An Aug. 23 article by Andrew Revkin in the New York Times set the stage this week for one of the most crystalline examples I've seen of the tribal nature of the climate wars.
Revkin's piece was about Roger Pielke Sr.'s resignation from a panel set up to try to help sort out confusion over tropospheric climate trends. Here's how Revkin launched into the subject:
A scientist who has long disagreed with the dominant view that global warming stems mainly from human activity has resigned from a panel that is completing a report for the Bush administration on temperature trends in the atmosphere. (emphasis added)
To state that I have "long disagreed..that global warming stems from human activity" is a completely erroneous characterization of my perspective.
To clear this up, I’d be interested to know if you accept the IPCC conclusion most of the warming observed over the last 50 years is attributable to human activities?
Once Pielke Sr. had shown sufficient fealty, Connolley welcomed him back to a seat around the tribal fire, and I was again left wondering why we spend so much time trying to define who's a member of which tribe rather than talking about the climate.
(Update 8/26 10 a.m. - fixed a stray "Jr." in there.)
(Update II 8/26 6:30 p.m. - the disagreement between Revkin and Pielke Sr. seems worked out, and the comments have been deleted)