Is Colonization Responsible for Global Warming?

The other day, I read a tweet which read, “sometimes I think abt how white settlers killed so many indigenus ppl it caused a mini ice age or how they threw so many bodies of black slaves in the Atlantic during the slave trade it changed shark migration patterns n how colonisation is tied 2 environmental disasters.” [SIC] 

It got me thinking:  to what extent is colonization responsible for global warming? In January 2019 scientists from UCL concluded that colonization of the Indigenous Peoples of the Americas in the 15th century caused a “Little Ice Age” as it pulled down enough CO2 to chill the planet. 

Whilst this is true, we cannot blame global warming entirely on the effects of postcolonization. 

They say we have around a year before climate change become irreversible, and how the main perpetrators of our climate emergency are large western companies shipping their waste to developing countries – mainly in Asia and Africa to dispose off in a landfill there. 

For our current youth, an ever changing climate is arguably the most pressing issue we face. In fact, just last week, 71% of the British public stated that climate change was more important than Brexit, and I agree. 

Our Earth is dying.

As a friendly reminder, some of the factors responsible for global warming range from natural factors, such as solar irradiance (though it is important to remember that human factors are by far more responsible for our Earth dying.) Greenhouse gases which are released from burning fossil fuels contribute drastically to the greenhouse effect, which is the heating up of our atmosphere. 

Our Earth is dying. Yes, large corporations, White settlers and governments in charge are largely to blame. Take it from sixteen year old Climate activist, Greta Thunberg, who urges us to make that choice to save our future – because if she can sail across the Atlantic to attend conferences – we need to ask ourselves, when we can cut down on our waste? She states, “Our house is on fire. I am here to say, our house is on fire. […] I want you to act as you would in a crisis. I want you to act as if our house is on fire. Because it is.”

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