2011-09-05 17:48:29Doug Cotton threatens to rubbish SkS with 'thousands of people on Facebook'
John Cook


What's up with this guy? An Aussie too:

Name: Doug Cotton
Message: You are really determined not to let readers get to my site http://climate-change-theory.com because it clearly rubbishes AGW in a way you cannot defend.  First you say there was a virus.  So I copy the (previous version) of the text.  Then you snip that and say I should post the link. (LOL) You delete all my responses because you know they are undeniable.  By the time I try to post a link I find that you have blocked the whole account.  If you don't rectify this I will rubbish your site with thousands of people on Facebook reading my posts about your site and the censorship.  No one has or can refure what is now stated on the above site.  Don't underestimate me or the group of physics academics I am getting together.

2011-09-05 18:41:40Hi is a Tool!
Glenn Tamblyn

John, Follow his link to his 'site' Its all about energy from within the Earth and cycles with the planets. And he is going to get thousands of people and all those 'physics academics'! File under loony tunes - as SkS getss better, we will get more of them.
2011-09-05 19:01:27
Doug Mackie
Doug Mackie

Ohhh. Be careful John! It sounds dweadfully serious. Quick beg his forgiveness and promise to start praising Monckton. Oh speaking of Monckton:

I know of one (very senior and relevantly qualified) physics academic in NZ who is a denier. I hear from another physicist that it is purely ideological. I cannot vouch for the truth of this as my informant is a second rate physicst. (So the denier said as my informant lacks an essential thing required to be a good physicist - a Y chromosone).

Q: Is he legit in his skepticism? A: He supports Monckton.

2011-09-05 22:23:34Call his bluff
Dan Friedman

Threats like this should be taken seriously.  There is a high likelihood that he will post something derogatory no matter how he is treated here.

Why not post the bulk of this comment, including the threat?  Ask him to identify these academics.  List the number of times he got away with posting his web address here.  Show an example of his abuse of the comments policy; demonstrate that he was reinstated, etc and that these complaints have no basis in fact.

2011-09-05 22:39:16Giving a nutter oxygen
John Cook

It seems almost more art than science knowing who to directly engage with and who to ignore. There should be some sort of model/equation to determine the threshhold. Generally, if they seem like a bit of a fringe nutter, I'm reluctant to give them oxygen. In the case of DC, my nutter sense is tingling big time.
2011-09-06 00:13:36Mr. Cotton is definitely "out there"
Daniel Bailey
Daniel Bailey

Mr. Cotton has been very determined in his prosecution of his agenda: to advance his alternate-physics model of how the Earth is heated by the Earth's core, so the Sun + GHG model is a falsehood promulgated by centuries of research by hundreds of thousands of scientists each spending the bulk of their lifetimes effectively chasing after ghosts.

Moderation thread on Mr. Cotton:



Existing accounts by Mr. Cotton (several created after he was given a 2-week timeout for abusing the comments policy):

Sort by
cotdoug Edit Delete
Doug Cotton Edit Delete
Doug-Cotton Edit Delete
DougCotton Edit Delete
DouglasCotton Edit Delete
Doug_Cotton Edit Delete


I suspended his posting privileges again when he made it abundantly clear that he would not be deterred in his agenda nor was he interested in actual dialogue.

2011-09-06 00:20:29
Daniel Bailey
Daniel Bailey

The bit about his web address being snipped happened because one time when I followed his link to check out his claim, that specific page triggered a warning from my company's antivirus on my corporate laptop, Trend Antivirus. 

So I snipped the link from his comment with a notation about the antivirus warning being triggered by his web page.

2011-09-06 00:27:07
Daniel Bailey
Daniel Bailey



2011-09-06 02:00:33Group of academics
Dan Friedman

I've held off posting this because I don't want to feed the troll, but it would be a good one for his 'academics':



You seem very confident that the 9100 meter borehole gives you most of what you need to know for your core-heating-the-surface idea.

That borehole's temperature data are included in this figure.

Accompanying text: The temperature profile varies, depending on factors such as the porosity of the rock, the degree of liquid saturation of the rock and sediments, their thermal conductivity, their heat storage capacity and the vicinity of magma chambers or heated underground reservoirs of liquid.

Any geologist who ever logged a well knows that the above factors alter the temperature gradient.  It seems that the deeper German borehole is anomalously hot, but it is included in the average geothermal gradient shown 3.5C/100 meters or 35C/km.  The outer core's boundary depth and temperature are determined from seismology: 2890 km below surface; temperature 4400 C.

If we work down from the surface, starting at 15C, we have 15C + 2890 km * 35C/km = 101165 C.  It would certainly be a travesty if you cannot account for this missing heat, a mere 96765C.  Alternatively, your borehole plot shows a gradient of 0.0276K/m or  27.6 C/km.  Using this gradient, you need the core to be at 15C + 2890km*27.6C/km = 79779C. Once again, you must account for the missing heat.  Your idea is based on a few percentage points of temperature differences in the core; you might want to comment on this 1800% error from 4400C.  But if you can explain it, a Nobel is certainly in order, as the hottest known star is only 1/2 this, a mere 40000K.

Another way to look at this is to calculate what the surface temp must be using your gradient and the core boundary temperature:  4400C - 2890km*27.6C/km = -75364C.  How can you hide this decline?  But congrats:  At several 10s of thousands below absolute zero, we no longer have to worry about global warming!

Perhaps you could arrange for one of your many academic acquaintances to check your work a bit further before you buy a ticket to Stockholm and rent your tux.

2011-09-06 08:01:50


Actually, given that he has a web page of misinformation and pushing it agressively, perhaps there does need to be a skeptic argument page directed this ("The earth is heated from the core").

2011-09-06 09:48:43
Andy S


I can do a rebuttal on this but I'm busy with paid work for the next month, so no promises about doing it promptly. If anyone else wants to take it on (Phil, IIRC,  aren't you a basin modeller?) please go for it but let me know, so I don't duplicate any efforts.

Muon:  It seems that the deeper German borehole is anomalously hot, but it is included in the average geothermal gradient shown 3.5C/100 meters or 35C/km. 

Actually, the Oberfalz well has the coolest trend. The hot spot is the Italian profile, which is a known geothermal area, with hot granite lying near the surface.

2011-09-06 17:37:02
Rob Painting

Sounds good Andy. Even better with you writing it!

2011-09-06 17:51:05


Andy, I could review if you wanted but cant see where I could find time to write at moment - behind on too many things. A basic calculation of heatflow from the gradient is about all needed, assume equilibrium. A more complex approach would add in the heat productivity as well. 

2011-09-06 18:06:33
Andy S

OK I wil do it. The worst part wil be reading Doug Cotton's site to see how Jupiter causes stuff to happen in the earths core and how that melts the ice caps. Some of these folk come from the shallow end of the gene pool Sorry, that's an elitist thing to say.
2011-09-06 19:08:12
Paul D


Determined nutters will ignore warnings about their behaviour.

We had a nutter spamming the online version of the local newspaper with allegations about a local politician. The nutter just picked any article and posted dozens of duplicate comments. They started off quite short and to the point, then as time went buy, they just contained garbage and were very long, many commentors complained so the spammer completely lost any sympathy. But no advice or warning stopped the person. It eventually stopped, I can only assume the newspaper threatened legal action. I'm sure at one stage they probably had someone monitoring the comments full time.

Lets face it, the main reason people post links to their own web sites on forums is to boost Google ratings for their own site. It has little to do with science, debate or being even handed. Doug Cotton wants to spread his meme, that's all he is interested in.