If scientists choose not to engage in the public debate, we leave a vacuum that will be filled by those whose agenda is one of short-term self-interest. There is a great cost to society if scientists fail to participate in the larger conversation — if we do not do all we can to ensure that the policy debate is informed by an honest assessment of the risks…This is hardly a radical position. Our Department of Homeland Security has urged citizens to report anything dangerous they witness: “If you see something, say something.” We scientists are citizens, too, and, in climate change, we see a clear and present danger.
As a follow-up to the previous post, I wanted to share an excellent NYTimes article published yesterday that also asks, “What’s a scientist to do?” but this one is regarding climate change. (Thanks to the AGua reader who passed this along.) Here's a quote:
And here’s the link to the full article, written by Michael Mann, a professor of meteorology and geoscience at Penn State University. On a related note, if you haven’t seen the documentary “Chasing Ice” yet, I highly recommend it. It’s about a scientist-turned-photographer, James Balog, who has dedicated his career and life to documenting climate change in a way that will help people understand it. His epic and often dangerous mission brings us stunning time-lapse images of melting Arctic glaciers, which really helped me wrap my mind around the daunting scale and speed of the melting ice. I think it’s a safe bet to say if you’re reading this blog, you want to see this movie. Here’s the trailer: