Post Your Rejected Posts Here #4

March 22, 2010

When you put up a post and you think it might be rejected, just cut and paste a copy. If it isn’t posted, you are welcome to put it up here.

We reserve the right to ’snip’ posts here. Usually that will be if the post is not suitable for family viewing, or which, in the opinion of the proprietor, could result in legal exposure of some kind, which we most certainly don’t want.

Go for it.

Discuss Moderation Policies at Climate Blogs Here #3

March 22, 2010

The title says it all. Just bringing this thread to the top.

Judith Curry Ignites a Firestorm

February 25, 2010

Judith Curry, a Professor at Georgia Tech University, has been almost the sole climate scientist reaching out to the sceptics. Some time ago she invited Steve McIntyre to GTU to present his views, a decision that brought the ire of the ‘climate scientists’ down on her head.

Today she posted the second of her essays on the climategate issue at several blogs. Most interesting is the posting at WUWT that has attracted 530 comments at my last check. (“on the credibility of climate research part ii towards rebuilding trust.” thread)

She has certainly opened up a very interesting discussion. Some of the posts are outstanding (in my view) and the general tone is both informed, but somewhat critical of Judith’s stance, which is seen as a apologia for the ‘climate scientists’. The most damaging comments note that Judith was, along with all of the other ‘climate scientists’, silent when the various ‘problems’ with the science emerged over the past few years, largely as a result of Steve McIntyre’s efforts, and other skeptical bloggers.

The issues are intriguing indeed. However, our primary concern relates to censorship and moderation at climate blogs. Judith herself makes some comments, and there are further observations within the comments to that thread.

Judith:

Steve McIntyre started the blog climateaudit.org so that he could defend himself against claims being made at the blog realclimate.org with regards to his critique of the “hockey stick” since he was unable to post his comments there. Climateaudit has focused on auditing topics related to the paleoclimate reconstructions over the past millennia (in particular the so called “hockey stick”) and also the software being used by climate researchers to fix data problems due to poor quality surface weather stations in the historical climate data record.

McIntyre’s “auditing” became very popular not only with the skeptics, but also with the progressive “open source” community, and there are now a number of such blogs. The blog with the largest public audience is wattsupwiththat.com, led by weatherman Anthony Watts, with over 2 million unique visitors each month.

And

And finally, the blogosphere can be a very powerful tool for increasing the credibility of climate research. “Dueling blogs” (e.g. climateprogress.org versus wattsupwiththat.com and realclimate.org versus climateaudit.org) can actually enhance public trust in the science as they see both sides of the arguments being discussed. Debating science with skeptics should be the spice of academic life, but many climate researchers lost this somehow by mistakenly thinking that skeptical arguments would diminish the public trust in the message coming from the climate research establishment. Such debate is alive and well in the blogosphere, but few mainstream climate researchers participate in the blogospheric debate. The climate researchers at realclimate.org were the pioneers in this, and other academic climate researchers hosting blogs include Roy Spencer, Roger Pielke Sr and Jr, Richard Rood, and Andrew Dessler. The blogs that are most effective are those that allow comments from both sides of the debate (many blogs are heavily moderated). While the blogosphere has a “wild west” aspect to it, I have certainly learned a lot by participating in the blogospheric debate including how to sharpen my thinking and improve the rhetoric of my arguments. Additional scientific voices entering the public debate particularly in the blogosphere would help in the broader communication efforts and in rebuilding trust. And we need to acknowledge the emerging auditing and open source movements in the in the internet-enabled world, and put them to productive use. The openness and democratization of knowledge enabled by the internet can be a tremendous tool for building public understanding of climate science and also trust in climate research.

As well as Judith’s comments, there are some interesting observations about RC and their censorship in the comments. Here are some examples:

Dave Eaton (7.54:39 on 24th February) said:

I have been watching the debate for several years, at RealClimate, ClimateAudit, and here, mainly, with stops all over. The level of discourse is low much of the time, but to the credit of those on the auditing side, the moderators/owners of the blogs seem to be even handed, even when a bit cranky. I cannot say the same for RCs moderators, who are censorious and testy beyond what is necessary to preserve the integrity of their presentation. Nevertheless, I find most of the best on both sides very useful.

Willis Eschenbach put up an impassioned post that is well worth reading. 12.50:30 on 24th February. Re RC he says: Willis Eschenbach at WUWT 13.50:30 24th Feb 2010. Extract

Ask every climate scientist to grow a pair of huevos and get outraged in public about the abysmal practices of far, far too many mainstream climate scientists. Because the public is assuredly outraged, and you are all assuredly silent … and that is extremely damaging to you.

A perfect example is you saying above: “Such debate is alive and well in the blogosphere, but few mainstream climate researchers participate in the blogospheric debate. The climate researchers at realclimate.org were the pioneers in this …”

For you to say this without also expressing grave concern about realclimate’s ruthless censorship of every opposing view is more of the same conspiracy of silence. Debate is not “alive and well” at realclimate as you say, that’s a crock. Realclimate continues to have an undeserved reputation that it is a scientific blog because you and other mainstream climate scientists are unwilling to bust them for their egregious flouting of scientific norms. When you stay silent about censorship like that, Judith, people will not trust you, nor should they. You have shown by your actions that you are perfectly OK with censoring opposing scientific views.

Ron House weighs in at 20.03:00 on 24th February.

And you say realclimate participated – even led – the “DEBATE”??!! Try posting skeptical material there; you yourself admit Steve McIntyre couldn’t do so. So stop granting credibility to an advocacy site. Sorry, you need to do a whole lot more in changing your own thinking if you want to be part of any kind of reconciliation.

All in all, more evidence relating to RC’s moderation policies. Further, some observations that their stance has actually been counterproductive for them. Oh well!

Not Much For Us To Do

February 6, 2010

The rapid disintegration of the credibility of the IPCC and many climate scientists following the ‘leaking’ of the CRU e:mails and more recent revelations (Himalayan glaciers, Amazon rain forests, disasters) has led to a dramatic shift in public opinion on climate change, most tellingly on the recent BBC poll.

The UK media has now swung convincingly towards the sceptic camp, following the long held stance of The Telegraph.

The issue of censorship of posts at RC sort of doesn’t seem relevant to all this. For one thing, it appears that RC is now allowing many posts that it once would have rejected. For another, it seems that few posters are complaining of being rejected at RC.

Perhaps the issue of RC rejecting posts has run its course.

Our intention is to maintain this site as a repository of rejected posts at climate blogs, and we encourage folk to continue to lodge their rejected posts here.

At the very least, we have gathered a rather large number of rejected posts that makes it quite clear what RC and other climate sites have been doing.

So to our loyal readers and contributors. Thanks for your support. Drop by from time to time.

The Bishop has a grumble

January 18, 2010

Bishop Hill has a thread on his experiences of being ‘moderated’ out of the discussion (in our terms “rejected”) at what he calls “The Grauniad” – the UK’s Guardian newspaper.

The Guardian has a blog called “Comment is Free”. It appears that they mean that it costs nothing to post there rather than any commitment to fostering free speech.

Rather than preempt the Bishop’s take on this, we will instead direct you to his blog where you can have a look at his post, and comments thereto. http://bishophill.squarespace.com/blog/2010/1/14/guardian-moderates.html

(sorry – you’ll have to cut and paste the address. Still haven’t figured out how to post a link).

The Air Vent on Blog Moderation

January 11, 2010

JeffID at The Air Vent has a very interesting post up on blog moderation http://noconsensus.wordpress.com/2010/01/08/some-thoughts-on-blog-moderation/.

Jeff contrasts the experience at his blog (unmoderated) and other lightly moderated blogs (CA and WUWT) with the heavily moderated blogs like RC and TOM.

Even before becoming such a big fan of CA, tAV was unmoderated. It’s the only way to do science. Moderated blogs imply that things cannot be heard, very unscientific in my firm opinion. Real climate is such a blog and we know very well that they moderate to prove themselves right as much as anything.

A reporter once asked how this blog keeps such a good tone while anyone can comment unmoderated. Among other things, I told him graphs scare trolls – haha. In retrospect, the truth is that people who understand lurk here, and the community is quite willing to explain errors in thought to anyone here, including me (you guys could give a little room for the host). The point is, were this blog moderated, it would have no credibility whatsoever.

There is much more in Jeff’s post, and in comments. Very much worth a look if you are interested in the issues involved in blog moderation.

H/T to An Inconvenient Comment for alerting me to Jeff’s post.

Post Your Rejected Posts Here #3

December 29, 2009

When you put up a post and you think it might be rejected, just cut and paste a copy. If it isn’t posted, you are welcome to put it up here.

We reserve the right to ‘snip’ posts here. Usually that will be if the post is not suitable for family viewing, or which, in the opinion of the proprietor, could result in legal exposure of some kind, which we most certainly don’t want.

Go for it.

Discuss Moderation Policies at Climate Blogs Here #2

December 29, 2009

Different blogs adopt differing moderation policies. Some, generally for some reason on the AGW proponent side, don’t like to allow too much in the way of dissension and reject many posts that don’t fit the message.

Others, generally of a more sceptical persuasion, adopt a moderation policy that involves ‘snipping’ comments that are off topic (OT) to a particular thread, that are ‘piling on’ or that in other ways breach blog policy. These sites disclose the fact that a snip has been made, and state a reason.

This site has been going for nearly 1 year now, and we have accumulated quite a bit of information relating to rejected posts at various blogs. It would be an interesting exercise to analyse the record here and prepare a paper on the outcome. If anybody wants to do that, go for it!

One of the issues we encounter about doing a job like this blog sets out to do is that it is very hard to maintain the impression of fairness over time, as we pointed out at our counterpart An Inconvenient Comment. The reason is that it seems that the policies of the pro AGW sites result in a much larger number of rejected posts than the sceptic sites. At least that is how it appears from the number of posts complaining about Real Climate, and to a much lesser degree, Open Mind.

We have very few examples of posts rejected at Climate Audit, or Watts Up with That or other sceptic sites. We conclude that that is because those sites tend not to simply reject posts. It seems that posters choose not to complain when their posts are snipped, but the reasons are explained.

Poor Michael Mann

December 21, 2009

What a month for Michael Mann! His starring role in the CRU “Climategate” e:mails, extensive commentary on blogs and now increasingly in MSM, investigation by his university. Most tellingly of all the “Hide The Decline” youtube by Minnesotans 4 Global Warming. It can’t be easy being “The Mann”.

On Saturday, Michael Mann put up an op-ed at the Washington Post in which he ‘explained’ the context of the e:mails, and how, if there were any transgressions, it was “Them other blokes your honour. Not me”.

I doubt that Michael will be pleased by the reaction to his post. Last time I looked there were 32 pages of comments, averaging around 20 posts per page – around 600 posts. What is remarkable is the tone of most posts. Rather than spoil the story, I encourage you to go to the Washington Post website and have a look for yourself. www. http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/12/17/AR2009121703682_Comments.html

I actually do feel compassion for Michael Mann and Phil Jones. I hope that they have support from friends and family at this tough time for them.

Climategate and RC.

December 7, 2009

It must be fun over at the RC compound following the release of the CRU e:mails and related data, code and reports. There is ample commentary of all kinds relating to these disclosures, and we don’t intend to discuss them here, other than to explore a little what it all might mean for RC.

As we have already discussed in an earlier post, e:mails from Michael Mann clearly describe RC and its role. Tim Ball expands on RC giving a little more ‘context’ that might be useful for our readers. His article is titled “Climategate; The Supporting Cast – Thought Police Anyone?” and can be viewed in full at http://canadafreepress.com/index.php/article/17635

An extract follows:

Too Big To Believe

George Monbiot of the Guardian (UK) was among the first mainstream media to express concern. “I am now convinced that they are genuine, and I’m dismayed and deeply shaken by them.” He was reacting to corruption on an unprecedented scale in exposed files from the Climatic Research Unit (CRU) at the University of East Anglia.

Typically, he was only concerned about being fooled. To his further shame he is now in denial of the extent of the deception. True, the scale and extent appears unbelievable because it uses the deception of the Big Lie – too big to believe. However, I know it’s believable because I watched it develop and grow. Particularly since 1985 when the conference in Villach Austria conjoined the CRU with the fledgling Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).

Tom Wigley and Phil Jones attended but were already developing the phony climate science Maurice Strong needed to pursue his goal of destroying western economies. For example, in a 1983 article Wigley was convincing climate science of a falsely low pre-industrial level of CO2. Early attempts to challenge what they were doing followed normal academic processes and little interference occurred. For example, a book review I wrote based on the bad science became a Review Editorial In Climatic Change (Volume 35, Number 4 / April, 1997.)

Computer Models and Computer Modelers

The big change came when computer modelers took over climate science. I knew modeling global climate was impossible; apart from the inadequate surface and upper atmosphere database computer capacity was and is still inadequate. At conference after conference I watched modelers bully everybody. Models are the most corrupt part of the CRU and IPCC fiasco, an exposure yet to emerge. They produced the ridiculous ‘predictions’ of disaster used to promote control through fear.

We’ve learned of data manipulation, publication and peer review control, and personal attacks on those who asked questions. Yet to emerge is how they manipulated the computer models to reach a result that was not a simulation of nature but proof that human CO2 was causing global warming and climate change. As the IPCC and its model projections grew in power to dominate global energy policy it drew increasing attention. This grew threatening and triggered the need for a Palace Guard to defend the CRU and the IPCC.

The Goon Squad

A group of scientists established themselves as the goon squad for the gangster bosses at the CRU. Michael Mann and Gavin Schmidt led and quickly earned reputations for nasty and vindictive responses. On December 10, 2004 Schmidt gave the CRU gang a Christmas present: “Colleagues, No doubt some of you share our frustration with the current state of media reporting on the climate change issue. Far too often we see agenda-driven “commentary” on the Internet and in the opinion columns of newspapers crowding out careful analysis. Many of us work hard on educating the public and journalists through lectures, interviews and letters to the editor, but this is often a thankless task. In order to be a little bit more pro-active, a group of us (see below) have recently got together to build a new ‘climate blog’ website: RealClimate.org which will be launched over the next few days:” The group was, Mike Mann – Eric Steig – William Connolley – Stefan Rahmstorf – Ray Bradley – Amy Clement – Rasmus Benestad – William Connolley (sic) – Caspar Ammann.

They’re familiar names to people who got in their way. Now the world should know. Evasiveness pervading the behavior recorded in the CRU emails was present at RealClimate (RC) and beyond. Note that William Connolley is listed twice – a Freudian slip because he was the nastiest and did double duty, but more on him shortly. (Source)

Schmidt elaborates, “The idea is that we working climate scientists should have a place where we can mount a rapid response to supposedly ‘bombshell’ papers that are doing the rounds and give more context to climate related stories or events.” The phrase “working climate scientists” was used frequently and typifies their arrogance. Unless you are one you have no credibility or right to an opinion. It’s similar to their peer review charge and establishes them as the elite.

Modus Operandi Involved Mainstream Media

Activities of these “working climate scientists” were not to answer questions about their work but to divert, distract, ignore and marginalize with lies about people and ideas. Here is a February 9, 2006 email from Michael Mann that gives a flavor of the almost paranoid behavior.

“I see that Science (the journal) has already gone online w/ the new issue, so we put up the RC post. By now, you’ve probably read that nasty McIntyre thing. Apparently, he violated the embargo on his website (I don’t go there personally, but so I’m informed).

Anyway, I wanted you guys to know that you’re free to use RC in any way you think would be helpful. Gavin and I are going to be careful about what comments we screen through, and we’ll be very careful to answer any questions that come up to any extent we can. On the other hand, you might want to visit the thread and post replies yourself. We can hold comments up in the queue and contact you about whether or not you think they should be screened through or not, and if so, any comments you’d like us to include.

You’re also welcome to do a followup guest post, etc. think of RC as a resource that is at your disposal to combat any disinformation put forward by the McIntyres of the world. Just let us know. We’ll use our best discretion to make sure the skeptics don’t get to use the RC comments as a megaphone…”

Mann spread his lies about McIntyre by using Andrew Revkin of the New York Times. As recently as September 29, 2009 he wrote, “those such as McIntyre who operate almost entirely outside of this system are not to be trusted.”

Jones did it when he defended his refusal to answer FOI’s to the administration at the University of East Anglia. The emails from Revkin are disturbing and reveal unhealthy involvement and lack of journalistic integrity. No wonder he blocked use of the Climategate material in the newspaper when it appeared. It was not journalistic integrity it covered his involvement.

Schmidt notes, “This is a strictly volunteer/spare time/personal capacity project and obviously nothing we say there reflects any kind of ‘official’ position.” What hypocrisy. This is the game James Hansen and others play. He is Director of the NASA’s Goddard Institute of Space Studies (GISS) when it suits and a private citizen when it suits. It’s a duplicity that underlines the politics of their activities.

Tim goes on to discuss the activities of William Connolley at Wikipedia climate pages – fascinating stuff, but not so relevant to us here.

Gavin Schmidt has been busy. For some reason, they seem to be allowing many more posts than they normally would, particularly from those of a sceptical persuasion. The choir is pitching in to help show how wrong and mistaken the sceptical comments are, and Gavin is commenting on very many of the posts.

The tone is typical RC. They and their associates can do no wrong, whereas the sceptics are in the pay of big oil. Anyone who questions the science, or now the e:mails, obviously has an agenda. My view is that they are doing themselves even more harm than they have done before.

The only non-sceptical scientists (and journalists) that will come out of this with any honour will be those who have come out publicly to express their concern for the events/culture/actions revealed by the e:mails. Judith Curry, Eduardo Zorita, Mike Hulme, and George Monbiot are examples. Those who continue to defend the indefensible will I think find that they will bear the consequences.

The internet is a remarkable beast, and it is now so easy to get the real story, even if the MSM is still captive to the “settled science” of the IPCC and “the team”.

A consequence of the new approach at RC re censorship is that we are seeing a lot less complaints about posts being censored at RC. It is also notable that while they are clearly editing posts in a clear effort to “manage” the message, they are now at least indicating where the have edited the text.

Anyhow, we live in interesting times………..

UPDATEIt would appear that RC has already decided that an open moderation policy might not best serve its needs. Numerous comments suggest that the moderation policy has toughened up again (already) with numerous posts being deleted without notice.