Less Belief Please—Save the Planet

How even a small percentage of errant belief endangers everyone.

I don’t believe global warming is manmade”

“I believe the earth can take care of more than we can do to it”

“I believe when things get really bad, Jesus will return and rule in righteousness”

The latest argument I’ve seen is “volcanoes emit 100 times the amount of CO2 that humans can create” True? However, earths atmosphere is very thin. The earth is a stabilized environment based on millions of years of nature. We, and all other plant and animal life are adapted and evolved to this amount of natural pollutant in our atmosphere. Adding 1% can create catastrophic change neither us nor the planet can tolerate. Here’s a smaller sampling to illustrate.

Most organisms are very sensitive to seemingly small changes in pH. For example, in humans, arterial blood pH normally falls within the range 7.35–7.45. A drop of 0.1 pH units in human blood pH can result in rather profound health consequences, including seizures, heart arrhythmia, or even coma in a process called acidosis. The body functions in many ways to maintain homeostasis (equilibrium). On an even easier scale, a 1% rise in body temperature kills bacteria and viruses. Not too hard to think through a thousand repercussions to seemingly insignificant changes.

Since the Industrial Revolution, the global average pH of the surface ocean has decreased by 0.11, which corresponds to approximately a 30% increase in the hydrogen ion concentration (pH is logarithmic).

The life we take for granted is a very delicate balance evolved over millions of years. I believe that belief in errant beliefs is a faith based problem in the US. You don’t have the faithful or economic right to pollute the air I breath. Not even a little.

Right now we pump 2.4million pounds of CO2 per second into our atmosphere. That 38.2billion tons per year. No problem? I believe that is too much based on the data and my extensive training in physiology. And physiology is only one discipline to apply.

Just a small sampling of world cities. None of which is a manmade problem.

Author: jim-

One minute info blogs breaking the faith trap.

104 thoughts on “Less Belief Please—Save the Planet”

  1. Pew research page 5 on religious views of climate change and causes etc…interesting.

    Also it was good to see “in words” some of the proclamations on your two links about concern for the environment by denominations. Words are one thing…local preachers own views and putting all this into practice and making it a priority to the faithful is another.

    http://www.pewinternet.org/2015/10/22/religion-and-views-on-climate-and-energy-issues/

    Liked by 4 people

      1. True…I know I haven’t and the few religious people I know rarely mention climate change, but with my non religious friends, it is a big concern.

        Liked by 3 people

    1. What can I say? Rome wasn’t built in a day and I’m a charitable person.

      The second link contains a fair number of resources to take action, including sermons on stewarship, renewable energy and water conservation projects and a pledge to honor the Paris accord regardless of what the U.S. federal government does.

      I think we should be lauding these efforts because praise encourages people to work harder.

      Liked by 2 people

        1. Nice little excerpt. “Our faith compels us to protect Creation, love our neighbor, and create a better world for our children. We will do all we can in our homes, our houses of worship, and our communities to meet the goals of the Paris agreement. And then we’ll help our neighbors do the same”

          Liked by 1 person

          1. Not to be totally negative (who, me? Negative?) but experience with religious groups embarking on any “socialist” vision makes me skeptical. Mission statement or reality? I’m not joining their denomination to find out. Less talkin’, more doin’ an’ we’ll see!

            Liked by 1 person

  2. Out of curiosity, I searched for the environmental policy positions of various the various religious denominations within the U.S. and found this handy site:

    https://greenfaith.org/christian_teachings

    A quick parse through the various declarations reveals the majority are serious about becoming better stewards of the planet and leaning towards acceptance of AWG.

    There’s also this site that encourages proactive measures to improve the environment.

    https://www.interfaithpowerandlight.org/

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Thanks Ron. You da man! Wouldn’t it be fine with me to see greenfaith bumper stickers on every Christian car in the world? This is something we could all embrace together.

      Liked by 5 people

      1. True Jim, HOWEVER, that will not fly AT ALL with the growing Christian Doctrinal Movement of Prosperity Gospel/Theology. Push that near one of their hundred thousand churches buddy and you’ll be burned at the stake! (the vigilante Righteous scream… LIGHT HIM UP!!!) 🔥😳

        Liked by 2 people

  3. Lovely sarcasm? Quote: “Just a small sampling of world cities. None of which is a manmade problem.”
    The problem I see with scientists is they are simply untrustworthy. OK, so they now warn about the devastating pollution world-wide but it’s all because scientist worked day and night to push the very technology we now take for granted and is destroying the planet. Einstein worried over the first successful atom bomb test. God “repenting” that he had made man and sending the flood. Sorry, but that is hypocritical to the extreme. You scientists made the problem possible, now blame us for taking your inventions and using them?

    Liked by 3 people

    1. No argument here. The trick now I guess is to get people to stop buying the crap. From the beginning of the industrial revolution we have made the ugliest mark possible, then spend forever trying to fix it or make it more efficient but creating even more pollution (battery powered cars) I do think there have always been non damaging alternatives, but hey, it’s always about the quick cash. Hanford employs 8000 full time employees to clean up radioactive waste. But they still make more. Trump now wants to reclassify nuclear waste to make it easier to dump. Great idea huh?

      Liked by 4 people

      1. I think it’s high time we recognized Trump’s genius and made him “Environmentalist of the Year” I mean look at the guy, he can clean coal, and he probably can pick up a piece of shit by the clean end too.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. BOOM! And right there Jim, is the disgraceful shunning of accountability by corporate America (and all others around the world: China! India!).

        If all of humanity, especially the self-perceived privileged, took on the same mentality of all the implied and explicit examples you mention — tRump being one big one with tiny hands & tiny other things! — then we’d all be SHITTING in each others kitchens, beds, and office-chairs! But no, there are many who understand accountability, responsibility, and being a relentless TEAM-PLAYER. So logically that means also that we are not the only person on the planet. Duh. 🙄😠

        Just realized something; a question. Was tRump an only child?

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Just pulled this off an article, which I will link.

    Christian values towards the environment are diverse. Different traditions, for example, emphasise different aspects of the creation narratives. White’s (1967) seminary work in this area focused on branches of the church that emphasise texts such as Genesis 1:26–28 [14]. This states that humans were given a divine edict to have dominion over the earth and increase in number [14]. However, other traditions, especially among liberal and Protestant denominations, teach divinely sanctioned stewardship (e.g., Genesis 2:7–15) where humans are put in Eden to care for and till the earth [15], [16], [17], [18].2 To add further complexity, some contemporary movements focus on apocalyptic rather than creation narratives [16]. Apocalyptic beliefs are widely reported in American fundamentalist and Pentecostalist movements. Guth et al. (1995) express concern that the outlook of these churches risks their members becoming disengaged from current environmental concerns as they focus on preparing for the afterlife [16]. Fundamentalist Christian faith may even encourage individuals to welcome growing environmental problems as positive signs of the Second Coming. In support of this assertion, a recent US study found that American citizens most dismissive of climate change were more likely to be Evangelical Christians demonstrating a high level of religious observance [19]. This group was found to oppose international treaties to address climate change, only supporting low cost environmental policies.

    In contrast American citizens’ claiming to be most alarmed by climate change and expressing the strongest intentions to adopt more sustainable behaviours and support pro-environmental policies including cleaner energy generation, were more likely to describe themselves as non-religious, atheist or agnostic and to have low attendance rates at religious services [19]. This builds on previous studies which found that secularists are more likely to support environmental spending and regulation; and perhaps indicates that individuals who do not subscribe to Christian mastery values and eschatological beliefs are more likely to engage with environmental and political issues [15], [20].

    Liked by 6 people

      1. Thank you for providing the link. But I’d be very reluctant to cite it widely for the following reasons:

        – the sample size is extremely small (18 participants)
        – the authors acknowledge that the participants tended to be university educated and of a similar age
        – the study was conducted in the UK
        – several references cited within the paper date back to the ’80s and ’90s and may no longer reflect current values and attitudes.

        Liked by 2 people

  5. I’m interested to see how the economic angle develops. I imagine within my lifetime we’ll be in a world where the conditions for the impoverished will be considerably more dangerous than they are now. That will in turn create a cycle where locations with better conditions will cost a fortune.

    Liked by 5 people

    1. Agreed Pink. In one way or another, sooner or later… EVERYBODY PAYS the Piper. One is a complete fool if they think they are immune or live with total impunity simply because they have the most toys, the bigger bank account, or a long wordy status of entitlement. We all sit on the toilet the same for identical reasons. Period. 😉

      Liked by 2 people

      1. LOL. Your jacaranda lined streets will surely be on the list. Isn’t SA already high on the migrant list?
        As climate conditions deteriorate in central Africa the pressure to move North and South will end up inflating prices in both.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Isn’t SA already high on the migrant list?
          Is it? I wondered why it seemed quiet all of a sudden. Let me check with John Z

          Maybe the Land Expropriation Act will reach Observatory before climate change wrecks everything?
          Besides, I think your street is safe from Moi.
          As you know, I have family down the road from you in Portugal and if push comes to shove they will grudgingly shuffle up and make room.

          Liked by 1 person

  6. I really learned a bunch about the climate reading this post and comments. One thing I did not see was anything about the human need to over produce, over use, and basically ruin our own habitats. We do our best to have too many of us, to raid the resources of any where we are, and live for today not thinking of what tomorrow will bring. Sometimes I think of our selves not as a high achieving animal , but more an opportunistic parasite. We are killing our host and we just don’t seem to care that when the host is gone, so are we. Thanks all. Jim a grand post. Hugs

    Liked by 7 people

  7. Deep sigh. Good stuff here. But, I still think it is hopeless.
    kersten said, “The human body was built by natural selection not to study science or create literature but to survive and pockets of survival will exist even in the event of a climate catastrophe.”
    “So let it be written, so let it be done.”
    We are fragile, sensitive creatures. Few will actually ever know if that survival prophesy is correct. We’ve not been around long; how much longer? Extinction awaits the human species.

    Liked by 5 people

    1. I think everybody is like the invincible teenager. Nothing could possibly happen, right. We’re smart enough to solve anything, right? I was taking with my daughter about tsunamis, she said she’d just swim really fast and get away. I showed her some footage on YouTube and she said…oh, never mind. It’s hard to imagine how bad things can actually be.

      Liked by 5 people

  8. Excellent concise post Jim. And between you and your post, Robert’s comment (addition) and Swarn’s expertise (being inside the field for years)… doesn’t leave much more to add or comment about. LOL 😛 Which of course isn’t a bad thing, right? 😉

    However, I was considering replying to a couple of Commenter’s comments here, but my time is limited this afternoon and evening. We’ll see. I can/will say this though…

    I am a very well-versed, educated, and experienced professional (expert?) in only five specific social and occupational areas. In other words, I can legitimately speak on, about, contribute, or debate those FIVE areas/fields. Anything outside of my five areas, like Civil or Criminal Law, Climatology, Meteorology, or Genetics or Atomic & Rocket engineering, Computer technology, or Aerodynamic engineering… I am a bumbling idiot, a naive rookie at best, and should NEVER talk about or criticize those experts in those example areas (and so many others to be honest! 😜 ) in any serious, in-depth, factual or DOUBTING manner! Duh! They are NOT my fields of expertise, much less to a level where I’d be a guest speaker at their conventions/summits! Hahahaha! Therefore, if I have any degree of respect and integrity for myself and those REAL experts (like Swarn), then it is wise to keep my opinions to myself, and probably shut. Right?

    And yet, over and over, ad infinitum, we see or hear too many Peter Pans, Pinocchios, or Wizard of Ozs with their bogus opinions and conclusions on subjects like this. The advent of the internet and social-media has contributed to this tidal-wave of FAKE experts. And what exacerbates and perpetuates this wave of disinformation and ignorance is that those very “Fake Experts” go to biased and fake-ish “experts” (e.g. Special Interest groups, foundations, organizations) merely to back and support their own ideas and agendas.

    Furthermore, with 2-4 generations of American youth poorly educated in or restricted from critical-thinking and analytical skills (e.g. science & history to name two) thru their primary and secondary curriculums, we now have young adults and parental adults WITHOUT the skill-sets needed to recognize tactics of propaganda, disinformation, cover-ups or forms of less transparency — disguised as and called Deregulation or Government Intrusion/Interference — much less how to counter-attack those tactics! You’ve read from me writing about this social, economic, political, and educational problem for a long time as Agnotology.

    So… that’s all I have to say/comment about here. 🤭🤩

    Liked by 8 people

    1. Thank you sir. I was hoping Robert and Swarn would be around today, because I am not an expert in this field either. I am however, pretty good at looking at data and connecting the dots. Just flying over a few metro areas makes it hard to believe there’s no impact. It’s staggering how big the world is, how thin our atmosphere is, and looking at the difference, the delicate balance of life and sickness, there’s not a lot of leeway.

      Liked by 4 people

      1. Well, one of my professional areas I mentioned above is a 4th – 8th grade educator in science, specifically relevant here: Earth Science. The basics with some advance studies. I also achieved B’s or B+’s, sometimes A’s, in my primary, secondary, and under-grad science courses. I love and enjoy all sciences! So everything you just stated is right and can indeed be verified repeatedly as correct by a very wide consensus of other expert scientists around the world. 😉 Ironically what has been going on for several decades if we’re honest and disclosing evolutionary intelligence and academic advancements. 🙂

        The ONE aspect I think many doubters or undecided-spectators fail to grasp is the TIME-EFFECT. Our human bodies are designed (over 250,000+ years!) the same way as most all terrestrial animals and yes, our planet too. The human body can usually (with exceptions) recover and adapt from traumatic damage or injury IF it has the time to do so! But if the injury or damage is too quick, too harsh, too comprehensive (e.g. gun-shot, bomb, or Tsunami from an earthquake), those chances of recovery or survival drop way down. You know this as a former EMT yourself. 😉 With climate-change, we are setting ourselves up for more and more of those extremes of little-to-no time for prepping and managing, much less recovery and rehab/reconstruction… or survival. 😦

        Liked by 5 people

      2. Oh! Forgot to conclude with this…

        The brilliant or the sad thing about our self-created dilemma/crisis is that WE can slow it and avoid it!!! The million dollar question is… will we do it? Or will we frogs just sit fat and happy inside the hotter and hotter frying pan?

        Liked by 6 people

            1. (has hands covering his ears and eyes…) Nah-nah-nah-nah! I can’t hear you, I can’t read what you’re writing!!! Nope. Not gonna do it you smart ass.

              And yes, I have four hands! LOL 🤥😄

              Liked by 2 people

            2. BWAHAHAHAHAHA!!! Now see, there ya go teasing, venturing into another one of my “specialized” fields of experience! 😈

              But yes, that is very, VERY true as well. 😉

              Like

    2. I think one of the major problem is that a lot of these pseudoscientists get a lot of attention in the media

      In fields I’m trained in or have carried out extensive study, I can easily identify fake experts and pseudoscience when I see one

      But there is just so much one can study to find out the consensus of experts.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Jonathan,

        You are exactly right. The recent modern trend of a voice, face, and video readily available at an instant now for ANYONE, ANYWHERE around the world, and going viral in a day like a pandemic has as many bonuses as it does detriments. Is that the cost of individual freedom? Just how far should “freedom of expression” go? Is there any implied responsibility that should go with SO MUCH FREEDOM? Is there accountability that is just as critical to possess? How is “accountability” implemented with freedom?

        But there is just so much one can study to find out the consensus of experts.

        This is quite true Jonathan and I’m glad you mentioned this. As I’ve alluded to with Jim earlier and he and I have discussed some of my older blog-posts, in particular my 4-part series “Games of Unknowledging” regarding Agnotology. One huge part of my series and what the experts in this new scientific field firmly iterate and it’s exactly what your last sentence states: the Time and Mental Constraints. But that applies to either ONE person, or a small group. From my series Part I covering the General Classifications of Ignorance

        We cannot possibly study and understand all things. We must leave some alone, select what subjects deserve our needs and attention. As a result, this form of ignorance is a product of inattention and can be lost for a period of time or forever.

        That said, it DOES NOT NECESSARILY imply that we concede defeat because of our singular, our solo cognitive biological limits. With the help of many other experts (ala my earlier “It takes a village“) humanity does HEDGE AGAINST ignorance, errors, costly errors, disinformation, and blatant abuse of human rights/freedom resultant of secrecy and authoritarian power, i.e. intentional subterfuge. And so if I may Jim, this is why what E.O. Wilson teaches, one of America’s prolific, Pulitzer Prize Entomologist, Naturalist, and promoter of human global collaboration in equal collaboration with Earth’s healthier ecosystems, poignantly points out:

        Exclusion makes us suffer. Inclusion makes us thrive.

        In a word, sharing. Sharing, sharing, sharing our knowledge, ignorance, burdens, celebrations, successes, failures, etc, et al, with much less shaming.

        Great comment Jonathan. Thank you.

        Liked by 3 people

  9. We need to be careful especially if we blame religious conviction for carbon footprint. The foot print in US households is about 5 times greater than the global average. In general those of us who enjoy a high lifestyle have a large carbon footprint . So the rich western nations are the worst culprits and they of course are driving and flying everywhere.
    Think of the consumption of electricity by rich nations compared to the poor nations like India . The internal combustion engine has done enormous damage since its invention but of course we cannot live without it or without airports and all the trimmings of civilisation.
    I do enjoy an orange but they don’t grow in the UK and all have to be shipped or flown into the country.
    A brief look at the internet shows just how complex and tricky the whole footprint business is but one thing is pretty certain I cannot see millions of people changing their life patterns.
    For those who worry let me say Europe ( there was no America then ) survived the Black Death but the cost was enormous about 100 million died but we managed without medics or antibiotics. The human body was built by natural selection not to study science or create literature but to survive and pockets of survival will exist even in the event of a climate catastrophe.

    Liked by 5 people

    1. All good points. Here in the US, the denial that these things are caused by us are all from the same side. The pulpits have poisoned the minds of the herds. Congress and the senate, courts, and presidency are all majority Christian, denying the harm it is doing by religious indoctrination and pseudoscience. Christians always want to separate themselves from their outcomes. Separate themselves from the results of Christendom. I don’t afford them that luxury. But, I get your points, and I’ll consider them as I always do. Thanks.

      Liked by 4 people

      1. Jim surely your not saying cars and aeroplanes are all driven by Christians? As you know we must all eat less beef because methane is a deadly greenhouse gas much worse that carbon dioxide , but don’t tell me Only Christians are eating burgers in MacDonalds.
        There is another interesting development on the footprint scene carbon offsets ; if you happen to have a piece of ground you can relax becausej every time you fly you can plant a tree , the good news is if you have the money you can pay someone else to do it for you , but make sure your not hoodwinked.
        There is a local obsession here with grass cutting so the gardens look like golf courses and in the summer the flowers stand like regiments of perfect soldiers. I think we need to let grass grow to refresh the atmosphere and larger golf balls would aid the fight against climate change.

        Liked by 4 people

        1. Of course it’s not just Christians that drive (or garden either) but the policy makers and polluters that place great value in their faith (even above family) should be leading the way to clean air and water with their majority in position, but it is a religion of hypocrisy, that’s all. They have the power to change the attitudes in a Sunday or two, but alas…Their dominion to subdue the earth is a right they won’t concede. This is an irreligious blog btw 😂

          Liked by 2 people

          1. It’s not their faith Jim it’s their bank balance and lifestyle , faith is but a thin veneer , an excuse to behave in a way that pleases you , a useful insurance against the wind of change. The vast majority of those who claim to have faith behave in a way that denies what they claim to believe.

            Liked by 4 people

            1. Though, I agree that it isn’t the christian faith that is responsible for global warming
              But I know a lot of christians who don’t bother to do anything about it because of their religion. Their attitudes usually range from
              1. It is our divine right to subdue the earth
              To
              2. The faster we bring about the destruction of the earth the sooner the second coming

              Liked by 4 people

            2. I know it might make you smile but if the Catholic Church had managed to stop the enlightenment we would not have had the industrial revolution which was the main cause of the rapid speed up of climate damage . Of course they tried to stop progress to ensure they could hold the reins of power not for the good of old mother earth. Our downfall is a result of our intelligence enabling a huge global population and a fantastic array of scientific advances. We have a clever and good competitor waiting in wings , he has always been around us and he does not need civilisation and all its delicate accoutrements ; namely the rat a master survivor.

              Liked by 3 people

            3. Kersten..you are absolutely correct….Gandhi said “I like your Christ. I do not like your Christians. They are so unlike your Christ.”

              Liked by 3 people

            4. Fair enough. I concur. My mistake believing they actually mean it. I did a post a while ago about this as well. The premise was about people that actually live the precepts of the faith wind up leaving it. The rest only know the words. It is by faith you can stay in the church, and by fact that you leave it. Thanks for hanging in there with me in this one. Appreciate that.

              Liked by 2 people

      2. Yes religion teaches that life after death is the goal..not while we’re here and not the planet itself.
        If religion had never pushed an afterlife, but instead the care of the home we live on, this would have all been different.

        Liked by 5 people

          1. Thanks…I just got burned out on religious idiocy and the sheer lunacy of it all…and now I’m reaching the same thing with trump and his cult….
            It gets very tiresome trying to “reason” with those who don’t want to see reason.
            I think it’s been mentioned before the series called “Life After Man” that ultimately shows the earth will recover, but it can take a very very long time and humans will be long gone. But the premise was man disappearing now, all at once , and not the reality of a slower disappearance and the taking of much flora and fauna along with him. That is the sad part to me…all that will pay the price of man’s arrogance.

            Liked by 4 people

            1. Hello Mary. I was thinking of the great extinction events in history. How the majority of species died off and then new species rose up. The time scales are somewhat mind numbing but we as a species have only been here for what, 250,000 to 300,000 years now. The different species of dinosaurs lived for millions of years. Many millions of years. We have managed to destroy it all in just a small fraction of that. The good news is the planet will go on, even if we do not. Hugs

              Liked by 3 people

        1. Religions that prattle on ad nauseam…ad infinitum about death as the ultimate goal should be more upfront about that goal and begin each prattle with an unequivocal “you are better off dead.”

          Liked by 3 people

            1. Not their MO. Beware those who insist that you close the doors behind you upon entering their doctrinal doors, and to accept on faith alone. Catholicism doesn’t even recognize the doors behind. My parents had me baptized at six weeks and I certainly don’t remember that particular day. At seven you get declared “capable of reasoning” and condemned to the fear of eternal hell from midnight of that seventh birth anniversary on. That is some fucked-up shit.

              Liked by 3 people

            2. I had a similar experience and was thoroughly indoctrinated and guilted at every turn. Threats of hell and sin? Hell, before I could even comprehend it. When I finally realized it was bullshit, the first time in my life I had my own thoughts and became human and tolerant and love for others. Because it was me, not what I was told I thought, or had to do. Thanks Bill Z

              Liked by 3 people

  10. Apparently, conclusions reached by authoritative scientific processes, accepted conclusions can be counter indicated in favor of unassailable faith in a different form of inquiry.

    This type of thinking scares bajesus out of me.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. The changes are enough to affect insects and birds which are dying off at unprecedented rates. Without bugs we all die as things escalate. That’s why I tried to break it down into 3 simple explanations, but could easily do 1000s of examples. 1 degree, .1pH, 1% CO2 emissions, It all is connected and the farther we go from normal, the faster the problem escalates. The pics I posted are a small, small sample. We can’t really think that the scale of this pollution has no effect, when everywhere you go you find it. I live in the county 50 miles from a city of 250,000. My skies are not blue anymore and every summer is full of smoke. The entire PNW is covered in smoke annually. Used to not be that way.

      Liked by 4 people

    2. I’d be happy to answer this question, but wasn’t sure if you were being sarcastic or not. lol This is my area of expertise so I’d be happy to explain if you’re interested.

      Liked by 3 people

    3. Well Jim want’s an answer so I can’t refuse. lol

      So there are two things to be concerned about besides the overall rise, but also the rate in which that rise is happening. As Jim pointed out, most creatures live in fairly narrow temperature ranges and thus small changes can causes huge changes in the ecosystem. This is especially true for things at the bottom of the food chain, which eventually makes it’s way of course to the top. Right now the rise in temperature we’re experiencing is 7-10 times faster than any natural temperature change we are aware of in the climatic past. Since many organism adapt generationally through iterative mutations in DNA, when change happens fast this generally leads to extinction.

      We also have things called positive and negative feedbacks in our climate system. Climate scientists often talk about something called the tipping point, this a temperature rise in which scientists believe positive feedbacks will become too dominant and will lead to an even greater acceleration in the rise in temperature. For example a fairly simply positive feedback in the climate system is the melting of ice which reduces the area of the Earth that is covered with a shiny white surface. This leads to greater solar radiation absorption, which causes further warming, and more melting…and so on. There are other positive feedbacks, and a few negative ones. The negative ones generally only mitigate the change, but if the change happens too quickly the negative feedbacks won’t be able to do much in the way of cooling.

      In terms of the overall temperature rise, this is most relevant for the melting of ice, thermal expansion of sea water, increased evaporation, and increase in areas covered by desert. As the ocean temperatures warm, the density of sea water decreases and molecules move further apart, this causes about 20% of the sea level rise, and then the melting of ice the rest. A two degree rise by the end of this century can cause numerous cities at or below sea level to face serious devastation. Then as ocean temperatures warm, and given that more than 2/3rds of the Earth is covered by water (and more surface area will be water as sea levels rise) this leads to increased amounts of water vapor in the air. Clouds in general have a cooling impact, but it depends on the cloud type. However we would also expect to see an increase in flooding and extreme precipitation events. Something that we are already seeing. More than 1/3rd of all precipitation on land originates over the ocean. Finally a couple degrees temperature rise is enough to increase drought frequency and expand desert areas in steppe climates. These are areas that have short rainy seasons in which crops can grow. Most people in this climate area are subsistence farmers and as the warming continues these people will experience great difficulties. Famine, and security issues abound as hungry people cross borders looking for food.

      If we only get one degree rise by the end of this century, I don’t think it will be too bad, but it seems likely to be 2 or more and that rate of temperature change is something the biosphere is not used to dealing with.

      Liked by 11 people

        1. I don’t know if butterfly effect is the most applicable here, although I guess there is partly that in terms of runaway feedbacks. It’s more than the average is just that. We rarely experience the average, so if the average is increasing this also means an increase in the extremes. And also from a human perspective, you may feel you are quite adaptable to two degrees warmer, but many species and parts of the Earth system will show big changes by an increase in the average. Think of it like the average score on an exam. If there are 100 people in a class and you had a bell curve of distributed scores, and then the mean shifts 2%, that means there are more students at the higher end of the grades. So having more extreme temperature events, and since the amount of moisture the air can hold is exponentially related to the temperature, we would expect more extreme precip events too. So maybe dominoes is a slightly better analogy here over chaos theory.

          Weather is the noise that when averaged makes climate. When the climate changes, weather patterns shift and there is an increase in the number of extreme events. Both disasters and movement outside of the narrow temperature range that many creatures survive in causes problems.

          Liked by 8 people

      1. Excellent information. I would add that the melting of ice relates to sea-level rise differently. When land ice (e.g. glaciers, ice sheets) melts, the water flows directly into the oceans and it directly increases sea levels (e.g. Greenland). When ocean ice (e.g. Arctic ice cap, ice shelves) melts, it affects sea levels indirectly. As noted in your comment, Arctic melting decreases the Earth’s albedo which increases the absorption of sunlight making the planet warmer. In Antarctica, the continent’s surrounding ice shelves act like a plug holding back the unstable (i.e. higher elevation) land ice sheets. As our oceans warm up, they melt these floating ice shelves from below which allows the massive continental ice sheets to slide into the ocean from gravity and also melt. Once these processes are triggered, the rate of melting increases with time until it results in catastrophic consequences for our modern civilization.

        Liked by 4 people

        1. Good additional points. I’d add though that any reduction of the area covered by ice (exposing bare ground or water underneath) will lead to a decrease in albedo, but yes the loss of sea ice is the quickest transition from an optically bright white to optically dark water.

          Liked by 2 people

  11. From: https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/earthtalks-volcanoes-or-humans/

    Dear EarthTalk: Could it really be true that a single large volcanic eruption launches more greenhouse gases into the atmosphere than the amount generated by all of humanity over history?
    — Steve Schlemmer, London, England

    This argument that human-caused carbon emissions are merely a drop in the bucket compared to greenhouse gases generated by volcanoes has been making its way around the rumor mill for years. And while it may sound plausible, the science just doesn’t back it up.

    According to the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), the world’s volcanoes, both on land and undersea, generate about 200 million tons of carbon dioxide (CO2) annually, while our automotive and industrial activities cause some 24 billion tons of CO2 emissions every year worldwide. Despite the arguments to the contrary, the facts speak for themselves: Greenhouse gas emissions from volcanoes comprise less than one percent of those generated by today’s human endeavors.

    Liked by 7 people

    1. Yeah I was going to bust that myth too. Well done Robert! Amazingly many of these things can be looked up, but those that want to deny it’s happening don’t look at actual responses from scientists who are experts on the issue.

      Liked by 5 people

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