Dr. John Holdren: W.H. Science Advisor’s Surprising View on Why Climate Matters

Assistant to the President for Science and Technology

“When the climate changes, almost everything else about the environment changes with it.”

For Dr. John Holdren, Assistant to the President for Science and Technology and Director of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, climate change is a straightforward issue. “We are seeing,” he says, “increases in the frequency and intensity of a wide variety of weather extremes, again, through mechanisms and in patterns that fit the fingerprint of the human influence on climate.”

This belief has led Dr. Holdren, over the course of his career, to work to drive the nation’s shift toward clean energy policies and sustainable development, and boost cooperation with nations such as India and China on energy issues.

Dr. Holdren is also the co-chair of the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST). Prior to joining the current Obama administration Dr. Holdren was the Teresa and John Heinz Professor of Environmental Policy at Harvard’s John F. Kennedy School of Government, where he also served as Director of the Program on Science, Technology, and Public Policy, among other boards and appointments.

Dr. Holdren holds advanced degrees in aerospace engineering and theoretical plasma physics from MIT and Stanford. He is a member of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, among many other organizations and honors. Notably, he gave the Nobel Peace Prize acceptance speech in 1995 on behalf of the Pugwash Conferences of Science and World Affairs, a consortium of world and leaders and scientists concerned with global security issues that was honored for its work with nuclear disarmament.

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