Over at Climate Progress, the alarmist organ of the Center for American Progress, Joe Romm is fond of citing an offhand remark from this WUWT story as “proof” of my alleged evilness.
The offending phrase that gets Romm all riled up?
Forbes supports our position. A number of alarmists have been organized to team up on the comment section to defend the undefensible. Please add your voice of support to shout them down in the comments section.
Problem is, I never wrote that update paragraph at the top of the article, Joe D’Aleo did.
Joe Romm has cited the “shout them down” phrase in his references to WUWT and my name no less than 13 times in his blogs:
Last week, I finally had enough of his shenanigans and emailed him, and he made a change to the most recent story for which I thank him, but the other stories remain unchanged. He also suggested in his reply email that I make a note on the blog entry that it is D’Aleo’s words, not mine, and I’ve done that.
Also last week it was revealed that Joe Romm had concerns over accuracy of the blog posts at Skeptical Science: Skeptical Science gets Romm-Bombed
Romm wrote to John Cook, and Cook summarized in their secret offline forum :
“Just got this email from Joe Romm: You must do more post vetting. More errors are creeping into posts and it will start making people like me wary of using them.” – John Cook [Skeptical Science], December 2, 2011
So in that spirit of accuracy, I would think that Joe would want to go back and correct his 12 other mistakes on that “shout them down” phrase he is so fond of using. We’ll see.
But here’s a test to see just how much integrity he has. You see it seems there has in fact been a coordinated effort on the part of Skeptical Science to do exactly what Joe Romm accuses WUWT of doing. Here’s some of that dialog as posted by PopularTechnology.net:
“I posted over at Politico just recently. Hey, we can tag team it a bit if you like, use time zone differences.” – Glenn Tamblyn [Skeptical Science], February 10, 2011
“I think this is a highly effective method of dealing with various blogs and online articles where these discussions pop up. Flag them, discuss them and then send in the troops to hammer down what are usually just a couple of very vocal people. It seems like lots of us are doing similar work, cruising comments sections online looking for disinformation to crush. I spend hours every day doing exactly this. If we can coordinate better and grow the “team of crushers” then we could address all the anti-science much more effectively.” – Rob Honeycutt [Skeptical Science], February 11, 2011
“Rob, Your post is music to my ears. I’ve been advocating the need to create a “crusher crew” for quite some time. I was not however able to get much traction on it with fellow environmental activists here in South Carolina or nationally. Like you, I spend (much to my wife’s chagrin) many hours each day posting comments on articles. One of haunts was the USA Today website […] The bottom line, would you be willing to patrol articles posted on the USA Today website?” – John Hartz [Skeptical Science], February 11, 2011
This started a new forum discussion entitled, “Crusher Crew“.
“Badgersouth and I were just discussing the potential of setting up a coordinated “Crusher Crew” where we could pull our collective time and knowledge together in order to pounce on overly vocal deniers on various comments sections of blogs and news articles.” – Rob Honeycutt [Skeptical Science], February 11, 2011
“May I suggest first on our list as being the *#1 Science Blog* “Watts up with that”? They get a few people come there to engage from time to time but rarely a coordinated effort.” – Robert W. [Skeptical Science], February 11, 2011
“I think it might be better to start out with smaller fish. Build a community and a team. Find some methods and strategies that work. Then start moving up the denier food chain with our targets set on WUWT. I could see this expanding into a broad team of 100 or more people (outside the scope of this SkS forum of course). […] We just need to raise our collective voices to drown them out. I would venture to guess that most people here know of 4 or 5 regulars on comments sections that would be interested in coordinating their efforts. I know probably 10 or 20 people who would like to help with this.” – Rob Honeycutt [Skeptical Science], February 11, 2011
This eco-strike squad was highly endorsed by John Cook,
“The Rapid Response Network would be a good way to coordinate this kind of activity, identifying new articles, logging responses, supporting each other. Can i suggest if a group engage in this, that they use the RRN as beta testers to he’ll me develop and refine the system?” – John Cook [Skeptical Science], February 11, 2011
From the Skeptical Science “leak”: Interesting stuff about generating and marketing “The Consensus Project” (Tom Nelson, March 23, 2012)
Skeptical Science hacked, private user details publicly posted online (Skeptical Science, March 25, 2011)
I had to chuckle at this admission:
“May I suggest first on our list as being the *#1 Science Blog* “Watts up with that”? They get a few people come there to engage from time to time but rarely a coordinated effort.”
Even more hilarious, is this comment left by Skeptical Science author and moderator on Romm’s first essay where he bring the “shout them down” issue up:
Rob Honeycutt says:
I think Anthony Watts relishes his position as a climate thug.
Given the evidence cited above for his own behavior, that’s a classic case of projection by Honeycutt if I’ve ever seen one.
So now the integrity test for Joe Romm is: will you condemn Skeptical Science for actual organized behavior of the same kind that you condemn me of from an off-the cuff comment made by a guest blogger?
So, as it turns out Joe D’Aleo was right, there is an organized effort “…to team up on the comment section to defend the undefensible.“. Maybe he didn’t phrase the call to action well, but all D’Aleo was doing is urging people to exercise their right to free speech if they choose to disagree. There’s no organized effort. I’ve received no complaints from Forbes or any other online venue.
We’ll see how Mr. Romm handles this integrity test when it comes to pointing out the “drown them out” calls of his own misbehaving friends. If he has any integrity he’ll condemn the Skeptical Science organized practice in the same way he has condemned WUWT and me for that offhand remark by D’Aleo.
Ball’s in your court Joe.
UPDATE: Joe D’Aleo responds in comments:
Guilty as charged. I posted that in frustration after many attempts by me and others to post comments refuting obviously flawed claims on numerous blogs that were blocked by moderators. That site, like WUWT was not restrictive, which I encouraged people to respond to. Obviously if readers did not agree with me, they would not /should not do so.
Many times after failing to have my comments appear on some blogs and sites, I have resorted to sending an email with facts, charts and diagrams to the author to try and educate them. SInce you can’t do that in comments and a picture says a thousand words, it may be more effective, but my guess is that they just discard.
Downside then is my argument is never seen by the knee jerk commenters with their litanys…”obviously shills for big oil”, ” 97% of scientists agree”, “deniers are anti-science” , “it is far worse than we ever thought”, “the climate is nearing the tipping point”, “deniers don’t care about the air and water”……that fill the comment section.
Any comments that get through ignore the facts I present and attack my integrity, reasons for not believing, and intelligence. They go ad hominem.
As more soylent green says so well, since this i not a scientific debate and never was is “shout them” down really inappropriate?
By the way a skeptic was invited to give a talk in New England on natural factors and a professor organized a group to come in and disrupt the talk – not wait for the Q&A session after with tough questions but to try and make it impossible for the speaker to present his case. I experienced that kind of resistance twice in talks in Vermont where a group tried to convince the museum to cancel my talk and the second when a talk at a college was constantly interrupted with challenges ironically to pictures of bad climate sites. The person involved kept insisting these were not real sites. It was in the early days of surfacestations.org and I used stations from Anthony, Roger Pielke Sr. and the late John Daly.