Tuesday, January 15, 2008

The Gambols of Ghosts

If you're a frequent visitor to Planet Gore, you've probably noticed that posting has become semi-occasional, and that it's relied very heavily on Detroit News cartoonist Henry Payne. Could the site be fixin' to die, less than a year after a hundred thousand celebratory arcs of wingnut semen fell upon it like so much Cheeto-tinted tickertape?

If so, today's post by Roy Spencer should be considered the rhetorical equivalent of Cheyne-Stokes breathing:

Everyone has heard of "global warming deniers," which is what Al Gore (in his usual half-truth fashion) likes to call those of us who believe that current global warmth might not be man-made. Well, in my view the truly dangerous group of people out there are the "Reality Deniers" — those who not only believe that global warming is man-made, but also think that we can do something significant about it in the next 20 years or so.
Or as Dutch Schultz would say, "Come on, open the soap duckets. The chimney sweeps. Talk to the sword!"

I'm prejudiced, of course, but I suspect that PG's woes are at least partially attributable to Jim Manzi's debate with Steven Milloy, which I discussed here. Although Manzi did his best to hew to the conservatarian party line, the fact remains that he pissed in one of the denialists' best-beloved wells, right in front of God and everybody.

A quick stroll through PG's archives shows that prior to June of 2007, the site averaged more than 100 posts per month. Manzi's dust-up with Milloy took place in the last few days of June; between July and September, posting declined dramatically. In November and December, it was down to about 17 posts per month (Algore, you'll recall, won his Nobel in October).

I should add that Manzi probably didn't convince anyone that Milloy is a liar, let alone that AGW is real. I remember reading an article about a warehouse owner who frightened away rats by playing a tape-loop of a rat being killed by a weasel; Manzi's posts - and Gore's prize - may've dampened PG's spirits in much the same way.

This is idle speculation, of course, and it's offered for entertainment purposes only. There are other possible explanations for PG's lack of activity, and not all of 'em involve the site going belly up. That said, my guess is that PG is indeed on its way out.

(Illustration: The gambols of ghosts according with their affections previous to the Final Judgement by William Blake, 1806.)

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