September 23, 2009

Population Control

I recently had a conversation via email with my writing professor about a semester long research paper we have to write. Before I proceed, let me remind you that this is for the class, Advanced Writing in the Sciences. Let me also reiterate that this is a semester long project. That is, we should probably be researching something we're fairly interested in. Well, this is how it went:

Hello ******,
We spoke yesterday about my research topic for AWD-I would like to do it on CO2's correlation on hurricane frequency/intensity. I spoke to my adviser (who happens to be teaching Weather and Climate this semester) for help with narrowing down the topic. All he could come up with was to take the CO2 part out of the question, and talk about a warmer atmosphere and its effects on hurricanes instead. However, this seems to make the topic even more broad. So, I guess my question for you is this: would it be alright if I wrote my proposal for my original topic on Thursday, and talked to you about it after class to see if you have any suggestions? Then by Monday I'll hopefully have a better, more specific line of research. I guess I should have probably talked to you about this earlier (say, before initial research was due, ha), but any help you can give me will be much appreciated!

Hi Kelley, your plan sounds fine. I should clarify: Co2 + hurricane freq is a fine general topic, but you should be prepared to focus on a more specific aspect of it. I.e. perhaps it's impact on lower income communities in the gulf and caribbean or it's relationship to certain political choices/controversies. The topic itself is ok, you just need to decide where within that topic you want to focus. I can talk more with you after class on Thursday but bring what you can to the peer review. Best, ****** 
Um, Professor, last I checked, this is writing for science majors. And last I checked, just because most kids in this class are bio-chem/behavioral neuroscience and/or pre-med, doesn't mean we all care about the fate of humanity.  Last I checked, I thought hurricanes were a great form of population control. Because last I checked, humans are ruining the earth without any sign of stopping or even slowing down. And last I checked, that's why I'M A FUCKING GEOLOGIST!!! 

I just want to write about science, pure and simple. I could give a flying fuck about third world coastal towns. If I did, I would currently be studying International Affairs, hosting events with Amnesty International and have a giant poster of that arrogant ass Bono above my wall in place of my rock collection.

Yes, I am probably a cold-hearted bitch, but it's true. We are animals, on par with the monkeys, dolphins and ants of this earth. But unlike every other living organism, we no longer have to compete (if you will) to survive. We surpassed that level long ago. It's all about the slash and burn method: uncontrolled and uninhibited. We have already proven to god knows who that we are the superior species. But that in no way gives us the right to abuse the planet we were fortunate enough to evolve on. Attention humans: if it weren't for the delicate balance of these precious ecosystems, we wouldn't have gotten this far! We wouldn't have grown to become the species we are today, which means we wouldn't know how to do what we do.

Now, I guess some could argue that we do in fact deserve to do with Earth what we please, we did after all compete to the top of the food chain. We won Darwin's game, right? Eh, probably not. Most likely we'll be our own ruin because the Earth stops performing the way we like. We'll keep moving to coastal towns and get knocked out by hurricanes. We'll insist that we need to clear away entire habitats to make room for houses and crops. All because there is nothing out there to keep us in check. Then we'll die. Probably slowly. Earth will run out of room. We'll fight to keep what we already "own", we'll go to war for food, and kill each other off. And Earth will bounce back. After all, we have only been here for .0000000001% of Earth's existence*. Why should we be able to live on it for much longer?

Which brings me back to my original point. Now why in the world I care about hurricanes' effects on humans?

Tommy thinks I'm just bitter because he spelled my name wrong.

*I don't actually know the number off the top of my head, I just know it's teeny tiny. Take a geologic history course if you're curious.

No comments:

Post a Comment