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...that she might be a sufficient reason for young Candide

and he for her

April 7th, 2006

Movies and Thermometers @ 04:30 pm

Current Mood: determined

I don't really know where to begin. I just saw Al Gore speak, which was as always stunningly good. I don't understand what happened to that man on stage in 2000, he's a brilliant speaker. Anyway he's been working on a number of side projects in the last 5 years, and the most important for the moment is the movie he just helped produce/starred in. As some have noted this movie should be, on it's face, a very hard thing to sell. I'm here to tell you this story sells itself.

The movie, An Inconvenient Truth, is more or less the same lecture I just saw today. Which means, as you might imagine, that I just saw a 90+ minute lecture, followed by a standing ovation, followed by a Q&A session in which I asked a question about the Kyoto accord, followed by another standing ovation, followed by me feeling more purposeful and resolute than I have ever previously felt. For those of you reading my private entries, you'll know I've tried to spend some time recently learning how I might use my energy and skills to improve the world. Well, I think I get it now. This was precisely the whack upside the head I needed. What's great is, this whack is coming to an upside the head near you this very summer. Keep your eyes on the Marquee, because I expect this film to get broad distribution.

The message is crystal clear. Climate change is not a theory. It's not ambiguous. It's not a cause for thoughtful concern. If you know me, and recognize that I am a generally skeptical person, take heed -- I am convinced. The lecture I just saw brooks little rebuttal. I will be keeping my ears open for that rebuttal, if it comes, but these aren't subtle facts I've been confronted with. We are entering a "period of consequences". I, for my part, will be taking action. It will take some time for me to learn what actions are afforded me by my skills and position, but of the basic path I am certain. How wonderful an honor it is to be at a company where I can fully expect that a desire to use my time in this way will be reflected directly by my employer. No, I'm not changing careers. But I stand with a very long lever, and a place to stand, and I think it would be irresponsible not to move the world.
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(no subject) - (Anonymous)
[User Picture Icon]
Date:April 8th, 2006 08:48 am (UTC)
Did we break up and nobody told me? What the fuck is this ring for, then? And if we aren't already married why aren't we having sex?
[User Picture Icon]
Date:April 8th, 2006 01:38 am (UTC)
It was a bloody good talk, wasn't it? And it's good to be working here.

But just to make you sleep a little less soundly, here's another datum that he didn't mention. The polar melting reports have been coming in fairly regularly in the past year; at this rate, we may have a seasonally navigable North Polar Sea within 5-10 years.

So here's a practical thought: To what extent are there good "whole-system" models? Could we build a model that takes anthropogenic behavior as input, tries to simulate as many effects as possible, and produces information about local climate changes at least for 5-10 year time horizons? (So we could answer questions like "if the North Pole does melt, and assuming that it either does or doesn't shut off the Gulf Stream, what does that mean in the central US, in Africa, etc.?")

This may already be solved; if not, it looks like a place where 20-30 specialists and a lot of CPU could make a big difference.
[User Picture Icon]
Date:April 8th, 2006 04:15 am (UTC)
Call me and reveal all.

OR just call and chat...
Date:April 8th, 2006 05:03 am (UTC)
Coincidentally, Cecil Adams* put up an article on the topic of global warming today too. I missed the talk, but I was impressed by Gore's speaking ability the last time he came. I'm glad to hear that I'll be able to watch the movie.

* a part of me died just now after reading that it's a pseudonym for a group of people and not an individual
[User Picture Icon]
Date:April 8th, 2006 08:52 am (UTC)
We're getting theaters, in case you missed that aspect. So you'll get to watch the movie for free. =)
Date:April 10th, 2006 08:32 pm (UTC)


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...that she might be a sufficient reason for young Candide

and he for her