by Corrie Sakaluk
Basics Issue #12 (Jan/Feb 2009)
Several centuries of global industrialized capitalism has created - through the widespread burning of fossil fuels such as oil, coal and gas in - an environmental crisis of historical proportions.
Global warming experts are keeping an eye on the Arctic because it is a very sensitive region where massive changes that will impact us all have already taken place.
The largest single block of ice in the Arctic, the Ward Hunt Ice Shelf, had been around for 3,000 years before it started cracking in 2000. Within two years it split all the way through and it is now breaking into pieces.
Since 1979, the size of the summer polar ice cap in the Arctic region has shrunk by more than 20 percent. Some of this reduction represents the melting of once permanent ice.
Not only does this drastically threaten and change the lives of Native peoples and wildlife living in the Arctic, but the melting Arctic ice cap accelerates global warming and contributes to rising sea levels.
For those of us with loved ones scattered around the world in places like China, Bangladesh, the Maldives, the Caribbean, and even coastal regions of the United States and Latin America, the prospect of rising sea levels is worrisome.
Food production around the world is also affected by the melting, as weather patterns become erratic or otherwise changed.
Although it is socially and economically conservative parties like the Green Party that are best known for championing environmental issues, environmental issues should also be dear to the heart of every human being.
Let’s work together for the kind of economic restructuring that can truly make respecting and preserving the environment a priority! Under a destructive and profit-driven capitalist system, that will never be able to happen.