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Environmental scientists urged to broaden climate advice



Researchers from the University of Manchester have urged environmentalist scientists to broaden the advice they give on global climate change.

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The paper, published in the journal Nature Climate Change, argues that some scientists are expressing a strong desire to fix the problems that they highlight in their studies. The researchers argue that there are some problems that come with environmental scientists offering practical solutions that can help societies adapt to fast-changing Earth.

Prof Noel Castree, lead author of the paper, said, “We are grateful that environmental scientists alert us to the impact that people are having on our planet like shifting climatic zones and rising sea levels.

“But knowing how to respond to these impacts requires a broader skill-set than natural science alone provides. It requires honest recognition of, and mature discussion about, the different values that can guide humans towards a different, better future.”

Castree added, “Global environmental change raises profound questions – such as whether humans lack humility and wisdom. But we are concerned that environmental scientists risk using their authority to convince others that future Earth surface change is no more than a fiendishly complicated alteration to fairly well understood physical systems.”

He continued that what is needed is a deeper appreciation that the changes caused by a warming Earth will cause fundamental disagreements around responsibility and duties.

Photo: Krappweis via Freeimages 

Further reading:

Sir Mark Walport: scientists must better communicate the disruption of our climate

Climate change: it’s time for the communications industry to pick a side

Climate scientists need professional body to communicate evidence

IPCC reports must be more accessible and practical, academics say

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