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Topic: Assessment of Climate Change: A Challenge for the University
Replies: 2   Last Post: Jun 14, 2013 5:52 PM

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GS Chandy

Posts: 8,307
From: Hyderabad, Mumbai/Bangalore, India
Registered: 9/29/05
Re: Assessment of Climate Change: A Challenge for the University
Posted: Jun 13, 2013 11:31 PM
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Richard Hake posted Jun 14, 2013 3:55 AM (GSC's remarks interspersed):
> Some subscribers to Math-Teach might be interested in
> a recent post
> "Assessment of Climate Change: A Challenge for the
> University" [Hake
> (2013)]. The abstract reads:
> **************************************
> ABSTRACT: ASSESS subscribers (a) Larry King at
> <> & <>,
> and (b) Mike
> Fulford at <> questioned the
> *relevancy to
> assessment in higher education* of my posts "Senator
> Sheldon
> Whitehouse - Time to Wake Up: GOP Opposition to
> Climate Science" at
> <> and "Why Democrats in
> Congress Fail To
> Support Climate Change Legislation #3" at
> <>.
> *Irrelevant to assessment in higher education*? King
> and Fulford may
> have missed my post "Would a Carbon Tax Save Life on
> Planet Earth?"
> at <>. If there's no life on
> Planet Earth then
> *there's neither higher education nor assessment on
> Planet Earth*.
> Karl Pister, Emeritus Chancellor of UC - Santa Cruz,
> wrote at
> <>: ". . . we need to
> encourage innovative
> ways of looking at problems, moving away from the
> increasing
> specialization of academia to develop new
> interdisciplinary fields
> that can address *complex real-world problems* from
> new perspectives."

I'd respond to Emeritus Chancellor Karl Pister that we surely do need MOST URGENTLY to develop and encourage "ways of looking at problems; move away from the increasing specialization of academia to develop new interdisciplinary fields that can address *complex real-world problems* from new perspectives" (and so on an so forth).

However, I have (in real life) found little interest amongst academic circles to do any of this. Over a great many years of trying to get Indian academia (and on occasion academia in the US/US) interested in practical means to tackle those '*complex real-world problems* from new perspectives' - I have found (in academia at large) a complete lack of interest in doing anything other than investigating theoretical stuff in yet more theoretic ways! Hopefully, US academia may prove to be more interested in doing things practically (see below).

I have, over years, found little or no interest in Indian academic circles when I have sought to demonstrate to them means to develop PRACTICAL action planning on issues like, say:

- -- "To enhance motivation to learn (say, math for instance) amongst our school students"; (we are plagued by HUGE school drop out rates, particularly amongst girl students)
- -- "To improve effectiveness of our educational systems at all levels";
- -- "To tackle Bangalore's garbage disposal crisis effectively"; (Bangalore, which once was known as the 'Garden City of India', is now more deservedly seen as the 'Garbage City of India')
- -- "To reduce malnutrition amongst India's children very significantly within 5 years"; (currently some 40% of India's children are suffering from chronic malnutrition, I understand (mostly due to the poverty of their parents). At the same time, thousands on thousands of tons of foodgrain are being eaten by rats and insects on account of improper storage!!);
- -- "To reduce, very significantly, the wastage/losses (in specific areas/fields)";
- -- "To improve governance of the nation"; (currently, we are generally suffering from extremely poor governance in all respects);

I should perhaps observe that I'm ONLY interested in doing something practical with real world problems; I'm not AT ALL interested in theoretical discussions. I would only want to help identify a problem of current interest and then to demonstrate how, based on the available ideas of the people in the issue/problem identified (the 'stakholders'), effective Action planning to tackle the problem could be developed and implemented. The suggested means to tackle these complex problems is based on the seminal contributions to systems science of the late John N. Warfield.

Plenty of needed theory and background information is available about Warfield's developments at and from the "John N Warfield Collection" held at the library of George Mason University - see;query=;

I am thinking of writing directly to Chancellor Pister on the above, in the (now somewhat faint) hope that US academic circles may be somewhat more forthcoming in doing a few practical things with their undoubtedly very advanced theoretical learning in a host of fields.
> Surely the assessment of the alleged threat to life
> on Planet Earth
> by anthropogenic global warming is *A Challenge To
> The University*
> rather than the *Irrelevancy* seen by King and
> Fulford.
> *******************************************

Indeed yes. See above.
> To access the complete 8 kB post please click on

I shall be studying the above-noted post as soon as possible. (However, in the past I have not been successful in putting up responses to your posts at that forum. I did try on a couple of occasions to resolve the problems arising, then gave up).


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