Kathryn (Kate) Moran, Professor of Oceanography and Associate Dean, Graduate School of Oceanography, University of Rhode Island, is joining the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) as a Senior Policy Analyst with expertise in oceans, the Arctic and global warming. She testified in 2008 before the Senate Environment Committee that “Narragansett Bay is already seeing the affects of climate change,” and that “we are the cause of these drastic changes to our planet, Rhode Island and Narragansett Bay and we must act now to alter this climate collision course.” This, of course, is the sort of statement that brings the denialists out of the woodwork.
In August 2008, Moran testified before a U.S. Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works Field Briefing on The Implications of Global Warming for Narragansett Bay. In her introduction, she noted that her own climate change research “focused on uncovering the past climate of the Arctic Ocean – an area of the planet that has significant control on the climate and is currently suffering from a greater impact from climate change than almost any other place on the planet. The major role of the Arctic and polar regions in the climate puzzle cannot be overstated.” She specifically commented on “the strong link between the Arctic and its climate impact on U.S. coastal areas.”
In summarizing her testimony, she said that “Narragansett Bay is already seeing the affects of climate change,” and that “we are the cause of these drastic changes to our planet, Rhode Island and Narragansett Bay and we must act now to alter this climate collision course.”
The Associated Press reported on July 17:
Moran made similar statements about global warming last year during a public presentation on climate change held at URI’s campus, eliciting hostile questions from audience members who did not believe global warming or doubted that humans contribute to it, said Peter August, a URI professor of natural resource science.
She didn’t flinch during the exchanges, showing skills that August thinks could be helpful in Washington.
“She can hold her ground, she can speak with objective authority,” August said. “She doesn’t get upset, and she doesn’t make people look stupid.”
Well, if she takes note of how her new director, John Holdren, is being attacked by lunatic fringe character assassins in the denialist corners of the blogosphere, she’ll see that the problem is not only one of ignorance, but also of maliciousness.
”I think scientists should be more active in speaking about their own science,” she told the AP.
We would add:…and in speaking to the public and to policymakers about their views on the implications of their research – and on the machinations of the denialist noise machine that is amping up the decibel level these days.