Wednesday, 23 May 2012

We all know trees provide shade,

or do we? It seems not. My good friend Judy sent  me a link yesterdayhttp://www.wakeup2thelies.com/2012/05/22/monash-uni-receives-600000-in-climate-change-grants-to-see-if-planting-trees-will-create-shade/

Right? You have read it? I admit that it is a little more involved than it first appears to be but it still does not, in my view, justify a research grant of that size.
Oh yes, there is money around for "climate change" research, "climate change modelling" and other "climate change" activities. After all, this is a very urgent problem for our politicians. They have to save the world.
My mind is, I hope, open on the issue of global warming or climate change. Open at least to the point where I believe we have to take responsibility for and care of the environment. It is our home. We need to maintain it and care for it. If we can improve it then so much the better for everyone.
I do not believe we should be wasting money on that sort of research. For a start it could have been done in other ways. Trees could have been planted elsewhere and changes could have been noted with the help of local people. School children could have been involved in a longitudinal study. It would have made a marvellous science project for schools. 
It is a hefty sum of money. The arts department of the same university will probably not get anything like that for the entire department. If they get ten percent of that in fact they will be very, very lucky. It is more likely to be one per cent. There are other areas of the same university struggling to find any research funds at all, often for research that does matter. The staff in those areas are under threat of losing their jobs because there is no money to pay them.
It is a scenario being repeated right across Australia - and elsewhere in the world. I know we need to do more research in science. I know it is important.  I also know that we need to do more arts research and development. I know we need to spend more time and money on developing creativity and that is best done through the arts. I know we need to encourage the use of imagination and that is, I believe, best done through reading, literature, music, drama and art. We need people who can create things not merely design experiments because the money is there for political purposes.
And what will become of us if we no longer have people who can ask "What if...?"

2 comments:

virtualquilter said...

Cat,

I think the most important part of this study will be the part wherre we can actually sit in the shade on a hot day.

Judy B

Anonymous said...

Could not agree more! Ros