I was out of commission all last week, suffering from the latest virus passed to me by the snot-encrusted disease vectors I fondly call "my children."

In catching up, I noticed that climate scientist Andrew Dessler’s new blog has come out of the gate strong, with all sorts of good tidbits.

  1. The decisive answer to George W. Bush’s question: whether or not we’re causing global warming.
  2. A brief but insightful reminder that whether one uses Dick Cheney’s terrorism policy (even a 1% chance of attack requires strong response) or Bush’s global warming policy (we need 99% certainty before acting), the decision of how much certainty is required for action is a matter of values, not science.
  3. A pointed observation that many of the most prominent climate-change skeptics are professors emeritus, which means they, to put it gently, may not be vigorously keeping up with the latest research.
  4. A finally, exposure of an email sent by a new group of evangelicals hoping to reign in the recent evangelical enthusiasm for climate sanity. They’re hoping to recruit people, evangelical and otherwise, to sign on to a new "open letter" (PDF) that points to a "call to truth," (PDF) which in practice means "a call to renewed bullshit and obfuscation." Dessler sagely comments:

    From a strategic view, however, this type of campaign makes perfect sense. First, the recent emergence of an evangelical coalition in favor of action on climate change was one of the most significant events of the recent past. This represented a titanic shift in the political fault lines of this policy debate. Those opposed to action on climate change had to be terrified that they were on the brink of losing the entire policy debate. So this response makes perfect sense. Second, by arguing about science, they can drag the debate into a complete gridlock, as argued by Jon Miller. The report, with it’s appearance of credibility and objectivity, leads the other side (those in favor of action) to leap to an enthusiastic defense of the reality of climate change – and the trap is sprung: the public tunes out (too boring), the media downgrade the story (too complex) and the politicians have the greatest excuse for doing nothing (let’s wait until the science is clear).

So. At least somebody’s out there blogging well.