Saturday, February 09, 2008
Global warming was being discussed exactly 50 years ago:
Cogitamus has a short clip
of the Frank-Capra-produced 1958 television program, The Unchained Goddess
If our mentor, Dr. Frank Baxter, was discussing Climate Change in 1958, it must have been around for at least 20 years before that, because these films were not about revolutionary hypotheses in science. So it goes back at least 70 years. ( I have been following it for 30 years.)
It is beginning to remind me of plate tectonics which was only Wegener's wild theory when I studied Geology 101.
Alfred Wegener is a great story.
He was a meteorologist who proposed the idea of (what he called) continental drift. He couldn't come up with a mechanism for how it worked. So, it was not accepted. Geologist who toyed with the idea were in danger of losing their professional standing. After the mechanism was discovered it was evident that the continents weren't the only thing moving but the entire crust, thus the new name plate tectonics. Wegener was killed in a meteorological expedition to Greenland not knowing of his idea's final standing. He still deserves to be in the 20th century science's hall of fame.
Frank Capra was a dyed-in-the-wool Republican too. He was trained as a chemical engineer and loved science all his life.
Frank Capra graduated from (what became) CalTech. And so did I.
Was this part of the old Bell Telephone Science Series ("Hemo the Magnificent," "Our Mister Sun," etc.)? I loved them, growing up, but enjoyed the spoof of them in the movie "The President's Analyst."
Capra graduated from Caltech when it was still Throop Polytechnic Institute.
--Stolen Dormouse (another Caltech grad).