"My lord. Copenhagen prostitutes push back on warnings about their services & offer free sex for cop15? http://j.mp/cop15sex". So read a tweet from Revkin, which he published on the Times's Dot Earth blog. The University of Illinois's Michael Schlesinger sent a furious email to Revkin, calling his "unbelievable and unacceptable" joke "gutter reportage."
But an even more serious crime on Revkin's part was his audacity in relaying the words of others that criticize the close relationships between climate scientists and liberal advocacy groups:
This is the second time this week I have written you thereon, the first about giving space in your blog to the Pielkes.Revkin earned Schlesinger's scorn for linking to a blog post by Roger Pielke Jr. questioning the wisdom and soundness of scientists collaborating with the Center for American Progress--a far-left think tank with ties to the Obama administration--on pushing climate policy.
The vibe that I am getting from here, there and everywhere is that your reportage is very worrisome to most climate scientists.
Of course, your blog is your blog.
But, I sense that you are about to experience the 'Big Cutoff' from those of us who believe we can no longer trust you, me included.
Revkin has traditionally toed the alarmist line on global warming, so Schlesinger must have been shocked to see that he was even considering contrarian views and, heaven forbid, making a joke at the expense of the Copenhagen summit.
Schlesinger is so invested in his own views on warming that the smallest slight against them must yield a dramatic split between him and the utterer of such impiety. It seems that Schlesinger's measure of 'trust' is an unwavering advocacy of his own scientific and political views. It so happens that Revkin's job--when performed dutifully--requires the exact opposite: a neutral analysis of every side of the discussion.
In the global warming debate, dissent can mean ostracism. When skeptical scientists insisted on publishing studies questioning the supposed "consensus" on global warming, the now-infamous staff at the East Anglia CRU conspired to boycott publications if they did not expunge their pages of such blasphemy.
Schlesinger's outrage is a symptom of the same disease; call it skepticitis--an extreme aversion to skepticism and dissent. The disease is very contagious within the scientific community, and may cause carriers to do extreme and irrational things, like fudge climate data and admonish journalists for doing their jobs. That Schlesinger threatened to cut ties with Revkin over such a minute transgression shows he is in the terminal stages of skepticitis.