Topic: "Bathroom onna Right"(3)
Frodo was fascinated to learn, some time ago, that hurricanes begin with the proper placement of something as discreet as a single grain of sand, about which air begins to flow. Faster and faster, that which had been brought up from the Saharan surface becomes the vortex which accumulates moisture and sufficient winds to virtually destroy human habitation half-a-world-away. Fascination turns to anxiety however, when Frodo learns that NASA satellites prove that great billowing clouds of dust carry harmful minerals, industrial pollutants, bacteria, fungi, and viruses in their wake. The result being that these dust clouds are possible culprits in the transcontinental movement of disease.
Meningitis, Silicosis, Influenza, SARS, Hoof-and-Mouth Disease, and Asthma were thought to die when exposed to ultraviolet radiation and extreme temperatures on these long flights, but the fact that African locusts have survived the journey disproves that assumption. Dale Griffith, a former microbiologist with the US Geological Survey said recently that ". . .nothing will change regarding either African or Asian dust until we have a catastrophe such as a large-scale avian flu, West Nile virus, or some other deadly outbreak that cannot be explained away by the usual suspects." Griffith goes on to complain that absolutely no one, anywhere, is doing anything at all about it.
The impact of Man on his Planet, and the impact of the Planet on Man, is evolutionary. It changes, that we know, and on that we can all agree, thinks Frodo. The changes that occur are the stuff of science, and compose everything from temperatures to rainfall, and from the utility of the internal combustion engine to the ability of some locations to support human existence. It is much, much more than the simplistic concern over "global warming," or the utilitarian complaint that no such proof exists of such an occurrence. Science will provide the answers if Man has the wherewithal to support an academic assault on the problems before us all, Man and Hobbit.
An International Geophysical Year (IGY) is a worthwhile suggestion to emanate from, for example, one of the candidates for President of the United States. A concentrated effort by all the world to marshal its scientific capacity in developing an energy resource to replace fossil fuels. An intense investigation of communicable disease, source and transmission, in every corner of our globe. A coordinated analysis of the forces, natural and artificial, over which intelligent life has some measure of control, and the means to confront. Committing resources, worldwide, and not singling out political goals, is the framework that prevents a Kyoto-style logjam. The last time that an International Geophysical Year was applied, the result included putting weather satellites into orbit, thereby giving Man the capacity to see the dust in the wind.
This time, an International Geophysical Year may help him to prevent becoming just that.