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Environment

Proxy Climate Blogging

Collide-a-ScapeBy Keith KloorDecember 15, 2009 1:59 AM

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I'm not a fan of cross-posts, because it muddies the blog waters. So when environmental ethicist Ben Hale guest blogs for the Wonk room at the Center for American Progress (CAP) or he's cross-posting from Climate Progress to his own site, I have to wonder if this is an implicit endorsement of CAP's views on climate policy, which then colors how I read Ben's posts. Ditto for Roger Pielke Jr., when his posts get cross-posted over at The Breakthrough blog, but at least Roger has an actual affiliation with Breakthrough. And he's not guest blogging for them, so far as I can tell. They just take the posts they like from Roger on occasion and slap them up on their site. So Is Ben Hale a proxy blogger for CAP, enlisted to advance their views? I don't think so. But then I read something like this from Ben, about why Copenhagen is important:

Something is happening, even if laws emerging from Copenhagen have few teeth. When a legally-empowered representative of a nation commits that nation to doing something, that legally-empowered representative isn't simply performing, but in performing is simultaneously forging that commitment. And that's a big deal.

And so I read this and wonder, is Ben drinking the CAP water? He might as well be cross-posting that over to Joe Romm's site too. Because that's the kind of ethereal rationale for the significance of Copenhagen you're likely to read over at Climate Progress. Never mind reality, it's the symbolism that counts. We're making progress! Ben, that perception thing cuts both ways, you know.

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