Ethon, who has been on sabbatical, came by the other day. The big bird was feeling dirty again, having returned too soon to the Pielkesphere where he caught a full load of Roger the Unhappy. Why is Roger unhappy Eli asked?
There was a pause for pate and scotch and a bird bath. Talking about an old source of much good liver gone to irrelevance is hard. According to Ethon it's kind of simple. The big lout lost a lot of access as more and more people saw through his game. The more people know about Roger the less there is. Even the poli sci department at Colorado wouldn't have him, mostly because they have some serious people looking at the issues associated with climate change policy. Roger thinks they stole his liver.
Losing Andy Revkin's megaphone on the front page of the Times has really hurt. You don't see Roger as the go to quote any more.
The whole thing is amusing to watch, with Kloor, Revkin and the Breakthrough Guys paddling faster to stay still while coordinating their churnalism. They are currently pushing the third way, but as has been pointed out there is no point trying to sell compromise to people who have political views on gravity, thermal radiation and especially lord knows what else, sky dragons (the especially brave can don welding goggles, look directly at the sun and turn in to a pile of feathers). The latest is so 1990s, lets do things that help with climate change for other reasons. Eli, MT, James and the Weasel were doing that on USENET twenty years ago. Unfortunately, the ship sailed because the Rogers (plural intended) provided cover and more is needed now.
Roger has a thing for Joe Romm, but he expresses it mostly through Keith Kloor with the occasional smarmy drive by. OTOH Roger's new love is Justin Gillis the NY Times environment reporter. Take the interview that Gillis gave to the Columbia Journalism Review, seriously, go read it. A key Q&A is
The Times launched Temperature Rising as climate coverage was in overall decline following the Climategate affair, the fruitless UN climate summit in Copenhagen, and the failure of climate legislation in the US. What inspired the paper to double down?Roger churnalized this as
It was more or less a direct response to Climategate, which led to a lot of questions about the science. One was forced to read the e-mails and ask, “Do they suggest any sort of scientific misconduct?” As we studied them, it became clear to me that they didn’t, so we asked ourselves, “How do we respond in this situation when the evidence is all pointing in the same direction?” Points of contention exist within the science, as they should, but not about the basics of whether we have a problem. So, we asked ourselves, “What can we do to take readers back to square one, and can we better explain the underpinnings for this claim that we have a problem?” That’s when we decided to launch the series. The problem then and now is that it’s such a big topic that you’re really pushing the limits of what’s achievable within the frame of a newspaper story. But we decided to see if we could push those limits and give people climate change in bigger doses that might make more sense to them than the kind of incremental, he-said-she-said way the issue had traditionally been covered.
On the East Anglia emails that were released in 2009 Gillis makes a strong statement:Ethon was confused, where does the "Good guys, bad guys" thing come from? Justin was talking about the science pointing in the same direction. Surely the Honest Broker wouldn't mislead? Eli and Ethon had a little talk about the facts of liver. Ethon was shaken.
One was forced to read the e-mails and ask, “Do they suggest any sort of scientific misconduct?” As we studied them, it became clear to me that they didn’t, so we asked ourselves, “How do we respond in this situation when the evidence is all pointing in the same direction?”Good guys, bad guys. All the evidence. One direction. That explains the lack of nuance in the NYT reporting of climate change science and politics.