Naomi Oreskes on Climate Change: We’ve Blown It… But Pessimism Is Not Acceptable

Naomi Oreskes. Photo courtesy of Harvard University photographer Claudio Cambon.

Published February 24, 2016

Justin Catanoso

In 2000, Naomi Oreskes, a geologist by training, was working at the Scripps Institute for Oceanography in San Diego, an organization with a long history of climate change research.

“All the scientists around me spoke about climate change as if it were a settled matter. Proven scientifically. Manmade,” recalls Oreskes, a renowned Harvard professor specializing in the history of science. “Yet I noticed that in the media, the issue was reported as if there were a big debate over whether it was even real. That contrast led me to the work I published in 2004.”

Oreskes, whom The New York Times has called “one of the biggest names in climate science,” did what any interested party could have done then, but didn’t. She counted the scientific papers on climate change — 928 at the time — and determined that not one disagreed: all found that climate change was real, underway and manmade. She exploded the myth that any debate existed. The media took notice; and she, of course, came under attack from climate science deniers.

…(read more).

Follow Pulitzer Center’s Climate Page

See also:

Global Climate Change
Environment Ethics
Environment Justice

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