Saturday, June 5, 2010

If you like scary movies

Okay, it's a science lecture, but it still scared me. I realize not everyone likes to listen to a university professor interpret graphs for 85 minutes straight. This lecture is a university professor debunking a climate change skeptic who fabricated much of his evidence and misrepresented nearly all of his sources. It includes the original evidence, articles, and even emails from the scientists the skeptic quotes.

What I find horrifying about this is that the skeptic has been invited to speak at universities to educated people, and only those willing to actually look at his sources will see that something's amiss. I always believe in taking a second look at anything interesting I hear, but I do also expect that when someone cites sources, they are citing them correctly, else why bother listening to anything they say?

I do understand being skeptical about climate change. However, I don't understand a) being ignorant of it - seriously, if I could have a nickel for every stupid joke about global warming that belies the joker hasn't even skimmed the Wikipedia article on it... it's a theory that entails life as we know it changing irrevocably. Disbelieve it if you want, but at least *know* it first. Or b) aggressive anti-intellectualism and a culture that allows someone like this skeptic, who's never published a peer reviewed paper in any subject and has no formal training in science to be given the same venue as people who've dedicated their careers to collecting and interpreting data.

Anyway, this week I've been experiencing somnolence, which is the flip side of insomnia. Rather than not being able to sleep, I have a hard time staying awake and will nap in 2-3 hour stretches throughout the day and night. It's difficult to parent this way, and impossible to do anything else in addition to that. (But yes, science lectures do keep me awake; I find them interesting.) These attacks usually last about a week or so, and I wish they left me all rested up for the next wave of insomnia, but no. I think something other than conventional exhaustion drives somnolence. But you'll hear more from me again when I'm awake :-)

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