Recently, Sen. Cory Gardner chaired an informative and substantive Senate hearing on the science of climate change. Four well-credentialed climate scientists testified, including Dr. Waleed Abdalati, director of the Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences (CERES) in Boulder. Topics ranged from next-generation computer models to long-range infrastructure planning to the importance of gathering better data on warming oceans.
How do we pick the best technology and policy solutions to help us adapt to a changing climate and mitigate the extent of that change? What resources do scientists most need to meet this challenge? Satellites and advanced ocean sensors topped the wish list, but also investment in social sciences to explore how we can help people adapt, and learn how their responses are likely to influence behavior.
Under Sen. Gardner’s leadership, the policy makers and scientists participating in the hearing showed us how climate change can be de-politicized by approaching the topic and each other with genuine respect and curiosity. They were there to share knowledge and learn from each other. I hope we see more of that in Congress.
Climate change threatens everything we hold dear. We need to understand the problem space from all angles in order to meet its challenges and capitalize on new opportunities. As Sen. Gardner said in his opening remarks, we have work to do together to solve climate change. It will take commitment and good will on both sides of the aisle to find solutions.