Climate Commenter of the Year, 2014

It’s difficult–but important–to acknowledge quality work from the other side of the fence. It’s a bit easier with blog writers–when I awarded Gavin Schmidt Blogger of the Year a couple of years ago, nobody on the skeptic side even grumbled.

It’s tougher with commenters, as the odds are that you’ve sparred with them more than once.

Respect Your Opponent

But this year’s winner deserves the award. He comments prolifically–but doesn’t spam the same comments across the blogosphere.

He’s (usually) not vitriolic, although like all commenters (including myself when I’m at other venues) he can be a bit acerbic at times.

He’s usually on point–he doesn’t go after personalities very much. His usual tactic–asking for sources from those he opposes–is something we could use a little bit more of here in the climate blogosphere.

The gentleman’s name is Hank Roberts. I think he very much deserves the award for 2014 Climate Commenter of the Year. I hope that’s at least one thing we agree on this year.

I’ll leave you with one of his most recent comments on Real Climate, where the topic is ‘Thoughts On Ongoing Temperature Trends”.


  • Ah, Victor?

    Victor, did you ever talk to a reference librarian? The questions you ask are good — but asking them of the wind, or typing them into the computer, does not get you the help for which you appear to be crying out.

    Talk to someone near you who understands statistics.

    Please. Otherwise you may — as appears so far — mistakenly convince yourself that ignoramus necessarily means ignorabimus.

    At Azimuth, the topic that Jan Galkowski points to, ends with:

    Working out these kinds of details is the process of science at its best, and many disciplines, not least mathematics, statistics, and signal processing, have much to contribute to the methods and interpretations of these series data. It is possible too much is being asked of a limited data set, and perhaps we have not yet observed enough of climate system response to say anything definitive. But the urgency to act responsibly given scientific predictions remains.



11 responses to “Climate Commenter of the Year, 2014

  1. Willis Eschenbach

    You say

    … when I awarded Gavin Schmidt Blogger of the Year a couple of years ago, nobody on the skeptic side even grumbled.

    It would be more accurate to say that nobody on the skeptic side even noticed …

    Having noticed now, however, I gotta say … Gavin Schmidt?

    Gavin runs a blog which is well known for censoring any kind of serious scientific questioning of his work. I’ve had everyday, on-topic, reasonable, scientific comments disappeared so many times there that I just gave up commenting entirely … and you think he’s “Blogger of the Year”?

    I’d go with “Censorer of the Year”, but nothing more than that. See my peer-reviewed article Temperatures in Svalbard for just one of many examples of RC censorship.

    Or you could take a look at Steven McIntyre’s article called Is Gavin Schmidt Honest (spoiler: no). McIntyre is not given to making accusations without good proof.

    I gotta say, Gavin as “Blogger of the Year” is like naming ISIS as “Humanitarian Organization of the Year” … the mind boggles.


  2. Willis, my award is not for Scientist of the year. It’s for Blogger of the Year. Schmidt censors me too–and I don’t like that. At all. But after Climategate what he did at Real Climate was truly remarkable. Go back through those threads. That year, he was Blogger of the Year. He earned it.

    • Willis Eschenbach

      thomaswfuller2 | January 29, 2015 at 4:14 pm

      But after Climategate what he did at Real Climate was truly remarkable.

      No, after Climategate what he did at Real Climate was truly despicable. He used his position and his power to try to deflect criticism of his underhanded actions, to distort the science, re-rewrite the records, whitewash the actions of himself and his friends, and protect the unindicted co-conspirators from criminal prosecution and well-deserved censure by the responsible authorities.

      How you find that “remarkable” amazes me. What he earned was not plaudits, but opprobrium.


  3. Willis, I have read the threads at Real Climate following the release of the Climategate emails. Twice while Mosher and I were writing our book and once recently. Have you read them?

    Schmidt did defend the consensus and the science that supports it. But I don’t see much if anything to support your harsher description.

    What I saw was Schmidt responding (mostly politely) to hundreds of commenters with real questions. We’re perhaps fated to disagree on this one, Willis–but happy New Year in any event.

  4. Willis Eschenbach

    Thanks, Thomas. I went to look. The first RC post I pulled up discussed the Muir Russell whitewash, and Gavin says:

    The main issue is that they conclude that the rigour and honesty of the CRU scientists is not in doubt.


    All in all, none of the various accusations and insinuations that have been floating around the blogosphere have been sustained.

    Yeah, right …

    Now, that SOB Phil Jones lied to my face about the data, and Gavin damn well knows it. The Brits said they would have brought CRIMINAL CHARGES if the statute of limitations hadn’t run out. For Gavin to push the whitewash like that is totally disingenuous, deceptive, and distorting the record … just as I said above.

    OK, next RC post on Climategate. Gavin says of the emails:

    … there is no evidence within them to support any of these claims of fraud and fabrication

    He wishes …

    Next RC post, immediately after Climategate:

    No doubt, instances of cherry-picked and poorly-worded “gotcha” phrases will be pulled out of context. One example is worth mentioning quickly. Phil Jones in discussing the presentation of temperature reconstructions stated that “I’ve just completed Mike’s Nature trick of adding in the real temps to each series for the last 20 years (ie from 1981 onwards) and from 1961 for Keith’s to hide the decline.” The paper in question is the Mann, Bradley and Hughes (1998) Nature paper on the original multiproxy temperature reconstruction, and the ‘trick’ is just to plot the instrumental records along with reconstruction so that the context of the recent warming is clear. Scientists often use the term “trick” to refer to a “a good way to deal with a problem”, rather than something that is “secret”, and so there is nothing problematic in this at all.

    Now Thomas, even you gotta admit, that is an ass-covering pile of horse manure. The “nature trick” was just exactly that, as Steven McIntyre has clearly documented. It was not “a good way to deal with a problem”, that’s a flat-out lie. It was underhanded scientific fraud, and Gavin is defending it.

    I could pull up dozens more, but those should illustrate the lying, cheating, cold dead-beating, censoring, two-faced, double-dealing nature of Gavin Schmidt. And for you to give a “Blogger of the Year” award to such a man is deeply disturbing. He deserves opproprium and censure for his lies and his misdirection, not any kind of an award.


    • Willis, I don’t get it. Gavin’s first response in CRU Hack is this:

      [Response: Bad papers clutter up assessment reports and if they don’t stand up as science, they shouldn’t be included. No-one can ‘redefine’ what the peer-reviewed literature is. – gavin] . Then he takes a one-liner poke at Delingpole.

      Then: [Response: This relates to the known problem in the SST records (as discussed here) related to changes in measuring technology and attempts to assess how important it is. The reworked raw data with corrections for this has not yet been released, and so people want to have a heuristic that might help see what impact they will have on any analysis that relied on the original (uncorrected data). – gavin]

      Then he talks about hiding the decline: [Response: In a particular record – not all of dendrochronology – and this is something that has been public, and publicly discussed since 1998. Hardly news. – gavin]

      Then: [Response: Not true. Read the emails dealing with the IPCC report editing process. Lots of discussions (and disagreements), but that end up in compromise language that the authors and reviewers mostly agree on. – gavin] – See more at:

      My point is that yes, he’s defending a point of view (one that you and I both disagree with). But he’s doing it calmly and professionally, and he does it through two comment threads with about 3,000 comments over the course of a week.

      I want the 49ers and Giants to win every game. But their opponents some times play better. And sometimes they have the better team.

      I have seen Gavin play games in the past. I’ll bet money he has moderated more of my comments out of existence than yours. He’s dissed me personally at other climate blogs.

      But he earned Blogger of the Year award that year. Primarily because of his performance following Climategate.

  5. Willis Eschenbach

    Thomas, I pointed out a variety of places where Gavin defended the whitewashes knowing full well that they were whitewashes, and defended the liars knowing full well that they were lying, and defended Mikes “nature trick” knowing full well that it was just that, an underhanded trick.

    Your response is that he defended them “calmly and professionally”?

    I give up. You win. I don’t care how calm he was, Thomas. I care how honest he was, and he was lying through his teeth. Since that doesn’t seem as important to you as whether he lied calmly and professionally, you’re right, we’ll have to agree to disagree.


  6. FWIW, it was Gavin Schmidt’s blogging immediately after Climategate which made me an inveterate opponent of the climate change movement. Gavin censored and deleted my comments with the authoritarian condescension I now find typical of the climate orthodox.

    I consider Gavin more of a commissar than a scientist. Like Willis, I don’t believe Gavin is intellectually honest. IMO he’s part of the problem, not the solution.

    I’ve seen Hank Roberts around the web and on the whole he is a pretty decent fellow. I believe he used to work for the Whole Earth Review.

    Stewart Brand, the founder of Whole Earth, is an interesting figure on the environmental scene. Even though Brand was a student and is still a friend of Paul Ehrlich, Brand has shown a refreshing ability to change his mind. He now supports nuclear power as the only sensible path if one takes climate change seriously.

  7. I like what Brand has said recently. Also James Lovelock has changed his views about climate change.

  8. Yes, Lovelock has gotten off the “we’re doomed and it’s all we can do to save the bit of humanity who can make it to the Arctic Circle.”

    But even then Lovelock had no part of the green delusions that we were going to stave off global warming with wind power, bicycles and recycling.

    Brand himself had to back down from his “Apocalypse Juggernaut Hello” days at Whole Earth in the seventies when the Ehrlichian famines and eco-catastrophes refused to appear.

    Which is a lot more than i can say for the current crop of climate doomsayers who keep the “Hottest Year in Recorded History!” litany going in spite of a more-or-less pause since 1998.

    I don’t mind people being wrong. I’ve been so plenty of times. But when they can’t climb down, it’s something else.

  9. Pingback: Forward Blogging Schedule and This’n’That | The Lukewarmer's Way

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