It's not fun being a climate change scientist these days, when politicians and pundits routinely call you "scam artists" as they trivialize and misrepresent your research. Well, now it's the scientists' turn to speak out. The Guardian offered itself as a venue for scientists to vent their frustrations. And vent they did.
The entire article is worth reading in full. But here are some of the choice responses when a reporter asked scientists what annoys them the most:
Professor Andrew Pitman, director of the Australian Research Council's Centre of Excellence for Climate System Science, University of New South Wales, Sydney:
Many people who would not dream to claim they understand how antibiotics, microprocessors or immunizations work seem happy to wax lyrical on their views on climate change.
A politician or media identity who would be laughed out of office if they said "vaccines don't work" or "I am certain the moon is made of cheese" happily speak equivalent rubbish on climate science, believing their views deserve credit.
I want engineers to build bridges; I want a trained surgeon to operate on hearts and I want some of our decision-makers and commentators to either shut up, or familiarize themselves with climate science well enough to talk sense.
Professor Roger Jones, research fellow at the Centre for Strategic and Economic Studies at Victoria University, Melbourne:
Who am I?
I can be sued for calling a public individual fraudulent but not a whole scientific community or organization – because climate scientists and the IPCC are fraudulent.
I can publish proven lies in my newspaper day after day with no penalty.
I can buy disaffected scientists to deny sound science with a plane fare to a bogus conference and a little publicity.
I can anonymously threaten researchers online, especially the female ones.
If anyone threatens me with facts, I can call them an antidemocratic, anti-jobs, McCarthyist, communist, anti-freedom, pagan environmentalist.
Everyone says there is no consensus.
I deny everything.
Professor Michael Mann, director of Penn State Earth System Science Center, United States:
If there's one concept that is typically misrepresented in the public discourse on climate change, it is the concept of uncertainty.
There are uncertainties in model projections of future climate change. However, these uncertainties cut both ways, and in many cases it appears that model projections have underestimated the rate and magnitude of the climate changes resulting from our burning of fossil fuels and emission of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere. The rapid lost of Arctic sea ice is one such example.
Rather than being cause for inaction, uncertainty is a reason to act all the sooner.
[Read the rest at the Guardian.]