Richard Muller

Richard Muller, UC Berkeley, Physicist

Skeptical Scientist

Well-respected physicist Richard Muller of UC Berkeley was once touted by climate change skeptics as a bona fide climate scientist who shared their mistrust of the data on global warming. Then, he did his own exhaustive study of the data from the nearly 40,000 weather monitoring stations around the world and found that the results largely concurred with the earlier findings of significant warming over the past 300 years. And he explained his findings very clearly when he was called to testify before a Congressional Committee investigating the matter. Now Dr. Muller advocates for policy change to curb emissions — as long as those policy solutions are big enough to address the problem on a global scale.

Dr. Muller says: “I believe that global warming is an important issue that should be looked at very seriously by policymakers. The research shows without a doubt that significant warming has already taken place, much of it due to human activity. The good news is that we have time to address the problem. But we need to be smart about solutions too, and avoid risky experiments like geo-engineering that could waste time and money and actually do harm. The only real solutions must be large scale and need to take carbon dioxide out of the air. For example, converting all of China’s coal plants to natural gas.”

Although he advocates for very large scale solutions that require policy change, Dr. Muller believes individuals can still make a difference in leading by example, which makes them better advocates. “I think houses of worship are a great place to model energy efficiency, especially if it convinces parishioners to talk to their legislators about policy change.”




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