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Environment

Loyalty Oaths

Collide-a-ScapeBy Keith KloorJune 7, 2011 8:51 PM

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The climate debate is so politicized that rational dialogue is virtually impossible between warring sides. A complicating factor is that there are also hostile camps within the same factions. The climate blogosphere, in particular, is like the island in Lost, where the plane-wrecked survivors had to constantly determine who was on which side. (I loved the show, except for the final episode.) The global warming debate has become as cramped as the island on the show proved to be, and climate bloggers, like the Lost inhabitants, have adapted to the paranoid climate that makes communication a minefield to navigate. For example, in a post yesterday that was critical of this New York Times story, Roger Pielke Jr. seemingly felt compelled to declare:

Before proceeding, let me reiterate that human-caused climate change is a threat and one that we should be taking seriously. But taking climate change seriously does not mean shoehorning every global concern into that narrative, and especially conflating concerns about the future with what has been observed in the past. The risk of course of putting a carbon-centric spin on every issue is that other important dimensions are neglected.

Roger's position on climate change is well known to anyone who has been following his work over the last decade. Yet he wanted to "reiterate" where he stood on the issue, which I found slightly odd. It also made me think of this recent post by John Nielsen-Gammon, who picked up on the similar declarations of a well-known climate blogger. Does this signal a new hyper-conscious phase in the climate debate, or just a more nimble maneuvering of the climate minefield?

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