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Climate Expert says “We’ve Blown It… But Pessimism is Not Acceptable”

Historian of science and science studies scholar Naomi Oreskes, during a presentation at the 2008 History of Science Society meeting. Photo via WikiMedia. recently published a piece titled, Naomi Oreskes on climate change: “We’ve blown it… but pessimism is not acceptable” by Justin Catanosa.

Oreskes is the Professor of the History of Science and Affiliated Professor of Earth and Planetary Sciences at Harvard University and a former Professor of History and Science Studies at the University of California, San Diego. In 2010, she co-authored Merchants of Doubt which identified some parallels between the climate change debate and earlier public controversies.

The article opens with the following highlights:

  • Naomi Oreskes has been called “one of the biggest names in climate science.” Her landmark research helped establish the scientific community’s irrefutable consensus on climate change, and chronicled how the climate denial movement was mobilized by fossil fuel corporations.
  • In this exclusive Mongabay interview, Oreskes weighs in on Paris, REDD+ as a tool to curb deforestation and store carbon, Exxon, Obama’s climate legacy, the meaning of the Supreme Court’s recent climate change decision, the Pope’s environmental encyclical, and hope.
  • “I am intrinsically an optimistic… But it’s difficult to stay optimistic in the present moment, especially in the face of continued denial of people who should know better… We cannot give up the fight because it’s not too late to avoid the worst damage.” — Naomi Oreskes

Read the article in full at

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