The Earth is in crisis. Many parts of the world are facing devastating droughts. In parts of Africa and China continuing droughts have resulted in the spread of deserts making large areas uninhabitable. In the U.S. and Europe, heat waves are followed by massive wildfires that tear through drought-stricken areas. In other regions people are facing massive floods. In Pakistan floods recently forced more than 32 million people to flee their homes! Massive flooding in Kentucky displaced thousands of people. Along the ocean coasts, the severity of hurricanes, typhoons and other storms has increased because of the warming of the oceans. Tens of millions of people around the world have been displaced by the climate crisis.
According to NASA, 19 of the hottest years have occurred since 1998. The overall temperature of the Earth has risen by 1.8 degrees Fahrenheit. This is having a destructive impact on the Earth’s ecosystems and the lives of all living things, including humans.
Scientists agree that the cause is due to human activity – mainly from the production of greenhouse gases that trap the heat from the sun in the Earth’s atmosphere instead of letting it escape into space.
The largest source of greenhouse gasses comes from the burning of fossil fuels – oil, natural gas and coal. So why does this continue?
The fossil fuel companies have tried to hide this reality through a massive program of lies attacking the scientific facts. They have a reason to lie. Trillions of dollars are invested in highly profitable oil and gas production. Production for profit is their goal. And their lies have shaped some people’s thinking.
Of course, the politicians can’t ignore the question of the environment. Some deny that a problem exists, that the heat, the fires, and the floods are all just part of the natural process. The so-called defenders of the environment talk and pass bills, that supposedly address the problem. But one thing that is constant in all major legislation is the right to continue fossil fuel production or to even expand it.
The steps the politicians claim are solutions are so small they are absurd. It’s like seeing that your house is burning, walking slowly towards it and tossing a cup of water toward the fire. The Earth’s ecosystems are under attack and will not wait for us to decide to act. Each month, each year, the temperature is rising.
In the face of such enormous challenges, what can we do? We are told we should all drive less and conserve resources. Of course, we should be conscious of our individual impacts and lack of choices presented to us. But that will not bring about the change we need. The problem goes beyond each one of us alone. We live in a society that is based on the exploitation of the resources of the Earth and the work of those who make the society run. And less than 1% of the population controls and profits from this organization of society. They depend on us. We don’t need them. And they are destroying our home!
We can’t wait. This must stop if life on this planet, as we know it, is to survive. To stop this rush toward extinction, we need to understand what is causing this climate disruption and why it is continuing despite its devastating impact. Who is affected and has a reason to fight to change this?
That is us – the vast majority who make this system run day in and day out. We are the ones who do ALL the work – from mining the ore, to making the goods and providing the services we all depend on. We have the power to bring about the changes we need. And like any other massive changes people have made in the past, it doesn’t start with a blueprint. It begins with an awareness, a hope and a determination and a readiness and preparation for the struggles ahead.