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.
“Science” is a word that means many things to many people. If you were to ask a practicing scientist how they define science, you might receive one of myriad responses. How each of us conceptualizes science may be unique, but most scientists recognize a shared set of methods and a core of objectives, analytical, and empirical values that unify our diverse fields.
Hawaiʻi was fortunate enough to have the honor to host the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) World Conservation Congress this September. This was the first time in its 70-year history that the Congress has ever been held in the United States. Around 10,000 participants came together in Honolulu and embraced the Aloha Spirit. The sheer size of the Congress was astounding alone but the diversity of people attending made it all the more impressive.
As March comes to a close, we have once again celebrated the many contributions of women to society. For many of us conducting research at the Climate Science Centers and partner institutions, women who have made tremendous strides in our various scientific fields like Marie Curie, Rachel Carson and Jane Goodall, come to mind.
Climate change is often a polarizing and controversial topic. It is a heavily politicized issue that should be avoided at all costs during the infamous holiday dinner - or so I’ve been advised. And yet, somehow I got it into my head that I wanted to have an honest and open conversation about climate change with my family members last month.
I’m finally back from a marathon of travel! For those of you who follow my posts on ECCF, the last post in December, was a first timers perspective of the American Geophysical Union’s (AGU) Annual Fall Meeting in San Francisco, California.
Most folks know that I’m not usually a huge fan of big meetings. They have great energy, but there’s so much going on that you can’t see or do everything you want to. So I have to admit that as a first time attendee to the largest Earth and space science meeting in the world, I had some mixed feelings about going.
The folks who did the renowned "Six Americas" study are back with more interesting data on opinions toward climate change and climate change adaptation. The Yale Project on Climate Change Communication has recently published a paper that breaks down opinions about climate change in the United States down geographically, from the national all the way down to the county level. And since their focus is on communication they have also developed a nice website to graphically present their data.
Welcome to the new and improved Early Career Climate Forum (ECCF)! We (Michelle Staudinger, Science Coordinator of the Northeast Climate Science Center and Ezra Markowitz, Assistant Professor in the Department of Environmental Conservation at UMass Amherst) are excited to get things kicked off after a 6-month overhaul of the ECCF; a process that has involved a complete redesign of the ECCF website as well as the development of new tools to foster and support easier exchange of ideas, advice and resources among ECCF members.
One of the big challenges with communicating climate change is the perception that the impacts will be far into the future or will affect someone else. These perceptions make it very easy to resist action to mitigate potential future impacts because there are a lot more pressing issues closer to home.