I have finally succumbed to the temptation of writing a blog.
Not another blog?! – I hear you say.
Well yes. I am writing this as helicopters fly over head and sirens scream up the highway, off fighting a bush fire, one of the worst in the Blue Mountains, since 1968. Already 198 homes have been destroyed and over another 100 damaged. But this wildfire is different. Not because it affects me. I grew up near the Australian bush and have been through fires before. I have even had some basic training and been on the fire line for previous work. No – it’s because it is only spring. Fires across summer are a regular occurrence, but the size, intensity and sheer might of this fire before summer is quite a worry.
Our new federal government, following the ultra-conservative ideology, is winding back all policies and initiatives to combat climate change. We have no science minister. That was one of their first moves and recently our environment minister used Wikipedia as defence to dismiss the link between increased bush fire intensity and climate change.
So I have decided to start writing. Some may say ranting, which is quite true. But it is not all bad news. I love science. A logical process to solve problems and discover, well actually wonder, about nature. Hence, it confuses me when faith over-rides fact or ideology overwhelms rational thought. You may argue that science is just another ideology, blinding me to the truth. However, science is a process of rational thought and scepticism. If you or another scientist has an idea you don’t go out to find evidence (= data) for it. You try and find evidence against it. Your idea will be scrutinised by your peers well before it even sees the light of day (gets published) and if it’s a good idea, it will survive centuries of further scepticism i.e. further experimentation to find evidence that it is wrong. I wish to use this evidence based approach for this blog.
I am an ecologist. Basically, studying life and its complexities, particularly with the environment. I have been working in arid ecology for over 10 years, but also dabbled with work in forests. My hobbies follow this interest, from nature and astrophotography to brewing craft beers. I hope you join me on this adventure, as I write about these interests, with a little bit of politics thrown in.
Nice one Aaron! When reading about rationality and ideology, I was reminded of an article by Sam Harris where he uses an analogy to understand how ideology affects beliefs. I’m not a fan of Sam Harris, but the analogy got me thinking at least. http://www.samharris.org/blog/item/the-fireplace-delusion
Thanks Tony and also thanks for the link! Really interesting. There are studies along these lines that have been discussed on the ConversationEDU.