A group of 10 scientists known for inventions and breakthroughs from super glue to microchips gathered in the White House yesterday with President Barack Obama to receive one of the nation's highest honors: the National Medal of Science. The achievements of the innovators "stand as a testament to the ingenuity, to their zeal for discovery, and to the willingness to give of themselves and to sacrifice in order to expand the reach of human understanding. All of us have benefited from their work," Obama says (via The Associated Press).
Among the honorees is Colorado's Warren N. Washington, already renowned around the world for his research on climate change at the National Center for Atmospheric Research in Boulder. Specifically, the 74-year-old scientist has devised and used global climate-change models to explain the role of humans and natural processes in the planet's climate system, writes The Denver Post.
Washington recently appeared in Oregon, his home state, to speak about what he has learned over the years. The burning of fossil fuels, particularly by large industrialized countries, is the key cause of climate change, he says (via the Gazette-Times). He shared a partial list of claims by people who don't believe that climate change is linked to human activity—or is harmful, for that matter—saying skepticism for the sake of skepticism isn't helpful: "Natural variations do not explain the observed climate change. Please do not listen to what Rush Limbaugh and Glenn Beck say, because they are wrong with their information about climate change."