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2007-10-13 - 11:00 a.m.

..congrats to Al and the IPCC, and other meanderings....

As I worked on my lectures yesterday morning, I was greeted with news that the Nobel Society recognized Al Gore and the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change for their international efforts to spread awareness of global warming. It gave me a great feeling of satisfaction to see Gore recognized for his work which is impressive both in his ability to reach the public, AND in the degree of its scientific accuracy. I also felt a sense of pride to know that I am one of the thousands of scientists who contributed to the IPCC in the past, and that it is being recognized for its monumental effort, time, and commitment from the scientific and policy communities.

It also makes me wonder if at some point the architects of the Montreal Protocol to limit ozone-depleting substances were ever recognized in a similar way. I know that Crutzen, Molina, and Rowland all received Nobel Prizes for their scientific contributions to our understanding of ozone chemistry (and I still find it a shame that Susan Solomon - one of my heroes - is not a member of that crowd, as her work on the role of polar stratospheric clouds was crucial to understanding how ice crystals accelerated the degradation of ozone at the poles...) So the scientists were recognized, but what of the Protocol?

Of course, the Montreal Protocol addressed a simpler, global environmental problem in many ways. Still, it's not that difficult to be simpler than the problem of global climate change, and the Montreal Protocol and London/Copenhagen Amendments all represent monumental and perhaps stand-alone successes in global environmental agreements, and are still working their magic 20 years down the line. My two cents for those Nobel people, if they haven't gotten to it yet.


We have been blessed with sunny weather - both yesterday AND today - and so it is currently warm enough to sit out on the porch with a cuppawhatever. I've been busily trimming the porch plants and thinking about what I might plant to welcome in the fall. I have my eye on some cheerful autumnal mums.

My cuppawhatever is actually coffee - I like it again. I have also recently read (bbc) that the UK health officials are declaring 1.5 units of alcohol / day is a safe level for pregnant women. Huh. Another friend's Canadian doctor advocated a limit of 1 glass wine/week. It seems that moderation really is in vogue. K tends more towards the precautionary approach to things on this subject - I am more of a moderate, although I don't think that my body would care for 1.5 units of alcohol/day at this point. (how much is a unit, anyway?).


Class went rather well yesterday - it was more of a dialogue than a lecture, followed by a discussion. I sometimes wonder if the students are finding the discussions useful. I could right away that the dialogue brought them from passively absorbing material more towards actively thinking about it. Made me happy.


Ultimately I've given in on the idea of having a traditional baby shower. I don't think that my friend (who very kindly offered to organize it) will allow me to be much less than traditional. Oh well. I will keep my 'list' of gift items as short and sweet as possible (sheets, towels, receiving blankets, gin*...) and put up one big item to which folks can contribute if they want. In the meantime, I've branched out on my search for used items, and wonder why anyone would bother to buy new. I've become a cra1gsl1st junkie.

So, how's that for wild meanderings on the home front?

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