CNN’s ‘Planet in Peril’: Still Time to See it on Cable TV

The life of a climate blogger isn’t always easy.

As The Yale Forum previously reported, the Houston Chronicle‘s science writer and SciGuy blogger, Eric Berger, told his blog readers in November that he had been unable to find a qualified Texas scientist who was skeptical about manmade global warming and willing to engage in an online debate with non-skeptic Andrew Dessler of Texas A&M University.

Berger, dropping his initial Texas-only criterion, subsequently announced that his blog would host “The Great Climate Debate,” pitting Dessler, an atmospheric scientist, against Canadian Timothy Ball, a retired climatology professor. The event, he wrote, was being held “by popular request.”

The pairing of Dessler and Ball seemed certain to produce a spirited and interesting exchange, regardless of whether one thinks the basic debate over the anthropogenic character of climate change is now essentially settled. In addition to his university duties, Dessler blogs for the environmentalist magazine Grist. Ball has received support from “a public-relations company that works for energy firms,” and “a group supported by donors from the Alberta oil patch,” The Globe and Mail of Toronto reported in 2006.

Readers of the Chronicle blog were invited to submit debate questions or call the BlogTalkRadio event while it was in progress. The Great Debate, however, didn’t happen. Dessler was on the line at the appointed hour, talking with Berger and callers, but Ball wasn’t there.

“I have been in contact with Dr. Ball, and he had legitimate phone problems,” Berger later informed his readers.

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