Introduction IMAU newsletter by Rupert Holzinger
Welcome to the last newsletter of the year 2020! This year started promising with powerful climate movements that rapidly gained momentum. However, soon these movements were interrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic, and, right now, we witness the battle for presidentship in the USA, where Mr. Trump, the greatest agitator against professional (democratic) institutions and expertise in general, and against the science of human-made climate change in particular, refuses to accept the peoples vote. Needless to say that, like many, I find these developments worrisome and dangerous. How is it possible that millions of people honestly feel betrayed and tricked and blindly follow the agitator’s obvious lies? Many of them good, reasonable, and compassionate people if you meet them in person. They are as convinced of their cause as I am. How can we know who is right and who is wrong? My answer is that I trust in the expertise, the integrity, and independence of quality media, the democratic institutions, and the science. For example, I know that human made climate change is real because I am an expert in this field and I understand climate change based on basic scientific principles. Most importantly, I know how science works. Therefore, I also trust in what scientists tell us about COVID-19. In fact, the vast majority of people think the same way – if they are sick they go to medical doctors and not to priests. Let us hope that we find the strength to get climate change under control!
At IMAU we are working hard to understand and communicate the known and emerging climate problems. IMAUers contribute actively to new initiatives such as the KlimaatHelpdesk.org and Peter Kuipers Munneke’s weerchallenge.nl. Read about our new staff members Claudia Wieners and Michiel Baatsen, and what our former student Leon Saris is up to. And don’t miss the photo story about doing research on the Greenland ice-sheet – the visual highlight of this newsletter.