While science provides a framework for understanding the world, deciding how to shape policy based on that guidance is a matter of interpretation.

As climate negotiations grind on at the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Dubai, a controversial statement from COP28 President Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber is a reminder of the limitations of science, echoing a lesson we learned during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Recently, the Guardian surfaced comments Al Jaber made at an online event in November. "There is no science out there, or no scenario out there, that says that the phase-out of fossil fuel is what’s going to achieve 1.5 degrees Celsius,” he said. "Show me the roadmap for a phase-out of fossil fuel that will allow for sustainable socioeconomic development, unless you want to take the world back into caves.”