An Introduction to Climate Change

It is scary and discouraging for many people to look at the issue of climate change. If that has been hard for you, it might be good to start with looking at these basic facts and discharging on whatever feelings come up for you. (Climate change can be denied, but it can’t successfully be debated. The facts are in and well supported.)

The average global temperature is slowly rising. While some variation is normal, what we are seeing now is that the temperature is rising steadily and rapidly (considering the planetary scale). This cannot be accounted for by natural causes.

The science shows that the temperature increase is caused by excess (the planet can handle a certain level) greenhouse gas emissions (carbon dioxide and other gases) that are accumulating in the atmosphere. They act like a blanket around the earth and trap heat. Excess greenhouse gas emissions have been accumulating in the atmosphere since the Industrial Revolution. As the percentage of greenhouse gases (GHGs) in the atmosphere increases, the temperature rises.

The primary source of these GHGs is burning oil, coal, and natural gas (fossil fuels). Industrialized agriculture also is a major contributor. The primary contributors to the rising emissions are the industrialized nations of the world. GHGs stay in the atmosphere for thousands of years.

There has been a major effort to hide these facts by those invested in making profit from oil, gas, coal, and the agriculture and livestock industries. Because the population as a whole has not paid much attention to the issue of climate change, human activities have already emitted a dangerous amount of GHG into the atmosphere. Damaging effects are already being felt in many parts of the world. These effects will increase as the warming continues. People who live in the Arctic, closer to the Equator, in small island nations, and those who have few resources are the people most impacted so far. Eventually the impact will directly affect everyone. 

It is very important that humans quickly become aware of the situation and act to stop emitting GHGs in every way possible. Many, many people are studying the problem and working for change. We have just enough time to turn this situation around, if we act quickly. The upcoming decade will be critical. 

It seems that our distresses are a major block to our being able to look at and face this information. RCers can play an important role in helping others face and act on this information once we have done our own work to be able to look at the facts. Discharge will help us think clearly about this situation, act in our own way to address this issue, communicate about it to others, and organize with others to make all changes necessary to end rising emissions as we work against oppression at the same time. We can start where we are, try things, discharge as we go, and try again, always involving more people in our efforts.

Diane Shisk

 


Last modified: 2019-05-02 14:41:35+00