At AGU: A Historic Series of Interviews

December 18, 2014


Lonnie Thompson of the Byrd Polar Center

I’m working with John Cook of Skeptical Science blog, and Collin Maessen of Real Skeptic, interviewing an amazing list of some of the most productive researchers in the most critical areas of climate science.
We’ve been completely bowled over by the energy the subjects have brought to this project. Everyone has been on their “A” game.

Lonnie Thompson, above, makes a pretty good example.
In his 70s, with a new heart transplant, Dr. Thompson has just returned from his 58th(!) trip to New Guinea glaciers, where he was working at the 20,000 foot level with his team, gathering records from rapidly vanishing tropical glaciers that will soon be gone. The only records we will ever have.
Dr. Thompson described the urgency of the problem, as tropical glaciers disappear, of maintaining water supplies to populations that have depended on them for millennia.


Katharine Hayhoe

I first interviewed Katharine Hayhoe a few years ago, shortly after she had come under attack by right wing radio shouter Rush Limbaugh as a “climate babe”.
Since then, she has been named one of Time Magazine’s 100 Most Influential People, for her outreach, as a scientist, to her fellow Christian evangelicals.


Eric Rignot

Dr. Eric Rignot is a glaciologist, highly esteemed in his community, working for NASA Jet Propulsion Lab.
His study last spring stunned the world with the confirmation that huge sections of the Antarctic Ice Sheet are now committed to collapsing into the sea, the only question being, how long it will take – an issue I covered in my video below.


Ben Santer

Ben Santer gave a powerful interview describing his journey as one of the most knowledgeable atmospheric scientists in the world, since his work was dishonestly attacked by fossil fuel interests, some 20 years ago.  Few other scientists have taken as much abuse from the science-hate community as Dr. Santer, and he continues to emerge vindicated, and stronger than before.


Eugenie Scott

Eugenie Scott has until recently chaired the National Center for Science Education, against fundamentalists who believe children should be taught that the earth is 5000 years old, and that there is no such thing as human caused climate change.


Kevin Trenberth

Kevin Trenberth updated our understanding of global atmospheric dynamics. Dr. Trenberth was one of the scientists attacked in the original “climate gate” non-scandal, ginned up when hackers stole emails from the University of East Anglia in 2009.  I covered this kerfuffle in a series of videos that put the distortions, derived from out-of-context quotes from the emails, to rest.


Mauri Pelto

Dr. Mauri Pelto is one of the most respected and relentless glacier researchers on the planet, founder of the North Cascades Glacier Climate Project. I joined Dr. Pelto in his fieldwork in 2012, and continue to rely on him for insight and analysis.

John Cook will be using the interviews in his ground-truthing of climate denial nonsense, and I’ll be mining them for my own videos in upcoming months.

This is a shortened list. More interviews to add as I have time.


10 Responses to “At AGU: A Historic Series of Interviews”

  1. indy222 Says:

    You’re amazingly productive, Peter

  2. Dr. Thompson presented the 2nd Charles David Keeling Memorial Lecture at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography in 2011, which I was fortunate enough to attend. He appeared to be in good health at the time (just a year before his heart transplant).

    For those who are interested, the entire lecture can be viewed at:

  3. anotheralionel Says:

    One has to have the utmost respect for these people, Lonnie Thompson in particular has displayed courage and tenacity – some of the climbs he carried out for science are breathtaking, as of course were literally the altitudes at which he worked.

    The others are no less respected for their tenacity in the face of both hostile environments and armchair pundits in the media and politics. Those amongst the latter deserve nothing but contempt and those who have encouraged hostile threats should now be held to account, it is not as if their names are unknown.

    If there were not enough space junk up there already then special one way tickets for sightseeing from space should be provided.

  4. […] American Geophysical Union conference has been extremely interesting and productive, and I hope the material I have gathered here, in concert with Bloggers John Cook and Collin Maessen, will make it easier to crank out more […]

  5. A fantastic list of great people who help bring real science out to the public. Thank you Peter (and John Cook) for persevering in all the anti-science nonsense and creating top quality videos and articles!

  6. […] our series of interviews at last month’s American Geophysical Fall Meeting unfolded, I knew that what we were recording […]

  7. […] interview above was one of the historic interviews we conducted in December at the American Geophysical Union Fall Meeting in San […]

  8. […] More from Michael Mann’s interview at our historic AGU Sessions from December 2014. […]

  9. […] of the video comes from our Historic Interviews conducted in San Francisco this past December at the American Geophysical Union Fall […]

  10. […] colorful stories from Byrd Polar Center legend Lonnie Thompson, who I captured with John Cook in a historic series of interviews last December in San […]

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