Latest climate science: Colonialism has warmed the planet

Latest climate science: Colonialism has warmed the planet

Global warming caused by human activity is just a guess, say thousands of scientists around the world. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, established by the United Nations in 1988, continues to assert that there is “unequivocal” evidence of the fact that human activity is warming the planet. but not everyone Human activity. The UN body claims that the phenomenon began when Western civilization adopted and spread a method of production and a way of life that requires the emission of excessive amounts of polluting gases, as well as the unsustainable consumption of resources and energy.


The calculations are surprisingly accurate, considering the amount of data The complexity of the processes necessary to implement them indicates the main producers of carbon dioxide: industrialized countries, and it is clear that China is at the top of the ranking in 2021, followed by the United States, the European Union, and India, while Russia and Japan come at the bottom of the list, developing countries, and finally the African countries that With the exception of Libya and South Africa, they record very low values, most of which are less than 1%. China is the country that produced the largest amount of carbon dioxide in 2021, at 33%, and it alone exceeds the sum of the four economies that follow it. The European Union, for example, was responsible for 7.3% of global emissions.


However, if we look at the production of polluting gases In historical perspective values ​​change. According to research conducted in preparation for COP27, from 1850 to today, humanity would have emitted 2,558 billion tons of carbon dioxide which would have caused a temperature increase of 1.15 degrees Celsius compared to the pre-industrial era. According to the researchers, the largest contributors to total emissions were the United States (20%), followed by China, Russia, Brazil and Indonesia, while the emissions of European countries were much lower: the largest, Germany, 4%, and Germany 4%. United Kingdom 3%

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But new research has just been published, which led to a review of the data and percentages. Titled Revealed: How colonial rule radically changes historical responsibility for climate change It was published on CarbonBrief On November 26, the eve of COP 28, the climate change conference to be held in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, from November 30 to December 12. The authors, based on data analysis by Werner Visinen, corrected previous research that, according to them, made the fatal mistake of not taking into account the amount of carbon dioxide emitted by European colonial powers when calculating each country’s emissions. Produced in the areas it colonized. In other words, emissions from colonized countries – almost all of Africa, India, Sri Lanka (of the colony, Ceylon), Australia, the French West Indies and many others – were unfairly blamed on their own populations. During the period when they were colonies, their carbon dioxide production increased, in many cases dramatically, due to the changes introduced by the colonizers – industrial, mining and agricultural activities, the creation of infrastructure and services, the spread and development of urban centres, more resources and thus more consumption and travel. .. – Therefore the mother country must be blamed.


Many of these countries – the researchers explain – are now registering Relatively low and decreasing emissions. But its contribution to global warming must be estimated by taking into account the amount of carbon dioxide it has produced since 1850, both at home and in the lands it has occupied. The UK has reportedly released around 76.4 billion tonnes of carbon dioxide from 1850 to today, but adding in emissions in its colonies brings the total to 130.2 billion tonnes, an increase of 70%, and ranks fourth in terms of percentage of carbon dioxide. produced. Emissions have increased since 1850 in France by 51%, in the Netherlands by 181%, in Portugal by 234%, in Belgium by 33%, and in Spain by 12%. On the other hand, the percentage of emissions from colonial countries and those, such as Japan and China in particular, whose CO2 production was almost entirely internal is decreasing.

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A fact that many comments on the research insist on Is that emissions from areas under the colonial rule of the United Kingdom and European countries increase Europe’s overall contribution to the production of polluting gases by 28% and its share of total global emissions by 4%, up from 14%. 7 by 18.7%.


Just as complaints against Europe are multiplying, requests for public and official recognition of guilt and compensation for the damages done to Africa by the transatlantic slave trade and colonialism, and complaints and requests that are accepted without reply, to at least list all the positive things that Europe brought to the continent and the decisive role it played in putting an end to the transatlantic trade. Also, for Arab-Islamic trade, and the exacerbation of European responsibilities in determining the phenomenon of global warming, which the new research aims to show, will only lead to improving relations between European and African countries. .


Researchers say they are calculated and capable Even to say how much carbon dioxide each European citizen has produced so far, in light of new data including emissions in the colonies, and to what extent they are therefore responsible for supposedly anthropogenic and climate change. The adverse weather events alleged to have been caused by this outcome are said to have been suffered, to a very great extent, precisely by those who bear the least responsibility, the Africans.


“The white man’s burden” It gets heavier every day.


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