Friday, September 29, 2017

Trip to Greece

Tomorrow Joan and I will set out on a trip to Greece. For someone who taught Western History for 35 years this should be a real thrill. We'll fly to Athens and begin a 4-day land tour the next day. We'll get to see sights like Mycenae, Olympia, Delphi, Corinth and the fabled monasteries at Meteora.

After that we'll be back in Athens for four nights to take in the Greek vibe and see the remarkable sights there. The Greeks, and the Athenians more than any other, were the originators of philosophy, democracy, drama, rationalism and humanism. Their self-confidence and use of logic is well-expressed in their splendid art and architecture. They established the approach that underlies the scientific method. The museums will be marvelous and I'm told the food is great!

Then we'll set sail on the Aegean Sea to tour the Greek isles. Our 700-passenger ship will go to Mykonos, Crete, Patmos, Rhodes Ephesus and Santorini to take in the culture, the vivid azure waters and, in some cases, the small-town ambience. We will be back in the U.S. around the 18th of October.

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

An Ounce of Climate Prevention

Climate change deniers often like to say we can't afford to undertake the mitigations necessary to reduce carbon pollution and transition to green energy sources. "It's bad for the economy," they say. Compared to what, I ask. According to initial insurance estimates the cost to repair the damage from hurricanes Harvey and Irma will total $50 to $70 billion dollars (source.)

That's just to repair the damage. It doesn't include having the economies of most of East Texas and much of the entire state of Florida off line for several weeks, which will cost the national economy more tens of billions. Just as predicted, the hotter oceans are producing more and stronger storms that cause more damage than ever before.

Why is it that we cannot afford to take the preventative steps to prevent such catastrophes but we generally seem to find the money to put things back together after them?