The gold fish bowl effect by Stuart Lovatt

Last updated on November 2nd, 2017 at 11:00 pm

“When you truly look at our planet, even our universe in simplistic terms, what has occurred to create life is just a series of chemical reactions, contained in a restricted bowl. Introducing the goldfish bowl effect.”

Our goldfish bowl.

Our goldfish bowl.

The many sun’s we see in the night sky are just hydrogen and helium balls reacting, our planet we call Earth is a ball of molten iron which hasn’t cooled down yet from when it coalesced, and our Oxygen rich atmosphere which we take for granted is simply a by-product of early life and photosynthesis again other chemical processes.

The atmosphere; an ultra-thin gas shroud when compared to the whole planet, can be compared to an eggshell. Our usable and breathable air is as just as thin. Apologies if I am teaching granny to suck eggs here.

What I have dubbed as ‘The Gold Fish Bowl Effect’ after seeing our fish get slowly choked up in their own crap. The parallels with our planet’s problems are uncanny. Without correct and measured tolerances in place, those fish would have died very slowly, but very surely.

Humanity has been slowly, but surely changing the Earth’s atmospheric chemical composition for tens of thousands of years. The original Earth’s climate although consistently changing, always had huge reserves of thick forests which acted as a planetary filtration system, allowing the atmosphere to be tolerable to live.

Unfortunately, over these long time scales, mankind has gradually chipped away at the planets ability to filter its atmosphere, and just like the aforementioned goldfish bowl, we have been consistently accelerating the amount of crap we daily pump into our own bowl while taking away its ability to deal with that crap through forestation.

The goldfish bowl effect; in effect

The nuts and bolts of the situation; is to stay below 2 degrees Celsius of heating, which credible scientists regard as the safety limit, then our emissions must be no more than 450 parts per million (ppm) of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere; the current level is around 390ppm. This gives us an ever-narrowing time gap to keep our goldfish bowl habitable. The window to reverse our destruction will soon be closed forever.

I think it’s very important to have a sense of urgency. When the world discovered leaded petrol was dangerous the reaction and remedy were swift and without question; the same too with CFC’s and ozone-depleting gases.

With the economic slowdown, we have an unprecedented and one-time chance to change capitalism, change the way we look at our environment and tackle global heating, or without question, it will be a crappy future for our biosphere and our kids.


"Feel the pride."
January 27, 2012
Founder of Power My Home.

  • michael hunt

    I agree with the above article . we are slowly but surely destroying our our selfs , and the earth

  • Colin

    My wife and I recently cancelled our order for PV panels because we found the difference between the cost of the panels, inverter, etc. (approximate £6K) and the fitted price (£15K) excessive. Because they have to be fitted by a registered installer to qualify for the feed in tariff it seems that these I stealers can charge rip off prices. At £10K we would have gone ahead and the installer would have made £4 K for two or three days work. But the scheme of registered installers hatched by the UK government seems to be yet another method of restricting access and ‘helping’ business to make unwarranted profits.

    I am an electrical engineer so why could I not install my own PV system and then have it checked by my electricity supplier before connecting to the grid?

    I would appreciate your views on this.

    Yours sincerely

    Colin Tanner