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John Holdren to be named Obama's Science Adviser

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 

According to Joseph Romm at ClimateProgress, this is "Obama’s strongest message on climate yet".

 

"I have known Holdren for over a decade and have discussed energy/climate issues with him many times. He probably has more combined expertise on both climate science and clean energy technology than any other person who could plausibly have been named science adviser."

 

“I am one of those who believes that any reasonably comprehensive and up-to-date look at the evidence makes clear that civilization has already generated dangerous anthropogenic interference in the climate system,” Dr. Holdren said. “What keeps me going is my belief that there is still a chance of avoiding catastrophe.”

 

Great to see another scientist aware of the importance of addressing climate change (and another physicist!) appointed to Obama's cabinet.  It's certainly looking like he's serious about addressing climate change, and not just talk.

post #2 of 11

Here's a pretty cool article he wrote back in '03 that summarizes his main beliefs.

 

It seems he wants to set a target of 550 ppm, a bit high for my taste but then again he seems very cautious about taking into account effects on economy and energy security.

 

I particularly liked this part:

 

I believe that we need a doubling or tripling of US Federal support for research, development, and demonstration; a tripling or quadrupling of US assistance on low-emission energy technologies to developing countries; a prompt closing of the loophole for light trucks and SUVs in the US CAFÉ standards, followed by ramping up the fleet-average mileage requirement to 40 mpg by 2015; and, most important but also most difficult to achieve, either a gradually escalating carbon tax or a gradually tightening emissions cap implemented through tradable permits.

 

I'm wondering if he has scaled this back since the recession took hold...


Edited by dawei - Fri, 19 Dec 2008 00:11:44 GMT
post #3 of 11
Thread Starter 

Now that it's 5 years later and Hansen and some other experts have said we should try to stabilize at 350 ppm, I wonder if Holdren still supports shooting for a 550 ppm atmospheric CO2 concentration.

post #4 of 11

TargetCO2_20080407.pdf

 

that took me 10 mins to find and that was just the 2008 stuff. i have to sort out my bookmarks!

post #5 of 11

I hate to admit it, but I'm a bit out of the loop in terms of current events and Obama's cabinet picks.  What are Holdren's credentials?  That's definitely a great thing that he's a staunch scientist though.

post #6 of 11
Thread Starter 

Whoops, I probably should have linked the actual ClimateProgress article.  You can read about Holdren's credentials there. 

 

"an energy and environment expert at Harvard and president of the American Association for the Advancement of Science"

 

"Holdren is well known for his work on energy, climate change, and nuclear proliferation. Trained in fluid dynamics and plasma physics, Holdren branched out into policy early in his career. He has led the Woods Hole Research Center for the past 3 years and served as president of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (which publishes Science) in 2006."

 

Holdren's Harvard page.

post #7 of 11
Thread Starter 

By the way, I just happened to notice that Holdren was mentioned in another discussion topic on energy efficiency a while back.

post #8 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by dawei:

I'm wondering if he has scaled this back since the recession took hold...



 

That's what I'm thinking most about. What effect does $1.60/gallon gas have on consumer demands, and where will climate fall in the triage of priorities while our pockets are this shallow.

 

Regardless - can't wait to get Obama going so we can find out :)

post #9 of 11

Merry Christmas one and all!

 

 

couple of good quotes from the guardian article on this;

 

 

"Today, more than ever before, science holds the key to our survival as a planet and our security and prosperity as a nation," Obama announced. "It's time we once again put science at the top of our agenda and ... worked to restore America's place as the world leader in science and technology."

In one telling remark, he added that respect for the scientific process was not "just about providing investment and resources. It's about ensuring that facts and evidence are never twisted nor obscured by politics nor ideology."

 

and it says 'respected climatologist Jane Lubchenco is to head the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.' apparently she is a marine specialist and has warned about acidification and overexploitation.

 

looking better and better!

 


Edited by gerda - Wed, 24 Dec 2008 16:26:04 GMT
post #10 of 11
Thread Starter 

Yeah, almost all of Obama's environmental and scientific appointments have just been terrific.  The one possible exception being Salazar for Interior secretary, but I think even that is a decent pick.

post #11 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by dana1981:

According to Joseph Romm at ClimateProgress, this is "Obama’s strongest message on climate yet".

 

"I have known Holdren for over a decade and have discussed energy/climate issues with him many times. He probably has more combined expertise on both climate science and clean energy technology than any other person who could plausibly have been named science adviser."

 

“I am one of those who believes that any reasonably comprehensive and up-to-date look at the evidence makes clear that civilization has already generated dangerous anthropogenic interference in the climate system,” Dr. Holdren said. “What keeps me going is my belief that there is still a chance of avoiding catastrophe.”

 

Great to see another scientist aware of the importance of addressing climate change (and another physicist!) appointed to Obama's cabinet.  It's certainly looking like he's serious about addressing climate change, and not just talk.


 

Another climate change kook. Thanks Obama. In just 30 short days he's already established himself and the biggest duffus to be elected President. I wonder if we will survive the next 47 months or shorter if they can get a hold of his Kenyan birth certificate. :)

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