Global Climate Devastation


Harvard Extension School


Global warming is often used synonymously or as an effect of climate change, referring to the atmospheric temperature increase of about 2 degrees celsius since the Industrial revolution. It is not the same as climate change, and using it as so develops a false narrative that can prevent dire action from being taken.

2 degrees celsius seems small, but the results have been catastrophic: extreme weather, rising sea levels, increased flooding, shrinking glaciers, and higher levels of air pollution.

These effects threaten underdeveloped communities and among people of color more than anyone else. Since these areas are often the center of fossil fuel projects, pipelines, and left out of the news cycle or government conversations.

If climate change continues, by 2030 scientists predict the death of 250,000 people every year and the exile of 100 million people into poverty due to food and resource shortages, and deathly weather hazards. In the next 3-9 years, the world is at risk of possible human extinction.

Dr. John Holdren, Science Advisor to President Obama, asserted that the term “global warming” is a misnomer. It is an inaccurate description since it “suggests that the phenomenon is uniform around the world, that it is all about temperature, and that it is gradual.”

“It should be referred to as ‘global climate disruption,” Holdren said. Global climate disruption accounts for the changes in climate patterns like precipitation, circulation, and weather extremes, not just the rise in average global surface temperature. Depending on the location, these changes result in different weather than just warmer temperatures.

It’s not just global warming contributing to the disasters of climate change, but 11 other major global crises: overpopulation, overconsumption which results in resource depletion, pollution, loss of biodiversity, COVID-19 pandemic, global economic instabilities, wealth inequality (racial and social injustice), war and terrorism, mass migration, political instability, and new pandemics.

Changing the terminology can hopefully lead to a better understanding of the crisis and more uniform action.