Monday Mirthiness – The Stokes Defense

Josh writes:

If you read the comment threads at Climate Audit then you will be familiar with a character called Nick Stokes who argues the impossible and indefensible with great tenacity. Steve’s patience with him is exemplary and this thread, in particular, prompted the cartoon. 

stokes_defense

Josh

www.cartoonsbyjosh.com

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124 thoughts on “Monday Mirthiness – The Stokes Defense

  1. Well such morning mirth makes my day a much better one. We could really use some warm-mongering around here. The wind chill this morning was well below -30 C. And remember, we are south of Portland OR.

    The beleaguered weathermen, faced with having to break the news of yet another record cold night, are pleading, “Hang in there, it is only three weeks until spring!”

    Right…

  2. :> That is Nick, isn’t it?

    I like Nick BTW., he’s a sharp guy who occasionally gives you the simple truth. I just wish he’d cut back on the gymnastics routine, since the primary result of his indulging in contortions like this is that I don’t trust what he’s saying even when all he’s stating the is simple truth. And I end up feeling like an idiot for having wasted the time scrutinizing his words so closely in those rare cases.

    No hard feelings I hope Nick.

  3. @ _Jim I don’t think Nick craves attention, but, as I have observed before, given his tenacity to post hours of such bluster, I think he’s paid to do it. I could be wrong, but it’s either that, or he is terminally afflicted with XKCD disease.

  4. At least Nick Stokes is, unlike most CAGW mongers, usually polite.
    For that he deserves some respect.

  5. Delightful cartoon. Nick is the gadfly driving the regulars at Lucia, CA, etc. insane. But always polite, never a name-caller despite driving otherwise sensible people to call him an amazing suite of names–Racehorse Haynes for one. For me, a source of great amusement. His blog http://moyhu.blogspot.com/ is also worth checking periodically for those capable of enjoying his fantastic skills as a numbers analyst and graphical whiz. (Although I have chided him recently for neglecting those fields while defending the indefensible Michael Mann. But even so he provided a useful set of links to relevant court cases that caused Lucia to thank him.)

  6. As far as I can see, Nick is not dishonest. Misguided, maybe. And not a public figure. It seems a little unpleasant to run a cartoon on him.

    REPLY: Up until the current CA thread, I would agree about the “not dishonest” part. But even Steve McIntyre called him that now, and Steve does not use such labels lightly. – Anthony

  7. First, that’s knot funny. (knotologists are probably laughing everywhere)

    Knot humor:

    So, did you hear the one about two pieces of rope who got drunk and tied one on?

  8. “A Knotty Problem” meets the sharp wit of Alexander the Great Steve McIntyre.

    Also, I like what Mark Bofill wrote.

  9. It doiesn’t seem fair to mock someone because we disagree with him.

    Nick Stokes doesn’t lie. Nick Stokes isn’t personally abusive. Nick Stokes doen’t deserve derision.
    I do think Nick Stokes is wrong but I want to hear Nick Stokes so as my thoughts are challenged.

    Mocking Nick Stokes as though he is Micahel Mann demeans Josh and elevates Mann.

    REPLY: I would disagree, look at my early days of getting involved in climate debates. I was pretty much a nobody until I had an idea that ruffled some feathers, then I was labeled and derided in all sorts of ways within a week of posting the surfacestations project. Nick has elevated himself in the climate debate, he is well known by all the players. Not one person in the CA thread or here has said ‘who is Nick Stokes?”. When so many people are familiar with you across continents and venues, I think you’ve reached public persona status. William Connolley would be another example.

    Nick is the most polite troll one could hope to encounter, but it makes me wonder if he isn’t paid to do what he does. If he wasn’t polite, and got into flame wars, he would long ago have been banned. Instead, he plods along with tenacity combined with obfuscation to diminish skeptic arguments that can go on for days in threads. Many people would lose patience and tell others to “sod off”, but if your paid position requires your presence to be effective, you’d do everything you could to stay within the rules.

    I could be wrong, but that is why I think he is employed to comment on climate threads. Besides, this isn’t derision, it’s satire. Tying oneself up in knots is funny to watch.

    I should add in Nick’s defense, he was the only person on the other side (that I am aware of) of the debate to contribute to Robert E. Phelan’s (our wonderful deceased moderator) funeral. – Anthony

  10. JohnWho says:
    March 3, 2014 at 8:10 am
    So, did you hear the one about two pieces of rope who got drunk and tied one on?
    =====================================================================
    I’m a frayed knot.

  11. M Courtney,

    Nick Stokes doen’t deserve derision.

    I quite agree. I hope that this isn’t derision I’m participating in, maybe just an exasperated chuckle or two. :)

  12. “Nick Stokes” as a moniker (I am prone to think) is an assumed nom de plume, derived from his operative role or behavior, as in “Nick stokes a controversy” … were it not for his long-time exhibited behavior one would probably not be inclined to make this observation … it may be purely coincidental his surname is Stokes (I have no idea if this is, in fact, a nom de plume or his real surname).

    .

  13. Anthony writes: “I think he’s paid to do it.”

    I think this is correct. I have no idea whether that’s his real name or not, but if it’s a pseudonym it’s perfectly chosen for someone who paid or not, sees it as his function to roil the waters and stoke the fires. Either way,it’s clear to me he knows he;s talking s**** at least half the time. His sole purpose seems to be to get the skeptic beehive humming with anger and frustration….

    The best way to defuse him is to ignore him, but in practice that never works. Besides, he’s so ridiculous he’s ultimately an asset.

  14. Anthony,

    he plods along with tenacity combined with obfuscation to diminish skeptic arguments that can go on for days in threads.

    Certainly he does this. I’m a little uncomfortable in making this statement (I suspect I’m doing something wrong in saying this but can’t quite put my finger on why at this moment, but it’s the truth of my opinion and it’s pertinent) I’m pretty sure Nick argues at times in order to convey an impression that he knows perfectly well to be false. He seems to do this alot, he’s done it to me too in blog discussions. This is what I think of as ‘racehorsing’. It’s right on the hairy edge of dishonesty in my book. Put a blindfold on someone and walk them along a cliff. If they fall, did you murder them? … Pretty darn close to it, maybe. I wish he’d see this and quit it.

    But the danger of false accepting this idea about people you disagree with is large in my view. After all, plenty of people are absolutely convinced you do exactly the same thing. So I try hard to be charitable in this regard, because I think the potential for being wrong here is huge.

    Lastly, merely because Nick is devoted does not imply to me he is being paid. Again, you are devoted to these issues and it doesn’t seem strange to me that nobody is paying you.

    Heh, just my two cents. Very best regards as always.

  15. “Nick is the most polite troll one could hope to encounter, but it makes me wonder if he isn’t paid to do what he does. If he wasn’t polite, and got into flame wars, he would long ago have been banned. Instead, he plods along with tenacity combined with obfuscation to diminish skeptic arguments that can go on for days in threads. Many people would lose patience and tell others to “sod off”, but if your paid position requires your presence to be effective, you’d do everything you could to stay within the rules.”

    I agree. It seems to me that Nick’s posts serve to obfuscate the issues at hand. On occasion, he has been successful at hijacking the thread.

  16. Have I ever related to you the tale of Nick Stokes and the Just So Story?

    No hard feelings I hope, Trenberth’s Bulldog.

  17. Being in the middle of preparing my 1040 and supporting documents, it occurs to me that Josh could make a bundle by relabeling this and selling it to H&R Block
    : > )

  18. Nick can never admit that he’s wrong. Even when he’s been caught making an error. [In that Nick is no different than a certain 'Phil."] But Nick is polite, which is appreciated.

    It could always be worse. Nick appears in sharp contrast to Walter K. in that thread [starting about half way down].

  19. Sometimes I think RH Nick is disingenuous, sometimes I think he is just wrong, but I lean towards the first because his logic is too clever and crafty. I suspect he is bored and enjoys putting weak argumentation through nettled torment, but then can’t stop and goes further. I used to read and analyze what he has written, but his tortured logic, as properly diagramed in Josh’s caricature above, has slowly cost me the hope that there is a pony somewhere in his ratiocinations. So, I have left such dutiful analysis to others (and thank them for their tireless scrubbing).

  20. John Carter says:
    March 3, 2014 at 7:53 am

    At least Nick Stokes is, unlike most CAGW mongers, usually polite.
    For that he deserves some respect.
    ——————————————————————–
    That is a rare trait from the warmist believers. There are a few who will carry on a good debate without resorting to personal negatives. Not many though out there, though.

  21. A long time ago, I told Nick Stokes that I no longer considered his input worth response, yet here I am… naively posting as if Nick is merely wrongheaded. Nick, if you are reading this, I honestly believe that Josh’s cartoon captures the essence of how I view your machinations. I think that our esteemed host is right, that you are a paid troll and that highflight56433 @ March 3, 2014 at 8:29 am nailed your Nic. I also disagree with those who still consider you to be honest, as you’ve made too many posts where your position is untenable and you know it, yet knowing the truth of things, you make your arguments, anyway. You aren’t fooling anyone.

  22. @Anthony

    …As far as I can see, Nick is not dishonest. Misguided, maybe. And not a public figure. It seems a little unpleasant to run a cartoon on him.

    REPLY: Up until the current CA thread, I would agree about the “not dishonest” part. But even Steve McIntyre called him that now, and Steve does not use such labels lightly. – Anthony

    Hmm… Mr McIntyre said “..you are now starting to become dishonest…” in the context of a discussion about Mann’s methods, in which Nick was putting the best light possible on Mann’s work, while simultaneously interpreting Steve’s work in the worst light. It was a complaint that Nick was showing extreme partiality – as, of course – he always does. Testing the limits, as it were. But I don’t think partiality in this instance is to be disproved of.

    I find that Nick does a good job of subjecting anti-agw arguments to a searching examination. For that, a little hatred and extremism is a really good thing. No supporter of McIntyre’s would be able to bend over backwards to find a hole as Nick is doing, and that really ensures that AGW positions are watertight. It would be a shame if Nick was discouraged from making his (hugely partial) comments…

  23. Nick is fine.

    But what is the point in defending the Hockey Stick and criticizing Steve McIntyre’s analysis of it.

    An objective person would have seen through this mess long ago and would not be defending it.

  24. M Courtney says: March 3, 2014 at 8:16 am

    It doeisn’t seem fair to mock someone because we disagree with him.

    Inre Alinsky’s rule #5…

    Ridicule is man’s most potent weapon.

    All’s fair in love and war…and this, my friend, is decidedly not love.

  25. Nick Stokes is definitely the Teflon Don of climate discussion. I have zero respect for him, politeness not withstanding. He has been shown to be wrong on countless occasions, but just prods on as if it never happened.

    Anyone following the discussions over the years both here and CA know the guy is trying to sell a dead parrot. In my view his tactics is the epitome of dishonesty.

  26. At times, I’ve wondered if Nick Stokes has an even deeper agenda- that he does what he does in an effort to completely unveil the faulty logic and thin reasoning of the nasty efforts of the CAGW proponents. In other words, is Nick Stokes an empire- hacker? Is he devoted not to theft, or malice, but to discovering the flaws in the enviro- based attempt at control over mankind? ( I know,it’s a stretch… it’s even kind of like an argument Nick would make- wholly unsupported by apparent facts…)

  27. Read the linked discussion at CA where Steve M calls Nick out for being dishonest. Nick doesn’t even defend his statements the accusation, but rather ties up his limbs in more knots, aka obfuscate. That is not what honest people do; they acknowledge their error and concede the debate at some point.

    Nick is a AGW ideologue, a defender of the indefensible, not one that is searching for truth.

  28. resistance says:
    March 3, 2014 at 9:28 am

    OT:
    Did anyone else notice that Great Lakes ice coverage is >90%?
    __________________________
    So is my town- we’re at about 99% ice coverage.

  29. There is a lovely South African word for people who think they are so clever no one can tell they are conning, or attempting to con, everyone about them. Those with a functioning BS detector are simple ignored. The word is ‘clevah’.

    Clevah, noun, someone who thinks they are so much smarter than those around them they can pull the wool over their eyes at will, often for the purpose of swindling but also for feeding a sense of superiority. Plural, ‘Clevahs’. Synonym: con artist of an intellectual or practical type.

    There are a couple of clevahs who hang around WUWT and who engage in obfuscation and thread-jacking simply because it is fun to see if they can get away with it. Sincerity is obviously not a major part of the game. One practical use of such behavior is to get a feeling for how well your opponents can explain their position. Holes in logic or fact can be exploited at other sites where comforting arguments can be created to support the morale of the catastrophists.

    Because CAGW relies to a great extent for its success as a meme on the ignorance of the general public, polite trolling for arguments and sowing seeds of doubt about the veracity of proper science may prolong the CO2-heat-thing for another year or more, bringing temporary benefit to those with their hooks in the public trough.

    I don’t know if his name is real, but his arguments are not and he knows it. He is not a playah, he is a clevah who ties himself in knots.

  30. Crispin in Waterloo…: says: March 3, 2014 at 9:33 am

    Clevah, noun, someone who thinks they are so much smarter than those around them they can pull the wool over their eyes at will, often for the purpose of swindling but also for feeding a sense of superiority.

    Interesting. Never having been interested enough to pursue it, I’ve often thought this to be an element (if not THE element) that motivates the tin foil hat crowd.

  31. Alan Robertson says:
    March 3, 2014 at 9:32 am

    resistance says:
    March 3, 2014 at 9:28 am

    OT:
    Did anyone else notice that Great Lakes ice coverage is >90%?
    __________________________
    So is my town- we’re at about 99% ice coverage.

    —————————————————————————————–
    I think North America is somewhere > 80% ice coverage at the moment. (Snow is just a form of naturally occurring shaved ice)

  32. JM VanWinkle says: “Sometimes I think RH Nick is disingenuous, sometimes I think he is just wrong…his tortured logic, as properly diagramed in Josh’s caricature above, has slowly cost me the hope that there is a pony somewhere in his ratiocinations….”

    After observing the Stokes for a long time, I’ve come to the conclusion that there are two of him. One is intelligent, sincere (mostly) and sometimes even useful. The other is the complete opposite, making idiotic knee-jerk statements in defense of the indefensible, and hijacking threads in the service of trolldom, leaving the other Nick Stokes the task of turning his dog’s breakfast of an argument into something remotely sensible. Often, this is impossible, too deep a hole having been dug.

  33. I don’t know who Nick Stokes is. Given what I’m reading here, I think the cartoon would be more effective if Mr. Stokes’s name were removed from it, and it were used instead to reference any circuitous and illogical argument no matter who does the arguing. Sometimes that person above is me. (Is there a feminine version?)

    Stokes sounds like a nice guy, judging from the comments here. Perhaps his objections (even if they are convoluted) will sharpen the minds of his opponents, so cherish your gadfly. In any case, you’ve at least brought him some publicity and the old saying goes that there’s no such thing as bad publicity. I hope Mr. Stokes can make the most of it and get a hearty laugh as well from his caricature.

    For my money, though, if indeed he argues the political ideas without malice — he deserves an award. There’s so few these days who do that, you know!

  34. First time I’ve heard of him. Glad I have the “handle”. Like other “media noise” in my life, I can turn the filter on and rid myself of it. Anthony, yet ANOTHER service you have done us!

  35. Crispin in Waterloo where it is -24 C this sunny March morning says: March 3, 2014 at 9:33 am

    ‘Clevah…’ I think you could be on to the source of this knotty problem.

    ‘Kleva’ is Bislama pidgin for ‘a traditional magician, seer, prophet or sorcerer’.

    From ‘Man Belong Mrs Queen’ (sic.) about Tanna where people worship the Duke of Edinburgh (an excellent book).

  36. A plausible hypothesis for the provenance of the “Nick Stokes” comments is the computer program called SCigen, which is credited with generating at least 120 peer reviewed, published papers comprised of vaguely scientific sounding gibberish. The number 120 is the number that were reported to have been withdrawn by the hoodwinked journals (and presumably reviewers who did not take their responsibility very seriously). A link is at http://www.nature.com/news/publishers-withdraw-more-than-120-gibberish-papers-1.14763.

    This hypothesis is consistent with politeness, lack of clear connectivity, indefatigability, etc. It would also defeat google searches for other occurrences since it presumably draws from random distributions to connect sentences and words. Thus Nick may not be a he or a she, but instead an it.

  37. You folks are not asking the correct questions to dear Nick. People are much more, IMO, honest, when you know their identity. Unfortunately for Nick, I’m pretty good at that stuff

    So lets work with the following assumptions:

    Nick says he is an Australian scientist, but not a climate scientist.
    He says he is located in
    Location Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

    However his blog is called Moyhu. well Moyhu is a small town in North East Victoria, Australia. It is situated approximately 2.5 hours’ drive from Melbourne.

    The source if his koala picture is from a server in California.

    He is pro AGW

    He is a plodder, polite, donated to a moderator’s funeral.

    If he is in California, he likely donates to things he supports. Perhaps politicians, which must be disclosed most of the time via publi records.

    (My guess is white male between 45 – 65 years old, but of course, this profile will be massaged as I progress)

    Bearing time constraints I should be able to find who Nick is. I have started with much less in my profiling work.

    Seems to me like he should be entitled to the same respect he shows others.

  38. Juan Slayton says:
    March 3, 2014 at 8:56 am

    Being in the middle of preparing my 1040 and supporting documents, it occurs to me that Josh could make a bundle by relabeling this and selling it to H&R Block
    : > )

    Of course! Change the title line to “IRS Regulations” or simply “IRS Reg” and it would go viral.

  39. Not that someone else couldn’t have that name, but…

    “Nicholas “Nick” Stokes is a fictional character on the CBS crime drama CSI: Crime Scene Investigation. Stokes is portrayed by George Eads and appears in the majority of episodes.” Wikipedia

  40. On the other hand, one could note with some justice that I tend to sympathize with trolls in the first place. :) I like to fight and I don’t mind the smell so much. I’m probably like one of those darn annoying CAGWer’s going on about bio diversity, except with me it’s blog bio diversity. You’ve got to watch out for the environment and protect the gadflies and the trolls because they help breakdown and decompose the B.S. that tends to pile up in the corners, yadda yadda yadda, otherwise echo chamber sterile boring, blah blah blah, yeah, ok Mark give it a rest.

    But I can’t help it. I think there should be a proper field of study; trolls, tactics, and habitats. I should probably start my own blog and call it the trollhole or something. Except what self respecting troll would visit such a site.

    oh well.

  41. Within a reasonable degree of probability, I have found him. Not difficult to do at all. Seems legit. My opinion is that he doesn’t need to be paid: it’s genuine interest. He may troll, but I doubt he gets paid. If Anthony wants him, let me know and I will send him my result.

  42. About a year ago I concluded he is a paid troll and that “Nick Stokes” is not a true name — it stands for “nickname who stokes energy-wasting combat in the deniers’ forums”, I reckon.

  43. “Clevah, noun, someone who thinks they are so much smarter than those around ”

    We have that in North American, but we call them “Clavens”, as in “Cliff Claven”, bar stool intellectual from “Cheers”.

  44. Nick fakes me out all the time. I keep reading and get the rest of the story though.
    Definitely smart, persistent, civil.
    Can’t peg him. Seems like “paid” is possible.
    First cartoon on XKCD nailed him
    Anyone ever meet him in person? If yes, what’s he like?
    RR

  45. @Sherry Moore says:
    March 3, 2014 at 10:19 am

    “Bearing time constraints I should be able to find who Nick is. I have started with much less in my profiling work.”

    You should apply your profiling talents to Wotts, who runs the And Then There’s Physics warmist blog…

  46. Verity Jones says: March 3, 2014 at 11:06 am
    ” I hope he realises this is affectionate teasing.”
    Thanks, Verity, yes I quite liked the cartoon. I’m used to being characterised as a Black Knight, so it’s a relief to just have a topological problem.

    Sorry to be late to the threadjacking, but as Sherry has now figured, I think, I do live in the land where koalas grow, and it’s 6.30 am. As to being paid, well, I’m afraid Sherry’s “white male between 45 – 65 years old” is a little on the optimistic side. I’m enjoying my retirement.

  47. I’m with you, Anthony – I think he is a paid shill/propagandist. But apart from being a minor annoyance to the rest of us, he’s utterly ineffective.

  48. “Tom in Florida says:
    March 3, 2014 at 8:17 am
    JohnWho says:
    March 3, 2014 at 8:10 am
    So, did you hear the one about two pieces of rope who got drunk and tied one on?
    =====================================================================
    I’m a frayed knot.”

    Did they get hitched?

  49. John Carter says:
    March 3, 2014 at 7:53 am

    At least Nick Stokes is, unlike most CAGW mongers, usually polite.
    For that he deserves some respect.

    Dodgy Geezer says:
    March 3, 2014 at 8:01 am

    As far as I can see, Nick is not dishonest. Misguided, maybe. And not a public figure. It seems a little unpleasant to run a cartoon on him.

    Nick is doing his best to push policies that he knows hurt, impoverish, and even kill the poor. You can rub his tummy and blow in his ear all you want, you can say he deserves respect and we shouldn’t poke fun at him.

    Me, I stand back, look at what his polite and “not dishonest” claims cost the poor of the world, and spit on him. He deserves no respect at ll, none. He’s doing his best to cast honest men as liars, and liars as honest men. For him, truth is immaterial, as long as he doesn’t have to admit that he is wrong. This is not innocent behavior. It’s not funny or cutesy. It is damaging and destructive.

    For me, he’s playing games with his damn word fiddle while Rome burns. I don’t think he even believes many of the ideas he puts forward, and indeed, as you can see by the cartoon, in many cases there’s no way his ideas make coherent sense.

    But the ideas he pushes and supports are still hurting, impoverishing, and killing the poor, and while the cartoon is funny, the end results of his actions are not humorous or entertaining in the slightest.

    w.

  50. Believe it or knot, a ‘two-fer’!
    Seen on a bumper sticker:
    Dyslexics of the World – Untie!

  51. Nick Stokes is a dyed in the wool leftie who worshiped Julia Gillard and Kevin Rudd whilst they were Prime Ministers of Australia and they were fleecing the Australian people. No respect from me.

  52. Willis,

    That’s true. Maybe I’m so starved for opposition that will at least give me the legitimacy of civilized argument that I overlook that. God knows I clown around in the face of this with my lame attempts to be funny, and as you say, real people are getting hurt, impoverished, or killed.

    Sobering thought. Not one I enjoyed hearing, but maybe I needed to. Thanks.

  53. Hey! I really like the “new” Willis say it as it is..and of course he’s mostly right! as for Stoke’s..stick your head above a parapet and??

  54. Nick Stokes says:
    March 3, 2014 at 11:36 am

    “…Sorry to be late to the threadjacking…”

    *

    :D I do like this, it gave me a chuckle. I’m glad you like the cartoon, Nick, in your shoes, I’d have it on my wall by now. I will add that, although I don’t agree with your arguments, I do enjoy reading any thread you contribute to. The conversation can get enjoyably lively sometimes and keeps me reading.

  55. Mycroft,

    Stick his head above a parapet and what?

    Willis has a point, this isn’t a game. I’m not going to go reading more into what Willis said than he actually said though. If the point is to kick Nick’s virtual butt on this thread, you can count me out. Using WUWT to do that is like using a bull dozer to crush a weasel. Maybe I’m a wussie who lacks the courage of his convictions, whatever, I’ve live with that. I think I’m done on this topic.

  56. Nick Stockes is a paid shrill. He comes here to obfuscate and confuse and neutralize. He is definitely here to try to keep the AGW hype going and especially when evidence is 100% against and serious repercusions for all the AGW University jobs etc.as posted in CA. BTW he is a result of the very poor higher education that Australian Universities became in thje mid 80’s. Skeptical Science *web site) people are also a result of that, its obvious…

  57. I’m willing to give Nick Stokes honesty the benefit of the doubt. By that I mean that he seems to honestly believe the CAGW stuff. But I haven’t encountered him as much as some of you so maybe I’m wrong.
    If he’s more honest than deceptive then I hope he takes the cartoon as Reagan took this. He loved it.

  58. My analogy for arguing with Warmists is that it’s like ‘trying to nail jelly to the wall’.
    The moment at which you present them with scientific facts or evidence which contradicts their beliefs they simply yield and immediately assert a new and usually unrelated article of their faith.
    They do tie themselves in knots…but mostly there’s no substance to their arguments!

  59. Is Nick Stokes paid to argue? I don’t know – it doesn’t matter to me.
    Does he promote policies that I believe are harmful? Yes, but that is why I disagree with him. And I often think he has got the wrong end of the stick with respect to proxies and models.

    But I still want to hear from Nick Stokes. He argues his case well. Whether for money or conviction doesn’t matter to me. His case is well put without scorning his opponents.

    To me this is a case of freedom of speech. If he is mocked then his words are weakened and our counter-arguments can’t be honed on weak speech.

    The open and welcoming commenting policy is one of the great virtues of WUWT.
    I am only an irregular commenter here and recognise that my opinion is just one in many – isn’t it nice that you can hear it?

  60. Jeff says:
    March 3, 2014 at 12:05 pm
    Did they get hitched?
    ——————————
    If they did, it’s noose to me.

  61. I agree with the comment above: while I usually disagree with Nick’s arguments, he is almost always polite – even whilst being severely outnumbered – and that places him heads-and-shoulders above most of those arguing for the AGW hypothesis.

  62. Sherry Moore says:
    March 3, 2014 at 10:40 am

    “Within a reasonable degree of probability, I have found him.”
    Sherry, have you learned nothing from this blog? We demand numbers here. Where are your error bars? How certain are you? 90%? 95%? 97%?
    To paraphrase Marx, we have standards here. And if you don’t like them, we have others.

  63. Max Hugoson says:
    March 3, 2014 at 10:15 am

    First time I’ve heard of him. Glad I have the “handle”

    He used to comment here regularly, but after Climate etc. began he left us be.

    I doubt if he’s paid; but maybe he works for a warmist-leaning organization that lets him use some of his work time blogging.

  64. geran says:
    March 3, 2014 at 1:47 pm

    As Willis makes such good points, maybe Stokes should be disallowed at sites like this….

    Egads, no. Either our ideas win because they are correct, or not at all. Censorship has no place in scientific discussions.

    w.

  65. Willis Eschenbach says:
    March 3, 2014 at 12:05 pm
    “For him [speaking of Stokes], truth is immaterial, as long as he doesn’t have to admit that he is wrong. This is not innocent behavior. It’s not funny or cutesy. It is damaging and destructive.”

    M Courtney says:
    March 3, 2014 at 2:02 pm
    “But I still want to hear from Nick Stokes. He argues his case well. Whether for money or conviction doesn’t matter to me.”
    >>>>>

    Some folks just love to bathe in lies.

  66. Willis Eschenbach says:
    March 3, 2014 at 12:05 pm

    John Carter says:
    March 3, 2014 at 7:53 am

    At least Nick Stokes is, unlike most CAGW mongers, usually polite.
    For that he deserves some respect.

    Dodgy Geezer says:
    March 3, 2014 at 8:01 am

    As far as I can see, Nick is not dishonest. Misguided, maybe. And not a public figure. It seems a little unpleasant to run a cartoon on him.

    Nick is doing his best to push policies that he knows hurt, impoverish, and even kill the poor. You can rub his tummy and blow in his ear all you want, you can say he deserves respect and we shouldn’t poke fun at him.

    Willis:

    People say all the same things about me because I am a sceptic and I promote the use of science over rhetoric… Being a sceptic means that I’m hurting the poor and killing babies — just because I am a sceptic

    I am trying hard to see the difference. So, what’s the big deal?

  67. Alan Robertson says:
    March 3, 2014 at 9:32 am

    resistance says:
    March 3, 2014 at 9:28 am

    OT:
    Did anyone else notice that Great Lakes ice coverage is >90%?
    __________________________
    So is my town- we’re at about 99% ice coverage.

    Shovel-ready.

  68. Willis Eschenbach says:
    March 3, 2014 at 2:28 pm
    “Censorship has no place in scientific discussions.”
    >>>>>>
    Yup.

  69. Dodgy Geezer says:
    March 3, 2014 at 8:01 am
    As far as I can see, Nick is not dishonest. Misguided, maybe. And not a public figure. It seems a little unpleasant to run a cartoon on him.
    Hm, “the internet never forgets”… I read once his arguments and that was enough for me:

    http://rankexploits.com/musings/2012/court-ruling-on-mannati-case/

    That does not look misguided to me but rather like a lawyer trying to find an escape route for “his” client, not as someone who tries honestly to say a fair opinion.

  70. Lol – when re-reading the old link I just posted above, I found this comment from Lucia (Comment #94422) :
    “If Nick doesn’t see this as appearing to agree… welll… okey-dokey. But I think one has to twist themselves into a pretzel to not read this as appearing to agree. “

  71. Nick Stokes March 3, 2014 at 11:36 am says:

    @Verity Jones March 3, 2014 at 11:06 am who said, ” I hope he [Stokes] realises this is affectionate teasing.”

    Thanks, Verity, yes I quite liked the cartoon. I’m used to being characterised as a Black Knight, so it’s a relief to just have a topological problem.
    Sorry to be late to the threadjacking, but as Sherry has now figured, I think, I do live in the land where koalas grow, and it’s 6.30 am. As to being paid, well, I’m afraid Sherry’s “white male between 45 – 65 years old” is a little on the optimistic side. I’m enjoying my retirement.

    – – – – – – – –

    Nick Stokes,

    I am also enjoying my retirement. Viva to retirement.

    Glad you appeared here on this post of Josh’s cartoon of you! Maybe you can get a hand signed copy with an note from him addressed to you? I would.

    When I am at a blog where you are commenting, I almost always read your comments. I don’t recall ever actually agreeing with your premises, conclusions or arguments. I must say that you often create oblique interesting points and some surprising tidbits of objective clarity . . . but I often find they are not focused on the relevant thrust of what ‘on the surface’ you are arguing.

    Cheers to the idea that “A free and open rational society is a very intensely argumentative place”

    John

  72. I fear we are only feeding the narcissist.

    If the subject were a “Spawn” character, he would be “The Obfuscator”.

  73. @Willis Eschenbach says:
    March 3, 2014 at 12:05 pm
    “…
    He’s doing his best to cast honest men as liars, and liars as honest men.
    …”

    Well said Willis!

    Quandry: how does Mr. Stokes hijack a thread about himself?

  74. John Whitman says March 3, 2014 at 3:41 pm

    When I am at a blog where you are commenting, I almost always read your comments.

    John, let me ask your opinion on a subject, the subject being “Intellectually-honest and intellectually-dishonest debate tactics”

    Do you have any qualms in engaging with another poster who does not *agree* to the same set of (formal or informal) ‘ground rules’ as the balance of the posters in debate (on any given internet forum)?

    Every one of us has, at some level, a sense of right and wrong, a sense of what is valid or invalid, and this would seem to be at the ‘heart’ of this “Nick Stokes (controversy and dissent)” issue … it is almost as if (to many in the audience here) as if the senior Demon (Screwtape) or his nephew (Wormwood), the Junior Tempter (albeit at a later date when he has acquired more experience) had stepped onto center stage (and so is born the “devil’s advocate” concept) in the theaters in which Nick appears.

    Intellectually honest tactics – There are two intellectually-honest debate tactics:
    1. pointing out errors or omissions in your opponent’s facts
    2. pointing out errors or omissions in your opponent’s logic

    On the flip side, according to the essay in the link above written by John T. Reed there are 54 Intellectually-dishonest debate tactics, including these first eleven:

    1. Name calling
    2. Changing the subject
    3. Questioning the motives of the opponent
    4. Citing irrelevant facts or logic
    5. False premise
    6. Hearsay
    7. Unqualified expert opinion
    8. Sloganeering
    9. Motivation end justifies dishonest means
    10. Cult of personality
    11. Vagueness
    … and 43 more …

    PS. There is also this, from the story The Devil and Tom Walker – “Old Nick“, a colloquialism for the devil as indicated by the name of the character in the story.

    .

  75. Peter Miller says:
    March 3, 2014 at 12:28 pm
    But most important of all, Nick Stokes is an anagram of Coke Stinks.
    =============
    1. Socket Sink
    2. Socket Skin
    3. Sockets Ink
    4. Sockets Kin
    5. Cokes Stink
    6. Cokes Knits
    7. Coke Stinks

  76. wbrozek says March 3, 2014 at 5:34 pm

    Sorry, we cannot do that. ☺ I think he is a mathematical genius.

    Perhaps we can just ‘ban’ him from entertaining (having any contact with) logic or reason then?

    /mild sarc
    .

  77. Nick is a hair splitter. If you split a hair fine enough eventually you end up with something that isn’t hair. It is sweat or shampoo or dandruff or oil or wax, but not hair.

    So Nick takes an enormous pile of BS. As big as the earth. And he keeps on splitting it finer and finer until all that is left is a single atom of gold, or maybe only the electron from an atom of gold, or maybe even less than that. At which point he proclaims, “see I told you it was gold”.

  78. wbrozek says March 3, 2014 at 5:34 pm
    I think he is a mathematical genius.
    =========
    The term BS Savant comes to mind. As in BS Baffles Brains.

  79. _Jim says:
    March 3, 2014 at 5:23 pm

    John Whitman says March 3, 2014 at 3:41 pm

    When I am at a blog where you are commenting, I almost always read your comments.

    John, let me ask your opinion on a subject, the subject being “Intellectually-honest and intellectually-dishonest debate tactics”
    Do you have any qualms in engaging with another poster who does not *agree* to the same set of (formal or informal) ‘ground rules’ as the balance of the posters in debate (on any given internet forum)?

    – – – – – – – – –

    _Jim,

    That is a great question.

    Before, I answer, please note I only very very briefly scanned the content at the link you included.

    My answer is intellectual integrity is the basis of my answer.

    One part of my answer is if a person is intellectually honest then hell yes I want to debate with them if the context and content of the subject suits me.

    If the person is of unknown integrity, then still hell yes . . . engage if the context and content of the subject suits me.

    If the person turns out to be mixed bag of integrity, then still hell yes to continue debate if the context and content of the subject suits me; because the subject is my concern not the person is the overriding value to me.

    If the person is previously known to be completely lacking in intellectual integrity, it depends on what his/her philosophical base is that determines if I want to debate with him/her. If the philosophy is one which I think needs exposure as irrational then it is important to debate to expose that. If the philosophy is one that is rational then it wouldn’t be bad to have a debate to figure out the root cause of the person’s integrity issues; to figure it out due to curiosity. If the person’s philosophy is just a random collection of popular slogans . . . then hell no I do not want to debate with the person.

    NOTE: Don’t you think a part of debating here is the profound love of it? I do. And WUWT is a great venue in which to do it.

    As a parting thought, need to go over as to what intellectual integrity is. My thought is it has to do with an integrated approach and process as opposed to a disintegrated ones.

    John

  80. Alan Robertson says:
    March 3, 2014 at 9:04 am

    “Nick, … You aren’t fooling anyone.”

    Oh, he’s fooling Legions. Dontchaknow?

  81. Having read enough posts on this site by Nick Stokes, I agree with Willis Eschenbach’s characterization of the man. His is NOT the monologue of the well-meaning fool, but just that of a fool.

  82. Nick likes to be in the kitchen. So he shouldn’t get upset when he gets roasted. Remember the hayday of political cartoons in the New Yorker? Bring those days back. I loved those cartoons. Way to go Josh! And I think Nick will show some class by laughing with us.

  83. You go, Nick. We need everyone pushing to get this right. It may seem we are pushing from opposite sides of the stone, but the net effect is the stone edges incrementally up the hill.

  84. geran says: March 3, 2014 at 1:47 pm

    As Willis makes such good points, maybe Stokes should be disallowed at sites like this….

    I think Nick adds value, regardless of his motivations. He should be allowed to express his opinions here and anywhere else he’d like.

    REPLY: I second that, Nick violates no rules, he may be obtuse, even irritating, but he does make people think – Anthony

  85. Nick Stokes says: March 3, 2014 at 6:22 pm

    Sherry, my identity has never been a secret. I have even, on request, pointed Anthony to a site with a photo.

    Hello Nick, were you the “team leader for Fastflo”?

    http://www.csiro.au/communication/mediarel/mr96117.htm

    I have been impressed with the data on your website;

    http://moyhu.blogspot.com.au/p/temperature-trend-viewer.html

    and have incorporated some of your animations;

    http://moyhu.blogspot.com.au/p/sst-regional-movies-as-described-here-i.html

    onto the WUWT reference pages. You should keep fighting the fight here at WUWT, as it is often perspectives like yours that help to challenge our understandings, hone our arguments and drive this debate forwards.

  86. Here’s an example of Stokes being caught out by Lucia.

    “Nick (writes)
    My guess is that Greenpeace weighted this against the cost, which they had hoped to reduce, and withdrew.

    Lucia (observes)
    It appears you’ve changed your guess and have come around to my view. Previously, you wrote….

    Nick (in an earlier comment)
    Greenpeace presumably bowed out because they did not like their chances.”

    Josh, do a cartoon mate, entitled –
    Arguing with Warmists…like nailing jelly to the wall.

  87. “For {Stokes}, truth is immaterial, … the end results of his actions are not humorous or entertaining in the slightest.”

    Willis Eschenbach at 12:05pm today

    Amen.
    (that reminds me… IhavebeenprayingasIsaidIwould, w. — hope all is well)

    THAT bore repeating and with emphasis. While, so far, Mr. Stokes should not be banned, those who think that he is a sincere, honest, person are either kidding themselves or do not know the man. Use him as a Devil’s advocate if you like, but always remember this: Stokes is a vile narcissist who by his misinformation makes himself for the mere sake of getting attention an enemy of all that is true and good.

    And you know what his response to this comment would be? Glee. The man is SICK.

  88. Take it as a compliment Nick. You seem to be the Eddie the Eagle of the climate world.

  89. A little googling quickly determined that Nick Stokes, BSc MSc PhD, was employed at CSIRO Mathematical and Information Sciences.
    On the blog, “The Air Vent”, he left the following comment:
    “You’ll be pleased to know that I have retired from CSIRO quite some time ago, and for more than five years haven’t been accepting funding from anyone.
    But I’m very happy to talk about GCM’s and the Navier-Stokes equations. I even did a bit of a riff on the subject here. It’s nearly a year ago, but comments are still open.”

    http://noconsensus.wordpress.com/2011/09/06/life-in-tha-fast-lane/

  90. At times Nick brings something worthwhile but often his puerile argument hinges on how a sentence is parsed or how a word is used rather than the topic at hand. He frequently does that at Climate Audit because I think he knows it gets under Steve’s skin. I call him Humpty Dumpty.

    “When I use a word,” Humpty Dumpty said in rather a scornful tone, “it means just what I choose it to mean – neither more nor less.”

    I would grant him this much: his output across the blogosphere is astonishing.

  91. Just The Facts says: March 3, 2014 at 9:11 pm
    “Hello Nick, were you the “team leader for Fastflo”?”

    Yes, that’s me. Thanks for the kind remarks.

  92. March 3, 2014 at 12:05 pm | Willis Eschenbach says:

    “For him, truth is immaterial, as long as he doesn’t have to admit that he is wrong.”

    Willis this is a typical trait of the socialist Left in Australia … even with a tsunami of evidence confronting their ‘misbelief’, they refuse to admit wrong. Our ex-PM, ju-LIAR Gillard still maintains that she “did nothing wrong” despite the mountain of evidence suggesting that she clearly and knowingly did do something very wrong … a reason why she was dismissed from her lawyer position and will never practice law again.

  93. @ W Eschenbach

    …Nick is doing his best to push policies that he knows hurt, impoverish, and even kill the poor. …… He’s doing his best to cast honest men as liars, and liars as honest men. For him, truth is immaterial, as long as he doesn’t have to admit that he is wrong. This is not innocent behavior. It’s not funny or cutesy. It is damaging and destructive.

    I’m not claiming that Nick Stokes is attractive. I’m saying that our systems for unearthing scientific truth depend on adversarial investigation. For that to work, you need a competent adversary. Too many scientific supporters of AGW simply refuse to connect with the science and deal with inconvenient data by other means – smearing their opponent or censoring them, for instance. We NEED people like Nick Stokes in order to credibly disprove the AGW hypothesis.

    Whether Nick Stokes’ proposals will damage humanity or not is irrelevant to this point. If he is really arguing a position he doesn’t believe, then he is an immoral person who does not deserve respect. He may believe that what he says is balanced, of course. But either way, Science, and Nature, do not care about such issues….

  94. Nick should definitely be allowed to stay. He is the skeptics best friend and only servees to further their cause LOL (like many warmist, Nuticelli SKS are other examples even Flannery etc replies are the best proof that AGW is total BS)

  95. ***
    Willis Eschenbach says:
    March 3, 2014 at 12:05 pm

    For me, he’s playing games with his damn word fiddle while Rome burns.
    ***

    Yes. That, and his skills are woefully misapplied.

  96. John Whitman says March 3, 2014 at 6:55 pm

    NOTE: Don’t you think a part of debating here is the profound love of it? I do. And WUWT is a great venue in which to do it.

    Yes … and none finer I would say. Anywhere else (excepting perhaps FreeRepublic) one would get banned immediately (as on DU, where just asking a few pointed Q’s resulted in an immediate banning) or immediately set upon by the hive-minded … even though we may ‘rib’ mercilessly those with the really ‘nutty’ ideas …

    .

  97. Observation #1

    Nick Stokes is an asset to an open and free dialog. One does not need to agree with one word he ever said in order to say that.

    – – – – – –

    Observation #2

    Janice Moore says:
    March 3, 2014 at 9:31 pm

    [. . .]

    And you know what his [Nick Stokes] response to this comment would be? Glee. The man is SICK.

    Janice,

    I will always value his commenting when compared to that kind of comment of yours.

    John

  98. I think Stokes realizes he was wrong in the Feb 27 thread at Climate Audit, but simply can’t bring himself to admit it. Trying to cover a mistake makes one look increasingly foolish, but fools often miscalculate the effect.

  99. Well, on second thought, even the most repulsive felon has the right to legal representation.
    Nick has skill at arguing black is white and up is down.
    he does engage the brain, as I attempt to follow his comments, only to annoy me when I realize he has done it again.
    Great math skills? Apparently, logical argument? Ummm.

  100. I first ‘crossed swords’ with Nick Stokes nearly 5 years ago at Jennifer’s blog. At the time, he appeared to have no understanding of the Chem 101 concept: solubility.

    http://jennifermarohasy.com/2009/05/relative-humidity-has-been-falling/?cp=1

    Nick’s comment is at the bottom of the barrel — I mean bottom of the page. In retrospect, it was not very sporting of me to have a battle of wits with an unarmed man.

    BTW, the Josh cartoon is spot-on!

  101. Just The Facts says:
    March 3, 2014 at 8:49 pm
    geran says: March 3, 2014 at 1:47 pm

    As Willis makes such good points, maybe Stokes should be disallowed at sites like this….

    I think Nick adds value, regardless of his motivations. He should be allowed to express his opinions here and anywhere else he’d like.

    REPLY: I second that, Nick violates no rules, he may be obtuse, even irritating, but he does make people think – Anthony

    A secondary point is that most Climate Realist blogs have freedom of speech. For example, you can disagree with a blog post here as long as you’re civil about it.

    Warmist blogs, like realclimate, are a different ball of wax. If you express a Politically Incorrect opinion — even a politely expressed, well reasoned opinion, backed up by evidence — your comment will be deleted. What are they so afraid of? The truth?

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