Open Thread, Test and Commenter of the Year nomination

Okay, folks. This is an open thread. It is also a test of email posting. If it works I will be able to continue posting from China. So let’s hope for the best.

Back a couple of years ago I bestowed Blogger of the Year awards. The first one went to Steve McIntyre and the second to Gavin Schmidt (he performed heroically at Real Climate right after Climategate).

I didn’t give the award to anyone last year, in part because I was busy but in part because it seems clear that climate change has been well enough explored that what we’re doing now is just re-reporting headlines and repeating our fixed opinions on the themes and minor subjects involved.

So let’s do something different. I am accepting nominations for Climate Commenter of the Year, from mid-2012 to mid-2013. Feel free to nominate yourself, but also consider other commenters on both sides of the issue.

Now if I can figure out how to post pictures, charts and files using email I will feel fully functional. Next post will come to you from another continent, if it comes at all. So have fun here and play nicely amongst yourselves.


65 responses to “Open Thread, Test and Commenter of the Year nomination

  1. I vote for Judith Curry at Climate Etc. She is, without a doubt, the most thoughtful climate commentator of the lot. I never regret visiting her site and from time to time, I find myself pleased to have my preconceptions challenged. She has even changed my mind on a few occasions.

    But what I like most… is when she writes about the human side of science; about doubt, about uncertainty, about thinking.

    • No fair Greg! She’s a blogger more than a commented. You’re a commenter! I’m a blogger!

      Although, if I had awarded a blogger of the year last year, she would have been it. Think it’s too late?

      Sent from my iPhone

      • Dr. Curry was my first thought, as well, until I noted the commenter vs. blogger distinction. What would be wrong with awarding both categories?

        My second thought for blogger was Andrew Montford of Bishop Hill. A blogger who is knowledgeable enough to write books adds a bit of gravitas, don’t you agree, Tom? 🙂

  2. I struggled a bit with the definition and yeah, you are right, she’s a blogger. To tell you the truth, I rarely read deep into the threads. It’s too depressing. Too much religion for my tastes.

  3. I nominate Hank Roberts, for demeanor, ability to stay on topic, and the quality of the links he posts in support of his positions.

  4. It is a tough challenge, Tom. But that is what is distinctive about you: You are unflinching.
    By the way, best wishes on your big move, both geographically and commercially.

  5. Nominate Steven Mosher for top commenter- he comments quite a bit.

  6. I know the problem in China as WordPress is “normally” blocked, but working the proxies, when in China, I could usually get around it to read a number of WP Blogs, but it took lots of effort. It also was not reliable. You can blog in China as you know, but have to play by their rules. I wonder if you can continue to make an effective posting using a proxy or whatever, but good luck. I’m surprised your post made it thus far. They change rules daily.

    I second the suggestion about Judith Curry for an award even though she is a “blogger” as McIntyre and Schmidt ( I flinched at that one) were- so I don’t see your point. I think she started first with comments and then gave up and turned to blogging to be more effective with her message at trying for some sort of convergence and save some small part of what is left in climate science stature.

  7. It appears you your effort to email in posts is successful. Hopefully we will hear more rom you. Best wishes on this new chapter.

  8. Good Luck, Tom.
    As far as comments go, I only read ones on this blog and not that many.

  9. A brilliant quote from Anthony Watts, “Few people know this, but the demonization of coal didn’t start with environmentalists, it started with nuclear power advocates, but that is a story for another day.” Please Anthony, tell us the story soon. Nobody believes me.

    • I believe you, Marty. How are things? Maybe after I find an apartment here I’ll have time to post by email.Finally Summer’s Over and there’s lots to talk about.

      • Things are slow. I’m filling in as a guest editor for a friend. Anyway, the tall ships are in Erie tomorrow and I’m riding my bike down. There’s supposed to be the best sea chanty groups on the continent…

    • @Marty…the story

      In the begginning( when Jimmy Carter was president) not all was well with the US domestic energy market. OPEC and Oil had far too big a share.

      in came the domestic Saints…St Nuclear for pure baseload, St Coal for intermediate load and St Natural Gas for peaking then mandated crappy fuel efficient econoboxes via the communist plan of CAFE to put the final stake in Evil Opec’s heart.

      US Domestic Energy suppliers were at peace…and projected decades of robust growth and profitability for all.

      Unfortunately…aluminum sided houses went out of style and someone decided to recycle aluminum cans…and we had ‘overcapacity’ in baseload.
      St Coal and St Nuclear were not going to be nearly as profitable as they had hoped. Electric company executives that had over committed to ‘new construction and ‘new baseload’ capacity needed someone to blame…miraculously Green Peace and the Sierra Club volunteered…and the blood did not flow in the executive washroom.

  10. Another way of viewing the Climate Wars is a battle of Titans between coal and natural gas. In this struggle, nuclear and renewables are bit players.

    In the beginning, wasn’t it Enron that sought to employ the Kyoto Accord to shift power generation from something it did not own, coal, to something it controlled almost completely, natural gas?

    Later, Milton Friedman injected the idea of carbon trading into the melee to enlist the likes of Leyman Brothers and Goldman-Sachs.

    Now it is a free-for-all with gas companies running pipelines full of money into the Sierra Club’s headquarters and Goldman-Sachs alumni capturing control of major environmental groups like the WWF and Nature Conservancy.

    Lost in all this rent-seeking hysteria is a coherent plan for developing the next generation power source.

    • I do not think much of Kathleen Kane, but she is obviously running for governor and she probably paid good money to figure out which way the wind is blowing.
      The article is also full of inaccuracies and I am not endorsing it. Just wanted you to know the local news.

  11. Ms. Kane has shown herself to be a political hack, as demosntrated in this part of the article:
    “”Criminal charges are unwarranted and legally baseless because neither XTO nor any of its employees intentionally, recklessly, or negligently discharged produced water on the site,” XTO said in a statement.

    Kane’s office said it did not need to prove intent to prosecute the company for crimes. XTO is charged with five counts of unlawful conduct under the Clean Streams Law and three counts of unlawful conduct under the Solid Waste Management Act.

    Industry leaders said the prosecution of a company for what they called an inadvertent spill creates a hostile business environment.

    “The incident has been fully addressed at the state and federal levels, and this action creates an untenable business climate that will discourage investment in the commonwealth,” Kathryn Z. Klaber, president of the Marcellus Shale Coalition, said in a statement.”

    Also, labeling the produced water as ‘toxic’ does not make it actually ‘toxic’.
    the chances of that water carrying anything in it that was actually dangerous to anyone is very small. If a jury gets to actually see what is in the so-called toxic water, they will very likely be unimpressed with the judgement of the DEP and the basis of the prosecution itself.
    It will also be interesting to find out which faux NGO’s are behind fabricating a criminal case on this.

  12. The Washington Post published an editorial by Bjorn Lomberg refuting the correlation between extreme weather and AGW. That’s a sea change.

  13. Australia is joining Canada in leading the way out of the AGW climate hysteria industry. They have fired their PM who arrogantly lied about carbon taxes and sought to implement economy killing measures which would do nothing for climate or environment. Their new PM has immediately started to dismantle the AGW bureaucracy and has actually fired major AGW scammers like Tim Flannery. Will Lewandowsky be sent packing soon?

  14. My bet is that Lew will likely be returnng to the last true bastion of hardcore AGW hype, the USA. I think the water is heating up slowly but steadily in Australia, but Lew is a clever frog and will not wait until he is trapped by the heat. My bet is he is already looking for a nice academic gig back in the USA.

  15. The IPCC has finished getting its political masters to massage the message until they had at least a fig leaf of ratinoalization to help hide the Emperor’s state of clothing. Anyone still checking in on this site who would like to discuss the IPCC and its decision to blatantly go political in the SPM?

    • Yes… my assessment is fairly similar to yours, Hunter. The BBC had a very conventional take on the release, parroting the findings without any discussion at all. But it seemed more lip service than anything else…

      • It seems to me the UK will be very interesting to watch. They have windmills that aren’t producing, a populace that’s getting fed up with the cost of AGW “action” that doesn’t accomplish anything, increasing concern about grid stability, and they found a potential gas boom.
        If this is yet another cold winter in the UK, where do you see the politics going?
        In the US, progressives can’t be watching what happened in Canada and now Australia and concluding that AGW is a net benefit to them politically.

  16. marty,
    You do realize that the arsenic and the radium are natural and are naturally leaching into the surface, don’t you?
    Fracking uses no arsenic or radium, by the way.
    And it is a deception for the article to claim such high percentages of the used water ends up in waste water facilities. But deceptive accusations against fracking are nothing new.

  17. I am pretty sure that this issue would have been discussed here so I am posting to see if anyone wants to discuss it.

    The taxonomy of climate opinion post on WUWT ( came the same day that Seth Bornstein’s “What 95% certainty of warming means to scientists” article ( showed up in my local paper. On the one hand claiming that this issue is known well enough to have only two categories to represent the situation (truth vs. denial) is absurd but I also was not impressed with the taxonomy options listed in the WUWT posting. Ultimately the question should focus on the policy response – what are you as an individual willing to invest in this issue.

    The first category “Warmth” has three categories: pause, pause?, and warming which I don’t have an issue with albeit it does presume that there has been warming. The “AGW” category really is “do you believe that there is a greenhouse effect?” as written. It could be expanded to incorporate other anthropogenic factors such as land use changes or aerosols and possibly include a percentage of the observed warming attributed to man’s activities.

    I think that the ECS category for the lukewarmers category is problematic (0.1 to 0.2 is too low) because that is possibly the key defining category. However, I think you could argue that lukewarmers, orthodoxy and breakthrough all fit my definition of lukewarmers. My impression is that in the absence of other factors the ECS for a doubling of GHG concentration was 1 deg C so bands around that might be better.

    The Representative Concentration Pathways parameter ( makes me wonder about the IPCC scientists. The emissions pathway is the ultimate policy goal. Why complicate it by using the derivative concentration that can only be indirectly controlled? More importantly, I disagree that the Principa through Breakthrough categories would accept PCP2.6 in which CO2 concentrations peak at 490 before 2100 and then decline. My impression is that most skeptics have a good understanding of energy and emissions so understand that any scenario emissions/concentration scenario is most likely to preclude stabilization in the absence of a technological breakthrough.

    The Remedy and Dangerous categories over simplify the choices. For example, I don’t think that you can decarbonize without lifestyle changes. Although more complicated, there has to be a link between the level of potential danger and how much to invest in the remedy. I think that there are levels of adaptation programs that are cost-effective without any additional global warming effects. At the other end, reaching the politically correct 80% reduction from 1990 levels would require such drastic lifestyle changes that only the rabid would accept them.

    So what is the alternative? How about a series of questions with numeric responses that are summed up to a total that represents what the individual would support to address the issue? The responses could range from I am not willing to support any government investment to address the issue to do anything and everything without regard to cost.

    • The post you referred to was trying to reinforce stereotypes. They are not useful in trying to further the discussion.
      If you ask 100 scientists, you will get 100 opinions. If you ask 100 pundits, you will get 2 opinions.
      The reason I still post here is that Tom made an effort to break stereotypes.

  18. Willis commented on Dr. Spencer’s article here:
    Unfortunately for the good Dr. Spencer, Willis provides specific citations and examples.
    I happen to have had the pleasure of sharing a nice breakfast with Dr. Spencer and had heard him speak at length.
    Dismissing Willis, as annoying as he may be, without good citations, is not going to go well.

  19. On a different topic. Tom, Your favorite President is jacking the American people around by not only holding us hostage and closing government, but doing it in a petty and cruel manner that includes not paying death benefits to American soldiers and fencing off open spaces under Nat. Park Service control, except for use by his political pals.
    On top of that, Obamacare has launched like a lead balloon, and as promised the internet part is unprofessional, does not work, is badly written, does not perform, and does not appear to be well secured at all.
    And despite what Mr. Obama promised, people who like their insurance are being forced to change insurance, change doctors and spend huge amounts more in premiums.


    • hunter, the internet part is irrelevant, and merely embarrassing. They didn’t have to hype it at all. People can always buy insurance the way they did before.

      • MikeN,
        You are so wrong.
        Mr. Obama’s potemkin village website is insecure, staffed by unlicensed people pushing insurance. it may not be of concern to you, but most tax payers do care about how aprox. $600 million dollars gets squadered setting up a website this badly. Websites, you might at least acknowledge, are not rocket science. Inquiring minds also want to know why those responsible for this website claim to not have the basic metrics, like successful logins, succseesful registrations, successful purchases. You know, the very basic things provided by any website service.
        Whole categories of health insurance are no longer available. People are in fact losing access to their doctor of choice due to Obamacare plan restrictions. Additionally and most disturbingly, Mr. Obama is getting to rewrite significant aspects of the law on the fly, avoiding the normal constitutional process of getting laws amended. In a real OBamacare as awritten law is already a failure: It cannot be implemented as written, and can only limp along as his team makes up new versions of it ad hoc.
        And to top it off, the law specifically authoriaes its tax aspects for people buying from “state run exchanges”. Yet he has decided that anyone who buys Obamacare from any source get the tax breaks. so once again, we have a President who simply ignores laws he dislikes.
        Yet instead of even agreeing to delay and fix Obamacare, he decided to do a government shutdown just to keep those uppity elected congressmen in thier places. I mean, how dare elected Congressional members actually not do as the President told them?

      • My point exactly. Having the website run smoothly doesn’t solve anything, and having it crash doesn’t change anything. You can go to an individual insurance company website and buy the same plans. I am wondering if the whole point of the website is to get donations for his campaign committee.

  20. Not sure if he’s eligible, but I’ll go with Steve Mosher. Don’t give me the hes a blogger line, as I am nominating him for his comments only.

    If you are going back in time a bit, then I nominate AMac.

  21. I am going to nominate Richard Guy. He did a guest post at WUWT on sea level rise and the post glacial rebound. He made an interesting argument and he was really dumped on but he answered the comments that were worth rebutting. My personal opinion is that post glacial rebound is being exaggerated to exaggerate SLR.

  22. Hansen is finally openly advocating nuclear power as the only solution to CAGW. That makes him, Muller, Oreskes, Monbiot, Wigly, …. and a couple hundred more.

  23. I’ve stopped reading climate blogs, except this one; and there is less and less to read on this one. I still look at Spencer and Curry occasionally, but I don’t read the comments. I’ve given up on wuwt.

  24. marty,
    I am way down on reading and posting as well. It is clear to me at least that we are dealing with an emergent new religious order, secular but still devout. In a way the worst of both worlds. At least the catholics were constrained in many ways much of the time by moral scruples. And the point of their poewr was a moral soceity. For the AGW cult, it is more like Harlan Ellison’s “new gods” in “Dangerous Stories”.
    And that was tough on those slow to get with the program.

  25. Visiting Physicist

    OPEN LETTER to PROF CHRIS TURNEY, University of NSW, Sydney
    (Antarctic explorer)

    Dear Prof Turney

    I am a physics graduate who in recent years has turned his attention to very comprehensive study of climate, climate models and the alleged greenhouse radiative forcing conjecture. I have written to you personally and now make this matter public herein and elsewhere on various climate blogs.

    I make the following points …

    (1) Any study of temperature records for various inland cities (such temperatures being adjusted for altitude) will reveal that the mean daily maximum and minimum temperatures are lower in the more moist regions, because the greenhouse gas water vapour cools, as does carbon dioxide to a very small extent.

    (2) The total solar energy reaching the top of the Venus atmosphere would not be anywhere near enough to raise its surface temperate to about 730K so such cannot be explained by radiative forcing.

    My challenge to you is to find anyone with sufficient knowledge of thermodynamics who can in any way support the conjecture that radiative forcing determines planetary surface temperatures.

    (This has also been emailed to Prof Turney directly with a note that it is being posted on about 15 climate blogs.)


    This is from a real left wing sight. I am posting it here to break stereotypes. I don’t agree with the analysis but she did do some solid footwork and there are people on the left who have finally figured out who is really funding the alarmist campaigns and it is the people who they thought were funding deniers.

    • Marty,
      Lol, I wish I had recalled what counterpunch is about. I feel like I lost some IQ points reading that convoluted conspiratorial drivel.

  27. Doug,
    Could you please google adiabatic lapse rate (and dry adiabatic lapse rate and wet adiabatic lapse rate) and tell me how that is any different from your gravito-thermal effect. Do it in two sentences and I will read them.

  28. Marty – the official IPCC explanation refers to the surface being 255K without GHG. That is the radiating temperature somewhere in the middle of the troposphere. So they assume isothermal conditions from there to the surface supposedly due to diffusion. You have no understanding of the gravito-thermal effect. Try explaining why the base of the nominal troposphere on Uranus is hotter than Earth’s surface. How does the energy get there. I can explain it: you can’t.

  29. .atmospheric physicist

    I’m not sure why people have difficulty understanding that the air or gas in the gap between double glazing acts just like that in a planet’s troposphere. The hotter pane of glass represents the surface and the colder pane the tropopause. Let’s imagine that at the tropopause radiation to space can happen, rather like happens from the methane layer near the top of the nominal troposphere of Uranus. If the rest of the troposphere (or the gap) were totally dry air (or some non-radiating gas like argon) then thermal energy would still transfer through the troposphere by (stationary) conduction and diffusion processes. But the process is slow. If we add water vapour (or carbon dioxide) then (as with moist air in the double glazing) the insulation effect is reduced because intermolecular radiation (and radiation direct to the tropopause or beyond) helps the thermal energy to leap frog (at the speed of light) over the slower moving energy going up by non-radiative processes. No thermal energy can be transferred back by radiation to lower, warmer regions. Yes the radiation can go downwards, but it is immediately re-emitted by electrons in any and all regions that are warmer than the source of the radiation. Its electro-magnetic energy is not converted to thermal energy and so it does not raise the temperature of whatever it strikes.

    The most prolific greenhouse gas, water vapour, cools rather than warms. Empirical evidence (using real world temperature and precipitation) proves this to be the case. The more water vapour you have, the more clouds there are shading the surface and reflecting energy back to space.

    The base temperature which the IPCC says is 255K is not that low, because they deducted 30% of the solar radiation supposedly reflected back to space by clouds which could not exist in the absence of water vapour on their imaginary Earth with no greenhouse gases. Using the correct radiative flux of about 341W/m^2 we get a temperature of 278K, not 255K. I’m hoping that even Australian politicians can understand this point.

    Once we have water vapour setting the radiative altitude at, say, 4.5Km, then, even if 98% of the atmosphere were then replaced with carbon dioxide, the radiating altitude could not rise above about 7Km in a troposphere only 11Km high. So this 2.5Km raising would be only 1 metre if only 1 molecule in 2,500 were carbon dioxide. And 1 metre represents only about 0.007 degree at the surface. There are other reasons why carbon dioxide cools more than this, but you can spend your billions and raise your concerns as much as you like about that 0.007 degree.

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