Buddy, can you spare a watt

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By Roger Snodgrass

We’ve all got a lot to learn about energy and climate.

That’s the take home capsule I got from Los Alamos National Laboratory’s recent conference in Santa Fe on Energy for the 21st Century.

It was a fascinating event, as much for what it was as for what it was not. That’s why I’m still thinking about it.

Last week, Science magazine had a letter from several people who were chairs of some of the 57 sessions at the Copenhagen Climate Congress, a major 3-day international meeting in March with more than 2,000 scientists.

The chairs were disappointed that the magazine’s coverage – a story titled “Projections of Climate Change go from Bad to Worse, Scientists Report” – had missed an even greater share of the conference that had to do with new research on interactions between climate and human society.

Some 50 percent of the papers given, they said, had to do with “new insights about governance, adaptation, communication, behavior, resilience, innovation and culture.”

That’s the part that was not just missing in the coverage of our local conference. It was missing period.

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