In areas where I specialize e.g. proxies, I read comments and can moderate the discussion. The “brand” here has been primarily established through such analyses, leavened with occasional forays into topical matters. But I try to keep policy discussions off the blog and am determined to adhere to this policy.
I repeatedly ask people not to discuss thermodynamics, radiation, convection. It’s not that these aren’t important topics. However, I’m not in a position to moderate discussion. Notwithstanding these requests, bandwidth at this blog is being increasingly monopolized by the ruminations of 4-5 active commenters to carry out energetic but undisciplined discussions of radiation, thermodynamics, convection etc. It’s not that these commenters are not friends of the blog, but their affection for discussing these topics here sometimes becomes smothering.
Personally I don’t read any of these discussions. It’s not that the topics are not important. They are. But I can only do so much at a time and, while I’d like to get to these topics eventually, I haven’t yet. Until then, I don’t have the time or energy to read or moderate these threads. I know how to navigate so as to avoid these discussions, but it’s not as easy for third party readers.
bender and some others have expressed their dissatisfaction with these discussions, as tending to erode the quality of the brand – a view that I’m inclined to share, which is why I’ve discouraged these topics in the first place.
While I’ve discouraged these discussions, I’ve tended to tolerate them, but I think that the recurrence of the issue means that I’ll have to develop some sort of policy.
It is strongly my opinion that lurkers (who make up the large majority of the readership) do not come here to read the views of these 4-5 commenters on thermodynamics, CO2 radiation and that these topics should be proscribed until I or some volunteer (who is not one of the protagonists) is prepared to thread and moderate these topics -and wield a pretty heavy hand in disciplining such discussions.
If I’m wrong about this, please let me know.