Sheril Kirshenbaum

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Sheril Kirshenbaum is an associate at Duke University and co-author of the forthcoming book, “Unscientific America: How Scientific Illiteracy Threatens Our Future,” with Chris Mooney. She is involved in conservation initiatives across levels of government and works to improve communication between scientists, policymakers, and the public.

In 2007, Sheril helped to found ScienceDebate2008; an initiative encouraging candidates to debate science research and innovation issues on the campaign trail. She has also worked as a legislative science fellow on Capitol Hill with Senator Bill Nelson (D-FL) where she was involved in energy, climate, and ocean policy.

Sheril holds two MS degrees in Marine Biology and Marine Policy from the University of Maine. Previously she served as a Fellow with the Center for Biodiversity and Conservation at the American Museum of Natural History and as a Howard Hughes Research Fellow at Tufts University. She has contributed reports to The Nature Conservancy and provided assistance on international protected area projects. She also has experience working in pop radio and her work has been published in Fisheries Bulletin, Oecologia, and Science.

Sheril Kirshenbaum co-hosts The Intersection on Seed's Scienceblogs with Chris Mooney and contributes to Talking Science. She was born in Suffern, New York and is also a musician.

Reading The Climate Change Czars

Few challenges facing America – and the world – are more urgent than combating climate change…Many of you are working to confront this challenge….but too often, Washington has failed to show the same kind of leadership. That will change when I take office.”

So began Barack Obama in a video message addressed to the Bi-Partisan Governors Global Climate Summit just weeks after the election. However, while he supports an 80 percent reduction of emissions by 2050 through a cap and trade bill, Obama’s nominations leave us uncertain of how the new administration intends to take on global warming.  

The President-elect’s energy team marks a stark contrast from George W. Bush’s inertia on climate change. Consider Steven Chu, our next Secretary of Energy: As a leading voice in the science community on the dangers of excess CO2, he will be an advocate for the development of alternatives to limit fossil fuel consumption.

Likewise, former head of the Environmental Protection Agency Carol Browner will serve as Assistant to the president for energy and climate change. Her appointment makes additional strides toward an aggressive approach because she will coordinate agency climate change policies while balancing economic and national security considerations. Another strong pick is Lisa Jackson to head the EPA who is expected to play a critical role toward establishing cap-and-trade legislation. These nominations demonstrate that science will once again be taken seriously in government.

The science team looks equally promising. John Holdren as science advisor provides Obama with an international expert on climate and energy who has long advocated for firm government regulation of greenhouse gas emissions. Adding momentum, marine scientist Jane Lubchenco should guide the Commerce department’s focus on climate policy through her role as head of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

The American Meteorological Society Awards Chris Mooney For Storm World

Our own Chris Mooney was honored this week at the 89th Annual Meeting of the American Meteorological Society. He won the 2009 Louis J. Battan Author’s Award for Storm World: Hurricanes, Politics, and the Battle Over Global Warming, dubbed “an accurate and comprehensive overview of the evolving debate on the impacts of global warming on hurricanes that illustrates the complexities of this significant scientific problem.” It’s a compelling book that successfully provides an interesting and honest account of the history of storms and climate science, while taking a serious looks at the players and politics involved.

Mooney is a regular commentator at DeSmogBlog, contributing editor to Science Progress, and senior correspondent for The American Prospect magazine. He has authored three books, New York Times bestselling The Republican War on Science, Storm World, and forthcoming Unscientific America: How Scientific Illiteracy Threatens Our Future. A founding member of ScienceDebate, he also writes for a variety of news and scientific magazines and blogs at The Intersection.

Congratulations Chris!

The Global Warming Deniers Are Restless

Just when you thought it was safe to acknowledge the unequivocal reality of global warming…..

Just when you thought the U.S. government was ready to admit that it has a serious emissions problem, and do something about it….

Just when you thought the skeptic party was over…

No way: There has been a strong run of nonsense from global warming “skeptics” and deniers lately. They are not ashamed, and they are not changing their tune. In fact, it sounds like they are gearing up for the next battle.

Survivor: Washington, DC (Think Tank Edition)

For much of the 2000’s, left-leaning think tanks sprang up around the nation with a common mission–to dream up strategies for countering the Bush administration with progressive policy solutions, and answer the loud horde of rightwing think tanks (just as this site has so powerfully done on global warming).