Tropical Arctic in Distant Past

The NY Times has a thought-provoking article about global warming. According to three studies of the arctic seabed floor that were just published in Nature, 55 million years ago, the arctic was at a temperature of 74 degrees Fahrenheit. (They don’t say how hot that made the rest of the world, but it must have been pretty steamy!)

Obviously, these kinds of time scales dwarf our sensibilities, and can easily lead to a do-nothing attitude about global warming and its possible impact on civilization as we know it. But it seems to me that global warming should be very much on the minds of the technology audience, as we are among a small group who might be able to help do something about it. Alternative energy sources will be one of the big themes of the next decade, and people like you will play a huge role in shaping the future of the planet to the extent you get involved.

(I’m really looking forward to the premiere of An Inconvenient Truth. I saw Al Gore’s presentation at TED, and it really blew me away, both because of the subject matter, and because Gore himself has transformed from a stilted, wooden speaker to someone with the fire of a Larry Lessig!