Climate scientists have recently been fending off harassment, professional character assassination, and even death threats as lobbying groups have stepped up their attacks on the science. But this past week two prominent climate scientists were named as recipients of the 2010 Blue Planet Prize, which is "an international environmental award...considered to be Japan's equivalent of the Nobel Prize."
The two winners are Dr. James Hansen, director at NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies and adjunct professor in the Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences at Columbia University. Hansen is well known in the United States for his vocal communication of the urgency of climate change. The other winner is British scientist Dr. Robert Watson, who is chief scientific adviser of the UK Department for Environment and chair of environmental science and science director at Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research, the University of East Anglia. Watson is the former head of the IPCC.
According to the attached announcement:
"the prize, first awarded in 1992, is sponsored by the Asahi Glass Foundation. It goes to individuals or organizations with outstanding achievements in applied scientific research who have helped to solve global environmental problems.Watson and Hansen will receive their awards on October 26 in Tokyo, where they will each give a commemorative lecture."
In 1992, the year of the United Nations Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro, the Asahi Glass Foundation established the Blue Planet Prize, "in the hopes of encouraging efforts to bring about the healing of the Earth's fragile environment."