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A Book for the Sci-Idiot and the Savant

By   Follow Me on Twitter     Message Kathleen Bushman       (Page 1 of 1 pages)     Permalink    (# of views)   1 comment

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Most of us know we should seek information about climate
change from climate scientists - most especially if we're aware
that a lot of money fuels attempts at denial - yet some of us still find it more comforting either to put off our investigation or to whistle past the graveyard. In spite of my tendency to procrastinate, I was aware that I should consider the data carefully b/c - no matter what the evidence might reveal - the stakes might be quite high.

One day because a friend pressed the topic of conversation upon me, I finally decided that I didn't want to remain a passive observer on the issue. I decided that if remaining uninformed meant I was gambling with my children's inheritance when I'd only meant to leave an ante on the table, I would no longer jeopardize my children's future without seeking a better grasp of the odds. With some trepidation, I set out to educate myself.

Why trepidation? If a person like myself - minus even a passable grounding in the sciences - wants to get up to speed on the topic of climate change we often find that it's an uphill battle. Some of us were habitual truants - especially when it came to those dreaded science courses; even on those rainy days when we actually made it to biology or chemistry, we sat in the back of the room.

Later in life, while attempting to educate ourselves many of us might have had my experience; I came across material such as the following paragraph in the introduction to an article published recently in the Gaurdian. If any reader can make any sense of the following paragraph, would you please send me a translation?

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"This discussion focuses on just a short time period -- starting 1998 or later, covering at most 11 years. Even under conditions of anthropogenic global warming (which would contribute a temperature rise of about 0.2 C over this period) a flat period or even cooling trend over such a short time span
is nothing special and has happened repeatedly before (see 1987-1996). That simply is due to the fact that short-term natural variability has a similar magnitude (i.e. ~0.2 C) and can thus compensate for the anthropogenic effects. Of course, the warming trend keeps going up whilst natural variability just oscillates irregularly up and down, so over longer periods the warming trend wins and natural variability cancels out."

I was determined so I finally found a paragraph near the end of
the same article which I could understand reasonably well and it didn't sound good:

"Fortunately the same friend who had pushed the subject of
climate change had suggested a book to read, The Sky Is The
Limit, by Rich Albertson. My friend had got to me by telling me
that the book was a BRIEF one written for people like myself - readers without a string of letters after their name: from BA to PhD. I took the book - and one slow afternoon with nothing else to do - I began to read it. I found that not only was the book written with an amazing clarity, it was NOT the least bit boring.
The book was, in fact, fascinating. As I discovered in the course
of reading the book, Rich wrote his book because he saw the need to educate voters just like myself - who find the science intimating. Albertson realized that voters need some grasp of the scientific evidence b/c any reliable forecast of climate change is based upon that evidence."

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I highly recommend this book - for all those who got A's in every science class they ever took from Biology 101 to graduate Bio-Chemistry, as well as for those, like me, who sat in the back of the room on those days when we actually got to class. Rich may have explained some complex science in simple
straightforward prose, but he didn't dumb it down.

To order the book go to

9a.m - Nov. 4th Catch the
Stephanie Potter Interview of the author

A KBOO Community Radio Broadcast:
*Portland 90.7 FM *Corvallis 100.7 FM *Hood River 91.9

If all else fails listen to the podcast which
will become available on KBOO's website.


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I am a progressive,& an Oregon Progressive Party member who has become convinced we Americans have only ONE 2 faced War Party which typically offers us the choice of two mediocre candidates from which to choose. We Americans who supposedly (more...)

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