This simple video explaining the carbon cycle from the World Meteorological Organization – WMO.
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The Earth’s climate & weather patterns have perpetually changed over the millenia. But the last 10,000 years have been relatively stable and it was in this period human civilisation took root and grew into what it is today. The climate is again changing but for the first time it is being caused by humans, or rather by the prodigious burning of fossil fuels that is upsetting the balance of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. In pursuing a western standard of living for 7+ billion people we are also conducting the largest and most dangerous science experiment on the only home we have. We are destabilising the weather patterns we know and depend on, and at an unprecedented rate. Will we be able to expand food production with increased instances of drought? Will our cities and communities be resilient in the face of more frequent and severe extreme weather events? How will it affect the food chain when a significant proportion of plants & animals become extinct? What will be the economic ramifications of all of this? The risks are enormous and could potentially undermine the foundation on which civilisation is built upon. We need to understand what we are doing.
Why use the term climate destabilisation and not global warming or climate change? For starters it is a more accurate term. Yes, the climate is changing and on average getting warmer but the real danger is the way normal weather patterns will shift away from what we consider normal. Not every location will become warmer year round and there will be a lot more variability with bigger extremes. Weather patterns are destabilising, shifting to some new normal consistent with a warmer climate. Due to the decade long time lags involved this is a long term crisis that will unfold in slow motion and much of the damage has already been done. Also “warm” and “change” are generally considered positive terms while “destabilise” is clearly negative. Six degree warmer weather may be a nice thing, but a six degree warmer climate would be close to hell on earth. Language is incredibly important in how we relate to the reality of situations so it needs to reflect the danger & urgency of the problem we all face.
This website has been designed so you can find the information that is relevant to you. So if you either find economics a total mystery or consider yourself well versed in the topic you will be able to find something that suits your level of knowledge. Click the buttons below to go to a page dedicated to that level or alternatively scroll down to browse the content.
Have no idea what this is all about? Look here for the best, most succinct, 5 mins or less explanations of what the topic is and why it should be important to you.
Have a vague idea? What you need to know without all the boring details. Look here for a good summary of main points in no more than 15 mins.
Figuring out this is really important? Look here if you want to understand the key details that make up the big picture. A few hours and you will be a bonafide expert.
This simple video explaining the carbon cycle from the World Meteorological Organization – WMO.
Science teacher Greg Craven succinctly (and amusingly) explains the central ideas that I am trying to get across with climateexperiment.com, most notably the idea that the science of climate change is uncertain and just like businesses who deal with uncertainty all the time, we should use risk management to decide what course of action to […]
A simple but effective analogy explaining the difference between weather (short term patterns) and climate (long term patterns). Clip was taken from the recent science TV series Cosmos.
This is an 18 minute TED talk that renowned photographer James Balog, of the Extreme Ice Survey gave in Oxford in 2009. He talks about his quest to merge art and science together to produce irrefutable proof of the impact climate destabilisation is having on the glaciers of this world. Not only is his (time […]
I watched the documentary Chasing Ice in at the ICA theatre in London and even on that relatively small screen the power of this film was almost overwhelming. It is the story of photographer James Balog and his quest to capture the changes that are happening in the Arctic. In 2007 he started up the […]
A great little 6 min video by Peter Sinclair for The Yale Forum on Climate Change & The Media contains most of the important visualisations of how the extent of Arctic sea ice has declined over the last 30 years, reaching the lowest volume since records began in September of 2012.
In one of the better talks about climate destabilisation I have seen, David Roberts of Grist.org talks about the main causes and effects surrounding the topic. He covers the various scenarios of temperature rise in particular the really dangerous possibility the many positive feedback loops the earth’s climate system has will cause irreversible temperature rise […]
Ah I love your rants David. I really do, you spit out half my convoluted thoughts and then some more in a nice 3 min diatribe that usually leaves me either clapping my hands or smiling in amusement and then wishing I could come up with something like that just once in my life. Anyway […]
Dan Miller uses ink to demonstrate how CO2 can have a big impact on warming the earth even though it is a very small percent of the atmosphere. Just like alcohol or cyanide, small amounts can have big impacts For more information on climate change, visit Dan’s web site, ClimatePlace.org
This section is where many of the finer points surrounding climate destabilisation get discussed that help illuminate the difficult overall situation we are faced with. This section aims to discuss those points succinctly, however as there are a lot of points it may take you a few hours before you cover them all.
David on his soapbox again. This time the notion of wasting valuable resources just because the current price mechanisms make them cheap gets a dressing down. Is a carbon tax that hard? Oh wait yes. Nobody likes to go backwards or pay more than they feel they should just because they once bought it cheaper […]
A mock rap video on the media and the fact that climate scientists themselves are rarely heard in the Climate Destabilisation debate. Hilarious and has a point. Gold. Thank you Hungry Beast and ABC. Ha. I’m still chuckling away. I don’t mind swearing but if you do, click the link for the cleaner vid below. […]
Part 2 in a series entitled “Peak Oil and a Changing Climate,” from The Nation.
Here lies all the nerdy material you can ask for. Talks, lectures and documentaries from a variety of sources often over an hour in length. There are many other shorter videos in here as well that cover various elements of the climate science and energy consumption. A kind of catch all for the worthwhile videos that didn’t make levels 1-3.
This 77 min pseudo documentary “The Crisis of Civilization” is based on the Book by Nafeez Mosaddeq Ahmed of the same name. It goes through multiple parts each exploring various elements of our interconnected world, namely Climate Catastrophe; Peak Energy; Peak Food; Economic Instability; International Terrorism; and the Militarization Tendency with some final thoughts on […]
James Balog, one of the world’s premier nature photographers, joins Bill Moyers and explains how “the earth is having a fever.” At tremendous risk to his own safety, Balog has been documenting the erosion of glaciers in Switzerland, Greenland, Iceland, and Alaska. In this interview he shares his amazing photos, discoveries, and self-discoveries – including […]
This presentation entitled “Climate Literacy in Global Perspective” by Anthony Leiserowitz, Ph.D. was recorded at a side NOAA/NASA/NSF event at COP 15 Climate Summit in Copenhagen on December 9, 2009. He reports on the results from a global study of public climate change awareness, knowledge, and support for climate policy conducted with the Gallup World […]
Anthony Leiserowitz, director of the Yale Project on Climate Change Communication, discusses the divergent views of Americans over climate change.
In this truly excellent (46 min) interview Bill Moyers talks to climate change communication expert Anthony Leiserowitz (PhD) from the Yale Project on Climate Change Communication. He explains why climate change is largely ignored, and what we should do about it. More specifically he talks about how “You almost couldn’t design a problem that is […]
Frontline in this 54 minute expose, talks directly with the groups and individuals who have helped shift the climate change debate in the US. It shines the light on the strategy these climate change skeptics have used to leverage members of the Republican party to reject the science of climate change and who has funded […]
While slightly out of audio sync, this 8 min video covers the technologies of coal gas boom in SE Queensland, Australia.
In this video Mark Jacobson, professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Stanford University, tries to objectively compare the main energy sources that could be used to fuel the current US vehicle fleet. In doing so he compares a variety of factors such as life cycle carbon emissions, air pollution, land and water use. He […]
This video taken from Wonderfest 2008, Festival of Science poses the question “Does Civilization Have a Promising Energy Future?” to a series of speakers including the now US Secretary of Energy Steven Chu who moderates the panel. While there isn’t much new (at least for me) in this talk it is an excellent round up […]
This was a really interesting talk. Journalist and historian Gwynne Dyer is clearly a knowledgeable guy being able to speak ad lib for 90 minutes on the ramifications of what would happen in a world were we don’t make the changes necessary to avoid catastrophic climate change. In his research for his book – Climate […]
This very cool video is an extended time lapse from the International Space Station. Always good to see the world from a different perspective. Have fun trying to pick out the countries. Copy and paste of the details of the video below. Time lapse sequences of photographs taken by Ron Garan, Satoshi Furukawa and the […]
I discovered this brilliant Channel 4 documentary series late night on TV which tracks man’s struggle with a constantly evolving climate over our last 200,000 years of history. Climate change is not new and the show goes back in time to try and discover how various groups of humans dealt with the challenges of changing […]
This hour long Channel 4 “documentary” contends that some of the positions that the green movement has taken in the past, particularly on nuclear power and genetically modified foods has been wrong and has actually not helped the general aims of the movement get where it wants to go. It suggests that parts of the […]
Geophysics Professor Mark Zoback explores the potential of unconventional natural gas (shale gas, coal bed methane and tight gas) sources replacing coal as a step in transitioning the US economy towards zero carbon. He briefly describes the three different varieties and how they are produced. During his description of coal bed methane he talks about […]
I would of liked to be able to post the 2011 version of this up but every version of CSIS.org recording of the event (youtube, www.csis.org, itunes) seems to end after 7 mins. Still the 2010 version is quite similar and should give you a decent summary of the shorter term issues and what is […]
Definitely worth a watch. The big boys from the IEA give their take on the very important annual World Energy Outlook report which was released November 2010. Click the link for the csis.org page detailing the event, the speakers and the slides that go with the presentations.
For more info on the event, including slides on the presentations at csis.org
I have seen Adam Brandt’s name pop up a few times in some of the life cycle analysis literature I have seen so it was good to see him speak as part of the Stanford Uni series I am slowly making my way through. You can probably divide this talk up in to 2 parts. […]
Richard Branson announced that Virgin Atlantic in partnership with Kiwi LanzaTech and Swedish Biofuels would be teaming up to produce jet fuel from recycling waste gas from industrial steel production. They estimate that the process could be applied to 65% of the worlds steel mills potentially saving/recycling a lot of carbon dioxide that otherwise would […]
This National Resource Defence Council 21 minute documentary explores the startling phenomenon of ocean acidification, which may soon challenge marine life on a scale not seen for tens of millions of years. The film, featuring Sigourney Weaver, originally aired on Discovery Planet Green.
Interview with Prof. Naomi Oreskes co-author of the book “Merchants of Doubt: How a Handful of Scientists Obscured the Truth on Issues from Tobacco Smoke to Global Warming”. The quality of the video isn’t so great but that is more than made up by the quality of Naomi as a speaker. Extremely knowledgable she answers […]
January 7, 2009 lecture by Lee Schipper for the Woods Energy Seminar. In his talk “When the Rubber Hits the Road: The Real Story on Fuel Economy in the US and other Developed Countries, with Implications for Developing Asia,” Schipper discusses better and more realistic fuel economy options in the US and other industrialized nations.Lee […]
February 14, 2011 – Bob Skinner, Advisor to Statoil in Canada, discusses the challenges facing the ever growing industry focused on extracting the vast oil sand resources of Canada touching on interwoven difficulties in economic, social and environmental terms. This talk made me appreciate the variability and reality of just how hard it is to […]
Stanford University Energy Seminar Series by the Woods and Precourt Intitutes comprises of over 70 lectures of roughly an hour each. Plenty on offer here covering everything from energy types, efficiency measures, transportation, policy and climate change. I’ll have to see how many I get through myself. I will post any individual ones that I […]
While I am not and do not want to get into the habit of promoting companies, this ad for the Nissan Leaf electric vehicle is so absurd yet far closer to the truth of how we power our lives that i just had to put it up.