Even Further Down “The Borehole”

Yesterday we had an enlightening guest post by Ian Rons titled Further Down the “Bore Hole” which presented some comment data and graphs, along with some observations about that nature of RealClimate.org and the way they treat visitors and commenters. Ian pointed out something I didn’t know, and that is this:

“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)

So I decided to have a look myself to see if this was true or not. Here is what I found. Note the yellow highlights:

…and here is the first comment, actually labeled first by the inline response of the moderator:

Using the search feature on RealClimate for “Borehole” yields this:

So, it seems clear that RC set the starting date for the Borehole thread back to 6 December, 2004, which incidentally is close to the Dec 1 2004  start date for the RC blog. Why? One could speculate that maybe they were trying to give the impression of it always have been a feature to use as tool to ward off the stinging criticism of the way they treat any member of the public who might disagree with them. Or, maybe they planned to put older comments in there. But, since there are no comments in “The Borehole” prior to 6 Jan 2011, it can’t be about them trying to put older, previously approved comments they don’t like from years past in there. They’ve had six months to do that and none have appeared. It is as they say, a curiosity.

Dr. Gavin Schmidt, in his recent inline comment in Unforced Variations 2, says we here at WUWT want to make this a “giant ad hom argument” all about “personalities”. Well no, the post was about data analysis of comment ID’s and why so many just “disappear” at RC. It isn’t anecdotal (though scads of first hand accounts exist) RC’s own comments ID database suggests a systemic removal.

If Dr. Schmidt wants to focus on it being personal, then I say it is about whether we should be trusting scientists that have no reason whatsover to alter the start date of a feature, but actually did so for reasons that are unexplainable.

And I’ll point out that whether Gavin likes it or not, science has always been coupled to personalities; Aristotle, Pythagoras, Newton, Kepler, Copernicus, Galileo, Volta, Rutherford, Curie, Mendel, Darwin, Hertz, Pasteur, Bohr, Planck, Hawking, and Einstein, who had one of the most interesting personalities ever. Science doesn’t make itself known by suddenly appearing in the Ether. It makes itself known through the curious personalities of people. For us here at WUWT, we often wonder if curiosity is dead at NASA GISS and their web-portal, Real Climate, and has been replaced with dogma.

Sure, changing the date on “The Borehole” is a small thing of and by itself, but it reminds me of this well known saying:

He who is true in a little, is true in much; he who is false in small things, is false in great.

Dr. Schmidt is of course, welcome to present his blog comment ID data for evaluation here and explain why RC does the things we are curious about.

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60 Responses to Even Further Down “The Borehole”

  1. Roger Sowell says:

    Perhaps a typo near the end? “For us here at RC…” should that read “For us here at WUWT…”

    Otherwise, a wonderful post. Quite interesting…

    REPLY: Heh, trying to put myself in their shoes, went a bit too far, fixed. Thanks. – Anthony

  2. PJB says:

    Prolly something innocuous like the date that the “group@” pseudo was started or some such.

    Even if it is some Machiavellian mischief, are we really interested when there is so much else, of greater import, to deal with?

    REPLY: I checked, here’s a nearby “group” entry

    Overheard in the newsroom
    Filed under:

    Reporting on climate — group @ 12 January 2011

    Reporter doing a phone interview: “Please slow down, professor. You’ve been researching this topic for a decade. I’ve been researching it since lunchtime.”

    So it isn’t that. It appears to be a manual edit. As I said it is a curiosity. – Anthony

  3. Louise says:

    If “One could speculate that maybe they were trying to give the impression of it always have been a feature” were an accurate speculation, why would they say “we will institute a thread for all the troll-like comments to be called the bore-hole” on a post dated Jan 2011?

    REPLY: Because it appears to be a post facto date change

  4. Mike says:

    You must really be bored.

    REPLY: No, just boreholed – Anthony

  5. Shaun Dunne says:

    It’s possible he edited the date so the “Borehole” gets indexed on the first page in his control panel. Pages you keep coming back to are easier to access that way.

    I don’t understand why you are making a song and dance about this. Gavin makes it perfectly clear when the post first went up.

    REPLY: RC runs WordPress, so do I, so no that’s not it. The WP control panel doesn’t index like that. As I said, it’s a curiosity for which there appears no good reason. Following things for curiosity’s sake is exactly why I’m here today. Had I not started wondering about IR and paint, and checked some local weather stations for paint, we’d probably not know that 90% of the USHCN network doesn’t meet spec. – Anthony

  6. Taphonomic says:

    In using the internet for more years than I want to think about I have always found one fact about websites very telling: the sites to which they provide links. It always seems that when sites have something to hide or don’t wish to discuss they will not link to other sites with contrary or dissenting views.

    Thus you can look at ClimateAudit or WUWT and see links to RealClimate, Tamino, Stoat, etc. Got nothing to hide.

    But at RealClimate you will not see any links to ClimateAudit, WUWT, Lucia’s, Lubos, etc. Makes you want to go hmmmmmmm.

  7. alan says:

    OT. On June 8, WUWT posted “Heat burst hits Wichita:” by Ryan Maue.

    There have just been 3 consecutive “heat bursts” in Wichita, KS between midnight and 1AM. This morning, Saturday 23rd, the maximum-minimum recorded at 1AM was 83F-63F, but there was a peak burst of 101F during this time. Also at this same early morning hour on Friday 22nd, 88F-64F with burst of 100F, and Thursday 21st, 86F-64F with burst of 102F.

    We’ve now had many consecutive days over 100F. In the late afternoon the last two days reached 105F and 106F, and today is already 105F at 4PM. As far as I can tell, there were a few clouds at the time of these 1AM bursts, but no thunderstorms.

  8. JamesS says:

    Clifford Stoll went investigating a $0.75 difference between the official records and a private record keeping program at the Lawrence Berkley National Laboratory, and we all know where that led. Sometimes mere curiosity leads to the most amazing discoveries.

    The worst thing about the Borehole is that is shoves the true newbie down there as well as actual “trolls” (as Gavin seems to consider those who persist in questioning his authority). Woe betide the poor neophyte who looks at the alarmists’ predictions and the actual measurements and asks “Why don’t these agree?”

    Down the borehole with them. Heck of a way to convince the fence-sitters.

  9. Paul Westhaver says:

    Anthony,

    “He who is true in a little, is true in much; he who is false in small things, is false in great” first found itself in literature in the Bible, Luke 16:10.

  10. Smokey says:

    Paul Westhaver, yet another…

    Falsus in uno, falsus in omnibus. False in one, false in all.

  11. 1DandyTroll says:

    The Real Communist’s site don’t have much to show for even though they are literally funded by tax payers’s hard earned cash.

    Ought not the tax payers get some value also when a bunch of self proclaimed communists’ spend that hard earnt cash?

  12. HankH says:

    Some of the commenters here seem to defend RC’s moderation, the borehole, and dates as being a statistical quirk or something we just don’t understand. I understand it well enough and I don’t need statistics or RC excuse makers to explain it.

    Some years back I was deleted at RC simply for asking that something be explained in context to the current blog thread. There was no intent on my part to criticize or challenge. I was new to the discussion, concerned, curious, and wanted to know the answer. I even re-posted and asked what was wrong with the question that it got deleted? Deleted again! No snip, no nothing. [crickets chirping]

    Thanks Real Climate for reaffirming for me that solid science answers questions. Agenda driven science avoids them. I can’t even remember the last time I visited RC or why but I’m sure that it wasn’t to ask questions and find answers. That’s what I come to WUWT for.

  13. huishi says:

    I had a question that I asked at Real Climate disappear. I am no scientist but I asked a simple and reasonable question. I never read that site again.

    Now folks are saying that Real Climate is government funded. Is it? If so, how does that work?

  14. mfosdb says:

    “RC set the starting date for the Borehole thread back to 6 December, 2004, which incidentally is close to the Dec 1 2004 start date for the RC blog. ”

    He had to because on the 7th day he rested.

  15. Ric Werme says:

    The #1 post in a group at RC is about WUWT! I’ll pick that cheery, err, cherry and distort it just a little.

  16. Robb876 says:

    Do you ever know what your taking about?

  17. jd says:

    Apparently there are some scientists are there who want to delete data that is a deviation off from their preconceptions. It reminds me of fudge factoring in high school labs. Does NASA fudge factor?

    I worked as a weather observer for awhile. Collecting data for the weather records in Europe. Weather forecasters would routinely call me ask to to change my observation so that their forecasting goals and requirement could be met. That was just a minor pressure to alter the records.

  18. Ian Innes says:

    “I have 100 scientists that say you are wrong”. “If I am wrong you only need one”
    to paraphrase Aldof Hitler & Albert Einstein

  19. Robb876 said:
    July 23, 2011 at 3:41 pm
    > Do you ever know what your taking about?

    “your”
    “taking”

    LOL

  20. Shona says:

    huishi says:
    July 23, 2011 at 3:11 pm
    Exactly the same thing happened to me. It was at the beginning when I was trying to learn about the science (to have pro GW arguments lol), I asked a question I had no idea was “not allowed” and my comment was censored. That’s how I ended up here. Lots of answers and courteous people.

  21. Anto says:

    So, realclimate will now have a thread which is full of interesting and topical content? Excellent (and about time, too).

  22. Gerald Machneem says:

    Will RC have an off-topic for the off-topic?

  23. glenndc says:

    Just nit, but your list of “personalities” left out Sir Isaac’s nemesis and sparring partner (remember the unpleasantness over the parentage of the calculus?)

    Heh, as the Instapundit woulld say

  24. Gary Mount says:

    JamesS says:

    July 23, 2011 at 2:13 pm

    Clifford Stoll went investigating a $0.75 difference between the official records and a private record keeping program at the Lawrence Berkley National Laboratory, and we all know where that led. Sometimes mere curiosity leads to the most amazing discoveries.

    And then he wrote a book called “silicon snake oil”, and it ruined his reputation and his career, or something like that.

  25. Mooloo says:

    Dr. Gavin Schmidt, in his recent inline comment in Unforced Variations 2, says we here at WUWT want to make this a “giant ad hom argument” all about “personalities”.

    I think you bit about science always being about personalities is unfortunate. It is, but that is generally to its detriment. People listened to what Einstein said long before they knew who he was. He was no better a scientist for being famous (and was famously blacklisted for his race in his homeland, which is worse).

    But The Team can hardly complain about their personalities being dragged into things. They are famously talkative in public, often about things well out of their sphere of knowledge.

    Gavin is a publicity whore and quite prepared to enter the realm of politics (policy making) rather than science. As such he should expect the crap dealt out to political figures – not go crying that he’s really only a simple scientist at heart.

  26. chris y says:

    Gerald Machneem-

    “Will RC have an off-topic for the off-topic?”

    The obvious solution is to send off-topic comments in the borehole to…. the borehole. The positive feedback loop could disable RC. Now that would be cheering news!

  27. ZT says:

    I don’t think that this is a small point – and I would encourage Anthony and Ian to continue to check on this interesting metric (the comparative rate of message deletion between RealClimate and WUWT). After all, Gavin et al are funded by the taxpayer and it is interesting for their sponsors to have a simple numeric measure of their output. (The RealClimate team evidently have two main activities: 1. cutting and pasting ‘on message’ text from place to place, 2. deleting any questions and comments which would disturb the message). As Ian and Anthony have nicely demonstrated, the RealClimate comment deletion behavior is radically different to that seen on Watts Up With That. Gavin claims that this is because of a greater volume of spam (see the comment Anthony linked to: http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2011/07/unforced-variations-july-2011/comment-page-7/#comment-211257), though, it is hard to see how a less popular site would attract a substantially higher percentage of spam.

    Gavin et al have a real problem here. They are using their taxpayer funded positions to control the message – they have been clearly caught out doing this. However, they cannot back down as they know that allowing questions to occur on the site will insure that the faithful will see that certain questions cannot be answered. I wonder what would happen if questions were asked about this of their political supporters? (Time for a message or two to congress.)

    This aspect of their ‘public outreach’ (i.e. the demonstrable message control component) will not sit well with those that have to tolerate their office hours activities. Hence, I think that we can confidently predict that Real Climate will be moving to another blogging platform in the very near future, for ‘completely unrelated reasons’, no doubt, in order to ‘hide the deletions’.

    Who said that there are no predictions in climatology?!

  28. Ian Rons says:

    Re: the Bore Hole page, the post_id of 6013 is in between 6011 and 6047 (you can see these by typing in realclimate.org/?p=6011, etc.). The missing post_ids in between are unpublished revisions created by WordPress (probably the AutoSave feature) so bearing in mind the date of the first comment, it definitely had to have been created on the 6th Jan. Thus the published date is incorrect.

    It would be interesting to know precisely when they changed the date. I have a vague recollection that the date of the Bore Hole post was 6th Jan 2011 when I checked it last week (the 13th or 14th), as I was pulling the data from the site which I almost immediately summarised in comments here. I checked the Bore Hole page because I wanted to see whether they were periodically cleaning the comments from that page, à la the Tips & Notes page at WUWT, since this would have made a difference to my analysis by introducing more uncertainty into the figures.

    I was puzzled when I returned to it this week, whilst writing up the RC comment deletion story from the data previously gathered, and found it had this Dec 2004 date. I don’t know whether it was changed during this past week (my recollection is, as I say, “vague”), but I do recall being surprised about the Dec 2004 date when I returned to it. If it was changed deliberately in order to create a false impression that many more comments had been published than was evident from the comment database (something for which there is obviously no evidence), then it wasn’t a very good effort, and they surely couldn’t have hoped to convince anyone by it; however, I felt I should definitely make a note of the true date in my story on the subject, for the avoidance of doubt.

    It’s a fine saying that one should never ascribe to malice what can be put down to incompetence (or some other innocent reason). That notwithstanding, I still can’t think why they changed the date: after all, it could hardly have happened by accident, but there seems no good reason for doing so. And it is a small thing, but worth noting.

    As for Mr. Schmidt’s accusation that my analysis of the comment IDs at RealClimate was “a giant ad hom argument”, I think this is a rather childish remark. I didn’t “accuse” RealClimate of anything, I merely reported on the facts; facts which they have (until now) seemed happy to admit, i.e. that they moderate the comments strictly, removing anything they consider “misleading” (which obviously implies climate scepticism), as noted in their Comment policy. It ain’t me who has “shift[ed the] discussion to personalities”, since I’m not the one making imputations regarding the motives of others. I note that Mr. Schmidt’s comment flagrantly violates the RC comment policy, which prohibits “comments that (explicitly or implicitly) impugn the motives of others”. However, it’s clearly too much for Mr. Schmidt to practice what he preaches; i.e., it is fair to say that he is a hypocrite, and I expect him to withdraw his baseless accusation and delete his own comment or be regarded as such. (I won’t hold my breath.)

    I note further that he offers no figures as to the number of spam comments they receive at the site, merely saying that “they have no idea how much spam we get”, which is a fair comment but which says nothing. Some figures would be helpful.

    As for his remark about the WP-reCAPTCHA plugin, again this is a vague statement, but I have checked with an installation of WordPress whether it produces a new comment ID if the CAPTCHA test is failed, and it doesn’t. The user has to pass the CAPTCHA challenge, or it simply sets a new CAPTCHA challenge. If Mr. Schmidt wishes to dispute this, perhaps he might condescend to provide some evidence? I would of course be happy to admit if there are any factual errors in my article, but as things stand I see no reason to resile from my position.

    Mr. Schmidt goes on to say that the comment deletion rate is “a small fraction of what they are claiming”, but again this is impossibly vague. What is “a small fraction”, precisely?

    It seems clear from what Mr. Schmidt goes on to say that he has no intention of commenting further on this topic, but I thought I’d ask the questions anyway. In closing, may I just say what a privilege it is to be insulted by such a luminary as a NASA scientist, even in such a casual and throwaway manner.

  29. Rational Debate says:

    re post by: HankH says:
    July 23, 2011 at 2:51 pm

    Some years back I was deleted at RC simply for asking that something be explained in context to the current blog thread. There was no intent on my part to criticize or challenge. I was new to the discussion, concerned, curious, and wanted to know the answer. I even re-posted and asked what was wrong with the question that it got deleted? Deleted again! No snip, no nothing. [crickets chirping]

    Thanks Real Climate for reaffirming for me that solid science answers questions. Agenda driven science avoids them. I can’t even remember the last time I visited RC or why but I’m sure that it wasn’t to ask questions and find answers. That’s what I come to WUWT for.

    I had a very similar experience. I have a hard science education and career, but not in a ‘climate science’ related field although it does include atmospheric mixing, plume travel, etc. When I first encountered RC, I posted a question directly related to the subject being discussed but trying to understand how other related information I was aware of fit into what they were saying in their post because the information seemed contradictory. As in your situation, I was fairly new to looking into the whole AGW situation, zero intent to criticize or challenge, and very curious about how it all fit together.

    My comment was promptly deleted. As were several others I posted subsequently. A few that way and it was the last I had anything to do with RC. Decent scientists don’t censor discussion that way. That sort of behavior is all the more egregious when it comes with claims of supposedly open discussion, and the intent to help educate.

    I was all the more ticked off when I discovered that RC is being moderated and run by people who are being paid by our tax dollars, during working hours!! Those people are despicable.

  30. Randy says:

    bravo. submitted a harmless nothing comment and question long ago for the first and only time, and I was relegated to ether-ville. I guess my degree doesn’t qualify to comment. Lost respect for that my-tax-funded website in the first 15 minutes forever ago.

    GS will answer for this and every thing. Judgement day looms…………………..

  31. Marty K says:

    Good job Anthony! You’ve gained many fans, myself included.
    If you’re ever interested in seeing one spot on the planet (Upper Copper River Basin of Alaska) that is 1st to see natures warming effects (in the northern hemisphere) and last to see the cooling, come on up, we’d be happy to give you a super tour. By the way, we’ve seen the cooling from late 2005 onward in the continuous & discontinuous permafrost temperatures, with no scary stories to be produced from the analysis (contrary to NSIDC’s data).

    All The Best & keep up the great work!

  32. papertiger says:

    ["comment by Anthony Watts" site:realclimate.org ] Total of four.

    [ "comment by papertiger" site:realclimate.org ] Total of one.

    My interpretation of this is Anthony beats around the bush while I get right to the crux of the matter. ;)

  33. DirkH says:

    I once asked at RC about their connection with Fenton Communications but, alas, my question never made it there.

  34. John Whitman says:

    RC? Well it calls forth the following parody. : )

    Parody starts

    A grandfather and his 6 year old granddaughter are standing hand in hand on a small hill one warm summer evening. In the distance a thunder storm is putting on a booming and explosive display.

    The girl says, “Grandpa, why is there all that booming noise and light flashing?”

    Grandpa, wise to the ways of the weather and climate world, tells his granddaughter, “What is happening is one of two things. Either it is rapidly rising air currents and charge buildup then discharge or it is RC striking down skeptics and denouncing WUWT.”

    The girl looks at grandpa with a smile on her face, “Are you talking about that mean old Gavin again? Let’s buy him some ice cream. He sounds like he needs it.”

    Parody ends.

  35. berniel says:

    glenndc says:
    July 23, 2011 at 5:33 pm
    Just nit, but your list of “personalities” left out Sir Isaac’s nemesis and sparring partner (remember the unpleasantness over the parentage of the calculus?)

    Just a nit, but some interesting connections. Leibniz was an amateur mathematician. Newton was a professional with the most institutional power a scientist had ever achieved. It was when Newton was boss of the British money making factory (the mint) and boss of the royal society, that he used his authority, under Leibniz’s former boss, to undermine the German’s reputation as a successful promoter of the calculus on the continent — with an official RoySoc investigation concluding with an accusations of plagiarism.

    It was the Engish Henry More and Isaac Newton who abolished the relativity widely promoted on the continent and defended respectively by Descarte (against More) and Leibniz (against Clarke for Newton). When Eienstein reintroduced relativity, he acknowledge this history.

    And another thing….Leibniz was always in a hurry, with so much of his day job getting in the way of his amateur obsession (mathematical philosophy). This day job included his engineering efforts to remove water from his bosses mines in the Hartz Mountains. I recently read HH Lamb attributing the flooding of these mines to…the impacts of climate change (of the natural variety of courses!). In fact, Leibniz’s life span, from 1646 to 1716, makes him the Maunder Minimum philosopher.

  36. Paul Westhaver says:

    Real Climate is an echo chamber. Not a serious blog.

  37. JerryF says:

    Ian Ron says @ July 23, 2011 6:04 PM:
    “It seems clear from what Mr. Schmidt goes on to say that he has no intention of commenting further on this topic, but I thought I’d ask the questions anyway. In closing, may I just say what a privilege it is to be insulted by such a luminary as a NASA scientist, even in such a casual and throwaway manner.”
    I love your sense of humor on the matter – similar to mine. My response to those who ribbed me on my long-winded presentations (i.e.: thorough and detailed) was, “I’ll have you know that I have been insulted by professionals”.

  38. D. Patterson says:

    huishi says:
    July 23, 2011 at 3:11 pm
    Now folks are saying that Real Climate is government funded. Is it? If so, how does that work?

    Real Climate is co-founded and operated by people including employees of the U.S. Government, who claim they contribute work on their off-duty hours. It is currently unexplained how such a claim could be valid given the time stamps on postings. Funding for the project is alleged to come from notorious organization/s with their own suspicious backgrounds, but critics are suspicious of the work contributions from the people on the payroll from the U.S. Government and taxpayers.

  39. Wally says:

    Gary Mount: about Clifford Stoll made a comment about Silicon Snake Oil.

    From wikipedia: “Stoll left a self-deprecating comment: “Of my many mistakes, flubs, and howlers, few have been as public as my 1995 howler….Now, whenever I think I know what’s happening, I temper my thoughts: Might be wrong, Cliff”

    So at least Mr Stoll admits his mistakes.

  40. noaaprogrammer says:

    GS should have used the date 1984.

  41. Rational Debate says:

    Re post by:

    noaaprogrammer says: July 23, 2011 at 8:29 pm

    GS should have used the date 1984.

    PRICELESS!!

  42. papertiger says:

    GS should have used the date 1984.

    If he had just a speck of a sense of humor…

  43. Marty K says:

    Marty says:
    Your comment is awaiting moderation. (@RC)

    24 Jul 2011 at 12:14 AM

    Very interesting comments here.
    As we all know, climate science is evolving with greater instrumentation and a better understanding of the air and ocean currents, including satellite sensors, sounding of molecular activity in the troposphere and analysis of the atomic mater/plasma above and beyond. Interactions through the spheres (tropo, strato, meso, ionosphere, thermo and magneto)from molecular to atomic, including the magnetic influences are poorly understood. Our planets ever-changing magnetosphere (declination/inclination) along with its shape and strength are not fully understood, nor is the impetus’s for cloud formation.
    Any scientist that claims they have all the modelling inputs with the correct weighting applied is delusional or worse.
    Our planets plate boundaries are alive and well and although they are unpredictable, we know for example that a 105 day rift changes everything quickly. From solar influence weighting to % of white ground cover to when are clouds on the dayside VS lack of clouds on the nightside, we have miles to go before gaining a good understanding of cause and effect with climatology.
    What geological condition are we in right now? it’s called an interglacial period and it is the shorter portion of our planets two-part history, so I believe we should enjoy it while we can.
    Also, does anyone think mankind will delay or stop the next glaciation period?
    Take care & All The Best!

  44. Blade says:

    Old-timers know that the standard way to merge or even invent a new ‘old’ thread is to re-use an existing thread from the period in question. Most people that run a forum or blog know to create spares for future use, but failing that, any waste thread or topic from years ago will suffice.

    What I am getting at is that it leaves only a couple of possible explanations:

    (A) Gavin is aware of common newsgroup/website/forum/blog management techniques but had no ‘spare’ or throw-away threads from that week in 2004 that he could re-use for a seamless retrofit.

    (B) Gavin is unaware of common forum management techniques and thus he whipped up the new one *but* felt no compunctions about editing the date. This is most telling by the way, as it would be indicative of a person that is careless with data and would alter it. The close proximity to Hansen with his shenanigans could be positive feedback to this behavior.

    (C) Gavin is unaware of common forum management techniques and thus he whipped up the new one, and just didn’t think it was a big deal. I should point out one thing that all ethical computer experts would do at this step (those who instinctively treat data as critically important), he should have scribbled an explanation at the top of the thread. This shows you did something unusual but you are coming clean in public about it. This is how trust is earned. Failure to do such a simple thing breeds suspicion, and rightly so since the number one topic on these blogs is the careless mis-handling of data.

    BTW … I *do* think the plan actually was to shoehorn older approved classic ‘troll-like’ comments into the new thread, although I still would leave a placeholder pointer: moved to borehole as comment #xxxxx. However, the alteration of the date on this new thread is still NOT NECESSARY even in this scenario (thread dated 2011, comments dated 2004, 2005 etc). It’s cool. So why bother?

  45. Man Bearpig says:

    Ian Rons …

    ‘the post_id of 6013 is in between 6011 and 6047 (you can see these by typing in realclimate.org/?p=6011, etc.). The missing post_ids in between are unpublished revisions created by WordPress (probably the AutoSave feature) so bearing in mind the date of the first comment, it definitely had to have been created on the 6th Jan. Thus the published date is incorrect.’

    But this is normal, the data has been adjusted to improve its accuracy.

  46. Dave Springer says:

    Instead of getting panties in a wad over Gavin Schmidt’s censoring one might have a bit of fun instead using Poe’s Law.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Poe%27s_law

    So you create yourself a sock puppet

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sockpuppet_%28Internet%29

    then ingratiate yourself with Gavin through flattery and feigned agreement. After a handful of the puppet’s reasonable comments get approved you start laying it on thicker and thicker. Turn the flattery into outright hero worship. Become a CAGW extremist’s extremist. Start referring to Gavin as ‘Gavin “Captain America” Schmidt’ and see if his ego is big enough to let it through. See how long it takes him to figure out he’s been had.

  47. Peter Plail says:

    If Schmidt has a problem with Ad Hominems, perhaps he should think about cleaning up his own act to set an example. The last time I visited RC (many months ago) the sheer vitriol of certain of Schmidt’s coterie left me with an extremely bad taste in my mouth. Language which would never appear on WUWT is apparently condoned providing it is targeted at dissenters to RC’s line.

    As an Englishman I am ashamed of Schmidt.

  48. DaveS says:

    Ian Rons says:
    July 23, 2011 at 6:04 pm
    “I note further that he offers no figures as to the number of spam comments they receive at the site, merely saying that “they have no idea how much spam we get”, which is a fair comment but which says nothing. Some figures would be helpful.”

    Perhaps RC has been overwhelmed with spam to the same extent that CRU has been overwhelmed with FOI requests :-)

  49. Verity Jones says:

    DaveS,
    RC uses Captcha as an anti-spam device such that you have to be a real person to read and re-type two words in altered text to submit a comment. Presumably, running WordPress, RC also benefits from Akisment spam blocker which is quite effective. The spam that does get though that could be of the order of 1% but I think it is a learning system so spam stays low as it learns not to let in spam that got through but was then deleted by the site owner. What I am saying is that RC should have the same or less % of spam compared to WUWT.

  50. Pete in Cumbria UK says:

    The fact that something like ‘The Bore Hole’ even exists speaks volumes. OK, I may have a UK sense of humour (different from US humor) but- it is is simply not funny and is the most blatant piece of Ad Hominism to exist almost anywhere. It may have been funny amongst a select few at a private cocktail party when everyone was well lubricated, but should have stayed there. To make it a major part of your blog shows either monumental arrogance or a serious lack of basic social skills and niceties. (Others round here have noted that from watching GISS lunchtimers on YouTube, have they not?)

    It (yet again) begs the question; if the scientifically proven case for AGW is so strong, what have they got to fear and also, why the near universal reluctance to comply with FOI requests. If there really is a problem with man-made CO2, they’d be ramming the info down our throats rather than worrying about ‘future funding’ and ‘intellectual property’ (There’s an oxymoron if ever there was)

    The whole thing stinks.

  51. Frumious Bandersnatch says:

    Er, Stoll’s investigation into the $0.75 discrepancy in billing records in Berkley had to do with his pursuit of a computer cracker by the name of Markus Hess (a German national) in 1986. His book “The Cuckoo’s Egg: Tracking a Spy Through the Maze of Computer Espionage” was very fascinating. I remember reading it years ago.

  52. KnR says:

    Pete in Cumbria UK I think the people behind RC may well be the worlds biggest produces of monumental arrogance and that lead them to presume either you support them or your worthless with nothing in between. Lets remember that few years ago climate science was a nothing subject , low on anyone’s wish list and any universities selling point. The quality of its it people was poor , and so would say still is , and they would be mostly rejects from other areas .

    Part of the problem is that its old day this small club which could do what its liked and no knew or even cared , that meant they developed a lot of bad habits, such as review which did not actual do much in the way of data checking .
    Now thanks to adoration from the press, the politicians interest and grant money , they come to see themselves as gods amongst men . The down side of that is now people do care and are interested so are now actual checking the work and asking for the data , and that’s where it all goes wrong for them ., they simply cannot change their old habits to deal with a new reality .

  53. sHx says:

    I have a clear memory of RC “Bore Hole” thread when it started six months or so ago and, yes, when it started it already had 2004 as the date-stamp. The reason I have a clear memory of it is precisely because 2004 seemed rather curious for a thread that began only recently.

    But Anthony does have a point. If there are no technical reasons, then the choice of 2004 could only be intended to leave the impression of longevity to the new policy of ‘bore-holing’ contrarian comments in RC.

  54. Ian Rons says:

    sHx said on July 24, 2011 at 3.30 pm:

    I have a clear memory of RC “Bore Hole” thread when it started six months or so ago and, yes, when it started it already had 2004 as the date-stamp.

    A clear memory is better than a vague one, and I wouldn’t dispute your recollection.

  55. gnomish says:

    heh – they aren’t scientists, they are politicians

  56. wes george says:

    Back in 2007, I too tried to join to conversation at Real Climate but not a single one of my comments ever made it through the moderation process, even though my comments were respectfully polite and on topic, if offering an alternative POV.

    I’ve experienced similar levels of massaging the feedback to create an illusion of consensus at other pro-alarmist blogs. In fact, the more insightful and spot-on your critique, the more likely your comment will take a ride down the memory hole. Weak or uninformed critical comments are often allowed to stand at alarmist blogs (I suspect a bit of Mobying goes on too) for the Faithful to target practice on.

    Meanwhile, at WUWT, CA, Jennifer Marohasy’s and various other skeptical blogs I found the comment debate was robust and wide open to all points of view, even if alarmist comments are often quickly refuted by other commenters.

    As a rule skeptical blogs only snip comments that violate community standards for foul language, violence or madly off-topic rants, while Alarmist blogs tend to tailor their comment streams to comfortably reinforce the host’s climate orthodoxy. Alarmist blogs, IMO, are Potemkin villages, while skeptical blogs tend to be just that – skeptical. And skeptical is the way I like science presented.

    I joined the online climate debate in 2006 leaning towards the AGW (if not the CAGW) theory. But the lack of transparent, fair or open debate at RC, Tamino’s ironically named blog, The Open Mind, etc, fatally damaged Alarmist credibility at what was a formative moment for me when I didn’t really know enough about climate to evaluate the arguments on the facts either way. However, I did know enough about human nature to understand that arguments so fragile that they must be protected from the scrutiny of a fair debate are likely to be unsound, or worse, morbidly driven by ulterior, even unconscious, motivations.

  57. Rational Debate says:

    re posts by:

    Ian Rons says:
    July 24, 2011 at 4:05 pm

    sHx said on July 24, 2011 at 3.30 pm:

    I have a clear memory of RC “Bore Hole” thread when it started six months or so ago and, yes, when it started it already had 2004 as the date-stamp.

    A clear memory is better than a vague one, and I wouldn’t dispute your recollection.

    Regardless of whether/when the date was put as 2004, it certainly wasn’t at the same url addy. I tried the wayback machine, and there are zero cached pages for the bore hole at it’s current url. It’s also interesting that using the wayback machine’s suggested alternative search (partial url, tag end w/ bore hole no longer in the search) returns something like 660 varieties. Using the search to try to refine that to “bore hole” or “bore-hole” still gave me zero returns – even when I used just the main RC page for the initial search. That doesn’t mean that someone else willing to spend a bit more time playing with the wayback machine wouldn’t be able to find something – the pages were there, and so the wayback machine ought to have a number of cached versions since they first created the page. That’s the only way I know of to check just what the date was over time, at several different points of the time spectrum.

  58. Mike M says:

    huishi says:I had a question that I asked at Real Climate disappear. I am no scientist but I asked a simple and reasonable question. I never read that site again.

    But you see, I feel sorry for him so I go back once in a while to give him something to delete. He appears to be a person who is that obsessed with filtering out any nuance of commentary contrary to his position so he is probably delighted hitting the delete button, “AH HA! I got another one! They thought they could get it by me but I’m so much smarter than them. ”

    It’s just like feeling sorry for Queeg and his geometric logic at the end of the Caine Mutiny but .. there’s no boat.

  59. sHx says:

    Ian Rons,

    A clear memory is better than a vague one, and I wouldn’t dispute your recollection.

    Indeed. But even a ‘clear’ memory can be wrong. :)

  60. IAmDigitap says:

    Schmidt simply knows his name is inseparably connected to the largest scam in scientific history and that there is ABSOLUTELY NO WAY to PUT THAT LEGACY BACK IN THE BOTTLE.

    He’s a SCIENCE SCAM ARTIST as are his government employee cohorts.

    Not maybe not sorta not “well, if only” -

    He’s branded and that’s his ENTIRE LIFE’S LEGACY.

    How would you feel if you had been the personal mouthpiece for the largest scam ever uncovered?

    You’d feel like G. Schmidt.

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