Skeptical Science gets Romm-Bombed

Reposted from Popular Technology with permission

Skeptical Science: Too Inaccurate for Joe Romm

In March of 2012, the climate alarmist website Skeptical Science had their forums “hacked” and the contents posted online. In these it was revealed that Skeptical Science was found to be even too inaccurate for fellow alarmist Joe Romm of Climate Progress,

“Just got this email from Joe Romm: You must do more post vetting. More errors are creeping into posts and it will start making people like me wary of using them.” – John Cook [Skeptical Science], December 2, 2011

This was met with both admission and denial,

“…I somewhat agree with Romm. There does seem to be a perpensity of us towards producing masss volumes of articles when I feel sometimes we should be spending more time critiquing.” – Robert  [Skeptical Science], December 2, 2011

“I am pretty much done reading Romm. His knee-jerk attacks on anything remotely contradictory to his own narrative as “flawed” are irksome in the extreme.” – thingsbreak [Skeptical Science], December 3, 2011

“I don’t care for Romm either, [...] For the sake of accuracy, we can afford to wait until the heavy hitters have weighed in, we don’t have to pretend to an authority we don’t have.” – neal [Skeptical Science], December 3, 2011

“Romm is waspish and curt, [...] but I have noticed that SkS tends to run into trouble when we do our own analysis.” – Albatross  [Skeptical Science], December 3, 2011

“I think our own analysis needs to be vetted externally or by those absolutely qualified on the subject matter prior to being put out there.” – Robert  [Skeptical Science], December 3, 2011

“Romm was the one to rubbish the Schmittner study. He got burnt. Tough titties.” – Rob  [Skeptical Science], December 3, 2011

Maybe Romm is getting a touch jealous of SkS’s rising fame.” – Rob Honeycutt [Skeptical Science], December 3, 2011

References:
From the Skeptical Science “leak”: Interesting stuff about generating and marketing “The Consensus Project” (Tom Nelson, March 23, 2012)
Skeptical Science hacked, private user details publicly posted online (Skeptical Science, March 25, 2011)
Alarmism or Not? Joe Romm and the ‘Crying Wolf’ Dilemma (Watts Up With That?, May 1, 2012)

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122 thoughts on “Skeptical Science gets Romm-Bombed

  1. “Maybe Romm is getting a touch jealous of SkS’s rising fame.” – Rob Honeycutt [Skeptical Science], December 3, 2011

    LOL

  2. The real problem is that they’re neither “skeptical” nor “scientific”. If they would only live up to their name, their problems would disappear.

    Well, except for one: then warmists would call them the D-word. But I consider that a badge of honor.

  3. Two key individuals from SkS admitting that they get into trouble when they discuss the science themselves. Oddly, they remain certain as to which science is correct and which not, despite admitting that they don’t understand it so badly that they look like fools when they try and explain it.

    Can you imagine a judge standing up in a court of law, announcing that he doesn’t understand the evidence, and then rendering a judgment? (Happens every day except the admission part).

  4. The Albatross guy doesn’t want his name out.

    I agree with, Shub. If you’re going to quote from tree-hut docs (the secret SkS forum), then only forum names ought to be used. It is up to SkS’s albatros to decide when, where and how to ‘come out’, so to speak.

  5. Mark T says:
    September 25, 2012 at 7:00 pm
    It is an admission of affection. Example; He walked up to our table and reading from his notepad said ” I am your perpensity.”

  6. So, just to be clear: hacking Heritage is a horrible crime and nobody should report on what was illicitly revealed, but hacking CRU or SkS is good clean fun?

  7. Ladies and Gentlemen,

    They are catfighting among themselves! Riioowwr! fssssk,! fsssk! John Cook and co wanting to scratch Joe Romm’s eyes out! LOL

    Good news indeed and passingly amusing.

  8. numerobis says:
    September 25, 2012 at 8:23 pm
    So, just to be clear: hacking Heritage is a horrible crime and nobody should report on what was illicitly revealed, but hacking CRU or SkS is good clean fun?
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>

    Just to be clear, nobody outright lied to get the SkS documents and, more importantly, nobody falsified documents and attempted to attribute it to them. The comparison to Heritage is fallacious. There was nothing embarrasing in the legitimate Heritage documents (hence the forgery) while the SkS documents are littered with tacit admissions of guilt.

    As for comparison to the CRU, the guilty party or parties remains unknown. That being the case, we cannot determine if it was a hack or a whistle blower. The preponderance of evidence suggests a whistle blower. Again, there was much to be embarrased about, and nothing forged.

    Nice try mumerobis, but the moral equivalence just isn’t comparable.

  9. i’m sceptical:

    26 Sept: SMH: Reuters: 100m to die by 2030 if climate action fails: report
    More than 100 million people will die and global economic growth will be cut by 3.2 per cent of gross domestic product (GDP) by 2030 if the world fails to tackle climate change, a report commissioned by 20 governments said on Wednesday.
    As global average temperatures rise due to greenhouse gas emissions, the effects on the planet, such as melting ice caps, extreme weather, drought and rising sea levels, will threaten populations and livelihoods, said the report conducted by humanitarian organisation DARA…
    The full report is available at: http://daraint.org/

    http://www.smh.com.au/environment/climate-change/100m-to-die-by-2030-if-climate-action-fails-report-20120926-26k4d.html

    25 Sept: New Scientist: Climate change already harming the global economy
    According to the Climate Vulnerability Monitor – a report by Spanish non-profit organisation DARA – in 2010 climate change shaved 1.6 per cent off global gross domestic product…
    If the claims stand up, it boosts the case for urgent action, says Cameron Hepburn of the London School of Economics. “Caps on emissions should be much tighter, and carbon prices much higher, than they are now.”…

    http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn22300-climate-change-already-harming-the-global-economy.html

    24 Sept: RespondingToClimateChange: John Parnell: All eyes on New York as climate change debate moves to the Big Apple
    New York is the stage for a week of climate change debate starting at the United Nations General Assembly on Monday…
    Later on Wednesday DARA, together with the Government of Bangladesh – the chair of the Climate Vulnerable Forum – will launch the second edition of the Climate Vulnerability Monitor…
    The Clinton Global Initiative will also host its annual meeting with energy and sustainable development on the agenda, with events taking place on Sunday, Monday and Tuesday.
    Finally, the Climate Group has organised Climate Week NYC to coincide with the UN meet-up. Events covering food, energy, economics, policy and culminating in the Cleanweb Hackathon that will see teams given 28 hours to design and develop working apps that address resource use…

    http://www.rtcc.org/policy/all-eyes-on-new-york-as-climate-change-debate-moves-to-the-big-apple/

  10. “numerobis says:
    September 25, 2012 at 8:23 pm

    So, just to be clear: hacking Heritage is a horrible crime and nobody should report on what was illicitly revealed, but hacking CRU or SkS is good clean fun?”

    You should really be aiming that question at Peter H. Gleick, I heard he was or is the expert.

  11. numerobis says September 25, 2012 at 8:23 pm

    So, just to be clear: hacking Heritage is a horrible crime and nobody should report on what was illicitly revealed, but hacking CRU or SkS is good clean fun?

    Run it up the ‘ole flag pole as they say … caught warranted and justified ‘flak’ for doing so … shot down in ruins as the saying goes since the proposition runs afoul of known facts despite attempted at ‘twisting and spinning’ … and not even a spec of ‘pride’ left to hide one’s revealed privates now have we … I’ll guess you’ll be running along now … but wait! Will you join us in mid November for the (now) annual Gore-a-thon-dirty-weather-climate thingy?

    .

  12. “I think our own analysis needs to be vetted externally or by those absolutely qualified on the subject matter prior to being put out there.”
    It’s a pity other websites don’t use this yardstick before publishing.

  13. Isn’t it ironic when people hiding behind pseudonyms such as “Poptech” decide to try and out people’s identities. Andrew Khan certainly do better methinks.

  14. Fighting among themselves now ‘eh… Sounds like the beginning of the end for that Blog. The alarmist sites never last long once the funding goes or they fall out of favor with the sugar daddy.

  15. Posting this stuff mainly reflects badly on you, not them. At one stage you took a principled stand on this, now what? Holding up someone’s else’s stolen underwear for ridicule? Forget moral equivalence and comparisons, you stand or fall based on your own actions and this is only to your discredit, and that’s how it will be seen in time. Black mark on your record. Fail.

    REPLY: Lessons on integrity from a person with a fake name – gotta love it. -Anthony

  16. EDF still flogging a dead horse!

    25 Sept: WaPo: Ezra Klein’s Wonkblog: Are the U.S. and Europe headed for a trade war over airline carbon fees?
    But Congress didn’t take kindly to a unilateral attempt by Europe to tax U.S. airlines. The House has already passed a bill that would forbid air carriers from participating in the program, period. The Senate version is a little more flexible: It would allow the U.S. transportation secretary to determine whether it was in the country’s interest to participate in the program…
    Both the House and Senate bills also require the Department of Transportation to hold airlines “harmless” in the event that they get slapped with fines for not participating in the E.U. program. And if U.S. airlines don’t comply with the law, they’ll face as much as $22 billion in fines between now and 2020, according to one estimate. So who will cover the airlines’ fines? Taxpayers? The bills’ supporters have remained fairly vague on this point.
    There are two possible scenarios here, explains Annie Petsonk, a lawyer for the Environmental Defense Fund. First, if the Senate bill becomes law and airlines are forced to pay fines to the E.U., they could always try suing the government to recoup their losses — in which case they would be paid out of the taxpayer-backed Judgment Fund…
    An alternative, under an obscure but important U.S. law called the International Air Transportation Fair Competitive Practices Act (with practice, this rolls off the tongue), would be for the United States to declare that the E.U. is acting unreasonably and impose fines on European airlines in retaliation. That money could then be used to reimburse U.S. airlines. The trouble, Petsonk notes, is that Europe has its own laws that allow its regulators to retaliate in turn. Soon we’re in a never-ending battle over trans-Atlantic fees and fines. “Then you have a full-blown trade war,” says Petsonk…
    Aviation is one of the fastest-growing sources of greenhouse gases. While airlines account for just 3 percent of the world’s carbon emissions, that’s expected to increase up to 700 percent by 2050. And a recent report from the World Bank found that a modest carbon tax — say, $25 per ton — could cut aviation emissions by 5 to 10 percent in the short term, mostly as airlines retired their older, more inefficient aircraft early. In theory, says Petsonk, the United States and Europe should be able to hammer out a deal on this minor step to address climate change…

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/ezra-klein/wp/2012/09/25/could-the-u-s-and-europe-start-a-trade-war-over-airline-carbon-fees/

  17. “R” says September 25, 2012 at 10:16 pm

    Isn’t it ironic when people hiding behind pseudonyms such as …

    This reminds me of the old 1970’s – 1980’s original Seasame street series ala:

    . . . . . “This message brought to you by the letter ‘R’. ”

    .

  18. R says:
    September 25, 2012 at 10:16 pm
    Isn’t it ironic when people hiding behind pseudonyms such as “Poptech” decide to try and out people’s identities. Andrew Khan certainly do better methinks.

    My friend standing next to me is laughing his ass off that you think that is my real last name.

  19. The emails were taken without authorisation – stolen. The details of how are not important. To justify publishing stolen documents you need to show the “public interest” defense; that it is more important than the right of privacy. Colleges disagreeing about the quality of each others work is not the same a illigally blocking FOIA or faking stuff, or threaning behavour. So where’is the beef!.

    REPLY: Gosh, where where you when Peter Gleick stole emails and sent them to the media under a fake name with a fake letter with made up facts? Cook admits that he thinks lax security at SkSk was the problem and anyone could just walk in and look at them.

    John Cook writes in a post on 23 February 2012:

    Got an email from Brian P this morning saying that the whole forum was publicly available to him, even when he wasn’t logged in. I checked and this was true.A little panicky, I investigated and worked out that all the permission levels of each forum had been set down to zero. Normally, they’re set so only authors can access most of them, except the translator forum is also accessible to translators. Strangely though, there is an admin forum that only admins can access and that wasn’t set to zero – it was still set so only admins can access it.

    I have no idea how this happened. Several possibilities come to mind. First, I did it by accident when I was screwing around with the database sometime. Someone with admin access (there are about half a dozen SkSers with this access) made the change. Or we were hacked in some way and the hacker changed the levels. None of the options seem likely to me but the most likely is human error on my part although the fact that the admin forum was still set at admin level belies some kind of blanket wiping of all levels.

    So I’m a little freaked out – it’s not knowing how this happened that has me most worried. Has anyone been looking at the forum and how long has this been available? But I’ve been procrastinating some of those security measures that have been suggested to me and as soon as I get to work this morning, am going to implement some of those measures.

    Pretty hard to argue “stolen” with an admission of public access like that. – Anthony

  20. @shub

    Don’t forget “Albertross” is the guy who stated he had followed my denier history for several years at the BBC, Bishophill and WUWT when I crossed swords with him at SkS. Albatross considers this sort of activity his “work” and (tin foil hat at the ready) it seems SkS may have their own denier profile database. (I could be wrong and a llittle paranoid, but it was a shock when I realised Albatross was following my “carreer denial”)

    Having said that, I hide behind a nickname (used to work for a Uni and didn’t want to be identified for fear of losing my job – retired now, so not a problem, but quite like the name), so I can understand his reasons for not wanting to be outed.

  21. “In March this year, the SkS database was illegally hacked and private user details and correspondence was uploaded onto the web. At the time, I didn’t give too many details about how the hacker was able to obtain the entire database for security reasons, but I will share more details now. The hacker hijacked an SkS user account, uploaded files onto the server enabling them to gain access to the entire database, deleted log files to cover their tracks and stole a dump of the entire database. This was achieved using more than two dozen different IP addresses from all over the world over a 5 hour period. At the time, I posted that the hacker uploaded the personal details of every SkS user account, but I’ve since discovered that he omitted the personal details of any known climate contrarians in our user database. While posting the private details on the web, the hacker also lied about his illegal actions, a falsehood all too eagerly accepted by those needing an excuse to partake in the unethical process of publishing stolen private correspondence.”

    Anthony are you going to continue to imply that the issue was lax security?

    REPLY: I think that was a face saving effort on Cook’s part – he’s provided nothing of substance to back that up. Given that Cook endorses all sorts of deletion shenanigans and post facto editing of content and comments at SkS I have no reason to believe his explanation. The act still looks more like sloppiness than a hack, as a hacker with full control could do a lot of damage, like delete entire threads and hijack the home page…but none of that happened. – Anthony

  22. It wasn’t just the Skeptical Science forum that was stolen and published on the web – it was the entire user database (minus a few select users whose private details the hacker didn’t want exposed). This includes the email address and IP address of every user in our database. Anyone who has viewed the file containing the hacked forum can confirm that it contains the entire user database and that the forum was amended to display the email and IP address of every person posting on the forum.

    It turns out when our forum was laid open to the public, my speculation that someone might have hacked the database and changed the forum levels was correct. The hacker gained access to an admin level user account, uploaded files onto our server and obtained a dump of our entire database. Publishing illegally obtained private correspondence comes with it’s ethical issues – one can choose to ignore ethics or justify their unethical behaviour with justifications like “the illegally obtained private details were stolen due to lax security”. Of course, the latter justification is hardly grounds for unethical behaviour but even so, it’s based on a falsehood promoted by the hacker in the same comment where he first uploaded the entire user database.

  23. numerobis says:
    September 25, 2012 at 8:23 pm
    “So, just to be clear: hacking Heritage is a horrible crime and nobody should report on what was illicitly revealed, but hacking CRU or SkS is good clean fun?”

    numerobis, you are a total troll. I have looked at – who was it? deltoid? Sks? Anyway, that alarmist site that published Gleick’s rather boring loot and his incoherent, childish “strategy memo” fabrication. We are all for spreading Gleick’s fantasy strategy memo in all its ridiculousness far and wide and we have reported what we found. Remember how he smuggled his own name in there as an example of a prominent Heartland fiend? And we all had a good laugh at his narcicism.

    Just go ahead doing what you’re doing; we crave the laughs.

  24. John Cook writes in a post on 23 February 2012:
    “[...] I have no idea how this happened. Several possibilities come to mind. First, I did it by accident when I was screwing around with the database sometime. Someone with admin access (there are about half a dozen SkSers with this access) made the change. Or we were hacked in some way and the hacker changed the levels. None of the options seem likely to me”

    The most plausible explanation is that one of the SkSers is slowly seeing the light and has decided to come clean. There’s only so much hypocrisy and fanaticism some can bear.

  25. Rob, Robert, and Rob Honeycutt…

    …there must be a goon cloning machine in Dr. Cook’s lair…

    “Which one of you is the rotten clone that set the permission levels to public?”

  26. LoL, bye SkS you will not be missed.

    Oh and not one of you SkS acoyltes has mentioned Poor old Joanne Nova being hacked for real constantly, then again I expect no less.

  27. Why have the quoted posts been edited? It is not the first time that I have noticed this feature in hacked SkS material.

  28. stacyglen says:
    September 25, 2012 at 11:44 pm

    The emails were taken without authorisation – stolen. The details of how are not important. To justify publishing stolen documents you need to show the “public interest” defense; that it is more important than the right of privacy. Colleges disagreeing about the quality of each others work is not the same a illigally blocking FOIA or faking stuff, or threaning behavour. So where’is the beef!.

    Be interesting to hear your opinion of Wikileaks….

    John Cook says:
    September 26, 2012 at 2:15 am
    [...]
    Publishing illegally obtained private correspondence comes with it’s ethical issues – one can choose to ignore ethics or justify their unethical behaviour with justifications like “the illegally obtained private details were stolen due to lax security”.

    [...]
    Thank you for participating. Ethics is a wicked referee in the info game. Debating the ethics of “private” communications is but one aspect in the climate info wars. Of no less relevance is the ethics surrounding alarmism, manufactured truth, outright lies, spurious research, and ideology-peddling. In reality, ethics left the arena long ago. On an individual basis, ethical behavior can rule one’s conscience, but for too many on the warmist side, climate discussions long ago passed any pretence of being eithical. What passes for politico-public climate science discussion in most cases is the tyranny of the authority of willful ignorance of real science.

  29. I think a better name for this thread might be …. When Narcissists Collide …. gets to the heart of the situation.

    BTW, I don’t think I’ve ever seen “Heartland” spelled so badly ;)

  30. @John Cook

    And how exactly did Sks treat Mr Glieks illegally obtained and falseafied documents? What sauce for the goose, Mr Cook….

  31. Dear Anthony, thank you for redacting the personal details again. All three hacks were utterly reprehensible,but at the end of the day what really matters is what the scienc actually says. I was one of several contributors at SkS that went on the record to register our approval of your previous stance on the SkS hack, words and actions do indeed have consequences – sometimes they are positive.

    http://www.skepticalscience.com/Skeptical-Science-hacked-private-user-details-publicly-posted-online.html

    dana1981 at 01:17 AM on 25 March, 2012
    Anthony Watts immediately notified us when the hacker tried to post the stolen information on WUWT, and has not allowed it to be posted, so he deserves credit for doing the right thing. Unfortunately a couple of other blogs have allowed their dislike of SkS to trump their ethical standards.

    logicman at 02:46 AM on 25 March, 2012
    I would like to add my own voice to others in thanking Anthony Watts for not posting the hacked information.
    The hacker has caused some inconvenience, but has not found anything of value in the scientific debate. Facts, properly evaluated, cannot be outweighed by private conversations. …

    Dikran Marsupial at 03:00 AM on 25 March, 2012
    I would also like to thank Anthony Watts and the other bloggers who have refused to share the links; it is greatly appreciated. I hope the hacker draws the conclusion from their response that his or her actions were not in any way justifiable, especially revealing contributors private details, that was absolutely reprehensible.

    Daniel J. Andrews at 03:48 AM on 25 March, 2012

    Good on Anthony for his refusal to host the stolen material. That’s two complimentary things I’ve heard about him today from sites that have challenged some of his posts in the past.

    Albatross at 07:29 AM on 25 March, 2012

    Thanks everyone here for their kind words and support, and thanks to Anthony Watts for taking the high road.

  32. Bluebottle says: “Posting this stuff mainly reflects badly on you, not them.”

    I would like to agree with you but I cannot. We have had three clear instances of illegality:
    CRU where FOI law was broken
    Gleich who stole documents and most likely forged others
    Lew. Who if I had the money I would take to court for his vindictive libel.

    In each case we have followed the procedures, made the complaints, relied on their “peers” to do the right thing. And in each and every case the crimes of their peers is worse than the original because they are not so much condoning as encouraging the illegal behaviour.

    We have been utterly failed not only by the legal authorities but academics have shown themselves to have disgusting immoral attitude that demonises anyone from outside who dares to criticise them …. even when that criticism is that their colleagues have clearly and overtly broken the law.

  33. Romm is correct that there are a large number of errors in most SkS articles (some that don’t look so innocent) and then editing people’s comments after the fact, after the original article has been corrected, that is just very unethical.

    And many of these errors get re-distributed around the internet so it is not just confined to the SkS website. They are now everywhere, adding to the myth-database.

  34. Oddly enough, I came to the conclusion that Romm’s site is completely unreliable and not worth the time spent to visit a long time ago.

  35. Admitting that their science stinks is the real thing to take from this. When all they have is their appeal to authority, mistakes and shoddy science will be what knocks down their house of cards.

  36. “‘I have noticed that SkS tends to run into trouble when we do our own analysis.’ – Albatross”

    I think the topic here is not the science itself, but how the rather uncertain primary literature gets translated into an alarmist narrative rooted in certainty. There is a very powerful meme among AGW proponents that one should neither read nor interpret the primary literature, since only bona fide climate scientists are qualified to do that. Needless to say, there was no cognitive module capable of accepting the facts in the Gergis et al debacle, in which Jean S. at Climate Audit did nothing more than attempt to replicate some arithmetic and in doing so managed to squash a paper that was being groomed for landmark status.

  37. John Cook says:
    September 26, 2012 at 2:15 am

    It wasn’t just the Skeptical Science forum that was stolen and published on the web – it was the entire user database (minus a few select users whose private details the hacker didn’t want exposed).
    ==================================================
    John, if it makes you feel any better, I didn’t look at the ip addresses and whatnot. I’m actually sympathetic to you about having people with admin privileges who don’t have a clue about security. And, I don’t care if you guys have a secret club were you can plot in private. I think it’s funny. I think it shows the weakness of the alarmist argument, but, I really don’t care.

    And, as a demonstration of cordial intentions, I’ll give you some advice on how to handle the criticism from Romm. He should be told that everyone is capable of errors and that he should vet the information himself before parroting. I know that’s a tricky concept for alarmists, but it really does work. When employing such strategy, one comes off much less like a tool and more like a real thinker.

  38. No mention of “ethics” here,

    I’m intrigued by two things – how did they get it (the impression I get is an insider whistleblower) and who is that anonymous donor who ponies up a big chunk of Heartland’s income.

    It’s important that we maintain the SkS brand in how we post about this which means it needs to be about science or the protection of the integrity of science.

    The spin is important though. Guess who?

  39. No mention of ethics here,

    I’m intrigued by two things – how did they get it (the impression I get is an insider whistleblower) and who is that anonymous donor who ponies up a big chunk of Heartland’s income.

    It’s important that we maintain the SkS brand in how we post about this which means it needs to be about science or the protection of the integrity of science.

    The spin is important though. Guess who?

  40. John Cook;

    You established a web site called Skeptical Science, that is in no way skeptical.
    You published an iPhone app that could be debunked simply by pointing out the cherry picking.
    You delete comments that ask tough questions about science that you have no answer for that supports the CAGW theory.

    You dare to complain about ethics?

    FWIW, there’s a possibility which you seem to have failed to consider, which is that you have a whistle blower in your midst. All signs point to the same at CRU. Someone on the inside became disenchanted with the manipulation and obfuscation and took it upon themselves to expose it to the rest of the world. The evidence that a whistle blower is the culprit in your instance is not as strong, but it is a possibility that should not be dismissed out of hand.

    As a final comment, I find the admission of your inside group that they get the science wrong when they venture out on their own rather amusing. So, by the admission of your own insiders, you don’t understand the science well enough to explain it to others, but you know that it is right. Are there any other things in this world that you claim not to understand by know are right?

  41. Anthony in reply at 10:44:

    REPLY: Lessons on integrity from a person with a fake name – gotta love it. -Anthony

    ——————-

    Yes, he should try some perpensity and reconsider his propensity to judge incorrectly.

  42. Sounds like “FOI” might be out working his black magic again.

    Is it possible it’s the same guy (or guys)?

  43. If it weren’t important for democracy, good government and the useful direction of public resources, all this Romm-SkS-WUWT ad hominem words would be so much Junior High, Jersey Shore nonsense.

    All grow old. Not everyone grows up.

  44. John Cook says:
    September 26, 2012 at 2:15 am

    It wasn’t just the Skeptical Science forum that was stolen and published on the web – it was the entire user database (minus a few select users whose private details the hacker didn’t want exposed). This includes the email address and IP address of every user in our database. Anyone who has viewed the file containing the hacked forum can confirm that it contains the entire user database and that the forum was amended to display the email and IP address of every person posting on the forum.

    Amended? Oh please the forum view is a typical moderator, admin level view that can be enabled to everyone if you f-ed up the security permissions on the forums. Which users private details were protected? There are a very select number of users who even submitted “private details” (full names) – all computer illiterate members of your “team”. I did not see any email or IP addresses redacted in the database.

    It turns out when our forum was laid open to the public, my speculation that someone might have hacked the database and changed the forum levels was correct. The hacker gained access to an admin level user account, uploaded files onto our server and obtained a dump of our entire database. Publishing illegally obtained private correspondence comes with it’s ethical issues – one can choose to ignore ethics or justify their unethical behaviour with justifications like “the illegally obtained private details were stolen due to lax security”. Of course, the latter justification is hardly grounds for unethical behaviour but even so, it’s based on a falsehood promoted by the hacker in the same comment where he first uploaded the entire user database.

    Your hypocrissy cracks my up,

    http://www.skepticalscience.com/denialgate-heartland.html

    You lie about and smear others and then cry when your BS gets exposed. Looks like I have a lot more posts to do.

  45. RogerRamjet says:
    September 26, 2012 at 7:26 am
    [...]
    [quoting] “It’s important that we maintain the SkS brand in how we post about this which means it needs to be about science or the protection of the integrity of science.” [endquote]
    [...]

    What is the “protection of the integrity of science” ? Is it an urn somewhere containing the combined ashes of all of the great philosophers and scientific minds of the last 10,000 years? Is it a dusty old tome residing in an old abbey, guarded by a secret society with mystical powers and obscure origins? Is it a rare and exquisite bottle of seeds handed to Mankind by some interstellar power, to be planted periodically to advance man’s wisdom?

    “Protection of the integrity of science”. Here, in six words, lies the entire false premise upon which warmists like, Joe Romm, John Cook, Al Gore, Michael Mann, James Hansen, the NewYork Timee, the Guardian, and all the rest cannot appear to fathom.

    The “integrity of science” is intrinsic to science. It is self-actuating, self-affirming. The presumed knowledge evoked by science either withstands scrutiny or it does not. Scrutiny is the embodiment of what science is. There is no separate thing called “integrity” in science to protect. Unless, of course, the short-list above is really talking about the “Integrity of Science”, which is to say, that of the purveyors, profiteers, advocates, naysayers and promoters. But that’s not about the integrity of science. Its about men (and women).

  46. John Cook: Remove the word skeptical from your blog site and I will begin to sympathize with your victimization. It is a blatant attempt to intercept people looking for alternate explanations for observed climate change. Until such unprofessional tactics are abandoned and this abuse of innocent seekers of truth halted… I regard your site’s demise with inward glee. There is a certain justice in “you reap what you sow”.

    You have much work to do, cleaning up your site. My advice is to get cracking and not waste time whining to sites, that have a real and proper skeptic view, of consensus. No one makes a notable career through conformism and consensus, in an emerging field. Test data, instead of just blowing it out your a$$. GK

  47. Poptech, while you are here:

    Regarding a question I posted upthread. Anthony has merely copied and pasted your stuff over to here. Therefore, it is likely that either you edited the hacked SkS forum posts or someone you know did. Why?

  48. The Duke asks
    ‘Sounds like “FOI” might be out working his black magic again.

    Is it possible it’s the same guy (or guys)?’

    From what I can see :-

    ClimateGate was a leak
    GleikGate was an impersonation
    Joanne is a DOS attack
    SkS was an admin blunder

    none of them is actually a ‘Hack’

  49. “Therefore, it is likely that either you edited the hacked SkS forum posts or someone you know did. Why?” – John Mason
    Edited? You mean quoted, nothing was edited.

  50. If I leave the keys in the ignition it is still stealing if you take my car. It was easy is not a legal defence to theft. It is a mitigating circumstance as you were tempted more than usual. Publishing the Heartland emails was wrong because they did nothing wrong. The fact it was easly to steal the emails does not make it right. One mail was faked up. So the pubic interest defense based on a faked was also false. Just talking about the real mails. Hearland did nothing wrong so they and thier donors are thoses submitting funding requests were entitled to privacy.
    Imagine you got your neighbors mail.by error Would it be OK to open it and read it out load to the rest of the street? It is real easy to do.
    It was right to publish climategate because clearly the public interest defence applies. They were up to no good, and this was the proof.

  51. Bluebottle says: “its not fair when the shoe is on the other foot so now I will be righteously indignant and condemn you for the same offense that I earlier defended when our side did it”.

    Paraphrasing Anthony’s reply to him, what a hypocrite.

  52. Poptech, as a SkS team-member it was perfectly natural for me to download what had been grabbed and look and see what had occurred. I can compare your posts against the originals. In some cases sentences have been removed and paragraphs spliced together. Context is absent or has been changed by this action. Why? Answer the question.

  53. John Mason,

    Poptech has commented here for years, and I have never seen him post something dishonest.

    However, there is no doubt that John Cook is thoroughly mendacious. Cook changes the language in comments, which entirely changes their meaning. He arbitrarily deletes comments that make pertinent points, which he is unable to answer without being proven wrong.

    Therefore, given the total lack of credibility coming from SS, I will take your comment as an assertion, not as a fact.

  54. John Cook whines: “the shoe is now on the other foot and I do not like how its fits”

    My response: you [are] in the wrong place if your are looking for sympathy, and your statements lack any credibility here based on your track record as a peddler of propaganda and junk science.

  55. D Böehm, we’ll have to agree to differ on that point. On my last SkS blog-post, an error occurred: I corrected it with date of correction inserted and acknowledgement to the commentator who had found it. I believe that is the best way forward, for is not science a self-correcting process?

  56. John Mason says:
    September 26, 2012 at 12:16 pm
    Poptech, as a SkS team-member it was perfectly natural for me to download what had been grabbed and look and see what had occurred. I can compare your posts against the originals. In some cases sentences have been removed and paragraphs spliced together. Context is absent or has been changed by this action. Why? Answer the question.

    Yes, [...] means sentences have been removed but the context does not change. I understand you think if you insult someone but then say you something nice about them, that changes the context of the insult – I don’t. I can separate those quotes into two separate ones but the point does not change nor the context.

  57. John tell us how you really think about us,

    “It’s one reason why I barely post on there [WUWT], apart from not wanting to have to wear a head-vice whilst browsing online! Take Watts on directly and he just throws his toys straight out of the pram. Ray Ladbury is fond of pointing out that having most of the idiots in one place is a good thing and I’m inclined to agree.” – John Mason, December 14, 2011

  58. Poptech,

    I can answer both of those, sure!
    Firstly,you, I, Anthony and many others on here know tons about context. But to the everyday stranger, to whom I guess you are aiming, lack of context may distort reality. Heaven forbid that is your life-goal, of course!

    Secondly, your quote of my Romm-esque post WRT WUWT: this is a bitter debate at times, in which people get snarky with one another (especially in PRIVATE). The fact that I think there is a lot of nonsense posted at times on WUWT is balanced by the fact that Anthony and friends think that there is a lot of nonsense posted at SkS, although of course I would disagree with the latter. The notion that you present this as something ‘new’ and ‘shocking’ is the more astounding. I’ve posted harsher criticism of AW at Climate Progress in the past and you have certainly posted some very harsh criticism of John Cook in the past and of late. It’s politics – simple as that – between diametrically-opposed people. The vast majority of the public have no idea that any of this is going on.
    In short: I tend to disagree with what Anthony says about climate change, and he will tend to disagree with what I say. Shock horror! But you still fail to answer why you edited the comments. Answer the question. Why?

  59. John, people can make up your own mind about your intent.

    I didn’t edit anything I quoted – no words were changed (I did correct a few spelling mistakes). I understand your embarrassment about having SkS exposed like this but you will have to get over it. You seem confused about what [...] means when quoting, I suggest a basic English education.

  60. John, people can make up their own minds about your intent.

    I didn’t edit anything I quoted – no words were changed (I did correct a few spelling mistakes). I understand your embarrassment about having SS exposed like this but you will have to get over it. You seem confused about what [...] means when quoting, I suggest a basic English education.

  61. With the appearance of multiple SS members here, it would seem that they are desperately trying to do damage control. Unfortunately this will be futile.

    REPLY: The correct abbreviation is SkS not “SS” due to the obvious negative connotations that brings. While these folks may be zealots, they aren’t anything remotely like the “SS”. Please refrain from using that abbreviation further as I’ll simply correct it to read “SkS”. – Anthony

  62. John Mason:

    The essential difference between WUWT and SkS is that SkS routinely censors the comments of scientific skeptics. Do not try to deny it; my comments have been deleted, until I no longer attempt to post at SkS.

    And SkS. is not alone in its censorship of opposing views. Most climate alarmist blogs do the same thing. They cannot allow ideas that might allow their few readers to stray off their reservation. As a result they become no more than echo chambers; unreality bubbles for their relatively small clique of devotees.

    For the same reasons, the alarmist side runs and hides out from public debates held in a neutral venue, and moderated by a mutually acceptable person. Alarmists are terrified of engaging in fair and public debates, because in the past they have invariably lost. When the public is allowed to hear both sides equally, the public makes an informed decision.

    The SkS gatekeepers cannot abide that situation. Because the basic fact of the matter is that nothing unprecedented is happening. All parameters, including temperature, tornadoes, droughts, floods, hurricanes, etc., have been routinely exceeded in the pre-industrial past. The fact is that the current climate is very benign. The mendacious catastrophic AGW scare is promoted for a lot of self-serving reasons. But scientific veracity is not one of them.

    WUWT is by far the most popular climate site because it allows all points of view consistent with site Policy. Until/unless SkS does the same thing, SkS will be seen for what it truly is: a propaganda mill with an alarmist agenda, and a narrative that must be followed. That is not any more science than Scientology.

    Finally, you are wrong about using an ellipsis, which is used everywhere. The alternative is to print every word. That would make readers’ eyes glaze over. Every newspaper uses ellipses. I suspect you have at times, too.

  63. “Answer the question. Why?”

    Pipe down. If you’d concentrated more on open and direct interaction with your supposed opponents instead of hiding behind a facade of a comment policy, a secret forum, and a gaggle of like-minded activists, you could have been in a position to make such demands.

  64. Thankyou for your advice, Poptech. I shall enroll on a correction-course without further notice, although in 1979 I did get a Grade A in English Language O Level (JMB). But that was a while ago, as I suppose you might point out. Things may have changed: for instance I struggle with text-speak (though at an almost identical age to Anthony he will have my sympathy if he has the same issue).
    However: editing hacked messages with [...] is very different from editing e.g. a press-release with a link. I do the latter in my SkS posts and people can check them out in full. Why? Because in the former case, people can go back to one page with maybe a few hundred words on it and read the lot. In your case, I can do a ‘my computer’ and see in that hack-pile what you are omitting, but Joe Public has to go to a lot of work to find the private conversations us SkSers used to have, that are being propagated via your blog, and see therefore your edits.

  65. D Böehm – I am sorry if that is how you feel about SkS. For me, it has been an amazing experience – getting to hear about new discoveries, getting to know and interviewing various scientists working in fields that interest me. It has been a voyage of discovery, meeting new friends and finding out stuff, and adding my earth science experience to the mix.

  66. D Böehm… In relation to deleted comments at SkS. You might not notice it yourself but the proportion of deleted comments at SkS is roughly equal on both sides of the debate. I’ve been the author for a few SkS articles and I’ve had lots of comments deleted. But usually I have a good idea why they get deleted. And the other folks on the “warmist” side who get deleted also generally take it as a moment to reflect on the tone or appropriateness of their comments.

    The point to heavy moderation is to keep the discussions focused and rational; to keep them focused on the science. It’s way too easy for conversations to stray way off topic and for people emotions to get the better of them. Anthony has his preferred standards here and I can’t complain about that. It’s his blog to run as he best sees fit. SkS has their preferred standards and apply them as they best see fit.

  67. John Mason,

    Are we changing the subject now? In fact, you would learn more about science right here than in the cherry-picked SkS echo chamber.

    Let me point out that the new SkS narrative is ‘hacked’ or ‘stolen’. So, prove it. Otherwise, you are just making another fact-free assertion.

    lurker passing through, laughing says:
    September 26, 2012 at 5:40 am

    “John Cook,
    SkS was dumped by its idiot owner into the public square.
    Maroon.”

    That’s about it, isn’t it? Cook admitted in private that it was probably his own screwup. But publicly the narrative must be changed to “stolen” and “hacked”.

    Nothing was stolen. Cook still has it, doesn’t he? Cook is just mad because he has been outed as admitting that he is frequently wrong about the science. But we already knew that here.

    And he is wrong. There is no runaway global warming. No statistically significant warming at all for the past decade and a half. And not a single alarmist prediction has come to pass. Not one.

    When you are wrong about every catastrophic AGW prediction, isn’t it time to admit your premise is wrong? If CO2 causes any warming, it is so insignificant that it can be disregarded for all practical purposes. No more public funds should be expended on the failed CO2=CAGW conjecture. CO2 is harmless, and beneficial to the biosphere. More is better. Falsify that, if you can.

  68. John Mason: Why not just provide your own quote of secret conversations, so that we may all see this serious breach in blog protocol. Don’t leave singing crickets instead.

    Personally, I prefer SS to SkS as it better illustrates the propaganda harm being perpetrated by y’all. GK

  69. D Böehm said… “Let me point out that the new SkS narrative is ‘hacked’ or ‘stolen’. So, prove it. Otherwise, you are just making another fact-free assertion.”

    Put the shoe on the other foot for just a moment. If Anthony’s site had been hacked and I said to him, “Prove it!” What do you suppose his reaction would be? I think he’d be more than justified in telling me to take a hike.

    Not that you would believe me but I can tell you with absolute certainty that this was a hack.

  70. Btw: The SKS was a very efficient assault rifle used by the Russians. The fore-runner of the famous AK47. Perhaps Anthony will add another letter to prevent that connotation. SSDD would work. GK

  71. John Mason:

    I write to offer you some sincere and kindly advice.

    The points made by Poptech and especially D Böehm are the common experience of all who have visited SkS, so you do your cause no good by pretending their comments indicate “how [they] feel”. Instead, you would benefit from displaying a more contrite attitude and asserting a desire to correct the flaws of SkS which are such common knowledge that SkS has lost credibility with all except the most dedicated AGW-alarmists.

    If you doubt my sincerity in providing this post then I ask you to consider how RC went from being the most followed AGW-alarmist site to becoming the irrelevance it now is because it has the same faults as SkS.

    Richard

  72. Rob Honeycutt says:

    “Not that you would believe me but I can tell you with absolute certainty that this was a hack.”

    You have my attention. Please produce your evidence.

  73. D Böehm… I don’t think you read my full comment. Put the shoe on the other foot and tell me what the most appropriate response to “produce your evidence” would be.

  74. I do wish stacyglen would learn to spell and punctuate. Reading a borderline illiterate comment is frustrating and diminishes the content. Not that I would agree, but I can’t even take it seriously.

  75. D Böehm:

    At September 26, 2012 at 2:58 pm you write:

    Rob Honeycutt says:

    “Not that you would believe me but I can tell you with absolute certainty that this was a hack.”

    You have my attention. Please produce your evidence.

    Well John Cook wrote on 23 February 2012:

    I have no idea how this happened. Several possibilities come to mind. First, I did it by accident when I was screwing around with the database sometime. Someone with admin access (there are about half a dozen SkSers with this access) made the change. Or we were hacked in some way and the hacker changed the levels. None of the options seem likely to me but the most likely is human error on my part although the fact that the admin forum was still set at admin level belies some kind of blanket wiping of all levels.

    If John Cook said it was probably not a hack then what more evidence could you need that it probably was a hack?

    Richard

  76. John Cook says:
    September 26, 2012 at 2:15 am
    … Publishing illegally obtained private correspondence comes with it’s ethical issues – one can choose to ignore ethics or justify their unethical behaviour with justifications like “the illegally obtained private details were stolen due to lax security”. Of course, the latter justification is hardly grounds for unethical behaviour but even so, it’s based on a falsehood promoted by the hacker in the same comment where he first uploaded the entire user database

    Thus speaks a supporter of Peter Glieck.

  77. John Cook says:
    September 26, 2012 at 2:15 am

    [ . . . ] The hacker gained access to an admin level user account, uploaded files onto our server and obtained a dump of our entire database. [ . . . ]

    = = = = = =

    John Cook,

    So, it was either a member of your venue’s squadron or not that had “access to an admin level user account”. What evidence do you offer that it was not an internal security issue exploited by one or more members of your venue’s squadron?

    John

  78. Rob Honeycutt says:

    “…tell me what the most appropriate response to ‘produce your evidence’ would be.”

    The most appropriate response would be to produce your evidence.

  79. D Böehm… Really? If I demanded evidence from Anthony you think his response would be to say, “Okay, my job is to make you happy so here’s what I have.”

    Mr Böehm, it’s not a concern to anyone at SkS whether or not you believe this was a hack or not. You can believe what you like, it really makes no difference as to the reality of the situation. So, no one is going to divulge any more private information to you than was already made available in the hack.

    All I will say is, take my word for it or don’t. I can tell you with absolute certainty that it was a hack.

  80. richardscourtney… The quote that you’re posting from John was made well before any research was performed. John was speculating at that point, and of course when something like this happens the first thing one does is blame yourself. It took some time to piece together what actually happened.

    Again, believe what you want. It really makes no difference.

  81. Rob Honeycutt’s comments are a good example of why SkS has its own category on the sidebar. He claimed to have “absolute certainty” that SkS was hacked.

    But with his feet held to the fire, Rob Honeycutt could not produce. If he was not trying to bluff, he needs to post evidence showing with ‘absolute certainty’ that SkS was hacked — keeping in mind that Cook privately admitted that the most likely explanation was a mistake on his part. Publicly, of course, it is a different story. Of course. It’s SkS.

  82. John Whitman said… “What evidence do you offer that it was not an internal security issue exploited by one or more members of your venue’s squadron?”

    We checked. It wasn’t.

  83. D Böehm… I never claimed that I would provide absolute certainty for you. I am saying that I was involved in the research after the hack and I have personal certainty that it was a hack, and I am absolutely certain of it. For you… You can choose to accept my words or dismiss them. It’s totally up to you. It’s not my responsibility to make you happy.

  84. Rob Honeycutt says:
    September 26, 2012 at 4:15 pm

    All I will say is, take my word for it or don’t. I can tell you with absolute certainty that it was a hack.

    = = = = = =

    Rob Honeycutt,

    It is irrelevant for you to say “take my word for it or don’t” at a venue like WUWT where the default intellectual setting is more like trust only after verifying first. So, without you providing directly the evidence requested by D Böehm, your word simply does not contain any epistemological merit.

    Rob Honeycutt, I think you are actually using the infamously non-rational mythos shown by CRU’s Phil Jones. You know, the mythos in the CG1 email from Phil Jones to Warwick Hughes were Jones says; “Why should I make the data available to you, when your aim is to try and find something wrong with it?”.

    Are you (or John Cook) withholding evidence because you know we will be analytically critical of such evidence? Well, we surely would subject any evidence you provide to highly critical analysis . . . guaranteed.

    John

  85. I am enjoying Rob Honeycutt’s backing and filling. His climbdown is amusing, because when his bluff was called, he folded.

    Rob needs to understand that WUWT is the internet’s biggest and “Best Science” site. That means evidence-free assertions are treated like evidence-free conjectures. CO2 causing catastrophic AGW is an evidence-free conjecture. When someone asks for evidence, there is the same kind of backing and filling.

    “We checked. It wasn’t.” heh They exist in their own bubble, don’t they? ☺

  86. John Whitman… That’s perfectly fine. You can interpret the whole exchange any way you wish. I clearly see things very differently than you.

  87. Rob Honeycutt says:
    September 26, 2012 at 4:27 pm

    John Whitman said… “What evidence do you offer that it was not an internal security issue exploited by one or more members of your venue’s squadron?”

    We checked. It wasn’t.

    = = = = =

    Rob Honeycutt says:

    My response to your comment is the same as my previous comment to you about D Böehm’s reasonable request to you for evidence.

    To paraphrase/highlight what I said in the previous comment:

    “Your word is irrelevant unless you provide evidence first. On an open venue it is normal to trust only after verifying with evidence first. : )”

    “Looks like you are deploying the infamous Phil Jones non-rational mythos shown in the CG1 email he sent to W. Huges. You know, when Jones says to Hughes; “Why should I make the data available to you, when your aim is to try and find something wrong with it?”.”

    Please direct us to the evidence originally requested by D Böehm. It is a reasonable request.

    John

  88. As the owner of a SKS I object to that abbreviation for these phoney skeptics, as the one is an honest piece of engineering and the other a bunch of fools, who now exposed are here to lecture WUWT on ethics and demanding we “Take their word”. Its like someone said during climate gate, integrity is like virginity, you only lose it once.

  89. The many authors of SkS articles who have posted here and might be reading this thread would regain credibility in the future if they adherred to what the SkS website purported to be as its original purpose in the first place.

    But you all have a long way to go to regain credibility from our side. Its going to take some time of showing actual objective evidence and not editing people’s comments after the fact for example. Otherwise, … well … you will be on the right hand side of the links as an untrustworthy website. Maybe you don’t care if that is the case or not. But you really should.

  90. John Mason says:

    However: editing hacked messages with [...] is very different from editing e.g. a press-release with a link. I do the latter in my SkS posts and people can check them out in full. Why? Because in the former case, people can go back to one page with maybe a few hundred words on it and read the lot. In your case, I can do a ‘my computer’ and see in that hack-pile what you are omitting, but Joe Public has to go to a lot of work to find the private conversations us SkSers used to have, that are being propagated via your blog, and see therefore your edits.

    That is not called “editing” that is called properly marking where things have been omitted from the quotes, none of which changes the context of what was quoted. It is not like it was “Romm [insult]” followed by an omitted (just joking). What is doing a “my computer”? Is that one of the computer illiterate terms you learned at SkS or is that what you call using the file manager of your operating system? Joe Public will simply learn that what is quoted is word for word from the SkS forums (I was even nice and fixed some spelling errors for you guys).

    Notice there has been no denial of what was said.

  91. Richard, Honeycutt had some kind words to say about you too,

    “Watch out, there are some serious pros out there. Vicious attack dogs like Richard Courtney frequent a number of blogs. Guys like this attack like there’s no tomorrow and have no compunction for sticking to the facts. A good response strategy needs to be formed for these guys.” – Rob Honeycutt

  92. Poptech, I think the readers of this discussion can understand that doing a ‘my computer’ involves searching through folders using Windows Explorer.

    Anyhow, the bottom line is that you have gone through a whole stack of private correspondance, searching it for what you deem to be the juicy bits, and then even editing most of those, presumably to make them seem even juicier than they were, in an attempt to show what exactly? That people say a few strong things in private that they wouldn’t say in public? In this case, that some SkS authors don’t agree with Romm’s brand of climate communication (while others do)? What on earth do you expect? Get a few dozen climate scientists in a bar discussing politics and you would soon find major differences – it’s normal for people to hold a range of views.

    FWIW here is my comment from that thread, quoted in full:

    “Typical Romm brevity in that message! All the ones I have from him are in exactly the same style…. anyhow, hopefully he will draw attention to specific issues. Yes there will be occasional errors – most peer-reviewed papers contain a few. However, I tend to agree that SkS should be careful not to act in haste – as Tom suggests, a deadline mentality is not required.

    CP posts tend to have quite a few typos in them indicative of the haste in which they are sometimes knocked out, but yes it is a breaking news site. I like the place on that basis.”

    Bombshell! Errors can occur and taking one’s time reduces the risk – Joe was quite correct in that respect. And now, I am going fishing. Happy cherrypicking!

  93. Poptech:

    re your comment at September 26, 2012 at 10:39 pm.

    Yes, and that is trivial compared to some of the lies about me on the web.

    I provide information, and – as this thread shows – the truth often hurts the likes of Honeycutt.

    Richard

  94. John Mason,
    Without pulling on waders and stepping into the rest of the discussion, you need to learn what ellipses are: an English style form indicating the text is an excerpt for which there is accompanying text which may, or may not, be relevant to the excerpted text. Excerpting is not editing, nor does it speak to context. Context is derived by the placement of the excerpt in situ in relation to the text associated with it (and the reason for ellipses in the first place). Ellipses require a prior rendition of the full text portion to be excerpted to be available, either directly, or these days, by hyperlink.

    Editorial style practice requires the use of ellipses tomaintain contextual relevance, by indicating the excerpted, quoted material lies within the context of additional (but not necessarily related) material.

    In blog/electronic text use, ellipses are placed with or without square-bracket delimiters as a courtesy to the reader that the quote is an un-edited excerpt and may not stand alone. In style practice, it’s normally appropriate to include enough of the related text to maintain the context, although naive users or users with an agenda may not do this. It’s common practice to bold the key portion of the excerpt that will be the focus of the subsequent discussion, though not required. Ellipses are three consecutive periods when within the body of a sentence, four, when they form the last part of sentence.

    A strikethrough is an edit. Words removed without ellipses are edits. Excerpts bounded by ellipses may import a contextual edit, although that should not be the intent of the user, and are intended to be used to highlight the salient content of the referenced material as an editorial convenience.

    If discussion of climate science is to proceed without any agenda but truth, participants need to be scruplulous about written technique, otherwise all that is happening is a colloquial conversation, useless to most everybody as far as discerning truth is concerned.

    e.& o.e. :)

  95. Let me see if I understand what Dr. BJ Honeycutt and “Cook the discussion” are really saying here.

    They know it was a sophisticated hack that was collecting information for a long time.

    They know it wasn’t by a SkS insider as the hacker wasn’t sophisticated enough to be a SkS insider who concealed their identity.

    How was that determined? By the same people who determined Climategate couldn’t have been brought about by an UEA-CRU insider?

    Seems to me there are only two reasons to conclude it wasn’t a SkS insider:

    1. There are no SkS insiders smart enough to hack, or to merely fake a hack with their access, nor do they know anyone who could do such even when given the insider’s access.

    2. The “security” was so poor that the pool of those who could exploit it was so vast and deep, the sheer numbers alone made the possibility of it being an SkS insider negligibly small.

  96. John Mason say, “Poptech, I think the readers of this discussion can understand that doing a ‘my computer’ involves searching through folders using Windows Explorer.”

    Actually it is incoherent and makes no sense. “My Computer” is either a desktop icon on certain versions of Microsoft Windows or a system folder in Windows Explorer. You cannot do a “My Computer”. I pointed this out to further demonstrate the abject computer illiteracy of team SkS.

    The fact that multiple key SkS team members are posting here is testimony to the fact that these are very embarrassing to the facade you guys like to show at SkS. Again I would like to point out no one is denying that these comments were said, instead you get hand waving attempts at damage control and lies that the comments were “edited”. As I already stated the context of the statements do not change because of what was omitted.

    Your comment was not that interesting which is why I did not quote it. Don’t worry though there is much, much, much more to come.

  97. Mason says:

    “…people say a few strong things in private that they wouldn’t say in public…”

    Misdirection. In the case of SkS, what was said in private was completely different from what was said in public. Their public assertions contradicted their private admissions. The public and the private SkS comments cannot both be correct, therefore one of them was dishonest. Which one?

    Common sense tells us that what was said in private was what they believed. The public statements were nothing but spin — a nicer term than ‘lies’.

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