Friday, April 8, 2011

Earth: The Operators' Manual

ETOM airs this Sunday at 10:00 PM on PBS

While I certainly have made comments on various hiking/running equipment here, I don't normally use this site as a means to "plug" any sort of product or program.   Well, I am going to break my own rule here and make an exception for something that I particularly think is worth it and that I belive in.

My advisor here at Penn State, Dr. Richard Alley, is an incredible and inspiring individual to work with and to work for.  When I came to Penn State, I didn't know anybody in the world of glaciology or climate.  Everyone told me, "'ve got to meet Richard, he's awesome!".  Little did I know that a few months later I'd be asking him to be my advisor.  Penn State is unique in that you can be accepted into the graduate program without having a set advisor from the start.  You can take a semester or two to work through classes and then choose an advisor that you feel represents your interests the most.  Hopefully, they have grant funding for you, but even if not, there's opportunity to TA classes for your tuition/stipend.   After one semester, and several talks with Richard about bubble ice, I knew it's what I wanted to study and that he was who I wanted to work with.

...and I was off.   Bubbling away.  I have been so fortunate to not only have been under the guidance of such an inspiring scientist (and National Academy Member!), but I have also been able to spend time in Colorado and Antarctica....3 (and soon to be 4) times!   This is also putting aside the fact that my other committee members are just as inspiring (Sridhar and Todd).

Considering just 5 years ago, I was staring at a wall inside of a cubicle telling myself , "this isn't what I wanted to be when I grew up", I feel that my life has been blessed since.  I am extraordinarily grateful for the opportunities that have come to me these past 4-5 years.

So....with that all said.  I am putting this link up to a program that airs this weekend.  The program is called "Earth: The Operators' Manual".  It is part 1 of a 3 part series on how we know that climate change is actually real, and the real unbiased science behind well as positive ways we can move towards sustainable/renewable energy.  Richard is the host and has also written a companion book, which I've been unable to put down since I started reading it.

This is really important.  People bicker back and forth about the "myth" of climate change, arguing that it's all a "government conspiracy", or a conspiracy among scientists to get grant money.   Richard doesn't care about the politics...he cares about the real science.   One of the first thing he says in this program is, "I'm a registered republican, I go to Church on Sundays, and I care about the future for my daughters".  This is not something you'd expect a "crazy left-winger climate nut" to say....which is what a lot of people think climate scientists are.

I beg you all to watch this show with an open mind and try to remember that I work for Richard and that I know him...and can tell you that there is no spin, there is no "agenda",  he's being honest and speaking about the true science.   I found a very old journal entry I made years ago that I think still went something like this:

We absolutely HAVE to take on the issue of global climate change.  It is real, and it is happening. If we could all just for once, stop and pull away the political spin, and just try to talk about it like the intelligent evolved people that I thought we were, and not the stubborn, argumentative, brats we've become.....we might actually lead the world in this fight (instead of lagging behind every other country).
Where's that "U-S-A" chanting crowd we all saw after 9/11?  We need them back....and we need to start fighting real threats.....not 92 year old grandmothers taking off their shoes at airports.

Anyhoo....give it watch people, and see what you think.  It airs this Sunday at 10:00 PM on PBS.  I have hope for the future and I know we can achieve greatness in this world....but we have to stop acting like bratty children.  It does no one any good.

Richard answers ten common frequently asked climate change questions:

1 comment:

Eliza Ralph-Murphy said...

Unfortunately Richard's documentary did not play in my area. I will look for it in the future. He had a very tough time slot(Sunday @ 10pm) as he was up against the Celebrity Apprentice; )