Shortly after the New Year, I was fired from Oak Ridge National Laboratory after urging fellow scientists to take action on climate change. At the American Geophysical Union meeting in December, just before speakers took the stage for a plenary session, my fellow climate scientist Peter Kalmus and I unfurled a banner that read, “Out of the lab & into the streets.” In the few seconds before the banner was ripped from our hands, we implored our colleagues to use their leverage as scientists to wake the public up to the dying planet. Soon after this brief action, the A.G.U., an organization with 60,000 members in the earth and space sciences, expelled us from the conference and withdrew the research that we presented that week from the program. Eventually it began a professional misconduct inquiry. (It’s ongoing.)
New York City - Adjacent to the Hudson River, along the west side of Manhattan, are some of the world’s most valuable commercial and residential properties: townhouses and mixed-use developments like Hudson Yards and much-loved public spaces like Hudson River Park and the Hudson River Greenway, which unite city residents and visitors with the river. But those civic and private investments often end at the water’s edge. Just offshore lie neglected and largely dysfunctional shallow water habitats. The Hudson River Foundation, where I serve as president, has long sought to address the myriad problems plaguing this vital waterway. Despite substantial progress over the past 40 years, the river continues to carry the burden of polychlorinated biphenyl compounds, or PCBs, that were frequently dumped into it during the 20th century and are likely carcinogenic to humans.
Science in the United States almost exclusively serves the interests of corporate and military power. Science historian Clifford Conner writes that the corruption of scientific endeavor exploded with the 1942-1945 Manhattan Project, the first “big science” venture, in which the government spent massively on developing the atom bomb. Science, from this point forward, became big business. Scientists are employed in “hypothesis-driven” research to promote the interests of the food industry, the tobacco industry, and the fossil fuel industry, attacking or silencing scientific studies that cast doubt on the claims of these industries. The result is a society awash in lies, many of them buttressed by bogus scientific studies carried out to reach the conclusions demanded by those who pay for the studies.
The rapid spread of COVID-19 in 2020 disrupted field research and environmental monitoring efforts worldwide. Travel restrictions and social distancing forced scientists to cancel studies or pause their work for months. These limits measurably reduced the accuracy of weather forecasts and created data gaps on issues ranging from bird migration to civil rights in U.S. public schools. Our work relies on this kind of information to track seasonal events in nature and understand how climate change is affecting them. We also recruit and train citizens for community science – projects that involve amateur or volunteer scientists in scientific research, also known as citizen science.
The science is clear. If we continue to emit greenhouse gases at the same rate we have been doing for the past decades, 80 years from now, our planet will be at least four degrees warmer than pre-industrial levels. "And the warming won't stop there," climate researcher and oceanographer Stefan Rahmstorf told DW. "It will continue to rise to seven or eight degrees over the next 100 years. Human civilization won't survive that." Normally, we respond to danger quickly; we put out fires, run away when we feel at risk, and protect our children in every way we can.
As the deadline approached for public comment on a controversial "transparency" rule proposed by the Environmental Protection Agency, 39 top scientific organizations and academic institutions joined together on Monday to warn that if finalized, the regulation would greatly diminish the role of science in decisions affecting the environment and the health of Americans. In a letter submitted to the EPA, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the world's largest scientific society, and a wide array of other professional groups and universities, strongly opposed the rule, which they said is "not about strengthening science, but about undermining the ability of the EPA to use the best available science in setting policies and regulations."
Scientists have been seriously investigating the subject of human-made climate change since the late 1950s and political leaders have been discussing it for nearly as long. In 1961, Alvin Weinberg, the director of the Oak Ridge National Laboratory, called carbon dioxide one of the “big problems” of the world “on whose solution the entire future of the human race depends.” Fast-forward nearly 30 years and, in 1992, President George H.W. Bush signed the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), promising “concrete action to protect the planet.”
“Scientists have a moral obligation to clearly warn humanity of any great existential threat and to ‘tell it like it is,’” begins the “World Scientists’ Warning of a Climate Emergency,” published in BioScience. It continues, “On the basis of this obligation … we declare … clearly and unequivocally, that planet Earth is facing a climate emergency.” The declaration was co-written by William Ripple, a professor of ecology at Oregon State University and the founder of the environmental advocacy group Alliance of World Scientists, and undersigned by more than 11,000 scientists and climate experts.
As director of the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) in Durham, North Carolina, toxicologist Linda Birnbaum had to navigate numerous controversies about pollution and human health. That’s because the $775 million institute, part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), often funds or conducts studies that address hot regulatory issues, including where to set air pollution or chemical exposure limits.
LONDON (Reuters) - Almost 400 scientists have endorsed a civil disobedience campaign aimed at forcing governments to take rapid action to tackle climate change, warning that failure could inflict “incalculable human suffering.” In a joint declaration, climate scientists, physicists, biologists, engineers and others from at least 20 countries broke with the caution traditionally associated with academia to side with peaceful protesters courting arrest from Amsterdam to Melbourne. Wearing white laboratory coats to symbolize their research credentials...
We live in an age of dystopias on demand. Whether it’s Black Mirror, The Hunger Games or The Handmaid’s Tale, there is no limit to satiating our desires for dark, apocalyptic visions of the future. Unfortunately the scariest experience does not involve the world of the imaginary; it just requires reading the latest climate science. In one such piece in July 2017, New York Magazine managed to pull together all the possible worst-case climate scenarios in a longread called “The Uninhabitable Earth.”
LONDON, 22 August, 2019 − Rich and poor countries see the challenge of the growing crisis quite differently: for the wealthy it revolves around climate denial, while for those in poverty it’s a matter of life and death. In the developing world, climate news is presented by the media as an international problem. In the rich world newspapers, broadcasters and websites tend to see it as a political issue, according to researchers at the University of Kansas. And in the richest country of all, climate news is presented as a contentious issue.
LONDON, 19 August, 2019 – European and US scientists have cleared up a point that has been nagging away at climate science for decades: not only is the planet warming faster than at any time in the last 2,000 years, but this unique climate change really does have neither a historic precedent nor a natural cause. Other historic changes – the so-called Medieval Warm Period and then the “Little Ice Age” that marked the 17th to the 19th centuries – were not global. The only period in which the world’s climate has changed, everywhere and at the same time, is right now.
Agricultural giant Monsanto has spent much of the last decade attempting to polish its public image amid campaigns to label genetically modified organisms (GMOs) and horrifying stories about how the company treats anyone who might get in its way. In 2013, it enlisted Ketchum PR ― the public relations firm for Russian President Vladimir Putin, Russian natural gas giant Gazprom and many governments known for human rights abuses ― to help. To reboot the national dialogue, Ketchum created a campaign called GMO Answers...
Ultimately the issue for the United States will not be about emotional responses to what China says or does, but rather in its ability to stay on the frontiers of science, the wellspring of future technological development. The federal government is incapable of setting the pace during the dark ages of Trump. It is the decline of scientific thinking, rather than any particular technology, that has made the Trump administration’s policies possible. The citizens of the United States need to recognize the critical importance of science for the future of humanity and not be too proud to learn something from China.