Leon Lederman, the author of the term "God particle", promotes his "physics first" paradigm. Physics is based on simpler concepts so it should be taught before chemistry and biology. In the sense of compositeness, biology is more complex than string theory. I agree with that.
He also says that global warming is the new Sputnik. Exactly 50 years ago, on September 4th, the Soviet Union started cosmic research. The communist country showed that America was not necessarily as advanced in this human activity as you would expect from its wealth and other virtues. When it comes to individual problems, Russia could have been faster, stronger, more sensible, and more efficient. I think that global warming might be analogous.
Most Russian scientists don't believe the global warming orthodoxy. The Russian media prefer to talk to scientists who are convinced that the Sun is the primary driver of climate change. For example, Yuri Zaitsev from the Institute of Space Studies wrote an article for RIA Novosti. Climate has always been changing and the causes are not known.
He quotes Lev Zeleny (Lion Green), director of the Institute of Space Research at their national academy of sciences, that before making any Kyoto-like decisions, a proper diagnosis must be made. Yuri Leonov, director of the Institute of Geology at the same academy, thinks that the human influence is so small that it can be dismissed as statistical error. A few years ago, the whole academy voted for a resolution identifying the science behind Kyoto as unsubstantiated nonsense. They have urged Putin to withdraw his signature from Kyoto.
Yuri Izrael, the boss of Russian climatologists and ecologists, agrees that climate change is not necessarily man-made and it is not a global threat.
Even among the public, a majority hasn't heard much about global warming and most people realize that it would be pretty good for Russia if the Earth were a few degrees warmer - a dream that is unlikely to be realized in this century. If they get a sufficiently high amount of money instead, a flat Earth's climate could be even better, they think just like their president :-), but if no money is involved, warmer is better.
Global warming could be another Sputnik, indeed. It could be another example how overpaid and redundant many Western scientists are. Leon Lederman should re-check whether he has interpreted his analogy properly.
And that's the memo.