What is Fueling Climate Change?

Monday, October 25, 2021 - 1:00pm
CDT
Patrick Bond, Manuel Pérez-Rocha & Paul Snelgrove

COP26 opens at the end of October. The 2021 UN Climate Change Conference brings together parties for two weeks in Glasgow to accelerate action toward the goals of the Paris Agreement. Since the recent urgent warnings of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and the increasing extreme weather, the public awareness of climate change is rising. A recent poll shows that now only 18% of the U.S. public denies or is skeptical. Whether governments are willing or able to take serious action will depend on public pressure.

As we prepare for COP 26 we hear from three experts from different parts of the world about some of the factors that are fueling climate change. Manuel Pérez-Rocha of the Institute for Policy Studies in Washington DC explains how trade agreements are designed to protect the interests of fossil fuel investors regardless of the effects on the public. We also go to South Africa where geographer Patrick Bond shows us how his government is adding to climate change. And then Canadian oceanographer Paul Snelgrove discusses the impact of climate change on the world's oceans.

The earth’s climate has reached tipping points that are changing the natural world in ways that add even further to climate change. For example, the warmer climate has warmed the oceans and that results in more intense hurricanes and heavier rainfall. Draught leads to wildfires whose smoke adds greenhouse gasses that traps even more heat in the atmosphere. In the earth’s natural system everything is interconnected so that climate change produces further climate change.