Vignettes of Climate Change

My name is Andy Long, and I'm a professor of mathematics and statistics at Northern Kentucky University, just south of Cincinnati, Ohio, in the United States. I have prepared these "vignettes of climate change" to give interested parties a taste of some of my personal insights into climate change, and, in particular, insights into the personalities of those who have brought climate change to the fore.

I do want to say a little about myself, and what motivates me in this struggle. If you want to learn more about my perspectives, guided by people like Wendell Berry and my experiences with development in Haiti and Togo, please read my piece on "anti-Education".

Global Climate Change (GCC) is pressing upon us, with devastating effects. My plan has been to determine how to weather the storm (literally and figuratively) that is impending; I am also interested in what the storm will look like. We must discover which social changes should be taking place now to minimize the effects, and pursue them; on the flip side, we must discover those effects which (increasingly) can't be avoided, such as extinctions, and prepare for them. My investigations and actions have thus focused on these vital ecological issues.

While there are many variables affecting global climate change, "...the burning of coal for electricity [is] the central problem of the climate crisis" (Al Gore, cited in Eric Pooley's The Climate War). One important focus of my efforts is the human use of coal, and the necessary transition away from it. This is my duty as a citizen of Kentucky, where coal is still king....

I have used my skills and platform as a professor of mathematics and statistics to communicate the results of my work with my students, for example presenting calculus within the context of climate change. Sharing these results has brought me into contact with other faculty working to bring these issues to the attention of a world-wide audience, to help increase environmental stewardship through research and education.

I look forward to communicating with you about climate change. Feel free to contact me at, and let me know your thoughts and questions. I'll be happy to talk to your group about aspects of climate change. Here are a few of my favorite aspects, but I have others, and will continue to introduce more of these vignettes as time goes on.

  1. Overview:
    1. Climate Change's Big Picture -- a brief history of what we know, and how long we've known it.
    2. Our Atmosphere has Gas
    3. Earth's Carbon Cycles (why don't you?)
    4. Charles Keeling's Incredible Curve (the story of CO2)
    5. Science and Proof: Incompatible
    6. The sad tale of the economics and politics of climate change and denial

  2. Impacts:
    1. Corals and Oceans on Acid (Ocean Acidification)
    2. How many species can go extinct before ours does too?
    3. Alexander MacKay and the speed of climate change
    4. Oh dear, where will Miami go? (sung to the tune of "Oh dear, what can the matter be?")

  3. Issues:
    1. Tiny Footprints
    2. When and where does the "education" stop, and the "revolution" begin? And what will you do, and where will you be when it comes?

Links and Notes:
Website maintained by Andy Long. Comments appreciated.