It’s pretty easy to identify those who have chosen sides in the climate wars. Those railing against Willie Soon for non-disclosure of funding sources have adopted the Consensus point of view, while those highlighting Rajendra Pachauri’s resignation on charges of sexual harassment are arrayed against the consensus.
Mainstream media are obliged to acknowledge what’s happening on the other side–The Guardian, a staunch defender of the consensus, did print a story on Rajendra Pachauri and Fox News has covered the Soon controversy. But story emphasis, sources quoted and number of pieces written (or broadcast) make it easy to see.
Bloggers are more transparent. We have been pretty much frozen into our positions for years and I can’t think of a single blogger who has changed their point of view since they began using Web 2.0 to put their ideas out there.
The same is (mostly) true of readers, of course. Those who come to the blogosphere without an informed opinion seem to make up their minds pretty fast and become fans of a certain circle of blogs.
As a Lukewarmer I’m somewhat distanced from the poles of opinion. I think every scientist should disclose funding sources, but at the end of the day it’s the science that matters–if it’s valid, it’s valid no matter who paid for it.
Sexual harassment needs to be treated severely–not because of it being the most heinous crime (surely murder, rape and robbery are worse) but because it is still so prevalent. Its corrosive effects on the victims can last for decades and many careers have been abandoned because of it. It is serious and when the powerful, such as Dominique Strauss Kahn and Rajendra Pachauri are charged with it, we need to make sure the charges are investigated thoroughly.
As it happens, I don’t think Willie Soon is right regarding the influence solar variation has on our climate. As it happens, I think Rajendra Pachauri should have been booted from office for earlier misdeeds and for inattention to the office he held.
As it happens, I think the media fuss over each of them tells us more about the media (and about us) than it does about Soon or Pachauri.
Which means we have all been sucked into another media moment of intense interest that will be forgotten by next week. Have I played a part in all this? yeah, I have. Sorry!