This post is complex. You need to carefully read and refer to the context: RPs posts (and comments thereon) 5th April and 8th April if you want to understand the details (if you just want to know that I'm annoyed with RP, you can probably skip the context :-).
All this starts with RPs "Scientizers. This large and diverse group actively works to frame the climate issue as a scientific debate under the expectation that if you win the scientific debate then your political agenda will necessarily follow. This group is comprised mostly of scientists of one sort or another. I would include here the dueling science-cum-politics weblogs Realclimate.org and Climateaudit.org (we had an exchange with Reaclimate folks a while back). I would also include here CATO's Patrick Michaels..."
Naturally enough, various RC folks including me objected to being lumped in with the objectionable Michaels, not least because of comments RP himself has made about Michaels. And I object to the assertion that we're doing this because "...political agenda will necessarily follow". RP seems to have a real problem believing that things can be done for good science not for political reasons.
However, my real problems with RP are his response post, on 8th April. Much of this is to do with language, words and nuances. I think RP is spinning things. From my point of view, the language he uses is slippery, not straightforward, designed to lead you into his viewpoint rather than argue you into it. I find this hard to put into words.
1. RP starts with "Firstly, there is the honest broker who seeks to expand (or at least clarify) the scope of choice". At this point, all is fine: "honest broker" is a nice phrase, sounds good, not quite sure what it means and doesn't seem to fit the scientific context, but never mind. If you're making a choice - like, how should we consider our future CO2 emissions policy - then the scope of that choice can clearly be clarified by, say, better predictions. Ie, by science. But then, RP defends himself with I equate "scope of choice" with "openly discuss policy options". Which I find bizarre. Its just a complete disconnect. Words mean what I say they mean, humpty-dumpty stuff.
2. RP says I "wonders why I [RP] differentiate between RealClimate and Journal of Climate". No, of course I don't wonder that, because to differentiate us is easy. What I said was "Finally, your saying "there is plenty of discussion of climate science with no extra-scientific context. Just look at the Journal of Climate..." is misleading - you are using that to imply that RC isn't in that state, without ever presenting any arguments for why." (refer back to Gavins comment and further). I'm saying, RC is science - which it is - with no policy (or as little as we can manage). RP has created a strawman to avoid answering the point: which is contained in his response to Gavin: "You appear to be under the impression that no discussion of climate science can take place without having an explicit or implicit policy agenda." Of course I believe that there is plenty of discussion of climate science with no extra-scientific context - RP has now twisted this to try to exclude RC from the pure-science arena.
3. RPs My interpretation of the RealClimate blog is that prevailing opinion there is that the political debate on climate centers on science. Where on earth does he get this from? RC doesn't have a lot (anything?) to say on what the political debate centers on. Were you to ask me (about the US pol debate) I'd say that it has a distressing tendency to ignore the science (RPs post trying to paint Prez Bush as accepting the scientific consensus is more sleigh-of-hand).
4. His point 3 - the wide scope of the category he has stuffed RC into - just seems to be some kind of laziness. Or perhaps, RC is unique, and it really is the only climate-science blog out there.
5. RPs response to Stephan (number 2 in his list) is a travesty, and the quote from a previous post "[RealClimate] claims to be "restricted to scientific topics and will not get involved in any political or economic implications of the science." This is a noble but futile ambition. The site's focus has been exclusively on attacking those who invoke science as the basis for their opposition to action on climate change shows this for me. RC has concentrated on presenting the science; and where we've been attacking people or positions we've been attacking the most obvious abuses of climate science. As it happens (and RP has nothing to say to this) the most obvious abuses of the science are coming from the septic/denialist side - which is unsurprising, because the weight of science is against them.
6. Response to Eric. Another travesty. If the folks at RealClimate think that the political debate about climate is in fact not about science then I'd be happy to be corrected. This completely misses the point: whether or not the political debate involves science doesn't affect whether the scientific debate involves politics. We're doing our best to stick to the science, to provide people - ordinary folk and policymakers too - with good information about the science. Who does what in terms of policy is not up to us. RP is obsessed with policy, presumably because its his bread and butter, but there is no need to drag everyone else into it.