Dennis Keeney had plenty of laurels to rest on when he retired at the end of 1999 as the first director of the Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture located in Ames, Iowa. He worked with farmers within the state to bring a new vision to agriculture that continues to gain momentum to this day. As an emeritus professor at Iowa State University, he could have kept busy in retirement with academic pursuits. He chose to add something new to his areas of expertise.
With the various misinformation campaigns continuing to erode the confidence of the general public in science and scientists, it is easy to despair over how to communicate effectively the urgency of global warming. The current economic recession pushes the issue to the back burner, or worse.
On Saturday, April 3, 2010, a feature column appeared on the Opinion page of the Ames Tribune by Dr. Keeney. Entitled "Will the world have to reach boiling before we react?" the article related the metaphor of the frog in water being slowly heated. The frog does not perceive the threat that comes slowly and does not jump out when the water gets too hot, but dies.
The article adeptly addressed the themes of global warming skepticism going through people's minds of late, such as confusing weather with climate change. The nation had a cold winter, and many people concluded the warnings of warming are simply hype.
As a capsule of the challenge of human-caused dramatic increases in greenhouse gases, this article is unsurpassed in clarity for the general audience. Many of you Green Seniors out there might like to keep it handy for use when discussing the issue with others. Dennis Keeney and the Ames Tribune have given permission to use his article on this site. I hope to post the entire article in the near future. For the time being, readers of this blog will have to seek out the Ames Tribune April 3, 2010 edition on page B2.
Meanwhile, another article by Dennis Keeney appeared in the May 1, 2010 edition of the Ames Tribune. For this article, Dennis researched what really happens to trash in our town, especially e-waste. Is your e-waste, full of toxic substances, being properly disposed of by your recycling company or charitable organization? One can't be sure without asking probing questions and running down the facts. This is a significant help to our community. Thanks also to the Ames Tribune for publishing the work.
Dennis, you retired 10 years ago, but you have a talent the world needs now more than ever. Please continue to write and to be published ever more widely. Thank you from Green Seniors.