Revkin: Looking to Ground a Broader Discussion?

Andrew Revkin's Friday Times Dot Earth piece, Study: Cool Spells Normal in Warming World talks about how climate change is communicated and understood.

He starts by noting an upcoming academic publication that reinforces the point that an upward temperature trend may still have decade or two long periods without warming or even moderate cooling. This, of course, is important for both sides of the argument: we need to be careful reading too much into short term trends (of course that argument applies in both directions, which could have deserved some mention).

Personally this was not as interesting as the last portion of the post where he reviews efforts to create a common language to talk about the climate, and where he proposes to explore some of the other academic theories surrounding climate change and what we can expect. If he does so in an intellectually honest way he can help create a more open discussion about the possibilities of what we face. While we can't read too much into the current data, it is data nonetheless. And there are qualified, well-meaning scientists who don't line up with the IPCC party line, and aren't just on the big oil payroll.

It is important that the middle ground of this discussion occurs, and I applaud Andrew if he can be someone who can help it come about.