Scientist Richard Alley had an extreme way of making the point that the Earth's climate jumps among varying trends and temperatures over time: he bungee jumped off a cliff. Alley calls the natural variation in the Earth's climate trends "the Ice Age roller coaster."
Alley says modern humans are "pushing the climate" and argues that when nature pushed the climate in the past, the outcomes were varied.
Alley also argues that people will address climate change in ways that work for them - saving money by changing a light bulb, or feeling good about swapping coal power for solar.
"And now you can say, look, this is doable. We can do this. We can mine coal and we can get energy from coal, put the CO2 down. Or we can do wind, or we can do sun, and we can conserve, and now you have a full menu that you can choose from for what works for you, your country, your individual community, for yourself." - Richard Alley
"Occasionally, we cross some sort of a tipping point and the Earth evolves really rapidly to a new state which is very different. Over the last 100,000 years of the Ice Age cycling, we have had a couple dozen of these large, abrupt, widespread climate shifts, almost as if the Earth was bungee jumping off the climate roller coaster." - Richard Alley
1. Name some factors that influence Earth’s climate.
2. What was the Ice Age?
3. What is climate change?
1. What main point did you take away from this discussion? Do you agree with it? Why or why not?
2. Why did Allen bungee jump at the beginning of the video? What point was he trying to make?
3. Would you change the light bulbs in your house to more efficient ones if you knew it would consume less energy? Why or why not?