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Why scientists are using the word scary over the climate crisis

The former BBC environment analyst Roger Harrabin has spent his career talking to scientists. Now they’re telling him they’re scared of what they’re seeing

Back in the 1980s, when climate research began to really take off, scientists were desperate to retain their credibility as they unravelled the potentially dire consequences of the “new” phenomenon of global warming. Most journalists tiptoed round this topic because no one wanted to lose their reputation by scaremongering. But as the science steadily became overwhelming researchers pushed their conclusions in the face of policymakers.

More and more scientists are now admitting publicly that they are scared by the recent climate extremes, such as the floods in Pakistan and west Africa, the droughts and heatwaves in Europe and east Africa, and the rampant ice melt at the poles.

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