Woodwell Climate’s Rafe Pomerance featured on Cornell climate panel

Rafe Pomerance

Rafe Pomerance, Woodwell Climate Research Center (formerly Woods Hole Research Center) Senior Arctic Policy Fellow and Chairman of Arctic 21, spoke on climate change at a Cornell University event on June 8. The panel, “Challenges and Opportunities for Reducing Climate Risks,” was hosted by the Atkinson Center for a Sustainable Future.

Pomerance, who graduated from Cornell in 1968, went on to play an early, pivotal role an environmental activist and lobbyist in raising awareness about the threat of climate change in the late 1970s. He connected scientists with government policymakers and the media, efforts that led to congressional hearings. Pomerance went on to serve as deputy assistant secretary of state for environment and development in the Clinton administration, and has since worked with numerous environmental and research organizations.

In the past year, Pomerance has received renewed attention, thanks to a lengthy feature in The New York Times Magazine last August that has been expanded into a new book. Nathaniel Rich’s Losing Earth tells the story of a handful of scientists, politicians, and strategists who were among the first to try to convince the world to act on climate change – and the fossil fuel industry’s fight to stop them. Pomerance and Woodwell Climate founder George Woodwell were featured in the article as two of the leaders who worked to raise awareness of the climate threat and to urge elected officials to take action.

Also included were Cornell professors Natalie Mahowald and Katherine McComas, senior lecturer Doug MacMartin, and Cornell alumnus and NBC meteorologist John Toohey-Morales, who moderated the conversation. Read an interview with Pomerance previewing the panel in the Cornell Chronicle.

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