Global Warming or Global Boiling?

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The term “global warming” was first used in August 1975 in a paper by Wallace Smith Broecker, a geochemist, entitled “Climatic Change: Are We on the Brink of a Pronounced Global Warming?” that was published in the journal Science. Merely forty-eight years later (July 2023), Antonio Guterres, Secretary-General of the United Nations, first used the term “global boiling” to refer to the worsening climate change. While not based on any scientifically recognized threshold, the use of the word “boiling” instead of “warming” was obviously intended to dramatize the situation and compel urgent action.
A 2023 study—“Global Warming in the Pipeline”—published in the journal Oxford Open Climate Change projects that global warming will reach the 1.5-degree-Celsius-threshold above pre-industrialization level (around 13.5 degrees Celsius) this decade. The threshold is the internationally agreed limit beyond which global warming might become irreversible. This is consistent with the prediction of the World Meteorological Organization that, for each of the next four years (starting 2024) , global average temperature will likely be 1.1-1.8 degrees Celsius above pre-industrialization level.
In 2022, the Philippine Commission on Human Rights (CHR) released a report, the world’s first National Inquiry on Climate Change, stating that neglect of needed climate change mitigation measures may be considered a violation of human rights. This is particularly applicable to the vulnerable sectors of society, those who almost always find themselves victims of natural calamities simply because they do not have the resources to be protected from natural and even man-made disasters. They are the ones who live in areas prone to flooding, tidal waves, and landslides. They are the ones who are homeless or who live in shanties that are the first ones to get destroyed should weather disturbances exacerbated by climate change hit them hard.
In particular, the CHR found that carbon majors–big oil and cement firms–may be held morally and legally liable for their hand in climate change and its effects. The CHR said these carbon majors have engaged in “willful obfuscation of climate science and also obstruction of efforts towards the global transition from fossil fuel to clean renewable energy.” It is bad enough to have significantly contributed to global warming and climate change, but it is much worse to cover up your involvement and mislead the public with misinformation and disinformation.
The CHR hopes that its landmark report will set a precedent for other countries. Exposing the clear link between carbon majors and climate change is important to hold them accountable for their actions. While mitigating, if not reversing, the effects of climate change may be logically argued as everyone’s responsibility, those who benefited from businesses that are closely linked to global warming should carry a heavier load. While retail actions from individuals help, focus should be on wholesale actions from the culpable carbon majors. They should reduce production of carbon fuels and their emissions and shift to renewables, among others.
Another culprit to global warming, according to the United Nations (UN), is the meat industry. “In 2006, the UN calculated that the combined climate change emissions of animals bred for their meat were about 18 percent of the global total—more than cars, planes, and all other forms of transport put together.” (The Guardian) Globally shifting to a predominantly plant-based diet will therefore contribute to reversing this trend as it can significantly reduce demand for meat products.** (If you want to read more of similar articles, go to https://www.facebook.com/PROUTManila/)


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