Climate Change: How can we stop it, how much worse can the problem get, why we need to stop this now, why I care about action and more!

Your posting inspired me to read a bit about Greenland history this afternoon, which I found interesting (admitting I was unable to finish reading Jared Diamond’s “Collapse” as the description of Norse settlements history in Greenland, just made me too, too sad).

But good ol’ Wikipedia has a very readable and informative article.

I remembered an old saying from my student days, “Greenland isn’t green and Iceland isn’t ice.“

Most of the successful long term settlers in Greenland were from Inuit and other similar cultures.

Anyway, it was an interesting topic to read about today. I cannot say my brief investigation leads me to think Greenland was successfully farmed, though animal husbandry was important.

Climate fluctuations corresponding to human events:


Because it was an event of higher temperatures related to solar activity and other reasons that allowed Greenlandd to get out of ice for some time? How is it relevant to amount of greenhouse gases our lifestock and machines produce? Which agenda you’re talking about? You really think whindmills are worse than hydro- or even thermal power stations?

By the way can anyone link a source to read about effect of personal water usage, cause I can’t fully understand how using water that’s going to be reused is making it decline, it’s not just disappears unless you’re living in a region that takes salt water for use?


Gee, somebody should tell the insurance companies. Odd that their actuaries should all be so wrong about that.

A quick search on Duck Duck Go produced this story from 2019 about coastal flooding from increased magnitude and frequency of high tide events.

Cherry-picking data out of context proves nothing. Greenland has been covered by ice for 400,000 years. During the so-called Medieval Climatic Anomaly, some parts of the world, mostly the North Atlantic and parts of Europe, were as warm as and maybe warmer than today. Other areas were colder, and evidence suggests that global temperatures were similar to the early 20th century, colder than today. During that brief period the climate in parts of coastal Greenland permitted some agriculture. Viking settlements from that time died out quickly as the anomaly ended. These sorts of localized effects happen, mostly because of shifts in oceanic and atmospheric currents. They re local. Global climate change is… well, global.


The root cause of anthropogenic climate change is overpopulation.
Forget the guilt trip about developed nations using more resources and producing more waste, more emissions etc than developing nations.
The developing nations merely lag behind the developed, because they all want the higher standard of living we 'enjoy '(actually we are so far removed from nature, and our genes have not yet adapted to city life and the stress of post hunter gatherer lifestyle in the short time since homo sapiens started living in towns, that we are miserable and don’t even know why or what we can do about it).
Simple mathematics says the more people on this planet, the less healthy the planet will be.
8 billion is a lot of people.
What is so special about a human life?
Interesting ethical dilemma.
Nothing, in my opinion.
Birth control has been a taboo subject for too long.
Australia has too many people.
Other nations find that hard to believe because they see a big area on the map,with relatively few people per square kilometre.
We encourage that belief, our leaders insist that we will be better off with increasing population, but any thinking person can see that increasing population is a merely a core tenet of the failed(outdated) human construct:the growth economy model.
Population growth continues globally despite Covid.
War and famine have never held back our relentless rising population globally.
Having kids is selfish and is a declaration that you don’t care about the planet, only your biological impulse to breed.
I’ve got grandchildren. I’m guilty as charged.
Good night all.


The thing is that all and every of the mentioned “ecological benefits” are benefits only when looking from one side. They all need equipment to produce, which requires resources (including very damaging mining) and energy. Recycling is another partial mythology: to do recycling, one needs dumping areas, even more energy (to recycle and to get an end product) and in addition - more energy, resources and area for the control of noxious emissions of the process. People rarely think about it.


Ouch. I recognize that no power generation method comes without downsides – the idea is to minimize those relative to output. You’d think developers could choose a place that was previously monoculture farm or industrial rather than destroy wild habitats… yeesh…


Welcome to the Forum. I personally do not agree with your stance, but all opinions are important and welcome!


That’s all very true, which is why I’m really hoping that methods that can recycle the minerals from our e-waste gain increasing attention and traction. And yeah, I know that recycling doesn’t have a good track record, as seen with plastic (although that may be pinned less on the recycling itself and more on the industry’s laziness to recycle), but we have no other option other than that vs. still mining the old-fashioned way.


I agree, but don’t agree (how’s that for a waffle). The loss of ecosystems to support ‘clean’ energy is counter-productive. And I agree that we will need fossil fuels for some time. I believe the issue is more about reducing fossil fuel consumption. Your computer is a case in point - the makers of it should be responsible for recovering useable parts and elements. This would involve some type of fossil fuel (and water, etc.) to do so, but it would at least decrease the need for mining and the suffering involved in that process. However, I’m not sure any regulatory body would be willing to impose that obligation, because money talks at all levels of western society. We want cheaper phones, computers, food etc. when they all come with an environmental cost. I too have seen a beloved bush bulldozed for housing development - to date, that is all that has been done. There are ways of producing clean electrical energy without impacting ecosystems, but most of the powers that be want the cheapest, easiest way of doing it. Destroying a ‘useless’ bush is just business as usual. We need a fundamental shift in thinking.


Here is an old Facebook post I made, November 1, 2015, when I lived in Washington State:

Only state and local elections this year. But never discount the importance of your local elections; often, they can affect your life more than the Federal ones.
Case in point: Kitsap Public Utilities District No. 1. Proposition 1, to own and operate Membrane Bio-Reactor wastewater treatment plants. Now, if you look at a map of Western Washington, you see that Kitsap is one of only a handful of counties with no snow-capped mountains within its borders. This means that its water supply depends entirely on rain-fed groundwater. Membrane Bio-Reactor treats the wastewater to a level of quality such that it can be returned to the groundwater instead of discharged to sea. And if climate change indeed results in a drier world, that is likely to be even more important in future than it is now.

Well, perhaps. But then, this cartoon expresses a great truth:

Which of those factories in the background manufactured his new solar panel?


Take everything Jared Diamond writes with a healthy dose of skeptical salt. Despite his pretensions, he doesn’t have a background in much of that he wrote about in both Guns, Germs, and Steel and Collapse (which was essentially a revisit of the former book), and he has been widely and roundly criticized by both historians and anthropologists for both cherry picking points that support his arguments and for following a long outdated environmentally deterministic way of thinking.

That’s not to say not to read him, just don’t accept everything he says as being accurate, or that his reasons for the way things panned out are actually the real reasons.

In my opinion, Charles C. Mann is a mch better person to read for similar subject material, although his focus is a bit different. 1491 and 1493 are both excellent and actually draw upon the work of experts in the appropriate fields and subjects.


Good cartoon! Where did you find it?

Edit: Just saw the site on the comic. From

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I agree with all who say that CONSUMPTION is by far the largest issue. We aren’t going to “tech” our way out of this thing, as others have noted the replacement of one tech with another invariably just shifts our environmental issues from one problem to a different one. Until we consume less, we will simply lose ground. And if you look at consumption patterns even over the last 100 years (or even right now across different societies), it is obviously very easy to consume several times less than we’re currently doing, if we care to.

For those who are attacking individual action in the name of “political solutions only”, I don’t believe the research supports your case. The votes for the necessary political action aren’t there, not even close. And unless we as individuals take the problem really seriously, they won’t be there. Climate activists who overconsume look like poverty advocates who live in mansions or conservative preachers who cheat on their wives. Not only do they not truly appear to believe their own words regarding how dire the situation is, but they become relatively ineffective in getting anyone else to believe them.


Also, those who claim that individual action does not make a big enough difference are not making a useful strategic discernment between the options, as a single vote or a single person’s lobbying won’t make a big enough difference either. Telling people that they don’t need to radically change their own personal behavior teaches them the lesson that they need not do anything at all, because nothing one person does will make a big enough difference.

Calculate how much per capita environmental impact would be sustainable for this planet. (Not necessarily just carbon.) Strive to live under that, even before taking offsets into account. Then, with that level of seriousness, lobby to convert others to the cause on both the personal and larger levels.


I strongly disagree with your claim that the outsized consumption of “developed” nations is not the problem. The large majority of our consumption is not necessary for our happiness or beneficial to our welfare, but is rather the result of relentless advertising by those who profit off of it and a constant need to compare with others. Here in America we have tripled the square footage of our homes in the last 70 years, but aren’t happier for it. We get new phones with ridiculous technology (destroying many ecosystems in the process) every 2-3 years, yet anxiety and depression disorders are increasing exponentially in the process. Flying much more often, supercharging our meat intake, increasing our car size…none of it is necessary for our welfare.

And at current consumption levels, we’d have to kill off 80% of the population in order to reach sustainable resource use. There is no conceivable way to achieve that before the damage is done. So population reduction is not a realistic path forward, only consumption reduction can occur quickly enough to save what we still have left.

We have plenty of everything for everyone on this planet to enjoy a reasonable standard of living. However, those of us in “developed” countries, ESPECIALLY Australia and America, choose to consume far far more than would ever be sustainable. And you’re right, developing countries are on the same track - but because we inundate them with corporate advertising and media enticements that push them to copy us. If we chose something different, it would affect their choices and direction as well.


Welcome to the forum!

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If anyone is confused; I’m Myles678. Username changed

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