Issue Date: May 24, 2010
James Hansen's book, "Storms of My Grandchildren: The Truth about the Coming Climate Catastrophe and Our Last Chance To Save Humanity," shows that he compromised his credibility by becoming a self-appointed policy wonk (C&EN, March 22, page 49). Just as the first casualty of war is the truth, the first casualty of advocacy is objectivity.
Hansen may or may not be right, but his work suffers from his crusading because he has a personal stake in the cause. There is a role for scientists and there is a different role for crusaders, but you can't pretend to be both at the same time.
El Granada, Calif.
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