I’m a computer geek with a Bachelor’s degree in computer science, and background in nuclear engineering and physics. Where I went to school, you had to commit to 24 hours of college mathematics to get a degree in Computer Science, so the other interests were easily maintained.
I’m sort of a post-hippie era environmentalist. I mean, I’m old enough to be a hippie, but never quite managed to become one. I grew up in a small town in Missouri where skeptical thought is part of the air you breathe. In that place and time, trust was earned not given. If you were smart, you kept your eyes open and your mouth shut.
Nature and the environment were constantly present. In that neck of the woods, environmentalism was called ‘good stewardship’ and it was a core belief that Mother Nature and God both wanted you to take care of the world you lived on. Back then doing eagle counts on the Mississippi River, running paper drives to collect recyclable newspaper, planning your trips to minimize your fuel, stopping local businesses from dumping chemicals into the water or air, and speaking up to authority when it was being wasteful were the values of my environmental community.
There were environmental extremists back then. We thought they were bit nuts, especially when you grow up in the middle of old growth forest. Some of the actions seemed extreme from the view of the middle of the USA. We were really much more worried about VietNam (the war, and being involuntarily put in the middle of it.)
In the late 70’s I began hearing rumblings about something called “Global Warming”. Sounded serious. So I set out to find out what this new beast was, and understand it. A non-trivial task, as no one was giving out the straight scoop, and the Internet was still a DARPA play toy.
Having been more or less shoved into the maw of the Cold War, and the Military Industrial Congressional Complex I began to gain access to things that the general public wasn’t given. Sure enough, what we now call Climate Change was definitely showing its head. All the data coming in from the science side was starting to look grim. And because of the ‘Net, groups like mine had significantly more access to the scientists and their studies.
Unfortunately, President Reagan (or “Ronnie Ray-Gun” as we in the SDI community called him) was elected president, pretty much slamming the door on anything like Environmental Initiatives, definitely hiding climate change.
So while a small group of people persisted, studying the oncoming catastrophe, the rest of the world took to consumerism like a ‘hog to slop’ as the saying went. We just plain ‘lost it’ as a society.
By the early 1990’s things were looking suspiciously like some forecasts we’d heard (and were told to ignore) back in the ’70s and ’80s. Funny thing, right about then this new phenomenon called the Internet was becoming popular.
Well, W’s daddy lost his second bid to be President, so most most of us “cold warriors” were looking for new places to work. Since I was a computer geek from long ago, it was natural to base my work around the emerging World Wide Web. Funny, those “Global Warming” issues were becoming clearer and clearer. In fact, this guy, Al Gore, was pushing the issue. As Vice President of the USA, he had some influence.
About then the extremist backlash took hold. We ended up with people who thought it was OK to murder in order to preserve life, and guys who felt it was ok to blow up buildings in order to push a philosophical point… and to cap it all off, there was ‘W’. What a nightmare.
So “here is us.” Just a few months into a new Presidency, with the left over ghouls still hanging about on Capitol Hill sucking the life out of the country.
Having survived to this point, I’m looking at the world and think I’ve got some comments to make… hence the blog.