Organizing and Growing Individual Efforts: What Can I Do? (3)

By: Dr. Ricky Rood , 2:33 AM GMT on April 10, 2013

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Organizing and Growing Individual Efforts: What Can I Do? (3)

This is the continuation of a series in response to the question, “What can I do about climate change?” I thank Doug Glancy who helped me out last week with a blog Smoking, Marriage and Climate, which discussed the role of peer pressure and social networking to organize and develop a growing movement. These are ideas I will come back to later in the series.

In the first entry of the series, I set up the discussion with the definition of mitigation and adaptation. In this blog, I will focus on what individuals can do to mitigate climate change. That is, what can individuals do to reduce the emission of greenhouse gases?

The easy answer is to be more efficient. I included a complicated graph in the first blog that provided a foundation for thinking about efficiency. The message of that blog is that insulation improvements in building, fuel efficiency in transportation, elimination of standby losses, and more efficient lighting, air conditioning and water heating not only reduce emissions in a significant way but in a very short time they save money. “Standby losses” refers to computers that are left in a state of reduced power rather than being turned off. Chargers and adapters that are left plugged in when they are not being used also contribute to standby losses. According to Energy Star the average U.S. household spends about $100 per year on standby energy.

More efficient use of energy means less money spent buying energy. Over time, the savings in energy will pay for the upfront cost, for example, of installing better insulation or a more efficient water heater. Earlier, I wrote about personal barriers to taking action. Happily, federal and local governments and corporations have taken steps to reduce upfront costs, which many people cite as the reason they don’t spend on more efficient buildings and appliances. In other cases, there are local regulations and coding requirements that demand improving efficiency. A place, therefore, that an individual can contribute is to advocate and to support policies and corporations that advance more efficient use of energy. This helps to provide an environment that encourages better use of resources.

Individuals can and do make choices about fuel-efficient cars, public transportation, appliances and light bulbs. If your concern, however, is climate change, then you make these decisions and then don’t see immediate benefit to the climate. In fact, mostly we hear that carbon dioxide emissions continue to go up and that the planet is warming and changing in profound ways. Therefore, it is easy to become discouraged that an individual does not have a lot of impact. Turning this problem around, however, provides a different framing. Our individual behavior in the consumption of energy has, collectively, led to the accumulation of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere: it has made the problem. Therefore, we have ample evidence that the collective behavior of individuals can have global consequences. This suggests that individuals should look at ways to promote the emergence of groups of people to enhance adoption of more energy-efficient buying and behavior.

Many individuals have the opportunity to contribute to the emergence of societal groups because they are part of organizations ranging from community associations to civic organizations – the list is long. As a member or leader of local organizations, you have opportunity to have a more direct impact. Students of mine have worked in efforts to improve insulation in entire neighborhoods and in the development of recycling and composting programs. Working in small organizations is also a place where people can take advantage of our natural competitive instincts and peer pressure to incorporate the power of social behavior.

A local activity that especially appeals to me is to get involved in local government and schools boards. This can either be as a citizen speaking at the meetings, volunteering, seeking appointments to committees or even getting elected. Activities range from working to assure excellent science education to asking for and developing weather and climate preparedness plans. Thinking about weather and climate in planning (adaptation) is a good way to make mitigation seem real.

Finally, individuals are often not individual in the resources they influence and control. People own businesses and work in management in companies. These are places where there is often strong attention to reducing cost; hence, efforts to reduce cost through efficiency are likely to be well received. Good businesses are often thinking long term – energy costs, appeal to customers who might be environmentally interested, emerging technology, protection of property, buildings and resources; therefore, business might see advantage in taking up initiatives that are beneficial to climate change. Businesses are places where individual influences have impacts that are far greater than that of a single person (UPS and Sustainability).

Here, I have provided a list of possibilities where the influence of an individual can reach beyond that of a single person. However, referring back to an earlier entry, I would argue that rather than a list of things that one can do, it is at least as important to state what to do and then provide the skills on how to do it. I need some help on skills of how to get things done, people with experience - perhaps the next guest blogger.

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Some Resources

Here are a couple of the better web sites I have found with the basic information of what individuals can do. Please send me more.

EPA: What You Can Do

Union of Concerned Scientists: What You Can Do About Climate Change

Links to the Series

Setting Up the Discussion Deciding to do something, definition of mitigation and adaptation, and a cost-benefit anchored framework for thinking about mitigation

Smoking, Marriage and Climate Behavioral changes and peer pressure

Organizing and Growing Individual Efforts A little detail on efficiency and thinking about how individuals can have more impact than just that of a single person

The Complete List Eight categories of things we can do to reduce greenhouse gases

We Are What We Eat Food and agriculture and greenhouse gas emissions

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There are also many other issues that may occur as CO2, ocean levels, ice cover (or lack thereof) are altered.

Wind patterns and the Southern Oscillation occur may be altered. While there does not appear (that I am aware of) a direct relationship between the two, it may be difficult to solve the chicken and the egg problem - which is a leading indicator an is a training indicator.
That being said one thing that is every obvious the change in rain and snow fall that has occurred in the American Southwest. This change in perception patterns has been well documented for centuries in the Southwest and may have been the prime mover in the rise and later fall of several Native American Cultures.

This web site has been tracking the water level of Lake Meade, Lake Powell and other significant lakes in that area for some time. Even using a running five year average of the numbers, it becomes very clear that the Southwest is in the middle of a significant and perhaps deadly long term drought. The water level is now at the lowest level since the dam was completed and containment of the Colorado River began.

Link

The precipitation seems to have moved further north and while the Mississippi River is now recovering from extremely low water levels, most of the rain is falling in areas where the drainage is north, into Canada, and into either closed basins or Hudson Bay. If this pattern continues for a decade or more there will be significant changes in the flora and fauna and human liveability of these areas.

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Quoting nymore:
I have no problem with the statement that fossil fuels increase the carrying capacity of Earth, this fact is true, but to say fossil fuels cause more births by reducing workload is simply not true.



Oh, but it is true. Use of fossil fuels helped push the beginning of the industrial revolution, which increased health care and reduced the need for physical labor, allowing human life span to increase and giving everyone more time to procreate. If you die at the age of 25 due to poor food supplies and grinding physical labor just to find them, you will potentially not leave behind as many offspring as the guy who works on an assembly line making Fords who only has to visit the grocery to find his food, so he lives to be 75. I think you misunderstood me- I meant an extended lifetime to procreate, not more time available in a work day. Although that helps, too :)

Link

A longer live confers more opportunity to reproduce allows a growing population. Add to that the tradition of having big families so you can send the kids off to work, and better nutrition, and you have a formula for explosive population growth.

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788. WunderAlertBot (Admin)
RickyRood has created a new entry.
Quoting MisterPerfect:


I understand the alarm of rapid changes in such a short period of time. Believe me, I think the chemistry speaks for itself.

There is no way to prove though that our species cannot adapt to this period of change. If you believe in evolution, then you know environmental change is a driving force in species diversification. Nature will find a way to adapt, even if it changes our species' genetics completely.

I'll go even further. Perhaps our species' manipulation of the environment is a natural process. Maybe the extinction of man is a needed and beneficial change in the properties of life on Earth.

Cyanobacteria are still amongst us today. Proof of their existence from 2.8 to 3.8 billion years ago exists. They have survived every major extinction event in Earth's history. Their DNA gave birth to our own. But eventually they too will perish. It is inevitable. Because change is a fundamental rule of the Universe. Nothing lasts forever in its present form.
When climate scientists speak of humanity not being able to adapt to the rapid climate change that's happening, they're not saying our bodies will be physiologically incapable of dealing with the changes headed our way, or that our gene makeup won't be able to cope. As such, comparing the evolutionary adaptation of cyanobacteria through the eons with how well civilization will be able to handle rapid climate change is kinda of silly. No, those scientists are speaking of civilization--that creaky, rusty, patched-up, inherently unstable scaffolding we've constructed to convince ourselves that we're the masters of this rock. And as a look around will demonstrate, that scaffolding isn't doing so well as things are now; to think that it'll be able to stay together when the climate you-know-what hits the fan over the next few decades is absolutely ludicrous.

(For your benefit, I omitted that last bit of concern trolling in the final paragraph.)
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One of my favorite cherry trees where you can create all kinds of population graphs for the world, compare countries... Lots of fun.

Here's a graph I made showing population growth between 1960 and 2011 in Venezuela, Canada, Nigeria, Zimbabwe and the U.S. To pin anything on fossil fuel, you'd have to go back further and take a look at historic events that might have been an influence on population - war, natural disaster, genocide, epidemic, refugees, etc including the widespread use of oral contraceptive in some countries beginning in the 1960s. Even though Nigeria's population nearly quadrupled since around the time oil started flowing, probably'd be pretty difficult to draw a direct correlation between a life of ease and population increase. Maybe this is a question that cannot be answered except to find or create a parallel world population which grew with no fossil fuel, and it would have. Maybe there'd have been fewer wars, more wars. More disease, less disease. (Fodder for the creative mind.) I don't see how anyone could construct a definitive answer incorporating all possible variables. But then... PDEs are not my thing. I'd appreciate links or researchers' names if anyone knows of research along these lines.

Oh. Here's another graph showing rural population growth in Nigeria, Zimbabwe, Chad, Benin, Afghanistan and Uzbekistan (random selections). Interesting, Nigeria's growth doubles using rural population and nearly quadrupled in previous chart using all population. Apparently, even with people moving into cities, the villages are growing as well.
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Fossil fuels ‘risk being wasted assets’
Investors should beware of backing companies involved in the exploitation of fossil fuels, analysts say – because climate change means there is a strong risk they will be wasted assets which will have to be left in the ground.


LONDON, 19 April – The first problem is this: most climate scientists agree that we cannot afford to burn the huge reserves of fossil fuel we have if we want any chance of preventing global average temperatures rising by more than 2°C.

The second problem: last year the world spent $674 billion finding and developing more fossil fuel.

If this continues unabated for ten more years, a report by an influential group of economists and scientists says, there will be a third problem: economies will have wasted more than $6 trillion of capital in pursuit of assets which are literally unburnable (and legally so too, if there are internationally agreed limits on fossil fuel emissions by 2023).

The research is published in a report, Unburnable Carbon: Avoiding wasted capital and stranded assets, produced by the Carbon Tracker Initiative and the Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment at the London School of Economics.
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784. Skyepony (Mod)
Addressing the entry & the coming earth day~ individual efforts..& what can I do?

For those that don't know one of my favorite earth day activities is Gorilla Gardening. Today is the day to get ready & prepare your arsenal of Seed Bombs. Click on the pick below to learn how..


Here's also a guide for making them from paper but these might not have time to dry before Earth Day..
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next video comes soon
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I see by the gaps in the comment numbers that our troll is still active.

For some real information on CO2 emissions you can go here.

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Quoting nymore:
I have no problem with the statement that fossil fuels increase the carrying capacity of Earth, this fact is true, but to say fossil fuels cause more births by reducing workload is simply not true.



Sure it does. It allows for more time to rest and relax. What else you gonna do?
Member Since: January 2, 2006 Posts: 127 Comments: 20427
Quoting goosegirl1:


I didn't infer anything, I said that increased use of fossil fuels allowed human population to increase. When the factor that allowed the increase (fossil fuels) is removed, the carrying capacity is reduced.

Yes, it is true that in some countries birth rates are going down. No one refuted that.

I think you are looking too hard for an argument.
I have no problem with the statement that fossil fuels increase the carrying capacity of Earth, this fact is true, but to say fossil fuels cause more births by reducing workload is simply not true.

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OUCH.... The downward degree of slope in becoming greater with time.












..
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Quoting nymore:
No spin, you inferred that using more fossil fuels leads to more births. It would seem countries that use a lot of fossil fuels actually have less births (rate/fertility) than those that don't.


I didn't infer anything, I said that increased use of fossil fuels allowed human population to increase. When the factor that allowed the increase (fossil fuels) is removed, the carrying capacity is reduced.

Yes, it is true that in some countries birth rates are going down. No one refuted that.

I think you are looking too hard for an argument.
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Quoting KEEPEROFTHEGATE:
once the honey bee disappears we have about 5 years before we follow the same fate


Same with Arctic Ice extent/mass..
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Quoting KEEPEROFTHEGATE:
once the honey bee disappears we have about 5 years before we follow the same fate


Same with Carbonic Acid levels in our oceans..
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Quoting KEEPEROFTHEGATE:
once the honey bee disappears we have about 5 years before we follow the same fate


Same with the Rainforest.
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Quoting KEEPEROFTHEGATE:
once the honey bee disappears we have about 5 years before we follow the same fate


Same with the Shellfish...
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Quoting KEEPEROFTHEGATE:
once the honey bee disappears we have about 5 years before we follow the same fate


Same with the Corals..
Member Since: January 2, 2006 Posts: 127 Comments: 20427
once the honey bee disappears we have about 5 years before we follow the same fate
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Not looking good folks this tells us the mass has also changed in the downward direction...










..
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Quoting Barefootontherocks:
After interviewing hundreds of scientists, Mr. (Actor Alan,"Hawkeye" in MASH) Alda became convinced that many researchers have wonderful stories to tell, but some need help in telling them. Mr. Alda played an important role in the creation of the Center for Communicating Science, and has led workshops that use improvisational theater games to help scientists communicate more directly and personally.

Improv at StonyBrook Center for Communicating Science



Thought that was interesting and pertinent, but then I'm one who opted for something other than a full academic ride at Stanford...


It's very relevent, the experts agree on the basics of the science, communicating the science and the consequences to the general public that is the main issue. Any input from media figures like Alan Alda and from media and PR experts would be invaluable.
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Quoting schistkicker:



Few overly-broad brushes in the post overall, but I wanted to address this one. It's not true-- there are many examples through history where it was not simply adaptability, but perhaps pure luck that a breeding population managed to survive, whereas other species, genera, or families were wiped out. It's certainly possible for environmental disasters to overwhelm the organisms far beyond their capability to adapt and evolve in response to the changing conditions. Many of our planet's mass extinction events were driven by such things, such as convective turnover of the world's more stagnant ocean in the Paleozoic, the massive Siberian Traps eruption, or the K-P boundary impact event. There are times where it matters more if you happened to be hibernating or underground at the right time than whether your species would have flourished in the post-trauma conditions.

Same thing is going on here in our modern world-- we're changing conditions in such a way that most flora and fauna can't change/adapt/migrate fast enough. We're transporting opportunistic species to places where they can out-compete existing species to our own detriment. We overuse resources with no thought to what comes next once it's no longer present in adequate supply. This isn't some academic exercise -- do a google search on Rapa Nui.

Evolution doesn't always "win". The rates of adaptation don't always outstrip the rate of change. And right now, we're driving an alarmingly fast rate of change.


Well said. What are your thoughts on Geo engineering a change?
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Quoting goosegirl1:


You're talking about a recent trend. Are you really going to try to convince anyone there aren't more humans than there used to be?

We used fossil fuels to increase the carrying capacity for humans on our planet. This means, simply, when they run out- the capacity goes back to what it was before we used carbon to do our work for us. One way or another, there will be less humans on earth in the future than there are right now.

Link

Link

Link

Link

No spin, you inferred that using more fossil fuels leads to more births. It would seem countries that use a lot of fossil fuels actually have less births (rate/fertility) than those that don't.
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Quoting nymore:
Yea, that's not it.

Global fertility rates are in general decline and this trend is most pronounced in industrialized countries, especially Western Europe, where populations are projected to decline dramatically over the next 50 years.

Source CIA World Factbook


You're talking about a recent trend. Are you really going to try to convince anyone there aren't more humans than there used to be?

We used fossil fuels to increase the carrying capacity for humans on our planet. This means, simply, when they run out- the capacity goes back to what it was before we used carbon to do our work for us. One way or another, there will be less humans on earth in the future than there are right now.

Link

Link

Link

Link

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Many people seem to have a serious misunderstanding of the definition of a scientific theory,they seem to think it.s a WAG. This may help:
Definitions from scientific organizations


The United States National Academy of Sciences defines scientific theories as follows:


The formal scientific definition of theory is quite different from the everyday meaning of the word. It refers to a comprehensive explanation of some aspect of nature that is supported by a vast body of evidence. Many scientific theories are so well established that no new evidence is likely to alter them substantially. For example, no new evidence will demonstrate that the Earth does not orbit around the sun (heliocentric theory), or that living things are not made of cells (cell theory), that matter is not composed of atoms, or that the surface of the Earth is not divided into solid plates that have moved over geological timescales (the theory of plate tectonics)...One of the most useful properties of scientific theories is that they can be used to make predictions about natural events or phenomena that have not yet been observed.[7]

From the American Association for the Advancement of Science:


A scientific theory is a well-substantiated explanation of some aspect of the natural world, based on a body of facts that have been repeatedly confirmed through observation and experiment. Such fact-supported theories are not "guesses" but reliable accounts of the real world. The theory of biological evolution is more than "just a theory." It is as factual an explanation of the universe as the atomic theory of matter or the germ theory of disease. Our understanding of gravity is still a work in progress. But the phenomenon of gravity, like evolution, is an accepted fact.[2]
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Quoting MisterPerfect:


There is no way to prove though that our species cannot adapt to this period of change. If you believe in evolution, then you know environmental change is a driving force in species diversification. Nature will find a way to adapt, even if it changes our species' genetics completely.



Few overly-broad brushes in the post overall, but I wanted to address this one. It's not true-- there are many examples through history where it was not simply adaptability, but perhaps pure luck that a breeding population managed to survive, whereas other species, genera, or families were wiped out. It's certainly possible for environmental disasters to overwhelm the organisms far beyond their capability to adapt and evolve in response to the changing conditions. Many of our planet's mass extinction events were driven by such things, such as convective turnover of the world's more stagnant ocean in the Paleozoic, the massive Siberian Traps eruption, or the K-P boundary impact event. There are times where it matters more if you happened to be hibernating or underground at the right time than whether your species would have flourished in the post-trauma conditions.

Same thing is going on here in our modern world-- we're changing conditions in such a way that most flora and fauna can't change/adapt/migrate fast enough. We're transporting opportunistic species to places where they can out-compete existing species to our own detriment. We overuse resources with no thought to what comes next once it's no longer present in adequate supply. This isn't some academic exercise -- do a google search on Rapa Nui.

Evolution doesn't always "win". The rates of adaptation don't always outstrip the rate of change. And right now, we're driving an alarmingly fast rate of change.
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Quoting nymore:
Yea, that's not it.

Global fertility rates are in general decline and this trend is most pronounced in industrialized countries, especially Western Europe, where populations are projected to decline dramatically over the next 50 years.

Source CIA World Factbook

Fertility Rate Link

Birth Rate Link


True, but total global population is still on the rise. TFR is still higher than replacement rate globally, and coupled with longer life spans, we should expect population to keep rising short term.
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759. beell
Quoting Neapolitan:
Discussion, certainly. But not debate; it's irrefutable.


"Irrefutable", says you.

Have not seen any peer-reviewed publications on this particular issue but I'm sure they exist.

We may be reaching the end of our technological capability to stave off/deny the immutable science of biology/ecology that governs the success or failure of all other species on the planet.

We have substituted hundreds of un-natural controls on our population known only to man. War, obesity, vehicle crashes, drug abuse, increased predation (murder), etc, but it ain't enough.

Climate is a player but not the only one. And I expect that at some point, biology, not climate or technology will hold the trump card and humans will adapt. It may not be pretty, but it will all even out eventually.
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Quoting goosegirl1:


Humans evolved to be social, sexy, bossy and most importantly- clever and lucky (you'll note I didn't say smart :) They learned to take advantage of a new energy source a few years ago- fossil fuels. Using them allowed us to farm more to feed more, and allowed us to heat our homes easily and reduce our work load so we had time to... make more humans.
Yea, that's not it.

Global fertility rates are in general decline and this trend is most pronounced in industrialized countries, especially Western Europe, where populations are projected to decline dramatically over the next 50 years.

Source CIA World Factbook

Fertility Rate Link

Birth Rate Link
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Quoting MisterPerfect:


I understand the alarm of rapid changes in such a short period of time. Believe me, I think the chemistry speaks for itself.

There is no way to prove though that our species cannot adapt to this period of change. If you believe in evolution, then you know environmental change is a driving force in species diversification. Nature will find a way to adapt, even if it changes our species' genetics completely.

I'll go even further. Perhaps our species' manipulation of the environment is a natural process. Maybe the extinction of man is a needed and beneficial change in the properties of life on Earth.

Cyanobacteria are still amongst us today. Proof of their existence from 2.8 to 3.8 billion years ago exists. They have survived every major extinction event in Earth's history. Their DNA gave birth to our own. But eventually they too will perish. It is inevitable. Because change is a fundamental rule of the Universe. Nothing lasts forever in its present form.

I'd also like to add I find this all very interesting and no one here should be labeled a denier of science. Acceptance of theory is unscientific. Questioning the validity of scientific law is madness.


I can agree with some of your statement. However, I don't think that understanding we will be extinct one day in the future means it is ethical for us to continue to degrade our environment right now. We still have a responsibility to help create a sustainable future for other humans. I would rather all humanity be wiped out by an asteroid than by our own greed and carelessness. Still, you're correct- dead is still dead.
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Quoting Neapolitan:
Dying is natural, yes. Suicide, on the other hand, is artificial; it's jumping the gun on Mother Nature, so to speak. And given that we humans are pumping more than 3.4 million metric tons of CO2 into the atmosphere ever hour of every day, what we're doing to the environment can only be deemed suicidal.When I attended Stanford, I took classes in logic and critical thinking. I can only assume those were no longer offered by the time you went there...


Did you take any classes in the hard sciences?
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Quoting MisterPerfect:


I understand the alarm of rapid changes in such a short period of time. Believe me, I think the chemistry speaks for itself.

There is no way to prove though that our species cannot adapt to this period of change. If you believe in evolution, then you know environmental change is a driving force in species diversification. Nature will find a way to adapt, even if it changes our species' genetics completely.

I'll go even further. Perhaps our species' manipulation of the environment is a natural process. Maybe the extinction of man is a needed and beneficial change in the properties of life on Earth.

Cyanobacteria are still amongst us today. Proof of their existence from 2.8 to 3.8 billion years ago exists. They have survived every major extinction event in Earth's history. Their DNA gave birth to our own. But eventually they too will perish. It is inevitable. Because change is a fundamental rule of the Universe. Nothing lasts forever in its present form.

I'd also like to add I find this all very interesting and no one here should be labeled a denier of science. Acceptance of theory is unscientific. Questioning the validity of scientific law is madness.


Survival on the micro scale and macro scale are two different beasts. Many species have not made the adaptations necessary for survival. We very well may be able to adapt and survive, but certainly not in the world we are accustomed to or in the numbers we see now. Either way, the point is kind of irrelevant in the short run. We should be taking steps to combat the influences we are having on the climate. Change will occur, but as of right now, the change that is happening is not a natural one. We are causing it and we should take actions to stop our heavy influence on it. When things change too quickly, adaptation for a species like ours that relies on a very specialized set of environmental factors, may not be realistic.
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Quoting allahgore:



Well, if we can't adapt why is the human population at an ALL time high?


Humans evolved to be social, sexy, bossy and most importantly- clever and lucky (you'll note I didn't say smart :) They learned to take advantage of a new energy source a few years ago- fossil fuels. Using them allowed us to farm more to feed more, and allowed us to heat our homes easily and reduce our work load so we had time to... make more humans.

Seriously, we increased the carrying capacity of earth when we began to use fossil fuels. It makes one wonder what will happen when the easy energy is all used up. If we don't make the earth uninhabitable due to increasing CO2, most of us may die in the wars over the last few drops of oil. When those are gone, we starve. So maybe you're right, we don't have much to worry about :) We'll all be goners anyway.
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Quoting Naga5000:


You are misrepresenting a concept. No one here says the climate must stay the same. What is being said is the changing climate is unprecedented in regards to the rate of change. Yes climate changes over time, and it is usually a slow process, no one is denying that. However, the climate is clearly changing more quickly than we can adapt and we are doing little to nothing to slow it down.


I understand the alarm of rapid changes in such a short period of time. Believe me, I think the chemistry speaks for itself.

There is no way to prove though that our species cannot adapt to this period of change. If you believe in evolution, then you know environmental change is a driving force in species diversification. Nature will find a way to adapt, even if it changes our species' genetics completely.

I'll go even further. Perhaps our species' manipulation of the environment is a natural process. Maybe the extinction of man is a needed and beneficial change in the properties of life on Earth.

Cyanobacteria are still amongst us today. Proof of their existence from 2.8 to 3.8 billion years ago exists. They have survived every major extinction event in Earth's history. Their DNA gave birth to our own. But eventually they too will perish. It is inevitable. Because change is a fundamental rule of the Universe. Nothing lasts forever in its present form.

I'd also like to add I find this all very interesting and no one here should be labeled a denier of science. Acceptance of theory is unscientific. Questioning the validity of scientific law is madness.
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Quoting allahgore:



Well, what is the end result when you can't adapt?


Dinosaurs.
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Quoting Neapolitan:
When I attended Stanford, I took classes in logic and critical thinking. I can only assume those were no longer offered by the time you went there...


Quoting allahgore:
"Well, if we can't adapt why is the human population at an ALL time high?



Is this an argument from absurdity or argument from ignorance?
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Don't forget - it is not "just us." Without bees and the other pollinators, flowering plants - one of the primary food sources for many species, will not survive in sufficient numbers to adapt.

It may seem an old saw, but it is worth remembering - Animals do not change to survive, they survive to change.
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Quoting beell:


That particular point may be up for discussion.
Discussion, certainly. But not debate; it's irrefutable.
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Quoting MisterPerfect:


Living things die, though. Its unavoidable. Planets die. Stars die. Galaxies eventually die.

Dying is a natural ingredient in change.
Dying is natural, yes. Suicide, on the other hand, is artificial; it's jumping the gun on Mother Nature, so to speak. And given that we humans are pumping more than 3.4 million metric tons of CO2 into the atmosphere ever hour of every day, what we're doing to the environment can only be deemed suicidal.
Quoting allahgore:
Well, if we can't adapt why is the human population at an ALL time high?
When I attended Stanford, I took classes in logic and critical thinking. I can only assume those were no longer offered by the time you went there...
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745. beell
Quoting Naga5000:


You are misrepresenting a concept. No one here says the climate must stay the same. What is being said is the changing climate is unprecedented in regards to the rate of change. Yes climate changes over time, and it is usually a slow process, no one is denying that. However, the climate is clearly changing more quickly than we can adapt and we are doing little to nothing to slow it down.


That particular point may be up for discussion.
Member Since: September 11, 2007 Posts: 144 Comments: 16880
Quoting MisterPerfect:


Living things die, though. Its unavoidable. Planets die. Stars die. Galaxies eventually die.

Dying is a natural ingredient in change.

Because, as we know, energy is just transferred from one form to another. Energy changes form.

I think believing that things don't, or should not change is more unjust to science than anything else.



You stated.
"I'm a firm believer in climate change. I'm a firm believer that human progress has indeed affected nature's ever-changing flow. I'm a believer in natural selection. At some point, the atmosphere, the climate, the land, chemical bonds, and all that exists or is to exist will change its state."


Why speed things up?
Member Since: January 2, 2006 Posts: 127 Comments: 20427
Quoting MisterPerfect:


Living things die, though. Its unavoidable. Planets die. Stars die. Galaxies eventually die.

Dying is a natural ingredient in change.

Because, as we know, energy is just transferred from one form to another. Energy changes form.

I think believing that things don't, or should not change is more unjust to science than anything else.


Once again, no one, not one person is saying things do not or should not change, it's the rate of change that is concerning...
Member Since: June 1, 2010 Posts: 4 Comments: 3638
Quoting WeHaveHadIT:


They are using your tax dollars because the wealthy in this country don't pay taxes. Surely, you already know this?

Don't pay takes, HA HA HA HA. Your video also had nothing to do with taxes, it was just 6 minutes of time that I am never getting back from wasting my time watching it.

I will nominate the part in bold for line of the day. I know it has an early lead but I think it will hold on for the win
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting cyclonebuster:


Because we will die if we change our Goldilocks habitat...It would be analogous to changing Earth's orbit about the the sun...


Living things die, though. Its unavoidable. Planets die. Stars die. Galaxies eventually die.

Dying is a natural ingredient in change.

Because, as we know, energy is just transferred from one form to another. Energy changes form.

I think believing that things don't, or should not change is more unjust to science than anything else.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:

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About RickyRood

I'm a professor at U Michigan and lead a course on climate change problem solving. These articles often come from and contribute to the course.