Aug 5, 2019
As news of Greenland’s ice melting faster than ever hit the air waves, newly-released data confirmed the opinion that most climate scientists have held for decades: the current warming of the earth is driven by human activity.
Three groups of scientists looked into periods of heating (and cooling) over the last 2,000 years. Since temperature records exist only for the past 200 years or so, the researchers derived their temperature data from other sources, such as tree rings, glacier ice caps, lake and ocean sediments and cave deposits, as well as historical documents.
Fed into computers, the data revealed a very clear difference between the present warming trend and past ones: this time around, the temperature increase is happening everywhere on the planet at the same time, while in past periods of warming or cooling, the changes were regional.
The researchers were also able to link previous temperature changes to certain natural events, such as big volcano eruptions. There is no such natural event to point to this time. Instead, the present warming trend goes hand in hand with an increasing amount of carbon dioxide gas in the earth’s atmosphere, due to burning more and more fossil fuels for energy.
Today, as global warming melts the massive ice caps of Greenland and Antarctica faster and faster, so does mounting scientific evidence melt any remaining doubts that burning fossil fuels is causing global warming.
So it is much more clear today what the driving force behind the “global warming skepticism” always was: big capital’s callous, relentless pursuit of profit. Look how still today, decisions made in corporate boardrooms go toward increasing carbon emissions even more – while governments continue arguing about “which country’s” capitalists should reduce carbon emissions first.
The human cost of global warming – the uprooting, and further impoverishment, of hundreds of millions of people due to a rise of sea level, for example – is too steep to ignore (just look at the scope, and depth, of the already existing migrant/refugee crises around the globe). One more reason why humanity cannot afford to leave our future in the hands of capitalists.