Last night a robust crowd turned out at Town Hall to hear a sobering message about humankind’s prospects from star UW earth scientist Peter Ward—and instead got some worrisome news about the messenger. Ward was to deliver a talk, sponsored by the Foundation for the Future, based on his new book Flooded Earth: Our Future In a World Without Ice Caps, on what life will really be like when greenhouse gassing and its knock-on effects melt all the ice. Vehicle emissions are a main source of that gassing, so it seemed doubly ironic when word came that Ward couldn’t give his talk; he’d been in an automobile accident, and was in the hospital.
Today’s good news: Ward had been sent home from the hospital and was recovering nicely. It seemed unthinkable that any mishap could long derail such a prodigiously productive researcher, author, and engaging science popularizer as Ward, who’s something of a force of nature himself. The foundation plans to reschedule his lecture as soon as he’s ready. Alas, the flooding planet’s prognosis has not improved.