Although I had visions of posting a beautiful document, I have to settle for what I can manage for now. I hope you enjoy the content, even though it is not pretty!
Welcome to the very first edition of Oregon Space Educator, the monthly publication of Oregon’s Solar System Educator for 2010 and 2011, Dr. Don W. Brown. For those of you who attended the Oregon Science Teacher’s Conference in Salem Oregon in the fall, this will be the place I will post the lesson plans for the activities I presented. I will also provide information about new developments at JPL and NASA, and opportunities for training, collaboration and summer learning for teachers. Enjoy!
Links of the month: these were used in the online training:
NASA Astrobiology: http://astrobiology.nasa.gov/nai/education-and-outreach
JPL Solar System Ambassador Program: http://www2.jpl.nasa.gov/ambassador/
Guest Author: Dorothy Diehl Mrs. Diehl is a regular editorial contributor to this wiki/newletter. Dorothy has educated students about space science as a planetarium teacher and community aerospace organizer. Her views do not represent the views of NASA/JPL.
Do We Need to Save the Planet?
The argument that we need to stop global warming to save the planet reveals our ignorance about the meteorological history of the Earth. The planet has successfully endured many cycles of global warming and ice ages. The immediate danger from global warming, besides rising sea levels, is the increase in the frequency and intensity of severe weather events, which cause catastrophic damage. The remote danger is climate change, which might trigger another ice age. Think about annual advancing snow packs at the end of this century creeping relentlessly towards the Earth’s tropic zones. How will our grandchildren and great-grandchildren survive an ice age that virtually eliminates agriculture? The Inuit people near the Arctic regions know how to live in an icy environment. They will probably survive. The tribal peoples of central Africa like the Maasai know how to live off the land. They also will probably survive. It is the people who depend on central heating and supermarkets who are doomed. Or, are they? The not-yet-invented technology that allows people to live in permanent settlements in space could save the people in developed countries on Earth who are facing an approaching ice age. Having or not having indoor regenerative ecosystems that cycle continuously in our homes could be a matter of life or death because most people will not be able to migrate off planet to safety in space settlements. Instead of pursuing green technology to save the planet, we should be demanding space frontier technology to save us.