A Dangerous Experiment

IIHR Research Engineer Jerry Schnoor spoke about climate change at a recent event on the UI campus titled “A Moment of (Post) Truth: A Media Workshop and Forum.”

Jerry Schnoor speaks in front of an audience about climate change.

Originally Posted on: March 28th, 2017

What Will We Do About Climate Change?

“Climate change is already here … we’re experiencing it now.”

IIHR Research Engineer Jerry Schnoor made that statement during his presentation on March 24 at an event titled “A Moment of (Post) Truth: A Media Workshop and Forum.” Schnoor’s presentation was titled “Climate Change: The Truth and Post-truth from the Trump Administration, and How the Press Should Report It.”

About 97 percent of climate scientists worldwide agree that climate change is real, Schnoor said, and human activity is the cause. With a majority of this magnitude, Schnoor said, there is no need for journalists to seek “balance” by interviewing one of the 3 percent who disagree.

Although the consensus among scientists is clear, Schnoor said that uncertainties remain, particularly with regard to how much the temperature will rise and what we will do about it.

Schnoor, who is also the Allen S. Henry Chair in Engineering, told the crowd of students, staff, journalists, and faculty members that the recent increase in the severity of storms is one indication that climate change is our present reality. In Iowa, he said, we’re also experiencing shorter winters and warmer nights.

If the United States does turn its back on the Paris Climate Accord, Schnoor says, we will lose our leadership and authority on this issue. He called the current approach a “dangerous experiment with planet Earth.”