Naomi Oreskes

Naomi Oreskes is professor of the history of science and affiliated professor of earth and planetary sciences at Harvard University and co-author, with Erik Conway, of Merchants of Doubt: How a Handful of Scientists Obscured the Truth on Issues from Tobacco Smoke to Global Warming. Her latest book, also with Conway, is The Collapse of Western Civilization: A View from the Future. Follow her on Twitter: @NaomiOreskes

Articles by this author

Among the factors that appear to contribute to underestimation is the perceived need for consensus, or what we label univocality: the felt need to speak in a single voice. (Photo: Getty) Views
Tuesday, August 20, 2019
Scientists Have Been Underestimating the Pace of Climate Change
Recently, the U.K. Met Office announced a revision to the Hadley Center historical analysis of sea surface temperatures (SST), suggesting that the oceans have warmed about 0.1 degree Celsius more than previously thought. The need for revision arises from the long-recognized problem that in the past...
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Climate change itself works against nuclear power; severe droughts have led to the shutting down of reactors as the surrounding waters become too warm to provide the vital cooling function. (Photo: Reinhard Marscha - Views
Tuesday, July 30, 2019
The False Promise of Nuclear Power
Commentators from Greenpeace to the World Bank agree that climate change is an emergency, threatening civilization and life on our planet. Any solution must involve the control of greenhouse gas emissions by phasing ou t fossil fuels and switching to alternative technologies that do not impair the...
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Thursday, December 17, 2015
There is a New Form of Climate Denialism to Look Out For – So Don't Celebrate Yet
After the signing of a historic climate pact in Paris , we might now hope that the merchants of doubt – who for two decades have denied the science and dismissed the threat – are officially irrelevant. But not so fast. There is also a new, strange form of denial that has appeared on the landscape...
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Tuesday, June 16, 2015
The Hoax of Climate Denial: Why “Politically Motivated” Science Is Good Science
Recently, the Washington Post reported new data showing something most of us already sense: that increased polarization on Capitol Hill is due to the way the Republican Party has lurched to the right. The authors of the study use Senator John McCain to illustrate the point. McCain's political...
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Monday, July 28, 2014
Wishful Thinking About Natural Gas
Albert Einstein is rumored to have said that one cannot solve a problem with the same thinking that led to it. Yet this is precisely what we are now trying to do with climate change policy. The Obama administration, the Environmental Protection Agency, many environmental groups, and the oil and gas...
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(Photo by Camilla Gibson/Divest Harvard Facebook) Views
Friday, April 18, 2014
Universities Must End Financial Ties to Climate Denying Fossil-Fuel Giants – Now
There are many compelling reasons for universities to divest themselves of investment in the fossil fuel industry – including and especially the physical and potentially irreversible effects of climate change to which university endowments essentially contribute. But for our colleagues now asking...
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