and to reduce the negative effects of human activities on the environment. However, much is still needed to be done especially at the inter-state and governmental level. One of the efforts that the governments from the industrialized countries are making in the mitigating climate change is through the Kyoto Protocol. The focus of the protocol is in the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions especially from the industrialized countries by 2012.
The developed countries have the responsibility to reduce their emission of greenhouse gases from their large industries. These gases contribute to global warming and climate change. The Kyoto Protocol intervention targets reduction of carbon in the atmosphere (Karlsson, Lund, & Mathiesen 2010, p. 488). This is through emission trading, clean development mechanism and the joint implementation. These strategies target reductions of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. The countries that are signatories are thus investing in renewable energy technology options in the industries.
The UK government considers climate change as a priority. Its approaches include targeting households to help in energy saving and strengthen renewable energy adoption. Civil society, community and private organizations are also strengthened through grants to help in generation of renewable heat from the renewable sources (Ehrfeld 2009, p. 115). The industrialized countries are re-focusing investments towards generation of renewable energies that are environmentally friendly and are sustainable. There is thus need to encourage less use of fossil fuels and more investment in the bio-fuels.
Improvement of energy efficiency is a good government strategy for dealing with the climate change problems. Reduced use of energy implies reduced production of carbon dioxide. Karlsson et al (2010 p. 501) cited that this calls for more efficient vehicles, motors, appliances and industrial processes. Besides, development of renewable energy sources such as solar, geothermal, hydroelectricity, and biomass should be encouraged to reduce the consequences of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere.
The transport sector should reduce gasoline consumption. The trucks, cars and buses use almost half of the oil in the United States. There is therefore urgent need for investment in electric and fuel-celled vehicles so as to reduce the emission of carbon dioxide. Transport policies should also encourage less driving of single-passenger vehicles in order to reduce greenhouse emissions (Ehrfeld 2009, p. 115).
Human activities that involve land use are largely to blame for destruction of the environment. Governments should focus on developing agricultural policies that discourage environmentally hazardous practices and activities such deforestation and other human activities that are dangerous to the environment. Climate change has negatively impacted on food security. In order to therefore fight poverty, climate change must be addressed through agricultural activities and policies that are environmentally friendly (Kammen & Casillas 2010, p. 1181-1182).
Climate change is greatly caused by human activities more than the natural processes. Industrialization and agricultural activities are largely responsible for the production of greenhouse gases that promote global warming and other consequences. These threaten wildlife and human existence and as such should be addressed. Renewable energy is the potential rescue of the environment from the negative effects of human activities. Governments and countries thus need to use less of fossil fuels and invest more in renewable energy technology options. These include hydropower, geothermal, wind energy and other reliable sources of environmentally friendly renewable energy sources.

Ineffective Communication Causing Health Care Errors

The primary root of errors in the medical field is caused by ineffective team communication. A multitude of evidence depicts the adverse events that are as a result of errors that happen at unacceptable rates particularly in the patient setup. In most cases, ineffective or barriers to effective communication among the involved parties are the main contributors to these errors. For instance, failure in communication has been uncovered as being the root cause of over 60% of events that have been brought to attention to the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations (Leonard, 2014). A similar report highlights the role of ineffective communication in error making. The report cited “communication difficulties at all levels of the hospitals, including doctors to doctors, doctors to nurses, nurses to nurses as well as nurses to doctors” as being the underlying factors that contribute to the death of a majority of the pediatric patients (Leonard, 2014). The primary objective of the project is mainly meant to unearth the ineffective features communication particularly in the healthcare as well as classify their impacts.

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Heisler (2012) asserts that in modern healthcare, it all entails teamwork rather than individuals effort. This calls for cooperation from professionals from all the disciplines concerned. However, a lot of evidence points out that these much-needed change has not been incorporated and supported by radical changes in the systems for effective communication between healthcare practitioners and in particular across all fields. There is a positive correlation between ineffective inter-professional teamwork and a compromised patient needs, tension, distress among the staffs as well as inefficient service delivery. The project will similarly focus on the merits of having in placed an active communication channel that aims at sharing clinical information between the healthcare professionals. Also, it will also highlight visible evidence of information sharing between the inter-professionals as well as the challenges encountered in healthcare communication. The project will also bring into the limelight the impacts of communication in healthcare. Though the focus will be mainly on hospital-based scenarios, the lessons extracted can as well be applied to healthcare settings at large.
Characteristics of Effective Healthcare Teams
Through an extensive consideration of the critical factors that influence team performance in a majority of the fields, Leonard (2014) came up with a model involving five key dimensional areas in effective teams: effective team leadership, routine performance monitoring, behaviour backup, adaptability as well as team orientation. All these factors are coordinated by vouching mechanisms of total trust, effective communication and shared intelligence models.
Leadership entails a multitude of factors such as team coordination, task coordination, supervision, planning, and team motivation to enhance productivity as well as establishing a favourable environment to carry on with daily routines (Atherton et al., 2012). Common performance monitoring calls for sufficient understanding of the atmosphere around to enable monitoring and control of all the team members. This has the benefit of easier identification of laxity or lapses or even work overload among the staffs. For backup behaviour, it’s vital to understand other employees’ tasks that translate to enabling supportive actions to be administered by the team members. Such activities may involve workload redistribution or support.
Adaptability helps a team to effectively respond to any change that may happen in the environment and similarly accommodate the moves by the patients’ needs(Zwarenstein, 2009). It will be effective in that the needs of the patients will not be altered at all and thus patient management will be effective. Team orientation involves and incorporates the need to take other staffs ideas and perspectives into consideration. The belief is that the team’s objectives and goals should be aligned by the wellbeing of the patient as they are more crucial and important than personal goals. 
For these five critical dimensions of effective teams to be achieved, then all the staffs must entirely trust and respect each other to give and consequently receive feedback on their performance (Free et al., 2013). Additionally, the members must be adept of communication skills to convey their information effectively. Similarly, the sharing of a mental model is paramount. A shared mental model has been termed to be one of the critical underpinning factors that contribute to effective teamwork and in particular in healthcare. Through mental models, there is a mutual understanding of all situations, the intention for treatment, and the duties and roles of every person in the team. Also, there will be an anticipation of other’s needs, identification of changes in the clinical scenario as well as adjusting strategies as its needed. Zwarenstein (2009) argues that without this vital mental model, the various individuals of the team cannot entirely contribute to solving problems or even in decision making. One of the core requirements for enacting and developing a mutual mental model that would lead to effective team performance is useful information sharing between team members.
Information Sharing: a Challenge Encountered by Healthcare Teams
Some scenarios depict numerous problems that healthcare encounter as a result of difficulties in communication among the staffs. For instance, a meta-analysis involving several ranges of fields indicated that information sharing has a positive correlation with team performance.  There are numerous interfaces whereby the transmission of information between the staffs of the healthcare team is essential for effective and safe patient care. There has been an inadequacy in information sharing in context interface such transfers between departments, extreme-acuity settings and in particular in the emergency departments or even in the operating room, sharing of crucial information across inter-professionals, and ineffective handover of patients during shift changes (Heisler, 2012).
During a study carried out on patient ward handovers, the minority of the patients were confident regarding their patients’ handovers. In another study carried out by (Leonard, 2014) concerning the operational room communications, he categorized almost a half of the communication situations as ineffective and almost a quarter of these had tremendous adverse effects. Such included inefficiency, wastage of resources, delay in catering for the patients, tension and even procedural errors. Atherton et al. (2012) assert that teams who rarely shared information concerning the patients before the commencement of any curative surgery or even during post-surgery handover were in more trouble of causing surgical complications as compared to those teams that frequently shared crucial information regarding the patient. For the majority of those who witnessed postoperative handovers, they pointed out that most of the crucial and critical information such as intraoperative issues or allergies was not adequately disseminated from the operating room to the concerned ward nurses. There is also supporting evidence that suggests that through incorporating specific techniques that are geared towards improving information dissemination can go a long way in improving clinical management. Christensen & Remler (2009) highlights that such techniques may involve, ensuring that there is a high acuity setting, emergency declaration as well as information sharing with the team involving a crisis.
Similarly, it’s prudent to brainstorm on an issue through enhancing verbal observations as well as embracing decision-making processes with the team to share ones, mental model. The main determinants of failure in information sharing involve educational, organizational, and psychological factors. This hinders effective communication among the team members as well as effective patient care.
Educational determinants
Considerable attention has been emphasized on the doctor to patient communication in most of the undergraduate medical fields without laying a lot of emphasis in training medical students on effective communication with other professionals in the same area. Christensen & Remler (2009) points out that every single professional group has its unique way or arranging information which is attributed to different educational curriculums. There is a disparity between various professional groups regarding content delivery, the structure of the data as well as the timing of the information, and thus they may not be able to comprehend the role, duties and priorities of other professional groups. Health professionals’ education is largely centred on a specific discipline with very minimal interaction from other healthcare disciplines. Very few healthcare providers are trained specifically on teamwork (Leonard, 2014). Discipline separation and disparities in education offer minimal effort to address the misunderstanding of other disciplines, roles, priorities or responsibilities and thus this adversely impacts inter-professional teamwork when it’s required.
Psychological determinants
The primary part of healthcare professional education is the development of a reputable professional identity either as a nurse or as a doctor. However, there are always some challenges faced in the process. Psychologically, in accordance to social identity theory, it points out that members of any professional group such as nursing, medicine or any other allied health field,  they tend to perceive their attributes as being superior and those of the other groups as being inferior (Atherton et al., 2012). Similarly, there is the specific calibre of individuals who have a high affinity for specific professions as well as specialities and thus strengthening this phenomenon. However, due to these professional allegiances, tension can build up from different professional groups when there are differing expectations on how issues should be handled. Another psychological barrier that may lead to ineffective communication is the healthcare structure which is hierarchical. Generally, the senior staffs are enthusiastic whenever they are issuing out commands to their juniors.
Consequently, the juniors are not in a position to challenge the decisions made but only to comply with it. They ultimately conceal their suggestions which would otherwise be important. The hierarchical structure has proven to have disastrous repercussions in aviation whereby the junior pilots opted not to go against misguided decisions made by their superiors.
Organizational determinants
The physical environment of healthcare, as well as the geographical distribution of patients within the healthcare, can influence the efficient scheduling of activities involving patients care team. Such activities include scheduling meetings to discuss patients’ welfare as well as ward rounds. Atherton et al. (2012) point out that majority of these organizational and geographical determinants acts as barriers to effective communication between junior staffs and the seniors when it calls upon coordination of patients across different wards that have different crews. Similarly, nurses who are conversant with the patient may be absent when crucial decisions are made regarding their patient. In reality, all the staffs may be aware of what is required to have effective communication between inter-professionals, but the environment may not be favourable to facilitate this. Additionally, varying clinical areas may apply incompatible soft wares or even different forms and thus making the interpretation of the information difficult.
Importance and Impacts of Effective Healthcare Communication
Ensuring that there is effective communication as well as enhancing teamwork is vital in ensuring delivery of high quality and safety for all the patients.one of the final factor that leads to inadvertent patient complications is the breakdown of the communication process. Medical care is complex in its own, and this is later coupled with inherent factors from the professionals. This makes it important for all the heath cares to have a common communication tools, creating a favourable environment for each to have their ideas and suggestions listened to and also shared a common language in case of emergencies. Leonard (2014) opines that effective communication is either personality or situation dependent. Also, there is need to learn lessons on effective techniques to achieve change in culture, improve on the quality of working environment, practising favourable transfer policies, and evolve methods geared towards the demonstration of benefits of such duties.
Through this vast experience in enhancing teamwork as well as undergoing communication training and undertaking clinical projects, then specific success issues have been evident. Perceiving medical culture from a different perspective is prudent. The vital element is dissociation of the inevitable errors as well as communication failures that are related to human performance in line with clinical competency. Christensen & Remler (2009) consents that it’s effective to approach improvement of communication from the perspective of having the desire of correcting flaws associated with systems and the use of standard communication tools. This ensures that all activities are carried on smoothly, and the safety of every individual is taken into consideration. Allocation of ample time to enlighten health cares about increased system errors as well as inherent inhibiting factors of human performance aids in dissociating error from the initial perception of mistakes as being considered as episodes of individual professional failure.
Two significant requirements of having a successful healthcare change are; adequate support from the managerial level as well as having in places a firm healthcare leadership (Heisler, 2012). In the medical field, physicians who stand with their concerns and voice their voice on the right path to follow and support it firmly make a tremendous impact on the profession. The other calibre of the physicians waits in awe to check out if the projects will be a success before associating with them publicly. They leave everything to the nurses and other staffs to have an uphill task of pushing the ideas up against the hierarchy, and predictably most of these efforts are futile. Free et al. (2013) asserts that embedding changes in the healthcare field are paramount. Through such essential reforms, the days are made safer simpler, and even more accessible for every individual to operate and carry on their activities and duties. Instantly the changes have been enacted, then having a concise and clear focus is essential as well as committing finite time to the individuals involved. Additionally, measuring the success rate of effective communication is all important.
Similarly, communication failures depict a critical scenario where there is team discourse. They can be targeted for initiating training to improve communication competence of the professional team. Each scene is definable and easy to demonstrate to all the team members. Heisler (2012) argues that it’s easy to analyze multiple dimensions of effective communication and how they are associated to promote or even undermine information transfer as well as enhancing negotiation of essential decisions in the operating room. Contrary to expectations, failure in communication is necessary for the part since they can act as a signal of a problem as it originates at a specific point in either system or attitudinal processes.
To date, it’s evident that teaching as well as embedding various tools and behaviours can go a long way in providing a lot of clinical benefits. The ultimate goal is meant to show a tremendous reduction in adverse effects on patients and having in place improved clinical outcomes via the adoption of such tools and behaviours to facilitate effective communication in all levels of the professional healthcare.

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