Posts Tagged ‘Woody Guthrie Award’

Woody Guthrie award for a thinking blogger

August 16, 2011

It’s been a while since I received the Woody Guthrie award from the hands of Nick Stokes. Time to pass it on…


The ‘Woody Guthrie award for a thinking blogger’ goes to John Nielsen-Gammon. A professional climatologist, he also writes a very readable and insightful blog entitled Climate Abyss.

He writes about different topics, often on scientific issues (e.g. extreme weather) and occasionally also on the science-policy interface or science as a process. He is scrupulous about distinguishing these different aspects though: The physics is what it is, irrespective of his or other people’s political viewpoints (about which he hardly ever writes, if at all). 

I admire his writing for its scientific honesty, the clarity of expositions and the insights that they provide. From his forays over to CE and CA he has also shown himself to be a skilled e-debater: He understands climate change and knows how to discuss both the big picture and quite a string of detailed issues. One other thing I’d like to mention is that he seems to be a good bridge builder: Probably because he studiously refrains from appearing political, doesn’t eschew working together with contrarians (e.g. he co-authored a paper withWatts), and is respectful in his communications, he seems to be respected by (at least the less fanatical of the) contrarians. He does so without giving up on his scientific integrity however (he will still call a spade a spade), so it doesn’t (afaik) go at the cost of being respected by fellow scientists and mainstream science-minded bloggers. Kudos to John!

Read this interview to get a feel for his scientific persona. He also has a wikipedia page. See Willard for a collection of memorable ‘John N-G’ quotes.


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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