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Also, by clearing forests to support agriculture, we are transferring carbon from living biomass into the atmosphere (dry wood is about 50 percent carbon).

The result is that humans are adding ever-increasing amounts of extra carbon dioxide into the atmosphere.

It has perhaps taken about a decade or so — and a severe enough global financial crisis that has hit the heart of this way of thinking — to change this mentality (in which time, more greenhouse gases have been emitted — inefficiently). Economists talk of the price signal that is fundamental to capitalism; the ability for prices to indicate when a resource is becoming scarcer.

At such a time, capitalism and the markets will mobilize automatically to address this by looking for ways to bring down costs. For example, if energy costs go up, businesses will look for a way to minimize such costs for themselves, and it is in such a time that alternatives come about and/or existing resources last longer because they are used more efficiently. However, it has long been argued that prices don’t truly reflect the full cost of things, so either the signal is incorrect, or comes too late.

However, while commercial entities can exploit resources elsewhere, local fishermen will go out of business and the poorer will likely go hungry (as also detailed on this site’s section on biodiversity).

This then has an impact on various local social, political and economic issues.

They use the difference between the annual mean and the baseline mean to determine the global temperature anomaly for the year.

The 1909 temperature anomaly (-0.47o C) was the lowest year on record.Since 1909, global temperature has warmed, with the most recent years showing the highest anomalies of 0.6 o C in the past 120 years.A NASA’s GISS animation also shows how most parts of the world have experienced this warming, recently: At this time, the coverage provided by weather stations allowed for essentially global temperature data.More examples are discussed on this site’s section on consumption and consumerism).Our continued inefficient pumping of greenhouse gases into the environment without factoring the enormous cost as the climate already begins to change is perhaps an example where price signals may come too late, or at a time when there is already significant impact to many people.

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