Personally, I am grieving over the state of science in the world today, which led to the publication of Dr. Kimberly Miner’s histrionic editorial in “Nature.”
I would like to introduce you to Dr. Kimberley R. Miner, a Climate Scientist at the NASA Jet Propulsion Lab in Pasadena, California, and a Climate Change Institute Research Assistant Professor. She is also a Fellow at the Center for Climate and Security in DC and Co-chair of the NASA Interagency Forum on Climate Change Risks, Impacts, and Adaptation.
Given those credentials, you might expect an editorial she prepared for a leading science publication would be a sober, serious analysis of the data related to the Earth’s atmosphere, oceanic currents, or geologic history.
You would be wrong. In Nature, Miner wrote a histrionic, emotion-laden diatribe about “climate grief.” In the piece, she essentially admitted her colleagues were suffering “severe, emergent health challenges.”
I also started talking frankly to my colleagues about the emotional turmoil that is often sparked by working as a climate scientist today, and many others had similar stories.
I am in my mid-thirties, working at NASA as a scientist, and I already have five scientist friends with severe, emergent health challenges. They are all affected by overwork, exhaustion and extreme stress. The only other thing they all have in common is that they study climate change.
She tries to evoke sympathy with her opening, in which she cries after a group meeting.
Last September, before the rains came, my field team learnt that it was probably too late for half the blue oaks affected by California’s drought in the region in which we were working. Because of years of ongoing drought, many of the trees would not recover from the long-term water loss and would die. The next morning, I sat outside our science team meeting and cried.
That response should be embarrassing. California has had droughts that lasted over 200 years… none of which can be connected to human activity or prevented with human intervention.
It gets worse. Miner is bringing this type of fear-based climate analysis to our children. In this video, she responds to a question from a child by explaining the Black Death “virus” is going to escape from the permafrost because of global warming.
(Note: The Black Death is caused by a bacterium – Yersinia pestis. The disease, which did strike Medieval Europe hard, is curable with antibiotics. If this is the quality of Miner’s “science,” I shudder to think of her contribution to any aspect of policy-making at the national and international levels).
In her fear-laden screed, Miner passes off misinformation as accepted “fact.”
… Whether in the shape of increased glacier flow rates, rainstorms that become atmospheric rivers, or abrupt permafrost thawing that disrupts sections of highway, these unforeseen risks are emerging increasingly. Scientists with decades of experience in one field location might find themselves confronted with a new atmospheric or hydrologic circulation pattern, an unseasonal storm or freeze, or literally shaky ground. Although we have a responsibility to track how certain sites are changing in a climate that’s getting hotter and more extreme, that can put scientists at considerable risk.
There are fewer tropical cyclones:
But fewer hurricanes… https://t.co/AtsV9KsH5r
— Dr. Matthew M. Wielicki (@MatthewWielicki) August 18, 2023
There are fewer tornadoes and hurricanes. And if the planet is truly warming, there are benefits, too:
Rapidly impacting our planet? You mean like fewer hurricanes, fewer tornadoes & record high crop yields? PS: Cold kills far more than heat. When you say "invest" you mean rising our taxes which will not change the weather. Sure…be good stewards of the planet. Mitigation is key. pic.twitter.com/UDNYqLqCcf
— Kevin Williams (@wxbywilliams) June 5, 2023
There are actually glaciers that are growing.
NASA notes that Greenland's glaciers are increasing. Fancy that. The earth changes (as it did in the Little Ice Age that started in the 1400s).https://t.co/KFT7ycIBBT
— Maret Jaks – FREE RANGE THINKER 🇨🇦🇪🇪🇨🇦 (@MaretJaks) August 19, 2023
The cherry on top of this sundae of insanity: A former leader in the Canadian Green Party, Andrew Weaver, is pleading with climate scientists to tone down the alarmist rhetoric.
“A large cohort of the climate science community, in an attempt to deal with their own climate grief, has heightened rather than alleviated climate anxiety in civil society.”
Weaver accuses his colleagues — leastways some of them — of the counter-productive sin of fear-mongering.
“It has long been known that fear-based messaging does not work in terms of motivating personal climate action.
“In fact, many simply disassociate themselves from the issue. Others, of course, take the fear to heart and it feeds their underlying climate anxiety.”
Miner says she is suffering from “climate grief.” Personally, I am grieving over the state of science in the world today.
Any research asserting they suffer from “climate grief” should be nowhere near any research institute where serious science is conducted.
Another example of ecologists not understanding the dynamics of climate variability and change.https://t.co/UUmf8bsHuQ
— Judith Curry (@curryja) August 22, 2023
The “Nature” article summed up in a meme:
climate grief barbie pic.twitter.com/lKaIPEaK7n
— Sunrise Movement 🌅 (@sunrisemvmt) July 25, 2023
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