RSS feed for comments on this post.

  1. Coincidentally, I am just reading “Science as a Contact Sport” and had greatly warmed to the author.

    He is a great loss, not just to science, but to the world.

    Comment by Toby — 19 Jul 2010 @ 4:09 PM

  2. Oh my goodness – I can’t believe Stephen Schneider is gone! Ever since I first saw interviews with him and read his books, I considered him one of my very favourite scientists, and a great role model. He would always reply to my emails and answer my questions, and was such a support. I second all that Ben Santer wrote (although I never heard him play guitar!) RIP.


    Comment by Kate — 19 Jul 2010 @ 4:12 PM

  3. I am saddened to hear about this! Schneider was an amazing man who could cut through all the politicized debate and present the science in a comprehensible yet detailed manner and was one of the first climate scientists whose writings I had read.

    My thoughts and sympathies to the family of this giant. He will be greatly missed.

    Comment by Stephen Berg — 19 Jul 2010 @ 4:14 PM

  4. To say that Dr. Schneider was a great and gentle man does not convey his importance to his colleagues and all who trusted and tried to follow his passionate call to abate climate change.

    My prayers to his family and close friends.

    Comment by John McCormick — 19 Jul 2010 @ 4:16 PM

  5. This news just flat-out sucks … how sad.

    Comment by dhogaza — 19 Jul 2010 @ 4:24 PM

  6. Steve,

    May your courage be a standard for us all.


    Comment by Dr John Abraham — 19 Jul 2010 @ 4:26 PM

  7. A completely straight shooter. I knew him for a quarter century and it’s hard to imagine the ongoing fight without him in it. Damn, a real loss.

    Comment by bill mckibben — 19 Jul 2010 @ 4:34 PM

  8. He worked so hard and cared so much. Not least this great piece in the Huffington Post at the beginning of Copenhagen.

    Comment by cindy — 19 Jul 2010 @ 4:44 PM

  9. A great man and a great loss. Condolences to Dr. Schneider’s family and friends.

    Comment by ghost — 19 Jul 2010 @ 5:02 PM

  10. This is sad and unexpected news.

    I first encountered Stephen Schneider back when I was a student, and he gave a talk based on his new book The Genesis Strategy: Climate and Global Survival. That was my first exposure to the proposition that climate could change, and become problematic for civilization.

    Last time I saw him he was giving another talk, at a public meeting in Greenland. There he did a fine job presenting what science now understands about climate change, speaking to a Greenlandic audience well aware of its local manifestations.

    Both talks, and many others in between, were carried by the ability Ben Santer notes to communicate complex scientific ideas to new audiences, in fresh but carefully supported ways. His energies will certainly be missed.

    Comment by Larry Hamilton — 19 Jul 2010 @ 5:24 PM

  11. A severe and tragic loss to both outstanding climate science and climate journalism, communications, and education. Steve was “the real thing,” a unique and uniquely valuable resource who will be sorely missed. The world is a less interesting, and less interested, place than it was just 24 hours ago. Fond memories. Condolences to Terry and the whole world family that is in his debt.

    Comment by Bud Ward — 19 Jul 2010 @ 5:33 PM

  12. Ben,

    So well said. I cannot say it better. I never realized that Steve was a Dylan fan. As Dylan said in Political World (Copyright © 1989 by Special Rider Music),

    “We live in a political world
    Icicles hanging down
    Wedding bells ring and angels sing
    Clouds cover up the ground”

    This speaks to me of Steve’s work on nuclear winter. We honor Steve by continuing to work for a nuclear-free world so that we have the luxury of working to solve the global warming problem.

    Comment by Alan Robock — 19 Jul 2010 @ 5:37 PM

  13. A great and tragic loss indeed. Lets hope the world steps forward and addresses its energy and climate challenges. It would be Stephen’s greatest legacy.

    Comment by Bob Doppelt — 19 Jul 2010 @ 5:39 PM

  14. Just when he was needed most!

    Comment by Russell Seitz — 19 Jul 2010 @ 5:41 PM

  15. Thanks to Stephen Schneider for all his work. In 1989 it was his book, “Global Warming: Are We Entering the Greenhouse Century?” that brought home to me the magnitude of climate change, and thanks largely to his work then it has been at the forefront of my mind since then.

    Comment by Franklin Dmitryev — 19 Jul 2010 @ 5:42 PM

  16. Devastating news. A couple of weeks ago he spoke at the NCCARF Adaptation Meeting in the Gold Coast, Australia that over 950 people attended – the largest gathering ever of adaptation researchers, planners and doers on the planet so far – that is his legacy.

    I was so glad to catch up with him then, especially now given this sad news. Now he is gone, the rest of us will just have to step up a bit more …

    Comment by Roger Jones — 19 Jul 2010 @ 5:54 PM

  17. Thank you, Ben. This is outstanding. The eulogy that Steve deserves…

    Comment by Shannon — 19 Jul 2010 @ 6:04 PM

  18. Ben Santer’s eulogy was moving and inspiring. I hope we are
    all inspired to carry on Steve’s work in whatever way we can

    Comment by Ray Weymann — 19 Jul 2010 @ 6:18 PM

  19. Stephen was an inspiration. This is very sad.

    Keep doing good research, and speak the truth as clearly as possible.

    Comment by David — 19 Jul 2010 @ 6:18 PM

  20. I only knew him when we were much younger, and the courage which marks so much of his recent years was not visible to me. The most optimistic thought I occurs to me know is that perhaps many others will likewise find the wellspring, or grow into the habit, as shown by his example.

    Comment by Andrew — 19 Jul 2010 @ 6:19 PM

  21. I write on climate change from the law side, but I benefited so often from being able to drop Steve a line to get help in understanding some scientific concept, or to get a kick in the pants when I was frustrated. The great ones live on through their legacy of contribution to the field and those they inspire; Steve’s flame burns brightly today.

    Comment by Wil Burns — 19 Jul 2010 @ 6:24 PM

  22. I’ll repeat once more (haven’t done so for a few hours now) my memory of Steve’s visit to the TIME offices, a couple of years after he’d helped us put together the conference that led to the magazine’s “Planet of the Year” issue in early 1989. We hadn’t published much on climate science since then, and he told us “you write about politics every week–you should be writing about climate every week! It’s really important!”

    At the time, there wasn’t that much for a news magazine to write about, but Steve wasn’t interested in minor details. He was the first scientist to make me aware of the potential impacts of climate change, at a time when the signal had not yet emerged from the noise. I could always count on him to clarify a point I didn’t entirely understand, with clarity, vehemence and a sense of humor.

    My post from today’s Ecocentric blog at isn’t even remotely as knowing or thoughtful as Ben Santer’s above, but for what it’s worth:

    Comment by Mike Lemonick — 19 Jul 2010 @ 6:26 PM

  23. My condolences to his friends and family. His recent book, Science as a Contact Sport is a fitting tribute to his life’s work, his advocacy on our behalf and his collaborations. What a fitting tribute by Ben Santer. Many other tributes in the comments on DotEarch, but some dross sprinkled in.

    Comment by Deech56 — 19 Jul 2010 @ 6:42 PM

  24. Kate, your post on Prof. Schneider’s quotation that was twisted throughout the blogosphere was an excellent piece of reporting. Good for you for tracking down that story.

    Comment by Deech56 — 19 Jul 2010 @ 6:51 PM

  25. Steve, Thank you for the amazing contribution you have made to climate science. I am honored to have crossed paths with you. I will continue to teach your neice and nephew to value our environment and the impact we have. With deepest sympathy to you, Terry and your family.

    Comment by Amy — 19 Jul 2010 @ 7:33 PM

  26. Saddened to hear of his passing. He was a great human, who cared about us all. Much love to his family in these trying times.

    Comment by DeNihilist — 19 Jul 2010 @ 7:34 PM

  27. A great loss at a time when we can ill-afford it. He wasn’t afraid to fight. And today the WSJ with more of the usual. The battle for scientific truth is ongoing.

    Comment by Mark A. York — 19 Jul 2010 @ 7:52 PM

  28. I’m in shock! Steven was such a great communicator and understandably, admired by many of us. My condolences to all of us, and especially of course to his family. Words are too few to honor such a fantastic human being.

    Comment by Rafael Friedmann — 19 Jul 2010 @ 8:07 PM

  29. A whole lot of us will miss him….
    A tragedy on all scales from planetary to personal.

    Comment by John Mashey — 19 Jul 2010 @ 8:22 PM

  30. My heart goes out to all of Stephen Schneider’s loved ones in this terrible time.

    And thank you, Ben Santer, for such a fitting tribute.

    As for all those of us in this Contact Sport who aren’t scientists, let me make a suggestion: It’s well past time that we honor all the climate scientists who are doing their best to understand the Earth System and provide policymakers and voters with the information we need to act in our collective best interest. This means we should speak out when disgusting thugs send scientists death threats or “merely” try to bully them into silence, as with the current Monckton/John Abraham dust up.

    I, for one, am sick to death of watching the loud mouths score cheap points with the public based on nothing but a willingness to lie endlessly. It’s time we lay people stood up and said to the scientists, “You do your job, we’ve got your back.”

    Comment by Lou Grinzo — 19 Jul 2010 @ 8:27 PM

  31. Steve was a mensch. A loss for science and for his family above all. Rest in peace.

    Comment by Andy Bunn — 19 Jul 2010 @ 8:46 PM

  32. I recently saw him speak at a nearby University and was inspired by his presentation. I spoke with him briefly afterward, not realizing how important that communication would be to me later. Part of my (relatively new) mission in life is to communicate climate science and the urgency of action to friends/family/coworkers/anyone else who will listen. I am somewhat daunted by the prospect given the battle ahead, but will always think of Dr Schneider when I feel that nobody is listening, and I will keep talking. Thank you Dr. Stephen Schneider.
    My deepest condolences to Dr. Root.

    Comment by sciencemama — 19 Jul 2010 @ 8:55 PM

  33. Steve was a climate science hero.
    We will remember his great courage and passion for the Earth.

    Comment by Clive Hamilton — 19 Jul 2010 @ 9:20 PM

  34. I never heard of Professor Schneider until now, but
    has a link to

    which has the advice that journalists need to hear. I hope his web site stays up for quite a while. Could somebody provide a mirror site to make sure it stays up? I see that some of his papers are downloadable from the Site references page of the above site. What about the rest of his papers?
    The best memorial would be to win the “Climate War” for him.

    RC people: Dotearth said he had cancer as well as a heart attack. If you get cancer, try taking dichloroacetate, which is unpatentable and therefore unavailable here. And take care of your health.

    Comment by Edward Greisch — 19 Jul 2010 @ 9:41 PM

  35. A profound loss for all of us, currently living, and those yet to come. Steve was a marvellous abassador for scientific truth at a time when so many ignorant and vested-interest folk are attempting to misrepresent science.

    I hope that more people are isnpired to live by his example. Science, and the planet, will be the better for it.

    Thank you, Stephen, for the legacy that you leave with us.

    Comment by Bernard J. — 19 Jul 2010 @ 9:56 PM

  36. We, as climate change educators, have lost an incredible friend and colleague. What a terrible loss.

    Thank you and Ben Santer for providing such a fitting and beautiful eulogy.

    We are recommending it from the front page of our main website — spreading the word to millions of teachers, students and those working in climate education internationally. ( )

    Comment by Alice Hendricks — 19 Jul 2010 @ 10:07 PM

  37. He was the best of the best. Oh, how sorely he will be missed.

    Comment by Milind Kandlikar — 19 Jul 2010 @ 10:08 PM

  38. We have all lost a good friend and a courageous scientist who was always willing to help explain atmospheric sciences
    in clear and concise ways. His post on “mediaology” shows his insight to the many communication challenges sciences face. Thank you Steve for your inspiration.

    Comment by Joe Witte — 19 Jul 2010 @ 10:19 PM

  39. Though I couldn’t agree with much he said, I would fight to the death for the right of his opinion to be heard. Rest in piece. My heart felt sympathies go out to his colleagues, friends and family. Piece.

    Comment by inversesquare — 19 Jul 2010 @ 10:25 PM

  40. A great loss to the world. A great man, a standard for us to learn. How sad!

    Comment by Qing Yan — 19 Jul 2010 @ 10:26 PM

  41. I know Steve only from video clips on the Internet, but even so, I personally feel this as a great loss. He certainly fought the great fight, and was not one to mince his words – he had the courage to be direct and forthright about the world we live in and what we are doing to it.
    My condolences to his family, and all those who had the privilge of knowing him personally.

    Comment by KeenOn350 — 19 Jul 2010 @ 10:33 PM

  42. Steven Schneider’s books were my introduction to climate science and the importance of speaking out about one’s own work, and are among my most cherished books. It was shocking to hear to news this morning. I did not know him, but certainly felt like I did from his many public appearances and publications. He will be sorely missed, but his legacy will live on in the works and actions of those he inspired. His positive inpact on this planet cannot be overstated. My heart goes out to his family at this difficult time.

    Comment by Darin Toohey — 19 Jul 2010 @ 10:39 PM

  43. I know Steve only from video clips on the Internet, but I still feel this as a personal loss, and a great loss in the ongoing struggle to awaken humanity.
    He was obviously a man of great brilliance, courage, and integrity.
    My condolences to his family, and to all those who had the privilege of knowing him personally.

    Dave Willis Hudson QC Canada

    Comment by KeenOn350 — 19 Jul 2010 @ 10:50 PM

  44. I was one of the many (countless?) students that Steve inspired over the years. It was always good to know that Steve was in the trenches, making his case, day after day. Ben Santer said it best: “We honor the memory of Steve Schneider by continuing to fight for the things he fought for”.

    Comment by Nate Hultman — 19 Jul 2010 @ 10:51 PM

  45. How ironic that a high school friend was using Dr. Schneider’s “reversal” from global cooling (particulates/aerosols research?) to global warming as proof of, I guess, a lack of scientific integrity and/or scientific uncertainty. Given his record, it’s irony on a massive scale.

    Rest in peace knowing you did your job so well they’re still trying to spin your work faster than Earth spins on its axis. That’s quite a testimony.


    Comment by ccpo — 19 Jul 2010 @ 11:13 PM

  46. Steve tutored and inspired many of us on the social science side. My wife met Steve only a few times but this evening recalled the first, in 1979, over lunch in the New York Deli in Boulder, where he was challenging, argumentative, funny, and charming all at once. Sitting next to him at a conference, as I was reminded at Asilomar in March, was like being next to a sportscaster constantly analyzing the state of play; he was a force of nature. Science as a Contact Sport is something of an autobiography which we’re lucky to have (along with Climatic Change), and shows the scope of his role in advancing climate science and policy. A terrible loss.

    Comment by Bill Travis — 19 Jul 2010 @ 11:42 PM

  47. I never knew Dr Schneider, but I too valued him as an inspirational and trustworthy communicator.

    He will be missed.

    Comment by ScaredAmoeba — 19 Jul 2010 @ 11:55 PM

  48. Great piece, Ben – thanks.


    Comment by John Mason — 20 Jul 2010 @ 12:27 AM

  49. What a sad news. I have once met him. He was a serious scientist with a sense of humor.

    Comment by MR SH — 20 Jul 2010 @ 12:48 AM

  50. You were a great man and I feel privileged to have met you. You will inspire us to continue the hard work of bringing the truth of climate change to public understanding, and commonplace fact.

    Comment by Robert Cormia — 20 Jul 2010 @ 1:31 AM

  51. Peter Sinclair (Greenman3610 on YouTube) has a short clip of Dr. Schneider from 1979. It’s worth a watch:

    or, a more direct and perhaps more permanent link:

    Condolences to family, friends, colleagues, former students and all who will miss him.

    Comment by Paul Clements — 20 Jul 2010 @ 2:02 AM

  52. Sad news and a great loss

    Comment by Richard Tol — 20 Jul 2010 @ 2:14 AM

  53. Thanks for the wonderful eulogy to an amazing man, Ben. As an earlier poster said- this does flat out suck. As another poster said – now the rest of us have to step up to the plate that bit more.

    Comment by Marc Hudson — 20 Jul 2010 @ 4:27 AM

  54. Steve was an inspiration for me since my student days and he later became a good friend. Not only was he a friend in science, but I will always remember his warm support when I was going through a hard time in my personal life a decade ago. I’ll surely miss his humor and those lively dinners with him and a good bottle of red! This is deeply saddening news that will take some time to digest. Not just a personal loss, but one for the planet.
    My thanks to Ben for finding good and fitting words.

    Comment by stefan — 20 Jul 2010 @ 4:51 AM

  55. Ben Santer:

    “Today the world lost a great man. Professor Stephen Schneider – a climate scientist at Stanford University”

    In his passing may we all take the banner and hold it higher.
    May we all carry the standards of his/this communication.
    To raise the voice of reason above the noise of confusion.

    His voice, is our voice as well
    ‘We’ must carry on this/his message
    and equal the courage of conviction that science allows
    That the rigor of science in the face of uncertainty
    provides us the foundation for relevant conclusions
    and the reason for the cause.

    In all this time for those that are raising their voices
    We are one voice
    Stephen Schneider was not alone but he was a clarion call

    We are all in this together
    Never truer could be said
    ‘United we stand divided we fall’

    Now, we pick up the standard of those fallen
    and raise it higher to answer the call
    With confidence and courage
    we rise in the face of lies fired at the fortress of sound science
    We must raise the banner higher and stand strong
    as those that have fallen would have us do

    The message is clear
    We have only one planet
    We are one people
    And when discussing the ramifications and
    the inertias involved to varying degrees of consequence

    – Economy
    – Energy
    – Environment

    We have only one real chance to protect our standards and our democracy. Our:

    – Democracy
    – Self determination
    – Freedom

    for all will degrade as this problem worsens

    One voice
    One planet
    One people

    One action

    We must convert our energy base to sustainable renewable sources and reduce our consumption or we begin to lose all that we wish to protect, our freedom, prosperity and independence. All these things will erode due to latitudinal shift of the jet-stream, soil moisture content drop, ocean acidification, economic degradation due to all of the above, and needed infrastructure shift. Some of this can be offset by efficient reinvestment in clean technology for our energy infrastructure. I continue to push for responsible action to protect our standards as best as possible in a degrading situation. Anyone voting for any other option is simply voting for a more degraded system where we lose that which we cherish most, our freedom and independence.

    These facts remain, it’s a global problem that requires global solutions, individuals and nations can contribute to the solutions. We don’t have to wait for every country to agree, we are all part of the solution if we simply take action:

    My condolences to Steve’s family and friends. Thank you Ben for the touching words. May Steve’s family be heartened in this: that we will all carry his/this message onward in our communities, and states, to our leaders and acquaintances, and that science will prevail over the cacophony of lies that are invented on a seemingly daily basis.

    It is up to ‘all’ of us.

    A Climate Minute The Natural CycleThe Greenhouse EffectHistory of Climate ScienceArctic Ice Melt

    ‘Fee & Dividend’ Our best chance for a better future –
    Learn the Issue & Sign the Petition

    Comment by John P. Reisman (OSS Foundation) — 20 Jul 2010 @ 5:03 AM

  56. There are some people you have total confidence in, that they will do their utmost and with integrity. Stephen Schneider was one of these for me. His explanation of the greenhouse effect at a conference in 1983 at Northwestern University inspired me to pursue observations of climate change as a career. Thanks for all your leadership and inexhaustible explanations.

    Comment by mauri pelto — 20 Jul 2010 @ 5:42 AM

  57. My only personal contact with Stephen Schneider was when he peer-reviewed a paper of mine submitted to Icarus and turned it down. But I never held that against him. He was passionately concerned about getting the science right, and in that paper I hadn’t. He will be missed.

    Comment by Barton Paul Levenson — 20 Jul 2010 @ 5:56 AM

  58. The passing of a great spokesperson for the future

    A great forward thinker and communicator who alerted the world to many issues. The World is richer as a result of his contribution but poorer with his passing.

    Great Words Ben

    Comment by John Church — 20 Jul 2010 @ 6:37 AM

  59. Steve was my PhD co-supervisor and was my mentor and friend for 28 years. I heard about his death while preparing to brief the USGCRP on the America’s Climate Choices study (for which his was a reviewer) and it cast a shadow over the day because I kept thinking about the massive loss this is to global change research and how I and the research community owe so much to him. He was an amazing person; brilliant, kind and passionate about his work and without doubt the most important influence on my career. I think he knew how much we all cared about him – a few years ago his wife Terry and others organized a conference to celebrate him, and many were able to go to Stanford and thank him publicly for his support and inspiration. I am so glad we did that while he was still with us (and also that I recently sent him a copy of an essay to be published in a geography journal where also acknowledge the ways he changed my life for the better). Many of us recently say Steve speak at the Adaptation summit in Australia. He gave a really good talk and as usual was balancing talking to fellow scientists, policy makers, the media and young scientists. I will miss his counsel and the opportunity to introduce my own students to him – to their intellectual grandfather as we would joke…but of course this is a much larger loss to science and to the planet.

    Comment by Diana Liverman — 20 Jul 2010 @ 7:33 AM

  60. A wonderful tribute to a man who contributed both to the science and the communication of that science.

    Comment by David K — 20 Jul 2010 @ 7:43 AM

  61. I attended a public lecture given by Stephen at Maquarie University in Sydney only a week ago (and asked him questions from the floor). It was such a privilege to hear him in person.

    I did not know him before that lecture, but I soon realised I was listening to a truly great man: a courageous warrior for the truth and for a realistic view of the dangers of climate change – and against the public deceit and spin that currently results in delay and inaction.

    I was shocked to read of his sudden passing today.

    Comment by Bruce Tabor — 20 Jul 2010 @ 7:45 AM

  62. What a terrible loss. And at a time when he is terribly needed. We must be thankful that the world had him as long as it did.

    May the realization of his loss inspire everyone to double our efforts.

    My sincere condolences to his family and friends.

    Comment by Ron Taylor — 20 Jul 2010 @ 8:43 AM

  63. Nice eulogy.

    Comment by Rod B — 20 Jul 2010 @ 10:05 AM

  64. The early death of Stephen Schneider is a great loss for the science community. My condolences to his family, friends and co-workers.

    Comment by Robert Sausen — 20 Jul 2010 @ 10:10 AM

  65. Last night, the news stunned me. This morning, I feel the loss even more, and I had never met him.

    Let us remember that one person can change the world, and Stephen Schneider was an example to us all.

    All who are able must step forward and carry his standard.

    Comment by Tenney Naumer — 20 Jul 2010 @ 10:18 AM

  66. Steve was a close friend and a wonderful, fearless, soul. He was a public intellectual who served the truth, and served up the truth.

    I miss him already,

    Dan Kammen
    University of California, Berkeley

    Comment by Dan Kammen — 20 Jul 2010 @ 10:28 AM

  67. I only heard Stephen speak once and that was over a decade ago. Nonetheless, the experience was memorable and I have also enjoyed many of his extremely accessible explanations of both the scientific and policy issues in climate change research. The entire world and the scientific community in particular has suffered a great loss.

    Comment by Don Thieme — 20 Jul 2010 @ 10:58 AM

  68. .. great words, great sorrow.

    i feel like a scientific gathering is needed to tribune that generation of scientists of 70th-80th who gave such a great push to development of the climate science. i feel that it is so important for the recent and future generation of scientists to have such a gathering — the gathering, which brings the history of climate science by the scientists who made such history!

    here is a nice video of steve in 1979 — just cannot stop listening to it.


    Comment by Natasha Andronova — 20 Jul 2010 @ 11:03 AM

  69. Sad & shocked. I can’t imagine the climate change battle without him at the helm. Another hole in the world without his voice and intellect — and ability to un-confound it all for us.

    Comment by JoAnn Valenti — 20 Jul 2010 @ 11:04 AM

  70. What a horrible loss for us all!
      I had never really met Steve Schneider in person, but of course he was a household name to me. So here is some rare trivia. In 1992, I was on the coast of Chukotka studying coastal bluffs of sediments recording the glacial and interglacial history of the Bering Straits. One evening after hard work moving camp along the coast, my mentor and colleague, Dave Hopkins had a heart attack. He fell down and lost all of his strength. We set up his tent for him and he laid there for days with his lungs filled up with fluid etc. He couldn’t breath well etc. And as luck would have it, the weather was horrible and we couldn’t get a Russian helicopter to our coastal camp site facing the raging Bering Sea. We waited for the weather or some other form of rescue for him. There wasn’t much we could do but pass the time talking about life and what it means. But what I will never forget is that at Dave’s request, it was Steve Schneider’s Global Warming book (1989 release) that I read to Dave as he lay there in his tent on the coast of Chukotka. I read him this book over the course of 2-3 days while we waited to get him to a hospital. Eventually, a Russia nuclear ice breaker appeared off the coast, a skiff was launched to the beach in the waves, and they took Dave away to Providenyia where he then got a chartered medivac on Bering Airlines back to Nome hospital and eventually to Fairbanks. Dave insisted I stay and finish the field work, which I did.  
    Dave died years later in 2001 of course, but I will never forget those days reading to him, and I still have Schneider’s book in my office, tattered a bit from weeks in a tent! Dave was endlessly inspired by Schneider’s views, as was I, if only from a distance.

    I assume the AGU should plan a memorial for him, in place of his planned Bjerknes lecture! I think Alan Robock mentioned that Schneider was to give this year’s lecture? …. Julie BG 

    Comment by Julie Brigham-Grette — 20 Jul 2010 @ 12:02 PM

  71. What terrible news. Both of us are saddened by the loss of Stephen Schneider. We never had the pleasure of meeting the gentlemen, but we’ve read some of his offerings and of course we loved his blog. Our condolences to the family. What a loss for us all.

    Comment by Jim & Lynda Groom — 20 Jul 2010 @ 1:11 PM

  72. I had the honor and pleasure of meeting Dr. Schneider a couple of times at climate conferences, and always appreciated his booming voice, wicked wit, and his native New Yorker’s impatience with beating around the bush.

    We owe Dr. Schneider a great deal for his willingness to stand in the often dangerous intersection where science, politics, and journalism meet in order to build greater public understanding of the colossal climate challenge that we face and to prod us and our elected leaders to act on this knowledge. He will be greatly missed.

    Comment by Jim DiPeso — 20 Jul 2010 @ 1:22 PM

  73. Oh damn. I last saw Steve about a year ago. He was a great and relentlessly courageous man, willing to do what most folks (and scientists) won’t for years in defense of something much larger than himself.

    He was an enormously kind patron of my first real attempt at a large scale work, and I owe him in proportion. Damn, I’m sorry he’s gone.

    Thanks for the piece, Ben.

    Comment by Tom Levenson — 20 Jul 2010 @ 1:26 PM

  74. Greenman has a video clip of Stephen Schneider in 1979. Such a clear articulation of the problem, as it was still emerging – amazing man.

    Comment by aphillips — 20 Jul 2010 @ 3:21 PM

  75. It was the docu “Is It Hot Enough for You?” in the late 80s that roused me to start taking personal responsibility for AGW, and start mitigating and telling others about it. In that film, Stephen Schneider speaks out about it. He says (I badly paraphrase) we don’t know what nasty surprises might lie in store for us in the future if we fail to mitigate; we might luck out, but it could turn out very bad.

    That was the appropriate way to look at the problem and still is today, except now 20+ years later we know a lot more about the bad that lies in store for us. The studies keep coming back “It’s worse than we thought,” and it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to see which way the wind is blowing on this issue. But Stephen Scheider will always be right — it could get very bad.

    I read his LABORATORY EARTH: THE PLANETARY GAME WE CANNOT AFFORD TO LOSE (1997). It is a terrific book for laypersons. Right up there with Hansen’s STORMS OF MY GRANDCHILDREN. The metaphor (or the actuality) that we are conducting an experiment on earth…well, that wouldn’t pass the Institutional Review Board at my U, that’s for sure.

    I feel very sad the we and the earth have lost a very valiant champion.

    Comment by Lynn Vincentnathan — 20 Jul 2010 @ 4:13 PM

  76. A perhaps lesser-recognized attribute of Steve’s was his open mind. I’m thinking about the efforts he put into bringing Lovelock’s Gaia Hypothesis into the scientific limelight. He wrestled with the concept but knew there was something there worth devoting time to. Sponsored two AGU sessions that led to two books “Scientists on Gaia”.

    The engineer in him was also fascinating; the renovations to his home in Boulder, with air that circulated over his pool, through a chlorine filter, then through his house; the argon-sealed windows (way ahead of his time), fluorescent lighting, intelligent air handlers that mixed the upstairs air and basement air when necessary, and the view from his top-floor office “not this view, Lee, sit at my desk and look up (into the flatirons only seen when sitting in his chair).

    Comment by Lee Kump — 20 Jul 2010 @ 4:18 PM

  77. Rest in peace, Steve–you surely didn’t rest much while here, you earned it, and we’re the better for what you did for us.

    Comment by Richard Alley — 20 Jul 2010 @ 5:17 PM

  78. Thank you for the beautiful and fitting eulogy for Steve – a brilliant scientist and communicator. I feel very fortunate to have known Steve through his wife Terry Root (with whom I did a post-doc on climate change impacts on birds/wetlands); Steve taught me all about climate change science, let me borrow his IPCC books, and generously helped me with my research. He had a profound influence on me and was truly an inspiration to so many. His untimely passing is a terrible loss to the world and to Terry and his family. So very sad to lose such a great person, but as someone else posted, filled with gratitude for his life and abundant contributions.

    Comment by Lisa Sorenson — 20 Jul 2010 @ 5:52 PM

  79. Steve will be missed very deeply my so many people around the world. I once had the pleasure of sharing a meal with him and Terry in Melbourne. Formidable, wonderful souls both. He inspired bravery amongst scientists and clear headedness amongst environmentalists. My deepest sympathies to Terry and the rest of his family.

    Comment by Corey Watts — 20 Jul 2010 @ 6:23 PM

  80. What very sad news.

    Wikipedia has a terrible article on Schneider–there is no discussion of the science at all, and the emphasis is on his aerosol work in the seventies. Can some of the knowledgeable people here try to improve it?

    Comment by Robin Fox — 20 Jul 2010 @ 9:03 PM

  81. Steve was not only a great scientist but a grand gentleman – he was a self-proclaimed nerd who, by sheer acceptance of that designation, was one of the most charming i’ve ever met. I will always consider myself fortunate to be among those who he knew by name! When we met, we discovered we had attended the same high school … twelve years apart (!) but it didn’t stop us from reminiscing – as if we had been classmates all along. He was a kind, gentle and compassionate, patient man who taught … without teaching. And he wasn’t even my teacher – he will be sorely missed – and exceptionally remembered..

    Comment by andrea — 20 Jul 2010 @ 9:15 PM

  82. Unbeknownst to him, I’ve been teaching oceanography and climate change with Steve’s indirect help – for years and years. And now he’s gone – what a damn loss. In videos, books, articles and talks (I first heard him speak at the Smithsonian NMNH about 10 years ago), his wonderful ability to capture the essential madness of the large-scale experiment we play with Earth’s climate resonated wonderfully with students. Thank you Steve – you’ve inspired so many of us.

    Comment by Ken Rasmussen — 20 Jul 2010 @ 10:10 PM

  83. As with so many here, Steve gave me my first education about climate change during conversations in 1988.

    Before meeting Steve I always thought a polymath was a parrot who could count. Over two years ago before the presidential primaries Steve said that if there was a major terrorist attack the Republican candidate would win but if there was a major hurricane the Democrat would win. Substitute “financial crisis” for hurricane and he was right, as he was about so many things.

    Last night I was giving a talk to a group of astronomers about climate change when I got the news. I’m still trying to catch my breath and I’m still very sad for our losing such a needed man, and of course for Terry and the rest of his family and friends.

    May we each step up our unity and work in his honor.

    Comment by Richard Brenne — 21 Jul 2010 @ 1:03 AM

  84. Special thanks to Peter Sinclair (Greenman3610) for putting that piece up. I have included the clip in my July Leading Edge report

    I did not have time to summarize the NAS releases this month so they are inserted in full. Will trim later and of course ref links are on the page.

    A Climate Minute The Natural CycleThe Greenhouse EffectHistory of Climate ScienceArctic Ice Melt

    ‘Fee & Dividend’ Our best chance for a better future –
    Learn the Issue & Sign the Petition

    Comment by John P. Reisman (OSS Foundation) — 21 Jul 2010 @ 4:02 AM

  85. possibly Steve’s last public speech

    Comment by Michae Ruescher — 21 Jul 2010 @ 4:23 AM

  86. The world has been made a better place due to people like him.

    Comment by lumpy — 21 Jul 2010 @ 8:44 AM

  87. I had been emailing with Steve the weekend before he died, so his death came as quite a shock.
    I feel a deep loss, both personally and professionally. He was my mentor, my colleague, and my friend,
    and I miss him terribly.

    Jon Koomey

    Comment by Jonathan Koomey — 21 Jul 2010 @ 12:14 PM

  88. My own participation in the climate field was inspired by reading an article of Schneider’s in Scientific American in the late 1980’s, as I was casting about for something meaningful a mathematically oriented person might do for the world.

    I was privileged to spend a day and an evening with Steve in the company of Paul Baer the summer before last. It was a memorable day. So, while I can’t claim to have been close to him, I can personally attest to the fact that Steve’s was a vivid, rational and highly ethical mind. He was the quintessence of the modern intellectual, both bon vivant and a dedicated servant of the common good, an excellent model for the post-scarcity life well and consciously lived.

    To those who were close to him, this must be a great tragedy indeed. For what it’s worth, they should know that the thoughts and best wishes of many like myself are with them.

    Although his health was not terrific, this is still an unexpected and harsh blow to the community. Let us rise to the occasion and redouble our efforts both in understanding the dimensions of the climate problem and related sustainability issues, and in communicating their scope and urgency to the public.

    Comment by Michael Tobis — 21 Jul 2010 @ 1:31 PM

  89. Ben Santer has captured so much of our feelings about Steve and his contributions, and how we can continue to honor him through our actions that continue the pathways he pioneered and traveled so tirelessly.

    I would like to elaborate on one aspect of Steve’s many pioneering ideas and pathways. Steve was one of just a small number of scientists who became convinced, many years ago, of the fundamental importance of interdisciplinary approaches to climate science. He outlined this conviction clearly in his description of the journal he founded in 1977, over 30 year ago, a journal he has continued to edit, Climate Change. In Steve’s words:

    “Climatic Change is dedicated to the totality of the problem of climatic variability and change – its descriptions, causes, implications and interactions among these. The purpose of the journal is to provide a means of exchange between those working on problems related to climatic variations but in different disciplines. Interdisciplinary researchers or those in any discipline, be it meteorology, anthropology, agricultural science, astronomy, biology, chemistry, physics, geography, policy analysis, economics, engineering, geology, ecology, or history of climate, are invited to submit articles, provided the articles are of interdisciplinary interest. This means that authors have an opportunity to communicate the essence of their studies to people in other climate related disciplines and to interested laypersons, as well as to report on research in which the originality is in the combinations of (not necessarily original) work from several disciplines.”

    One component of interdisciplinary climate studies is the study of past climates and environments. This topic has its own intrinsic interest, and increased understanding of the past may also inform the present and illuminate the future. Steve was a very early participant in this work. He, with NCAR colleagues, published some of the first papers in the 1980s on the topic of Cretaceous climates: the geological and floral and faunal records, simulations with dynamical climate models, and consideration of the possible role of higher CO2 levels in explaining Cretaceous warmth. He also helped pioneer the early NCAR effort to develop climate models with biogeochemical components that could deal with the interdisciplinary complexity of the earth system. Steve enthusiastically encouraged similar efforts elsewhere, including the early efforts to develop global and accurately-dated data sets of the past distribution and abundance of plants, animals, water, ice and landforms as studied by ecologists, botanists, zoologists, geologists, glaciologists, geomorphologists, and many others. These data sets, he knew, would be a crucial ‘ground truth’ for establishing an accurate earth environmental history. And that has happened. By comparing these observations with the simulations of climate models, we have now learned a great deal about the forces that have been initiating factors in past climate changes. And by comparing these data with climate simulations we also have a means to help assess the accuracy of climate models – an important contribution in itself because these models are increasingly used to simulate future climate scenarios. The past helps to inform the future.

    Past environmental change and the quickening pace of present environmental changes, including changes in the distribution and abundance of plant and animal species, and changes in animal and bird migration, have been a continuing focus of the work of Steve and Terry, together. And their joint work has continued to inform their combined efforts to tell the story of the oneness of our planet, an environment in which we humans are but one component. We, as it were, must tell the story of the change being lived out by the plants and animals of the earth, as well as our own story.

    As Steve would be quick to note, his journal and his own work invites other disciplines into the interdisciplinary circles related to climate science — including policy analysis, economics, and engineering, but others can tell that story better than I.

    So to extend Ben Santer’s remarks, we honor Steve Schneider as we continue his passionate support and personal involvement in interdisciplinary research related to climate.

    Finally, anyone who has observed Steve in action knew how much he loved and valued his role as mentor and professor. He loved to teach and to interact with students. He valued the time spent one-on-one with young people –undergrads and grads and postdocs alike – and we honor Steve Schneider by encouraging and mentoring those who will carry on with the challenging tasks of interdisciplinary science and interdisciplinary communication that are a part what we must accomplish as we move on.

    John Kutzbach 07/21/2010

    Comment by John E. Kutzbach — 21 Jul 2010 @ 2:18 PM

  90. The mark of a true pioneer is the number of arrows in his back. Stephen kept taking those arrows and never missed step. When the world finally wakes up to the grim realities of man-made climate change, he will be one of those that people will say, ‘Why didn’t we listen to him when we had the chance?”

    The best we can do for Dr. Schneider now is to keep his torch alive by alerting the public to the dangers ahead.

    Scott A. Mandia, Professor of Physical Sciences
    Selden, NY
    Global Warming: Man or Myth?
    My Global Warming Blog
    Twitter: AGW_Prof
    “Global Warming Fact of the Day” Facebook Group

    Comment by Scott A Mandia — 21 Jul 2010 @ 2:32 PM

  91. Very sad news – my condolences to his family and friends.

    Bitter news too for climate science, and for all of us; few have his combination of expertise and ability to communicate.

    Comment by Nick Gotts — 21 Jul 2010 @ 3:08 PM

  92. “Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness’ sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake. Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you.”—Jesus

    Comment by Snapple — 21 Jul 2010 @ 6:12 PM

  93. I tried to point out on WUWT that *NOBODY* on their board had any condolences at all for Steve Schneider and family. My post was summarily deleted. I have resolved *NEVER* to go to that blog of deceit again.

    Comment by harvey — 21 Jul 2010 @ 6:28 PM

  94. so i also made some inoocuous comments on
    and was totally deleted.
    what can i say but they are totally corrupt.

    Comment by harvey — 21 Jul 2010 @ 6:56 PM

  95. Like Dr. Schneider, I am a mantle cell lymphoma patient. His marvelous book “The Patient from Hell” was a great inspiration to me. I never heard of Dr. Schneider before reading this book and instantly came to admire his courage trying to fight this lethal disease and, yes, I came to learn, Global Warming. Both are formidable foes that future generations of scientists will have to conquer.

    Comment by Anneliese Knur — 21 Jul 2010 @ 10:28 PM

  96. Bum.

    I own and have read his book “Science as a contact sport” and can heartily recommend it.

    Stephen Schneider willingly gave of his time to us yokels in Australia, specifically by being the “Thinker in Residence” for a year in South Australia, and more recently through seminars and other outreach activities to inform the public. I seem to remember his name in the 1987 and 1988 Greenhouse conferences in Australia; it was a time of hope that the potentially major effects of AGW could be dodged artfully and that our politicians might be up to the challenge. Alas, nearly quarter of a century on, we are seeing the start of the predicted effects of relentless CO2 emissions under BAU. And yet, Stephen Schneider was only recently back here in Australia, still providing a message of hope that humans might get it together enough to take sensible action.

    Judging from the comments already posted here, Stephen Schneider’s efforts have had an indelible effect upon many people, and for the better. What more can one ask for, in a life lived?

    Comment by Donald Oats — 22 Jul 2010 @ 7:21 AM

  97. I worked with Stephen Schneider at NCAR when I was Ph.D. student at the University of Colorado (Geography, 1987), afterward in the US Congress where I served as an AAAS Fellow for the House Science Committee, at NAS, at the first UN 1988 conference, thereafter in the interdisciplinary science and policy world of global change. He and I shared unlimited energy — his lasted a bit longer (as I was struck with Multiple Sclerosis in 1995). I will miss Steve immensely. He was so supportive, collegial, and complementary of my work as a fellow interdisciplinary scientist. His battle with cancer has also been an inspiration to me. Although I am legally blind with MS and cannot do the extreme fieldwork I used to do — I currently honor Steve and many of our other colleagues who died too soon, by continuing to “fight the good fight.” We will all miss him terribly, but, I hope with every last fiber of our energy we all continue to take up the mantle and push on.
    Sherry D. Oaks, Ph.D.

    Comment by DrSherryDOaks — 22 Jul 2010 @ 3:48 PM

  98. The climate science community has lost a giant of a scientist and human being. I was shocked to learn of his passing. I had the opportunity of working with Steve through the IPCC almost since the beginning. We shared many memorable experiences (and meals) together. I remember in particular the closing hours of the WGI Plenary of the SAR in Madrid with Steve drafting text on an overhead projector warning of the possibility of surprises. I also recall the efforts we went through with the TAR and later the AR4 to craft a WGII text regarding what he referred to as the “double attribution”. I trust the IPCC will organize a suitable way of remembering such a larger then life scientist.
    John Stone

    Comment by john Stone — 22 Jul 2010 @ 5:14 PM

  99. Never met Steve, but caught his dedication.. You live on Professor Stephen Schneider! We hope not to let you down….

    Comment by wayne davidson — 23 Jul 2010 @ 12:00 PM

  100. Steve seemed to have twice as much energy as a normal human being. He would engage with any issue, from climate-catastrophic to a trivial detail of one’s personal life.

    Steve and I co-taught Climate Change Policy five times at Stanford, and co-edited two books together — including CLIMATE CHANGE SCIENCE AND POLICY, which came out earlier this year, and which Steve followed avidly as it climbed up the Amazon charts. What most people wouldn’t know about Steve is how much priority he gave to students and their learning. For example, he fully supported our recruitment of nine former students to author or co-author several of the new book’s 49 chapters. And if a student asked him for a letter of support, Steve would drop everything to do it. What an amazing and irreplaceable man he was!

    Comment by armin rosencranz — 24 Jul 2010 @ 11:08 AM

  101. Steve had twice as much energy as any normal person. And he was ready to engage with any issue, from climate catastrophic to a trivial detail of one’s personal life.

    Steve and I co-taught Climate Change Policy five times at Stanford and co-edited two books together, including CLIMATE CHANGE SCIENCE AND POLICY, which came out earlier this year (and whose progress up the Amazon charts Steve followed avidly). What many people wouldn’t know about Steve was the priority he gave to students and their learning. For example, he fully supported our recruitment of ten former students as authors or co-authors of the new book’s 49 chapters.
    If a student asked him for a letter of support, Steve would drop everything to do it.

    What an amazing and irreplaceable man he was!

    Comment by armin rosencranz — 24 Jul 2010 @ 11:20 AM

  102. I first met Steve when he was fly-fishing in Colorado, and I was an undergraduate butterfly chaser in 1980. I knew him when he came to Stanford in the 1990s, and he was always gracious and engaged when you came to him with an interest in climate change.

    He taught (by example) the art of the soundbite and appropriate metaphor, and was a role model for desperately needed scientific advocacy (along with Paul Ehrlich). I followed him into “Mediarology” as I evolved into a grassroots rabble-rouser/scientist working to conserve biodiversity in a rapidly changing world.

    So, Steve (and Terry) – this soundbite’s for you!

    Comment by Stu Weiss — 24 Jul 2010 @ 10:08 PM

  103. Have just been re-reading Samuel Johnson’s essay “What Have Ye Done?”
    Every man is obliged by the Supreme Master of the universe to improve all the opportunities of good which are afforded him, and to keep in continual activity such abilities as are bestowed upon him. But he has no reason to repine, though his abilities are small and his opportunities few. He that has improved the virtue, or advanced the happiness of one fellow-creature, he that has ascertained a single moral proposition, or added one useful experiment to natural knowledge, may be contented with his own performance, and, with respect to mortals like himself, may demand, like Augustus, to be dismissed at his departure with applause.

    Every man is obliged by the Supreme Master of the universe to improve all the opportunities of good which are afforded him, and to keep in continual activity such abilities as are bestowed upon him. But he has no reason to repine, though his abilities are small and his opportunities few. He that has improved the virtue, or advanced the happiness of one fellow-creature, he that has ascertained a single moral proposition, or added one useful experiment to natural knowledge, may be contented with his own performance, and, with respect to mortals like himself, may demand, like Augustus, to be dismissed at his departure with applause.
    I have not updated the sexist language from 1759.

    “Every man is obliged by the Supreme Master of the universe to improve all the opportunities of good which are afforded him, and to keep in continual activity such abilities as are bestowed upon him. But he has no reason to repine, though his abilities are small and his opportunities few. He that has improved the virtue, or advanced the happiness of one fellow-creature, he that has ascertained a single moral proposition, or added one useful experiment to natural knowledge, may be contented with his own performance, and, with respect to mortals like himself, may demand, like Augustus, to be dismissed at his departure with applause.”

    Applause due to Prof Schneider. Extremely long prolonged standing ovation, I’d say.

    Comment by Marc Hudson — 25 Jul 2010 @ 2:35 AM

  104. Good-bye, Steve. We can no more turn to you in search for answers, we need to find the answers ourselves armed with the knowledge you gave us. I’ll keep working hard translating complex science for mass audience just as you wanted me to do and be worthy of your special comments. My deepest sympathy for all your loved ones, Terry, your son and daughter, grandchild, colleagues, friends and students.

    in tears,

    Comment by Annamaria Talas — 25 Jul 2010 @ 10:09 PM

  105. The coevolution of climate and life was the first paleoclimate-climate book I ever read, when I was still an undergraduate at SUNY Buffalo around 1990. It would be a slight stretch or exaggeration to say it was turning point, changed my life, and so on..but it must have had some influence..I am now a paleoclimatologist and Research Scientist.

    Comment by Mike Kaplan — 26 Jul 2010 @ 8:23 AM

  106. A few personal memories of Steve Schneider.

    Some time in the late 1970’s or early 1980’s, Steve spent a semester at Lamont. When his faculty host became unavailable, my wife Ginger and I volunteered to take that role. I remember having several delightful dinners at various funky places that the Schneiders and Ruddimans all enjoyed, because they were so off-beat (some laughably so).

    In those days, Steve was an irresistible primal force of nature. Young, very handsome, with a full head of curly black hair, and verbal at a level beyond anyone I had ever met. Being a much more low-key paleo guy, I remember coming to those dinner meals wanting to be ‘on my game’ around Steve. The best analogy I can think of is someone from the rural countryside getting ready to drive into Manhattan and handle the traffic.

    Early in that stay, Steve abruptly decided to put together a semester seminar on climate modeling. At that point, I was trying to nudge Lamont paleo grad students to become aware of the potential usefulness of climate modeling in their thesis work, and I was delighted. I recall students like Alan Mix, Doug Martinson, and others telling me how much they learned in that class.

    Sometime in that same general interval, probably the early-middle 80’s, I remember visiting the Schneider family at their house in Boulder on (I think) Maple Street, which had a median strip planted with maple trees. I remember thinking this was probably a ploy to attract immigrants from the east coast and make them feel at home. I remember wine-lubricated discussions about global warming, and I recall accusing Steve of being overly alarmist and evangelical about the threats it posed. At the time, I was sure I was right, but now I am just as glad those discussions were not taped. Time and the facts have come to justify his concerns, and his leadership on this issue has been down-the-middle solid.

    Comment by Bill Ruddiman — 2 Aug 2010 @ 5:04 PM

  107. I only just learned of Stephen’s passing because I was traveling, and it saddens me greatly. I had the privilege of working with Stephen at the Goddard Institute for Space Studies in NY the early 70’s when I was a student at Barnard. That was when he and Jim Hansen were first developing their theories and doing the pioneer modeling at GISS related to man’s impact on climate. In those early days it wasn’t yet clear which way we were heading: cooling due to the affect of aerosols or warming due to CO2. But it wasn’t very long before warming took center stage and Stephen wrote his seminal courageous and popular book on the subject. He was a wonderful mentor and friend to me as a student (and grad student at Columbia) when my studies were in the then-nascent field of environmental planning. Though I last saw him briefly at a major conference in L.A. at least 20 years ago, just knowing of his continued championing of awareness and need for change vis a vis global warming gave me a sense of hope. His untimely passing is indeed a great loss for all of us, and of course especially his family.

    Comment by Miri Koral — 3 Aug 2010 @ 7:13 PM

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.

Close this window.

0.247 Powered by WordPress