RC Thread at Climate Audit

Climate Audit is currently headlining a post from RomanM titled “Rejected … by RC!” – http://www.climateaudit.org/?p=6857. (apologies if the link doesn’t work – I haven’t got the hang of WP yet, as must be clear to observers LOL).

RomanM attempted to post a contribution to the ongoing discussion of the Eric Steig paper that was published in Nature, and which has subsequently been the subject of a correction. I won’t go into the detail here – go to CA.

There are numerous mentions on that thread, and some other current CA threads, about comments being rejected at RC. Most of these are in a similar vein to the many comments posted here. Study of the rejected posts merely confirms that RC prefers to “manage” the discussion on its website, and chooses not to post contributions that it decides don’t meet its agenda. Of course, it is their website, and they are free to do as they wish. However, when one compares their censorship policy with that of other climate sites, it is clear that RC elects to censor many posts without any comment or advice to the poster at all. Or if a post is posted, they retain the right to delete content, without marking content as deleted.

In contrast, Climate Audit, which exercises moderation (mainly to ensure that threads remain on-topic and that posts are not just “piling on” or “editorialising”), does the poster the honour of posting comment, but with the offending parts marked “snip”, and usually reasons are given.

The different styles are interesting to say the least, and in the opinion of RC Rejects, affects the tone and style of the respective blogs in quite telling ways. Anyhow, it remains more than interesting to follow the debate.

As frequent visitors to this site would know, the vast majority of rejected posts put up here are those that I notice at other blogs, and which I have cut and pasted for the record here. This is a bit of an onerous task, and since I am currently away from the blog a fair bit, I have come to the conclusion that I shouldn’t try to capture all of the posts where posters remark on their rejection experience at RC. Instead, I have decided to drop back to the primary focus of this site, which is to act as a place for posters to post contributions that they have tried to post at RC (or any other climate site) which have been rejected.

So, go for it guys. When you post at RC (or any other climate site) keep a copy of your post in Word (or notepad or whatever). If they don’t post it, feel free to post it here as a comment to the most recent thread.

Before I close, there was a very interesting suggestion over at CA regarding the need for http://rcuncensored.com/. The idea is that a parallel website to RC be set up, presumably mirroring threads put up at RC, but inviting allcomers to post as they wish, with only a lighthanded moderation policy designed primarily I suppose to keep the site proprietors out of the courts.

We won’t set up such a site, but would love to see someone do it.

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4 Responses to “RC Thread at Climate Audit”

  1. Gary Says:

    Although it’s tempting to demonstrate the bad behavior of opponents, in the case of RC why bother? Or at least why spend much energy on it? It’s plain that they won’t change their behavior of uneven moderation and will suppress dissent from their POV. Certainly it’s fine to note any rejected attempts to engage in discussion, but as has been demonstrated by the several catches of errors in the research efforts they promote, only out-competing them in the quality of analysis really succeeds in showing their bias and in moving the science forward. A look at the blog traffic statistics shows that people are catching onto their game. No need to pile on.

  2. rcrejects Says:

    Having just said that I won’t copy and paste any more, there is a post from Tom Cole at CA that deserves attention here due to the fact that it so clearly demonstrates another aspect of the RC censorship/moderation approach:

    From Climate Audit From CA “Rejected … by RC!” thread. Post 113

    Tom Cole:
    August 17th, 2009 at 11:00 am

    First, my background. I spent several decades developing and applying multi-dimensional hydrodynamic and water quality models, specifically CE-QUAL-ICM and CE-QUAL-W2, to various rivers, lakes, reservoirs, and estuaries throughout the U.S. and the world. I embarked on this journey in the late 1970’s. I would assert that I have more experience modeling temperature in natural ecosystems than anyone else in the world. In so doing, I had to fight a long battle with biologists and engineers as to the efficacy of these models to the real world, so I started out with an affinity towards the folks over at RealClimate and the uphill battle that they faced in order to gain acceptance towards their approach.
    That said, I came at the issue with a large degree of skepticism and was well aware of the exaggerated claims by many modelers in my field that gave the field a bad name.

    So, I e-mailed Gavin my bona fides and asked if he would allow me to “guest post” a number of issues that I had to address over the years in order for my modeling efforts to gain credence in the scientific community and how these issues related to their modeling efforts.

    First, the issues I asked them to address were carefully worded on my part so as to get to the heart of what I considered relevant issues that I wanted to find out if they had addressed or had plans to address. These were not picked out of thin air in hopes that I could nitpick their modeling efforts, but were actually extremely important issues and criticisms that I had previously faced and addressed over the decades. The resolution of these valid issues proved critical for the acceptance of CE-QUAL-W2 throughout the scientific community as a useful tool for addressing relevant issues with regards to temperature and water quality in the systems for which the model was intended to address.

    To my dismay, the wording of the original questions were in some cases significantly modified. I may have been wrong, but the wording seemed to be changed so that the issues that I raised were either easily addressed or easily dismissed without having to address the gist of my questions. In order to clarify my original points, I posted a series of followup questions that attempted to elicit more direct responses to my original questions.

    No response to my follow up post and the thread appeared to then be closed as there were no more further posts to the thread.

    I want to reemphasize that I am a modeler by profession and am not predisposed to casually dismissing the efforts of other modelers. Indeed, I spent my professional career showing how worthwhile these models can be when correctly developed and applied appropriately.

    However, this was the last post I ever submitted to the RealClimate website.

  3. maurice Says:

    Nature magazine has a blog called Climate Feedback. Normally contributions are sparse. However, a thread entitled “McIntyre versus Jones: climate data row escalates” has attracted vigorous comment, with 88 posts at last count.

    I am posting here to put it on record that Nature is censoring posts without revealing that it is doing so.

    Here is the post I sent to them:

    It seems entirely reasonable that climate scientists providing key data series be asked to release their data and codes so that independent parties can verify claims being made.

    The ‘debate’ about AGW has been characterised by acknowledgement of the need for ‘exaggeration’ (Stephen H Schneider, Al Gore, Michael Mann and Thomas Schelling) to ‘convince’ the public that AGW is a serious problem requiring decisive action.

    There are also now numerous examples of publication of papers that don’t stand up to scrutiny – the Steig Antarctic paper recently published in Nature is one such example.

    It is also evident that ‘adjustments’ to the climate temperature record can account for most of the warming reported over the past century or so.

    Given this background (kept brief to accord with your policies – I could provide detailed support for every statement made here), it is surely appropriate that those putting information on the public record be asked to support their statements. In commerce, this process is called ‘due diligence’. In science it is called replication and verification.

    It is not at all abnormal. What is abnormal is that some scientists seem to think that they can release information without needing to provide the assumptions, data and code that would allow replication and verification.

    Here is what they posted.

    It seems entirely reasonable that climate scientists providing key data series be asked to release their data and codes so that independent parties can verify claims being made.

    The ‘debate’ about AGW has been characterised by acknowledgement of the need for ‘exaggeration’ to ‘convince’ the public that AGW is a serious problem requiring decisive action

    Posted by: maurice | August 13, 2009 01:21 PM

    Presumably other posts have been edited/censored without the edits being marked. Do you think that is appropriate behaviour on the part of Nature? It looks to me like they want to manage the message, even from supposedly independent commentators.

    It is very clear from the comments of Olive Heffernan (who seems to be the moderator of the Nature blog) that she is closely identified with the AGW alarm “team”.

  4. PaulM Says:

    Here is the comment I put on the “Resolving technical issues in science” thread at RC. in response to their absurd claim that “he chose to avoid the context of normal scientific exchange”. The comment was never posted.

    PaulM says:
    Your comment is awaiting moderation.
    14 August 2009 at 4:56 PM

    Huh? McCulloch did not avoid normal scientific exchange. He emailed all six authors. He received no replies except for two automated ones. It is the six authors of the paper who chose to avoid normal scientific exchange.

    [rcrejects: Thanks for the post Paul. Sorry it took a couple of days to post it – I was away in the country]

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