Weekend Open Thread and Poll

open_thread

I’m busy with other things today, so an open thread is called for. I’m also asking readers to consider a question.

Topics from previous open threads are fair game, such as the poll on a climate skeptic society.

Some people have asked about threaded comments again. We’ve tried them before, and they weren’t popular…but maybe now that some other blogs have tried them (notably Judith Curry’s) perhaps people are more comfortable with the idea here.

The advantage of threaded comments is that replies to specific comments appear in context with them and it makes discussions easier because there is less scrolling involved. The disadvantage of threaded comments is that not everyone follows that convention, and some comments become orphans, way down at the bottom of the pile.

The difference is nested comments in context vs. one long linear string of comments.

 

125 thoughts on “Weekend Open Thread and Poll

  1. I would like to ask people to comment on the limits that the warmists put on estimates of climate sensitivity, however defined. They somehow estimate a probability density function, (pdf) whatever that is, and seem to claim that this pdf is the equivalent to the sort of +/- values one gets when one makes a proper measurement. Do these limits have any meaning at all? I cannot understand how one can put limits on an estimate, or from what I can see, is actually little more than a guess.

  2. The downside of threaded comments is that they encourage hijacking of a thread (or several threads). I realize that my claim might seem counterintuitive but my experience tells me that it is true.

    I think WUWT has the best discussions on the web and it would be a mistake to change the format.

  3. Unsure. They’re OK but you can’t tell when the comments were posted. if I was going to ever come up with a blog hosting website I would make the comments sortable on time. Why not have tab sort of thing like Windows Explore or Outlook where posts can be sorted on time, subject name, commenter name… I’ll share the profits…

  4. The disadvantage of threaded comments is that not everyone follows that convention, and some comments become orphans, way down at the bottom of the pile.

    I find that disadvantage to be a major one. It also results in trolls more easily hijacking threads. you wind up with these long strings of two people screaming “did not” and “did to” at each other and you have to scroll through them to find new comments worth considering. I find threaded comments to be very disruptive to the flow of the discussion, particularly on posts with large numbers of comments.

  5. My experience on Climate Etc (where only one indent level is allowed) is that it’s worse than a straight list where ppl can quote as well as link the date-stamp and permalink if they wish.

    Theading at C.E gives the impression of threading without actually achieving it.

    If there were several levels it may work better.

    I attempted a discussion with John Kennedy following my article on HadSST. With the best will on both sides it was an uphill struggle to follow even our own comments. On several occasions we just broke of and started again at the bottom.

    Reply notification may help but with high volume sites like CE and WUWT, you’d want to be feeling really lonesome before turning on comment notification.

  6. I find both formats good and bad. I want the choice.

    In the 21st century, is it really too difficult to allow the user to set the option? Come on WordPress!

  7. That reminded me – time to make a donation to WUWT. Come on lads, it’s worth the price of a pint every now and then, isn’t it?

  8. there is less scrolling involved.
    ====
    we’re all pretty good with copy and paste….
    ….no need for threaded at all

    ..for all of the above reasons

  9. But here’s my – somewhat political – Open Thread question: When the asylum seekers have reduced their chosen countries of asylum into the piles of dust and rubble from which they sought asylum: where will they go next?

  10. I voted no
    But I would ask if possible to put the latest comments on top and not at the bottom to reduce scrolling required if you want to reply with a phone device

  11. Alternatively
    It would be great if the reader could chose whether last comment on top or first comment on top
    If that were possible

  12. As background: While I’m skeptical about AGW, I don’t follow the issue too closely.

    The way I think of the starting point issue (“Is there global warming?”) is something like this: temperatures have probably been higher than usual in the 1990s and 2000s but not as alarming as the very spiky hockey-sticks.

    When I put this to a friend recently, he said that Mann’s hockey stick has been confirmed by the “PAGES 2K” study and pointed me to this link: http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2013/07/08/2261531/most-comprehensive-paleoclimate-reconstruction-confirms-hockey-stick/#

    Searching, I found a post on Climate Audit that questioned some data used in the PAGES-2K study.

    So, my question is: was the hockey-stick right after all? not right, but not that off after all? or what?

    Is there any post that refutes the arguments made in the thinkprogress post to which I linked?

    thanks for any pointers to a newbie

  13. I think threads are helpful for focusing discussion, but I also like the occasional open thread as it facilitates discussion of issues not raised by Anthony or guest commenters when setting up a thread on a given point.

  14. I opposed, because it makes it easier for trolls to hijack threads as others above had noted. I’ve seen comment threads on sites that have nothing to do with science or climate get hijacked by global warming fraud proponents. A lot of them self-identify (“Where did you get that – Fox News?”), but they also follow the radical left pattern of debating ad nauseum over trifles, avoiding relies and going off on tangents. The bottom line for a web site without deep pockets is that both greater bandwidth and full time comment policing are needed.

  15. No, no, a thousand times no. (It would be easier if figured out how to game the poll….)

    In those other blogs, I tend to visit them fairly occasionally, and like the threaded format there.

    WUWT is special – I have a Firefox window just for WUWT. The first tab is for the home page and links to recent posts. Other tabs are for each active post I’m following. To get up to date, I reload that page, and the the oldest comment I have read is right there to read. Then I scan down to the bottom and am all set for the next update later in the day.

    If WUWT switched to threaded displays, I’m not sure what I would do. Probably read each post one a day or write a python script to convert things to the time line (and discard the trolls). Hmm. That would be useful. I could highlight comments from people proven to post quality, just display a couple lines from the riffraff….

    Okay, it’s a plan. Still a thousand times no!

  16. What I don’t like about threaded comments is that you can’t find the new comments easily. With a site like this, where there are sometimes hundreds of comments, it’s easy to scroll down to where you last were, going by date and time, but threaded comments would mean having to examine them all again in hunt for that extra. Not just once, either, but again and again. I pop in here a lot and enjoy following the conversation. It would mean starting from scratch each time, which I won’t always do, so I (for one) will miss a lot of it. It will be frustrating. I vote no.

  17. I vote no on the change. Horrible idea, IMO.

    I understand the reason some like threaded comments but I have found them to be a net detriment. It maybe good for the particular conversation participants but it ends up burying new comments requiring more scrolling in order to check to see if new comments have appeared.

    It’s next to impossible to easily check for new comments.
    I have people ask me if I saw their reply in a thread and say no for that reason.
    I had not scrolled down to check every conversation. And some require you to expand the thread for more comments to check.

    I always recommend posting a new comment vs reply to others.
    Simply refer to the comment you are replying to just as WUWT has been.
    Otherwise your discussion gets buried and ends up being a private debate because all of the new visits have no idea it is taking place. How would they unless they checked the entire stream.

  18. The root of the question is that there are people that make no effort to read ALL of the replies/responses/retorts before adding their own. I like things just the way that they are. And thank y’all for this most pleasant forum.

  19. I have spent a lot of time at threaded Climate Etc and threaded CA. I have spent a lot of time here at unthreaded WUWT and also at unthreaded BH and Blackboard.

    I prefer the unthreaded format. It is a simple flowing read.

    I voted to keep WUWT the way it is; unthreaded.

    John

  20. I voted NO.
    It has already been tried on WUWT for a while and, in my opinion, was not an improvement.

  21. I had read somewhere that if the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere increased the temps wouldn’t, because the amount of CO2 that is already in the atmosphere has already reached it max heat trapping potential. Is that correct? (apologies for the unscientific terminology).

  22. Threaded commenting at Judy Curry’s site is poor, only allowing one level of depth. This can help a little. Jo Nova has threading down on her site. If you do implement this feature, please emulate Jo Nova.

    BTW, thanks for putting the “Recent Posts” sidebar near the top, and expanding the number of entries. It makes finding a recent article that’s a few days old, much easier.

  23. I vote for status quo, one long list of comments. If I am replying to another comment, I identify the writer and the sentence for context, but WUWT ought not to be a forum for private conversations between two persons both of whom have strayed far from the topic.

  24. The advantage of threaded comments is that replies to specific comments appear in context with them and it makes discussions easier because there is less scrolling involved.
    ======
    Seems to me that would make more scrolling? You would be missing all of the other conversations if you didn’t…….

    We copy and paste….and include that in the new post….MUCH EASIER

  25. The only feature I’d really like to see is the ability to reply directly to a comment. I visit another site where when you reply to a comment a link to the comment you are replying to appears in your post and when you hover your curser over that link it pops up so you can read that comment as well if you wish to.

  26. I see that a few people have anticipated my main reservation about threaded comments. It concentrates the power of trolls to hijack the discussion. The troll does not have to scroll through the more interesting posts to see the reactions to his bomb-throwing. I think threaded posts would have to go hand-in-hand with much heavier moderation than the current fairly laissez-faire regime. Perhaps only those who are specially approved should be allowed post more than once per day, to prevent the inevitable “Is NOT!” … “Is TOO!” death spiral.

  27. One long list of comments because each list is a thread for that article, and less mouse clicking to read comments.

  28. We’re number one! we’re number one! What’s that, we’re number two?

    The latest numbers now show that China will overtake the US as world’s largest economy by the end of this year, this is five years ahead of schedule. Despite the constant bleating from the Right over the last 30 years predicting China’s inevitable collapse, China continues to push ahead with policies that we haven’t seen in this country since the Eisenhower administration.

    China engages in massive infrastructure projects, pro growth trade policies and the development of all types of industry. They are utilizing everything that the US had learned about economic development all the way back to the Hamilton plan of 1792. China learned from Lincoln’s expansion of the railroads and land grant colleges, and from everything FDR did with the New Deal. Basically China is doing everything that America had done in the past but no longer does because billionaire Conservatives say that we cannot afford it. The Liberals (in name only) just go along with it fearing the environmental impact boogymen of expansion?

    It’s a bipartisan boondoggle that’s cost us plenty and made things difficult. Like for the Millennials. Those Millennials that everyone is so unpopular with.
    They just keep cranking out the boondoggles, like the farm bill. Joining the Gramm Leach Bliley Act, Commodity Futures Modernization Act (Gramm).
    Ed, coming to grips with what it means to be number two, at least until we fall to number three

  29. Although I rarely venture to add a comment on WUWT, if a post has particularly caught my interest I normally read most/all the related comments over time.
    Not so with Climate Etc.
    I invariably read JC’s posts but have pretty well abandoned the comments, often in the hundreds by the time I get there, and as others have already said often veering completely off course with pointless nit-picking/squabbles which destroy thread continuity.
    I like JoNova’s layout/numbering system where if the original comment catches the eye one can choose to read responses or not, but I imagine this is a totally different blog system to WordPress.

    I would prefer WUWT to stay just as it is !

  30. Johan says: May 4, 2014 at 2:44 pm “Lesson learned: people resisting change are more vocal:”

    The conservative anti-progressive majority silent no more! Hoo rah!

  31. @ Leigh says: May 4, 2014 at 2:29 pm “the amount of CO2 that is already in the atmosphere has already reached it max heat trapping potential. Is that correct?”

    I surmise that the Global Warmers, along with Al Gore, noted correctly that CO2
    keeps us warm, but thought wrongly that more would make us warmer. The analogy
    with glass is important. Horticultural experiments long ago found that more (thicker)
    glass does not cause more warming, so more CO2 probably doesn’t either. The effect
    is like that of polarising spectacles, where the change takes place as light begins
    passing through the lenses. Thickness makes no difference. Polarisation is either
    100%, or not at all.

    Dr. David Kear

  32. I really love this place, and the commenters, and come here to learn. If I come with that frame of mind, and patiently read the article, and each comment, I am always richly rewarded. The people who write here in the comments seem to be perfectly capable of making stand-alone comments, even when it involves a to-and-fro. This means the format here works, because quotes are taken, italicized, and then a comment follows. It makes for clarity and posts that are complete in themselves. It is a compliment to the posters.

    There are times when I know that several acres of texts are going to be added to the thread by certain people on certain subjects. But they know who they are. It does dominate threads, but I do not think the format should be changed, because that is already against the policy. We usually can trust each other’s self-restraint. If a person has posted more than a certain fraction of the total posts, and many posts also contain that person’s name in response, then it could be pointed out to him, eg. “You now have 25 posts out of the 75 on the thread.” So I voted no for those reasons. Jo Nova has a good nested format though, for the abundance of those nutty Aussie one-liners, and that works over there.

  33. the problem I have had with threaded, or nested, comments is the levels of nesting allowed. You have a threaded comment, and then comments become threads of their own, and then subthreads of those and soon you run out of thread and it goes flat. So — my suggestion would be either unthreaded or only 1 layer of nesting.

  34. Irrespective of causation what is wrong with moderate ( + 3 to 5 Centigrade) global warming ?
    Comsider the greatest biomass and diversity of life lies within the tropics. There are no deserts on the equator (barring the Horn of Africa).
    Meanwile the poles are nealry devoid of life. Warmth good, cold bad. And CO2 is the basis of photosynthesis

  35. Ed Murtin says:
    “Despite the constant bleating from the Right over the last 30 years predicting China’s inevitable collapse”
    Excuse me? I haven’t heard that from anyone on the right, just the opposite in fact.

  36. Whether threaded comments result in more scrolling may depend on individual practices. I happen to follow TonyB’s practice, when returning to an extended thread, of starting with the last comment and scrolling up to where I left off previously. That gives me complete coverage of where the conversation has gone, without scrolling over previously read material. Doesn’t work with (threaded) CA, though, where I have to scroll all the way back to the top to make sure I haven’t missed anything.

  37. As crosspatch suggests, the worst feature of threading is infinite bifurcation. I think one nested layer only is the ideal compromise — particularly if the replies may be folded or unfolded at will. that allows more efficient scanning for topics of special interest to the reader.

    Commenters can (and should) learn to reference an idea from another thread in starting a new branch discussing what was previously a detail or subtopic by moving it back up to the top level, even quoting some or all of the earlier post to start the “new” or less directly related thread.

    That’s why I voted for (minimalist) threading. I am not a troll (nor a witch for that matter).

  38. I much prefer the arrangement here to the ones at Climate Etc or JoNova. As an original proposition, I would have chosen theirs, but, for reasons I haven’t been able to pin down, I find theirs annoying in practice.

  39. Unthreaded comments mean you have to work a little harder to follow an argument. That’s ok.
    Threaded comments mean that bickering, snide people can have a big long tirade right before your very eyes.
    Part of the ‘dignity’ which WUWT possesses is due to the way comments always seem so rational and cool in tone…don’t throw that away.

  40. Nested comments work fine on the Guardian and Roy Spencer’s blog. They kinda work on Judith Curry’s site but look terrible. For me it’s the clear demarcation between responses and a new comment. I voted yes.

  41. I also vote “nay.” The threads aren’t as long-lasting here because of the rapidity of the posts. If people want to respond to a comment up thread, just right click on the time and date stamp and then “copy link location.” Copy and paste. Or note the commenter’s name and time of comment to give other readers a hint as to what post you are responding to and where to find it.

    I find most of the extended debates at CE boring. But I am a non-scientist who does not have the time to become thoroughly educated in climate science and related fields. I’m interested in this as history of an ideological/scientific process in the making.

  42. “Unthreaded comments mean you have to work a little harder to follow an argument. ” Threaded comments make it almost impossible to locate the most recent comments, though, because instead of just going to the bottom, you need to check every single thread for new comments.

  43. I encourage those who have voted “unsure” to read the comments, reconsider, and then vote again.

  44. Here is the compromise I would suggest: NUMBERED comments. When replying to a comment some ways up, use comment number you are referring to.

  45. If you want to see how well threaded comments work, just go to Jo Nova’s blog. Some observation evidence for people that are making comments about this that are not borne out in the real world.

  46. PS even though the Guardian is garbage they have a superb commenting interface. You can format text, add hyperlinks, blockquote quickly. I not those functions on Jo Nova’s site. Can’t this be done for WUWT?

    PS I was told once on WUWT that nested responses was tried once and was a disaster. This maybe the case but I don’t understand why it’s not a disaster on other sites. Jo Nova’s site is an example of a response format that works. I have no problems with it BUT I have to say the Guardian’s is the best. The only problem is they have a cut off line where comments beyond a certain number are hidden and require a click for more. Just some ideas.

  47. peter says:
    May 4, 2014 at 2:52 pm

    The only feature I’d really like to see is the ability to reply directly to a comment. I visit another site where when you reply to a comment a link to the comment you are replying to appears in your post and when you hover your curser over that link it pops up so you can read that comment as well if you wish to.

    That sounds like Amazon’s system, except that it provides links at both ends. But it’s probably proprietary.

    The problem I have with threaded systems is that when I refresh the thread, the new comments aren’t prominently highlighted–so I have to reread the beginning of all the old comments.

    Maybe only had out the right to make threaded comments to long-time, cool-headed commenters?

  48. I think the current format works fine. I recall someone requesting the return of the ”Like” option. Sometimes I read a comment, and a ”Like” is often what I feel is an appropriate response to express my agreement with the comment.

  49. I typically start reading the earliest comments (at the top please) after having at least perused the post, to get the gist of it. If I am goaded to comment on the post, I do so right away, otherwise, I read down to see what has gotten other folks’ goat; or someone gets mine. Then I comment on that. But I read on down, doing that till the list is reasonably long.

    When I come back to a thread, I do the exact opposite. I start reading the latest comments to see if any discussions have developed; or perhaps my own comments, have led to loud guffaws, requiring me to learn what caused that.

    I know at least one popular web site that is multithreaded. It works quite well. The site host doesn’t allow any dissention; but “differences of opinion” are ok. Dissention often leads to the entire thread being 86’d.

    I voted no on threading at WUWT. The present T&D stamps serve to establish order of events.

    Main gripe is too many posters fail to adequately distinguish between a cut and paste from someone else, and their own ruminations on it. So I can’t tell who said what.

    Some people like to italicize; some go to bold. When I cut and paste any of those; they ALL revert to Henry Ford Black, and become indistinguishable.

    But if WUWT went to something else, I’d probably change too; and probably in an unpredictable way; excuse me, that’s unprojectionable way !

  50. I prefer that things be left as they are here. If I read an article on Dr. Spencer’s site and make 5 comments out of 300 before going to bed at night, there could be 500 comments next morning. And if I wanted to see if any responded to me, I would have to save my 5 items individually to check them out. As well, there could well be additional excellent comments to other comments that had nothing to do with my comments. So I would have to go over all 500 comments briefly to see which are new to be sure nothing new was missed.
    But at WUWT, I just save the last comment on each post that interests me and I know I will not miss one that may have come over night or even over the next few days.

  51. I also do like the way comments flow at JoNova’s site, learn a lot from the discussions. Not that you don’t get to do the same here it’s just that when the pros get onto a subject it would be nice to have them together. But I will leave it to the pros to decide.

    Reply to John, I could be wrong but years ago plenty (Mike Reagan, Beck comes to mind) called Communist China’s situation similar to that of the end of the former USSR. That communism would collapse. Anyway, that’s what I get for re:talking points from a few economist’s I follow.

  52. crosspatch says:
    May 4, 2014 at 4:03 pm
    “Here is the compromise I would suggest: NUMBERED comments. When replying to a comment some ways up, use comment number you are referring to”

    Agree! Number the comments would also make it easier to find the place you left off. And yes I also read from the bottom up when coming back.

  53. Hi. A successful example (IMHO) of fora using “threaded comments” is the photographic review site DPREVIEW DOT COM. Very well laid out and easy to use. Whilst it is possible to “mispost” and respond to the wrong comment, in practice this is a very rare occurrence and as one of the ‘nets most popular photographic websites the vast majority of users appear to have no issue with the format.

    The user is also offered a choice of “threaded” or “flat” views. Also of use is the feature that allows the user to assign a subject heading to their post/comment which can assist forum users in determining at a quick glance whether or not to read a given comment (due to relevance/interest). This feature assists greatly when perusing a post when limited reading time is available and one is able to sort the “wheat” from the “chaff”.

    It may be worth a look to see if a similar system would work here.

    Cheers.

  54. I voted yes for threading but rating (and sorting by rating) would be far more useful and interesting.

  55. I prefer the format here over Judith’s site.

    That’s probably not a reflection of the threading discussion – it’s more about her incredible tolerance for the few idiots who regularly persist in infesting her blog. Luckily, the main culprit gives one a visual clue as to what is best ignored.

    Having said that, despite her light moderation and the predictable distraction of her house morons, the site is still a must read.

  56. Please, NO, NO, NO to nested comments (on any high traffic site).
    My approach tends to be to visit only daily after the first full day and search by yesterday’s date for new comments. I find this annoying, and neither do I find searching recent comments of value.
    Numbered comments are good for keeping a handle on context, providing that any deletions are not simply disappeared.

  57. Johan says:
    May 4, 2014 at 2:44 pm
    Lesson learned: people resisting change are more vocal :)
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

    The people resisting change are giving very good reasons for their positions. If you have good reasons to the contrary, by all means state them.

    FWIW, I’ve used a large variety of electronic conference formats going back the the early 80’s.This one isn’t perfect, but for a wandering conversation in which following the discussion and systematically reviewing new comments, threading absolutely sucks.

  58. I voted no since I like to come back and start reading where I left off. Threaded comments mean that new comments are all over the place. I tend not to read threaded comments. On a few systems I’ve seen the indentation get ridiculous tothe point where there is only one word per line.

  59. In my opinion, threaded comments make everything more confusing to follow, this works just fine.

    On the subject of weather vs. climate though, we’re currently in the midst of an apparently unprecedented heatwave with temperatures up to 102 and may get up to triple digits again in a few days. This is the second time in 3 years that we broke the record for earliest 100 degree reading in 130 years of record keeping, even though it might be the perfect storm of extremely dry air and southerly winds (people were still out because the humidity was like 5%).

    Now I’m not sure if this pattern played out before on the eve of previous cold events such as the Little Ice Age (considering that some are predicting its return this year), but if global cooling fails to commence or we return to seeing a consistent upward tick in temperatures, perhaps it might be time for this blog to reassess whether it wants to change its position on CO2-induced warming (away from the skeptic position) even though it may not be even close to as dire as the models predict.

    I don’t want to have to come to the conclusion that we need to pay through the nose in carbon taxes to develop green replacements for existing power sources, because I would like to see a high CO2 world where plants grow like no tomorrow compared to today.

  60. I think multiple level of comment nesting becomes awkward when you want to reply to someone at say level two and you have a couple of screens worth of comments at level three in between that person’s comment and where your reply gets placed. At Judith’s site she has cut back to only one level of nesting. I imagine to cut down on clutter. Then there is the problem of time frame where replies might be missed unless you review the parts of the thread you have read already.

    The system used at Climate Audit for about a year before Climategate brought Steve’s sight down and he moved to WordPress hosting, I thought worked well. He had a reply button which inserted a link at the beginning of someones reply which led to the comment to which someone was replying. Those links at CA no longer work due to renumbering of the comments after changing systems. But it worked somewhat like this link to a comment near the top of this thread.
    Theo Goodwin May 4, 2014 at 1:13 pm
    In this case if Theo was replying to someone else in that comment, his reply would start with a similar link to it.

    This allows people to selectively follow a conversation by following the chain of links created by each reply back to the source. Someone not interested could simply continue reading from where they left off previously since all comments would be in date/time order.

    WordPress didn’t support such a system at the time. Don’t know if they have come up with something similar since then. If they haven’t, they should. It helps keep trolls from interfering with interesting reading.

  61. I don’t like the threaded format. In the narrow format of this blog and Climate Etc. the available levels soon get filled. Then your response ends up way down in the pile. It works passably only in a full-width format like at Climate Audit. Having only a few levels doesn’t work.

    What I like about the unthreaded format is that all of the replies are in chronological order. So I only have to check one place to see what’s new in a post to which I’m not subscribed.

    w.

  62. I voted yes, but then I read the thread, and I’m convinced that it would be a bad idea. So make one of those ‘yes’s a no!

  63. Of course the optimal approach would be to merge an NNTP news server into web commenting engine with some backend magic so that it isn’t apparent to anyone viewing the web page that the comments are stored using the NNTP protocol with piece of middleware that translates the comments for presentation by HTTP to the NNTP comment store. (Oh, and NNTP also makes a great back end engine for “ticketing” and trouble tracking systems, too).

  64. as a serial O/T-er, i voted “no”.

    best advice ever: DON’T FEED THE TROLLS, under any circumstances.

    variations of “Show Oldest | Newest first” for the comments works well on many sites.

    2 PAGES: 3 May: LA Times: Evan Halper: Scientists race to develop farm animals to survive climate change
    When a team of researchers from the University of Delaware traveled to Africa two years ago to search for exemplary chickens, they weren’t looking for plump thighs or delicious eggs.
    They were seeking out birds that could survive a hotter planet…
    He ( Carl Schmidt , Uni of Delaware) pulled out a map of the U.S. that climatologists at NASA recently gave him. There are yellow dots where the temperature spikes above 100 degrees more than 10 days a year. Near the Mason-Dixon line, where poultry is a big part of the economy, 100-degree days are rare. But by 2060, projections show lots of yellow dots…

    http://www.latimes.com/nation/la-na-climate-chickens-20140504,0,2628316.story#axzz30nPCYTRn

    doubt if the $4.7m is the only money involved:

    High Plains Journal: ISU animal scientists to study heat stress in poultry
    Iowa State University animal scientists are collaborating on a study of poultry genetics and management to help chickens deal with increased heat.
    A $4.7 million grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Agriculture and Food Research Initiative is funding the five-year project. Carl Schmidt, associate professor at the University of Delaware, leads the study with scientists from Iowa State, North Carolina State University, the University of Liverpool and Hy-Line International, the largest breeder of egg-laying chickens in the nation, based in Iowa.

    http://www.hpj.com/archives/2011/jul11/jul11/0624HeatStressPoultrysr.cfm

  65. Dr. Curry use to allow nesting 4 deep, but trimmed it back to just one level. But if you do a reply on an email of a comment, it still nests the comment right under the one you are responding to. So I vote yes. At least one level.

  66. theNeverKings, I wish I could say the same thing about DPReview. But I dislike the forum format over there. It’s awful and makes me feel cramped. So I never read them except if a Google search turns up a thread.

    I’d like to suggest a character limit for comments. And once you’ve left a comment, you can’t leave another one until two other people have left comments.

    Speaking of comments, I find it funny that, on average, Skeptical Science has an order of magnitude fewer comments than WUWT. Now, I’m not ready to ‘show my colours’ yet, but I’m seriously not impressed with the IPCC-led view of climate. Not at all. My BS detector is itching.

  67. Skimming, it seemed to me there were many more NO comments, (with very strong arguments IMO) but then I was surprised to see the Yes votes outnumbered the no votes. I can hardly read the Curry site because of the arguments between the trolls who know how to comment on the first comment and thereby hog the space. Also hard to read Jo Nova and Climate Audit without having to scroll through the entire list every day to see where the new comments ended up. WUWT is the best as is, and should not change.

  68. I decided to help the no voters.
    Adam from Kansas is in 102° weather already? Geeeeezz… I been telling you guys for a long time it’s the 1930’s revisited. Big money invested in agricultural instruments months ago betting on the drought. Hope like heck we don’t have bad food price hikes/shortage.

    I’m taking off work to place the siding on my home. The extremes have just messed it up.

    This is crazy.

  69. Threaded comments allow conversations rather than only replies. Three levels works well.

  70. Lance Wallace says:
    May 4, 2014 at 6:00 pm
    Skimming, it seemed to me there were many more NO comments, (with very strong arguments IMO) but then I was surprised to see the Yes votes outnumbered the no votes.
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>

    There’s more who just read than there are that vote, and there are more who vote than who participate. I suspect we’re hearing more from those who participate.

  71. Here is a reminder of something we take for granted. There should be a thanks giving day for electricity. Here is a reminder of LIFE BEFORE ELECTRICITY. Yet Warmists are trying to wean us off the stuff via ELECTRICKERY. But first here is a night time satellite image of North Korea and South Korea. It seems as if the North Koreans like celebrating ‘Earth Hour’ every single hour, 24/7, 365 days of the year.

    “Before electricity
    This online exhibition explores electric lighting within the home. It briefly describes life before electricity, early developments in lighting and how the benefits of electricity were promoted……”

    http://www.theiet.org/resources/library/archives/exhibition/domestic/before.cfm

  72. I think threaded comments are best. It’s a lot easier, for me anyway, to follow and perhaps add to a specific discussion. But whatever you think is best is fine with me Anthony. Thanks for all your hard work.

  73. 4 May: Gulf News: Samihah Zaman/Binsal Abdul KaderGore optimistic about limiting climate change
    79 countries already generate electricity from solar photovoltaics at grid parity
    Abu Dhabi: The heat energy trapped by carbon emissions and pollutants across the globe every day is equal to exploding 400,000 nuclear bombs similar to the one dropped in Hiroshima during the Second World War, Al Gore, former US vice-president and chairman of the Climate Reality Project, said at the Abu Dhabi Ascent summit on Sunday.
    Speaking at the opening session of the two-day high-level meeting attended by leaders from government, business and civil society across the world, Gore said that within six years, more than 80 per cent of the world population will have access to photovoltaic electricity at rates equal to or cheaper than the grid average price…
    Drawing attention to devastating weather events caused by global warming, Gore pointed out that 90 million tonnes of heat-trapping pollutants are released into the air every 24 hours. As a result, last month (April) was the 350th month in a row when temperatures were consistently higher than the 20th century average.
    “Extreme weather events [such as floods, typhoons, droughts, etc] are a signal from Mother Nature that the world has a fever. So we must stop using the atmosphere as an open sewer,” he added…
    Moreover developing countries without the existing structures for conventional energies “leapfrog” in disseminating new energy sources.
    “A lot of developing countries don’t have very good electricity structures. So new business models and financial arrangements are emerging,” he added…

    http://gulfnews.com/news/gulf/uae/environment/gore-optimistic-about-limiting-climate-change-1.1328073

    4 May: Clean Technica: Zachary Shahan: Al Gore’s Tremendous Presentation At Abu Dhabi Ascent (Exclusive Videos)
    Al Gore’s presentation today at the opening ceremony of Abu Dhabi Ascent* was absolutely superb. But what else do you expect from a guy who runs a nonprofit focused on presenting global warming catastrophe and key global warming solutions to the general public? What else do you expect from a guy who won a Nobel Prize for a movie?…
    I could write up a summary of the presentation, but that wouldn’t do it justice at all, so I’m going to force you to watch it if you want more info. Here’s the presentation spread across three videos (since YouTube won’t let me publish a video more than 10 minutes in length)…
    (VIDEOS INCL 4TH FROM Q&A)
    I spoke very briefly with Gore later in the day, but he told me that he was not doing press interviews. (Standard for Gore these days.)
    Despite shrugging me aside, I still think Gore is one of the best if not the best communicator on the topic of climate change. His presentation today absolutely nailed it. Be sure to share with your friends and family!

    http://cleantechnica.com/2014/05/04/al-gores-tremendous-presentation-abu-dhabi-ascent-exclusive-videos/

  74. I hear the Europeans are worried about their level of dependence on Russian methane for their energy. This is strange to me because I thought the windmills and solar panels were viable and delivering their loads – loads of crock. I told you it was all about electrickery.

    BBC – 1 May 2014
    How does Europe wean itself off Russian gas?
    ….So why are western countries not immediately trying to wean themselves off Russia’s gas?

    The short answer is that they are trying to – and will discuss ideas at a meeting of G7 energy ministers this weekend. …..

    http://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-27239734

    Here is David Shukman forgetting that he has been part instrumental in the whole CAGW pain and now talks about real energy sources such as shale. David and his fellow Warmists led these foolish politicians down this foolish path and now they are in a panic. Nothing like no gas to wake these fools up.

  75. I voted no on threading.

    JudithCurry started with 6 thread levels. It was difficult to know what was new and unread.
    lately she reduced it to three levels (main line and two replies). That is more readable, but not necessarily the best. But the conclusion is that more levels is not necessarily better.

    WUWT has evolved its own threading policy by referring to comments explicitly. So an interleaved threading is possible to follow.

    But the biggest difference is that WUWT has 3 to 6 main posts per day. This already breaks discussion into a focused discussion. After one day, only those people interested in a main line discussion are checking back and continuing to contribute.

    WUWT has passed 1 million comments. You must be doing something right. Do not change unless the change is obviously for the better.

  76. yea, another believer sees the light. as a former believer myself, i say welcome to the CAGW sceptic world:

    4 May: WSJ: Caleb S. Rossiter: Sacrificing Africa for Climate Change
    Western policies seem more interested in carbon-dioxide levels than in life expectancy
    Every year environmental groups celebrate a night when institutions in developed countries (including my own university) turn off their lights as a protest against fossil fuels. They say their goal is to get America and Europe to look from space like Africa: dark, because of minimal energy use.
    But that is the opposite of what’s desired by Africans I know. They want Africa at night to look like the developed world, with lights in every little village and with healthy people, living longer lives, sitting by those lights. Real years added to real lives should trump the minimal impact that African carbon emissions could have on a theoretical catastrophe.
    I’ve spent my life on the foreign-policy left. I opposed the Vietnam War, U.S. intervention in Central America in the 1980s and our invasion of Iraq. I have headed a group trying to block U.S. arms and training for “friendly” dictators, and I have written books about how U.S. policy in the developing world is neocolonial…
    But I oppose my allies’ well-meaning campaign for “climate justice.” More than 230 organizations, including Africa Action and Oxfam, want industrialized countries to pay “reparations” to African governments for droughts, rising sea levels and other alleged results of what Ugandan strongman Yoweri Museveni calls “climate aggression.” And I oppose the campaign even more for trying to deny to Africans the reliable electricity—and thus the economic development and extended years of life—that fossil fuels can bring.
    The left wants to stop industrialization—even if the hypothesis of catastrophic, man-made global warming is false. John Feffer, my colleague at the Institute for Policy Studies, wrote in the Dec. 8, 2009, Huffington Post that “even if the mercury weren’t rising” we should bring “the developing world into the postindustrial age in a sustainable manner.” He sees the “climate crisis [as] precisely the giant lever with which we can, following Archimedes, move the world in a greener, more equitable direction.”
    I started to suspect that the climate-change data were dubious a decade ago while teaching statistics***…
    Where is the justice for Africans when universities divest from energy companies and thus weaken their ability to explore for resources in Africa? Where is the justice when the U.S. discourages World Bank funding for electricity-generation projects in Africa that involve fossil fuels, and when the European Union places a “global warming” tax on cargo flights importing perishable African goods? Even if the wildest claims about the current impact of fossil fuels on the environment and the models predicting the future impact all prove true and accurate, Africa should be exempted from global restraints as it seeks to modernize…
    (Mr. Rossiter directs the American Exceptionalism Media Project. He is an adjunct professor at American University and an associate fellow at the Institute for Policy Studies.)

    http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424052702303380004579521791400395288?mg=reno64-wsj&url=http%3A%2F%2Fonline.wsj.com%2Farticle%2FSB10001424052702303380004579521791400395288.html

  77. Jimmy Haigh. says: May 4, 2014 at 1:15 pm
    “Why not have tab sort of thing like Windows Explore or Outlook where posts can be sorted on time, subject name, commenter name…”

    Here is a version of that.

  78. I voted no. My local newspaper (Seattle Times) recently went to threaded comments. I find the numerous indents, or o/t sniping at one sentence in the second indent, or replies to every indent, disjointed. Could be one of those left brain/right brain things, I guess.

    Can’t be sure, but it appears there are fewer commenters on ST articles, and some of the longtime handles seem to be MIA. But then, their whole website has been more like HuffPo these days. Go pour a cup of coffee while the page loads.

  79. A comittee is not leadership. Comittee leadership will be still making a decision when the position is over run.

    Mr. Watts is the leader as long as he makes that choice.
    Leader you are, just do it.

  80. Reconsidered and went back to change unsure to “no” after reading above comments – unfortunately the poll will not override the original vote. While I like JoNova’s threading and the quick I.D. of habitual trolls who try to divert and clog up serious threads. The trolling on Judith Curry’s site ruins the site for many who visit to actually participate in sensible scientific discussions, and frustrating to those that want to learn more.

  81. WUWT says, “Topics from previous open threads are fair game, such as the poll on a climate skeptic society.”

    I will tell you the real reason I am not very supportive of a new skeptic society. It is because too many people here have embraced the idea that our grid can suddenly convert to nuclear, whether thorium or not. Thorium technology is being sold by the American labs to the Chinese, and only one plant is going online in India so far.

    The strike prices for new nuclear plants are for 3 times the going rate of electricity in the UK; so that is a clue that nuclear is a guaranteed exponential rise in power prices, which our family cannot pay for. Politicians also have simply unilaterally shut down plants over safety concerns even when they are running fine – was a tsunami going to hit Germany, really? Not only that, if the UK is any example, a foreign country could likely build many of the planned nuclear plants. I do not think many skeptics understand the economics of broken window fallacy, and the extraordinary, compounding, spiraling and careening expense of destroying coal plants just to replace them with nuclear.

    By the way, co2 is only one of the ghgases. The others are nitrous oxide from crops, and methane from cattle. This goes largely unremarked, and progressive scientists are all of one mind to destroy agriculture, and ranchers – along with refrigerants, and of course power generation and personal transportation. So I think so far, simply basing a new group on co2 mainly is an exercise in futility. Sustainability activists are heartless global empire workers, treacherously selling their own countries’ resources and power, and the federal bribe money is now flowing into all the states to accept sustainability policies (as shown by the adoption of the federal Common Core educational system by the states – sight unseen – for funding). So co2 is only a fraction of the sustainability program.

  82. RT

    The Hockey Stick has already been discredited. To quote Richard Muller:

    “This improper normalization procedure tends to emphasize any data that do have the hockey stick shape, and to suppress all data that do not. To demonstrate this effect, McIntyre and McKitrick created some meaningless test data that had, on average, no trends… When McIntyre and McKitrick fed these random data into the Mann procedure, out popped a hockey stick shape!”

    “The net result: the principal component will have a hockey stick shape even if most of the data do not.”

    http://www.technologyreview.com/news/403256/global-warming-bombshell/

    Don’t believe the PAGES 2K report. First, it is flawed because it splices two incompatible data sets: paleoclimate reconstruction and thermometer measurement. If you use tree rings, you should also tree rings in the 20th century. Not different methods in different time periods. Second, the author is Stefan Rahmstorf, a notorious AGW activist known for ad hominem attacks on skeptics. Third, the sponsor of the study is IGBP, an organization committed to AGW.

  83. One valuable feature would be the ability to return to a thread at the last location visited previously.

    I second the idea of numbered comments.

  84. If you’ve ever tried to read nested comments on a mobile phone screen you’ll know why I voted ‘No’!

  85. RT

    See Prof. Muller of UC Berkeley presentation of the Hockey Stick. Note that using only tree ring data without manipulation, temperature actually declined. So now the PAGE 2k guys erased the tree ring data and replaced it with thermometer data to put back the hockey stick. These guys are pathetic.

  86. I am still asking if it is possible to consider putting a toggle switch on top to change from last comment on the bottom to last comment on top.

  87. It’s 7.00am on a sunny Bank Holiday Monday morning. Us Brits are about to join the thread. Like many here, for me WUWT is a daily ritual bordering on an obsession. Many of us have been loyal followers since A*t/n$’s site began – although we do not always feel the need to comment.
    Threaded: No (Sorry Jimbo)
    Comment Number: Yes
    Bring back the ‘Like’ Button again: Yes
    “New visitor to WUWT” icon: Maybe?
    “Troll Warning” Icon: Yes
    Commenters Specialist anti-CAGW Subject/area of expertise: Maybe?
    “Regular Commenter with no sense of humour going off on a tangent and taking over the entire thread yet again and really needs to lighten up” warning icon: Probably
    “Has Janice Moore gone AWOL? I haven’t read any of her comments recently” button: Yes

  88. Nested comments are very clumsy to navigate. The latest comments are in the middle of the pack somewhere.

    Don’t ruin a good thing.

  89. I voted for the threaded comments because they work well at sites like JoNova (high level of comments) for skipping uninteresting threads and RetractionWatch (few comments – but often interesting ones) overall. It doesn’t work well at Climate Etc. because the indenting is not good and there are too many trolls (probably the 30:1 effect in action).

    WUWT has consistently very high levels of comments for a science blog and I find myself developing RSI mousing through the long list to see if anything new and interesting has been added. An improvement in how comments are handled would be helpful.

    charles the moderator says: May 4, 2014 at 3:41 pm made a good suggestion and a few others point towards interesting alternatives (but they are too far back in the thread to go scrolling to look for them). If there were some way to tab replies to a comment to hide them unless opened (e.g. ‘5 replies’), then that might avoid the clutter caused by the flame wars at Curry’s site, allow people interested to a comment to find elaborations, and allow others to more easily skim the comments for new ideas.

  90. I voted No.
    When I participated in the debate I found the time and date stamp enabled referencing previous comments. And the latest comments were always at the bottom so I knew where the argument had reached.

    On the Grauniad the latest comments appear all over the place… and the debate is always dragged back to the first comment thread It makes playing “First” the winning strategy; it deprives the debate an opportunity to move forward. If the debate has moved out of the comfort zone of the close-minded then they can just go back to the start and discredit/divert/denigrate their opponent.

    Having said that, now I just watch, threaded debates are much easier to skim. You can look at the science debates and ignore the politics (or vice versa) if you want.

  91. pat says:
    May 4, 2014 at 6:49 pm
    “4 May: Gulf News: Samihah Zaman/Binsal Abdul KaderGore optimistic about limiting climate change
    79 countries already generate electricity from solar photovoltaics at grid parity”

    They usually compare the price at which a subsidized solar panel can generate a kWh, with the price after taxes that a consumer pays. So, I don’t know whether you’re an Abdul KaderGore-believer; but if you are – notice that you are being lied to.

  92. Threaded or not, if I read a long discussion on my Asus tablet I really wish there was a ‘TOP’ and ‘BOTTOM’ button that would save me having to swipe-scroll endless comments. This is very true when trying to catch up with a conversation and you have to go to the bottom and start up.

  93. If the threaded paradigm is adopted, a facility to blank selected posters would be very handy.

  94. It doesn’t work well at Climate Etc. because the indenting is not good and there are too many trolls

    JC should maybe restrict those trollish posters to 4 comments per day.

  95. Threaded!

    Many times in the past I have read a question in the comments to which I too would like an answer. At present, it is impossible to know if anyone answered the question without reading all the comments. Not always practical.

    Also, with a threaded format, it is easy to ignore discussions that are not of interest, and focus on the ones that are of interest.

    If maintaining this format, would it be possible to number the comments? That would make referencing and finding comments simple. I know the date and time will do the same thing but it is not always included in replies and it is a little easier to scroll up to find a specific 3 digit number than looking to match a specific date and time.

  96. As I use my iPhone >90% of the time when viewing and commenting at WUWT (and other sites) I would like the option to see newest comments at the top of my screen and other comments listed in order of their increasing age. It would save a large amount of thumb scrolling to get to the newest comments, since I most often read comments in reverse order; newest to oldest.

    I prefer unthreaded to threaded at WUWT as I have already stated in an early comment, I voted no.

    John

  97. Why does my infrared thermometer measure the Sun as 300°C which I think is equivalent to 6.1kW per square metre? I was expecting it to be about 92°C/1kW per square metre.

  98. Steve Oregon says:
    May 4, 2014 at 2:05 pm

    I vote no on the change. Horrible idea, IMO.

    … it ends up burying new comments requiring more scrolling in order to check to see if new comments have appeared.

    It’s next to impossible to easily check for new comments.
    ….
    I always recommend posting a new comment vs reply to others.
    Simply refer to the comment you are replying to just as WUWT has been.
    Otherwise your discussion gets buried and ends up being a private debate because all of the new visits have no idea it is taking place….”

    Well put. I voted NO also

  99. Greg has it right – the best example this is a bad idea is Climate Etc where the result is equivalent to two people in the room talking loudly past each other about a minor and pointless nit each wishes to pick with the other but only because there is a large audience. Except the problem is not limited to two people – it is a room full of people playing got-your-nose, one upsmanship, and whom ever gets in the last word wins.

    Because of the limited depth of threading, especially ignorant bickerers migrate to new threads down the page to keep the stupidity flowing and further fracturing the surrounding conversations. It is made worse by the fact that Dr. Curry is plagued by posters who are indistinguishable from response-bots and who are there purely to disrupt and redirect. This, of course, excites the “someone is wrong on the internet” gene in the mouth breathers and the threading takes it from there.

    For a crash course on how not to run a blog, it is a good starting place.

  100. Non-threaded works great for those that keep an open window and are able to interrupt whatever they are doing to reply. Threaded is better for those that have a limited timeframe in which view the site. Conversations can lengthen as follow-up comments apply only to your comments and not to all comments on that post. I voted yes.

  101. I voted no. Mainly because it’s easier to find the most recent comments though it is harder to follow responses to a particular comment.
    I do have a tip that all may not know.
    If you hold down the “control” key and hit “F” a search box will come up. Enter your name or whatever name or phrase you want to find and wherever it appears on the page or topic you have open you can click “next” or “previous” to go to it.
    If other commenters have responded to something you said and included your name then you can find it.
    And, if you don’t want to use “blockquotes” (how to explained here http://home.comcast.net/~ewerme/wuwt/index.html) then at least repeat the name of the person you are directly responding to.

  102. F3 and type in name of a commentator helps track if particular bloggers are running an idea.
    I like the threads concept but I am contrary.
    Seems like status quo at the moment.
    No big deal, both styles fine.
    Sensible moderation the way to go with overlong threads and persistent abuse or off topic deleted but not stopping trolls (people who disagree with one’s view?) completely.
    WUWT and JC and Blackboard all good in that respect but diversity of view, if argued well is always needed

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