I don't have the words. Berkeley Earth (BEST) team members recently wrote posts on a couple blogs to respond to criticisms. One of those posts was at Judith Curry's popular blog. I commented on it, raising some of the issues I've been discussing with BEST's temperature record. As you can imagine my discussions involved criticizing BEST.
I have history with one of the authors of the post, Steven Mosher. I won't go into it save to say he and I don't get along, and I blame his behavior for it. I suspect he'd blame mine. It doesn't matter right now. What matters is on a post he authored to defend BEST's work, Mosher decided to say this:
I don't know what possessed Mosher to make him feel it is acceptable to compare me to a Holocaust denier. I can't see how anyone would think doing so was a good idea. I raised legitimate concerns with BEST's work, concerns which show I have spent a not insignificant amount of time examining it. Nobody from BEST dealt with anything I said. This is what BEST did instead.
Apparently I'm not the only one who finds this remarkable. A commenter responded:
Really? you write “You know there is uncertainty over exactly how many died in the holocaust.” Repulsive.
I agree with him, but as repulsive as Mosher's remark was, I'm more hung up on how baffling it was. It's been a few hours, and I'm still flabbergasted. That's why my response was incredibly tame:
Wow. Steven Mosher compared me to a Holocaust denier.
I immediately followed it up with a comment to clarify:
Holocaust denier might not have been the right term to use there. I don’t know just how to word it correctly though. I’m still too shocked at how repugnant it was to worry about nuance right now.
Because I wasn't sure just what "Holocaust denier" entails. To me, the phrase implies one denies the Holocaust altogther. I didn't want to exaggerate what Mosher had said, hence my clarification. Since then, I've found out "Holocaust denier" does in fact cover people who just dispute the number of deaths. That means my initial reaction was accurate.
But what's more important is the fact I'm not providing links to these comments. That's unusual for me. I generally try to provide links to everything I quote. The reason I'm not in this case is I can't. My comments were deleted.
Seriously. They were. Here is a screenshot of those comments in my RSS feed:
I have no idea why they got deleted. I was surprised by this, so I commented:
That comment has now vanished as well:
Mosher's comment is still alive and well. The comments before and after my comment are still around. One of those comments, by Don Monfort, is still around despite responding to my comment which got deleted.
I can't explain that. I can't begin to fathom why it is unacceptable for me to say, "Wow. Steven Mosher compared me to a Holocaust denier." Apparently it is okay for Steven Mosher to compare me to a Holocaust denier, but it is not okay for me to be surprised or bothered by such a repulsive comparison.
I don't have the words. I don't understand why BEST team members would ignore legitimate concerns people raise then turn around and compare those people to Holocaust deniers for raising them. I don't understand why anyone would feel it is okay for BEST team members to compare me to a Holocaust denier but not okay for me to say, "Wow. Steven Mosher compared me to a Holocaust denier."
What I do know is this is completely ridiculous.