Global warming – Tell me about it

Global_Warming_by_audunellernoWhat is global warming? What is it doing to our planet? Are we really responsible for global warming?

I’ve had this conversation many times with friends, colleagues, family and yet, answers don’t cease to surprise me. According to wikipedia, Global warming is the unequivocal and continuing rise in the average temperature of Earth’s climate system. This causes several types of consequences such as temperature changes, extreme weather, melting of ice, decrease of water resources and even climate refugees (which I will talk about in another post someday…). The majority of people agrees with this definition.

So, what are the causes? Are we to be blamed? Well, it is here that opinions get divided.

Some of the people I’ve spoken to say that this is not due to human action. They say that the earth has had many phases in its cycle, such as ice age and others, and this is just another phase. Even if we weren’t here, there would have been an increase in temperatures on earth.

Others say that it is completely because of humans. We should stop using gases and materials that led to this problem.

Finally, there is a in-between opinion. Humans are not the sole responsible for global warming, but they caused, indeed, most of it. This opinion seems to be the one accepted by the majority of scientists (with some sceptics), although sometimes it seems that the majority of people doesn’t believe in this . The greenhouse gases, burning of fossils and other activities led to global warming.

Opinions aside, what can we do? Well, indeed we should reduce the use of certain types of gases, use alternative fuels, reduce the use of cars (ex: use more buses, trains, bicycles) or use electric/hybrid ones, recycle, make your house energy-efficient, etc.

I honestly think are we should be blamed for the majority of it. For years we’ve using these dangerous gases and harvesting earth’s resources without caring for the consequences.

And you? What is your opinion about global warming? What can we do to minimize its effects?

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73 Comments

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73 responses to “Global warming – Tell me about it

  1. Ge.Ma

    On the one hand it is likely that not all global warming is solely due to human activity, but bringing the concept to its extreme and believe that global warming is an independent process seems to me nothing but revisionism. Unfortunately, with the general increase in global welfare due to the enlargement of the middle class, the new economies are taking the place of the old polluters (which are trying to pollute less, but pollute anyway). It would take a sharp turn towards sustainable energy, which today is not entirely possible because coal is much more cost-effective (see Great Barrier Reef in coal-producer Australia). And then, last but not least, people must be really aware of its risks.

    • Indeed, completely agree with you. The new economies kind of have a point. I understand their claim to being able to pollute, since other people countries did it… Unfortunately, as you said, there is no way to make it completely sustainable, so global warming will get worse.
      Many thanks for your feedback!

      • Global warming is a complex issue. Its causes could be more complex and more dynamic than currently understood. Therefore, it requires a complex response to get handle on it. That is to say, we should focus on: 1) doing the best we can to reduce the activities that we believe are contributing to the global warming and 2) answering the question: how can we protect ourselves from the negative effects of our changing environment—how can we live with the changes if we fail to reverse them?

      • Yes, exactly. We should all do our part…Unfortunately not all do it

  2. Pingback: Global warming - Tell me about it

  3. Pingback: Global warming - Tell me about it | Gaia Gazette

  4. There are many things we are doing today that contribute to climate change. Our denial is often the result of us not wanting to change our lifestyle. I wrote a blog http://jameshoddinott.com/2014/04/04/we-have-the-knowledge-just-not-the-will/ that gives some issues and possible solutions and numerous links to articles about climate change as well as I would suggest looking at Bogota and its car free week.

  5. This article examines some of the connections between the US and UK National Security apparatus and the appearance of the anthropogenic global warming (AGW) theory beginning after the accident at Three Mile Island. …

    http://alethonews.wordpress.com/2012/01/08/three-mile-island-global-warming-and-the-cia/

  6. yeseventhistoowillpass

    Excellent post.. You are quite right on. You checked out my corner of wordpress so I checked out your corner. Very well done…I’m impressed.

  7. Very concise. You will find one at dougstuber.wordpress.com that takes a similar track, and expands it further coming today. Now following you daily as your breadth of interest overlaps mine nearly 100%. Nice work!

  8. The experts like to use the terms. Change will come. Like you said at the end of your blog. We ensured the change in weather is happening too quickly. Pollution, too many people and less forest. You will need a stronger body and skin to survive in the future.

  9. I just follow the data. I read the IPCC and the scientific articles. I am disgusted by the polemics on the issue, even more by the liberals, with whom I otherwise agree.

    Climate is always changing. The earth has warmed over the last fifty years. Humans change climate, especially regionally, through land use modification, i.e. agriculture and urbanization. CO2 makes a contribution to warming. These are the facts.

    The questions: How much has it actually warmed? How much will it warm in the future? What is the impact of CO2 on the future and present warming, in QUANTITATIVE terms? Can we trust the computer models which are the only basis of the alarming predictions? Why have the computer models diverged from the data over the last 18 years? Is there more heat energy being stored in the ocean or not? Why does the IPCC use a rough average of the model output as their prediction, instead of focusing on the models that match the data best, i.e., the ones that predict only small amounts of warming?

    Ten or fifteen years will answer a lot of these questions!

    • That sums the situation up quite well, Lichanos.

      People might also consider that the focus on CO2 takes away from environmental protection in general. Reducing carbon fuel use has a huge cost in habitat loss for turbines, solar farms and transmission lines (which must more than double).

      Also, I am fascinated that we now are supposed to consider nuclear, with its radioactive emissions and everlasting waste as “clean”, while life-giving CO2 is being defined as “pollutant”.

      Buyer beware.

      • “People might also consider that the focus on CO2 takes away from environmental protection in general.”

        Amen to that! We could do more good by preserving habitat in general than with all these carbon footprints.

        A lot of the “planning” in response to global warming involves things that no one wanted to do for decades, but now that climate change is “here” they think it is important. But doing the right thing for the wrong reason is not good policy, and so the priorities and choices get all messed up.

        Sometimes I feel as if I’m in a madhouse!!

      • I agree.There so much to be done to protect the environment, but people often forget. Thanks for your comment!

    • I completely agree with you! Thank you for your feedback

  10. Thank you for liking the post reblogged from Under the Pecan Leaves, http://mylandrestorationproject.wordpress.com/2014/06/20/environment-news-613-619/ — Debra does a great round up of environmental developments. The latest post from me is http://ecopoliticstoday.wordpress.com/2014/06/26/unfed-cityworld/. How are we going to feed billions of city dwellers? The news from China is not encouraging.

  11. We are populating a unique niche in the Universe. There is a small range of conditions that allows us to thrive. I think that in itself should be enough motivation to try and keep those conditions as stable as we can. What is happening in the media discussion and in politics seems to be solely a blame-shifting approach. Which doesn’t help. If you notice you’re going bankrupt, you can fight about who’s to blame until you are bankrupt – or you can find a solution. It’s that easy and that hard. 🙂

    Keep up the good work & thanks for liking my post!

    • Thank you for your comment. You’re right, indeed there is a blame-shifting discussion going on. There is more of “we need to do this to save the planet..” than “we are doing this to save the planet”. Come by anytime!

      • Maybe I’m biased here but between the US and China it always sounds like “you wrecked the planet, it’s your fault, not mine. So you do something about it” “no, you wrecked the planet, and we don’t have the money anyway, you do something” to me. And then there are these tiny little scientists standing in the middle and saying: “Umm, could we like, maybe actually do something?”

        Do you know http://www.plant-for-the-planet.org ? An initiative to plant enough trees to offset the carbon emissions founded by children who were fed up with politicians just talking. Now that’s the kind of motivation the planet needs. 🙂 And it gives me hope for the next generations.

      • Thank you, I didn’t know it…. I will have a look 🙂

  12. Jeb

    The science is clear and in consensus. The issues are political and cultural. One of the major stumbling blocks I think is with how science sometimes presents cultural and emotional concerns as anti-science and ignorance. Conversely ignoring and rejecting the issue on the grounds that science is wrong is not helpful.

    Humans have always used the natural world to mediate a sense of self and wider society. Its a cultural processes and a rational one.

    Rejecting other peoples perspectives as foolish is not in many cases a particularly rational activity but certainly emotionally satisfying. Knowing has close links with emotion and our sense of being. It is important to treat other beings with respect if not agreement. Takes a lot of heat, light and emotion out of the argument.

  13. a provocative and great post. James Lovelock – climate change pioneer – says what we need to do now, is enjoy life
    see, the scary BBC interview at

  14. I love your style and the way you approach controversial topics IU! Here’s my 2 cents…since you asked. I find the best process for breaking down arguments is to identify ALL the stakeholders. Cull out the ones who hold the power and then ask the age-old question, Cui Bono? Who benefits? Talk about trends!! When we examine the most controversial issues of the day; terrorism, climate-change, Obamacare, Common Core, gun-control…the #1 beneficiary at the tippy top of the Cui Bono food chain in the “solution” dept.?? You guessed it…GOVERNMENT! 😦

  15. I´ll agree that is a combination of both factors, the natural factor and the human factor. But when you say “we” it´s quite tricky, the last time I checked the U.S has reduced gas emissions to the levels back in the early 90´s. Electric cars and other friendly cars to mother earth, they are just not selling no matter how much the administration is subsidising these companies. People like they´re powerful cars not those electric things. And the U.S(I´m from Spain by the way) is not a great cause, look at China and India, those two for example make´s the U.S when it gets to gas emissions look like a baby. So those developing countries, what do you do about them? Tell them to go green? They would probably,first ask you what are you talking about, and when you explain it to them they would probably laugh. Different cultures, different economic situation´s, and perspectives, so it get´s quite tricky when you get into the tiny details. Forgot, appreciate you stopping by my little crazy. You have an interesting blog, more time other day to keep reading.

  16. sell your car, or go solar to the extent that it powers your house and your car. Buy everything locally: the earth spends 22% of its fuel moving food. The average piece of food on your plate moved 1500 miles to get there. Buy local! DO not participate in globalization as a buyer or an employee, because moving products is a major part of the problem. Reduce eating meat if possible. The farts of bovines and other mammals cause 20% of the greenhouse gas problem. (Methane). Live no further than 5 K, 2.2 miles from work. reduce electricity use. If solar is not feasible i your neighborhood, try buying a windmill. Enjoy riding a bike with saddles and a basket. Use your cloth bag to shop, put the groceries in your basket or saddle and ride home. Find towns like Yellow Springs Ohio, Ithaca New York and Chapel Hill North Carolina that are small but have what you need, and all practice green living. Chapel Hill has all the culture you need at UNC, plus 8 screens worth of movies, including two great art theaters, and FREE BUSSES.

    http://dougstuber.wordpress.com/2014/04/20/ode-to-horace-mann-3/

    Ode to Horace Mann

    Be ashamed to die until you have won some
    victory for humanity. – Horace Mann

    Be aware that energy is life, save some for your kids.
    Be afraid that our minds are bent by news, not books.
    Be awed by the healing power of the simple purple cone flower.
    Be awake before the bombs drop, before the money rules.
    Be agile: live in a town that walks and bikes to work and play.
    Be amused by ants and birds, goats and potato fields, lilacs and sycamores.
    Be angry only long enough to solve the problem, then move on.
    Be ashamed to die until you have won some victory for humanity.

  17. genvana

    There is no doubt anymore that man is rapidly changing our environment and greed is keeping us from moving forward to change. We have to start changing now or our children will blame us. Climate change is happening now. We have solved big problems before. I am old enough to remember. I do not know wordpress well. How do we share material that would help individuals get the facts and make up their own mind? Help blogger support each other and their goal?

    http://worldnewsforum.org/2014/06/22/photographer-captures-tar-sands-destruction-from-above/

  18. I have many times wondered which kind of cars and factories there were after the ice age. Maybe somebody tells it to me someday.

  19. You have lots of interesting comments, but no solutions. When I traveled in Africa I used to tell my 8 year old daughter that the world is unbalanced, because man had poured so much concret, sucked out so much oil, dug up so much coal, block so many rivers, etc that it was now wobbling ” The Eulerian Nutation ” So we used to play a game called rebalance the world by moving a stone from one spot to another. It never worked.

    THERE is only one soulition. Make Greed pay. If we applied a 0.05% World Aid Commission on all Foreign Exchange Transactions (over $20,000), on all High Frequency Trades on the stock exchange, and on all SWFs funds We would have a perpetuity funded fund with billions to address all our world problems, now and in the foreseeable future.

  20. The human capacity to live in denial of of facts demonstrates the powerful effect the collective consciousness is in forming & limiting the perspective of a an individual living within it! Having lived as an ex-patriot in The Benelux & now repatriated to the US, I find my self a stranger in a strange land. I have been told on both sides of the pond to go back to the other side when my perspective had the effect of popping the myth that inflates the bubble of nationalistic hubris! The bubble that inflates the global village is the false promise that science/technology is going solve the problems it creates. Climate change is the result of the belief in Capitalism, that unlimited growth is sustainable: the wealth that capitalism drives everything from drones that kill to vaccines that contribute to human over-population. Like all creatures, we are hard-wired for self, family, ethnic, national survival at whatever cost to the array of living species. Dominion leads to extinction it would seem! Thank you for your post: It has inspired me to articulate my own unique perspective & why I have forbidden my daughter to allow extreme medical invention when Dr. Death comes knocking at my door! marc

  21. There is no evidence of any human impact on the globes temperature, as this link http://www.climatedepot.com/2014/07/03/global-temperature-standstill-lengthens-no-global-warming-for-17-years-10-months-since-sept-1996-214-months/ shows. In fact, it looks like the temperature is getting further and further away from what the IPCC-models predicted – and that is a problem – for the IPCC and the whole AGW- theory.
    It’s like driving a car and when the throttle stops increasing the speed of the car halfway down, – even if you keep pushing the throttle further down – no increased speed..

  22. Pingback: Your ecological footprint – what?! | Internationally Unrelated

  23. The earth naturally has a Greenhouse effect which keeps the temperature of the planet around 30 degrees higher than it would be – without the natural greenhouse effect, life as we know it would not be possible. The thing about burning coal, releasing methane and nitrous oxide and other greenhouse gases is that it INTENSIFIES the natural greenhouse effect, leading to even more warming. All of the IPCC reports have been unequivocal on this point – we must remember that each paper the IPCC reviews has already gone through a stringent peer-review process so even their estimates on warming will be modest. In terms of the trustworthiness of scientific information, there is literally nowhere better to look than the IPCC. Anyone who believes that it is all a hoax and the scientists are wrong, are frankly living in the wrong century.

    Also, in terms of what we should do, yes it’s a hard one. Developing countries want to be able to develop and develop quickly. I think that the way the West developed is not the only way, and we should be putting much more funding and research into development options without rapid industrialisation through fossil fuel burning – in the end, there is not enough to go around anyway, and there will be some countries left behind..

    • Indeed. Anyway, we can’t really go back anymore… The harm is done and will continue to be done. We can minimize it though…

    • Doesn’t help who say it is getting warmer, what power they have, how many they are or reputation and education. Temperature is falling even if the Carbon Dioxide level is going up, theory falsified, wrong, error, hoax etc. You get the picture. There is no trace of human activity in the temperature data, except from the “massaged” data, of course.

      http://stevengoddard.wordpress.com/2014/08/30/more-evidence-that-time-began-in-1979/

      http://www.thegwpf.org/weathermans-records-detail-heat-that-didnt-happen/

      http://notalotofpeopleknowthat.wordpress.com/2014/08/24/temperature-adjustments-at-brisbane/

      To claim human is responsible for the heating, when it hasn’t warmed in 19 years, is impressing. Apparently some people thing the rest is stupid and not able to understand that the whole AGW is a massive global swindle, – and nothing else. No warming for 19 years! 19 years! Why? CO2 is at 400 ppmv. and the temperature is falling ..

      • Thanks for the links, I’ll have a look

      • Lol. Firstly, the IPCC (the international body tasked with assessing the climate change science) put in its last report that we have seen no major warming for 15 years. So the international body which you probably think is at the middle of the ‘global warming swindle’ accepts that there has been no warming? Hmmm, I wonder why. Well, obviously we don’t know EVERYTHING and in fact the climate system is INCREDIBLY complex with many different individual feedback systems.

        For example, more warming at the North Pole will mean more ice melting, which will mean there is less albedo, which means there is less sunlight being reflected back to space, which means more warming, which means more ice melting ETC… there are many of these feedback systems, some negative, some positive and some that we don’t quite understand yet.

        To suggest that the IPCC and their projections is some kind of conspiracy is frankly very worrying and I’m sorry that you have to live inside this paranoid mind. The IPCC simply collates data that has already been published by the scientific community, of which 97 % agree with man-made climate change. 97 %!!! The IPCC does no research of its own, simply looking at what has already been said for no political agenda, no particular reason other than to study the effect of putting carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases into the atmosphere. Try reading some stuff that doesn’t fit in with your world-view and you might be surprised. Of course if you keep looking for evidence to support your convictions you will find it, you are living proof. But maybe if you read some of the science and the evidence that suggests climate change is real, caused by humans and very scary, then you might change your tune.

      • The way i read you is that the so called paranoid mind of mine is a lot focused on the real data, not fancy theories and incorrect datamodels made to scam you and me to pay more tax. Any paper claiming climate change is real is completely correct. My issue is about the man made, dangerous global warming. And funny enough, real world data doesn’t support that at all.

    • Key facts about global temperature

      The RSS satellite dataset shows no global warming at all for 215 months from October 1996 to August 2014. That is more than half the 428-month satellite record.
      The fastest measured centennial warming rate was in Central England from 1663-1762, at 0.9 Cº/century – before the industrial revolution. It was not our fault.
      The global warming trend since 1900 is equivalent to 0.8 Cº per century. This is well within natural variability and may not have much to do with us.
      The fastest measured warming trend lasting ten years or more occurred over the 40 years from 1694-1733 in Central England. It was equivalent to 4.3 Cº per century.
      Since 1950, when a human influence on global temperature first became theoretically possible, the global warming trend has been equivalent to below 1.2 Cº per century.
      The fastest warming rate lasting ten years or more since 1950 occurred over the 33 years from 1974 to 2006. It was equivalent to 2.0 Cº per century.
      In 1990, the IPCC’s mid-range prediction of near-term warming was equivalent to 2.8 Cº per century, higher by two-thirds than its current prediction of 1.7 Cº/century.
      The global warming trend since 1990, when the IPCC wrote its first report, is equivalent to below 1.4 Cº per century – half of what the IPCC had then predicted.
      Though the IPCC has cut its near-term warming prediction, it has not cut its high-end business as usual centennial warming prediction of 4.8 Cº warming to 2100.
      The IPCC’s predicted 4.8 Cº warming by 2100 is well over twice the greatest rate of warming lasting more than ten years that has been measured since 1950.
      The IPCC’s 4.8 Cº-by-2100 prediction is almost four times the observed real-world warming trend since we might in theory have begun influencing it in 1950.
      From 1 April 2001 to 1 July 2014, the warming trend on the mean of the 5 global-temperature datasets is nil. No warming for 13 years 4 months.
      Recent extreme weather cannot be blamed on global warming, because there has not been any global warming. It is as simple as that.

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