Real Climate on Spencer – Bad timing or just bad judgment?

UPDATE: After I sent an email to Dr. Steve Ghan, RC has suspended comments. See below. My thanks and kudos to them for doing so. – Anthony

It strikes me as very odd, and very, very, tacky, that Real Climate would run this today, especially since Dr. Spencer’s book has been out for quite some time.

Maybe focusing only on climate, they have no idea of what has been going in weather? See this from Dr. Spencer’s blog today:

The power is out here in Huntsville and over much of northern Alabama. Everything is shut down. Only cell phone service is up, and since I have Verizon broadband on my laptop, I’m spend some of my last 40 minutes worth of battery power to update everyone.

They are saying maybe 4 or 5 days before power is restored here, since those lines feed Huntsville. Please pray for those who were not as lucky as me and my family.

Full story at http://www.drroyspencer.com/2011/04/tornado-update-from-alabama/

Talk about blunders.

Real Climate et al and the Gavinator may be unaware, and if so I’ll give them the benefit of the doubt, but they aren’t now after this post does a pingback to them.(I also sent Gavin email) Dr. Spencer can’t respond, and he and many people at UAH are hurting. RC would do well to shelve this book review to run again at a later date when Dr. Spencer has the ability to know about it and respond. Here’s to hoping that they do. It would be a move of integrity and compassion for them to do so.

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

UPDATE: This has been posted on RC around 3PM PST. Kudos to them for doing so.

Suspension of comments: Due to Roy Spencer being caught up in a loss of power related to the tornado outbreak in Alabama, we are suspending comments on this post until he is in a position to respond (should he choose to).

Earlier, I received this reply from the author, Dr. Steven Ghan.

From: “Ghan, Steven J” <Steve.Ghan@xxxxxx>

Date: Thursday, April 28, 2011 2:17 PM

To: <awatts@xxxxxx>

Subject: Re: PNNL External Website Inquiry

I understand the unfortunate timing of this. I will contact Dr. Schmidt about this.

-Steve

From: “awatts@xxxxxxx”

Date: Thu, 28 Apr 2011 14:08:53 -0700

To: Steven J Ghan <steve.ghan@xxxxxxx>

Subject: PNNL External Website Inquiry

PNNL External Website Inquiry

Name: Anthony Watts

Sent: 4/28/2011 2:08:53 PM

Email: awatts@xxxxx

Message

Dr. Ghan, You may be unaware that Dr. Spencer (and many people at UAH) are without power, offline, and dealing with the tornado tragedy. While your RC book review certainly is fair game, the timing is very poor, and gives the impression that you are kicking the man while he is down. I had a number of people email me and ask if I’d write something about it, and I did, after it became clear after several hours that it remained on RC. I’ve also sent an email to Dr. Schmidt, but have no response. Shelving the book review to a time when Dr. Spencer can know about it and respond to it factually is my suggestion, and would go a long way towards showing the RC is not the uncaring monolith that it is often characterized as. Thank you for your consideration. Anthony Watts www.wattsupwiththat.com

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

I think to be fair, let’s all just wait until Dr. Spencer can be back online. So I’m closing comments here too. There will be plenty of opportunity to debate int he future. – Anthony

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43 thoughts on “Real Climate on Spencer – Bad timing or just bad judgment?

  1. I notice that RealClimate makes a few references to Spencer’s article in JGR, and how that article allegedly contradicts his book. I’d like to know if anyone at RealClimate were involved in the peer-review of Spencer’s paper? Spencer has already said that he had to weaken the statements in his paper because of peer-review.
    Do we have Steig 2.0 here?

  2. It would be a move of integrity and compassion for them to do so.
    yes it would …
    If they don’t I’m wondering if you will refuse to work with anyone associated with RC going forward ?

  3. unaware???
    Glorified weathermen unaware of the weather?….
    …when that weather is being hyped all over the news as the most unprecedented in history?
    You’re too generous……….

  4. Neither integrity or passion will add power to the arm that cracks the whip of dogma… Integrity? Abandoned. Passion? Only for Gaia and none for the human virus that infects her fragile skin…

  5. “It strikes me as very odd, and very, very, tacky, that Real Climate would run this today”
    Doesn’t strike me as odd. It seems quite in character for that bunch over there.

  6. “It would be a move of integrity and compassion for them to do so”. It would indeed, but I won’t hold my breath.
    In case I’m wrong, would you please note their follow-up comments here because I just can’t force myself to go over there very often.

  7. “It would be a move of integrity and compassion for them to do so.”
    Yes it would. Therefore I expect they will do everything possible to spread their story as far and wide as possible and then point out that he hasn’t answered them as evidence that their criticisms are spot on.
    On the other hand, since nobody but the converted even goes to that censored propaganda site, I would suggest that it is not worth anyone’s time to even attempt to dispute anything there. That simply gives them more credibility than they deserve.
    And every hit there helps them maintain their funding.
    The best way to deal with them is to totally ignore them, except to occasionally ridicule them.

  8. Gerald Machnee says:
    April 28, 2011 at 12:50 pm
    When will someone actually post a real critical comment there?
    You forgot the end-tag for sarcasm:
    /sarc
    Otherwise some denizens will think you were serious 😉
    If you were serious I apologize. Oh, and I would ask if you have tried posting anything critical in that place.

  9. I would like to believe it was just bad timing, but RC has never been known for good judgement.
    Did RC post today before or after Spencer’s comments appeared on his blog?

  10. Gerald Machnee says:
    April 28, 2011 at 12:50 pm
    When will someone actually post a real critical comment there?

    Waste of time. RC is as rabidly authoritarian as any extreme blog, left or right.

  11. The argument was lost by RC before it began. The reference to Sarah Palin was a pander to their own lowest common denominator. I’ve noticed lately they cannot generate any motivation in the cAGW crowd unless there is an accompanying ideological slander. They’ve abandoned all pretenses of convincing folks with the “science” and have been reduced to sneers and loathing, i.e. they know they’ve lost the literate.

  12. First comment on Spencer’s site: 7:58 AM.
    First comment on RC site: 8:15 AM
    What sort of “timing” is that?
    You should never shoot yourself in the foot when your foot is in your mouth.

  13. Why was that thought already in my mind after seeing the title but before reading a single of your words? I’ll clamp the rest of my words till they respond, you are right, it could be innocent, but that would take a very big coincidence, his book has been out for quite a long time. A post time? I only see a date.

  14. I think that’s what they mean by “controlling the message”. Oh look! Roy’s incommunicado!… I think you get the rest.

  15. “1675 Mar 20, 1675 – This is the most extensive tornado on record, excepting the remarkable tornadoes of March 20, 1675, in Alabama, Georgia, and the Carolinas.
    From Annual report – Related web pages
    books.google.com/books?id=UrsMAQAAIAAJ&pg … ”
    http://www.google.com/search?q=tornado+in+alabama&hl=en&biw=1004&bih=594&prmd=ivnsu&sa=X&ei=rdO5TZeCBYbk0gH59vD9Dw&ved=0CD8QpQI&tbm=&tbs=tl:1,tlul:1650,tluh:2011
    I wish I had a clue what you people are “really” talking about . . .

  16. Sorry, I don’t get.
    Roy will get around to rebutting it when he is able.
    RC is under no obligation to “pull” the rebuttle simply because Roy is having personal difficulties. I can’t imagine SteveMc would pull a critique just because the scientists he is criticizing can’t respond immediately.

  17. hope everything is ok in Alabama for Dr. Spencer….i heard him about a week ago on the Dennis Prager show….
    also heard Anthony on the Lars Larsen show yesterday(good job on Shell Oil essentially having wasted $4 billion thanks to our gov’t) and Chuck Weiss(?) today on Larsen’s show….they said Weiss was a contributor to WUWT but i couldn’t find any articles so perhaps i got the last name wrong…in any case Weiss was steamed about some pro-AGW guest on Fox News last night and supposedly Fox News will be having an excellent guest on tonite (O’Reilly) to debunk a lot of what was said…

  18. Hot salt waterspouts and occasional pillars of fire tore North from the Gulf this week, leading TV weatherman in Alabama to interview an assortment of Texan meteorologists and space architects found in the upper branches of cyprus trees for this evening’s Six O’Clock News.
    “What are you looking at ?” said one impaled Houstonian. “Move along, now, nothing to see here.” he added . “Can’t you speak up? ” said a closed caption technician who was not identified .

  19. RE:
    ******
    Henry Galt says:
    April 28, 2011 at 1:12 pm
    Gerald Machnee says:
    April 28, 2011 at 12:50 pm
    When will someone actually post a real critical comment there?
    You forgot the end-tag for sarcasm:
    /sarc
    Otherwise some denizens will think you were serious 😉
    If you were serious I apologize. Oh, and I would ask if you have tried posting anything critical in that place.
    ************
    You are correct.
    I posted there a few years ago. Then they got tired when they had no response and all my comments were deleted, even the non-critical one. I do not waste time there anymore.
    I did correct them when someone suggested that the hurricane off Brazil was due to warming(happened during a cool period)
    I would be surprised if they let Roy post a response. One problem is most of the posters will not understand him and another is they will not reply directly. Note the trolls there – more concerned with his “beliefs” than science. That tells you what they understand.

  20. I like the cutesy attempt to stick Palin and Spencer together.
    That is right up there with Whoopi goldberg deciding that anyone who critiques Obama is a racist.

  21. They took your suggestion already. This quote from the bottom of the RC article:
    Suspension of comments: Due to Roy Spencer being caught up in a loss of power related to the tornado outbreak in Alabama, we are suspending comments on this post until he is in a position to respond (should he choose to).

  22. They have suspended comments on the piece @ RC saying:
    “Suspension of comments: Due to Roy Spencer being caught up in a loss of power related to the tornado outbreak in Alabama, we are suspending comments on this post until he is in a position to respond (should he choose to).”

  23. I would suggest that people cool it. People should recall that during the 2009 Yamal story briffa was in the hospital unable to respond.
    Gavin thought that was a low blow, and Obsborn had the sense to remind
    gavin that steveMc probably didnt know.
    The comments have been shut down at RC.
    Folks have time to read and do research before commenting. That’s a good thing.

  24. Excerpt from the guest commentary on RC:
    ( As Sarah Palin said, “while we recognize the occurrence of these natural, cyclical environmental trends, we can’t say with assurance that man’s activities cause weather change”. That is really the essence of Roy’s argument.)
    ==============
    So, the first paragraph of a books critique includes a straw(wo)man.
    With an implied conclusion, based upon same.
    Why should I read further.

  25. Kudos is for exceptional achivement. What was the exceptional achivement of Real Climate Mr. Watts.

  26. “… we are suspending comments on this post until he is in a position to respond (should he choose to).”
    Excellent.
    So now there’s an opening for Roy Spencer, to test whether he is actually allowed to respond – and others can publish whatever RC fails to publish.

  27. Climate boffins such as Gavin and his ilk have no idea what’s going on the real world. This is especially true when it comes to the weather. How could they when they live inside toy models of the real world? So in all probability none of them knew of the record tornado outbreak in Alabama.
    Lesson 1: Never ascribe malicious intent when incompetence can explain the situation.
    Next off consider that climate boffins are fanatics when it comes to recycling. Spencer’s book has been out for a year and was reviewed by Real Climate before that as they always review books before they have a chance to read them. Provenance and title alone are all they need to write a review. Then consider that there were only two articles published on RealClimate in the two weeks preceding this recycled book review. Desperate times call for desperate measures.
    Lesson 2: People with nothing better to do are those most likely to recycle things.
    As an aside the few comments the article inspired were interesting. A significant fraction simply dismissed anything Spencer has to say because Spencer believes that life and the universe didn’t happen by accident i.e. Spencer is a proponent of Intelligent Design.
    Again however we cannot ascribe nefarious intent where incompetence can explain things. The climate boffin idolizers appearing in the commentary at Real Climate, what few of them are still around, do not know enough about either Spencer or Intelligent Design to discriminate between either ID and Young Earth Creationism or a scientist like Spencer who accepts the evidence of an old earth at face value and a biblical literalist who does not.
    Just sayin…

  28. Maybe it would be appropriate to close comments here also.
    REPLY: Fine idea, I’ll make it so. – Anthony

  29. Don’t all those people at Real Climate have Real Jobs? Like, studying climate on the taxpayer’s dime? How come they hacve so much time for blogging? I want an investigation into their use of government funds for political activites.

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