World renowned climate scientist, Michael E. Mann, recently co-authored a Washington Post article titled, ‘Harvey and Irma should kill any doubt that climate change is real.’ This is a sentiment likely shared amongst those most familiar with the influence of rising sea and air temperatures on extreme weather, or those who are generally just concerned about climate change.
Looking back over the last ~10 years, it’s been a joy to be a scientist. I get to explore questions of interest to me and help climate science be useable. Scientific communities are critical to society, so it’s important that they be trusted. It’s an interesting time to be involved in the study of climate, particularly from my perspective. I happen to be something most might think a contradiction. I am a climatologist, but I am also politically conservative. I have some remarks from my (sometimes awkward) perspective.
When I tell people that my undergraduate majors were environmental studies and philosophy, they usually respond with a confused look and a comment like, “Hmm, those are very different topics!” Of course, science and philosophy are fundamentally different in the questions they ask and in how they answer those questions. But that doesn’t mean they aren’t related in critically important ways. To me, the relationship between the environmental sciences and philosophy has always been a natural and necessary one.
Traveling to Suring, Wisconsin for the 3rd annual Northeast Climate Science Center Fellows Retreat marked the first for my time with the consortium institutions—I was a rookie if you will. As we crossed underneath the YMCA U-Nah-Li-Ya’s entrance arch, the excitement in the air was palpable; we were going back to camp, bunk beds and all.