Seth Meyers invites a ‘rogue scientist’ to debunk climate denial of Cruz and Trump

Dr. Ben Santer told the truth about climate change, and a dead rat was left on his doorstep.

Seth Meyers interviews climate scientist Ben Santer on NBC’s “Late Night.” CREDIT: Screenshot

Dr. Ben Santer is one of the world’s top climate scientists. But you may not have heard of this MacArthur “genius” since, like most scientists, he is unassuming, low-key, and fact-oriented — qualities that don’t generally appeal to the media.

In the face of overwhelming hostility toward climate science on behalf of the new administration and Republican-led Congress, however, those voices are needed more than ever. Fortunately, NBC’s Seth Meyers has made a concerted effort to dismantle the lies put forth by both candidate and now President Donald Trump, and his interview with Santer on Thursday’s Late Night night really shines.

In the first clip, Santer explains why he is speaking as a private citizen rather than in his capacity as a climatologist at Lawrence Livermore National Lab. So Meyers jokingly calls him a “rogue scientist.”

In that clip, Santer tells the story of his work on the 1995 Second Assessment report of the Intergovernmental Panel On Climate Change (IPCC). He worked with other scientists to summarize the latest findings and included these words: “the balance of evidence suggests a discernible human influence on global climate.”

Today over 97 percent of climate scientists understand that humans are the primary cause of climate change. In fact, by the Fifth Assessment in 2013, the IPCC concluded that the best scientific estimate is that humans are responsible for all of the warming we have experienced since 1950. Every major government in the world signed off on this finding.

Back in 1995, climate science deniers went after Santer hard for daring to report the science accurately. This led to harassment such as the guy driving a “yellow Hummer” who left a dead rat on his doorstep:

Then Meyers turns to the falsehoods of climate science denier Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX). Cruz went on Late Night last year to repeated a bunch of long-debunked talking points, including the claim that data collected by satellites did not show any global warming over the last 18 years.

Wrong. Really wrong.

Santers easily hits this denier softball out of the park.

In the last clip, Santer explains why even in these scary times, he remains optimistic.

After all, Seth Meyers put a climate scientist on his show, so at least people are listening. Santer wants viewers to know climate science denial is “fake news,” and “we all lose if we embrace ignorance with open arms.”