Posts Tagged ‘climate blogging’

Thanks Nick Stokes for the ‘Woody Guthrie award for a thinking blogger’

May 17, 2011

Thank you Nick Stokes, for passing on the “Woody Guthrie award for a thinking blogger” to me!

Sometimes I feel that my problem is that I think too much before I write (hence I don’t write very much…), so I’m glad to hear that the thinking and the few words that it results in are appreciated.

Nick helpfully laid out the history of the Woody Guthrie award when he got it a while ago: ArchieArchive brought it into the world and it’s had an interesting life since then, at some point coming (and remaining) into the hands of scientifically minded climate bloggers such as Greenfyre, Dan Satterfield, SkepticalScience, Science of Doom, and Nick Stokes @Moyhu. Needless to say, I am honoured to join this fine list of recipients.

Though it remains in climate spheres, it marks a bit of a change, in that SoD and Nick are both strongly technical bloggers, whereas I’m generally more focused on the broader context of climate issues (e.g. science communication). What I hopefully have in common with both of them is that I try to be constructive rather than argumentative.

Nick has really carved a nice niche with his blog, being skeptical in the original sense of the word: Investigating claims and issues that pique his interest (e.g. global temperature reconstructions). Investigative technical blogging may be a good word. Which of course gets me thinking about what my niche may be, if any. Non-violent contextual blogging? Wow, does that ever roll of the tongue!

What I’m trying to do with this blog is to provide context and reflection and to do so in as civilized a manner as possible, while not being afraid to call a spade a spade either. Especially the last part is a bit of a balancing act of course, and some may see me as a softie while to others I’m still a hardliner. So be it. You can’t please everyone (and I’m not trying to either). I’m trying to live and write by the golden rule: “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you”. Of course I don’t always succeed and there are limits, but stretching them is an art form.

And while my ego is being boosted anyway, I stumbled upon Michael Cote’s blog when he wrote about his top-3 climate blogs, existing of RealClimate, ClimateProgress and …

Our Changing Climate. Bart Verheggen is a fantastic writer and climate insider. He covers the inner workings of the climate science and political fields like no other writer out there. He goes deep in his climate coverage, contextualizes the issues for his readers (rare), and provides high readability with intriguing stories. Best of all, no advertisements or book pitches. This makes OCC one of my top go to blogs.

Thanks Michael! Now let’s stop here before my feet get too big for my shoes. I’ll take some time to enjoy the WG award while thinking about a next recipient. Suggestions (esp hidden gems) welcome.

Cheers mate!

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Blog highlights

January 11, 2011

At the start of a new year, let me mention some of my favorite posts of this blog. 

Who to believe? (2009)

In this post I discussed the million dollar question for the lay public in this internet-age: How to gauge conflicting information on complex topics such as health or climate? Who do you trust? Some things to consider: Context, expertise, conspiracy theories, timescales, spatial scales, logic, likelihood, risk, motive, consistency, coherence, etc. (Also a Dutch version)

Climate “skeptics” out of touch with reality (2008)

This post was in reply to a newspaper article about Fred Singer, where he made a host of untrue claims. The Dutch version was published as a column in a newsletter for environmental professionals.

Singers unfounded opinion about CO2 is not relevant for the discussion about energy options. About policy options, for example concerning energy, there will always be different opinions. And different opinions should be heard. But please leave out scientifically proven untruths.

And some more recent ones:

The public role of scientists

To what extent should scientists differentiate in their role as ‘pure’ scientists and their role as public educator, advocate, activist, or whatever other public role they may want to assume? With a medical analogy to illustrate the dynamics.

Of the random walk saga:

Could climate randomly change very much without being forced to? No, as it would violate conservation of energy.

Just as my weight cannot change randomly very much without me changing my eating or exercise habits.

And this series of four addressing the interlinking issues of long timescales, big inertia and long term sustainability:

The risk of postponing corrective action to a gradually deteriorating situation

What does population have to do with climate change? (with global maps scaled to different quantities)

Where are we going? (idem, for future GDP)

The problem is that it’s not our problem (but rather that of future generations)


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