It’s Science!

The Inorganic Carbon Cycle
The Inorganic Carbon Cycle

And I’m just not that into it. I was having a conversation with a friend recently and we agreed that humanities are better than science any day of the week. I realize the irony of conveying that message using a device and medium created by modern science, but I suppose I’ve always enjoyed studying ideas and social constructs more than things.

I’m studying climate change this summer in the last required “core” course for my BA. I had a few choices. I could have taken biology, chemistry or an earth science course on global warming and climate change. I wanted to take biology, but the course was too late at night. Chemistry I would have failed, I’m sure. I hated chemistry in high school. Something about memorizing the periodic table and atomic weights seemed completely pointless to me. When would one be doing science and not have a copy handy to use as a reference guide if needed, really?

Anyway, there are things about this class that I find interesting. First of all, I agree with the basic premise that global warming is a real and happening (not in the fashion sense) thing. The planet is getting warmer. It has done this in the past, but this time it’s different because we’re converting all of the carbon that used to be underground into carbon that’s in the atmosphere, which causes the planet to retain more heat. I have a hard time understanding how people can look at the multiple data sets available for temperature change, change in carbon in the atmosphere, and see the huge spike associated with increased human activity (burning fossil fuels, creating gases) and brush it off as a joke or hoax. When Miami is underwater, I wonder if people will still be claiming it’s a conspiracy?

Beyond that, it’s pretty cool to see how volcanoes and the El Nino weather pattern affects global temperatures. Or to examine the what-ifs of climate change. Famine, drought, flooding, shifting coastlines and floating cities. It might even be sort of cool, except for all of the people that would die along the way.

The actual mechanics and math of climate change is tedious. It is painful to sit down and look through long charts of numbers, plugging them into formulas and whatnot to get measurements of changes in temperatures.

Anyway, there are about two weeks left in this class. Then I’ll start getting myself together for Fall semester.