I wanted to mark the occasion of this, my 300th post, with a bit of retrospective since I started posting on this blog on January 11, 2017.
I am a retired electric utility meteorologist with over 40 years-experience analyzing the effects of meteorology on environmental impacts. Over that time, I have dealt with a wide range of environmental issues and researched many relevant topics to New York’s environmental and energy sectors. As part of that work, I had to document the results and potential impacts of many topics that I felt were important. When I retired, I decided to write about some topics that I felt were not receiving much attention and started blogging.
There is a massive industry associated with environmental causes that produce many opportunities for articles critical of the environmentalist narrative. Coupled with New York State’s Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act (CLCPA) it seems that every day there is something that I want to write about. In addition, the current state of New York politics precludes meaningful criticisms from industry so I can say things that companies cannot. Nonetheless I am always careful to note that the opinions expressed in my blog articles do not reflect the position of any of my previous employers or any other company I have been associated with, the comments are mine alone.
The goal in my blog is to describe environmental issues from a pragmatic viewpoint. Pragmatic environmentalism is all about balancing the risks and benefits of both sides of issues. Unfortunately, public perception is too often driven by scary one-sided stories that have to be rebutted by getting into details. I have tried to show the complicated “other” side of environmental issues that gets overlooked during policy discussions too often. My background as a scientist and my earlier responsibilities to provide technical comments on new or revised regulations means that I tend to get bogged down in technical details that are, too be kind, pretty wonky. I have tried to tone down the technical aspects but have not been entirely successful.
Although my posts cover a wide range of topics that interest me there are two primary topics covered. Most of my articles (109) have addressed the CLCPA implementation process. I truly believe that this “solution” will be far worse than the impacts of the problem they are trying to address and that does not consider the enormous costs. I have also written 36 articles on the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI). This greenhouse gas control program is frequently described as a success but I have not been able to resist pointing out the flaws in that belief.
The final question I have asked myself is whether my obsession with this blog has been a success and to me success is having people read the blog. According to the WordPress statistics, the views of the blog have been steadily increasing and there have been over 16,500 visitors. There is an option for people to like a post and those have been going up. Comments have been a bit of a disappointment especially because many of the comments are simply approvals of references to previous posts. There are 53 people who follow the blog too.
So where are the people coming from to find the blog. Very early on Judith Curry included this blog on her blogroll and a large percentage of the visitors visited since then. Tom Shepstone started reposting my articles at his Natural Gas Now blog starting 12/28/18 and he has spread my message in nearly 100 reposts. My thanks to both of them for bringing visitors.
I have done some self-promotion as well. I have also done blog posts for Judith’s site and Watts Up With That and there usually is a flurry of visitors after those posts. Francis Menton posted blog articles on my articles about the CLCPA implementation process and both were re-printed on Watts Up With That. The comments on my work in those posts dwarf the responses on the blog itself and I am sure the total views were larger too. Most gratifying is the occasional contact from people whose work I respect offering advice, encouragement, and praise. I have also heard that there are industry people who follow the blog.
The blog statistics note the number of people who visit based on internet searches. Unfortunately, I don’t know what they are searching for. I suspect it is a source of frustration to the state that when searching for specific CLCPA items my posts generally turn up. Most popular article by far is one on the proposed rebuilding of Interstate 81 through Syracuse and I would love to know how nearly 3,000 people found it.
In the future, I plan to develop a simple summary of the issues with the CLCPA that I want to publicize as much as possible. The layman’s version of that document will be backed up by plenty of technical documentation from the blog. I am also trying to provide references to the work of others who agree with my concerns relative to the “solutions” for the existential climate crisis.
In conclusion this has been a rewarding experience for me. I devoutly believe that it is important to keep busy during retirement and this blog keeps me busy. Just when I get discouraged and think about quitting, some insane proposal or article comes up that provides more than enough incentive to keep writing. My thanks to everyone who has read my work.