Field of Science

Climate science and professional science organizations

The Botanical Society of America and the American Society of Plant Taxonomists, my main societies, are two of the many professional organizations that represent scientists, and one of their roles is to provide members' perspectives on scientific issues to any interested (or disinterested) party. 19 such societies jointly sent a position paper to all members of the US Congress in October 2009. Recently Senator Whitehouse (D-RI) offered remarks on climate science referencing that paper. Here's a brief excerpt.
"Their other big lie, the jury is still out on, is whether human-made carbon pollution causes dangerous climate change and oceanic change. Virtually all of our most prestigious scientific and academic institutions have stated that climate change is happening and that human activities are the driving cause of this change. Many of us in Congress received a letter from those institutions in October 2009. Let me quote from that letter.Observations throughout the world make it clear that climate change is occurring, and rigorous scientific research demonstrates that the greenhouse gases emitted by human activities are the primary driver. These conclusions are based on multiple independent lines of evidence, and contrary assertions are inconsistent with an objective assessment of the vast body of peer-reviewed science. Let me repeat that last quote - Contrary assertions are inconsistent with an objective assessment of the vast body of peer-reviewed science." "These are highly esteemed scientific organizations. They are the real deal. They don't think the jury is still out. They recognize that, in fact, the verdict is in, and it is time to act. More than 97 percent of the climate scientists most actively publishing accept that the verdict is actually in on carbon pollution causing climate and oceanic changes--97 percent. Think of that."

How 'bout that! So Congress is not bereft of people who think science actually knows something. Now on the other hand, the GOP presidential hopefuls, well.... Don't be holding your breath.

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