Introducing ScienceNorthwest.com!

Hi and thanks for your interest in ScienceNorthwest.com

I started this blog in August 2020 with the goal to help the non-scientific public understand science, what it is, and why it’s important. When I thought about this, I asked myself a simple question: does the world need another blog?! I decided the answer was yes because I see so much mis-understanding and mis-use of science, especially when it comes to critical environmental issues of our time. I hope to provide honest, but plain-spoken information about what is science, how it works, and why it’s the best tool out there to get answers on the challenges of our time. My focus is on topics in air quality, climate change, global pollution, and sustainability, which are my primary area of expertise.

In writing this blog, here is what I am going to try to do:

  1. Keep it honest, engaging, fun, but also relatively simple and readable. I know no one wants to read a dry 1000-word essay on potential vorticity or the Angstrom exponent to understand optical properties of aerosols!    (Well, maybe a few folks do, but you’ll have to find another blog for that!)
  2. I want to include jokes, cartoons, or stories in every blog post to keep your interest.
  3. I want to especially make this blog useful to teachers and help you with ideas on classroom projects or data analysis projects that your students will enjoy.

So why should we care about air quality, climate change, and the long-term sustainability of our planet? It’s pretty simple really. When I was born, there were less than 3 billion people on the planet. Now its almost 8 billion, almost triple. In the U.S., the population has doubled over that same time so now we have more than 330 million people. How long can this continue and at what point are the stresses too much? Whether it’s increasing wildfires, global warming, toxic chemicals, or ocean pollution, it’s increasingly clear that the combination of our population and consumption patterns are stressing the planet severely.

While this stuff can be depressing, I am not a doom and gloom person. I believe we can learn to live in a way that will not further damage the planet, but we have to understand the damage we have already done to the earth and start to think about how we reduce our footprint on the planet. So for that I will also present in this blog some of the ways that people are healing the earth and some of the positive trends.

I’ll end this introduction with one of my favorite all-time cartoons by Joel Pett.

at climate summit, presenter lists many reasons and audience member says what if it's a big hoax and we create a better world for nothing
Copyright Joel Pett. Used with permission.

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Bram

Great effort, can’t wait for more posts.

Dan Jaffe

Thanks Bram!