Oil, Water, and Climate: An Introduction



What Earth science topics are critical to the education of today's college students? The answer can be found in the issues we read in our newspapers on an almost daily basis. We read about oil. We ponder questions like, “Are we running out of oil, or will more exploration increase supplies and return us to an era of plenty?” We read about water. We ponder questions like, “Are we running out of clean water, or are we simply not investing enough in our water infrastructure?” And we read about climate. We ponder questions like, “Is the greenhouse effect causing the spate of devastating hurricanes we had in 2005 and now again in 2008, or do we just have a limited perspective?”