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Top Climate Scientist Leaves Government Laboratory After Guest Denier

Flames from the Camp Fire ignited near a house on top of a ridge near Big Bend, California.

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I’m Santer, himone of the nation’s leading climate scientists, he said he is cutting ties with a prestigious government-funded laboratory over his plans to invite a scientist who has spread climate denial to speak at a seminar.

Santer’s work has shaped much of the climate sciences for the past 25 years. His work studying and “fingerprints” of climate change have informed decades of research and him he was the author of a key phrase in a crucial 1995 Intergovernmental Panel report on Climate Change that says science showed “a discernible human influence on the global climate.”

On Monday, Santer, who is affiliated with Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, sent a statement by email seen by Earther and first published by the Union of Concerned Scientists in protest of an LLNL seminar planned with Steve Koonin, a well-known climate denier that his new book on how climate science is “restless” has attracted widespread praise from right-wing media and condemnation from virtually everyone else..

In his statement, Santer did not thin words, stating that Koonin is not “an authoritative voice on the climate sciences” and that the LLNL leadership had not adequately responded to Santer’s concerns regarding the seminar, which was scheduled for May 27th. (We tap LLLL to comment and update this post if you respond.)

“Writing and releasing this statement may be considered by some as an act of disloyalty,” Santer wrote. “I don’t see it that way.” I have chosen to be loyal to the climate science we have been conducting in LLNL for over three decades. I do not intend to remain silent while the credibility and integrity of this research are challenged. ”

Koonin, a physics professor who worked in BP in the mid-2000s, he was one of those dangerous figures who played the whataboutism that has plagued the conversation around climate science for decades. While he technically accepts the fact that humans exert a certain influence on the climate – which, in his view, doesn’t make him a “climate denier” – his flesh is just how bad has to be. These views — and the fact that he worked briefly in the Department of Energy under President Barack Obama — they’ve made him a favorite among those who seek to further discredit climate science. Koonin was even exploited in 2018 by Scott Pruitt, the oil and gas service, hotel lotion lovers, then head of the Environmental Protection Agency, to lead the Trump administration theoretical exercise try discredit climate sciences, after Koonin wrote a Wall Street Journal article proposing the idea. The exercise was never performed. (We added Koonin for comment on Santer’s letter and will update this post if we hear back.)

Koonin is currently on a power run press tour for his new book Unsettled: What Climate Science Tells Us, What It Doesn’t, and Why It Matters, which, as the title suggests, posits that the whole global warming thing isn’t that bad and relies on misinformation to make its points. Erroneous theories promoted by Koonin in the book include the idea that Greenland’s ice sheet isn’t melting any faster than it was 80 years ago ( false) and that sea level rise is not accelerating (even falsely).

Carbon dioxide The levels are higher than they were, of course, but they are not at the highest planet, Koonin points out, so we should all relax (it seems convenient to forget that last time carbon dioxide it was so high the Arctic was probably full of plants and without ice). The Wall Street Journal — which routinely does pro-oil propaganda and anti-renewable energy screeds — simply amatu the book, publishing a magazine full of mistakes written by one of his resident fossil energy boosters in April (that 12 climate scientists then he took a red pen to in a major correction). Tucker Carlson too had Koonin on to claim climate science is “used as a tool to scare young people, create depression.”

“It is simply false that Professor Koonin confronts climate scientists with unpleasant facts that they have ignored or do not understand,” Santer wrote in his resignation letter. “The climate science community deals with uncertainty in an open and transparent way. He has been doing it for decades. In LLNL, we usually consider whether uncertainties in patterns, observations, and natural climate variability call into question the results of a large human influence on global climate. They don’t do it. “

LLNL it’s a pretty big deal in the climate space. Established at the University of California, Berkeley in 1952, the laboratory is currently funded by the Department of Energy and working on a wide range of issues in relation to energy and national security. This includes many climate programs: LLNL is one of the nation’s leading climate modeling institutions, using complex data and calculations to predict how the planet could change with increased warming. Inviting someone like Koonin to LLNL to make a speech it’s like asking a tobacco apologist to speak to the American Lung Association. Santer was due to retire from LLNL in September, but said he would no longer be affiliated with the lab after his retirement.

“We live in a democracy. Freedom of speech is important, “he wrote.” It is important to hear different perspectives on issues of societal importance. It is equally important for U.S. citizens to receive the most available scientific information on reality and seriousness of climate change ”.


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