Global warming and global communications

Here's an amazing tale that demonstrates the awesome power of the Internet. I spent an exceptionally long time researching and writing an e-editorial on global warming, and when finished, posted it on our web server as a "stand-alone"not connected ( temporarily ) from any other page. I then sent the URL http://www.middlebury.net/op-ed/global-warming-01.html to a select group of individuals for peer review and commentary before going "live" with it by connecting it to the Middlebury Community Network home page at http://www.middlebury.net . I wanted to make sure I hadn't made any math errors or misinterpreted any of the data before it went "public". That's what peer review is all about. The article, incidentally, was written for the layman, and I also undertook to insert a bit of basic physics and chemistry instruction into the piece as I went along, so regular folks would better be able to understand it. Well, it looks like it was forwarded onward to a few others, and then a virtual avalanche occurred: Within 24 hours our web logs were showing it had appeared as a link on more than a dozen different other web sites, and was being read in 20 foreign countries, from as far away as New Zealand and China. The following morning we received an email from the U.S. Senate Committee on the Environment and Public Works, where it had been excerpted on a summary report (with a link to the editorial) and further sent around the globe by someone in their communications office. And it hadn't even gone "live" yet! Email came pouring in from scientists around the globe working in climate-related fields who, fortunately for us, supported our article, finding no technical errors of note, and even offering more technical comments in reinforcement. Seems like we manged to "get it right" the first time, and to date have received no negative comment of any sort (although that's bound to happen eventually). While the mainstream media may censor the news and information we are allowed to see, the internet is the home of true Freedom of the Press, and we are truly astonished at what can happen when stuff that folks seem fairly important starts to spread. What had been originally produced for publication on a regional community network in Vermont is now literally all over the planet. Golly, will Oprah be calling next? You're invited to read the article in it's entirety at http://www.middlebury.net/op-ed/global-warming-01.html but we warn you it's lengthy and as one web site urged, "Brew up a couple of pots of coffee and read this...." Jim Peden
The Middlebury
Community Network

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