2011-09-21 06:56:52Bishop Hill goes after SkS
grypo

gryposaurus@gmail...
173.69.6.13

http://www.bishop-hill.net/blog/2011/9/20/cooking-the-books.html

Read above.  Not sure what happened here.  It appears they are looking at an unpublished artical in the wayback machine.  Not sure.  It'd be nice if we could nail these d-bags.

[JC EDIT: Am collecting related links in this post for easy reference]

They like using the cooking metaphor (Nuccitelli is a lot harder to turn into a pun). But for sheer wordsmithing, you can't go past taking the C in my surname and replacing it with a K. Lubos Motl... genius!

2011-09-21 07:06:52
grypo

gryposaurus@gmail...
173.69.6.13

Or, when Robert rewrote the article, he mistakenly thought the old comments were on his post.  

2011-09-21 07:20:11Serendipity
John Hartz
John Hartz
john.hartz@hotmail...
98.122.98.161

By coincidence, I had occasion to refernce this article yesterday in comment thread to an article on Huffington Post. I thought to myself, why is the older version of the article shown at all. My second reaction, this article is dated and needs to be updated.

At first blush, it appears that SkS has some egg on its face about this one. Bishop Hill's commentary deserves a formal response. If we screwed up, let's admit it and take corrective action. 

PS -- The more SkS becomes a thorn in the side of the Climate Denial Spin Machine, the more scrutiny it will receive. I suspect there will be a swarm of deniers looking for more instances of "malfeasance."

 

 

2011-09-21 07:32:36
grypo

gryposaurus@gmail...
173.69.6.13

Yes, it really does look like that Robert Way updated John's post, didn't notice the comments were old and responded emphatically.   Or perhaps it was a random mod that did it.  Can we figure out who did the responces?

2011-09-21 07:34:02comment
Robert Way

robert_way19@hotmail...
134.153.162.53

I don't know whether it was me or not but the thing that would suggest it wasn't is that there are underlined words in some instances and italic words. I don't know how to do that. Also I've never acted as a moderator before :P

2011-09-21 07:35:30Let's do this in a planned manner
nealjking

nealjking@gmail...
91.33.104.94

Let's not rush out with a partial explanation that needs to be corrected again and again and again.

Let's instead:

- Make a statement to the effect that we'll be looking into this

- Have Robert straighten out the article and explain how this version got out/done/lost or whatever

- Issue a complete correction and explanation

Annoying though this is, we have to model good scientific behavior. Usually, an attempt at a cover-up is worse than the original problem.

I think this is mainly Robert's task.

2011-09-21 07:41:41
grypo

gryposaurus@gmail...
173.69.6.13

I don't know how to do that. Also I've never acted as a moderator before :P

 

K, that kills that theory.  We need to find the mod that did it then?  Then they can just explain it, and that's pretty all we can do about it.  No biggie, unless (what Neal said) we attempt to cover it up.  <:(

2011-09-21 07:48:42
grypo

gryposaurus@gmail...
173.69.6.13

It's somewhat of a ludicrous idea that anyone here would go fishing through old articles and be doing that purposely.  Talk about self-defeating and ridiculous. 

2011-09-21 07:51:38comment
Robert Way

robert_way19@hotmail...
134.153.162.53

It's not a complicated issue. All it was was that in transferring over the new article it was listed under the same argument as the old and the comments got sliced together. When the new article was posted there was a plethora of new comments added and whoever the moderator was responded to what he saw without noticing the date... no scandal here...

Either way I'm pretty sure that it wasn't me since I don't remember ever moderating before but I could be wrong. That being said I comment in the forum later on.

2011-09-21 07:59:02I think what happened is...
John Cook

john@skepticalscience...
123.211.208.191

I wrote the original rebuttal, people posted comments, I updated the Intermediate rebuttal, came back to it later and saw those comments and mistakenly thought they were comments about the updated rebuttal and responded accordingly. It all happened a few years ago (I probably posted the responses in 2009 - I should add dating to responses) so I don't remember the timing with clarity but that makes sense.

It's possible Robert's basic rebuttal came after my response and has nothing to do with this. Unfortunately all the blame goes onto me :-)

So Bishop Hill is right about the timing of my response to the comments. However, all the science is accurate and there is no nitpicking of the science at BH - just trying to ping us for the timing of the response. I'm annoyed with myself for opening ourselves up to such a criticism but will post a comment on BH.

Of course, WUWT is jumping on this with obvious glee:

http://wattsupwiththat.com/2011/09/20/bishop-hill-and-the-skeptical-cookbook/

It's telling that all deniers can criticise SkS for is comment timing, visual headers and the use of the word 'crock'.

2011-09-21 08:01:04
grypo

gryposaurus@gmail...
173.69.6.13

Of course Watts reposts.  

 

These people are impossible to deal with.  See how they all mention Eureka.  Damn that award!

2011-09-21 08:02:21
nealjking

nealjking@gmail...
91.33.104.94

Robert,

No blame either way, but since you seem to be among the people most knowledgeable on this situation, could you draft an explanation we can present on this situation. We need to be dignified but "open kimono".

We should see and get it approved here before it gets posted as a response. This is probably our first "-gate", so let's handle it appropriately!

2011-09-21 08:03:28
dana1981
Dana Nuccitelli
dana1981@yahoo...
64.129.227.4

Probably worth doing a quick post explaining what happened, and give the deniers a hard time for jumping to conclusions and criticizing before knowing the whole story.

2011-09-21 08:04:57
Paul D

chillcast@googlemail...
82.18.130.183

Ignore it.

If your respond to every criticism you'll be spending every hour of the day doing it. It is clear that the knives are out.

Really, you need to get some thicker skins.

2011-09-21 08:07:06
nealjking

nealjking@gmail...
91.33.104.94

JH, Albatross, Rob P, Rob H and everybody & anybody else:

Would you mind looking over Robert's draft answer (when available) for weak points? Anything vague and likely to invite further discussion. Pretend it was written by Spencer or WUWT or whatever, and look for inconsistency and trouble. Let's find this before they do, and fix it. By fix, I mean: Make everything perfectly clear. We know we're not cooking any books, so let's make sure everybody else knows it too.

2011-09-21 08:07:18
Paul D

chillcast@googlemail...
82.18.130.183

BTW if you respond, they'll know you care about what they say, which implies that you think they are important.

2011-09-21 08:12:34Response
John Cook

john@skepticalscience...
123.211.208.191

I think I'll just post a comment on BH rather than doing an SkS blog post about this as it's not really that much of a big deal and while BH seems out to get SkS at the moment, he always is polite when I do venture into their comment threads. So I think a response like:

BH, all snark aside, thanks for pointing this out. When I posted the responses to those comments, I mistakenly thought they were comments to the updated post (SkS is a big site so I don't keep track of all the comments as they come in). So responding to the commenters, thinking they hadn't read the updated article, was unfair on them. It was an honest mistake and I'm a little annoyed with myself for making it because the focus on the timing of comments and responses distracts attention from the science discussed in my post (and in my responses) - Antarctic land ice is shrinking at an accelerating rate and Antarctic sea ice is increasing despite the Southern Ocean warming faster than the rest of the world's oceans. This information is accurate, derived from peer-reviewed research, as SkS's main commitment is to maintain fidelity to the peer-reviewed literature.

I'd like to post this comment ASAP - can anyone see a problem with it?

2011-09-21 08:14:09
nealjking

nealjking@gmail...
91.33.104.94

Paul,

If someone doesn't like what we say, I don't worry: It's a matter of opinion.

If someone claims you're "cooking the books", that's an accusation of lack of integrity, and that is serious.

Climategate got going, imho, because UEA didn't clarify the situation for several days. I recall at the time:

- Gavin et al. were fighting to explain it, but basically seemed to think it would all blow over;

- I remember thinking (and writing at RC): This is a PR catastrophe.

- Since Climategate, the % of people who take AGW seriously has dropped; and I have met educated people all over the world who know nothing about global warming except Climategate.

So I think I was closer to being right.

I don't think we should blow this off.

2011-09-21 08:16:58To respond or not respond
John Cook

john@skepticalscience...
123.211.208.191

The key in whether to respond to a 'gate' or not is whether there's a chance that the gate will grow and blow up in your face. And also providing a proportional response. In this case, it's a case of no problem with our science, just a question of timing so it's not really that big a deal. But the climate debate is not about science, it's about politics and perception and the denialosphere will use anything to reduce SkS credibility.

So I think a proportional response is my comment above, posted on the BH blog. Not an SkS blog post and I wouldn't dignify WUWT with a comment (I mean, snarking about our photoshopped header, just how petty and small-minded is Anthony Watts?!?!). Barring strenuous objections, will post it shortly.

2011-09-21 08:17:57
grypo

gryposaurus@gmail...
173.69.6.13

I'd get rid of the first line and say, "no, I (or SkS if you like) are not cooking any books".  That's more than snark --  that's someone trying to rip at your integrity.  But, being wrong, the humility is fine.  Just make sure he knows, that you know, what he's trying to tell people.

 

After all this blows over we'll likely have a long enough list of faulty attacks for our supporters to use as ammo.  Where are they anyway?

 

I'd also double check the security on this forum.  Get everyone to change passwords, lose users that aren't contributing anymore.  And be careful who you let in.  I do IT.  These are pretty basic security measures, even if we weren't under political attack.  After reviewing lots of the evidence in climategate, I'm fairly sure it wasn't a spy-like crime.  I bet it was a lack of security, likely on an ftp server.  It's likely the people who did it are well known to us

 

And yes, I'm paranoid ;)

2011-09-21 08:18:57
Alex C

coultera@umich...
67.194.26.176

Admitting mistakes is very often more to the credit of the one who admits them than the ones that pointed them out.  It is irrelevant if they think we consider them important, but it does matter if others think we don't.

2011-09-21 08:21:19
dana1981
Dana Nuccitelli
dana1981@yahoo...
64.129.227.4

I would add a request that Bishop Hill update his blog post with your explanation.  I agree with leaving the comment, but a post may still be warranted, depending on their reaction.  Like for example, if Bishop Hill updates the post to note your explanation, we can probably just drop it.  If they somehow reject the explanation, it may be worth a post.

2011-09-21 08:21:26
Alex C

coultera@umich...
67.194.26.176

I like the comment John, I think grypo's ammendment is warranted as well.

2011-09-21 08:27:37
nealjking

nealjking@gmail...
91.33.104.94

I'm not sure I understand fully the mechanics of the procedural problem, but I get a dim sense that it might have to do with the fact (?) that comments for the Basic, Intermediate and Advanced versions of the article are all mixed together? If that's true, that might be worth mentioning as a technical basis for explaining part of the problem.

The general tone of the response sounds OK. What he seems to be claiming is that you rewrote the article to make questioners look stupid and off-base. You cover this, but the explanation is a bit brief; perhaps a little expansion on the procedure would be helpful?

2011-09-21 08:28:09
rustneversleeps
George Morrison
george.morrison2@sympatico...
99.232.158.68
John, you need to give more (short) backstory on what an updated post and how the old comments got tagged to it. WE understand your comment, but reading without understanding the regular lifecycle of SkS posts - it might read confusingly. Write/read it as if the reader has never visited SkS.
2011-09-21 08:29:58
dana1981
Dana Nuccitelli
dana1981@yahoo...
64.129.227.4

Good point by rust.

2011-09-21 08:44:06Updated comment (so we peer review comments on other blogs now, huh? :-)
John Cook

john@skepticalscience...
123.211.208.191

Updated comment [UPDATED a second time with Neal's comments]:

BH, no, I don't cook any books. How SkS works is that the rebuttals to climate myths are organized as an encyclopedic reference, as opposed to blog posts which are more like snapshots in time. This means I regularly update old rebuttals when new data is released or when new papers are published. In this case, I updated my original rebuttal with the latest GRACE  data from Velicogna 2009 and while I was at it, also incorporated references to a number of other papers, trying to give a broad overview of what the peer-reviewed science had to say about what was happening in Antarctica.

When I posted the responses to those particular comments, I mistakenly thought they were comments to the updated post (SkS is a big site so I don't keep track of all the comments as they come in). So in responding to the commenters, thinking they hadn't read the updated article, I was unfair to them. It was an honest mistake but I'm a little annoyed with myself for making it because the focus on the timing of comments and responses distracts attention from the science discussed: Antarctic land ice is shrinking at an accelerating rate but Antarctic sea ice is increasing despite the fact that the Southern Ocean is warming faster than the rest of the world's oceans. This information is accurate, derived from peer-reviewed research, as SkS's main commitment is to maintain fidelity to the peer-reviewed literature.

Does this survive peer review? 

BTW, Neal, I think this has nothing to do with Basic/Intermediate/Advanced - this predated that. This is just me being a knucklehead, writing a rebuttal, updating it then later responding to earlier comment. 

2011-09-21 08:48:25On a side note
John Cook

john@skepticalscience...
123.211.208.191

I don't think we should do a blog post about this but we should keep a collection of attacks on SkS - it might be worth doing a blog post about it (maybe not just thinking out aloud) how there was an uptick of attacks on SkS in recent weeks and what do they amount to?

  • Use of the word 'crock'
  • timing of response to comment
  • Using a photoshopped graphic in my obviously fictional header pic
  • Moderation of off-topic comments

The lameness of the attacks reflect upon the attackers. But that might be a bit snarky for SkS, not the tone we want to adopt, so consider it an idle thought for now.

2011-09-21 08:51:02
Alex C

coultera@umich...
67.194.26.176

Neal: that is the case, in a way.  When a page is uploaded as the newest page in a rebuttal group, the comments are set up independent of that page and instead are for the group.  So, add a new article to the group, and you don't change anything in the comments.  I have noticed this with several other threads, I don't think that a new comments thread actually opens up.

2011-09-21 08:56:04My thoughts
John Hartz
John Hartz
john.hartz@hotmail...
98.122.98.161

I endorse John Cook's psoting on Bishop Hill.

I also recommend that the article in questiopn be updated ASAP. Get rid of all the garbage that is now in the public domain.

I for one do not like having a merged comment thread for rebutal articles with two or three levels. It is totally confusing to the average person.

AND

There a way too many articles on Antarctica. We need to cull and archive.

AND

The SkS search engine needs to be upgraded. Put in "Antarctica" and you will what I mean. We need sub-options such as "In title only".  "In text only" ,"Year" , etc.

AND

Since John Cook is no longer able to play the role of Scottie in keeping Starship SkS functioning properly, we have to find someone who can do the engineering magic on a real time basis.

 

2011-09-21 08:56:07
nealjking

nealjking@gmail...
91.33.104.94

"How SkS works is the" => "How SkS works is that the"

"myths is an" => "myths are organized as an"

"a snapshot" => "snapshots"

"responses to those comments" => "responses to those particular comments"

"So responding to the commenters, thinking they hadn't read the updated article, was unfair on them. It was an honest mistake and I'm a little"

=> "So in responding to the commenters, thinking they hadn't read the updated article, I was unfair to them. It was an honest mistake but I'm a little"

"discussed - Antarctic land ice is shrinking at an accelerating rate and Antarctic sea ice is increasing despite the Southern Ocean warming faster than the rest of the world's oceans."

=> "discussed: Antarctic land ice is shrinking at an accelerating rate but Antarctic sea ice is increasing, despite the fact that the Southern Ocean is warming faster than the rest of the world's oceans."

2011-09-21 08:58:04
dana1981
Dana Nuccitelli
dana1981@yahoo...
64.129.227.4

Thumbs-up from me once you make neal's nitpicky changes ;-)

2011-09-21 09:00:50
Andy S

skucea@telus...
74.198.150.203
This sounds good to me. Admitting a simple mistake can take the wind out of a conspirator's sails. The whole episode reveals the bias and even paranoia of the "skeptics", assuming malice when simple human error is a sufficient explanation.
2011-09-21 09:00:59
rustneversleeps
George Morrison
george.morrison2@sympatico...
99.232.158.68
+1
2011-09-21 09:03:13
Alex C

coultera@umich...
67.194.26.176

Again, me likey.

2011-09-21 09:03:34Updated comment (so we peer review comments on other blogs now, huh? :-)
John Cook

john@skepticalscience...
123.211.208.191

Updated version 2 of my comment above with Neal's nits.

BTW, went to http://wattsupwiththat.com/2011/09/20/bishop-hill-and-the-skeptical-cookbook/ and read through the comments thread. I used to wonder why I don't get abusive, threatening emails like other bloggers and scientists. Was it an indication that SkS wasn't having an impact? But reading all the hatred and vitriol on the WUWT thread, I can rest assured we are making a difference :-)

Nevertheless, this comment was way out of line:

As for the header image, they are Australian. Australians like brightly colored striking images.

It is a pretty common theme in graphic design down there. A kind of technicolor 1980′s theme.

Now that's just offensive, that is! :-)

2011-09-21 09:06:45Final thought
nealjking

nealjking@gmail...
91.33.104.94

Might be appropriate to send Watts a cc when things have settled down with Bishop Hill. Just so you can say he was notified.

2011-09-21 09:06:57
Albatross
Julian Brimelow
stomatalaperture@gmail...
199.126.232.206

Sorry was at a meeting, late to the game here.  Can;t warp myu head aorund the issue at hand, so will abstain on this one.

Some people honestly do not have lives.  This is what consititutes a scandal now?

But this is a warning shot....they are watching every move like rabid dogs.

Yes, and I encourage people to change passwords, and another rmeinder to myself that what we trype here is not necessarily private.

That we are having to sdeal with this is a very sad, pathetic really.  Re the defamatory comment about John on WUWT, is Pielke going to condemn them for that?

2011-09-21 09:08:23
Albatross
Julian Brimelow
stomatalaperture@gmail...
199.126.232.206

This too shall pass John....

2011-09-21 09:10:00
nealjking

nealjking@gmail...
91.33.104.94

Is there any evidence of a security leak so far? Or is it just a matter of caution right now?

2011-09-21 09:12:08Comment posted
John Cook

john@skepticalscience...
123.211.208.191

Will keep an eye on BH through the day. If anyone else weighs in, be calm, dispassionate, fact-based. Let them be shrill and ad hominem. Our goal is not to convert any BH devotees - just let go of the hope that that's going to happen. The goal is to be the reasonable one in the discussion for the undecided majority who watch these conversations.

Next question - I have to update my responses at http://sks.to/antarctica - do I replace the existing responses with "fairer" responses? Or do I put a strike-through line through the existing response, then add a new response, for total transparency? Or delete the responses.

I think the first option but will that come and bite me on the butt later on, revising the page.

2011-09-21 09:12:34
Alex C

coultera@umich...
67.194.26.176

Well someone did try to hack us at one point, wasn't it from China?  Don't know of anyone there we might have crossed - I think it's just a matter of caution, though I'm not privy to all the really internal stuff going on with SkS.

2011-09-21 09:13:34
grypo

gryposaurus@gmail...
173.69.6.13

Just caution.  But there are lots of technical people who would love to get in here I imagine.  It just takes one bad sole or one security error.

2011-09-21 09:23:50
Rob Honeycutt

robhon@mac...
98.207.62.223

John said... "The lameness of the attacks reflect upon the attackers."

Yes.  Exactly.  Don't worry about what those guys think.  We don't need to be concerned over how clean the neighbor's pig sty is.  I don't think any of us should feel a need to go kick butt and take names.  Just let John correct the record and leave it at that.  It's a short list of comments so even if BH doesn't reference your comment almost any reader is going to find John's comment.

2011-09-21 09:24:30
nealjking

nealjking@gmail...
91.33.104.94

JC:

Maybe the cleanest way is to make whatever revision you want, and then add a note to state that the article was revised dd/mm/yyyy.

2011-09-21 09:27:11Caution, not a leak
John Cook

john@skepticalscience...
123.211.208.191

I think grypo is just thinking cautiously and it's a worthy thought. I do wonder what would happen if a WUWTer infilitrated the forum.

BH hasn't posted my comment yet. I have to run some errands so will go out for an hour or so, check back after.

Wasn't planning to post on WUWT - it may not be logical but I prefer not to dignify his posts with a comment (which I think would annoy him and his inflated ego - SkS responding on BH but not on WUWT).

Alby is right, we're being watched very closely now. I don't know if the Eureka Prize was a tipping point but the knives are out - but so far this is the best they've managed to do so far.

Anthony Watts seems to be moderating the crazy at WUWT pretty heavily whenever the subject of SkS comes up these days :-)

2011-09-21 09:30:07Godwin comment at BH
John Cook

john@skepticalscience...
123.211.208.191

My comment hasn't been posted but BH has let through a comment likening us to Nazis (Sep 21, 2011 at 12:21 AM). Classy.

2011-09-21 09:37:31
Rob Honeycutt

robhon@mac...
98.207.62.223

<-------  [Biting tongue... hard.]

2011-09-21 10:55:08
grypo

gryposaurus@gmail...
173.69.6.13

Unfortunately, one of the commenters has another question.  One of the comments that John responded to [AnthonySG1 at 20:25 PM on 9 May, 2008] had a response on Feb 3 2009, but now has a different response in the current thread.  He's questioning how John didn't know it was an old comment, and what happened to the response.  The other comments with responses didn't change.

 

And someone at Watts has the same q of course.

2011-09-21 10:57:06
nealjking

nealjking@gmail...
91.33.104.94

OK, it finally posted at: 12:36 am.

This seems to have taken some steam out of the issue, although some people see some inconsistency in the times of commenting & response, or something like that. I don't understand the mechanics or the issue well enough to clarify it. JC, you might want to check in later to see if you can dump more sand on that by providing a little more detail; if you think it would help.

2011-09-21 11:13:17Am engaging on BH
John Cook

john@skepticalscience...
123.211.208.191

Responding to some of the responses to my response.

2011-09-21 11:22:00
grypo

gryposaurus@gmail...
173.69.6.13

IF this silliness keeps up John, I suggest a new approach.  Keep the humility, but give readers a choice.  This is great when dealing with moderate people who are reading and not the ideological interlocutors.  Say something like,

 

"Either you can take my apology on good faith, and my explanation as an honest mistake as true, or believe that I attempted to make random commenters look bad by post-hoc corrections to responses to comments on posts that were made months prior.  Just know, that I would consider such an act as deplorable."

 

Wording is bad, but you get the idea.

2011-09-21 11:33:28
nealjking

nealjking@gmail...
91.33.104.94

Another point: Since the purpose of the comment dialogue is to clarify the commenters understanding, there would be very little point in going out of your way to make the commenters look bad. At the early stages of a project, procedures often have holes in them, that can lead to this kind of booby trap.

However, we expect to revise the articles from time to time: to incorporate readers' feedback, to incorporate new information, or just to improve readibility. A topic that has come up in discussion is, What shall we do about the comments to the previous version? Should we leave them; delete them; or archive them?

2011-09-21 11:35:11
Albatross
Julian Brimelow
stomatalaperture@gmail...
199.126.232.206

I think that is good advice grypo.  Would not have thought of that. These guys are avid conspiracy theorists (maybe he could hint that that is what they seem to be suggesting), and they are out to taunt and antagonize John, some of them are also looking for "blood", anything that can allow them to dismiss SkS, real or fabricated or perceived.  If they start piling on or being nasty/personal then just politely walk away, but not before saying that you did try and address thereir concerns and explain the facts to them.

I'm curious how they figured out that something weird happened on that thread-- are they really scrutinizing each and evry thread/post that closely? That would take an awful lot of people hours. 

2011-09-21 11:40:37
Alex C

coultera@umich...
67.194.26.176

Don't give children a choice unless you're fine with both options.

2011-09-21 11:45:20
grypo

gryposaurus@gmail...
173.69.6.13

The children already made the choice.  There's not much anyone can do about that.  But sensible adults are likely to understand the honest mistake and accept the apology as genuine.  They'll also lose faith in the children who still choose optionn 2

2011-09-21 11:50:27at the BH site
nealjking

nealjking@gmail...
91.33.104.94

I saw this:

John Cook
I always thought you set out your list of "rebuttals to climate myths" in an exemplary way. Were I still doing climate science as my number one activity, I would have used your list to compile an Internet list of "rebuttals to climate rebuttal myths" in similar style, only going that extra mile to publish how each and every one of your rebuttals falls short. Yes, I have done it to my own satisfaction, just not written it up. The most important example for me, the one that really turned me from warmist to skeptic, was discovering Monckton's rebuttal to Schmidt's rebuttals and you cannot claim that Monckton was not peer-reviewed because Schmidt wasn't either, but the debate was in the public eye, which is perhaps why you and other warmists like Abraham still pursue him but ignore his reply to Abraham.

John, real science demands that all the evidence be heard. That means, you need to reference Monckton's reply to Abraham - together with your refs to Abraham's "rebuttals".

Sep 21, 2011 at 2:27 AM | Unregistered CommenterLucy Skywalker

 

And I responded thusly:

Lucy Skywalker,

I am sure you would be welcome to bring your further arguments to SkS. The straightforward way would be to find a thread that relates to the Monckton arguments and discuss your points, one by one, to your satisfaction. Right now I'm not sure if any of the Monckton threads are active (i.e., if anyone is actively monitoring it). But we have a number of folks who have spent quite a bit of time thinking about Monckton's arguments, and who would be willing to revive a thread on that topic.

Sep 21, 2011 at 2:43 AM | Unregistered CommenterNeal J. King
I think this would be a great thing to happen: that we engage someone in a real discussion. Can somebody tell me how Lucy, as a non-member of the SkS Forum, could re-start a stale thread on Monckton's arguments?
2011-09-21 11:52:33Note re Lucy Skywalker
John Cook

john@skepticalscience...
123.211.208.191

I noticed years ago she was exhorting deniers on denier forums to start an effort to create an anti-SkS site, rebutting every single one of our points. It obviously never panned out.

2011-09-21 12:01:08
adelady

amgnificent@gmail...
124.171.82.190

She rings faint bells for me.    (Can't be bothered searching.)     If I recall correctly, 'just not written it up' is a pretty good reflection of the analytical abilities in question. 

2011-09-21 12:01:15
dana1981
Dana Nuccitelli
dana1981@yahoo...
69.230.106.125

Lucy's link is crap.

Neal, just commenting on a thread will effectively re-open it.  A lot of people monitor the most recent comments.

2011-09-21 12:16:20
nealjking

nealjking@gmail...
91.33.104.94

Dana,

I invited her to comment on a thread and present a single topic. By her history, she'll never follow up. But I think what I'm presenting is the only reasonable approach: present your case and get a live discussion going. No one's attacked me for being too reasonable yet!

2011-09-21 12:30:41
Rob Painting
Rob
paintingskeri@vodafone.co...
118.93.240.2

Dammit Neal! You're being too reasonable!

2011-09-21 13:01:45
nealjking

nealjking@gmail...
84.151.29.19

Your complaint doesn't count: You're not following the BHers.

2011-09-21 16:04:54I don't know whose site that one is and please do not tell me.
jyyh
Otto Lehikoinen
otanle@hotmail...
85.77.11.199

since the following might be an ad hominem, if I knew.

Wasn't Bishop Hill the site which promotes the Nibiru/Mayan end of the world -scare and believes on the Annunaki modifying the whites to be the leaders of a slave race so it's natural to be a racist? Well maybe I'm wrong. Anyway, thumbs up for getting their attention as they appear so close minded I'm surprised they even know this place exists.

2011-09-21 16:54:57BH has been gunning for SkS for a while
John Cook

john@skepticalscience...
123.211.208.191

He posted about us when I blogged about Richard Muller and some other obscure scientific point a while back. Then he's stepped up the vitriolic rhetoric with the Pielke blimp and this. So he's gone from a relatively respectful tone to a more spiteful tone.

The BH discussion has veered off as it usually does so I must confess I've lost interest in it.

2011-09-21 20:42:28Last Words (probably) on Bishop HIll
nealjking

nealjking@gmail...
84.151.29.19

I took a break to sleep last night, and came back to look at the BH site. Mostly a lot of pointless stuff, the most constructive (using the term charitably) of which could be summarized as, "Why aren't you doing THIS instead of what you are doing?" "THIS" being maintaining a nuclear-war resistant data storage for the stroke-by-stroke history of every precious comment of every version of every article, and a by-line for every commentor who's pointed out a spelling correction for a revision. Since I've pointed out before that that's not what we're trying to do, I don't feel like responding to that.

(What I earlier expressed was my personal ideal, which would be to maintain a 6-month revision cycle on all the rebuttals, and to just zero-out the comments for every new revision, so that the comments would always reflect the latest text.)

One thing that was interesting: There were one or two accusations that SkS wasn't REALLY about supporting skeptics, but was really a front for - wait for it - mainstream science! Well, duh!

As my latest and very likely last post at BH, I said:

 

"There has been a lot posted since I took my break, and I'm not going to respond to most of it.

I will say this: the folks at SkS do try to understand things in terms of mainstream science, as that's what we learned growing up in school & university. If something is not compatible with modern-day physics and mathematics, that's a strike against it, in our view.

No apologies for that."

 

Enough, I think.

 

2011-09-21 21:00:09
grypo

gryposaurus@gmail...
173.69.6.13

I must say I find the idea that you can insert a response to a months old comment without realising that it was such to be a tad unconvincing.

Sep 21, 2011 at 8:36 AM | Registered CommenterBishop Hill
I believe this is a good thing.   The blog host has jumped on the crazy train even after the discussion.   The entire group now looks like they can't reason properly.
BTW, John, do you remember overwriting the old comment and writing in a new one?  This seems to be the last straw these guys are grasping at  --  saying that you must have known it wasn't a new comment.

 

2011-09-22 00:41:28
perseus

owlsmoor@googlemail...
188.220.205.42

Lucy Skywalker runs the greenworldtrust site which seems designed to attract and misinform those with an environmental interest about climate change.  As you can see I have been rebutting posts on there for about a year, although it is not very active and probably a waste of time.  She also wrote some blogs for Watts attempting to refute Manns work.  Warning she will ban you if you say the world Denier, although no great loss!

2011-09-22 00:48:03
nealjking

nealjking@gmail...
84.151.29.19

perseus,

It doesn't matter. It's not an issue for us unless she knocks on our door.

And if she's prepared to argue through an issue, she's welcome.

(My policy: I won't refute a link. A link won't change it's mind and can't answer questions.

2011-09-22 01:44:19
logicman

logicman_alf@yahoo.co...
86.177.54.84

On most sites - even WUWT (choke! spit!) - if a response is given by a person cited in an article then a footnote is added.  BH hasn't done that, and John's comment is buried in a welter of denialist back-slapping.

 

Speaking entirely for myself, if BH did this over one of my (far too many) mistakes then I would post a brief note of complaint in my own blog.  Here at SkS this might be a case for brief inclusion in the next weekly report.  Something like this:

John updated an article on the Antarctic but accidentally made a hash of it by not noticing that some of the comments he replied to were quite old.  The Bishop Hill blog got over-excited about this simple human error and posted 'Cooking the Books'.  Puns are fair, mostly, but the implication of malice is just plain wrong.  Are we to assume that Bishop Hill has never made a mistake in his entire life?

2011-09-22 02:36:32
dana1981
Dana Nuccitelli
dana1981@yahoo...
64.129.227.4

Long story short, BH readers are a bunch of paranoid childish a-holes :-)  I don't really see any reason to take further action on this.  If we do a post, it just brings more attention to BH's site and post, which don't deserve it.  I think John's approach of cataloguing this accusation for possible future use and moving on is probably the best way to go.

2011-09-22 05:18:14
nealjking

nealjking@gmail...
84.151.29.19

It does raise the question of what we should do about the attached questions when we do a substantive revision of a piece.

On the one hand, we can stick a note in front that the article has changed and the comments might be out of date; but I think that the accumulated old comments will discourage new comments.

As I mentioned before, I wouldn't mind dumping them; perhaps someone might prefer to archive them somewhere, along with the old version of the article. JC, would storage be an issue?

2011-09-22 10:09:44Storage shouldn't be an issue
John Cook

john@skepticalscience...
130.102.158.12

This is a really tough one, with no ideal solution but the matter does now require serious thought as scrutiny of SkS is growing - soon we'll be at IPCC levels and every little trangression will be magnified and trumpeted as an excuse to ignore SKS.

My first thought - should we adopt a more transparent wiki system for editing the rebuttals? It works on several levels - makes it easier for SkSers to edit the rebuttals, helps us keep track of who changes what and provides a system for the public to see what has happened.

The more complicated issue of what to do with comments is another issue entirely but for now, I'd like to settle the matter of the wiki. Thoughts, comments?

2011-09-22 11:27:20
Agnostic

mikepope_9@hotmail...
118.208.81.161

John Cook notes that criticism of SkS is for operational matters but, importantly, it is not criticised for its science.  Seems to me desirable that operational matters be made more robust to avoid valid (or invalid) criticism even in that area.

One thing that might help is dating each article (month/year) so that all articles can be sorted by date so that the most recent material can be selected/cited.  And that leads to the question of a discard policy.  Should SkS discard or retain/archieve articles written years ago which, by virtue of new or more recently published  information, are no longer valid or have impaired validity?

At least by dating articles, readers are able to select the most recent material and so avoid the outdated.  Just a thought.

2011-09-22 14:35:28Dating each article
John Cook

john@skepticalscience...
130.102.158.12

Agree re making operational matters more robust. This was always a low priority on my to-do list but now that SkS is under intense scrutiny (post-Eureka), it's a high priority.

So far, the rebuttals have a "Date Updated" field. But considering the scrutiny we're now under, I think we should take it up a level and adopt a wiki system of some sort so we can display latest articles and also give people the ability to look at older stuff.

Another thought - if we embark on a concerted effort to improve the rebuttals (something we've talked about for ages), we can 'announce' overhauls of rebuttals with blog posts - a way to get the new improved science front and centre on the homepage as well as improve the rebuttal encyclopedia. We're not only transparent, we're shouting our updates from the rooftops - something to be proud of and show off in the denier's faces.

2011-09-22 14:50:09
dana1981
Dana Nuccitelli
dana1981@yahoo...
69.230.106.125

We already do announce a lot of rebuttal changes with blog posts.  At least I have been.  i.e. when I updated the Spencer rebuttal with the Trenberth paper, I made that into a blog post.  And ditto for the Dessler paper with the three rebuttals updated.

2011-09-22 18:27:24
nealjking

nealjking@gmail...
84.151.33.164

Wiki system: if the point is documentation, then of course this works; but if useability is a factor, it could be serious overkill. I would lean more to the idea of having new "releases" of approved versions, rather than documenting every change of wording.

2011-09-22 21:04:06Renaming old posts when a new version is published?
BaerbelW

baerbel-for-350@email...
109.43.93.42
How about introducing a system where an old version of a post gets put into an archive of sorts? The post would most likely need another URL with eg. "old" added at the end and the post could be closed for new comments and a reference to the new version could be added. The new version would retain the original URL and could have a link to the previous version.
2011-09-22 21:37:49
grypo

gryposaurus@gmail...
173.69.6.13

That's a good idea Baerbel.

 

Also BH has another post up about it.  He still doesn't believe John.  

2011-09-22 21:41:58
nealjking

nealjking@gmail...
84.151.33.164

grypo,

Big surprise.

Unless there's somethng legitimately new to deal with, I'm not going back. I've done "reasonable" enough there for one day.

2011-09-22 21:45:01Sounds like a plan
nealjking

nealjking@gmail...
84.151.33.164

Baerbel:

That seems reasonable. Although there could be a few generations of articles, so not just "*.old", but some version ID.

2011-09-22 22:56:07Repeating what I said earlier on this thread
John Hartz
John Hartz
john.hartz@hotmail...
98.122.98.161

I for one do not like having a merged comment thread for rebutal articles with two or three levels. It is totally confusing to the average person.

AND

There a way too many articles on Antarctica. We need to cull and archive.

AND

The SkS search engine needs to be upgraded. Put in "Antarctica" and you will what I mean. We need sub-options such as "In title only".  "In text only" ,"Year" , etc.

AND

Since John Cook is no longer able to play the role of Scottie in keeping Starship SkS functioning properly, we have to find someone who can do the engineering magic on a real time basis.

NEW: It's time for JC to create an SkS Executive Committee to manage the site basis in a business-like manner.

2011-09-23 02:40:11
grypo

gryposaurus@gmail...
173.69.6.13

God what an aweful place that is.  Dana is getting accused of being paid to post here AND now has the middle name "Heinrich" (Himmler).  Very interesting in as thread that accuses SkS of bad behavior and poor moderation.

2011-09-23 02:46:36
John Hartz
John Hartz
john.hartz@hotmail...
98.122.98.161

The nut jobs at BH are learning the hard way that it does not pay to mess with Captain Jack and his Torchwood team.

PS -- How much is Dana's salary. I'm due to get off probation next month. 

2011-09-23 03:02:28
grypo

gryposaurus@gmail...
173.69.6.13

Now Watts is back at it with more vivacious tone trolling.  The silence from our side ( not us but other blogs that exist in reality ) is defening.  At this point, its been a 3 on 1 attack.  Or if you count the other places like Shub's, it's worse.  They are going for the throat.  

2011-09-23 03:04:34
nealjking

nealjking@gmail...
84.151.33.164

Do you think it is really a problem?

Or will it drive some curiosity?

2011-09-23 03:06:03
dana1981
Dana Nuccitelli
dana1981@yahoo...
64.129.227.4

Hah!  Yeah those BH guys really hate my guts, which frankly I think is a great compliment, because they're uber-deniers.  The more they attack us, the better job we're doing.

LOL @ Watts' post, lamenting the polarization in climate science while he and his attack dogs are going after us.

2011-09-23 03:07:08
grypo

gryposaurus@gmail...
173.69.6.13

Not sure what to think.  Usually when I'm confused about what to do I thin it's better to lay low.  I'm not sure what this kind of several pronged attack has on public opinion.  I would guess it would foster sympathy from onlookers, but that's not always the case.

 

What does evryone else think?

2011-09-23 03:09:23
Albatross
Julian Brimelow
stomatalaperture@gmail...
199.126.232.206

Ignore them-- they are trying to bait John and him ignoring them will drive them nuts.  Maybe as someone suggested earlier, John can mention this in the weekly digest and mention that plans are afoot to address the problem and try and prevent it from happening again. But if that Digest has a thread, then the zealots might descend en mass.....and I have no intention of dealing with rabid and hateful ideologues or trolls or concern/tone trolls.

Let them spit and drool and froth and scratch amongst themselves like wild animals.  Reasonable people do not know who Anthony is, or who BH is or even who McIntyre is for that matter, they really do not; people who I thought would know go "Huh" when I mention those names.  Anthony et al.  live and operate and think in a microcosim, they really think that they are infinetly more important than they are in the real world.

2011-09-23 03:10:59
dana1981
Dana Nuccitelli
dana1981@yahoo...
64.129.227.4

It's probably best just to ignore them.  They're whipping themselves into a froth over nothing, and making themselves look bad in the process.  Watts and Bishop Hill in particular are not our target audience.  Anybody who reads their blogs (and takes them seriously) is already a hardcore denier.

I wouldn't mind publishing a post with our perspective on the matter, but I know John's already said we should get back to the science.  It's probably best to ignore the manufactured drama, and beat them with science.

Along those lines we've got the final response to Pielke, then probably a couple Pielke's Cherries (without calling them that, but just pointing out that Pielke cherrypicks), and I've also got a Monckton post that's harsh on Watts' recent behavior.  Basically he's sitting back talking about how mean we are, yet he devoted an entire post to calling one of his commenters a "troll".

2011-09-23 03:13:49
nealjking

nealjking@gmail...
84.151.33.164

Basically, I suspect that this will drive a little more traffic our way. grypo, do you read it this way?

2011-09-23 03:17:27
grypo

gryposaurus@gmail...
173.69.6.13

Yes.  But it only helps if we are on our best behavior.  So movng along on what Dana has stated looks good.  Also, expect the recent comment section to get innundated with insanity. :)

2011-09-23 03:17:32
nealjking

nealjking@gmail...
84.151.33.164

dana,

I prefer "Pielke's Cherry-picks" over "Pielke's Cherries": The latter could be interpreted as a reference to Pielke's testicles.

I don't think we need this kind of association at this moment.

2011-09-23 03:50:56
dana1981
Dana Nuccitelli
dana1981@yahoo...
64.129.227.4

Yikes, I don't think anybody wants to think about Pielke's testicles.

I just read over the newest BH post comments.  They complain that I made a comment here about all of their comments being more offensive than SkS comments.  They then proceed to compare myself and SkS to Nazis, and suggest that my private consulting firm pays me to write for SkS, using our government contract money.  Apparently nobody at BH has ever worked on a government contract.

Those guys are effing Looney Tunes.  At least Watts told them to back off with the Godwin's Law shit, but he still re-posted BH's idiotic post.

2011-09-23 05:06:22
John Mason

johntherock@btopenworld...
81.157.175.238

Guys, a word about Lucy Skywalker.

I have crossed swords with her in the past because she became involved with, and caused some ructions within, the Transition Movement here in the UK (mainly a movement looking for community-based solutions to Peak Oil's consequences). She fell out with some of her fellow Transitioners in Somerset initially. It takes no genius to figure out why:

Denialist verbosity is the name of the game, and all appeal to reason fails on every occasion. She is not your typical RW US-based operator, but a deep victim of confirmation-bias: after some discussion I concluded that she is simply incapable of admitting - never mind to anyone, but to herself - that there is an issue with climate destabilisation as a consequence of Mankind's activities. Hangs on every word that Watts generates.

Gish-galloping is the style. I would not give her airspace, frankly. SkS will be clogged to hell. Avoid, unless you have unlimited time at your hands!

Had a rather similar case on the Guardian this morning, an activist who popped up and comment-bombed, but sadly when I asked if the boiler-rooms were now paying on a piecework basis, a moderator scrubbed the comment. Damn them, at times! The same guy ("Commy") went on to suggest that global climate change was more affected by solar eclipses. Give me strength! Anyway, the usual link to the SkS Top 100 was posted for the benefit of any passing readers..... the thread is the one that allows comments on the Times Atlas getting things wrong in their press-release, and climate scientists quite correctly suggesting correction. How they twist and turn, the usual suspects. See for yourselves:

http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2011/sep/21/times-atlas-error-scientists-mobilise?commentpage=all#start-of-comments

Fighting the home front, as ever!

Cheers - John

2011-09-23 05:08:53
Albatross
Julian Brimelow
stomatalaperture@gmail...
199.126.232.206

Dana,

Be careful, try and not post on threads duing what are considered normal working hours-- I suspect that you are on flex or contract time, so have a lot of freedome, and just need to make sure that you meet your targets.

I would not be surprised if your boss or someone where you work gets a call suggesting that you are up to no good during work hours.

They have your IP address (you posted there), I am not sure what they can do with that, but maybe tighten your PC security.  I don't want to make you paranoid, but these guys are relentless.

I bet that some right now are trying very hard to figure out who "Albatross" is, and if that gets out Dr. Pielke and his associates could make my career path very difficult (Pielke has  just published a paper with someone who is the editor of a  journal that I publish in).

2011-09-23 05:21:41
grypo

gryposaurus@gmail...
173.69.6.13

Wow.  That BH thread couldn't have worked out any better for John.  They are now involved in a conversation about why it's ok to compare SkS with Nazis!  Unbeleivably, it appears the "lets-call-em-nazis" camp is winning out!  I'd expect Montford to show up and stop this at some point to save some face.  It's rather comical.

2011-09-23 05:39:25BH rehash
John Cook

john@skepticalscience...
123.211.208.191

I think BH was convinced he'd caught SkS in a huge scandal and when it turned out to be an honest mistake (albeit a stupid one, am very annoyed at myself for not paying closer attention to those comments), he doesn't want to let go of the gotchya moment. The fact that he and WUWT are milking this says SkS looms much larger in their radar which is an indication that we should just keep doing what we're doing and what they hate us doing - providing an authoratitative, comprehensive resource on denial.

Not intending to respond to the second BH post. 

I know I'm copping abuse but it's nothing compared to what Dana gets - he's a Nazi, a scientologist, on the pay, worse than a child abuser and all manner of terrible things. I got an email last night asking when I was going to get rid of him. So if insults are proportional to impact, be proud, Dana :-)

You have to smile when they play the Nazi card. So predictable!

2011-09-23 06:01:39
dana1981
Dana Nuccitelli
dana1981@yahoo...
64.129.227.4

"I got an email last night asking when I was going to get rid of him."

LOL, from who?  And yeah, the whole "it's ok to call them Nazis" discussion on BH is just insane.  Like I said, they're effing Looney Tunes.  I literally had to re-read a bunch of the comments because I couldn't believe what I'd read the first time.  But sure enough, they're just completely nuts.

2011-09-23 06:07:52
logicman

logicman_alf@yahoo.co...
109.158.214.210

I just love the even-handed approach.

Dana runs a consultancy - yah boo nazi!

Patrick Michaels runs a consultancy - ad hominem! yah boo nazi troll!

2011-09-23 06:08:23
nealjking

nealjking@gmail...
84.151.33.164

grypo,

I'm glad you're keeping an eye on them. Someone has to.

2011-09-23 06:18:19
Steve Brown

brownsg@gmail...
80.177.115.133

I believe our favourite chartered accountant has just tried to reign in the pack: http://www.bishop-hill.net/blog/2011/9/22/raising-the-game.html

2011-09-23 06:18:58
Steve Brown

brownsg@gmail...
80.177.115.133

double post

2011-09-23 06:29:47
grypo

gryposaurus@gmail...
173.69.6.13

Steve,

 

Yeah, he had no choice but to post that.   The thread is rather shocking.  Here, here to SkS for involking some of the most vitriolic climate change talk in a while.  Good job!

 

Neal,

 

I'm a fan of the debate and it's tactics so i have a lot of the blogs on my google reader.

2011-09-23 06:38:17
nealjking

nealjking@gmail...
84.151.33.164

In honor of being "climate nazis", maybe we should create a secret salute: "Heil, Katrina!" or something like that.

2011-09-23 06:42:43
grypo

gryposaurus@gmail...
173.69.6.13

While Watts has sworn off Nazi talk, his readers get around it by using the Taliban instead.  I sometimes wonder if these are randomly generated comments by some bot over there.  SAved for posterity:

Skeptical Science moderators intervened and gave me a dressing down when I suggested that supporting the shooting of thousands of polar bears per year while shouting that they were endangered sounded like double standards. I was also condemned for using rhetoric and suggesting peoples views of climate science often said more about them than the science itself. It seems to me that the moderators on that site abuse their positions by not facilitating debate and promoting discussion, but using a Taliban like adherence to climate orthodoxy to stop any deviation from the holy flame of climate truth, and to condemn anyone straying from the path of accepted concepts. As a left wing old hippy, environmentalist and luke warmer that sort of approach sounds suspiciously like totalitarianism propaganda of the sort we saw in extreme right and left wing dictatorships. Fascist approach to climate science? maybe not, but definitely heading down that road.
This was a spot on post which I copy with due thanks to the author:

The degree of dishonesty at SkS can only be appreciated by closely following the postings in real time to understand the degree to which the moderators abuse their powers by removing posts by those making sensible arguments against the established “truth”, often without explanation leaving no trace, yet allow the SS team players infinite latitude in abusing or denigrating those who bring original thinking to a table dominated by contributors who merely present parrot fashion, the work of those who they consider to be the holders of the truth.

I wish I had written that!

 

There's also plenty of Soviet Union stuff and 1984 (I wish they'd realize the author was a devouted leftist!) etc etc.  But NO NAZIS!!!!!

 

2011-09-23 07:16:09
Albatross
Julian Brimelow
stomatalaperture@gmail...
199.126.232.206

Good God grypo are you trying to make my head explode! ;)

Maybe someone ough to offer to give them a shovel, they are doing a fine and dandy job of making themselves look like raging ideologues and conspiracy theorists.  Please do keep digging is what I'd tell them, I wonder if they will ever hit rock bottom, they keep on surprising me.

Oh well, pretty soon they will be avter their next victim.......so there will be a reprieve, unless they thnik John is really Michael Mann, in which case there will be no end.

2011-09-23 15:34:43presidential material.
jyyh
Otto Lehikoinen
otanle@hotmail...
85.77.186.189

Nice of you Grypo not to give the nick of the commenter "supporting the shooting of thousands of polar bears" as now they can delete that if he runs to be the president of the United States and be done with it. On the other hand, if Dana would run, John N-G. would undoubtly shoot his campaign down with his theory of statistical drougths which is something that should be praised and hailed for the equal opportunities it creates for the Texan farmers.

I'm slowly (again) getting annoyed enough to promote the division of the "climate" debate, and the troubles ahead. You might be seeing me driving a car again one day soon!