Oliver Geden on the integrity of climate scientists

"Climate researchers who advise policy-makers feel that they have two options: be pragmatic or be ignored."

- Oliver Geden, writing in Nature

All eyes were on Paris today as the COP21 climate summit got into full swing. Over the next 11 days, the conference will see more than 190 countries trying to reach difficult decisions about how to reduce greenhouse gases and limit the inevitable temperature rises already on the cards from past and current emission levels.

Geden, of the German Institute for International and Security Affairs in Berlin, predicts that climate experts will be pressured to bend the scientific facts to suit what politicians want to hear. The thorniest request a researcher might receive is the imperative to put forth a model for how we can keep warming down by putting off action until a later date. But such projections are dubious at best. Instead, Geden urges scientists to keep their intellectual independence and not back down, no matter how "politically unpalatable".

The article is available here and Nature has put out an entire special issue of commentary on the topic.