Conservation news

Audio: Naomi Oreskes on what stories we can’t let get lost in the noise of 2017 and why scientists should speak up

Normally we’re focused on international conservation and environmental science news here at the Mongabay Newscast, just as our reporting on Mongabay.com is. But because there’s so much uncertainty around the new Trump Administration, especially its energy, environment, and climate policies, we decided to dedicate this episode to trying to answer some of those questions.

We’ve assembled quite a distinguished panel of experts to discuss what we can and can’t say about the Trump Administration’s plans. On this episode of the Mongabay Newscast, we first welcome Harvard professor, climate historian, and noted author Naomi Oreskes to talk about what stories she’s worried will get lost in the media’s hyperfocus on the chaos surrounding the new Trump Administration in the U.S. as well as her recent lecture at the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science in which she laid out an evidence-based case for why scientists should be speaking out about their work in public.

Oreskes has been Professor of the History of Science and Affiliated Professor of Earth and Planetary Sciences at Harvard University since 2013. Her research focuses on the Earth and environmental sciences, with a particular interest in understanding scientific consensus and dissent. Her 2010 book, Merchants of Doubt, How a Handful of Scientists Obscured the Truth on Issues from Tobacco to Global warming, co-authored with Erik M. Conway, was shortlisted for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize and received the 2011 Watson-Davis Prize from the History of Science Society. It was also made into a documentary of the same name.

We continue to take a look at what this year will bring for energy and the environment under President Trump with Bobby Magill, a senior science writer for Climate Central and the president of the Society of Environmental Journalists, which recently released a special backgrounder entitled “Turbulent Prospects on Environment-Energy Beat Likely in Trump Era.”

And we also welcome a third guest to the show, Jeff Ruch, executive director of the non-profit service organization Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility. Jeff shares with us what he’s been hearing so far from employees of the Environmental Protection Agency about their concerns with the Trump Administration’s environmental policies.

Here’s this episode’s top news:

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With over 7 inches of global sea level rise since 1900 (and today’s rise occurring even faster), the potential for storm surges and flooding is higher than ever. This photo shows the Bayside Picnic Area in Maryland’s Assateague Island National Seashore after Hurricane Sandy. Naomi Oreskes tells the Mongabay Newscast that we must continue to report impacts of climate change, such as the one pictured, that are occurring right now, rather than discussing climate change as some future threat. Photo by NPS Climate Change Response / Flickr.com.

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