18 May 2011

A Rap Song: Climate Change is Real

A bit off-topic and yet worth watching: a new trend in the marketing of science? In any case, its pretty good (hat-tip Andrew Sullivan).


  1. The nerd/geek in me sort of cringed while watching this video.

    "Sustainability" seems to be the buzz word of the decade or so. Similar to "cyber security" and "smart" in front of your favorite materialistic noun. With the US being the biggest contributor to CO2 levels, it makes sense that the US would be conscious about fixing that. I am curious though, if this craze will depress other upcoming and developing countries to experience a stagnation in progress due to the US trying to impose the sustainability to every effort. Sure, developing countries made the leap from nothing to cellphones, but can that sort of advancement be implemented in other aspects of life and have these countries raise up on their own when the US imposes the "sustainability" clause? Are they not to have their own industrial revolution, just skip it? Is that possible, or are we thwarting their ability to raise as a country by themselves? Our humanitarian efforts are also centered around the concept of sustainability, which makes a simple design more complex, and thus, more expensive. There are exceptions to this, of course.

    In the US, the engineering/building and overall practices are seemingly getting better, but under closer examination, you can still see the fundamental lack of efficiency caused by the mixing of politics and business driving science. A good example of this is Clarkson's Student Center and the large amounts of windows in the building. Please think of how long winter is in Potsdam, and how heat escapes through a glass medium so easily, and then ask yourself how efficient are we really being? I am more of the understanding that you can make data take any shape you want it to have if you manipulate it enough. Don't get me wrong, the idea is great and I am glad to see a movement towards reducing the largest carbon footprint in the world. Those who are enlightened might say, that it matters not, how or why a good thing comes to fruition, but it's evident that although a good idea, our implementations are poorly conceived sometimes and we must always be careful of ulterior motives. In regards to sustainable technologies today, we can cover the earth's surface in solar panels and still not supply enough energy for the rate we consume! In hopes of the electric future that GE is driving forward with the Smart Grid and the Electric Vehicles pervasiveness, I look forward to the independence of the US to foreign oil, although "that's not the reason for any of these most recent wars".

    This visualization is a fun one, courtesy of GapMinder.