Monday, March 20, 2023

Kolbert on Climate Change

Environmental & Science Education, STEM, Global Change, Climate Change, Earth & Space Science, Earth Systems, Sustainability

Ed Hessler

I recommend an article in The New Yorker by Elizabeth Kolbert on climate change. "A Vast Experiment: The Climate Crisis from A to Z" (The New Yorker November 28, 2022. While a long read, it is divided into sections of varying length which make it easy to read an entry or two, put the article aside and return. My guess is that you won't find it easy to put down.

It consists of 26 essays on climate change, one for each alphabet letter. I tried a couple of ways of summarizing and pitched them in the dustbin of cyberspace. It starts with Arrhenius who got the warming model right. For "B," there is an essay about Greta Thunberg's  statement on the value of policy statements, i.e., "blah, blah, blah."

The shortest is for "D" and it is just two short sentences about despair. There are entries on green concrete, electrical  powered flight, the Inflation Reduction Act - "the first real piece of climate legislation to make it through Congress. Kilowatt hours, math, narratives, the power grid, the quagmire of transmission of electricity, the vast geophysical experiment we have played and continue, weather-related disasters, xenophobia, the ubiquitous "you" and graound zero which the Colorado River has been called.
In the very first entry, Kolbert asks whether "deep down, we don't believe it" (climate change), a questions that hovers over what passes for debate and finding solutions to climate change. It is haunting.

These are sharp, well-phrased entries about the mess in which we find ourselves and for which we don't have much time to which to respond - I don't want to say solve because I don't think it is possible to return to what we would hope for - to influence climate change in favor of the planet and all who dwell here. 

This lovely blue dot in space.

At the link above you can listen, read or both.

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