Yesterday was the third anniversary of me starting this blog. I was going to post something yesterday, but it coincided with the release of our consensus on consensus paper, which seemed like it should take precedence. It’s been a very interesting three years, quite stressful, frustrating, challenging, but also – at times – enjoyable. I’ve certainly learned a great deal, and I’ve encountered many interesting and knowledgable people.
The blog has had many more reads and many more comments than I was expecting. Early on it was actually quite hard to manage, and I really do need to thank Rachel who helped with the moderation for the first year or two. It really set the tone and has made subsequent moderation much easier. I also need to thank all those who’ve written guest posts: Rachel, Willard, Michael Tobis, Richard Betts, Richard Erskine, Lawrence Hamilton, An Oil Man, verytallguy, John Russell, and Steven Mosher (I hope I haven’t forgotten anyone). I’ve written lots of posts of my own, but I don’t really know which ones to highlight. I mostly look at old ones and think “oh, that’s not quite right”, or “I wouldn’t have written it that way now”. This is really all just one big learning experience for me.
I was thinking about whether or not to change anything about how I run the blog, but I decided against it. It’s just a blog. I get to write things, and sometimes people kindly write guest posts, but it’s not something I want to take all that seriously, and I don’t really want to feel obliged to do anything specific. I realise that what I’ve focused on has changed with time, but I typically just write whatever happens to be of interest at the time. I started focusing mainly on the actual science, and have more recently become interested in science in society, but I don’t really want to drift too far away from areas where I think I have at least some expertise. Maybe I’ll write a bit more about my own research.
The only other thing I was going to comment on was how things seem to have changed in the last 3 years. It feels as though climate science denial has become much less relevant. It might just be that I’m simply able to ignore it more than I used to be able to do, but it does feel as though it’s being ignored more generally and that it’s getting more difficult to effectively promote climate denial publicly. Maybe it was the fact that virtually all governments reached agreement in Paris at COP21. Maybe the succession of warmest years has made it more difficult to deny climate science without appearing to be denying reality. Maybe illustrating the consensus has some kind of effect. Maybe I’m even wrong, but it certainly feels less relevant than it did when I first started.
Anyway, that’s all I was going to say. It’s been a fascinating three years and I’m amazed it’s gone so quickly. I’m not sure I can quite manage another 3 quite like the last 3, but I certainly plan to keep writing posts when I feel like doing so. We’ll just have to see how it goes.