A NASA climate scientist has embarked on an emotion-laden rant about how she is suffering from so-called ‘climate grief’ – due to droughts in her native California.
Aired in an article for Nature, the assertion comes from Dr. Kimberley R. Miner, a Climate Scientist at the NASA Jet Propulsion Lab in Pasadena.
One of the world’s foremost science publications, Nature billed the op-ed as coming from an educated expert – though the language used was predominantly emotional.
Instead of a serious look at data pertaining to the Earth’s atmosphere, readers were offered an anecdote where Miner recalled crying after realizing a drought would mean the death of hundreds of California’s endemic blue oak trees.
Attempting to evoke sympathy, the co-chair of the NASA Interagency Forum on Climate Change Risks claimed both she and her colleagues were still suffering ‘severe, emergent health challenges’ as a result, nearly a year later.
The article’s opening passage reads as follows: ‘Last September, before the rains came, my field team learnt that it was probably too late for half the blue oaks affected by California’s drought in the region in which we were working.
Miner, also a Fellow at the Center for Climate and Security in DC, goes on to claim: ‘Because of years of ongoing drought, many of the trees would not recover from the long-term water loss and would die.
‘The next morning, I sat outside our science team meeting and cried.’
The account from the accredited Climate Change Institute Research Assistant Professor – who had been referring to the state’s current 20-year megadrought – did not address other droughts in the region throughout history, many of which have lasted more than 200 years.
None of those instances, which experts have confirmed through the analysis of oceanic currents and other practices like carbon dating, can be connected to humans, nor could they have been prevented with any human intervention.
Seemingly undeterred by those facts, Miner continued to pedal how she copes with the stress – along with warning that researchers must find personal ways to cope with further impending losses.
‘I also started talking frankly to my colleagues about the emotional turmoil that is often sparked by working as a climate scientist today, and many others had similar stories,’ the scientist wrote, citing studies that show California’s old-growth blue oak woodlands are in danger of dying off.
‘I am in my mid-thirties, working at NASA as a scientist, and I already have five scientist friends with severe, emergent health challenges,’ she continued.
‘They are all affected by overwork, exhaustion and extreme stress. The only other thing they all have in common is that they study climate change.’