Predicting earthquakes is a much less developed field than predicting climate; perhaps even than predicting weather. So it seems pretty harsh to charge seismologists with manslaughter for not releasing warnings they were not confident had much reliability.

On the other hand, it would be entirely legitimate for future prosecutors to charge climate scientists with manslaughter if they failed to let the world know of the implications for climate change of the release of greenhouse gasses. Instead, people send death threats to the ones who actually do talk about their word.

About Stephen Luntz

I am a science journalist, specialising in Australian and New Zealand research across all fields of science. My book, Forensics, Fossils and Fruitbats: A Field Guide to Australian Scientists is out now through CSIRO Publishing. I am also a professional returning officer for non-government organisations. I'm very politically active, but generally try to restrict this blog to scientific matters.
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