Monday, February 12, 2007

I've noticed a lot of "Humans didn't really cause this" talk lately

A lot of the lists that I participate in are populated by pretty smart futuristic people. They are natural skeptics. One bit that I read lately suggests that global warming is more related to the activity of the sun than than to humans. Apparently, this is based on a scientific study that was hard to get published because of it is not politically correct.

That led me to two reactions.

First, no valid research should be suppressed because it's not "politically correct." That's what happened to Galileo. Proof that while our tools and problems and even our hopes change, basic human nature is a tougher nut to crack. So if valid research is being suppressed for lack of political correctness I feel sad about that (yes, I know the Bush Administration did the same thing - but my reaction there is more like anger and did we as a people elect someone who suppresses research that doesn't support a particular view, and a largely religious one at that?).

All right, that rant aside, the second reaction is more like "If true, so what?" We're still learning about the chaotic thing we call climate and weather , and there is probably no single cause or capital "T" truth about the changes (and plenty of evidence that there are changes). There are so many reasons that we should live lighter on the planet, including looking for clean energy, that I can't even begin to list them. We need to get past arguments about cause and work on pretty much everything we know is better - and there's a lot of that. Conservation. Wind and solar energy. Recycling. Health. So on to the work....

Also, I'm working with a few people from my department to host a "tips for saving energy" lunch event. We're open to ideas from out there.....

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