Just a few weeks back on May 20th, a chunk of ice bigger than Rhode Island severed itself from Antarctica. If you didn’t feel the icy waters created by its wake lapping over your feet, perhaps your decedents might in a few hundred years.
Comments on the “Down To Earth” YouTube channel featuring the following video about the event range from apocalyptic to indifferent.
Is this a sign of the end of times?
Is this evidence of global warming?
Or is this merely a naturally occurring event?
I find it fascinating how many try to interject religious beliefs or political ideologies into their explanations about why A-76 melted enough to break away in the first place. The religious interpretations tend to solicit fear, by first assuming such events are catastrophic—i.e. bad—and thereby, a sign that the end of times is drawing nigh.
The interjection of politics may be partisan in nature, but politicizing scientific data is far more productive than spouting interpretations of scripture. The fact that politicians are even discussing the subject of global warming is a good sign. Their debates tell us two significant things: that those who have political clout are at least trying to do something about global warming, and also, which political party cares the most about it.
What causes global warming?
Approaching global warming from a rational point of view will yield the most effective protocols for action. First off, historically, planet earth has gone through numerous heating and cooling periods. (We may just be going through a phase in which the earth is naturally getting warmer.) Secondly, humans are obviously causing a lot of damage to our planet, and quite significantly using fossil fuels. While it’s uncertain how much our activities are contributing to warming the earth, it’s clear we are partly responsible.
Personally, I view the separation of A-76 as a spectacular event, one which contributes to my sense of respect and wonder for nature. My sense of respect in turn, causes me to do whatever I can to preserve the natural world around me.