The general attitude towards climate change, the most widespread and pressing environmental issue, is a mixed one.
There is a consensus among scientific organizations and communities that the Earth is changing its climate. At the planetary level, temperatures are rising, meteorological phenomena are becoming more severe and chaotic, and behind these changes is human activity.
Among the public opinion, however, the debate is robust, the skepticism and confusion being deliberately maintained, with a lot of money. Thus, there are still many people under the impression that climate change, if it exists, is not due to human activities, that this has not yet been fully scientifically proven.
A study conducted at Drexel University (California) and published in late 2013 (" Dark Money Funds Climate Change Denial Effort,” Scientific American) shows that the vast majority of the money that finances confusion and misinformation among the population, which undermines support the public for green policies and the efforts of governments to take concrete measures to reduce greenhouse gases are "dark money,” i.e., money from unidentifiable sources. Those that can be identified lead to various conservative foundations - the Searle Freedom Trust, the John Williams Pope Foundation, the Howard Charitable Foundation, the Sarah Scaife Foundation, to name a few - which promote extreme laissez-faire capitalism.
That is why it is necessary to remember the causes and effects of climate change based on science, not propaganda. The information used comes from a file prepared by National Geographic on this topic.
Human activity causes climate change, including rising global temperatures
The average temperature on our planet is growing at a rate almost twice as high as 50 years ago. This rapid warming cannot be explained by natural cycles alone. The only way to describe it is to include the effect of greenhouse gases (GHGs) emitted by human activities.
To reach a scientific conclusion on climate change, the UN created in 1988 the group called the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). The IPCC meets every few years to analyze the latest available scientific data and summarize it. The report is the result of a consensus among hundreds of top researchers.
One of the first findings of the IPCC was that global warming is caused by more greenhouse gases that people emit. Most come from the burning of fossil fuels by cars, buildings, factories, and power plants. The gas responsible for most of the heating is carbon dioxide (CO2). Other contributing GHGs are methane released from landfills, the gas and oil industry, and agriculture (especially from the digestive systems of grazing animals); nitrogen oxide from fertilizers; gases used for refrigeration and industrial processes; loss of forests that would otherwise store CO2.
Current levels of carbon dioxide, methane, and nitrogen oxide in the atmosphere are the highest in the last 800,000 years. Their ability to capture heat changes the climate in many ways.
When these gases that human activities release into the atmosphere capture heat, that "greenhouse effect" is created. They let light through but "catch" the heat radiating from the earth's surface, preventing it from dissipating into space, just like the glass walls of a greenhouse. The higher the amount of GHG in the atmosphere, the more dramatic the greenhouse effect and the greater the heating.