Scorched Earth Is Not One of the Results of Global Warming

Scorched Earth: Forest fire
Scorched Earth ain’t gonna happen because of Global Warming. The reason is simple. Northwest Crown Fire Experiment. Photo: US Forest Service (CC BY 2.5) trimmed.

Scorched Earth?

What do I mean by “scorched Earth?” In the comments section of one of my climate videos on YouTube (Top 10 Climate Change Lies Exposed), a visitor voiced a concern about what would happen in the tropics if northern latitudes became balmy. Here’s what he said:

“Great, let’s make Sweden and Norway into the new tropical holiday destinations! If we get so warm that the travel agents start booking this sort of travel, has it occurred to you how warm Florida and Mexico, not to mention the Middle East, Africa, etc., will be in comparison?”

Yes, it had occurred to me, and there is little to no concern. Why? As I attempted to explain to my visitor, our world has a temperature regulator to prevent such scorched Earth events from happening. That regulator is called “water.”

Over the last 4.5 billion years, the average global temperature of Earth has varied no more than about 5%—from 283 °K to 298 °K (that’s degrees Kelvin). On the Celsius scale (same size units), it’s 10 °C to 25 °C. This is remarkably stable for such a chaotic, non-linear system. Water is the key.

Is Scorched Earth Even Possible?

How does water do it?

Simple: through evaporative cooling and shading with clouds. If you’re not familiar with evaporative cooling, lick the back of your hand and wave it vigorously. Feel the cooling? If you remain clueless about the shading effect of clouds, then stand out in the bright, hot sun, wait a moment while you suffer the warmth, then hold your hand up to shade your head. See? Cooler.

Amazing how versatile is water. It keeps our planet healthy. It keeps the possibility of “scorched Earth” at bay. Now, if NASA would only cease and desist from calling our current, minor thaw in an ongoing Ice Age interglacial a “fever,” the world might start returning to some semblance of sanity.

Earth does not have a “fever,” and “scorched Earth” remains an impossibility so long as we have our liquid oceans.

Scorched Earth Attitude

Scorched Earth: Angry man
Some people have a “scorched Earth” attitude. Photo: #953735 PedroJPerez via

Oh, the comment on YouTube? If you’re looking for it, I hid the guy’s entire discussion. There were some interesting points there, but he made a nasty habit of using abusive language that became pretty tiresome. I don’t like blocking or hiding people’s remarks. If they disagree with me, I welcome their opposing views. Why? Because I love to learn.

I treat party crashers with some modicum of respect despite their rudeness. But when they become unceasingly abusive, they are no longer implicitly “invited.” Some of these crashers are a type of creature called “astroturf.” This is a term used by veteran television journalist, Sharyl Attkisson, in a TEDx talk she gave at the University of Nevada. It’s a must-see: “Astroturf and manipulation of media messages.”

My policy is to let disagreements run their course, but if any person resorts largely to ad hominem logical fallacies, and other offensive techniques, then they are no longer welcome. The moment they stop such abusive behavior, is the moment they are re-invited.

I treat abuse by anyone as if it were “scorched Earth” behavior. If someone brings a flame thrower into my home, they’re not welcome. When they take it off, then they are welcome. Simple.

But we live in an Ice Age interglacial that’s overdue to end. I’ll keep repeating this painful fact until enough people actually get it. Why would I repeatedly stick my neck out? Because I care about our planet and our civilization. I also got it wrong, once-upon-a-time. I’m a sucker for those “light bulb” moments when someone has a realization that changes their viewpoint. Someone was cordial and patient with me until I got it. The least I can do is to pay it forward.

This article was originally published on 2016:0901 at


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