By Robert A. Vella
A new two-hour NOVA documentary on existential climate change was aired last night on PBS titled Decoding the Weather Machine. The target audience appears to be people who are climate change skeptics and those who are either insufficiently aware of the science or unappreciative of its implications. The film centers around a conservative meteorologist perplexed by our obviously changing weather who, in his determination to find the cause, discovers the frightening reality of what we humans are doing to this planet. His revelation also provides an informative explanation of the difference between weather and climate.
Because of its focus, the documentary doesn’t get too technical and instead does a good job of conveying the science in an easy to understand manner. It also does an excellent job of putting the subject of climate change into the proper perspective as well as detailing necessary solutions quite comprehensively. The solutions offered take an all-or-nothing approach which essentially asserts that we must do everything possible to decrease the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere right now or face the inevitable consequences threatening modern civilization.
The length of the documentary will likely restrict its appeal, but I’m rating it as highly recommended.
Disastrous hurricanes. Widespread droughts and wildfires. Withering heat. Extreme rainfall. It is hard not to conclude that something’s up with the weather, and many scientists agree. It’s the result of the weather machine itself—our climate—changing, becoming hotter and more erratic. In this two-hour documentary, NOVA will cut through the confusion around climate change. Why do scientists overwhelmingly agree that our climate is changing, and that human activity is causing it? How and when will it affect us through the weather we experience? And what will it take to bend the trajectory of planetary warming toward more benign outcomes? Join scientists around the world on a quest to better understand the workings of the weather and climate machine we call Earth, and discover how we can be resilient—even thrive—in the face of enormous change.
I’d also like to share more information on a related and very interesting story which I reblogged here today. It concerns both the length of time advanced civilizations might be expected to survive in the universe from a statistical perspective, and why we haven’t yet observed any evidence of such extraterrestrial civilizations. See: