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Shepherd attends White House climate event

Alan Flurry

The White House Office of Science and Technology Policy holds a first-of-its-kind roundtable with some of the nation’s leading scientists on Thursday, including UGA atmospheric scientist J.Marshall Shepherd, to discuss the urgent need to combat the climate crisis and to counter arguments for delaying climate action:

The event, which has not previously been reported, will bring together a diverse group of 17 climate scientists, social scientists, engineers and economists from 11 states and the District of Columbia. Jane Lubchenco, a marine ecologist who serves as OSTP deputy director for climate and environment and who ran the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration during President Barack Obama’s first term, will lead the discussion.

“Clearly, we see tangible evidence of climate change all around us with sea-level rise, increases in extreme heat, increases in drought, wildfires, ocean acidification [and] floods,” Lubchenco said in a phone interview.

What we’re seeing now is a result of past inaction,” she said. “That past inaction is haunting us. And so the question is, how do we accelerate effective action?”

President Biden took office promising to take a whole-of-government approach to curbing the greenhouse gas emissions that are dangerously warming the Earth. But the event is being held as Biden’s massive climate and social spending plan, known as the Build Back Better bill, remains stalled on Capitol Hill.

Very important for the government to harness scientific and economic expertise across sectors to guide thoughtful but urgent next steps for the country and the world. We appreciate Dr. Shepherd's tireless efforts in his scholarship and public communication on climate issues.

"Our climate affects Georgia's agriculture, public health, the economy, and its communities," said Shepherd, Georgia Athletic Association Distinguished Professor of Atmospheric Sciences and Geography. "It is an honor to lend my expertise to these discussions since we have no Planet B."


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