Bill McGuire, the scientist quoted by the original Guardian article, seems to feel his words were misinterpreted.
The Guardian quoted McGuire as saying “I know a lot of people working in climate science who say one thing in public but a very different thing in private. In confidence, they are all much more scared about the future we face, but they won’t admit that in public. I call this climate appeasement and I believe it only makes things worse. The world needs to know how bad things are going to get before we can hope to start to tackle the crisis.“.
How does this reconcile with McGuire apparently accusing the Guardian headline writers of misinterpreting his words, with their headline ‘
Soon it will be unrecognisable’: total climate meltdown cannot be stopped, says expert ‘Soon the world will be unrecognisable’: is it still possible to prevent total climate meltdown?. <- Note The Guardian updated their headline, details below.
I invite readers to read the Guardian article which triggered this scramble, see if you can figure out what McGuire’s problem is. I thought the headline was a fair summary of the content – but make up your own minds.
As for Mann, he seems to have taken upon himself the role of Guardian of the Balance.
Keeping the climate alarm movement going appears to be a delicate balancing act between fear and despair. Michael Mann frequently warns activists about the dangers of “climate doomism”, pessimism so intense people lose the motivation to be activists. From what I have read, their ideal activist must be worried enough to be motivated, but must still believe their personal intervention can help avert the crisis.
Of course, not everyone who absorbs the message of climate crisis achieves the mental balance climate leaders encourage.
In 2019 leading drug rehabilitation specialist Dr. Alex Wodak provided an explanation for why drug addiction is soaring, when he testified to an Aussie state government ice inquiry that climate despair is one of the factors which leads young people to destroy their lives with hard drugs.
Update (EW): The Guardian has amended their headline, and provided the following explanation :- The headline of this article was amended on 2 August 2022 to more accurately reflect the concern expressed by Bill McGuire. As the article made clear, he believes climate breakdown is inevitable but that a total cataclysm can still be stopped.