THIS UNNAMED GEOLOGICAL formation is the likely result of wind, rain and time eroading away surface material to expose what at one time would have lava (magma) that had cooled and solidified. Copyright © 2010 by DL Tolleson. All Rights Reserved.
COMING INTO OR out of the Chisos Mountains, this is the northwest view and is several miles south of Panther Junction and the headquarters for Big Bend National Park. Copyright © 2010 by DL Tolleson. All Rights Reserved.
THE CLARET CUP is covered in barbed spines and blooms a reddish, cup-shaped flower from about April to June or July in Big Bend National Park. Copyright © 2010 by DL Tolleson. All Rights Reserved.
THIS VIEW FROM a formation called, “The Window,” looks out from the westside of the Chisos Mountains in Big Bend National Park. Copyright © 2010 by DL Tolleson. All Rights Reserved.
INDIAN HEAD MOUNTAIN and its southern region offers this “leaning” wall of geology at the western boundary of Big Bend National Park. The rocks of the foreground are boulders ranging from man-sized on up. Copyright © 2010 by DL Tolleson. All Rights Reserved.
MASSIVE AND TOWERING, this wall of the geology is at least a couple of hundrend feet high and situated in the Indian Head area of Big Bend National Park. Copyright © 2010 by DL Tolleson. All Rights Reserved.
WIDE-OPEN PANORAMAS and mountainous terrain such as this are routine along roadside in Big Bend National Park. Copyright © 2010 by DL Tolleson. All Rights Reserved.
THE SOUTHWEST SIDE of the Chisos Mountains, also known as the Chisos Mountain Basin and home to the lodge in Big Bend National Park. Copyright © 2011 by DL Tolleson. All Rights Reserved.
A FALLEN TREE is an impassable barrier in an otherwise debris-free dry riverbed in Big Bend National Park. Copyright © 2010 by DL Tolleson. All Rights Reserved.
INDIGENOUS TO TEXAS, New Mexico and Arizona, Javelinas in Big Bend National Park genetically differ from swine. Copyright © 2010 by DL Tolleson. All Rights Reserved.
LOST MINE TRAIL in Big Bend National Park, looking southward over Juniper Canyon, the Chisos Mountain’s Northeast Rim and into Mexico. Copyright © 2010 by DL Tolleson. All Rights Reserved.
A TREE SILHOUETTED against the night sky as seen from Chisos Basin in Big Bend National Park. Copyright © 2010 by DL Tolleson. All Rights Reserved.
THIS VIEW EAST of a volcano is an illusion of the setting sun streaming through the Chisos Basin area behind Casa Grande Peak in Big Bend National Park. Copyright © 2010 by DL Tolleson. All Rights Reserved.
WRIGHT MOUNTAIN in background at Big Bend National Park. Copyright © 2010 by DL Tolleson. All Rights Reserved.
A VIEW WESTWARD after sundown from the Indian Head area of Big Bend National Park. Copyright © 2010 by DL Tolleson. All Rights Reserved.
A CAMERA COMPENSATION for the limited light after sundown provides this view westward from the Indian Head area of Big Bend National Park. Copyright © 2010 by DL Tolleson/Camera One. All Rights Reserved.
SANTA ELENA CANYON after sunset, as seen from the Chimneys in Big Bend National Park. Copyright © 2010 by DL Tolleson/Camera One. All Rights Reserved.


Author, Photographer, Researcher, Artist, Adventurer and Buccaneer Extraordinaire

“Or at least that’s the plan each morning after coffee.”

Publication History: Global Weather and The Hubris of Man. Copyright © 2017 by DL Tolleson. All Rights Reserved. Excerpts from this work are permissible if author attribution is included. However, beyond this no part of this material may be reproduced in any form or by any means without written permission from the author.

Tolleson, DL. “Global Weather and The Hubris of Man.”
Linked-In, Aug 20, 2017.

Tolleson, DL. “Global Weather and The Hubris of Man.”, Aug 28, 2017.

Tolleson, DL. “Global Weather and The Hubris of Man.”, Mar 1, 2018.

Tolleson, DL. “Global Weather and The Hubris of Man.”, Mar 1, 2018.

Description: Analysis » Research—1,541 words (not including bibliography).

Commentary: “Global climate change” is the phrase du jour that has replaced “global cooling” and “global warming,” both of which the media variously promoted for years. Going back to at least the 1970s or before, it was widely advocated that Earth was headed for a giant freeze. For whatever reason unrelated to science, that was replaced with a greater vigor of advocacy for global warming.

The problem is not in finding evidence on which to base predictions of future global climate. The problem is in refuting current climate advocacy based upon a consensus of science. Science is not a matter of consensus (general agreement). When unequivocal results arise from scientific study/experimentation ad infinitum, science establishes “a theory” as natural law until evidence to the contrary supplants the established theory. But this is not what has happened in regard to global climate change.

Global climate has been politicized, with change predicated upon computer models that render results based upon the input of data. Skew the data in some way, or alter the method by which the model renders results, and you get skewed or altered results. This used to be called Garbage In Garbage Out (GIGO). The fabrication of input calculated to skew results in this way has been widely reported in the case of global climate change. Credentialed professionals and allegedly unassailable organizations have been, on more than one occasion, caught with their metaphorical hands in the metaphorical cookie jar of data manipulation. That controversy is not the purpose of this endeavor.

Likewise, I am not referencing the hundreds of credentialed and respected “climate experts” who refute the claims of other “experts” and media talking heads claiming global warming is established by scientific consensus (which isn’t how science works).

So, on what can we rely as an accurate predictor of future global climate?

Well, instead of computer models, let’s look at the actual geological evidence. This has not only captured the historical record of world-wide weather, but also persevered this information from the time before mankind’s arrival on the scene.

This is not only an inarguable body of evidence, but also demonstrative of global climate changes in the absence of mankind’s contributions.

—DL Tolleson

DL Tolleson

Every time there is a huge hurricane a number of folks start talking about global climate change.

“Global Climate Change...” I mean how can you go wrong using that phraseology? It’s exactly what the climate has always done ever since we originally called it, “weather.”

And Boy-howdy, how it and the world has changed!

For example, there has been five global ice ages. That’s five separate occasions during which the earth has been a giant snowball for millions of years at a time. It is also five global catastrophes of freezing that thawed-out. So that’s ten—count ’em folks—TEN times the global climate radically changed. And that’s not all. There have been “small” or “mini ice-ages” thrown into the middle of those five big global ice ages.

By the way, we puny humans can’t take responsibility for the “freezes” or congratulated for the thawing: we were here for only the last one or two ice ages.

I’ve read that we are due for an ice age. And technically, since we have polar ice caps, some say we are currently in an ice age. I can’t speak to the validity of that but then who really can? After all, no one has ever documented the onset of glaciation. I mean what’s it look like when it starts?

What I find really perplexing is the complaint by some who claim that our pumping of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere is part of what prevents or delays the onset of the next ice age. We humans certainly didn’t prevent the first five ice ages or the numerous, “mini-ice ages.” And even if you accept the premise we are preventing the next freeze, so what? I mean, do you want the planet to freeze over? I don’t. Let’s put off that worldwide snow day for as long as we can!

But to get back to what set me off on this course: hurricanes. We started documenting storms in 1851. Since then there have been recorded 31 category five hurricanes. God knows (literally) how many happened before we began personalizing them with names. This raises the question, “How ordinary or customary are these storms?” The Hurricane Research Division of the National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has the answers. It turns out that from 1851 to 2015...

• There were 1,619 Tropical storms across the globe (9.9 per year on average)

• There were 991 hurricanes (6 per year on average)

• The United States has been hit by 284 of the 991 hurricanes (1.73 per year on average)

In short, then, the statistics show us that these storms have been a consistent ingredient of global weather since 1851. In fact, the years 2004 and 2005 are what I would describe as “statistical anomalies” for setting a number of hurricane records that haven’t similarly occurred since (despite the now defunct dire warnings to the contrary).

But those 1,619 tropical storms and 991 hurricanes got me to thinking... What else is demonstrative of the power to implement global climate change? How about volcanoes? So I looked into that.

I’ve read that over the course of the earth’s existence there have been MILLIONS of active volcanoes. Around 1,500 or so of those are said to have been active in the last 10,000 years—and even more than that have been reputedly active on the seafloor. (I’ve written about the theory that has volcanic eruption as contributory in the disappearance of a very famous island and you can link to that in the sources below.)

When volcanoes erupt, they create new land by scouring the earth’s surface via pyroclastic flows of hot gas and volcanic matter rushing outward at up to 450 mph and at temperatures of about 1,830 degrees. I’ve read that several eruptions during the past century have caused declining temperatures of up to a half degree for periods of one to three years.

And the global impact of volcanoes isn’t limited to explosive eruptions. Volcanoes often do what might be called “off gassing” or more properly, “degassing.” This is not violent volcanic eruptions: degassing is the means by which magma exposes its volatiles to the atmosphere. It happens in craters or via large amounts of gas seeping through the soil at volcanoes. It’s an ongoing process. Volcanic gases like sulfur dioxide contribute to global cooling. Conversely carbon dioxide is a volcanic emission and a greenhouse gas that is reportedly a factor in global warming. In 1992, volcanic degassing was thought to be responsible for around 100 million tons of CO2 released into the atmosphere each year. By the year 2000 the prior calculation of 1992 had risen to nearly 200 million tons of volcanic CO2 released into the atmosphere per year. Recent research is suggestive of 600 million tons of CO2 per year.

This six-fold increase isn’t owed to more volcanic output. Rather, it is a measurement of quantity that has been present the entire time. What has changed (improved) is the scientific perspective of how much CO2 the planet is degassing. Or to put it another way, we’ve been wrong. How wrong? Well, as of 2013 there were still 117 of 150 or so active volcanoes that had NOT been measured for degassing. That means the total measurement of CO2 being attributed to volcanoes is based upon 33 sites and assumed for 117 other sites. That’s a monstrous hole into which to drop an assumption.

Now, by comparison, it is generally held that mankind is responsible for around 24 to 40 billion tons of CO2 emissions every year. These numbers do not take into account our historically smaller global population, the historically persistent “Volcano population” or the possibility of an incorrect assumption for 117 untested active volcanoes. And the Lord only knows what will be the result when one of the world’s 20 known supervolcanoes blows its top again.

That’s right, I said, “again.” You see, one of these rare Super-eruptions happens every 100,000 years on average. A super volcanic eruption will spread well beyond 240 cubic miles and exhibit massive lava flows for a short duration or lasting up to millions of years. They can have catastrophic consequences on a global scale not unlike a species-ending asteroid impact. A supervolcano puts at risk life on a planetary scale. In short they alter weather worldwide AND/OR life worldwide. It has happened before—it will happen again. And except for potential planning to survive it, we won’t have any say in the matter when it does happen again.

If we’re trying to figure out what impacts worldwide weather (global climate change), let’s not forget the sun. Yep, that ball of fire floating out there in space plays a part in our global weather. It too is a part for which we have no control—just as it is with volcanoes and, for that matter, the 10,800 degree core of the earth. Yes, you read that right. We’re living on a planet which has a core that is about as hot as the sun.

From college geology I recall there were about five geological eras going back for over 4 billion years. Millions of years are thought to have been involved in the beginning of the Appalachian Mountains. At one point what we think of as North America began to separate from what we call Africa and at the same time the Atlantic basin began forming. More than some 20 million years later North America separated from Eurasia and after a little over another 10 million years the Rocky Mountains began to form. Sometime after all that, volcanic activity in Yellowstone began and some 35 million years or so later, continental glaciation began.

Now, science indicates we humans have only been around for some five to seven million years. In other words, we weren’t here for all those changes I just enumerated. So, what do you suppose caused all those changes in the Earth? I mean we are talking about the movement of the earth’s crust and entire continents breaking apart. We are taking about oceans rising and falling, the in-rush and receding of seas and events of epic proportions—all without a single businessman being present. These were all global events in the changing planet on which we now live.

And it is all still going on. The planet is still changing.

Earthquakes open up the ground and swallow everything. Hurricanes sweep clean coastal regions. Volcanoes and supervolcanoes continuously change not only the face of the Earth, but the life upon it. The sun, our earth’s core, asteroid impacts... There’s a lot of you know what hitting the proverbial fan.

Our planet is a world of immense size and age. It is a place of unimaginable power and natural phenomena. We control none of it.

We’re lucky to have even survived the five to seven million years that culminates in our hubris to suggest we can alter the weather or the future of the planet. The reality is that we are all one global catastrophe away from extinction. And, by the way, what we call a “catastrophe” and “extinction” is just the normal course and scope of events in the life of Earth.

If you doubt this, when was the last time you saw a living dinosaur?


• Judson, Sheldon, et al. Physical Geology. 7th ed., Prentice-Hall, Inc, 1987.

• Landsea, Chris. (Revised 2016, June 1). How Many Hurricans Have There Been in Each Month? Retrieved from

• Morgan, James. (2014, January 6). Supervolcano Eruption Mystery Solved. Retrieved from

• Schultz, Colin. (2013, April 26). The Center of the Earth Is as Hot as the Sun. Retrieved from

• Tolleson, DL (2009). The Secret of Atlantis: An Examination. Retrieved from

• Volcano Discovery. (Retrived 2017, August 28). How Many Volcanoes Are There in The World? Retrieved from

• Wylie, Robin. (2013, October 15). Long Invisible, Research Shows Volcanic CO2 Levels Are Staggering. Retrieved from