Gamiing Fall Festival and Haunted Trail Walk a Success

By Rebecca Niblett

Saturday October 27th dawned cold and rainy, but Gamiing staff and volunteers forged ahead with our preparations.  Despite the rain that continued throughout the day the Fall Festival was a great success.  A group of volunteers from Weldon in Lindsay joined Gamiing staff and other volunteers to run lots of fun activities.  Pumpkin carving was a very popular activity.  Volunteer Kirk helped groups of children carve, or (for the younger children) paint their pumpkins.  Some of the resulting pumpkins were amazing!  Another popular activity was decorating cupcakes.  Cupcakes were baked by another volunteer.  Also popular were crafts, face painting, and Halloween themed games.

After a brief break for dinner it was time for the Haunted Trail Hike to get started.  Luck was with us, and the rain cleared just before it was time for us to get in position in the haunted forest.  Volunteers and staff helped make the forest a truly bone chilling experience for the several groups of brave visitors.  Though, perhaps it was the volunteers who faced the cold, dark, and damp forest who were really the brave ones.  Many of the visitors commented on how impressed they were with the Haunted Hike.  Hopefully this hike will become a Gamiing tradition, bringing more groups to visit the property and see what Gamiing has to offer.

Our next big event is on Family Day in February.  So mark your calendars!  In the meantime our trails are open.  Hope to see you there soon!

Beat the skeptic

By Luisa Cristini, PhD, University of Hawaii at Manoa

Climate change is unequivocal and demonstrated. Still, there are many skeptics who do not (want to) recognize it or, even worse, do not “believe” in it (as if it was a religion). A reason for that is, perhaps, the bad communication skills of scientists, who are not able to explain their scientific results to the general public in a clear and irrefutable way. As a result, sometimes skeptics use arguments that seem reasonable and people with no scientific background (and, many times, scientists too!) do not know how to answer them.

To help us finally beat the skeptics we encounter in our daily life (there are many out there!), I have put together some webpages and resources that are written by reputed climate institutions especially for audiences with little or no scientific background. They address the main arguments used by climate skeptics and answer them in a clear easy-to-read way. Even those with some scientific background may find they are learning from these sites.

I recommend everyone read them carefully so we can all be more convincing when we discuss this very important topic with friends, colleagues, or whomever we meet. People need to understand that our Earth, as we know it, is changing and that we MUST protect it, as well as adapting our society and daily life to the changes that are already occurring.

The documents can be found at the links below. I would be happy to hear from you with any further questions or comments (You can email me at cristini@hawaii.edu).

UK MetOffice – Climate Change: The big picture http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/climate-change/guide

The Royal Society – Climate Change Controversies: A simple guide http://royalsociety.org/policy/publications/2007/climate-change-controversies/

NOAA – FAQ on Climate Change http://www.esrl.noaa.gov/gmd/infodata/faq_cat-1.html

BBC News – Climate skepticism: The top 10 http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/in_depth/629/629/7074601.stm

National Geographic: Global Warming Quiz http://environment.nationalgeographic.com/environment/global-warming/quiz-global-warming/

Good luck in beating the skeptics (for good)!