2010-09-26 13:52:27Dana's work in Yahoo Answers
John Cook


Was just reading through the comments thread on Kate's ClimateSight blog post about Dana's advanced rebuttals and this comment about Dana grabbed my attention:

You might also notice that he’s a level 7 contributor to Yahoo Answers, which is no mean feat, since it has involved writing answers to over 12,000 questions, about 1/3rd of which have been selected as the “best answer” to that question, either by the person who asked the question or by the votes of readers. Somehow, he also has time to write all these Skeptical Science posts as well.

Dana, have you seriously written answers to over 12,000 questions? If Graham's nickname is 'The Machine', yours will have to be 'The Factory' :-)

Anyway, that's awesome work, Dana. Often I'm wondering stuff (even basic questions like does hot water freeze faster than cold water), I google the question and often a Yahoo Answers page often comes up first. So this is an excellent place to explain climate science to people - the answers stand as permanent resources to searching people just like the SkS rebuttals are meant to be.

In an ideal world, if this forum was stuffed to the gills with lots of authors, we'd have forums for Yahoo Answers and YouTube and other popular websites where authors who were out there communicating the science, getting into discussions and answering questions could ask for help with writing answers, finding resources, etc. Nevertheless, for a forum that's less than 2 months old, I think we're doing pretty good so far :-)

2010-09-27 08:25:38yes indeed
Dana Nuccitelli

Yes, the global warming section of Yahoo Answers was my first introduction to online climate science discussions over 4 years ago.  It has some major plusses and minuses - there are some extremely well-informed people who answer questions there, some who are working in or studying the field of climate science.  But there are also quite a few 'skeptics' who spread a lot of misinformation in their answers.  In theory it's a very useful site, as long as the person asking the question can differentiate between the good and bad answers, since invariably both are provided.  So I visit the site on a daily basis to both spread what I've learned about climate science and also debunk the many, many factually incorrect skeptic answers.  It would be a shame to allow such a potentially useful site to become a tool for 'skeptics' to misinform people who are sincerely seeking to learn about the subject.

So yeah, I think I've averaged about 8 answers per day, pretty much every day for 4.5 years.  It adds up.  But each answer only takes a few minutes tops, unless I need to do additional research before answering.  There aren't too many complex questions there, it's mostly along the lines of "is global warming a myth?" and "are we causing global warming?", etc.  Though some of the more frequent site users ask some really good questions too, and I've learned a lot from those. 

I think that's where I was first introduced to Skeptical Science too, through links in other users' answers.  Skeptical Science is almost certainly the #1 referenced site in the Yahoo Answers global warming section.  We're all well-aware of the site and reference it frequently.