We are in another period, hopefully brief, where the differing sides in the climate debate are not even talking to each other.
Since the Konsensus (different from the scientific consensus) has decided not to debate their opponents, communication was always circumspect, indirect and at the margins–but there were still attempts at communication. At the moment, with Congress harassing scientists, the Konsensus highlighting funding issues and no major scientific announcements in the recent past, it seems that the different sides are talking to each other about next steps. Perhaps after every play (Grijalva throws deep going for it all, but Pielke bats the ball out of the outstretched hands of the receiver…) people just need to go back to the huddle.
It’s not the first time this has happened, but it’s a little disconcerting to see.
It’s not just the major players–Congress, the major societies and organizations, even the major institutions, such as the recently recapitated IPCC–that are spending more time talking within their groups than across the walls. It is of course reflected in the blogosphere as well.
I take a tour of many of the climate blogs almost every day, and those which list recent comments as a guide to who’s participating in the discussion are most helpful. When I look at them, I recognize many of the names and in this current environment the homogeneity of commenters is as good a guide to the atmosphere in the debate as the nature of the posts.
Nick Stokes still comments at Climate Audit, JimD at Climate Etc., and a few skeptics still lob their comment grenades over the wall at Konsensus blogs, but overall we’re preaching to the choir and living in an echo chamber as a result. More typical was a glance this morning at And Then There’s Physics, where the commenters were long time Konsensus militants like Steven Sullivan, dhogaza, etc., while over at Bishop Hill the story is the same, just with regulars from the skeptic corner talking to each other.
The funny thing is that it is obvious from both posts and comments that we’re all reading each others’ stuff–a theme will surface on either side and will be written about shortly thereafter–but no attempts at communication.
It all makes for a very sterile environment and it reduces the very real pleasure of watching the to and fro of the climate debate. I hope this period is short.
I’m very luck that at my other blog (3000 Quads), I have concrete things to write about at this point in time, what with the Department of Energy having just released their Annual Energy Report. If you want something more concrete from me during this rather fallow period of the debate, that’s where you’re likely to find it.