Ben Santer on Late Night

02.23.2017

Ben Santer caricature by John Cook

Ben Santer, a member of NCSE's board of directors, appeared (starting at about 33:00) on Late Night with Seth Meyers on February 22, 2017. 

Asked to comment on the federal government's shift in attitude to the reality of climate change, Santer said, "It feels tough. Imagine, if you will, that you spend your entire life trying to understand one thing, and that thing is the cause of change in the climate system, to the best of your ability. ... And then someone comes and dismisses everything you've understood, all of that scientific understanding, as a hoax, as a conspiracy, as worthless, as a contrived, phony, mess. You have a choice. What do you do with that? You either can retreat to your office, close the door, and be silent — or you can choose to push back against ignorance, and say, hey, this is not our understanding. We know something about the causes of climate change." Throughout his interview, he consistently recommended the latter reaction, seeing, in the renewed attacks on climate science, a series of teachable moments.

A noted climate researcher at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, Santer was appearing on Late Night in his capacity as a private citizen.