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Tags: cause-effect lag

You cannot adapt to chaos.

"You cannot adapt to chaos." - unknown.

When Positive is Negative—it's a chain reaction.

Positive feedback increases change in whatever direction that change is heading—so it's self-reinforcing. While riding a motorbike, what starts as a slight wobble can quickly escalate into a total loss of control; a crash.

What do climate change and rubber bands have in common?

Many Earth systems behave like rubber bands, by not reversing smoothly down the same path that they were stretched along. This means that many changes brought about by global warming, such as sea-level rise and drought, will persist for some time even if we manage to reduce atmospheric CO2.

Weather you see from your window, climate you see from a satellite

‘Weather is what you see outside your window, climate is what you see from a satellite.’ – Scott Mandia, Professor of Physical Sciences at Suffolk County Community College, New York.

We are not the radicals.  Oil companies are the radical ones..

We are not the radicals. Oil companies are the radicals. They are willing to alter the chemical composition of the atmosphere to make more money. - inspired by Bill McKibben, environmental author and founder of

Think 'We'll adapt'?  Our infrastructure may not be able to adapt

Our very elaborate infrastructure won't work because it was designed for the climate we had, not the one we are going to have. — Dr. Richard Somerville, Distinguished Professor, Climate Research Division at Scripps Institution of Oceanography.

Rising temperatures: it’s like a bully coming for your lunch money.

‘We can think of global warming as a bully that comes by every year and tells you to give him more and more of your money.’ – Park Williams, a tree ring researcher at Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory.

Releasing ourselves from the dilemma of the 'Energy Hook'

In order to prevent climate change, the world has to switch from high-carbon, polluting, power generation; to new, low-carbon generating capacity. So in order to benefit in the long-term we need a huge building programme which unfortunately, in the short-term, will create a significant increase in CO2 emissions. It's like being caught by the hook of a fossil-fuel-powered crane which has lifted us off the ground. We know that when we eventually fall, the higher we are off the ground the more it will hurt. So the sooner we get off the hook the better—but, ironically, we must pull ourselves higher to lift ourselves off. Perhaps we can call this dilemma, the 'energy hook'.

Ocean barnacles don't respond to Fox News, just sea level rise

‘Ocean barnacles don’t know science. They don’t read science. They don’t watch Fox News… What they do is they respond to the actual position of the ocean and they are moving up.” – Peter Harlem at Florida International University

Category:Who to Believe?
No warming since 1998? Think all stopped cars are broken down?

'No warming in 15 years' is like arguing your car is broken down because it hasn't moved in the 15 seconds while you stopped at a red light.' — Dana Nuccitelli, an environmental scientist at a private environmental consulting firm in the Sacramento, California area.

Mother Nature sets a time limit on procrastination.

"Mother Nature puts a time limit on how long we can dither and procrastinate" before taking action. "Several vulnerable elements in earth's climate system could be pushed toward abrupt or irreversible change. . .with our business-as-usual increase in emissions."—Dr. Richard Somerville.

Like talking about lung cancer without mentioning smoking.

Wildfires dominate the headlines – but the media coverage focuses only on effects while ignoring a major cause. Talking about western wildfires without mentioning climate change is like talking about lung cancer without mentioning cigarettes.

Category:Extreme Weather
Like a train, change starts slowly but hard to stop

Climate change is like a train: it starts slowly, but it’s awfully hard to stop once it gains a bit of momentum.

Just one extra beer bottle, every day. . .

Every day, beer is delivered to a restaurant in crates, and the driver takes away the empty bottles from the previous day in the same crates.

Now, living above the restaurant is a man who likes to drink the same brand of beer. Each day he buys a bottle at the corner store on his way home from work and having drunk it while watching TV, he takes the empty downstairs. Knowing that nobody will notice just one extra bottle, he puts it with the big pile of empties outside the restaurant.

After just a year the restaurant rings the brewery and complains of the huge pile of empty bottles outside their rear entrance. The brewery comes round to collect the empty bottles and fills dozens of crates to take away the 365 empties. Nobody — the man upstairs included — can figure out where they all came from!

Category:Human Causality
It's like a big tsunami, headed our way...

Climate change is like a big tsunami, far at sea but headed our way. To get our families "off the beach" and to safety, we need to act now. If we wait until we can see wave breaking, it will be too late.

It's an emergency happening in slow-motion

Climate change is an emergency happening in slow-motion. (Variations: A slo-mo train wreck or catastrophe.)