Global warming is slowly destroying the planet; multiple glaciers, such as East Antarctica’s Conger ice shelf, a floating platform the size of Rome broke off the continent on March 15, 2022; 85% (93,500 square feet) of the Furtwangler Glacier has melted as of 2011 in Tanzania, South Africa. The Himalayan glaciers are slowly melting off into the ocean. Over the past few years, ice shelve collapse has sped up.
According to the 2022 Ice Shelve article by the National Snow and Ice Data Center, “The collapses in previous years happened over a period of weeks, leaving a soup of chunky ice and small icebergs. The remaining (Northern Canadian) ice shelves retreated by as much as 90 percent, and several have experienced repeated collapses.” So then, why are companies, billionaires, and governments still profiting from continued fossil fuel development? Is profit that much more important than the planet and the people on it?
The more ice sheets that melt the faster the other ice sheets will as well. This is due to a layer of protection that these ice shelves have, which is called “Sea Ice.” When sea ice melts, the rain, waves, and water can damage the ice shelves which, in turn, speeds up the melting. The global estimated sea rise is 10-12 inches in the next 23 years. According to an article What if sea levels rose 12 inches, written by Jeff Harder: “A sea level rise of 7.9 inches (20 centimeters) could contribute to $1 trillion of damage every year to the world’s coastal cities if no preventative action is taken; currently, the most vulnerable cities would be Guangzhou, China; New Orleans, Louisiana; and Guayaquil, Ecuador.”
It is crazy that people aren’t talking (or screaming in panic) about this. This is a very big deal because on these coastal communities the homes of millions of people (and the people as well) will be destroyed in just the next 23 years and worst of all, the rest of the ice shelves will collapse even faster.
Current international events have complicated climate change awareness and action. We have many countries who are stopping the import of gas from Russia due to sanctions. Countries are instead starting to mine their own gas to make up the shortfall from Russian sanctions. Alberta, specifically, is ramping up the harvesting of one of the dirtiest oils in the world – the tar sands. This is a huge problem for climate change efforts.
If we don’t collectively pay attention to the consequences of fossil fuel dependency (and a host of other environmental disasters – such as Old Growth harvesting) and not the almighty dollar, we will suffer around the world in just a few decades. We are currently destroying the earth. Yes, there are events beyond our control, but it begins with awareness, pressuring governments and corporations to change, and, most of all, making changes in our own lives, whether that’s doing the small things like walking to school, taking public transport, or buying an electric car.
These are all things that may not sound like a lot but in big enough numbers will help the effort against global warming; otherwise, the global chaos we see now with refugees fleeing conflict will be ten times worse when their homes and land are under water.