Health

Pete Myers: We saw this coming

Woke up this morning and lay in bed for an hour reading the press on the new IPCC report. As if we didn’t know this was coming #*%%!!


I quit a tenured academic position in 1987 to join the National Audubon Society as Senior Vice President for Science with the hope of getting them to take on climate change. I even brought one my climate science heroes, George Woodwell, to an Audubon board meeting. If HE couldn’t do it, no one could. Ironically, I had an easier time convincing New Jersey’s Republican governor at the time, Tom Kean, to issue a proclamation warning about global warming. Really.

In 1988 at the Audubon Society’s national conference I spoke to grassroots leaders about the basic physics and chemistry of climate change, and what it meant for the future of birds. At the beginning of my talk I even held up a bag of disposable diapers and warned that if they truly understood what I was saying, and believed it, they’d need some of these.

No takers. So in 1990 I left and became director of the W. Alton Jones Foundation. Over the next dozen years we distributed millions of dollars in grants to organizations attempting to turn the tide on climate change. I don’t think we bent the curve one one-hundredth of a degree.

Pete Myers is the founder and chief scientist of Environmental Health Sciences. Views expressed are his own and not necessarily those of Environmental Health News or The Daily Climate.

Top photo of an eyelash viper courtesy Pete Myers.

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