Imagine the possibilities of a classroom without walls.
Is it a coincidence that children gaze out the window?
Garbage. Green. Discarded.
Trash. Trashy. Salvage.
Back when I used to teach Science, one thing I always told my students was to “question everything”. I would explain to them that almost every major scientific finding has come from someone questioning what was currently accepted as fact. Sometimes I have to remind myself to do this.
In a previous post I criticized U.S. Republican Presidential candidate Rick Santorum for his statements on the “hoax of global warming”. Following that post, I decided that it would be irresponsible of me to put my opinions out there without at least looking into the arguments from “the other side”. I was surprised by what I found. Now while I stand by my overall assertion that Santorum is an intolerant individual with a frightening uber-conservative religious agenda, I did come across some information that I think all global citizens should be aware of.
It appears that there is some compelling science that shows current warming trends as more naturally cyclic than previously presented by “popular” science. There is even some indication that science has been intentionally skewed to contribute to panic on a global level. At this point, I am not necessarily endorsing either view, but I do think that there are two things that I have begun to consider:
1) (most) people, including myself, are susceptible to being easily swayed by propaganda that promotes alarmist responses by using media (pictures of polar bears clinging to icebergs) and authority figures presenting complex information.
2) Perhaps we, the human race, are far less significant in the overall scope of the planet (and perhaps the universe) than we consider ourselves to be.
So, with those things in mind, I encourage you to check out this presentation of the recent work of Jim Karlock, a Physicist from Princeton University. If anything, it is important to be aware of the science that is being presented from all sides of the issue, as it directly affects our lives. Does it mean that it is not good to conserve, to reduce our consumption or to try and help our planet? Of course not. It is just good to be informed, AND Karlock does demonstrate that on local levels, human activity has an immediate and direct effect on climate.
Be informed. Check out the video.
CLIMATE CHANGE: AND THE “DUNCE” CAP GOES TO…
For a relatively liberal American, the current Republican Presidential Primary campaigns are a constant source of amusement. I was beginning to think that nothing could really surprise me. And then along came Rick Santorum, with his sweater vests, “real” conservative views and overall intolerance of, well - just about everything. One of his latest campaign topics is that of climate change or, as he puts it, the “hoax of global warming”. (Check out the article)
Santorum explains that global warming (now usually referred to as climate change) is a hoax that has become an enemy of economic growth. (Translation: In the ‘boys club’ of big business and global corporate control this global warming issue is a big inconvenience). Santorum goes on to clarify “We were put on this Earth as creatures of God to have dominion over the Earth, to use it wisely and steward it wisely, but for our benefit not for the Earth’s benefit.”
Of course, the intelligent mind might ask whether “God” has a back up plan for when his chosen creatures succeed in destroying all of the things that “he” put so much effort into creating. While the science involved in understanding climate change may sometimes be skewed in either direction, it seems that it should be extremely difficult to deny at this point that there is some pretty wacky stuff going on around here. The image above shows the reduction in the size of the ice sheets in Greenland. This is just one of the many ice sheets and polar caps that have shrunk, not in millions of years such as natural occurrences in the past, but within a single decade.
So while I thank Santorum for sharing his sage insight into science and religion with us, I have to award him the proverbial “Dunce Cap” for being decisively the idiot of the day on the Republican campaign trail.