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  • Writer's pictureJames Paulson

Planetary Climate Change

Credit: kwest/

One of the arguments that I will often hear if I mention the concept of climate change is that “the climate has always been changing.” Technically that statement is true. In fact if we examine every known planet in the universe we see evidence of climate changes. After all the sun burned much hotter in the past than today, and even the Earth had to go through a period of rains long before life even began to emerge on this planet.

What has not happened before though is the most profound and human induced changes to our climate. The heating of the atmosphere that is the direct result of burning carbon based fuels from the start of the Industrial Revolution on through to today, be it coal, natural gas, or oil, has resulted in a mega shift in the balance of the Earth’s temperatures.

Now it doesn’t take a huge shift in temperature to alter our climate. Climate on land is modulated by ocean currents, and as oceans become warmer, those masses of water can have a great impact on where they will land, or how they will impact land. We see hurricanes becoming much more powerful, especially since they are driven from the energy created by warm ocean water. We are seeing tornado alley shift northwards. And we are seeing amazing weather events from large droughts causing forests to burn, to extreme flooding in regions, all caused by the changes that humans have caused to this planet.

Our existence as a species (and even all of life) exists in a narrow and fragile band. Upsetting that band of life zone, creating massive species extinctions through our actions and more will lead to a far more dangerous and fragile planet over the next 100 years. We have really reached the tipping point on all of this, and I am going to go so far as to say that it is too late. I say that because we are looking for a political solution, and that cannot come fast enough to deal with all we see happening.

If you run into people who make this statement that the climate has always been changing, just nod and go on. You are not going to change these scientifically illiterate people who have adopted this answer because it is a direct result of their political beliefs, not rooted in any of the tons of climate science that is taking place everyday that tells us otherwise.

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