Rafe Pomerance, a former Washington environmental lobbyist and subject of Nathaniel Rich’s recent book on climate change, Losing Earth, spent the 1980’s bringing global warming and the need for climate action to the attention of Washington lawmakers and the country at large. Those efforts were frustrated by the end of the decade, as deliberate misinformation campaigns distorted public understanding of climate science, and as pressure from the fossil fuel industry drove many politicians to reject climate policy.
Four decades later, Pomerance offers his view on the damage done by climate denialism, and a look at the options that remain today to minimize warming and its impacts. He also discusses his current work to turn climate change into a pivotal electoral issue in Florida, a state that is emerging as a bellwether for climate politics.
Rafe Pomerance is Chairman of Arctic 21, a network of organizations focused on climate policies impacting the Arctic, and consultant to ReThink Energy Florida. He was Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Environment and Development under president Bill Clinton.