OR, HEAVEN FORBID, if their thinking is too radical reviewers might reject their papers or possibly not even understand them.
Or, heaven forbid, their colleagues might find a flaw in their arguments. So if a meteorite fell on a colleague's head and he disappered into the earth, he/she would say "It appears that something unfortunate has happend to George. However until I investigate further, I will not be certain. Could someone please bring me a shovel."
English: "George is dead. He was struck by an asteroid. Oh! My God...."
Or, perhaps the phrase I dislike the most: "It is highly significant..."
Qualifications destroy the impact of communications. A "future catastrophe" does not shake a person. "Significance" means something totally different to a scientist than to a non-scientist.
In climate change, this is an enormous problem not just with scientists but with the media. A TV anchor never wants to sound like the world is coming to an end, even if it is. And, in this case the audience is everyone. So everything gets watered down.
Then there is the equal time/fairness issue. 95% of scientists get the same coverage as 5%.
From the day I first read of global warming, the The New York Times has burried climate news at the bottom of page 13. Until the past year or so. Now that it is too late, it has a section devoted to climate which I read for the first time yesterday. A summary of it follows; it bears a strinking resemblance to this website. However, the following New York Times story does a good job with 17 questions (and answers).