US climate scientists: World at a crossroads on climate

In an important article for Politico magazine in the States, four of America’s most distinguished scientists have called for action on climate change.

In an important article for Politico magazine in the States, four of America’s most distinguished scientists have called for action on climate change, arguing:

“How we as a society use what we have learned from climate science could define our generation.”

Dr. James McCarthy, a professor of biological oceanography at Harvard University, Dr. Lisa Graumlich, the dean of the College of the Environment at the University of Washington, Dr. Chris Field, the director of the Department of Global Ecology at the Carnegie Institution for Science, and Dr. James Hurrell, a senior scientist with the National Center for Atmospheric Research co-authored the article.

Together they write:

Right now, our nation – and the world – are at a crossroads. Yet we seem stalled – despite an increasingly clear picture of what human-induced global warming is doing to our planet.”

Their warning comes after the New York Times this week ran an editorial titled “A climate change corrective”, in response to what the newspaper calls the “debunking of climategate”, and it opened with this line.

“Perhaps now we can put the manufactured controversy known as Climategate behind us and turn to the task of actually doing something about global warming.”

This followed an online article from the BBC’s Richard Black, which began:

“It’s beginning to look like a pattern. An apparent scandal is unveiled that threatens to rock climate science to its very core, a scandal that usually ends in the suffix ‘-gate’. Himalaya, Amazon, and Climate itself are just three of the stems that have borne the suffix in recent months.

“Sections of the blogosphere then erupt with claims of deception, malpractice, political machinations and even fraud.

“Later, a more sober analysis by some body of learned men and women tends to turn that view on its head, concluding – in summary – that while there may be lessons to be learned, the science of human-induced climate change is not rotten at its core – in fact, it is in pretty good health.”

As Left Foot Forward already reported, the so-called ‘Amazongate’ story was retracted. The so-called ‘Africagate’ story was also retracted. The IPCC was vindicated in its warnings about Dutch sea levels. And the Muir Russell inquiry exonerated the scientists at the centre of the ‘climategate’ controversy of any dishonesty or manipulation of data.

To return to the words of the leading American scientists, “the urgent need to act cannot be overstated” – and to put behind us what another top scientist, Raymond Bradley, the director of the Climate System Research Center at the University of Massachusetts, has described as:

“A shameful chapter in the history of news reporting.”

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8 Responses to “US climate scientists: World at a crossroads on climate”

  1. noah

    RT @leftfootfwd: US climate scientists: World at a crossroads on climate:

  2. Joss Garman

    RT @leftfootfwd: US climate scientists: World at a crossroads on climate:

  3. Richard North

    The Amazongate story may have been retracted by one newspaper, but others which ran the story have not followed. Rather, last weekend, the Sunday Telegraph repeated, extended and reinforced the story. It is neither gone nor forgotten.

    On the other hand, the Africagate story, which was broken in The Sunday Times, has not been retracted by that newspaper, but only by an obscure German newspaper which had repeated the ST story. That hardly seems a significant event. After all, I could repeat your post here on my blog, and then “retract” it. According to your logic, that would count the same.

  4. Joss Garman

    @ Oxford Kevin

    Thanks – hadn’t seen that post. Speaks for itself.

  5. Billy Blofeld

    Given this is a Joss Garman article, it is loaded with his usual political bias. For a balanced view on where the world stands with respect climate science – read this from The New Scientist:

    “IT’S time to abandon the black-and-white fiction that human-induced climate change is fact or conspiracy. Instead, accept that the climate is changing and that there are shades of grey about how fast, how severe the impact will be and what we can do about it.

    That’s the message from leading scientists digesting the UK’s official report into the “climategate” affair, in which private emails from the nation’s Climatic Research Unit at the University of East Anglia in Norwich were made public in November 2009.

    Source: The New Scientist

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