What is climate change?

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Are the gods angry with us?

Nobody likes hurricanes or floods, fires or droughts. We offer up prayers to those affected, whether traumatised or killed. Sadly, prayers are completely useless in the face of nature. Nature doesn’t care about gods. It’s chemistry, biology and physics. Nature is what we constructed our god myths around. You could say that nature is our gods. So, are our gods angry?

What is climate change and what does global warming have to do with it?

If the climate is a god, we’ve made it angry by adding heat. Hotter oceans have more energy, so release more water vapour into the air. Hotter air holds more water. Hotter air melts ice caps, leading to higher ocean levels and more devastating storm surges. The melted ice cap water heats up and so the water cycle on steroids continues. This is very basic science, something that most 10 year-olds can grasp. But many older men in positions of power are unwilling or unable to grasp this inescapable, scientific truth. This is bad.

What’s the greenhouse effect?

This diagram shows the Earth’s energy budget, which includes the greenhouse effect. Source: NASA.

Burning fossil fuel, such as oil, petrol, diesel, gas or natural gas, creates greenhouse gases (GHGs), mainly carbon dioxide but also methane and nitrous oxide. When these greenhouse gases gather in the atmosphere, they block solar energy – heat – from escaping back into space. So the atmosphere gets hotter, more energetic, more capable of intense weather events and enormous hurricanes. Critically, water vapour itself is a greenhouse gas. The effect of these gases trapping heat in the atmosphere is the greenhouse effect. Just like a greenhouse in a garden.

What’s the alternative to global warming and climate change, and why don’t we embrace it?

Renewable energy, such as solar and wind, creates the power to run an electricity-generating station or to charge an electric car, but without emitting any greenhouse gases. It really is that simple. A key blocker is that we are lectured about the high cost of renewables. Take that one with a pinch of salt. It’s estimated that 2015 global fossil fuel subsidies were $5.3 trillion, yes 5.3 thousand billion dollars, which represented 6.5% of global GDP. So, while Elon Musk and the Chinese make great progress driving down the cost of solar, there is not a level playing field while big oil still gets corporate welfare handouts from friends in high places. As well as the US and most Middle Eastern countries, the EU is also guilty of subsidising the fossil fuel industry.

Applying logic

President Trump’s decision to pull the USA out of the Paris Agreement on GHG control was a mistake, especially from a business logic perspective. Here’s the Readathriller.com three-point plan for getting things back on track:

  1. Err on the side of caution on GHGs. If the thousands of scientists are right, we have a slim window of opportunity to get our emissions under control. If we don’t, we’re in big trouble and our kids and grandkids will inherit a devastated planet. And while we reduce our CO2 emissions, letโ€™s plant hemp everywhere and simply soak it out of the air with the biological miracle of photosynthesis.
  2. Reduce and eliminate the subsidies given to fossil fuel businesses. Add up all the costs generated by mega-hurricanes and follow the money. Until the money runs out.
  3. Invest half of the fossil fuel subsidy savings in flood defences and the other half to improve the efficiency of renewable power generation. Renewable energy is energy generated by the sun, wind and water. It’s endlessly available and doesn’t consume any of the planet’s resources.

We need to grow up. It’s time to stop hiding behind our gods, quit lying, and face up to the problems that we ourselves have caused. Prayers just don’t cut it anymore. And the leaders that profess to be closest to God are the greatest liars of all.

Update, 20 August, 2020

The Global Mean Temperature Of The Past 2,000 Years Captured In 20 Seconds, Visualized – Digg. Looking at global temperature deviations from 0 to 2019 AD reveals a startling trend. https://digg.com/2020/global-mean-temperature-past-2000-years

Further reading

Fossil fuel subsidies: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Energy_subsidies#United_States

Greenhouse gases: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Greenhouse_gas

Read more about the biological miracle of photosynthesis and how it can stop climate change.


Image credits

Smoke pollution from a coking oven: By Alfred T. Palmer – This image is available from the United States Library of Congress’s Prints and Photographs division under the digital ID fsac.1a35072. Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=3363860

Diagram showing the Earth’s energy budget, which includes the greenhouse effect: NASA

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