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Climate change is one of those issues that people like to forget is still a problem, but it is. Those people struggle with a concept called object permanence. Imagine there was a red rock. Now imagine that the same red rock lost all of its color. The rock is still there, it is just invisible now.
That is how some people treat climate change. The issue is pervasive and seemingly unbeatable. With contradicting sides and hard-to-understand data, how can anyone that isn’t actively researching the issue understand it? How can the average person navigate through all the misinformation and find real data from real scientists?
Well, it takes time and patience. Sometimes people may find information that contradicts their worldview. That is ok, as long as people fact-check all of the data they find, they will eventually find the truth of the matter. However, sometimes people aren’t equipped with the academic knowledge to sift through dozens of intellectual jargon in papers. However, Climate change continues to be a problem so everyone still has to find a way to figure it all out so we can save the planet.
This topic is complicated so let’s start with the basics. Greenhouse gases like carbon dioxide trap heat in the atmosphere and warm up the planet. That is generally how it works. Humanity after the industrial revolution started producing much more greenhouse gasses. Those gasses in turn began to trap heat within our atmosphere at the same pace. The more greenhouse gasses we put up in our atmosphere the hotter our planet becomes. However, it isn’t just heat that comes with the climate crisis. Tornadoes, typhoons, hurricanes, droughts, and all types of extreme weather begin to occur because of changes in global temperature.
How is it measured one might ask? It is measured by using a unit of “global temperature. Usually in the news, people talk about the impacts of 1 or degrees higher in the global temperature. One might think, “Hey that’s not too bad. It is just one degree higher.”
But that simply isn’t the case. According to earthobservatory.nasa.gov: “A one-degree global change is significant because it takes a vast amount of heat to warm all of the oceans, the atmosphere, and the land masses by that much. In the past, a one- to two-degree drop was all it took to plunge the Earth into the Little Ice Age.” This isn’t a small issue that will go away if people don’t think about it. Climate change is existential. Humanity has one planet, and if nothing is done to take care of it and mitigate the causes then humanity as a species is done. There won’t be another try, no resets, and no start-over buttons. So can humanity stop it?
To understand climate change one must critically analyze its causes. One of the greatest causes is corporations. By now people pretty much understand that corporations rule the world. However, corporations are destroying the world as well. Corporations produce a disproportionate amount of greenhouse gases compared to every other type of entity in the world.
That would include individual people as well. Many studies point to the conclusion that Climate change can be negated and or mitigated if humanity handles its corporations. However, the thing about corporations is that all of them have an inherent contradiction.
The goal of a corporation is profit over everything. If there is a way for them to profit and people will have to die or be abused then they will do it. If there is a way to profit, but forests and natural wildlife must be destroyed they will do it. If there is a way for them to profit and billions will suffer, they will do it. For corporations, nothing comes over their bottom line and making sure their shareholders make money. So the fact that according to Science: ”The result, peer-reviewed and published in Climatic Change, showed that just 90 companies contributed 63% of the greenhouse gases emitted globally between 1751 and 2010.”
These are the facts. There are more resources to make sure you get even more information on this topic. There are scientific papers, YouTube videos, and even local groups in cities that want to talk about it. Make sure that all information is vetted and that whatever is spoken about this topic is fact-checked. There is an immense amount of misinformation. This general confusion about the climate crisis is very profitable to fossil fuel corporations. The more people are misinformed and confused, the less chance that humanity has to survive.
Written by Kenneth Mazerat
Edited by Sheena Robertson
PBS: Climate disinformation continues to leave a mark as world gets hotter; by David Klepper
earthobservatory.nasa.gov: World of Change: Global Temperatures; by NASA
Science: Just 90 companies are to blame for most climate change, this ‘carbon accountant’ says; by Douglass Starr
Featured and Top Image Courtesy Carl Graph Flickr page- Creative Commons License
Inset Image Courtesy of Matthew Kirby Flickr page- Creative Commons License