I think “We are not very good in dealing with the press” really means “we should have been more honest.” The press, especially in the US, has given the AGW movement a free pass, being all too eager to hype the latest alarmist theme and bury any negative publicity. This led to a situation where the scientists felt they could act with impunity.

Through a combination of hubris, dishonesty and paranoia the AGW movement has poisoned the well. Among a significant portion of the population they are simply no longer credible. No matter what report or chart they offer the reaction will be “these are the same guys that lied to us before, and we’re supposed to believe them now?”

My advice would be to do the simple things: respond to FOI requests promptly, release all information, and do not overstate your case. If you have the slightest reservations about a finding, say so. If you find an inaccuracy, admit it. Clean house at the IPCC, and put the Climategate principals out to pasture. Don’t get embroiled in arguments over minutia. Stop talking about “settled science” and apologize for ever once having used the word “denier.”

If you want society to act you need a consensus, and a consensus requires trust.

Good luck. You have a long road ahead of you.

— JLD

CJR and media, please read the comment by “JLD” posted above.

Keep in mind also what you (hopefully) already understand: The fact that all of the major scientific organizations worldwide, with any credibility, see climate change as being a very real and highly-highly likely problem.

Now, do you (media) understand that your coverage of the matter is partly, and perhaps wholly, responsible for the (lack of) understanding that many people seem to have? Look at JLD’s comment, compare that to the broad scientific assessments, and then ask yourselves, “did our coverage contribute to this misunderstanding?”

— Jeff Huggins

> “Margot Roosevelt, an environment reporter for the Los Angeles Times, said scientists need to engage more actively in the public debate. She said her paper’s environment blog, Greenspace, was frequently barraged with comments— …from climate contrarians”

I’m hoping this juxtaposition doesn’t mean that she wants scientists wasting their time in unmoderated, unfiltered comment sections. If the newspaper’s providing a forum for spreading disinformation, it is the newspaper’s responsibility to fix.

Also, ditto to Jeff H’s first comment, that the lion’s share of the blame for this predicament sure as hell doesn’t lie with the scientists.

— Anna Haynes

The Editors