Two students authored this editorial about huge donations recently made to elite universities to establish climate study programs.
Their argument is that it takes many years for college programs to produce experts who can make a difference, while the climate is in such a dire emergency that the money (hundreds of millions of dollars!) should have been put towards efforts to do something that would be effective immediately.
I agree with these students, in part. Schools Of Climate Studies would take a minimum of four years to produce their first class of graduates, who would then first have to find jobs in their field.
It could easily be 20 years before there are enough graduates with enough experience to start saving the planet. The Earth could be a dead, smoking hulk by then (insert eyeroll here).
But there’s another issue: while medical schools produce doctors and engineering schools produce Engineers, what will climate schools produce?
Climate scientists collect data, which they feed into computers that produce predictions about future weather.
Unfortunately, the Earth’s weather and climate are so incredibly complex and influenced by so many unpredictable variables that as a result, no climate prediction has ever been correct.
After all, one huge volcanic eruption, one atomic bomb, or one asteroid strike, and everything fed into a computer become worthless — sort of like if you were cooking and a rat jumped into the pot.
If donors want to give hundreds of millions to universities to establish “schools of whatever” that bear their name, of course, then the donor gets the benefit of the legacy and the school gets the benefit of the money (which is really what the goal is).
But as far as having an actual effect on climate change…. I have serious doubts that it will be climate school graduates who will do that.
While I have no way of knowing what these climate schools will teach, I have a suspicion they will be designed to produce activists, not scientists.
And I’ll bet a canister of carbon dioxide that one of these climate schools will grant Greta Thunberg an honorary degree.
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