Sunday, November 25, 2012

I was dismayed that not one person mentioned reading my editorial, so I did a poll to find out why.   Was the word "climate change" in the title a turn off?  Not really.  Apparently the editorial's placement in Sunday's paper was less than desirable.  Most people skipped that section.  That left me less than satisfied.

Today I sent the heart of the matter to the heart of the problem.  At a little over four pages, the email was long.  The length was necessary to explain the science in a way that any reader could understand.

If that produces no results, I will conclude that some folks are not representing this entire country.

A couple of posts ago I mentioned the arboretum at Dinosaur State Park in Rocky Hill.  These photographs were taken there.  Sunshine made the apricot (in autumn) leaves of the weeping katsura glow.  While I was waiting for plaster to dry in the casting area, I noticed this monstrous leaf dwarfing a standard oak leaf.  The woman said it was an elephant magnolia, but online I couldn't find any evidence that such a magnolia exists.  Could it be a southern magnolia? 

Monday, November 12, 2012

Climate Change in a Nutshell

I wrote an editorial about climate change for the Hartford Courant and was surprised to find it in Sunday's paper.  I whipped it up out of frustration that neither candidate was bringing up this important topic.  At the time, I didn't even consider it a clip. Here it is:

Climate Change in a Nutshell

When we crack the shell and get to the meat of the matter, climate change is not about politics and it's not about religion.

The big issue is not the cost of gasoline.  It's the level of carbon dioxide in our air.  Although carbon dioxide rose and fell in human history, it has never been as high as it is now.  Carbon dioxide is higher than at any time in the past 800,000 years.  We are way off the charts.

Extra carbon dioxide in the air is linked to higher temperatures, which affect the availability of water in many places all over the world.  Extra carbon dioxide in the air is absorbed by oceans, which causes them to be more acidic.

Increased acidity and warming ocean temperatures harm corals.  Fish from coral reefs are a source of food for more than one billion people worldwide.  Climate change is a tough nut to crack, but burying it will only make the problem grow.

* Published in the Hartford Courant (11/11/12)  and the Journal Inquirer (12/1/12 - a later version)

As of this writing, the amount of carbon dioxide in the air is 391.03 parts per million and rising.

You can find current carbon dioxide levels here:

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Saturday I taught a K-2 science class called Razzle Dazzle Jellyfish.  It was great fun!  I told stories, asked questions and explained hands-on activities.  The kids were enthusiastic and eager to answer questions.  They don't realize it, but they learned some pretty sophisticated science.

On 11/15 and 11/17, I'll be running a grizzly bear science class. If the weather is suitable we will be going outside for a little bit, so dress warmly if you are participating.

Also, I hope to schedule a free hands-on science program for kids.  Parents are welcome too.  I'll post those details when I arrange the class, hopefully real soon!