effects of CAPITALISM
Capitalism is the culprit behind the global warming trend because it is based on the endless production of goods and services running on or made up of fossil fuels, which release greenhouse gases when used. These gases trap heat in the earth’s atmosphere and raise the average temperature of the planet. Greenhouse gases can also be released by other activities that modern capitalism relies on, such as single-crop industrialised farming and deforestation.
Since the early 1800s, the emission of carbon dioxide, a main greenhouse gas, has increased from negligible amounts to 30,000 million tonnes per year. This has led to a change of concentration in the atmosphere from 280 parts per million prior to 1800 to 388 parts per million today. Levels of atmospheric nitrous oxide, another greenhouse gas, have risen by more than 15% since 1750. Nitrous oxide can trap heat about 300 times more than carbon dioxide can over a century. Nitrous oxide levels have increased from 270 parts per billion in pre-industrial times to 314 parts per billion today. These compounds do not just go away once they are airborne. They can stay for decades if not more than a century, so the damage is long term. And the emissions have been more or less constantly rising, barring global economic downturns.
These greenhouse gas emissions have contributed to raising average temperatures 0.8 degree Celsius (1.4 degrees Fahrenheit) around the world since 1880, much of this in recent decades, according to NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies. The earth goes through climate cycles naturally, but the rate of warming has been increasing. The 20th century’s last two decades were the hottest in 400 years and possibly the warmest for several millennia, according to a number of climate studies. And the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) reports that 11 of the past 12 years are among the dozen warmest since 1850. This rise in global average temperatures, as stated above, is directly linked to capitalism because of the very way it functions. Therefore, to mitigate global warming trends, capitalism itself must be replaced with an ecologically saner society.