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Pune/ India, Irvine/ CA, now Boulder/ CO
Welcome to my blog! I'm Hrishi from Pune, India. I am an earth system scientist currently working as a postdoctoral research associate at Colorado Center for Astrodynamics Research at CU-Boulder. Here I mostly write (though not as frequently as I hope to) about my travels, landscape photography, scientific computing, book and film reviews, fitness, cooking, and science communication. Feel free to navigate based on the labels below. My website: hrishikeshac.wix.com/hchandan


Sunday, December 13, 2015

Climate change themed 'Blowin' in the wind'

This has been the week of holiday parties, the next one is of AGU fall meeting. And our world leaders just reached a very important and promising agreement in Paris (COP21). All this reminded me of my department's holiday nerdy music party from a couple of years ago. Our band, which included my advisor (yes, I am fortunate to have an advisor who jams with me! :)), met only thrice to come up with songs and practice, and yet, I believe we pulled off a pretty decent show! :)

I had a few lines in mind- more advocacy stuff than sciency. Like millions of us, Blowin' in the wind has been very inspirational to me. Dylan sounds so earnest, angry, hurt, and exasperated. Not very different from how we climate scientists feel when folks question the hard facts that we present. Plus, the song is very simple, easy to play and sing to, is very relatable. Writing the lyrics didn't take long once I knew what I wanted to write. The biggest challenge was to sing in the same key that my band-mates were playing in, and to keep my nerves as I'm not at all used to making music in public. I'm not sure if the former went well, as I think somewhere along the track, I changed the key as I got louder. But it didn't matter as I'm sure nobody minded. That brings us to the latter- I didn't feel nervous at all, and to my pleasant surprise, felt extremely comfortable. It was a very memorable experience, and gave me a lot of confidence to participate in such opportunities in future.

Blowin' in the Wind

How many trees must a man chop down
Before he can see the barren land?
How many gallons must his cars burn down
Before he walks to a bus stand?
How many tonnes must the ice-sheets melt down
Before he decides to take a stand?

The answer my friend is blowin' in the wind
The answer's blowin' in the wind

How much more CO2 must Keeling record
Before the nations reach an accord?
How many more blobs must GRACE measure
Before we know we've lost the treasure?
How many more years must man change the climate
Before he makes peace with his planet?

The answer my friend is blowin' in the wind
The answer's blowin' in the wind

To understand the science references, please visit IPCC AR5's Summary for policy makers here, which does a great job at explaining to non-scientists, the present projected state of climate in the light of the changes we are making to it.