America's largest annual Earth Science conference will not begin until next week, but it's getting hot. The members of the American Geophysical Union (AGU) are opposed to the organization's decision to award a prestigious award to Senator Cory Gardner who voted against a measure in 201
Gardner (R-Colorado) and Sen. Gary Peters (D-Michigan) are honored with the AGU's "Presidential Citation" recognizing "[s] leaders whose work has contributed to the science of the Earth and the Earth." Space and promote their understanding of "value for society," as published on December 2, in a blog post by AGU President Eric Davidson and CEO Chris McEntee. The bureau said that these two senators were selected for their efforts to adopt the 2017 United States Innovation and Competitiveness Act.
This law, says the AGU, will help to strengthen STEM education nationwide and strengthen the opportunities for women and minorities to STEM and ensure appropriate funding from the National Science Foundation. That's all well and good, but for many simple members of the AGU, Gardner's clear bottom line in terms of environment and climate change does not erase it.
The League of Conservation voters give Gardner only ten percent of its life-long poll for environmental issues. Recent highlights included a vote to confirm climate denier and shame-scandal magnate Scott Pruitt, who heads the Environmental Protection Agency, and his vote against oil conservation gas drilling from the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. Perhaps the biggest sticking point for the members of the AGU, however, was Gardner's vote against a 2015 legislative proposal recognizing that climate change is due to human actions.
An open letter to the AGU publicly circulated on 5 December notes that the vote is taking place A direct deduction of the organization's statement that climate change is real and driven by people and "urgent action "requires. The letter adds that the Gardner award underpins the urgency of climate change, as outlined by over 300 scientists in the newly released scientists Fourth National Climate Assessment, a report that the Trump government wanted to bury and deny at each turn.
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Read  Kim Cobb, climate scientist at the Ge The Orgia Institute of Technology organized the letter along with Julien Emile-Geay, a professor of earth science at the University of Southern California, after hearing that Gardner would receive an award on Twitter. She says that after digging into the Senator's records, she was "really shocked" when the AGU decided to honor him.
"It really becomes a topic of integrity," Cobb told Earther, adding that the AGU's actions do not accurately indicate that the organization is ready to defend the integrity of climate science.
Many members of the scientific community seem to agree to do so. At the time of writing, the letter has received over 200 signatures. While Cobb and Emile-Geay demanded the signing of members of the AGU, the members themselves verify their membership status and Earther can not confirm whether all signatories are indeed part of the professional society. In any case, the list of names includes some of the most renowned climate researchers in the world and continues to grow.
"We think it is pretty clear that there is a big consensus in the climate science community that is concerned and would like to see AGU expand this process [of award granting] and make sure that does not happen again," said Cobb.
While Cobb said that the AGU did not directly reach them, the organization is aware of the growing storm, and the aforementioned statement of December 2 is even a kind of excuse stating that the organization is not dealing with their community The reasons why they chose Gardner recognition were not communicated this year, and that they did not take action to address "the proactive concerns" of the members. "We are deeply sorry for that," the memo said
When asked by the Outermost for a comment, the AGU was less apologetic, sending a statement declaring that the two Senators were honored because they have "shown leadership in a number of scientific issues in an inclusive and bipartisan manner."
"Across the aisle to support scientific research as these two senators This is in view of our current divided government especially critical. "
I think we will have to wait and see if the future efforts of both sides of Gardner include a firmer confirmation of the scientific realities of climate change.