Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Is pricey gasoline the best solution to global warming?

When teachers are educated about the best way to instruct a diverse group of students, they are taught to use a variety of different methods to ensure they are properly addressing dissimilar learning styles.

For those of us that track and participate in the fight against global warming, we are sometimes overly idealistic about what motivates people to work on decreasing their carbon footprint. For some, the motivation is as simple as helping the environment. For others, there has to be a more tangible reward involved.

A New York Times article from the weekend, “At $100 for Tank of Gas, Some Choke on ‘Fill It’,” highlights the continuously rising gas prices and the heavy financial burden placed upon owners of larger vehicles to fill their tanks. The article discusses how many owners of large SUVs are now looking for alternatives.

So perhaps we should look to the way teachers use a variety of teaching methods and apply that to educating people about the damage global warming is causing our planet. Everyone has a different tipping point. To assume that all people are inspired by the same information is both naïve and dangerous, as it inevitably means certain groups of people will not understand the implications that global warming could ultimately have on their lives.

To combat this, it is essential for those of us doing the educating to cater to a variety of different audiences – the environmentalist, the intellectual, the businessperson, to name just a few. Value is in the eye of the beholder, and keeping that in mind will ultimately make us more successful at our endeavors.

1 comment:

octalman said...

Perhaps teachers should educate themselves first about accurate science. Global warming, carbon footprint, greenhouse gases, etc. are terms used by the uninformed simply repeating a mantra. Gasoline is by any unit of measure a highly efficient energy source. Alternatives consume more energy to produce than they yield. It is foolishness to produce ethanol from food crops. It is utter foolishness to motivate people to reduce their carbon footprint when based on a faulty premise.

CO2 is not a pollutant or greenhouse gas - scientific fact. The greenhouse effect that makes our plant habitable is driven by water vapor (clouds), not CO2. One large volcanic eruption overwhelms the sum of all human activity. There are numerous volcanic eruptions worldwide every year putting ash into the atmosphere that does impact average global temperature. Long before humans walked the earth average temperatures were much higher than present or predicted. The doom sayers would have us believe that there is a tipping point for greenhouse gas dujour only slighty above current levels. If that were correct, the tipping point was exceeded thousands of years ago. Why do we enjoy such a moderate climate today? Shouldn't we be baking in a harsh climate right now?

Too bad common sense, critical thinking, and understanding of science is in such short supply. Lack of scientific understanding does extend to the Nobel Prize winning folks. Baaah, Baaah, Baaah, send more government funding.