21 December 2010

Beyond the Annual Climate Confab

My latest column for Bridges is up, in it I provide an assessment of the Cancun climate conference.  You can read it here or listen to it here in mp3.  Comments welcomed.

As usual the entire issue is worth a read.  In it you can read about the panel discussion with Alexander Ochs and David Goldston at the Austrian embassy in Washington, DC last week (below).
Below is a picture of me explaining to Alexander the reasons why St. Pauli will stay up this season, despite being on the brink halfway through.  He does not look convinced.
And any guesses as to who are the two recognizable people in the audience who are in this photo (hint: not the lady sleeping in back!)?
Finally, here is me and my favorite science policy blogger.
It was a really fun night, not only with fine drinks and delicious food from Austria, but with an engaging discussion as well.  I am grateful to Ambassador Prosl, Phillip Maxgut, director of the OST, and the Austrian embassy staff for putting it on -- Fröhliche Weihnachten!!

"The Best Climate Book I Have Read"

Peter Kareiva, chief scientist of The Nature Conservancy, reviews The Climate Fix (PDF) and concludes that it is, "the best climate book I have read."  He writes:
"Most NGO policy and science staff will chafe at Pielke’s analysis — but they should all read his arguments and question their own conventional wisdom. After all, that conventional wisdom has not gotten us very far."
Stuff one into the stocking of your favorite NGO policy and science staff member ;-)

Live Radio Discussion Today on Science Integrity Guidelines

I'll be on the Patt Morrison show on Southern California Public Radio at 1:40 Pacific time this afternoon appearing with Al Teich of the AAAS to discuss the guidelines for scientific integrity released by the Obama Administration last week.  Here is the KPCCadvance billing:
1:41 – 1:58:30
Separating the politics from the science, Obama administration releases new guidelines
The Bush administration was blasted for tainting science with politics, perhaps most notably in 2006, when scientist James Hansen, director of the NASA Goddard Institute, accused White House officials of preventing him from talking about findings that linked carbon emissions to global warming. Now after a long delay, the Obama administration is releasing its guidelines to wall off science from politics. The four-page document prohibits agencies from editing or suppressing reports and says scientists are generally free to speak to journalists and the public about their work. It also instructs agencies to describe both optimistic and pessimistic projections, one guideline experts feel might have helped the administration avoid overly optimistic estimates during this year’s BP oil spill.  But not everyone thinks the wall is high enough—some scientists say the guidelines are too general, give too much discretion to the government agencies and leave open the possibility of another Hansen episode. Reading between the lines, what do the guidelines say and are they strict enough to keep science objective?
You can listen in online from the show's homepage.

Video of Legatum Debate

Last month in London at the Legatum Institute, I debated Benny Peiser of the Global Warming Policy Foundation on the subject of subsidies for energy innovation. A video of that debate appears above. My report from the debate can be found here. Enjoy!

20 December 2010

A Policy Practitioner Deconstructs the Science Integrity Guidelines- The President’s Memo, I.


As Maria said in the Sound of Music, “let’s start at the very beginning, it’s a very good place to start”. In order to talk about the Guidelines, let’s first deconstruct the President’s memo- sentence by sentence, equipped with a handy online dictionary. I have an earnest belief that unclear concepts cannot constitute a firm foundation for sound public policy.
(1) Science and the scientific process must inform and guide decisions of my Administration on a wide range of issues, including improvement of public health, protection of the environment, increased efficiency in the use of energy and other resources, mitigation of the threat of climate change, and protection of national security.
I would argue that the words “and guide” decisions of my Administration strays a bit from what we currently think the role of science and policy should be.

Let’s just use Merriam-Webster online for consistency, GUIDE:
1. to act as a guide to : direct in a way or course
2a : to direct, supervise, or influence usually to a particular end
b : to superintend the training or instruction of
So if we take this sentence literally, the authors are using a word usually defined as including the concept of direction; even “to a particular end.”

Sarewitz describes some of the problems with this concept in his Issues piece here.
(2) The public must be able to trust the science and scientific process informing public policy decisions.
This is a laudable goal, but the fact (as described in my Conveyor Belt post here) is that the people involved in developing policy do not have a voice in framing the research questions, for the most part. And putting together the research snippets developed to inform policy decisions is not, in and of itself, science. Then there is the absence of QA/QC in many research projects putatively designed to inform policy. Finally, if we really cared about peer review for research important to policy, we would monitor who does the reviews, pay people to do it, and make public the review comments and replies.
(3) Political officials should not suppress or alter scientific or technological findings and conclusions.
Hopefully, non-political officials wouldn’t do this either. However, I think this might be a potential minefield – is not doing what the professional wants “suppressing the findings” or just disagreeing with how they should be used in informing policy?
(4) If scientific and technological information is developed and used by the Federal Government, it should ordinarily be made available to the public.
Good on that. I would also say that their papers in journals should be available for free to taxpayers.
(5) To the extent permitted by law, there should be transparency in the preparation, identification, and use of scientific and technological information in policymaking.
This seems generally like a good idea. In my agency, we have been required to document how we use “the best available science” for certain decisions, and it seems to work fairly well.
(6) The selection of scientists and technology professionals for positions in the executive branch should be based on their scientific and technological knowledge, credentials, experience, and integrity.
This seems pretty straightforward- except I’m not sure that we have ever considered “integrity” as a selection criterion and it seems a bit out of place interjected here; especially since the “integrity” idea seemed originally to be about political employees not listening to scientists. I also wonder how the Office of Personnel Management would feel about “integrity” and the merit promotion concept. Let’s turn to the Merriam-Webster definition:
Definition of INTEGRITY
1: firm adherence to a code of especially moral or artistic VALUES : INCORRUPTIBILITY
2: an unimpaired condition : SOUNDNESS
3: the QUALITY or state of being complete or undivided : COMPLETENESS
I guess I’m kind of lost here.. hopefully it would be good to have all employees exhibit integrity- but which moral values? How would you measure them? If you are going to call a reference and ask them about someone’s “integrity”, it seems to me that you should have a good idea exactly what you mean. Otherwise, you could get colorful stories about their activities following imbibing of certain beverages.

I turned to Wikipedia here and my neurons just about experienced meltdown. When scientist terminology meets philosophy terminology there’s always a high potential for generalized fuzziness.
What is the difference between general old integrity and “scientific” integrity? And if politicals ignoring the “science” are the problem, why are we going after the science and technology professionals?

We may see in the next post, where we move on to the principles articulated in the President’s memo.

17 December 2010

Science Integrity Guidelines Soon to Come?

[AFTERNOON UPDATE: The Guidelines are out.]

NPR's Morning Edition had a story today (which quotes my views) on the forthcoming "science integrity" guidelines that are way overdue from the Obama Administration.  One factor helping to shake them loose is undoubtedly a lawsuit filed by Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (see this PDF). (David Bruggeman has a good set of discussions.)
Last summer John Holdren, the president's science advisor, explained that the task was more difficult than they had anticipated:
I am the first to admit that the process has been more laborious and time-consuming than expected at the outset. Determining how to elaborate on the principles set forth in the Memorandum in enough detail to be of real assistance in their implementation, while at the same time retaining sufficient generality to be applicable across Executive departments and agencies with a wide variety of missions and structures, has been particularly challenging.
My guess is that once the guidelines are released their content will lead everyone to wonder why it took so long for them to be released and that they will represent the start of a process, rather than its conclusion.  Such speculation has a short shelf-life as it seems that we'll find out soon enough.

15 December 2010

A Guest Post: Science on the Conveyor Belt

Sharon F. currently works for the Forest Service in land management.  In the past, she worked in FS Research and Development, and with USDA extramural research at the agency now known as NIFA.

Roger asked me to give my thoughts on the recent GAO report “Forest Service Research and Development: Improvements in Delivery of Research Can Help Ensure that Benefits of Research are Realized.” It can be found here.

The report's main recommendation was that
"the Forest Service assess the effectiveness of recent steps FS R&D has taken to improve science delivery and take steps to ensure that individual performance assessment better balance the various types of science delivery activities." (from "what GAO recommends.")
In their letter to Senator Reid, GAO states,
"FS R&D conducts basic research in a range of biological, physical, and social science fields and applies this knowledge to develop technologies and deliver science to federal and state land managers, industry private landowners and other entities."
Not to be pedantic, but there seems to be a disconnect. If we go by the formal OMB definitions of basic, applied research and development
Basic research is defined as systematic study directed toward fuller knowledge or understanding of the fundamental aspects of phenomena and of observable facts without specific applications towards processes or products in mind. Basic research, however, may include activities with broad applications in mind.

Applied research is defined as systematic study to gain knowledge or understanding necessary to determine the means by which a recognized and specific need may be met.

Development is defined as systematic application of knowledge or understanding, directed toward the production of useful materials, devices, and systems or methods, including design, development, and improvement of prototypes and new processes to meet specific requirements.
By using the terms "basic research" and "science delivery" it seems as if they are using what I call the conveyor belt model for bringing science to management. Under this model, scientists determine what research is needed, design it, fund it, publish papers and set the results on the conveyor belt- the user's job is to pick it up and use it. According to this model, all that needs to be done is to focus on the conveyor belt, reward scientists for putting research on the belt, and everything will be fine.

Unfortunately, much research designed without the input of users is not framed in a way to be particularly useful to them. Busy practitioners know exactly what is useful and what is not. So they may disregard most of what comes down the belt.

I have been in multiple meetings over multiple years where the same phenomenon occurs. Users are rounded up (the usual suspects) and asked what we want. If people really cared, this would be an ongoing conversation at many organizational levels and approached systematically. There is a section in the GAO report "Increased Stakeholder Involvement in Setting Research Agendas," but the distinctions of "users" are not clear; for example, universities are also discussed as "stakeholders." If researchers think different things are interesting (or easy to get funded, or more likely to get published) than do practitioners, it is likely that university and FS researchers would tend to be on one side, and practitioners on the other. So mixing in other researchers as "stakeholders" tends to dilute the practitioner vote.

At land grant institutions, the USDA developed a model of research, extension and education. Under that model, people who wanted research knew who they should talk to- professors, the Dean of the school, for example. Extension folks had to go out and talk to real users and communication went both ways (at its best). Students were linked to the real world through extension activities and people.

Through time, less of that funding has been available, due to the ideological hegemony of the "investigator- initiated competitive grant is best" worldview, which can have the result of research "of the scientists, by the scientists, and for the scientists." This may be a good approach for basic science, but not when a problem calls for clear stakeholder involvement in framing and design and a variety of alternative approaches.

If research is funded by other agencies (e.g. NSF, NOAA) with scientist-based criteria, it is putting the scientists between a rock and a hard place to ask them to produce research that's relevant and used. Redesigning the science delivery conveyor belt won't help if no users are standing at the other end.

13 December 2010

Political Affiliations of Scientists

Last week my friend and colleague Dan Sarewitz tossed some red meat out on the table in the form of an essay in Slate on the apparent paucity of Republicans among the US scientific establishment.  Sarewitz suggests that it is in the interests f the scientific community both to understand this situation and to seek greater diversity in its ranks, explaining that "the issue here is legitimacy, not literacy."

Sarewitz's essay has been followed by predictable responses (1,243 of them at Slate alone). Writing at MIT's science journalism tracker Paul Raeburn offers this suggestively sinister critique:
And what is Sarewitz’s political affiliation, I wonder?
Since everyone else knows the answer to this, you'd think a journalist might have ways of figuring it out.  Similarly sophomoric, Chris Mooney, in his characteristic us vs. them fashion, asks if Sarewitz will be joining the forces of evil:
Would Sarewitz himself like to become a Republican?
Such responses dodge the real issue here raised by Sarewitz.

And what is that real issue?  The issue that Sarewitz raises is one of legitimacy.  All of us evaluate knowledge claims outside our own expertise (and actually very few people are in fact experts) based not on a careful consideration of facts and evidence, but by other factors, such as who we trust and how their values jibe with our own.  Thus if expert institutions are going to sustain and function in a democratic society they must attend to their legitimacy.  Scientific institutions that come to be associated with one political party risk their legitimacy among those who are not sympathetic to that party's views.

Of course, we don't just evaluate knowledge claims simply based on individuals, but usually through institutions, like scientific journals, national academies, professional associations, universities and so on. Sarewitz's Slate article did not get into a discussion of these institutions, but I think that it is essential to fully understand his argument.

Consider that the opinion poll that Sarewitz cited which found that only 6% of scientists self-identify as Republicans has some very important fine print -- specifically that the scientists that it surveyed were all members of the AAAS.  I do not have detailed demographics information, but based on my experience I would guess that AAAS membership is dominated by university and government scientists.  The opinion poll thus does not tell us much about US scientists as a whole, but rather something about one scientific institution -- AAAS.  And the poll indicates that AAAS is largely an association that does not include Republicans.

Sarewitz wonders about how this situation might have developed.  One factor might be seen in a recent action of the American Geophysical Union -- another big US science association: AGU recently appointed Chris Mooney to its Board.  I am sure that Chris is a fine fellow, but appointing an English major who has written divisively about the "Republican War on Science" to help AGU oversee "science communication" is more than a little ironic, and unlikely to attract many Republican scientists to the institution, perhaps even having the opposite effect.  To the extent that AAAS and AGU endorse the Democratic policy agenda, or just appear to do so, it reflects their role not as arbiters of knowledge claims, but rather as political actors.

Looking more broadly, I would wager that the partisan affiliation of scientists in the US military, in the energy , pharmaceutical and finance industries would look starkly different than that of AAAS.  If there is a crisis of legitimacy in the scientific community, it is among those institutions which have become to be so dominated by those espousing a shared political view, whatever that happens to be. This crisis is shared by AAAS and AGU, viewed with suspicion by those on the Right, and, for instance, by ExxonMobil, which is viewed by a similar suspicion by those on the Left.  Sarewitz is warning that for many on the Right, institutions like AAAS are viewed with every bit as skeptical an eye as those on the Left view ExxonMobil.

Such views are more than just tribalism, they are expressions of how different people evaluate knowledge claims, and to the degree that they substitute affiliations for evaluating knowledge claims, science becomes pathologically politicized.  Sarewitz thus offers a warning:
American society has long tended toward pragmatism, with a great deal of respect for the value and legitimacy not just of scientific facts, but of scientists themselves. For example, survey data show that the scientific community enjoys the trust of 90 percent of Americans—more than for any other institution, including the Supreme Court and the military. Yet this exceptional status could well be forfeit in the escalating fervor of national politics, given that most scientists are on one side of the partisan divide. If that public confidence is lost, it would be a huge and perhaps unrecoverable loss for a democratic society.
Many observers are so wrapped up in their own partisan battles that they either don't care that science is being associated with one political party or they somehow think that through such politicization they will once and for all win the partisan battles.  They won't. Political parties are far more robust than institutions of science. Institutions of science need help to survive intact partisan political battles.  The blogosphere and activist scientists and journalists offer little help.

12 December 2010

Post-Cancun Climate Policy Debate: RSVP Now

The Office of Science & Technology presents a bridges Lecture Series Event

Tuesday, December 14, 2010
6:00 - 8:00 PM

Embassy of Austria
3524 International Court, NW
Washington, DC 20008

08 December 2010

A Seminar for University of Colorado Graduate Students

I recommend this excellent class to CU grad students for Spring, 2011:
ENVS 5100-002 Science and Technology Policy
Tuesdays 9:30 am- 12 pm
Professor Lisa Dilling (ldilling@colorado.edu)

It is the year 2011 and you are the Chair of the U.S. House Science Committee. On your plate is a decision whether or not to authorize a new program to conduct research in geoengineering, or deliberate climate modification. How would you decide? What kinds of considerations would enter into your decision? And how would you engage the debate over deployment of geoengineering technology in the future?

The field of science and technology policy research seeks to understand how we decide what science and technology is prioritized and funded, how we justify such expenditures in society, how we conduct science and technology for societal benefit, and how we govern the use of scientific and technological results in society.

This course seeks to introduce students to science and technology policy research. We will examine the workings of science policy in the government and private sector, and focus this semester on some key emerging topics in science policy such as the debate on research and governance of geoengineering. Student interests will also guide case study selection.

FIFA's Fantasy: "Perfectly Organised, Perfectly Transparent and Perfectly Under Control"

FIFA -- the Fédération Internationale de Football Association -- is the international organization that governs football (or soccer) and is thus responsible for the quadrennial World Cup competitions.  Last week FIFA's Executive Committee decided to award the 2018 World Cup to Russia and the 2022 World Cup to Qatar.

FIFA's venue decisions and its process for making those decisions have come under intense scrutiny and criticism.  Some of this criticism is of course sour grapes, as those on the losing sides included the US, England and Australia, each of whom submitted very strong bids. At the same time there are allegations of corruption and collusion in the process that led to the results. Not only are the US, England and Australia big sporting nations, they are also countries with high expectations for transparency and accountability in international organizations and the countries that host them. 

FIFA is of course not the UN or WHO, and football is not war and peace, so we should not expect the same degree of scrutiny.  But at the same time, FIFA's decision making has placed its processes in a bright spotlight. Consider that today the Swiss government, under which FIFA is incorporated, announced a review of its anti-corruption exemption for international sporting authorities headquartered in Switzerland.  The head of the English Football Association has called for reform of FIFA processes.  The degree to which these efforts lead to actual change will remain to be seen.

However, with the World Cup more global than ever, its growth and success are having predictable consequences on governance and no one should be surprised to see the current controversies.  Specifically, as has been observed in international organizations more generally, the opacity of FIFA's decision making coupled with allegations of corruption in the process will inevitably lead to greater demands for openness and transparency, as part of an inevitable democratization of the institution.

Writing in the journal International Studies Quarterly in 2007, Alexandru Grigorescu explains that there are three factors driving the democratization of international organizations generally, and each seems relevant to the case of FIFA:
[First] information about an organization’s deliberations, decisions, and actions needs to be made available to determine if government representatives and IO [international organization] officials are acting in the public’s interest. If this information is not public, officials cannot be held accountable for their actions . . .

A second argument for transparency stems from the fact that secrecy gives rise to suspicions regarding the workings of an IO (Stiglitz 2002:229), and it reduces its legitimacy (e.g., Zurn 2004). The eroding legitimacy of IOs may in turn lead to calls (sometimes taking the form of public protests) for limiting their roles in the international realm. Transparency is therefore not simply needed for normative reasons. Without it, IOs are also less effective. . .

Lastly, if information is power, the study of who controls such information is relevant for understanding the power relations between the main actors in the global arena: states, IOs, nongovernmental organizations, and the public—relations that are at the center of the broader debates in the global governance literature.
Remarkably, FIFA seems to think that it has a right to operate in secrecy and without accountability.  For instance, its vice-president Jack Warner explained that FIFA explicitly did not vote for England's bid as retribution for UK media investigations of FIFA corruption. I would not expect that the media is going to take well to such implied extortion.  In the era of Wikileaks and Climategate, I fully expect that we are going to hear a lot more about FIFA than we have already.  I'd guess that the UK media is just getting warmed up.

While allegations of corruption in FIFA are certainly not new, what is new is that the World Cup has become the most important and visible sporting event on the planet.  And with such visibility necessarily comes much higher standards of accountability for decisions.  While FIFA may be able to resist change for a while, the forces of democratization of international organizations will at some point impact football. The questions are whether it will do so in a messy fashion or if the organization will evolve in a constructive manner.

Jerome Valcke, the FIFA secretary general who oversaw the 2018 and 2022 World Cup venue voting process, explained that the process was "perfectly organised, perfectly transparent and perfectly under control."  To the extent that his views are are shared in FIFA, I'd bet on a messy outcome.  Stay tuned.

07 December 2010

Flood Losses in Africa

A recent and important paper in GRL discussed the role of climate in the observed increase in African flood losses over the past century.  The paper concluded that climate has had an inconsequential role -- from the paper:
Di Baldassarre, G., A. Montanari, H. Lins, D. Koutsoyiannis, L. Brandimarte, and G. Blöschl (2010), Flood fatalities in Africa: From diagnosis to mitigation, Geophys. Res. Lett., 37, L22402, doi:10.1029/2010GL045467.

Based on the results of both continental and at‐site analyses, we find that the magnitude of African floods has not significantly increased during the Twentieth Century (Figures 2 and 3), and that climate has not been a consequential factor in the observed increase in flood damage. This is consistent with the results previously obtained [Kundzewicz et al., 2005; Bates et al., 2008; Petrow and Merz, 2009; Lins and Slack, 1999; Mudelsee et al., 2003] in different areas, such as North America, Europe, and Australia.
So if floods haven't increased, the cause of increasing damage must lie in factors other than climate:
. . . the intensive and unplanned urbanization in Africa and the related increase of people living in floodplains [Hardoy et al., 2001; Douglas et al., 2008] has led to an increase in the potential adverse consequences of floods and, in particular, of the most serious and irreversible type of consequence, namely the loss of human lives [Jonkman, 2005]. This can be shown, at the continental scale, by analyzing the dynamic of African population and the most recent deadly floods. For instance, Figure 4 shows the spatial distribution of population growth [Nelson, 2010] and the location of the latest floods, and deadly floods, in Africa (Dartmouth Flood Observatory, Global Archive of Large Flood Events, 2010). It can be seen that most of the recent deadly floods have happened where the population has increased more.
Compare this post as well.  The paper was also discussed in a blog posting at the AGU. The paper is an important addition to a growing literature on the subject of disasters and climate change.

Japan and the Kyoto Protocol

Japan's announcement that it would not participate in a second commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol caused quite a stir. As I have shown in a paper on Japan's proposed emissions reductions, it simply cannot hit the aggressive targets that were proposed by a former government during a moment of populist over exuberance. 

Any commitment by Japan to a Kyoto 2 would be substantively meaningless, even if politically popular among some well-meaning but deeply misguided activists.  Japan should be applauded for its refusal to go along with a charade.  Of course, in the climate debate nothing is ever so simple.

The Energy Challenge in One Figure

Last week the FT had a special section on South African Power and Energy.  The report included the excellent graphic shown above (click on it to enlarge).  The graphic shows that in the very near term -- perhaps in the current decade -- South Africa has a huge gap between what it needs in energy supply and what it currently has planned to meet those needs, which are projected to just about double in the next 20 years or less.

South Africa might be considered as representative of the broader global situation, where energy demand growth is being driven by the so-called "developing" countries.  South Africa is going to have enough of a challenge keeping the lights on, much less decarbonizing its economy at a rapid rate. Energy innovation and consequent decarbonization are much broader issues than simply climate change.

Five Books Interview

I was asked by Five Books to recommend five books related to the issue of climate change and my own book, The Climate Fix.  Five Books then interviewed me about my selections.  You can see what I came up with here.

What books would be on your list?

06 December 2010

Broken Windows

The State of Montana's Department of Fish, Wildlife and Parks has threatened Montana State University with a total loss of financial support over a peer-reviewed paper on wolf populations and hunting.

The threat has to do with a debate over a study published by Scott Creel and Jay Rotella of MSU's Department of Ecology which discussed the sustainable yield of wild wolf populations. Some substantive aspects of that debate can be seen in the comments that appear with the open-access article:
Creel S, Rotella JJ (2010) Meta-Analysis of Relationships between Human Offtake, Total Mortality and Population Dynamics of Gray Wolves (Canis lupus). PLoS ONE 5(9): e12918. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0012918
The FWP did not appreciate learning about the paper via the media following a press release rather than directly from the researchers or the university.  And apparently there is a history of bad relations.

None of that justifies the threat from the State to the university in a letter from the FWP fish and wildlife divsioin administrator, Dave Risley, to the MSU President Waded Cruzado:
By writing this letter, we hope to make you aware of this situation before the only recourse is to permanently and completely dissolve the financial and intellectual relationship between FWP and MSU.
After the letter became public Risley appears to have stepped back a bit from the threat:
"We wanted to get the attention of the university, of the president," Risley said. "In no way, shape or form would we want to stifle academic freedom. We were just looking for professional integrity."

Risley said his letter to Cruzado was not intended to threaten the university. He said his previous letter of complaint to Creel's department head received no response.

Risley said he felt "like when a kid throws a rock at a window" to get someone's attention and inadvertently "breaks the window." He said it had gone further than he expected. "I didn't expect to get a call from the Chronicle," he said. "We wanted to get it to their attention and see some action."
Risley is no doubt seeing some action.  The President of the MSU Faculty Senate had some wise words:
Marvin Lansverk, MSU Faculty Senate chair, said he didn't have many details about the dispute, but if FWP is calling for more communication, that would be fine.

If FWP scientists disagree with Creel's conclusions, Lansverk said, "They have the right and obligation to respond with publications of their own."

However, Lansverk said, "If an administrator disagrees with scientific results, I think it would be inappropriate and detrimental to good science and the public interest to try to intervene or suppress publication of research or to put pressure on an institution to stop doing what universities do. I hope that's not what FWP is trying to do."

03 December 2010

Uber Meteorologist Bob Ryan on The Climate Fix

Bob Ryan, lead meteorologist on the 11PM News on ABC7/WJLA-TV in Washington, DC, says this in his highly positive review of The Climate Fix:
Pielke Jr.’s new book, "The Climate Fix: What Scientists and Politicians Won’t Tell You About Global Warming," manages to beautifully and easily encompass everything from atmospheric science and the third rail of global warming to biodiversity, politics, a bit of history, geoengineering and energy policy. It wraps up with some original thoughts about achieving decarbonization in the future.

Quite a range of topics, but quite a book. A book that should be required reading for all of us thinking and talking about climate change/global warming, its long term consequences and the Gordian Knot of science, politics and policy.