At a time when deniers or skeptics of climate change are diminishing and losing their influence in the world, President Donald Trump emerges on the horizon as the number one denial of global warming, climate change and other disturbances in the Earth System, attributed to humans for science.
This is very serious because Mr. Trump is nothing more and nothing less than the president of the United States, and because of that he has enormous power and ability to influence other people and leaders of the world. The most obvious case is that of Jair Bolsonaro, the newly elected president of Brazil, who, among his first announcements, perhaps influenced by President Trump, suggested that he would open the Amazon rain forest to the deforestation.
The presidents of the two largest countries in America announced the possibility of withdrawing their nations from the Paris Agreement, the crucial document signed by 197 countries, which will come into force in 2020. It would not be surprising if other leaders imitated them and retracted of the agreement signed in 2015. All these threats could materialize in the first two weeks of December, in the framework of the COP24 meeting, the most important conference on climate change of the year.
The Paris Agreement is the only instrument that humanity has in its hands to put order in the emissions of greenhouse gases and limit the global warming of the Earth to 2ºC, lately corrected to 1,5ºC, on the recommendation of the IPCC, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.
The deniers generally send their statements with empty phrases, without any basis: “It is a Chinese invention,” said newly elected President Trump. “I do not believe it,” he said during the Black Friday day (11-23-2018), referring to the report of the Scientific Research Program on Climate Change of the United States, which published that day the second volume of the Fourth National Report on Climate Change. This document, prepared by its own government, in which 300 scientists from 13 different federal agencies collaborated, was done within the framework of the law.
In one of its sections the report says: “If substantial and sustained efforts of global mitigation and regional adaptation are not implemented, climate change is expected to cause increasing losses to US infrastructure and properties and impede the rate of economic growth. during this century.” Recently, President Trump wrote in a tweet: “It was not that there was global warming?” Alluding to the unusual cold for the time, which covers several places on the planet. Mr. Trump forgets that the cold is precisely caused for the global warming.
As the glaciers and the polar ice melt and slip into the seas and oceans, the winds are responsible for bringing the surface cold of the water to the atmosphere. It is an effect like that of a gigantic air conditioner that, using cold water and air, lowers the ambient temperature. In the case of the planet it covers wide regions. If global warming cannot be stopped, this phenomenon will continue if there are glaciers and polar ice. Once melted there will be no more cold on the planet and maybe even winters are canceled. If we fail to stop global warming the temperature will reach intolerable extremes for life as we know it.
The other issue is that not only the exhaust pipes of the cars, the chimneys of the factories and power plants are the cause of climate change. Nor is the burning of oil, coal and natural gas a unique threat. There are other factors that are so or more dangerous, more difficult to fix, besides impossible to deny.
There is no denialist who can be unaware that oceans, rivers and seas have been contaminated with plastics and other materials by human beings. That global overpopulation consumes more fish than nature can replace. That the world population of vertebrates has decreased by 60% since 1970. That the compulsive and illegal logging of almost all the world’s forests produces drying out of rivers, desertification of soils and breaking the water cycle and other natural processes.
The Borneo case, an anthropogenic climate change impossible to deny
Borneo occupies the third position among the largest islands on Earth and is larger than France. It is in Southeast Asia, 1600 km south of Vietnam, west of Papua New Guinea and 3500 km north of Australia. Borneo, called Kalimantan in Indonesian, is divided politically into three parts: Malaysia has 26.7%, Indonesia 72.6% and Brunei less than 1%. Borneo is inhabited by 16.4 million people.
“Until 1950, 96% of the island was primary forest, while today only 44% remains. The destruction does not slow down, but increases its speed”, according to WWF. Some scientists say that what happened in Borneo is the biggest and fastest ecological catastrophe made by man in the history of mankind. In May 2007, 1,500 scientists from 70 countries wrote a document describing the Borneo situation as “critical” and urging immediate action. However, little has been done so far. According to Greenpeace, at the current rate, in 2022 98% of the primary forest, habitat of the orangutan, will have disappeared. The Guinness Book of World Records marked Indonesia in 2008 as the world champion of deforestation.
Homo sapiens produced a local climate change in Borneo. That is to say, the origin of the disaster is clearly anthropogenic, whose effects have reached the neighboring islands and the peninsula of Singapore. Some scientists believe that their influence has reached far into Australia and Chile, and in a part is the cause of their large fires of vegetation and urban areas.
By uncontrolled felling of trees, the human being turned into one of the largest rainforests in the world, one of the most important reservoirs rainy on the planet, where just half a century ago the humidity and mud made unimaginable a forest fire, in an arid place, dry and hostile not suitable for animals or vegetables in most of its territory.
Although it is not believed, that beautiful forest of wetlands and biodiversity, among the most prolific and attractive of the Earth, in much of the year It engulfed in flames. The frequent forest fires are mostly intentional, in order to clear land for planting palm oil, but not infrequently these fires get out of control, and even the borders of the huge island, decimating even more its varied and beaten fauna and flora, in addition to throwing thousands of tons of CO2 into the atmosphere. Borneo is a very serious case of human unconsciousness regarding the environment, which should not be overlooked.
If deforestation of the Amazon and other forests takes place, it is possible that drought, deforestation and violent forest fires will sweep the planet before the glaciers melt and flood the world’s coasts.
Sandor Alejandro Gerendas-Kiss
The Guardian. Trump quiet as the UN warns of climate change catastrophe. Retrieve from https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2018/oct/09/trump-climate-change-report-ipcc-response