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Global Warming and the Sixth Mass Extinction

Science, philosophy, politics, and religion are frequent topics for writer and public speaker Catherine Giordano.

Planet Earth is becoming warmer at an alarming rate and with alarming consequences.

Planet Earth is becoming warmer at an alarming rate and with alarming consequences.

What Is a Mass Extinction?

A mass extinction is a global era marked by a major reduction in bio-diversity. There have been five mass extinctions in the history of Earth. Each time, as many as 90% of the plant and animal species became extinct.

  • The first mass extinction was the End Ordovician. It is known as the Ice Age.
  • The next three were the End Devonian, the End Permian, and the End Triassic.
  • The last was the Cretaceous—the one that killed off the dinosaurs and many other species.

What Are the Triggers for Mass Extinction?

One massive event can trigger a mass extinction, but it is often a series of events, such as volcanic eruptions or asteroid strikes. These cataclysmic events set up a chain reaction that cause the environment to change faster than ecosystems and organisms can adapt. The changes outpace evolution.

Global warming was a factor in each of the last four extinctions. This should set off alarm bells. The warming of the Earth is getting closer and closer to a tipping point.

Volcanoes  and asteroid strikes are two triggers that have been the cause of past mass extinctions.

Volcanoes and asteroid strikes are two triggers that have been the cause of past mass extinctions.

Are Natural Cycles Causing Global Warming?

The Earth has been much warmer in the past and also much colder. The Earth’s overall climate is affected by many factors. Solar activity and variations in the orbit of the earth are the major factors. However, neither of these is causing the current warming crisis.

Solar Activity

Global temperatures are influenced by sun-spots and solar flares which increase the amount of solar energy that reaches the Earth. A comparison of solar activity with temperatures on Earth over the past 1150 years shows a strong relationship between solar activity and temperature.

The sun has shown a slight cooling trend since 1960. Based on solar activity alone, we would expect a lower average temperature instead of the steadily increasing temperatures that we are actually observing.

The Orbit of the Earth

The orbit of the Earth varies over millennia with respect to three major factors-- its eccentricity, its axial obliquity, and its precession. Taken together, these three factors are known as the Milankovitch cycles. Each of the three cycles can amplify or reduce the effect of the other cycles depending on their alignment.

Eccentricity: The Earth’s orbit is not perfectly circular; it is elliptical. The orbit varies from close to circular to more egg-shaped. These orbital variations are referred to as orbital eccentricity. This cycle occurs over 1000.000 years.

The point at which the Earth is closest to the sun is called perihelion, and the point furthest from the sun is called aphelion. The more elliptical the orbit is, the further the Earth is from the sun at aphelion. Currently, the Earth’s orbit is close to circular.

Axial obliquity: The angle of the Earth to the sun varies over the course of a year, and it is the reason we have seasons. But the degree of tilt varies—changing from greater to lesser over a 40,000 year cycle. This is referred to as axial obliquity and it affects the total amount of solar energy that reaches the Earth. Currently, the axial obliquity is at its midpoint and is decreasing

Precession: The precession of the Earth’s orbit is due to a wobble in its orbit. This cycle takes about 26,000 years. It changes whether the Northern hemisphere or the Southern hemisphere is closest to the sun at perihelion. This is important because land absorbs more heat than oceans, and the Northern hemisphere has more land mass. Currently perihelion occurs when it is winter in the Northern hemisphere and the Earth is tilted away from the sun.

At this time, the interaction of all the Milankovitch cycles predict a cooling trend. Instead we are seeing the fastest temperature increases ever observed.

The Milankovitch cycle matches the rise and fall of the Earth’s temperature over past eons—not perfectly, but very closely. In any event, the cycles occur very slowly, over thousands of years, much too slowly to be the cause of the changes we are currently seeing, even if all the cycles were aligned to produce “the perfect storm” of global warming.

It is apparent that human activity is counteracting solar factors that would otherwise be putting the Earth into a mini Ice Age.

Milankovitch Cycles and Their Effect on Climate Change

Is the Earth Experiencing Global Warming?

There can be no doubt that the Earth is now undergoing global warming and the warming trend is accelerating. Most of the warming occurred in the past 35 years, with 16 of the 17 warmest years on record occurring since 2001. There were three record-breaking years in a row--2014, 2015, and 2016, with each year showing a higher average temperature than the year before it.

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The oceans are also warming—surface waters as well as the waters at the bottom of the sea. The polar ice caps are shrinking every year. The sea levels are rising in part due to glacial melt and in part because water expand as it warms.

Is the Sixth Mass Extinction Already Happening?

The loss of bio-diversity is already evident.

In her book, The Sixth Mass Extinction: An Unnatural History, Pulitzer-prize winning author, Elizabeth Kolbert, documents the careful scientific research that shows how some plant and animal habitats are shifting year by year. Some organisms become extinct because they can exist only within a narrow temperature range and they are unable to migrate quickly enough so as to stay within that range.

The ecosystem of the sea is changing due to both warmer water temperatures and the greater acidity of the ocean waters. I recently watched a NetFlix documentary, Chasing Coral. I urge you to see it. It showed the devastating effect a rise of only one or two degrees in the average temperature of the water is having on coral. Half of the Great Barrier Reef corals have died off. The coral provide food and habitat for countless sea creatures. When these creatures are gone, larger fish will not have enough food to survive. The sea life that humans depend upon for food could be decimated.

The Sixth Mass Extinction

What Are the Effects of Global Warming for Humans?

Humans could lose much of the land mass they live on. Less ice means smaller ice-melts in the Spring and the loss of the water that some areas depend upon for agriculture and drinking. Changes in weather patterns are bringing more severe droughts and floods, dislocating many populations and disrupting agriculture. As previously mentioned, sea life, a vital part of the food chain, may be much diminished.

The changes caused by global warming will lead to massive migrations of people due to rising sea levels. Some low lying islands in the Pacific Ocean are already being evacuated—they will soon be submerged due to the rise in sea levels. There will be other migrations due to the loss of arable land and the resultant threat of starvation.

Increasingly violent storms are another threat. We know that higher sea temperatures produce more violent hurricanes. Storms and floods dubbed a once-in-a-thousand-years-storm or a once-in a-hundred-years-storm are happening every year.

  • In 2017, the Northern hemisphere has been visited by three huge Category-5 storms in quick succession--Hurricane Harvey, Hurricane Irma, and Hurricane Maria.
  • Hurricane Irma had wind speeds measured as high as 185 miles an hour and was 400 miles wide.
  • I am beginning to fear that a new hurricane category will need to be added. We appear to be entering an era of Category-6 hurricanes.

The United States military has said that global warming could be the greatest threat to the security of the country. Massive migrations and a shortage of resources will lead to wars.

What Can We Do to Reduce Anthropogenic Warming?

Warming caused by human activity is called anthropogenic warming. Among climate scientists, 97% agree that the excessive warming of the planet is man-made.

We must stop the use of fossil fuels and the destruction of ecosystems on both land and sea. Renewable fuels can help forestall disaster. Fossil fuels are adding too much carbon dioxide to the air. This creates a “greenhouse effect” that holds heat within the atmosphere as well as “acid rain” due to too much carbon-dioxide dissolved in the water. It is not a coincidence that the steep rise in global warming began with the Industrial Revolution and has picked up with speed with the increased use of carbon based fuels.

There are two main institutions that can save the plant or destroy it based on their actions.

The Role of Religion

What role will religion play? I will take Christianity as the model because it is the one I know best. I expect the patterns observed in Christianity apply to other religions as well.

Some Christians want to reduce global warming.

  • Some Christians believe in “Christian Stewardship” or “Christian Care.”They believe that God gave humans a mandate to protect His Creation. This group wants to halt global warming.
  • Pope Francis supports the Paris Accord and he urged world leaders to heed the warnings of climate scientists. He said failure to do so will cause humanity to "go down." And in a not so thinly veiled reference to President Trump, he warned that "history will judge.

However, others clearly have other ideas.

  • There are some who believe that God gave humans dominion over the planet, and they oppose all types of environmentalism. They feel entitled to exploit the resources of the Earth as they see fit. They believe that God will intervene to save humans.
  • Some, like Pat Robinson, Chairman of the Christian Broadcasting Network, think hurricanes, and other natural disasters, are God's punishment for homosexuality and other sins.
  • Finally, we have those who welcome the End-Times. They may even want to help things along.

We must hope that Christian Stewardship prevails.

See: The Stewardship of Creation and Evangelical Anti-Environmentalism

The Role of Government

The strongest force to reduce carbon emissions is government. A total of 196 nations (every nation in the world except Syria, Nicaragua, and the United States) have signed what is called the Paris Accord, a pledge to reduce greenhouse gas emissions (Former President Obama spearheaded this agreement, but under President Trump, the United States has dropped out. However, some U.S. states have stepped up, pledging to meet the goals of the Paris Accord in their own state.)

With or without the Paris Accord, the United States must take steps to move to renewable fuels also known as "clean energy.". Funds must be allocated to subsidize companies who develop and provide wind and solar energy to encourage research and development. There should also be funding for training workers in the new skills needed, especially those workers who lose their jobs in the fossil fuel industry. Government might subsidize on-the-job training. In this way, the government can not only help reduce global warming, but also foster economic growth and national prosperity.

Windmills and solar panels can provide clean renewable energy and economic prosperity.

Windmills and solar panels can provide clean renewable energy and economic prosperity.

What Is the Future for Life on Planet Earth?

It humans do not stop the behaviors that are leading to global warming, the changes will be like a snow-ball rolling down a snow covered mountain—getting larger and larger and faster and faster until it becomes an unstoppable deadly avalanche. Even if we went to zero emissions today, it would take decades to stop (and hopefully eventually reverse) the warming trend. Change will come slowly, but doing nothing is not an option.

The fifth mass extinction gave rise to conditions that favored the existence of small mammals. These mammals evolved and eventually gave rise to humans. Humans dominate the Earth today because of the fifth mass extinction.

The sixth mass extinction may be the end of humankind. The alarm bells are sounding. Will we listen?

Further Reading

In addition to the sources mentioned in the above article, these sources provided information for this article.

What Causes Mass Extinctions

NASA: The Earth is Cooling...No It's Warming

NASA: Global Climate Change

National Geographic: Warmer Oceans Have Far Reaching Effects

NASA: Why a One Degree Temperature Change is a Big Deal

I'd like to know what you think. Please take this poll.

© 2017 Catherine Giordano

I welcome your comments.

Mia on December 08, 2019:

Thanks, the scientific part is informative. The hypothesis aspect is a grey area. Extinction events are not triggered by anyone who can be blamed or taxed. What IS perennial is fear, particularly an ambiguous and ambivalent fear of finality, and what is prevalent in cycles is an almost inchoate longing for the definitive event of an apocalypse, usually born of a religious urge.

The earth is a self correcting system. Homeostasis is what makes life possible. There is no "ceiling" against which benign gases builds up, "gases such as water vapour, C02, the building block of all life on earth. C02 does not "fill up" the atmosphere and then fail to dissipate. Would that we had more of it. the entire earth is greening, please search for the readily available global map on global greening of the earth, everywhere there are deserts greening due to C02. All biology has an ineradicable carbon footprint, we are carbon based beings.

The agenda for the AGW promotion is in order to have people accept that they are loathsome and that there are too many of us. This is done in order to be able to use AGW as justification for genocide.

If people actually cared one wit about a clean environment (versus pious virtue signalling) all those protesting warming/cooling, and change itself, would cease using all their endless microwave wireless radiation emitting gadgets, immediately, and demand removal of all cell towers, smart grid, the whole lot of anti-life, anti nature, cobalt filled junk, bees, bats, butterflies and birds navigation systems destroyed by man made frequencies blanketing the earth.

There is no pollution more pervasive and damaging to nature everywhere on earth than man made microwave radiation which is sucking the moisture out of all living things and causing rapid ageing syndrome by slow cooking all things biological on earth itself. In this sense alone, biological extinction on a large scale can be called human induced. And the worst and totally addicted wireless microwave radiation users are those extinction rebels and Greta followers who choose a damaged wannabe saviour to reflect their image back to them, mirroring their own jarringly cognitively dissonant, hypocritical and misplaced sense of righteousness. The righteous do not inherit. They never seem to say what they DO want, other than climate communism, but they are very clear about what they DON'T want. They do, however, seem to possess the ultimate luxury, one almost all people on earth lack, that of having endless time to squander protesting and demanding that authority take over, the wealth of time without need to work or earn in order to eat or pay for shelter or live elsewhere than in some parental home. Indeed it is this same histrionic, reactive whining of the idle, air conditioned, uber comfortable young Greta-ites who's without a second thought benefit from China strip mining rare earth minerals and depleting nature for hand held toys. It is not the poor they openly despise, and it is not those who must work to survive.

Pete Sims on November 15, 2019:

When governments and religions finally admit that the real reason for the upcoming mass extinction is OVER POPULATION. Control the population and the 'warming' trend evaporates. Period. Stop the breeding, cool the planet.

Alexa Rain from egypt on November 19, 2017:

Respected, you are right.

the global surface temperature is likely to rise a further 0.3 to 1.7 °C (0.5 to 3.1 °F) in the lowest emissions scenario, and 2.6 to 4.8 °C (4.7 to 8.6 °F) in the highest emissions scenario.

Catherine Giordano (author) from Orlando Florida on November 19, 2017:

Almost all climate scientists say human activity is causing global warming. I won't substitute my own judgement for theirs. Glaciation periods take hundreds of thousands of years. If you see an effect over a hundred years (or less) , it seems likely that humans are causing it

Alexa Rain from egypt on November 19, 2017:

Wow great, i can't choose any one.

even in ice age individual pulses of cold climate are termed "glacial periods".

and intermittent warm periods are called "interglacials" which ice age implies the presence of extensive ice sheets in both northern and southern hemispheres.

the world has seen cycles of glaciation with ice sheets advancing and retreating over the time.

really it is very confusing.

i think it is going to worm by nature and human interference has very little effect.

Catherine Giordano (author) from Orlando Florida on October 12, 2017:

Stella Kaye: Thanks for your comment. It's a Catch 22 situation. People won't believe it is happening until it is so bad as to be undeniable, but if we take action now, it may never get that bad. If it never gets that bad, those who are now warning about global warming will be called Chicken Littles.

Stella Kaye from UK on October 11, 2017:

A very informative and well-rounded article. I voted 'Global warming is happening, and human activity is responsible,' in your poll. I feel that human overpopulation is also a significant factor in extinction events as over 200 species a day are being driven to extinction by human activity and the depletion of natural habitat. Here is an article I wrote about overpopulation.

Catherine Giordano (author) from Orlando Florida on September 17, 2017:

Chris Lalonde: I think animal husbandry and agriculture are part of the man-made causes. I think natural causes are things that humans have no control over at all, like astronomical events. As you correctly point out, fossil fuels are not the only contributing factor to man-made global warming. We should look at everything.

Chris Lalonde on September 17, 2017:

I didn't select any of the options above as I believe there is one missing - "Climate change is naturally occurring, and human activity greatly exacerbates its effects". Everything that was said above about reducing the affects of global warming is valid, yet most discussions leave out the effects of animal agriculture. Our appetite for abundant and cheap meat has created an industry that is directly responsible for the largest ocean dead-zone in the world from animal agriculture run off. The vast majority of corn and soy produced in the US goes to animal feed, and Concentrated Animal Feedlots are a huge consumer of water resources and contribute to significant biological contamination. The methane produced by this industry also has a significant effect on the greenhouse gas effect. People not only need to consider alternate forms of energy and transportation, but they also need to consider their food choices as well.

Catherine Giordano (author) from Orlando Florida on September 14, 2017:

Wild Bill: Thanks for your comment. On the written page, tone can get lost. I felt it was snide and disrespectful, although that may not have been your intent. It made me angry and I let that show in my response.

As for statistics, I spent my career doing market research. I know how to conduct a survey in an unbiased manner and how to understand the results. I have not studied the methodology of this particular study, but I think the source was trustworthy.

My feeling is that one doesn't have to be a climate scientist to know that global warming is occurring and that mass extinction is a real possibility. All one has to do is pay attention to the news.

For various reasons, too many people want to keep their head in the sand on this issue. If you look at some of the sources cited in my article you will see solid evidence for the claims I have made.

Catherine Giordano (author) from Orlando Florida on September 14, 2017:

Eric Dierker: Yes, I survived Irma. thanks for your concern. No real damage, just a lot of clean-up. I even had only a relatively short time without power--just 24 hours. Getting the internet back took about two days. Irma was only Cat 2 over Orlando, but it was still terrifying. The point I wanted to make in my essay is that we need to take global warming and its consequences seriously and make every effort to reduce it.

Wild Bill on September 14, 2017:


Keep in mind that we agree on the big issue, which is making the environment better. We just differ on how to get the message out there. The point of my first comment was that there are no winners in an argument (Dale Carnegie 101), so why make it one? Let's try to focus on the problems that are tangible and solve them together instead of using all of our energy to try and convince people that Global Warming is real?

As for my knowledge in surveys, I have an educational background in statistics and the first thing they taught us was that one can get any result they wish by how they ask a question and where one gets the sample. You gave me a really specific number, 97%, yet backed up your claim by telling me: "In this case, I think the 97% number was reached by counting articles in peer- reviewed journals."

You then proceeded to tell me: "In any event, does it really matter if it is 97% or only 90%?"

My answer is that percentages in a survey can be greatly skewed by minor procedures. In this case, it can depend on which journals were counted. It can also depend on which articles are getting accepted by the magazines; do they not accept deniers of Global Warming? Maybe if they think to deny it is detrimental for our world. Maybe they think they are doing good. There are many factors involved.

As for me choosing to"nitpick" on one small detail, I have to ask you; what was the basis for your response? That an overwhelming number of scientists agree that humans are causing Global Warming. I will admit I used a tongue in cheek way to ask how can all scientist be surveyed, but I don't think I am ignorant nor arrogant. I just don't accept everything that everyone says.

You also said: "It is telling that you chose to nit-pick one small detail, but had no facts to refute the overall thesis."

I only presented you with my opinion in my first comment. In my second, I was merely asking in a round about way; "How can every scientist be surveyed?" I'm not sure why I would need to present facts for either. You, on the other hand, presented me with specific data (97%), yet backed up your claim with: " In this case, I think the 97% number was reached by counting articles in peer- reviewed journals."

You think?

I also would like to point out that I don't appreciate the name calling. It shows a lack of confidence, was uncalled for and unbecoming of an educated person.

Eric Dierker from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A. on September 13, 2017:

Catherine I assume by your post that you made it through Irma OK. We prayed for you.

You know what I like about the answers, is that no one is even remotely suggesting we don't do stuff to help our earth and preserve and conserve. That is cool, we differ but we seem to all agree that we should do good stuff. (the "cool" was not a reference to NASA ;-)

Catherine Giordano (author) from Orlando Florida on September 13, 2017:

Wild Bill: You clearly don't understand how surveys work. A representative sample is surveyed, not every single individual. In this case, I think the 97% number was reached by counting articles in peer- reviewed journals. In any event, does it really matter if it is 97% or only 90%? The point is that the vast majority of climate scientists believe that global warming is producing climate change and the warming is being caused by the actions of humans. Your comment is both arrogant and ignorant. It is telling that you chose to nit-pick one small detail, but had no facts to refute the overall thesis.

Wild Bill on September 13, 2017:


97% of climate scientists agree? Wow, that is a pretty precise percentage. I would like to meet the person who took the time to ask every single climate scientist what they think.

Catherine Giordano (author) from Orlando Florida on September 10, 2017:

Wild Bill: I'm sorry to disagree, but 97% of climate scientists believe that the global warming is man-made. The evidence for this conclusion is overwhelming. It is very clear .Garbage dumps and water issues are other issues. They need to be addressed also, but the alarms are blaring for global warming.

Catherine Giordano (author) from Orlando Florida on September 10, 2017:

LarryRankin: You are right on point as always. So many people come to a conclusion and then find facts to support it. It is supposed to be the other way round.

Wild Bill on September 10, 2017:

While I do believe that we should cut carbon emissions, decrease waste, and preserve habitats, I think that most environmentalists are shooting themselves in the foot by trying to prove that Global Warming is man-made. The problem is that the argument can never be made clear and there are those that are going to deny no matter what.

We should stick to things that are tangible like showing how are garbage dumps look like mountains and our water sources are becoming cesspools.

Sometimes to accomplish goals, one must take a step back and look at the big picture of what they are trying to accomplish. In this case are we trying to convince people global warming is man-made or are we trying to save the environment.

Larry Rankin from Oklahoma on September 10, 2017:

Very well thought out and researched, as always.

Global temperature fluctuations do happen naturally, and that is where the deniers of human influence tune out. They don't listen to the second part of that thought, which is, the global warming happening now is not natural! And it is being caused by the human race!

Catherine Giordano (author) from Orlando Florida on September 09, 2017:

Peoplepower73: I suppose I could call it either

"Global Warming" or "Climate Change." I prefer global warming warming because it describes the direction of the climate change. Also global should imply that the change is an overall average. Some places may be colder, but overall, the planet is warming.

Catherine Giordano (author) from Orlando Florida on September 09, 2017:

Justin. The interaction of the various Milankovitch Cycles is very complicated. Each of the cycles could amplify or cancel out the effects of the other cycles. I will take NASA's opinion on this. NASA says natural orbital cycles predict a cooler Earth.

Catherine Giordano (author) from Orlando Florida on September 09, 2017:

Larry Fish: I agree, it is long past time to stop using carbon fuels. It would make sense to do this even if there were no global warming, and even if the warming was not being cause by these fuels.

Mike Russo from Placentia California on September 08, 2017:

Catherine: I forgot to tell you this: I'm so glad you called it Global Warming instead of Climate Change. I did the same thing on a post in Facebook and it made me feel really good that I did. Fantasyland sounds like a great book. I'll have to look into it.

Catherine Giordano (author) from Orlando Florida on September 08, 2017:

Mike Russo: It was wonderful to read your comment, and not just because of the compliment on my writing. It is just so great to hear from someone who is on the same page, so to speak. I love your Tyson quote. It is so true. There' a new book I want to read, "Fantasyland" by Kurt Andersen. It is about how people stopped believing in facts and just make stuff up now and call it fact.

Catherine Giordano (author) from Orlando Florida on September 08, 2017:

It would be wonderfuli f Trump would read anything. We can always hope--maybe you would like to send it to him. Send him a link in a tweet?

Catherine Giordano (author) from Orlando Florida on September 08, 2017:

I draw conclusions from known facts. As for the a/c, I can remember when there was no such thing as a/c. I'm afraid I will lose power due to Hurricane Irma and I may have to go without a/c for some time. I think it will be unbearable. I son't even have a fan.

Mike Russo from Placentia California on September 08, 2017:

Catherine: This is an excellent article. Your writing style reminds me of reading Scientific American articles. It's an indisputable fact, the world's oceans are warming. The ocean temperature for Harvey and Irma are 86 degrees. This is just fuel for these Cat 5 Hurricanes.

I believe we are going to see a huge paradigm shift in the way people live. There is going to be a mass migration away from the world's coastal waters. People and infrastructure are going to have to move inland. People act as if they can rebuild and that these are one off storms, but I don't believe that.

Neil deGrasse Tyson,noted Astrophysicist says, “People have lost the ability to judge what is true and what is not, what is reliable, what is not reliable,That’s not the country I remember growing up in. I don’t remember any other time where people were standing in denial of what science was.”...Maybe Al Gore is right!

Justin on September 08, 2017:

One point of contention. For an ice age to occur, the northern hemisphere needs to tilt towards the sun during perhelion, not away. The reason for this is because the period for the perhelion is shorter than the aphelion. Anyone who has taken freshman calculus can understand that. As you noted, land mass heats up easier. It also cools easier than water. So during aphelion is when the most ice builds up on the northern land mass, and since the northern hemisphere has the most land mass, it's easier than the southern hemisphere to heat and cool. However, ice reflects sun light, meaning that during perhelion, when the earth is closer to the sun, and the northern hemisphere is covered in ice from its time in aphelion, less sunlight is absorbed than if we were facing the sun during aphelion and away during perhelion. This means that right now, we are not in an ice age period. We are in a heat age period.

Larry W Fish from Raleigh on September 08, 2017:

That is a very interesting article. I believe that human activity is a major cause of global warming, but I also feel that much is caused by natural occurances. We need to reduce global warming as much as possible. I feel that the entire world needs to invest more in wind and solar power. They are the energy sources of the future. It is beyond time to limit the use of fossil fuels. For the ones that do not believe in global warming they are not listening to the experts on the matter, the scientists.

David B Katague from Northern California and the Philippines on September 07, 2017:

I enjoyed reading this hub. Potus should read this.

Eric Dierker from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A. on September 07, 2017:

Catherine, thank you for your followup comment. I was worried I was being rude.

Perhaps I judged too quickly I did not get the sense that this was thesis oriented. It seemed to me to be stated as fact. Which as you suggest is really just a matter of degrees of certainty.

As to your question. I am sitting in my office at 85 degrees because refuse air conditioning as it is an affront to our earth. You might even find the size of my family footprint a little strangely small.

But I do it because I love my earth. Not from fear.

Again let me say that this is a wonderfully written piece.

Catherine Giordano (author) from Orlando Florida on September 07, 2017:

AliciaC: Thanks for your comment. I hate working on tiny screens. Unfortunately, I can't change your vote. Just as long as you vote the right way in elections. Vote for people who support taking steps to reduce global warming. Each of us as individuals can only have a miniscule impact--that is why we need governments to act.

Catherine Giordano (author) from Orlando Florida on September 07, 2017:

Flourish Anyway: I agree. America should be leading in the fight against global warming. Even the gas/oil companies know we have to change our ways. They all have started branches in the field of renewable energy. Government incentives could speed the switch to renewables. We can already see the dire consequences of global warming. The problems will become exponentially worse.

Catherine Giordano (author) from Orlando Florida on September 07, 2017:

Eric Dieker: In science, nothing is ever 100% definite. Evidence is accumulated, tested, and shared. Eventually a consensus is reached. The evidence does not support the thesis that this warming trend is due to natural causes. Everything points to human causes. If it turns out that the theory of human causation is wrong, nothing is lost. If the theory is right, life on the planet, including human life, becomes extinct. Which way do you want to bet?

Linda Crampton from British Columbia, Canada on September 07, 2017:

This is an important article, Catherine. I think that we all need to be aware of human contribution to global warning and as best as we can take steps to mitigate it. I'm afraid that I voted the wrong way in your poll. I'm using my iPad and actually pressed my finger on the second choice in your list. I wanted to choose the first choice.

Catherine Giordano (author) from Orlando Florida on September 07, 2017:

Thank you Chitrangada for your comment. I am so glad to hear that we feel alike on this. The planet will survive, but life as we know it, including human life, can become extinct.

FlourishAnyway from USA on September 07, 2017:

Very well written. It's abhorrent that we are in the company of Syria and Nicaragua with Trump pulling out of the Paris Accord. We have too many people in this world and as a result the fight for resources will only become more fierce.

Lela from Somewhere near the heart of Texas on September 07, 2017:

The industrial revolution and rapid increase in populations are directly responsible for the current state of global climate change. Those who deny it are living under a rock.

Eric Dierker from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A. on September 07, 2017:

Very well done. Extremely educational.

My only pause is the scientific validity of ruling out what we know to cause warming and therefor it must be man caused.

It seems to me that that is improper logic.

So constantly over time we do not know and so we blame someone.

Now here is where your whole thesis is ruined; "Among climate scientists, 97% agree that the excessive warming of the planet is man-made."

That came from NASA and it does not say that, it says; "very likely due to human activities." In science that is a huge huge difference.

But otherwise this is a great read. Thanks

Chitrangada Sharan from New Delhi, India on September 07, 2017:

Excellent article and a must read for everyone!

I appreciate your efforts in doing all the research for providing this valuable information for others to pay attention.

Time and again people must be made aware of the effects of Global warming and what should be done to improve the situation. Eventually it affects all of us on this planet and every bit of effort matters.

Thanks for sharing this wonderful and well presented article!

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