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Froilan Bersamina, The Western Journal


NextImg:Scientist Admits to Omitting 'Full Truth' of Climate Wildfires Causes for Publication – Says It's Typical

Are both mainstream research and establishment media purposely misleading the public about wildfires’ root causes?

A climate researcher appears to have affirmed this by exposing a “reward” system in prestigious research journals like Nature and the mainstream media’s handling of wildfire stories.

Patrick Brown, an adjunct faculty member at Johns Hopkins University and co-director of the Climate and Energy Team at the Breakthrough Institute, shed light on the behind-the-scenes dynamics of high-profile scientific journals and their preference for research that aligns with certain pre-approved narratives.

In an article in The Free Press titled “I Left Out the Full Truth to Get My Climate Change Paper Published,” Brown alleged that “high-profile journals” and the mainstream media deliberately misled the public by emphasizing climate change as the primary factor behind wildfires while downplaying other crucial influences.

“I am a climate scientist. And while climate change is an important factor affecting wildfires over many parts of the world, it isn’t close to the only factor that deserves our sole focus,” Brown said, questioning the media’s obsession with attributing recent wildfires primarily to climate change.

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He said that this selective publication process encourages scientists to craft research that reinforces the “mainstream” perspective, even if it means omitting or downplaying alternative factors influencing wildfires.

Brown’s admission stems from his involvement in a recent study co-authored by him that attributed wildfires in California solely to climate change.

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This study, published in the prestigious scientific journal Nature, garnered significant attention, especially after Brown, the lead author of the study, published the Free Press article criticizing the publication practices.

Brown took to X, the social media platform formerly known as Twitter, admitting that their research omitted other potential causes of wildfires, such as “changes in human ignition patterns and changes in land use and vegetation/fuels.”

According to Brown, the decision to exclusively focus on the impact of climate change was driven by the desire to have the research published in a “high-impact journal.”

He said, “This research looked at the effect of warming in isolation, but that warming is just one of many important influences on wildfires.”

In his article, Brown bluntly highlights the incentive mechanism that rewards scientists for fitting their research into a “simple storyline.”

He said that editors at esteemed journals prefer climate papers that align with “certain preapproved narratives—even when those narratives come at the expense of broader knowledge for society.”

“Put simply, I’ve found that there is a formula for success for publishing climate change research in the most prestigious and widely-read scientific journals,” Brown posted on X, adding that including other “relevant factors” as the cause of wildfires unfortunately “makes the research less useful.”

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Additionally, Brown pointed out several tactics used in climate change fearmongering, The Blaze reported.

These include downplaying meaningful actions that could “counter the impact of climate change,” focusing on sensational “metrics” at the expense of relevance or actionable information, and assessing climate change magnitude “over centuries” while ignoring technological and societal changes.

Nature responded on Thursday, denying any preferred narrative and highlighting recent articles that contradict Brown’s claims, The Mercury News reported.

Editor-in-Chief Magdalena Skipper said they are assessing Brown’s actions, which they find reflect poor research practices and do not align with their journal’s standards.

“When it comes to science, Nature does not have a preferred narrative,” Skipper said.

Skipper also mentioned that peer reviewers had raised questions about missing variables in Brown’s study, but the authors opposed their inclusion, a point disputed by Brown on social media.

Co-author Steven J. Davis, a UC Irvine Earth science professor, expressed surprise at Brown’s comments, saying, “we don’t know whether a different paper would have been rejected.”

Co-author Craig Clements, head of San Jose State’s wildfire research center, also praised the study for its robust scientific work, including cutting-edge techniques like AI models.

“I recognize journals such as Nature, one of the most respected science publications in the world, have rigorous editorial processes and appreciate the fact that they saw the value of the important science that this study advances,” Clements said, according to the Mercury News.

Contrary to the recent studies published in research journals, reports from authorities have indicated that human ignition and even arson were the actual causes of a number of recent wildfires.

In Louisiana, authorities reported that the largest wildfire in the state was intentionally ignited in August, with a $2,000 reward offered for information leading to the arrest and conviction of those responsible.

Moreover, state authorities reported that a 37-year-old individual was arrested Aug. 26 for making threats to ignite a significant fire during a burn ban.

In California, a former sociology and criminology professor faced charges for allegedly setting four wildfires in national forests as part of an “arson spree” during the summer of 2021, The New York Times reported.

This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.