Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Climate Change Meets New Age Mysticism


Every year Saint Petersburg has a maze with lights around it for kids to walk through. This year they decided to give it a theme:

The labyrinth is The Pier Aquarium's free outdoor activity in South Straub Park for St. Petersburg's family-oriented New Year's Eve Celebration. Traditionally a labyrinth is used as a walking meditation or spiritual practice and we have adapted ours, built in the Classic 7 Circuit Pattern dating back some 4,000 years, to include an interactive educational science component on Climate Change. The walkers strolling the labyrinth will pass by (and hopefully read!) luminary bags decorated with environmental messages and the posted Climate Change information signs.


Critics of climate change theories have questioned the theories based on their apparent lack scientific rigor. Some critics think the people who tout climate change due so out of a belief system that deifies nature. So, imagine my shock to see climate change tied to an ancient religious ritual that deified nature.

Beyond the fact that this isn't a very inclusive event (I saw parents dragging their children away from it!) are signs on paper lanterns the proper format to have a vigorous debate? And don't think that's a facetious question, because one of the first signs literally asked "Does climate change exist?". This display pretended to debate the question. For five-year-olds.