"These have been the center of discussion for decades."
The twin subjects of global warming and climate change have been at the center of universal discussion for several decades, and as the discussion has progressed, an alphabet of global warming and climate change has gradually been developed. What follows is that alphabet.
A is for the adaptation of planet Earth to the changes wrought by the new climate-change normal. A is also for the Arctic zone and Antarctica, whose ice sheets are breaking away at alarming speeds; for agriculture, which is apparently one of the principal sources of CO2 (carbon dioxide) emissions; and for Australia, which helped spoil the recently concluded COP (Conference of the Parties) 26 by refusing to make a substantive commitment regarding its coal industry.
B is for Big Oil (Aranco, BP, Shell and the other oil industry giants), which are resisting the global cry for the phaseout of the fossil-fuels industry. B is also for Brazil, which during the administration of President J Bolsonaro hairas been deforesting the area known as the ‘lungs of the Earth’.
C is for coal, arguably the planet’s worst destructive fossil fuel. It also stands for carbon footprint, which measures the contribution of every country, industry, and institution to global warming, and for China, the world’s No. 1 producer of greenhouse gases.
D is for deforestation, which the COP 26 final agreement south to phase out by 2030. D is also for disasters, including drought.
E is for emissions of greenhouse gases. It also stands for electric cars, whose more extensive production and use is being regarded as a major reducer of CO2 emissions.
F is fossil fuels, famines, floods and footprints of the carboniferous kind.
G is for greenhouse gases, the output of which is sought to be maintained at 1.5 degrees Centigrade above the pre-Industrial Revolution average world temperature. It also stands for geothermal power, a renewable source of energy; for the Group of 20 countries, which are being criticized for being slow to make firm emissions-reduction; and for former U.S. Vice-President Al Gore, who has long warned about the world’s continued flirtation with environmental disaster.
H is for hydrocarbons and hydro power, another source of renewable energy. H also stands for hurricanes, which have been visiting certain parts of the globe, including Eastern U.S. and the Caribbean area, with increasing frequency and ferocity.
I is the world’s small island nations, which stand to be submerged by the global-warming-induced rise in ocean levels. I also stands for India, one of the planet’s greatest polluters, and for “Inconvenient Truths,” Al Gore’s powerful book on the existential threat posed by global warming.
M is for methane, reduced production of which was agreed at COP 26.
N is for nuclear power, an alternative source of energy that does not give rise to greenhouse-gas emissions.
Paris is for the landmark Paris Agreement on Climate CHange, which was produced by COP 21 in 2015.
R is for the Rio de Janeiro COP, which did not live up to the high aspirations of the world’s climatological scientists and the climate-change activists. It also stands for Russia, a major source of greenhouse-gas emissions that did not bother to attend the Glasgow conference.
S is for solar power, upon which much hope is placed by those looking for a transition to a renewable-energy-dominated world.
T is for the sought-after transition to global cooling and positive climate change. T also stands for typhoons and for Greta Thunberg, the Swedish teenager who admirably has made the global warming issue her life’s mission.
W is for the warming that is increasingly being experienced by planet Earth and that must be dealt with determinedly by the world’s government leaders if catastrophe is to be averted.
Z is for the zero-missions goal of the nations that make up COP. The majority of countries appear to be looking at 2050 as the target year for the attainment of zero global emissions.
I have nothing to offer for the letters J, K, L, O, Q, U, V and Y. Readers are invited to make suggestions that will complete the alphabet of global warming and climate change.