2011-09-27 01:17:22Pielke comment on latest article
Rob Honeycutt


I had sent Dr Pielke a private note last week after he threw up his hands and walked off.  I just made a number of comments about the world of commenting on articles.  He responded with, meh, kind of the same level of indignation and lack of self awareness but whatever.

Today I got an email from him again and he said he'd read the latest article and very much appreciated the contructive approach.  He also noted that he's traveling at the moment but would post a response on his site when he had a chance. 

2011-09-27 01:25:36Hey!


I think that is a good sign.

I strongly urge that we hold off on publication of the differences we have with Pielke, until we see his response. We may want to modify our language; and maybe even content.

2011-09-27 01:55:12nealjking
John Hartz
John Hartz

I concur.

2011-09-27 01:58:47
Julian Brimelow

Yes, we should hold off until he has responded.

2011-09-27 02:05:43ok
Dana Nuccitelli

We can hold off on the Disagreements until Pielke posts on this one.

2011-09-27 03:31:33
Mark Richardson

He is a scientist, and he can't pretend to be as clueless about climate science as WUWT generally are, so we have a chance to do something constructive with him. Just have to make it clear that we want to avoid mistakes and with a number of authors it takes time to confirm replies and for a productive discussion it has to be targetted.


It could be a good learning experience for us and being civil might open up chinks in Pielke's perversely rosy view of some of the other skeptics.

Although my typical suspicion, from seeing what their 'side' normally do is that he will avoid answering any uncomfortable questions through gish gallops, feigned ignorance and the likes. It's still worth a shot though, just because Monckton, Delingpole, Archibald, Easterbrook, Singer, Carter, Plimer and Watts are in denial doesn't mean that he is.

2011-09-27 06:07:02Experiment with a new format: New rules


If we get into a new round of discussion with Pielke again, I recommend the following new rules of engagement:

- Heavy moderating, along the lines presented below:

- Moderator shall NOT participate in discussion, but just moderate

- All comments go into moderation instantly, except Pielke's

- Questions that are essentially repeats of earlier questions quashed; or else just noted as "Mr X. essentially repeats the question of Mr. Y".

- GENTLE reminder to Pielke if a particular question has been avoided instead of answered

- If Pielke does not answer the question upon reminder, note as "Dr. Pielke does not seem to respond to Mr X's question. Shall we move on to the next question?"

Do you get where I'm coming from? We don't want to give the impression of a jackal pack surrounding a lion (an analogy that I would long since have abandoned except for the fact that it seemed so appropriate); we don't want the moderator to join in the fight; and we don't want to waste time if Pielke is not going to answer the question. At the same time, we want a public statement that he is NOT answering a question, if that seems called for.

I am talking about what the rules of engagement should be on the public page. We might also have a private page where we work out the wording of the next question.

And please, Albatross, I know you get frustrated - but put a cap on it. Your frustration comes across as being highly antagonistic, and it's not cool - not literally and not figuratively.

2011-09-27 06:18:37
Julian Brimelow

I also suggest that "senior"/experienced moderators like Dikran and Muoncounter and DB be used.  Not newbies like moi.

Neal, to be candid, "frustrated" is a gross understatement.  But, I'll do my best.  With that said perhaps it is best that I abstain from that paetricular thread then?  Pielke can play passive aggressive and the martyr role well, but I tend to call a spade a spade if it becomes apparant that games are afoot.  I do hope then that someone else with a more delicate touch going to stop him from 1) appealing to his own authority, 2) evading questions or not answering them clearly, 3) writing long-winded posts and obfuscating, 4) BS'ing people about models and such and 5) pontificating about his own pet hypotheses and other off-topic subjects.

2011-09-27 06:38:42



- If we do a public board and a private board, i would prefer you to be working the private board, helping prepare the questions but not in charge of drafting the final text that goes onto the public board.

- If he does any of these things, a calmer touch is better for calling attention to that. If that doesn't work, well, it's on the record, so it can be critiqued later.

- Having one voice against his also means that less confusion is possible: He can't divert attention from question A by answering question B.


To be blunt, I also felt that Dikran stepped out of role when he was moderating (or maybe that was in a follow-up discussion): A moderator must not only be fair, but must be seen to be fair. A moderator can hold the participants to the questions asked, but cannot interject his/her own opinion. Even if Pielke says "1 + 1 = 3", it is not the moderator's job to caution him on that; s/he can point out that "Mr. A has objected that "1 + 1 = 2"; can you clarify this difference in opinion?"  It is the moderator's job to make sure the proceedings go fairly.

2011-09-27 11:00:12Moderator reform
John Cook


Having a closer examination of where SkS moderation is at is something I've been meaning to do for ages but never seem to find the time. That does seem to be the main criticism against SkS. I'm thinking that old discussion of making the deleted comments public needs to be resurrected and if we do make the deleted comments public, we should reform the system in general to make it more transparent and less prone to having problems. But first, I want to get the SkS Versions thing going, this week hopefully, then we can discuss reforming the moderation system.

2011-09-27 11:54:52Three cheers for Albatross
Dan Friedman

Albatross has a valuable point of view and offers intelligent insight.  I hardly think it is appropriate to shuffle him off to a 'private board.'


We're under a microscope.  Everybody needs to read their own words carefully before pressing 'submit.'  But we don't need to go all soft and fuzzy because someone like Pielke agrees to be a guest in John's very neat house.  He has to play by house rules.  It's not a debate if one side has different rules.

2011-09-27 17:07:30



On Albatross: I am certainly not even dreaming about restricting anyone from commenting in general. But the last two times we've had Pielke on, we definitely came across as "ganging up" on him, and it didn't look good. Didn't look good at all; and it resulted in his having a very easy excuse to bug out 1/4 of the way through - questions unanswered.

What I am suggesting is that we have two things going on during such a "special event":

- The public arena: Pielke's comment, followed by 1 comment/response from SkS; followed by Pielke's comment/response; followed ... Rinse & repeat. This way we get a single-threaded conversation where we can hold his feet to the fire without yelling.

- Behind the scenes: A handful of folks preparing the comments and responses for SkS. Maybe this can be done using a group meeting software, so we get a group "AIM conversation", as that would be instantaneous, instead of requiring posting back and forth on a webpage.

The point is not to shuffle Alby off-screen: The point is to present Pielke with one systematic interlocutor so that it LOOKS fairer for him, and IS fairer for us.

But yes, the person who's directly countering Pielke should be someone who doesn't get as hot under the collar as Alby. I admire Alby's expertise and honor his passion; but we don't need this on-show during a head-to-head with Pielke.