Here’s another one of those examples where the link between scientists and the public can break down, leading to conflicting or erroneous reports.
As reported by the Nature blog The Great Beyond, when the Royal Society released a report on climate geoengineering earlier this week, reporters were scratching their heads about the take-home message from the report. The British coverage was across the map, ranging from Boffins: Give up on CO2 cuts, only geoengineering can work (The Register) to Hopes dashed for geo-engineering solutions (The Financial Times).
The bottom line of the report is really nothing new: we should do everything possible to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, but we should also know the consequences of geoengineering schemes as a last resort.
These differing views raise the question: Is it useful when a scientific body goes on record as saying something middle-of-the-road? If it’s not advancing the science, is it just going to confuse people?