Santer profiled in the Los Angeles Times

12.30.2016

Ben Santer caricature by John Cook

Ben Santer, a noted climate researcher at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory and a member of NCSE's board of directors, was profiled in the Los Angeles Times (December 30, 2016), under the headline "Can a federal government scientist in California convince Trump that climate change is real?"

"Although he's soft-spoken in person, the 61-year-old scientist has become more vocal over the years in hopes of beating back claims that climate change isn't real," the profile related, citing a post-election essay of Santer's vowing to continue his work improving scientific and public understanding of climate change.

In the same vein, Santer recently contributed a column to CNBC (December 22, 2016), advising the president-elect not to "listen to the 'ignorant voices' on climate change." There he observed that with regard to the climate, "we can ill afford to take important decisions based on misinformation or poor intelligence. We all lose if that happens."

The profile explained that there is widespread concern among scientists about the fate of climate science in the Trump administration. But "[a] spokesman for Trump's transition team did not respond to a request for comment about whether or how the federal government will support climate change research under the new administration."

Santer urged his fellow scientists to continue working to communicate the scientific consensus on climate change. "Why do you think 'Make America Great Again' worked?" he asked. "My theory is the repetition. A simple message, repeated again and again and again." He added, "There's an important lesson there for climate scientists."

Subsequently, Santer was interviewed about his open letter to the president-elect by NPR's All Things Considered (January 5, 2016). "As a climate scientist ... you can't just sit by idly and say nothing when [the scientific understanding of climate change] is incorrectly dismissed," he explained.

[Updated on January 5, 2017, by the addition of the last paragraph.]