Scientist proves conservatism and belief in climate change aren’t incompatible

By Neela Banerjee, Washington Bureau  |  Los Angeles Times  |  Link to article

MIT professor Kerry Emanuel is among a rare breed of conservative scientists who are sounding the alarm for climate change and criticizing Republicans’ ‘agenda of denial’ and ‘anti-science stance.’ Reporting from Cambridge, Mass. — According to the conventional wisdom that liberals accept climate change and conservatives don’t, Kerry Emanuel is an oxymoron. Emanuel sees himself as a conservative. He believes marriage is between a man and a woman. He backs a strong military. He almost always votes Republican and admires Ronald Reagan. Emanuel is also a highly regarded professor of atmospheric science at MIT. And based on his work on hurricanes and the research of his peers, Emanuel has concluded that the scientific data show a powerful link between greenhouse gas emissions and climate change. “There was never a light-bulb moment but a gradual realization based on the evidence,” Emanuel said. “I became convinced by the basic physics and by the better and better observation of the climate that it was changing and it was a risk that had to be considered.” As a politically conservative climatologist who accepts the broad scientific consensus on global warming, Emanuel occupies a position shared by only a few scientists.