Week 9th Feb to 15th Feb 2009

Quite a bit more activity last week, and that is reflected in the site stats as well – quite a few visits. 16 posts, but most of those were put up by me, copying comments from other sites where somebody referred to being rejected by RC.

There are quite a few posts on other sites referring to RC’s censorious moderation policy, and it seems that this is widely understood. Jeff ID at Air Vent (http://noconsensus.wordpress.com/) gives chapter and verse of his experiences at RC, and there are numerous references at other sites as well.

I have collected a few pertinent quotes over the last couple of days that I have reproduced below.

It seems so clear though, that RC is famous/notorious for rejecting posts that it considers not in accordance with its stance, that there really may not be much point in continuing to do this.

I will give it a go for another week or so, and see how it develops.  In the meantime, please let me know if you object to my copying and pasting comments from other sites.  Also, please let me know if RC actually does put your post up.


16 Responses to “Week 9th Feb to 15th Feb 2009”

  1. rcrejects Says:

    From Air Vent – http://noconsensus.wordpress.com/2009/02/05/steigs-code/#more-2137. Steig’s Code thread.

    Post 40:

    John Norris said: February 6, 2009 at 1:01 am

    I tossed Gavin a softball on the subject of archiving data on the 27 Jan Antarctic thread and he answered it.

    “John Norris Says: 2 February 2009 at 9:46 PM

    Has Steig archived all code and data used in the Steig et al paper to a publicly available website? Or did he just provide a reference to various sites holding the data (that can get revised)?

    [Response: You raise a good question. Steig’s archiving is at http://faculty.washington.edu/steig/nature09data/ and you can see that the data sources are referenced to the originating organisations (who can and do update data, fix errors etc.). Ideally, for ‘movable’ datasets, one would want a system where snapshots in time were recoverable (and citable), along with pointers to the up-to-date versions, forward citation to publications that had used various versions and the ability to update analyses as time went on. What you don’t want is mostly duplicate data sets that aren’t maintained floating around in the grey zone – that will just lead to confusion. Google were actually working on such a system, but have unfortunately lost interest. Other organisations such as BADC are thinking along those lines, but it is a sad fact that such a system does not yet exist. – gavin]”

    My reply to his reply did not pass moderation though, despite three attempts:

    “re 160

    ‘… What you don’t want is mostly duplicate data sets that aren’t maintained floating around in the grey zone – that will just lead to confusion. …’

    I am pretty sure that I don’t want important research that can’t be replicated. But thanks for your recommendation for what you think I don’t want.”

  2. rcrejects Says:

    At CA, Carnage thread, Post 20

    kazinski: February 6th, 2009 at 1:33 am

    Re: Ron Cram (#5),

    Yesterday I saw that on RC and left a comment explaining why Steig’s link to “the code, all of it” wasn’t what us computer programmers refer to as “code”.

    My comment, of course, never made it out of moderation.

  3. rcrejects Says:

    CA Carnage thread, Post 50

    bernie: February 6th, 2009 at 8:00 am

    Re: Michael Tobis (#22),

    Welcome back and nice post, Michael.

    Gavin at RC countered Michael Tobis reasonable argument to post data and code completely by creating a “slippery slope argument” that leads to an impossible burden on researchers. Frankly it is specious and such an argument would have been eviscerated at the Oxford Union. Steve is right: This is an argument that Eric and Gavin cannot possibly win (which does not mean they will comply, simply that everybody will see them as being wrong).

    FWIW my comment at RC:

    “Michael Tobis:

    Nice post. Gavin seems to have adopted the position that you earlier enunciated at least in part but now seemed to have clearly moderated.(The part in italics I just added since it makes clearer that Michael’s original position was nuanced.) Sure there are complexities and costs in posting code and data and there may be an unnecessary effort imposed on researchers — but when the aricle in question is on the front page of Nature, addresses important issues, potentially reshapes existing preconceptions, the authors receive repeated requests for the code – and the code is clearly to hand and accessible to non-authors then Gavin’s position is hard to justify.”

  4. rcrejects Says:

    Posted at Prometheus – A Formal Response to Gavin Schmidt thread. Post 40.

    wmanny Says: February 7th, 2009 at 7:25 pm

    RC is getting a bit defensive. In response to:

    “149… Nicholas, in an ideal world I would agree with total openness. But you may not realize the level of damage being done to public understanding and policy discussions by dishonest denialists. In the current environment, I would stick with advice I was given by a colleague in an entirely different context some years ago: Do not give arms to the enemy!”

    I tried posting:

    “#149. It takes an ideal world to employ more transparency? By that logic, there would never be any. To presuppose that the primary outcome of sharing code is to give arms to a political enemy rules out the possibility that there are any genuine skeptics out there, skeptics who would be well employed in checking the veracity of studies they question.
    In this instance, if Steig et al are right, he is right, and he has nothing to fear from the McIntyres of this world. Do you imagine for even a moment that ‘Nature’ is going to pull the cover story or that the mainstream media is going to retract its enthusiasm about confirmed Antarctic warming? It’s the AVHRR data only, right, and that has not and presumably can not be impeached.”

    I have posted far more contentious stuff in the past. Odd.

  5. rcrejects Says:

    From Air Vent – Gavins Doubletalk Thread. Post 4.


    Phillip Bratby said February 8, 2009 at 5:21 pm

    I have only posted three times at RC. The last two, in which I stated politely that I knew what I was talking about having written , verified and approved reports for over 30 years and in all that time all the data and code was archived so that all of the work of 30 years could still be repeated were both chopped. They do not allow anyone to contradict them. Those guys just won’t admit that they could possibly be wrong and that maybe in the real world there are people from whom they could learn a thing or two. They are in complete denial of reality. There’s quite a collection of them who pile in and back each other up in their ignorance and arrogance.

    A good dose of external auditing would do them all good and show them what life is like in the real world away from their cosseted and elitist ivory towers. I have never in my life experienced such arrogance.

    There. I feel better for that.

  6. herbert stencil Says:

    I tried to post this on RC ‘On Replication’ thread

    herbert stencil Says: Your comment is awaiting moderation.

    8 February 2009 at 6:38 PM

    Congratulations Gavin. You are clearly supportive of appropriate disclosure of data, methods, code to allow replication, in accordance with widely accepted norms in science.

    Do Michael Mann, Phil Jones and Lonnie Thompson share your views?

    I thought that it was quite a reasonably polite comment and question. I wonder why they decided not to post it!

  7. rcrejects Says:

    A post over at CA, on the Lest Sweetness be Wasted on the Desert Air thread referring to RC censorship policy. Post 180 on that thread.

    theduke: February 8th, 2009 at 6:03 pm

    Re: Jon (#168),

    Jon, if you are here to genuinely help improve the site, we should all be grateful. But the other day, you were trying to corner Steve into agreeing with Pielke jr that Gavin had stolen his idea, which in turn started a foodfight. I don’t see how this improves the site.

    Nor do I recall seeing your name over at RC calling Mann, Gavin, Steig and people like dhougaza to account for their violations of blog protocol. Maybe you have and like many of us, your comments were censored.

    You’re a pretty smart guy. You must understand that when you come on to this blog and attack it that people are going to defend it.

  8. rcrejects Says:

    Another post at CA commenting on RC censorship. Also on the Lest Sweetness be Wasted on the Desert Air thread, post 182.

    steven mosher: February 8th, 2009 at 7:34 pm

    Re: Jack (#49),

    ya jack, go attack Mann over at RC. see if you get the post thru the censor

  9. rcrejects Says:

    And another from CA, this time from Gavin’s Complaint thread. Post 45.

    wmanny: February 6th, 2009 at 4:15 pm

    #46: Dave, I don’t notice that about Jon, and I would hope that CA readers not mimic the rude behavior of so many RC readers, treating any sort of dissent as ipso facto “trolling” or dishonesty. It’s pretty hard to engage in the conflict of ideas if you get mired in the ad homs. To that end, I just send the following to RC, to no end there, and perhaps here as well:


    I imagine I’m not alone in reading elsewhere about the kerfuffles surrounding the initial discovery of the Harry/Gil error, your e-mail to the director of CIRES, your ultimate request that BAS credit McIntyre after all, and the like. Surely the picture can’t be as cartoonish as is being painted, can it? McIntyre the grand-standing, amateur nit-picker, Schmidt the disingenuous loyalist, etc. Isn’t it possible that both of you have valuable contributions to make in this arena?”

  10. rcrejects Says:

    More comment on RC censorship policy at CA. Sure looks like they do it! This from Gavin’s Complaint thread, Post 46.

    charlesH: February 6th, 2009 at 4:29 pm


    Frankly I can’t get beyond the fact the CA/SM allows dissenting posts while RC does not.
    I don’t bother with RC anymore. It’s boring. So please keep posting here at CA.

  11. rcrejects Says:

    More on RC censoring. From CA Gavin’s Complaint thread. Post 52

    Richard: February 6th, 2009 at 10:31 pm

    Re: Roger Pielke, Jr. (#4), You are too kind to Gavin – .gov or .edu emails surely are definitely in the public sphere. I cannot understand Gavin’s stance on this. I’ve tried to post a number of times on RC on this matter, all to no avail. Others have had some limited success. But there reasons for not archiving data etc when publishing papers are positively weird.

  12. rcrejects Says:

    More on RC censorship at CA – Lest Sweetness be Wasted on the Desert Air thread, post 192

    Richard: February 9th, 2009 at 12:46 am

    Re: Caleb (#191), I think civility is the way to go and the level of it is to be admired on this website. But speaking personally, when I try to post on RC, I get rejected as soon as some probing questions are asked. Thus, regrettably I think some of the snark from that process spins off to here. But civil is the way to go – so keep snipping Steve. And Caleb, some people need causes and no amount of logic will help them. As the saying goes, you can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make it think.

  13. herbert stencil Says:

    I tried to post at RC yesterday on the “On Replication” thread. It appeared to me that the discussion had become bogged down on detailed issues of Replication and/or reproducibility.

    Here is the post that was rejected:

    herbert stencil Says: Your comment is awaiting moderation.

    11 February 2009 at 2:51

    I wonder if some of the problem comes from the use of the term “replication”. Perhaps a better term might be “verification”.

    Those of us who have long experience of preparing Prospectuses for fund raisings know to keep a verification file that files the supporting information for each statement made. The purpose is to demonstrate, if ever a court case were to develop in relation to that prospectus, that those signing the prospectus had undertaken appropriate measures to ensure that what they are saying is true, and can be demonstrated to be true.

    In Canadian parlance, the phrase widely used is “True, plain and fair”.

    Now I realise that the traditions regarding replication in science are deep, but I think that what at least some of the skeptics are looking for is evidence that statements made are true. That the work underlying them has been undertaken in accordance with accepted methods, and that the work can be demonstrated as being sound.

    Anyhow, just a view.

    Actually, I don’t really understand why they would reject that if they were seriously interested in truthful disclosure.

  14. rcrejects Says:

    At CA on Gavin on McKitrick and Michaels thread, post 94

    Joseph Hunkins: February 9th, 2009 at 7:28 pm

    Nicolas: “I haven’t read anything on this site that suggests any serious problems with the AGW hypothesis”

    Wow, if most here share that view it seems there’s sure a lot of extra unneeded contentiousness between “The RC Team” and their commenters and folks here. RC refuses to even link to CA stuff. I’ve asked them why and they kill the comment.

    theduke: Fair enough I guess, though clearly an RC Team motive to “find warming regardless of the data” is often implied here in addition to regular assertions of mathematical incompetence. Then over at RC we have many proclaiming very loudly that Climate Audit is a hotbed of AGW “denialism” that deserves no voice in the study of climate. Since neither of those assertions seem reasonable I remain in a state of confusion about the relevance of the many data details discussed here in such breathless fashion, esp. when commenters here imply they raise serious questions about study conclusions. Interesting, contentious, and fun stuff like the AWS data errors isn’t necessarily relevant and when NASA’s best and brightest say “not relevant” shouldn’t they get the benefit of the doubt unless proven wrong?

  15. Vernon Says:

    Tried posting this six times at RC but they refuse to post it. Makes one wonder if maybe the paper is falling a part.

    I have read some work done by Ryan O about this study and he raised some questions that seem relevant to me. In that light, I have some questions so that I can better understand the paper.

    For Table S1, why was 40% complete calibration information picked for the cutoff?
    Why are stations that do not meet the 40% data cut off: Enigma Lake, LGB20, LGB35, Larsen Ice Shelf, and Nico included?

    Why are stations that exceed the 40% data cut off: Byrd, Mt. Siple, pre-correction Harry excluded? If it was because they did not show enough verification skill then how could they be used to show a correlation in Table S2?

    While AWS recon and AVHRR have trends seem similar 1957-2007, this is not the complete picture. AVHRR shows warming from 1980 – 2006 and AWS shows no warming (basically flat) from 1980 – 2006. The trend prior to 1980 was created by RegEM using manned data so is the same for both AWS and AVHRR. It appears that AWS benchmark does not provide the needed certainty.

    Thanks for your time.

  16. Vernon Says:

    Update, finally they let this be posted (seven times for the win) but just said there was no answer till Dr. Steig gets back from Antarctica. I thought that Dr. Mann was part of the team for this paper and he posts on RC.

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