University of California, Berkeley professor of physics Richard Muller has long been considered a “global warming skeptic” because of his stance on several key climate positions that are widely agreed upon by many in the scientific community. The issues? Muller was unconvinced by data in the controversial “hockey stick graph” that is used by scientists and laypeople alike to demonstrate that global warming is real. In addition, Muller also was skeptical of the human impact on global warming.
Then last week, Muller changed his tune. Based on data from the Berkeley Earth Science Temperature project, new science emerged revealing that not only has the Earth warmed at a rate suggested by previous studies, manmade greenhouse gas emissions have been the primary cause. Muller joined KQED last week in San Francisco to discuss how his position changed.
Considering his past position as a major scientific critic of the human impact on climate change, Muller’s change of tone is significant. However, it wasn’t that Muller was the stubborn disbeliever of evidence like many of his critics made him out to be; instead, he was more concerned with misinformation and distorted positions that would harm rather than help the science emerging on climate change.