Evaluating Climate Education Programmes
(An ancient and quick way of detecting the sustainability of any "climate" programme using its key symbols as indicators. The evaluator can be applied to education curricula,  "environmental education" resources,  political party policies, media articles and any communication about the state of Earth's surface climate.)



Link here
 for more information about 
sustainable uses of key symbols.

 The list includes

energy energy efficiency
global warming
warming & cooling




Definition of the climate symbol

The condition of 
Earth and the Universe(s).  

The Condition of Human Beings.  

The condition of Earth's atmosphere.  

 The guide to evaluating “climate education” programmes.
(provides list of keys symbol and their potential uses)

Direct to the list of key symbols 

Note: The illustration links to enlargements on websites do not indicate endorsement of the content of the website - any site should be subject to full symbol evaluation before using it as education resource.

Definition of the climate symbol.

The origins of the symbol are: Middle English climat, from Old French, from Late Latin clima, climat-, from Greek klima, surface of the earth, region; see klei- in Indo-European roots

The climate symbol now has various uses and in general they refer to the conditions or state of affairs that characterise regions or elements of a planet and its solar system e.g. its atmosphere, its soils, its oceans, its core and its societies of creatures. The symbol can be used to communicate the state of the aggregate of all these elements. Thus we can speak of Earth’s climate as a place where all the flows and balances of solar, carbon, oxygen, chemical-electrical, water and other requisites exist that enable life forms to flourish.

This discussion remains mindful of this general use and the focus is on the interaction of two specific types of climate – the condition of the atmosphere and the condition of humans. The “climate education” programmes being evaluated are teaching about either one or both of these climates within the framework of the universal climate.  

The climate or conditions of planet Earth, its atmosphere and Homo sapiens are summarised below as background information to the general evaluation strategy.

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The condition of 
and the Universe(s).

Click on picture to enlarge at plus.maths.org

The Conservation Principle of Energy is the most sustainable description we have of the state of the universe(s). The energy symbol is defined as the potential of the universes and the power symbol is defined as the rate at which that potential is manifest. The principle suggests that the amount of energy is so bounteous that it can be considered a constant and cannot be created or destroyed. It also suggests that energy is constantly transformed.

In other words planet Earth resides within a universal flux of change and Earth is that change. For instance, the so-called “space” around the planet is literally fizzing as Earth’s magnetic field interacts with the constant stream of gas from our sun.  Bubbles of superheated gas arise and pass, forming when gas in a region drops in density by ten times but rises in temperature from 100,000ºC to 10,000,000ºC. The bubbles expand to about 1000 kilometers and probably last about 10 seconds before imploding and being replaced by the cooler, denser solar wind.

While the life of the universe(s) may be impossible to ascertain it is known that planet Earth is a temporary phenomenon. It may exist for only about 13 billion years with conditions enabling life forms to prevail existing for only part of that time. Though Earth’s form may remain relatively constant through this time its consistency is constantly changing with the universal fluxes and flows.


The Condition of 


Click on picture to enlarge at newciv.org


Global impacts of population expansion

Homo sapiens as sentient and sapient beings.

Consciousness and Stewardship


The manifestation of energy


The power of symbols  

Psychopathic Corporations

All that holds for planet Earth in the universe(s) holds for human beings. We are temporary phenomena, both as individual beings and as a species. It is very rare for humans to live beyond 110 years and our sub-species has only existed for maybe 7 million years or less. Human beings are bipedal primates belonging to the mammalian species Homo sapiens in the hominidae family (the great apes).The symbol Homo sapiens derives from the Latin of “wise human” or “knowing human”.  


The average life expectancy and the number of human beings at any time is linked to both variations in the state of the climate and the state of knowledge. Gene research suggests human beings have been very close to extinction on at least one occasion as these states varied. For instance, our populations may have shrunk to as few as 2000 people when we were poorly adapted to medium term changes in Earth’s climate within the last 100,000 years. Large societies have imploded when their state of knowledge became unsustainable.

Estimates are that no more than 250,000 people could have existed at any time through the hunter-gatherer period. The population may have dropped to as low as 2000 about in the last 100,000 years. The world population has in general been expanding since then:

70,000 BCE (2000 people) 
10,000BCE  (1 million) 
5,000 BCE   (15 million) 
500 BCE      (100 million), 
1                (200 million) 
1000           (310 million) 
1750           (791 million) 
1850           (1,262 million) 
1900           (1,650 million)
1950           (2,518 million) 
2000           (6,070 million)
2008           (6,670 million)

At present the human population is experiencing exponential growth. While the global growth rate peaked in 1963 at 2.19% with the annual increase peaked in 1987 at 86 million people year. In 2000 the rate had dropped to 1.14% and in 2007 this represents an additional increase of 1,477,630 human beings every week. This weekly increase is a greater number than the total number of Homo sapiens that are estimated to have existed 10,000 years ago.   

Click on picture to enlarge at theoildrum.com

Global impacts of population expansion

Factors enabling this exponential growth are relatively favourable climate conditions, altered agriculture practices and an enhanced ability to use technology to extract resources from the ground. The impact has been planetary in scale

For instance, about half the forests on the planet have disappeared since the last Ice Age and the remaining 35 million square kilometers are being depleted in many areas still. They are regenerating in some areas when humans have cheap access to fossil fuels.

The addition of nearly an extra 6 billion human beings in the last three hundred years has been almost entirely sustained by an increased capacity to extract and burn mineral fuels and to extract elements from the soil, the oceans and the atmosphere.

Soil formation is approximately an inch (25mm) in 1000 years. Some researchers have estimated that current human agriculture practices are resulting in the loss of 1% annually of the Earth’s layer of soil via the winds and rivers through deforestation, ploughing, chemical applications, irrigation and other activities. In the last 40-50 years one third of the world’s arable land has been lost through erosion and it continues to be lost at a rate more than 10Mha per year at a global scale.

It is estimated, for instance that the that average US topsoil depth of 23 cm in 1776 is now down to 15 centimeters – the US has lost (net) 1/3 of its original topsoil in 200 years and the rate of depletion is increasing. Some estimates suggest that 5 out of every 6 calories required to put a calorie of food on a plate comes from fossil fuels now compared to the historic direct use of solar resources.

Similarly it is estimated that 90% of ocean fish over 30cms has been depleted since 1970 and it now requires 20 times the calories (20 calories) to put a calorie of fish on the plate of a human being as it did in 1970. Almost all of those calories come from burning fossil fuels.

The impacts of human activities on atmospheric balances are more difficult to quantify. The impacts in the form of smogs are visible from Outer Space and there is increasing evidence human activity is affecting the balances of the Trace Gases and oxygen transformations

The impact of Homo sapiens on the geology of the planet is so significant that some are describing this as the Anthropocene Age, and as is common in other ages, it is characterised by the large waves of extinctions of species. Homo sapiens are now at very high risk of suddenly experiencing a drastic decline in numbers and even risk extinction. The current dependence on activities that deplete fossil fuels, soils, fresh water and other vital resources may prove fatal. Depletion disproportionately stems from the activities of a small minority with the top 10% of depleters doing so a rate that is at least 20 times that of the majority of humans and maybe a 1000 times that of the most sustainable billion human beings.

This unsustainable state of affairs reflects the current human condition.  

Homo sapiens as sentient and sapient beings.

Homo sapiens share the same fundamental genes and cell structures as all forms of life on Earth. Thus we benefit from the vast computing power and knowledge inherent in the cell structures. This has sustained the cells through up to 3 billion years of the tectonic upheavals, solar calms and storms, asteroid impacts, electromagnetic switches and other changes of the planet.

All the cells in life forms experience some form of sentience and have the power of experiencing sensation. This enables them to interact and adapt to change in the universe. It may be impossible for structures such as the Homo sapiens’ form to be sentient to all sentience and thus we cannot fully feel all that is felt. At the same time our lack of power to sense the impact of our activities on the flows and balances that sustain our human forms has the potential to put us at grave risk.

Our capacity for sentience is limited by the fact that our conscious awareness tends to be dominated by five senses – taste, sight, sound, smell and touch and these operate within limited ranges of the frequencies of each field. This in turn affects our sapience.

“The word sapience is derived from the Latin word for wisdom, sapientia.[2] Both are related to the Latin verb sapere, which means "to taste, to be wise, to know ;" the present participle of sapere forms part of Homo sapiens, the Latin binomial nomenclature created by Carolus Linnaeus to describe the human species…. His chosen biological name was intended to emphasize man's uniqueness and separation from the rest of the animal kingdom.”

This use of the Homo sapiens symbol to characterise humans reveals a great deal about the culture that has adopted it. The symbol use expresses a belief that human beings are unique in their capacity to know, to be wise. The culture based on these beliefs is also characterised by the most unsustainable uses of resources. Its members are depleting resources at least 10 times the rate that they are generated and the fossil fuel resource will not be renewed for eons, if ever .

To understand this phenomenon it is helpful to explore the essence of consciousness in human beings and its potential impacts.  

Consciousness and Stewardship

Click on picture to enlarge at Scholarpedia.org

Consciousness contains at once a sentience that all is change in the universe(s) and also some knowledge that the human form is thus mortal.  Consciousness is also sentient of the fact that as the human form is part of the flux and flows of change then every act affects the balances and patterns of flows of the universe(s). With this comes an awareness, even if only at a subliminal level, that mind and matter are fundamentally interconnected. So with consciousness and self-awareness comes with the realisation that every individual human being is a steward of the balances of the fluxes and flows that sustain them.

Click on picture to enlarge at bcgrasslands.org

These flows include the continual movement of all forms of energy through the universe(s). It is the nature of the human form that Homo sapiens are more sentient of some flows than others. In particular we sensitive to social, electrical, water, carbon, oxygen and thermal flows. We can be symbolised thus:

Social Beings in that our society enables us to enjoy civilisation;

Electrical Beings in that all actions and thoughts are electro-chemical flows, we use electrical devices to communicate globally and to do much of our lifting, pulling and pushing and we are affected by streams of electrically charged particles flowing from the sun; 

Water Beings in that we are of the salty oceans and are constituted mainly of water (adults, 55-65%, our brains are 80% and babies emerge from water, being 97% water at 3 days and 81% at eight months). Each human being is a mini ocean and we have to constantly work to sustain its saline balances. We experience weather as variations of water. Hence we are very sentient of water in all its forms and transformations;

Carbon Beings in that the constant carbon flow through us forms the basis of much of our cellular structure and we make use of carbon on an eonic scale;  

Oxygen Beings in that oxygen forms are essential for the combustion of food and providing critical protection from damaging solar radiation;

And we can also be symbolised as Trace Beings in that our existence is a trace element of the universes, our consciousness is a trace element of our being while the balances and flows that sustain the human form depend on trace chemicals and trace manifestations of energy. 



Click on picture to enlarge at ramble.martinyeoh.net

The sentience and sapience of Homo sapiens combine to work to generate a sense of incompleteness, of disconnection, of loneliness, of being doomed by mortality. Human’s experience this as suffering or pain. This state is compounded by sensations of helplessness and guilt to the extent that Homo sapiens are aware that their actions may be causing suffering in other creatures and that they are insufficient stewards.

The sensation of suffering is associated with unpleasantness, which can generate both aversion and craving responses. The aversion response works to generate avoidance behaviour or move the awareness from that which stimulates the suffering sensation. The craving response works to attempt to generate sensations that diminish awareness of the painful sensations. The two responses share a common driver, which is a denial of change/stewardship. The denial is manifest as loss of belief that all sensations pass, both painful and pleasant, and as a sense of disempowerment.

Thus arises a fear that the sensation of suffering will dominate the consciousness and this sensation thus becomes self-serving.

The mind of Homo sapiens has developed a powerful capacity to create systems of knowledge or belief based on combinations of these aversion and craving responses. These include vast corporate/religious systems designed to rationalise the use of these responses. The central driver of these belief systems is the denial of both change (human mortality) and stewardship of the universe.

The general condition of Homo sapiens is that each human being experiences this constant dance between sentience of the continual change, which is the universe(s), and the painful knowledge that this means their individual form will pass just as it has arisen from the great energy flux.

The manifestation of energy

The ultimate sentient experience is of energy. This can be described as the manifestation of the potential of the universe(s). It is sensed as vast and bounteous.  At the same time the knowing mind works to dictate how this universal potential is manifest. Thus the manifestation of the potential is subject to aversions and cravings, commonly experienced as doubt, hopelessness, fear, greed, frustration and conflict. These sensations affect belief systems and Homo sapiens have a tendency to create social structures that reflect the individual’s sense of dissonance and their net denial of change/stewardship.


Click on picture to enlarge at Writespirit.net

This tendency to adopt a aversion/craving response has a counter balance and it is found in the experience of compassion. Compassion enables Homo sapiens to acknowledge and accept suffering. It enables us to identify the craving and aversion responses for what they are, accept them and transcend them. It enables us to identify and learn from flawed knowledge and belief systems. In compassion perceived flawed beliefs and activities become symbols of learning opportunities, not of failures. Thus our roles as stewards become ones to be embraced, not ones to be feared and averted. Stewardship becomes more associated with a sense of profit and less with a sense of loss. Compassion enables science to exist and when that state of being exists then art, languages, civics and all that we know as civilisation flourishes.  

The power of symbols  

Click on picture to enlarge at ngoabroad.com

All sentient beings employ symbols to communicate whether it is at the cellular levels in which cells transcend time and space with their DNA symbols or it is at the level of plants and animals, including Homo sapiens, with their use of smells, movement, colours etc to survive and procreate.

As mentioned, human beings consist of sentient and sapient cellular structures, which are continually affected by the flows and changes in the universe. Consciousness is but a trace element of a human’s being. It has been estimated that a Homo sapien being is only consciously aware of a few thousand interactions within them in any moment whereas the whole being is sentient of perhaps 64 billion interactions in that moment. Our choice and use of symbols reflect the totality of knowledge and sentience of our being.

To the extent the symbol use resonates in harmony with the reality of the universe it works to generate sustainable practices and structures throughout the range of human kind and through the generations of Homo sapiens. Any symbol use that works to deny the universal reality of change/stewardship resonates to generate dissonance, suffering and tends to put Homo sapiens at risk.

Thus the continuing existence of Homo sapiens involves the constant search for sustainable uses of symbols. The symbol use must distil and crystalise information so it can communicate meaning throughout human kind and through the generations and this occurs within a framework of constant change in which reality continually alters. In essence human beings have to constantly conserve the potential of the key symbols that convey the most universal meaning and do so in a state in which wise insight dances with ignorance. They have to constantly work to transcend the state of suffering and enjoy the state of science.

This generation of Homo sapiens enjoys the benefit of traditions rich in science, born of milennia of reflection and meditation. These provide symbol uses that have proven to enable societies to conserve soils, forests, fish and other resources and for the society members to experience considerable states of harmony. They result in knowledge that tends to be fluid and reflective of the reality of the universe(s). Prominent among these symbol uses are variations on the Conservation of Energy Principle and the Uncertainty Principle of Energy – the energy and power symbols being among our most potent for they frame our “world view” and thus have the potential to generate the greatest meaning. Other very potent symbols include the love and God symbols.

The Conservation Principle suggests that energy is the potential of the universe(s) and thus can be considered so bounteous that it can be considered a constant. At the same time it suggests energy is constantly and unceasingly transformed. 
The Uncertainty Principle suggests mind and matter are intimately connected and Homo sapiens are thus stewards of the universe(s) in that they affect how its potential is manifest. The Uncertainty Principle, for instance, suggests that focus of the mind on space affects how time is manifest and vice versa. Thus Homo sapiens become sentient, if not sapient of the reality that direct observation and thought-based knowledge has limitations and we reside in a constant changing state of partial ignorance. To the extent we experience compassion for all sentient beings we can experience their alternative insights and reflections of reality and thus be more able to transcend our ignorance.

The Sustainability Principle of Energy draws on these two Principles of Energy. In essence it suggests that to the extent a symbol use works to promote acceptance of change/stewardship then it will tend to work to reduce risks and promote harmony within individuals and their societies. It acknowledges the constant dance between the states of ignorance and wisdom and suggests that symbol uses need be continually evaluated for their relative acceptance and denial of change/stewardship.

Psychopathic Corporations

Click on picture to see more at thecorporation.com

A corporation is a legally defined social entity consisting of Homo sapiens. Some are global in scale and are manifest as business companies, national governments, universities, media and churches. Some are psychopathic in that they are structured to have the rights of a human being without having the obligations and roles as stewards. As such these corporations tend to lack compassion and thus their activities lack science. This in turn means their existence works to destroy art, language, civics and all that we know as civilisation.

Their state is characterised by a profound denial of change/stewardship and, consequently, they act as major blocks to the flow of knowledge throughout humanity and destroyers of the state of science.

The lack of fluidity of knowledge is manifest in their secrecy, lack of democracy and their vast use of copyright.

Their active destruction of the state of science are manifest in their use of key symbols and the widespread suppression of inquiry.

Examples of their uses of key symbols that deny change on scale and thus put humanity at great risk include:
(1) their defining the energy symbol as fossil fuels and 
(2) Bulk-generated electricity and the power and electricity symbols as Bulk-generated electricity. 
In so doing they fatally confuse energy with a few of the forms it can be manifest in. These corporations work to make energy manifest as simply a tradeable commodity that they own. Hence the most unsustainable elements of humankind are self-characterised as the “energy sector”  which “trades energy” and has “energy stocks” “energy reporters” and “energy experts”.

Similarly some associated corporations define the love symbol as simply a tradeable commodity.

Psychopathic corporations simultaneously compound the risks to humanity by another fatally flawed activity. The bounteous nature of energy, power, electricity, love and other universal resources is that they are by their very nature conserved.  These corporations deny this and propagate the belief the Homo sapiens can “conserve energy”, “save power” “reduce electricity” “make love” etc. Inherent in this belief system is the sensation that existence is a state of deprivation, not bounty.

Their denial of change has vast consequences. Finite resources like fossil fuels  and Bulk-generated electricity are used as though they are as bounteous as energy, power and electricity while at the same time the corporations promote fears that energy, power, electricity and love are scarce.

Their denial of change is equally a denial of stewardship because it promotes mindsets where energy, power, electricity etc become the problem, not the individual’s use of them. Thus individuals are encouraged to know life as an experience where “energy crises”, “power failures”, “electricity losses” and “bad love” prevails rather than a sense that their uses of the resource is based on flawed belief systems and behaviour patterns.

Similarly the psychopathic corporations use symbols that eliminate the atmosphere from carbon combustion equations while at the same time promoting mindsets where carbon becomes the problem – a problem that can be “traded away” as is manifest in the use of symbols such as the  carbon trading, carbon offsetting, carbon neutrality, zero carbon and post carbon symbols.

The lack of compassion in psychopathic corporations is especially  manifest in their use of science symbol. They associate science with a way of thinking and a body of knowledge that is the exclusive domain of an elite of Homo sapiens symbolised as scientists. These corporations include most schools, universities and NGOs in the most unsustainable groups of the human population.

The consequence of this prevalent use of the science symbol is the widespread uses of technology that work, on balance, to destroy the Homo sapiens potential and endangers the state of civilisation.

In summary, the human condition is one in which Homo sapiens as both individuals and as corporations are sentient of continual change, which is the reality of the universe(s). They are also sentient simultaneously of connection and disconnection with the universe(s).

In connection they experience states in which mind is matter and there is on balance, greater sensations of unity, completeness and harmony. The potential of the universe (energy) is manifest as the experience of the bounteous and myriad.

In disconnection they experience states in which the mind and matter are not one and there is on balance greater sensations of disunity, disintegration and dissonance. The potential of the universe (energy) is manifest as the experience of being deprived and life consisting of a narrow range of forms. We experience this as a loss of resource options and as the loss of biodiversity.

These sentient states are reflected in the sapience of Homo sapiens and their choice of uses of symbols. In 2008 the lack of science evident in the choice of symbol uses suggests the behaviour of the human beings is profoundly unsustainable. This suggestion is supported by population and consumption statistics. An excess of aversion and craving responses is generating dystopia. At present the capacity of Homo sapiens to experience compassion and transcend these responses remains insufficiently developed.  

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The condition of 

Constituency and the effects of gravity.  

Gases over time.  
The Ozone Region
Earth – the great transformer.  


This use of the atmosphere symbol describes the mantle of gases or air that surrounds planet Earth. The atmosphere also contains a relatively minuscule proportion of particle matter in the form of dust, seeds, birds etc. 


The atmosphere extends out into space about ten thousand kilometers and has no distinct boundary. It simply becomes thinner with molecules becoming more and more rare. 99.99997% of the mass of the atmosphere is within 100 kilometers of the Earth’s surface and up to 90% its mass is found within the troposphere i.e. within an average of 11 kilometers of Earth’s surface. The troposphere (or the mixing or turning or changing zone) is where almost all of what we call “weather” occurs and it extends up about 18 kilometers (11 miles) at the equator and about 6 kilometers (4 miles) at the Poles. These distances fluctuate with changes to the weather.  

Constituency and the effects of gravity.  

Click on picture to see more at wiki

There is no consensus of the constituency of the atmosphere, as this Wiki statement reveals. It contains roughly (by molar content/volume) 78.08% nitrogen, 20.95% oxygen, 0.93% argon, 0.038% carbon dioxide, trace amounts of other gases, and a variable amount (average around 1%) of water vapor.

The alert reader will note this totals 100.998%. Other sources include water vapour in their total and suggest it constitutes, for instance 0.25% of the atmosphere. It is clearly an arbitrary decision to describe and exclude water vapour as a variable. Depending on the observer’s time frame all gases can be seen as variable.  

A general statement is that nitrogen, oxygen and argon constitute over 99.9% of the atmosphere and the remaining gases can be considered Trace Gases as they only exist as parts per thousand i.e. less than 0.1%.

The capacity of gases to defuse means gas distribution is relatively uniform, particularly in the lower 100 kilometers or homosphere. However distinct layers of gases exist. For instance 99.99% of water vapour is found in the troposphere, 90% of ozone is found in the stratosphere region (30-40 kilometers up) and the predominant gases in the ionosphere (80 kilometers up) are molecular nitrogen and molecular oxygen.  Despite the fact it constitutes three quarters of the mass of the universe, very little hydrogen is found in the atmosphere (1 part per million). “Hydrogen gas is so light that, uncombined, hydrogen will gain enough velocity from collisions with other gases that they will quickly be ejected from the atmosphere.”

So some sedimentation exists because of Earth’s gravity, particularly in the heterosphere, the region above 100 kilometers in altitude.

Gases over time.

The concentration of all the gases varies with time. Water vapour molecules cycle through the atmosphere in about ten days on average. The cycle of carbon dioxide molecules is several decades and the total amount is very variable compared to, for instance oxygen which has remained a relative constant 20% of the atmosphere for the last two billion years of evolution of life. Oxygen atoms formed in the thermosphere last only about one second, many losing their energy from their interaction with the sun’s ultraviolet rays and in collisions with other atoms and molecules.

The intermolecular forces attracting gas molecules to each other are very weak and so they can move relatively freely compared to liquids and solids. Thus they diffuse with ease and expand and contract greatly with changes of temperature and pressure. As a result Earth’s air has a considerable capacity to transfer thermal energy by convection or the movement of air. It has a relatively small capacity to transfer thermal energy by conduction or the direct transfer between particles of air matter.

It is possible to identify distinct regions or spheres as one travels up through Earth’s atmosphere. Each of these is characterised by different thermal states.


Click on picture to enlarge at Apollo.Isc.vsc.edu

The average temperature at Earth’s surface is 15ºC and this decreases with height in the troposphere because its main source of heating is the earth’s surface.

Temperature increases with height in the stratosphere because of the relative prevalence of ozone in this region (2-8 parts per million). As the sunlight penetrates down through the layer the ozone molecules interact with and transform the ultraviolet waves into infrared waves. The region is heated from above. Coincidentally the transformation enables life on Earth, as cellular structures cannot survive when exposed to the full range of sun’s ultraviolet radiation.

Temperature decreases with height in the mesosphere as it is heated from below.

Temperature increases with height in the thermosphere, which includes the ionosphere, because it is heated from above. Temperatures here vary with solar activity and may reach over 1550ºC though this is hard to measure precisely because the air is so thin at this height. The distance between the atoms and molecules at this altitude means we would experience it has extremely cold.

In other words the atmosphere is characterised by multiple alternating thermodynamics at different altitudes. There is no uniform temperature gradient between Earth’s surface temperature (range 58ºC to minus 89.6ºC) and Outer Space where temperatures vary greatly depending whether an object is in sunlight or in shadow. They range from minus 235ºC in the cosmic background to 1000ºC, even millions of degrees, in the solar wind and interstellar gas clouds.

It is the ratio and distribution of gases of our planet’s atmosphere that enables life on Earth. The balances are integral to almost every aspect of life. Life as we know it depends, for instance, the surface temperature being moderate and averaging about 15ºC.

If it were possible for our atmosphere to consist only of nitrogen, oxygen and argon (at present 99.9% of our atmosphere) then Earth’s surface temperature would probably be about minus 18ºC and would be subject to extreme temperature changes. These three gases plus some of the Trace Gases have relatively little capacity to retain the infrared radiation vital for Earth’s life forms. Earth’s surface would experience extreme temperature changes similar to our moon’s surface, which effectively has no atmosphere. In this situation incoming solar energy from space is radiated directly back into space, particularly when a surface region moves into shadow. The result is an extreme drop from perhaps a mean of 107ºC to perhaps a mean of minus 153ºC.

It is the existence of certain Trace Gases with a significant capacity to retain thermal energy that results in Earth’s average surface temperature being 33ºC degrees warmer and we enjoy our current average of 15ºC. These Trace Gases have a vital capacity to act as warmers which is why I symbolise them as the Warmer Trace Gases. They balance the effect of Outer Space, which acts as a cooler.   


Ozone  is vital for life on Earth as we know it and in many ways is the essence of the atmosphere in that it is very much a Trace Gas, has high powers of leverage and is subject to constant, rapid transformations.

It is a Trace Gas in that it is one or two parts per million of the atmosphere. It is a Warmer Trace Gas in that is plays a significant role as a warmer of the atmosphere and thus Earth’s surface.

91% of ozone exists in the stratosphere where it resides in relatively dense concentrations (still only 2-8 parts per million). This region is often unhelpfully symbolised as the ozone layer or blanket. Such symbol use fails to convey the trace nature and leverage power of ozone

There it reacts with solar radiation. In this reaction ozone is transformed into oxygen and atomic oxygen in the oxygen-ozone cycle, 93-99% of the high frequency solar waves (the most powerful ultra violet) are transformed into less powerful waves that are less destructive of living cells on Earth and the stratosphere is warmed so that it in turn warms the atmosphere below it. The result is a range of flows and balances of chemicals and thermal activity that enables life, as we know it. In turn biomass emits oxygen into the atmosphere, which then becomes ozone, which enables biomass to exist.

While ozone is an unstable molecule it has a relatively long life in the stratosphere. It is relatively slow moving there and yet the oxygen-ozone cycle lasts moments. Its concentration varies with height, with the region of Earth and with the seasons. At low levels it is harmful to humans and we can detect it in .01 parts per million of the atmosphere. Ozone is a vital element of Earth’s atmosphere.

Click on picture to enlarge at Wiki site

 Earth – the great transformer.

The nature of Earth’s unique atmosphere means that only about 51% the solar energy reaching the atmosphere’s outer limits from space actually reaches our planet’s surface. About 30% is reflected directly back to space, particularly by ice, snow and clouds, in what is known as the Albedo Effect. About 19% is directly absorbed or transformed from very powerful ultraviolet radiation into less powerful infrared radiation in the interactions of sunlight with the atoms and molecules in the atmosphere.

Infrared light from the Sun only accounts for 49% of the solar heating of Earth’s surface. The remainder of the heating occurs when radiation in the form of visible light is absorbed by Earth’s surface and transformed into infrared radiation.

This infrared is then re-radiated into the atmosphere where some of it is retained by the Warmer Trace Gases. Thus Earth can be seen a great transformer. Its activity powers most of the atmosphere system.

As mentioned, Oxygen, Nitrogen and Argon (99.9% of the atmosphere) play minor roles as warmers. This is because they do not interact with infrared radiation. However the molecular structure some of the Trace Gases such as water vapour, carbon dioxide, ozone and also methane, nitrous oxide and the CFCs have a considerable capacity to interact and so can absorb and emit infrared radiation. Thus they act as warmers by retaining and radiating infrared to surrounding air molecules and back to the earth.

Thermal energy always travels from warmer regions to cooler regions. Thus air that is warmer tends to move or convect through the atmosphere. We know this movement of air masses as breezes, winds and hurricanes. They constantly work to equalise overall temperatures, warming up cooler areas and cooling down warmer areas. This constant movement of air masses around the planet results in more moderate temperatures in both parts of our planet exposed to sunlight and parts in shadow and darkness.

There is no consensus about the relative impact of water vapour compared to the other Warmer Trace Gases on the thermal balances of Earth’s surface. Please note that these gases are commonly symbolised as “greenhouse gases” by adherents of the Greenhouse religion. The role accorded water vapour and other water forms and states such as clouds, oceans and ice depends on the politics, spirituality and sector interests of individuals and groups. Estimates of the impact of water vapour and other water forms on Earth’ surface temperature vary from 0ºC by those who deny their existence altogether to 95% by those who attribute almost all power to them.

Nor can there be consensus about the exact role of water vapour. The transformations of water, carbon, oxygen etc in the Earth’s thermal system are so intimately interconnected by all manner of feedback systems and “radiative forcings” of each other that it is probably impossible to isolate their individual impacts.

For instance from Junk Science:

..””there is 'competition' for available energy and significant greenhouse potential is unrealized (carbon dioxide could absorb more than 3 times the energy it currently does in the atmosphere were it not for competition from clouds and water vapor, clouds alone could absorb 50% of available energy but manage to capture just 14% and so on...).

So, despite there being far more greenhouse gas in the atmosphere than required to achieve the current greenhouse effect, something which has been true since before humans discovered fire, evapo-transpiration and thermals transport heat higher in the atmosphere where radiation to space is increased. This is why Earth remains about 15 °C (288 K) rather than about 77 °C (350 K).”

The altitude at which a gas resides affects its potency as a warmer too. We are talking about Trace Gases, gases that exist in parts per thousand of the atmosphere and in ozone’s case, parts per million. All the Warmer Trace Gases have various and vital roles.

With this caveat in mind I suggest that it is water vapour and other water forms that dominate our experience of the life-enabling thermodynamics at Earth’s surface. There is good reason why Earth can be symbolised as the “water planet” and water in all its forms is at the essence of our primal experience. The contribution of water vapour to the 33ºC temperature difference attributed to Warmer Trace Gases may be greater than all the other gases combined. Little is known about cloud formation. For instance variations in solar activity may affect ionisation of the atmosphere and this affects the abundance of aerosols that serve as the nuclei of condensation in cloud formation and this in turn affects cloud distribution and their abledo effect. Clouds may well, on balance, add further to water’s warming effect on Earth’s surface to a significant degree too.

The illustrations in most education resources suggest Earth’s surface is mainly warmed by sunlight. This is particularly true of those that evoke images of our planet residing in a greenhouse. This fails to communicate the real dynamics. The Suns rays are concentrated on regions sited between 23 degrees north and 23 degrees south of the equator. This is the only region where the Sun is directly overhead here. All other regions on Earth receive solar radiation at an angle, making it increasingly less intense towards the poles and nearly half of the planet is in darkness at any time. The true situation is that the atmosphere has twice the warming effect on Earth’s surface that direct sunlight does. It receives an estimated 168 Watts/square meter in directly from the Sun and 324 from the atmosphere.


Click on picture to enlarge at UCAR site


In summary the atmosphere is a very dynamic and profoundly organic system in which many of the vital balances that sustain us rest in the existence of trace gases with very powerful leverage. It is essential that we constantly search for symbol uses that reflect and communicate this dynamic change and these exquisite balances. The atmosphere is a place characterised by constant movement where each molecule is in continual dance, vibrating with the thermal energy flows. The vast uprisings and passings in which clouds form towering, powerful columns ten miles high and dissipate in a few brief minutes is a visible manifestation of our atmosphere. They are reflective of the greater process and are reminders of a far more awesome state -our invisible atmosphere.  

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Guide to evaluating “climate education” programmes.

The following list contains factors to be considered when evaluating “climate education” programmes. It is incomplete in both its selection and its explanation of them.

The framing of the factors is derived from the central assumptions contained in the Principle of the Conservation of Energy and the Uncertainty Principle of Energy. In particular it is derived from the assumption that the essence of the universe(s) is continual change and Homo sapiens are extant to the extent they remain stewards of their actions within this flux of change.

It is assumed that every aspect of an education programme is symbolic, including the life style of the person delivering the programme, the choice of delivery (car, bus, Internet, book text etc) and the media is the message.

Every aspect within the framework of the education resource being evaluated is also considered to be symbolic, including the layout, the titles, pictures, activities, words etc.

The value of a symbol is determined by the relative degree that it resonates to generate acceptance/denial of change and stewardship.

It is assumed that symbols resonating acceptance of change/stewardship will tend to generate behavioural responses based in sensations of connection, unity, harmony, hope, compassion, science and enjoyment.

It is assumed that symbols resonating denial of change/stewardship will tend to generate behavioural responses based in sensations of alienation, disintegration, dissonance, despair, cynicism, ignorance and misery.

It is assumed the most sustainable changes to behaviour arise from the experience of compassion and joy. Changes arising from the experience of fear and hopelessness will tend to be unsustainable. Hence importance is given to observing how an education resource presents evidence of unsustainable behaviour and simultaneously provides insights that promote responses and change based in compassion and joy.

The list below identifies key symbols used in the communication of climate issues. It provides examples of how they can be employed in sustainable ways so they resonate with acceptance of change/stewardship and how they are commonly used, resonating in denial.

General rule: the more a climate education programme is inclusive of and conserves the potential of the following symbols then the more it will tend to generate an inspiring vision of the atmospheric process and individual options. This in turn works to generate a desire to live in harmony with amazing balances and flows of the atmosphere.


Teach the invisible and the visible will teach itself.

List : Symbol - use and relative impacts




Climate &Change



Global Warming/Cooling


Greenhouse gases








Click on picture to enlarge at kidsgeo.com

*Acceptance: Atmosphere = atmosphere (characterised by dynamic, organic, multi-layered process characterised by considerable convection capacity.

*Denial: Atmosphere =greenhouse, greenhouse Earth, greenhouse world (characterised by suppression of air convection, image of human technology, control, artificial.

*Acceptance Atmospheric (Thermal) Effect =an effect of the atmosphere which warms up Earth's average surface temperature by about 33ºC.
Greenhouse Effect =Atmosphere  is symbolised as greenhouse = works like a greenhouse and so warms up Earth's average surface temperature by about 33ºC.

*Acceptance Human-induced Thermal Build-up = human activity is raising average surface temperature of Earth.
Enhanced Greenhouse Effect =Atmosphere  is symbolised as greenhouse = works like a greenhouse and so warms up Earth's average surface temperature by about 33ºC and human activity is raising the temperature of the greenhouse Earth..

*Acceptance Warmer Trace Gases = Certain trace gases that work to warm up Earth's average surface temperature by about 33ºC.
Greenhouse gases = Atmosphere  is symbolised as greenhouse = some gases in the greenhouse work to warm up Earth's average surface temperature by about 33ºC.

Comment: The use of the greenhouse symbol stems from an insight of the great mathematician and student of thermodynamics, Jean Baptiste Joseph Fourier(1768–1830). About 1824, based on his experiences in the thermal extremes of the Sahara desert he observed that gases in the atmosphere increase the surface temperature of Earth’s surface. He referred to M. de Saussure’s experiment which showed that placing a thin sheet of glass on top of a black box exposed to sunlight resulted in higher temperatures in the box.

This is analogous to what occurs in greenhouse and eventually the warming effect of the atmosphere came to be expressed in the greenhouse effect symbol.

Historically the greenhouse symbol has been associated with wealth, power and control over nature in Europe. Wealthy estates vied to show their might by producing tropical fruits such as oranges and pineapples in their cold climates. The greenhouse symbol resonated profoundly with the belief systems that drove the Industrial Revolution. Foremost of these beliefs is that it is mankind’s God-ordained role to have dominion over all life on the planet.

(God created all living creatures human beings on the sixth day of Creation. "Male and female created he them; and blessed them, and called their name Adam..." (Genesis 5:2). "Adam" is a general term, like "Man" and could refer to the whole of humankind. God blessed them to be "fruitful and multiply" and ordained that they should have "dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth" (Genesis 1.26-27 King James Version 1611)

Greenhouses became integral to the university ethos and associated with knowledge and a sense of power over “Nature” too. They came to symbolise Earth as a laboratory for Homo sapiens, which fitted with the emergence of new uses of the science symbol with the Industrial Revolution.

Through this period the science symbol became associated with a supposedly objective way of observing and collating knowledge that is the preserve of an elite of men (and more recently women) symbolised as scientists who are able to stand apart from and experiment with Nature. 

By the middle of the 19th Century massive greenhouses were being built as symbols of national power. In 1851 the construction of the Crystal Palace , built to house the Great Exhibition of Britain’s industrial might and display its dominion over the planet, coalesced visions of greenhouses with the technological might and superiority of Homo sapiens (especially the Britannicus group) and the new use of the science symbol. 


Click on picture to enlarge at makingthemodernworld.org

The Industrial Revolution and its associated symbol-uses spread throughout the world. The symbol uses became central to the faith of hundreds of millions of Homo sapiens and the belief that Homo sapiens are separate from and rule over Nature transformed economies worldwide. The symbol uses resonate to generate beliefs systems born of sensations that humans are not bound by “natural laws” , thus populations and economies can expand without limit. 

Click on picture to enlarge at vforteachers site

Adherents of this new religion included industrialists, academics, so called “scientists”, theologians, politicians and a wide range of influential human beings. The new religion became manifest in the daily activities of the greater masses of Homo sapiens. By the mid 20th Century the essence of the religion had crystallised into the Greenhouse Earth symbol. It became common for schools and other education agencies such as “environmental education” groups and NGO’s to propagate images of planet Earth residing inside a greenhouse. By the 1980s a raft of symbol uses evoking this image of Greenhouse Earth dominated discourse in schools and the media about the nature of the thermodynamics of Earth’s surface and the role of Homo sapiens.

This discourse dates from the earliest days of the Industrial Revolution when it was manifest as both a desire to understand how the atmosphere works and as a conflict between the short-term interests of the owners of the new combustion engines and the longer-term interests of large groups of people whose health was more directly put at risk by the polluted air. The same inquiry and conflict continues in the discourse today. Now the conflict is now manifest as concern for the balances of  Trace Gases in the atmosphere and how global impacts of the Industrial Revolution may be putting the balances that sustain Homo sapiens at risk.

The public discourse is dominated by two groups. One group argues that human activities can and are affecting affect the Trace Gas balances of the atmosphere in ways that put Homo sapiens at risk. The contra group argues that even if human activities can impact on the balances there is not sufficient evidence that this puts us at any risk. Both groups are firm adherents of the Greenhouse religion and this is manifest in their relatively similar unsustainable uses of technology and consumption of resources.

It is also manifest at all levels in classroom activities that attempt to communicate the nature of the atmosphere. The activities are dominated by evocations of technology and most work to create associations between the atmosphere symbol and  greenhouses, classrooms, cars, bottles and other such symbols. There is active avoidance of activities that communicate the nature of trace existences and leverage.  

In summary, this use of the greenhouse symbol is born of sensations of aversion and craving. It expresses the user’s aversion to stewardship of the impact of their activities on atmospheric balances and intimacy with the atmosphere’s dynamic process. Simultaneously it expresses the user’s craving to be immune from the impacts their activities. The greenhouse image supports these responses by providing sensations of control, calm and insulation, thus muting the sensations of dissonance generated by knowledge that the user’s activities may well be working to make the atmosphere a more dangerous place for Homo sapiens. Thus the discourse fails to generate activities that conserve atmospheric balances and senses of harmony and unity.

This use of the greenhouse symbol is not born of a state of science and it thus obscures reality. It actively suppresses most of the sensations of dynamism, variety, organics, power, movement, transience and trace existence the individual must experience it they are to truly reflect and be at one with the atmosphere.

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Use of carbon symbol  

*Acceptance: carbon = common element in the universe(s) found in all living matter.
:  carbon = carbon forms that can be made profitable for some Homo sapiens to trade

*Acceptance: carbon trading = symbol use non-existent for individual accepts role as steward of flow of carbons through the universe(s)
: carbon trading = mechanism for individuals to trade away their roles as stewards of carbon flows.

*Acceptance: carbon valuing = the placing of a value on a carbon form as act of stewardship by the individual and/or their society. This takes the form of individual and/or communal tax on the use.
: carbon valuing = something that is done by corporate entity symbolised as The Market.

*Acceptance: carbon neutrality = symbol use non-existent for individual is aware that their every action affects the flows of carbon in its myriad forms through the universe 
: carbon neutrality = mechanism by which individuals identify a few, not all, consequences of their use of select carbon forms and by use of money or other means attempt to ameliorate the impacts.  

Click on picture to enlarge at postcarboncities.net

*Acceptance: Decarbonisation of the world = symbol use non-existent as notion is impossible and meaningless.
*Acceptance: Wise uses of carbon forms = use results in sustainable uses of carbon forms.
*Denial: Decarbonisation of the world = removal of some carbon forms from the world

*Acceptance: Low/high carbon economy = symbol use non-existent for it is immaterial how much of a carbon form is used. It is the sustainability of the use that is material.

*Acceptance: Low/high risk uses of a carbon form =use of stated carbon form presents relatively low or high risks
: Low/high carbon economy = economy dependent on small or large quantity of a carbon form or forms.

*Acceptance: Post carbon world/city/individual = symbol use non-existent
Carbon responsible world/city/individual = uses of carbon are sustainable and harmonious with vital flows and balances.
Post carbon world/city/individual = user makes no use of carbon form(s).

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Use of climate & change symbols  

Click on picture to enlarge at Linfield.edu

*Acceptance: Change =change (the natural order, healthy vital process)
Denial: Change =bad

*Acceptance: Climate change= climate change (the natural order) Some specific changes work to sustain Homo sapiens. Some specific changes work to endanger Homo sapiens. 
Denial: Climate change = bad  

*Acceptance: Human Atmospheric Impacts = Human induced or anthropogenic changes to climate balances occurs. 
: Climate change = human induced or anthropogenic climate change = bad.
: Human Atmospheric Impacts = impossible/

*Acceptance: Conserving climate balances = Ensuring our activities work do not generate risky changes to climate balances. 
: Fighting climate change =climate is the enemy

*Acceptance: Harmonizing with the climate = Being in harmony with its sustaining balances and flows.
Denial: Stopping climate change = Fighting climate change = climate is the enemy.

*Acceptance: Human-induced Thermal Build-up = Human’s Atmospheric Impact (net warming up)  = bad?, high risk?
*Denial: Climate change = global warming = bad.

*Acceptance: Human-induced Thermal Cool-Down = Human’s Atmospheric Impact (net cooling down)  = bad?, high risk
: Climate change = global cooling = bad.

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Use of Compassion symbol

*Acceptance: Compassion = sympathetic consciousness of the suffering of oneself and of others with a desire to alleviate it =sympathetic consciousness of others' distress together with a desire to alleviate it = central characteristic of  humanity.
: Compassion = symbol not used.

*Acceptance: Compassion = the fundamental requisite for science to exist
: Thought process = the the fundamental requisite for science to exist

*Acceptance: Compassion = living in harmony with the climate flows and balances of the atmosphere that sustain us = loving response/relationship required
: Fighting climate change/global warming = atmosphere is an enemy = militaristic response/relationship required
: Stopping climate change/ global warming = atmosphere is an enemy= militaristic response/relationship required

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Use of electricity symbol

Click on picture to enlarge at NASA

*Acceptance: Electricity = symbol of all electrical phenomena
: Electricity = Bulk-generated electricity.
*Denial: Electricity = flow of power or charges down a wire

*Acceptance: Bulk-generated electricity =  Bulk-generated electricity = electrical resources generated by very large, centralised turbines
: Bulk-generated electricity = power = energy

*Acceptance: Micro-generated electricity = electrical generators in one Megawatt range
: Micro-generated electricity = symbol not used

*Acceptance: Dwelling-generated electricity = electrical generators in one watt range
: Dwelling-generated electricity = symbol not used

Comment. There is no such thing as "electricity". Rather the symbol describes all electrical phenomena. Each phenomena has its own symbol. Failure to use that symbol and say that an electrical phenomenon is electricity (or power or energy) is to deny the myriad forms of electrical phenomena.

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Use of energy symbol  

Click on picture to enlarge at wiki site

*Acceptance: energy = the potential of the universe(s)
: energy = Bulk-generated electricity 
: energy = fossil fuels (coal, mineral gas, mineral oil)

*Acceptance: energy stocks = all resources available to Homo sapiens
energy stocks = Bulk-generated electricity and/or fossil fuels

*Acceptance: energy sector = all uses of energy in any activity
: energy sector = Bulk-generated electricity and fossil fuels sector

*Acceptance: energy efficiency = use of the bounteous energy potential in ways that conserve the flows and balances of its transformation that work to sustain Homo sapiens.
: energy efficiency= continual evaluation of relative efficiency of all activities.
: energy efficiency =using less energy.
: energy efficiency =deprivation
: energy efficiency =single evaluation of efficiency of an activity

*Acceptance: Energy conservation = Principle of Energy conservation = energy is conserved and can be neither created, destroyed or conserved for it is by its very nature conserved = Homo sapiens have a bounteous options of how they use its myriad transformations.
*Denial: energy conservation = act by which humans conserve energy = humans deprive themselves of energy i.e. use less energy regardless of sustainable optional uses available.

*Acceptance: energy expert = person whose life is sustainable and who is able to accurately reflect reality (all is change/stewardship) so they experience the state of harmony.
*Denial: energy expert= person who is expert on Bulk-generated electricity and fossil fuels and/or their trades.

*Acceptance: energy crises =non-existent, for the potential of the universe(s) is bounteous.
*Denial: energy crises = loss of access to cheap Bulk-generated electricity and or fossil fuels.

*Acceptance: energy use crises = crises stemming from unsustainable uses of resources – often caused when an energy form is confused with energy
*Denial: energy use crises = symbol use non-existent, for energy is the problem.

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Use of  Global Warming symbol


Planet Earth  is subject to constant warming from the sun even as it is subject to constant global cooling.
Click on picture to enlarge at NewScientist site

*Acceptance: Global warming = global warming = no net change of temperature from transfer of thermal energy (i.e. warming = cooling) = healthy, helpful, minimal risk
: Global warming = global warming up = net change of temperature from transfer of thermal energy (i.e. warming greater than cooling) = process is dangerous and high risk

*Acceptance: Global cooling = global cooling = no net change of temperature from transfer of thermal energy (i.e. warming = cooling) = healthy, helpful, minimal risk
: Global cooling = global cooling down = net change of temperature from transfer of thermal energy (i.e. cooling greater than warming) = process is dangerous and high risk

*Acceptance: Human-induced Thermal Build-up = Human’s Atmospheric Impact (net warming up)  = bad?, high risk?
*Denial:  Global warming = Climate change = bad

*Acceptance: Human-induced Thermal Cool-Down = Human’s Atmospheric Impact (net cooling down)  = bad?, high risk
: Global cooling = climate change  = bad.

Comment: The universe(s) is in a state of being. This state is characterised by constant change and transformation. One manifestation of this change is thermal energy, which is constantly being transferred from warmer areas to cooler areas. Hence all elements of the universe(s) are subject to continual warming and cooling. When warming =cooling the net temperature of a form or object remains constant e.g. the human body form is sustained at a temperature of 36.8 °C ±0.7 °C and the average surface temperature of planet Earth is sustained at about 15°C.  

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Use of greenhouse symbol

Click on picture to enlarge at wiki (Germany)


*Acceptance: greenhouse = rigid structure built by humans that uses transparent or transluscent materials (glass, plastic etc) to insulate and suppress the convection of air warmed by sunlight or other sources
: greenhouse = Earth's atmosphere = dynamic system with high thermal convection  capacity

 *Acceptance: greenhouse = prime example of human ability to exploit airs properties (low thermal conduction capacity and high thermal convection capacity) to create thermal insulation in clothing, dwelling and other technologies
*Denial: greenhouse = Earth's atmosphere = prime example of the power of air's thermal convection capacity.

*Acceptance: Greenhouse = place of calm, peace and tranquility where normal seasons and geographical limits do not prevail.
: Greenhouse = place of turbulence, winds, thermal variation and extreme weather events.

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Use of ozone symbol

Click on picture to enlarge at srh.noa.gov

*Acceptance: Oxygen-ozone cycle = very dynamic process in which oxygen molecules are transformed into ozone and oxygen atoms and vice versa in reactions with high frequency solar radiation = warming effect on stratosphere.  
: Oxygen-ozone cycle = symbol not used or glossed over.

*Acceptance: Ozone = potent Warmer Trace Gas
: Ozone = greenhouse gas

*Acceptance: Ozone region/zone = region of stratosphere in which 91% of ozone resides (2-8 parts per million)
: Ozone layer = blanket of ozone in stratosphere = ozone is dense in the stratosphere

Comment. As well as having a potent thermal effect the existence of ozone in the stratosphere reduces the rate that solar radiation  that is harmful to cell structures reaches Earths surface.

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Use of power symbol  

Click on picture to enlarge at nanovic.com

*Acceptance: power = rate at which energy or the potential of the universe(s) is manifest.
: power = Bulk-generated electricity

*Acceptance: power plant = all mechanisms (including technology, biomass, tectonic and celestial capable of transformations.)
: power plant = mechanism for generating Bulk-generated electricity

*Acceptance: utility wires/poles = all wire and pole grids capable of transmitting electrical charges used in communication and by machines used for heating/cooling and moving objects in human structures
: power wires/poles = wire and pole grids capable of transmitting Bulk-generated electricity

*Acceptance: power supplies = all sources of power
: power supplies = supply of Bulk-generated supplies 

*Acceptance: power loss/failure/collapse = symbol use non-existent for power is as bounteous as energy.
: power loss/failure/collapse = loss of access to supply of Bulk-generated electricity

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Use of science symbol

Click on picture to enlarge at i-learnt.com

*Acceptance: science = state of being founded in compassion and inquiry
*Denial: science = way of thinking and experimentation

*Acceptance: science = wisdom in actions
*Denial: science = body of knowledge or expertise

*Acceptance: scientist = state common to all people capable of compassion and inquiry - state that enables the development of art, language and civics
*Denial: scientist = elite minority who inhabit an entity symbolised as “the science fraternity” and who are schooled in particular way of thinking and the body of knowledge called “science”

Comment. Science is a state of being. The requisites for the state to exist are the experience of compassion, honesty, inclusiveness, sharing, generosity of time, inquiry and reflection. If any of these requisites do not exist then science also ceases to exist. When all these requisites exist then language, arts, civics and all that we know as civilisation flourishes.

This use of the science symbol sustains acceptance of change/stewardship for it is inclusive of all human beings. When the individual experiences this state of being then the knowledge generated by the process of honest enquiry is integral to the individual’s lifestyle. The body of knowledge born of science becomes their actions and not just their talk.

The current dominant use of the science symbol is clearly exclusive and often lacks many of the other requisites too. Contemporary use reveals a denial of change/stewardship in that the general lifestyle of the individual can be dissociated from the process and the body of knowledge. 

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Use of trace symbol

Elements that exist in  miniscule proportions can have mighty powerful effects.
 Click on picture to enlarge at noteworthygroup.com

*Acceptance: trace = existing as tiny proportion of a system
: trace = symbol not used.

*Acceptance: = trace gas = gas existing as tiny proportion of atmosphere = typically a fraction of 0.1%.
: trace gas = symbol not used.

*Acceptance: Warmer Trace Gases = gases constituting less that 0.1% of the atmosphere that have a vital and unique warming effect of about 33ºC 
: greenhouse gases = gases in the (greenhouse) atmosphere with a vital and unique warming effect of about 33ºC 

*Acceptance: Most potent Warmer Trace Gases = water vapour, carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide, CFCs and ozone
: Most potent greenhouse gases =carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide and the CFCs

Comment: The use of the trace symbol promotes teaching activities communicating  the nature of tiny proportions and leverage. In this case gases that exist in very tiny proportions have a disproportionately large impact on thermal balances at Earth's surface. Over 99.9% of the gases in the atmosphere  have a relatively tiny thermal impact.

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Use of the use symbol

Human use of atmosphere
Click on picture to enlarge at World Meteorological Org

*Acceptance: Use = the act of using
: Use = symbol not used.

*Acceptance: Climate (atmosphere) use problem = human's use of climate (atmosphere) is unsustainable
: Climate change = global warming = the problem

*Acceptance: Human-induced thermal Build-up problem = human activities are resulting in a thermal build-up in the atmosphere that may put them at risk
: Climate change = global warming = problem

*Acceptance: Use of resource = unsustainable
: Energy crises = energy is the problem

*Acceptance: Use of Bulk-generated electricity = unsustainable = problem
: power crises/shortage = power is the problem = energy is the problem = electricity is the problem.

*Acceptance: Stewardship = individual accepts responsibility for their use of a resource

*Denial: Stewardship = individual divests responsibility onto another entity, often symbolised as The Market, for their use of a resource

Comment: Homo  sapiens have a vast capacity for denying their roles as stewards. The denial is often manifest as a tendency to find the use symbol inconvenient to use. This often has fatal consequences.

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Use of water symbol

Click on picture to enlarge at flikr

*Acceptance: Water = defining feature of planet Earth
: Water = not mentioned or peripheral to discussion of climate processes on Earth’s surface. 

*Acceptance: Water vapour =vital element of climate
: Water vapour = not mentioned or peripheral to discussion of climate processes

*Acceptance: water vapour = trace gas
: water vapour = greenhouse gas (see greenhouse symbol)
Denial: water vapour = non-trace gas

*Acceptance: water vapour =relatively localised phenomenon with barely detectable amounts of water vapour above the troposphere and at the poles.
: water vapour = abundant gas of indeterminate distribution. 

Comment: Water, in particular water vapour, is frequently dismissed from discussion. There is a tendency for those involved in promoting carbon trading to omit or diminish its role. Often they limit discussion to sea level rises and weather ‘events’ i.e. extreme events such as droughts and deluges. The omission may reflect the resource author’s conclusion that they cannot profit their income or career from trading water vapour and or it may reflect the fact that the water cycle through the atmosphere is extremely rapid (approximately10 -14 days on average.) and dynamic. This makes analysis and predictions of atmospheric processes very difficult.

In the average localised thunderstorm 400,000 tons of water vapour condenses within the cloud and the energy is released is the equivalent of 12 times that of the nuclear bomb dropped on Hiroshima.

Water in all its forms constantly creates variation in Earth’s albedo.

In general high clouds tend to warm up the Earth’s surface and low clouds tend to cool it down.

It is possible cosmic rays affect the formation of clouds through possible effects on production of cloud condensation nuclei though there is little knowledge of this process.  

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