Infrared radiation is sent out by the earth through the atmosphere, where molecules (carbon dioxide) hold outgoing radiation for a while, warming the surface.1 The molecules are kind of like glass in a greenhouse which is why this process of warming is called the greenhouse effect....
Perhaps the most damaging deficiency in FE efforts, after self-serving orientation, was that the participants and their supporters were scientifically illiterate and easily led astray by the latest spectacle. Scientific literacy can help prevent most such distractions. While writing this essay, I was not only bombarded with news of the latest FE and alternative energy aspirants' antics, but I had to continually field queries regarding whether Peak Oil and Global Warming were conspiratorial elite hoaxes (or figments of the hyperactive imaginations of environmentalists and other activists), for two examples that readily come to mind. Digesting this essay's material should have those questions answered as mere side-effects. Far from being a hoax or imaginary, Peak Oil was and , and it is all downhill from there, and conventional oil will be almost entirely depleted in my lifetime. , although both were heavily promoted in the USA in 2014. In every paleoclimate study that I have seen, so-called greenhouse gases have always been considered the primary determinant of Earth's surface temperature (after the Sun), and carbon dioxide is chief among them. The radiation-trapping properties of carbon dioxide are not controversial in the slightest among scientists, and after the Sun's influence (which is exceedingly stable), declining carbon dioxide levels are considered to be the conditions that have dominated Earth for the past 35 million years. Humanity's increasing the atmosphere's carbon dioxide content is influencing the cause of Icehouse Earth, and , and are merely proximate causes. Increasing carbon dioxide can turn the global climate from an to a Greenhouse Earth, and the last time that happened, Earth had its . But have purposefully confused the issues, and a scientifically illiterate public and have played along, partly because believing the disinformation seems to relieve us all of any responsibility for our actions. Although scientific literacy can help people become immune to the disinformation and confusion arising from many corners, and reading this essay's first half can help people develop their own defense from such distractions, my goals for this essay's first half are far greater than that.
Essays > Go Green Save the Earth
The Oligocene ended with a sudden global warming that continued into the (c. 23 to 5.3 mya). The Miocene was also the first epoch of the (c. 23 to 2.6 mya). Although the Miocene was , England had palm trees again, Antarctic ice sheets melted, and oceans rose. The Miocene is also called the Golden Age of Mammals. Scientists still wrestle with why Earth’s temperature increased in the late Oligocene, but there is no doubt that it did. As the has demonstrated, many dynamics impact Earth’s climate, and positive and negative feedbacks can produce dramatic changes. For the several million year warm period, carbon dioxide levels do not appear to have been elevated. That data has been seized on by as evidence that carbon dioxide levels have nothing to do with Earth’s temperature, but climate scientists not rarely think that way. Carbon dioxide is only one greenhouse gas, and . But as clouds demonstrate, water is notoriously ephemeral, constantly evaporating and precipitating, and some land can get a lot (rainforests), and some can get very little (deserts). Icehouse Earth temperatures are more variable than Greenhouse Earth temperatures, particularly during the transitions between states, and an Icehouse Earth atmosphere contains less water vapor than a Greenhouse Earth atmosphere.