Sometimes I do wonder if I am writing too much stuff about AGW…but then what should one have to do when it pops up more or less everywhere, for inhabitants of the United Kingdom?
Take for example…Stephen Hawking’s “George’s Cosmic Treasure Hunt” (written with Lucy Hawking). It’s a great story of kids traveling from Earth to Mars to Titan to Alpha Centauri B to 55 Cancri (!) with plenty of in-depth explanations and has been for the past few weeks bedtime reading for astronomy buff “Junior” Morabito.
What would AGW have to do with all of this? Nothing at all, one would expect. And yet…as one of the subplots, the parents of one of the kids all of a sudden decide to join eco-warriors in the South Pacific in order to record the rising waves before it’s too late and other pseudoscientific rubbish of the sort. There is no obvious reason why they would be eco-warriors, and more importantly, this has no relationship whatsoever with anything else in the book. Even after one of the parents gets lost in a boat and satellites are called in for the rescue, the authors almost forget the sub-plot and merely mention the rescue itself near the end of the book.
All in all, it looks like somebody took a space-mystery-kids story and pasted in some gratuitous reference to AGW for no other reason than to mention AGW. It reminds me of those inscrutable dance routines suddenly waking up the audience in the middle of Indian movies, or of scantily-clad actresses voluptuously falling prey of mass-murderers in gory movies marketed to teenage audiences; or of a couple of authors opting for sterile mannerism and conformism, even when free to write about the whole universe.
On my part, I am not reading those chapters to Junior (well, it’s one half-chapter, plus a page or two and a couple of lines). As I said, the rest of the story is wholly unaffected, and with all the things I’d like to talk about (alien life, relativity, planetary systems, cryovolcanoes etc etc) the last thing in my mind is to divert a young mind’s attention towards worrying about maybe, perhaps, who know, are we sure sea rises in the South Pacific.
He needs to learn the tools of physics now, not the worries of a would-be science.