Category Archives: UCSD Climate Change Course

Of Words and Their Power: Three Examples and a Musing

I’ve been thinking lately about terms and terminology, and the power of words.  Consider the following three examples: Global Warming and climate change.  What is the difference between them?   There are people who feel strongly about using one term versus … Continue reading

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Words, Communication and Action: Upcoming posts

I haven’t posted here for a while now, partly because of upcoming travels.  As of now, two posts are currently in progress, one about the power of words and metaphors in the context of climate and education (in which I … Continue reading

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“If You See Something, Say Something”: The Scientist as Activist

The title of my post comes from a recent New York Times article by climatologist Michael Mann of Pennsylvania State University.  About a decade ago, a scientific paper he co-authored flung him into the middle of the climate wars – … Continue reading

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Of Bathtubs, Fracking, and Climate Treaties

Imagine a person who has a bad diet – too much meat, carbohydrates, sugars, that sort of thing.  A bad diet doesn’t kill a person right away, so it is extraordinarily difficult for this person to change his or her … Continue reading

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How do we know anything for certain?

At the start of each semester, I hand my students a short-answer survey called Twenty Questions About the Universe.  Its purpose is to gauge basic knowledge from non-science students about everything from the cosmos to atoms.  It is a wonderful … Continue reading

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Highlights from Week 1 of UCSD Course on Climate Change

So week 1 of the online course I’m taking from UCSD, Climate Change in Four Dimensions, has just concluded.  What’s wonderful is that 12,000 people around the world are taking this course, evenly split between men and women and between … Continue reading

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