In reply to my previous post about criticisms of the Judith Curry profile and the online poll on climate change that Scientific American published, Joe Romm was kind enough to send me a note in which he clarified his central point a bit more. The gist of it is:
I simply didn’t think Scientific American should be running this kind of personality profile, especially not one with this sentence in it, “In a sense, the two competing storylines about Judith Curry—peacemaker or dupe?—are both true,” let alone combined with an online poll asking readers which one they thought Curry was. It was in that context that I criticized the shortchanging of the science of climate change in the piece.
Obviously, that message wasn’t the one that came through most clearly for me, and I think he’s overemphasizing the degree to which the article in practice equivocates between the dupe or peacemaker options. But you should read Romm’s piece in its entirety and the SciAm article and judge for yourself. In any case, I do completely agree that serious discussions of climate change and what to do about it should be about the science and similar hard analyses rather than about the personalities of those involved. Which is one reason it’s so annoying when denialists keep trying to trump the debate back to their disdain for Al Gore, for example….