“But I’m not going to make a big deal out of it,” he said of his critics. “Pissing contests, even the ones that occur within my comment thread, are not in the end very productive. I think that if someone makes a substantiated point, and you’re wrong, then you acknowledging that is important. But if someone is on the attack and just out to discredit you in way that’s not justified, I’m not going to be constantly responding to things like that, whether they come from Newsbusters, or Climate Progress, or wherever.”

Indeed, despite his departure from daily reporting, Revkin still has many demands on his time. He is finishing a book about natural disasters for middle-school students, and the talk he gave at the environmental law conference was delivered under the auspices of his new position at Pace University, where he will begin teaching in the fall. Although it won’t be ready for another year or two, he is designing a new course based on some of the ideas and issues he has explored at Dot Earth.

“Now that I’m learning the academic biorhythm, I’m building a course that will clearly have a similar feel to it than that on the blog,” he said. “The students will be conducting an interrogatory look at the key questions of our time on a trajectory toward 9 billion people: how many people are too many, how much nature is not enough, how much poverty is too much? They’ll be looking at those questions and we’ll probably have an online component, either a wiki or a blog that the students will develop each year. But it’s all still kind of TK.”

Indeed, there are many things left “to know,” such as how Dot Earth will fare as an opinion blog, and whether or not readers will find Revkin as relevant a commentator as he was a reporter. Thus far, he has proved to be as dynamic as the rapidly changing media industry itself, but only time will tell.

Curtis Brainard is the editor of The Observatory, CJR's online critique of science and environment reporting. Follow him on Twitter @cbrainard.