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2014 SkS Weekly Digest #3

Posted on 19 January 2014 by John Hartz

SkS Highlights

Australia’s hottest year was no freak event: humans caused it generated the most comments of the articles posted on SkS during the past week. The article, authored by Sophie Lewis & David Karoly, was originally posted on The Conversation.

Toon of the Week

 2014 Toon 3

Quote of the Week

"If scientists choose not to engage in the public debate, we leave a vacuum that will be filled by those whose agenda is one of short-term self-interest. There is a great cost to society if scientists fail to participate in the larger conversation — if we do not do all we can to ensure that the policy debate is informed by an honest assessment of the risks. In fact, it would be an abrogation of our responsibility to society if we remained quiet in the face of such a grave threat."

If You See Something, Say Something, Op-ed by Michael E. Mann, New York Times, Jan 17, 2014

SkS Week in Review

Coming Soon on SkS

  • Climate scientist to US Senate: "climate change is a clear and present danger" (Dana)
  • It’s all a Question of Balance (Glenn Tamblyn)
  • Tony Eggleton offers an excellent introduction to climate change(John Abraham)
  • New Video: Climate, Jetstream, Polar Vortex (Peter Sinclair)
  • More global warming will be worse for the economy, says Copenhagen Consensus Center (Dana)
  • 2014 SkS Weekly News Roundup #4 (John Hartz) 

In the Works 

  • Comments on the Purpose of Privacy (Rob Honeycutt)
  • Rebuttal to the myth 'CO2 is saturated' (Glenn Tamblyn & jg)
  • Saving the Keeling curve (doug bostrom)
  • Thirteen Years of Moths and Flames (jerryd)
  • Honey, I mitigated climate change (Ari Jokimaki)
  • Deep Ocean Warming: The Coriolis Effect (Rob Painting)
  • Dodgy Diagrams #1 - IPCC Residence Time Estimates (Dikran Marsupial)

SkS in the News

The SkS booklet, An Introduction to the Chemistry of Ocean Acidification is listed as an "additional Resource" on the Ocean Acidification webpage of the Smithsonian Institute's Oceans Portal of the National Museum of Natural History.

The TCP is explicitly cited in the essay, How do we know anything for certain? posted on the blog, Climate Change: Learning, Communicating, Acting.  

In his New York Times op-ed, If You See Something, Say Something, Michael E. Mann, Director of the Earth System Science Center at Pennsylvania State University prominently cites the TCP.

U.S. Sen Shelton Whithouse (D-R.I.) used the Escalator and Where's global warming going graphics in remarks delivered during a hearing of the Senate Committee on Environment & Public Wokrs. Andrew Dressler, Prof of Atmospheric Science, Texas A&M University, also used the Escalator in testimony before the committee. Sen. David Vitter (R-LA) referenced the TCP.

SkS Spotlights

The Oceans Portal is part of the Smithsonian Institution’s Ocean Initiative. Together with the National Museum of Natural History’s Sant Ocean Hall and the Sant Marine Science Chair, the Ocean Portal supports the Smithsonian’s mission to increase the public’s understanding and stewardship of the Ocean.

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Comments 1 to 34:

  1. OK I just did see something so I suppose I'd better say something.  I hope this comment isn't disappeared because it is deemed to be off topic.  Steve Goddard in his blog Real Science has been looking at the NOAA adjustments to the US Historical Climate Network  (USHCN) temperatue readings and makes this  comment "I spent the evening comparing USHCN V1 and V2 graphs, and discovered a huge discrepancy between their V1 and V2 adjustments".   He discusses these at length.  It is this type of report that creates unease in many as it suggests that results from "official bodies" might be not be entirely what they appear to be.  This, I think, does a disservice to all who are involved in studying the climate.

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  2. I agree with your last sentence, but my sentiments are directed at the anonymous blogger calling himself Steve Goddard. Maybe he has discovered some flaw in the NOAA US surface temperature time series, or maybe he hasn't. Goddard has form for making all sorts of ridiculous claims, which suggests digging into his latest claim is likely a ginormous waste of time. Can you summarize what he thinks he may have found?

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  3. Poster,

    Goddard was one of the people on WUWT who asserted that there was no problem because excess CO2 would fall as snow at the South Pole.  His reliability (as a skeptic) is so low they have banned him from posting at WUWT because he was making them look stupid!  You have to be seriously unreliable for WUWT to think you make them look stupid.  If you find that " It is this type of report that creates unease in many as it suggests that results from "official bodies" might be not be entirely what they appear to be." when anonymous people with no scientific experience or training make unsupported claims of error, you need to examine how you judge information you read on the internet.  Hint: everything you read on the internet is not really true!!  If you have chest pains do you ask the janitor at work if you are OK?

    This is a scientific board.  You are welcome to ask questions.  Making the assertion that respected scientific bodies might deliberately fudge official data is against the comments policy, and makes you look uninformed.  In any case, the data is carefully reviewed by the scientists who work for Exxon and the Peabody Coal company.  Do you claim that the scientists who work for Exxon are so stupid they cannot find obvious data errors?

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  4. Steven Goddard? Really? The carbonic snow guy, so clueless he could not be brought to reason by the phase diagram of CO2? The guy who claimed in a 2012 YouTube vid that the big Arctic storm was going to "halt" the sea ice melt, then later removed that embarassing bit altogether? The guy who averages snow cover percentages without weighing them for area? Goddard indeed does a disservice to mankind by keeping up that blog of his.

    If you think there is any kind of choice between trusting Goddard or NOAA, your only excuse may be that you haven't followed this pseudo-debate for as many years as others among us. Whatever it is Goddard has found, it is likely something he can't understand. Instead of trying harder to understand, he then casts accusations, in pure WUWT/climate audit/whatever-crap-is-out-there fashion. I'll remind you, like others above, that allusions of fraud are not welcome here.

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  5. So Poster, you seem to have a knack of really finding the dregs. You never got back to us about this comment. Are you still impressed with that op-ed? 

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  6. Other Goddardisms:

    - Lake Superior is cold because it "remembers" the last glaciation.

    - Mercury's surface temperature is hot enough to melt lead because of atmospheric pressure, not because its greenhouse effect ran away and cooked all the carbon out of its surface rock.

    Chances are that anyone citing Goddard is simply attemptng to derail a discussion.

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  7. scaddenp I didn't realise I had to reply and my apologies for not doing so.  As to whether I'm "stll impressed with that op-ed" the answer is I was never either  impressed or unimpressed, it was, as is my comment here, an observation on a publication.  At the risk of being moderated to the max I think you and others don't realise that the plebeian world is becoming increasingly disengaged from the stratospheric levels inhabited by the denizens of SkepticalScience.  I'm not a climate scientist but I do have a PhD earned from laboratory experimentation in the fields of biochemistry and molecular biology, have published in journals with a credible Impact Factor and have devised laboratory based research projects for and supervised many honours and PhD students undertaking these projects during 33 years as a university academic.  If I have a "knack of really finding the dregs"  who is the arbiter of dregginess?  You? Many who read pieces such as that by Goddard won't think twice about believing what is said is true.  "It's published so it must be right" is their maxim.  Despite your sneers, I had sufficient nous to bring it to a forum where others better qualified than I, could, if they so wished, objectively crticise and in doing so increase my understanding.  To their credit some posting here have done just that and in particular, I think the comments from Rob Painting @2 show the true scientific approach.  And to answer the question he asks: Steven Goddard claims that when moving from USNCN V1 to USHCN V2, NOAA manipulated the temperature data so as to give the impression that temperatures are rising steadily.  To quote "In USHCN V1, older temperatures were considered good, but recent temperatures were adjusted upwards by about 0.5F. After 1990, no further adjustments were considered necessary.  That wasn’t getting the global warming marketing job done, so in USHCN V2 they did the exact opposite. Older temperatures are now cooled, with a hockey stick of adjustments after 1996." end quote.  There are a plethora of graphs allegedly supporting these claims.  Make of them what you will.  The 113 comments following the piece show the writers of (most of) these comments are in no doubt as to what it means.  The caveat "most of" is there as I had no desire to read the comments in detail but just quickly skimmed the comments  section.

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  8. Poster,

    I’m not a PHD, or a scientist, but I can relate my reason for cocluding Real Science is worth reading. Maybe “Goddard” is onto something, maybe not with respect to his blog post you mention on the USHCN data. But personally, I concluded that life is too short to bet finding something that will increase my understanding of the Global Warming issue there.

    The response you’re getting from others regarding using what “Steve Goddard” has, or more likely based on experience, has not found, is probably because of “Goddard’s” track record of so obviously trying to trick those that read his blog: at some point those that don’t want to be fooled will check him off the list of resources that have any likelihood of teaching them something. It is as simple as that. I’d be interested in finding out about the purported USHCN issue, but he’s likely not the source because lasting contributions to understanding the issues is not his purpose. Just because a lot of people want to believe him doesn’t mean others should (most likely) waste their time.

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  9. Jim Eager – Yes, the examples of “Goddardisms” are legion. A favorite of mine as an example of the “purpose” of his blog, because of the extreme obviousness of trying to fool his readers, was his cherry pick of sea levels declining during 2010. Since 2010 was probably the second warmest year on record, and since there was a decline in sea level for a while in 2010, he had a perfect cut and paste opportunity to try to score a gotcha. I forget if was trying to show that those darn scientists can’t be depended on to obtain a reliable global average surface temp, or that temperature has no effect on seal level. In any case, looking at all showed that he was being disingenuous.

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  10. opps - in the first sentence of my comment at 8. i meant "...for concluding Real Science is NOT worth.."

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  11. Poster,

    All the changes in USHCN have been very well documented and scientists have validated those changes.  Curry and Spencer have checked over all these issues.  Why would you imagine a person like Goddard has anything new to bring to the table?  You need to provide evidence of a problem.  A post at Goddards site does not rise to that level.

    If I produce a blog post claiming evolution has been disproved by some creationist do you have to provide a detailed explaination?  It takes Goddard no time to make this stuff up, since he has no concern for facts.  It takes hours to corrall the facts to prove he is wrong.  There are better things to do in life than argue with people like Goddard.  

    You need to learn not to listen to people with very long track records of being incorrect. I am surprised that anyone who has supervised graduate students has not learned that some people are not worth reading.  Read more background information like the information at RealClimate, Spencer Weart and here.   Once you know the background you will no longer waste time at places like Goddard.

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  12. Rob @2 : so who is "the anonymous blogger calling himself Steve Goddard"?  

    Does anyone know?

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  13. Poster - obviously reply is not necessary but for people interested in engaging with the questions, then an occasional acknowledgement of points made doesnt hurt when other people have done the obvious and checked the facts. When someone doesnt do so, then it's easy to regard them as drive-by trollers. I accept your explanation that this does not describe you, especially since you replied here but understand why I asked please.

    People here have pointed out some of the nonsense pulmagated over the years by "Goddard". I would assume with your background that you would quickly agree that they are nonsense. If you have just found "Goddard's" stuff without knowing the track record, well then, you know now, and see why the "sneers". Otherwise, its surprising that you would bother to go there more any information on climate. Anyone still reading his stuff is generally a die-hard denier so hardly surprising that the commentators are clapping fanbois.

    For an alternative take, you could look at Menne et al 2009 which describes the changes introduced in USHCN V2 and see whether you think these were reasonable or not. As noted above, other critical scientists most certainly think so.

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  14. The comments made here do not surprise.  (-snip-). I am surprised that anyone who has supervised graduate students has not learned that some people are not worth reading", I had never heard of Steve Goddard or Real Science until yesterday, had absolutely no knowledge of him or his  blog so had no idea whether or not he was worth reading. If you're not immersed in a particular topic (and mine is steroid endocrinology not climate science) you don't know the credibility of a writer until you've read his/her work and has sought comment from those that are familiar with that work.  I've done that here but on balance, excepting of course Rob Painting @2, I rather wish I hadn't as no one really likes to be insulted and the oblect of condescension.

    That said, and in the context of this blog as I've seen something, I should say something,   I've just read an interessting article on the Chris Turney expedition to the Antarctic ( by Steve McIntyre at Climate.  I've read a lot of stuff from him and find his explanations are generally clear, seemingly unbiased and credible. But what are the view of the experts?   Is he also considered a charlatan at SkepticalScience?

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    Moderator Response:

    [DB] Inflammatory snipped.

  15. Poster, if someone was wondering about quackery with say a "provocative urine test", as an endocrinologist, would you suggest someone looks up anonymous blogs with Doctor Data funding it; or look up material by written by endocrinologist with a long publishing record and reporting on a consensus position?

    As to McIntyre, he has a long record of being long on innuendo and short of actually publishing much which he is quite capable of doing. He writes well and impresses with his even tone. However, you might like to look at this example of manipulating the message. Perhaps if he spent more time on science than on reading other people's email, then he might accord more respect. It would be wonderful if he used his "auditing" skills on the bunkum put out by pseudo-skeptics but casting aspersions on working scientists is more his thing.

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  16. Model data and codes are openly available, and have been for some time:

    Note that the Muir Russell Commission was able to do a full global reconstruction from the raw data linked to from the above page, WITHOUT ANY CODE, in a mere 2 days (when asked, they replied "any competent researcher could have done the same).

    The Auditors over at McIntyre's Climate Audit have been struggling with their "audit" reconstruction for years now.

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  17. Moderator I would very grateful for you r advice.  If I'm asked a question on a topic not really related to the topic du jour, am I allowed to answer it without being snipped for being off-topic?

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  18. Not the moderator, but use the Search box, top left to find a topic. All topics are open. Most people use the "comments" item to follow activity so messing not really a "topic du jour" here. Discussion continues on topics for years.

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    Moderator Response:

    [RH] I think the general idea is to try to keep a thread on topic. If you answer a specific off-topic question that you think might go off on a tangent, better to err on the side of caution and see if you can find an appropriate thread for the comment. As Daniel said, everyone follows the collected comments in the menu bar, so there's no chance your comment will get lost. Moderators usually only snip off-topic when it's obvious the commenter chronically can't manage to stay on topic.

  19. Poster:

    1)  Steve Goddard shows that there is a temperature difference between USHCN v1 and USHCN v2.  As both use essentiall the same raw dataset, it follows that the difference is due to come change in adjustments.  Steve Goddard then asserts an explanation for the change in adjustments, ie, fraud.  He did not survey the literature on the subject.  He did not itemize the differences in adjustments between the two.  He did not examine the difference between raw and adjusted records at sample sites to identify the reason for the difference.  In fact, he presented no evidence whatsoever in support of his hypothesis beyond the original fact it was intended to explain.

    As a PhD scientist, you therefore know that he has not supported his opinion in any relevant way.  So why are you presenting his opinion as interesting?  And given that he has not supported his opinion, pointing out that he has a history of unsupported and ridiculous hypotheses is a relevant rebutal.  There is no need to rebut his detailed arguments because he has not made any.

    2)  I find Steve McIntyre's article interesting, in that I once raised with him the issue as to why his "audit" of climate science was so one sided.  Why he audited Mann, and Jones, and Briffa, and Marcott etc in such obsessive detail, but never bothered auditing the Salby's, the Morner's, the Easterbrooks, etc.  His reponse was that he only auditted things that were likely to make it into the IPCC.  His article on Turney, therefore interests me in that it gives the lie to his excuse.  Or do you claim that the trapping of the Akademik Shokalskiy in ice is likely to merit a paragraph in the next IPCC report?

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  20. Poster, you've pointed to the blog of a well-known denier of the legitimacy of not just climate science, but of basic physics itself, and then objected to the tone of the response here. Now you've pointed to the blog of someone with both a financial interest in the mining industry and a weapons-grade hate-on for that science, plus a track record of being highly selective in representing the facts.

    As a PhD scientist, would your advice to a new graduate student embarkng on a research project be to first review the relevant scientific literature, or to run off and check the blogs to see what crackpots with absolutely no training or expertise in the field had to say on the topic?

    You're 0 for 2. Three strikes and someone is really going to call you out on it.

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  21. Tom Curtis I assume you have a PhD  and therefore are well versed in the reasons for not misquoting.  Given that assumption I am surprised you state with relation to my first post "So why are you presenting his opinion as interesting?"  Nowhere did I use the word interesting nor did I imply that it was.  Or are you saying that because I presented it I found it interesting?  If so that's an incorrect assumption.  I think that you and many others on this blog "don't get it".  The mood in the populace has changed and is changing.  with increasing numbers expressing doubts on the AGW proposition.  Very recent examples are at  and increases in doubters is reported in Australia with the ABS showing a fall from 73% to 57% in those concerned about climate change ( Similar findings also have been reported in the UK.   Bearing this in mind it seems odd to antagonise  those who come to Skeptical Science with a desire to learn rather than try to convince them that your view point is correct by a using a more amiable approach. As for your question "Or do you claim that the trapping of the Akademik Shokalskiy in ice is likely to merit a paragraph in the next IPCC report?"   I'd be a conceited  fool to claim any such thing.  If you'd  asked  do I think it might have merited a paragraph  I would have answered "no" with the caveat that neither would I have thought that the melting of the Himalaya glaciers would have been in an IPCC report either.  So who knows? 

    I am aware of the requirements for comments and hope this reply does not contravene those requirements

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  22. Poster @21, I do not have a PhD, but am very well versed in the reasons for not misquoting.  Certainly sufficiently well versed to know that, in order to misquote you I must first quote you.  Your pointing to a sentence in which I present my assessment of what you have done and pretending it is a misquotation constitutes a rather grotesque misrepresentation.

    Further, that you have presented it to us as interesting is shown by the fact that you presented it to us.  It is logically possible, of course that a person would discuss and provide a link to something that they consider irrelevant; and that they expect their readers to consider irrelevant.  It is, however, not rational.  So, either you had a reason to be interested in Goddard's article, and a reason to think we also ought to be interested in it - or you were being flamboyantly off topic in your posting, presenting material that had no relevance either to the OP nor even to you own post.

    The interesting question is why do you find Goddard's post interesting enough to bring it up in discussion here? 

    You said:

    "It is this type of report that creates unease in many as it suggests that results from "official bodies" might be not be entirely what they appear to be. This, I think, does a disservice to all who are involved in studying the climate."

    But what is the basis of that unease?

    (1)  Is the interesting fact that the report has no substantive basis for its accusations of fraud, and yet is believed uncritically anyway?  Certainly, most of the "unease" with climate science is focussed by factually deficient, poorly analyzed and often contradictory myths - but that his hardly news to us on this site.  So it is very puzzling as to why you would advise us of what we so patently already know - particularly in so obscure a manner.

    (2) Alternatively, are you purporting that the report is interesting because you think Goddard establishes at least a prima facie case?  That would seem the most reasonable basis for your post - especially given that you appear to think we should in fact refute his "case".  But his "case" consists of nothing more than periodically drawing attention to data gleaned from Menne et al, 2009 as if it were a new discovery, and inferring fraud with no further analysis.  That is, he has no case, and that should be evident to you.

    (3)  Finally, do you simply not care whether Goddard has a case or not.  Do you think the mere existence of slanders means the consequences of those slanders on public opinion are the fault of the person slandered?  Should scientists make no adjustments to data (no matter how scientifically justified) because they can be misrepresented as being fraudulent to the detriment of popular sentiment?

    These three, I think, almost exhaust the possibilities.  Either you recognize Goddard's article as a myth, and are bringing to the attention of SkS the stunning fact that climate myths influence public opinion; or you think there is something in Goddard's claim, and are bringing it to our attention for that reason; or you don't care, and think the scientists should avoid actions leading to such potential slanders (or how else is the fact that such slanders effect public opinion relevant).

    There is one other way to escape this tetralemma.  You may be simply introducing the myth so that it can influence potential readers, but doing so at arms length so that you are not committed to defending it.  That is, you may be seeking to gain rhetorical advantage to further the "unease" if we don't refute Goddard, but without committing yourself to the lose of credibility that would come from trying to defend him.

    Please feel free to clarrify which of the four applies.   But please don't insult us by pretending you were confused by Goddard's report and hoping we had a refutation to hand.  Your discussion of the influence on public opinion ("...this type of report that creates unease in many...") shows that personal understanding of the flaws in Goddard's argument was not your objective.

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  23. Tom Curtis  Skeptical Science is your stamping ground not mine.  If what I posted initially, when  knowing nothing of Steve Goddard's reputation, was seen merely as an irrelevance then I apologise for that.  You recognise the "research" Goddard reported as "myth"  I didn't.  Perhaps i should have done and again I apologise.  I do recognise however that the pendulum of public opinion is not stationary and may ulimately move to a stopping point that neither you nor I might like.  Perhaps a little less confrontation and a little more conciliation might be an approach worth taking to avert that.

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  24. Poster,

    You have been posting here for long enough to obtain a reputation.  You bring up some denier meme from some discredited site and suggest it is shows scientists are doing something nefarious.  Then you get angry when people come down on your posts saying you do not really agree with the post you just want it refuted.  It is simple to go to one of the denier sites and check their links to find this junk you post.  It takes time to refute the argument.  

    You have not acknowledged scaddenp's link to the actual data you asked about and you appear to have ignored it.   Why ask about stuff you are not interested in pursuing?  You ignored Tom's question about your motivation.  You have not read the background here, at Real Climate and elsewhere that you have been referred to. Since you do not know the background you keep coming up with more junk.  You anonymously claim expertise in science.  Why don't you use that expertise to read the background?   

    People who have a background in science who post here usually come around to the science after two weeks of reading here.  Your recent posts primarily complain that you do not like the tone of the replies to your posts.  I suggest, again, that you read some of the background so that you can engage in an informed discussion here.  It is not the job of SkS to screen all the web sites you choose to read.  You will find people are much more friendly when you have done your homework.  When you take a confrontational position (for example suggesting that data has been fudged by international data collection agencies), do not be surprised when people are confrontational in return.

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  25. I think the point you may have missed Poster is that if you see some research that looks dodgy, but you want an expert opinion on the piece, don't bring it here, it's not that sort of site. It's a great site for information, but not to explore why some wierd opinions are incorrect. If you want a kinder approach you may like to try ATTTP   which is generally kinder and more tolerant of people who are not experts in the field of Climate science and tend to ask dumb or obvious questions. (Like myself !)  Don't worry overly about the antogonistic responses, I'm sure their bark is worse than their bite.

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    Moderator Response:

    [PS] Fixed link

  26. garethman @25, regulars at SkS are probably a bit gun shy of posters who simply rehash "skeptic" arguments "with the intent of greater understanding" because too often deniers have used that as a tactic to simply get pseudoscience into the debate.  It becomes a sort of serial gish gallop, made possible in a interactive written media by refusing to take responsibility to defend the ideas introduced.  Inevitably, due to time constraints, some of the garbage so introduced will go unrefuted, that being the purpose of the deniers.  It is not that the garbage cannot be refuted.  It is simply that there is not time enough to do so!  Or very occasionally it is because nobody on the SkS team has the relevant expertise.

    That does not make SkS a poor place to ask such questions, if genuine.  It does make it important to establish the genuiness of the questions by:

    1)  Reading the basic material at SkS first, and making sure you understand it;

    2)  When introducing "skeptical material", explicitly and honestly state that you are either questioning the material, and need help; or defending it (either is acceptable);

    3)  Do not introduce the material as evidence of some other thing (eg.  the cause of the increase popularity of antiscience) which gives the appearance of wanting to introduce the material while avoiding explicit discussion of it which would show it to be a myth; and

    4)  Accept the fact that SkS contributors are busy and have little time (just like everyone else), so faced with yet another dubious claim from a person with a reputation of creating climate myths - they may simply point that out instead of spending the (often) hours needed to track down the relevent information to refute the myth.

    In the most recent example, it is possible that Goddard is on to something, but it is far more likely, given his record, that when he merely repeats factual information gleaned from a published, peer reviewed paper and intimates it is evidence of fraud, that the peer reviewers, editor, and authors of the paper who have much greater background information and expertise actually know better than he does.

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  27. Thanks for the advice Garethman.  I've just had a quick look at ATTP (is ATTTP a typo?).  It certainly is less antagonistic in tone than is SKepticalScience but perhaps those posting at ATTP are more secure.  I take your point about not posting here but probably will post here again if I think it appropriate to do so.  To paraphrase Mick Jagger "I probably will post  at Skeptical Science, even knowing I'll get my fair share of abuse".

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  28. Poster, I should just point out that if you want the tone to be less antagonistic, perhaps you should review the tone of your own posts.  Suggesting that SkS is antagonistic is fine, but do you really think that suggesting that this is due to insecurity is likely to make the tone less antagonistic?  Likewise the final sentence of your post.  This is offered as well-intentioned advice.

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  29. I realise I should know when to shut up or at least not respond.  From a brief look the posters at ATTP seem more balanced and more mature those at SKS.  That of course is a subjective opinion which I hope (perhaps in vain) will be treated as such.  As indeed is Dikran Marsupial's opinion which too is subjective.   The final sentence is made as a result of the antagonism at SKS where those that may not be quite so sure of the cause of climate change as are  the majority of posters to SKS, are subjected to quite venomous excoriation .

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    Moderator Response:

    [JH] You are now skating on the thin ice of sloganeering and excessive repetition -- both of which are banned by the SkS Comments Policy. Please read the Comments Policy and adhere to it.  

  30. Poster, it is dissapointing that you should respond to my well-intentioned advice by again insulting SkS by suggesting that we are immature.  Now this may not be what you meant, but it is what you wrote. It may be your subjective opinion, but that does not mean that it is a good idea to actually voice it, or indeed to your own advantage.

    I get a lot of flack when I post at WUWT, I make an effort to be careful in what I write there to make sure that I am not exacerbating the situation, whilst still contributing to progress towards the truth.  I speak from experience, I have no interest in argumentative debate; I'd much prefer to have gentlemanly discussion of the science, and sometimes you need to restrain yourself, if only so that you can be sure that it is not you that is causing the problem.

    "An eye for an eye would leave the whole world blind" at least at SkS the worst injury you are likely to get is forthright language, so following this maxim shouldn't be that difficult.

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  31. That is not to say that I don't recommend hanging out at ATTP, quite the reverse!

    BTW This discussion is clearly off topic, so I am very happy to have my posts moderated.

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    Moderator Response:

    [JH] The comment threads for both the weekly digests and the weekly news roundups are basically open threads. Your dialogue with Poster is therefore not off topic.  

  32. I re-read my post #4, I could not find any insult. However, I see how my point could have been missed, so I'll rephrase. 

    I am wondering why anyone would read a blog post by some dude who has no expertise in a subject and immediately think that this dude may be on to something that all the experts of an organ specialized in studying that subject have missed. It is possible, but unlikely enough to trigger high skepticism. A true skeptic attitude would consist of applying, by default, a healthy level of scrutiny toward the accusation from the dude who, by default, should not be given more (or even as much as) credibility than those he accuses.

    When I see instead someone saying what amounts to: looks like NOAA may be messing with us (as this is exactly what Poster initially said in other words), it pretty much sets that person as a pseudo-skeptic. This seems so self evident to me, I don't know how to even explain it. My question to Poster is: Why would Goddard not be subjected to the highest level of scrutiny, even if one doesn't know his dismal history of incompetence? And if one did not do that, why would he be surprised to be poo-pooed when bringing Goddard's garbage here, where due scrutiny has been applied to this kind of nonsense for years.

    Poster is acting all offended, but really, when faced with the reality of what Goddard is and has done, would the appropriate response not be something: "OK, sorry I did not know that this guy was such a joke." That would have been my response.

    I concede that Poster could construe SkS contributor's tone as condescending, but it was not without reason. As far as the overall tone of the site, Watts and McI continuously encourage accusations of fraud and innuendo of all kinds. Watts has encouraged his readers to go harass scientists in person. McI has organized a campaign of harassment through FOI requests that had no precedent, explaining to his readers how to set up straw accounts to send requests from every country on Earth. Curry has tolerated posts recommending the summary execution of climate scientists, under the excuse that it was all in good fun. In comparison, SkS is a haven of sanity and maturity. In fact, to one who has followed this "debate" for years, there is no comparison possible.

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  33. Since these are open threads, I'm going to put a plug in for adding a post-submission "Edit" feature for commnets the next time a change to the commenting user interface is considered.

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  34. Composer99, you have my heartfelt agreement. As a writer, I squirm at the times I have hit 'Submit', before noticing the typos. An 'Edit' feature would be sheerest delight.

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