I haven’t written a post for a while (well, for me at least) and it’s mainly because I’m just losing interest. I’m finding it harder to write posts and am not really all that motivated to do so. There are a number of reasons. I have a break in teaching and so have been focusing on some of my own research – rather than reading climate science papers – and am really enjoying it. I’ve been trying to get back to playing golf, so have been going to the driving range rather than checking the blog (hitting golf balls can also be somewhat therapeutic), and I’m quite enjoying putting the laptop down in the evening and either watching TV or trying to play some two-player game with my son on the X-Box (which normally involves me continually saying “wait for me” or “okay, I’m dead”).
There is another reason, though. For a long time I’ve felt that genuine dialogue wasn’t possible, but I’ve also thought that maybe I was wrong; maybe someone would surprise me and actually engaged in a thoughtful and pleasant discussion. However, I think I’m now convinced that this really is not possible. I’ve also been reading the posts and comments on some of the more high-profile “skeptic” sites and I just find much of it appalling and objectionable. I’ve realised that I don’t really even want to be associated with the online climate debate anymore. It’s clearly not about science, but about ideology. There’s nothing fundamentally wrong with trying to promote your own ideology, but it’s not really what I was trying to do here and isn’t really what I want to do. It appears to involve saying the most appalling things about those with whom you disagree and then whining when they do something similar in return. I find it dishonest and childish and don’t really want to participate anymore.
Of course, I’ve said these kind of things before and have never quite succeeded in curtailing my blogging, so maybe I’ll end up writing something tomorrow. It does feel slightly different this time, as I’m really not that interested anymore and am quite enjoying not even thinking about it. Maybe I’ll write about something different; maybe even some of my own research. Maybe I’ll just stop altogether. Maybe I’ll be a bit more selective in what I post. I don’t really know. What I would say, though, is that if there are any other physicists/scientists out there who are thinking of getting involved in the online climate science debate, I wouldn’t recommend doing so unless you particularly like confrontation and enjoy dealing with people who think their own ideological view trumps actual scientific evidence.