We'll have Bob Raynolds, a consulting geologist and research associate at the Denver Museum of Nature & Science, discuss the myriad ways that climate change will affect our lives in the future and what sustainable living measures may be required in that context.
Today, the first generation of digital natives is coming in from the country-side, converging on the energy rivers, congregating in clean cities, drawn to the connectivity of the Internet and to the amenities and efficiencies of concentrated living. Our species is connecting itself into a super-organism before our eyes. No earlier transformation in human culture has been so rapid or so full of promise.
A quantum leap in communication is transforming our society. New ideas blossom from all quarters and are shared at the speed of light. In Kenya, cows are purchased using M’Pesa on cell phones; banks are bypassed. In Colorado farmers navigate large equipment with centimeter scale accuracy, optimizing planting, fertilization and harvest using precision GPS linked to base stations on their silos. Worldwide, entrepreneurs in their bedrooms are building better apps that appear overnight in our pockets.
Where does this take us? Billions of young people are finding that many traditional jobs have been automated or eliminated by digital efficiencies. No more travel agents, no more stenographers, no more record or video stores. These young people are well connected and well informed; they crave the fruits of our civilization.
How can we craft a span of realistic expectations and satisfying lifestyles to allow our digital natives to co-exist in peace and flourish on our ball? Sports, religions, and soporific drugs, will have a role. But so will enlightenment, education and the arts. Science has many solutions; we need to nurture and reinforce the faith of the public in science. GMO crops, nuclear power, and fracking are examples of proven technologies that are inadequately understood and even feared by the public. Our changing climate is ignored and denied by some; others, usually younger, embrace the data and are eager to find pathways, collective solutions, and careers.
Bob Raynolds, PhD
Bob is a consulting geologist who has lived in Denver for over 20 years. He earned his Masters in Applied Earth Sciences from Stanford University and his PhD from Dartmouth College. He has taught at the Center for Excellence in Geology at Peshawar University in Pakistan, at Dartmouth College, and at the Colorado School of Mines where he is presently an adjunct faculty member. Part of his responsibilities at CSM involve teaching applied field methods in geothermal exploration.
Bob is a Research Associate at the Denver Museum of Nature & Science where his dissertation research on the sedimentary rocks that accumulated at the foot of the Himalayas led him to study rocks in the Denver Basin that record the uplift of the Front Range. This has culminated in a series of publications focusing on deformation history and the stratigraphic control on groundwater distribution patterns. One of these appeared in a Special Issue of The Mountain Geologist that Bob co-edited.
He is Past-President of the Friends of Dinosaur Ridge. He has taught industry courses on rift valley and Western Interior Basin stratigraphy. He has taught short courses on water resources in China and in South America. His recent lectures focus on the character and integrity of the geological record and its role in helping us understand the impact of changing climate on Colorado’s ecology and water resources.