The Daily Princetonian reports on physicist Will Happer’s presentation at last week’s physics department colloquium:
Happer pointed to easily attainable private and public funding for climate research as an incentive that has inflated the issue. “To have honorary degrees showered on Al Gore when he doesn’t even get the hurricane direction right on the cover of his book, what sort of movement is this?” he said.
Happer directed the $3 billion research budget at the U.S. Department of Energy under the Clinton administration, where he interacted with then-Vice President and Nobel Laureate Gore.
Despite their opposing views, both Oppenheimer and Happer said they see a role for the University as a place of research to improve knowledge of climate change and “get the science right,” Happer said, about the consequences of greenhouse gases.
Oppenheimer added that it is also a place where students from all disciplines may become actively involved in the cause.
Though Happer’s views have been unpopular, he said he sees the University as a place where different opinions can coexist.