Climate scientists should not blame themselves for not making the case for Climate Change clear enough to the public several decades ago. The public should blame themselves for not taking the trouble to listen intently enough about such a moral, scientific, and existential issue.
Dr. Hansen is quoted in the above article:
A possible answer, which seems to be the one that Hansen himself, at least in part, subscribes to, is that scientists are to blame. Hansen is now seventy-seven and retired from nasa. He recently told the Associated Press that he regrets not being “able to make this story clear enough for the public.”
I think Dr. Hansen and many of the climate scientists at that time; the first (2000), second (2009), third (2014, and fourth(2017), the five Assessment Reports from the , were entirely clear. The writers, news stories, documentaries, and the efforts of many groups like the Sierra Club have made it abundantly clear early on that the science behind Climate Change was increasing robust and worthy of the public attention. But the public has not responded on a scale and time frame that is consistent with the science.
The public should get addressing Climate Change and taking the trouble to really listen to what climate scientists are saying. If you care to watch,is a large collection of short videos by climate scientists bending over backwards to explain every aspect of the science behind Climate Change to the public.
Is the answer to the public’s inertia on Climate Change for activists to reach across the political aisle and appease those who steadfastly refuse to admit what is obvious to most Americans and nations around the world? Is the answer to the rise in racism finding a middle ground? I think not.
Pushing the science does not seem to have moved the public forward towards solutions on a scale and time frame that will matter—but that doesn’t mean we should play down the role of science in an issue that is essentially science. We should work together for solutions, but we can’t have our cake and eat it too: we cannot address Climate Change and have endless growth, an economic system heedless of our environment, and hold ideological stances that don’t match the science of our climate crisis. The science behind Climate Change should be elevated to the position it deserves when addressing this issue—at the top. If it isn’t, then the other issues involved—politics, environmental and economic justice, and energy solutions -- will be moot.
Missed Dr. Hansen’s talk in Rochester, NY on April 21st in 2015 at Monroe County Community College? Watch the entire speech, with an introduction by Dr. Susan Spencer. Very high quality.