Sunday, February 25, 2007

Doubters and deniers

There are some who seem to continue doubting the science behind the experience of climate change. If some of you can wait a bit, a number of questions will probably be answered in the research that starts next week, the 200 experiments / studies that make up the task list for the International Polar Year.

While the US media is consumed with the Oscars tonight, and even those who consider themselves green might be rooting for Al Gore, BBC has published a story on the International Polar Year that actually focuses on science rather than the bears.
Projects to be undertaken over the next two years have six major aims:

  • determine the current environmental status of the polar regions
  • quantify past and present environmental and social changes, and improve future projections
  • understand links between the poles and the rest of the planet
  • investigate the frontiers of science in the regions
  • use the polar areas to develop and enhance observation of the Earth's interior and of space
  • explore the cultural, historical and social aspects of circumpolar human communities
If they can do what they are setting out to do, then many of the questions about global warming, the rate of sea level rise, etc. will be answered. I have little personal doubt as to what will be determined.

While they are doing these studies, I hope that everyone spends a little time thinking about Jared Diamond's premise in Collapse. It is not the event itself the determines civilization's fate, but rather how we respond to it.

No comments: