Wednesday, April 8, 2009

It Must Be Me

Last week, I had plans to attend Chris Jordan's "Running the Numbers" a Hatboro-Horsham Educational Foundation event, but Chris had a medical emergency (I hope everything's ok) and instead was replaced by Jerry Linenger, an astronaut and environmentalist. Still pretty cool - but different. Chris Jordan was a speaker that I didn't have a lot of background knowledge about, but was looking forward to learning more about and hearing his message. Dr. Linenger's planned speaking topic: A View From Above of the Water Planet: A Unique Perspective on the Environment and its description sounds like it would match the audience well, but either Dr. Linenger deviated from his plan, or simply didn't feel that he had enough time to present his speaking points. He did discuss living in a closed ecosystem and told a few stories about getting into and being in space, but did not address as indicated in the description how to address change in our environmental policy and how to be environmental stewards. In fact, he did mention something that sort of bothered me. He witnessed a volcano erupting in the middle of the ocean and the ash and dust spewing over a huge area as opposed to the small black blip being created by a coal plant. Now, in my opinion - one we can control and one we can't. One - we understand the impact, the other we don't. That volcano's eruption may very well have a positive impact on the ecosystem around it, but the coal emissions being created, which could be SEEN FROM SPACE, no matter how small in relation to a volcanic eruption, do not. Not on the people who live in the surrounding area, or the people who work in the plant. Granted, they have a job...a job that may/will kill them. I understand that Dr. Linenger was asking members of the audience to look at the big picture, but I strongly disagree with the point I believe he was trying to make with this particular off hand comment.

With that said, I felt badly about the last minute switch, because I feel that he is a valuable resource and had adults or the parents of children with a strong interest in space known he would be coming, I feel the turnout would have been much stronger and he would have felt, perhaps, more comfortable as well.

Now, this is not the first time something like this has happened. I also saw James Carville and Mary Matalin through HHEF, but about two years prior, I planned to see Morgan Spurlock and he was cancelled and not only that, a national news story emerged! I can't wait to see who's coming next year.

No comments: