The Worst Thing About Censorship

Update: Planet 3.0 was kind enough to publish my comment on their website on January 30th, five days after it was made. I extend my thanks to them for allowing the publication of my comment.

As the climate debate heated up in the early 2000’s a number of activists, scientists and commenters started up their own weblogs.

Some of them are quite good–best of breed is clearly Bart Verheggen’s weblog “Our Changing Climate“–but others clearly are more interested in politics than science.

What most of them have in common is the ‘Crossfire’ approach to dealing with disagreement–insults are common and dismissal for lack of scientific credentials even more so.

However, the worst tactic in evidence is the censorship of comments and commenters. The ‘moderators’ of these blogs will cheerfully trash your comments, or delay them so the conversation has moved on by the time they appear, or worst of all, ‘edit’ them.

Worst-Thing-About-Censorship

Weblogs that practice these tactics on a routine basis include Real Climate, Rabett Run, Stoat, the spectacularly misnamed Open Mind and Skeptical Science and Planet 3.

For some reason the operators of these blogs seem to feel that censoring conversations in some way advances the debate. I don’t think the current state of the debate provides much evidence that they’re correct.

As it happens, I have had a comment in moderation for two days now at Planet 3. I’ll post the entire relevant comments below–please offer your reasons on why my comment deserves to be held out of public view…

The topic is ‘Why Environmentalists Disagree With Each Other“. Here’s a selection from the original post:

“But people are reluctant to give up their pet hypothesis, and never develop a real theory. For example, people who love technology, markets and economics will usually persist in believing those change the world, even when they don’t. Others strongly believe in political change, and persist in believing that, even if evidence suggests otherwise.

I tend towards an economics and technology bias, I guess, while others lean towards the political and cultural side of things.

My instincts tell me that we’re probably all wrong, and all right, and it will take some unusual combination of all of these theories to make a real difference in the world.”

The comments are an exchange between OPatrick and myself:

If we Cornucopians can add a note to this, there seems to be ample evidence that the world has changed for the better following the introduction of technology and the adoption of science as one of the principal tools for understanding our universe.

With those who do not believe the world has gotten better there is no point in arguing.

For those who believe it is politics or culture that drives change, I would offer the theory that you are looking at lagging rather than leading indicators.

  • OPatrick says:

    I don’t believe the world is better.

    Of course this is totally dependent on how ‘better’ is measured, but there is one fundamental, over-riding sense in which I think it isn’t better – that we are likely facing potentially catastrophic impacts from anthropogenic climate change and we have little prospect of averting that within timescales that would make a significant difference. If it weren’t for this looming threat and the utter sense of lack-of-controlledness my life would be exceptionally comfortable. I can also see progress in so many areas of development, nothing like the pace or consistency of progress I’d like, but something worth working for. But overall I think an objective analysis shows that my life is worse than it would have been when the threats to our stable lives were localised.

    Naturally this is only a shadow of my argument, but we cannot ignore prospects for the future when analysing quality of our present.

    • Hi OPatrick,

      This is the debate I have been hoping to participate in here at P3, so bless your heart for bringing it up.

      I am a Lukewarmer by avocation. (Essentially that boils down to being convinced that sensitivity of the atmosphere to a doubling of concentrations is much lower than 3C. I personally think it’s around 2C and have advocated preparing for 2.5C to give us a measure of additional security.)

      Reading the IPCC AR4 and Nicholas Stern’s Review of the Economics of Climate Change shows a possible world that will struggle to deal with climate change, but does not hint at the ‘catastrophic impacts’ that worry you.

      As a ‘Cornucopian’, ‘techno-optimist’ believer in what science and technology have already brought us and look certain to bring us in the future, I quite obviously would differ with what you think an objective analysis would produce regarding quality of life measurements.

      I would be eager to continue this discussion if it falls within the boundaries of P3 rules and goals.

    • OPatrick says:

      But Tom, your optimism relies on three things all lining up: that sensitivity is relatively low; that the impacts will be linear (or not severe); that technology will be developed to solve the problems in time. I’d say the probabibility of the last is high, of the first is at best medium and of the middle is low.

      Assessing impacts is always going to be difficult, but I see good reason to believe they are going to be worse than you suggest. We can’t rely on peer-reviewed evidence because to all intents and purposes there isn’t any, and it’s difficult to see how there could be. But how could the sort of changes in growing conditions, availability of water and so on we can expect, even with lower sensitivity, not reverse the positive developmental changes we can see happening?

    • Your comment is awaiting moderation.

      Hi OPatrick

      I think I would like in a perfect world to comment almost line by line to your response. I’ll start with the bottom and see where I run out of steam.

      Most of the developmental changes we’ve seen have been put in place precisely to counter the forces you think will be exacerbated by climate change. People have been working to address the impacts of drought and flooding and even variability for more than a century. We will have to spend more and spend more wisely to deal with impacts, but so far it doesn’t appear that we’ll need to invent new technologies or bring infant tech to maturity in 30 minutes or less.

      We’ve been bringing water to where we want it for millenia now, and we’ve actually gotten better at it than the Romans–although I admire their style. Farmers have also changed cultivars and landcare practices in response to both short and long term changes. There is 5,000 years of best practice available to learn from. We have examples of dealing successfully with sea level rise and not just from the Dutch. Parts of Tokyo have faced 15 meters of relative SLR due to subsidence–but they’re still there.

      I would urge you to remember that the bulk of development for the developing world is going to happen during the decades before the net impacts of climate change are projected to turn negative. Remember that at the beginning, even for a 3C rise, there are real winners from the changes we expect through at least 2040. The gains can be used to build resilience into communities and even regions.

      Even though I don’t think we need new technology to address these issues, new technologies will certainly emerge. And that’s what I think isn’t linear–new tech will surprise us somewhere in this area, far more than any discontinuity in impacts. Think of the Mole now guarding Venice from the Adriatic or the flood barriers on the Thames as first gen examples that NYC can learn from.

      During the next two decades, at least, my conception of lower sensitivity is the least important of the three elements we’re discussing. Even if you’re correct and I’m wrong,the impacts of higher sensitivity are far enough out there that we have time to do what we need to do.

      But that’s if we are intelligent enough to abandon some of the memes driving the political battle. You correctly see the flaws and political goals of people like Morano and Monckton. And that’s a good thing. But you transfer that across the spectrum of those who oppose you like spreading peanut butter on bread. That’s inappropriate.

      Every day you all work at establishing the Xtreme Weather meme is a day lost to effective consideration and preparation. Worse, it falls into the class of argument that contains many of the skeptical objections–it is a-scientific and aimed at emotion rather than analysis.

      But that’s my personal hobbyhorse–I understand your mileage may vary.

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246 responses to “The Worst Thing About Censorship

  1. jeffid1@gmail.com

    I think the blog censorship shows an intent to produce a consistent, unquestioned message. Reading the threads, they are a consistent mix of individuals whom have a light understanding of the topics being discussed and generally avoid the real questions. As a publicist, you might direct such behavior so that the casual reader dropping by, doesn’t leave with more questions than they came with.

    A few months before I started blogging on climate, I didn’t have a clue who or what RealClimate was. I actually asked some questions of Gavin, not knowing he had any position in climate science, just that he seemed to think he was an expert, and he actually took a few moments to reply. The replies were incredibly condescending and rather shockingly rude, but I recall feeling sorry for him at the time because his writing was so defensive with others.

    It took several more months to realize what I had done and quite innocently asked of him. It also took some time to realize that the well intentioned questions I was asking were directly at the center of the problems with temp records, which he was defending, and the others were asking more lightweight questions about inconsequential side issues.

    After several years the point of RC is very clear. It is also very similar to the MSM. Censorship, yellow journalism and deliberate misinformation are only the beginning of the slope. When falsehoods are so easily pressed into the mainstream, there is no limit to the power of those controlling the flow.

  2. Pingback: And they wonder why skeptic blogs get more traffic… | Watts Up With That?

  3. Censorship is despicable in just about any case other than “How To Build A Nuke In Your Basement” or “Best Ways To Do Child Abuse” sorts of things. Even in the case of hate and/or incitement to violence, I think it’s better to have it out in the open for people to see and be warned against than to have it underground.

    My *guess* about your comment being held is that it *might* be too long… no idea if P3 has length considerations/limits. I can’t see *anything* reasonably objectionable in it.

    One hotbed of censorship I’ve noticed over the years is Topix. They use a practice known as “Shadow Banning” — where you see your own posts clear as day up there, but no one else does. They’ll also make policy decisions that can wipe out hundreds of one’s postings stretching back over a period of years: that happened to me several years ago there. They evidently claimed that identifying my “competing interest” in a signature during my first entry into any new thread where the topic was potentially competing constituted “advertising.” They’d had no problem with it during three years of postings, but suddenly, after faring badly against me in a particular debate thread, someone with some pull there raised a stink. I knew nothing about the situation and was just puzzled for two months or so when everyone simply stopped responding to my posts. I discovered the problem by accident when I was signed on from another computer and found that all my postings had been rendered invisible to the average reader.

    Kudos to you on this article, and keep up the fight! For the moment we’re lucky enough to have a window to the world, via the internet, that’s relatively free of censorship outside of individual nasties running intolerant sites. It’s only a window though: Google has begun making it difficult to access “inappropriate” material in its searches, and there’s a movement on for .xxx sites that will will required not just for porn, but for anything that the powers that be might deem inappropriate for the under-21 crowd.

    Michael J. McFadden
    Author of “Dissecting Antismokers’ Brains”

    • I just don’t get why they think that censoring stuff helps them. It ticks off the person censored–they’ve made an enemy. It doesn’t give them the chance to respond to the comment and maybe start a discussion. I just don’t get it, frankly.

      • My money is on it being a reaction based on visceral emotion. Perhaps bordering on obsessive-compulsive disorder. Comments that disagree with the moderator are just too painful to bear and must be scrubbed away. If you’ve ever observed someone with OCD you might recognize the similarity of behavior.

      • Anthony Watts

        Sometimes, you just have to delete a comment or two as some folks just get out of line. I have a site policy for that, but as the near million comments at WUWT can attest to, most comments get approved, even the negative and sometimes hateful ones, which are often funny and telling.

      • You’ve always been a gentleman, AFAIK. Certainly to me at least. BTW, thanks for the link…

      • Anthony Watts, you and/or your moderators are banning loads of people all the time. I keep seeing critical comments disappearing, and the poster never appearing again.

      • I am sure you have a lot of EVIDENCE to show that it is happening…………….

  4. I think you give them too much credit. Those who censor are dweebs, nerds and geeks, who are insecure personally and as individuals, and in their positions. Being on the “side of the angels” in this debate is to get funding and attention they wouldn’t get otherwise. “DENIERS” are those guys who are confident, date pretty girls, make their livings without handouts and used to tease the geeks.
    It’s “Revenge of the Nerds”…

  5. Hi Tom, it is a pity that your response was censored. It was well thought out and well written. OPatrick seems to believe a catastrophe will happen . I don’t know if he really believes it or if he is making money from it. Before you get upset with me, I have not found one single person touting the global warming/climate change/extreme climate change that is not making money on it, one way or the other. That includes our governments, politicians and media as well as bloggers and vendors. I went to one site (name has been deleted from my memory banks), was reading the articles there, commenting, then realized that every person submitting articles was a solar panel salesman, green energy salesman, etc.
    I do not believe Co2 is adding more than .3 C per century to the planet’s temperature, if that and I do not believe warming is bad. Ask the people in Canada and in most of the US at present, how much they like the cold and having to heat their homes with current electricity rates.
    Since I do not believe our politicians are about to come to their senses I have moved to the Bahamas. I cannot tell you how nice it is to live in a climate that varies from 70 to 78 F each day. No need for heat or air conditioning, just a light, celing fans and a computer.
    I wonder if people like OPatrick understand that we will enter a new galaciation somewhere between now and 1000 years from now. I doubt if the planet is going to stop swinging between galaciations and intergalacials just because the global warmists don’t believe in it. It just doesn’t happen that way.

    • 0.3C/century is my best estimate for warming due to CO2 alone.

    • The Bahamas sound ideal! I’ve seen OPatrick comment elsewhere–this is much of a muchness for him. I haven’t made the correlation between profiting from and preaching about global warming, but you might have a point there…

    • Eve, I am sitting here in Norway, reading your post. It has been down to -20 degrees Celcius in longer periods now.

      And you just need a fan. Arrrgh !!!

      Well, okay, I was born here, have my family here, and it would therefore be too painful to move to Bahamas. So I am stuck with the politicians here.

      You have to apply your sense of humour, when observing them. An example; They want to raise the price on all fossil fuels, really. That is their overall goal on whatever they to. That is on the agenda all the time.

      But, when they do, then it will allways be someone on the absolute bottom of the economics that cannot afford the heat-bill. Then, often an old lonely lady, her husband has died, she lives on a small pension, will be on TV, complaining that she cannot afford to keep her small apartment heated.

      Look; The temperature in my kitchen is only 14 degrees celsius!

      Then there will be a politician on TV saying; We will set up a task force, a committee and solve this new crisis!!!! A crisis created by themselves just before, by rising some tax.

      And so on, and so on. It is the socialist’s dilemma ; They want the government to set the price on everything, not the free marked.

      Now, please observe that the old lady was not the target of my humour. It was the committe, or task force, trying to be a governor in a closed loop that we call “the economy”.

      • Hi Kenneth, the temperatures in Ontario are similar to Norway I think. All my friends and family in Ontario are emailing me with “we’re freezing our buts off, it is -26 C”, “brrrr, its -22 C”, and so on. I was born in Canada and I go back in the summer but I will never winter there again.
        The UK is already having the problem you speak off. The pensioners there are dying of cold related illness due to “fuel poverty”. I don’t know if they have a committee going but they did give it a name!
        I spend money here in the Bahamas with pleasure. There is no sales tax, income tax, VAT, GST, etc. I know that every dollar I spend here helps the Bahamas economy and is less tax money going to Ontario.
        It is 72 F here this morning with a nice breeze. I am going back to read my book on my patio.

        Eve

  6. Tom, I was pleased to see that Anthony Watts took the link I sent him for this thread and decided to do a new WUWT post about censorship and climate blogs:

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2013/01/26/and-they-wonder-why-skeptic-blogs-get-more-traffic/

    Your post sparked this fruitful discussion, so thank you!

  7. Tom, I also have been censored, mostly at The Nation. I could list the individual topics: Bill McKibben’s finances; how the EPA co2 ruling made the world safe for frackers; global warming and a certain female British prime minister, and others. But what I think that my posts and yours have in common is that they don’t fit the artificial dichotomy that “both sides” are feeding off of. You can post the most idiotic Marxist, globalist conspiracy theory behind CAGW or describe the millions that the fossil fuel industry is spending to create the denialists and your comments will stay up. But critique CAGW from a progressive or environmentalist viewpoint and all hell breaks loose. To some propagandists,CAGW has become just another well crafted wedge issue to keep the populace from uniting around what’s important.
    Remember the Climategate emails. The critique that seemed to bother “the team” the most came from Pielke, someone who was making the case for man made climate change before any of them. And he received the bulk of their wrath.
    The whole affair just reaffirms the importance of this blog.

    • Yeah, any time I’m tempted to feel compassion for Mann, Gleick or Phil Jones, I just think back to what they did to Roger Pielke Sr. and I just get angry again.

      • Actually, I think about Mann’s email where he hints about starting a rumor about Sally Baliunas’s sex life. I met Sally once. The woman has character.
        And then I remember another rumor campaign about someone I knew and wonder who started it.
        And then I remember that Mann got over $300,000 in stimulus money.

      • I don’t begin to know the whole story there, but Pielke, Sr. Has greatly impressed me with his intelligence, character, and civility in the relatively brief time (1.5 years more or less) that I have been following discussions on various climate blogs. I say that anyone who can’t conduct a rational, civil, respectful discussion with someone like Roger Pielke, Sr. probably displays serious character flaws. He is exactly the kind of thoughtful critic any serious scientist should seek out….

      • He’s one of the good guys and I wish he was still blogging.

      • Tom: what did ‘they’ do to R.Pielke Snr?

      • Coldish, read Tom’s book for the answer.

    • Yes, I notice that they mostly HATE Richard Muller, even though he has always accepted AGW and then took Kock’s money to come to the same decision. It just seems that THEY want to be the savoirs of the world and anyone who stands in their way or takes some of THEIR credit…WATCH OUT!

      After a few minutes on any of the warmist sites I just come away with a bad feeling, like I have just come away from a KKK meeting and have to ask myself, “Is this reality?”

      • Of course you would say that, seeing that you are a science *****.

        To a rational person, climate ***** sites are what’s close to a KKK meeting, and their constant **** of scientific fact is insane indeed.

        (Derogatory language substituted with asterisks by blog administrator.)

  8. “You correctly see the flaws and political goals of people like Morano and Monckton. And that’s a good thing. ”
    Frankly Monckton has the situation nailed. And he is doing the right thing. Offering him up as a kook or whatnot will not gain you any traction with the people you are attempting to reason with. Remember this.

    • He’s a journalist with a clear idea of his niche and a handy turn of a Latin phrase. For my money that’s about all he has to offer.

      • @thomaswfuller2 | January 26, 2013 at 7:54 pm |

        ‘He’s a journalist with a clear idea of his niche and a handy turn of a Latin phrase. For my money that’s about all he has to offer.’
        Hi Thomas
        Monckton is pure vaudeville but no more so than AlGore or Mickey Mann.
        Andrew Bolt is what I call a journalist.Check the link for his comprehensive demolition of the uber alarmist Prof. Ove Hoegh-Guldberg (BScHons., Sydney; PhD., UCLA).The inaugural Director of the Global Change Institute and Professor of Marine Science, at The University of Queensland, Brisbane, Australia,no less.

        http://www.abc.net.au/austory/specials/ove/default.htm

      • You see Tom, that is a problem. Perhaps elsewhere you ctitiqued Monckton point for point, but to dismiss him as someone who can spin, ” a handy turn of a Latin phrase” is shallow. What are your arguments against his various musings? Tom, I think someone who call themselves a “lukewarmer”, should at least try to be objective, but it is your blog and you could and should behave as you please.

      • Hi Bob,

        Monckton has adopted and abandoned a number of political memes that ruined his credibility for me–notably his birther position on Obama. It’s clear that he’s just going after the conservative Republicans and is trying to cultivate a fan base among them.

      • Monckton doesn’t take himself too seriously, which, understandably, cannot be said of anyone in the catastrophic warming cabal. There is no comparison between merry Monckton and gloomy Gore.

  9. Ed, 'Mister' Jones

    The worst thing about the IdeoScientifilosophical stuggle is… just how Damn TEDIOUS it is., as evidenced above and elsewhere.

  10. You’re lying.

    You’ve censored entire posts, and all their associated comments. Somehow you don’t find space to mention that.

    WUWT routinely bans people it finds inconvenient.

    And I don’t censor comments (with some slight qualifications).

    But if you want to live in your fantasy world, there’s no helping you.

  11. Censorship is usually used by those hoping to control access to information which is counter to the beliefs or policies of those operating it. A simple consideration of the types of organisation employing censorship gives an idea of their real nature. The question to be asked is ‘what is being concealed’?

  12. Well done for outing this. Since your comment wasn’t personally directed or insulting-I see no reason not to publish it! The only time I would refuse to publish something is if it adden no value to a discussion because it was a personally aimed insult at myself or a comment or-thankfully haven’t had to deal with it yet.

    I hope he’ll publish your comment now! Perhaps your readers should repost the comment and author verbatim too

  13. Hi Tom

    First time at your site for me I think…but I have your and Mosh’s Climategate book ready to hand in my study. And it’s well thumbed by now….

    Posted this at WUWT just now.

    I hope you’ll feel able to give it some circulation here too.

    ‘Tom Fulller’s excellent essay includes

    ‘What most of them have in common is the ‘Crossfire’ approach to dealing with disagreement–insults are common and dismissal for lack of scientific credentials even more so.’

    Can anyone explain what they all hope to achieve by this tactic?

    It doesn’t alter what Mother Nature does one little bit…it doesn’t make the little air molecules jiggle about any faster or slower.. it doesn’t alter ‘Science’ – which cares not a jot for qualifications or status or one’s parental lineage..

    So what does it achieve?

    My best guess is that some of these blogs are inhabited by those for who ‘Climate Change’ has become a substitute for religion. And that ‘Climate Scientists’ have taken on the very important role of High Priests – interpreting the Word of the Lord. History shows that this has been a very successful way of influencing and controlling the uneducated masses.

    Add into that the concept of ‘heresy’ or ‘blasphemy’ and ‘apostasy’….and the need for their to be only One True Faith and the analogues between some medieval religions and today Keepers of the Sacred AGW flame are obvious.

    Their mission is not to discuss the science as new data is unearthed and new interpretations formulated. But to ensure that the Old 1990s ideas are kept pure and unsullied by doubt or question or amendment. Their creed is

    ‘The Science was Settled in 1997. Was then, is now and forever shall be. Amen’

    (Inspired by recent unedifying attempts to engage with the ‘Deltoids’ – a far more depressing breed than any of the similarly named villains from Doctor Who)

  14. Censorship is an abuse of power, it’s used to ensure one persons view of the world is imposed on others. When censorship is misused it’s usually a strong indication that the person wielding the power does not understand that everyone has their own view of how the world functions which is subjective to their individual beliefs. Even good peer reviewed science can be viewed in different lights, and politicians take full advantage of this concept to use statistics to further their own agendas. If we have freedom to debate, we must have freedom to be wrong without being insulted, labelled or censored. However we have to then be open enough to consider the information that challenges our beliefs. There is a paradoxically named site which only allows posts which are correct in their eyes, if they believe a poster is wrong in their thinking they are censored for being ‘off topic’ That site has one of the lowest levels of traffic in the debate. I wonder if this particular thread may be of interest?

  15. Your comment (held in moderation) is one of the best accounts of the “luke-warmer” position I have read; and brings a welcome sobriety to the whole climate debate- thank-you!
    There is no reason why it should be censored other than that it brings nuance and measured thought to a debate dominated by alarmism and fear. The whole notion of nuance- the luke-warmer position- is inadmissible perhaps because as soon as it is considered that the hypothesis “climate change is real and dangerous!” needs to be unpacked- how bad, how fast, what exactly can or should we do if anything- then the fear- effect is lost. Climate change alarmism does operate like a religion in that it can only survive by refusing any real scrutiny viz “how dare you challenge my beliefs!” As soon as any challenge is admitted the edifice starts to crumble.

  16. It’s not posted because you won the argument. Very logical post substantiated with facts unlike his worry-fiiled nail biting speculations. There is no comeback and he knows it.

  17. It seems to me that there may very often be a another, different but related, reason for the well-established warmie censorship syndrome that Thomas describes here, and it’s this:

    It’s in their contract

    These characters are typically a little coy about financial arrangements concerning their various blogs, and I generally make a working assumption that a censoring warmie blog-owner is a paid shill.

    To take two opposing examples: DeSmogBlog, which is known to be a funded warmie PR front, has a rigidly Stalinist comments policy; Mother Jones (which makes its living honestly, as far as I can tell, from a print edition and donations directly solicited on the site) although mostly inhabited by wild-eyed watermelons, is in my experience entirely tolerant of dissent – indeed, I’ve posted vituperative stuff there that I sure wouldn’t expect to pass muster on WUWT.

    It’s the money, as always, that makes the world go round.

  18. You’re lying.

    You’ve censored entire posts, and all their associated comments.
    Somehow you don’t find space to mention that.

    WUWT routinely bans people it finds inconvenient (http://scienceblogs.com/stoat/2012/05/02/so-long-and-thanks-for-all-the-1/).

    And I don’t censor comments.

    As for AW “always been a gentleman” – don’t make us laugh. He’s polite to his fawning admirers, certainly.

    But if you want to live in your fantasy world, there’s no helping you.

  19. I just want to ask at what point does legitimate commenting turn into trolling.
    First off, I certainly do not regard the non published comment here as trolling. It was after all, a legitimate addition to the debate
    although of course, it was contrarian to the post itself. It appears in this case that the comment moderator wanted to slant the replies to
    supporting comments. Which is a shame.

    So when is it legitimate to not publish a comment? Ever? Never? And when does commenting turn to trolling?

    An example: On my blog which generally rails against the stupidity of some of the “fixes” for AGW (aka wind turbines) I receive lots of contrarian
    comments from wind turbine supporters. I actually welcome this ( even the rude ones) because it means I am not just preaching to the converted.
    Answering them is all part of the ding-dong of running a blog.

    But then about a year ago I started to get many comments (repetitive and pedantic) from a single anonymous source (signed RayF). The
    sheer quantity of contrarian viewpoints from this one signatory (the writing style varied so much I suspect it was a team) began to overwhelm me.
    It was not from the quality of his/her/their argument (repititious accusationary diatribes) but simply from the quantity of it .

    It built day by day. Finally when I recieved eight separate long tirades within a few hours, some of which were aimed at the same post
    (obviously coordination was not their strong point) I gave up replying and started binning them.

    I hated making that decision and still half regret it. But there has to be a line. I’m just interested where that line should be.
    Should we (example) indicate on our blogs how many ding-dongs are acceptable? Or what?
    Regards
    Billo

  20. @ thomaswfuller2
    “He’s a journalist with a clear idea of his niche and a handy turn of a Latin phrase. For my money that’s about all he has to offer.”

    Glad to hear another down to earth view of Monckton…

    Came here via WUWT link, and happy to come back again.

    Good work, keep it up.

  21. Tom, your “censored” response is quote long. Could there be a simple filtering system in place that places long posts into a seperate moderation pool, and nobody has looked at it yet?

  22. Tom Fuller, you say, I am a Lukewarmer by avocation. (Essentially that boils down to being convinced that sensitivity of the atmosphere to a doubling of concentrations is much lower than 3C. I personally think it’s around 2C and have advocated preparing for 2.5C to give us a measure of additional security.)
    This was is response to your reply to O’Patrick at P3. He then replies to you,: But Tom, your optimism relies on three things all lining up: that sensitivity is relatively low; that the impacts will be linear (or not severe); that technology will be developed to solve the problems in time. I’d say the probability of the last is high, of the first is at best medium and of the middle is low.
    Tom, you make my point from yesterday. You say you are a Lukewarmer because you line up at a 2 degree increase, and you are advocating preparing for a 2.5C to give additional security. So Lukewarmers are not really different than CAGWers. In reality, you are just advocating for a less draconian destruction of the world’s economy. No where do you suppose the nothing will happen or that 2.0C might even be glorious to the developing world. Instead of Lukewarmers, why don’t you consider calling your new site, CAGW Light.

    • Hi Bob–well, I’m certainly not predicting Catastrophic global warming, so I hope I’m different there. And I’m a hopeful fan of a globalized, vibrant world economy that allows the developing world to reach our standard of living and for us to improve our own.

      I do, however, understand enough physics to believe that CO2, along with changes in land use and deforestation, are powerful enough to have a real impact on our climate. I think ignoring it is as foolish as inventing and spreading panic about an exaggerated version of it.

  23. You’re lying.

    You’ve censored entire posts, and all their associated comments.
    Somehow you don’t find space to mention that.

    WUWT routinely bans people it finds inconvenient
    (http://scienceblogs.com/stoat/2012/05/02/so-long-and-thanks-for-all-the-1/).

    And I don’t censor comments (depending somewhat on your definitions).

    As for AW “always been a gentleman” – don’t make us laugh. He’s polite
    to his fawning admirers, certainly.

  24. Tom you say, ” I do, however, understand enough physics to believe that CO2, along with changes in land use and deforestation, are powerful enough to have a real impact on our climate. I think ignoring it is as foolish as inventing and spreading panic about an exaggerated version of it.

    Thanks for you response. I too believe in the Tyndall effect – who doesn’t. Put simply, when you say the CO2 changes are powerful enough to have a real impact on our climate, the inference is that the impact is negative. I know a great deal has been written on the topic, but why do you always assume bad things for the CO2 effect. From all the literature I’ve perused, I am not nearly as certain as you.
    Tom, yes, clean up the soot, decrease the sulphates, etc., etc, but please allow for the developing world to experience the absolute wonders that derived from carbon-based fuel and electricity. Without writing a treatise on the topic, my views are that 2C in the next century would be the morally correct position to advocate for, not against.

    • Ed, 'Mister' Jones

      “please allow for the developing world to experience the absolute wonders that derived from carbon-based fuel and electricity.”

      Not the least of which IS LOWER BIRTH RATES. Ironic that the Save-the-Planet-Crowd that views Humanity as a “Plague” opposes the most efficacious “Treatment” – higher living standards.

  25. Do smallish weasels normally exhibit hostile and jealous behavior? I better look it up in Wiki. :-)

    • Connelly has a vested interest in accusing others of censoring. Because he’s famous for it during his tenure at Wikipedia, it lessens the moral impact of what he did if he can tar others with the same brush.

  26. Well, well: certainly no-one can accuse *you* of being a gentleman “You got tired of acting like a small mammal and reverted to slimy amphibian” – oh dear oh dear oh dear.

    But you’re still lying. I haven’t written a post about you and then refused to let you comment. Indeed, AFAIK I haven’t written any posts about you. Do you mean http://scienceblogs.com/stoat/2010/08/20/curry-jumps-the-shark/ ? You have several published comments there, but indeed I cut (as I told you) your trolling.

    As for the comments you censored about Marty and his fantasy world: it seems that when *you* delete comments, that’s not censorship. Nor when a whole (indeed several) posts worth of comments disappeared. And no, they didn’t need to disappear: you could easily have just blanked the post and left the comments. But they were embarrassing to you.

    Indeed, you’ve censored comments off your “editorial note” posting, too (http://www.webcitation.org/6De6pHfQH). My prediction? Not one of your acolytes here will even bother check up on your censorship, much less call you on it.

    And not a word about WUWT’s censorship, I see. I thought you were pretending to be balanced? If you spend all your time violently attacking one “side” no-one will even be able to pretend to believe in your “balance”.

    • Connelly, I have the email from you telling me you were not allowing my comment up.

      And I don’t consider Watts banning you to be censorship. It’s good sense instead. I am not as sensible–you are free to comment here. I actually didn’t think of blanking the post to preserve the comments. I’ve never seen that done and it seems faintly ridiculous, but I supposed I could have done it. If any of your comments had been of substance rather than slime, maybe I would have. But, as here, all of your comments are ‘Anthony does it too!’ ‘You do it too!’ And we don’t.

      I’m not aiming for balance. I’m advocating another position–Anthony and I disagree on probably more things than we agree on, from political subjects to climate change.

      One thing we do agree on is how odious you are. In that we are joined by multitudes.

      • Scott Basinger

        Actually, Wm, banning you here and deleting your comments would probably be a mercy to you. I’m glad they haven’t, reading this thread is making my popcorn taste better.

      • One of the more subtle forms of censorship on WUWT is how the people who post issues respond to contrary points. For instance if you look at the behaviour of Willis Eschenbach who uses his role as thread originator not to facilitate debate by allowing it to proceed, but leaping in and insulting/labelling/bullying anyone who remotely disagrees with his perspective. His posts in his role are always highlighted to and give extra impact to his diatribes. Anthony Watts himself seems to be a decent enough bloke, though sometimes seems to confuse the promotion of right wing politics with climate science, but other thread authors can be pretty nasty people which is an intimidating form of censorship. I must admit I would post more often there if the roles of moderator and author were not confused and moderation was applied to all regardless of viewpoint. I have to add that Skeptical Science behaves in a very similar fashion.

      • “And I don’t consider Watts banning you to be censorship. It’s good sense instead.”

        LOL. Hypocrisy ROCKS, dude.

    • I agree with you that WUWT snips comments. The only time I was snipped was for teasing Gavin. Everything serious at WUWT has always been passed through. There is a big difference between snipping obnoxious behavior and suppressing opinions you don’t understand or are mistaken on. Real Climate shut down a thread once to stop Ryan O’Donnell from making a point. Tamino has blocked me when he screwed up for the same reasons.

      I have seen the same thing of Wikipedia and the behavior is flatly disgusting. You pretend to give a crap about the poor “little” people, and as long as his/her opinion matches yours, there is no problem. No questioning the overlords is allowed. Then you stop by and call Tom Fuller a liar.

      Did someone back over your puppy in an SUV?

      • Jeff,

        I actually got cut from Real Climate by Eric after it was made known he had reviewed your paper. I asked a genuine question whether it was normal for someone in his position to do that, and then later criticize the same paper. After the deletion, I asked why it was cut. That post was put through with an accusation response that I had asked a loaded question equal to “when did you stop beating your wife?”, which was of course no where near what I had asked. The exchange actually made it to Climate Audit and Lucia’s.

        I was genuinely giving him a chance to explain his side and he failed spectacularly. Had he given a thoughtful and honest answer explaining the process he would have done much better.

        The regulars there didn’t have many nice things to say either as you might imagine.

      • No, serious comments at WUWT are routinely censored and the poster banned. Quit lying already. WUWT is one of the most heavily censored blogs on the entire web.

  27. Anyone, ANYONE, who reports his opinion concerning what a scientific parameter will turn out to be, has no engineering aptitude. We do not invent numbers. We measure variables, express and attempt to prove theories, and study unknowns.

    There is no solid evidence that Man’s activities have changed the Earth’s climate at all. The simple fact that CO2 measured since the 1950’s has risen, while the Earth’s so-called Average temperature has fallen, then risen, then stayed the same, indicates absolutely NOTHING. And, there is either more, less, or the same amount of ice that there was 500 years ago, but no one actually knows.

    If you want to fight against a problem, fight against IGNORANCE, and start with yourself!

  28. How is it possible to disagree with the statement, ‘There is no solid proof…” of anything? Got some? Let’s have it!!!

  29. Wmconnolley… Way to leap into a conversation with both fists swinging. You may or may not be correct, but I’m not interested in checking it.

    Watts has dedicated posts to label others liars, but that’s in his own sandbox and usually with specific evidence quoted.

    Circling back to the topic of the discussion, single-viewpoint organizations will fade away. When was the last time you heard the words “move on dot org” or “rocky mountain institute”? They don’t show up in my Google autocomplete without adding some old context out of memory.

  30. OK Thomas, read it. I repeat, there is no solid evidence that “Man’s activities” concerning introducing CO2 into the atmosphere, to which I was clearly referring earlier, “have changed the Earth’s climate at all.” What is the point of discussing beavers or caribou or forest fires? We cannot change any of that, other than to tear down some dams which would require even more fossil fuel usage to replace the megawatts.

    I am 54 years old. I grew up in Michigan, which in the 70’s was a pretty snowy chilly place. I must admit I believed in global warming until I started checking into the data. I discovered that there is NO PROOF! Billions have been spent and an entire continent’s economy severly disrupted. WHY?

    • Michael, I disagree with you. We have good evidence that the atmosphere and oceans have warmed. We know that CO2 can contribute. We know that we emitted industrial quantities of CO2.

      What we don’t know is how much. What we don’t know is how the tendency of CO2 to increase warming is balanced, negated or supported by other factors (some human, some not) that impact on temperatures. What we don’t know is the follow-on effects of what warming we have seen.

      • What we don’t know is how much. What we don’t know is how the tendency of CO2 to increase warming is balanced, negated or supported by other factors (some human, some not) that impact on temperatures. What we don’t know is the follow-on effects of what warming we have seen.

        Bingo!

        The view from here, so to speak, is that it is precisely the “what we don’t knows” that the “climate hypochondriacs” [h/t Eduardo Zorita] would prefer to airbrush and/or “revisionize” out of existence.

        In doing so, they insult (and/or underestimate) the intelligence of the average person whose critical thinking skills are still intact, and who, therefore, prefer to think for themselves – rather than be told what to think by the likes of Tobis, Mann, Schmidt, Weaver et al. Not to mention (what strikes me as) the mindless boosterism of the likes of Lewandowsky, Corner – and more recently Weintrobe.

        As The Globe and Mail’s Margaret Wente recently concluded:

        Many people say the risk of climate change is so great that we need to act now, because doing something is better than doing nothing. But that’s not always true. So far, global warming policies have probably done far more harm to the planet than global warming has. Climate change is still rather poorly understood. Climate policy is hard. We should be humble about what we know – and what we don’t. [emphasis added -hro]

        P.S. Great new blog, Tom. Just hope it doesn’t become infested by the usual thread-derailing suspects who (from my perspective) have rendered conversations on Judith Curry’s excellent blog as virtually unreadable.

  31. Well it really is not a matter of opinion. Treemometers aside, there is no PROOF that the rise in CO2 is even our doing. The oceans absorb and emit an order of magnitude more than we do, as does vegetation and algae. Temperatures on the Earth have always varied, and always will. The fact that the rise in CO2 only represents a little less than half our emissions indicates that there is little reason to think they are related. Ice cores show that historically CO2 FOLLOWS temperature.

    Most of this CAGW mass hysteria is caused by the mass media preaching to the uninformed masses, claiming certain knowledge of a very poorly understood phenomenon. Seems a very shaky way to sell a newspaper.

    • Michael, the first coal-fired power plant was commissioned in 1882. At the end of the Little Ice Age. There are now thousands of them. The first automobile was built around the same time. There are now a billion of them on the roads. That’s not a matter of opinion.

      We don’t know precisely what our contribution means to the change in concentrations. That is true. But it’s more than a small fraction.

      Yes–CO2 rises do follow temperature rises–as is expected. But it seems to this observer that they often also precede them–as is expected. And when they do not there is some other event that could logically be presumed to cause a temperature rise.

      I don’t claim certain knowledge of the phenomenon or lack thereof–are you?

      • Tom, we are familiar with the lag literature, i.e. CO2 lags temperature by 100-800 years as assessed by the paleo record. You say it often precedes it. Can you cite that literature as I am not familiar with it.

    • I hope this shows up in the right place… Bob, your question about how I came by the idea that CO2 leads and lags temps on occasion is a good one. I didn’t remember exactly where I read it, although I know it’s been discussed on several occasions at both Real Climate and Watt’s Up With That–amazingly they had differing ideas and opinions about it!

      I found this post at Skeptical Science had probably the best plain English explanation. I’m not fond of those people, but I think this is useful at showing why it isn’t crazy to think of it the way I do. I hope…

      http://www.skepticalscience.com/skakun-co2-temp-lag.html

      • I just noticed over at Skeptical Science that Dana Cook will be writing an expose of us ‘orrible Lukewarmers. His provisional title is “Lukewarmerism, a.k.a. Ignoring Inconvenient Evidence.” I wait with bated breath.

      • Tom, for what it worth I read the Dana Cook link you provided. Wow, you talk about trolling for data and explanations. I will look elsewhere, because Cook’s explanation for a CO2 lead is very tortured. Have you read that? Not sure I would reference that if it were me. So, until I find more credible evidence we are left with CO2 lags temp. by 100-800 years.

      • Yes, SkS never uses a sentence where a paragraph will fit and they do like to stretch their points. But the key point–that it’s hard and ultimately not extremely helpful to establish precedence for CO2 vs. temps in the remote past–strikes me as plausible.

      • Two points about the Shakun paper- the inital temperature increase preceded the CO2 in the north, where it has the most impact. Untangling the effects after that is difficult. On the face of it, the graph(which is not at all clear) shows the initial high north latitude temperature/CO2 increase caused an increase in southern hemisphere temperatures. Presumably the temperatures caused additional CO2 releases and temperature increases that spread to the northern hemisphere with a lag of about 1000 years. Assigning the temperature increase to CO2 and not also other causes of temperature increase is ingenuous.

        Normalizing the temperatures to a range makes a good graph, but the physics depends on the actual temperatures, so it is difficult to see how the CO2 level is accounted for. Using multiple Monte-Carlo estimates of the progression doesn’t prove anything. More analysis of the actual proxy data curves would be more useful.

  32. I don’t object to the concept of censorship per se. Who hasn’t tried to read comments at a mainstream site like CNN, WP, WSJ and thought, this is a total waste of my time? It’s like a teenage flame war between Windows/Mac iOS/Android. Not very interesting.

    However the execution of censoring is always what causes the problems. I have no doubt that most people enter this with an “even hand” mentality, but it just never seems to work out. Outright bias eventually flows from subconscious bias, and it never seems to recover.

    RC is always a case in point. They were posting all my first newbie stuff, and over time my pass rate fell below 50%, I felt unwelcome, and now post infrequently, although I have learned how to properly phrase posts so that 2/3 get through the randomized emotional filter employed there.

    You can make a judgment from what they allow through, and what they reject, and it is certainly biased. It’s their right to run the site as they wish. People who respond with some pretty abusive stuff are given effective real time posting access, while I have to wait hours for moderated responses to get through. So be it.

    My WTF moment over there occurred when the Himalaya 2035 melt tiff was going on. There was an “it was an innocent mistake” RC post up, and I posted links to Google cached pages showing the NASA website had an attribution page up, and NASA had just disappeared it the previous day, saying the Himalaya glaciers would melt by 2030, 5 years earlier! I even reposted it twice because I thought they had accidentally not let it through. I didn’t even know Gavin worked for NASA at the time.

    Naive. That kind of censorship stick with you. And I have no doubt they think they are winning hearts and minds over there.

  33. Tom do you by chance, read the comments by Dr Brown under the rbatduke tag? He belabours the point of how little knowledge we actually have.
    If being a lukewarmist is to say maybe, then I too am a lukewarmist.
    But the catastrophic consequences projected with respect to our CO2 and heat emissions, seem pretty wild when compared to the volcanic activities of the past.Or are the geologists wildly inaccurate in their reconstruction of past events?
    As you noted in a previous post, does the lack of correlation between manmade CO2 emissions and global temperatures not give cause for pause in the panic?

    • Robert Brown is an all-star as far as I am concerned.

      As for volcanos – why worry about anthropogenic climate chnage when Iceland is going to explode? At least that is what scientists are saying.

      On a serious note, I accept that we could see a major eruption in Iceland in my life time. A multi volcano super eruption? Maybe so, or maybe not for another several thousand years. I’ll stop caring long before that.

  34. Thomas,

    I claim the certain knowledge that no one has certain knowledge of the effect of CO2 emissions on climate. CO2 remains a trace gas. It absorbs and “thermalizes” IR in the 15 micron band. The 15 micron band is emitted by matter at -80 C, most strongly. This is very difficult to characterize as an overwhelmingly powerful effect on climate. The idea that there could be a positive feedback from increasing CO2 is absurd, as positive feedbacks, had they ever existed in climate, would have boiled the oceans millenia ago, and anyone who thinks otherwise does not know what “positive feecback” means. Have you been in an auditorium when a PA speaker is too close to a microphone and the speaker hears itself, is amplified, and the amplifier saturates? It hurts the ears. This is positive feedback.

  35. The worst thing(s) about censorship is that it:
    1) Stifles our unalienable rights to religion and speech from our Creator
    2) Distorts and retards understanding of the “laws of nature and of nature’s God” (science & theology) by preventing robustly raising evidence to test/validate/challenge hypotheses & theories, and by preventing a full hearing of alternative hypotheses and theories to see if they better fit available evidence and model systems/predict the future.
    See the principles of USC The Declaration of Independence – 1776, which by enabling acts have been mutually accepted by all States for equal standing in the Union.

    Alternative theories with moderate anthropogenic warming appear to give better predictions. e.g., See models by the Global Warming Prediction Project and Nicola Scafetta.

    • I think that Scafetta has the best approach to separate the components of warming into natural and man made. I think that he puts the man made part at no more than a third. But then you can separate that into a component that is symmetrical north and south which could be co2 and one that is purely northern hemisphere. which is probably soot, aerosols and land use. The co2 component ends up in the 0.3-0.5C/century range.

  36. logiclogiclogic

    The problem in debating people with differing political beliefs is that they belong to a “religion” of sorts. There is a behavioral evolution idea called memes and there is a belief in a meme that makes humans behaviorally want to belong to groups. Some people have this meme stronger and some less. However, the idea is that you survive better if you belong to a group, you have more security by belonging to a group, therefore somewhere in your life you pick a group and your identity, your security gets tied up in that meme and the need to maintain group identity and cohesion. This overrides all logic and people who have this meme strongly will be unable to break their identity with their group. They can be incredibly smart people and frequently are who can always find arguments and ways to argue, ways to look at the evidence to facilitate their group identity. Others aren’t so smart and simply when challenged on their belief will hurl insults and associate you with negative stereotypes as if you were the enemy because of course you are because you are not part of their group.

    In my experience it is extremely difficult to break someone of their group identity who is like this and most people are. Its a recessive trait to be able to counter their group and believe something counter to what their or any group thinks. They become ostracized and these people don’t need a group to associate with. They can be respected by both sides but not trusted.

    The people who believe strongly in CAGW have a meme identity with liberalism religion which means they believe certain things inherently. They know what these are and they know when they make a mistake and say something which violates that identity. In my opinion the liberal “group” attached itself to the CAGW position because they see it as evidence of mans evil influence on nature which is a well established belief. They cannot rid themselves of this belief no matter how much evidence could be presented that we’ve cleaned up our act a bit. They will always believe that we are causing problems and therefore no amount of argumentation that it may not be that bad will work because deep in their souls they know they must believe that man is going to do evil to the environment so it must be true.

    Right now over the last 100 years no matter how you slice and dice it there is no period where temperatures have gone up more than about 0.2C/decade. Therefore it is patently extraordinary and unbelievable to make a prediction that temperatures will rise by 3.5C by 2100 since that requires a sustained 9 decade uninterrupted run each decade of which is getting hotter twice as fast as the fastest temperature rise we have ever seen. Literally to get to 3.5C at this point will take what is close to a miracle of change from anything we’ve seen before. Yet these people will insist that it will happen and act like you are an idiot for suggesting that you don’t believe you are convinced even though its like saying I’m convinced that the stock market will hit 100,000 by 2100 and even though that would require an unbelievable sustained run and all kinds of things about resources, productivity that seem unreasonable or at least unprovable these people insist they have proven it.

    We know how science works. Many of the CAGW types are schooled in science and they know that real science is not done with hidden data, hidden models, with backdoor attempts to muffle some voices. When I go to physics class and say I don’t believe this will happen the professor does not have me expelled. He calmly goes to the board and shows me how the science works, what the current best theory says and can lay out millions of experiments that show that this is how it works. It’s not like this in climate “science”. In climate science they believe things are solid and if you don’t believe it they scream obscenities, cut off the debate, prevent you from publishing. This is a religion and follows the group meme. It’s not science. It’s a belief system.

    Does this mean CAGW is wrong? It makes it suspicious because it is so clearly political it means the science isn’t so straightforward which means it isn’t settled. They say its settled but if it was settled there would be no politics. It would be simple. Instead we have this debate because in fact we don’t know what will happen.

    This is buttressed by the last 16 years. In 2005 the IPCC started meeting and they looked at the models and the information they had. They thought that their models had a close enough accuracy to the actual results to that point that they could say that they accounted for the variability of nature. They knew there was still variability but they thought they had it in bounds that allowed them to conclude that the heating from 1979-1998 was close to 100% caused by co2. Since 2005 temperatures have not cooperated. In fact since 1997 there is statistically no change. That means that natural variability was able to cancel out the effect of co2 for 16 years. They did not believe this in 2005. In fact they ascribed a 2% or less chance of this kind of run. The fact that natural variability could cancel out Co2 for 16 years means that necessarily we don’t know if some or most of the heat from 1979 – 1998 now was caused by co2 or by other things, i.e. solar or ocean phenomenon. During the period 1979-1998 the solar radiation and PDO/AMO phenomenon we know were contributing positively to temperature. Now we know that they have been contributing negatively. If they were small influence then CO2 should have carried the day and temperatures should be 0.3-0.4C higher. The fact that temps are roughly the same means that a good part of the heating between 1979-1998 was almost certainly NOT CO2. Therefore the effect of CO2 is clearly much less than we thought just 5-10 years ago.

    This is irrefutable logic in my opinion. Yet those who believe in the co2 religion won’t give up their 3.5C predictions for 2100 even as temperatures basically don’t move anywhere near fast enough to make such a prediction remotely likely. They seem to depend on most people being unable to do the math of seeing how far from the kind of change they are predicting from the actual change occuring to keep up their belief. Any scientist would have to be worried about how the theory has performed and it clearly is a matter of extreme mental gymnastics to continue to support this theory at the extreme level they do. They do it because to abandon it would be to lose face on their group identity and their religion that man must ultimately have tremendously negative impacts. To give up that would be to desert their group and their meme won’t allow them to do that even if they are scientists because this science is too closely tied to root beliefs of their group affiliation.

    • So it appears that opposition to most consensus or agreed theories coming from right wing groups ( heartland institute, Anthony Watts etc) means that those theories must also be viewed with suspicion?

      • logiclogiclogic

        Yes. We all to some extent will find ourselves struggling with objectivity because whether we admit it or not it is tough to give up your group identity and if something you are studying violates that group identity you will struggle with how to position it.

        I have seen studies on who are “liberals” and conservatives. About 35% of people identify themselves strongly with each of these groups. Inbetween are people who are not associating as strongly with that group identity. Possibly they have chosen other groups to join or don’t have as strong genetic predisposition to belong to groups. Each of these 2 groups is roughly constant in size. Liberals believe all conservatives are stupid and ill intentioned and vice versa most conservatives believe that liberals are ill intentioned and stupid. It is not likely either is true or they couldn’t survive. Studies have shown that liberals tend to have both lower and higher than average wealth and intelligence and conservatives more take up a middle ground. This probably seems counter to what many people believe. I don’t know what to say. The statistics aren’t terribly wrong. It does make sense that poorer people would be liberal and also since poorer tend to be dumber on average it makes sense there are probably more dumb people in the liberal party. However, there are also demonstrably a large number of extremely smart people in the liberal party and rich people. The liberal party by definition must comprise more of these outlier groups. I know liberals want to believe that conservatives are super dumb but actually they are in the middle and have a large number of pretty smart people too and a few dumb people. Statistically the liberals are more driven from a few bright and rich people and the dumber people and poorer people tag along. Fine. There is nothing wrong with that. My point is that neither party is especially superior over the other. More conservatives succeed at business, more academics are liberal. While raw intelligence might be measured to be associated with academics it seems unlikely that an adequate definition of intelligence would classify people who make millions and millions running companies or whatever as “dumb” or not as smart as a professor of some academic pursuit. They are smart in other ways.

        So, liberals and conservatives operate from a basis of the other guy is ill intentioned and evil and stupid. It simply isn’t the case.

        Back to climate science. Liberals want to believe man is causing problems. They want to make things better. Conservatives don’t want to live in a dirty environment, they don’t want to end life on earth. Conservatives strongly believe they are well intentioned on the environment and other subjects. Liberals who believe they are out to destroy the environment, don’t care for childrens welfare etc are simply operating in a “genetic” group behavior where they are mentally driven to put down the other group as the enemy.

        I see this behavior in everyone practically who is political and has group identities like this. It makes politics fun but not necessarily better. Nonetheless it may be necessary for the system and humanity to work. We seem to need this competitve thinking, this hate to drive us to achievements. The constant flux in ideas and competitive positioning is probably positive. However, when looking at it at the micro level, looking at one person talking you see immediately how they are not operating rationally. They go off with assumptions about the other side that are almost always totally wrong. I have met people who claim to be conservative but seem to hate every idea of conservatives and I’ve met so many liberals who I don’t think have any idea why they believe what they do, frequently do things totally counter to their religion but will speak completely differently. Preachers who will talk about chastity as they visit prostitutes daily, liberals who advocate windmills just not in their back yard or are all for distributing money for good schools as long as the money is “other peoples money” or money that doesn’t come from my school district.

        Back to the environment. Many liberals are so tied to saving face now on the idea of global warming they are pulling logical gymnastics that are amazing given they must know how the scientific method is normally done. I have seen conservatives who totally will ignore what the basics of the science says and predict things the complete opposite I think simply in some cases to get the goat of the other side.

        What’s the truth? Well, I think I can be more objective. It is clear to me that we don’t know. The science is not settled. That doesn’t mean liberals are wrong, but when they say they know that is wrong. They don’t. If this is an important problem it needs a lot more study and it seems to me it is unlikely that the 3C or 4.5C scenario for a doubling of CO2 is realistic given the temperature we now understand the earth has gone through over the last 8,000 years or so in particular. It seems very unlikley that CO2 has such a large effect as they have estimated and modelled. Why? Well that would take a lot longer than I’ve already written to explain but it is after more than 10 years studying what each side has said. Yes the “skeptic” side has made errors but so what? The issue is do the “claimers of the knowledge” actually predict results we see in the real world. Only a little bit. Much of what they predict seems to have been overstated and isn’t happening and didn’t happen. I see evidence of data tampering. The temperature record of the US and probably other countries has been adjusted by algorithms which have made the temperature rise over the last 100 years look twice as big as it may be. I don’t understand how we were so consistently overestimating temperatures in the past? It seems like there is experimenter bias, that there is a subtle bias in researchers to ignore the data that shows them wrong and to stretch the data they have that conforms to match their theory not the other way around.

  37. Tom, I read earlier you are a big fan of Bart Verheggen. A couple of years ago he hosted one of the most interesting discussions I’ve read in the blogosphere. When you have a couple of hours to blow, click on the links below. Take a good look at how he fared with the famous VS and let me know if you have the same regard for Bart. My apologies if you have already seen this.

    http://ourchangingclimate.wordpress.com/2010/03/18/the-relevance-of-rooting-for-a-unit-root/

    http://ourchangingclimate.wordpress.com/2010/04/01/a-rooty-solution-to-my-weight-gain-problem/#comments

    http://ourchangingclimate.wordpress.com/2010/03/08/is-the-increase-in-global-average-temperature-just-a-random-walk/

    http://ourchangingclimate.wordpress.com/2010/03/01/global-average-temperature-increase-giss-hadcru-and-ncdc-compared/

  38. thomaswfuller2 | January 27, 2013 at 6:55 am:
    “…Monckton has adopted and abandoned a number of political memes that ruined his credibility for me–notably his birther position on Obama. … ”

    And – you personally downloaded the .pdf file copy from the WH website when it was released and proceeded to examine it (using any of the pdf edit tools available)? Sorry, but it I were to provide a ‘document’ of that nature I would be arrested for forgery … even now you are probably not aware of what comprises’ that document, the several different layers in critical areas? (it does NOT represent to be one layer and one layer only scanned from some source copy.)

    My apologies, but I needed to address this, as I’m not sure you’re up to speed on developments since the release of the so-called ‘release’ birth cert. which only seems to represent yet another sham foisted upon the nation with no one seeing the emperor’s clothes in that situation either (a rather incurious lot you ‘journalists’ can be at times!)

    Before the ‘release’ I could have cared less, resigned to the fate rendered by the electorate, but with the release of what looks like a hasty (and poor; it is well within the realm of possibility that the fabricators are wholly incompetent as their document fabricating capabilities indicates) fabrication has aroused my interest from that angle alone.

    _Jim

    • The document was real.

      You birthers are fucking crazy.

      • Boris Johnson (Mayor of London) for President!

        Born in New York City.

      • Excuse me.

        Are you familiar with the phrase: “Dismissal prior to investigation is bad science.”?

        Did you read my prior post for comprehension OR NO?

        I think “no”… making your input less than worthless, practically speaking a net negative overall ‘gain’ … since the questions was posed to Thomas, your response furthermore was spurious and is undesired from these quarters.

        Repeating again, at NO POINT prior to the release of this sham of a document did I care … the release of a multi-layer doc with notable differences in key areas has only now served to ‘salt’ my curiosity.

        Apparently, everyone else is content to be literally ‘fed by hand’ any necessary ‘trvth’ to passivate (literally: make passive) so as not to ask embarrassing questions. Your childhood appears deficient, as expressed by your unfamiliarity with the moral of the story “The Emperor’s New Clothes” penned once upon a time by Hans Christian Andersen.

        _Jim

      • Sorry, Jim, but you are still fucking crazy. This has been explained so many times one must be a reality denier to keep spewing these bullshit lies.

        The fact is that the layers is due to the software used to scan the document. Look it up.

        You are nothing but a sheep. Unable to think for yourself. Merely parroting that which the political demagogues you love are spewing.

      • Snerkersnerk, please avoid profanity and as a favor to both me and other commenters don’t use the term ‘denier’ to describe those who disagree with you.

        Thank you for your consideration.

  39. Denialist blogs are censoring like crazy too, so what’s the problem? Anthony Watts is notorious for auto-banning anyone who disagrees with him.

    • Snerker, you wrote, “Anthony Watts is notorious for auto-banning anyone who disagrees with him.”

      I’d have to disagree. When I first came to this blog I had some serious disagreements with Anthony because so much of what I brought here came from an area (Free Choice vs. Antismoking) where he and I see things quite differently and in which he has justifiably very strong feelings. He could easily have made me “disappear” but he didn’t: he communicated his concern and I moved toward only bringing in my “special” views on the discussions when they were clearly directly relevant and necessary, and we’ve since had no problems. I’ve also seen other posters on here fairly often who strongly disagree with him and with the central views of the blog.

      So…. I’d disagree.

      – MJM

      • You can disagree all you want, Michael. I know for a fact that his blog is heavily censored, and that people who correct his propaganda are instantly banned.

        When you ask why you were banned they make up some bullshit excuse like “not a valid email address” despite it working 100%. Or they just ban you again.

      • Snerkersnerk, you are providing the world with evidence as to why the consensus has difficulty claiming the trust of the public regarding climate change issues.

        It’s not the scientists–it’s people like you who defame and deride anyone in opposition. People like you drown out the science and the scientists and go a long way to turning climate change from a scientific issue into a partisan political dogfight.

        I am asking you to tone down your discourse. Thank you for your consideration.

      • Snerkersnerk, you are providing the world with evidence as to why the consensus has difficulty claiming the trust of the public regarding climate change issues.

        Ah yes, more personal attacks. And a hypocritical one to boot. If my harsh words are making the public distrust the science, then why are you not making the same claim about all the insane deniers who spew hatred and attacks all the time (including Watts and Monckton)?

    • @snerksnerk

      I have personal experience of being banned from alarmist blogs. So I knwo that it occurs. But have seen little convincing evidence of Anthony Watts doing the same.

      Please name names and share testimony of what happened and when. The we will all be able to see if this oft-quoted rumour has any substance.

      • …..

        and I gotta say the

        ‘Mummy, mummy – but they did it too!’

        defence – which is what you are advancing – isn’t very mature, even if the accusation can be substantiated.

      • Lat’s,

        Channelling Joshua?

      • You are obviously a denier, which means that you will defend Watts no matter what. His heavy censorship is well known.

        Also, the point is that it’s hypocritical and dishonest to attack one side for doing something the other side is doing to an even greater degree.

      • Latimer Alder

        @snerksnerk

        It’d be very easy for you to demonstrate your point about Watts. Just names and share the testimony of those who were ‘heavily censored’ by him as you claim

        I imagine that you think of yourself as some sort of ‘follower of science’. You’ll recall, no doubt, that science doesn’t work on ‘it is well known that’, but on observations and experiment. If it did we’d still expect the heavy weight to hit the ground before the light one.

        Please produce your evidence. ‘It is well known’ just willl not do.

    • snerk,

      I was in agreement with your first comment – birthers being crazy.

      Your second comment puts you in the same category. OK, maybe not for sure crazy, but if not that, then someone with a piss poor attitude.

      • timg56 – snapsnap erected a strawman argument in that previous comment which you are now furthering … given the ‘quality’ (lack thereof, breeching over itno dishonest argument to be frank) of the discussion here, I don’t see anything productive resulting from a continuance .. do you?

        But I proceed nonetheless … your having pre-determined the facts (already made your mind up about the entire affair) blind you to the introduction of finer-grained details existing for ANYONE to see or examine IN the ‘released’ doc … but no. It would appear that “Dismissal prior to investigation is bad science.” is operative for you here as well.

        The lack of any forensic investigation is shocking, and from quarters where auditing, verification, cites, references, traceability, verification of authenticity, and examination of evidence-in-hand (THE released doc) is possible I am even further shocked. Anyone reading this should then pause and wonder about your abilities on other areas, let alone your competency to make a ‘call’ in some other area be it physics, climatology or even logic.

        In my comments I have only asked a simple question of Thomas and furthermore stated I now have had my curiosity ‘salted’ given the internal makeup of the bc pdf document … but the impression from the response I get is that several of you are out to quite literally out to ‘burn witches’ – i.e. castigate any and all if “strict adherence to dictated orthodoxy” is not followed … fine example being set since given the post topic … I only want to discuss observable, demonstrable, FACTUAL MATTERS regarding the doc in question yet ad homs fly (the impugning of character) constitute the dialog.

        _Jim

      • So you think pointing out the obvious is a piss poor attitude? I guess you don’t want dear little Tony boy to be exposed…

        It’s good to hear that you are rational about birthers, at least.

    • Snerker, to the best of my knowledge you are the first to use the f word on this blog. Clean it up.

      • Jim, let me add my voice to Marty’s. I’d like as much as possible for this venue to be family friendly and less antagonistic–if such is possible on this topic.

        I really don’t know why birtherism is being discussed here, in any event.

      • Birthers are being discussed because a real one showed up.

        And as everyone knows, birthers are usually creationists are usually climate deniers.

      • What are you going to do? Censor me?

        Tom responds: No. I will if needed edit your comments and use asterisks for profanity.

    • Snerker, I find your language offensive. I don’t think you should use the ‘d’ word or any of its variants here.

      Thank you for your consideration.

      • Snerker, I find your language offensive. I don’t think you should use the ‘d’ word or any of its variants here.

        Why is it OK to call people alarmists, but not deniers?

  40. Whoops! LOL! I guess I should say, “When I came to THAT blog…” Forgot which blog I was on at the moment. :> My post still stands though, although it was oriented toward WUWT rather than LW’s blog!

    – MJM

  41. I find this new summary by Matt Ridley to be a good statement of some ‘Lukewarmer’s’ questions and concerns at this point in the debates:

    http://www.thegwpf.org/content/uploads/2013/01/Ridley-Ten-Tests.pdf

    (h/t Bishop Hill)

    (anyway Ridley expresses better than I could where I think I so tentatively perch at this point in a series of my own learning curves)

    I mention this document because it expresses what I hope to learn more about in the open minded discussions on this blog. Thank you, Tom Fuller, for your good sense, insights, and rationality displayed here and around the web.

    • I just saw it too, Skiphil–we must have the same rotation schedule for looking at the blogs. I posted on it here: http://thelukewarmersway.wordpress.com/2013/01/28/matt-ridleys-ten-lukewarmer-tests/

    • Bishop Hill is a science denial blog. Why on earth would anyone use that as a source?

      The same goes for “TheWTF” (ThegGWPF) which is just a political anti-science propaganda vessel.

      • Snerk, do you really believe that your sneers contribute to any kind of discussion worthy of humans? They do not.

        So far it’s Matt Ridley 10, Snerk zero.

      • Snerk, do you really believe that your sneers contribute to any kind of discussion worthy of humans? They do not.

        Wait, so it’s OK for Matt Ridley to attack and ridicule scientists, but not to respond to his garbage?

      • logiclogiclogic

        I may be stepping in a pile of dung but all that matt was asking for is data. If he was in a physics class the teacher or ta could answer his questions promptly. When in the “climate science religion space” asking questions like show me this or that is met with derisive attacks. I think everybody can pretty much discount the idea all these biliions are being spent on science.

      • Hi logic, I don’t think you’re stepping in anything. I more or less agree with you. (I also think Mr. Ridley took advantage of the opportunity to bring up some points he’s brought up before in an almost-but-not-quite-zinger sort of way, but I don’t know if I could have resisted the opportunity to do the same.)

        The structure is effective, in part because he is posing questions and asking for data in a reasonable way. But part of me thinks Mr. Ridley is already in possession of the answers he wants–and might look askance at data that surprised him. I might be wrong about that–indeed, I hope I am. I’m a big fan of his book The Rational Optimist. I finished it in one day and started re-reading it as soon as I had finished.

      • Snerkersnerk, although you are providing best case (worst case?) evidence of why the level of debate on these issues has sunk so low and which ‘team’ is responsible for it, I’d like you to tone down your commentary.

        Bishop Hill is a skeptic blog. I haven’t seen anyone there deny science or associate themselves with neo-Nazi skinheads who deny the Holocaust occurred. The same, as far as I can tell, holds true for the GWPF.

        You are embarrassing yourself and those whose views you claim to share. Your inane comments will be used by skeptics in the future, not against you, as you’re probably not important enough to merit their concern, but against other members of the consensus who don’t deserve to be tarred with your needlessly provocative foolishness.

        Please stop.

      • Bishop Hill is not a skeptic blog. A skeptic is someone who looks honesty at the evidence before coming to a conclusion. A denier is someone who denies the evidence, and constantly spews the same old lies. This is Bishop Hill.

        What on earth do Nazis and the Holocaust have to do with anything?

        You call deniers skeptics. You are wrong.

  42. Do you think Anthony Watts is a science denier? Or is he a good source for stuff?

    • Anthony Watts is good for data on the sea ice pages etc. My main problem with reading his site is that occasionally there is useful stuff, but it’s often difficult to separate the promotion of anti- Obama/right wing politics from the science. He also seems to let Willis Eschebach get away with pretty appalling behaviour which is sad because he single handily drive people away from the date and site or undermines useful discussion.

  43. Oh, and for those who are deluded enough to think Anthony Watts is a nice guy, he abused the DMCA several times to take down videos containing criticism of him!

  44. This is an interesting thread and an interesting blog!

    As for censorship, I would like to add that people like me, with only so and so much time on our hands, quickly learn some “automatic” censorship reading blog comments. I do not even have time enough to read all the interesting comments, like at JC. So… while I always read comments by certain commenters that I have learned to appreciate, comments from the likes of snerksnerk it is just wasted time and are simply skipped.

    I do sometimes count them though :)

  45. ROFLMAO!

    I see that snerkersnerk is up to his usual snotty comments that discredits the idea of a civil discourse.He does this elsewhere with NO regards to the topic at hand but sneer and spew out the namecalling.I do not recall a single post where he tries to make a real counterpoint to the topic itself.

    snerk : http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=snerk

    This is why he is here is because he is full of himself and avoids all manner of a debate.

    Carry on little fella.

    • I think we should have a vote. Does banning snerk constitute censorship? Censorship is suppressing an idea or information. He conveys no information, and I haven’t heard a complete idea from him yet. His main contribution here is to make so many posts that other comments scroll off the recent comments section and I have more trouble finding new comments.
      I’ve also run into him elsewhere.

      • I think ignoring him would be just as effective as banning him. I’ll continue to remove objectionable language–who knows? He might learn something at some point.

      • Marty, that’s called “increasing the noise to signal ratio” and was used against Free Choice folks on the old alt.smokers newsgroup back in the mid/late 1990s by a poster called Bob Watson. He was strongly against the idea of a newsgroup existing that questioned smoking bans so he made it his mission, in his own words, to “destroy this newsgroup” by drowning it in snerky type postings.

        In situations like that I can see some form of moderating censorship being justified, but in order to avoid the negatives that come with charges of censorship, it would be good to find a way to defend against them. Two ways come to mind:

        1) Your suggestion of allowing censorship by “voting” — although I don’t think I like that idea.

        2) Setting up a space for offending posts to be moved to, with the posts themselves simply earning a note “Post moved to WUWT Spam Bin if you want to read it.” and maybe have a secondary single note for repeat violators, “Posts to this thread by XJERK moved to WUWT Spam Bin.”

        With option #2 it’s hard for them to clam outright censorship, since their thoughts ARE still available, AND… if the tool began to be used unwisely by moderators then anyone who checked would be able to see that that was the case and make a judgment for themselves. Meanwhile, it takes the weapon of “crying censorship” away from people who simply want to disrupt and misbehave and inspire censorship.

        Extra work for admins though.

        :/
        MJM

      • I like the idea of the spam bin, it allows people to make a judgement and prevents moderators abusing their position while facilitating good discussion.

    • sunsettommy is the embodiment of ***** hypocrisy.

      (Stupid derogatory language removed by blog administrator.)

      • Snerkersnerk, please don’t use that language here.

        Thank you for your consideration.

      • Still have nothing beyond the personal attacks I see could that be because you have nothing intelligent to offer here?

      • sunsettommy, you are a *****. Now I’m being censored because I’m calling you what you are. That is hypocrisy.

        Furthermore, you are extremely hypocritical, since all you’ve been doing is to attack me. Apparently it’s fine to attack people who don’t hate science on this blog, while science haters like you can do what they want.

        (Touching sonnet to the undeniable charms of Lindsay Lohan callously deleted by blog administrator.)

      • Snerkersnerk, please don’t use derogatory language on this weblog.

        Thanks for your consideration.

      • Oh yeah? Why can other people call others warmists and alarmists then?

  46. {Sheesh… sorry Lukewarmer. Once again I thought I was over at WUWT! LOL! The post is obviously referencing the situation here though!}

  47. > I like the idea of the spam bin

    I have one (http://scienceblogs.com/stoat/2012/01/18/the-stoats-burrow/). So does RC. WUWT just bans people they don’t like. This blog deletes comments it doesn’t like whilst pretending it dosn’t, and then attacks only the likes of us for censorship. Weird, eh?

    > The ‘moderators’ of these blogs will cheerfully trash your comments… or worst of all, ‘edit’ them.

    Just like you’ve done, above, eh? So now you’re doing the worst thing of all. I bet that means that the worst thing of all is no longer the worst thing, after all.

  48. > I like the idea of the spam bin

    I have one (http://scienceblogs.com/stoat/2012/01/18/the-stoats-burrow/). So does RC. WUWT just bans people they don’t like. This blog deletes comments it doesn’t like whilst pretending it dosn’t, and then attacks only the likes of us for censorship. Weird, eh?

    > The ‘moderators’ of these blogs will cheerfully trash your comments… or worst of all, ‘edit’ them.

    Just like you’ve done, above, eh? So now you’re doing the worst thing of all. I bet that means that the worst thing of all is no longer the worst thing, after all.

  49. He he, i see no personal attack with these words I posted to you yesterday.

    “Still have nothing beyond the personal attacks I see could that be because you have nothing intelligent to offer here?”

    It is a question you never answered because you are too busy being the nasty troll spewing out unproductive and stupid attacks that will understandably be deleted.

    I see that you launched on another personal attack on me and yet according to you I am the hypocrite despite your lack of detail to show what my alleged hypocrisy is about

    Then we see that the blog owner states that you are being derogeratory and deleting them because of it.

    When are you ever going to calm down?

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