Friday, January 08, 2010

Demands that I Leave the Field

Over at History News Network, Jonathan Jarrett (perhaps better-known for his excellent blog, A Corner of Tenth-Century Europe) expresses annoyance with me for my piece on the Medieval Warm Period. If I take his argument correctly, he suggests that it is irrelevant whether the MWP occurred because MWP denial allows policies to be made today that he and other "thinking people" support.

Obviously I disagree, and have no immediate plans to seek non-medievalist employment, but his piece is worth a read.


  1. Hmmm, re-reading that I notice that the quotation marks around "thinking people" look like scorn quotes. They aren't meant to be; I'm just quoting what JJ writes.

  2. Prof. Nokes, I honestly don't know how you've managed to take this as an attack on you but I assure you that that's not what I intended, and I publically disclaim any such intention. If it's possible to read it that way I didn't realise and thoroughly apologise. I certainly don't want you to leave the field and the reference to your post is only supposed to point out that there is a relevance, more widely recognised than just in my rantings, of the climate debate to medieval studies, and that the MWP is considered a publicity problem by pro-action researchers, all of which I think it does very neatly. If I'd realised it was possible to take it this way I'd never have linked to you, as the post would stand fine by itself without that.

    I also think you may have misunderstood my argument, which is not that it's irrelevant that the MWP occurred, but undeniable; my disagreement is with the idea that this has any relevance to policy about the current climate situation. I suppose from the way that you've read this post that we disagree about that, but it would be far from the only political thing about which we disagree, none of which should allow me to attack your credentials as medievalist and that wasn't in any way my intent.

  3. I'm sorry if I misrepresented your piece. No hard feelings on my part, and I hope none on youra.

  4. None at all, and glad to have this dissipated.