Dr. Lawrence Rocks is gravely concerned about climate change. The Islanders and Upper Deck, with an assist from Butch Goring, are using Earth Day to help the Stony Brook resident and Long Island University professor emeritus spread his message.
Specifically, the need for WeatherStationMoon, a proposed unmanned station on the moon to better study weather patterns.
"I’m not a scientist but, from a layman’s point of view, it’s great for somebody to do something to help the climate along," said Goring, a four-time Stanley Cup champion with the Islanders and currently the team’s television analyst for MSG Networks. "You hate to think you contributed to the demise of Earth. I’m quite willing to lend my support if you can do something to enhance the life of people past us."
Upper Deck is issuing a special card on Thursday that will be on sale for one week with all proceeds donated to the Islanders Children’s Foundation. It features Goring, Dr. Rocks and his son, Burton Rocks, a baseball agent and author as well as Goring’s friend, outside Nassau Coliseum.
The Islanders will also present Dr. Rocks with his own cardboard cutout before hosting the Capitals on Thursday night.
"My wife, Marlene, and I hope this Upper Deck card for my WeatherStationMoon project benefits the Islanders Children’s Foundation as we’ve spent many days over the years at hospitals with our son, Burton, who overcame childhood life-threatening asthma," the chemist said.
Dr. Rocks is hoping to convince NASA that WeatherStationMoon be included in Project Artemis, which hopes to return to the moon in 2024 with the first woman and first person of color to land on Earth’s natural satellite.
The impetus is simple: To provide Earth-bound scientists and politicians the most accurate data possible when drafting climate policies.
He said he has reached out — so far, unsuccessfully — to John Kerry, President Joe Biden’s climate envoy, who was the U.S. representative to sign the Paris Agreement in 2016.
"One hundred eighty-nine nations are meeting," said Dr. Rocks, who taught at LIU for 55 years. "They’re drawing up policies but they’re not getting the right information. We need information.
"WeatherStationMoon is going to measure the Earth’s temperature in totality. Telescopic observation. It will measure cloud coverage and cloud coverage dynamics. That is an experiment that I envision going on for generations to come."
While climate change has become increasingly synonymous with global warming, Dr. Rocks said it’s just as likely Earth is headed toward another Ice Age.
"Climate change, I think, is rather misunderstood," he said. "Everybody is talking about the hot climate coming to the Earth. But I think the weather is just becoming very unstable. As a prelude, the Earth may get warmer and then it actually may get colder. It’s a complicated story.
"If we’re headed into an Ice Age, it’s going to be a roller-coaster ride. Bitter cold springs and autumns suddenly followed by heat waves for two or three years."
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