Global Warming: Good Video on the Basics

I happened across a video about global warming basics, which I think is pretty good. What’s your opinion?


5 responses to “Global Warming: Good Video on the Basics

  1. It’s pretty good for the basics on science of AGW, but… My review:

    The narrative ends with a preview of the next video, which will cover “why” people are resistant to accepting that AGW is real. Well…

    In this video, items #3, #6 do cover economic activities but don’t explore the topic in any depth. Many if not most people have a hard time connecting the GHG emissions discussed in this two points with their everyday activities. Like flying to conferences, driving to the grocery store, buying food grown with huge inputs of carbon and carbon produced fertilizers, and then shipped in from Europe or South America, buying the latest electronic doo-dahs to get on the internet while riding the bus. Etc.

    At the end, after item # 24, the presenter discusses SLR and (apparently) AGW generally as “the biggest deal.” I disagree: I think the biggest deal is our failure to understand on a gut level the connection between our economic activities and AGW. Maybe the “next video” covers it.

    We are on a collision course with collapse if we don’t reign in our economic activities. Which probably means the end of capitalism, which appears to be non-functional without growth. Bottom line is an inevitable reduction in per capita energy and material throughput and probably reduced population (especially if we want to have a good quality of life). It’s basic physics.

    I myself came across a short educational piece recently that I think does a great job making the connection between economics and ecological problems, of which AGW is just one. Please check it out: (and sourced at )

    p.s. The “next video” is at
    It’s really good! I think the link to it should be included when sharing the first one about the science of AGW. Another source for information, at a more in depth level, is this site that explores complexity, critical thinking, systems thinking, thermodynamics, etc.—

  2. #1 and #5 skirts dangerously close to the “CO2 is a blanket” idea, understandable because of the eponymous greenhouse effect, even if the greenhouse analogy is not why it warms. Still lapse rates might be difficult to explain, as might the notion of shifting the top-to-bottom atmospheric temperature profile higher. Moreover, it’s about warming the atmosphere itself and the knock-on effect of that other major greenhouse gas, water vapor. The (maximum) carrying capacity per unit volume of water vapor is four times larger at 30 Celsius than it is at 5 Celsius.

    Don’t know why the increase in the Sun’s output idea is featured so prominently and so early per #4 and #5. Seems apologetic.

    #9 is good but leaves out the corroborating effects upon O2 isotopes.

    #12 It’s isn’t only about CH4, it’s also about burning the stuff.


    (1) Should mention that if effects are bad and we might entertaining reversing emissions, this is really hard and very expensive: Unscrambling the egg.

    (2) The possible effects via SLR and temperature anomalies are understated. In the case of the former, really should go with Do you want to take a 1-in-10 chance of a 2 meter SLR?. In the case of the latter, it’s understated because they are not using the TCS and ECS for land, rather, they are using the global average.

  3. Michael Sweet

    In my experience only people who are already concerned about AGW will watch a video like this one. “Skeptics” will not listen even if forced to be in the room when the video is played and do not believe any science they hear. The narrator talks rapidly to get in as much information as possible, but unless you listen carefully it is hard to follow.

  4. Kind of a Gish gallop in a good cause–and with largely correct information, of course, though you can quibble here and there.

  5. The ‘narrative’ flows well, but the best of it is how the graphics illustrate the points. Great for newcomers.