Posted by Daniel Hall on February 14, 2009
This is a post that I’ve been putting off writing all week. But the time for delay is up.
Yesterday was my last day at Resources for the Future. In some sense I got the opportunity to put a capstone on my time there by writing this week’s Weekly Policy Commentary, which previews the upcoming cap-and-trade debate. It’s as fitting a final statement as I could have hoped for, as it sums up (or at least touches on) many of the issues I’ve worked on over the last two years at RFF.
Tuesday morning I will report to the Department of the Treasury, to start as a Climate Policy Analyst in the (relatively new) Office of Environment and Energy. (You can hear Hank Paulson talk about this office briefly in the video from a recent event at RFF — he mentions it a bit beyond the 8 minute mark.) I’m tremendously excited about the opportunity to help shape the debate on climate policy design. In many respects I’m moving from being a producer of the type of analysis that RFF does to being a consumer.
That sentiment applies to this blog as well. I’ll continue to read with interest, and I do secretly hope that this blog long outlives its founders’ involvement as a place where the research assistants at RFF can give timely and accessible thoughts about the work that they are doing and the issues they’re thinking about.
I had the chance yesterday to tell my RFF colleagues what a privilege and a joy it had been to work with and learn from them. I feel much the same about my co-bloggers and our readers. I don’t think any of us could have started this thing up without the encouragement from each other, and I know my ability to blog was greatly enhanced by the offline conversations with Evan and Rich (and others) that sparked ideas. And I learned plenty from the readers too, who were willing to call me out when I was wrong, ask me questions when I was unclear, and point me to additional information when I was uninformed. Thank you all, sincerely. I hope in your time reading here you’ve gleaned even a fraction of the knowledge and pleasure that I’ve gained in writing.
And speaking of that, at least a couple thoughts about “what I’ve learned as a blogger” seem in order before I close. After almost a year and a half, and well over 200 posts, what have I learned? I think the two biggest things are a sense of humility about how much I know and a sense of awe over the incredible storehouses of knowledge and expertise that are increasingly available through the blogosphere. I’ll admit that I got into blogging thinking that I had a lot to offer. And while I do hope I’ve made a contribution and helped a few folks understand climate policy a little better, the longer I went on blogging the more I felt that a lot of intellectual humility was necessary for any complicated question, and beyond that just how big and messy and complicated and interesting our world is. I know that many of our readers have been disappointed by the low volume of posting I’ve done for the last 6 months or so. Well, part of that was due to an increasingly busy personal and professional life, but honestly just as big a part of it was driven by my growing sense that there are so many incredible people out there in the blogosphere doing such great work that at the margin I was better off spending a bit of extra time reading rather than writing. I guess in my view at the moment there is an oversupply of smart and excellent blog posts. That’s a great thing for blog readers, and so I’ve been content to shift towards consumption and away from production.
Still, I’m incredibly glad I undertook this project and I strongly encourage people who are thinking about it to give blogging a try. It’s a great way to ramp up your engagement with the world. It gives you a natural lens through which to try to process and organize information, it sharpens your critical thinking skills, and hopefully it can help make you a better writer. And you’ll likely pick up some friends along the way.
I certainly have. I’m not going to list any names, but I think you all know who you are. Thank you for reading. Thanks for your smart thoughts and engaging conversations. Our conversations will no longer be as public, but I hope they’ll continue to be as spirited and thoughtful. And who knows what the future holds? I like to think that at some point down the road there is some more blogging out there for me somewhere.
This entry was posted on February 14, 2009 at 10:05 am and is filed under Climate Change, Metablogging. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.