Sunday, November 17, 2019

A Species Named After Greta Thunberg

Environmental & Science Education
STEM
Nature
Climate Change
Edward Hessler

Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg has had a beetle species named to honor her. Nelloptodes gretae is a widely distributed member of the Ptillidae family (commonly known as featherwing beetles), a family that contains the smallest of all beetles.

In the press release Josh Davis writes:

Nelloptodes gretae is pale yellow and gold, and measures just 0.79 millimetres. With no eyes or wings, it is distinguishable by a small pit found between where the eyes should go.
'These beetles are so very small that my wife has described them as being like animated full stops,' says Michael. 'But actually many are a whole lot smaller than a full stop.
'I'd also like to stress that I've not named this species after Greta because it is small - it's just that this is the group that I work on.'
In fact, Michael has named several species of Ptiliidae after prominent people, including one for Sir David Attenborough, meaning that N. gretae is certainly in prestigious company.
As Greta herself famously said, 'Many people say that Sweden is just a small country and it doesn’t matter what we do.
'But I've learned you are never too small to make a difference.'

Saturday, November 16, 2019

Covers of the Journal Nature: Then to Now

Environmental & Science Education
STEM
History of Science
Edward Hessler

It has been 150 years since the first issue of the British science journal, Nature, was published.

In this video (ca 6-minutes), Kelly Krause, Creative Director of Nature takes us on a guided tour of the archives to see some of the front covers from Nature and learn how the design of the magazine reflected the era in which it was made. One of the covers is incredibly awkward--Krause refers to it as "photoshop malfeasance."

Type faces, glue, tape, figures, black & white, color, cut-outs, color gradients, Desk Top, Digital era  are some of the techniques used in developing the covers.  The150th year has been made into an interactive video which shows the network and relationships of all published papers. A few of the most significant papers have an interactive feature.There is a link if you are interested.



Friday, November 15, 2019

Friday Poem

Environmental & Science Education
Poetry
Art and Environment
Edward Hessler

I'd never read today's poem until a few days ago. Why has it taken me so long?

Neil Steinberg who writes for the Chicago Sun-Times had a column about the staff of the Northwestern student newspaper apology for reporting, of all things, the news. Steinberg (Class of '82) concluded his column by writing,

As Abe Peck, my revered magazine writing professor at NU once taught me long ago, quoting the last line of a great Marge Piercy poem, “You have to like it better than being loved.”
That doesn’t change. Thanks for listening. Go Cats!
 About Marge Piercy.

Thursday, November 14, 2019

Cancer Resarch

Environmental & Science Education
STEM
Health
Medicine
Nature of Science
Edward Hessler

Physician-scientist Azra Raza is the director of the MDS Center at Columbia University. MDS or myelodeplastic syndromes, consists of a group of cancers that result from bone marrow failures. Her speciality is acute myeloid leukemia (AML),

Dr. Raza has a new book, "The First Cell and the Human Costs of Pursuing Cancer to the Last," in which she argues for a paradigm shift in cancer research which she describes as "chasing after the last cancer cells in end-stage patients whose prognoses are the worst. We need instead to commit to anticipating, finding and destroying the first cancer cells."

Raza posted an essay adapted from the book on ThreeQuarksDaily (3QD), a blog she co-founded and moderates. It was originally published in The Wall Street Journal
Raza uses her specialty as an example of why we need to change our focus. "AML accounts for a third of all leukemia cases, Currently, the average age of diagnosis is 68; roughly 11,000 individuals die annually from the disease. The five-year survival rate for diagnosed adults is 24%, and a bone-marrow transplant increases the odds to 50% at best. These figures have hardly budged since the 1970s."

Of course, she notes, there have been improvements in cancer outcomes but these are mainly due to reduction in smoking and screening. Some of these have led in "the hunt for single mutations in other cancers, which has evolved into a hugely popular medical effort known as 'precision oncology'."

Raza writes that "all of us in the biomedical  sciences need to descend from our high horse and humbly admit where we have been wrong. We have sought to model cancer in petri dishes and mice, seeking out single drugs for simple genetic mutations. But cancer  is far too complex a problem to be solved with such reductionism. We have not made much progress in the past 50 years and won't advance much more in another 50 if we insist on the same-old same-old."

Raza describes some promising leads in detecting "'biomarkers' of cancerous cells, blood tests ("liquid biopsy") and imaging and wearable devices (e.g., "smart toilets" and a "smart bra").

"Cancer research," concludes Dr. Raza," has been promising hope and delivering disappointments for a half-century. Instead of letting cancer grow into its end-stage monstrosity, let us assemble our resources to pre-empt that battle and strike instead at cancer's root: the first cells."

Dr. Raza interviewed 26 leading cancer investigators and is posting them each Monday on ThreeQuarksDaily. This series is known as the Cancer Questions Project (CQP) where previous interviews may be browsed.. Raza asked the same 5 questions of each researcher:

1. We were treating acute myeloid leukemia (AML) with 7+3 (7 days of the drug cytosine arabinoside and 3 days of daunomycin) in 1977. We are still doing the same in 2019. What is the best way forward to change it by 2028?
2. There are 3.5 million papers on cancer, 135,000 in 2017 alone. There is a staggering disconnect between great scientific insights and translation to improved therapy. What are we doing wrong?
3. The fact that children respond to the same treatment better than adults seems to suggest that the cancer biology is different and also that the host is different. Since most cancers increase with age, even having good therapy may not matter as the host is decrepit. Solution?
4. You have great knowledge and experience in the field. If you were given limitless resources to plan a cure for cancer, what will you do?
5. Offering patients with advanced stage non-curable cancer, palliative but toxic treatments is a service or disservice in the current therapeutic landscape?

Here is the first interview in the series.  I've listened to many of them and recommend them. They are short (~ 12 minutes =/- although a few are longer), endlessly interesting and the responses thoughtful. All agree that cancer is a complex disease and that its basic biology is elusive.

As I've listened I've been interested without being at all systematic about it, on differences between scientists and clinicians in how they think about cancer and research, what early means, cancer as a myriad of diseases, their thoughts on palliative care, their willingness to mention that they don't know or are puzzled by some aspect of their work, their agreement/disagreement with Raza, and whether this is a promising lead forward.

Wednesday, November 13, 2019

Cooling Pattern Trend in the Upper Midwest

Environmental & Science Education
STEM
Earth Science
Earth Systems
Climate Change
Edward Hessler

For the past few years the upper midwest, including Minnesota, has been colder than average. In a recent Updraft entry, MPR's chief meteorologist notes that "Minnesota rides the eastern edge of the coldest place on earth relative to the 1981-2010 average. It shows up as a big blue blob across North America."

All of us know that the past five years have been record setting in terms of heat and yet here we are in 2019 shivering so early in the season. So why...what are some of the possible reasons for what is beginning to look like a persistently cool pattern?  Huttner says that he is "not sure we have a clear answer...yet."

However, Huttner observes that there is a strong hint "in ocean temperatures in the North Pacific. The so-called 'blob' is a huge area of unusually warm ocean water in the North Pacific. It emerged in 2014 and has resurfaced again this year."

In addition, there are profound effects of this pattern in other places. Huttner cites Ian Livingston of the Capital Weather Gang who provides some examples: the persistent and intense California drought, blocked weather systems across western North America, hottest year in Seattle (2015), and as the blob sags south, the polar vortex weather of 2013-2014 and 2014-2015.

One of the takeaways is the V word--variation. Huttner closes by writing that "the big picture with climate change is that even as the globe as a whole gets measurably warmer, there are still regional variations. The last few years seem to suggest that one of those colder regions has set up across the middle of North America."

Huttner's essay is lavishly illustrated with helpful graphs, maps, statewide temperature trends for 2019, the blob in 2014 and so far in 2019, and a typical La Nina weather pattern. So why the latter? The blob mimics this pattern.  





Tuesday, November 12, 2019

Mississippi River Preview

Environmental & Science Education
STEM
Water & Watersheds
Mississippi River
Edward Hessler

You are invited to a showing of The Mighty Mississippi TPT Broadcast Preview Collection on December 12 from 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm. 

This event also marks the occasion of the 30th year of the Center for Global Environmental Education (CGEE).  In addition to the preview there will be presentations by the program's stellar on-camera hosts, an optional studio tour, plus great appetizers and a cash bar. The event is free.

You can find the full details here as well as the link to RSVP.

Monday, November 11, 2019

Approximations

Environmental & Science Education
STEM
Mathematics Education
Maths
History of Science
Edward Hessler

Here is a great cartoon from XQCD on Types of Approximations made by physicists, engineers and cosmologists.

While much different, you may recall the so-called Indiana Pi Bill (Bill #246, 1897) introduced in the General Assembly, an attempt to declare truth by legislative fiat. This Wiki entry tells you what it was all about. It never became law by the way.







Saturday, November 9, 2019

What Toddlers Teach Us About Doing Science

Environmental & Science Education
STEM
History of Science
Nature of Science
Philosophy of Science
Children
Early Childhood
Edward Hessler

In this 10-minute video, from the PBS series Closer to the Truth,  Robert Lawrence Kuhn interviews cognitive psychologist and philosopher Alison Gopnik. In a way this conversation is about how humans have become so good at our capacity to do contemporary science in such a short period of time--just a few hundred years. 

Gopnik's  approach is to question babies, toddlers and young children to study this fascinating question. 

Gopnik is perhaps best known for advocating the 'theory theory,' "the idea that children develop and change intuitive theories of the world in much the same way that scientists do." Children and scientists are model builders and testers. She puts it this way in the video, ‘"It’s not that children are little scientists, it’s actually that scientists are big children."

h/t AEON

Friday, November 8, 2019

Friday Poem


Image result for forest

Environmental & Science Education
Poetry
Art and Environment
Edward Hessler

Today's poem is by Cathy Fagan.

Thursday, November 7, 2019

Credit When And Where It Is Due

Image result for taxonomyEnvironmental & Science Education
STEM
Nature of Science
History of Science
Edward Hessler


Wikipedia describes PLOS One as a "peer-reviewed open access scientific journal published by the Public Library of Science since 2006. The journal covers primary research from any discipline within science and medicine."

The submission guidelines for PLOS One includes this statement: Provide at minimum one contribution for each author in the submission system. Use the CRediT taxonomy to describe each contribution.

The CRediT taxonomy (Contributor Roles Taxonomy) may be new to you. In recent years two features of scientific publication have become apparent. One is the range of contributions scientists may make in a publication. More and more papers require very specialized talents and scholarship. The other is to make those contributions evident. 

The CRediT taxonomy describes 14 roles, e.g., conceptualization, methodology software, writing, that describe a range of contributions to publishing a scientific paper. It standardizes those roles.




Wednesday, November 6, 2019

Sesame Street Launches a New Story Line


Image result for sesame street

Environmental & Science Education
Health
Medicine
Children
Education
Edward Hessler

Seasame Street's muppets now include story lines on parental addiction. Videos launched in early October "feature muppet Karli, whose mother is struggling with addiction and show how she copes with the situation with support from Elmo and other friends."

The materials"include seven new videos, a storybook, a coloring activity, and articles that parents, educators, and health care providers can use to talk to children about addiction and help answer common questions that kids tend to have including what addiction is and how adults get treated." These are available in both English and Spanish.

STAT's Shraddja Chakradhar talked with Dr. Jeanette Betancourt of Sesame Workshop. The interview included the inspiration for this, the approach chosen to explain this, the tools Sesame Workshop is making available, how the tools are supposed to help, how the tools were developed, the reaction so far, and how Sesame Workshop responds to those who have concerns about whether such material is age-appropriate. Chakradhar's essay and interview may be found here. There is a link to two videos, one for parents; the other for providers.

I can't close without re-posting a short video, the response of baby Ariel to Andrea Bocelli's Lullaby to Elmo-- "Time to Say Goodnight."

Tuesday, November 5, 2019

Blowing in the Wind (and Electric Fields)

Image result for spider ballooningEnvironmental & Science Education
STEM
Behavior
Nature of Science
Edward Hessler


Ballooning or kiting is a flight mechanism that spiderlings and adult spiders use to disperse. What a chancy event this is. A spider turns its abdomen skyward, releases since spider silk and the air then takes over, a kind of "Look Ma, no hands."

The young naturalist Charles Darwin reported on it while he was on the HMS Beagle. Writing for The Telegraph, Sarah Knapton includes a diary entry. "Baffled by the sight, Darwin wrote in his HMS Beagle diary: 'Inundated by ballooning spiders on a relatively, calm, clear day,' later noting that the spiders took off again with 'unaccountable speed'".

Both air currents and electricity have been suspected as triggers for this behavior. In their paper, "Electric Fields Elicit Ballooning in Spiders" published July 2018 in Current Biology, Erica Morley and Daniel Robert report on an experiment to "test the hypothesis that electric fields can be detected and are sufficient to stimulate ballooning."

Spoiler alert: they are. But please read on because you can see the experiment.

Their paper includes the standard summary plus highlights (a useful addition) PLUS a short video (~ 3 minutes +) of the research (scroll down to the bottom) which gives you an idea of what and how they did this investigation.

Monday, November 4, 2019

One Concept: 5 Levels of Difficulty


Image result for dimension

Environmental & Science Education
STEM
Maths
Mathematics Education
Cosmology
Children
Edward Hessler

Sean Carroll is a theoretical physicist at Cal Tech.

Carroll was challenged to explain the concept of dimensions at five levels of difficulty: to a child, a teen, a college student, a grad student and an expert.

The video is about 28 minutes long.

Saturday, November 2, 2019

A New Exhibit in Paris: The Blob


Image result for slime mold

Environmental & Science Education
STEM
Behavior
Nature
Biodiversity
History of Science
Nature of Science
Edward Hessler

The Paris Zoological Park has a new display which they have dubbed the "blob." The organism has no mouth or gut or eyes or legs/arms/wings but it can detect food, digest it and is sensitive to light. It is a slime mold (Physarum polycephalum).

When I think of slime molds I think of John Tyler Bonner who spent his research career studying one of the slime mold groups (Dictyostellium discoideuma). He died earlier this year at the age of 98 and was remarkably active until his death. The Princeton University press release announcing his death describes his career and his contributions to organismal biology and evolutionary biology.

If you are interested in learning more about Bonner and his work, Life Cycles: Reflections of an Evolutionary Biologist, is a remarkable read. It gives you an idea of what a life in science is like. His take on biology as a science is that it is a study of life cycles.

Here is a short videoof the blob which interweaves footage (naturally) from the original drive-in favorite, The Blob, starring Steve McQueen and Aneta Corseaut.




Friday, November 1, 2019

Friday Poem


Image result for oak tree

Environmental & Science Education
Poetry
Art and Environment
Edward Hessler

In Death & Rebirth in Forests, Khrisetem Bellows, a teacher/college professor, and Barken Plotkin, manager of Harvard Forest, discuss a poem by Mary Oliver--The Oak Tree at the Entrance to Blackwater Pond. The poem, a verse in video feature read by Plotkin who gives an overview of her work and interests, and an essay.

Lots to like here.


Thursday, October 31, 2019

Discovery in Science is Always Political

Image result for galileoEnvironmental & Science Education
STEM
History of Science
Edward Hessler

In its September 24, 2019 issue, the British journal Nature announced a series of essays by historians of science on "How did we get here from there? (with 'there' being 'science in 1869', the year Nature began publishing, and 'here' being science in 2019.) 

The motivation for this series is found in the sentence, "We ignore our past at our peril."

I may provide summaries of (some of) these and decided after reading the first entry--Discovery is Always Political--to give the first a try but I urge you to read it in full. In this essay, David Kaiser, a historian of science at MIT, traces the roots of government support for science.

Kaiser starts with Galileo's optick tube or spyglass, a device he didn't invent but vastly improved (1609). The Venetian senate asked for a demonstration and "voted immediately to grant Galileo an appointment for life at the University of Padua in Italy."
Jump ahead 250 years when astronomer Norman Lockyear founded Nature in 1869.It had been preceded by a period of private funding for laboratories, including the Royal College of Chemistry, by "prominent British politicians who were convinced that the advancement of 'fundamental scientific understanding" would be advanced by "precision measurements and spur industrial development."  The Second Industrial Revolution beginning in 1870, "demanded standard units and measures."

The "British were playing catch-up to Germany" which had "invested heavily in academic research across the natural sciences," including "the establishment of...the Physikalisch-Technische Reichsanstalt in Berlin in 1887...to accelerate work at the intersection of basic science, applied research and industrial development." There, while evaluating "competing proposals for large-scale street lighting...measurements of radiation output from various devices," led to a change in physical theory and Max Planck's 'first, tentative steps towards quantum theory."
Image result for history meteorology

With the formation of the of the Austro-Hungarian empire (1867), "the imperial authorities launched epic efforts in meteorology and climatology." The aim was to understand large-scale patterns in terms of local patterns. This is the subject of a new book by historian of science Deborah Coen (Climate In Motion: Science, Empire, and the Problem of Scale) which is reviewed by Mott Greene in Nature.

Tsar Alexander II (Russia)  issued a series of proclamations (beginning in 1861) that came to be known as the Great Reforms," a modernization project that freed the serfs and overhauled 'the state-run, as well as changes to regional governments and the judicial system." This provided new opportunities for scientists such as Dmitri Mendeleev" whose name we associate with the periodic table of the elements, first published in 1869.

In the far east, "the Meiji Restoration of 1868 (Japan) marked a period of opening up for the formerly isolated country." Government investments were made in manufacturing" and "fellowships to send students abroad to study."

During this period, the US lagged science elsewhere. Kaiser notes that "the timing was far from promising for new investment. The bloodiest conflict in US history sputtered to an end in 1865, punctuated by the assinadtion of President Lincoln. (More US soldiers died during the civil war than during the First and Second Word Wars and the war in Korea, Vietnam, Afghanistan and Iraq combined.)" It was only "in the early 1940s, amid emergency wartime mobilization, did the US federal government undertake large-scale support for research and development." After World War II "spending on science became an investment in hearts and minds." This led to the training of students, development of "a national laboratory system and supported a broad spectrum of research at universities."

"(I)n 1969, military auditors in the United States released...Project Hindsight" which found "that the federal defense agencies has received a poor return on their investment in open-ended in science." This report led to an "amendment to the federal Military Authorization Act of 1970. It stipulated that no funds from the Department of Defense could be used 'to carry out any research project of study' that did not have 'a direct and apparent relationship to a specific military function'."

Image result for war and science
With the "Vietnam War, scientists and students grappled with the proper place of defense spending in higher education came raucous protests, including the bombing of laboratories on two campuses on the relationship between government support of research. And in the 1970s and onward, the scientific community 'forged partnerships with private industries as well as philanthropies" as government investments in science were steeply cut.

Currently, these "hybrid patterns of support still depend heavily on central-government funding" but Kaisere writes that "fewer than 20 countries currently invest more than 2% of their gross domestic product in research and development. ... In several of those countries...the nature of government support has shifted, often prioritizing projects with short-term goals and practical applications over longer-scale inquiries."

In his introduction to this essay, Kaiser draws attention to Galileo's "knack for convincing government officials and courtly patrons to support his research." He closes with an admonition about the "range of monetary relationships that scientists now navigate" including the courting of equivalents in Galileo's time--the tracking of government legislation and "courting private donors that "we would do well to keep Galileo in mind."

Wednesday, October 30, 2019

Greta Rejects Nordic Council Award: Read Her Stirring and Reasoned Letter

Image result for greta thunbergEnvironmental & Science Education
STEM
Climate Change
Sustainability
Ethics
Edward Hessler


Greta Thunberg has rejected the Nordic Council's environmental prize which includes 500,000 Swedish kroner (US $51.574.03).

Please read her letter rejecting the prize. There is a recurrent theme in what Ms. Thunberg says and writes: Listen to the science and act accordingly.

Thunberg has been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize and also rejected at least one other award.

Material Added. This has been published in Huffington Post with a longer story by Nick Visser and I include two quotes from his reporting that I was unable to "grab" from the CBC's report.  It also serves as a back-up in the event that the CBC report disappears.

The award was “'for breathing new life into the debate surrounding the environment and climate at a critical moment in world history.'”

And Ms. Thunberg's closing paragraph. “In Sweden we live as if we had about 4 planets according to WWF and Global Footprint Network. And roughly the same goes for the entire Nordic region,” she wrote. “Until you start to act in accordance with what the science says is needed to limit the global temperature rise below 1.5 degrees or even 2 degrees celsius, I — and Fridays For Future in Sweden — choose not to accept the Nordic Councils environmental award nor the prize money.”

Tuesday, October 29, 2019

Tops or Spintops


Image result for top

Environmental & Science Education
STEM
Culture
Society
Miscellaneous
Edward Hessler

Tops (spinning tops, spin tops) have a long history-- ~6000 years.  They have not escaped the attention of mathematicians, e.g., this article from Nature (1899). Don't miss the abstract! And Scientific American published a book (1985) by physicist Jearl Walker titled Roundabout, which includes the physics of tops.

There is more to tops though than mathematics and science. I focus on one: the pleasure and joy of watching them in their various forms.

In 1969, the industrial designers Charles and Ray (Bernice Alexandra "Ray" Kaiser) Eames released a film (7 m, 15 s) that "is a celebration of the ancient art and craft of top-making and spinning. One hundred and twenty-three tops spin to the accompaniment of a score by Elmer Bernstein." The tops are old and new and "from various countries, including China, Japan, India, the United States, France, and England."




Monday, October 28, 2019

Good News: Kirtland's Warbler

Image result for kirtland's warblerEnvironmental & Science Education
STEM
Behavior
Biodiversity
Endangered Species
Nature
Edward Hessler

There has never been a time in my life that the Kirtland's warbler (Setophaga kirtlandii) has not been in trouble. It is a beautiful bird found in Michigan jack pine forests with specific requirements for nesting: open areas and small trees. This habitat was a natural outcome of a fire disturbance regime until fire-suppression practices were adopted.

It was a pleasure to read an article published in Science by Michael Doyle that the Kirtland's warbler has been removed from the U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) endangered species list. It has been on that list from the beginning, 1973--50 years. "In 1971, two years before enactment of the ESA (Endangered Species Act), the Kirtland's warbler population declined to approximately 201 singing males and as restricted to six counties in the northern part of Michigan's Lower Peninsula. By 2015...the population reached a record high of 2383 singing males and had spread geographically."

This has been accomplished by the replanting of "approximately 90,000 acres (~36400 ha) of Kirtland's warbler habitat and a Brown-headed cowbird control program." Cowbird's are aggressive nest parasites. Their breeding strategy is that the females put all their energy into egg-laying, letting others build nests and raise their chicks.

While this is wonderful news, Doyle reminds us that ESA officials, describe the Kirtland's warbler as. "'a conservation reliant species'" that will still require hands-on management."
Kirtland's warbler was named after Jared Potter Kirtland (November 10, 1793 - December 10, 1877) an Ohio physician, politician and naturalist.

Saturday, October 26, 2019

Gloomy Forecast

Image result for climate changeEnvironmental & Science Education
STEM
Climate Change
Sustainability
Edward Hessler

In late September, Ron Way wrote a column for the Star Tribune (September 29) about a recent lunch. He starts by asking "Ever had a late lunch on a fine day with a foremost authority on energy--to discuss the nuclear industry and how nuke power plants might help mitigate climate change?" Way left, he writes, "with a sinking sense of despair."  

The expert was Dr. Dean Abrahamson, an emeritus professor of public policy at the University of Minnesota's Humphrey Institute.(Abrahamson has a Ph.D. in physics, an M.D. and a degree in public policy.)

A few highlights or, if you prefer, lowlights.

--Abrahamson knows nukes so it was a natural question about their place in the future, both in MN and also the US.  They are carbon free, prohibitively expensive requiring substantial subsidies, MN has a nuclear moratorium, and Xcel Energy is committed to renewables. Pointless here and across the US.

--The Paris Climate Agreement (2016) has a requirement: The elimination of greenhouse emissions by 2100 BUT by 2050, 80% of those emissions must end. A "kicker," as Way put it.

--The "calamity level" is already less than a degree away providing little wiggle room.

--And furthermore and importantly consider "the sheer enormity of the challenge, the world is still at the talkity-talk stage."  It is not that there have been no warnings which started in the 1960s, "and more recently a broad consensus of the world's top climate experts says we're at the hair-on-fire stage."

Way continues by discussing the nature of the warnings, e.g., 

--The various ways we spew carbon which in the end "amounts to a staggering amount of heat-trapping stuff still going up...."

Image result for polar ice melt--The indicators. Today everything is mega: storms, hurricanes, and flooding, the "wildly irregular weather patterns, polar ice melt, species extinction (and habitat loss), and drought...(Florida Key) climate exodus" and the voiding of insurance.

Of course Way discusses the growing hope coupled with "soaring public demand to address climate change," and technologies that offer some hope.

"What to do?," Way asks. About us older folks he suspects that we are likely to "grumble away our remaining time, thinking that all creativity for positive cultural change went into Smartphones and gadgets we're not good at using."  

There is some reason to think we can get on a fast or faster track and if you believe this "then pay heed to Greta (Thunberg), stop grumbling, get off the couch, and expend all the vigor you have to push real solutions. You could also fly less, drive much less, and forgo red meat (more important than you'd think)."

Way closes this gloomy and yet stirring essay (I hope you READ IT.) by writing, "This climate change thing is mega-serious, folks. It won't solve itself."

I owe the title to Mr.Way. It is perfect.