The page covers half-a-dozen of the main themes that have been discussed in various places over the past twenty years. In each theme, a summary is presented of some main issues therein. Though still incomplete, it might help you decide what to include in talks, publications or discussions.
They are all equally important, so the order they are presented here does not imply an order of importance, in either direction.
As time goes on, I intend to add more, and also hope to add links for each, to detailed source material. If anyone wishes to add something, please email me. Thank you.
2. This is because when these gases increase in the atmosphere, the rate at which energy is radiated from the Earth out into space reduces. Since the average rate of energy received from the Sun does not change, this results in more energy being retained here.
3. This increased energy is manifested in increased kinetic activity like storms and winds, and increased temperature (which is why some call it "global warming"). This changes the major wind patterns around the globe. (The latter is why it is called "global warming" even though the change in wind patterns will lead to some places being cooler.)
4. The increase in both increases the temperature of the oceans.
5. In polar regions all this results in increases in temeperature of ice and frozen land.
6. Both of these are likely to result in "positive feedback".
Recommended book: John T. Houghton, 2015. Global Warming: The Complete Briefing. Cambridge University Press.
If you don't know of better sources, see also some earlier science (2009) on this - which is still largely valid.
Some are natural, but they add to the human causes.
The implication is that we have a responsibility to reduce each and every one of the human causes.
India has 1 billion people, China more than that. So it seems at first sight that what their governments do will have a greater total effect than what, for example, the UK government might do, which has only 60 million people, or the USA government, which has only 250 million - but it is not as simple as that.
On average, each USA person has 40-50 times the impact of each Indian or Chinese person (precise ratios vary). This is why the USA, with a population of 250 million, causes much more climate damage than China, with a population of 1,400 million. On average, each USA resident is 40 times more responsible than each Chinese resident.
During the 1990s and 2000s the UK outsourced its energy-intensive manufacturing industries to China and other countries. Yet UK people still demanded the products manufactured. So each UK person may validly be seen as responsible for the climate change emissions resulting from the manufacture of those goods - and the added emissions from their transporting to the UK. (Whether those emissions are included in the calculation above, I do not know.) So while the UK emissions seemed to decrease over that period, in terms of human and government responsibility, they increased.
Each of us aspires to, and expects a certain lifestyle, without thinking about it. See above about lifestyle. Each of us is responsible for what we aspire to and expect, and these affect what we choose to do. Each individual needs to ask themselves, whether what they do, expect or aspire to is really necessary, and why.
Business and industry provide the products and services with which we live. And sometimes they use inefficient means of providing these which result in unnecessary climate change emissions. Often, however, a bigger problem is marketing, which convinces individuals to consume more.
It is however the aspirations and expectations ("demands") of individuals that gives business and industry its incentive and ability to grow.
Governments set up infrastructure and policies that affects how we live, and what we aspire to and expect.
It is however the aspirations and expectations ("demands") of individuals what impels democratic governments to enact the policies and infrastructure they do.
The wealth of the wealthy is always working to pay for products and services, which affect the above. The wealthy tend to influence governments to enact policies and provide infrastructure that suits them rather than what is responsible in planetary or societal terms. Is the root problem this, that most of the wealthy have a selfish attitude.
To what extent do the supposedly ordinary individuals in the countries like the UK and USA, which are wealthy by the world's standards, fall into this category of being wealthy?
Our aspirations and expectations are very strongly driven and influenced by the media, in all its forms including the film industry and social media. And these are industries, and these are governed by wealthy individuals. So we have mutually reinforcing cycles.
It is no use each of these denying or shirking its responsibility by pointing to the responsibilities of others. It is no solution to act only on one of these. We need action on every one.
Notice the reinforcing cycles: individuals affect business and governments, even though they are controlled by the wealthy, and the media influences individuals.
Notice the recurring theme of aspirations and expectations. The root problem seems to be attitudinal and ideological-religious. It takes courageous individuals to take action against the stream even at their own expense or sacrifice to make a radical change.
Courageous individuals in the ordinary population, in industry, in government, among the wealthy, and in the media. Each one of us.
This page, "abxn.org/ccge/climate.change.html", is an expression of part of a project to understand the links between climate change, global economy and other matters including society's beliefs and aspirations. It is designed to stimulate thinking and discourse. Comments, queries welcome.
This page is written on behalf of the CCGE Group by Andrew Basden, but the views expressed herein are his and not necessarily those of the other members of the Group. Written on the Amiga with Protext in the style of classic HTML.
Created: 14 October 2019 Last updated: 15 October 2019 slight clarifications, plus purpse. 9 March 2020 contents list at start, and some rewrite; removed copyright restriction. 24 August 2020 '?' on heading.