People who say “drill-baby-drill” are much like people in the 1980s when personal computers came on the scene saying we need more typewriters and carbon paper (paraphrased from Thomas Friedman–see the video in this post). The “drill-baby-drill” is a mantra of those who are stuck in the past, with their heads in the sand, and don’t see that what is needed to deal with our hot planet is “invent-baby-invent.” In yesterday’s post, I wrote about Thomas Friedman’s new book, Hot, Flat, and Crowded, and in this post I want to explore one aspect of Friedman’s analysis of how we got to where we are now, that is a hot (not just warm), flat (the rise of middle classes in countries such as China, Russia, India), crowded. On a late night talk show, Friedman talked about his new book and the underlying themes of this new work. Here is that interview, which I hope you will find interesting and entertaining:
What do you think? Did Friedman’s comments ring any bells for you?… Read more
For thousands of years, the amount of CO2 in the Earth’s atmosphere remained around 275 parts per million, but as seen in the graph below, that value started to increase in the mid-19th century, and then steeply increased to the year 2000 and beyond. This increase has been attributed to the industrial revolution which started in Europe, and has spread about the world.… Read more
Teaching Truth. That’s the problem when we discuss and debate the scientific topic of global warming. As Tim Flannery points out, science is about hypotheses (and I would add theories), not truth. One of the long term problems in science teaching is helping students understand the nature of scientific research, and how science develops theories to explain natural phenomena. Much of science teaching is didactic—even today, after more than 50 years of improved science education research and curriculum development.… Read more
The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change issued its report today in Paris. You can read a good summary of it at USA Today. The report says that global warming is very likely man-made caused by over a century of CO2 emissions. Warming of the Earth is very well documented, and the causual relationships are very likely known. Of course, the results will continue the controversy that exists, especially in the US, but the results of the report are clear, and as the scientists who have produced the report say, it is time to do something about it.… Read more
I thought I would start the new year on the subject of global warming or global heating, as some have called it. How should the topic of global warming be approached in a middle or high school class? That’s what I’d like to talk about.
In 2006, there were a number of events that called attention to the heated Global Warming debate in the U.S.… Read more
In 1958, Roger Revelle and Charles David Keeling developed with funding the Mauna Loa research station for measuring CO2 in the atmosphere. Samples are collected every hour from 5 towers standing above the volcano. According to their website, “Air samples at Mauna Loa are collected continuously from air intakes at the top of four 7-m towers and one 27-m tower.… Read more
I’ve been thinking about writing something about Al Gore’s new book, An Inconvenient Truth: The Planetary Emergency of Global Warming and What We Can Do About It.A book such as this naturally controversial, but from at least two points of view. Firstly, its a scientific book written by a “recovering” politician (a term Gore used to describe himself). The controvery is not whether politicians understand science, but whether they let their experience as a politician jade their views, and jump to conclusions.… Read more
The Art of Teaching Science is the personal blog of Jack Hassard. I am a writer, a former high school science teacher and Professor Emeritus of Science Education, Georgia State University. The blog reflects my opinions on science education and issues related to educational reform from a progressive science and education philosophy.