Phil Plait’s Bad Astronomy (BA) and Steve McIntyre’s Climate Audit (CA) have been awarded the 2007 Weblogs Award for Best Science blog. Remarkably, they are both prisoners of their own devices: BA cannot criticize mainstream science, CA can only criticize mainstream science. They are both great blogs and their shared Award is a honest snapshot of their relative merits. PZ Myers’ Pharyngula, on the other hand…
The Best Science Blog 2007 Saga (1 of 3) – Introduction and The Bad Astronomy Blog
The Best Science Blog 2007 Saga (2 of 3) – The Climate Audit Blog and The Weblogs Award for Best Science Blog committee
The Best Science Blog 2007 Saga (3 of 3) – Pharyngula and Conclusions (and a Prayer)
Pharyngula was one of the nominees this year, having won the title for 2006. Its author PZ Myers is a friend of Phil Plait’s so I am sure that somehow somewhere in some occasion he must be fun, knowledgeable and a person nice to discuss things with.
Evidently though, not in matters of climate.
Where Science has in Plait an ally in the War against it, in Myers it finds a mixture of a pasionario and a pasdaran. For a guy competing in Best Science Blog he has definitely shown too short a temper and too high a willingness to shower insults to anybody in sight. Not sure how he won anything last year, but I do wonder how (highly) lively and how (pretty) meaningless the commentaries on Myers’ blog must be.
Well, I’ll keep wondering. Pharyngula? No thanks. I’ll stay away from it.
Conclusions (and a Prayer)
In a sense, both BA and CA show strong signs of being more than a little bit prisoners of their own background. One cannot criticize mainstream science, the other can only criticize mainstream science. One can only think climate change is strong science, the other cannot think it is strong at all.
The one thing that can be learned is that as in so many other endeavours, anthropogenic-global-warming (AGW) advocacy poisons everything it touches
In fact, there is one big difference between McIntyre and Plait. The former can afford talking graciously of the latter. Phil Plait instead only (mostly?) sees global warming skeptics as “denialists”: being at war _and_ in the AGW camp, out of sheer comradery he simply has to sing in tune with question-dodging debate-challenged censors like RealClimate’s Gavin Schmidt.
McIntyre may then look a tad more gracious than Plait regarding the BSB prize, but that’s also because his war is of much more limited size than Plait’s.
May the Bad Astronomer wake up one day to the fact that if there is a War on Science out there, it is not the only game in town. And so it is possible to honestly doubt the dire predictions of contemporary mainstream climatology: just as one can be a honest cosmologist and still not believe in strings or dark energy.
I am optimistic about it. You see, being a Skeptic, Phil Plait is bound to agree with that. What is the point of being very strict in analyzing and refuting the claims s that prayer can heal you, only to support shoddy politicized statements by the IPCC on climate?
One last thing though. Did I mention this already? Pharyngula is a foul-mouthed blog too full of its author.