Home > Environment, Montana, Science > Tim Flannery at MSU

Tim Flannery at MSU

As I mentioned before, Dr. Tim Flannery, author of The Weather-Makers came to MSU to give a lecture tonight. Flannery is an ecologist from Australia.

The night began with Mike Phillips, my state rep, telling us what the Montana legislature is doing to combat climate change. He told us about the formation of the Montana climate caucus and the Montana Climate Solution Act, which will be presented to the natural resources committee this Friday. Phillips’s speech then took a partisan turn. Prefacing his comments with the claim that he’s not a particularly partisan legislator, he attacked the state Republican party for “not getting it” and hindering legislative action on climate change. He mentioned Krayton Kearns as the Republicans’ “go-to guy on science” and that Kearns believes the whole thing is a giant scam. He concluded by saying that the Republicans will not get it regarding climate change unless we vote against them and that if we want things done about climate change, we must elect Democrats and re-elected Governor Schweitzer. The charitable interpretation of that is frustration at the Republican party and the uncharitable interpretation is a rather brazen attempt at what he said he wasn’t doing in his preface to those remarks. I’m inclined to be charitable, though I noticed that the crowd seemed uncomfortable with his comments and I would have preferred remarks advocating pressure on Republicans.

After that, Geoff Gamble, the president of MSU, spoke for a bit and then Flannery took the podium. His lecture focused more on what the effects of global warming will be and what we can do curb it than the science behind how we know the Earth is warming. I have no complaints there, but I doubt it convinced any skeptics in the audience. Flannery did an admirable job of laying out what effect climate change will have on our planet and the emerging technologies to stop it. He painted a “worst case” scenario of environmental stress on human beings causing increased socio-political strife. It was definitely more restrained than some of the doomsday, “all humans will die,” scenarios you occasionally hear from hyper-ventilating environmentalists. Questions followed, but nothing particularly noteworthy. I was too shy to jump up and ask my question, which was about his omission of nuclear power from the list of possible solutions to the problem.

All in all, it was a worthwhile lecture. Phillips’s comments make for more interesting blogging, but Flannery’s talk was definitely more educational and interesting.

Categories: Environment, Montana, Science
  1. No comments yet.
  1. No trackbacks yet.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: