Sunday, October 21, 2012

Woody Guthrie award

Well, I've held on to this prestigious award for long enough, and it's time to pass on the heavy mantle of responsibility to someone else. I'm not sure I have really lived up to the expectations of my reader for a Woody Guthrie-worthy level of contribution, but it's been tough finding time and energy for intelligent blogging between all our recent holidays hard work. It's been a quiet time for climate science round these parts, in part due to the massive hiatus in funding/management/organisation around the end of one set of projects and the start of the new. We did have an amusing 5 minutes on return from our recent trip, actually, when we found new contracts in our pigeonholes, which stated that we had been transferred onto the new project as of 1 Oct (just prior to our return) and that our annual salaries had been slashed in half. It soon transpired that some administrative goon didn't know the difference between "annual salary" and "salary to be received over the remaining 6 months of the year". Now the first goal of the project (after fixing the contracts), it seems, is to work out what the project is supposed to be about. But I digress - this post is not supposed to be about Japan's democratic, or even financial, deficit.

While there are a lot of thoughtful bloggers around, the choice for whom to pass it on to seemed a pretty straightforward one, actually. Michael Tobis is prolifically thoughtful and interesting in his blog posts, and has been over a number of years and range of fora. Even those who don't agree with everything he writes (I could probably count myself in that number) can hardly deny the thought that goes into his writings. Whenever he has taken on someone like Curry or Pielke (either generation) on anything technical, he's generally had the better of the argument, as far as I can recall. He's been particularly clear on the "costs of uncertainty" argument, that the higher our uncertainty is regarding climate change, the higher justification this is for mitigation - precisely the reverse of the attitude that many on the denialist side seem to espouse. (That post of mine refers to a fairly recent article by Lewandowsky, but here's one example of an older post from Michael).

His own blog seems a bit quiet these days, actually. Most of his writing is on the main planet3.0 site. In the unlikely event that you aren't already a reader, have a look!


EliRabett said...

Well done sir. (Both in tenure and passing on). Treat yourself to a loaded pizza

David B. Benson said...

What EliRabett wrote.

Wise choice.

Martin Vermeer said...

Colour me unsurprised. Great minds, and all that :-)

Michael Tobis said...

Many thanks! My acceptance speech is here: