About Rationally Speaking
Rationally Speaking is a blog maintained by Prof. Massimo Pigliucci, a philosopher at the City University of New York. The blog reflects the Enlightenment figure Marquis de Condorcet's idea of what a public intellectual (yes, we know, that's such a bad word) ought to be: someone who devotes himself to "the tracking down of prejudices in the hiding places where priests, the schools, the government, and all long-established institutions had gathered and protected them." You're welcome. Please notice that the contents of this blog can be reprinted under the standard Creative Commons license.
Wednesday, August 31, 2005
Katrina, Bush and global warming
Contrary to popular belief, global "warming" isn't simply about making every place on earth hotter. The warming up of the earth's atmosphere has complex consequences, including the manifestation of more extreme weather patterns (both in the high and the low ranges of temperature, depending on latitude and other geographical characteristics).
But of course, if the catastrophe happens somewhere in east Asia, the average American will only be mildly affected, both emotionally and economically. On the other hand, the sight of a major American city (New Orleans) under water, the most recent estimate of possibly thousands of deaths, and especially the price of gas hitting almost $4 a gallon, well that's a different story.
Far from hoping for more catastrophes, I do however realize that this is typical of the history of humanity: for all our self-pride in being the "rational" animal, we seem to only respond to emergencies that affect us directly. Well, Bush and other warming-deniers may have a series of 'em coming up in the next few years.