In a paper published this week in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, the researchers report that warming from short-lived compounds—greenhouse gases such as methane, chlorofluorocarbons, or hydrofluorocarbons, that linger in the atmosphere for just a year to a few decades—can cause sea levels to rise for hundreds of years after the pollutants have been cleared from the atmosphere.
The group—named 314 Action after the first three digits of the number pi—has a mission to encourage politically engaged scientists to run for office at all levels of government, to connect them with traditional sources of campaign funding, and to get as many scientists elected during the 2018 campaign cycle as possible. The hope is that with more politician scientists speaking sense on issues such as climate change, they will serve as a counterbalance to the anti-science policies that have arisen mainly on the right.
“Running for Congress in 2014 as a chemist and a breast cancer researcher, I felt like I was locked out of a lot of the traditional networks of Democratic donors,” Shaughnessy Naughton, the board president of 314 Action, told me. “It’s a hindrance for people coming from nontraditional political backgrounds.”
All in all, it’s hard to imagine a single hire that could do more damage to the planet (though the rest of Trump’s cabinet will doubtless give him a run for his money). Making this man secretary of state rewards climate denial, further warps our foreign policy towards oil and does it at the precise moment when every bit of data screams that we should be going in the opposite direction.
The only consolation is that it removes all the window-dressing. Big Oil will run our foreign policy, right out in the open.
• On today’s Kagro in the Morning show, Greg Dworkin & Armando comment on today’s “number one” story, the cabinet confirmation hearings, and Trump’s dependence on laundering Russian mob money. Plus, it turns out you’re not officially in Congress until you take the oath. Who knew? You did!