The Politics of Climate Change

Vancouver Island shore at the Pacific Rim, National Park, Canada.

In the context of earth as a system, global climate change due to disruption of the carbon cycle represents three related and equally significant challenges.

Global warming induced climate chaos is one anticipated but unpredictable physical effect of heat trapping gas emissions on air and ocean masses.

Shifting patterns of biological diversity and mounting human vulnerability are two related consequences of water, wind, and weather changes due to rapid temperature oscillations.

Abrupt climate changes in the past–that is within a generation–lead some climatologists to fear we may reach a threshold of carbon dioxide in that air that throws a normally stable system into anomalously, abrupt and devastating weather patterns.

For many observers the details of disrupted carbon cycles, infinitely small amounts of carbon in the air, or unusual swings in the climatic conditions are difficult to associate.

Many listeners lack the means of linking together the volume, rate of expansion and uncertain consequences of human actions. When observing social influences on our surroundings, different people take away divergent impressions. When it comes to the effects of abrupt climate change on the lives of people and wildlife or forests half a world away, very few of us can envision, grasp or explain the links among physics and chemistry, to biology and culture, or to social behavior and public health.


  • abrupt climate change
  • adaptation
  • biodiversity
  • carbon cycle
  • climate
  • climate chaos
  • forcing
  • global warming
  • mitigation
  • optimum, law of
  • weather

1-3 Frequently Asked Questions
4-5 Overview
6-8 Reflecting
8-10 Solutions
12-14 Sources
Earth Index