In the 2016 Presidential Election, the United States has elected a leader who has ignored and outright denied the existence of global climate change, going to far as to claim that “The concept of global warming was created by and for the Chinese in order to make U.S. manufacturing non-competitive.” President-Elect Trump also claimed that he wanted to “cut the EPA” because “…what they do is a disgrace.” While actual policy choices remain to be seen, his focus on Scott Pruitt as the likely head of the EPA, and his expressed intention of terminating NASA’s unparalleled earth observing program seem to show a committed hostility toward science-driven policy.
We drafted this letter to President-elect Trump as physicists who care for the environment and want to leave this planet in good shape for future generations. We all felt that we had to do something on an issue as important as climate change. The three of us have worked to clarify a synopsis of the scientific consensus, edited the text and put together this site to organize distribution of the letter to physics and astronomy faculty across the United States. Our hope is that faculty from every college or university physics or astronomy department will join us in our appeal to the President-elect to take global climate change seriously as a policy issue during his time in office.
We sincerely hope that our colleagues around the United States will take a strong stand for our planet and use the signing of this letter as a step to further engagement with these critical issues. It is not partisan to assert that the United States should base policy on the best available scientific evidence, and that evidence points squarely at harmful consequences of continuing to release carbon dioxide into the atmosphere from the burning of fossil fuels. From here, we can have a debate on the best course of action to reduce greenhouse gas production, but reduce it we must.
If you are a Physics/Astronomy faculty member or researcher at a United States college or university, please read and consider signing our letter. Your department chair should have received the password needed to have signing access by email, but you may request one yourself at firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you are a member of the press, please use this contact email: email@example.com to request additional information or contact us.
Mark Battle & Madeleine Msall—Bowdoin College
Paul Nakroshis—University of Southern Maine