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It All Depends On Where You Are

WE ARE ALL ISOLATED, EVEN IF WE THINK WE ARE NOT. It is a bet I would make with anyone, although it is a different kind of isolation I am talking about. So it's not a fair bet.

My first thought of isolation is a little phone booth they would put on the stage of "The 64,000 Dollar Question." Or perhaps an isolation cell in a jail.

But there are an infinity of isolations. If you don't speak the language of the other people in a room. If you don't know any field of knowledge that is being talked about. If you don't know the culture of the other person.

But the isolations I am thinking of are of two kinds, both related to global warming. The basics are not too bad: more carbon, more heat. But then the question comes up "well prove to me that global warming caused that storm." Or it made the fire, drought, snow, rain or whatever worse or better. Or the temperature of the Earth rose one degree C, and the whole scientific community is in full panic. All you have to know is that means about 1022 Jules of energy, which is a lot and can raise hell with the climate.

THERE IS A MORE DIFFICULT ISOLATION OF NOT KNOWING A LANGUAGE. For that you can take an evening course (unless its Polish: just try pronouncing my name correctly; or rolling an R if you were't brought up with the right people around you; or try Grzegorz Brzęczyszczykiewicz).

But it could take you a few years of physics, meteorology, parts of the world of calculus to even have a conversation, never mind working in the field.

In most households, unless mama or papa is a scientist, or in many countries where they simply don't teach science, you're lost. And you may have to beat your head until it hurts all around for quiet a while. Perhaps 2, 3 or 4 years.

But the reward can be spectacular. One of the greatest kicks is discovering something new, and knowing and really understanding something no one else does. So you might go from isolation to being idolized in 5 or 10 minutes. Especially if it was a problem lots of other people were trying to solve and you solved it first. You might feel a little like god.

Then comes the real problem. You are talking to another group of people who are very smart, but they are not scientists and you need to explain to them what you disdovered. It might be a situation where your audience really needed to understand why the ocean currents in New England are much warmer than those in some other part of the world. Your audience may only understand a fraction of what you do, but they may have to believe it as much as you do and then explain it to their very skeptical friends. "Aw! Common' you've got to be kidding. One lousy degree caused all that."

That's an example of how climate change could isolate us from each other, and fromt he truth about how the world works.

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