Posted by: climatewonk | February 11, 2008

Introductory Post

You’re here!

Welcome.

Who am I? I am an aspiring climate policy analyst (or Professor of Climate Policy) depending on what happens after I finish my PhD. I have a life-long interest in science, politics and policy and have decided to do a PhD in public policy focusing on climate policy. I just started and am taking my first course. I work full time as a policy analyst for the provincial government and so I will not be taking classes on a full-time basis until I take a year off to do the disseration, which I expect will be a few years down the road. I may then teach or work as a policy analyst, depending on where I am living and what opportunities arise. I am married and have two children, several birds, fish, rodents and a dog. I live in a small city in Western Canada and am hoping to escape to warmer climate someday soon.

The purpose of this blog is to document my ascent (or descent, depending on your point of view) into the climate war fray. I have spent some time lurking at Real Climate, and have spent more time posting at Climate Audit, the two main contenders in the climate war blogs.

For those not in the know, Real Climate is a blog run by a group of climate scientsts who support the consensus view that global warming is real, is largely caused by human action, and is potentially dangerous. One of the members, Dr Michael Mann, is the co-author of a famous paper on historical temperature reconstructions — the famous “hockey stick paper”.

Climate Audit is run by Steve McIntyre, a retired minerals consultant who is famous for pointing out errors in the construction of the “hockey stick” and for errors in the GISS temperature record. A self-claimed climate auditor, Mr. McIntyre’s blog takes no political position on global warmingm and tries to be about auditing the science of global warming, but he has a large and vocal group of supporters who have their own agendas. I spent some time at CA and read there still, but have stopped posting as I really am not qualified to comment on the science under discussion, and my posts on policy are not welcome. I have found the atmosphere there to be quite denialist and many posters motivated by an anti-regulation perspective informed by libertarian politics. CA has been called a denialist blog by some. I am not entirely convinced that it is but then, I am not convinced otherwise either. I feel quite a few people there are denialists, no doubt. Certainly, CA is viewed by some as being part of the effort to discredit the science of global warming, whatever the stated goals of the blog owner are. That happens sometimes — people use your work or views to support their own agendas, regardless of what you intend.

For the record, I think that any science used to develop policy should be rigorously reviewed by independent experts to ensure that only the best science is used or at least, that the true uncertainties in the science are understood and taken into consideration when policy is based on it. This does not mean I doubt the motives or skill or commitment of the scientists involved in climate science, but when politics and science mix the way they have done in the matter of global warming policy, there is a great potential for misleading on the part of both sides.

I will post my musings on the climate wars as I experience them. I will also try to build up some pages on policy analysis and climate policy as well as climate science as a kind of beginner’s guide to the whole debate. This blog is a work in progress, and will take a while to build up and develop.

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Responses

  1. Hey there !
    I got here because you linked to my (former) blog…
    I seem to recognize your style from a recent controversy I was involved in at Climate Audit.

    Welcome to the wonderful world of climate wars !
    You are a fast learner and seems to already have an impressive grasp of the balance of powers and the issues at stake. I will be reading your opinion with great interest, as it is quite easy for scientists like me to bicker on details and lose sight of the bigger picture.

    Incidentally, I am proud to say I joined the WordPress ranks over the week-end, apparently only 3 days after your blog was created.
    Strange Weather and lyrico-meteorological musings can now be found at : http://strangeweather.wordpress.com/

    Good luck in disentangling facts from manipulations. You seem to be doing well !
    Cheers
    El Niño

  2. Thanks for the update on your new blog location — I will adjust my blogroll accordingly! And thanks for the kind comments and yes, I am familiar with your work through that other place. 🙂


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