Physicist describes state of global warming rhetoric, energy alternatives

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A Nobel Prize-winning physicist encouraged a more realistic discussion rather than one based on exaggeration of the future of energy use in the 21st century during a lecture Wednesday.

Burton Richter, a professor at Stanford University, spoke as a part of the M.E.L. Oaks undergraduate lecture series.

The lecture gave information on climate change and focused on the energy options people have available today and will be looking forward to in the future.

Richter received a Nobel Prize in physics in 1976 and has been following energy and climate through his research since 1978.

“In the US, a battle of words between those who exaggerate the immanence of global warming and those who deny its existence has resulted in paralysis,” Richter said. “A broader discussion with a lower level of exaggeration and a higher level of realism about technologies might lead to progress.”

Rikki Garner, physics and psychology junior, said she felt that Richter’s work was both informative and honest.

“He wants to give you a truthful outlook on what the facts are on global warming and energy,” Garner said.