By Josh Fischman
15 December 2016

SAN FRANCISCO (Scientific American) – Anxiety among Earth and climate scientists has been mounting for weeks. The election of Donald J. Trump as U.S. president, a candidate who called human-driven climate change a hoax, was followed by Trump naming more and more climate-change doubters to run the government’s environment and energy agencies. So this Wednesday a throng of about 2,000 researchers packed a hall at the American Geophysical Union’s (AGU) annual meeting here to hear from politicians and leading scientists about whether science is about to be thrown out the window. Along with, possibly, their jobs.

“I was definitely given a gut check this past week,” said a worried scientist from Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico, which is part of the Department of Energy (DoE).

But when California Gov. Jerry Brown strode to the microphone and delivered an animated pep talk the crowd’s mood rapidly changed. “We have the scientists, we have the lawyers and we are ready to fight!” Brown said, to loud cheers. “And California is no stranger to this fight. Our emission standards, our energy rules, drove U.S. policy. Whatever Washington thinks it is doing, California is the future.”

Brown urged scientists to take the long view. “This is not one battle. This is a long slog,” he said. One election and a presidential term does not set policy forever, he noted. Scientists, he said to more cheers, are truth-tellers and truth-seekers. “I’ve been doing this a long time,” he said, “and eventually the truth will prevail.” In fact, he added, the election should energize the research community in a needed way. A lot of scientists and policy makers may have been quietly pushing for actions to combat warming, he said, but not pushing very hard. “You know that sometimes you need a heart attack to stop smoking?” he asked. “Well, maybe we just got our heart attack.”

A lot of scientists were fearful because the Trump transition team has asked the DoE for names of employees who worked on climate research and were members of certain science groups. On Tuesday the department said it would not reply to a list of 74 questions designed to root out such information. Brown told the crowd that his state would brook no political interference in the research done at the many national labs operated by the University of California. [more]

Climate Scientists Hatch Plans to Deal with Trump's Climate Skeptics


Gov. Jerry Brown promised California would continue to vigorously pursue climate science at the annual American Geophysical Union fall meeting in San Francisco, 14 December 2016.  Photo: American Geophysical Union

By Alex Johnson
16 December 2016

(NBC News) – California Gov. Jerry Brown has launched a blistering attack on President-elect Donald Trump's stance on climate change, telling a gathering of scientists that he will do everything in his power to protect laboratories and advanced research.

In an address Wednesday to a conference of the American Geophysical Union in San Francisco, Brown abandoned all niceties in going after Trump, who has called climate change a hoax orchestrated by China.

Brown — whose defiant environmental advocacy during an earlier term as governor won him the nickname "Governor Moonbeam" — said reports that the Trump administration could end NASA's role in climate research were unacceptable.

"If Trump turns off the satellites, California will launch its own damn satellites," he said. [more]

'California Will Launch Its Own Damn Satellites,' Governor Brown Tells Trump

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