Climate Change Expert Richard Alley in the Parking Lot, Obama in the House

So yesterday President Obama visited Penn State and I wasn’t able to go, having to teach a class at that time, but the whole town (and my students) were atwitter with excitement, and irritation, because the traffic was all screwed up. I’m an unabashed fan of Obama’s, and was mildly disappointed that he came to town but I couldn’t get a ringside seat. Later in the day I’m at a local supermarket with my wife and daughter and a man walks by who I’ve seen on numerous climate change documentaries and programs, and I tap my wife and say, “That’s the climate change scientist.” It was Richard Alley, a world-famous global-warming expert, known for his ice-core analyses. He was leaving the supermarket at the same time as us, hopping onto his grocery cart and riding like an excited kid through the parking lot, to a car parked right next to ours. I went up and introduced myself, and we had a good chat. He’s a great guy, energetic, upbeat, a little kooky, as all us professors should be. (He was one of the few profs at Penn State I had always wanted to meet.) I asked if he had any good climate news and he said Yes, that there was a special coming up on PBS in a few weeks about alternative energy. He told some anecdotes about technological advances and alternative energy sources that have been known for some time, but are starting to be taken seriously, like wind and solar. If I’m quoting him correctly, he said we could 20% of our power from wind farms in the windiest areas of the Great Plains, and that the economic conditions were getting better for it, by paying ranchers for the wind turbine leases. It was one of those Meetings With Great Men, my wife and I standing in the parking lot and listening to him, trying to corral our daughter running around our feet. Way cool.

This entry was posted in Climate Change, Politics. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *