… that is, what is the basic physical mechanism that causes it, most Americans – even well-educated ones – don’t do too well. For instance in 2011, a researcher at the University of California at Berkeley, Michael Ranney, asked 270 adults in San Diego to explain how climate change works, and not one of them could do it, even at a fairly basic level!

Yet evidence about the basic mechanism behind global warming has been piling up since Joseph Fourier published his Analytic Theory of Heat in 1822! Ranney also discovered that when people get this basic information, they become much more open to the idea of climate change caused by human activity.

Of course, there are lots of ways to get this information across: classes, talks, videos, cartoons …  and now … very very very loosely based on the film noir classic "The Maltese Falcon" …

The Meltese Dodo, the story of a hardboiled planet with a fever, hired by a desperate species to “get something” on The Environment. Ominously, all the major figures connected with the case appear to have ended up on a slab: from Joseph Fourier, the first to realize that the atmosphere acts as a blanket around the planet, to Charles David Keeling, who measured atmospheric carbon dioxide for close to 50 years and found steady increases correlating to fossil fuel emissions. All dead. But if someone is trying to intimidate the intrepid investigator, that’s not going to happen. (“Well, okay, I’m trembling. I’m shaking like spacetime when two supermassive black holes merge. And I’m still not quitting.”)

The story that begins to emerge from these sources seems incredible, far-fetched: dark heat, invisible light trapped by unseen gases. The Earth isn’t buying it. (“Don’t give me invisible gas!”) The trail of deaths seems too long to be merely coincidental. (“Maybe his theory of heat was a little too hot for someone’s comfort? And that someone decided to cool it off – permanently.”)

Ultimately, he can’t deny the hard truth: He has to confront Homo sapiens

Sound interesting? Possibly even fun? We certainly hope so!  Because we are willing to stoop to anything – even fun – to get this simple but crucial information out to the public at large.

And that is the mission and the purpose of The Meltese Dodo.