While the climo-blogosphere has been largely obsessed with the Murdoch empire’s desperate attempts to ignite Climategate-II, a lot has been going on.
First of all, there has been an illustrative outbreak of press mishandling of a scientific paper showing a relatively low sensitivity. Planet3.0 has been in the forefront of trying to put it into an appropriate context. But watching its progress through the public digestion process is illustrative of our quandary.
I repeat in this context a suggestion made by Eli: scientists should be held responsible for their institutions’ press releases. “Eli has a modest suggestion: Proposed outreach, so called “broader outcomes” have become an important part of grant applications and press releases are certainly an outreach. Require all press releases to be included in any grant renewal request. Let the reviewers at em.” Actually, maybe we (researchers) should just write them. Insofar as I can tell, press offices at scientific institutions uniformly subtract value. What do you think?
Secondly, Watts is trying to do some revisionist history on the disastrous-for-the-denialati controversy at the journal Climate Research wherein genuine skeptic Hans von Storch and half the editorial board resigned because the journal wouldn’t withdraw an obviously inadequate publication by Soon and Baliunas. You can win in science but you can never win in politics. A few years later they’ll try to take a severe setback they inflicted on themselves and blame it on you. Is there any way that the world can actually develop a memory about these events?
Thirdly, IPCC has come out with an interim report (“SREX“) about attribution of severe events that is oracular in its obscurity. Its effect on the debate has been rather the opposite of what one might want from a consensus document. Did they conclude anything at all, and if so, did they conclude correctly? What is the right way to think about this issue? (Planet3.0 is planning a couple of articles on this.)
Fourthly, the COP is meeting at Durban SA, for a change not scheduled directly opposite Fall AGU, so somebody with ample funding might attend both. Unfortunately for all concerned, the expectations for this meeting are not so much low as abysmal. Is there a purpose to this charade at all?
Some people think so. Phyllis Schlafly suggests “The U.N. goal is to move the United States into a global government by environmental regulations and a vast network of taxes. These newly imposed taxes will give the U.N. a tremendous stream of money in addition to U.S. dues and congressional appropriations.”
I suppose the best one can say is that as long as everybody keeps meeting every year, there is at least a venue to raise a prospective agreement once such a thing becomes politically feasible.
Fifth, there is the upcoming AGU meeting itself. I’ll be there. Any sessions attendees should be sure not to miss?
Any other topics you’d like to see covered on Planet3.0?