This post is one in a series that I decided to write shortly after hearing that Neil Armstrong had died. That news reminded me, yet again, of the importance of recognizing people for their contributions — to your own life, to society as a whole, or somewhere in between — while you still can. If you can find a way to do so that also helps others by, say, introducing them to the work of your chosen honorees, so much the better.
The people I’m thanking in these posts all have some direct connection to the topics of climate change or energy or, more generally, sustainability. Some are working scientists and some are non-scientists who toil as communicators. All deserve to be thanked publicly and sincerely.
Finally, let me point out that any such attempt to recognize people is deeply flawed for obvious and unavoidable reasons: Errors of omission and misattribution, or even being seen as favoring person A over person B simply because A was mentioned first. I will accept such issues as the price of saying something that I think needs to be said.
I don’t know how many of these posts I’ll write, but I will endeavor to add one per week for a while, as the currently severe demands on my time allow.
The entire Skeptical Science crew, especially their ringleader, the indefatigable and always personable John Cook, who I still contend is a cyborg, based solely on his sustained workload. SkS, as it’s known, is a fantastic resource for anyone who wants to debunk the lies about climate change that one finds seeping out of every corner of the blogosphere, as well as people who simply want to learn more about the topic.
Thank you John and the whole SkS team.
James Hansen, probably the most famous scientist involved with climate science and a tireless promoter of science. We desperately need a few dozen more just like him, and I can only hope that more scientists follow his lead in combining activism with their more conventional activities.
To keep up on his activities, see his blog.
Thank you, Dr. Hansen.
Bill McKibben, a prolific and incredibly skilled writer about climate change, as well as the man behind 350.org. Aside from his most recent book, Eaarth, I highly recommend basically anything from McKibben — his prior books, various articles he’s written, interviews, the whole smash.
Thank you, Bill McKibben
Sean Prophet, a relentless and courageous campaigner for science and fact-based public policies via his online and real-life work. Sean is a friend and the only person I know whom I’d describe the way Stephen King once described Harlan Ellison: If you’re having a heart attack and you can choose one person to get you to a hospital and see that you’re treated ASAP, he’s the guy, because he’ll carry you in, kick down doors, and make whatever commotion is needed to save your life.
Catch up with him his latest project, NPTR (National Progressive Talk Radio), and give him a facebook like while you’re at it.
Thank you, Sean.
T-minus 193 days.