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Pigs fly! A climate scientist demands political neutrality from climate scientists.
I believe advocacy by climate scientists has damaged trust in the science. We risk our credibility, our reputation for objectivity, if we are not absolutely neutral. At the very least, it leaves us open to criticism. I find much climate scepticism is driven by a belief that environmental activism has influenced how scientists gather and interpret evidence. So I’ve found my hardline approach successful in taking the politics and therefore – pun intended – the heat out of climate science discussions.
They call me an “honest broker”, asking for “more Dr Edwards and fewer zealous advocates”. Crucially, they say this even though my scientific views are absolutely mainstream.
But it’s not just about improving trust. In this highly politicised arena, climate scientists have a moral obligation to strive for impartiality. We have a platform we must not abuse. For a start, we rarely have the necessary expertise. I absolutely disagree with Gavin that we likely know far more about the issues involved in making policy choices than [our] audience.
She might believe in human-caused global warming, but she also has the sense to recognize the vast uncertainties and political difficulties involved in this issue. The full title of her blog, All Models are Wrong is “All models are wrong, but some are useful. A grownup discussion about how to quantify uncertainties in modeling climate change and its impacts, past and future.”