SHSU to host climate change discussion

Climate change is a scientific fact rather than a political opinion, according to a Texas A&M professor visiting campus next week to present “The Science of Climate Change and Why You Should Believe It.”
The physics and geology departments are cohosting Professor Andrew Dessler Feb. 3.
“I’ve heard professor Dessler speak once before on this subject and was very impressed at his ability to succinctly and digestibly present the key elements of the science that underline the conclusions that he and his colleagues come to, while simultaneously handling the political issues in a very deft way,” Assistant Professor of Physics, Joel Walker, Ph.D., said.
According to Walker, Dessler recognizes yet dissolves the political aspects of the conversation and presents current information in a way that lets his audience decide where they align.
“He doesn’t side step them,” Walker said. “He is able to highlight ways in which society becomes polarized with regards to political positions which are inherently apolitical. He’s able to do this, in my opinion, in a way that’s not dogmatic or condescending. The science itself is relatively narrow, but the interest to society is very broad.”
The main purpose of the presentation, though, is to inform both scientists and the public alike about the most recent data and how those conclusions were made.
“Even scientists who are specializing in fields other than the atmospheric sciences and other than climate sciences very often have limited direct knowledge about the processes that go into the development of climate models,” Walker said. “I think it’s important for scientists and non-scientists alike to hear first person the background of the type of calculations that are done that lead the climate scientists to their conclusions so that people can have a more educated and informed basis on which to develop their opinions about policy.”
Dessler is predicted to present the scientifically accepted data as well as the area of study that still holds some vagueness.
“He doesn’t avoid emphasizing the places in these models where there are large amounts of uncertainty,” Walker said. “He’s able very much to balance the aspects of the science that are very well known against the uncertainties that exist.”
The presentation is open to the public on Feb 3 and will begin at 3 p.m. in LSC Theatre 112.

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