Thursday, November 21, 2013

Is scientists’ approach to climate change collective madness?

Jan Piotrowski in According to Albert Einstein, insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. This raises the question of whether this 20th century giant would see the scientific community’s current approach to the climate change conversation as collective madness.

I say this not to detract from the huge achievements of scientists to further our understanding of climate change — the 2,000-page tome that is the latest Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report is testament to this success.

But the tendency of scientists to remain impartial with the belief that it is necessary to protect the objective integrity of their work is misguided and clearly not working. To expect that more evidence will be enough to convince policymakers to take action, is naïve when you consider the limited change that has occurred in the six years since the previous fact-packed IPPC report made a compelling case for the need for urgent action.

If this did little to change politicians’ minds, then a new report with similar conclusions is unlikely to either. With this in mind, scientists, as those with the greatest understanding of the consequences of climate change, must get better at communicating not just the results of their studies, but their recommendations for action...

A 1947 portrait of Albert Einstein by Oren Jack Turner

No comments: