Thanks for this, Matthew. I wonder, though, if you would label a call to 911 that a house is on fire a "political statement."

I'm responding to things in the post like this: "Even when scientists directly call for an emergency declaration, they are still making a political statement, trading on their authority to argue for what should be done. This is the principal reason that such statements only appear as “Commentary” or “Perspective” articles in peer-reviewed journals."

It's important, I think, to separate the empirical reality of the situation--the house is on fire--from the way it is communicated--the call to 911.

It can be simultaneously true that there is an empirically-identified emergency and politicians will use that emergency to further their agendas.

Your post, though, fails a bit to engage on the former in favor of declaring an emergency about the latter.

And it can be true that peer-reviewed journals, themselves driven by internal politics, choose to place these topics into Commentary or Perspective for the reason you identify elsewhere in the piece: they fear "looking political."

So I'm left wondering what the overall point is you're trying to make. Politicians with authoritarian tendencies are going to find ways to be authoritarian. The idea that the scientific community or journalists should downplay the severity of the climate crisis because of how such knowledge might be used by authoritarians seems, to me, like an overly cautious stance, and a stance that supports authoritarians by silencing empirical knowledge. Why let authoritarian priorities dictate science communication, journalism, or anything else?

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