WUWT smeared by Scientific American’s Bora Zivkovic ‏

This tiff started because of this story by Tom Nelson yesterday, followed by this today. This post is my first involvement as all this happened without my involvement or comment until now. I don’t even care that I wasn’t mentioned, but I do care when I’m libeled.

I have just one thing to say to you, Mr. Zivkovic: 

Prove your assertion of “gaming” led to an undeserved win, or retract it and issue an apology.

Perhaps it doesn’t occur to Mr. Zivkovic that Scientific American’s readership is on decline, just like those opinion polls that show people thinking AGW is a serious problem. People are getting turned off to SciAm partly because of ridiculous and hateful things like this being said on the part of the current crop of of writers and editors running SciAm.

And they wonder why people don’t like the magazine like they used to.

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

About Bora Zivkovic


Bora ZivkovicBorn in Belgrade, Yugoslavia (now Serbia), Bora was always interested in animals and nature. His studies in veterinary medicine were interrupted by the 1990s war in the Balkans, when he arrived in the USA. He went to graduate school at North Carolina State University where he studied how bird brains measure time of day (circadian rhythms) and time of year (photoperiodism). He started ‘A Blog Around The Clock’ in 2004. He teaches introductory biology to non-traditional students at North Carolina Wesleyan College, organizes the annual ScienceOnline conference, and edits Open Laboratory – the annual anthology of the best writing on science blogs.

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176 thoughts on “WUWT smeared by Scientific American’s Bora Zivkovic ‏

  1. Scientific American, particularly the editorial pages, have gone political. I had a subscription as a gift a few years ago and ended up cancelling it because the nonsense in the magazine. It’s a shame what has happend to that magazine.

  2. To paraphrase Reggie Jackson, they don’t smear nobodies.

    Seriously though, I too am disappointed how Sci Am has tumbled from a solid technical/scientific journal to become little more than People magazine with a splash of science-y stuff. (Not meant as a smear of People magazine, of course.)

  3. I haven’t read SciAm since about 2006 or 2007. I started reading in about 2004 after a long hiatus and was shocked at how “pop culture” they had become and were often seeming to push political agendas rather than present science. Here are a couple of clues: Whenever I read an article that says “Scientists say”, that is my tip that I am being fed a line of bull. I want to know exactly WHICH scientists say and on what basis. When I also read things like “could”, “might”, “can”, my eyes also glaze over. A meteor can hit the earth’s atmosphere right this second and it could survive entry through the atmosphere and it might strike me as I type this. But it didn’t, apparently. Scientists say that is a very possible scenario.

  4. I have commented in the past. I have read SciAm every month since I was nine. I am SS eligible now. I dropped my subscription three years ago. I wrote the new editor a long letter why but never got a reply. You would think that they would notice a 50 year subscriber…

  5. So he was a pre-Vet and now a biologist and he is getting down on you for being dentistry and meteorology? I work with a lot of biologists and most are not that sharpest tools in the shed.

  6. For many years, I too had a Scientific American subscription, which I have allowed to lapse. Now I refuse on principle to read or even to click on Scientific American articles which may come up on Internet searches, etc. due to the biased/politicized slant to the writing.

    I echo. . . It is indeed a shame what has happened to that magazine. Once upon a time, I thoroughly enjoyed reading its pages, virtually from cover to cover. . .

  7. The difference between the Scientific American and the National Enquirer is that you can respect the folks at the National Enquirer. They don’t pretend to be something that they aren’t.

  8. Scientific American helped me learn to read as a pre-schooler in 1952-3. It sparked my lifelong interest (and career) in science. I insisted my father keep up his subscription until I could take it on myself, and I was a subscriber until 2003. That’s over 50 years of reading Sci-Am (including back issues).
    I learned to value analytical thinking and skepticism, and to demand empirical demonstration of hypotheses before I called them ‘theories.’
    In 2003 the staff of Sci-Am forgot what it taught me over 50 years, so I cancelled.
    Evidently they have not recovered from their politically-induced amnesia yet.

  9. I agree whole heartily with what Sean said about Scientific American, so many of the old good science magazines have gone rotten at the core. It no longer is about science. It is about using the platform to push the agendas.

  10. I have respect for warmists who debate on scientific facts. Sad that Zivkovic engages in puerile ad hominem attacks.

  11. He went to graduate school at North Carolina State University where he studied how bird brains measure time of day (circadian rhythms) and time of year”

    How appropriate “bird brain” . With contributors like Bora Zivkovic, is it surprising that Scientific American commands little respect?

  12. For twenty years I looked forward to each Scientific American issue. It focused on hard science, its technical writing and illustrating were outstanding–and it had recreational pieces by the estimable Martin Gardner.

    Sometime in the ’90s, though, it changed. Initially it was just a lost of focus: it started including occasional social-”science”-type pieces. But the deterioration accelerated, I canceled my subscription, and I haven’t picked a copy up in over a decade. I can’t bear to look at what used to be a truly fine publication.

    No doubt tens of thousands have had almost the exact same experience.

  13. I too had a subscription to SciAmerican but I was forced to let it expire. It broke my heart. The magazine was so full of climate alarmist propaganda I could not rationalize paying for it.

  14. “Gamed” is completely the wrong word. However, I’m also of the opinion that “pseudoscience” is a perfect description of this blog. Why Anthony chose not to contest it, or call for further retraction, one can only wonder :p

    REPLY: Based on my training, the way “pseudoscience” is framed is an opinion, but the way “gamed” was framed is presented as a fact. I get called all sorts of opinionated things every day (such as yours), and if I worried about those things, I’d be very busy with just that. Suggesting I rigged or gamed a contest implies dishonesty, malice, and collusion on my part to pull such a thing off with thousands of voters, and that enters the realm of libel. – Anthony

  15. He thinks that RealClimate has its origin in Usenet-style discussions? No, its origin is in the Public Relations offices.

    He pooh-poohs WUWT due to its hordes of followers. Well, yes, Alexa.com when compared to scientificamerican.com has only a quarter as many visitors. SA should be worried that a mere blog has one-quarter as many visitors as it does — but should be more worried that the WUWT readers read many more pages and spend much more time on WUWT than SA’s visitors. WUWT does not merely have many visitors, it also has more material which requires reader involvement, and the readers are willing to be involved.

    SA’s amateur scientist features used to be a major attraction. People don’t find SA’s amateur politician features to be as interesting.

  16. John Renie was the last Si-Am Editor worthy of the title. The magazine has yet to recover.

    As for guessing who “gamed” the awards, if there’s gaming going on, “BoraZ” is a more likely suspect.

  17. I dropped my subscription to Sci Am a decade ago. Too much advocacy and not enough science for my taste. Discover magazine made the same change when they later started published articles by renowned “scientist” Laurie David. Popular Science was late to jump the shark, but has finally caught up with its peers by replacing science reporting with AGW propaganda and smears on skeptics.

    I don’t know what science magazine I’m going to subscribe to now. It seems that whenever I subscribe to one, they change their editorial policy!

  18. I loved SciAm for decades, until it got agendized. I stopped subscribing, and now I don’t even bother reading it. The endless proselytizing is distracting, and it detracts from the science, which is why I used to read it. On the plus side, it is an immediate warning that the science is likely biased. You’d think they’d know better. That they don’t is further proof that it’s not worth reading.

    As for the libel…..

    http://www.defamationlawblog.com/

  19. You have enemies? Good. That means you’ve stood up for something, sometime in your life.
    Winston Churchill

  20. @ David C. and a several others
    “I have read SciAm every month since I was nine.”

    Yes, same story here. I am not quite SS eligible (but close!) and I started reading Scientific American at about the same age. In the mid 1960s I even ran across a stash of old issues and read all the back issues to about 1950. Brilliant magazine! Or at least it used to be. Somewhere around 2000 they started going seriously downhill, and by 2005 I let my decades long subscription lapse. For the last ten years or so, reading SciAm has become like having a conversation with an old friend who has faded into dementia.

    The magazine is no longer either scientific or American.

  21. SciAm went commie a LONG time ago, probably around 1968. They’ve been viciously crusading against every aspect of normal civilization well before the whole AGW thing came up.

  22. “And they wonder why people don’t like the magazine like they used to.”

    Dropped my subscription back in the mid 90′s. Personalities liken to Bora are the prevailing wind in the circles of envy stricken rag sheets like (Socialistic) Scientific (Anti) American. Take away their subscriptions and the pass away into the nothingness they begot themselves.

  23. “Prove your assertion of “gaming” led to an undeserved win, or retract it and issue an apology.”

    To which I can only add the chant:
    Back it up or take it back!
    Back it up or take it back!
    Back it up or take it back!

  24. Sounds like SOUR GRAPES.

    “The Team” figured they could, with Fenton Communications money and expertise put together a very popular “Real Science” blog. Fenton Communications BTW brought us the the Alar scare and countless other bogus health claims

    If you have been scared about food or pesticides in the last 10 years, chances are Fenton Communications played a key role in provoking that fear. The scares just don’t ever stop. But they all have one thing in common —— a lack of evidence and abundance of deceit….

    Fenton Communications lists many progressive front groups like Moveon.org, WWF, Sierra Club and the International Forum on Globalization. Their Selected Client List includes The Guardian and Global Green USA

    We accelerate progress. Fenton opened its doors in 1982 with a unique mission: serve the public interest by creating powerful issue campaigns that make change. With our clients, we have contributed to some of the defining change movements of the past quarter century, from ending apartheid and curbing global warming to protecting people from harmful toxins….

    Fenton’s Track Record

    We are the firm that helped:
    * Galvanize public opposition to end apartheid
    * Legitimize global warming as an urgent threat to our future
    * Compel government bans and restrictions on toxins…

    http://www.fenton.com/about/

  25. “Suggesting I rigged or gamed a contest implies dishonesty, malice, and collusion on my part to pull such a thing off with thousands of voters, and that enters the realm of libel. – Anthony”

    Speaking of libel, I am surprised at the lack of libel suits when there exists so much publicly written malicious and libelous content. Professional jealousy is never professional; just makes them look as fools they are.

  26. AnonyMoose says:
    “He thinks that RealClimate has its origin in Usenet-style discussions? No, its origin is in the Public Relations offices.”

    You’re right. Equating RealClimate to Usenet is ridiculous. Usenet filtered spam (after the green card spam spam spam spam), never “moderated” dicussions.

  27. A magazine which at one time published things like Vine and Matthews’ theory of seafloor spreading and introduced to the general public revolutionary ideas in science, has become a tabloid rag sodden with petty bias and folk medicine. So none of this should come as a surprise. I dropped my subscription ages ago.

  28. I like so many commenter above I canceled my subscription to SA about 3 years ago. I also could not handle all the political BS that infiltrated what was once a pleasure to read. All this does make me wonder how much the circulation numbers have dropped.

  29. Mark S says:
    July 16, 2012 at 11:08 am
    ““Gamed” is completely the wrong word. However, I’m also of the opinion that “pseudoscience” is a perfect description of this blog. Why Anthony chose not to contest it, or call for further retraction, one can only wonder”.

    Mark,

    What is your background/education? A psychoceramist, perhaps? A climatologist? One can only wonder…….
    /Sarchasm intended.
    MtK

  30. Went thru much the same disappointment with the drift of SA into NaNa Land as previous commenters. Note that along the same time (1990s) National Geographic and Astronomy magazines both went very green. Dropped them also. Cheers-

  31. Sci American pushed the “Nuclear Freeze” during the ’80′s. I had the privilage of going on the local public radio to counter the Sci Am. Editor’s “Opinion Piece” on the 35,000 nuclear warheads (Randell Forrester, completely illegitimate writer.) “we” had, versus those poor, 3rd world Soviets with their mere 15,000 warheads.

    I made such MINCEMENT of the Sci American editor that even the STUDIO RECORDING PERSONNEL told me afterwards, “We regret airing the Sci. American” editor’s piece now that we know how factually wrong it is.” (of course, they could never admit that publically.)

    Max

  32. I stopped reading ScAm (think about it) in the mid-1980s, when they began to publish heavily biased analyses of the then Strategic Defense Initiative. I was in a position to completely refute their ridiculous analyses…but couldn’t write a word due to my security clearances. Once they tolerate corruption on any topic, there is no way to assure there isn’t corruption of every topic.

  33. Quit being such a hypocritical cry-baby. Scientists, authors, and bloggers are “slandered” quite frequently on this blog. You seem to be able to dish it out, but you can’t take it. Why am I not surprised?

    REPLY: You might want to look up the definitions of slander and libel before you use them in a sentence. – Anthony

  34. Anthony, journals like Scientific American dropped the torch a long time ago. It’s blogs like yours who’ve picked it up. As their sales decline, your readership increases. Snide remarks from creatures like Zivkovic belong in the end of the grapeyard reserved for the bitter ones.

    Pointman

  35. The reason why some Warmists believe it was gamed is because they refuse to face reality: the lack of a reasonable debate has forced thousands onto sceptical blogs. When was the last time you read a sceptical / balanced piece from the BBC as journalists should do? They had them over a decade ago but today the BBC has parts of its pension scheme invested in carbon schemes. It’s now money they follow and not the science.

    Watts also games the number of visitors to the site compared to Real Climate /SARC

  36. @more soylent green!: “I don’t know what science magazine I’m going to subscribe to now. It seems that whenever I subscribe to one, they change their editorial policy!” Hmmm, then please do us all the favor of not subscribing to any lest that one go bad as well. :-)

    (Feel free to use that as an example of post hoc ergo propter hoc. :-)

  37. SteamboatJack says:
    July 16, 2012 at 10:55 am

    The difference between the Scientific American and the National Enquirer is that you can respect the folks at the National Enquirer. They don’t pretend to be something that they aren’t.
    ___________________________
    AND the National Enquirer is written by entertaining writers not preachy pompous windbags.

    TOO bad I really liked SA when I was a kid and read it all the time.

  38. Note to Mr. Zivkovic
    I also went to Belgrade university, and lived in the society were you could accuse anyone of anything without a proof, things are different in the more democratic societies.
    Only a ‘bird brain’ wouldn’t realize that.
    Believing and propagating the AGW nonsense is just about acceptable if it helps you earn living, stepping over the line of honorable behavior isn’t, either produce some evidence, or be a man and apologize.

  39. I’ll simply add my vote to those who once found Sci Am [and it's translated version] to be a source of scientific inspiration, but lost interest when it became heavily politicized promoting various agendas rather than science.

  40. Mr. Zivkovic: As one of the Blog voters [ for a number of blogs - not just WUWT ], I sincerely ask for your apology and retraction.

    Your accusation stands against my integrity.

  41. SteamboatJack says:
    July 16, 2012 at 10:55 am

    The difference between the Scientific American and the National Enquirer is that you can respect the folks at the National Enquirer. They don’t pretend to be something that they aren’t.

    Hey, don’t knock The Enquirer. They were the ones that first reported on John Edwards’ affair while campaigning for President. Meaning they’ve proven themselves to be more accurate in their reporting than SciAm.

  42. Well I haven’t been a 50 year SciAm subscriber; but pretty darn close,, and in addition, I have paid for a gift subscription for a long time fishing guide, for almost as long.
    I cancelled MY subscription a couple of years ago, because of the blatant political and propaganda bias that has become a standard fixture of both the editorial staff, and some of the regular writers. There’s one chap whose name appeared in these pages not so long ago, and I can’t stand to even look at his smug photo in SA.

    As for our birdbrain expert; practicing in front of a mirror , convinced me, that there is only one way to duplicate his presumably self selected photographic image; a lifetime of sneering will do it.

    I actually continue to pay for the gift susbscription, for my friend. When it stops he will know I bought the farm; but then his opinion of the SA BS, is not reportable in a family forum like WUWT.

  43. I subscribed to SciAm since the early 1970′s.

    I dumped SciAm right after the Lomborg character assassination issue in January 2002. It was a canonical jump-the-shark moment for the publication, and a crystal clear testament to how much damage Lomborg’s book had done to the environmentalist cult. I had no idea scientists could behave like such scumbags. Those 4 scumbags were Stephen Schneider, John Holdren, John Bongaarts and Thomas Lovejoy.

    I have glanced at the covers over the last decade, and now rank its content on par with the magazines that cover soap operas.

  44. I am not surprised to find that many here have cancelled their SA subscriptions for the same reason as I did. I was a lifelong reader, up until about 5 years ago, and I could not see the value anymore. To me the content went ‘sciencey’, written for junior high students, but not me. I felt that this was a relflection in the decline in our eductional standards. Thankfully I can use the ‘net to educate myself now.

  45. “Prove your assertion of “gaming” led to an undeserved win, or retract it and issue an apology.”

    Oh, no! Another legal threat.
    ;-)

    It was back in the eighties that I realized SciAm was politically bankrupt.
    I remember the issue. The cover said “Reagan’s Star wars – Will it Work? How Much Will It Cost?”

    I realized that without reading the article the answers were “Not in a million years” and “More money than you can imagine”. Once you can predict the outcome of an article solely on the basis of the politics of the magazine you know you are no longer dealing with science.

  46. Anthony,

    I’m unclear as to whether you’ve notified Zivkovic directly. I would if it were me, and I’d also make it clear that you’re perfectly willing to sue in the absence of an unambiguous, very public apology. You imply it, but I’d go the step further. He deserves to be embarrassed to the very extent possible. Just disgusting, that kind of baseless attack.

  47. From SciAm’s About: Borat – “He went to graduate school at North Carolina State University where he studied how bird brains measure time of day …”
    Seriously, NCSU offers a graduate course in how Gore, Mann, Jones, Hansen, (GW climatologists et.al) read sun dials? Talk about your no brainer, EZ A course.

  48. From the late 1980s to the early-2000s, Scientific American was my favorite magazine. Then the leftist spin drove me away. I dropped my subscription for a year, thought I’d try it again and renewed for a year, then dropped it again and have now stayed unsubscribed for several years. Very sad. I’m not big on print media, but I would still be paying for SciAm if they would have just lost the leftism.

    I don’t agree with the previous commenter. I occasionally visit their web site. They still have some good articles, but the global warming mythology ruins it.

  49. I was also a Sci Am subscriber, which I began purchasing it in the mid 1950s when I left High School. In those days, only 3% of my peer group in New Zealand went on from High School to university, but Sci Am and other similar publications fed my mind until I eventually achieved a university qualification. I stopped buying it years ago when I had gained sufficient education and experience to fully understand the ramifications of the scientific method.
    It is very sad to see what the shining beacons of my youth have become.

  50. I’ve been a subscriber for 40 years and also would have stopped a few years ago if it were not an annual gift subscription from my father. I think I did detect a dramatic change in January with far fewer pieces trumpeting AGW and attacking deniers. But that bias seems to be on the rise again.

    I first noticed the politicization of SA when they started to take a stance on nuclear disarmament. Since then I have seen it become increasingly a vehicle for its contributors and editors to indulge their person opinions. I don’t trust the science in it anymore – “figures don’t lie but liars figure”. If I see any new treatment of science there, I need to verify its accuracy and completeness elsewhere.

  51. “more soylent green!” mentioned that he also dropped the Discovery magazine because of same reasons. I canceled my subscription of National Geographic and two Finnish science magazines because of same reasons. I still get phone calls from magazine salesmen who ask if I’d like to renew my subscription and I make a point of telling them why I refuse to read the pseudoscientific magazines.

  52. Scientific American – Total circulation (2012) 476,867.

    They could probably double that number by posting their articles here. Of course, we do have standards…

  53. I have subscribed to Scientific American for a number of decades. For general science it is a fine publication. However it may have become more political with the Global Warming debate. Nonetheless it has always been a left wing rag on their key agenda areas. I recall writing letters to their editors in the early 1980s about their all too often anti-Reagan rants. Generally it is widely acknowledged that in the area of defense and political theory their articles where silly and infantile. Nothing has changed much in that respect.

  54. “He teaches introductory biology to non-traditional students ….”
    Apparently he doesn’t want them make reading WUWT a tradition..

  55. Many years ago, I subscribed to SciAm, and thought it was a GREAT magazine. Then a very good magazine. Then a good one. Then, a decade or more ago, there was some egregiously inaccurate political article of some sort on a topic I was reasonably familiar (I forget the details, possibly gun control), with that I said to myself,”self, what if they are ALL this bad, and I just don’t know enough to see it?” I didn’t renew my subscription, and never looked back.

  56. I would notify him with a certified letter. Also, if people rewteet it they also have a problem.
    so he needs to inform those who follow him

  57. “Scientific American” has been neither since 1986 when Holtzbrinck bought it.

    The magazine grew ill when the Amateur Scientist column vanished, and then worsened when Mathematical Games/Metamagical Themas ended. The coffin lid slammed closed with its 2002 ad hominem attack on Bjorn Lomborg. RIP, SciAm 1845-2002.

  58. Honestly, “gaming the award” is only saying you were able to get a disproportionate number of your fans to vote, as compared to other blogs. Even asking people to “vote for your favorite blog” would be gaming.

    I don’t think there’s anything wrong with gaming a vote. In the real world, if you don’t ask for something, you probably won’t get it.

  59. Perhaps I’ll start considering the fall of Scientific American a two step function process.

    The first was when a hoard of newer, flashier magazines distracted advertisers away from the quality magazine it has been for decades. That led to the sale to a German company and the quality simply collapsed and political/military policy issues replaced holograms and electrophoresis.

    The second step may have a harder date to pin down, I probably stopped subscribing before then, and I’ll need readers’ help to pin that down, if indeed it there is an event. When did SciAm branch away from military policy to their current activist role? Did that happen with the fall of the Soviet Union and their need to find an new topic to blather on about? Is it more recent and is the global warming bandwagon they jumped on and are now trying to drive?

    Wikipedia might have the answers http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scientific_American says in part:

    In the years after World War II, the magazine was in steep decline. In 1948, three partners who were planning on starting a new popular science magazine, to be called The Sciences, instead purchased the assets of the old Scientific American and put its name on the designs they had created for their new magazine. Thus the partners—publisher Gerard Piel, editor Dennis Flanagan, and general manager Donald H. Miller, Jr.—created essentially a new magazine.[3] Miller retired in 1979, Flanagan and Piel in 1984, when Gerard Piel’s son Jonathan became president and editor; circulation had grown fifteen-fold since 1948. In 1986, it was sold to the Holtzbrinck group of Germany, which has owned it since.

    In the fall of 2008, Scientific American was put under the control of Nature Publishing Group, a division of Holtzbrinck.[4]

    Donald Miller died in December, 1998,[5] Gerard Piel in September 2004 and Dennis Flanagan in January 2005. Mariette DiChristina is the current editor-in-chief, after John Rennie stepped down in June 2009.[4]

    Does this mean the glory days were 1948-1986, and the second step down in 2008? 2008 must be too late – Wiki’s photo is of a 2005 cover “Did Humans Stop an Ice Age?” The Wiki warticle also includes:

    In its January 2002 issue, Scientific American published a series of criticisms of the Bjorn Lomborg book The Skeptical Environmentalist. Cato Institute fellow Patrick J. Michaels said the attacks came because the book “threatens billions of taxpayer dollars that go into the global change kitty every year.”[9]

    So the second step must precede 2002.

  60. That’s the problem with being a liar, you assume everyone else is a liar. We have all seen the gaming techniques of the warmist team, no wonder they don’t trust anyone else.

  61. I have had a similar experience in the uk reading newscientist that many of the other commenters are reporting with the editorial changes at SciAm.

  62. brennan says:
    July 16, 2012 at 10:52 am

    “he studied… bird brains”

    Using a mirror, no doubt.

    That made me chuckle.

  63. Something terribly sad has been going on in the Western science culture for a couple of decades. For Marxists and their philosophic offspring, the Post Normal Scientists, totally everything in life, even the Truth, is political. Totally, as in totalitarian. To lie in service to the movement or the cause is as noble for the Post Normal Scientist as it is for an Islamic to lie in service to Islam. To lie in such a manner is sanctified and cleansing of guilt.

    The advance of CAGW is a subset, or “submovement”, of the whole movement of Post Normal Science, which itself is part of a movement working to undermine what we understand to be the norms of Western Civilization. Such norms include such notions as honorable people do not lie, even in service of a cause. Such norms include Science as a process for approximating objective truth through empirical testing of plausible hypotheses.

    For the Marxist or Post Normal Scientists, “Truth” is a social construct to be “deconstructed”, not a reality to be sought through the scientific method. CAGW is just one facet of this grander process.

  64. 2002. Bjorn Lomborg. I simply couldn’t believe what I was seeing as I read through their treatment of Bjorn Lomborg. It was so far below any ethical examination of his thesis that it took me some hours to believe they had really done that.

    But in the end I couldn’t deny it. The evidence was right there in my hands. That’s when I banned Scientific American from my life.

    Then I washed my hands. Thoroughly.

  65. Oh man, I have to include this. The great thing about SciAm is top notch scientists wrote articles about new discoveries distilling a few years’ of technical journal articles into something that brought intelligent lay people up to speed. So, I was going to look for a list of titles and authors figuring that might show the transistion to what it is now. Wiki had a link to the Cato Institute’s reaction to the Lombord excoriation. An interesting flock of names:

    Who Let the Dogs Out at Scientific American?

    by Patrick J. Michaels

    This article appeared on cato.org on January 17, 2002.

    Scientific American has sicced the big dogs on Danish statistician Bjorn Lomborg for having the audacity to publish a highly referenced book, “The Skeptical Environmentalist,” which argues that global warming and many other environmental “threats” are overblown. What gives?

    Scientific American now joins the magazines Science and Nature in blasting Lomborg. They all editorialize that his “book is a failure” and call out four well-traveled attack dogs from the Washington big government/greenie/lefty establishment in support. They include:

    *John Holdren, a defense expert from Harvard. In 1995, he published a paper for the United Nations University advocating “a condition in which no nation ‘s military forces were strong enough to threaten the existence of other states.” Good thing we didn’t listen. *Tom Lovejoy, former director of the World Wildlife Fund, the biggest green lobbying organization in the history of the planet. *John Bongaarts, vice president of the Population Council, the most influential lobby in the Down With People crowd. And, *Steve Schneider from Stanford. Compared to the rest, Schneider is a real atmospheric scientist, and (naturally) he wrote the nastiest of the four Fatwas on Lomborg.

    The only unfamiliar name to me is Bongaarts.

    I should get back to work for a bit, but I think a list of titles and authors would be good. SciAm used to print a great index. I wonder if there’s something on the web.

  66. I used to read every edition of SA and had a stack of them in my closet several feet high.
    I quit reading them in the mid 1980′s and 1990′s when they started pushing anti-nuclear opinion pieces that were nothing but PR and sales pitches with out even an attempt to be accurate. At the time I was also working in a related field and knew first hand they were peddling BS, so I reluctantly quit buying them on site, and started “reviewing” them at the news stand. My ratio of purchase rapidly declined to the point I was only finding one issue a year that had anything worth buying in it. At that point I did not even bother to open them on the news stand any more.

    I check out an edition about once every 2 years now and have never failed to find it is just a rag and shadow of its former self. I do wonder how they will cover the 100 years ago feature in 2100, as they explain the total crap they were spewing as we crossed into this century.

    Larry

  67. I used to read SciAm when I was bored at university. I started with the 1890 era and worked forwards in time. Nothing has changed. The articles and ads are still remarkably similar.

  68. This is an amazingly revealing thread, with very visceral truths in some comments.

    Anthony, the real effect of “Birdbrain” Bora’s smear is to see you unofficially elevated to the rank equivalent to what the editor of Scientific American was once, before rot set in.

    Nothing Bora says can undo the evidence of the migration of so many SA veterans that is visible here.

  69. I notice that page 3 of the July 4th 2012 ex-scientific magazine New Scientist starts an article with the words “Global warming denialists……..”

  70. “… but I do care when I’m libeled”
    Can we expect a court case ? I would be great publicity for WUWT.

  71. The all pervasive rise in political correctness, the new age doctrine reincarnating socialist inspired equality, ensures all opinions are treated equal, irrespective of scientific merit, and most importantly, it is very very impolite to say “NO, that’s scientifically questionable,” when commenting upon an individual or collective belief for fear of inflicting any number of states of diminution, reflective of the intense individual or collective personalisation of perspective. ‘Denial’ or challenge of the collective belief or ‘mission statement’ is a heinous ‘sin’. From this point of view therefore, magazines and journals will not be perceived to ‘sin’. Scientific American, New (Age) Scientist, et al. all conform nicely. It also forgives those towing the party political line when they dispense ‘ad homs’. They argue from a displaced sense of righteousness.

  72. Lots of folks here seem to have tolerated the decline of Scientific American for quite a while after it tanked. The date was 1984 when Gerard Piel turned the publishing and editing jobs over to his nincompoop son Jonathan. He lasted two years before the magazine was sold to the Holtzbrinck group in Germany. They have done nothing to restore the magazine’s former glory since then.

  73. I have been coasting with SciAm for a few years based on the dictum of Sun Tzu — “Know your enemy.” One has to hold one’s nose, mostly. Still there are some decent articles when they do not deal with climate, sustainability, oceans, atmosphere, water, land, sea ice, land ice, ice cream, carbon based fuels, nuclear energy, polar bears, penguins, seals, wolves, spotted owls, wombats, . . ., and/or zebras.

    Oh, and Anthony, that check never arrived for the vote. Just kidding!

  74. An ex-subscriber here, too. Also – to my great sadness – an ex-subscriber to Sky & Telescope, for many of the same reasons.

  75. For all their sensationalism, Scientific American have, at least, always taken the scientific position.

    And that is the most important thing that you can do.

  76. RE Scientific American

    *****

    Circulation since 1981 down ~ 31%

    Circulation in 1981 was 705,124 (“Was There Really a Popular Science “Boom”?” by Bruce V. Lewensteín, Spring 1987, Popular Science)

    http://bit.ly/NE1p5B

    *****

    Circulation in 2007: 604,924
    Circulation in 2011: 484,061

    2010 – 2011 Rate of Change : -19.9%

    ABC Trend Analysis of Total Paid & Verified Circulation

    http://bit.ly/NP5gAI

    *****

    Total Paid Circ: 397,260 (of which 10,372 are digital)
    Total Paid & Verified Subscriptions: 420,260
    Total Paid & Verified Circulation: 491,255

    Scientific American, Audti Bureau of Circulations, for six months ended December 31, 2011

    http://bit.ly/NP5gAI (previous link)

    *****

    Here’s a list of the top 100 magazines by circulation in the US (Caution: Wikipedia):

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_magazines_by_circulation#United_States

    *****

    “Scientific American magazine has resigned from membership in the Audit Bureau of Circulation, one of the most important organizations in the print advertising field.” NYT 1 Feb 1982

    http://www.nytimes.com/1982/02/01/business/advertising-magazine-quits-auditing-body.html

  77. I read Sci Am regularly and had a subscription until about 1980. It seemed every issue had an article on the horrors of nuclear winter. I got tired of being preached to and let my subscription run out. The Amateur Scientist was my favorite part.

  78. Sci Am = Nat Geo = worthless, in current political agenda state.

    stopped reading both way long ago !

  79. So many formerly great publications have been ruined by political correctness..It really is sad.

    This is marginally related, but here goes….

    I began watching a National Geographic program this weekend. The program was a full one hour long, and it was about a whale which exploded on transit by truck to a scientific labaratory in Japan. The entire one hour program was dedicated to “forensically” determining exactly what caused the whale carcass to explode. There were a couple of photos from the original incident, but many more phony looking “re-enactments” of blood and organs flying around for dramatic effect.

    What a complete waste of time and resources. Thankfully, my time was not wasted as I was watching out of the corner of my eye while working on my laptop.

  80. I would simply ask for a retraction. I have mixed feelings about asking for apologies because most of the apologies I see in print aren’t sincere. I don’t know what the point of an apology is if they don’t really mean it. The retraction is important though since if it isn’t forthcoming, someone may use that comment since it comes from a writer from a well known magazine.

    To answer the question about why people don’t sue over defamation, libel or slander is that it is enormously expensive. Courts in the U.S. don’t always award attorney’s fees even if you win. Rather, I think Anthony is smart to note his displeasure here so it is documented that he took issue with it. I take anything on twitter with a grain of salt, as I do with most everything on the internet.

    However, with demise of once thoughtful magazines, it seems there would be a market for scientific articles without the politics.

    As for gaming the blogging awards, I’d guess that votes are roughly proportionate to the readership of each. That assumes that each blogger is notified of the nomination and that each conveys that to their readers. In which case everybody “gamed” the system. I don’t know if he followed up on the tweet to explain his comment, but it would be fun to see if he did.

  81. Lucy Skywalker says:
    July 16, 2012 at 2:59 pm

    This is an amazingly revealing thread, with very visceral truths in some comments….
    Nothing Bora says can undo the evidence of the migration of so many SA veterans that is visible here.
    ___________________________
    You nailed it Lucy, Scientifically inclined people have voted with their feet and migrated to WUWT, ClimateAudit, Bishophill, JoanneNova and the other great sites now on the web.

  82. “Born in Belgrade, Yugoslavia (now Serbia), Bora was always interested in animals and nature. He went to graduate school at North Carolina State University where he studied how bird brains measure time of day”

    ————–

    Ah, so he got to know himself well at university. How does he measure the time of day? Does he base the passage of time on the number of slanders he is able to tweet in a given day?

  83. Gail Combs wrote:
    “The Team” figured they could, with Fenton Communications money and expertise put together a very popular “Real Science” blog.

    Glad to see some people realize the significance of David Fenton’s involvement in the climate “debate”. Fenton is the P.R. guru for the organizations and front groups that channel the money. It’s not Fenton Communications’ money, as such, it comes from individuals like George Soros and foundations like Ford and Pew.

    Some background info:

    NYU Arthur L. Carter Journalism Institute
    Faculty Profile
    Bora Zivkovic
    [...]
    The Science, Health and Environmental Reporting Program and Studio 20 co-sponsored this appointment.

    http://journalism.nyu.edu/faculty/bora-zivkovic/

    In 2010-11 Studio20′s major project was a collaboration with ProPublica, the investigative reporting non-profit. Students experimented with the genre of “the explainer,” a form of journalism that provides essential background knowledge and brings clarity to complex issues in the news. Read more here and see the project site, Explainer.net. Don’t miss The Fracking Song, which came out of that work. Time magazine named it one of the most creative videos of 2011.

    http://journalism.nyu.edu/graduate/courses-of-study/studio-20/

    The Fracking Song

    Has to be seen to be believed.

    ProPublica

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

    ProPublica is a non-profit corporation based in New York City.
    [...]
    While the Sandler Foundation provided ProPublica with significant financial support, it has also received funding from the Knight Foundation, MacArthur Foundation, Pew Charitable Trusts, Ford Foundation, the Carnegie Corporation and others. ProPublica and the Knight Foundation have various connections. For example, Paul Steiger, President of ProPublica, is a trustee of the Knight Foundation.[9] In like manner, Alberto Ibarguen, the President and CEO of the Knight Foundation is on the board of ProPublica.[10] In 2010, it received a two-year contribution of $125,000 each year from George Soros’ Open Society Foundations.

  84. Calm down, folks. No need to get out the big guns for a pee-wit. N.C. Wesleyan? Really? If you immolate this guy to the cause of good scientific articles, who will notice? If SA disappears from the earth, who will notice? Warmism is a target-rich environment. Spend the lawyer money scoring hits that count.

  85. >>
    chris y says:
    July 16, 2012 at 12:24 pm
    <<

    I canceled my subscription to SciAm for the same reason. Although, I don’t agree with Lomborg as a general rule, at least his book has more facts on one page than SciAm does all year.

    Nature and Science are going the same way. I’m about to drop those subscriptions too.

    Jim

  86. “I would simply ask for a retraction. I have mixed feelings about asking for apologies because most of the apologies I see in print aren’t sincere. I don’t know what the point of an apology is if they don’t really mean it. ”

    Sorry, but this is just dumb. Of course he’s not going to mean it. Sheesh. So what? What is this, the Boy Scouts? You’re missing the point by a wide margin.The point is Anthony was libeled. The apology is by way of making sure the world knows it, and at the same time extracting a painful punishment. No, he won’t be sincere. But it will sure be typed out with gritted teeth.

  87. I dropped Scientific American in the mid 70s. It simply lost it’s way and was not worth reading any longer. Sadly, National Geographic followed about 10 years later. Now even Popular Science has lost it’s soul to political correctness with their June issue essentially written by Grist (Roberts).
    While I still remain on the fence about global warming (or whatever it’s now called), I recognize partisanship when it takes the place of reason and logic.

  88. Enough of those silly bird brain jokes. Seriously. You are often judged by the jokes you pass.

    Better focus on the real issues.

    One thing (and about the only one) that annoys me in Christopher Monckton’s talks is that he never fails to ridicule Pachauri’s background as a railroad engineer whenever he mentions the drivel emanating from IPCC. That does not look good. If I were him, I would question Pachauri’s worth as an engineer. Because I suspect he was a lousy one (simply based on what I hear from the guy), and that is the real issue. A lousy, unaccomplished engineer, a worse-than-worthless scientist — that is the real issue.

    Similarly, with this Bora guy, nobody notices that the purported subject of “how bird brains measure time of day” indicates a profound biological illiteracy. If that’s your subject of study, it’s a misstudy from the start. Timekeeping on a circadian scale is a metabolic function, and the brain has nothing to do with that (even in those forms of life that do have a brain). Not that such level of illiteracy has ever prevented anybody from teaching biology, but that’s beside the point. So I suspect that besides being a jerk, the fella is a failed biologist and probably also a failed everything. Those jokes just don’t seem funny.

  89. Zivkovic writing under the pseudonym Coturnix:
    “When dealing with kids (and adults who have not yet made the change to a rational worldview), the only way is to appear to be 100% sure……You tell it how it is (even if inside you cringe, knowing that what you are saying is only 98% sure).”

    http://scienceblogs.com/clock/2007/05/31/more-than-just-resistance-of-s/

    So if people don’t agree with his world view they are irrational. Such a view is itself irrational and unscientific. To persuade people to his way of thinking he is prepared to say that he is sure of his world view even though he is cringing inside because he knows that what he is saying may not be true. A person who claims he is sure of something when he is not is lying. That is pseudoscience.

  90. I was never a subscriber, but as a kid I was at the library each month to read the magazine. If I had the money, I copied the articles I liked, if I didn’t, I took notes. Back then, had I the cash, I would have subscribed without hesitation, today….not so much.

    They’ve turned a once fine science magazine into a political soap box.

  91. Re; science reporting and the media

    Unfortunately, the dumbing down of science is now rampant and perhaps irrevocable. While on vacation, I was idling away some time by checking out the History channel. I used to enjoy watching real history on this channel, but hadn’t watched much recently, and my vacation time allowed me the luxury of spending some time flipping channels.

    I came across this on “mega tsunamis”

    There is a about 10 minutes of content expanded to 1 hour (counting commercials) of vacuous hyberbole and painful repetition.

    Sadly, it is what passes as video intellectualism these days, and National Geographic and Scientific American represent the print versions.

  92. Those who lie for money don’t like to be criticized for it. When they are criticized, they lie some more. Pray for their souls.

  93. Richard says:
    July 16, 2012 at 2:58 pm
    I used to read SciAm when I was bored at university. I started with the 1890 era and worked forwards in time. Nothing has changed. The articles and ads are still remarkably similar.

    I have to disagree. The magazine changed immeasurably when a significant number of articles began to come from staff writers in the 1990s maybe (I dropped my nearly twenty-year subscription in the mid 1980s). However, the old pre-1948 Sci. American had a backyard astronomy column that made me cringe with some really bigotted material, and the pre-1920s version was more like a popular mechanics magazine. It has changed so enormously from 1890 to 2012 that you cannot have missed its evolution. The best years were 1950s-1980s.

  94. The only really good thing about Scientific American was Martin Gardner’s ‘Mathematical Games’ column.

    It’s been downhill at an accelerating pace ever since.

  95. I began to suspect that SciAm had become politicized when I read this feature article:

    http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=y2k-so-many-bugs—so-lit

    Abstract: “With just 12 months until the year 2000 computer problem erupts, only automated fixes can begin to head off trouble. This Y2K expert describes why a simple date adjustment is so devilishly hard to accomplish and realistically assess how much chaos this glitch will bring in the next millenium.”

    Published in Jan 1999; and I knew for sure SciAm had drunk the Kool Aid 12 months later.

    I can’t access the original article (you have to pay for access, and our university library doesn’t have it on-line), but this (from http://www.ecomall.com/greenshopping/y2k2.htm) sums up how I recall the end of the article:

    ‘Concluding his January, 1999, Scientific American article, “Y2K: So Many Bugs So Little Time,” technology consultant Peter de Jager believes “severe disruptions will occur and that they will last perhaps a month.” He describes this prediction as “optimistic” since it assumes that “people will have done what is necessary to minimize the number of single points of failure that could occur.” ‘

  96. Zivkovic used the same ridiculous “anti-science” term to describe his political opponents as did Peter Gleick. May they both find the same level of success.

  97. Another science orientated old timer and a former avid and regular reader of both Sci Am and New Scientist from the early 1960′s who gave away both the Sci Am in the 1980′s and New Scientist in the early 90′s when they both just deteriorated into politically motivated junk science and little green men from Mars pop magazine status and often badly written at that!

  98. No gaming going on. Just sour grapes from Bora Zivkovic. If Scientific American had more readers they’d have more votes. People that read WUWT voted for WUWT? Of course they did. Readers of Scientific American voted for Scientific American? Of course they did. WUWT won. ‏

    Bora Zivkovic,

    If you want to have more votes you have to have more readers. Don’t blame your losing on the winner. The person you blame is in the mirror. But don’t worry, maybe you can get one of those “participation trophies”.

  99. Scientific American ceased being “scientific” a long time ago and I ceased reading it. Just a “junk” publication.

  100. “He went to graduate school at North Carolina State University where he studied how bird brains measure time of day (circadian rhythms) and time of year (photoperiodism)”

    I see. And now he’s studying how bird brains claim to be measuring the change of climate. Figures.

  101. His studies in veterinary medicine were interrupted by the 1990s war in the Balkans, when he arrived in fled to the USA to avoid military service.

    Serbia follows the former Sov military model — every male who reaches the age of 18 reports for induction. In peacetime, if he’s a student, or if daddy is a Party official, he invariably gets an an exemption. In wartime, said student’s exemption is revoked unless he’s enrolled in the hard sciences, such as physics.

  102. I was given a gift subscription to Scientific American by my grandparents when I was 10 years old in 1955, The magazine influenced me to become a design engineer. I hold 10 patent for a variety of devices ranging from portable Hemodialysis Systems to Electroptics. I lament the passing of a great magazine that could have inspired many more generation to scientific achievement! The departure from objectivity started with dishonest diatribes against the SDI program in 1985 and has devolved ever since. Very sad almost as sad as Carl Sagan selling his scientific credibility to the Nuclear Winter hoax. We live in interesting times in the Chinese sense!
    Regards

  103. David Ross says:
    July 16, 2012 at 4:34 pm
    Gail Combs wrote: “The Team” figured they could, with Fenton Communications money and expertise put together a very popular “Real Science” blog.

    Glad to see some people realize the significance of David Fenton’s involvement in the climate “debate”. Fenton is the P.R. guru for the organizations and front groups that channel the money.

    David Fenton’s specialty is tailoring a particular publicity campaign to appeal to the people who are already involved — reinforcing the beliefs of those who are already convinced. Which isn’t a *bad* strategy, but it’s one unlikely to win any new converts.

    Speaking of David Fenton’s campaigns, how’s Code Pink doing on the political scene these days?

  104. On behalf of all the Slavs, I apologize for this out-of-control Southern Slav. Sometimes, it may actually be a good idea to send a few NATO aircrafts to his homeland. ;-)

  105. Dermonster says

    Back it up or take it back!

    Seriously, in America 99% of the “poets” holding academic positions have never written a line that good.

    Eugene WR Gallun

  106. Smokey says:
    July 16, 2012 at 7:07 pm

    > The only really good thing about Scientific American was Martin Gardner’s ‘Mathematical Games’ column.

    Yes, Soma Cubes, Pentominoes, hexaflexagons (Richard Feynman was instrumental in early studies!), John Conway’s “game” of Life, and Mr. Matrix rank among my favorites.

    In all fairness, there are a number of people who are lifelong fans of C.L. Strong and Jearl Walker’s The Amateur Scientist.

    > It’s been downhill at an accelerating pace ever since.

    It’s flattening out as it gets closer to the zero asymptote. Or are you doing this on semi-log paper?

    Wiki has a page – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Amateur_Scientist which continues the story with Shawn Carlson and then:

    In 2001, Scientific American came under new management. As part of a “face lift” of the magazine, all of the long-running columns were retired, including “The Amateur Scientist”. March 2001 was the last time the column ran in Scientific American. Archive versions of the column remained available to Scientific American paid subscribers via their website.

    Perhaps 2001 is the year of the second step down.

  107. Anthony, I don’t think you need to sue. This thread has done plenty of negative advertizing for Bora and his once precious magazine. Google will do the rest.

    Like the 100+ others here, I was once an avid subscriber who would hold his nose at the obligatory political piece that lead off the issue. Stopped in the early 90′s when the useful yield ceased to be worth my time.

    I still have some scraps, particularly the one on Paterson Worms and the trap-door cypher.

  108. First, a toast toast once great magazine!

    I too am a former subscriber. SciAm’s descent into mediocrity is a huge loss to us all.

    Let me mention a counter-example — a magazine which started down the CAGW road but got straightened out fast. Their readership jumped on them hard and they got the message. It’s “The Bent” — the quarterly publication of Tau Beta Pi (the Engineering Honors Fraternity). Since their readers are members, not just subscribers, their voice may have carried more weight.

    I can’t provide a link to the original article (nor to the massive collection of letters to the editors it spawned) but I can give you a link to their math puzzles, which you fans of Martin Gardner might enjoy.

    http://www.tbp.org/pages/Publications/Bent/BTs.cfm

  109. I stopped reading New Scientist and scientific American when i realised it was political propaganda. It was always pro-global warming, devoting massive spreads to irrelevant statistics, invalid inferences and outright inaccurate premises or otherwise known as lies. There was also a massive pro-vaccination push as well, hyping up swine flu as the next global catastrophe. While not coming from a purely anti-vaccination standpoint I nevertheless recognise the suppression of adverse effect statistics and the refusal to address harmful ingredients in some vaccines like Gardasil that contribute to the side effects. There is also the suppression of the proven scientific fact that 911 was a controlled demolition and thus an inside job. Popular Mechanics wrote the most unscientific, irrational, flawed article attempting to debunk 911 controlled demolition I’ve seen in a while.
    Lets take significant man made global warming. There is zero evidence supporting it, ZERO! Yet there is overwhelming evidence against it:

    The Earth has been warming steadily for 300 years, well before humans could’ve had any impact, and cooled for the past 8 years. As the climate has been steadily warming naturally, independent of human influence, then of course the hottest days are going to be at the end of the record!!! So claiming the hottest days/years being evidence of AGW is a fallacy.
    The fact is there has been no warming for 15 years!!!!!!

    The medieval Warm period was warmer than today. CO2science.org provides comprehensive collation of studies around the globe and has found it was hotter. Temperatures have been steadily increasing since a period called the Maunder Minimum, a mini-ice age straight after the MWP. The steady upward trend since shows no human signal as man had no heavy industry then. The incline from the 70s to ’98 is repeated many times in the past, even before the turn of the centurey and thus is not significant or unique in any way.

    Global ice levels are normal and sea levels have not risen significantly for 60 years.Sea temperatures according to the ARGO buoys deployed years ago show no increase! there goes the ‘hidden warmth’ theory of the Alarmists.

    Also climate models and IPCC predictions vastly exaggerate warming, they overstate CO2 levels, and exaggerate climate sensitivity forcing equations for CO2. They propose a fictional runaway feedback effect as the CO2 heats up the oceans which then release more CO2 into the atmosphere in a vicious circle. While this feedback does happen to a certain extent, not only is CO2 a lesser greenhouse gas in terms of contribution, the greenhouse effect is counterbalanced by other factors.

    The IPCC admits that GHG warming alone without feedbacks will account for no more than 1 degree over the next century. Empirical data shows feedbacks to be zero to negative otherwise we would have seen much more warming due to the CO2 than we have. There are negative feedback variables that the IPCC has vastly understated or ignored. For instance, the climate models vastly exaggerate upper tropospheric water vapour leading to understated Outgoing Longwave Radiation, and thus vastly exaggerating warming.

    In reality, Increased cumulonimbic convection and humidity creates more return flow subsidence and radiative mass sinking, leading to less upper tropospheric water vapour. This leads to more OLR escaping and thus less warming.

    The models also ignore or understate low level clouds resulting from increased humidity that reflects radiation back to space and cools the planet. The albedo effect resulting from cloud cover corresponds to cooler periods in the climate record.

    The mid tropospheric hotspot that should be there according to the IPCCs greenhouse gas warming contribution projections is NOT there, proving the IPCC’s models incorrect.

    Lindzen (you might have heard of him, one of the the top climate scientists in the world) has studied the climate for 40 years and has plotted the satellite data that shows that Outgoing radiation goes UP with surface warming, NOT down as the IPCC suggests.

    Sea acidification is also complete rubbish as even if all the CO2 in the atmosphere was dissolved in water it would not even come close to approaching a neutral PH, let alone acid.

    Corals, crustaceans and other life forms flourish with more CO2.

    Add to that all the data tampering and manipulation, for example the Darwin tampering, the elimination of weather stations from higher altitudes, the attempted removal of the mediaeval warming period, and the bullying of scientists who didn’t support the AGW scam, in other words the bullying of scientists with a least a shred of conscience and morality and you have a 100% certainty that AGW is a scam.

  110. I keep hearing how scientists and bloggers are committing “slander” or “libel” and cries to “sue the bums!” and similar sentiments. Anthony Watts, I dare you to sue him. I double dare you. I suspect you are making vague and empty threats to rouse the troops to your side. Prove me wrong. Sue him. Let’s see how far it gets. Or will all those nasty ole’ scientists and their nasty big government silence you with huge wads of cash backing their legal defense? If you really have a case and a half-way decent lawyer you should win hands down. What’s really stopping you?

    REPLY: Well, you first have to send a demand letter. AFAIK there isn’t an “insta-sue” website where you can file such things the same day, yet. If he takes it down, no problem, if he remains boneheaded, like you, then maybe there’s a case.

    I generally don’t take legal advice from anonymous whiners, so I’ll put your further complaints/advice in the flaming bit bucket of death and handle it how I choose. – Anthony

  111. SA has unfortunatley gone the way National Geographic did, and substituted facts and evidence for advocacy. I grew up with many repeat subscriptions to the latter, but not any more. Its all political nowadays. If I wanted to read biased political-based studies and articles, Ill read Huff&Blow or the NYT.

  112. So send your demand letter. What are you waiting for? Either do it or quit whining.

    REPLY – Too bad the word “guttersnipe” has fallen out of fashion. (But you still get your say without being deleted. “Unlike certain other sites.”) ~ Evan

  113. dynamicdiscord [July 16, 2012 at 12:42 pm] says:

    “This is the same rag that just called for “effective world government to be imbued with heavy-handed transnational enforcement powers”, so consider the source.”

    http://blogs.scientificamerican.com/observations/2012/03/17/effective-world-government-will-still-be-needed-to-stave-off-climate-catastrophe/

    Thanks for that link. I always enjoy articles where the enemy within self-identifies themselves for all their neighbors to see. The article is exactly as the title suggests, a sweetness and light attempt at herding the sheeple to welcome a pack of wolves in democratic sheep clothing. So just on a hunch I skimmed the 400+ comments to look for the subject of this thread and yep, our hero that fled the Serbian conflict is of course cheerleading totalitarianism for the entire world instead …

    31. Bora Zivkovic … 11:06 pm 03/17/2012

    “For most of the world, the notion of government that is separate from the people is long gone. Most states today are republics or democracies or both. The dictatorships or authoritarian kingdoms are for the most part a thing of the past – think feudal times and Middle Ages.

    Today, most governments are of the people, by the people and for the people. Almost by definition, government = cooperation. Government is not some alien entity divorced from the populace, but is the system by which people organize their own affairs as a society.

    We choose among ourselves people to do particular tasks in the society. Some of our representatives are tasked by coordinating all the other efforts. We continuously monitor their performance and, on a regular basis, replace them with other representatives of the people. Yes, it is an imperfect system because money has too much say in the process, but in general, government IS the people. So why fear ourselves?”

    Our hero reappears later to vent about skeptics, naturally throwing around the “D” word for all that will listen …

    45. Bora Zivkovic … 3:04 pm 03/18/2012

    “The real question of the article is: should the denialists be ignored/marginalized, or fought, or re-educated? Social science suggests that re-education of people set in their ideological mindsets is almost impossible. Fighting requires organization. Ignoring requires that media wakes up to the reality and stops giving the denialists a platform.

    And everyone who thinks of “government” as something outside of their own existence, something alien that is imposed by some mysterious “other”, should rethink what government really means: http://scienceblogs.com/clock/2006/12/i_want_bigger_government.php

    How on Earth does this blog get published under the SciAm banner is beyond me. Even considering how far they have fallen as a journal, you would think there is someone there with institutional memory and an iota of self-respect.

  114. Stopped buying the thing some time ago.
    getting tired of the standard of articles being printed, I and my young (12 years old) son finally wrote a letter to the editor of SciAm a couple of years back carefully and respectfully detailing the myriad of physical errors and mis-reporting in an article on Scramjets.
    Its a real shame as they did, and can do better if only they tried.
    I still hold a few of super SciAm reports from the good ole` days, especially the one from original Woods Hole report about finding the Ozone layer hole

  115. Scientific American has been going downhill at an ever-increasing rate since the demise of ‘The Amateur Scientist’ and Martin Gardner’s mathematical column. R.I.P.

    And who is Bora Zivkovic? Is he a brave warrior for truth, definitively cutting down Anthony’s position on AGW by producing strong, unequivocal evidence for the IPCC BS he’s swallowed? Or is he ‘just another’ rent-a-gob oozing bile and innuendo? I know what he looks like.

  116. Scientific American was one of very few Western magazines allowed in the former Soviet Union — and even reprinted there in Russian translated version.

    In America, I was a subscriber for a year or two, then wrote a letter to an editor about their leftist bias, and dropped the subscription. I never click on their articles on the Web.

  117. I am surprised that there has been so little mention of New Scientist (AKA the ‘Guardian Science Supplement’ – well at least by me) here, perhaps it is just not considered a science publication at all any more. The biggest dissapointment for me however is Nature, unlike Scientific American, which is a popular science magazine aimed at the educated layman, Nature publishes original research of significance and quality. I usually see Nature papers on line, so was shocked when I saw the political nature of the editorial pieces, which to me seem completely incongruous in a journal.
    I suppose we shouldn’t be too surprised that pretty much all of the scientific establishment has moved leftwards, academic science is largely funded by government and supra-governmental agencies so it is not a big shock to see that they are supporters of more of the same. I bet the scientists here are much more likely to have a commercial background.
    Also not surprising that blogs like WUWT are popular – the views expressed here have little or no access to other media, so no need to invoke ‘gaming’ to explain it.
    Final point – civil litigation is a mugs game entirely for the purpose of enriching lawyers, strictly for those with much more money than sense.

  118. Many comments here remind me of a scientific journal in The Netherlands I once subscribed to. For several years it was a source of valuable information but then we ( the readers) got a questionnaire about what we wanted to be the content. I considered this an ominous sign, telling that the editors had lost sight or that the owner forced them to do this. Within a year the chief editor was replaced and the journal became filled with all kinds of silly human interest items. The circulation numbers went up and the journal became a succes item you could find in the super market among other Ladies Magazines. The only thing that did not change was its name. SciAm seems to be hijacked in a similar way. The old journal does not exist anymore and now people like Zivkovic operate under the once famous name. Well, nothing lasts forever, and the disappointed readers should look for a real scientific journal as its successor.

  119. SA was my third grade Christmas Wish in 1959 and I cancelled my subscription about five years ago due to its Warmists politics. Science is lessened by lack of debate.

  120. tomwys says:
    July 16, 2012 at 11:17 am

    “John Renie was the last Si-Am Editor worthy of the title. The magazine has yet to recover.”

    30 year SciAm subscriber here. Let it lapse once several years ago to protest the liberal advocacy couched as Science but missed it too much and didn’t let the lapse go for long.

    John Rennie led the decline with obsessive Darwinian evolution advocacy. This naturally progressed into global warming advocacy. Once you decide you’re going to move from supporting experimental science to advocating narrative science there’s only two narratives in science that a great many readers might be interested in – evolution and global warming.

    I remember once Rennie was at a confab where Bill Gates and the president of Intel Andy Grove were in attendance. Rennie walked up to a small group that Grove was talking too and asked if Intel were concerned about how creationists were poisoning science and how that would effect the quality of new scientists and engineers emerging from America’s universities. Grove looked at him like he was someone who just farted in church and said “We don’t perceive that to be a problem we need to be concerned about.” Rennie was visibly flabberghasted that that technology industry titans didn’t give a damn about Rennie’s campaign to blackball God in public schools.

    Anyhow, De Christiani (or whatever her name is) who took over when Rennie was fired (not long after the Grove incident, by the way) continued carrying the torch in the war against God. That’s what this is all about. Global warming and evolution aren’t so much about science they’re cause celebre’s in the academic-atheist war against religion.

    Another example of when SciAm did this was when it briefly hired my good friend Forrest Mims to write the Amateur Scientist column in 1990. Mims is a bit of a hero figure in the personal electronics and computer industry and is a citizen scientist of some renown. Mims is also a devout Christian who believes this world was created by God. Someone at SciAm evidently discovered that Mims was not an evolutionist and terminated him after just a few columns. Shameful.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Forrest_Mims#cite_note-40

  121. Hanoi G says:
    July 16, 2012 at 10:55 pm

    I keep hearing how scientists and bloggers are committing “slander” or “libel” and cries to “sue the bums!” and similar sentiments. Anthony Watts, I dare you to sue him. I double dare you. I suspect you are making vague and empty threats to rouse the troops to your side.

    Perhaps I’m blind or something, but I don’t see a threat from Anthony, vague, empty, or otherwise. All I see is a demand that a journalist live up to his profession’s ideals.

    Well, that and another example how any post about SciAm releases a flood of comments from folks to whom SciAm was once a vital part of their lives.

    I guess it didn’t make to Hanoi or wherever your mailbox was when SciAm was great.

  122. Walter Horsting says:
    July 17, 2012 at 3:19 am

    > SA was my third grade Christmas Wish in 1959 ….

    I’m impressed at how many people here read SciAm when they were children. I shouldn’t be, I suppose. There’s a set Questar telescope owners who drooled over Questar ads in SciAm and Ski & Telescope when they were children int the 1950s and finally bought the scopes in their 40s and 50s when they could finally afford it.

    At least Questar maintained their quality.

  123. My sad SciAm story: As a child in the late 1970′s, I asked for and received a SciAm subscription. What a wonderful magazine. In high school, I spent so much time perusing old issues that one day, I got called out of class by the school librarian, who, knowing my love of the magazine, gave me three large boxes of back issues to take home. (I still have them)

    Fast forward to the late 80′s (I’m in college) and I noticed an “agenda” sneaking into more and more issues. What happened to the raw, hard science magazine I used to love? Soon after, I cancelled my subscription, and mourn the magazine to this day.

    Is there any magazine (or webzine) out there that currently comes close to the love of real knowledge and science that SciAm used to have? This is not a rhetorical question.

  124. Ok. . . reading this thread, surely not a scientific survey, but at last count we have 146 responses, with a large majority of them stating that they were former subscribers of Scientific American for dozens of years, or multiple decades of years. Many/most of us started reading as boys, having been given subscriptions as gifts by parents, or grandparent. . . many/most of us are now in our 50’s or 60’s in scientific, engineering, or other technical fields and remember fondly our love for the magazine. . .and this has brought back memories, I agree also with the comments about Discover Magazine, and National Geographic following the same path as Scientific American. I too had subscriptions to those magazines, which I allowed to lapse due to their allowing increasingly political commentary to infect the writing.

    There surely is a desire for untainted scientific writing. The comments here, and the success of this blog surely represent a market for that writing. I’m guessing many/most of us here. . . and thousands like us who know nothing of the WUWT blog, would jump at a magazine in the genre of the Scientific American writing of the past, and we are in a position in life with disposable income where we might subscribe to a ground floor effort to make such a magazine possible. . . or in any respect I know that I would.

    Could this blog somehow be the foundation for such a magazine?

    REPLY: Watch the skies – Anthony

  125. Jim Masterson says:
    July 16, 2012 at 4:42 pm

    >>
    chris y says:
    July 16, 2012 at 12:24 pm
    <<

    I canceled my subscription to SciAm for the same reason. Although, I don’t agree with Lomborg as a general rule, at least his book has more facts on one page than SciAm does all year.

    Nature and Science are going the same way. I’m about to drop those subscriptions too.
    ____________________________
    Another commenter pointed out that SciAm is now under the Nature umbrella. That explains a lot about the content.

    I started receiving a FREE subscription to Nature Climate Change last year. Two things have struck me since:
    1. The most important articles in NCC are immolated by WUWT, ClimateAudit, Pielke Sr, Pielke Jr, several weeks before my copy shows up in the mail. This is a really remarkable development in climate science.
    2. Almost every article makes policy recommendations. This is content for what is purportedly a science magazine.

    I expect the shark-jump tipping point arriving any time now, which will trigger my letter to NCC requesting that they cancel my FREE subscription. To save the planet.

  126. Hanoi G says:
    July 16, 2012 at 10:55 pm
    I keep hearing how scientists and bloggers are committing “slander” or “libel” and cries to “sue the bums!” and similar sentiments. Anthony Watts, I dare you to sue him. I double dare you. I suspect you are making vague and empty threats to rouse the troops to your side….

    Your real name wouldn’t be Fonda now, would it?

  127. Hanoi G says:
    July 17, 2012 at 12:22 am
    So send your demand letter. What are you waiting for? Either do it or quit whining.

    This is Anthony’s blog. It thus follows he can “whine”, if that’s what he’s doing, as much as he wants. If you want to carry on whining please go away and start your own blog elsewhere.

  128. Me thinks, that many of these comments, should have been made over at SCI-AM, where they will do the most good. Here it is nice and safe for skeptics to post, but mainly falls on the ears of the already converted. No risk – No gain.

    Just because realists have given up their subscriptions (I gave up mine years ago) to Sci-Am does not mean commenting should cease. Rabid warmists, have had their way, for a long time, because most scientists have abandoned submitting comments, when their subscriptions lapsed.

    Since it is now populated by laymen, it is even more important to ensure the skeptical voices are heard. Who knows, maybe it will steer the rag back towards the scientific method instead of popular propaganda. They surely are aware of their plummeting subscriptions and may be scratching their heads, to explain it. Let’s tell them. GK

    • Anthony….how about a compiling the list and forwarding it to SA to show them the loss to their readership? I recently wrote to ProSci about their Global Warming hate piece…all hate and no debate!

  129. The same can be said of the Royal Society for Protection of Birds. So I cancelled my sub in 2011.

  130. In High school I kept up with the events via SciAm as a major paradigm shift occurred wrt continental drift. It was a major event for me, and that plus books on evolution in the house sent me down the road to being a scientist. I gag when SciAm and NatGeo go into advocacy mode. Just because you know about the science does NOT mean there is only one solution to a problem, or even that a solution (ie policy) exists that does not cause more harm.

  131. Ok, let me get this straight. An editor for Scientific American trash talks a popular science blog and its subscribers. What’s the possible benefit to his employer by alienating another few hundred thousand science interested potential customers?

    Brilliant marketing.

  132. ****
    Hanoi G says:
    July 16, 2012 at 10:55 pm

    Blather, blather, blather….
    ****

    Gane Fonda, is that you?

  133. John Doe says: July 17, 2012 at 3:47 am

    “….John Rennie led the decline with obsessive Darwinian evolution advocacy. This naturally progressed into global warming advocacy. Once you decide you’re going to move from supporting experimental science to advocating narrative science there’s only two narratives in science that a great many readers might be interested in – evolution and global warming.

    …………… Mims is also a devout Christian who believes this world was created by God. Someone at SciAm evidently discovered that Mims was not an evolutionist and terminated him after just a few columns. Shameful…..”

    John, sometimes it worries the hell out of me that in the global warming debate I am on the same side as people like you. :-)

  134. Hanoi G says: July 16, 2012 at 10:55 pm

    ….. I double dare you…
    …quite whining…..

    Aw, c;mon Anthony, do you think it is a good idea to let young teenagers comment in here? There is enough going on already without kids chanting from the sideline.

  135. I note that he “attended” and “studied”. No mention of graduating. Apparently he was out-thought by his subject matter.
    _______

    Manfred says:
    July 16, 2012 at 3:05 pm

    Sounds very erudite, albeit a bit verbose. But your tower of scholarliness collapsed with “tow the party line” instead of “toe”. Sad, really.

    _______________

    beng says:
    July 17, 2012 at 9:19 am

    ****
    Hanoi G says:
    July 16, 2012 at 10:55 pm

    Blather, blather, blather….
    ****

    Gane Fonda, is that you?

    I’m quite sure Jane’s brother is Peter. Who’s “Gane”?

  136. Steve C says:
    July 17, 2012 at 1:17 am

    I know what he looks like.

    Put his pic side-by-side with a Dodo. Caption: Separated on hatching?

  137. G. Karst says:
    July 17, 2012 at 8:15 am

    They surely are aware of their plummeting subscriptions and may be scratching their heads, to explain it. Let’s tell them. GK

    That’s a seriously naive suggestion. To the political 5th Columnist in the 4th estate, the message is the medium and no deflection or dilution can be countenanced.

  138. S Basinger says:
    July 17, 2012 at 9:04 am

    Ok, let me get this straight. An editor for Scientific American trash talks a popular science blog and its subscribers. What’s the possible benefit to his employer by alienating another few hundred thousand science interested potential customers?

    Brilliant marketing.

    They knew there was no downside. Anyone smart enough to follow WUWT isn’t stupid enough to buy SciAm.

  139. Why am I not surprised that when someone calls you (Anthony Watts) on your BS that you and your seemingly mindless followers resort to personal attacks? Is your position really that tenuous? It sure seems like that is the case.

    [REPLY: Five posts and five moderations. I agree with Evan, "guttersnipe". When you have something to contribute you'll get some respect. In the mean time, we'll consider ourselves told off good and proper. -REP]

  140. Nothing to add, except that I too used to be a SciAm reader. I dropped it in the mid ’80s, due to numerous moves and general interference of life. I picked it a copy at a friend’s house a few years back, and thought I’d got hold of a copy of Omni — the “science” magazine put out by Penthouse some years back. It was dumbed-down, its research and conclusions filled with holes that even I could see, and it seemed like every aspect of science suddenly had to do with global warming. I’ve read through — or tried to read through — several issues since, only to throw them down in disgust.

    I too mourn a once-great publication.

  141. What constitutes non-traditional students?

    I’m also curious why someone with a biology background considers someone whose background is meteorology as pseudo-scientific, particularly if the subject matter is climate.

  142. Jeff Mitchell said (July 16, 2012 at 4:03 pm)

    “…I would simply ask for a retraction. I have mixed feelings about asking for apologies because most of the apologies I see in print aren’t sincere. I don’t know what the point of an apology is if they don’t really mean it. The retraction is important though since if it isn’t forthcoming, someone may use that comment since it comes from a writer from a well known magazine…”

    Problem with issuing a retraction in their magazine, is that no one would see it.

  143. Reg Nelson said (July 16, 2012 at 3:49 pm)

    “…Two years ago they conducted a survey of their subscribers and their opinions on AGW. The results are quite interesting…”

    This was the interesting part:

    “…A new survey of reader opinions comes to some remarkable conclusions. Although the journal itself cleaves to the old orthodoxy on Warmism, it’s clear that its readers take a different view, and by a very wide margin. More than 6000 have responded, with nearly 20% claiming PhD status. More than three quarters (77%) believe that current climate change is caused by natural processes. More than two thirds (68%) think we should do nothing about climate change, and are powerless to stop it. No fewer than 90% think that climate scientists should debate their findings in public (they are notoriously reluctant to do so), while 83% believe that the UN-IPCC is corrupt, prone to group-think, and has a political agenda…”

    And, in true warmist fashion, any link to the results of the survey is hard to find.

    Guess they didn’t want anything that would threaten the consensus.

    But they did have a reason the poll turned out the way it did: WUWT.

    From here: http://blogs.scientificamerican.com/observations/2010/11/17/do-80-percent-of-scientific-american-subscribers-deny-global-warming-hardly/

    “…Readers of the Wall Street Journal may have been surprised by an editorial that appeared Tuesday. We editors at Scientific American certainly were.

    In his opinion piece, techno-utopian intellectual George Gilder takes California’s Silicon Valley to task for its green initiatives to create jobs. At one point, he makes this sloppy claim:

    “Republican politicians are apparently lower in climate skepticism than readers of Scientific American, which recently discovered to its horror that some 80 percent of its subscribers, mostly American scientists, reject man-made global warming catastrophe fears.”

    First, fewer than 10 percent of our subscribers are scientists. Second, the 80 percent climate denial number is not to be believed.

    For that 80 percent figure, I’m guessing Gilder relied on a poll that we created for an October 2010 article on Judith Curry (http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=climate-heretic). Question number 3 in particular asked visitors, “What is causing climate change?” The poll results show that 77.8 percent responded “natural processes”; only 26.4 percent picked “greenhouse gases from human activity.”

    Ignore for the moment that this poll was not scientific (nor was it meant to be) and that it was open to all who have access to the Internet, not just to our subscribers, as Gilder implied.

    Rather, the big problem was that the poll was skewed by visitors who clicked over from the well-known climate denier site, Watts Up With That? Run by Anthony Watts, the site created a web page urging users to take the poll (http://wattsupwiththat.com/2010/10/26/take-the-scientific-american-poll-on-judith-currry/).

    It sure worked. Our traffic statistics from October 25, when the poll went live, to November 1 (the latest for which we have data on referrals) indicate that 30.5 percent of page views (about 4,000) of the poll came from Watts Up. The next highest referrer at 16 percent was a Canadian blog site smalldeadanimals.com; it consists of an eclectic mix of posts and comments, and if I had to guess, I would say its users leaned toward the climate denier side based on a few comments I saw. Meanwhile, on the other side of the climate debate, Joe Romm’s Climate Progress drove just 2.9 percent and was the third highest referrer.

    So we were horrified alright—by the co-opting of the poll by Watts Up users, who probably voted along the denier plank. In fact, having just two sites drive nearly half the traffic to the poll assuredly means that the numbers do not reflect the attitudes of Scientific American readers…”

    I like that last phrase – “…the numbers do not reflect the attitudes of Scientific American readers…”

    This post proves that. It appears that most of the readers of WUWT gave up reading Scientific American years ago.

  144. henrythethird says:
    July 16, 2012 at 1:16 pm

    Scientific American – Total circulation (2012) 476,867.

    They could probably double that number by posting their articles here. Of course, we do have standards…

    LOL! :-)

  145. Brian H says:
    July 17, 2012 at 10:53 am

    That’s a seriously naive suggestion. To the political 5th Columnist in the 4th estate, the message is the medium and no deflection or dilution can be countenanced.

    I’m afraid your comment went over my head. I assume you are referring to Marshall McLuhan’s work, but am not sure what you are getting at. Please expound a little, for us oldsters, with less jargon, if you can. GK

  146. “””””…..henrythethird says:

    July 17, 2012 at 3:24 pm

    Reg Nelson said (July 16, 2012 at 3:49 pm)

    “…Two years ago they conducted a survey of their subscribers and their opinions on AGW. The results are quite interesting…”

    This was the interesting part: “””””

    Pretty funny Hank3. You mean they didn’t want to hear the opinions of people who think for themselves, and do their own background research ?

    And it does seem they are aware that their readership has dwindled, as folks who don’t subscribe to their propaganda, also no longer subscribe to their mag.

    As for “green”, and silicon valley “creating” green jobs; common sense says if it is creating jobs it ain’t green. True green advances would imply greater efficiency, and less use of resources including energy, and that would mean elimination of jobs.

    And “shovel ready” jobs would be [the] least green of all.

  147. Part of pursuing that pleasure, was renewing subscriptions to popular magazines such as Scientific American, The New Scientist, National Geographic and Nature. For each of those magazines, and some others, I reached a point where I realised they no longer dealt in big ideas, and the truth to be told, no longer even dealt in science. They’d dumbed down to touchy feely mysticism, a weird sort of political correctness and agenda-driven articles and papers. One by one, as the renewal dates arrived, I cancelled the subscriptions.

    http://thepointman.wordpress.com/2012/07/20/the-decline-of-popular-science-journals/

    Pointman

  148. beng says:
    July 17, 2012 at 2:25 pm

    Brian H says:
    July 17, 2012 at 10:40 am

    Brian, Hanoi G

    Slow today?

    Obvious, and I was just attempting to share a double-flip tease. Sorry you couldn’t follow it.

  149. G. Karst says:
    July 18, 2012 at 12:12 pm

    Brian H says:
    July 17, 2012 at 10:53 am

    That’s a seriously naive suggestion. To the political 5th Columnist in the 4th estate, the message is the medium and no deflection or dilution can be countenanced.

    I’m afraid your comment went over my head. I assume you are referring to Marshall McLuhan’s work, but am not sure what you are getting at. Please expound a little, for us oldsters, with less jargon, if you can. GK

    Yes, MM turned inside out. McLuhan said the nature and existence of the medium was the most important thing, not the message-content (and so was itself its own most important content). But for the leftist infiltrators of the mass media, their repetitive assumption-content and editorializing of news and analysis is the whole point. They regard the tool itself and the subscribers with disdain, and share none of their values.

    So attempting to inspire them to improve intellectual quality or to appeal to the subscribers on their own terms is a lost cause. Those values are simply invisible and negligible to them. The propaganda campaign is all.

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