Friday, March 23, 2012

Something to Ponder

"He who opens his eyes to the possibilities of evolution
in their endless variety will abhor fraud and violence
and disdain prosperity at the expense
 of his fellow creatures."

                                                   - Svante Arrhenius, 1909

I came across that bit of wisdom in reading Tim Flannery's new book, Here on Earth, a Natural History of the Planet.  
Arrhenius (1859-1927) was a Swedish scientist, a physicist who became a chemist and then was a founder of the science of physical chemistry.   He was also a founder of the Nobel Institute.   He's best known today for his work in 1896 in which he posited that changes in atmospheric carbon dioxide levels could substantially affect surface temperatures, the Greenhouse Effect.

if the quantity of carbonic acid increases in geometric progression, the augmentation of the temperature will increase nearly in arithmetic progression.

I wonder what Svante Arrhenius would think of our society were he alive today?

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