Climate change is the rise in global temperatures and resulting changes in weather caused by human activity, especially capitalism. Greenhouse gases including carbon dioxide (CO2), methane (CH4), and nitrous oxide (N2O) increase temperatures. Average temperatures have already increased by 1.3 ºC since the Industrial Revolution, and carbon dioxide in the atmosphere has risen from 280 to 400 parts per million. In addition to rising temperatures, higher levels of carbon dioxide make the oceans more acidic, destroying coral reefs and killing marine animals. Technology already exists to replace fossil fuels with renewable or nuclear energy, but the switch would not be profitable under a capitalist market economy.
Sources of greenhouse gases
Burning hydrocarbons, including fossil fuels, releases carbon dioxide. Agriculture releases methane through meat production and nitrous oxide through overuse of fertilizers. Rising temperatures are melting permafrost in the Arctic, releasing methane trapped in the ice and causing more warming.
100 companies cause 70% of total world greenhouse gas emissions. Electricity generation causes 27% of greenhouse gas emissions and steel production causes an additional 7–9%. The U.S. Department of Defense is one of the largest polluters in the world.
Per capita, China emits less than half as much greenhouse gases as the United States, and its current emission levels are similar to Western countries in 1885. The USA releases eight times as much greenhouse gases as India per capita.
Global warming by degree
- At 1.5 ºC of warming, all coral reefs on Earth would die.
- At 2 ºC, polar ice would melt enough to flood many major cities and droughts would affect 400 million people.
- At 3 ºC, wildfires would increase by six times in the United States and damage from river flooding would increase at least 30 times.
- At 4 ºC, sea levels would rise by 30 meters, global grain harvest would decrease by 50%, and millions of people would contract Dengue Fever in Latin America every year.
- Moira Cassidy (2019-09-15). "The evil twins: Climate change and ocean acidification" Liberation News. Archived from the original on 2021-05-06. Retrieved 2022-10-02.
- Jon Britton (2014-10-04). "The UN Climate Summit—words versus deeds" Liberation School. Archived from the original on 2022-01-24. Retrieved 2022-10-02.
- Collin L. Chambers (2021-04-14). "How to really avoid a climate disaster: A response to Bill Gates’ deceptive climate book" Liberation School. Archived from the original on 2022-01-24. Retrieved 2022-10-02.
- Hezri A. Adnan, Jomo Kwame Sundaram (2022-12-07). "Rich nations doubly responsible for greenhouse gas emissions" JOMO. Archived from the original on 2022-12-06. Retrieved 2022-12-07.