Those of you waiting on the edge of your seat for the IPCC report — which will be released in about 3.5 hours — can kill time by reading Andy Revkin’s account of the last-minute negotiations going on in Paris as we speak. Everybody from scientists to industry groups to enviros to governments are haggling over the exact wording of the summary for policy-makers. Sounds like there’s a lot of frustration among the senior authors.

I imagine a lot of people will look at this messy, chaotic, politicized process and throw their hands in the air in disgust. We tend instinctually to want something cleaner and more definitive. But this is how collaboration and democracy look. They’re messy and compromised. The only thing worse is all the alternatives.

Update [2007-2-1 21:27:20 by David Roberts]: Speaking of last-minute frenzy, looks like AEI (the think tank of “CO2: we call it life” fame) is offering people $10,000 to write articles questioning the validity of the IPCC. Bad enough, but then look at this egregious false-balance maneuver:

“Right now, the whole debate is polarised,” [AEI’s Kenneth Green] said. “One group says that anyone with any doubts whatsoever are deniers and the other group is saying that anyone who wants to take action is alarmist. We don’t think that approach has a lot of utility for intelligent policy.”

All those thumb-sucking articles about the center in the climate debate seem to have given the forces of delay and obfuscation another talking point.

Update [2007-2-1 23:25:13 by David Roberts]: Andrew’s right of course that it’s CEI, not AEI, that did the carbon=life ads, as I myself wrote about. I’ve gone dippy.

AEI is less hackish than CEI, more sincere. But given some of the conclusions they reach, I’m not sure how much credit that gets them.