Climate scientist Benjamin Santer wrote a lengthy op-ed in The Washington Post Wednesday, complaining the Trump administration’s “trickle-down ignorance” on man-made global warming was clouding the U.S. in darkness.
Interestingly enough, Santer’s short biography following his piece only mentions he is a climate scientist and member of the National Academy of Sciences. It omits the fact he works for the federally-funded Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory near San Francisco, Calif.
Santer is frustrated with what he sees as the Trump administration’s rejection of climate science. Santer starts off his article detailing the decades of research he and other scientists have done to build up evidence humans were driving climate change before attacking the Trump administration’s “ignorance.”
“After decades of seeking to advance scientific understanding, reality suddenly shifts, and you are back in the cold darkness of ignorance,” Santer wrote in The Post. “The ignorance starts with President Trump.”
“These untruths and alternative facts are repeated again and again,” Santer wrote. “Ignorance trickles down from the president to members of his administration, eventually filtering into the public’s consciousness.”
“Getting out of this metaphorical darkness is going to be tough,” Santer wrote. “The administration is powerful. It has access to media megaphones and to bully pulpits.”
“It can abrogate international climate agreements,” Santer wrote of the Trump administration. “It can weaken national legislation designed to protect our air and water. It can challenge climate science and can tell us that more than three decades of scientific understanding and rigorous assessments are all worthless. It can question the integrity and motives of climate scientists. It can halt satellite missions and impair our ability to monitor Earth’s climate from space. It can shut down websites hosting real facts on the science of climate change. It can deny, delay, defund, distort, dismantle. It can fiddle while the planet burns.”
Santer has been one of the most outspoken critics of the Trump administration. He was the lead author on a recent study purporting to debunk Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Scott Pruitt’s remarks that there’d been a “leveling off” of global warming.
The study was widely hailed by reporters critical of Pruitt, but Santer’s work relied on selectively editing Pruitt’s statement. A later study by Santer and other scientists actually proved Pruitt to be totally correct in saying there’d been a near-two decade hiatus in global warming.
Despite this, Santer is still harping against the Trump administration for not listening to scientists when it comes to global warming policy.
“Most Americans have an investment in the future — in our children and grandchildren, and in the planet that is our only home,” Santer wrote. “Most of us understand that to fulfill this directive, we can’t ignore the reality of a warming planet, rising seas, retreating snow and ice, and changes in the severity and frequency of droughts and floods.”
“We can’t ignore the reality that human actions are part of the climate-change problem and that human actions must be part of the solution to this problem. Ignoring reality is not a viable survival strategy,” Santer wrote.
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