From the Solar Eclipse to Global Heating, Dr. Peter Kalmus on the Importance of Science

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Three of the most significant greenhouse gases contributing to global heating — carbon dioxide, methane and nitrous oxide — reached new record highs again last year, according to the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Global CO2 levels are now over 50% higher than they were before mass industrialization, due to the burning of fossil fuels, deforestation and livestock agriculture. Meanwhile, climate scientists continue to raise alarm over the catastrophic impacts of rising temperatures in Antarctica after researchers in 2022 recorded the largest hike in temperature ever measured in the coldest region on Earth. “All of these records that are being broken should be absolutely no surprise to the public,” says NASA climate scientist Peter Kalmus, speaking with Democracy Now! in his personal capacity and not on behalf of the agency. “The cause is the fossil fuel industry. The only way out of this heat nightmare is to end the fossil fuel industry.” Kalmus also discusses Monday’s solar eclipse across much of North America, saying the celestial event should cause introspection about humanity’s place in the universe and lead to better stewardship of the planet. “We live on a very fragile and beautiful rock in space, the only place we know in the cosmos to support life,” he says.

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