Stephen Schneider's legacy

I am taking a break from blogging. My reasons are personal. I do not know how long the break will last.

In the meantime, I reproduce a note from the editorial board of Climatic Change. It takes the form of a letter to the late, great Stephen Schneider. I hope they provide some inspiration for those who, like me, are finding the task of thinking about climate change every day a little too much to bear.

Dear Steve:

Many people have been offering chronicles of your amazing life, but it will take
an historian to put all of your accomplishments and contributions into their proper
context. When that is done, we are all "virtually certain" that you will be correctly
heralded as one of the giants of science and the paragon of unflagging civic engagement
on a global level.

Rather than looking back to see what we have lost, we, the members of the Editorial Board of Climatic Change--the journal that will be the lasting and living embodiment
of all you that stood for--have chosen to hear your call that we must always look
forward.

You set the standard of excellence by example for an entire community of scholars
from a multitude of disciplines. We understand completely that it is now up to us
to make certain that your legacy survives so that the planet has a fighting chance
to endure humans' persistent abuse. We pledge to try, as a community, to fill the
enormous gaps that your passing has left.

To that end, we will conduct honest science. We will communicate our findings with
passion and integrity. We will avoid hyperbole, but we will not shrink from exploring
the full range of possible futures, including the "dark tails" where the real danger
lies. We will do whatever we can whenever we can to reach out to students from
around the world so that the next generations of climate change scholars can move
the frontiers of understanding farther than we could ever have imagined. We will
insist that people listen and act accordingly. And we will never forget that the voice
that we all hear in the back of our minds is yours--"get it right, get it out there, and
never let "mediarology," political chicanery, or intellectual vandalism get you down".
We will also always be there for Terry and the rest of your family. When your
grandson and subsequent grandchildren for that matter come of age, they will learn
that they are surrounded by the "Friends of Steve"--thousands strong who will offer
support and comfort from every continent on earth. We will share your legacy with
them, and they will be very proud.

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I have enjoyed reading your posts for quite some time now. Here is one fan that will be waiting for your return.

Thanks for that, James. Good luck with your situation, and I look forward to seeing your writings again. Take care.

By Steve Bloom (not verified) on 14 Sep 2010 #permalink

Me too. Hope all is well, or gets that way

Sorry to hear personal problems have interrupted you blog writing. Hope it all works out for the best.

Even though we don't share the same views on Steven Schneider, among other things, I respect your passion for doing what you think is right.

Thank you for all your wonderful blogging, it's meant a lot to me. I know you've said before that your blog is redundant and you point to other great blogs for us to read, but when I check my google reader, if your blog is emboldened, I always go to it first. You have a unique point of view i truly appreciate. I wish you the best and hope things will get better for you.

omfg! what drama.

By james the dram… (not verified) on 15 Sep 2010 #permalink

Thank you. I'm looking forward to your return.

By hat_eater (not verified) on 16 Sep 2010 #permalink

To that end, we will conduct honest science. We will communicate our findings with
passion and integrity. We will avoid hyperbole, but we will not shrink from exploring
the full range of possible futures, including the "dark tails" where the real danger
lies. We will do whatever we can whenever we can to reach out to students from
around the world so that the next generations of climate change scholars can move
the frontiers of understanding farther than we could ever have imagined. We will
insist that people listen and act accordingly. And we will never forget that the voice
that we all hear in the back of our minds is yours--"get it right, get it out there, and
never let "mediarology," political chicanery, or intellectual vandalism get you down".
We will also always be there for Terry and the rest of your family. When your
grandson and subsequent grandchildren for that matter come of age, they will learn
that they are surrounded by the "Friends of Steve"--thousands strong who will offer
support and comfort from every continent on earth. We will share your legacy with
them, and they will be very proud.

My bad in #6 above, Nesbit doesn't appear to have anything to do with it. Abashed apologies for the slur; esp. since it's been 20 years, he could well have different views now.

Added more info (& hopefully, more future info) about NSF's decisionmaking in the comments over at Greg Laden's post.