The condition of over 300,000 glaciers in the world reveals how rapidly our planet is warming. My interpretation of these five photographs reflect what the glaciers in Iceland are communicating to me: cut fossil fuel emissions to zero! In 1876, Friedrich Engels said we should not flatter ourselves on account of our human victories over nature. In the 1st place, each victory brings results we expected but in the 2nd and 3rd places it also brings unforeseen effects which too often cancel the first. “For each such victory nature takes its revenge on us.” Fossil fuels are a powerful example.
Eunice Foote discovered the greenhouse effect in 1856 as industrial capitalism was consolidating its political, economic and social power throughout the world. 40 years later (1896), Svante Arrhenius tied fossil fuel combustion to the greenhouse effect. Just 18 years later, the most powerful industrial capitalist countries began a war to divide the world. By the end of the war, oil was crowned the most strategic resource. We've known what causes climate change for over 100 years. Yet, more than half of all cumulative global CO2 emissions have taken place since 1990!
Photo#1 Nature’s Revenge: a person (lower right corner) representing the Industrial Revolution powered by fossil fuels is breaking off glacier pieces accelerating melting in a glacial lagoon. Glacial river lagoons are a direct result of extreme warming.
Photo#2 Lost In Warmth: hurricane winds push ice out to sea at Jökulsárlón, receding snout in the background. It appears some ice is trying to stop the cube. Jökulsárlón was formed in the 1930’s. A few years later the war to divide the world continued. The mechanization of the world accelerated with mass production of oil powered military vehicles. By the end of World War II the world’s dependency on fossil fuel was solidified. Consumer car mass production began soon after the war.
Photo#3 Alone: a piece of glacier awaiting its fate at sea. We are not alone! Common international effort can overcome the obstacles to zero emissions.
Photo#4 Melting Fingers: pointing to the sky's greenhouse effect. The oil industry spends exorbitant funds creating lies about climate change and diversions. British Petroleum created the so-called “carbon footprint calculator” in the early 2000s. Don't be distracted by the oil industry's lies.
Photo#5 Last Drops of Water: Humanity's future can be different. Cut fossil fuel emissions to zero. This requires a complete overhaul of the world’s energy systems, transportation, infrastructure, industry and agriculture.