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January 01, 2007

Nonskeptical Heretics in the NYT


Posted to Author: Pielke Jr., R. | Climate Change

Andy Revkin has a well-done article on the "middle ground" in the climate change debate. I fully expect that many of the usual suspects on the extremes of the debate (both sides) will respond to this story by saying that they've been in the middle all along. A two-sided debate rarely welcomes a third view, especially one that makes as much sense as that espoused in the NYT article. Here is an excerpt:

Amid the shouting lately about whether global warming is a human-caused catastrophe or a hoax, some usually staid climate scientists in the usually invisible middle are speaking up.

The discourse over the issue has been feverish since Hurricane Katrina. Seizing the moment, many environmental campaigners, former Vice President Al Gore and some scientists have portrayed the growing human influence on the climate as an unfolding disaster that is already measurably strengthening hurricanes, spreading diseases and amplifying recent droughts and deluges.

Conservative politicians and a few scientists, many with ties to energy companies, have variously countered that human-driven warming is inconsequential, unproved or a manufactured crisis.

A third stance is now emerging, espoused by many experts who challenge both poles of the debate.

They agree that accumulating carbon dioxide and other heat-trapping smokestack and tailpipe gases probably pose a momentous environmental challenge, but say the appropriate response is more akin to buying fire insurance and installing sprinklers and new wiring in an old, irreplaceable house (the home planet) than to fighting a fire already raging.

"Climate change presents a very real risk," said Carl Wunsch, a climate and oceans expert at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. "It seems worth a very large premium to insure ourselves against the most catastrophic scenarios. Denying the risk seems utterly stupid. Claiming we can calculate the probabilities with any degree of skill seems equally stupid."

Many in this camp seek a policy of reducing vulnerability to all climate extremes while building public support for a sustained shift to nonpolluting energy sources.

They have made their voices heard in Web logs, news media interviews and at least one statement from a large scientific group, the World Meteorological Organization. In early December, that group posted a statement written by a committee consisting of most of the climatologists assessing whether warming seas have affected hurricanes.

While each degree of warming of tropical oceans is likely to intensify such storms a percentage point or two in the future, they said, there is no firm evidence of a heat-triggered strengthening in storms in recent years. The experts added that the recent increase in the impact of storms was because of more people getting in harms way, not stronger storms.

There are enough experts holding such views that Roger A. Pielke Jr., a political scientist and blogger at the University of Colorado, Boulder, came up with a name for them (and himself): "nonskeptical heretics."

"A lot of people have independently come to the same sort of conclusion," Dr. Pielke said. "We do have a problem, we do need to act, but what actions are practical and pragmatic?"

Posted on January 1, 2007 10:44 AM

Comments

Seems the carbon traders are claiming the "middle ground" here. Plenty good money to be made, moving those carbon credits around...

The neoalarmists are still quashing the unaddressed or unresolved uncertainties of convection (warm air rises?), clouds, flora response, etc. while ignoring real problems such as black carbon particulate pollution settling on the Arctic ice, destruction of arable land, and other population boom problems.

Then again, it looks like something is happening, although the last decade (okay, 8 years) has shown a temperature plateau so it's definitely not "accelerating" like the Chicken Littles say.

Posted by: Steve Hemphill [TypeKey Profile Page] at January 1, 2007 12:33 PM


Steve,

You can not get any information out of noisy data (like annual mean temperatures) without smoothing. Lines drawn between individual are irtually meaningless.

http://illconsidered.blogspot.com/2006/04/warming-stopped-in-1998.html

Posted by: coby [TypeKey Profile Page] at January 1, 2007 01:19 PM


Congratulations on your feature in this article Roger.

Personally I think "skeptical heretic" is not a constructive term. It endorses the language of only one side of the debate, "skeptic" is their own term and the religious angle is a particularily disingenuous tactic of the denialists. Not really a good label for a group that is supposed to be balanced.

I don't have a registration for NYT:

"A lot of people have independently come to the same sort of conclusion," Dr. Pielke said. "We do have a problem, we do need to act, but what actions are practical and pragmatic?"

Is there something following that, it is not really a conclusion, it is a question?

Posted by: coby [TypeKey Profile Page] at January 1, 2007 01:31 PM


Coby-

For background on the NSH phrase, originally put forward partially tongue-in-cheek, see:
http://sciencepolicy.colorado.edu/prometheus/archives/climate_change/000828gregg_welcome_to_th.html

and

http://sciencepolicy.colorado.edu/prometheus/archives/climate_change/000830reaction_to_comments.html

On the term "heretic," well, I do think that it fits pretty well based on my own experiences, see, e.g.:
http://sciencepolicy.colorado.edu/prometheus/archives/disasters/000741reactions_to_searchi.html

Here is what follows immediately after my excerpt:

"This approach was most publicly laid out in an opinion article on the BBC Web site in November by Mike Hulme, the director of the Tyndall Center for Climate Change Research in Britain.

Dr. Hulme said that shrill voices crying doom could paralyze instead of inspire.

I have found myself increasingly chastised by climate change campaigners when my public statements and lectures on climate change have not satisfied their thirst for environmental drama, he wrote. I believe climate change is real, must be faced and action taken. But the discourse of catastrophe is in danger of tipping society onto a negative, depressive and reactionary trajectory.

Other experts say there is no time for nuance, given the general lack of public response to the threat posed particularly by carbon dioxide, a byproduct of burning fossil fuels and forests that persists for a century or more in the air and is accumulating rapidly in the atmosphere and changing the pH of the oceans."

Posted by: Roger Pielke, Jr. [TypeKey Profile Page] at January 1, 2007 01:38 PM


Dr. Hulme said that shrill voices crying doom could paralyze instead of inspire.

I have found myself increasingly chastised by climate change campaigners when my public statements and lectures on climate change have not satisfied their thirst for environmental drama, he wrote. I believe climate change is real, must be faced and action taken. But the discourse of catastrophe is in danger of tipping society onto a negative, depressive and reactionary trajectory.

Other experts say there is no time for nuance, given the general lack of public response to the threat posed particularly by carbon dioxide, a byproduct of burning fossil fuels and forests that persists for a century or more in the air and is accumulating rapidly in the atmosphere and changing the pH of the oceans."

It is interesting to see these tendencies pointed out so clearly. The first conference paper I ever gave looked at exactly these types of issues in the work of Elinor Ostrom. Basically it involves postulating a "Tragedy of the Commons" game (or a variation thereof). Whenever you hear talk of "tipping points" you are getting the same argument as well. Now, I don't have problems with claiming this or that real life situation examplifies a TOTC game, but there are certain conditions that have to be met to make that claim.

That is why so many take umbrage at the "rapid changes" argument. In many ways it looks like an attempt to impose a particular political viewpoint without scrutiny. It seems as if there are those who wish to impose massive socio-political changes no matter what, and those who claim that climate change just might be something we can manage and deal with as individual problems arise are seen as a threat. (The near hysterical reaction to the work of Lomborg seems to back up this contention.)

However, I doubt if the media at large will be able to present the middle ground fairly. It simply doesn't stand a chance against the voices of impending catastrophe.

Now I'M the pessimist.

Posted by: Rich Horton at January 1, 2007 05:43 PM


RE: Nonskeptical Heretics

While I get the phrase is partially tongue-in-cheek, more seriously I wish to restore skepticism to it's proper role in science. So I prefer the phrase "the appropriately skeptical concerned" or "concerned but appropriately skeptical".

Posted by: Cortlandt at January 2, 2007 02:08 AM


It is always encouraging to see commentary in the Media which tries to comment on the more realistic and less extreme aspects of what is going on in climate science, and Andy Revkin deserves credit for that, I suppose. But the article itself is phrased in terms which encourage a policy of procrastination, whilst attributing the 'middle ground' to one perspective (not dissimilar to your own, Roger), which is most likely not the actual 'middle ground' of current climate science debate.

If I were to deconstruct the article in detail it would take far too long, but suffice it to say that the ultimate impact of the article is, in reality, conservative in tone and implication. Several features persist; the conflation of climate science and environmentalism; the fixation on the 'hurricane question', which to me at least appears to be a function of a distinctively American 'blame culture' and a knee-jerk which diverts attention away from the political embarrassment caused by Katrina and its aftermath, rather than a central issue of global warming, and some misrepresentation of the views of Carl Wunsch and Mike Hulme (the 'expert testimony' in the article), whose conclusions are not those suggested by Andy Revkin.

The essence of the Andy Revkin's point is good - that a middle ground exists and is probably more 'reasonable' (by definition!) than 'extreme' opinions - but he appears to be describing a 'camp' in climate science which looks less like the 'middle ground' and a bit more like the 'Pielke ground', which is nice for you, but not necessarily accurate.

On the 'nonskeptical heretic' and other labels: inasmuch as they have any merit or value, I am with Coby on this, that it does rather play with the language of one side of the debate. In describing yourself, RPSr. and other 'nonskepticals', I have come to use the term 'maverick' which, whilst it may somewhat romanticise the viewpoint, at least avoids the pitfalls of the quasi-religious language. Given that you are not any kind of denialist, and not really a 'skeptic' in the sense that the term is used in climate science, perhaps you could 'come out' and ditch that nomenclature in favour of something less 'loaded', though I am at a loss as to what might be most appropriate.

Regards,

Posted by: Fergus Brown at January 2, 2007 04:20 AM


Cortlandt, Fergus- Thanks for your comments ... a few replies:

1. My original formulation was "non-skeptic heretic" with "skeptic" as a noun. Revkin asked if it was OK to change to an adjective, and I said OK, but it does loose some of its subtlety, which is inevitable. Nonethelss, I have no doubt that "skeptic-obsession" is alive and well, see e.g., the recent RealClimate year in review focused almost entirely on the skeptics/contrarians.

2. The middle ground, as I've described it has nothing to do with science, but instead politics. On the one hand you have Al Gore calling for an immediate freeze of CO2 (good luck with that) and James Inhofe saying the issue is a hoax. Many scientists are lining up behind Gore, and their political opponents behind Inhofe. My view is that neither position is politically practical or effective.

3. Whatever it is called, that a third way position exists needs to be recognized. My inbox yesterday and today has a bunch of emails from people accusing me of being with the other guys -- from both sides! In a culture of "if you are not with us you are with them" defining a third way perspective is critical.

Thanks!

Posted by: Roger Pielke, Jr. [TypeKey Profile Page] at January 2, 2007 07:07 AM


As a non-scientifical reader of this esteemed website, Realclimate and Climateaudit, it strikes me that only on this and Climateaudit I am allowed to throw in my (sometimes sceptic) layman opinion, whereas attempt to enter realclimate is impossible (censorship?)

Every claim of the AGW alarmist being unravelled means another claim have to be true in square to be believed again by the "ordinary" people. I think Mr.Von Storch has adressed this issue some time ago.

I wish both you Mr.Pielke, and Mr.McIntyre from Climateaudit a Happy and insightful 2007. Keep on doing the good work for us "ordinary" fellow occupants of Mother Earth.

Posted by: Vasco at January 2, 2007 07:11 AM


http://scienceblogs.com/framing-science/2007/01/communicating_climate_change_r.php

Over at Framing Science, I've got a lengthy post detailing why the "invisible middle" is a useful guide for journalists to stick to in reporting, and how public opinion polls show that the "unfolding disaster" frame used by Gore et al. does not appear to be engaging the public.

Posted by: Matthew C. Nisbet at January 2, 2007 10:17 AM


Matt- Thanks! I just left a comment on your site. I encourage folks to have a look at your comments. The excerpts from your earlier interview with Andy Revkin add a lot of important context. Happy 2007!

Posted by: Roger Pielke, Jr. [TypeKey Profile Page] at January 2, 2007 10:56 AM


The biggest appeal of the 'third way' for policy makers lies in its balanced and realistic approach. Claims that we have only 10 years to prevent global catastrophe are simply incompatible with the almost certain increase in greenhouse gas emissions in much of booming Asia and the developed world. There is no way to significantly reduce CO2 emissions in the short term (without extreme economic costs and extreme political risks), but probable in the long term. For this to happen, however, we need time and patience and new technologies that aren't even invented or introduced yet. Any government that is considering a common sensical and widely acceptable climate policy will, by necessity, have to resort to a long-term and cost-effective agenda that inevitably goes against unrealistic demands by catastrophists and activists.

Posted by: Benny Peiser [TypeKey Profile Page] at January 2, 2007 12:27 PM


Lots of discussion in the blogosphere on the emerging middle ground in the climate debate. Much of it is positive. With more time to surf the blogosphere than usual on this last day of winter break, here are some links. Feel free to add more in these comments.

At ScienceBlogs:

Chris Mooney finds the notion of NSHers somewhat compelling.
http://scienceblogs.com/intersection/2007/01/nonskeptical_heretics_unfrozen.php

Matt Nisbet, as usual, has a thoughtful and substantive comment.
http://scienceblogs.com/framing-science/2007/01/communicating_climate_change_r.php

Tim Lambert uses the story in odd fashion to take a pot shot at me.
http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2007/01/claiming_the_middle_ground.php

James Hrynyshyn finds the article to be responsible.
http://scienceblogs.com/islandofdoubt/2007/01/a_voice_of_reason_1.php

Posted by: Roger Pielke, Jr. [TypeKey Profile Page] at January 2, 2007 12:42 PM


I'm pleased to hear that a "middle way" is being articulated. What this suggests to me is that as the time for foumulating concrete, actionable policies is upon us, pragmatism, realism and restraint come to the fore. I fear, however, that the integrity of the scientific process has sustained more damage than our environment. How will we repair the damage done?

Posted by: bob koepp at January 2, 2007 12:44 PM


More at Knight Science Journalism:

http://ksjtracker.mit.edu/?p=1794

Posted by: Roger Pielke, Jr. [TypeKey Profile Page] at January 2, 2007 01:25 PM


Gristmill's David Roberts, who once said that we should not adapt to climate change because it would hurt chances for his desired political changes on energy policy, but then changed his mind, and then said that climate skeptics should be tried Nuremburg-style, and then changed his mind, now issues a rant focused on me based on Revkin's article:

http://gristmill.grist.org/story/2007/1/2/131839/3289

He summarizes a perspective which he attributes (incorrectly) only to me as follows, then he explains how this perspective is wrong on every count:

1. There is a "climate debate," dominated by extremists. On one side are those who say global warming isn't happening, or isn't a big deal. On the other side are those who say global warming will be a catastrophe and we should mobilize immediately to take action.

[RP: Duh! Hello? This seems like a pretty good summary of the debate over the past decade or so. Roberts later says, "there is no such two-sided debate." and then goes on to describe the two-sided debate in great detail;-)]

2. Between these two extremes is a reasonable, balanced middle position, which is: we're not certain exactly what the effects of climate change will be, but the potential risks are large, so it's worth hedging our bets by acting to reduce emissions as an "insurance policy."

[RP: I've never promoted the notion of an "insurance policy". I think that Steve Schneider and others have. Interestingly Roberts doesn't direct any of his wrath at Wunsch, Wallace, Hulme. Revkin could have interviewed many others as well. I appreciate Roberts' giving me credit for this "middle ground," but I am just part of it. His focus on me is more personal than anything else I am afraid.]

3. The extremists on either side are invested in having a vicious two-sided fight and will thus try to exclude this reasonable middle stance.

[RP: Read the rest of Roberts' piece for good support for this!]

Posted by: Roger Pielke, Jr. [TypeKey Profile Page] at January 2, 2007 03:30 PM


Roger, I have a question. I have heard you state that you accept the IPCC conclusions about the state of climate research and AGW. I have also heard you say that you think reducing carbon emissions is a good idea, but this should not detract from more efficacious adaptation options. How is this view point (which i assume typifies the non skeptic heretic position) somehow closer to "middle" than the 90% or so of climate researchers who pursue their science that largely consists of trying to address various uncertainties in the observations or climate models (are acting as scientific skeptics on some level, while buying the overall greenhouse warming argument), and has nothing to say on the subject of policies (adaptation or mitigation) other than to say there is a risk that needs to be considered by policy makers. Very few scientists have said anything more than this (although there are a vew very vocal people who have said much more). The few vocal scientists (both "warmers" and skeptics) have their messages greatly amplified by advocacy groups. A big majority of scientists working in government labs or universities have nothing to say about the policy options other than to point out out the risks. So this is truly a silent middle, that is different from the vocal non skeptical heretics.

Posted by: Judith Curry at January 2, 2007 03:39 PM


Hi Judy- Thanks for your comment and happy 2007!

Let me say first that the notion of a "middle ground" is not one that I've emphasized. (It is interesting that this phrase has been picked up by several critics of Revkin's article.) When I first brought up the notion of "non-skeptic heretic" I did so tongue-in-cheek as part of our ongoing discussion here (and at Kevin's blog) about "tribalism" in the climate debate. It seemed to me that there is plenty of room for another "tribe." Whether it is up, down, left, right, or middle I don't know. It does seem to cut across political boundaries in a way yet-to-be-seen in the climate debate (e.g., includes both Greg Easterbrook and Dan Sarewitz), which clearly troubles some people.

When I first wrote about this I said the following:

"But what is it that I mean by "non-skeptic heretic"? These are people who accept the science of climate change but do not engage in meaningless exhortations or bland political statements, and instead openly confront some of the real but uncomfortable practical challenges involved with reducing emissions and adapting to climate."

I do mean by this those who openly discuss policy options. I absolutely don't mean the scientific middle ground, which the IPCC WG1 seems to capture pretty well.

So I agree with you 100% when you say "A big majority of scientists working in government labs or universities have nothing to say about the policy options other than to point out out the risks." But these aren't who I at least am referring to. Staying silent on matters of policy when can mean ceding the policy discussion to the fringes or being used by advocates, a subject

Revkin's story did a nice job acknowledging that there is this point of view. Had he been given another quarter page;-) it would have been nice to see some discussion of the views of people like Steve Rayner, Rob Lempert, Karen O'Brien, Frank Laird, and others. If these are unfamiliar names to you, well, that is part of the point of recognizing that there are some smart people saying some really valuable things but who are not really recognized.

Hope this makes sense ...

Posted by: Roger Pielke, Jr. [TypeKey Profile Page] at January 2, 2007 05:03 PM


Revkin's response to Roberts is worth a read:

http://gristmill.grist.org/story/2007/1/2/131839/3289#1

Posted by: Roger Pielke, Jr. [TypeKey Profile Page] at January 2, 2007 05:05 PM


Congratulations on breaking through the noise that so often dominates this debate in the national press.

It is refreshening to see that Mr. Revkin is expanding his rolodex (well, Outlook anyway) beyond the usual suspects residing at it's extremities.

As for the blog attack-puppets like Lambert and Robert, pay them no mind. Desperate to get the all important blog-hit ratings, they are simply pandering to the preconceptions of their true-believer readership.

Posted by: bubba at January 2, 2007 07:01 PM


Roger,

I think your atrocious coinage "nonskeptical heretic" devalues and dishonors an honorable and essential trait in any scientist. Scientists are supposed to be skeptical.

Pete

Posted by: Pete Petrakis at January 2, 2007 07:13 PM


Roger - you quoted, back at 7:07 this morning (great subject.): "Other experts say there is no time for nuance, given the general lack of public response to the threat posed particularly by carbon dioxide, a byproduct of burning fossil fuels and forests that persists for a century or more in the air"

This is another typical fearmonger deception of the alarmists - hard to believe it was said by real scientists. It's been shown quite adequately that the half life of CO2 in the atmosphere is on the order of about 3 decades. Here's the latest I could find on that:
http://www.stanford.edu/group/efmh/fossil/fossil.html

It seems that since concentration goes up by less than half of emissions, a *lot* of it is going somewhere fast, and the average lifetime is not "a century or more".

Jacobson brings up another excellent point there (the actual subject of the piece). Reminding me of the horribly ugly black stained ice at the start of "An Inconvenient Truth", new research showing the influence of black carbon on the Arctic is indicative of why artificially limiting CO2 emissions (and hobbling society) is possibly not anywhere near an efficient answer to the "global warming problem".

How about if the U.S. gives scrubbers to China for their new coal plants? Does that sound maybe more cost effective? It sounds to me like it's worth some more investigation anyway...

Posted by: Steve Hemphill [TypeKey Profile Page] at January 2, 2007 08:15 PM


Pete- Thanks for your comment, as I replied to a similar comment earlier:

1My original formulation was "non-skeptic heretic" with "skeptic" as a noun. Revkin asked if it was OK to change to an adjective, and I said OK, but it does lose some of its subtlety, which is inevitable.

I agree, scientists are supposed to be skeptical!

Posted by: Roger Pielke, Jr. [TypeKey Profile Page] at January 2, 2007 08:22 PM


As an antidote to the recent feature on NSH, here are three pub quiz questions:

How many years can prophets of doom reiterate that "in 10 years time it will be too late to reverse the effects of global warming" - before they might be compared to Millerites?

In what year was this doomsday calculation first published?

What are the likely reactions to a failure of doomsday to materialise in the next decade?


10 YEARS TO SAVE PLANET
http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/tm_headline=10-years-to-save-planet-&method=full&objectid=18364474&siteid=94762-name_page.html

IN 10 years time it will be too late to reverse the effects of global warming, a climate change expert warned yesterday. Scientist Jim Hansen - one of the first to start alarm bells ringing in 1988 - said that unless cuts in pollution started happening within the next decade we would reach the "tipping point" where the damage could not be undone.....


Posted by: Benny Peiser [TypeKey Profile Page] at January 3, 2007 09:20 AM


RE: reputed conflation of environmentalism with so called "climate science." It has been my finding that there is a self identifying (possibly, numerical minority) subculture within the overall "climate science" group who have stepped right into that morass. Take for example some bloggers who will not be specifically named here, who essentially run a "climate science" blog which is fairly obviously positioning itself to appeal to environmentalists, the political left, Europeans who think Americans are wasteful (and the American subculture who agree with that) as well as the vast amorphous group who hate the current US adminstration.

Now, in response to that, I could be a reactionary and set up my own blog, and recruit my own cadre of "climate scientists" and appeal to Right wingers, aging excutives running long existing (and slowly dying) energy companies, American nationalists, etc.

Why must the third way stir the ire of the Greens? After all, if the goal is truly one of environmental awareness and more ecologically attuned living, why not lend support to those who simply want to use pure science to assess, rank, and allocate effort to environmental issues based on their actual risks and impacts? What could be so threatening about that? Sounds like a win - win scenario to me.

Posted by: Steve Sadlov at January 3, 2007 10:59 AM


This paragraph really bothers me:

"They agree that accumulating carbon dioxide and other heat-trapping smokestack and tailpipe gases probably pose a momentous environmental challenge, but say the appropriate response is more akin to buying fire insurance and installing sprinklers and new wiring in an old, irreplaceable house (the home planet) than to fighting a fire already raging."

The comparison to a raging fire is terrible intended to make the advocates of insuring and adapting to risks look foolish. If your house is a raging inferno, of course you don't go running around looking to insure it.

Comparing global warming to an already raging fire dismisses preventative engineering solutions.

Posted by: Patrick Tehan at January 4, 2007 05:06 PM


Roger, can you clarify your own response to the question you pose: "We do have a problem, we do need to act, but what actions are practical and pragmatic?"

We can expect that wealthy societies will adapt to changes in climate, without particular governmental initiatives. Does this nevertheless remain your main focus, or do you also favor any mitigation policy - either directed towards controlling CO2 equivalents, or at some technological approaches aimed at balancing the effects of GHG levels?

Any what approaches do you advocate and consider "practical" internationally? Any mitigation policies? Funding by wealthy nations of adaptation by poorer countries?

Rgeards.

Posted by: TokyoTom [TypeKey Profile Page] at January 4, 2007 11:30 PM


Tom- Thanks. The quote of mine was a reference to the current approach under the FCCC is neither pragmatic or practical. My views on mitigation and adaptation are best described here:

Pielke, Jr., R.A., 2006. Statement to the Committee on Government Reform of the United States House of Representatives, Hearing on Climate Change: Understanding the Degree of the Problem, 20 July.
http://sciencepolicy.colorado.edu/admin/publication_files/resource-2466-2006.09.pdf

The papers cited there will describe the arguments in greater detail. And there are some new things in the pipeline as well. Stay tuned.

Thanks!

Posted by: Roger Pielke, Jr. [TypeKey Profile Page] at January 5, 2007 06:39 AM


I have two concerns about this whole subject. The first is that none of the predictions which I have seen indicate that the present trends can be reversed in the foreseeable future(say 50-100yrs)by changing our lifestyle.
The second is that no-one appears to be looking to see how we can exploit the climate changes for our benefit. Some areas are going to be flooded or become arid, but others will become more productive. Let us concentrate on moving populations away from threats( higher levees just ensure bigger disasters when they break) and developing the potential of other areas.

Posted by: A Moir at January 5, 2007 02:09 PM


Today's NYT has a bunch of letter to the editor on Revkin's article.

http://www.nytimes.com/2007/01/08/opinion/l08warm.htm

Every single one of them conflates a scientific debate with a policy debate. Revkin's article clearly did not make this distinction clear enough. Breaking out of the persistent assumption that debate over science equals debate over politics is going to take some work!

Posted by: Roger Pielke, Jr. [TypeKey Profile Page] at January 8, 2007 10:31 AM


I do wish people would stop using the word "shrill". It is an abusive word, meant to dismiss any criticism of the status quo as being solely derived from a high-pitched, hysterical woman. (And yes, sexist politics are at work here.) People worried about being viewed as "shrill" are showing themselves to be more concerned about whether their critics will like them than with whether their arguments have any merit to them.

Posted by: RickD [TypeKey Profile Page] at January 9, 2007 10:59 AM




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