How a hellish climate change meetup taught me to find my own way

J. R. and J. J.I met J. R. less than a year ago through The Great Michael Vine. J. R. shares my burden of saving the world. He is a lab rat and freelance journalist and writes for Scientific American and LiveScience. His book about the universe was published in 2009. Follow him on

Hello, readers!! Are you ready to rock?! ‘Cause I am. This is my first ever stint as a Guest Blogger, so big ups to J.J. for knowing quality when he sees it. If you like what you read here, check out my blog A Fistful of Science. Now let’s get down to it.

I’ve become increasingly interested over the past year in playing a more active role in my community. The big watershed for me was the death of Pops Minkel (my dad) in 2009. I realized how much of my grumpy attitude had come from him, and faced with the prospect of turning to “shit and dust,” as Michael Vine likes to say, I decided I wanted to spend my remaining days on Earth making as much of a difference as I could. I’ve since come to realize that being the change I want to see is going to be the hardest thing I’ve ever done.

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2009 Challenge: Climate crisis epiphany

As I watched “the most important meeting in human history” last week, I decided that the COP15* would be a good topic for The Best of 2009 Blog Challenge. More specifically, seeing this chart (below) about global warming triggered an “aha! moment” for me. Over the past couple of years, the majority of scientists have come to a consensus on realistic numbers indicating the human impact on climate change. Here is my brief attempt to make sense of what’s going on and what we can do about it.

Temp Change
Climate Scoreboard temperature change

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