Apologies for the hiatus, reader. It’s been an emotional day. I was deeply affected by a new puff piece about Stefan (né Esteban) Lewandowsky on the ever-credible Royal Society website.
If you had to name one word you associate with Lewandowsky, what would it be?
That’s right: scientist.
But his RS bio page—titled Stephan Lewandowsky: Scientist, Carer, Parent—reveals so much more to the prominent cli-psy figure. Stephe isn’t just a professional Improver of Knowledge. He’s also a parent; a parent who cares for, or about, someone or something.
I haven’t always agreed with everything Stevan says. If we’re being completely honest—and I like to think we have that kind of relationship, reader—I’ve always thought of him as the mongrel bastard of a foolish knave crossed with a knavish fool.
But now, for the first time, I’m brought face to face with Lewandowsky, abu binat. Father of daughters. Where once I saw a quack, now there stands a quack who’s managed to reproduce.
I swear, I had no idea everybody’s fave knool had motile sperm. This changes everything.
A warning, though—don’t click the link if you’re feeling hormonal. I lost my shiznit and wept openly when I got to this quote:
“[L]ife is no longer a circus but a never-ending series of airline tickets.”
Apparently Steve is a devotee of the Harrison Ford School of Carbon Correctness: minimize your footprint by spending as little time on the ground as possible.
Something about the sheer banality of Lew’s problems hits you in the gut. It suddenly occurs to you that he’s a human being, just like you or me or any other climate denier.
But without the obscene fossil-fuel-funded salary, obviously. He has to do it all on a Professor’s pay check.
I don’t know what that’s worth in the UK, but before he fled there he eked out an existence Down Under for many years. In a wasteland still haunted by the legacy of Howard’s War on the Intellect, our climate-hyphenated Professors have to make ends meet on a base rate of $190,000 per annum. (Stefen was fortunate enough to be a Winthrop Professor, which added another twenty grand or so; it wasn’t much, but every little bit helped.)
The remarkable juggling act he’s pulled off—scientist, carer, Australoamerican Dad—would be hard enough for the average person, but for a university academic like Steven there’s the added problem of somehow paying for three months of holidays. Every. Single. Year.
And believe me, vacations aren’t cheap on a continent that inspired the phrase ‘the tyranny of distance.’
What a monster I’ve been. If you’ll excuse me, I have a couple of hours of GIFs to delete.