“I Left Out the Full Truth to Get My Climate Change Paper Published”

“I just got published in Nature because I stuck to a narrative I knew the editors would like. That’s not the way science should work.”

By Patrick T Brown

September 5, 2023

If you’ve been reading any news about wildfires this summer—from Canada to Europe to Maui—you will surely get the impression that they are mostly the result of climate change.

Here’s the APClimate change keeps making wildfires and smoke worse. Scientists call it the “new abnormal.

And PBS NewsHour: Wildfires driven by climate change are on the rise—Spain must do more to prepare, experts say.

And The New York TimesHow Climate Change Turned Lush Hawaii Into a Tinderbox.

And BloombergMaui Fires Show Climate Change’s Ugly Reach.

I am a climate scientist. And while climate change is an important factor affecting wildfires over many parts of the world, it isn’t close to the only factor that deserves our sole focus.

So why does the press focus so intently on climate change as the root cause? Perhaps for the same reasons I just did in an academic paper about wildfires in Nature, one of the world’s most prestigious journals: it fits a simple storyline that rewards the person telling it.

The paper I just published—“Climate warming increases extreme daily wildfire growth risk in California”—focuses exclusively on how climate change has affected extreme wildfire behavior. I knew not to try to quantify key aspects other than climate change in my research because it would dilute the story that prestigious journals like Nature and its rival, Science, want to tell.

This matters because it is critically important for scientists to be published in high-profile journals; in many ways, they are the gatekeepers for career success in academia. And the editors of these journals have made it abundantly clear, both by what they publish and what they reject, that they want climate papers that support certain pre-approved narratives—even when those narratives come at the expense of broader knowledge for society.

To put it bluntly, climate science has become less about understanding the complexities of the world and more about serving as a kind of Cassandra, urgently warning the public about the dangers of climate change. However understandable this instinct may be, it distorts a great deal of climate science research, misinforms the public, and most importantly, makes practical solutions more difficult to achieve.

Why is this happening?

It starts with the fact that a researcher’s career depends on his or her work being cited widely and perceived as important. This triggers the self-reinforcing feedback loops of name recognition, funding, quality applications from aspiring PhD students and postdocs, and of course, accolades…

Read the rest: thefp.com/p/i-overhyped-climate-change-to-get-published

7 thoughts on ““I Left Out the Full Truth to Get My Climate Change Paper Published””

  1. The problems facing man have to be environmental so that the anti human policies of their new world order can be justified. We breath out carbon dioxide and most activities of modern life (such a combustion reactions) have carbon dioxide as a byproduct. More carbon dioxide will make the earth greener. But anyway, the same people who convinced others that modifying their RNA is a suitable way of fighting a cold also tell us how deadly carbon dioxide is, precisely to justify anti-human and anti-life measures to “save the environment”.

  2. So basically this man compromised himself to comply with the propaganda in order to get ahead.An example of outstanding character 🥴

  3. He massaged the “science” to get published. That’s a problem. OTOH, after going public with it, I should imagine he’ll never get published again. Is that enough to recoup his credibility? IDK.

  4. Re “Maui fires”

    What’s the real meaning that the Maui fires had been planned and started with DEW technology (https://forbiddenknowledgetv.net/another-smoking-gun-maui-fire-breaks-science-as-we-know-it)?

    It’s this…

    The state of the world or humanity is the outcome of what humans are afflicted with — a Fatal Soullessness Spectrum Disorder … https://www.rolf-hefti.com/covid-19-coronavirus.html

    The problem is not at all just a matter of the bad guys at the top. Although nearly everybody of the public loves that fake narrative, for purely self-interested reasons, of course.

    “Our current ‘state’ is the dictatorship of evil. We know that already, I hear you object, and we don’t need you to reproach us for it yet again. But, I ask you, if you know that, then why don’t you act? Why do you tolerate these rulers gradually robbing you, in public and in private, of one right after another, until one day nothing, absolutely nothing, remains but the machinery of the state, under the command of criminals and drunkards?” (from a White Rose Pamphlet, the ‘White Rose’ was a German resistance group fighting Hitler’s Nazi regime)

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