On “Skepticalscience” – Rewriting History

At Shub Niggurath Climate blog, he’s done a follow up to his first essay on the ongoing issues with integrity that the oxymoronically named blog “skepticalscience” has. Excerpts are posted below. I’ll point out the John Cook has not responded to my modest proposal yet, and even today, he allows the denigrating word to be used. It appears he has no scruples in the use of language people see as offensive, nor any scruples when it comes to the keeping the integrity of invited commentary intact.

Here’s Shub’s findings:

“…resist the temptation to reply to [trolls].
Instead, do what the troll hates most — simply remove the comment.”

John Cook

The recent censorship episode at the skepticalscience.com brings an often overlooked aspect to the forefront. The target of deletion Prof Roger Pielke Sr, runs a blog. The actions of Skepticalscience were revealed because he posted them there.

What if a scientist or a lay person, interacted with websites like Skepticalscience and did not have a blog?

Consider what Skepticalscience did in reader Paul and AnthonySG1′s cases. In 2007, the website had an article explaining Antarctica’s cooling —a thorn in the pitch for a clean story about global warming— as an “uniquely” regional phenomenon. It talked of how ‘Antarctica was overall losing ice’, citing a peer-reviewed paper Velicogna et al 2003 for support.

The response in the comments section from Cook’s readers was simple: ‘Antarctic ice is increasing. You cannot take a paper that has three years worth of data and conclude that the continent was losing ice’. They cited references that Skepticalscience neglected – which showed an overall increase in Antarctic sea ice.

The rewriting that John Cook undertook is now recounted at Bishop Hill.

In the first step Cook changed the entire article, taking off from the criticisms. Next, he deleted his original ‘responses’, and added new ones that made it appear as though these commenters did not know what they were talking about.

The rewriting of Skepticalscience history

After this was openly revealed, John Cook offered explanations for his actions. It went something like this: ‘I accidentally mistook my readers to have responded to my updated article. Thinking that was indeed the case, their comments sounded silly to me. So I ended up adding responses to guide new readers’

A closer examination of the threads on Skepticalscience, reveals a different picture. Let us begin by examining a few examples to get a sense of what these might be.

Let us start with the thread “Climate models are unreliable”. As is known, the website portrays skeptical arguments as such simple statements and offers rebuttals. The article was published sometime late 2007.

In July 2008, ’poptech’ left a comment which questioned assertions made in the article. He quoted scientists at the Realclimate consensus blog:

Comment from reader ‘poptech’ – deleted in 2011

From mid-2008, Poptech’s comment remained intact on the thread till as recently as Feb 2011 . At some point afterward, the comment was deleted. Another of poptech’s comments upthread, to which three commenters responded (example) was deleted, leaving the responses hanging mid-air.

Take the exchange between ‘Adamski’ and ‘chris’ (comments 36, 37, 38, 39 originally):

Comments from ‘Adamski’ and ‘chris’ as they appeared in Sept 2009
Nov 2009 – the Adamski-chris conversation moves up due to bulk deletions! Comment #37 from chris goes missing
Feb 2010 – Comment #37 makes a comeback but chris has lost his name.
Sept 2011 – the comments as they are, in their final position

What is more: as can be seen from the screen captures above, Cook goes into the comments and deletes commenters’ references to each others’ posts. This is no computer glitch and it demonstrates he knew what he was doing.  Nor does this square with the explanations Cook provided at Bishop Hill. . Again, as before, parts of a conversation are deleted and altered in such a way, the end result looks like something that never happened.

Why does John Cook do this?

The deletions carried out by Cook don’t make sense as an exercise in moderation. They seem driven by an ardent need to present a clean and neat view of global warming. Of a need to reassure that no intelligent discussions exist, and all possible questions have (long) been answered.

The structure of Cook’s website appears to push things in his direction. In the beginning, pages are born as undemanding and easy arguments. Cook then seems to realize that the skeptical arguments are more involved and complex than the simplistic picture he presents. He updates the same pages with more detail. But messy comments have accumulated below the line, sticking out like sore thumbs. The ‘broad picture’ that Cook so wants to convey is sullied.

In the meantime fresh readers, oblivious to the confusing mish-mash of claim and counter-claim, arrive in greater numbers on the shores of the global warming debate. Journalists, policy-makers and other influential opinion-makers land up everyday at skepticalscience, looking for a quick grasp on the consensus position in climate issues. How does one protect these newcomers?

Cook’s solution: the inconvenient comments go flying out the window.

One clearly sees that the mission of the website underwent a change ~end of 2009. In the earlier years, Cook seems welcoming to comments. His interest it seemed was to point out findings from scientific papers, that he thought contradicted climate skeptics’ claims. By November 2009, Cook had arrived at a dramatically different viewpoint. He saw ‘global warming skepticism’ as a sort of a mental illness or a psychiatric condition, with the afflicted being beyond any hope. Psychologic diagnoses permeates his thinking from that point on.

Cook voices his thoughts on the shift in a post in November 2009. It is hard to fathom, why, anybody who ran a website and worked hard at attracting and nurturing an online community, would commit the most fundamental of indiscretions with his readers’ comments – deleting and moulding them at his own whim.

As seen in his response above, Cook viewed the comments section of his website topics as a resource, to be used for ‘educating’ the public.

From there on, editing, deleting and moulding the historical record probably did not seem any wrong to Cook.

More here: Skepticalscience – Rewriting History

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101 Responses to On “Skepticalscience” – Rewriting History

  1. Dr. Dave says:

    Well…if “climate scientists” can go back and change history by “adjusting” past temperatures, why shouldn’t John “no ears” Cook do so on his own blog?

  2. Cook’s site is the first…”reduced” oxymoron (ie it’s lost the oxy)

  3. Rolf says:

    Cooking the science ?

  4. DirkH says:

    He must have read 1984 when he was small and liked it very much and he always wanted to be Winston Smith.

  5. Ross Sheehy says:

    Surely skeptical science is a tautology, not an oxymoron.

  6. Olavi says:

    Skeptical science should be skeptical, but it’s instead religious AGW nonsense. All indigators point towards cooling, while AGW religious people says it’s warming. As a demokrat i like to say all politicians: Stop believing all the nonsense what those idiot’s say “science”. Uncertainties in climate are still 95%. Maybe 100 years from today, we start to know something about it.

  7. Joel Heinrich says:

    Not to be too picky, but it is definitely not an oxymoron but the opposite, a pleonasm, as skepticism is a part of science.

  8. J.H. says:

    So Cook is a propagandist…… and is now proven to be one. tch, tch. Silly boy. Threw a readership away for tribalism.

    Well no point visiting his blog for information or discussion… I’m not interested in a person or blog that rewrites history to suit themselves….

    …. So cross Skepticalscience off the reading list…. If I want to read propaganda, I’ll go straight to the RealClimate source of official climate propaganda…One’s enough. Don’t need to read two.;-)

  9. Bryan says:

    Jorg Zimmerman has a current post on how “deniers” use tricks to escape critical scrutiny.
    A typical response is shown below
    ………………………………………

    Ari Jokimäki at 19:19 PM on 7 October, 2011
    One common trick is to put non-peer-reviewed papers to arXiv (a well-known preprint server for papers that already have been peer-reviewed and waiting to be published) to achieve a status of scientific publication. Gerlich & Tscheuschner paper was there ages before it was published. McIntyre & McKitrick have used this trick too.
    ……………………………………
    Last night I posted;
    …… “Another trick that is used is for a site that is heavily censored is to remove all rational counter argument posts.
    This makes the original flawed post seem more plausible.”…….
    I don’t know how long it was visible before it was removed however it is gone now.

    Skeptical Science must identify itself as a heavily censored site.

  10. fredb says:

    This is really about the issue of accountability; who holds any public blog accountable for their content, and by what authority do they claim that accountability?

    Recognize that your opinion of another’s actions is relative to your sense of values. You may think your values are best, but so do other people feel about their values. For a silly example, if I choose to wear fluorescent pink in public and decry people who wear black, then by what authority can anybody hold me accountable. They can comment on my actions, they can disagree from the perspective that in their world view it is inappropriate, but they cannot hold me accountable other than in the relativistic sense that it offends their definition of appropriate.

    And so, by the same token, I would note that I find WUWT offends my sensibilities far more often than does skepticalscience … but so what? It is the choice of the blog owners and managers to express within their sense of values, and to operate in their chosen reference frame. And that should be that.

  11. Cook….
    Cooking…
    Cocked up…
    Deleting…
    So what we have is a cocked up Cook deleting inconvenient criticisms in FULL view of the eyes of the world as if he was merely baking a cake – which means Cook has cooked the books and mistook religion for science… Wow. This should really be headline news, I think.

  12. Dr. Dave says:

    This is WAY O/T (moderators, please feel free to snip at will). I’m wondering why climate science seems to be immune to all the social slings and arrows directed at virtually every other branch of science. What I’m talking about is the great outcry from the left that there aren’t enough women and minorities in fields like physics, chemistry, engineering, medicine, pharmacy, etc. Over the last couple of decades this has largely corrected itself. There ARE more women and minorities in these fields today…lots of them. They fired that guy at Harvard for stating the obvious. “Perhaps men tend to gravitate to certain fields (e.g. engineering, metallurgy).” WAY too sexist a statement! My question is, why does there seem to be a dearth of black climate scientists in the US? I’m talking about actual climatologists, meteorologists, atmospheric physicists, etc., not some insipid biologist cashing in on the gravy train. Look at all the “expert panels” called by either side. They’re all lily white. The left is absolutely silent about this obvious lack of diversity.

    It appears even Obama couldn’t scare up even one black climate scientist to sit in on his supporting cast of sycophants and academic parasites. Is climate science not only dishonest but racist too?

  13. Streetcred says:

    This is consistent with the aim of the ‘warmistas’ to only record their opinion. Cook should be held in total contempt.

    AW, I love WUWT for its information and the considered dialogue between the sharp thinkers but maybe we afford ‘Cook and Co.’ too much respect … he is after all nothing but a sycophant of the current illegitimate Australian government under Juliar Gillard and Bob Brown.

  14. TimC says:

    Anthony: isn’t it then time for a new category on your blogroll listings – perhaps “Pro-AGW Advocacy (Comments Re-Written)”?

  15. The Ville says:

    I think firstly Bryan, you need to post a rational counter argument at Skeptical Science.
    From what I can see on the latest article at Skeptical Science, Pielke is having at least a genuine dialog. It sort of makes ‘Watts Up With That’ scientifically irrelevant.

  16. kalsel3294 says:

    All of the free thinkers and those capable of innovative thought who visit SkS and challenge the resident team, pushing the arguments above and beyond their, the resident SkS teams limited parrot like understanding of the climate, through following the postings blow by blow, very quickly become aware of how heavily censored and hypocritical the SkS moderation process is.
    All such original thinkers inevitably depart, exasperated at the extent of which the Dunning–Kruger effect is entrenched amongst the SkS team, something strikingly highlighted in the exchanges presently taking place with Dr. Roger Pielke Sr.

  17. Steve C says:

    Delusion -> deletion -> disinformation. Disgraceful.

  18. Kelvin Vaughan says:

    As “people never change” it makes one wonder how much of History is accurate.

  19. Keith says:

    It will be very interesting to use the way back machine on other alarmists sites and see what ‘editorial bias’ comes to light. I wonder if the analysis could be automated or a ‘diff viewer’ used to show the extensive editing in real time… the good thing is its way to late to block out the way back machine – the snapshots have been made and they just need to be trawled…

    This is very much akin to the literal dumping of 4500 anti submissions to the Carbon Tax inquiry in Australia – just ignoring them will certainly not make them go away…

  20. KnR says:

    Given that Skeptical science is actual pimped by the ‘Team’ its not exactly a surprise to find the approach it takes when it comes to reality , Cook knows what it takes to keep the believers happy and ‘Team’ approval , he just doing his job .

  21. Myrhh says:

    Propaganda techniques:

    “Transfer: Transfer is a technique used to carry over the authority and approval of something we respect and revere to something the propagandist would have us accept. Propagandists often employ symbols (e.g., waving the flag) to stir our emotions and win our approval.” http://academic.cuesta.edu/acasupp/as/404.htm

    We respect, in the scientific world certainly, “skeptics”, it is the mark of a good scientist to be this. Transferring the authority and approval this has among the sceptical scientists who are now become banded together against AGW in that designation is a propaganda ploy, simple usurpation of the name implying being such a one when all the while actively working to destroy any discussion, deviation, from the party line against which sceptics argue.

    This site has now escalated from the more subtle beginnings to full on bandwagonning by demeaning any posters deviating from the party line with all kinds of ad homs, along the lines of the Beria technique who first proposed, (afaik), that calling one’s opponents ‘insane’ would have the double effect of taking credibility away from them at the same time as discouraging others from associating with them or their ideas, because who wants others to think he believes something insane (or unscientific)? The loudness of the attacks keeps the attackers in check too.

    Of course, this is geared to catch both the unwary passing and direct traffic of those interested but not knowing the arguments and the real sceptic thinkers (scientist or other) who can see through the propaganda, whose visits are just necessary working material for the project.

  22. Gareth Phillips says:

    The main issue seems to be that the role of the moderator is to promote and facilitate discussion to gain insight into a debate. That is not Cook’s intention. His primary goal is run a debate where all dissenting voices are quickly stamped on, cyber bullied or humiliated so that his site remains free of those who would influence others to stray from the path of total belief. If we see his role in that way his actions make sense, his behaviour is only puzzling if you think of him as a moderator or someone who is truly committed to open and honest debate.

  23. izen says:

    ALL blogs tend to edit/censor their content to reflect the point-of-view of the blogger.
    removal and editing goes on for various reasons at all but the completely unmoderated, that tend to descend into chaos very quickly.

    Self-proclaimed ‘Skeptics’ seem to be exquistely sensitive, but hypocritical, in their objection to the ‘D’ word while using ‘warmist’ ‘alarmist’ ‘Fraudulent’ and accusing scientists of falsifying data for funding.

    Whinging about blog editing…. Motes and Beams!!!

  24. cedarhill says:

    The real problem is taking the step from whatever is “offensive” speech to suppression of speech. It would be better to simply move them to a thread “I find these comments offensive”.

    And while one is at it, what’s the big deal about using a letter, a hyphen and the word “word”. For example, if, for example, you don’t like the C-word (meaning “Christian”) why not spell it out. Is it really less offensive for one to fill in the blanks in one’s mind. And it would be a lot clearer for all those E-word folks out there.

  25. Agnostic says:

    My first foray into really understanding the nuts and bolts of CC was at skeptical science. it was there that I encountered many arguments from some skeptical commentators that got me thinking, especially that the explanations offered to skeptical arguments were too simplistic. I was there primarily to do what the site is their to do; counter skeptical arguments that I had come across primarily from my father.

    One article provided raw data and invited the reader to download and examine for themselves. I did just that, analyzed it and found that the original article appeared to be misrepresenting the data – there was more to it than the article discussed. So I pointed out a few things and posted my analysis – in what can only be described as the most humble and neutrally inquiring way. I was promptly accused of being a ‘concern troll’ – (WTF is that???) and subsequent posts were moderated into the aether. So I came here.

  26. An oxymoron (from Greek “sharp dull”) is a figure of speech that combines contradictory terms.

    Pleonasm (from Greek, pleon: more, too much) is the use of more words or word-parts than is necessary for clear expression: examples are black darkness, or burning fire. Such redundancy is, by traditional rhetorical criteria, a manifestation of tautology.

    “Skeptical” + “science” is a pleonasm. And as used by Cook, where the true meaning contradicts the usage, we have an implicit and hypocritical oxymoron. Assuming there is no single term for “implicit oxymoron”, it looks like we have here a

    Hypocritical Pleonastic Oxymoron.

    Well done Cook.

  27. fredb says:

    To Lucy’s “Hypocritical Pleonastic Oxymoron”, I would refer back the the earlier comment by Izen who says:

    “Self-proclaimed ‘Skeptics’ seem to be exquistely sensitive, but hypocritical, in their objection to the ‘D’ word while using ‘warmist’ ‘alarmist’ ‘Fraudulent’ and accusing scientists of falsifying data for funding.”

  28. Julian Flood says:

    Do these warmist bloggers understand what they are doing when they adjust history, amend posts or delete arguments against their own position? Convncing others of your own position is a case of one head at a time, and the only people convinced by deletions etc are those already convinced.

    My first encounter with the process was at Tamino’s blog: someone asked a question about a cause (I forget the details) and I said something like ‘I don’t know the answer to that. However, if I am allowed to speculate… etc etc, suggestions of what might be the cause other than CO2′. The second part was deleted and Tamino’s comment was ‘typical denier, ask them for suggestions and they haven’t any answers.’ What does he think he proves by this? Does it make him bigger, more dominant, does it attract hordes of gorgeous females, bring in lots of moolah, enhance his manhood? No. All it does is make him feel less threatened for a moment, then it’s back to worrying, feeling insecure. Does it trouble his conscience? Who knows.

    I don’t often visit John Cook’s site, it reminds me too strongly of the Sustainable Development farm in Wales where you got asked questions and sent round a maze — only when you gave the right answers are you allowed to get to the centre. The right answers, BTW, did not include using nuclear power to create a prosperous lifestyle, which was when I realised that GreenPeace is just make-work for CND members made redundant by the end of the Cold War.

    Perhaps I should check and see if they’ve come up with any better explanation of how we attribute the rise in CO2 levels to anthropogenic causes when the error bars on sources and sinks are so huge. Or perhaps not.

    JF

  29. TimTheToolMan says:

    In the past I have made comment on his site in the good faith that I could have my say. Eventually I was so annoyed with their moderation policy of deleting posts that disagreed with the science where importantly they disagreed with SkS moderators (often misguided) understanding of the science…that I stopped posting there entirely.

    Now it seems they’re actually altering the threads to remove context of posts to make them seem illogical. What’s next, altering the posts themselves?

  30. JSmith says:

    Agnostic, could you please provide further details (links, etc.) so anyone can look at the narrative that you are describing ?

  31. Smokey says:

    fredb says:

    “To Lucy’s ‘Hypocritical Pleonastic Oxymoron’, I would refer back the the earlier comment by Izen who says:

    ‘Self-proclaimed “Skeptics” seem to be exquistely sensitive, but hypocritical, in their objection to the ‘D’ word while using ‘warmist’ ‘alarmist’ ‘Fraudulent’ and accusing scientists of falsifying data for funding.’ ”

    So many errors in one sentence.

    First, skeptical scientists are the only honest kind of scientists. Putting quote marks around the word skeptics is simply a tactic to try and marginalize the only honest scientists in this debate. And they are not “self-proclaimed” if they are simply asking for transparency per the scientific method – which is routinely denied by the purveyors of the CAGW scam, such as the mendacious John Cook.

    Next, the hypocritical alarmist crowd consists of the same people who support the stonewalling of code, data, methodologies and metadata supposedly verifying the CO2=CAGW claims. “Trust us” is antiethical to the scientific method. Back your hypothesis with verifiable facts and evidence. Otherwise, you’re just trying to hide the pea under the thimble.

    Finally, “accusing scientists of falsifying data for funding” is 100% verifiable: the Harry_read_me file, leaked along with the climategate emails, openly admitted that many years of temperature data was missing. The programmer rhetorically asks himself what he should do, and answers himself by stating that he will fabricate the missing data. Temperature data is regularly altered in such a way as to make it look more alarming. That results in increased funding. Blink gifs showing the alterations of the temperature record available on request. Ask, and I’ll post examples.

    So yes, fredb, the climate alarmists constantly falsify data. That is fraud, no? And they do it for money. Our money. They lie for increased funding. Izen is just being an apologist for scientific misconduct.

  32. Jeroen B. says:

    It is often said that history is written by the victors at the expense of the vanquished.

    Since “mainstream climate science” seems to get everything backwards, well …

  33. AnonyMoose says:

    Notice that the November 10 date is before Climategate, so the SkS revisionism policy was independently created, and was not initially learned from the Climategate documents.

  34. Juraj V. says:

    Why to waste time with someone who is and also looks like a tw*t.

  35. MarkW says:

    SkepticalScience is acting more and more like the acronym that may not be mentioned.

  36. kim;) says:

    Manipulate, Massage, Mangle, Molest, Misplace, Masquerade…seems to be the AGW Mantra.

  37. MarkW says:

    Dr. Dave says:
    October 11, 2011 at 1:28 am
    What I’m talking about is the great outcry from the left that there aren’t enough women and minorities in fields like physics, chemistry, engineering, medicine, pharmacy, etc.

    For the same reason NOW invented the “one free grope” rule when Pres. Clinton was accussed of fondling a staffer. Patricia Ireland actually said in Clinton’s defense, that after the gropping, the staffer objected, and Clinton stopped. So there was no reason to investigate further.

    For many on the left (perhaps even most) membership in the clique is sufficient to immunize one against all criticism.

  38. MarkW says:

    A concern troll is a class of troll that pretends to be “concerned” about the damage another group is doing to itself. Then use that “concern” to launch into an attack on the other sides position.

    On a political site, a concern troll might start by saying that he has been a life long Republican, but he’s concerned that recent attacks by Republicans on say Social Security are going to damage the Republicans in the coming election. Then launch into a full throated attack on anyone who dares to say that Social Security needs to be changed.

    A concern troll claims to be a member of the other team, but spends all his time attacking the other team.

  39. Big Brother says:

    The Ministry of Truth is responsible for ensuring history is aligned with current requirements.

    He who controls the past, controls the present. He who controls the present controls the future.

  40. Wade says:

    “…resist the temptation to reply to [trolls].
    Instead, do what the troll hates most — simply remove the comment.”

    Actually, that is wrong. What trolls hate the most is to be ignored. Censoring them does nothing because they achieved the desired result of getting a response out of you.

  41. wes george says:

    I too have been discombobulated at skepticalscience. Many of my comments there are gone down the memory hole. No great loss really, I’m just a argumentative lay person with skeptical POV.

    But what I found most disturbing is that the Original Posts by John Cook’s team had a way of modify themselves after the fact rendering your arguments against them open to attack as straw men since the facts of the arguments you were arguing against had shifted substantially. These changes in the OP were never announced or acknowledge and the SS home team would gleefully bash arguments that address the now secretly modified OP as denialist misinformation or idiocy. And, of course, such troll-like behaviour was also an excuse for wholesale deletion of one’s comments.

    But one thread I participated in still exists, probably because they figured they whooped my bootie.

    http://www.skepticalscience.com/Latest-GRACE-data-on-Greenland-ice-mass.html

    At comment 28, I protest— “In post # 18 I tried to introduce evidence that the MWP was global in extent and as warm or warmer than today but it got snipped out by our moderator…”

    The link I thought crucial to my argument the SS moderators deleted post haste was:
    http://pages.science-skeptical.de/MWP/MedievalWarmPeriod.html

    Plus I presented evidence that it had been warmer deep in the southern hemisphere as well, but that was also snipped, even though the whole basis of their claim to modern “unprecedented warming” was that the MWP was a mild local phenomena.

    http://climatechange.umaine.edu/Research/Expeditions/2006/seals/index.html

    Later, as the deck chairs were again re-arranged to render my arguments straw men I commented at #38:

    “There was a post on this site that suggested if these trends not only continued on this very short slope but accelerate exponential then Greenland’s icecap will be gone in 65 years! To be fair the post mentioned that was unlikely, but still thought the possibility was worth a mention. However, the post has been modified over the weekend. Down the memory hole! Anyway, that’s where I got the idea that someone here might possibly believe in the imminent failure of Greenland’s icecap….within our children’s lifetime! Silly me.”

    But the SS tag team quickly found a comment, not an OP, that seemed to plug the memory hole. The point being, I suppose, that SS had never headlined a claim that Greenland might totally melt in 65 years, although I swear I was deeply inspired by the insanity of that claim. Hey, maybe, I’m just losing my mind.

    Exhausted from trying to field a rational debate in an ever shifting house of mirrors I figured my time would be more usefully spent changing my ute’s oil filter…

  42. Steve from Rockwood says:

    He’s a pirate. What do you expect?

  43. David says:

    Readers might be interested in the current SkS topic ‘Pielke Sr. and SkS Warming Estimates’ where Pielke Sr is engaging in a largely cordial scientific discussion with the regulars. I can’t help but feel it could all fall apart in the blink of an eye.

  44. John Whitman says:

    Shub,

    Thank you for posting here with your wonderful article.

    John

  45. Jim says:

    Can’t see much response to all this clattering racket over at Skeptical Science, why do you suppose that is? Pull yourselves together you people!

  46. steve fitzpatrick says:

    No surprises here. There is clear evidence that they have done the same long-after-the-fact deletions of comments at Real Climate.

    What is weird about it is that the general public may or may not fully understand ‘the science’, but they sure as heck understand duplicitous behavior… and nobody believes what a liar says. Simple honesty and personal credibility (in all matters) are permanently joined at the hip; you can’t have the latter without the former. When trying to support your desired political outcomes is more important to you than your personal honesty, you have lost all public credibility…. and it is hard to recover that. Skeptical science is toast.

  47. Gerald Machnee says:

    Cook is part of the Social Club. Unfortunately students and others who lack expertise quote his blog as a source (see the 10 fingerprints, for example) of “proof”. He has generally made statements, not research. Then they pat each other on the back.

  48. Bob Mosbacher says:

    “By November 2009, Cook had arrived at a dramatically different viewpoint. He saw ‘global warming skepticism’ as a sort of a mental illness or a psychiatric condition, with the afflicted being beyond any hope. Psychologic diagnoses permeates his thinking from that point on.”

    This would be the point at which Cook subconsciously realized that he could not effectively counter the best skeptical arguments. This inability apparently caused him great psychic discord. From that point on he begins projecting this psychic discord upon those who continue to cause him such distress. I suspect he is beyond any hope.

  49. Pascvaks says:

    Well, if nothing else, all this hoopla will keep him busy editing his life away. That should count for something. Although I can’t think of a worse way to spend your life, so really it counts for a lot of something. Now don’t anyone tell him I said that. He might close shop and melt into the background noise of the universe and spoil everything. Shhhhhhh…

    PS: Life is all about teaching and learning and never knowing which we’re doing while we’re doing it. Whoever invented this system sure had a real sense of humor.

  50. Agnostic says:

    In response to JSmith

    http://www.skepticalscience.com/monckton-myth-7-snowjob.html

    Here is my first tentative foray into engaging on the issue. I twice tried to respond to the posters in particular this:

    http://www.skepticalscience.com/monckton-myth-7-snowjob.html#38780

    “And if future when submitting graphs, please use the appropriate scale for the axes, in you case the y-axis.”

    To which I tried to reply along the lines of “But scaled in the way you have, you lose any sense of scale of the decline of extent. Using my graph you can still make out the decline, but it puts it into context.”

    I have subsequently learnt about the climate shift (and shifts in general) that occurred at the end of the 80s and that appears to be occurring now, so now the jump that I talk about in the posts makes more sense to me.

    Either way, the discussion was fairly moot. No one really disputes that the climate varies, and that warming is a part of that variance. Therefore, if the world does warm, snow extent is likely to decrease. What is disputed is the principle driver of the warming, or attribution. Also that snow extent declining is a positive feedback for global warming (whatever the attribution). In recent years that appears to be doubtful as even AGW advocates are suggesting that increased snow fall might be a feedback of warming as it provides more moisture in the air which can then precipitate as snow.

    And before it’s mentioned, total snowfall does not tell the full story either. For snow to contribute to albedo, it is its extent that is important, not how much of it there is. What would be interesting to know is how greater snow fall can prolong the extent, because deeper snow will take longer to melt away entirely.

  51. Paul Milligan says:

    “One clearly sees that the mission of the website underwent a change ~end of 2009. ”
    The timing of this alleged change is consistent with the timing of the Hacked CRU e-mails, the failure of COP 15 to produce desired agreements, and the unusually cold and snowy winter of 2009.
    Most millennialist movements reach a point when their timetable for global change is clearly not being met, and their message is being consistently ignored by outsiders. Despite this rejection they continue to trust that they are spreading their urgent message. The resulting disconnect is referred to as cognitive dissonance. It can be indicated by a change in the movement’s attitude or rhetoric.

  52. Severian says:

    Chocolate rations will not be reduced from the current 300 gm per week.

    Good news! Chocolate rations going up to 250 gm per week this week!

    Hmmm…

  53. Gail Combs says:

    fredb says:
    October 11, 2011 at 1:11 am

    …..And so, by the same token, I would note that I find WUWT offends my sensibilities far more often than does skepticalscience … but so what? It is the choice of the blog owners and managers to express within their sense of values, and to operate in their chosen reference frame. And that should be that.
    __________________________________________
    Anthony shows: “…Again, as before, parts of a conversation are deleted and altered in such a way, the end result looks like something that never happened….”

    A blog who alter the comments and change the meaning of what a commenter said has crossed the line. For a supposed SCIENCE blog to do this is execrable, it is not science it is nothing more that the worst kind of propaganda.

    The damage skepticalscience is doing to the reputation of science should have every ethical scientist up in arms. That this is not happening says much about the low to which scientific ethics has now sunk. No wonder 69% of the people in the USA “Say It’s Likely Scientists Have Falsified Global Warming.” http://www.rasmussenreports.com/public_content/politics/current_events/environment_energy/69_say_it_s_likely_scientists_have_falsified_global_warming_research

  54. Gail Combs says:

    Kelvin Vaughan says:
    October 11, 2011 at 2:15 am

    As “people never change” it makes one wonder how much of History is accurate.
    _________________________________________
    Very little, think Richard the Third.

    The winner write history not the loser.

  55. Berényi Péter says:

    Jim says:
    October 11, 2011 at 7:25 am
    Can’t see much response to all this clattering racket over at Skeptical Science, why do you suppose that is?

    Guess what! All those who could bring this up there were chased away a long time ago. I know it for a fact as I am one of them. The method is simple: moderate half the posts of an inconvenient guy out right away, so his thread would hardly make sense, while letting domestic hounds bark their ad hominem gurgles unimpeded (while recycling the d word as much as possible). Simple as a wood wedge. And, as you see, he can always deal with the other half later on, including any traces of an odd job.

    John Cook claims to have studied solar physics, but his preoccupation with the “big picture” is telling. Apparently he does not even know, that science is never about “pictures”, but about propositions and truth-values attached to them.

  56. John Whitman says:

    Wade says:
    October 11, 2011 at 5:55 am

    John Cook said, “…resist the temptation to reply to [trolls].
    Instead, do what the troll hates most — simply remove the comment.”

    “Actually, that is wrong. What trolls hate the most is to be ignored. Censoring them does nothing because they achieved the desired result of getting a response out of you.”

    ———————–

    Wade,

    I agree with you that John Cook got it wrong.

    And, I agree with you that the most effective approach to trolls is to ignore them. But, who can resist playing with them . . . . like who can resist scratching poison ivy rash?

    John

  57. G. Karst says:

    Who cares what Cook cooks up at his irrelevant site? There are plenty of propaganda sites out there, on the www. [snip - ugly comparison -thanks to Robert for pointing it out -Anthony] I, for one, will not go there or link them in any way. No more than I would link to a porn site.

    Historical revisionism is a great threat to civilization’s well being, but not from climatic porn sites. GK

  58. Gail Combs says:

    David says:
    October 11, 2011 at 6:51 am

    Readers might be interested in the current SkS topic ‘Pielke Sr. and SkS Warming Estimates’ where Pielke Sr is engaging in a largely cordial scientific discussion with the regulars. I can’t help but feel it could all fall apart in the blink of an eye.
    ___________________________________
    I have the nasty suspicion that the “cordial scientific discussion ” is because skepticalscience got blasted not only by WUWT but by Bishop Hill and Shub Niggurath Climate blog.

    “As Bishop Hill and WUWT readers know, there’s been a lot of condemnation of the way John Cook’s Skeptical Science website treated Dr. Roger Pielke Sr. recently when he attempted to engage the website. …” http://wattsupwiththat.com/2011/09/25/a-modest-proposal-to-skeptical-science/

    I think Cook does not dare pull his unethical stunts at this time under the glaring light of criticism from these other blogs.

  59. Poptech says:

    I have given up posting at Skeptical Science as just about everything I post gets deleted. The deletion of the peer-reviewed papers I listed against the Hockey Stick is even more ironic as Cook himself suggested I add them to his database.

  60. More Soylent Green! says:

    izen says:
    October 11, 2011 at 3:15 am
    ALL blogs tend to edit/censor their content to reflect the point-of-view of the blogger.
    removal and editing goes on for various reasons at all but the completely unmoderated, that tend to descend into chaos very quickly.

    Self-proclaimed ‘Skeptics’ seem to be exquistely sensitive, but hypocritical, in their objection to the ‘D’ word while using ‘warmist’ ‘alarmist’ ‘Fraudulent’ and accusing scientists of falsifying data for funding.

    Whinging about blog editing…. Motes and Beams!!!

    I’m not sure what you’re purpose is, except perhaps to provide comic relief.

  61. Robert says:

    G. Karst says:
    October 11, 2011 at 9:03 am

    “…There are plenty of propaganda sites out there, on the www. [snip]

    Anthony this is ridiculous. Plain and simple. How you allow such defamatory comments is beyond me. You rightly hate being called a denier and yet you let comments like that get through about your opposites?

    REPLY: I agree. Thanks for pointing that out. Moderation, like all human endeavors is imperfect, fixed now. The downside of running such a large site with hundreds of thousands of comments is that sometimes we miss some that should not be allowed per policy. – Anthony

  62. Interstellar Bill says:

    Such censorship is implicit acknowledgement that
    they are losing the Argument.

  63. John T says:

    “One clearly sees that the mission of the website underwent a change ~end of 2009.”

    Just speculation…

    Prior to that time, he was a “True Believer”, and thought there could be no rational dissent, so there was no need to hide the “ignorance” of the others. Then he discovered his “belief” was misplaced, and maybe there were rational counter-argument. He simply can’t accept his “new reality”. I often wonder if that’s what happened to Hansen and others.

    Reminds me of one of the lines from one of the “Dune” books, “To know something is true is to close your mind to the possibilities.” (or something like that). Its something all scientists should guard well against.

  64. G. Karst says:

    [snip - let's leave that alone, your previous comment was snipped due to it not meeting policy - Anthony]

  65. JSmith says:

    “Anthony this is ridiculous. Plain and simple. How you allow such defamatory comments is beyond me. You rightly hate being called a denier and yet you let comments like that get through about your opposites?”

    Very true, Robert, but not as bad as another comment above, i.e.

    Why to waste time with someone who is and also looks like a tw*t.

    Apparently, no-one knows or cares WUWT…

    REPLY: See the inline comments above. – Anthony

  66. JSmith says:

    Agnostic, from the links you provided I see no evidence of you responding to the answers given to your claims, or of you providing the evidence that was asked for.
    Perhaps you just didn’t like the way you were treated, especially being called a “concern troll” ? Do you think such things do not occur on this site ?

  67. JJB MKI says:

    Wow, the ‘Beria technique’, ‘pleonasm’, ‘concern troll’, and the lengths to which AGW propagandists will go to suppress questioning of their self reinforcing orthodoxy. Maybe Cook should the first recipient of the Johann Hari award for journalistic integrity? I’ve learned a lot from this blog today, thanks Shub, Myrhh, MarkW, Lucy Skywalker and Agnostic!

  68. G. Karst says:

    Sure, I guess rewriting history is not unique! GK

  69. Poptech says:

    For the record – The problems at SKS are his moderators as Mr. Cook appears to be more reasonable. This would explain why my comments were recently deleted as Mr Cook did most of the moderating when the site first started. He now employs absolute lunatics who regularly engage with commentators and censor anyone who bests them in a debate. SKS moderators are like scared little girls who cannot debate with the big boys. They hide at SKS and never venture out as it is too easy to hand them their ass where their opponent is able to respond.

    This is in stark contrast to the professionalism by the moderators here at WUWT.

  70. manicbeancounter says:

    Some commentators here (& at BishopHill) have drawn parallels with Winston Smith’s job of editing history in George Orwell’s 1984. The relevant chapter is online at http://www.george-orwell.org/1984/3.html. Smith has 4 edits in the day. The one is on re-writing forecasts. Another is on deleting a reference to an unperson.

    times 17.3.84 bb speech malreported africa rectify

    times 19.12.83 forecasts 3 yp 4th quarter 83 misprints verify current issue

    times 14.2.84 miniplenty malquoted chocolate rectify

    times 3.12.83 reporting bb dayorder doubleplusungood refs unpersons rewrite fullwise upsub antefiling

  71. Severian says:

    One of the problems I have is that Orwell wrote 1984 as a cautionary tale, and too many people out there lately seem to view it as a “how to” manual…

  72. Gail Combs says:

    Keith says:
    October 11, 2011 at 2:16 am

    ….This is very much akin to the literal dumping of 4500 anti submissions to the Carbon Tax inquiry in Australia – just ignoring them will certainly not make them go away…
    ________________________
    This seems to be the new government method for dealing with dissenters.

    Something similar is happening in the USA.

    From Mary Zanoni, a lawyer:
    ….The real point is the one you made from the start — APHIS’s messing around with the comment links completely impedes the public’s ability to have the legally required input on the rule. I just included a bit about this in an Oct Milkweed article and I suggested folks should submit comments such as the following:

    USDA first gave an inoperable link for comments. Then, after some farmers found and publicized an alternate link, USDA apparently disabled the alternate link. Now USDA’s original link has been fixed. All this has resulted in much confusion and has prevented many members of the public from commenting. This violates the basic requirements of an adequate opportunity for public comment. At this point, the only way USDA can fix this defective rulemaking is to completely withdraw the proposed rule…… “ http://nonais.org/2011/10/07/more-usda-link-games-act-now-submit-new-comments-on-traceability/

    I really hate the money grubbing politicians and their dishonesty. Thank goodness for the internet and blogs like Anthony’s.

  73. Crispin in Waterloo says:

    I am impressed with the number of AGW supporters who have shown up today to cast snark and pith upon the regulars. I take it that this discussion of Cook’s manipulations cannot take place at other popular sites for the single reasons that the pro-AGW sites simply will not allow an open discussion. There are numerous reports from contributors about personal mistreatment and manipulation of their posts which confirm this.

    It is both amazing and stupid for someone to attempt to shape ‘the message’ in that maner. Does Cook think that his intended readership will never discover WUWT? Boggling, not just amazing! Has he not heard of Google??

    To the pro-AGW’ers still reading this most popular science blog in the world, your comments are not just weak, they are written as if we are supposed to be hearing them for the first time. We regular readers of WUWT are so used to the lame excuses and misdirectives that dribble over from SkS and RC theyare spotted immediately. Do you seriously think we are unaware of the MWP’s global temperatures? Can some catchy phrase or pointed innuendo mask the ghastly behaviour at SkS? Are you supportive of Cook’s behaviour? You as a group do not seem bothered at all but rather take time out to whack away at skeptics simply for existing.

    We are not beholding to your priestly pretences. We read the originals for ourselves and have a debate about the relevance, quality and meaning of the contents. Best you do the same, preferably here, with us. You don’t have to be skeptical. You can be as credulous as you like, but stick to the topic.

  74. papertiger says:

    The thing to do is attack the mainstream outlets who use John Cook as their water-carrier.
    Particularly the ABC, BBC, PBS, government funded drones.
    Why? Because those outlets hold a large store in pretending to sell fairness. Equality of thought is often mandated in their charters, if ignored in practice. Pounding them on it, pointing at their eco-page blog roll,( which invariably include Desmog, RC, SS, Treehugger, Grist, while excluding WUWT, CA, TRF, or any truly skeptical blog link). It will make a dent.

  75. papertiger says:

    For the record – SkS’s problem is that John Cook employs absolute lunatics. That’s rot from the head.

    Besides that, Cook exhibited this same deceitful behavior from the inception of his website. It was well established before Cook hired the lunatics. I know from experience.

  76. kalsel3294 says:

    Those who see the SkS moderators as being, if not the whole problem, at least the greater part of it, are on the right track, with the problems becoming more evident when the likes of Daniel Bailey became moderators. I found that by going direct to John Cook, he, John Cook, would try and correct any perceived injustices against me, and others, whilst lamenting the fact that he had little choice but to accept whoever volunteered to act as a moderator once the workload became too much for him alone.
    However once such zealots got their foot in the door, the tail began wagging the dog, effectively taking control away from John Cook and setting not only the tone, but the agenda.
    Early on, when Daniel Bailey posted a purely political contribution, there were cries of protest from many of the faithful readers about allowing politics to contaminate what was considered a site devoted to the science only. Daniel Bailey countered with there being method in his madness, which is borne out today with some days consisting only of political type postings. That posting also set the scene where a single person became the author, a contributor to the thread, and the moderator of the thread, a slippery slide of conflict of interest that John Cook tried, unsuccessfully, to eliminate to restore some respect for the moderation process.
    The only hope I see is that whilst all the posters that were able to post worthwhile contributions offering an alternate perspective always end up being driven out, Berényi Péter being one such valuable contributor, there seems to be an education process in place with subtle changes occurring in how the zealots respond to posts that challenge the consensus, subtle enough that they, the zealots are not even aware of how much their limited knowledge is being enhanced with a gradual change in their understanding and the stance they had previously adopted, but I fear that a twit will always remain a twit.

    Reply: We vet every moderator who has volunteered and occasionally lay a smackdown on a moderator who oversteps their bounds. A moderator who consistently violated commenters’ rights without a valid reason, (and disagreeing is not a valid reason), would not last long here before moderation privileges would be revoked. For Cook to blame his moderation team on a site which has a fraction of the traffic here is either disingenuous, or simply lame. I have been running message boards and this site for going on ten years, and have never once engaged in the type of activity exposed by the above post. I cannot appropriately voice my disgust without violating the policies we are tasked to enforce. I will say that after seeing the behavior noted in Shub’s post above, I wouldn’t &^*(^*(% on that &)^&^) if that (&(&(&& were on fire. ~ ctm

  77. Kev-in-Uk says:

    I fail to see the point in trying to engage with messrs cook and co. – in either a respectful or disrespectful manner! – in the same way as one cannot convince a terrorist/suicide bomber that he/she is a murderer – you cannot deal with fanatics – and we must not sink to that level either (though it is very tempting!)
    I feel that it is worth someone keeping tabs on them (sks) – but it sure as heck won’t be me volunteering! The best thing is to just ignore them. Indeed, I suggest that any traffic to them from here is merely prolonging the debate and not actually ending it. Leave them to their narcissistic sycophantic selves!
    the words, wall, head, banging and pointless – spring readily to mind!

  78. Agnostic says:

    @JSmith
    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2011/10/11/on-skepticalscience-%e2%80%93-rewriting-history/#comment-765144

    That’s just the point, my attempts at responding were moderated away, or so I believe. I wrote two quite comprehensive posts and posted them twice but they never appeared. I also discussed the papers that albatross (I think) posted as I went through them with varying degrees of care. I also acknowledged that the last chart was indeed an annual average but that it was expressed differently from the other two and wondered why that was.

    At that stage I was really just genuinely trying to get to the bottom of the issue, trying to engage n order to further my understanding. I have learnt a lot since then, but sadly not from them.

    Also, you (and they) made the mistake of believing I was making “claims” or “assertions”. I was doing neither. It appeared to me on the face of it that same sort of cherry-picking they were accusing Monckton of (my very first encounter with his views – I had not heard of him before), was being used by them. So I wanted to investigate. Instead I was linked to a bunch of papers, which I did duly read but were not really relevant to the general thrust of my enquiries.

  79. Brian H says:

    About the name: it describes the target of his manipulations, not the content of the site. I understood that the first time I opened it. It’s an attack site, pure and simple.

  80. Norman says:

    I have been treated farily well on Skeptical Science as long as I correct my posts after the moderator makes a request. But I am not sure how they would treat Anthony Watts. I used Anthony Watts and Joe Bastardi in a post (hopefully I did not misrepresent).

    In the thread reviewing James Powell’s ebook titled “Rough Winds”

    My post:

    “Norman at 22:02 PM on 2 October, 2011
    muoncounter @ 143

    “To question the experts, without the intent of disproving them? And yet you don’t seem to search for understanding the expert opinions; instead, as here, you imply that Jeff Masters is wrong because Bastardi and Watts don’t say the same thing.”

    I am not implying he is wrong, I was just making the distinction between an expert opinion and a scientific study.

    Here is what you posted by Jeff Masters “the wild roller-coaster ride of incredible weather events during 2010, in my mind, makes that year the planet’s most extraordinary year for extreme weather since reliable global upper-air data began in the late 1940s. Never in my 30 years as a meteorologist have I witnessed a year like 2010–the astonishing number of weather disasters and unprecedented wild swings in Earth’s atmospheric circulation were like nothing I’ve seen.”

    He states this without graphs or trend analysis so it is his opinion (expert) and the two other Bastardi and Watts do see the same data (which I do not see on a daily basis and could not offer an opion at all on the matter) but do not form his opinon. I was not saying he is wrong I was just wondering why the others do not see this if it is this obvious.

    Also I am researching to understand Masters opinion on the matter by looking into historical extremes of the past to see if he is correct with his opinion.”

    One poster replied in this fashion:

    “146, Norman,

    Bastardi and Watts are first class, agenda driven masters of distortion. They are also absolutely, positively, not scientists, let alone unbiased observers.

    Using them as an appeal to authority completely invalidates your argument. It is in fact one of the real definitions of the fallacy of an appeal to authority, that is to appeal to someone who is not actually qualified as an authority on the subject.

    (-snip-)
    Response:
    [DB] Emotion-laden comment snipped.

    Some added context for the lay reader: both Bastardi and Watts have a history of making conclusions not only unsupported by science, but also in violation of many laws of physics. Various debunkings of both are readily available throughout the blogosphere. The best are at Open Mind.

    The difference between B&W and Dr. Masters is that Dr. Master’s observations and conclusions are supported by physics and the literature in climate science while that of the former duo is not.

  81. _Jim says:

    There is but one solution to this: A listing in the (your) sidebar (of links) under the heading:

    UNRELIABLE*

    * Due to (1) deletion, extension and amending of user comments, and (2) undated post-publication revisions of article contents after significant user commenting.

    Reply: AWESOME IDEA! ANTHONY? ~ ctm
    .

  82. Crispin in Waterloo says:

    Anthony, I support the UNRELIABLE idea and perhaps a section saying whether discussion is permitted or not. As the latter would be difficult to rate, it could be appended as a % figure for the percentage of posts that are deleted/binned/boreholed. That would give an indication of the worthiness of showing up to talk at all.

    WUWT -1%
    JC -2%
    XX -40%
    and so on.

    Or the reverse, a + number to show the likelihood that your post will be put up.

    WUWT 99%
    JC 98%
    XX 60%
    and so on.

    I think they do that for Nature (etc) with 1 submission in 300 being accepted, that sort of thing. Perfectly reasonable and if it was updated every 3 months, it might even induce better behaviour, more open discussion and less censure.

  83. Poptech says:

    papertiger says:
    For the record – SkS’s problem is that John Cook employs absolute lunatics. That’s rot from the head.

    Besides that, Cook exhibited this same deceitful behavior from the inception of his website. It was well established before Cook hired the lunatics. I know from experience.

    I agree there has always been problems but initially I was at least able to get key comments up as a rebuttal on certain posts (as evidence in the main article) by following the letter of their comment policy. Then by directly dealing with Mr. Cook I was able to resolve some issues. Unfortunately as time went on it simply became absolutely impossible to comment at all if you did not agree with the true believers there and I had no interest in contacting him for each instance. I can only comment on my direct dealings with him and my actual experience commenting there, the later has been horrific.

  84. Anthony Watts says:

    Splendid idea _Jim and CTM. Done, check the sidebar.

  85. Carrick says:

    On Shub’s blog, one of the trolls was questioning whether there are standards of practice for editors on a blog:

    There are: See this and this. Thanks to “the editor” for those links.

    As I pointed out on that blog

    As a US researcher, I’m required to take courses on ethical conduct of research. The Australian John Cook could use a few of those course too, if he wants to continue to represent scientists to the lay population. (Of course that’s not the purpose of his website, unfortunately, at the moment, it is nothing more than a propagandist site for AGW True Believers.)

    I think the latter bold-faced statement absolutely holds for that site. I’ll also note (in support of Anthony Watt’s original comment) that Skeptical Science also routinely engages in ad hominem attacks above the fold. See for example this nasty bit of work by dana:

    It’s been a rough few weeks for climate “skeptics.” The first week of September began with the editor of Remote Sensing resigning in order to take responsibility for publishing Roy Spencer’s fundamentally flawed paper. Just a few days later, Andrew Dessler’s paper was published, demolishing the flawed Spencer paper, another flawed Lindzen paper, and the “internal variability” argument in general. Climate “skeptics” did not react well to the news, attacking the journal for publishing the paper at its normal pace (how dare they!?). With Spencer and Lindzen debunked by a peer-reviewed publication, it’s only fitting that the other prominent “skeptic” climate scientist, John Christy, would join the party.

    This is completely disgusting behavior on the part of the blog owner and moderators.

    Of course in addition to juvenile attacks on practicing scientists Dana has a credibility problem of his own.

  86. John Whitman says:

    David says:
    October 11, 2011 at 6:51 am

    Readers might be interested in the current SkS topic ‘Pielke Sr. and SkS Warming Estimates’ where Pielke Sr is engaging in a largely cordial scientific discussion with the regulars. I can’t help but feel it could all fall apart in the blink of an eye.

    ———————-

    David,

    Thank you for pointing out Dr. Pielke Sr was in a dialog at Skeptical Science.

    I usually do no support Skeptical Science with visits, but because of the recent previous issues with uncivil treatment of Pielke Sr there, I decided to check out how the current dialog there with Pielke Sr was going.

    Well, it started out civil. Surprisingly soon, however, some uncivil snarking toward Pielke Sr by a regular Skeptical Science commenter caused a rapidly deteriorating discourse.

    The overall impression I just got about Skeptical Science dynamics is they are primarily concerned with maintaining on message the IPCC supported alarming AGW by CO2. In this visit there I did not see them being interested in open and cordial scientific debate for the enrichment of science. They are fundamentally IPCC apologists.

    John

  87. Jim Masterson says:

    >>
    Big Brother says:
    October 11, 2011 at 5:53 am

    The Ministry of Truth is responsible for ensuring history is aligned with current requirements.

    He who controls the past, controls the present. He who controls the present controls the future.
    <<

    If you’re going to quote George Orwell, then you should do it correctly. Your quote doesn’t even make sense. It should read: Who controls the past, controls the future; and who controls the present, controls the past.

    The exact quote from 1984, chapter 3 is:

    “‘Who controls the past,’ ran the Party slogan, ‘controls the future: who controls the present controls the past.’ And yet the past, though of its nature alterable, never had been altered. Whatever was true now was true from everlasting to everlasting. It was quite simple. All that was needed was an unending series of victories over your own memory. ‘Reality control’, they called it: in Newspeak, ‘doublethink’.”

    Jim

  88. Mike from SC says:

    I have had plenty of posts deleted on SKS, particularly when I was beginning to make a point. I rarely post there anymore.

  89. Mike Wilson says:

    Anthony,

    Did you just remove the sidebar link to Skeptical Science? Just noticed it is gone. That is how I always get to Cook’s site when I need a good laugh. Although there were some interesting posts there from pielkesr last time I was there, but I can not say I blame you.

  90. kadaka (KD Knoebel) says:

    From _Jim on October 11, 2011 at 7:49 pm:

    There is but one solution to this: A listing in the (your) sidebar (of links) under the heading:

    UNRELIABLE*

    * Due to (1) deletion, extension and amending of user comments, and (2) undated post-publication revisions of article contents after significant user commenting.

    Reply: AWESOME IDEA! ANTHONY? ~ ctm

    Anthony Watts said on October 11, 2011 at 9:34 pm:

    Splendid idea _Jim and CTM. Done, check the sidebar.

    Problem being, technically WUWT has done that, in a very small way compared to SkepSci. For 1, there is normal moderation deleting of comments, inline mod comments, even replacing of words albeit in a way distinct from the commenter’s words (well, if only mods used the square brackets). After some days of commenting, it can be mentioned that something objectionable was slipped through much earlier, resulting in belated moderating. Also for some threads that get messed up and off-track, “cleaning” of the thread has been done.

    For 2, there have been “live” posts altered along the way, like with hurricanes etc. Offhand I seem to recall one or more “current” posts whose contents warranted a change/note to a previous post to reflect the new info. (As a minor but significant issue I’ve noticed looking at some old posts, there’s been the use of “live” images that have changed enough they no longer work with the words, like this old Goddard post using an Arctic sea ice graph. Although a “dead” post, doesn’t such warrant a note for the benefit of future readers?)

    WUWT doesn’t do the historical revisionism as SkepSci does, and moderator changes are limited to recent comments. There’s not the time factor, you’re not changing the “distant” past. But technically, as worded, WUWT is also guilty.

    How about a “Propaganda” heading instead? Or a reworking of the “Unreliable” criteria to highlight the time element and the scale of the changes?

    [Reply: Being somewhat of a spelling/punctuation martinet, I probably correct the spelling of twenty or more words a day on average, and I often capitalize the first word in a sentence, and add missing periods [full stops]. But it’s obvious that most comments are posted with misspellings intact; there are only so many hours in the day. However [snips that violate site Policy excepted], I have never deleted part of a comment to change the meaning, or changed any words, or striked out words, or revised archived comments, or added words, and I am not aware of any other mods ever doing those things. That would be dishonest. ~dbs, mod.]

  91. _Jim says:

    kadaka (KD Knoebel) says on October 12, 2011 at 12:44 pm

    Problem being, technically WUWT has done that, in a very small way compared to SkepSci. For 1, there is normal moderation deleting of comments, inline mod comments,

    Without notice, without an inline comment on significant matters (esp. involving posters of note e.g. a ‘Mann’, ‘Gavin’, ‘Hansen’ or Joel Shore) from a mod or Anthony?

    I don’t recall an instance where there wasn’t a ‘trail’ (an accompanying audit trail, some sign a change was made) indicating where a change (usually termed an “Update” in an article) or a ‘snip’ to user comments (w/reason for the snip).

    The point being that wholesale changes are made on Cook’s site, unequivocally on noted occasions quite some time after the ‘fact’, with the result more often than not making previous comments by users seem … out-of-place and uncomprehending of the material _now_ existent on said page …

    .

  92. _Jim says:

    Anthony Watts says October 11, 2011 at 9:34 pm

    Splendid idea ..

    Always willing to help out while accepting no responsibility at zero pay …

    .

  93. _Jim says:

    kadaka:

    For 2, there have been “live” posts altered along the way, like with hurricanes etc. Offhand I seem to recall one or more “current” posts whose contents warranted a change/note to a previous post to reflect the new info. (As a minor but significant issue I’ve noticed looking at some old posts, there’s been the use of “live” images that have changed enough they no longer work with the words, like this old Goddard post using an Arctic sea ice graph. Although a “dead” post, doesn’t such warrant a note for the benefit of future readers?)

    An artifact of linking to a ‘live’ image one’s own, or on another’s (a different data provider’s) website?

    That trouble esp. exists when linking to RADAR or satellite images/imagery providers, and without taking the time to make a ‘static’ copy to tinypic.com (or similar image host) ‘data’ changes with time or can disappear completely! For an image that would be desired to be persistent with time, static copies should always be made on the local host (e.g. wordpress, etc).

    Were any of Cook’s documented changes in this category? (Not from what I have seen.)

    .

  94. kadaka (KD Knoebel) says:

    Found in my previous comment:

    [Reply: Being somewhat of a spelling/punctuation martinet, I probably correct the spelling of twenty or more words a day on average, and I often capitalize the first word in a sentence, and add missing periods [full stops]. But it’s obvious that most comments are posted with the misspellings intact; there are only so many hours in the day. However, I have never deleted part of a comment to change the meaning, or changed any words, or striked out words, or revised archived comments, or added words, and I am not aware of any other mods ever doing those things. That would be dishonest. ~dbs, mod.]

    And that’s the issue. The criteria, while seeming restrictive, still paints with too broad a brush. But a “Climate Propaganda” heading, with the criteria of censoring and historical revisionism of previous posts and comments to promote a particular viewpoint, would be more specific and effective. Hey, if it says “Propaganda” you should know what you’ll find there, right?

  95. Hmmm….personally I don’t correct spelling or punctuation without a request, but I know I have fixed bad links on many occasions. dbs’s words don’t contradict my point. The issue is intent.

  96. kadaka (KD Knoebel) says:

    From _Jim on October 12, 2011 at 1:15 pm:

    I don’t recall an instance where there wasn’t a ‘trail’ (an accompanying audit trail, some sign a change was made) indicating where a change (usually termed an “Update” in an article) or a ‘snip’ to user comments (w/reason for the snip).

    Yup, that’s a difference. Although, like I mentioned, sometimes I’ll see something like a “[snip]” using square brackets and wonder if it’s a self-censorship, maybe used as a type of emphasis, or a moderator change.

    The point being that wholesale changes are made on Cook’s site, unequivocally on noted occasions quite some time after the ‘fact’, with the result more often than not making previous comments by users seem … out-of-place and uncomprehending of the material _now_ existent on said page …

    We’re on the same team on this so I won’t say much, except to note I’ve seen that “previous comments” effect happen with some updates/revisions to posts. Nowhere near the same as on SkepSci, but in broad terms, as you’ve worded it, it happens here too. However, it’d be too much to ask of the mods to go back and remark at all those comments that there was a change in the original post, and it’s rather normal to see a comment added noting the change that breaks the rest of the comments into “before and after” sections, so it’s barely an issue here on WUWT.

  97. Skeptical Science has immediately deleted numerous postings of mine with no stated or even plausible reason. It’s pretty obvious they had no answer. After registering with about six different email addresses, all have now been blocked and it seems they have blocked both my internet services so that I cannot even connect to their site except through public terminals.

    You can see a screen capture of one such deleted posting using the link top left of my site http://climate-change-theory.com

    What is laugable is that they are critical of my hypothesis relating to temperatures being stabilised by the thermal energy within the Earth and think they have demolished it purely by arguing that the daily heat flow from the core is negligible. Of course it is. My site acknowledges such in great detail and explains why that is not relevant. They write about what they think I am saying without reading what I actually am saying. Typical.

  98. cjshaker says:

    Some of the people on SkepticalScience can carry on an adult conversation. It seems that those who sign in using what appears to be a real name have better people skills than those who sign in using an alias, such as muoncounter. Some of the childish behavior turns people off towards the ideas they are attempting to promote. Seems counterproductive to me.

    Does anyone know who muoncounter is? Does he/she have any peer reviewed papers on Climate Science?

    Thank you,
    Chris Shaker

  99. Poptech says:

    Skeptical Science has deleted ALL OF MY COMMENTS from their site, including the hundreds in this discussion,

    http://www.skepticalscience.com/meet-the-denominator.html

    WTF?

    I must have embarrassed them too much,

    http://www.populartechnology.net/2011/02/google-scholar-illiteracy-at-skeptical.html

  100. Poptech says:

    Some of the people on SkepticalScience can carry on an adult conversation. It seems that those who sign in using what appears to be a real name have better people skills than those who sign in using an alias, such as muoncounter.

    You have obviously never had a real conversation with Ian Forrester,

    “WOW Poptart, don’t let on which college. People will stay away in droves if you are an example of what they turn out.” – Ian Forrester.

    I have yet to meet an adult over there.

  101. cjshaker says:

    I’m wondering if muoncounter is John Cook’s alter ego? The name seems to fit with his claimed physics and solar physics background?

    http://www.skepticalscience.com/team.php

    Here is an interview with John Cook about Skeptical Science
    http://dotearth.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/03/24/a-physics-mavens-take-on-skeptical-science/

    Whomever muoncounter is, they have been writing comments about AGW, politics, and psychology of denial all over the blogosphere.

    We know very little about whatever peer reviewed papers muoncounter may have published, or what degrees he/she has backing up his/her pronouncements.

    Chris Shaker

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