Global Warming and Climate Change for Dummies

Is there hope against global warming and climate change? For some people, global warming does not exist. However, living a mindful life or traveling mindfully means that we need to understand our connection with the environment and life itself.

Possibly some of them still choose to believe whether the earth is flat too.

People with similar mindsets perceive global warming as something you either believe in or not. They don’t think of it as a -possible- fact. That stands for ice melting, temperatures changing, increased pollution, and reduction of natural resources.

It is disturbingly weird that people, after all this wealth of information and ways to reach it, choose not to research but to either believe in something or not.

That is not by chance, of course. Through the centuries, people acted like that. They choose to believe and even worship things they see or don’t see.

Having faith in something is not bad. Everyone is entitled to their opinion and assumptions. 

However, when just staying to beliefs or non-fact-based assumptions, problems will arise, and we all have to face them.

Global warming and climate change are one of them.

Facts show that it is happening, and our actions (or lack of them) are the cause.

Choose either that, or believe that a “ghost” inside the earth is doing it, or maybe the Aliens. That would be an excellent way to transfer our responsibility to oblivion. 

Are all things right when it comes to Global Warming, or maybe not? If correct, what can we do about that?

Is what we hear based on people’s likeness to terrible news, conspiracy theories, and fridge science content, or are we in a “Defcon 1” situation?

Analyzing everything is not possible in just one post, but this one here is a good start for all of us who care.

From the moment we started this blog, we stated that our travels and outdoor trips are shared to inspire people to go outside into nature. We became even more concerned about life, people, and sustainability by observing what happens in nature.

For us, observing and reporting on the issues and solutions for climate change is now a natural evolution of what we still do through our travels.

Why? Because there will be nothing to experience if we don’t support such a cause, right?

Is Earth In Trouble? No, The People Are!

Let’s ponder on it for a moment. Is the earth in trouble? Please close your eyes and imagine this beautiful enormous planet we live on.

Maybe we are in trouble and not the planet? Gorge Carlin, a fantastic comedian who satirized numerous things using common sense, nailed it just fine.

“The Earth is fine. It survived for 4.5 billion years”, he said. “The people are f….ed.” 

You have to watch the video. He speaks about how things change too, and if we are indeed a threat to the planet. We are a threat to us.

We need to put our senses together and start thinking about how we won’t go extinct due to our simple lack of common sense, greed included.

Nature will take care of itself, but if people don’t act, nature will shake them away like a bag of fleas. 

Basic Terms We Have to Know

The best thing to start is to understand the fundamental terms. Sometimes we skip such information, but it is needed. Explaining global warming to politicians like they were kids could be the solution too. Guardian puts it nicely here.

Here is a simple FAQ on how global warming and climate change work.

FAQs on Global Warming

What does Global Climate change mean?

It is the average climate over the entire planet.

What is the deal with carbon?

Carbon is in carbon dioxide (CO2). It helps the earth by trapping heat. Earth holds the energy from the sun. If there were no carbon, oceans would be solid frozen.
Carbon is part of life and a building block of it. Even humans are made of 18% carbon. So, a standard (balanced) amount of carbon in all things, including CO2, is acceptable. We need it.
However, unbalanced amounts of CO2 lead to the Earth’s GreenHouse Effect. And that is the problem.

What is the Greenhouse Effect & Greenhouse Gases?

We assume that you all have seen a greenhouse with plants at least once. Maybe all of you or some walked in one of them. Did you notice the big difference in terms of temperature and humidity?
There was a reason that the micro-climate situation is different in a greenhouse. After all, there is just a plastic cover separating the plants from the environment outside.
Here is how it works with the climate greenhouse effect:
1. Sun is hot and beams all that energy
2. That results in heat that penetrates through the atmosphere
3. Some of the heat bounces back to space
4. Not all heat goes out. Gases like carbon dioxide (CO2) keep it “for” Earth
5. Lots of CO2 leads to more heat-trapping “inside.”
6. As a result, as more gases help to trap heat inside, the earth gets hotter
7. Temperature increases, and a series of climate changes escalate
8. So, when people, with their activity on the planet, emit more CO2 to the atmosphere, there is unbalance to the trapped heat
9. That is a generic example, but it shows the overall picture outside of physics and chemistry.

How do we know the climate is changing?

Earth’s temperature is monitored. There is no thermometer we place somewhere, of course. There are stations worldwide with instruments and people who keep track of changes, especially those that seem unnatural during the years.
The climate of our planet was not stable during its lifetime. There were cold periods and warm ones.
The problem is that now we see a faster increase in rising temperatures. We think that 1.5 to 2 degrees gains are OK during our day or sometimes in a week. That is correct.
But when such a change is permanent, that has a massive impact on the planet. Such changes affect all living things, including plants, but also the soil and the water.
Phenomena like the speedy melting of glaciers are a huge red flag in front of us.
NASA is monitoring this closely. It even created an Evidence page so you can see & compare the change during the ages and how fast this moved during the last 70 years, and there are more like that.
If you think when it is the time to scream, now it is a good one.

What is happening to the oceans?

The enormous amounts of water that we call Oceans have a vital role in the heat regulation of the planet.
They absorb lots of it and help cool it down and distribute it evenly along with our planet. Let’s not forget that oceans cover 70% of the planet’s surface.
Oceans absorb significant parts of CO2, too.
However, keep in mind this simple thing. What happens when water gets heated? Life in that water cannot adapt fast when that increase in heat happens fast. Life in the ocean dies as there is no time to adjust to the fast-changing conditions.
Oceans contain fish and mammals, algae and bacteria, plankton, corals, and so many more. The whole food chain among species that live in the ocean is radically destroyed.
All start dying, so what is left is just water. Organisms can’t survive with salt water only.
Furthermore, increased heat changes how currents behave and how temperatures are balanced all over the planet. With increased heat, the whole heat and cooling system of the earth get out of order.
The system that relates to the currents and temperature balancing is engaged into what we call “The Global Conveyor Belt.”

The Philosophical Question: Do We Need to Protect the Earth?

Some of you may laugh, but that is a critical question to ask yourselves. It is not an up straight and easy answer for all.

For example, many religious people believe that God is responsible and knows what to do with all that “Earth” thing.

Some people refer to earth as “our spaceship on which we live.” 

We can call planet Earth with many names, but to keep things simple, we have to consider some fundamental questions:

  1. Do we want to live well during our lifetime?
  2. Do we understand what extreme heat or freezing conditions mean for our day to day life?
  3. Can we survive separate from other beings of this planet (plants, animals, bacteria, and microbes)?
  4. Do we want to preserve the planet for others and for future generations? Do we (have to) care?
  5. Is our Economic and Political model helpful to sustain life and the planet? What should we do differently?

There is no metaphysical or spiritual nature in these questions. They are driven by common sense. Eventually, we need to think about if we care for ourselves, at least.

Even egoistically thinking can produce a positive result to take action and sustain life.

Haven’t We Noticed Global Warming Before?

When it happens exponentially in a mere 70 years, it shows some lack of knowledge, don’t you agree? 

Maybe there is a reason for that “lack,” though. Know have the technology to measure and calculate things in a better way.

Exploration of the planet happened during an extended period, and there are parts of this planet still to explore. Sometimes we forget that.

We also have the technology now to run models and scenarios through computers and see projections with different data inputs.

There is no surprise that actual discussions on the environment and our future started no earlier than the recent years.

From a philosophical aspect, of course, things are (were) very clear at any point in history. Simple things, like:

  1. Non-renewable resources are finite
  2. When you need oxygen, you don’t cut down all the forests or kill the oceans algae
  3. Energy doesn’t disappear and if you burn wood/coil/rocks you “transform” them to something else

Things like that, you know, for dummies. The fundamental elements of how life and energy exist and work have been known since ancient times.

Industrial development went very fast, and it seems we (decided to) skipped the “nothing is free” and the “there is cause and effect for everything” concepts.

Now, people start thinking that the promise of religion for an afterlife paradise is a good concept, but let’s not bring hell on earth while we are alive, right?

Either you are rich or poor, with an increasing hellish (scorching or freezing) situation, the only difference will eventually be on how long you will survive, and that’s that.

It is time to turn this around, take action, and hopefully, we have enough time to make it happen.

Some think that “we can always move to the moon or Mars.” Really? Did you take a good look at the photos?

Do you imagine yourself looking outside of the window and see the treeless, riverless, dry grey dessert of such a planet or moon?

We don’t see ourselves in that picture. We like taking photos and taking photos of a roomy’s to air-condition/oxygen generator is not one of our preferences.

Are Global Warming & Climate Change Happening Now?

A series of scientists, organizations, agencies, and people who use their minds shows that it happens as we speak. 

Here is just a shortlist of articles for this. Keep on reading as we also present a small series of articles with initiatives against global warming from different countries, scientists, and organizations.

A signal from Climate Change: Europe has become much hotter than predicted over the last 70 years: The continent has experienced a series of “high-impact heat extremes” over the past two decades as the world warms. Increases in extreme heat and heatwaves are by no means limited to Europe. A study recently published in the journal Environmental Research Communication found that climate change will lead to a significant rise in the frequency and severity of extreme heat across the contiguous United States in the coming decades.

2018 was one of the hottest years on record: Sir David Attenborough outlines the challenge it poses for all of us.

Great Barrier Reef’s health Outlook Report: Watch the video, the data, and why the Reef is so essential. The report finds the greatest threat to the Reef is still climate change. 

Indonesia is moving its capital: Jakarta is sinking, crushed under the weight of overpopulation and over-extraction of groundwater.

Greta Thornberg Interview from Trevor Noah: Some critical points are made in this one.

Dangerous new hot zones are spreading worldwide: This lengthy article, rich in graphics and explanations, shows how life is affected due to climate change in different locations on the planet, what cold-water clams tell us.

The Carbon Footprint of Cities: The key to stopping or slowing global warming may lie with huge and wealthy cities. A small number of large and or affluent cities drive a significant share of total national emissions.

Australian Medical Association declares climate change a health emergency: AMA points to ‘clear scientific evidence indicating severe impacts for our patients and communities.’ They recognized climate change as a health emergency in June 2019, and the British Medical Association the following month declared a climate emergency and committed to campaign for carbon neutrality by 2030.

World “losing the battle against deforestation”: The New York Declaration on Forests (NYDF) assessment says it has failed to deliver on key pledges. Deforestation has not only continued – it has accelerated. The same happens in different critical hot spots all around the world.

Greenland melting four times faster than predicted: Record rates of ice sheets melting have been recorded on the great ice-shelf of Greenland. It’s critical for all of us because of its potential effect on global sea levels.

Climate change “could make the planet uninhabitable for birds”: Climate change could have a lasting impact on bird populations, with some dying out and others forced to recolonize.

Adaptation to climate change isn’t enough: We’ve got to throw everything at the climate crisis. Without cutting emissions, it won’t work.

Is Mediterranean Europe’s most polluted sea? A study from EurOcean Member Ifremer presents new figures about a long-lasting problem. Two hundred thousand tons of plastic are dumped each year, representing more than 60 percent of all the trash we find at the bottom of the sea.

The hellish future of Las Vegas with climate crisis: The city’s poorest residents are most at risk in the heat. Las Vegas is the fastest-warming city in the United States, its temperatures having risen 5.76F since 1970.

How to Deal with For Global Warming?

Education and getting people informed is number one. Understanding what is happening and acting at a personal, national, and international level is crucial.

You can educate your kids. NASA has produced this easy-to-navigate and kids-friendly website. They can learn all the climate-related terms and their importance and interconnection. 

ACT NOW is the United Nations’ global call to individual action on climate change. It is primarily an online and social media campaign.

We find it great for adults, too, as we learned a lot from that before getting deeper into the overall subject. Sometimes you need to know things in simple, non-scientific words as kids do.

A continually increasing number of articles are published daily on the topic, coming from different countries that try to cope with global warming and pollution.

Some, concerning research & results, others concern day to day actions for individuals, while others show national-level steps.

You can start your information from the selected ones below. We have produced a summary per post to get you started.

Urban Sustainability and Resilience: From Theory to PracticeHow Urbanization affects our relation to nature and the environment. How having increasingly bigger cities affects our lives and our connection to nature and creating a livable urban future.

The planet Needs a New Internet: How current infrastructure is affected due to climate change, rising sea levels, and temperatures. What are the cleaner ways to power the web?

How can city dwellers help with climate change? More consumption relates highly to climate change. What are the numbers behind that? How the “getting more stuff” affects all resources needed to make that stuff? 

Students Invent Bacteria That Eat Plastic From The Oceans And Turn It Into Water: If people don’t stop making and using plastic fast enough, such ways can help break down the material to become biodegradable. 

China Has Officially Started Construction on the World’s First “Forest City”: The same post in French is here. Due to fast growth, China has evolved into a resources consumption behemoth. It is no secret that pollution is so extended in its many significant cities that people walk around with surgical masks.

What is different in this city? Allegedly, Liuzhou Forest City will run on renewables and absorb nearly 10,000 tons of CO2 and 57 tons of pollutants yearly while producing 900 tons of oxygen annually at the same time.

Shift the focus from the super-poor to the super-rich: More policies are needed to target people at the opposite end of the social ladder. According to some estimates, the average lifestyle consumption carbon footprint of someone in the wealthiest 1% could be 175 times that of someone in the poorest 10%. 

6 Busted Green-Roof Myths: Are green roofs obsolete? That is far from being true. Ready why we need green roofs, walls, and all the green we can plant around us.

Hospital’s Rooftop Garden Provides 7000 Pounds of Organic Veggies a Year for Patients: A roof garden that feeds the hospital’s patients provides natural insulation and cooling while also reducing heating costs.

KitKat Japan Is Ditching Plastic Packaging For Paper: You can even fold it to an Origami after using it. Nestle is ditching plastic for paper with this one, along with their plan to make 100% of its packaging recyclable or reusable by 2025. 

Shop less, live more – save the planet: An additional article that focuses on reducing consumption, that is beyond just using reusable metal straws.

Barcelona’s car-free ‘superblocks’: Reducing traffic from less to zero is a bet for Barcelona to reduce premature deaths.

Floating Solar Farms: Millions of solar panels clustered together to form an island could convert carbon dioxide in seawater into methanol, which can fuel airplanes and trucks.

Irish teenager invents magnetic Liquid Trap: It can remove 90% of Microplastics from water: He won a Google science award with an environment-friendly version of ferrofluid, the kind NASA uses in rockets but in a different manner.

India set to outlaw six single-use plastic products: These include plastic bags, cups, plates, small bottles, straws, and certain types of sachets.

Helsinki (Finland) becomes the first European city to deliver a Sustainable Development report: Helsinki’s contribution to the High-Level Political Forum and willingness to engage with the SDGs proactively is an essential step to encouraging other cities also to present voluntary reports on their progress towards a sustainable plan. Find the reports here.

A factory in the Ivory Coast turns plastic waste into classrooms: What can be done with existing plastic? This factory put it to good use by building classrooms. It aims to produce enough plastic bricks to build 500 classrooms across the country by 2021.

This Bhutanese Man Spent Five Decades Planting 100,000 Trees by Hand: Have you heard about Bhutan’s Gross National Happiness Index? Then meet Sonam Phuntsho. He is a forest caretaker who has planted more than 100,000 trees over the past 50 years.

Urban Gardening: Grow your veggies. Case studies from Dallas and Connecticut that help their communities. Food is donated in food banks, but this action is more than food.

How much plastic is out there? If you recycled all the plastic waste on the planet, you would be the world’s richest person, and you could buy NFL, Apple, and Microsoft. Read the data.

Book Publishers Go Green To Reduce Their Carbon Footprint: As the publishing industry grew, so made its carbon footprint. The publishing industry in the USA uses about 32 million trees annually to make books. Producing books emit over 40 million metric tons of C02 each year.

Sustainable packaging in the food sector: Consumers are prompting restaurants and shops to launch initiatives to reduce single-use plastics in packaging.

Copenhagen plans to reach carbon-neutral status in just six years (by 2025); here is how: One of the most friendly for people city to live in Europe, Copenhagen takes a big decisive step to shift into renewable energy.

Do Global Warming and Climate Change Connect with Other Crisis?

Yes, they do. In fact, after reading all this material, you see that these changes are closely related to our industrial activity on this planet.

We are going to expand on this in our upcoming posts.

In the meantime, get these books to start understanding what happens.

Online Resources to Monitor Climate Change

This link deserves a standalone section as it includes a wealth of information, all coming through NASA’s different projects. 

The Greenhouse Effect: A simplified animation of the greenhouse effect, with annotations

22-year Sea Level Rise: This visualization shows the total sea-level change between 1992 and 2014.

Antarctic Ice Loss 2002-2016: Changes in Antarctic ice mass since 2002

Greenland Ice Loss 2002-2016: Changes in Greenland’s ice mass since 2002

Atmospheric CO2 from 2002 to 2016: The global distribution and variation of mid-tropospheric carbon dioxide concentration observed by the Atmospheric Infrared Sounder (AIRS) on NASA’s Aqua spacecraft.

Following Carbon Dioxide Through the Atmosphere: The behavior of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere from September 1, 2014, to August 31, 2015

Operation IceBridge Over Western Greenland: Using a fleet of research aircraft, Operation IceBridge images earth’s polar ice to understand better connections between polar regions and the global climate system.

Earth Mission Montage: These campaigns study carbon, earth’s gravity field, the ocean-ice interface in Greenland, and coral reef health.

Vital Signs: Graphs and an animated time series track the vital signs of the earth’s climate.

Annual Arctic Sea Ice Minimum 1979-2018: The expanse of the annual minimum Arctic sea ice for each year from 1979 through 2018.

Global Temperature Anomalies from 1880 to 2018: A progression of changing global surface temperature anomalies for that period.

Temperature vs. Solar Activity: A graphic that compares global surface temperature changes and the sun’s energy received by the earth.

Hollywood on Climate Change and the Future

There are plenty of movies that show us what can happen with severe climate change and the effects of global warming. Some suggest different ideas to take some immediate climate action.

Most of them are doomsday kinds of movies, though. 

They don’t present a liveable future.

They instead present the earth covered by either water, ice, or under extreme volcano & earthquake activity. Along that come overpopulated cities (when people survive), fog, lack of green, forests, and wildlife.

This is topped with a lack of food and water, violence, and the survival of the fittest. Mad Max movies have been around for many decades now.

Other movies present a dramatic change in our dietary conditions that is not pleasant unless you are okay being barbequed.

Few movies present an optimistic approach, and these involve the usage and application of science and scientific minds for the improvement of humankind and a change to our false mentality.

“Tomorrowland” with George Clooney is one of them and one of the most promising ones, despite its few dark parts. To be honest, we prefer that one from “Water World” with Kevin Kostner or any other post-apocalyptic ones. It shows a different philosophy on how we approach life and people.

There are way too many movies and series are made nowadays, under the world being destroyed by climate change and greed. They are disturbingly too many.

With our new series of posts for global warming, we aim to shed light on all bad and good practices and help out the Solve Climate Change movement.

Did you find this article interesting? Share it with your friends and start discussing and sharing more information.

Global warming is about us and our quality of life.

The planet will be here, after all. 

Climate change is the central issue of our time, and now is the time to do something about it. There is still time, but it will run out faster if we don’t act.

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