Comments by Camille Parmesan

Camille Parmesan is a big deal professor at The University of Texas, Austin. Her work as an academic biologist led to studying butterflies and migration trends some years ago. Observations that butterflies were being stressed led to her recognition of global warming impacts on insects, animals, plants, and etc. Some of that work was featured in a 2006 National Geographic cover story

Parmesan has written or co-written some of the most prominent analysis on climate change, including participation as a lead author in the 2007 Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report, commissioned by the United Nations. Reuters called her “the second most quoted” writer on climate change in 2010. 

On 10/22/11 Camille participated in a round table discussion with Rev. Sally Bingham, Ilan Levin, Bee Morehead, and Amanda Robinson. Here are a few of Ms. Parmesan’s comments: 

  • “We’re seeing the signs of this warming everywhere. Half of all wildlife is changing where they live, with just the little bit of warming that’s occurred so far: 1°F.” 
  • She believed that if scientists made sure politicians had their info, politicians would respond appropriately. 
  • After 10 years of talks with politicians in the Whitehouse and all across Washington D.C., she started realizing that information wasn’t the problem. The problem was timeframe of politician’s term: 2 to 6 years. Reelection was more influential than science. 
  • “A lot of severe impacts are just 10 to 30 years off. “
  • A lot of the 50 to 70 yr old politicians are not going to feel these worst impacts. Realization: information communication was not the issue. 
  • Camille agrees with Rev. Bingham, that addressing climate concerns is a moral issue. Thus, engagement with the faith community about morality, and taking the message to the people, is her new inspiration. 

This event was presented by Texas Interfaith Power & Light.

© 2013 Interfaith Environmental Network