I find it refreshing to take a tour around the weblogs I link to at the right of this page. Sadly, the only day I have enough time to do so in a relaxed manner is Sunday.
One of the reasons it’s relaxing is that so many bloggers have their own ‘schtick,’ issues they return to frequently and on which they have opinions so fixed that most regular readers could write their posts for them.
One of the reasons it’s refreshing is that some bloggers are always looking at a fresh side of the many-faceted climate issue and bringing new insights and data to the scrum.
I want to highlight the recent posts of Roger Pielke Jr., someone who raises the hackles of many in the climate activist community. They will say they don’t like him because he’s not a climate scientist (he’s a social scientist focused on policy responses to all sorts of resource issues). But in fact they can’t abide Roger because he brings inconvenient facts to discussions that activists seem to wish were dominated by emotion and prepared messaging. He, along with scientist Chris Landsea, have almost managed to turn the tide against the corporate multinational that environmentalists have learned to love, Munich Re.
Munich Re has for years published slanted statistics claiming that everything is getting worser and worserer and that everybody needs to load up on insurance products. And some activists sure do like that worser and worserer stuff.
Anyway, Roger has a series of excellent posts up on his weblog written in the past week or so. Faith-based Science Policy looks at the somewhat magical chain whereby funding of research is ‘guaranteed’ to produce social benefits. As someone who is a strong believer in research funded by the public sector (I like the Internet), it’s a refreshing challenge to my decades-old preconceptions.
Probably more to my taste is his post Science Is The Shortcut, which starts off critiquing recent work by Naomi Oreskes and Michael Oppenheimer (both of whom really need serious critiques, if not criticism), but quickly veers into an interesting look at the accuracy of climate science findings. (It now has been around long enough to start evaluating predictions–just where are those gazillion climate refugees hiding?)
Pielke has several other interesting posts up–and what I find most intriguing is that he is blogging more frequently than he normally does. I wonder what’s up with him?
If you want to understand a bit more about the relative positions of the different political approaches to climate change, it might be instructive to read not just the posts but the comments sections regarding the recent publication of Zeke Hausfather et al that helps clarify the effects of the Urban Heat Island on our understanding of temperature moves.
It is covered on the staunchly consensus website Real Climate here, on the Lukewarmer site The Blackboard here, and on skeptical website Watts Up With That here. If you’re feeling supremely ambitious you can even read the actual paper, available here.
What I find interesting is that in the past, political differences between the various discussants would often give the impression that they were discussing different documents entirely. When new papers came out on things like sea level rise, or impacts on the environment like the spread of malaria, it really was like there was a wall that had been erected between the two camps and that bloggers from one side would look for any strand of support for their side and the others would look for anything that could be used to attack it.
Perhaps because Hausfather has been a thorough gentleman in all his travels through the blogosphere, that doesn’t seem to be happening here.
Closer to home, this blog has hosted a discussion between Matt Ridley and myself on one of the posts evaluating the ten tests he wrote about in an essay on what he would need to support climate policies.