Tuesday, February 6, 2007

Yes, but will we?

Thus did NASA scientist James Hansen began his lecture: "Can We Avoid Dangerous Climate Change." Hansen has been doing research on global warming since the 70s. Based on his presentation last night, he has spent countless hours poring over computer print-outs, with few opportunities for public speaking. He was not a dynamic presenter, yet the event filled UCSB's largest venue and TWO overflow lecture halls with standing room only. Having ridden our electric bikes from the ranch, we arrived in time to find seats in the overflow rooms.

Fortunately for Fuller & Fuller, the crowd thinned out after the talk, and we were able to get a seat in Campbell Hall for the panel discussion with UCSB's David Lea and UCSD Scripps Institute's Ralph Keeling (son of Charles "Keeling Curve" Keeling). This part of the evening was far more lively than Hansen's lecture, even Hansen was more lively than Hansen had been.

An interesting spirit of patriotism and solidarity filled the room. Hansen started it off by saying "I think our founders would be disappointed..." which drew a round of agreement from the audience. Rather than turning to despair, Keeling encouraged us to return to the "can do" spirit that was so critical in founding our nation. The audience agreed. As the man of the ranch whispered to me, it's not the can do attitude we need, it's the can do without. That was my favorite quote of the night.

Riding past Goleta Beach on our way back to the ranch, the waning moon cast a bright reflection across the waves and illuminated the ridges on the mountains.

I love this place. I hope we won't ruin it.

1 comment:

Noelle Aguayo said...

Hopefully the moon is off limits for now. Beautiful post Whackamole!

Thank you.So, despite his not so charismatic presentation, did Hansen offer any new insights into getting out of this mess?