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Here you can put forward your thought and ideas, ask questions and comment on any subject connected you like, but hopefully with some connection to Transition, Peak Oil or Climate Change.

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Climate Change deniers and Gaia

The numbers of Climate Change deniers appears to be growing. Here is a nice response to the type of sentiment such as

"The amount of bad things humans cause to be added to the atmosphere appears to be a very small percentage of natural emissions, so even if we cut emissions that we can control to zero, what effect will that have?"

Natural emissions and absorptions were in balance, with a whole host of interconnecting equilibria....lets call it Gaia.

Now an ingenious (or should that be ingenuous) two legged thing comes along and finds some long fossilised carbon source, we could call in coal or oil....and he finds he can burn it and generate steam by heating water, and the steam can drive engines so he can turn other natural products into stuff to trade with. He can even drive devices to pullploughs and make farming easier...and heh, this gives him easy food so
he can have lots of offspring, who can dig more coal, drive more ploughs, grow more food , have more offspring.....life is good.

Except as he burns the coal and oil this produces carbon dioxide, unseen un-smellable , unknown. But it is known to Gaia, because she has been managing a huge recycling system for billions of years, and has it all nicely in balance with the CO2 levels in the air at a level which helps her to trap enough heat from the sun to give a nice balance of temperatures across her domain. All the host of equilibria are nicely tuned to that temperature and that level of CO2 availability.

The level of CO2 in the air is relatively low, at a mere 290 parts per million, but the two legged thing burning coal and oil pushes this up and up to 390 ppm. and increase of about one third. Gaia cannot cope, she starts to shuffle the equilibria about to accommodate this increase, but the equilibria will not respond as fast as the CO2 concentration is
increasing, so the physics steps in and the temperature starts to rise, and all the carefully long term balances start to swing to accommodate the temperature increase, ice melts, biological processes change their rate of growth and decay...Gaia is moving to a new set of equilibria.

But this new set of conditions is not as comfortable for the two legged thing, and his food supplies start to decline, his water availability declines, and his offspring start to die off.

After a while he too dies off, and Gaia establishes a new set of equilibria and the biosphere proceeds on a new course.