Born in a War
Born in a War
In this chapter, the author provides a background on how he entered the world of climate research. He first reflects on his early fascination with math and science and goes on to discuss his student days at the University of California, Berkeley, where he majored in physics, and at Yale University, where he pursued a Ph.D. in physics. He then embarked on his Ph.D. research, focusing on the importance of natural climate variability—that is, the role of nature, not man—in explaining changes in Earth's climate. He also describes the toxic and incendiary environment that existed at the time that he was finishing his Ph.D. dissertation, citing in particular the controversy surrounding the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Second Assessment Report and the debate among scientists regarding the extent of humanity's role in climate change. Finally, he narrates how Ben Santer had become under attack from contrarians in the climate change debate due to his work on climate change detection—a victim of what he calls the “Serengeti strategy”.
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