The Real Story Of Climate Change

What does the story of climate change look like when you go back millions of years?

It turns out humans have been stabilizing the climate since the dawn of civilization. But we’ve gone too far. Now it is time to realize our intended role on the planet.

As we look back at Earth’s story, we learn that its climate has been vastly different throughout its history. When dinosaurs roamed the land, Earth was void of ice. The sea level was hundreds of meters higher and the temperature 10 degrees warmer than it is today. 

Modern science has learned that there is a direct relationship between the concentration of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere and the Earth’s temperature. Greenhouse gases are like a blanket around the Earth, absorbing just the right amount of heat from the sun to make life possible. The higher the concentration, the warmer the temperature.

In Earth’s more recent history, it has endured a series of long ice ages. During each ice age, life struggles to survive. Imagine a 1 mile thick sheet of ice on top of Chicago. All the forests die. Most of the life in the forests die as very little can survive in these extreme conditions.

Every hundred millennia, a slight change in the Earth’s tilt allows the planet to absorb just enough additional heat to thaw some of the ice. Life expands for a few thousand years during this interglacial period before retreating again as the Earth tilts back and falls into another ice age. 

Enter human beings. From the Earth’s perspective, humans are new to the scene – we’ve been here for a blink of an eye. But we’ve been busy.

As the Earth entered its most recent interglacial period, humans began deforesting the Earth to fuel their nascent civilizations. It is calculated that more greenhouse gases were released into the atmosphere through deforestation than all the gases emitted from the burning of fossil fuels. Humans, unknowingly to them, warmed the Earth, delaying the onset of the next ice age.

It turns out there is a “safe zone” when it comes to greenhouse gas concentrations that keeps Earth at just the right temperature for life as we know it to thrive. Any less and we freeze, any more and we fry.

In the last few decades, we have blown past this safe zone way too fast for life today to adjust as we continue to destroy the forests for animal agriculture and find destructive new ways of extracting fossil fuels, adding ever more greenhouse gases to the atmosphere. While our actions have had devastating impacts to many species on the planet, they have also enabled humans to develop the technology necessary to monitor Earth’s composition.

Like the part of the brain that helps stabilize and regulate our body’s temperature, humans now have the ability help Earth regulate its temperature. We have already been doing it unconsciously for thousands of years. Now it is time we become conscious of our role on the planet as the thermostat species. 

When we choose to stop eating animals, the land used for raising those animals can be restored to forests, and those forests can sequester all of the greenhouse gases we’ve emitted during the fossil fuel age, bringing us back within the safe zone where life as we know it can thrive. 

Unlike the forest elephant, this requires that humanity undergo a metamorphosis from a ego-centric, consumer culture to an eco-centric, life-enriching culture. We have a unique opportunity in this pivotal time in history to realize our full potential by considering ourselves stewards of life, applying the lessons we’ve learned to nurture the conditions for life to thrive for all of Earth’s remaining years. 

We bring your story to life

Find out how video storytelling can help your audience resonate with your sustainable idea, research, campaign or product.

Related stories

How does the way we talk about climate change possibly limit our response to it?

Get our latest video releases
in your mailbox bi-weekly

We never send solicitations or junk mail and we never give your address to anyone else.

The following is a step by step guide to translating our videos.

How to translate sustainable human videos

Here is some instruction so you can easily translate the videos.

Required Tools:

- A Computer.
- Internet Connection.
- A basic text editor program like Notepad or Wordpad.

What Is a .SRT File?

A .SRT file extension is a SubRip Subtitle file. These types of files hold video subtitle information like the start and end timecodes of the text and the sequential number of subtitles.

Steps To Translate A Video

Step 1 : Locate the appropriate .SRT file.
In the embedded spreadsheet below, find the title of the video you wish to translate. Check to be sure that your language has not been translated yet.
Step-1

Download

Step 2: Download the SRT file.
Double-click on the .SRT file for the video you wish to translate. Click on the Download button.
Step-2
Step 3: Translate the file.
Open the file using any basic text editor program such as Notepad or Wordpad or equivalent. Do not open in Microsoft Word as it will corrupt the formatting. After opening the file, you want to REPLACE the English text with your language, line by line, keeping all numerical and time formatting. When you finish, rename the file with the name of the language you translated.
Step-3
Step 4: Upload your new .SRT file using form below.
When you submit your translation file and provide your email, we will inform you once we have uploaded it to the video. Please allow for 24-48 hours for us to do this as it is a manual process.

How has this video story impacted you?