Sunday, November 8, 2009

Science gone Awry

-It is always a question to me as to what the purpose of science is supposed to be. It seems that observations should lead to predictions which should lead to preventative measures. It seems that science should be able to save and protects us from our shortcomings. In the case of global warming I am puzzled as to how we could not have foreseen the effects centuries ago. Not that it would have stopped industrialization but maybe it could have yielded suburban sprawl or pollution and waste. Science is kicking us in the ass these days...threatening us to clean up after ourselves. This is why I appreciated chapter two for discussing earlier scientists who made observation, invention and phenomenal identifications. Even then, people were spreading the word on glacial movement and the greenhouse effect.
-I like that the author identifies recordings like the Keeling Curve and places like Swiss Camp, giving background and information about why these are strong connections and of noteworthy importance.
-One thing to discuss in class could be the fact that this sort of journalism allows, amidst the scientific descriptions, the space for profiles of important people that are dedicating their lives to the field of global warming...inspiring change and hopefully helping people to realize that it takes more than just a few ambitious individuals.
-Also I think it is important to include sort of "outsiders of a civilization"like the Inuit hunter, a fisherman, herders and people living in Greenland, people who don't have alcohol out of strict necessity, people who are close with the earth and are observing its changes in their daily lives.
-Another discussion could be about how you can make journalism creative by using interesting metaphors. For example Kolbert calls the antenna "bristling with equipment, like a high-tech Christmas tree.
-Also, when is the best time to report on certain issues? Kolbert is arriving in the middle of the Global Warming debate, arriving when climate has gone through immeasurable ways we probably have not yet noted. Perhaps this is what gives her writing so much substance.