21 December 2008

Global Warming and Learning the Hard Sciences

My initial thought here in writing this morning was to get into the recent scare advertisements put out by environmentalist groups. The ads seem to be aiming ever more at hooking the audience with scary words, spoken words, than before. But then it occurred to me that those who have imbibed the Global Warming/Climate Change (GWCC) Kool-Aid couldn't care less what tactics they use to proselytize. And the young are ever so vulnerable to hip messages, especially those with a bit of scariness to them.

So instead of critiquing ads (which in the end is more of a hobby for me than anything else), I thought perhaps that a bit of a challenge ought to be made, particularly to younger folks who live in fear of our climate and its (inevitable) changing. What young, or even older, GWCC believers ought to do is study hard the sciences and engineering behind understanding weather and climate and the proposed solutions. They ought to gain first hand knowledge of the background information and scientific techniques used to diagnose GWCC. They ought to work diligently at mathematics, physics, chemistry - the hard sciences - so that they can fully understand how anthropogenic GWCC comes about.

By pursuing these studies, they can also actively and truly make progress on ways to "fix" GWCC. Only through understanding the hard sciences can real "progress" be made. If one is particularly distraught by what GWCC might do to the planet, it would be imperative for one to work towards a fix him or herself. This can only be done through knowledge and practice in the hard sciences, and this study is of the most importance to the younger generation of GWCC believers. They, it may fairly be argued, can build their minds so as to build their world later.

Letter writing and Facebook groups and MySpace friends all worried about GWCC do nothing compared to a mind educated in the hard sciences when it comes to issues of climate. Yet sites like Mr. Gore's "we" extravaganza promote petitions and "connecting" over personal learning and scientifically intellectual involvement. It is, after all, much easier to join a Facebook group than to understand the dynamics of, say, ocean currents - or master trigonometry, for that matter.

At a time when everyone seems to bemoan the educational system (myself included) as a failure, it would seem to go without saying that anything that may be used to promote learning the hard sciences would be attempted. I do not believe in GWCC whatsoever - except for the fact that the climate is indeed always changing. But I'm more than happy to urge my students who do fear GWCC to get into the sciences, to work hard at understanding all of the fundamentals (math, chemistry, physics, etc.) behind the higher-level science. The learning will serve them well later. And in the end, those students who understand their sciences - GWCC believers or not - will make better judgments about the physical world around them. Perhaps that's the scary part for Mr. Gore and his GWCC crew; an informed public is a questioning one. With snow falling in Las Vegas this past week, they can't handle the questions.

1 comment:

Bhuvan Chand said...

i really impress with you blog and plz keep writing for this blog. i also start collection of information about causes of global warming in my blog.