But it turns out that Parker has a very important role to play in combating global warming, a fact that was all the more significant because he is not a part of any kind of foreign government or international institution. He is not working for the oil and gas industry or for a carbon emissions company — in fact, the only ties to business are his professional experience in engineering and his interest in sustainability. Instead, Parker is a professor and head of the Center for the Study of Sport in Society at Syracuse University.
“I tell people I’m a professor and a scientist at the same time,” Parker said in an interview with The New York Times. “If the climate problem is ultimately solved through an understanding of these things [science], I’ll be happy.”
Environmental organizations have hailed Parker as a hero for his work and his message. The Nature Conservancy points out that Parker spent most of his career at the Brookhaven National Laboratory and has devoted his energies to understanding just how much carbon is injected into the ground by industries that pump oil and gas.
These emissions contribute to climate change and are the primary cause of recent and long-term trends in extreme weather, like Hurricanes Harvey and Irma, that devastated many cities and flooded neighborhoods in the southeast United States.