(David McNew/Getty Images)

UC Berkeley physics professor Richard Muller, a former climate change skeptic, will talk about his latest research and his new book, “Energy for Future Presidents.” We’ll also hear about new findings on climate change in California including a state assessment which explores vulnerabilities and opportunities to reduce climate change impacts.

Guests:
Richard Muller, professor in the UC Berkeley Physics Department and author of "Energy for Future Presidents: The Science Behind the Headlines"
Craig Miller, senior editor of KQED's Climate Watch

  • Beth Grant DeRoos

    Does Professor Richard Muller think that a serious discussion of population concerns will ever be part of the climate change discussion? That is a #1 concern of mine.

  • Basu Kiragi

    Question for Professor Muller: How can we make climate change a mainstream issue and not just a liberal conspiracy? Thanks.

  • Rhet

    I’m tired of the code of silence that is prevalent among global warming people,  who inherit it from their wealthy patrons, which is an abhorrence to use the P word — pollution. Instead they speak in code using CO2 and carbon footprints when identifying the causes of global warming because saying “pollution” so will offend the corporations and politicians and 1%ers who collectively have more than just a vested interest in the status quo of heavy pollution — it’s their lifeblood. Global warming people have too much of a kiss-up approach to dealing with this issue, when clearly the only real solution is revolutionary change. On top of that global warming activists like to insinuate that consumers are the cause. Consumers are not the problem: Corporations are.

  • Amy in Petaluma

    For Professor Muller: Your strict discipline & adherence to rigorous & independent science is admirable.   However, I wonder whether it bothers you that over the past decade your work has been distorted and used in the propaganda of those in the unscientific “climate denier” camp.

    This propaganda that has been incredibly effective as evidenced by the DECREASE in Americans who believe that climate change is happening.  This propaganda has derailed important climate change efforts over the past 10 years.  Doesn’t that bother you?

    • Rhet

       Do the climate observations really matter? The issue is that the status quo involves polluting the planet and that it isn’t recovering.

      The truth: Climate is the symptom, the disease is pollution and corporatism.

  • cageordie

    Considering Professor Muller is one of the last scientists to come to the conclusion that global warming is caused by humans, us, why should he be accorded respect now? He has shown a history of not being able to correctly interpret the data. I think that he is still a denier, he has just had to give ground, he needs an outlying position to retain notoriety. So now he can’t retain any credibility and deny we cause global warming, so he falls back to a new position and retrenches behind the opinion that the increasingly energetic weather is related to global warming. How long before he has to admit he is wrong again. Then what?

  • Now that Professor Muller has a book published, and has done his own research, Global Warming is real? Does he have any idea how much damage he has done in seriousness towards efforts to counter this climate change by not trusting the peer reviewed research? 

  • Ripudaman Malhotra

    For either guest:  Prof. Muller’s analysis showing the strong correlation of ghg with temperature pushes the debate to the next level: what to do about it? Data from the EIA and IEA show that we can have a greater impact on CO2 reduction by fracking and using natural gas-far more than through wind and solar. Shouldn’t we adopt a policy that promotes fuel switching?

  • Wichet

    I think Prof. Muller taking himself too serious, or a elitist at most.

    He probably forgets where is the surface temperature his project used coming from. Climate study is a collective effort.

    Yeah, blaming China and India for it. Moving back all the factories. He might also forget (very conveniently) that a lot of stuff China produced are used by people here.

  • Danielayer

    When the Koch brothers, the funders of your guest’s research, were making a fortune on dirty fuels which increased Global Climate change your guest denied climate change.  Now that the Koch brothers are expanding their business interests into fracking your guest says that fracking is the way forward to stall climate change.  Why should we believe that your guest is a disinterested party when his conversion is timed conveniently to coincide with the Koch brothers’ business interests?

    • Deb

      I agree with your observation. When I heard Professor Muller talk about the need for “clean” tracking, I was puzzled. Yes, he may have changed his thinking about whether climate change is occurring and that it is man made. But that doesn’t mean his other conclusions have evolved as well, from way I could tell. I think the interview was too deferential from the host’s perspective. Should have challenged him more on some of his thinking.

  • cageordie

    Prof Muller’s assertion that this year is cooler does not agree with the available data I can find. June in the northern hemisphere was the warmest on record, 2.34F above average. The global temperature in June was also the highest ever recorded, 1.93F higher. I could not find figures for July. http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/sotc/global/2012/6

  • Kristin

    Converting from one form of dirty energy (coal) to another (natural gas/fracking) is NOT a solution. And never will be.

  • Zoe

    As I understand it, none of Prof Muller’s conclusions/research on this issue has been published in the peer reviewed literature. Can he address this? Why hasn’t he published the work?

    • Barbf

      I read last night that it was in the process and that the data will be posted online this weekend.

  • Bob iwersen

    I realize the professor strongly believes in his perspective – which was initially biased. However, there is more than science involved in this. My question is: “what are the skeptics arguing for?” It is fine to question the thought of climate change. However, I would argue, more than the climate is at issue. There are pollution and health concerns regarding carbon fuels. The only valisd argument is financial. With the Koch brothers it is about their financials.

    Bob iwersen

  • Unme

    In the past 150-200 years, humanity has become so d-e-e-p-l-y mired in a profit-driven economy mind-set through the relentless utilization of limited environmental resources by industrial production for irresponsible, mindless consumption…that very few of us really grasp what this means to our psychological well-being, physical health, our way of living and the well-being and health of where we live (i.e., the planet). Add the irresponsibility of over-population and political greed…and the problem approaches critical mass exponentially…both in magnitude and velocity.

    The truth is that personal awareness is the only real solution to irresponsibility…and awareness cannot be legislated and enforced. Unfortunatly, personal awareness does not increase at a rate adequate for dealing with the irreversible climate crisis at hand.

    What is the solution for the actual crisis…i.e., the crisis in human awareness?

  • marte48

    I wanted to ask your guests what they think about the “white roof” movement. We have lived comfortably without air conditioning since my parents installed white roofing material on their house back in the 1970’s. 

    • Elizabeth Jb

      I would like to put white roofing on my house, but I don’t want to damage the roof. What kind of white roofing worked for your parents house? Can it be put on top of existing roof?

      • marte48

        They put white gravel on their flat-topped roof in Cupertino.

  • Chrisco

    I thought the idea that higher levels of CO2 correspond with warmer  temperatures was the central claim of global warming science for decades now. Muller has apparently denied this. Now he accepts this. But what he is saying is not new at all, it is the basis of the claims all along. Which leaves me a little confused about his “new” findings.

  • Kristine

    As a layperson (who understands a bit about peer-reviewed science and such and cares deeply about mitigating global warming), I wonder:
    What specifically makes Professor Muller so confident that natural gas (and the fracking method of extraction) is such an ideal alternative for so-called clean coal (which is obviously not a very clean technology)?

    • Kristine

      It’s nice to see that other listeners keyed in to the same emphasis and wondered about it. 

      Generally, doesn’t any serious scientist strive to get his studies and results published in a peer-reviewed journal? I found the response that his research is actually being so widely read and critiqued a bit of a moot point. The public will never be nearly so demanding or well-versed on the ins and outs in a specific branch of science as the professionals publishing and editing in that field are.I would love to read or hear more peer-reviewed, highly-skilled, and technical analysis of the professor’s research. Any links or sites available? Credentials and publishing under rigorous scrutiny really matter.

  • utera

    Really doesn’t matter because they still don’t have any viable solutions.

  • EIDSTV

    RICHARD MULLER IS A GOOD SCIENTIST. BUT HIS ONE THIRD OF A DEGREE CINTGRADE RISE IN EARTH TEMPERATURE WITHIN THE
    LAST `160 YEARS IS TOO LITTLE COMPARE TO REALITY, IT DOES NOT
    EXPLAIN THE CURRENT RISE IN SEE LEVEL, AND THE MELTING OF THE
    ICE SHELFS EVERY WHERE ON EARTH. HE ALSO DOES NOT TAKE
    INTO ACCOUNT THE MINI ICE PERIOD WE HAD DURING THE 1800S
    IT HIS WAY OF CONTINUING TO BE SKEPTICAL   YA YA  THE EARTH
    IS GETTING WARMER BUT THE RISE OF TEMPRATURE IS TOO LITTLE
     

  • EIDSTV

    I FORGOT TO MENTION THAT RICHARD MULLER AND I WERE GRAD
    STUDENTS IN THE PHYSICS DEPT. AT UC BERKELEY IN THE 1960S
    HE MAY HAVE BEEN ONE OF MY STUDENT AS I WAS THEN T A IN
    SOLID STATES PHYSICS CLASS WITH PROF. CHARLES KITTLE

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