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New Global Change Discussion Group
As I mention in the introduction to the How to Talk to a Climate Sceptic guide, I cut my teeth in the climate change debate on sci.environment and alt.global-warming. Sadly, since I arrived there in around 11/04 the signal to noise ration has dropped dramatically and the cross posting to political groups and groups with rush limbaugh in their names are a constant stream. Consequently, the number of well informed active participants has dropped.
Michael Tobis has taken some initiative in creating an alternate venue to save the baby while still chucking the bathwater. Here is the announcement in full, I hope it becomes a very active discussion venue.
ANNOUNCING MODERATED GLOBAL CHANGE DISCUSSION FORUM
We are creating a moderated newsgroup/mailing list for the discussionof environmental science, economics, policy and politics, especially as related to global change issues such as climate change, biodiversity,and sustainability.
The signal to noise ratio on sci.environment and similar unmoderated discussion lists has dropped to the point where it can no longer sustain interesting or informative exchanges of information and ideas.
The success of the lightly moderated discussions on the realclimate.org blog has revealed that the hunger for serious and informed discussion remains. However, blogs do not fully replicate the broad-ranging conversational style that usenet once supported even in controversy-prone areas of interest.
Fortunately, new tools allow us to recapture most of the usenet experience without going through the tedious and archaic process of setting up a "big-eight" newsgroup.
It is difficult to specify what "fair" or "unfair" moderation meanswithout getting tediously legalistic. To avoid endless haggling aboutthis, we formulate our policy thus:
- Posts will be admitted to the list if and only if ANY moderator finds the submission to be constructive and/or interesting, on topic, and not gratuitously rude.
We are not unanimous in our opinions, and are open to submissions from people outside the spectrum of opinion represented by the moderators.
We will endeavor to remove obvious provocations ("trolls"). We also discourage postings that are redundant, in the sense that the poster has already made their points and does not seem to take account of the responses but is merely insistently reasserting points previously made.
Whether, as a consequence of this policy, you find the list useful and interesting or otherwise is left to yourself. If you don't like our list, by all means make your own.
==== HOW TO PARTICIPATE ====
I. WEB INTERFACE
Probably the easiest way to participate is to point your browser to
and you can read the messages immediately. You may send submissions through the web interface, or by email to
Using the interface in this way does not require you to get a Google login.
"Membership" is encouraged, as it permits us to give individual participants an overall approval, reducing propagation delays and the workload of the moderators. Membership does not automatically implye mail delivery of messages. Non-members may also post but all their messages require moderation.
II. RSS FEED
It is also possible to subscribe to the newsgroup as an RSS feed. See
for more information
III. NNTP FEED
We are in the process of setting up an NNTP feed through gmane. When it is available we will offer futher information.
IV. MAILING LIST
You can subscribe to globalchange as a mailing list, but you have to use the web to sign up. Go to
and click "join this group" and follow instructions. To use this approach you will need to have or set up a free google login.
If you subscribe to the email, you need not ever use the web interface or your google account again. You may send submissions by email to firstname.lastname@example.org
Looking forward to reviving the historically interesting and productive usenet-style conversations on environmental matters, we are, sincerely, your globalchange moderators:
- James Annan
- Raymond Arritt
- Coby Beck
- William Connolley
- Michael Tobis