Climate science for everyone! A new scientific journal to watch


I’ve written before about the problem of paywalls in academia. I view them as an unnecessary barrier to people’s ability to educate themselves on just about anything or do things like verify the veracity of claims made by dishonest actors. This is particularly infuriating given the amount of state-funded research, and the inherently collaborative nature of science. I don’t want to come across as an anarchist or anything, but when it comes to knowledge in particular, I believe everything belongs to everyone. Science has always been a collaborative effort, even when some scientists treat their colleagues as competitors or enemies. Research is carried out on the basis of the work of those who have gone before us and any contributions we make will only be a stone in the foundation of what our descendants will create, if we manage to give them this change.

All this to say that I am happy to tell you about a new open access climate science journal.

Oxford Open Climate Change is a wide-ranging, interdisciplinary journal that aims to cover all aspects of climate change, including its impacts on nature and society, as well as solutions to the problem and their wider implications.

The journal will publish research ranging from physical and biogeochemical aspects to social impact and response assessments; from economics and integrated assessments to health, politics and governance; and from natural solutions to technical solutions. The journal will play a key role in disseminating research findings in traditional fields and in breaking down the readership silos seen in more traditional discipline-specific journals.

Oxford Open Climate Change adopts principles of openness that will further contribute to both the dissemination and re-use of published materials. The journal will include both invited contributions and regularly submitted contributions, as well as special issues that examine key issues from a wide range of disciplines. Types of articles will include multidisciplinary journals, research articles, research letters, short communications and editorials. Rigorous peer review is at the heart of all content.

Hats off to my dad for making me realize this.

When I say the newspaper is new, I mean New. He’s had a grand total of two issues so far. Their Justification and opening mandate makes a good argument for the nature of the climate crisis, and while it’s not related to the journal being open access, I think it’s a point worth making. Leaving aside my previously mentioned beliefs about paywalls, it is outrageous that there is a financial barrier to accessing information about what could be the greatest crisis our species has ever faced. We cannot adapt to climate change, or significantly slow its progress, if we continue to treat everything in life as part of a competition.

Beyond that, I like what I see so far. The fact that it’s so new means I can read everything they have in a reasonable amount of time, and even give you a preview! The editorial section, in addition to their justification and mandate mentioned above, includes a clear call to go beyond the inadequate emissions targets currently set by most nations, and for rich nations use their wealth to deal with this global emergency.

In particular, countries that have created the environmental crisis disproportionately must do more to help low- and middle-income countries build cleaner, healthier and more resilient societies. High-income countries must meet and go beyond their exceptional commitment to provide $100 billion a year, making up any shortfalls in 2020 and increasing contributions through 2025 and beyond. Funding should be split equally between mitigation and adaptation, including improving the resilience of health systems. .

Funding should be through grants rather than loans, local capacity building and genuine community empowerment, and should come with the cancellation of large debts, which limit the agency in so many countries to low income. Additional funds must be mobilized to compensate for the inevitable loss and damage caused by the consequences of the environmental crisis.

The fact that our “leaders” continue to be obsessed with profits and private property is a clear symptom of a mental rot prevalent in our ruling classes. Looking at history I guess it shouldn’t be surprising how little value they place on human life, but this indiscriminate charge towards extinction honestly makes me worry about the possibility of a nuclear war in the near future. In the meantime, we continue to do what we can to take the power away from these people, so that we can save ourselves and give them the treatment they apparently need.

The “short talk” addresses geopolitical issues surrounding geoengineering technologies, such as reflecting a significant portion of sunlight away from Earth. Obviously, this is something that would affect the entire planet, and so everyone on the planet, or at least every nation, should have a say in how this is done. Given our current inability to cooperate globally, I think it’s worth thinking about how we might build coalitions like this.

Research articles provide a good introduction to the breadth of topics that Open Oxford Climate Change means to attack. The first article contains everything you might need to know about the diet of a particular Canadian population of polar bears, followed by a discussion of the “sustainability” of fast fashion and the use of a fashion show as a vehicle for climate communication. I doubt there’s much point in me reviewing everything they’ve published so far, but it seems they intend to publish research that covers all aspects of the climate change, from the study of past climate changes and the analysis of current climate sensitivity, to politics. and cultural.

I see this journal as a bit of good news, both in terms of access to research and in terms of the ability for the general public to actually see the work being done. It’s not much, but I’ll take it.

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