Soil4Climate Advisory Board Member William Moomaw Joins James Hansen For Historic Congressional Testimony on Climate
June 23, 2018 - Thetford, Vermont - Thirty years ago today, on June 23rd, 1988, the U.S. government was put on notice that climate change was real and, if not addressed, the consequences would be catastrophic.
On a then relatively rare (though increasingly more common) swelteringly hot day in our nation’s capital, NASA climate scientist James Hansen laid out for Congress a detailed synopsis of the science of global warming, as well as offering what has turned out to be an eerily prescient forecast for the anticipated rise in the world’s temperature. In understated scientific jargon, Hansen ominously reported that, as he had predicted in 1981, the signal of global warming was becoming “louder than the noise of random weather.” Two seats away from Hansen at the witness table was MIT Ph.D. William “Bill” Moomaw, director of the Climate, Energy, and Pollution program at the World Resources Institute, and today a revered member of the Soil4Climate Advisory Board.
Describing this momentous occasion, an Associated Press correspondent recorded the following exchange:
Sen. Wendell Ford, D-Ky., concerned about his state's coal industry, asked physical chemist William R. Moomaw of the World Resources Institute, a Washington-based policy research organization, if technology could not reduce the harmful emissions.
"I'm trying to find a way to use a resource we have," Ford said.
Moomaw replied, "I would argue the resource we have in most abundance is the potential for using fossil fuels more efficiently at much lower cost than building any form of power generation."
Moomaw’s career in climate science has ranged from helping to craft legislation to regulate chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) to protect the ozone hole, to serving as coordinating lead author of the 2001 Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change chapter on greenhouse gas emissions reduction, and as a lead author of three other IPCC reports (1995, 2005 and 2007). The work of the IPCC was recognized with the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize.
Moomaw is Professor Emeritus of International Environmental Policy at The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, Tufts University, where he was the founding director of the Center for International Environment and Resource Policy, the Tufts Climate Initiative, and co-founder of the Global Development and Environment Institute.
I serve on the advisory board of Soil4Climate, an organization that has helped to create a global community of awareness and activism around these issues,” said Moomaw.
Inspired by Soil4Climate cofounder Seth Itzkan’s accounts of his visits to Zimbabwe to witness the extraordinary ecological restoration work being accomplished by wildlife biologist Allan Savory, Moomaw extended an invitation to Savory to speak at Tufts University. Just two months after his presentation at Tufts in January 2013, Savory delivered his TED talk that has received nearly 5 million views.
Most recently, Moomaw’s research has focused on halting the expansion of the bioenergy industry, its greenhouse gas emissions - officially considered “climate neutral” - greater than if an equivalent amount of power had been generated by burning coal.
“Having worked as a scientist in the field of climate mitigation for three decades, I have been encouraged to see the increasing recognition that natural systems already slow the growth rate of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. These systems can be managed to further reduce the growth of carbon dioxide by keeping forests intact, and allowing them to continue to grow, protecting and restoring wetlands, and transitioning to regenerative cropping and grazing practices that capture carbon in soil. I serve on the advisory board of Soil4Climate, an organization that has helped to create a global community of awareness and activism around these issues,” said Moomaw.
Please join us in our admiration and appreciation for Bill Moomaw, a pioneering climate champion who truly sees the world as a whole, and has devoted a lifetime to assuring its biodiversity and abundance will be the legacy of generations that follow.
AP Was There: The Age of Climate Change Begins - The New York Times
Game Over for the Climate - James Hansen
The New York Times
William Moomaw Biography
Allan Savory - Reversing Global Warming while Meeting Human Needs
Tufts University, January 25, 2013
Pruitt Is Wrong on Burning Forests for Energy - William H. Schlesinger, Beverly Law, John Sterman and William R. Moomaw
The New York Times