Global warming refers to the increase in the Earth’s temperature caused by both human activities and natural factors. While some individuals and politicians remain skeptical about the work of scientists and researchers studying global warming, there is ample evidence supporting its existence. Deforestation, primarily caused by human activities, is identified as a major contributor to climate change. Natural causes, such as volcanic eruptions that release significant amounts of CO2, greenhouse gases, and methane, also play a role.
Although certain scholars claim that the science behind global warming is fabricated and its data manipulated for ideological and financial gains, no substantiated evidence has been presented to support these claims. The United Nations has established the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) to conduct research on human influence in global warming and propose measures to mitigate its harmful effects. According to the IPCC, human activities have contributed significantly to rising temperatures and the melting of ice glaciers, posing a risk to life on Earth. Developing countries’ organizations also concur with these conclusions, as outlined in the IPCC’s fifth assessment report.
Even former USA President Donald Trump controversially suggested that “The concept of global warming was created by and for the Chinese to make U.S. manufacturing non-competitive.”
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Conspiracy theories gained momentum in November 2009 when leaked emails from scientists were used to allege that climate change was a scam. However, subsequent investigations by eight committees confirmed that some portions of the emails and letters were misrepresented, and no evidence of fraud or scientific misconduct was found.
While no solid research or evidence is supporting the notion that global warming is a hoax, there is abundant scientific evidence available attesting to its existence and the associated consequences. In a research paper by Naomi Oreskes, a professor at Harvard University, among seven authors, it was concluded that humans are responsible for 90% to 97% of global warming. In 2016, the National Academies of Science, Engineering, and Medicine announced that certain weather events, such as some heat waves, can now be confidently attributed directly to climate change.
The impacts of global warming are felt worldwide, regardless of location or country. Heatwaves have caused the deaths of thousands of people in recent years, and the temperature rise has led to the loss of 134 billion metric tons of ice per year since 2002.
Even underdeveloped economies like India have committed to reducing emissions by 25% by 2020, as pledged at the Copenhagen Summit in 2009, and have made significant progress toward this goal.
Scientists also attribute temperature increases in rural India to the burning of fossil fuels and deforestation.
India’s per capita carbon emission footprint is relatively small. In recent years, the country has doubled its clean energy tax on coal, established a National Adaptation Fund, and allocated funds for large-scale solar projects and solar parks on canal banks. India aims to significantly increase the share of renewable energy in its electricity generation from 6% to 15% by 2022, with the potential to set even higher targets for 2030.
To combat global warming, researchers have proposed the concept of “drawdown,” which involves implementing hundreds of solutions identified by the Drawdown project team. Effective land management, including the preservation of tropical and temperate forests, peatlands, and afforestation, is crucial in this regard. Other solutions involve materialistic aspects such as improving refrigeration technology, as well as transforming food systems by reducing food waste, implementing managed grazing practices, adopting a plant-rich diet, and practicing regenerative agriculture.
Regardless of one’s stance on the consensus surrounding climate change, the reality of rising temperatures cannot be denied, and its effects are being experienced by every nation. The exchange of information and collaboration among international coalitions is essential, as is educating individuals to make environmentally friendly decisions in their daily lives. By building healthier and more secure communities, these efforts can contribute to the reversal of global warming.