This is why this is all so important

To preface the piece of news I'm gonna post, I want to share something I learned recently.

My parents remember a time in American classrooms where plate tectonics was not accepted, a time when it was a new and experimental theory, and a time (the last fifty years) where it's been fully accepted and, in the age of GPS satellites, completely proved.

But in the first half of the 20th century, geologists had a hell of a struggle getting people to listen to their idea that the continents can move. That is, academic geologists had a hell of a time writing papers and hosting discussions to convince other academic geologists (who also write paper sand host discussions).

Meanwhile, practical geologists searching frantically for new deposits of oil accepted and used the idea that the continents had been organized very differently, once. They didn't write papers or textbooks about it, though - they just found oil.

This is kind of a problem with academia; often, it separates itself from people using science for practical purposes. In a sense, the practical people can often see things that academics - sometimes mired in theories and papers - waffle or don't fully appreciate.

That's why it's more scary when The [British] Institute of Mechanical Engineers issues a report that says current efforts to reduce emissions are 'useless' and we should start planning for a changed world.

These are mechanical engineers, the people designing and building every little piece of technology in the world. I don't want to stereotype people with a certain job, but I don't think it's a stretch of the imagination to think that these are people concerned with a lot of practicalities - and the starkness of their report kind of reinforces that.

And I get this image in my head of a room full of politicians, pundits, celebrities, and scientists talking over each other about what the hell we can do and whether we should do something and so on, while a couple mechanical engineers in the corner shrug and say "Well, looks like we should start building power plants on higher ground."

That's our current progress.

And that's why it's so important to do more. Much more.

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