NH Scientists Speaking Up

from Wildlife Promise

Tuckerman Ravine Trail 1962, The Forest Historical Society

Today, 50 scientists from New Hampshire released a letter urging candidates for public office to: “acknowledge the overwhelming balance of evidence for the underlying causes of climate change, to support appropriate responses to reduce the emissions of greenhouse gases, and to develop local and statewide strategies to adapt to near-term changes in climate.”

Cameron Wake, a climate scientist at the University of New Hampshire drafted the letter and recruited colleagues from the Granite state to sign it after seeing a similar effort by scientists in Iowa. The signers are professionals who have devoted their careers to studying climate change, its impacts on our natural resources and communities, and real-world options for responding. People like:

  • Erich Osterberg, a Dartmouth professor studying how glaciers and Greenland responded to past climate changes so we can better predict how they might behave in the future.
  • Jeannie Sowers, a political science professor at University of New Hampshire, who does research on the political implications of climate change and other environmental stress, especially in the Middle East.
  • Ellen Douglas, a hydrologist and engineer who works on adapting water resources to climate change.  
  • Serita Frey, an ecologist researching how climate change and other environmental stressors affect the health of soils

That these experts span a range of academic and practical fields speaks to the fact that the impacts of climate change are more and more pervasive. It is crucial that we bring this diversity of expertise to bear on understanding the scope of the problem and devising effective responses.

I applaud these scientists for having the courage to step into the fray. And, I hope that our political candidates might have the same courage to address climate change with the urgency needed to safeguard the environment, economy, and outdoor traditions of New Hampshire and beyond.