Further Down the “Bore Hole”

A look at comment deletion at RealClimate compared with WUWT

Guest post submitted by Ian Rons

Regular readers will doubtless be familiar, either at first- or second-hand, with the enthusiasm with which moderators at RealClimate.org seem to reject comments from AGW sceptics. Ecotretas’ recent story on Realclimate censorship (re-posted here) piqued my interest, since in addition to the usual tones of indignation, it suggested a method of estimating the RealClimate comment deletion rate by looking at the comment IDs (as revealed by WordPress’s use of the HTML (attribute), and counting the number of these IDs which are missing from the sequence.

Being at a loose end, I took up the cudgels and wrote a script using PHP and cURL which took about an hour to mine every available page on realclimate.org by accessing the page using its WordPress “post_id” value (from http://…/?p=1 to http://…/?p=8092, as at (14th July), extracting comment IDs with a simple regular expression and doing a bit of maths on the result. Naturally, the source code and the various output files are available upon request.

The figures are rather high, though doubtless some missing comments will have been spam.

However, at least in recent times, the RC site has employed the “re-CAPTCHA”service, which (unlike the Akismet service used by WUWT) does not create a new comment ID if the comment is rejected for being spam, so for instance the 56% of comments missing during June 2011 seems likely to be an accurate figure, unless some other explanation can be found.

A possible explanation might be the existence of a large number of comments on the site by an inner circle of users hidden on special-access pages, but I find it hard to believe this could account for a large proportion of (e.g.) the 933 comments which are missing in June 2011. Similarly, the apparent surge of deletions beginning July 2007 may also be truly reflective of events, since it has been suggested in comments here that it “coincided” with RC’s attack on the surface stations project. However it has also been pointed out that such interpretations are impossible to verify using this method.

Overall, there were 78,639 missing comment IDs, out of a total of 210,595, or 37.3%. As for the RC page known as “The Bore Hole”, which started on 6th January 2011 (the date being evident from the post_id of 6013 and the moderator’s response to the first comment, although they have since re-dated it 6th December 2004 for some reason), the comments on that page are of course counted here as “published” comments, however they are small in number (404) when compared with the number of comments which seem to go missing even after that date in January (5,000). At the risk of mixing metaphors, “The Bore Hole” could perhaps be regarded as something of a fig-leaf.

I ran a similar scan on WUWT (also a WordPress site) on the 14th July, extracting data from http://…/?p=1 to http://…/?p=43440. However, analysing WUWT with this method presented several problems that aren’t applicable to the RC site:

  • Some earlier comment IDs are out of chronological order (stemming, it seems, from the import from TypePad to WordPress in October 2007), so figures for early months are impossible to calculate. During this period there seems to have been some infilling of comment IDs (probably due to the TypePad import not setting the “auto_increment” values in the database properly), which would affect the overall total; however, the numbers involved (whilst impossible to calculate precisely) are probably at most in the very low hundreds.
  • WUWT has always used WordPress’s Akismet spam-filtering, which creates new comment IDs before marking them as spam. Anthony provided me with a screenshot showing the total volume of spam which had been deleted as of early on the 15th July to be 55,097. This can be adjusted down to 55,085 for the period covered by my data to late on the 14th July 2011.
  • The Tips & Notes page encourages comments from readers which are not intended to remain permanently on the site, so they are to be regarded as “legitimate” deletions. Anthony provided me with records of the numbers of Tips & Notes comments posted (then eventually deleted) for the period 24th March to 10th July 2011 (3,220), on which I based an estimate of 22,215 “legitimately deleted” comments for the period 23rd June 2009 (when the T&N page was created) to 14th July 2011 inclusive.

Overall, WUWT has 75,989 missing comments IDs, out of a total of 700,115 submitted comments (10.9%). Subtracting the above figures for Akismet and Tips & Notes gives us a problem, since it’s a negative figure: -1,311. I think this is most likely due to an over-estimation of the number of comments posted on the Tips & Notes page, combined with perhaps a few hundred from the infilling problem mentioned above. However, the combined additions from these two sources of error would have to be in excess of 8,000 to raise the number of deletions to 1% of the total submitted, which I think very unlikely.

Putting it another way, and assuming a total of 200 “infilled” comment IDs (a high estimate, in my opinion), I would have to have over-estimated the volume of Tips & Notes comments by some 58% to reach a 1% deletion rate. I therefore see no reason to doubt the claims made on behalf of WUWT that the deletion rate is less than 1%. In fact it may be considerably lower. It is, however, noteworthy that December 2007 and January 2008 show high deletion rates, with another bump during Sep-Oct 2008:

In summary, whilst there remains some uncertainty especially regarding the RC data, the data does tend to support the anecdotal evidence concerning RC’s tendentious comment moderation practices. It also tends to support (or at least does not contradict) WUWT’s claims of a <1% comment deletion record.

For reference, here are the monthly totals which I used for the graphs. This table excludes incomplete months and some early WUWT months as noted:

RealClimate Watts Up With That?
Month Missing Submitted Missing (%) Missing Submitted Missing (%)
Jan 2005 86 524 16.4%
Feb 2005 111 383 29%
Mar 2005 53 286 18.5%
Apr 2005 96 294 32.7%
May 2005 47 305 15.4%
Jun 2005 119 482 24.7%
Jul 2005 524 826 63.4%
Aug 2005 255 474 53.8%
Sep 2005 112 527 21.3%
Oct 2005 99 664 14.9%
Nov 2005 67 654 10.2%
Dec 2005 544 1150 47.3%
Jan 2006 277 944 29.3%
Feb 2006 306 1236 24.8%
Mar 2006 390 1292 30.2%
Apr 2006 660 2130 31%
May 2006 580 1477 39.3%
Jun 2006 174 995 17.5%
Jul 2006 142 1252 11.3%
Aug 2006 888 2123 41.8%
Sep 2006 253 1005 25.2%
Oct 2006 340 1055 32.2%
Nov 2006 114 1290 8.8%
Dec 2006 62 876 7.1%
Jan 2007 203 1791 11.3%
Feb 2007 223 2282 9.8%
Mar 2007 343 3107 11%
Apr 2007 160 1960 8.2%
May 2007 213 2271 9.4%
Jun 2007 188 2055 9.1%
Jul 2007 4061 5724 70.9%
Aug 2007 7171 9511 75.4%
Sep 2007 4140 5499 75.3%
Oct 2007 4561 7091 64.3%
Nov 2007 6064 8226 73.7% 108 476 22.7%
Dec 2007 4184 6073 68.9% 547 869 62.9%
Jan 2008 493 1938 25.4% 497 1217 40.8%
Feb 2008 452 1656 27.3% 536 2027 26.4%
Mar 2008 332 1444 23% 776 3212 24.2%
Apr 2008 854 2222 38.4% 396 3023 13.1%
May 2008 1159 3050 38% 465 3192 14.6%
Jun 2008 880 2526 34.8% 586 5781 10.1%
Jul 2008 1156 3086 37.5% 751 6651 11.3%
Aug 2008 922 2733 33.7% 514 6775 7.6%
Sep 2008 873 2827 30.9% 1596 9174 17.4%
Oct 2008 692 1892 36.6% 1918 8936 21.5%
Nov 2008 1466 3026 48.4% 931 7012 13.3%
Dec 2008 1089 3127 34.8% 436 7599 5.7%
Jan 2009 1063 3269 32.5% 508 11357 4.5%
Feb 2009 834 2587 32.2% 1053 12586 8.4%
Mar 2009 1232 3260 37.8% 857 16186 5.3%
Apr 2009 1635 4369 37.4% 662 16291 4.1%
May 2009 2037 4361 46.7% 641 14217 4.5%
Jun 2009 808 3183 25.4% 1236 13525 9.1%
Jul 2009 646 3664 17.6% 1561 14722 10.6%
Aug 2009 384 2341 16.4% 1606 13619 11.8%
Sep 2009 337 1657 20.3% 1802 15389 11.7%
Oct 2009 722 3699 19.5% 2187 19746 11.1%
Nov 2009 1518 5745 26.4% 2945 25712 11.5%
Dec 2009 981 6401 15.3% 4339 36716 11.8%
Jan 2010 728 5349 13.6% 2250 26840 8.4%
Feb 2010 966 6020 16% 2267 26640 8.5%
Mar 2010 873 5066 17.2% 2349 26051 9%
Apr 2010 883 4227 20.9% 2312 23259 9.9%
May 2010 966 3425 28.2% 2877 20174 14.3%
Jun 2010 983 2915 33.7% 2295 19584 11.7%
Jul 2010 1613 3808 42.4% 2789 23840 11.7%
Aug 2010 772 2324 33.2% 3211 27241 11.8%
Sep 2010 770 2072 37.2% 3414 24257 14.1%
Oct 2010 681 2267 30% 2547 24362 10.5%
Nov 2010 824 2698 30.5% 2667 20508 13%
Dec 2010 1942 3744 51.9% 1983 22411 8.8%
Jan 2011 685 2794 24.5% 2716 24451 11.1%
Feb 2011 963 2901 33.2% 2243 22524 10%
Mar 2011 1077 2326 46.3% 2371 23480 10.1%
Apr 2011 684 1674 40.9% 2124 17466 12.2%
May 2011 738 1679 44% 2457 20028 12.3%
Jun 2011 933 1677 55.6% 2544 20682 12.3%

====================================================================

UPDATE:

Thanks to Ian. It should be noted that I had no influence of any kind on his analysis, other than providing the input data he requested. It is published exactly as he presented it to me, with only some small edits for formatting, with no content changes.

I thought this might be a good time to show something I encountered personally on June 7th, 2009 at RC. Gavin posted up a thread asking for ideas about the blog.

http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2009/06/groundhog-day-2/

His central question to readers was:

“What is it that you feel needs more explaining?”

I decided I’d offer my suggestion. Big mistake. Here’s a series of screen caps I made illustrating the central systemic bias that RC has, even for basic and germane topics.

It starts out like this when my first suggestion was not published:

It never appeared, so I thought I’d try an experiment. Using my wife’s computer (on the same DSL circuit, same IP address) I decided I’d submit an upbeat generic comment that didn’t offer any sort of challenge to RC using a new email account to see if it was an automation problem related to IP or my name/email address, or if it was simply that RC does not like challenges to their position:

And amazingly, it went right through. So I knew I was not being blocked by IP address or name/keyword, as you can see below, it was approved:

So, I tried again, again on the same home network, my PC this time:

And here it is awaiting moderation:

Nope, it was consigned to the ether:

A few comments later, we can see who is moderating, Gavin himself, note the inline response:

I decided to send a polite email inquiring about my missing comments:

And of course, I never received a response.

So there you have it, even when they ASK for ideas, ones that come from skeptics are apparently deleted; real open debate from a Real Climate scientist, Dr. Gavin Schmidt of NASA GISS.

Update#2 Ric Werme asks in comments:

The next question is “Why do people even bother posting comments at RC?” I’ve found it easier to not go there at all, so I don’t get tempted to add a comment.

Apparently, other than dhogaza and a few hangers on, not many do:

Except for search engine hits, WUWT beats RC in every measure. See for yourself here:

http://www.alexa.com/siteinfo/wattsupwiththat.com+realclimate.org#trafficstats

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162 Responses to Further Down the “Bore Hole”

  1. Ecotretas says:

    What a fantastic work!
    Ecotretas

  2. Darren Parker says:

    WUWT has a very strict policy on language – i’ve had posts deleted because I slipped in a very minor swear word.

  3. Jeremy says:

    Thank god I’m not paying for this rejection of comments with tax dollars, oh wait…

  4. alexwade says:

    Be careful with assuming CAPTCHA blocks out all spam. Spambots can even defeat those with regularity. The only way to block spambots is to put a simple question in that requires a human to read and comprehend. For example: “Can you divide five by zero?”

  5. Brian Cooper says:

    Generally if I’m bored or it’s just a slow night, I go see a Movie or read a book. Although I see where Statisitics could pass the time just as well.

  6. Taphonomic says:

    “source code and the various output files are available upon request”

    What a bizarre concept. Why would anyone ever want to do that?

    /sarc

  7. Ray says:

    This seems to be a good proxy to show they are losing the argument.

  8. Crispin in Waterloo says:

    Can you add a linear trend line to the graph? I expect every chart that has anything to do with climate or discussions of it to have a linear trend line. I am used to it now! I ne-ee-ed a linear trend line! I want to see if it changes with time and if the change follows the PDO or GCR flux or CO2.

  9. Ron Cram says:

    It’s worse than we thought!

  10. ferd berple says:

    RC = Religious Cult

  11. George says:

    Next, map the deletions to CO2 change? :)

  12. Mike says:

    Quality academic journals boast about their rejection rates.

  13. M.A.Vukcevic says:

    Not always. Gavin accepted number of my posts (some are on bore-hole, but still lot of hits from there).
    I am not posting this one, reasons are obvious.

    http://www.vukcevic.talktalk.net/CET1690-1960.htm

    climatic paradox = more CO2 is released the current temperatures closer get to those of the 1730’s.

  14. MikeN says:

    It’s pretty obvious looking at your post what the redacted portion of the e-mail address is.

  15. Mac the Knife says:

    Very Interesting! Full disclosure, at it’s finest…. Thanks!!!
    This says a LOT, about the fairness and tolerance of WUWT!

    Q: Do (3 ) “snips” count as (1) “delete”? };>)

    I don’t think I’ve ever been ‘deleted’ here, but I do seem to remember a ‘snip’ or two, when I may have suggested that waterboarding could apply where FOIA had proved ineffective…. Some times my enthusiasm gets the better of me!

  16. ferd berple says:

    The RC Borehole might be better titled “The Best of RC”

    This page posted to the Borehole is quite interesting

    http://www.vukcevic.talktalk.net/NFC1.htm

    http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2004/12/the-bore-hole/comment-page-9/#comments

    While correlation is not causation, it seems hard to explain the high correlation between arctic temperatures and the earth’s magnetic field as simply accidental. It is hard to see how a change in temperature at the arctic would influence the magnetic field.

    However, it seems quite likely that a change in the magnetic field would affect incoming solar charged particle radiation and thus affect the chemistry of the polar atmosphere. This change in the polar atmosphere would then affect the polar climate.

    It seems a large hole in the current mainstream climate theories to only consider a very narrow range of EM radiation from the sun, in those bands where our skin and eyes are sensitive, without considering that the sun emits both EM and charged particles, over a very wide range of energies and frequencies.

    For example, the production of ozone and the “ozone hole” might be better explained in terms of changes in the ionization rate of the atmosphere over the solar cycle coupled with changes in the changes in the earths magnetic field, as compared to CFC production.

    There seems to be an assumption in climate and atmospheric sciences then when something new is observed, it must be a result of human activity. In this climate and atmospheric science is correct, but not in the way they assume.

    When something new is observed it is not necessarily because we created it, rather because human activity has created better instrumentation and methods. For example, satellite detection of hurricanes that were previously unreported, skewing the reporting rate of hurricanes, leading science to mistakenly conclude that hurricanes are increasing.

    This is the fallacy of AGW and the lesson to be learned in science. Better instruments and better methods can make natural processed appear to be increasing or decreasing in unexplained ways. However, what is changing is not nature itself, rather the nature of the measurements.

  17. nemo says:

    “Be careful with assuming CAPTCHA blocks out all spam. Spambots can even defeat those with regularity. The only way to block spambots is to put a simple question in that requires a human to read and comprehend. For example: “Can you divide five by zero?””

    Spam prevention mechanisms like this are rather easily overcome, regardless of the question asked.
    The problem is that internally, the spam prevention has a limited list of symbols that it is permuting to generate known answers. For english readable math questions, that is a bit larger than for some other systems, but the syntax is still fairly predictable. In the end, you can’t expect your machine to outsmart theirs.
    Systems like that are far easier to break than distorted text, and at least recaptcha is performing a useful service.

  18. DennisK says:

    I predict a “hockey stick” chart pattern of comment deletions in the near future leading to a catastrophic communication crisis.

  19. RockyRoad says:

    Gavin Schmidt is a government employee. He removes content that is critical of the government’s stance on climate. That amounts to suppression of free information by the US government. Welcome to our Socialist Utopia.

  20. Give the raw data to Michael Mann and let him graph it :)

  21. Tucci78 says:

    What was the RealClimate.crapola rate of deletions for November 2009 and the months immediately following?

  22. James Sexton says:

    Good work Ian. But, it tells us what we already know. RC is a political advocacy blog. That it is run by public employed scientists is an outrage, but there’s no evidence of illegal activities…… so far. But, it is certainly unethical. If this remains the case, after all of this climate hyperbole is done and over, we should pass laws that our scientific civil servants be better constrained to at least lend the appearance of an apolitical stance. As it is now, any blatherings coming from our science offices such as NOAA, NASA, USGS,….etc. is regarded as possessing the same validity as the blatherings from Greenpeace or the Sierra Club.

    It is an intolerable and untenable situation. The public deserves much more than advocacy from these people. They have taken advantage of the public’s largess and general goodwill towards such enterprises and occupations. It won’t remain so if they continue down this path.

  23. Smokey says:

    Mike says:

    “Quality academic journals boast about their rejection rates.”

    So do propaganda journals, like Nature Climate Change. In case you missed the point, this article exposes censorship of opposing views by government employees.

  24. Ecotretas says:

    I love that smile4me2day email address! They must consider it is a respectable scientist, one more in the consensus…

    Although this has biased Ron’s statistics, favoring RC! I wonder how much of the approved comments are the Team, and the virtualTeam posing as someone else?

    It just keeps getting more and more hilarious!
    Ecotretas

  25. jorgekafkazar says:

    Nice post! I once compared Warmist jargon to the Tower of Babel, here. Boom! Snipped. On the other hand, it’s highly significant that while Anthony lists Stoat, John Cook, and other Warmist sites on his blogroll, WUWT is not listed on “Real”Climate, nor are any other dissenting or even lukewarmist sites. The closest to a skeptical link on RC is Andy Revkin’s DotEarth. This difference in philosophy is reflected in the very names of the blogs: WUWT’s title poses a question–seeking truth. The very name ‘”Real”Climate’ is propagandistic–claiming possession of truth (followed by an appeal to authority, “Climate Science from Climate Scientists.”)

  26. Anthony.

    One way to get comments thru is to NOT link to CA or WUWT or Airvent.
    Otherwise they see your question as a method to drive traffic to the sites you link.
    I dont condone that practice, but as long as I dont link to sites they disapprove of my comments get through.

    REPLY: Gavin had the opportunity to tell me that himself i.e. “lose the link and I’ll let it pass”. He declined to even acknowledge my email. Nuff said. – Anthony

  27. ferd berple says:

    Mainstream science and consensus science as reported in Wikipedia:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Solar_wind

    “Opposition to Parker’s hypothesis on the solar wind was strong. The paper he submitted to the Astrophysical Journal in 1958 was rejected by two reviewers. It was saved by the editor Subrahmanyan Chandrasekhar (who later received the 1983 Nobel Prize in physics).”

    The current AGW is based upon work done 150 years ago. In contrast, recognition of the existence of a “solar wind” is much more recent. As a result, in large part this has not been incorporated into our understanding of the role the solar wind plays in climate, for example in cloud formation, ozone production and polar temperatures.

  28. Tucci78 says:

    At 9:36 AM on 22 July, James Sexton had written about RealClimate.crapola:

    That it is run by public employed scientists is an outrage, but there’s no evidence of illegal activities…… so far. But, it is certainly unethical. If this remains the case, after all of this climate hyperbole is done and over, we should pass laws that our scientific civil servants be better constrained to at least lend the appearance of an apolitical stance.

    Under both regulations prevailing and longstanding custom, the officers and enlisted personnel of the U.S. military forces are prohibited from making public politically partisan statements or otherwise participating in the activities of elected civil government outside the privacy of the voting booth.

    They are not disenfranchised, but the only way in which such a serving member of the military can so much as openly criticize the civilian chain of command requires that the individual in question leave the service immediately. A number of senior commissioned officers in the history of these United States have done precisely that.

    Some similar standard of conduct, applied to los warmistas sucking at the public trough into which the taxpayers of this nation are so grievously bled, would be a consummation devoutly to be wished.

    In a time of terrible and widespread unemployment, I can think of nobody in this nation who more thoroughly deserves to be unemployed.

  29. pat says:

    You all simply do not understand. This is called “homogenizing”.

  30. nvw says:

    Great post. Thanks for taking the time to collect and present this data.

  31. Ecotretas says:

    Mark and two Cats,

    If you get Mann to graph the data, I would bet that he would turn the inverse hockey stick graph of WUWT, and turn it into one of his own hockey stick graphs!

    Ecotretas

  32. son of mulder says:

    Speaking of Bore Holes here’s Chris Huhne’s lates pronouncement

    http://af.reuters.com/article/energyOilNews/idAFL6E7IL0MF20110721

    “Defying climate deal like appeasing Hitler-UK minister”

  33. kadaka (KD Knoebel) says:

    I’ve had comments deleted here, that were started with “Dear Moderators” in bold, that were only made to pass some info to the moderation team (typos etc), that I expected to be deleted. Sorry to contaminate the data like that. ;-)
    ===

    Question that I’ve been wondering about for awhile: When on RC a GISS employee like Gavin writes a post about or comments on a paper in a journal, to which they gained access through the paywall using their government-funded (taxpayer-funded) position, no money out of their own pocket, doesn’t that qualify as using government resources for their RC blogging, even when they claim they’re “on their own private time”?

  34. ferd berple says:

    James Sexton says:
    July 22, 2011 at 9:36 am
    That it is run by public employed scientists is an outrage, but there’s no evidence of illegal activities…… so far.

    Is that in fact true? It seems likely that if government grants are being awarded to climate scientists, and these same climate scientists are knowingly using government funding to suppressing public criticism of their activities, then that is very likely illegal or fraudulent activity and should be reported to your elected representatives for action.

    In the end the way forward for the USA is through the ballot, because AGW is not about science, it is about politics. In Canada our current government rejected the alarmist view on climate change and was re-elected with its first majority. This in spite of the CBC running hourly stories on the horrors of climate change, the deaths of polar bears, cities buried under mountains of water, etc., etc.

    The Canadian people saw through this and recognized that economic prosperity is a much bigger threat to our children’s future. Do you believe that politicians like Gore act out of human kindness? Or are they predators that use our best intentions against us to enrich themselves and their friends?

    Listening to Gore I’m reminded of the preachers that spew fire and brimstone over the evils of sin, that are later found to have deflowered half the flock. No matter how much they say they are trying to help others, they are really trying to help themselves.

  35. Mark Wilson says:

    I don’t recall seeing very many “snipped” posts and most of them only snip part of a message.
    If snipping is as high as 1%, I’d be very surprised.

  36. Crispin in Waterloo says:

    Mike says:
    July 22, 2011 at 9:09 am
    Quality academic journals boast about their rejection rates.
    +++++++
    So does Mike.

  37. Ric Werme says:

    James Sexton says:
    July 22, 2011 at 9:36 am

    > Good work Ian. But, it tells us what we already know. RC is a political advocacy blog.

    Good science pretty much requires good numbers. We knew RC deleted comments, now we have a good idea of how many they delete, and what the deletion rate is over time.

    The Climategate Emails also told us what we knew, but they quantified and provided background.

    The next question is “Why do people even bother posting comments at RC?” I’ve found it easier to not go there at all, so I don’t get tempted to add a comment.

  38. Richard S Courtney says:

    kadaka (KD Knoebel):

    You make a good point at July 22, 2011 at 10:14 am,

    I have also posted comments that are addressed directly to Moderators at WUWT and include the words, “Please feel free not to post this comment”. I am pleased that such comments have been deleted but – as you say- they provide a false addition to the estimate of ‘real’ deletions from WUWT that Ian Rons has estimated in his excellent analysis.

    Richard

  39. ferd berple says:

    One approach might be to post a complaint to Gavin at RC if you feel your comments have been deleted unfairly by the activities of government employees, and include on the post a CC to your elected representatives. It does seem unreasonable that NASA/Goddard pay someone to delete/censor the comments of concerned citizens from a website, especially in light of the apparent very high deletion rate.

  40. kramer says:

    Some of us should take screen movie captures of us typing in comments, submitting them, and then them not being posted and post these videos on youtube.

    I used to comment at Romm’s site but now when I type in a comment, it doesn’t even make it to being moderated.

    There is one site that seems to have taken all of my comments, it is Grist.org.

  41. Russell C says:

    Long piece with mind-numbing details, ironically undermining our AGW friends’ claims that skeptics say stuff just to confuse the public, with no data to back it up.

    One of my favorites was a reasonable question I posed to a site about why the blogger didn’t come down harder on Al Gore on refusing to debate skeptics. After all, a more effective defense would be to first show how skeptics’ climate assessments are wrong, and THEN put the final nail in the coffin by showing irrefutable proof such skeptics are paid to say what they say by big coal & oil. I wish I’d gotten screencaps of my actual question and the follow-up one I asked, which resulted in this gem: http://i51.tinypic.com/2zo8ygz.jpg

    Oh, my…… now I’m quivering in fear, reduced to silence.

  42. James Sexton says:

    Tucci78 says:
    July 22, 2011 at 9:52 am

    Under both regulations prevailing and longstanding custom, the officers and enlisted personnel of the U.S. military forces are prohibited from making public politically partisan statements or otherwise participating in the activities of elected civil government outside the privacy of the voting booth.
    ====================================================================

    Indeed, it was one of the compelling reasons why I left the service in the 90s. While rules and guidelines exist, it isn’t a moral dilemma to understand what is or isn’t ethical in this case. Obviously, while others possess a modicum of ethical compunction, this trait isn’t extended to many of the scientists at various agencies and departments in the service of this nation. I despise the thought of more laws regarding citizen behavior, but apparently, they are necessary for our less scrupled countrymen. Ultimately, our system of laws will fail if the public is tolerant of such people. The onus of proper conduct is upon the individual and not any government entity in this nation. Because laws don’t exist governing certain behavior doesn’t mean one should engage in such behavior. This simply reinforces John Adam’s posit on the laws governing the American people…….“Avarice, ambition, revenge and licentiousness would break the strongest cords of our Constitution, as a whale goes through a net. Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.”

    We haven’t listened to the admonishments of the past.

    “None can love freedom but good men; the rest love not freedom, but license, which never hath more scope than under Tyrants.”—- John Milton

  43. Pete H says:

    Hmm! A graph related to RC that is not HS shaped! Impressive!

  44. dp says:

    This is a crazy survey. It does not establish the quality or worth of comments. A zillion AOL “Me Too!” comments are not worth a single meaningful post, for example, and this site has a large number of fan boy posts that really don’t add to the conversation. This site also gets an awful lot of posts from spelling and grammar nannies and while it is often helpful, they don’t contribute, otherwise

    I know that Anthony means for this site to drive revenue and that makes a bit difference if the RC site you are comparing is not commerce-driven. I don’t know that it is or is not, but it has to be considered.

    Dr. Curry is prone to dropping stinkbombs on her blog that will drive 200 comments even before your coffee is cold and many of them are argumentative, bickering, or “somebody’s wrong on the Internet” type posts.

    So what I’m saying is, unless there is a way to quantify the value/post ratio there’s nothing to see here by just comparing numbers. You really need data mining software to analyze the worth of the two sites and not just play with the numbers. It makes it look like you’re pushing consensus and appealing to group think and not identifying what useful information those numbers indicate. In RC’s favor, culling useless posts improves the signal to noise ratio – regardless of whether one agrees with the signal.

  45. Juice says:

    I hate to be a grammar nazi, but it should be “Farther down the bore hole.”

  46. ferd berple says:

    son of mulder says:
    July 22, 2011 at 10:04 am
    Speaking of Bore Holes here’s Chris Huhne’s latest pronouncement

    A shining example of the fire and brimstone preacher? The politician that loves to tell others how to live their lives, while living a life that few if any would hold up as a good example to their children?

  47. John Whitman says:

    Richard S Courtney says:
    July 22, 2011 at 10:49 am

    ””””””””kadaka (KD Knoebel):

    You make a good point at July 22, 2011 at 10:14 am,

    I have also posted comments that are addressed directly to Moderators at WUWT and include the words, “Please feel free not to post this comment”. I am pleased that such comments have been deleted but – as you say- they provide a false addition to the estimate of ‘real’ deletions from WUWT that Ian Rons has estimated in his excellent analysis.

    Richard”””””””””””

    —————————-

    Ian Rons,

    I think kadaka and Richard S Courtney are correct.

    I often send notes to the moderator about the status of my comment or concerning html tagging errors in a comment of mine.

    Those seldom appear on the screen, so assume they are deleted.

    Are those accounted for in your analysis of WUWT?

    John

  48. In the first years of RC, some real discussion (with e.g. Raypierre) was possible without much moderation. But with the years, the moderation did become more and more censoring of comments which did disagree with the moderators, even entirely on topic. I did give up commenting there when over halve of my comments were disappearing in cyberspace…

  49. Bob Diaz says:

    Interesting work!
    Now for a bit of humor:
    With a bit more work and a few million government grant, you should be able to show a connection between increased CO2 and CD (Comment Deletion). This ACD is getting worse and we MUST act now to reduce CO2 or, all comments will deleted in the future!!! ;-))

  50. Hans Moleman says:

    Hopefully this isn’t an example of the level of scientific rigor that contributors to this site typically apply to their subjects.

    We get it: you guys don’t like Real Climate, but this is supposed to be a science blog not the Daily News. If this isn’t a joke then you’ve really lowered the bar for your competitors.

  51. Tucci78 says:

    At 11:04 AM on 22 July, Russell C made mention of a response he’d gotten from a warmista Web site after having posted “a reasonable question … about why the blogger didn’t come down harder on Al Gore on refusing to debate skeptics. After all, a more effective defense would be to first show how skeptics’ climate assessments are wrong, and THEN put the final nail in the coffin by showing irrefutable proof such skeptics are paid to say what they say by big coal & oil.

    That image reflected an attitude so utterly vicious that I had to download the JPG and take the trouble to reproduce the text – in toto – here for all to easily read:

    Your IP address has been banned from this website. That means you are a “climate science denier” which Fururism Now does not tolerate. If you feel this happened by accident, contact the website administrator at admin@futurismnow.com and send your IP addres and email and explanation. If you ARE a denier and you persist in spamming this website, your name, IP and email address will be prominently displayed. If you sent abusive comments they will be published on a special website with your name and everything we can find out about you, including your phone number, and where you work, if this information can be obtained. In the most severe cases, your employer an other associates might be contacted with your comments. You have been warned. Futurism Now has a zero tolerance policy against climate science deniers.

    Hm. So what policy do the proprietor(s) of Futurism Now have about the fulfillment of the commonplace assurances given to those registering to comment that their e-mail information will not be given out, or to civil lawsuits filled against them for compensatory and punitive damages they inflict by way of malicious mischief perpetrated in their fanatic hateful efforts to punish people for expressing their opinions?

    For their own good, these inflamed sphincters really ought to ask a tort lawyer to review their suicidally stupid excuse for an “anti-denier” policy.

    I can just imagine the blanch of horror and dismay on that attorney’s face.

  52. PhilJourdan says:

    I guess this is one of those “Duh” facts. We found out almost 2 years ago with Climategate that warmists would go to any length to make sure that no dissension was heard by anyone. Unfortunately for them, they forgot that no one owns information in the information age, so it gets out. Perhaps they are not trying to convince the undecided, but to keep the faithful in line? if that is the case, it surely is a sign of desperation.

  53. Verity Jones says:

    kadaka (KD Knoebel) July 22, 2011 at 10:14 am (and Richard S Courtney)

    Yes I’d say a good % of the deleted comments here are “please fix..” or “sorry I forgot to close the html..” or some such. It would be tempting to bin the ‘me too’ type comments sometimes, but then where do you draw the line? Such decisions would only make moderation harder/slower. If you are only looking for bad language, ad homs, approving comments is quick.

  54. Leo Norekens says:

    How I would like to see this method applied to http://www.loonwatch.com/
    My “islam-critical” comments are systematically deleted there, and I suppose the same is true for anyone else’s…

  55. kadaka (KD Knoebel) says:

    Mark Wilson said on July 22, 2011 at 10:27 am:

    I don’t recall seeing very many “snipped” posts and most of them only snip part of a message.
    If snipping is as high as 1%, I’d be very surprised.

    David Appell scored an impressive string of four straight complete snips on the recent NYT “death threats” post on July 19, 11 days after the thread’s previously last comment. (I noticed one of his as a “Recent Comment” and checked.) Apparently he has a problem with Mr. Watts’ “put up or shut up” demand earlier in the thread to post the actual individual (recent) death threats he’s been griping about or issue an apology, until that’s done his comments get snipped.

    Even then Anthony let him slip in a couple on the Russian heat wave “mostly natural” post, of which one amazingly did not contain evidence of credible death threats despite proclaiming to show such, and another complained about a complete snip of another comment for a common site policy violation. Then on July 19, same as on the other thread, a complete snip.

    Thus even though the moderation is very fair, there is a certain amount of (apparently) egotistical masochists skewing the snip statistics. ;-)

  56. Smokey says:

    Yo, Moleman,

    Too bad about RealClimate. How does it feel to be so impotent?

  57. Lars P says:

    dp says:
    July 22, 2011 at 11:14 am
    “This is a crazy survey. ”

    dp from your comment I have the feeling you did not encounter the experience of trying to communicate, having valid arguments and being simply rubbed away by somebody wanting to have only his truth standing.
    It is easy for a moderator to fake a discussion his way if he wants to.
    There are several dirty of tricks used to form opinion, give the impression they want dialogue but in reality recurring to such low methods of deleting valid comments or pretending your mail is an ad-hominem attack to leave their answers standing.
    It is right to show it up.

  58. Verity Jones says:

    kadaka (KD Knoebel) says: July 22, 2011 at 12:16 pm
    “…until that’s done his comments get snipped.

    Even then Anthony let him slip in a couple on…”

    Ah but it depends who sees and approves the comments – you see too many moderators spoil the blog. It’s probably very easy to miss previous bad behaviour or ultimatims – you’d have to read each entire thread to catch them.

  59. PhilJourdan says:

    Tucci78 says:
    July 22, 2011 at 11:54 am

    Tucci, reading the response you got made me laugh. I have worked at organizations that PAT their addresses. They just banned the entire organization! And in case anyone is wondering, it was “Social Services”, staffed by people mostly sympathetic to their cause!

    They are morons!

  60. Joshua says:

    Would they delete “A pox on both your houses” at RC?

  61. OK S. says:

    James Sexton says @ July 22, 2011 at 11:09 am:

    “None can love freedom but good men; the rest love not freedom, but license, which never hath more scope than under Tyrants.”—- John Milton

    I worked for some years as a civilian employee for the Department of Defense. They had a strict policy against speaking as a DOD employee, and an even stricter policy about doing so on public time. Why it is different for NASA, I don’t know.

    As for the Milton quote, it’s sad that the misapplication of the First Amendment is used by teachers to restrict American school children from studying the works of some of the greatest thinkers of Western Civilization. From the same discourse that you quoted (The Tenure of Kings and Magistrates):

    No man, who knows aught, can be so stupid to deny, that all men naturally were born free, being the image and resemblance of God himself, and were, by privilege above all the creatures, born to command, and not to obey …

    OK S.

  62. Looking back, Real Climate surged in readership during the months of August – December of ’07.
    Much of the traffic had stemmed from the news about GISTEMP analysis.
    Over 30,000 comments went missing.
    That was on average of about 70% of all comments submitted.
    Imagine the effect that could have on those reading the comments at the time.
    No dissenting views on the subject about 1934 being hotter.
    Or any dissenting views on any subject he published.
    Maybe his only exceptions were to have himself and others ridicule the few skeptic comments he allowed to be posted, so wafflers could be swayed to believe the crap RC sells.
    Selling the views of the IPCC and controlling the public’s opinion soon wavered when Climategate broke and fewer and fewer people believed the trash the warmistas were selling.
    Not only has his RC readership declined, but in the last 6 months, nearly 50% of all the comments to RC are being deleted.
    This contrived and controlled consensus the warmistas thought they had, has nearly unraveled.

  63. Kevin says:

    “Naturally, the source code and the various output files are available upon request.”

    That would be great to tinker with! How do I request the source?

  64. Stuart Lynne says:

    I’ve thought for some time that some sort of meta-commenting system is required. Think of it as a web site that would be used to view a site (like realclimate) which would also allow for posting to the target site. The difference being that it would also maintain the posts made through it separately so that if they are deleted on the target site the comments would still be available in context at the meta-comment site.

    I’ll note that google+ with the StartGoogle+ chrome extension shows how this might work. StartGoogle+ allows you go bring your FaceBook and Twitter accounts into your Google+ account both for reading and posting. And of course if you post to both FaceBook and a Google+ stream then it does not matter what happens on the FaceBook side. The post will remain on the Google+ side.

  65. paulhan says:

    Wow, things must have been pretty heated on RC between August 2007 and December 2007. Both the comment and deletion count go through the roof. A veritable hockey stick !! :-).

    Right around the time of the realisation that the world wasn’t getting any warmer any time soon, and when skeptic blogs started popping up

  66. gnomish says:

    wuwt moderation is very well done. one has to be an obvious troublemaker before the mods intervene. even then, it is modulated – warnings are given with explanation.
    it’s not a public place – it’s a private blog- Anthony has all the rights.
    he’s also got honorable motives and is not threatened by truth – that’s why WUWT is worth visiting, to me. he’s also a professional.
    i confess that i do visit r.c. occasionally – but only because they closed encyclopediadramatica.com and i sometimes have a perverted desire to indulge in schadenfreude. nobody tops gavin as pretentious buffoon. it’s sick, i know, but watching him chasing phantom squirrels always makes me feel a bit better – i think it is reassuring to know how puny the enemy is – witchdoctors in lab coats shaking rattles around a doomsday sundial muttering in panic at those who don’t respond to his incantations and imprecations…
    it’s just too bad there are so many who are so much less than that – and serve as nothing but prey – that’s when i stop laughing.
    i might even post something ‘unambiguous’, let’s say, and even directed at an individual – but even such a post will not be censored if it’s got reason and not too much snarl.

  67. Martin A says:

    Isn’t it a question of diction, rather than grammar?

    In British English “further” and “farther” are synonymous – although you could live many years in Britain and never hear the word “farther” spoken.

    The Concise Oxford Dictionary:
    “farther
    var. of further adv. & adj”

    Discrimination between the two words is not universal even in the USA.

  68. 1DandyTroll says:

    “doubtless some missing comments will have been spam.”

    All the missing comments are defined as spam, that’s why they’re “missing”.

  69. gnomish says:

    oh, jeez – i wanted to say- what a cool and fun project this was! what an ingenious, entertaining and informative way to make use of a spare few hours. what a creative use of skills – what a ‘life as an active principle’ joyfulness to refresh from passive spectating.
    (how piratey! P-} )

  70. KnR says:

    Sorry I refuse to accept these figures until you tell me they come from a model . Because as we all know reality is poor representation of models and models are always right.

  71. Ian Rons says:

    Tucci78 said on July 22, 2011 at 9:34 am:

    What was the RealClimate.crapola rate of deletions for November 2009 and the months immediately following?

    This seems to have been a period where relatively few comment IDs are missing from the sequence; however, the data for the preceding months (from June 2009) is very similar. The Examiner article that Ecotretas linked-to in his original article suggests that comment moderation after Climategate was particularly liberal, which would appear to correspond (at least in part) to the data, but at the same time we don’t know what other circumstances might possibly have a bearing (including spam and so forth). Perhaps I’m being too generous, but we have yet to hear what – if anything – the RC staff have to say about all this. But maybe they consider high levels of comment deletion a badge of honour: after all, if their Comment policy were any looser, it would have to be published in a bucket.

    John Whitman said on July 22, 2011 at 11:29 am:

    I think kadaka and Richard S Courtney are correct. I often send notes to the moderator about the status of my comment or concerning html tagging errors in a comment of mine. Those seldom appear on the screen, so assume they are deleted. Are those accounted for in your analysis of WUWT?

    No, nor for RC. I would be interested (out of curiosity) if the mods here could guesstimate the amount of this sort of commenting they get, but it could never become part of any serious analysis of course.

    Hans Moleman said on July 22, 2011 at 11:54 am:

    Hopefully this isn’t an example of the level of scientific rigor that contributors to this site typically apply to their subjects.

    I’ve merely provided data with some comments that caution about the uncertainties involved. Obviously some people like the results and others don’t, but what you’re offering is merely a “stock argument” which doesn’t specify what you feel is insufficiently rigorous about the analysis. I’d be happy to address any serious criticisms you might offer, but I can hardly respond to such broad brush-strokes.

    We get it: you guys don’t like Real Climate, but this is supposed to be a science blog not the Daily News. If this isn’t a joke then you’ve really lowered the bar for your competitors.

    I am not one of “you guys”, but if you’re suggesting that lowering the comment deletion rate is equivalent to “lowering the bar”, this is (as I understand it) the general thrust of what RC staff have said in the past about the site. However, the anecdotal evidence (of which there seems to be plenty) suggests that comment rejection has nothing to do with how well informed the commenter is, merely how supportive the comment is of the AGW hypothesis. There are plenty of comments on RC which add nothing to the debate, but which are accepted anyway. In other words, the RC comment moderation policy resembles that of a party political website, whereas (I suppose) WUWT’s comment moderation policy is something of a free-for-all, or marketplace of ideas. Personally, I take the side of Adam Smith and Friedrich Hayek when it comes to that sort of thing; i.e., I reject collectivism, especially in science (and we are talking about science websites). Nevertheless, to thoroughly refute your suggestion would necessarily involve a qualitative (rather than quantitative) analysis of the comments on both RC and WUWT sites, which could be done by sampling but which would of course be more time-consuming. And for what it’s worth, where you lack rigour is by confusing a quantitative analysis for a qualitative one.

    Juice said on July 22, 2011 at 11:15 am:

    I hate to be a grammar nazi, but it should be “Farther down the bore hole.”

    Someone’s just said something similar, but nevertheless: cf. farther A. 4. with further adv. 4. in the OED.

    Kevin said on July 22, 2011 at 1:09 pm:

    That would be great to tinker with! How do I request the source?

    Shall I send it to the email address you provide at your “blogiburton” blog?

  72. Hans Moleman says:

    @Ian Rons

    My serious criticism is this: your analysis deals in nothing apart from uncertainties and anecdotal evidence. It is worthless and thus this article comes off as nothing more than a “hit piece”.

    There’s no reason to sling mud at Real Climate. Stick to the science.

    REPLY: what I’d like to know is, which are you? The fake “Hans Moleman” or the fake “Cal Barndorfer”? Pick a fake handle and stick with it – note the policy page about switching identities around. – Anthony

  73. ZT says:

    Excellent post!

    Any chance of an automated daily update?!

    This would allow us taxpayers to monitor RC, without actually having to view the site itself.

  74. Mooloo says:

    Hans Moleman says:

    We get it: you guys don’t like Real Climate, but this is supposed to be a science blog not the Daily News. If this isn’t a joke then you’ve really lowered the bar for your competitors.

    You have to recall Hans that the guys at Real Climate don’t just think they are right scientifically. They think they are also right morally.

    In this battle of politics, for which scientific papers are mostly a tool to beat people, it is quite useful to point out the hypocrisy of the other side. A few minutes search at RC will find them attempting exactly the same thing in spades. There is no “bar” to be lowered: this is a knife fight and it would be silly to fight other than with knives.

    There are other sites which stick entirely to science, or entirely to politics. Go to them if you prefer that.

  75. Dr A Burns says:

    It will be interesting to see it there’s a surge today, as everyone tests RC. My post is 138.

  76. Bob the swiss says:

    Just after the Climategate I wrote a question on the Euronews television blog :

    “Why you don’t talk about the Climategate ?”

    I repeated this 6 times and my question never passed the moderator.

    This television is considered the best for european information …

    In Italy they call this ‘mafia’ !

  77. Smokey says:

    Hans Moleman,

    This article has plenty of charts and graphs as corroborating data. To call it “anecdotal evidence” misrepresents the work that has been done. Far from being “worthless”, Ian Rons has exposed and verified the pseudo-scientific censorship practiced at Realclimate.

    As far as “slinging mud” at Realclimate, you have it backwards, as the article and comments make clear: RC is simply a propaganda blog that is defrauding the taxpaying public by using government paid employees to censor opposing points of view.

  78. Hans Moleman says:

    @Smokey

    Charts and graphs are only as good as the data they’re based on. And you misunderstand my argument. The uncertainty comes from the fact that the author is speculating on everything from the reasons comment IDs might be missing to the contents of the allegedly deleted comments themselves. The anecdotal evidence I was referring to was the author’s own account of his activities at Real Climate. It’s uncertain whether anything has been exposed and it’s beyond ridiculous to suggest anything has been verified.

    And your closing paragraph is a perfect example of what I meant by “mud slinging”. If it’s your goal to show that RC has their science wrong then do so. Neither calling the “blog” propaganda, nor questioning the work ethic of its authors, nor suggesting they delete comments they don’t like does anything other than imply you have no scientific arguments so you have to throw mud instead.

  79. George M says:

    Just a couple of cents worth, I quit posting on RC because they simply didn’t post the comments in the correct thread, or put them “down the bore hole”, which is by far the most interesting thread still on the blog. At least half were simply deleted with no explanation.

    Instead, now comments consist almost entirely of cheer leading with no real scientific basis. Just “rah, rah, rah”.

  80. Ian Rons says:

    Hans Moleman said on July 22, 2011 at 2:17 pm:

    My serious criticism is this: your analysis deals in nothing apart from uncertainties and anecdotal evidence.

    Clearly the data cannot be classed as “anecdotal evidence”.

    ZT said on July 22, 2011 at 2:32 pm:

    Any chance of an automated daily update?!

    That’s something to consider.

  81. Bruce of Newcastle says:

    “Except for search engine hits, WUWT beats RC in every measure.”

    And no doubt a story in that too. But don’t fight that one Anthony, we need you.

  82. Richard S Courtney says:

    George M:

    Yes, and your experience is shared by many. But there are those (e.g. see the above comments by Hans Moleman) who try to pretend this is not the case.

    The value of the analysis by Ian Rons is that it provides empirical evidence which shows RC deletes more than a third of all comments. Hence, whenever anybody disputes the simple truth that RC is a propoganda blog then one can now say;

    “RC deletes more than a third of all comments. It deletes anything substantive that does not support the ‘message’ RC promotes. If you doubt this then post an ‘on topic’ but ‘off message’ comment and see what happens.”

    Richard

  83. Anthony Watts says:

    “Hans Moleman” aka “Cal Barndorfer” aka T&K and some other names you’ve posted under here….

    Since you didn’t reply to my comment above, and since you can’t seem to pick a name and stick with it, I’d like to suggest “spider shoes” as your permanent name.

    It’s an idea, maybe just crazy enough to work. People might take you more seriously then. ;-) As you might know from our policy page, we do have a policy about constantly changing handles…so pick one and stick with it or limit yourself to commenting on RC.

    Cheers,

    Anthony

  84. jaymam says:

    Now that you’ve shown this analysis of deleted comments at RealClimate, they could just replace the deleted comments by nonsensical comments from warmists. How would we ever know? :)

  85. Smokey says:

    Hans Moleman says:

    “The anecdotal evidence I was referring to was the author’s own account of his activities at Real Climate.”

    If that anecdotal evidence was limited to the author’s own experience, you might have an argument. But there are so many comments in this thread, and in many other WUWT threads pointing out that their comments were censored by RC, that it would convince any jury on earth that Realclimate deliberately censors opposing comments as a matter of policy.

    I have made probably a dozen comments at RC over the years. I was always careful to not antagonize the moderators, and to stick to the science. Not one of my comments ever got past moderation. You can see from the article that Anthony Watts’ comments are automatically censored, and Anthony is as polite as can be.

    You see, Hans, they cannot allow any point of view that doesn’t fit their alarmist narrative [unless it is ridiculous or provably wrong, and thus easily countered]. That is how propaganda works. If RC allowed the give-and-take that is encouraged here at WUWT, the truth would be sifted from the chaff, the noise and the false claims like it is here, and eventually it would become clear to most folks that the Team avoids the truth and the scientific method like the plague. It would gradually become evident that there is no testable, verifiable evidence showing that CO2 is causing any global harm — and RC will not allow that debate.

    RC cannot allow that issue to even be discussed, because without “carbon” to demonize, the grant money will gradually be re-directed to other areas of science. But without open discussion and transparency, what Realclimate produces is anti-science; pseudo-science propaganda that is spoon-fed to their claque of true believers. Without openness, RC is no more scientific than Scientology. Most reprehensibly, their censoring and propaganda is committed by government employees paid by the taxpayers. Sooner or later, the chickens are going to come home to roost on that score.

  86. James Reid says:

    My little personal count is 100% deletions on RC. Not even boreholed… and I thought my questions were genuinely innocuous! Never go there anymore, waste of time :-).

    But I am not so optimistic that the war is won as some commenters here. When Malcolm Turnbull is now solidly on the Warmista side. I mistakenly thought he was a good guy in that he had a track record as a barrister using logical argument, but it seems the Merchant Banker hat has taken over completely and it is all about risk analysis.

  87. ferd berple says:

    Hans Moleman says:
    July 22, 2011 at 3:01 pm
    If it’s your goal to show that RC has their science wrong then do so.

    I’ve attempted to do so, by asking questions at RC about obvious contradictions in the science. Without fail every one of these questions has been censored by RC.

    However, when I ask questions at RC about obvious confirmations in the science, without fail every one of those questions has been posted by RC.

    This is not anecdotal evidence. It is observational evidence. The odds of this simply being co-incidental are vanishingly low.

    Censoring people for asking questions is not science. It is fundamentally anti-science.

  88. sky says:

    Good to see real science exposing Real Climate for what it is.

  89. Verity Jones says:

    Smokey,
    you know when I first encountered WUWT (as a believer challenged to look at the science by my skeptic husband!) I found comments such as what you’ve just written really hard to swallow. I could not believe that ‘respected mainstream scientists’ would behave as you describe (and believe me I have seen some low behaviour over the years). Four years on – I’m with you 100%.

    What really took the biscuit for me was the Lewis et al Steig rebuttal affair. Reading the tAV and Climate Audit back to back with Steig at RC was an eye opener. I pick up on the tone of language very well and while Nic Lewis was angry and bemused, Steig was defensive, dismissive where he could be (even if it was not justified) and managed sly little digs when he could. Good scientists conceed to improvements in their methods all the time and it does not diminish them. Science should be a debate; scientists who consider publication in Nature the pinacle of their career have nothing to prove and have no need to be defensive.

  90. John Norris says:

    I just have no use for RC anymore.

  91. Hans Moleman says:

    @Anthony

    I don’t typically expect anyone other than me to be editing my own posts, so I’m sorry I missed your comment above. It’s too bad, since it’s a prime example of the things I’ve been railing against today: jumping to conclusions when you have much uncertainty and mud slinging (shooting the messenger rather than the message).

    You are right, I have posted here using both my name and an alias, but I think Calvin may be offended that you think we’re one and the same. I’ll leave it to others to point out why you’re wrong in your assumption that because he and I have the same IP address that we’re the same person…

    As for people taking me more seriously when using a single handle, I don’t see how they would’ve even known that I had posted in other articles under different names if you hadn’t brought it up here in order to deflect from the actual issues I raised.

    In any case, none of that matters anymore. You are the owner of this site and you have clearly shown by your actions that this place is a science blog in name only and that attacking the messenger is acceptable. I shouldn’t have wasted my time criticizing the OP for using a tactic he’d likely seen used in countless other past posts on this site.

    Cheers,

    Hans (i’d prefer to keep using this name, thanks)

  92. Lady in Red says:

    I am surprised at this brouhaha.

    I have never asked a particularly “tough” question or made an outrageous comment, but I am
    unable to post — at all — at Real Climate, Deep Climate, and, I think, Climate Progress. I
    simply don’t bother: always to the ether.

    I think it’s a function of my “handle” a/o underlying email address (not the IP…. I think) but, regardless, I’ve wasted time crafting thoughts that simply disappear. So, I don’t bother any more. I would assume that’s the status of many potential contributors, which would, of course mean that, going forward there will be fewer comments posted as more people understand the RC “rules.”
    …..Lady in Red

  93. Gerald Machnee says:

    Any chance of a contest to see who deletes the most. RC is not the only one.

  94. ZT says:

    Amusing to see the Real Climate enthusiast (singular) complaining so bitterly. What is it with AGW enthusiasts and observations which cannot be massaged?!

    I would like to see a report stating the percentage of comments deleted in the last 24 hours at Real Climate and Watts Up With That – somewhere close to the WattsUpWithThat total page views would be the perfect location. Just my two cents!

    Thank you Ian for conducting the careful analysis that you have written up here. Thank you Anthony for running such an open site.

  95. Alex says:

    I’m not the least surprised one reason I became a sceptic was that RC didn’t allow my questions through

  96. Anthony Watts says:

    Sure whatever it takes “Hans” to justify your own opinion. What’s your connection with GISS?

  97. Smokey says:

    Hans Moleman says: [ ... ]

    Your assertions in this discussion have all been pretty much debunked, unless you actually believe everyone else is making up stories about their comments never getting out of moderation at Realclimate.

    In particular, your assertion that this article is based on “anecdotal evidence” is clearly falsified by the charts and graphs that are included. The data may not be perfect, because RC won’t cooperate, but it is far superior to “anecdotal evidence.” You’re only fooling yourself – a common trait among climate true believers.

    You exemplify the glaring difference between WUWT and RC: this site encourages all points of view and moderates sparingly and with a very light touch, while RC heavily censors skeptics outright. If your own comments here were even half as critical of RC and you posted there, your comments would never see the light of day. Here, your comments are posted for all to see. The downside for you is that they’ve been debunked. But never censored.

    You’ve been trying to defend the indefensible: Realclimate; a so-called “science” blog that censors free discussion and open debate! In your George Orwell world you probably believe there is an excuse for that behavior. There isn’t.

  98. D Bonson says:

    I used to visit Realclimate quite a bit when starting out on seriously researching the issues around the climate change debate. I didn’t bother making comments, thinking back then, that the
    AGW position was strong.
    Not long after, I ventured to other sites such as this one and was shocked to see how much was not being discussed at Realclimate and sites with similar views. After more research, I came to the conclusion that the IPCC version of climate change was weak in evidence and heavy in political rhetoric.
    Now I avoid sites such as Realclimate on both sides of the debate and stick to the sites that discuss factual topics.

    Great work by Anthony and his team, as well as several other sites such as Climate Audit, Chiefio, the Pielkes, Climate Etc., The Blackboard etc. Thanks for allowing people like myself to further our education and become better informed about the issues surrounding climate change.

  99. Hans Moleman says:

    @Anthony

    I have no connection to GISS. I’ll be happy to privately give you any personal information you require to prove that point. [edited at your request - even though you previously said you don't expect your posts to be edited, they weren't, only replied to]
    @Smokey

    Methods of blog moderation have nothing to do with whether the science is correct or not. Real Climate could not allow comments at all and it wouldn’t change whether they’ve got their science correct or not. You can keep slinging your mud and it won’t change whether the science is correct or not.

    REPLY
    : Why would I believe anyone who keeps changing their name and email addresses around? So far you’ve done nothing to elevate trust level and everything to lower it, but you have spent a lot of time defending GISS and the Team. If you are indeed a “messenger” as you describe yourself, it seems you come from planet GISS ;-) But we could go round in circles for years. We have a difference of opinion, presented here has been data and graphs, from your side, only opinion while hiding behind a fake name, no data of any kind. Seems your battle is not going well.

    Gavin offered up something similar to your argument a few minutes ago, no data, just opinion:
    ==================================================================
    324 http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2011/07/unforced-variations-july-2011/comment-page-7/#comment-211257
    hank says:
    22 Jul 2011 at 5:06 PM

    Somebody PLEASE go tell them to shut up over at WUWT. They’re trashing this site once again, this time about comment deletion;

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2011/07/22/further-down-the-bore-hole/

    If the owners of this site have any self respect, please use it now.
    Hank

    [Response: There is really very little point. Their whole endeavour is a giant ad hom argument designed to shift discussion from substance and science to personalities. Treating it as if it was a serious discussion wastes everyone's time and just increases the noise. Suffice to say they have no idea how much spam we get, or how Re-Captcha works. But the discussions here are moderated, and off-topic, tedious or abusive comments don't make it out of moderation (though it is a small fraction of what they are claiming). This improves the signal to noise ratio and makes for more nuanced conversations - something that is all too rare in the blogosphere. Other people can run their blogs how they like, and if people don't like one blog, they can go elsewhere or start their own. I am distinctly uninterested in playing games. - gavin]

    ==================================================================
    Gavin can easily prove us wrong (if we are) by presenting data – Anthony

  100. Tommy says:

    RC was a real source in raising my skepticism. They refused to talk to me when I really was giving both sides a fair shake and trying to understand this stuff. It’s not hard to see they have an agenda–and when you are on the fence and one side is open and the other shuts you out, well, they don’t serve themselves well.

  101. Smokey says:

    “Moleman” says:

    “Methods of blog moderation have nothing to do with whether the science is correct or not.”

    A more bogus statement would be hard to concoct. Scientific truth is winnowed through transparency and open debate. Realclimate’s heavy-handed government censorship of scientifically skeptical views leaves nothing but the climate alarmists’ point of view, which has been thoroughly and repeatedly debunked.

    Wake me when RC decides to be honest, and allow all points of view.

  102. Jeff Alberts says:

    In summary, whilst there remains some uncertainty especially regarding the RC data

    Well THERE’S a big suprise.

  103. (Eyeball) Extrapolation of the RC Missing Comments graph (using Mannian/IPCC methods), indicates that Gavin could almost certainly be deleting 347.91234% of comments in 3 years’ time. ;-)

  104. Hans Moleman says:

    @Anthony

    Ultimately, it matters little whether you know who I am or not as my posts with regard to the original topic have nothing to do with my identity. And though you seem offended at the thought, there are plenty of websites/forums that have serious scientific discussions with throw-away accounts. It allows people to have debates without worry that retaliation from the opposing side might turn personal when the facts aren’t favoring their point-of-view.

    And I have a hard time believing you can’t see the difference between editing my post at my request and editing my post at your whim.

    Finally, though you and others here keep referencing all of the OP’s graphs and data as if their mere existence provides proof of anything, I’ll remind you of a phrase that should be familiar to anyone in a technical field: “Garbage in, Garbage out”

    “Their whole endeavour is a giant ad hom argument designed to shift discussion from substance and science to personalities.” This quote seems pretty spot on, at least as far as this thread is concerned…

    [Reply: No one has edited your posts. Adding a reply to your post as Anthony sometimes does is not editing your post. ~dbs, mod.]

  105. Alan Wilkinson says:

    It’s good to know RC is as censorious as ever. That means real scientists will continue to find it repugnant and look elsewhere for real science. So much effort going into counter-productive PR is quite amusing.

  106. David Ball says:

    “makes for a more nuanced discussion”, ……. “makes for a more nuanced discussion”, …… “makes for a more nuanced discussion”, ……… 8^D

  107. Richard S Courtney says:

    Anthony:

    In response to Hans Moleman at July 22, 2011 at 7:06 pm, you report Gavin at RC saying:

    “But the discussions here are moderated, and off-topic, tedious or abusive comments don’t make it out of moderation (though it is a small fraction of what they are claiming).”

    Assuming Gavin did say that (I have no intention of lowering myself into RC to determine the fact for myself), then his quoted statement is a simple lie.

    Following my final post at RC before RC decided to delete all further posts from me they published a barrage of personal abuse and lies about me from the RC clack.

    That personal attack was “off-topic”, “tedious” and “abusive” and all my attempts at reply were deleted.

    Richard

  108. u.k.(us) says:

    Hans Moleman says:
    July 22, 2011 at 8:26 pm

    “It allows people to have debates without worry that retaliation from the opposing side might turn personal when the facts aren’t favoring their point-of-view.”
    ==============
    It’s not personal, there are too many actors for it to be personal.
    But, make no mistake, it will be relentless.

  109. Lady in Red says:

    Mr. Mole Man….
    Do you not get a sense, in the tone of the correspondence here, that there is a substantial difference between RC and WUWT that showcases WUWT wonderfully and RC badly?

    You’re right: moderation has nothing to do with the correctness of the science. At the same time, when questions and ideas are censored — I have been hopelessly and forever more relegated to the ether bin — it doesn’t speak well for the science which is being advocated. RC/Gavin et al will not be challenged, questioned. My way, or the highway…. That’s a poor teaching technique — if the “science” can stand the scrutiny.

    When I started my adventure into this world, I started at RC, also. I found Gavin and his “regulars” patronizing, confusing and impatient. Respectful persistence netted me only the ether bin. RC, today, is boring, pedantic and pretty irrelevant. It’s as though someone there pops up out of a teapot a couple of times a month with some mind-numbing boring research paper that has nothing to do with anything. Then, the “regulars” exchange pleasantries among themselves. Occasionally a newbie stumbles in and, just as I was, gets insulted pretty quickly if too persistent. It is hard to imagine a more pointless site — except to highlight the contrasts between it and the places real “climate science” (whatever that is….) are discussed. I continue to be amazed that Gavin and The Team appear not to be embarrassed by the site, humiliated by their involvement. But, they soldier on. And, every day they lose someone else to the side of the rational skeptic. …..Lady in Red

  110. papertiger says:

    you know what would be fun? A contest.

    Who can make the most cloying, sycophantic, gushing praise, comment that gets past the moderator at Real Climate.

    Needs to appear on the blog post. Screen grabbed, then tiny linked back here.

  111. max says:

    Now, now. It could simply be that RC commenters simply double or triple post, and the deleted posts are mostly duplicates. In all seriousness, given he way RC handles posts with moderation and comments not appearing for hours after being posted I suspect that a significant portion of the “missing” post might be duplicates.

  112. artwest says:

    son of mulder says:
    “Speaking of Bore Holes here’s Chris Huhne’s latest pronouncement…”
    ———————————————————
    Huhne’s pronouncements have recently become more frequent and more hysterical. I suspect he is wanting to build up some “credit” while he still can:

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/feedarticle/9759634

    “Energy Secretary Chris Huhne has been questioned for a second time by detectives over claims that he made his ex-wife take speeding points for him.”

  113. prjindigo says:

    Looks like you used Mann’s methodology to compile the data… definite upturn at the right end.
    Maybe its a trend?

  114. Toto says:

    The difference between the Western European and the Russian press, Beguitcheff said, was that Stalin in his infinite wisdom first read everything, weeded out all the lies and distortions and finally gave the people the unvarnished truth. In Scandinavia the readers were, of course, filled with nonsense and lies.
    — from the 1953 autobiography “Vagrant Viking” of Peter Freuchen, Danish arctic explorer (1886-1957)

  115. Jeff Alberts says:

    gnomish says:
    July 22, 2011 at 1:25 pm

    nobody tops gavin as pretentious buffoon.

    Actually I think you’re right up there with him.

  116. Jeff Mitchell says:

    RC importance is demonstrated by the Alexa graph. I think it would be fun to have an alternate blog dedicated to the comments deleted by RC. It could have each RC thread link, with people able to add the comments they tried to post there.

    Unfortunately, it would be a waste of time since their traffic is so low as to be negligible. However, it is very instructive to see what happens to a blog that heavily censors its comments.

    If you want to do an experiment though, it might be fun to take one RC topic, and have everybody write their comment here and there, and see how many don’t make it past moderation. My guess the deletion rate would be higher, approaching 100% for skeptical comments. The current deletion rate is much lower than I’d guess because sycophants post 67% of the comments.

    Their science can’t be very good if they don’t allow questions about stuff that is anomalous relative to their worldview. If they are that insecure, they have to know their science is bad. They really need to change their tagline: Climate Propaganda by Climate Propagandists. I get the feeling they have no clue about how bad they look.

    Another fun thing would be to get James Delingpole to propose a debate, invite three skeptics chosen by the skeptic side, invite 3 cagw peeps chosen by their side, then have a debate, one on one, for each of the six possible combinations, and see how it turns out. My bet on the outcome? They won’t agree to debate. That’s because only people who think they can win propose debates.

  117. Keith says:

    Hmm, looks like if one uses the IPCC line fitting technique, RC could get to comment deletion saturation in a few months.

    Maybe RC standards for Removed Comments?

    BTW I use captcha combined with a keyword/regex scorer on the comments – automated spammers and even human spammers get caught quite well.

  118. R.S.Brown says:

    Look Ma !

    No Hans !

  119. kadaka (KD Knoebel) says:

    From Hans Moleman on July 22, 2011 at 5:59 pm:

    Hans (i’d prefer to keep using this name, thanks)

    You wish to be thought of as a running gag from a cartoon show? If so, then “Hans Moleman” visiting from (Un)RealClimate, you have succeeded!

  120. Annabelle says:

    I agree with Alex above. When I was slowly moving towards a sceptical position, having comments (containing nothing but polite, genuine questions) deleted from RC was the tipping point.

    “smile4me2day” – lol!

  121. Hans Moleman:

    From Gavin Schmidt:
    But the discussions here are moderated, and off-topic, tedious or abusive comments don’t make it out of moderation

    As already said, in the early days of RC, I had a few good discussions there with several contributors like Raypierre. But after a short period, half my comments were deleted, despite being always on-topic, interesting (I suppose) and never abusive. That makes it impossible to have any substantial discussion of the science. Thus for me, RC is not about science, but about what they see as the only truth. They should better write articles without allowing comments, that is by far less annoying…

    If you want a litmus test for how open to discussion a blog is, simply look at the lists of referenced blogs: RC only references to blogs with a similar (or far more extreme) opinion as themselves, only to one moderate blog (Pielke Sr., not to Judith Curry), but not one blog with an opposite opinion. In contrast, CA and WUWT give you a list of opposant blogs, so that you can compare for yourself what the others say…

  122. Barry Woods says:

    Eric Steig himself deleted all my following comments, after allowing one comment through….

    His response to my comment suggesting adding links to RC blogroll as a goodwill gesturewas enlightening as well…. Jeff Id, The Air Vent – called it a ‘stunning response’

    Eric Steig’s response at Realclimate, called Pielke nr, Steve Mcintyre, and Lucia dishonest… !
    They all noticed…..

    Jeff Id, did a write up at his blog, and I added my subsequently deleted Realclimate comments into the comments at The Air Vent…

    http://noconsensus.wordpress.com/2010/07/01/extreme-climate/

    V little respect or social skills at RC:

    Eric Steig replying to me at RC:

    91
    Barry Woods says:
    25 June 2010 at 10:46 AM

    If realclimate coudld link to luke warmer blogs, it might reduce the criticism of advocatcy..

    ‘climate Sicence for climate scientists’

    as they link to desmog blog and geaorge monbiot,
    but not climate audit, pielke’s or say lucia’s blackboard..
    george monbiot is not a scientist, he is a journalist!

    So it does look like advocacy to a new observer
    If they cuold bring themselve to do this it would be a gesture of goodwill..

    Having a link to ‘how to talk to Global Warming Sceptic’ vetted and endorsed by professionals at RealClimate, reflects, to an observer badly on RealClimate..

    So, constructive advice, drop the links to the more ‘flag waving’ type advocacy sites, include some ‘respected’ alternative views, it would help Realclimate stop being ‘perceived’ as an advocacy site rather than a science site…

    [Response: Being listed on our blogroll does not constitute endorsement. In general, the sites we do list -- whether they are run by scientists or not -- tend to get the science right much of the time, and hence are consistent with our mission. Being not-listed could mean that a) we haven't heard of the site, b) that it is uninteresting or unimportant, or c) that we consider it dishonest or disingenuous with respect to the science. Pielke Jr, Blackboard, and ClimateAudit all fall squarely into the latter category.--eric]

    j

  123. Barry Woods says:

    sad thing is..

    A very good friend directed me to the Realclimate blog, when the climateate story broke. I had never been interested in or aware of C Audit, Watts Up, B Hill, etc before the 20th Novemner 2009.

    sad thing is my friend trusts Realclimate, they are former editor for an IPCC Summary for Policy Makers) and a key climate scientist to this day.

    I approached RC in good faith on a personal friends recommendation, and questions were in that vein, I lasted a couple of comments before, comments started to never appear.

  124. wayne Job says:

    I just went to Real climate out of curiosity and on a blog about sea level rise asked Gavin to explain why the IPCC panel on sea level rise, sitting as we speak stated that about this time in the last interglacial temps were 2C higher and the sea level 6 metres higher. Not expecting to be posted or an answer.

  125. papertiger says:

    I have never asked a particularly “tough” question or made an outrageous comment, but I am
    unable to post — at all — at Real Climate, Deep Climate, and, I think, Climate Progress.

    Scored the trifecta ! High five Red.

  126. kadaka (KD Knoebel) says:

    Re Tucci78 on July 22, 2011 at 11:54 am:

    Futurism Now? That blog is available from Amazon.

    Futurism Now [Kindle Edition]
    Environmental News and Politics

    Monthly Price: $0.99 includes wireless delivery via Amazon Whispernet

    # Kindle Blogs are auto-delivered wirelessly to your Kindle and updated throughout the day so you can stay current.
    # It’s risk free—all Kindle Blog subscriptions start with a 14-day free trial. You can cancel at any time during the free trial period. If you enjoy your subscription, do nothing and it will automatically continue at the regular monthly price.

    Ninety-nine cents a month? Seems overpriced. At least you can save 49 cents while seeing just how bad it really is.

    Product Description
    Futurism Now is environmental and political news from a progressive perspective. Topics covered are global warming, climate change, pollution, big oil, big coal, adaptation, sustainability, green jobs, renewable energy, solar power, wind power, electric cars, and the legal and political aspects of all of those things. The focus is on the news now and how it will impact the future, both short and long term. In conjunction with Climate Files Radio.

    Apparently global warming is not climate change, and solar and wind power are not renewable energy, or someone likes tossing out excess terms for some reason, perhaps to increase search engine hits.

    Keeping with the stated themes, it might be worth signing up for the trial period to see a discussion of the legal aspects of (falsely) accusing someone of blogging in the pay of Big Oil or Big Coal.

    I notice there are no reviews yet. Anyone here with a compatible device who’s willing to “test drive” the blog and give an appropriate review? ;-)

  127. Rabe says:

    kadaka, you are bad, ROFL, just bad.

  128. Bloke down the pub says:

    I could hazard a guess that a large chunk of posts deleted on WUWT would be on a theme of Chemtrails.

    [And HAARP. ~dbs, mod.]

  129. Jeff Id says:

    I have had the same experiences. Nice post.

  130. DirkH says:

    Here’s Futurism Now on the web.

    http://www.futurismnow.com/

    Looks like fun:
    “The Gulf of Mexico waters are dying, and not so slowly any more. Will life even exist in it in 20 years?”

  131. John Whitman says:

    My journey to WUWT in late 2008 involved the Climate Debate Daily (CDD) site. When first interested in the climate discussion I would go to CDD several times daily and taste the pro and con of the climate debate. Over time I became more interested in the con (skeptic) argument.

    Of the skeptic sites, WUWT just looked more open and friendly. So, it became my default skeptic site.

    I have commented rarely at RC. It is so rare that I do not really recall being deleted but probably I was. I do recall less than friendly reception. : )

    Overall, I think RC has been pivotal in some major cultural shifts against the CAGW/IPCC focused pseudo-science. Without RC site policies and behavior actively alienating independent thinkers, I think there would be far fewer skeptics. So, for that, I thank RC.

    John

  132. kadaka (KD Knoebel) says:

    Rabe said on July 23, 2011 at 3:52 am:

    kadaka, you are bad, ROFL, just bad.

    But not as bad as Michael Jackson, since he’s rotting. Currently he does have lower personal carbon emissions so in that way I’m badder than him, however his estate does generate a considerably huge amount of carbon pollution, far more than me. To compensate and be not as bad overall, I’m just going to have to leave behind a much smaller estate than Michael Jackson did. It’ll be difficult, but I think I can swing it.

  133. Ric Werme says:

    Hans Moleman says:
    July 22, 2011 at 5:59 pm

    @Anthony

    As for people taking me more seriously when using a single handle, I don’t see how they would’ve even known that I had posted in other articles under different names if you hadn’t brought it up here in order to deflect from the actual issues I raised.

    I automatically derate any comment posted under a pseudonym, though I acknowledge some people have very good reasons for needing one.

    At this point, I’m not taking you seriously until you do use your real name.

    I’ve used mine on the Internet and ARPAnet since 1972 (sorry about that Email thing, we had no idea…) and have had no negative consequences.

  134. Lady in Red says:

    Ya know, John Whitman: I was thinking the same thing about RC — and being grateful that, while
    I was straining to follow the tree ring problem on CA and the math on The Air Vent and…. RC was
    so unfriendly and defensive, my radar, twitching antennae, warned me: there’s no there there.

    So, raise a glass of cheer to RC.

    In a similar vein, I enjoyed Keith Kloor’s Collide-a-Scape for a bit, also: a good hash about politics or climate or Sarah Palin over wine and dinner is fun! So, let’s go virtual with the fun! And, although Keith seems like a very nice person, I’m sure, the strain to identify *something* about which to argue — to no end whatsoever — brought me back down to life, to my dirty dishes and the extent to which, arguing about the angels on the head of a pin, day-in/day-out isn’t healthy for me. smile….. Better to spend the time parsing Judith Curry’s thinking.
    …..Lady in Red

  135. edbarbar says:

    After being told what a great website realclimate.org is, I went there and made some points about some book about climate deniers. The post went through, but the crowd rose up in indignant answer, and the moderator never allowed a single response back.

    That post generated a lot of responses, but not a single rebuttal allowed. Somehow, that post added to the convictions and the self-righteous indignation of a crowd of people who are full of group think. Amazing to me.

  136. James Sexton says:

    Ric Werme says:
    July 22, 2011 at 10:42 am

    James Sexton says:
    July 22, 2011 at 9:36 am

    The next question is “Why do people even bother posting comments at RC?” I’ve found it easier to not go there at all, so I don’t get tempted to add a comment.
    =================================================================

    The one and only reason to go over there a comment….. it to goad. :-) Its been almost a year since I commented over there. Some readers may recall the buzz RC had over a graph of M&W10, stating it verified the hockey stick. I went over there and suggested they were misinterpreting what the study stated. In some cases, they will allow these comments to be posted…… because they feel they can adequately respond to them. Mine we posted and responded to, and then ignored. I bet Gavin wishes he had listened instead of being embarrassed in the rejoinder. :-)

    Was much lulz for me in that one!!!

  137. John Whitman says:

    Lady in Red says:
    July 23, 2011 at 9:25 am

    ””So, raise a glass of cheer to RC.””

    ——————

    Lady in Red,

    I agree with you that RC has caused many independents to take a more skeptical position. So I also will join you in raising a glass of cheer to RC. To RC!

    NOTE: RC? What could they do, anyway, with most independent thinkers?

    John

  138. James Sexton says:

    OK S. says:
    July 22, 2011 at 12:46 pm

    James Sexton says @ July 22, 2011 at 11:09 am:

    “None can love freedom but good men;…….
    As for the Milton quote, it’s sad that the misapplication of the First Amendment is used by teachers to restrict American school children from studying the works of some of the greatest thinkers of Western Civilization. ……..
    ===================================================================

    While much credit to my exposure to many great works of literature must be extended to my father, (I had read Gibbon’s “Rise and Fall….” by a very young age….) much of the credit has to be extended to an old school marmish English instructor which refused to be told what works of literature should be taught to her students. Milton’s “The Tenure of Kings and Magistrates” was one of countless exposures to great works that I can attribute to her. It wasn’t that she instructed on so many, it was that she cultivated an insatiable appetite to read and to understand. Absence any para-normal powers, we must read to achieve understanding.

    Thanks for the trip down memory lane.

    James

  139. Ric Werme says:

    kadaka (KD Knoebel) says:
    July 23, 2011 at 9:13 am

    To compensate and be not as bad overall, I’m just going to have to leave behind a much smaller estate than Michael Jackson did. It’ll be difficult, but I think I can swing it.

    Social Security reform should take care of that, I think.

    Hmm, the Fed’s 12 T$ debt ought to hold the promise significant C footprint shrinkage. :-)

  140. Ric Werme says:

    Barry Woods says:
    July 23, 2011 at 2:05 am

    A very good friend directed me to the Realclimate blog, when the climateate story broke. I had never been interested in or aware of C Audit, Watts Up, B Hill, etc before the 20th Novemner 2009.

    If I can twist your comment into a different thread…. (Ok, there’s no doubt I can, whether it gets past the moderators is, well, not a problem!)

    Traffic here increased quite a bit after Climategate. I expected it to fall back in the weeks afterward, but it never really did.

    So, questions to you readers who joined then:

    > Did you know about WUWT before Climategate?

    > How has your understanding of global warming changed since then?

    > Why are you still here? (And a very belated welcome to you all!)

  141. Dennis Wingo says:

    I think that I see a hockey stick in that first graph.

    :)

  142. Lady in Red says:

    I knew of the “climate issue” prior to Climategate but after the death of my scientist husband dubbed myself too scientifically illiterate to handle the nuances of the respective arguments.

    I stumbled across a London Telegraph piece complaining about UEA refusing to give data to Steve McIntyre. I was amazed, confused, wrote to an oceanographer friend and asked if it were true: No, no, NO! he said. But, but BUT! said I.

    CA was much too dense for me at the beginning. RC was nasty from the start. (How dumb was I? I actually believed I might help negotiate a truce between CA and RC, that the differences were misunderstandings. Yesh. I did think that.) When Climategate happened, I thought all of “climate science” would chant an enormous mea culpa. And science would go on. Nope. Took me a bit to find Jeff Id and the Blackboard and Bishop Hill.

    I stay with WUWT and the rest because you’re smart and fun. I loved the poke in the eye to Eric Steig by Jeff Id, Ryan, et al at the beginning of the year. I can’t imagine “scientists” with slower thicker brains than the well-trained but poorly educated “climate science” monkeys. On the other hand, you’re agile and facile and, of course, you will “win” in the long term, but it’s the fun of watching the checkers game unfold that keeps me hanging around now.

    Anthony Watts and Steve McIntyre (and probably several others I haven’t followed closely enough) are awe-inspiring. If Gavin and Michael Mann weren’t so arrogant and pompous, it would be sad to observe them getting bludgeoned. But, they are. And, thus, it is fun.

    Plus, long after the fat cat retirement of the mediocre bureaucrats who bluster and sputter and defend the indefensible, I’ve watched and “touched” a bit of science history. This is one for the history books. And, I was there! Smile……

    Ah, also: one person at a time, I try to introduce some to the sites (and RC and Climate Progress are good counterpoints for thinking folk. (Poor Joe Romm! He’s not as dumb as the rest of them, I think, and I can only hope that he is getting big big big bucks for his intellectual prostitution. He has to go to reunions at MIT, I imagine, and all the old classmates must avert their eyes, or slap his back and move on quickly.)

    Oh well. Chuckle. As the old joke goes: “We’ve established what you are. Now, we are just haggling over the price.” …..Lady in Red

  143. James Sexton says:

    Hans Moleman says:
    July 22, 2011 at 5:59 pm

    “It’s too bad, since it’s a prime example of the things I’ve been railing against today: jumping to conclusions when you have much uncertainty……..”
    ====================================================
    Our friend Hans has taken to writing comedy!!

    Hans, read the comments here. The data presented only reinforces personal experience. Here’s the thing. Anyone who has engaged in the climate discussion on the blogosphere, for any considerable length of time has ventured over to RC. As Smokey has pointed out, your criticisms would be valid if these were singular and rare events. The data shows this isn’t the case. But, more damning is the shared experience with many of the commentators here.

    Now, contrast that with your experience here. You may not like the opinions here, you may not like the information presented, but your voice is heard. You are allowed to state your piece, even when you violate stated site policy!!! While I’m sure none is expected, you owe Anthony some gratitude. For he has given you great latitude which is much more than would be offered by the people you so earnestly are defending. He has been much more gracious than I would have been. I would have allowed your posts only for purposes of ridicule and scorn. Imagine, someone embracing censorship while purporting pretending to be an advocate of science.

    Hans, you serve us well. My thanks.

    James Sexton

  144. KenB says:

    I too, am of the opinion that RC has been the tipping point, away from AGW to a more sceptical position. In a quest to explore the intricacies of Climate Science I visited many “science blogs” read books, observed comments, and also the demonstrated knowledge of those that frequented the sites.

    When the climate tide turned, I was interested to see and hear what many scientists had to say on the topic of why and how, they came to question the consensus and science. The almost universal theme for change came about when they used or tried to use their own expert knowledge (as a scientist) to correct a scientific fact on RC! The treatment, the scorn, the denial of a right of reply or, even to question why, exposed RC as both a megaphone for their own views, and little to do with the advancement of knowledge or science.

    My observations of that site tends to confirm that view, though I did feel they made an effort at one time to allow more discourse, but the attack dog (mad dog?) attitude of some of their prized regulars put me off the place permanently. So I guess they have in their own way contributed to a closer scrutiny of the science of climate, by scientists!

    So they have been useful if only for that!

  145. dp says:

    Lars P says:
    July 22, 2011 at 12:25 pm

    dp says:
    July 22, 2011 at 11:14 am
    “This is a crazy survey. ”

    dp from your comment I have the feeling you did not encounter the experience of trying to communicate, having valid arguments and being simply rubbed away by somebody wanting to have only his truth standing.

    Actually I’m an IT professional who has been in the business far longer than the WWW has existed, and currently host lots of WordPress sites and no, I’m not looking for more business as I have too much to do already. I have been involved in data mining and business intelligence for years, have seen thousands of pages of web log reports, and have analyzed what they mean till I’m bored to death with it. There are and are not things you can infer from URLs, changes to URLs, and sequences of URLs. Particularly databased URLs such as WP provides. The database that runs behind the web server code is frequently on a server different than the one the web pages are served from. In good environments there are parallel systems for reliability and performance. In many cases it is needed to do hardware refreshes or software refreshes, or to migrate date to a different technology. It also happens that data merges need to happen across servers, or it may be that it is needed to segment sections of a web site to less expensive hardware. Any one of these maintenance operations can affect the URL that is generated by the database behind the web server running WP.

    More over, it is not possible for me or anyone on the outside to know if the change is related to a maintenance activity or to intentional, and perhaps intentionally misleading human activity. The uncertainty is very high without knowing more about how and where the databases are for all the WordPress segments.

    I host WP pages and actually have three blogs of my own that are built up of three different WP instances and databases, but so tightly integrated nobody would know. Or care. It would be silly for anyone to presume they can use URLs from those pages forensically. The web server logs would be required as well as the URL list to establish that fact.

    None of this considers site policy that can and will impact web content and history, including purged content history. And we have seen in a recent post here that policy may be applied arbitrarily, depending upon who is affected by that policy.

    To your point about having been shut out – yes, in fact I have been summarily booted from Tamino’s site every time I’ve posted there. I do that as a kind of sport, actually, because some people are just more pleasant when they are very annoyed and I am responsible for it. The posts I create are reasonable, of course, but definitely not what he is interested in including among his disinformation.

    So I think RC is guilty of many of the things suggested in the OP here, but that the chosen proof falls short of being proof. And while I can think what I wish, without proof I can conclude nothing. Climate is like that, too.

  146. Ian Rons says:

    dp,

    You say you’re an IT professional with vast experience in all the relevant areas (OK, what’s your name and where have you been employed?), yet you are effectively arguing that one might have to alter the contents of a WP database — actually the primary key of the (main) posts table — when migrating across hardware or software (you mean database software, presumably). Remind me not to use your company for webhosting.

    You also suggest that RealClimate might be composed of several different WordPress installations, all cunningly hidden behind webserver URL rewrites, or something. Are you suggesting, for instance, that all the posts from 2008 onwards might be hosted on a totally different WordPress installation? Well, I didn’t think of that, but now that you mention it, why wouldn’t you want to do that? It’s just too boring to add posts to one’s existing WP installation like a normal person. Imagine the joy of having three different login pages for staff, etc.!

    However, I’ve scanned the entire site using Xenu, and on the basis of that I am confident that there is no WordPress-defying weirdness going on behind the scenes, and that there are no pages with comments on that can’t be accessed using the URLs http://…/?p=x, where x=1 to 8092.

    None of this considers site policy that can and will impact web content and history, including purged content history.

    If pages have been deleted then this would have some effect on the stats, though there would have to be a lot of deleted pages all replete with comments to have any significant effect. I have found no internal links on RC that point to any pages now deleted, except the following:

    http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2005/01/draft-do-not-post/

    which can reasonably be discounted, I think. This doesn’t mean that no pages have been deleted, just that I can’t find internal evidence of any.

    For reference, there are 14 URLs which appear to be deleted pages (i.e., they give 404 errors), but in fact they have merely been renamed:

    http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2004/12/non-significant-trend-in-cosmic-galactic-rays-and-climate-change/

    http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2006/06/national-%20academies-synthesis-report/

    http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2006/06/noaa-apres-moi-le-deluge/

    http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2006/10/con-All%E8gre-ma-non-troppo/

    http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2007/10/cosmic-rays-don%E2%80%99t-die-so-easily/

    http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2007/10/cosmic-rays-don%e2%80%99t-die-so-easily/

    http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2007/12/les-chevaliers-de-l%E2%80%99ordre-de-la-terre-plate-part-ii-courtillots-geomagnetic-excursion/

    http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2007/12/les-chevaliers-de-l%e2%80%99ordre-de-la-terre-plate-part-ii-courtillots-geomagnetic-excursion/

    http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2007/12/live-almost-from-agu%E2%80%93dispatch-2/

    http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2007/12/live-almost-from-agu%E2%80%93dispatch-3/:

    http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2007/12/live-almost-from-agu%E2%80%93dispatch-6/:

    http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2007/12/live-almost-from-agu%e2%80%93dispatch-3/:

    http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2010/08/expert-credibility-in-climate-change-%E2%80%93-responses-to-comments/

    So far as anecdotal evidence goes, RealClimate does not (so far as I am aware) have a record of deleting posts. Comments, but not posts. I would imagine a number of people here check out RC on a regular basis: have any posts been deleted in the last month, for instance? Or in every month that I’ve plotted on the graph? No, whilst it’s a reasonable comment to make, I don’t think post deletions are really problematic. A quick estimate suggests about 5 deleted posts — if full of comments — would equate to about 1% of total deletions. In general, website owners really don’t like doing that sort of thing, and as I say I don’t see any actual evidence that RealClimate has done so.

  147. Brian H says:

    The article link to the Alexa stats now returns:

    “No data”
    and
    “We don’t have enough data to display the traffic metrics for wattsupwiththat.com”

    And no graphs.

  148. aeroguy48 says:

    De-fund the NASA GISS now! Then magically Gavin Schmidt is gone, then in 2012 when Joe Bastardi says el-nino will be gone and the conservatives take office-kicking out all the commies in the highest levels of OUR government then we can expose the fraud.

  149. Brian H says:

    Forming my own query gave full stats and graphs. Some very interesting stuff. Currently, about 50% of WUTW visitors have just 1 pageview, but it now surpasses 90% for RC.

    And here is an fascinatiing list of rank by country:
    New Zealand 839
    Australia 1,811
    Finland 2,747
    Canada 4,434
    Dominican
    Republic 5,019
    United States 7,055
    Denmark 7,284
    UK 9,238
    Japan 12,613
    Sweden 14,981
    Spain 22,432
    Germany 26,076
    Italy 29,908
    Netherlands 42,046
    Pakistan 43,645
    India 100,056

    Note the absence of China. But what about Taiwan, etc?
    Interesting that it is much higher in Canada than the US.

  150. Brian H says:

    Typoz: “a fascinating” not “an fascinatiing”.

  151. dp says:

    Ian Rons says:
    bla bla bla

    I said URLs are not enough evidence. I’ve said merging data across systems can produce surprises. Mixing data across time and systems can produce conflicts. A blog db is not like a billing db where consistency is worth the expense to preserve it. I’ve said we don’t know enough to say with certainty, based on URL information, what the truth is. And you don’t, either.

    I’ve also said I agree with the conclusions of the OP but don’t agree the evidence is adequate to prove it. And I’m right about that.

  152. dp says:

    Ian – lets avoid future ad homs and discuss what we know and infer what is realistic, and then see what scenarios are possible. And to be honest, this is tedious and has nothing what so ever to do with science.

    Real Climate appears to be a WordPress blog hosted by Web Faction – a hosting company. We learn this simply using the DNS lookup tool:

    bash-3.2$ nslookup realclimate.org
    Server: 192.168.1.13
    Address: 192.168.1.13#53

    Non-authoritative answer:
    Name: realclimate.org
    Address: 174.133.50.216

    bash-3.2$ nslookup 174.133.50.216
    Server: 192.168.1.13
    Address: 192.168.1.13#53

    Non-authoritative answer:
    216.50.133.174.in-addr.arpa name = web83.webfaction.com.

    Authoritative answers can be found from:
    50.133.174.in-addr.arpa nameserver = ns1.theplanet.com.
    50.133.174.in-addr.arpa nameserver = ns2.theplanet.com.
    ns1.theplanet.com internet address = 207.218.247.135
    ns2.theplanet.com internet address = 207.218.223.162

    So we see that realclimate.org shares an ip (at this time) with web83.webfaction.com. What can we learn about webfaction.com? How about using whois:

    Query: webfaction.com
    Registry: whois.tucows.com
    Results:
    Registrant:
    Swarma Limited
    Office 404, Albany House, 324 Regent Street
    London, W1B 3HH
    GB

    Domain name: WEBFACTION.COM

    Administrative Contact:
    Admin, DNS hostmaster@webfaction.com
    Office 404, Albany House, 324 Regent Street
    London, W1B 3HH
    GB
    +44.8458620318
    Technical Contact:
    Admin, DNS hostmaster@webfaction.com
    Office 404, Albany House, 324 Regent Street
    London, W1B 3HH
    GB
    +44.8458620318

    We can use traceroute and other tools to attempt to locate the physical site but that is particularly important.

    And what do we see when we visit http://www.webfaction.com/ ?

    A rather typical hosting service. Now we know there is a hosting service, and a web farm. We can’t see what the database is hosted on or how many data base servers they make available. We can infer the hosts use a common methodology to improve reliability and performance including BigIP, clustered back end systems, virtual machines to keep costs down. We can infer that to improve their bottom line they offer maintenance, backup, and OS patching, and other infrastructure services. Like me they may provide first line support when the WordPress user krumples the installation. Like me they may handle migration of data from MySQL 3.x to 5.x and deal with all the attendant data dictionary impacts something like that may involve. Like me they may prefer to do this pro-actively on a schedule so they don’t have to do it as an out of sequence restoration because the end user hasn’t the skill or interest. It makes our AR sing and it is a good all around business strategy.

    We may also infer that the end user accepts good service and a reduced price if unimportant metrics become modified in the process.

    But we have no way to know the truth behind what we infer – we know they are plausible scenarios. And here’s another plausible scenario – the customer requested, or directly performed the operation of fudging dates to create a false impression.

    Many of us suspect they are guilty of fudging data. It would be nice if we had a higher level of certainty.

  153. Ian Rons says:

    dp,

    Differences between MySQL <4/4.0 and 4.1/5.xxx are irrelevant, and it's totally spurious to raise such issues. FUD.

  154. sHx says:

    Ian Rons,

    Thank you for that superb post. I know this expression will displease some, but “let the numbers speak for themselves”.

    What I’d really like to know is the contribution record of certain regular RC commenters. Any chance on finding out the comment numbers and percentages of such ‘scientific’ luminaries as:

    dhogaza
    CompletelyFedUp
    SecularAnimist
    Hank Roberts
    Paul Burton Leveson.

    Any chance a computer program could tell us how much that privileged lot has contributed quantitatively?

  155. Smokey says:

    sHx,

    You have identified five echo chamber commentators who probably account for half the total RC comments. Add the next 5 and you’re probably up to ≈70% of the total.

  156. dp says:

    Ian Rons says:
    July 24, 2011 at 3:26 pm

    dp,

    Differences between MySQL <4/4.0 and 4.1/5.xxx are irrelevant, and it's totally spurious to raise such issues. FUD.

    Tamino! What are you doing on this blog and what have you done with Ian???

    I have to say, Ian – this is not the blog where I expected reasonable skepticism to draw ad hominem attacks from the article authors.

    I remain skeptical, I don’t recall mentioning MySQL 4.x, and I’m out of patience with you.

  157. kadaka (KD Knoebel) says:

    Re dp on July 24, 2011 at 11:28 am:

    Heh, lots of command line work to find the nameserver, when it pops up when you WHOIS the site.

    Here in the modern age I just Googled “realclimate server host” and found this site with all that info and more.

    We estimated that realclimate.org is ranked #162,390 of all websites. Beautiful. BTW: We estimated that wattsupwiththat.com is ranked #18,056 of all websites.

    I have a question for you gathered internet site gurus. The physical site of the web83-dot-webfaction-dot-com server is Dallas, Texas. Note something strange in the “Traffic by City – Monthly Data”:

    City Name__________Unique Visitors (%)__Page Views (%)
    Dallas-Fort Worth__14.70%_______________11.80%
    Chicago_____________8.00%_______________10.00%
    San Diego___________4.70%________________6.50%
    Miami_______________4.60%________________6.80%
    Washington__________3.80%________________3.70%
    Monterey-Salinas____3.40%________________3.70%
    Other Cities_______60.80%_______________57.50%

    The server is in Dallas. The Dallas-Fort Worth numbers look skewed, much higher on Unique Visitors vs Page Views, with Unique Visitors nearly twice as high as the next lowest city. Is the server somehow generating its own “Unique Visitors”, perhaps generating it own “hits”?

  158. jeef says:

    # of comments in RC’s “Borehole”: 404

    How ironic!

    [Sorry if this has been posted - I hastily scrolled the comments and couldn;t see it. For those unfamiliar with the term, 404 is the internet standard code for 'not found', typical of any post that does not confirm to the Real Climate ideology!]

  159. Ian Rons says:

    dp said on July 24, 2011 at 7:06 pm:

    Tamino! What are you doing on this blog and what have you done with Ian???

    I have to say, Ian – this is not the blog where I expected reasonable skepticism to draw ad hominem attacks from the article authors.

    I remain skeptical, I don’t recall mentioning MySQL 4.x, and I’m out of patience with you.

    I must have missed the meeting where it was decided to redefine the term “ad hominem”. You came along saying you are a very experienced IT professional, and whilst I did refer back to this in a somewhat sceptical manner, this was a response to your argumentum ad verecundiam and not an ad hom. It’s very easy to claim expertise when posting anonymously, and I have every right to question those claims — not that it gets to the substance of the issues under discussion, which I have considered (and examined empirically, as far as possible) in a manner which I think is conscientious.

    In your reply, you “quoted” my post with the words “bla bla bla” and simply restated your points more vaguely before saying “I’m right”, then accused me of using ad homs in another comment and talked about your professional experience again. I then responded to the only part of these follow-up replies that seemed even vaguely relevant (data migration between versions of MySQL), and frankly I still see no reason to think the RC database has had serious issues (like mangling of numerical primary keys or other inadvertant post/comment deletion), partly because they’ve always used WordPress and partly because the sort of issues you allude to would almost certainly be evident in the data (in post_id and comment ID sequences), or more visibly in character-set conversion problems on screen. And yes, I have experience in this area: I’ve run a WordPress MU installation for a large social/community hub, and dealt with exactly the sort of database migration that comes with the territory of content management systems, including WordPress, Drupal, phpBB and older stuff like postNuke (for what it’s worth). And I didn’t find any evidence of database corruption with RC (unlike WUWT), so if it exists I think it would be very minor. I note Gavin hasn’t made an issue of it, and nobody’s come along to say they recall RC ever losing a lot of posts (it would have to be a lot to make a difference).

    Sure, there’s always some uncertainty involved in this sort of forensic analysis, and I think I’ve been appropriately cautious in the OP, but after looking at the data I don’t really see much in what you’re saying to be concerned about.

    :sHx said on July 24, 2011 at 3:59 pm:

    Thank you for that superb post. I know this expression will displease some, but “let the numbers speak for themselves”.

    What I’d really like to know is the contribution record of certain regular RC commenters. Any chance on finding out the comment numbers and percentages of such ‘scientific’ luminaries as:

    dhogaza
    CompletelyFedUp
    SecularAnimist
    Hank Roberts
    Paul Burton Leveson.

    Any chance a computer program could tell us how much that privileged lot has contributed quantitatively?

    Glad you enjoyed the article. It was fun to write.

    This may sound overly cautious, but I think we’re getting into tricky ethical territory if we start mining the data for information about specific individuals in the way you suggest. And it’s too easy to see how that would get “spun” by the warmists as some sort of a hate-list (though obviously they’re not above that themselves). What I am willing to say is that 50% of comments come from 70 distinct usernames/handles. Here are the percentages for these comment-posters:

    6.584620505
    3.7215775858
    3.0506346349
    2.1520098032
    2.0476240904
    1.8796992481
    1.7057230602
    1.2722954267
    1.2609491536
    1.1194989486
    1.0332672728
    1.0052797991
    0.9841000893
    0.9031633409
    0.8010468828
    0.7526361175
    0.7526361175
    0.7163280434
    0.6807763876
    0.573365002
    0.5703393292
    0.5680700746
    0.56580082
    0.5559673832
    0.5310055824
    0.5226849821
    0.5181464728
    0.5158772182
    0.478812726
    0.4780563078
    0.4697357075
    0.4614151072
    0.4296455424
    0.4009016505
    0.3872861228
    0.3676192493
    0.3623243219
    0.3615679037
    0.3570293944
    0.3494652123
    0.3388753574
    0.3358496846
    0.3328240117
    0.3275290843
    0.3108878837
    0.3071057927
    0.3040801198
    0.3040801198
    0.2950031013
    0.286682501
    0.2851696646
    0.2677720458
    0.264746373
    0.2639899548
    0.2632335366
    0.2473487542
    0.2435666631
    0.2428102449
    0.2397845721
    0.2299511354
    0.2238997897
    0.2238997897
    0.2208741169
    0.2201176987
    0.217848444
    0.2170920258
    0.2170920258
    0.2057457527
    0.2027200799
    0.2004508253

  160. PhilJourdan says:

    Their whole endeavour is a giant ad hom argument designed to shift discussion from substance and science to personalities.

    Curious – while the comments are definitely opinions and some are even ad hominems, the article is factual. This article is merely seeking the truth through study and analysis – the very core of real science. That Gavin would label discussion and/or debate as Ad Hominem tends to indicate he has forgotten what science is (as has Hans Moleman). I am sure that should gavin ever want to start practicing REAL science again, he will allow all contrary comments on his blog. But seeing as how he has forgotten what science is, I doubt his policies will change in the near term.

  161. sHx says:

    Ian Rans,

    Wow!

    The top ten commenters in RC have authored not 70% of all comments as we feared but only approx. 25%. It turns out there is absolutely nothing for Gavin and Mike (“Quality academic journals boast about their rejection rates”) to be alarmed about.

    And, yes, I withdraw the question about specific RC names/monikers, lest the bullies claim to be the victims.

  162. Nickolas Smialek says:

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