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Speaking My Mind: What do you think is the most significant problem of the 21st century?

Dana Biscotti Myskowski— Answer: Global Climate Change. It sounds like I’m jumping on Al Gore’s coattails to proclaim something so obvious, especially after his efforts to bring the issue to the spotlight have been rewarded by the Nobel Peace Prize awarding committee. And while I’m not a scientist, nor have I played one on TV, I did have the opportunity to interview several global climate change researchers while conducting interviews for a planetarium show on global warming that I was hired to write for the Christa McAuliffe Planetarium in Concord, NH.

The massive undertaking, for it takes a large team to produce a 45-minute show directed at junior high students and their teachers and families, was underwritten by a grant from NASA. Knowing I had that level of backing, I went to my interviews aware that the problem was more than just cover candy to sell tabloids.

After speaking with more than a dozen environmental scientists, astrophysicists, glaciologists, meteorologists, cartographers, and a skateboarder (I needed help with my junior high vernacular, after all), I became a believer that not only are we humans to blame for our current run-away carbon emissions that are wreaking havoc worldwide, but that each of us has the power to help heal the earth with the choices we make TODAY; choices as simple as the car we drive, the lights we choose, and the laundry we dry.

(Yes, there are BIG changes needed, too, at the governmental and corporate level, but rather than scapegoating or wishing someone [else] would do something, we can each address our own carbon output, without being completely overwhelmed.) The problem, of course, lies in convincing everyone to pitch in, for this is a calamity that will take all of us to correct.

Updated Thursday, October 11th, 2007

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