Image Credit: NASA
The United States has spent $25 billion over the past 15 years on global climate change research. Most of this money has been allocated to remote monitoring systems in order to construct climate prediction models. Uncertainty about the future state of the climate still persists, however, which has led many people to question the value of continued funding for natural and social scientific research. Politicians on different sides of the issue tend to politicize the science for political gain. Meanwhile, real progress in mitigating global climate change and adapting to its effects remains stalled.
It may be that the reason for inaction is that global climate change is less a matter of scientific knowledge and technical expertise and more an issue of the proper human role on earth. The human influence on climate raises fundamental ethical, theological, aesthetic, and metaphysical issues. If it is possible that these concerns lie at the heart of the matter, then the humanities could offer a wealth of relevant knowledge to communities and policy makers.
Global Warming in the News :The End of Eden (Michael Powell, New York Times, September 2, 2006.)
Some Convenient Truths (Gregg Easterbrook, August 14, 2006)
AC/DC: The Deluded World of Air Conditioning (William Saletan, Slate, August 7, 2006)
Climate Experts Warn of More Coastal Building (Andrew Revkin, New York Times, July 25, 2006)
Gas Pump Geopolitics (Thomas Friedman, New York Times, April 28, 2006)