A Taxonomy of Science Blogs

Guest Post by Willis Eschenbach

Over at Lucia Liljegren’s most interesting site, “Rank Exploits”, she has another fascinating post, as is often the case. I busted out laughing at the post title, which is “HotWhopper Sou Doesn’t Read WUWT”. Given how often the lady in the Batcave over at Hotwhopper writes about Watts Up With That (WUWT) in general, and how much time she wastes trying to bite my ankles, I found this ludicrous. Lucia’s post was in reference to a curious network analysis by Paige Jarreau, which purports to show that Watts Up With That is hardly read by anyone in the field, and that the most-read climate blog is RealClimate. This is Ms. Jarreau’s description of her work:

What would it look like if you asked 600+ science bloggers to list up to three science blogs, other than their own, that they read on a regular basis, and then visually mapped the resulting data?

And here are the Jarreau results:

jarreau climate blogsFigure 1. The section of the Jarreau results covering climate blogs. Lines show links, people who blog at one site and say that they read another site. Size of the names indicates the numbers of people listing that blog among the three that they read most. Click to enlarge.

Now, you can see WUWT in yellow over on the left, almost totally isolated from the other groups of blogs, in tiny type, with only a few links to it. This raises an interesting question, which is—how could Ms. Jarreau’s results be so far from reality? I say “far from reality” because by just about any measure, Watts Up With That is at the center of the climate blogosphere. Whether you look at total page views, “bounce rate”, page views per visitor, daily time on site, Alexa rating, you name the metric, WUWT comes out an order of magnitude ahead of any other climate blog. For example, Alexa rates WUWT as the 20,839th most popular blog worldwide … while RealClimate is an order of magnitude lower down, at 217,939th among all blogs.

Not only that, but WUWT is read by people on both sides of the climate divide, as evidenced by the number of AGW-supporting individuals and sites who comment on the WUWT posts, both at their blogs, on Twitter, and to their co-workers. The AGW supporters may only read it to see what the opposition is up to … but given their steady rate of responses, HotWhopper Sou and others read it regularly. Now to be fair, the results of Ms. Jarreau are preliminary … but still, how did her analysis get it so wrong? I’d say three things contributed to the skewed results. First, people don’t always tell the truth. Ms. HotWhopper is the obvious poster child for this. From the topics of her posts it’s obvious that she spends a whole lot of time reading WUWT … but she didn’t list it. I suspect that for some people, it’s a guilty pleasure, but that if asked, they’d say the equivalent of “I only read Playboy for the articles” …

The second reason for the skewed results is the way that news of the survey was passed around. It doesn’t appear that there was sufficient effort given to ensuring that the questionnaire was widely distributed. A better method might have been to write up a description and invitation to participate in the study, and to ask the various blogs to use it as a guest post. In any case, more thought about how to select participants is definitely indicated. Third, and in my opinion most important, there appears to have been no definition of terms, particularly as to what constitutes a “science site”. A large number of people in Lucias thread said well, HotWhopper Sou didn’t list WUWT because it’s not a science site … and according to them, the evidence for their claim that WUWT is not a science site is that often WUWT publishes studies which later turn out to be incorrect in some way, and sometimes are totally mistaken and wrong. To me, this reflects a profound misunderstanding of what makes a science site. The problem is that there are different kinds of “science sites”.

I’ll use mostly climate science sites as examples, as I’m familiar with them. One kind of science site is just a news aggregation site. The best example of this kind is Climate Depot. It just puts up links to stories about the climate with little commentary. Another kind of science site generally restricts itself to discussions of peer-reviewed science, but gives some commentary on each link. “It’s Not Rocket Science” or the Scientific American blog are examples of this category. Another kind of science site mostly deals with the original work of an individual author. Climate Audit and Isaac Held’s blog are examples of this kind of site. Then we have sites such as Lucia Liljegren’s site, or Judith Curry’s site, which reflect the individual interests of the author but which range widely over a number of subjects. Finally, we have Watts Up With That (WUWT). What makes WUWT unusual is that it is not a site that publicly discusses peer-reviewed science documents. Instead, it is a site for the public peer-review of science documents, including original work done by guest authors such as myself, and also studies which have been peer-reviewed by one of the journals.

This is a very different animal. To start with, just as happens with the secret peer review which is the usual format for the journals, not all of the papers that are reviewed will pass muster. Of course the journals don’t publish anything that doesn’t pass peer-review, they are hidden from view. But for public peer review such as goes on at WUWT, everything is visible, good, bad, and ugly. So when people complain that there are misguided or incorrect scientific claims posted at WUWT … well, doh. That’s an unavoidable part of the public peer-review game. Some of the pieces won’t make the cut. Not only that, but it is an extremely important part of the game. Knowing not only which scientific claims are wrong, but exactly why they are wrong, is perhaps more important than knowing which scientific claims are right. So yes, there is some very sketchy science that sometimes gets published and publicly peer-reviewed at WUWT … and almost invariably, it gets shot full of holes in short order. This makes WUWT more of a scientific site, not less of one. You don’t see that kind of thing happening at say RealClimate (RC) for a simple reason—such comments are invisibly and ruthlessly censored.

And that is why the Jarreau claim that RC is at the center of anything scientific is a joke. Science doesn’t censor scientific comments, and RC does censor scientific comments. You do the math. (Of course, all sites censor comments that violate blog policy, such as those that are vulgar or insulting, or wildly off-topic … but RC censors polite, on-topic, clearly scientific objections to their posts. No bueno.) As a frequent guest author, to me this pointing out of bad science is one of the most important aspects of WUWT—any mistake that I make will be identified in very short order. This has saved me immense amounts of wasted effort following blind trails … but some foolish folks think that my occasionally publishing claims that eventually turn out to be erroneous reduces the scientific value or nature of WUWT.

Nothing could be further from the truth.

Identifying errors and falsifying claims is central to science, and the only way to do so is to first publish the claims that later turn out to be wrong. As a result, Anthony has to undertake a continuous delicate balancing act. He doesn’t want to publish things that are obviously pseudo-science, but then he doesn’t want to exclude things that might be right … plus sometimes he wants to publish things that he knows are wrong simply so that their errors can be publicly identified. Does he make mistakes in the choices at times? Of course. It’s a tough job, and it is a job that no one individual could possibly be qualified to do, for a simple reason—nobody is as smart as the collective wisdom of the crowd. There’s no way to guess what errors a thousand readers might find in a piece that you or I might think is flawless. And there’s also no way to identify the odd and curious scientific claim that in a few years might be “settled science”.

So Anthony has to pick and choose, and not every choice is right … so what? Since the public falsification of bad science is essential to scientific progress, I find the idea that WUWT is not a science site because it sometimes posts shaky claims to be very parochial and short-sited. Private secret peer-review has obviously failed. In fact, many of the ridiculously bad “science” claims discussed at WUWT are peer-reviewed studies published in the most prestigious journals … but nobody can get that kind of nonsense past the kind of public peer review which is exemplified by WUWT. There are too many smart, insightful, capable people commenting on the posts for much to slip by …

So yes, WUWT does publish some obviously bad science, including obviously bad peer-reviewed science. But what some people fail to understand is, public falsification is the heart of science … and the only way to do that is to start by publishing and discussing that science, whether it is “good” or “bad”, and whether or not it’s already been peer-reviewed. In any case, those three reasons are why I think that the Jarreau results are so out of touch with reality.

My best to all, my great appreciation to Anthony for his tireless work, and my thanks to Lucia. On my planet her posts are almost always fascinating, as are the comments that they engender. And finally, my thanks to all the readers, lurkers, and commenters for your continued efforts to move the game forwards. w.

PS—The usual request: if you disagree with someone, please QUOTE THEIR EXACT WORDS THAT YOU THINK ARE WRONG. This allows everyone to be clear about exactly what it is that you are objecting to.


Addendum by Anthony:

I thank Willis for his analysis and for his kind words. It should be noted that as far as I know, I have never been contacted by Jarreau to ask to participate in the survey. Shades of Cook and Lewandowsky’s methodology where you get your desired result by selecting your sample beforehand. (i.e. only ask the people that are in your circle) – Anthony

 

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173 thoughts on “A Taxonomy of Science Blogs

  1. That chart was mislabeled.
    It should have been called “In Climatology today, Who sits at the Cool Table (people the author likes a lot) and who sits at the Geeks and Nerds Table (People the author would never, ever go out on a date with)
    That’s all that is going on here. American Idol is more “scientific” than this.

    • Science doesn’t censor scientific comments, and RC does censor scientific comments.

      RC and peer review is to science as the Catholic Imprimatur is to knowledge. From wikipee:
      In the Catholic Church an imprimatur is an official declaration by a Church authority that a book or other printed work may be published;[1][2] it is usually only applied for and granted to books on religious topics from a Catholic perspective.
      The grant of imprimatur is normally preceded by a favourable declaration (known as a nihil obstat)[3] by a person who has the knowledge, orthodoxy and prudence necessary for passing a judgement about the absence from the publication of anything that would “harm correct faith or good morals”[4] In canon law such a person is known as a censor[5] or sometimes as a censor librorum (Latin for “censor of books”).
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Imprimatur

      • In Climate Science, Peer Review is an official declaration by the Climate Science Authority that a study or other work of fiction work may be published;[1][2] it is usually only applied for and granted to papers on things scary from a Climate Science perspective.
        The grant of Peer Review is normally preceded by a favourable declaration (known as a nihil obstat)[3] by a person who has the knowledge, orthodoxy and prudence necessary for passing a judgement about the absence from the publication of anything that would “harm correct faith or grant revenues”[4] In canon law such a person is known as a censor[5] or sometimes as a censor real climate (Latin for “censor of science”).

      • A key difference is that the Catholic Church isn’t going to bend heaven and earth to prevent your publishing if you don’t get your nihil obstat. You simply can’t claim that you’ve got your RCC seal of approval. Catholic theologians who are pushing the intellectual limits often make a point of NOT getting an imprimatur so they can get their ideas out in the open for discussion and so they can avoid claims that they are trying to “corrupt” the faithful.

  2. Looks like the network analysis of a climate circle jerk. Paige Jarreau’s website links to the interactive Gephi graphic. How did you get all the names to show up?

  3. The same high-quality misleading display of data that the “climate science” industry has become known for. Good for her!

  4. Looks to me like they took a flight guide from one of the North American air lines and copied names on it.
    Real Climate is New York, Skeptical Science is Mexico City, and WUWT appears to have ended up in Japan. Odd.

  5. Hmmmm. According to Alexa people view more pages and stay nearly twice as long on my rinky-dink website [ http://landscapesandcycles.net ]than they do on RealClimate. I suspect Paige Jarreau is just trying to drum up business for a failing RealClimate website that is descending into the dustbins of history.

    • Yeah, but your site is a) science and b) interesting … funny how far that goes even in today’s world.
      w.

    • What would it look like if you asked 600+ science bloggers to list up to three science blogs, other than their own, that they read on a regular basis, and then visually mapped the resulting data?

      Let’s fix that for ya. 😉

      What would it look like if you asked 600+ science bloggers to list up to three science blogs, other than their own, that they HONESTLY read on a regular basis, and then visually mapped the resulting data?

      • To back up what I have just posted see a comment from ‘Sou’ at HotWhopper.

        Sou 30 December 2014 3:16pm
        The blog I probably visit most frequently I didn’t list – because I don’t rate it as a science blog, although I see that it appears on your map.

        So there you have it.

    • I view this as yet another attempt to deceive. “Don’t believe your lying eyes, RealClimate really is the most important climate blog and WUWT is not important at all.” Standard operating procedure for these folks. For example: “Don’t believe your lying eyes, 2014 really was the hottest year ever and there is no such thing as the Medieval Warm Period or Roman Warm Period.”

    • just went on yr ‘rinky-dink’ site and to yr amazon book blurb in which I read: “On the other hand it presents withering criticism against the politicization of climate change and those who have hijacked key environmental issues to the detriment of good environmental stewardship. Steele highlights how faulty science and bad models have misguided critical conservation efforts and misrepresented conservation success. Most distressing Landscapes and Cycles reveals how global warming advocates have opposed appropriate conservation efforts simply because the concerned scientists did not blame climate change.”
      That in a nutshel is my personal, totally amateur beef with the whole AGW business. I would go so far as to say – without a shred of evidence but that’s the luxury of being an amateur! – that endless debates about global climate crises are perhaps the biggest obstacle to addressing real environmental issues which have to be dealt with not so much in scientific papers but in boardrooms and legislatures. Generally our cultures, both locally and globally, need to embrace mores that honour quality and Nature in general over mere profit and corporate hegemony of basic norms of commerce and local-regional development. Generally, I suspect it just boils down to common sense and good taste, but no doubt intelligent scientists can help identify certain key details that prove most helpful.
      Arguing about whether or not the world is overheating or overcooling because if X anthrogenic input or Y is the ideal way to ensure that very little of substance gets done. My hat’s off to you for your work in the environment in general, and I’ll be getting yr book!

    • jim – i hadn’t heard of your site before – but after surveying it – i’ve put it in my bookmarks – the quality of the content might explain your site’s superior score – rather than any defects in Jarreau’s analysis

  6. An excellent chart of The Consensus. I check WUWT daily and ATTP almost daily. Occasional: Brandon’s blog, Lubos Motl’s blog, Climate Audit, Steve Goddard’s. This activity competes with reading websites with a more reporting-of-science focus such as Science News. The editorial commentary is contaminated but the actual summaries of current science are interesting and usually objective rather than emotional.
    I think I’ve viewed Hot Whopper twice in my life but her obsession with WUWT is redundant; instead of reading WUWT-with-commentary on her site, I can simply read WUWT and make my own conclusions.
    ATTP helps calibrate what’s interesting — if WUWT *and* ATTP think a thing is worth blogging about it’s probably worth my time as well.
    It will be a great day when a model starts to predict with some skill.

  7. What happens if I ask 600 air travelers to list their destinations, rating each destination on its pre-flight courtesies, its restrooms, its taxi services and its connections to the capital building and international government offices?
    Would you not display this exact type plot – but with very, very different results – if you asked the 600 members of the EU Parliament, the 413 members of the Canadian parliament, the 650 members of the UK Parliament, the 150 members of the Australian Parliament or the 535 combined members of the US congress?
    If I ask the people from South Africa, would I not get a different result than if I asked the number of people flying through Saudi Arabia?

  8. Willis, I agree with you on the taxonomy of blogs. However I don’t agree with the following: “[WUWT] is a site for the public peer-review of science documents”, WUWT has a number of functions, but if you were to squarely assess comments as to whether they constitute “public peer-review of science documents”, for the most part, I don’t think that they do. WUWT has an enormous audience and the comments show that the audience is interested and engaged, but its function, in my opinion, is different than the one that you describe.

    • Thanks, Steve. I’m not sure why you think that one of the major process here is not the finding of errors in a variety of posts. Consider for example the treatment of the Jelbring hypothesis that gravity causes a warming of the bottom of a long column of air. In response Robert Brown brought forward a lovely proof that Jelbring’s hypothesis was wrong.
      The same thing was true regarding the work of Piers Forster, and the climate model of Scafetta and Loehle, and the “solar notch” model of David Evans and Joanne Nova. People identified and discussed the errors in their work.
      And of course, for my own work the main thing that I see happening is that people look to find problems, mistakes and errors in what I write, and I’m glad that they do … how is any of all of that not peer review?
      Finally, I and others have reviewed a host of peer-reviewed papers from the journals, many of which have been found terribly wanting … is that not peer review? And if not, then what is it?
      Now, certainly that is not all that goes on at WUWT … but it is a large part of what happens.
      Perhaps the problem is semantic in that it is not “peer-review” in the historical sense, but I would strongly argue that this public vetting and review of scientific claims is peer review in the 21st century sense.
      So how would you describe what goes on here?
      My best to you, and thanks as always for Climate Audit, your marvelous blog which was the ur-blog for all the rest of us,
      w.

      • “…which was the ur-blog…”

        A statement that I heartily agree with from a reader’s standpoint.
        Does that make Steve McIntyre Gilgamesh? With Ross McKitrick as his mighty friend Enkidu?
        Gilgamesh

      • Have WUWT readers ever been surveyed about why they read and/or comment here? It might be interesting to see.

      • Maybe the 80 / 20 rule. 80% of us have a hard science degree, 20% do not, which in my opinion 80% qualifies as science peers regardless of which side of an argument taken. Certainly more profoundly reviewed than a peer reviewed journal; example Scientific American. The volume of commentors is far more rounded in views and demonstrates far more interest than any of todays agenda driven journals. By the way, how are those journal subscriptions holding up? Similar to main stream media exponential slide into oblivion?
        ide into o

      • Of course it all depends who gets to define the term “peer review”. Worse is they seem to be able to control the definition of who a “scientist” is. Non scientific academics are constantly declaring who is qualified and who is not. This qualification seems to rely on whether an individual supports the ephemeral consensus or not.
        How very unscientific is that? GK

      • Maybe “peer review” is not 100 percent accurate here as in the other world “peer review” too frequently turns out to be “Pal review”. We just need a more positive term here.

      • You and Steve are both right but (IMO) are not talking about precisely the same thing. Steve observes the majority of the commenters purpose and you observe the consequence of some the comments. In my opinion the bulk of comments at WUWT constitute little more than the commenter affirming his/her membership in the skeptic consensus yet some of the comments contain deadly skill at skewering bad papers. Those same skillful commenters often contribute to other sites.
        To the OP, blogs are notorious for “reblogging”, a term barely different that plagiarizing, and in many cases entire posts are lifted. Some blogs are purely parasitic and the old sow’s site is one such. Because she has limited creativity she chews WUWT in her slobbering maw then regurgitates back what she makes of WUWT content. Value added? Red meat for her sty mates. This lacks the least level of integrity granted even to aggregators who exist parasitically but without modifying the original message or even offering more than a brief summary or headline (Drudge, f’rinstance). The result of all this shared content is I can generally stay on top of what is happening at Climate Audit without visiting the site. That skews Alexis data.

      • Totally disagree that either Robert or you showed that adiabatic warming is wrong. It is a well known atmospheric and geological phenomenon. It is clearly expressed in Foehn winds and it is also a direct derivative of the “pressure broadening” Roy Spencer is so fond of.
        Totally agree with the rest of this post and your response to Steve.

    • Public peer-review of science documents is certainly new and not the same as the traditional forms of peer review where a selected group of people expert in a field are asked to review. Is the new public approach better or worse than the traditional in weeding out nonsense, I don’t know. I know I have seen some spectacularly poor papers that have passed traditional review and have read comments from reviewers which indicate the reviewer did not understand the review process.
      What is certain is that climate science has become a public issue at the insistence of the IPCC and climate scientists and as such absolutely needs to have their work then scrutinized in public.

    • I agree with Mr. Eschenbach that WUWT is a great medium for drawing criticism to proposed theories and thereby enlightening readers. I have benefited many times from comments that various posts have provoked, and Mr. Watts is to be commended for providing such a forum.
      But it is perhaps a slight overstatement to say that “almost invariably, [sketchy science] gets shot full of holes in short order.” For example, although The Bern Model Puzzle took a position that was, well, mathematically naïve, I saw no one address its shortcomings until the posting of Is the Bern Model Non-Physical? over a year and a half later. And, although rejection of the Jelbring hypothesis was a beneficial effect of posting Dr. Brown’s “lovely proof,” there remains little recognition three years later that the “lovely proof” is based on an assumption that is either indeterminate or wrong.
      So “almost invariably” and/or “in short order” may be a little bit of a stretch. Nonetheless, a great amount of peer review does occur at this site.

  9. Are Paige Jarreau and Naomi Oreskes twins? Their research methodologies are so utterly outrageous that they could only come from people with similar genetic characteristics. At least that’s the best explanation I can come up with.

  10. “What would it look like if you asked 600+ science bloggers to list up to three science blogs”
    It reveals alliances, not “truth” per se. Who talks to whom, who reports to whom. I’ve used similar techniques in my Navy career to discover or uncover the real sources of authority in a unit; it isn’t always the ranking officer and quite often the real leader keeps a low profile so that attacks happen on the subordinates and the leader is relatively hidden.
    Same in business. Find out (1) who is pulling the strings, (2) the nature of those strings, and (3) who has been snared by those strings.
    RealClimate is obviously the “alpha” surrounded by the Crown Colonies (Australia, Scotland, England). That suggests that concern about “the climate” isn’t global and neither are the alliances. It is a type of signature that will probably be manifest in unrelated topics but with the same cluster of alliances.
    Can there be more than one alpha? Sure; every dog pack has an alpha.

  11. Quite a lot of research reported at Nature or Science is not quite correct, or even completely wrong. It gets sorted out eventually, that is the process of science after all. A site hoping to present no erroneous information would be boring, authoritarian, and could only publish the most outdated and antiseptic material imaginable.

  12. Congratulations, Willis, and of course Lucia.
    I’m grateful for the work you put in.
    Willis, I applaud your comments. I have to add that all of us here have the obligation to man up and do the criticising of invalid science when it appears. Otherwise we will become the repository of nonsense that our critics accuse us of being.

  13. I don’t think you can easily characterize WUWT. It does involve a lot of criticism, yes, but it’s a lot broader than peer review. And more interesting. It’s the blog I follow daily, along with Bishop Hill (a tad more intellectual) and Jo Nova (an antipodean POV), with occasional sorties to Climate Audit, the heavyweight.
    The Jarreau ‘hacks-onomy’ should be called a “No-True-Scotsman” chart. It is (with some notable exceptions) a backwoods pedigree chart, a science-redneck genealogical diagram, indicating where the good ol’ boys of climatastrophy gather daily to exchange high sixes.

    • “…to exchange high sixes”
      Are you suggesting…Climatic Incest?
      Oh that’s such an ugly visual, and more nauseating than M&M Yak cookies.
      [Well, exchanging high sixes leads to more cases of Climatic Insex, at least.
      But do you not get more Climatic insects by exchanging low sixes? .mod]

    • I always start my day with Bishop Hill, since he has a six hour or more head start. WUWT follows shortly.

  14. Brilliant article, Willis! You’ve really put your finger on what is so wonderful about WUWT, and why so many people, including me, are completely avid readers of this website.

  15. OK, that network is clearly wrong. All the figures relating to measurable numbers prove that. So how did she get it so wrong? Here are a few ideas.
    1 She may have taken “Number of Claimed Readers” / “Number of Posts”. As RealClimate is effectively a zombie site any readers at all would be huge.
    2 She only asked “Approved Climatologists” Many people who engage in science do not engage in climate science. They are repulsed by ideas like reversing the null hypothesis and redefining peer review. But they wouldn’t be in this survey.
    3 .WUWT isn’t just a science site. It is also a forum for debate about the whole field of climatology – politics and economics as well. People may have overlooked it for that reason. Politics is grubby.
    Or finally,
    4 WUWT is the online version of what New Scientist or SciAm used to be. It really isn’t a journal – it wouldn’t have the size of readership if it was. So some may have overlooked it for that reason too.

    • One thing that needs to be pointed out is that the Climate blogosphere was just one small section of this survey.

  16. From what I understand about ‘mainstream’ science (or, as a New Testament expert put it, stuck-in-the-middle with you scholarship), it thinks it knows what pseudo-science is a priori. Of course the reasoning is circular (e.g. it’s not real science unless it gets published in peer reviewed journals), but there you have it.
    There is a kind of ‘Reality Police’ out there who do not care about investigation but care only about their militant agenda.
    You may have heard about a couple of TEDx videos that got effectively censored in 2013. Yes, that is the power of the Reality Police. That unsettled me a little bit, and I’m not usually one to be unsettled.

    • It is amazing that one cannot discuss transcendental ideas in TEDx talks about the boundaries of the scientific method. Quite boneheaded. I call TED DEAD now.

    • And the recent study about ‘peer-reviewed’ medical science that showed that 80% of published medical studies were wrong?

      • I think you’re probably thinking of John Ionnadis papers on medical research that suggest that a LOT of published medical research (but nowhere near 80%) is dead wrong or substantially in error. What I find interesting is that Ionnadis’ papers are taken seriously and he is not called names by throngs of folks who seem to be sadly lacking in analytic capability and who have with no visible BS detector. OTOH, climate skeptics criticizing what certainly appears to be substantially sloppier “science” get pilloried.
        FWIW Here’s a link to a brief summary of Ionnadis work. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_P._A._Ioannidis

  17. the “solar notch” model of David Evans and Joanne Nova.
    From my involvement with that episode it wasn’t WUWT that identified David’s error (although WUWT thought he got it wrong). It was a commenter at Jonova’s that identified the error. And once that error was identified the articles stopped. The fellow who got it right was an expert in control theory. No one else criticizing it had those chops. I was with David until I read that comment and had the commenter elaborate on his point. I eventually got the commenter’s point (it took a little while – maybe a few comments of back and forth ) because I study control theory.

    • M. Simon –
      You say “It was a commenter at Jonova’s that identified the error”. Actually, I identified that THERE WAS AN ERROR (had to be an error). David FOUND THE ERROR himself and thanked me for my persistence. FULL marks to David. A number of others like yourself kept the discussion interesting.

  18. I’m with Jorge Kafkazar. My daily check of blogs includes WUWT, BishopHill, sometimes, Jo Nova, No Tricks Zone and many others. I like Willis’ reference to Playboy and Jorge’s to high sixes.
    On a more serious note, Willis your data handling and analysis skills seem to me perfect to check out if the NOAA claim for 2014 being the hottest ever, (based on combining ocean and terrestrial data, and a hot NE Pacific), is correct. The form of the resultant curve (as shown by various Bob Tisdale posts) rising to 2014, is very different to any other temperature data curve such as RSS, UAH, Giss or others, which show 2014 lower than 1998 and 2010. Do the real data, such as Argo, agree?.

  19. Quite a few years ago a well known catfood company produced a slogan that 9 out of ten owners who expressed a preference said their cats preferred it. As with this chart it was quite obviously and logically completely false. As it happens the catfood tin ran a competition on the back of the label and there was a tick box questionaire that asked the question. Interesting thing is that 10% who were already using it didnt recommend it!
    Similar here I think – and similar to the contemporary peer review process – if you ask only those who already agree with you you will never get the general concensus.

    • Yes, well said. What the cats prefer, and what they get, is not the same thing as what the owners prefer or even what the owners buy. Ask the right question, and you can want the answer you get.

  20. I read Lucia’s post [ 30th december ] on Hotwhopper and the network as the comments were rolling in.
    Like Willis I also was somewhat taken aback when a number of claims were made that WUWT wasn’t a science site.
    My reaction was, No, it’s not a science site as the rather snobbish elitism of those commenters would see a science site. They obviously only saw a science site as something that matched their own not always pure elitist standards.
    So it was very much a case of some at Lucia’s blog although not Lucia personally , to denigrate WUWT from their own purely personal somewhat elitist perspective where they seem to believe that only a blog site operating at the science level which they believed they were at could any blog site be regarded as promulgating science.
    For my part I see WUWT as a link, a unique and increasingly vital one that has never really existed at this ordinary citizen understanding level before between the man in the street and the science world.
    A unique link, and I will leave it to others to defines the reasons why, WUWT has taken off in the skeptic blog world to the point where it has become a byword for skeptics and I suspect for many of the doubtful and truth seekers in the alarmist camp. Increasingly so as the alarmist propaganda continues to get shriller and shriller and consequently ever more rancid in the public’s mind.
    Not only as Willis points out, have we been presented in the past with fait accompli science, climate alarmist science being the classic case here, but science that in the past would accept no argument from the ignorant proletariat far below it in status.
    We as a public have had some diabolically bad science as well as some very good interesting science presented to us through the medium of the various science orientated blogs of which WUWT is the most prominent.
    It has made many I suspect, far more wary and questioning of science in general and very skeptical of much of the climate science at every level that was in the past unchallengeable by the science interested street level public who pay for this science including the large volumes of climate related trash science.
    That is until the likes of WUWT and others sites of a similar standing and using the internet as the channel of communication started to put the the Good, the Bad and the very Ugly of science before us, the public, for our consideration.
    What those who class themselves as members of an elitist science profession fail to understand is that their world has changed and continues to change in ways they never foresaw as the public come to grips with the fact that science, far from being an elist occupation pure in ethics and spirit is just as messy , good, bad, indifferent , corrupted , honest, vicious, distasteful, grandiose and every other characteristic that every other trade, and profession on this planet also suffers from and has to deal with.
    The internet has seen to all the above.
    Scientists can no longer operate in their cosy little self congratulatory groups and corrupt science to fit their own personal agendas.
    For sooner or later they will be found out.
    History has proven that over and over again.
    So scientists, welcome to the real world, the same one everybody else operates in.
    The world which the elitist amongst you have forgotten that this is also the street level world where you too started on your path to science, funded by those very people at the street level that some, only some of you now look down upon.
    WUWT has been a vital link in bringing a very wide range of science down to the understanding levels of the public. WUWT is playing a vital role in uncovering the utter imbecility of much of what passes as science in many fields today.
    The imprimatur of the denizens of WUWT on a science paper is increasingly I suspect, a passport to a much increased respect from the peers of the authors of the paper.
    May it long continue.

  21. I read Lucia’s post [ 30th December ] on Hotwhopper and the network as the comments were rolling in.
    Like Willis I also was somewhat taken aback when a number of claims were made that WUWT wasn’t a science site.
    My reaction was, No, WUWT not a science site as the rather snobbish elitism of those commenters would see a science site. They obviously only saw a science site as something that matched their own not always pure elitist standards.
    WUWT was of a different science caste to that desired by Lucia’s commenters. But some of them seemed incapable of seeing that as they were closed minded on what constituted science.
    So it was very much a case of some at Lucia’s blog although not Lucia personally, to denigrate WUWT from their own purely personal somewhat elitist perspective where they seem to believe that only a blog site operating at the science level which they believed they were at could any blog site be regarded as science blog.
    For my part I see WUWT as a link, a unique and increasingly vital one that has never really existed at this ordinary citizen level of science understanding. A link between the man in the street and the world of science.
    A unique link, and I will leave it to others to defines the reasons why, as WUWT has taken off in the skeptic blog world to the point where it has become a byword for skeptics and I suspect for many of the doubtful and truth seekers in the alarmist camp. Increasingly so as the alarmist propaganda continues to get shriller and shriller and consequently ever more rancid in the public’s mind.
    Not only as Willis points out, have we been presented in the past with fait accompli science, climate alarmist science being the classic case here, but science that in the past would accept no argument from the ignorant proletariat far below it in status.
    We as a public have had some diabolically bad science thrust upon us over the recent years as well as some very good interesting science presented to us through the medium of the various science orientated blogs of which WUWT is the most prominent.
    It has made many I suspect, far more wary and questioning of science in general and very skeptical of much of the climate science at every level that was in the past unchallengeable by the science interested street level public who pay for this science, including the large volumes of climate related trash science.
    That is until the likes of WUWT and others sites of a similar standing and using the internet as the channel of communication started to put the the Good, the Bad and the very Ugly of science before us, the public, for our consideration.
    What those who class themselves as members of an elitist science profession fail to understand is that their world has changed and continues to change in ways they never foresaw as the public come to grips with the fact that science, far from being an elist occupation pure in ethics and spirit is just as messy , good, bad, indifferent , corrupted , honest, vicious, distasteful, grandiose and every other characteristic that every other trade, and profession on this planet also suffers from and has to deal with.
    The internet has seen to the exposure of all the messy and more putrid bits of science at every level
    Scientists can no longer operate in their cosy little self congratulatory groups and corrupt science to fit their own personal agendas.
    For sooner or later they will be found out.
    History has proven that over and over again.
    So scientists, welcome to the real world, the same one everybody else operates in.
    The world which the elitist amongst you have forgotten that this is also the street level world where you too started on your path to science, funded by those very people at the street level that some, a thankfully small percentage I hope, of you now look down upon.
    WUWT has been a vital link in bringing a very wide range of science down to the understanding levels of the public.
    WUWT is playing a vital role in uncovering the utter imbecility of much of what passes as science, particularly climate and green blob related science today.
    On the good science side, I am starting to suspect that the imprimatur of the denizens of WUWT on a science paper is increasingly a passport to a much increased respect from the peers of the authors of the paper.
    May it long continue.

  22. where WUWT stands out with head and shoulders above other sites is the following:
    as a very interested reader of science but with a “nutral point of view” on climate change (i do also read pro AGW sites like sceptical science, brave new climate and a few other pro and contra sites) i tend to agree with what is told in this article.
    Sometimes you don’t need PHD degrees to connect dots of info with a good dose of common sense logic. Here i find that you can ask questions, find interesting (not always correct but AT LEAST a try to give a theory!) theories about newly discovered cycles in nature and so on.
    imvho this is how science works: propose an idea (theory) see how it checks out, if not correct back to the field for new observations, include those, change the theory to the new findings.
    Of course this gives room to errors or to incorrect theories, but at least this is the only site i know till now where you can openly challenge a theory or ask additional questions on hows and why’s… and where you get a reply. Also where you get methods of work so that if interested you can verify the claims.
    that’s imho the main quality of science: often non scientific people can ask questions about things that are “overlooked” or that connect for example other scientific findings that are overlooked. not every scientist knows what goes on in the world or can’t keep track with the latest findings in the world (you have only 24 hours in a day and you have to do research and build your theory so you can’ see everything we’re all human we’re all prone to make errors or to be limited by time).
    here at least you see a theory being built, and then or confirmed, or debunked or corrected with comments and sources. that’s REAL science.
    Sadly i still have to find a similar site in the “pro AGW camp” if you ask there why the models don’t take the already proven natural cycles (like the AMO and PDO) in their projections your comment often doesn’t even show up.

    • Frederik: How right you are.

      [Re posting on ‘pro-AGW sites]…if you ask there why the models don’t take the already proven natural cycles (like the AMO and PDO) in their projections your comment often doesn’t even show up.

      I read and comment at WUWT and BH as well as CA and JoNova because they encourage comments and commenters tend, for the most part, to be courteous. In this, CA is perhaps the most courteous blog around (a reflection of the character of its owner?).
      I tried SkS and RC but I find the fanatical attitude of the warmists there to be so very tiresome, even more-so when a comment you’ve taken time and effort to build is just deleted without an explanation.
      It’s perhaps of note that there are so many more trolls now coming onto WUWT and BH and trying to disrupt threads than was the case some years ago. An indication that their ‘home’ sites are fading into obscurity.

      • Harry Passfield says:
        It’s perhaps of note that there are so many more trolls now coming onto WUWT and BH and trying to disrupt threads than was the case some years ago. An indication that their ‘home’ sites are fading into obscurity.
        I have noticed that too. It is also a consequence of WUWT’s ‘no censorship’ policy. Trolls can come in and clutter up the threads with their anti-science, baseless opinions, along with plenty of ad-homs and personal projection. Too bad, because it spoils a lot of the science being discussed. The regulars here are interested in science, that’s what attracted us here in the first place.
        Alarmist blogs can simply delete skeptics’ posts, and they do that routinely. I used to post a lot of charts, clearly showing that the global warming scare was nonsense. After a few dozen deletions without comment, I eventually stoped posting. They just cannot handle the truth. Facts deconstruct their increasingly strange narrative, which morphs as new facts come to light.

  23. I read WUWT daily and frequently follow posted identifiable links and follow my nose from there. The comments are often more substantial than the articles but you gotta start somewhere.
    WUWT readers are phenomenal.

    • Yes we all are phenomenal, aren’t we Crispin. Our daily obsession to discover the truth. You, I (and thousands of others) would be lost if WUWT went down.
      Speaking of the truth, it’s interesting to see that ‘Hot Whopper’ (mentioned by Willis above) thinks that 30% (Yes 30 percent!) of all atmospheric CO2 is completely man-made. Mmmmm. So, maybe that above chart attempts to isolate those ‘Climate Rationalist’ science sites who know darn well that naturally occurring CO2 is around 388 ppm (96.775%) and anthropogenic CO2 is only around 12 ppm (3.225%).
      I wonder if any of the other ‘Climate Sophist’ sites think HALF of all the atmospheric CO2 is our fault!
      Rationalist/Sophist = new term for Skeptic/Warmist. See link.
      http://wattsupwiththat.com/2015/01/15/status-and-last-chance-for-josh-2015-climate-skeptic-calendars/#comment-1837072

  24. I am not a scientist, I wilt when I see an equation. I love reading this site because it is always courteous, never condescending to non scientist readers and is obviously truthful and interested in truth. WUWT is obviously independent and the product of passion (I like Bishops Hill too).
    To my eyes the theory behind peer review is unconvincing; a self regulating narrowly defined panel of experts (whether they be in politics, industrial design, the arts or science) will always produce a bias towards current orthodoxy. Perhaps before the age of the internet it was the best option, but now we have something much better; crowd review from people who come from every aspect of life, every discipline and every culture. Crowd review comes from people who do their work for free because they are interested. They often have no drum to beat, no reputation to defend and insights from life experiences that are very different from those of the authors.
    Crowd review also works from gut instinct, and gut instinct is often faster to smell the truth than long winded rationalism. Gut instinct is plastic, like evolution, and central to the success of good decision making. Gut instinct is the base principle of human thought. Rationalism is slow, dependent on a skeleton of facts (often called objective truth) that are always subject to drift and group blindness. A small error in the objective truth on which rational thought depends will magnify itself up the chain and produce a wrong result. Rationalism is the regulator of our thought processes, it sits on top of gut instinct and represses excessive emotionalism. In this role it works brilliantly in this role, it works brilliantly in WUWT.

  25. Let’s see. I usually hit:
    WUWT, Bishop Hill, NotALotOfPeopleKnowThat, NoTricksZone, RealScience, JunkScience, Judith Curry, Susan Crockford and JoNova. And then gentleman (and gentleladies) such as Donna Laframboise, Jennifer Mahrosey (sorry about the spelling!), William Briggs, Chiefio, Tallbloke…. and at least a dozen others, probably twice that (but not evvvvvery day).
    I’ve never heard of most of the sites this….. lady?… refers to.

  26. “The Simpsons” is more popular, that does not mean it is more scientific> If you want to read another blog about climate science, I just pick Climate Audit. If I want to know which science blog is more popular I just look the Alexa rankings. Different things.

  27. In Willis’s article, he wrote:
    “As a result, Anthony has to undertake a continuous delicate balancing act. He doesn’t want to publish things that are obviously pseudo-science, but then he doesn’t want to exclude things that might be right … plus sometimes he wants to publish things that he knows are wrong simply so that their errors can be publicly identified.”
    The question is “What is pseudo-science?” I would argue that ‘pseudo-science’ is what appears to be wrong according to the accepted dogma, but is either based on fantasy or willful distortion of fact. If it is wrong according to the accepted dogma, but based on the known facts at the time of publication, it may be anathema to the cognoscenti, but it is still science till proved wrong in essence. Such would be Galileo’s theory as to the simultaneous dropping of large and small balls, or the satellites of Jupiter, or Alfred Wegener on Continental drift/
    On occasion I have commented on a post, and have mentioned Immanuel Velikovsky. These posts of mine appear to have been all suppressed, presumably on the grounds that his work is ‘pseudo-science’ and references to it are therefore not fit for WUWT. I would disagree, some of his details are wrong, others are still open to question, and in other cases the evidence appears to be more on his side than on those who try to suppress his views. But even if Anthony “knows” his views are wrong, publication of references to his views should be acceptable.

  28. As a result, Anthony has to undertake a continuous delicate balancing act. He doesn’t want to publish things that are obviously pseudo-science, but then he doesn’t want to exclude things that might be right

    And here is an interesting study on that issue. It concerns peer review and rejections.

    Nature – 22 December 2014
    Most scientists have horror stories to tell about how a journal brutally rejected their landmark paper. Now researchers have taken a more rigorous approach to evaluating peer review, by tracking the fate of more than 1,000 papers that were submitted ten years ago to the Annals of Internal Medicine, the British Medical Journal and The Lancet.
    Using subsequent citations as a proxy for quality, the team found that the journals were good at weeding out dross and publishing solid research. But they failed — quite spectacularly — to pick up the papers that went to on to garner the most citations.
    “The shocking thing to me was that the top 14 papers had all been rejected, one of them twice,” says Kyle Siler, a sociologist at the University of Toronto in Canada, who led the study1. The work was published on 22 December in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences…..
    But the team also found that 772 of the manuscripts were ‘desk rejected’ by at least one of the journals — meaning they were not even sent out for peer review — and that 12 out of the 15 most-cited papers suffered this fate. “This raises the question: are they scared of unconventional research?” says Siler…..
    http://www.nature.com/news/peer-review-reviewed-1.16629

    • It is an example of how poor practices can become institutionalized. And when an institution is behind something it must be right, right?

    • It’s unfortunate, and it is interesting, but I am not surprised by that result. The best stuff is the new and interesting stuff, and if reviewers were even capable of recognizing such quality they would be publishing it themselves. But they are typically incapable of producing the best research, and for the same reasons they are also incapable of recognizing the best research when they see it. Only the few with similar capabilities as the authors would be capable of reviewing fairly.

    • the above statistics, if true, demonstrate unequivocally that the ‘scientific method’ has a huge subjectivity quotient despite all protestations to the contrary. There are some deep, serious flaws in the whole set-up which generally go unaddressed in any substantive fashion. This is true in many fields these days. Culturally, we are losing the plot and this is just one more sign. Disturbing, but hardly all that surprising any more.

    • I don’t think they are afraid of unconventional work, but they seem to lack the resources to identify it. The editors may be only mediocre scientists, there are such people, or perhaps are utterly out of their element or have been out of the practice of science for a very long time. The same is true of reviewers.

  29. Might I, respectfully, add a further problem to the 3 you have identified.
    According to the quote box, people were invited to name UP TO THREE blogs.
    I don’t know about other people, but I regularly read far more than three “science” blogs – based on my definition of science which includes other aspects of earth science such as volcanology, USGS, local geological society sites (which often contain interesting scientific articles). To say nothing of other sciences such as chemistry and science supporting sites such as maths and statistics.
    Further more, how does one define “regular” – twice a day to catch breaking news, daily, weekly …
    From all of those varied sites I would have had to chose “up to 3” blogs.
    Sorry. Bad specification leads to bad data leads to bad (biased) science.

  30. Kevin Kilty re Nature Science ect.Problem is that it does NOT get sorted out..Mann is still cited as well as Steig’s Junk Science from both and many others. In climate science anyway, it DOES NOT get sorted out by these journals

  31. Observes Mr. Eschenbach:

    Knowing not only which scientific claims are wrong, but exactly why they are wrong, is perhaps more important than knowing which scientific claims are right.
    So yes, there is some very sketchy science that sometimes gets published and publicly peer-reviewed at WUWT … and almost invariably, it gets shot full of holes in short order. This makes WUWT more of a scientific site, not less of one. You don’t see that kind of thing happening at say RealClimate (RC) for a simple reason—such comments are invisibly and ruthlessly censored. And that is why the Jarreau claim that RC is at the center of anything scientific is a joke. Science doesn’t censor scientific comments, and RC does censor scientific comments. You do the math. (Of course, all sites censor comments that violate blog policy, such as those that are vulgar or insulting, or wildly off-topic … but RC censors polite, on-topic, clearly scientific objections to their posts. No bueno.)
    As a frequent guest author, to me this pointing out of bad science is one of the most important aspects of WUWT—any mistake that I make will be identified in very short order. This has saved me immense amounts of wasted effort following blind trails … but some foolish folks think that my occasionally publishing claims that eventually turn out to be erroneous reduces the scientific value or nature of WUWT. Nothing could be further from the truth. Identifying errors and falsifying claims is central to science, and the only way to do so is to first publish the claims that later turn out to be wrong.
    […]
    Since the public falsification of bad science is essential to scientific progress, I find the idea that WUWT is not a science site because it sometimes posts shaky claims to be very parochial and short-sited. Private secret peer-review has obviously failed. In fact, many of the ridiculously bad “science” claims discussed at WUWT are peer-reviewed studies published in the most prestigious journals … but nobody can get that kind of nonsense past the kind of public peer review which is exemplified by WUWT. There are too many smart, insightful, capable people commenting on the posts for much to slip by …
    So yes, WUWT does publish some obviously bad science, including obviously bad peer-reviewed science. But what some people fail to understand is, public falsification is the heart of science … and the only way to do that is to start by publishing and discussing that science, whether it is “good” or “bad”, and whether or not it’s already been peer-reviewed.

    [Emphasis added.]
    In fact, the problem in climatology has been that those materials promulgated by “the consensus” in alarmist pseudoscience have not been subjected to dispassionately objective editorial scrutiny and scrupulously blinded peer review, but have instead been the products of collusive activities which include the foreclosure of editorial independence, including deliberately breaking blinding to turn peer review into “pal review,” the willful evasion of the error-checking mechanism that had been supposed to make the expression “peer-reviewed literature” an indicator of methodological reliability.
    This is a violation of trust, so pervasive and egregious in what the warming catastrophists have made of the periodicals and conferences in climatology and allied disciplines that open review mechanisms like WUWT and similar properly skeptical Web logs became NECESSARY.
    Think of the established channels as “push” media. These have been insidiously co-opted by the corrupt, self-dealing, politically motivated quacks who have managed an elaborate and extremely expensive masquerade for a bit more than three decades now.
    Think “How to boil a live frog,” if you will.
    Genuine editorial discretion (including honestly-conducted blinded peer review) was supposed to provide “filters for folly” in those necessarily narrow conduits, the better to ensure that readers could treat that which was published therein as trustworthy. As long as this seeming was preserved, journals like Nature and Science could be turned into vehicles for mendacity and progtard propaganda, until the point was reached at which it became obvious that they were no longer viable as mechanisms for the dissemination of investigatory results and the discussion of objective reality examined by such investigations.
    The first Climategate tranche (fulfilling the U.K. Freedom of Information Act demands which had been criminally evaded by the administrators of the University of East Anglia’s Climatic Research Unit) on 17 November 2009 simply confirmed the suspicions of corruption, “back-stabbing, cork-screwing, and dirty dealing” long inferred.
    Which is why those F.O.I.A. demands had been uttered.
    Because the “push” media had so obviously been ruinously degraded, “pull” media – by way of the Internet generally and the World Wide Web particularly – were brought into service by professionals like Mr. Watts and Dr. Curry as well as “sniff test” scientifically educated, trained and experienced amateurs (too numerous to mention) looking to openly dissect the bafflegab and to winnow out and evaluate that material which reflects reality as opposed to the hysteria and horsesh!t being employed by the alarmists to diddle the botched and the gullible.
    And – to the surprise and horror of the “climate consensus” charlatans – the engagement a guerrilla resistance by way of Web fora like WUWT has proven effective in pantsing their prevarications.
    In order to peddle their confabulations of half-truths, outright lies, and suppressio veri, suggestio falsi, the “climate consensus” have made of the peer review pretense a no-longer-sustainable camouflage, and except for the “useful idiots” upon whom the socialist left have always relied for the illusion of popular ratification, only open review – in which process plain goddam common sense trumps academic credentialing – is treated as a mechanism of verification.
    It ain’t neat, it ain’t tidy, and it requires reasoned thought on the part of those engaged thereby, but it’s obviously beating the hell out of the catastrophists.
    Listen to them howl.

  32. @jimbo
    …“The shocking thing to me was that the top 14 papers had all been rejected, one of them twice,” says Kyle Siler…
    “Guitar groups are on the way out, Mr Epstein. The Beatles have no future in show business.”
    (Unnamed Decca Records executive, turning down the group in 1962)

  33. Maybe Lucia should use this this graphic to expand her research into the area of groupthink.
    As a funny side note, based on the the size of the type “ALL MODELS ARE WRONG” is the third largest read site by “science bloggers” (another vague undefined term using vague parameters to add to the bottomless pit of vague terms in climate science).
    Unfortunately the only thing the site has correctly is the title, from the content I have read it is more of a apologist site for climate modelers. Articles with themes like “do not fear the climate sceptics” or comparing predicting world population based on fertility rates with CO2 predicting the climate. How they can be clueless that population is a fixed number where climate is a vague term without meaningful definition is beyond me. If there is more to that site than I have seen, please correct me.
    Meanwhile I suggest modelers begin work on predicting how many bananas are sold in New Jersey based on a combination of fertility rates and CO2.

  34. Thank you Willis for the interesting post and your support viewpoint for Anthony’s very valued site.
    Like others, I tracked off to read this curious ‘survey’ elsewhere and try to understand it’s extremely curious results. Of course, I visited Lucia’s, but didn’t stay long as while I’m very interested in Lucia’s comments/commentary/analysis, I am more repulsed by many of her commenters.
    From Lucia’s I went trawling:
    First for Paige Brown’s chart’s background article; “Brown, Paige (2014): MySciBlog Survey – Top Read SciBlogs by SciBloggers. figshare.”
    Which while amusing in a weird way brought me to Paige Brown’s abstract?
    All of which, while also amusing was very unsatisfying. Paige Brown Jarreau’s own comments mentions pulling the data down into Excel to “clean up the data”; a rather horrifying statement.
    Returning to Yahoo for further trawling I followed Paige Brown Jarreau’s references to Science Blog Network and her “Something is wrong on the Internet! What does the Science Blogger do?” project.
    Ahh! A KickStarter type of effort and one that sounds familiar.
    I believe I read, followed and quite likely participated in earlier chapters of Paige’s project(s).
    I don’t remember the original entry point, but I believe it was a small Wall Street Journal piece about important KickStarter types of science that needed support…
    Yes, I believe I answered Paige Brown Jarrau questionnaire. Using Paige’s handy dandy bubble chart I then looked to see if the top three websites I read along with their path of reading were included in the links.
    Nope! Odd that.
    Here is another one of Paige Brown Jarreau’s updates for “Something is wrong on the Internet! What does the Science Blogger do?
    My memory, possibly faulty, is that I followed a link from JoNova’s site, either posted by JoNova or one of her commenters, to this survey.
    Well, it could have been a similar survey, but the choices look identical.
    But this is digressing. Back to a beginning part of Paige Brown Jarreau’s sciblogger questionnaire project.
    Now, this particular statement I did not see before;

    “Share the following link with any science bloggers you know: http://bit.ly/MySciBlog
    The first 200 survey participants receive $7.00 rewards!

    I must’ve come around later when she asked for money, not paid it; $1,400 in rewards huh? That must’ve attracted some real quality participants…
    After all of my snide remarks from my suspicious side, this still looks like a project I would support if I have spare cash.
    Just what is Paige Brown Jarreau’s collecting and how is she taking care of it? I have a very suspicious idea that there is part of the problem.
    A) Paige is selecting “…participants were asked to list up to the top three science blogs, other than their own, that they read on a regular basis…”.
    B) Paige then uses third party software to map the nodes, “Nodes and node labels are sized according to in-degree (how many times the blog was listed by other bloggers as regularly read).”
    1)Paige’s arbitrary selection of “requesting only up to three science blogs”, limits analysis depth. Appearing to map the brain’s neural net by sampling only three neurons per entry, would be my analogy.
    –1a) Lack of depth and a lack of participants drives the initial results which are severely slanted towards user bias; i.e. users share only within their knit communities and perhaps discuss their desired choices along with the self image that represents. This is where more users claim reading a site than actually do.
    2) This idealized misrepresentation separation from actual web traffic looks great but fails to track actual use.
    3) Paige does not indicate how user input is verified nor how users are kept honest. In the climate web follies we’ve observed in the past, there are a number of users who love to skew survey results with multiple submissions and web-bots.
    –3a) Looking at WUWT’s stats on Paige’s projects; WUWT was visited five times?

    “…Nodes and node labels are sized according to in-degree (how many times the blog was listed by other bloggers as regularly read).
    Connections:

    Incoming (2)
    •ANONYMOUS29
    •CLIMATE LAB BOOK (funded by National Centre for Atmospheric Science, Natural Environment Research Council.)
    Outgoing (3)
    •BISHOP HILL
    •CLIMATE ETC (Judith Curry)
    •MARK LYNAS

    –3b) Are these five connections what you would expect; well possibly two of the five are?
    –anonymous29, Climate Lab Book and Mark Lynas links to WUWT are puzzling. None of them have links to or from WUWT.
    –3c) Linkages that are hard to resolve in a science blogger preferred visits world.
    Paige Brown Jarreau may have a good idea, but from this perspective she desperately needs to add depth in how many websites users prefer, visit, read in depth; along with real traffic stats and verified users.
    It would be nice if she posted the actual data, not just the graphics.

  35. One of the things I find most interesting about this site is the sometimes wide differences in definitions and explanations about subjects from people with the same interest in those subjects. Often we read a comment on a subject that seems to confirm our personal understanding only to then have another comment from an equally qualified person challenge it. A discussion then follows with each defending their understanding of the subject. It has made me do further research on a lot of subjects I would not normally even think about . So this is also a learning site. Where else can you get so many qualified posters on such a wide variety of subjects providing easy to understand information to which we would not otherwise be exposed? I even like Mosher’s drive by shots, they make me think. I also like that I am allowed to post my often dumbass, smartalec comments. Venting is good for the blood pressure.

  36. Interestingly the comments section in the article linked to supports Tisdales thoughts on the skewed results.
    This one on the construction of the survey questions.
    “I had a LOT of difficulty when answering this particular question on your survey. I don’t just check “3 blogs” – I would regularly check far more! As a result, I was tempted not to answer it (I gather that Judith Curry at Climate Etc decided not to answer it for the same reason: http://judithcurry.com/2014/12/28/climate-blogosphere-discussion-ii/)”
    This exchange on what is science and what is not from Sou is comedic.
    “A correction to Lucia’s comment: HW is quite a bit more than a running commentary on my reactions… It “demolishes the disinformation” on denier blogs, and replaces it with science.”
    And this response knocks Sou off of the imaginary horse he believes to be riding.
    Sou,
    I realize your view of what you do at your blog might differ from mine. That doesn’t mean your view of what you do is the ‘correct’ one.
    If I cut and pasted correctly, the front page of your blog currently shows 10 entries. Eight of the ten posts comments on WUWT, one is a holiday greeting. One is on something else. I’ve seen your blog before– this proportion of 80% reacting to WUWT seems fairly typical. I think this data strongly suggests HW is little more than a running commentary on your reactions to WUWT.
    Of course you are free to think it is something else. But I’d also note that for all your commentary expressing your reactions to WUWT, it has hardly been “demolished”.”

  37. Now this is what I find weird: writing about which sites are read by whom etc. ISN’T SCIENCE! Just as trying to prove that skeptics are crazy conspiracy nuts ISN’T SCIENCE. Nor is establishing that 87% of someone believes something, nor is calling for the execution of skeptics, nor is making movies about blowing up children you disagree with… etc. etc. ETC.!
    Why do these alarmists spend SO VERY MUCH of their time NOT doing science? And why is so much of what they do do dishonest, misleading, violent, ad hominem, or just plain nasty?

    • Good questions, Ron.
      I think at least part of the answer is that the alarmists have run out of credible arguments.
      The alarmist crowd simply cannot admit that they were wrong about catastrophic global warming. So they fall back on their ad hominem attacks, and their ever-present projection. I was even criticized yesterday for using a word incorrectly [I don’t agree, BTW]. But that’s the level of alarmist discourse these days. They lost the science argument, so they play the man, not the ball.
      The planet itself is showing the alarmists’ predictions were wrong. That is admittedly hard on their egos, after they’ve been explaining their beliefs in detail to anyone who would listen. Unfortunately for their egos, they were wrong.
      Planet Earth has the final say, as always — and skeptics as usual agree with what the planet is telling us: that the climate scares are baseless. All of them. There is no evidence to the contrary.

  38. Willis,
    You wrote, “Lucia’s post was in reference to a curious network analysis by Paige Jarreau, which purports to show that Watts Up With That is hardly read by anyone in the field, and that the most-read climate blog is RealClimate.”
    Paige Brown Jarreau made no such claim about her data. The opening paragraph on the page you linked states,
    “With this data, I’m looking to explore potential communities of practice and relationships between science bloggers that may lead to shared content decision rules or blogging approaches. For example, do communities of bloggers that regularly read each other’s blogs begin to share rules of format, topic choice, tone, etc?”
    Ms. Jarreau reiterated this intent over at Lucia’s(1). Her comment appears before yours in the thread. She added,
    “This question was never meant to provide a full map of the science blogosphere, or to show that some blogs are isolated or disconnected from others….I would still call this data exploratory, and I don’t think it should or can be interpreted on its own. At best, it could be used to guide interviews of bloggers in different communities, or used as a guide to analyzing the rest of my survey data on science blogging practices.
    What is very interesting is that there does seem to be some division/controversy between blogs within the climate sphere, that my visualization has at least led to the discussion of.”
    On the main page of the survey she concludes,
    “Modularity [indicated by the colors] measures the strength of division of a network into clusters, or communities. Networks with high modularity (with a maximum modularity score of 1) have dense connections or edges between the nodes within communities but sparse connections or edges between nodes in different communities…This structure is often visually apparent, as in the climate blogs and ‘geo’ blogs visible as distinct clusters in purple at the bottom of my network map above. I’ve isolated this community in the image below.”
    Uhh, yeah we knew that about the climateblogsphere.
    So how could Venema(2) , Stoat(3) and Willis Eschenbach “get it so wrong?”
    1 http://rankexploits.com/musings/2014/hotwhoppers-sou-doesnt-read-wuwt/#comment-133738
    2 http://variable-variability.blogspot.com/2014/12/blog-network-analysis-wuwt-isolated-science.html
    3 http://scienceblogs.com/stoat/2014/12/28/tee-hee/

    • You’ve missed two points
      A The map was acknowledged to be preliminary.
      B The map is still completely wrong. Look at it closely. Do you see how the nodes are different sizes? RealClimate is the biggest as it is the most significant. But no-one reads RealClimate compared to WUWT. The presented data is wrong. And the lack of connection between HotWhopper and WUWT is also a clear error. HotWhopper spends most if its time anti-fangirling WUWT.
      OK, perhaps the data is still too raw to be meaningful. But in that case, pointing out that the research is going badly awry is useful.

  39. I also check in on Dr. Roy Spencer – he is of course accurate and he has sacrificed greatly for his honesty and the case that science is not popularity or politics.
    I refer a lot of people here who have read my “contentious” letters in local rag – scientists, non, school kids in the don’t take my word for it, read, find out for yourself. WUWT is really good for education.
    I haven’t been here very long and many of you seem to know each other. I think an interesting metric to understand who comes here (and perhaps why) would be to identify ourselves – perhaps privately – so that Willis and Anthony could do the data crunching.

  40. Ah, the Joy of Sampling! Whether people here like it or not, the survey is valid for the subset of blog writers sampled, and therein lies the rub. Blogs, regardless of how “balanced” the authors try to make them, are inherently op-ed columns. Items or notes presented may have factual neutrality, but the blog writer does not – items are included in limited space by choice, hence a bias exists. The survey is a statement about science bloggers (however defined), and not about what the general population reads. As a survey, its a canary about the state of science belief amongst opinionated, self-described individuals, rather than about the general opinion in the population. The results suggest it reflects the interpretation that “science bloggers” are less about science than about some other dynamic.

    • This map is mislabeled. It is clearly a map of warmest Troll behavior, and as such might be scientifically ( assuming sociology still qualifies as a science) valuable. /sarc off
      Taylor

  41. This piqued my interest because it is something anyone can verify. I took 4 of the largest sites listed on that graphic and did a site-specific search of each to find the number of pages where the name of the other sites (and WUWT) occur. Here are the results:
    http://www.realclimate.org
    WUWT 1,610
    Watts Up With That 243
    SkepticalScience 3060
    HotWhopper 21
    andthentheresphysics 0
    http://www.skepticalscience.com
    WUWT 10300
    Watts Up With That 5360
    RealClimate 12100
    HotWhopper 476
    andthentheresphysics 4
    blog.hotwhopper.com
    WUWT 1210
    Watts Up With That 56
    SkepticalScience 1200
    RealClimate 826
    andthentheresphysics 34
    andthentheresphysics.wordpress.com
    WUWT 897
    Watts Up With That 2880
    RealClimate 395
    HotWhopper 373
    SkepticalScience 151
    So the authors and/or readership (the searches included occurences within comments) of these blogs refer to WUWT more than to each other. Which seems to be at odds with the claim (implicit in the above graphic) that they don’t read WUWT much.
    HotWhopper, whose banner proclaims “Eavesdropping on the deniosphere, its weird pseudo-science and crazy conspiracy whoppers”, is dedicated to writing about other sites it doesn’t like, especially WUWT. So it is hardly surprising that it refers to WUWT more than ‘warmist’ blogs.
    However, it is interesting to note that both RealClimate and SkepticalScience contain more references to HotWhopper than to andthentheresphysics, which is shown on the graphic as the second most-read blog.
    So not only do these ‘warmist’ blogs refer to WUWT more than to each other, it appears they refer to other blogs talking about WUWT more than they refer to some other (supposedly well-read, non-deniosphere-eavesdropping-specific) ‘warmist’ blogs. And that very same blog –andthentheresphysics– refers to WUWT 25 times more than it does SkepticalScience.
    Which does seem odd, unless, of course, they talk more about things they haven’t read or studied.
    Deja vu, anyone?
    I have the inclination but not the time to run with this. It would be interesting to see the results from a larger sample.
    Oh and I’ve been away from climate blogs for a while, so Hi everyone.

    • David Ross,
      Hi, and good work. Any blog labeling skeptical scientists and their followers as the “deniosphere” is about as unscientific as can be. They are just propaganda blogs, promoting the man-made global warming narrative. They have no credible science to support their views, so they attack instead.
      Kudos to Willis, too. His pleasing articles are always interesting and very informative. I look forward to every one. And of course Anthony’s tireless work in posting 4 – 10 or more articles every day. When someone clicks on WUWT, they know there will be some new and interesting articles. I’ve learned a lot here in the past 7 – 8 years, and I know I’m not alone.
      Alarmist blogs could ramp up their site traffic with two simple changes: first, they should stop the incessant censorship of views they disagree with. And, they could post a half-dozen new articles a day. But without those changes — especially the first one — they will remain low-traffic echo chambers, populated by a dwindling group of head-nodders who agree only with each other.

    • David,
      Thanks for adding a little reality to the discussion. While there have been many, many comments discussing the ins and outs of the survey, your quick-look pretty much says it all.

    • Hilarious! You’ve certainly driven home the deeper irrelevance of Jarreau’s network. It’s truly “worse than we thought!”

  42. Of course, as you say, not all of this site is peer review. This blog, more than any other blog, shows the readers everything that is going on, whether it’s data, whether it’s opinion pieces like this one, whether it’s new papers, whether it’s essays on new theories. It is the least censored and the most comprehensive, and the most honest. Since the topics are generally all scientific topics, then so is this blog. This piece right here is an opinion piece, but like most it discusses scientific topics, in this case it discusses the dissemination of scientific information and other science-related activity at online blogs, which makes this piece scientific. As another example, when people discuss whether the models have been successful predicting climate, it’s not necessarily peer review but it’s certainly a discussion and evaluation of the science.

  43. All this climate madness makes me want to go back to the 80’s when all was normal. (sort of)
    Coincidentally a song of another Jarreau comes to mind:
    Anyone wanna go waltzing in the garden? Anyone wanna go dance up on the roof?
    Life was easy back then.

  44. If RealClimate is the center of the climate blog universe, boy are we all in trouble. Every once in awhile I decide that due diligence requires that I sample all sides of the debate, so I wander off to RC or (at the admonition of one of my AGW proponent friends) Skeptical Science. I never can manage more than a few minutes on either of these sites.
    – Right now at RC, the five postings on the front page date all the way back to December. Yawn. Very few comments and every one is “corrected” by the blog owner. Statements like “Do the maths yourself…” without any indication of what is to be worked out or references to sources is deeply insulting to both the commentator and the readers. This is nothing but an ego-driven vanity site.
    – SkepticalScience loses me at the introductory paragraph: “…Skeptics vigorously criticise any evidence that supports man-made global warming and yet embrace any argument, op-ed, blog or study that purports to refute global warming….” How insulting is that? If you disagree, you are de facto an idiot. No critical thinking to be found here.
    Many others have commented on the value of WUWT and I will just add that I consider a morning spent reading a long commentary thread on WUWT to be among the best educational time investments available, far more valuable than most of the time I have spent in classrooms – although I wouldn’t miss the opportunity to attend classes with Jim Steele…

  45. Any good scientist will be his/her own worst critic. This was brought home to me as an undergraduate. The professor, whose tenure clearly emanated from his publications, rather than his teaching prowess, was giving a particularly stultifying lecture on quark theory. Shaking his head in confusion, another student finally raised his hand, and, putting together several of the relations on the board, showed that the net result would be a +1/3 charge on the neutron. The professor replied, “Well, that just goes to show you that everything I’ve been saying for the last 45 minutes is b@llsh&t.”
    Ranking WUWT as an also ran behind RC as a science blog is that +1/3 charge on the neutron. It’s almost pathological. One is reminded of a famous quote from former Vice President Dan Quayle: “To lose one’s mind, or to not have a mind is being terribly wasteful.”

  46. I also find the intelligence displayed in the articles and commentary deeply refreshing, even restorative. It’s one of the only places I experience public discourse that is lively, exceptionally good-humoured, seriously smart and highly informative. All is not yet lost! I have been lurking here for a couple of years, but this post gave me a much better sense of what is going on here, so thanks also for that. My sincere thanks to Anthony and whomever else puts it on.
    (I follow the climate change story mainly because I like to see how well or poorly it is argued and as a general indicator of how we are doing as a society given how often the AGW story is flung around. SInce the 70’s I have had little doubt that we simply don’t know enough to evalute the anthro premise one way or another, albeit possibly now we are getting closer, but that still remains to be seen, and in any case depends largely on whether or not we have the collective intelligence to analyse and discuss such issues in a sane fashion – clearly not yet the case. My suspicion is that, apart from serious pollution due to agricultural run-off and/or nuclear toxicity, the main negative input would be changes to flora and fauna due to population increase and bad practices; but exhaust from combustion engines has got to be way down on the list and in any case the CO2 theory is infantile at best and so mainly am astonished at how much traction it gets and also how hard it is seemingly to disprove, leading in turn to general skepticism on my part that the ‘scientific method’ is all that worthy, either in general, or perhaps more likely in terms of issues that are simply too large to contain in a variable-specific laboratory where precise data can be analysed in detail – i.e. climate simply cannot be contained into a test tube.)

    • …leading in turn to general skepticism on my part that the ‘scientific method’ is all that worthy…

      Please don’t confuse the methods used in ‘Climate Science’ with the Scientific Method. One think that is quite obvious from reading this site and most other skeptic, lukewarm and climate inquisitive sites is the total disregard for the scientific method shown by the more prominent of the Hockey Team.

      • Joe: good point. However, not being trained in science, and yet being beholden as a North American / European citizen to it so often in terms of its modern-day influence in human affairs, I have impressions, many of which I trust on an instinctive level even if I lack the training and information to articulate them satisfactorily.
        That said, I do read a few (short) papers here and there and have a sense of the structure of those reports – Intro, Summary, Definitions, Process, Conclusions etc. And I think that the scientific method – which is questionable on many different philosophical and metaphysical levels, many of which it seems most scientists have not been exposed to in their education – is misused.
        My undertanding generally is that you have to assemble data based on physical facts and demonstrate that any conclusion you draw from what then happens can be verified in the future providing the same variables.
        That’s my bugaboo right there: unless you work with a very confined situation with minimal variables, there are so many variables involved in most real-world situations that this method, the scientific method, cannot be applied. You can apply the method to specifying the correct temperature of an egg at which the yolk is soft and the white hard, and can precisely demonstrate one or more methods to get that desired result and do so using the scientific method, but you cannot use that same scientific method to analyse all the variables involved in waking up, going to the bathroom, washing etc., preparing and eating breakfast, dressing and driving to work and come to any meaningful conclusion about it. This is simple stuff in terms of life experience for a human or animal being, but not something that can be evaluated using the scientific method because there are an infinity of variables in each step and therefore essentially nothing can meaningfully be studied using that method, even though there are no end of cultural and personal issues which can be explored every day (cut of pyjamas, style of cleaning teeth, breakfast menu, cooking technique, jokes cracked, which paper to read, etc. etc. etc.).
        Similarly, with the climate, the sheer scale of variables is staggering. To think that we can isolate one very small component (CO2) and meaningfully evaluate its part in a process that involves no end of variable inputs, many of which are unknown and unguessed or if not unmeasured or unmeasurable, is both folly and fallacious. And yet seldom if ever have I read anything commenting on this aspect of the whole thing: that the scientific method has no business being used to come up with projections of climate given the infinite number of variables at play.
        Let us say you have all the satellite data of temperature and you do not fudge the data somehow (though how you can look at it meaningfully without simplifying it somehow is another question): so what? What can you do with that data meaningfully? You might be able to get cyclical information, but then you need a couple of thousand years worth for it to be helpful – more like 500,000 would be best. We have 30 or 40. And do we have data on all the variables around that satellite data? Electromagnetic, ocean current, wind patterns, earth core radiation, inter-planetary influences, solar influences, galactic influences, water vapour, ozone, forestation, microbial patterns, volcanic activity both on surfface and below the ocean, and various butterfly wings whispering along somewhere in the Amazon etc. etc. etc. And if we include most of that, we have so many variables in the mix that how can the satellite data we are starting with tell us anything using the scientific method? Or put another way: in what meaningful fashion can a materialist scientific method be used to evaluate this cosmic jungle of inter-related and ever-changing data?
        The only way we can use the scientific method to meaningfully predict or evaluate climate is by shutting our eyes and ears to most of the variables which we know must be involved given we live in an interdependent universe. But wait: that gets into the metaphysical level which most contemporary scientists want to make verboten. Quantum physics has more or less proven – as philosophers have done since at least 500 BC – that the materialist view of the universe is fallacious. But still, according to most modern materialists, all particles have inherently independent existence, are absent any intelligence/awareness/consciousness quotient, and so basically the universe is comprised of bits and pieces of physical-only dust wherein all relationships and complex structures have evolved, as per the evolution theory currently in vogue, by chance, since anything other than chance would infer an intelligence quotient. In this way, in order to justify it’s extremist position, materialist science has concluded that all processes involving inter-dependencies and complex living organisms, are based on mindless chance. To infer otherwise is taboo amongst modern materialists.
        That being the case, how can such a method and view approach conclusions about CO2 and climate? Surely it’s all random, no? Or if not, then presumably mainly cyclical caused by the largest bodies which represent the most stable set of variables in the mix. (But no, they choose one of the lightest, and relatively smallest variables, CO2, on which to project planetary changes in long-term climate! Personally I think the whole thing must have been a swindle from the get-go, and the perpetrators had enough money to know they can find sheep to follow along with any crazy story who then do the leg-work in terms of making it respectable.)
        So yes, although an amateur, I question the validity of the scientific method, (as I believe Locke did around the time it was being developed – by a salesman in England if I recall correctly). He said that ultimately it was based on subjectivity, like anything else, and trying to posit some sort of objective peer-reviewed process was futile (shameless, and no doubt only very partially accurate, paraphrase).
        I didn’t want to come here to hijack or denigrate or distract from the thread on this blog site which I very much value, but if someone asks, then why not answer? I have great respect for most scientists, believe it or not, because I have no doubt that most of them/you are sincere, intelligent, and want to do good, to improve the world, even many of the AGW crowd (whom I personally believe are dangerously deluded). But we lack a culture able to tackle philosophical issues in a very organised, let alone open, manner, which means that basically we haven’t come very far forward from periods only a few centuries ago in which primitive beliefs and superstitions and taboos ruled the minds of so many. Sorry, this went on far too long! But to conclude: I believe there needs to be much more overview and discussion about the nature and best use of the ‘scientific method’ and that most of the time the word ‘science’ or ‘scientists’ is used, more is being attributed to them, more capability that is, than is empirically, let alone metaphysically, justified.

      • Thanks, c. John Carter could take lessons from you, esp in curiosity. That meandered but came safely to the sea.
        ===================

      • caperash,
        That’s why, at least to me, it is total hubris to even think we can model the climate of this pile of air, water and rock, much less correctly predict/estimate the effects of adding another 250ppm or so of plant fertilizer to the atmosphere. ‘Climate Change’ has become nothing more than a belief system, it sure isn’t science or engineering. As such, how can anyone justify keeping well over half the world in poverty just in the hope that they guessed right.

  47. Maybe Paige Jarreau was using a climate computer. The amount of divergence from reality seems about right.

  48. Thanks, Willis. Good article.
    You have defined WUWT very well. People interested in climate seem to be the usual commenters here, comments are mostly valuable to read, and Anthony does a very good job of directing the whole thing. Moderators are mostly unsung heroes, so thanks!

  49. Paige Brown Jarreau does not say how she selected the bloggers, or how many of them responded. She does say that the data needed to be cleaned.

  50. This map is mislabeled. It is clearly a map of warmest Troll behavior, and as such might be scientifically ( assuming sociology still qualifies as a science) valuable. /sarc off
    Taylor

  51. Another point is that they asked the respondents to voluntarily admit to which sites they read.
    Most warmists that I know would never admit to reading a site that doesn’t support their agenda.

  52. Ah Willis, there you go again!
    Your Your superbly honed and fine tuned wit once again strike the unaware! Is this whole article really to get us discussing the fine details of a picture while the subliminal message goes undetected? A bigger picture you ask? – a brief look at the opening graphic will reveal WUWT to be out in left field… left field? How strange, especially when I thought the self perception here was that of big oil right-wing fanatics! Was Willis really all about trying to correct the impression that we have of ourselves? Or are the climate folk trying to re-invent themselves as a right-wing-centrist alliance against the nefarious left? Talk about a climate shift!

  53. Bob, thanks for the reply.
    So how shallow does Argo come? And what is the source of the ocean surface temperature?

    • ARGO measures ocean water temps, from 2000+ meters to surface. They sink, then float back up, measuring temps and salinity (and probably pressure).

  54. The number of scientific disciplines that cross over into climate science is extraordinarily large. WUWT attracts experts from just about every one of the overlapping disciplines. That the clique of alarmist climate scientists cannot see the advantages of having such widespread and comprehensive review bespeaks of one thing – hubris.

    • At 6:12 PM on 17 January, aGrimm had observed:

      The number of scientific disciplines that cross over into climate science is extraordinarily large. WUWT attracts experts from just about every one of the overlapping disciplines. That the clique of alarmist climate scientists cannot see the advantages of having such widespread and comprehensive review bespeaks of one thing – hubris.

      Would that “hubris” were really the “one thing” which is demonstrated by the self-anointed climatology “consensus” dismissal of critical review from scientifically educated, trained, and experienced observers in disciplines either related to meteorology or wholly outside the purview thereof.
      It’s not so much their arrogance but their FEAR that’s exposed thereby.
      Those of us with knowledge of scientific method (especially those of us with experience as investigators obliged to employ sound methodology and report our findings honestly before voicing our conclusions and recommendations for action) never object to critical review, even from people arguably “unqualified” to criticize.
      The way I figure it, my job is to examine objective reality, winkle out the facts, articulate their existence, and put forward a supported explanation – a model – of how and why those facts came to exist. If I can’t make that explanation intelligible to a person who’s got ZERO education in the sciences, and satisfy him at the “plain goddam common sense” level with that explanation’s validity, then I haven’t done my job.
      The climate catastrophe “consensus” Know that they haven’t got a hope in hell of doing that IF anybody – within or without the sciences – starts picking at their bafflegab, and this terrifies them.
      The honest scientist’s job is to explain things, ” to place before mankind the common sense of the subject, in terms so plain and firm as to command their assent” (Thomas Jefferson, letter to Henry Lee, 8 May 1825).
      The job of the “alarmist climate scientists” (as they have repeatedly confirmed in their intramural communications) is to project a “message” bereft of support in objective reality, and to veil that mendacity in a miasma of Cargo Cult pseudoscience.

  55. “If we knew what it was we were doing, it would not be called research, would it?” – Einstein.
    I think that the point of the nastiness is not to stop people from taking WUWT seriously. Its to stop people fishing in the big school of dodginess. Sou’s blog name gives it away.

  56. Well this quote from Willis sums it up for me: “I’d say three things contributed to the skewed results. First, people don’t always tell the truth…”. No kidding
    This is a perfect analogy for climate science: we don’t like real world data, so we just make it up.
    And, oh yea, we have our own taxonomy for what constitutes a real science site, and HotWhopper made the cut.

  57. It would seem Paige Jarreau’s map is (roughly) to the climate blogosphere as the IPCC is to legitimate climate science. A bit of fantasy.

  58. gymnosperm January 17, 2015 at 9:39 pm

    Totally disagree that either Robert or you showed that adiabatic warming is wrong. It is a well known atmospheric and geological phenomenon. It is clearly expressed in Foehn winds and it is also a direct derivative of the “pressure broadening” Roy Spencer is so fond of.

    Since neither Robert nor I said anything about “adiabatic warming”, I fear you’ve misunderstood our very different proofs that gravity by itself cannot cause a temperature gradient in a thermally isolated column of air. A re-reading of both of our posts might help. Yes, there are “foehn winds” … but that’s not what the proofs are about.
    Mine is A Matter Of Some Gravity
    Robert’s is Refutation of Stable Thermal Equilibrium Lapse Rates
    And yes, I know that Joe Born believes that Robert Brown’s proof is wrong. Anyone who agrees with Joe is invited to read the comments to Dr. Brown’s post, wherein the errors in Joe’s claims are pointed out to him, over and over, point by point … without effect. Joe says that he depends on a paper by Velasco for his claims, but as DeWitt Payne pointed out in that thread, VELASCO SAID THE SAME THING DR. BROWN SAID, viz (emphasis and note mine):

    In conclusion, in our opinion a full explanation about why answer (2) [note: Answer (2) to the paradox is Joe’s claim that the temperature decreases with the height.] to the paradox formulated by Coombes and Laue is wrong must discern between the cases of a finite system and an infinite system. In the former case, statement (2) is wrong because the assumption in statement (2b) is wrong. In the latter case, statement (2) is wrong because the conclusion in statement (2a) is wrong (as it has been established by Coombes and Laue).

    Despite Velasco’s unambiguously clear statement that the idea that temperature decreases with height is WRONG, Joe starts tapdancing to try to prove that it doesn’t say what it obviously says, and he hasn’t stopped tapdancing right up to this post.
    I would also note that Joe has not claimed that my proof is wrong, despite the fact that my proof comes to the exact same conclusion as Robert Brown’s proof.
    Best regards, and please do re-read the proofs.
    w.

    • I will probably read it, one day. Just a quick look at Robert Brown’s and there is a problem. Ideal gas molecules move independently of each other until they collide. If dT/dz=0, then as P->0 a molecule will have the same thermal energy as it rises or falls meaning creation or destruction of energy.

      • Robert B, I gotta say, you criticizing a paper that you yourself admit that you haven’t read is … well … I fear I find myself speechless. If you wanted to find a way to get your vote cancelled before you got out of the starting gate you couldn’t have picked a better method.
        Read the whole dang paper of Robert’s before you uncap your electronic pen. It’s an elegant proof, the math is immaterial, the description of the thought experiment is all you really need. And then come back tell us whether you think a thermal current will flow in the silver wire. It’s a simple question, yes or no will do. Then we’ll have something to discuss. Until then, I’m just gonna point and laugh.
        Carp about a paper you haven’t even read … really?
        w.

      • Looking at it two dimensionally with molecules moving just vertically, pairs of colliding molecules gain on average m(gt)^2 kinetic energy between collisions (COM drops 1/2gt^2) where m is the mass of one molecule and t is the average time between collisions. For there to be an equilibrium, the molecule moving up needs to have m(gt)^2 more kinetic energy than the one falling, on average. That gives you the difference in thermal energy for a distance Δz which is the average distance between collisions, and Δz=2ts where s is the average speed of a molecule.
        I’m figuring this out as I type so I’m not going to take it any further except to say that working out how z and t depend on P in a three dimensional version will probably lead to isothermal when P->∞ and the adiabatic lapse rate when P->0.
        I’ll leave that to the practicing physicist. I have to spray herbicide on a few acres tomorrow.

      • Its a simple thought experiment, Will. If it were just one molecule there would be a temperature difference.

  59. This study is exactly like measuring temperature with wind gauge (see what I mean?)
    If you want to know if a blog is popular, and hence, important and influential in the blogosphere world, just look at hits count, unique visitors metrics and so on. And WUWT is far above RC. I don’t see what could be more straightforward than that.
    Here, author prefers to ask a biased sample of people (representative of what ? who?) and just proves that people like to read opinions similar to their own. What a surprise.

  60. ‘No one reads WUWT anymore, it’s too crowded’
    I quote that comment because it has nothing whatsoever to do with science but it’s still a worthwhile contribution just the same because It combines humor and a clever turn to an old Yogi Berra quote.
    Commenters here don’t take themselves so seroiusly that a bit of humor or self-deprecation can’t accompany their sometimes good ideas.
    For example, the other day someone complained that their ‘stupid’ comment was stuck in moderation.
    [The moderators here can proudly assert that no stupid comments are ever permanently stuck in the moderation queue. They may show up in the moderation queue, they might start in the moderation queue, but they don’t stay there. 8<) .mod]

    • Appended to the post of Rick (4:51 AM, 18 January) was:

      [The moderators here can proudly assert that no stupid comments are ever permanently stuck in the moderation queue. They may show up in the moderation queue, they might start in the moderation queue, but they don’t stay there. 8<) .mod]

      Oh?
      And for registered participants in this forum who’ve been placed on “Permanent Double-Secret Probation” so that their every post is automatically stuck in moderation hell for half a day or so, regardless of content?
      [The first statement is still true. .mod]

      • “Registered participants in this forum”? Which forum are you talking about? Does WUWT have “registered participants” I don’t know about? What am I missing here?
        w.

        • Appraised (apparently for the first time ever) of the fact that conditions are – er, different – for

          …registered participants in this forum who’ve been placed on “Permanent Double-Secret Probation” so that their every post is automatically stuck in moderation hell for half a day or so, regardless of content

          …at 1:27 PM on 18 January we have Mr. Eschenbach asking:

          Which forum are you talking about? Does WUWT have “registered participants” I don’t know about? What am I missing here?

          Much, obviously.
          In order to post comments on WUWT threads, one must be registered with WordPress.com, and thus identifiable as an unique entrant to the forum, this ostensibly to mitigate sock-puppetry.
          Don’t always work with regard to handling the trolls, but it wonderfully impairs the prompt appearance of comments made by honest men who are simply very good with napalm when flamebait present themselves.

      • “if I didn’t consider the “brand” manifest in my online nom-de-pogrom to be a hard-wrought value I wouldn’t stick to it as a manifest of my intentions to deal openly ”
        Except that you didn’t stick to your brand, at least, not the name by which you were known in your previous, Sicilian life as “Rich Matarese”. As to style, yes, I appreciate that you have kept your style unchanged these many years.
        I have learned a lot about what you do not like. I have learned almost nothing of what you like or respect. Perhaps a few words in that direction would balance your presentation.

      • You enjoy some similarity to the Pompous Git, a well-read, largely self-instructed intellectual of the Asperger syndrome variety.

    • Tucci78 January 18, 2015 at 1:53 pm says:
      “In order to post comments on WUWT threads, one must be registered with WordPress.com, and thus identifiable as an unique entrant to the forum, this ostensibly to mitigate sock-puppetry.
      Don’t always work with regard to handling the trolls, but it wonderfully impairs the prompt appearance of comments made by honest men who are simply very good with napalm when flamebait present themselves.”
      Ah, I see the problem. You object to having to provide a valid internet address in order to comment, and you describe that as “having to register with WordPress” … however, it has nothing to do with WordPress, and it’s not “registration”, it’s just a requirement that you have a valid email address. Don’t like it? You try running a website without that elementary precaution, and you’ll quickly learn why almost every blog on the planet has that simple requirement.
      And despite your complaints about some mysterious “Permanent Double-Secret Probation”, here you are, free to complain about Permanent Double-Secret Probation … I’m not sure you see the irony in that, but I’m sure I’m not the only one that does.
      If your comments are getting extra scrutiny, perhaps it’s because WUWT tries to discourage flaming, and you describe yourself as “very good with napalm”, and you describe the comments of others as “flamebait”.
      So it may be that the mods want to make sure you’re not either making a fool of yourself or harming the blog’s reputation or both, before letting your comments through. And given your self-description, I’d say that if I ran the zoo, I’d want to put a very close eye on your comments before letting them through. Letting children play with napalm is generally a bad idea, particularly when they describe their acquaintances as “flamebait”.
      However, that’s just me, and I wouldn’t know if you get extra scrutiny or not. I’m a guest author, not a moderator, I know nothing of what they do … and I’ve had my own comments snipped by the mods, and for good reason. The mods have a tough job, and if they ding me, I just assume that I deserved it and I modify my behavior accordingly.
      w.

      • At 4:05 PM on 18 January, confronted with the fact that

        In order to post comments on WUWT threads, one must be registered with WordPress.com, and thus identifiable as an unique entrant to the forum, this ostensibly to mitigate sock-puppetry.
        Don’t always work with regard to handling the trolls, but it wonderfully impairs the prompt appearance of comments made by honest men who are simply very good with napalm when flamebait present themselves.

        …Mr. Eschenbach jumps Gadarene to the erroneous conclusion that:

        Ah, I see the problem. You object to having to provide a valid internet address in order to comment, and you describe that as “having to register with WordPress”

        Bullpuckey. I have no objection to unique identifiers in fora such as this one. While I value a disconnect between free speech and “True Name” exposure (after all, didn’t Dr. Locke publish Two Treatises anonymously, knowing full well that even the monarchy installed by way of the Glorious Revolution of 1688 would interpret his rebuttal of Filmer as lèse-majesté?) owing to the proven proclivity of “Liberal” fascisti to undertake direct attacks against the persons, property, professions and families of dissenters, if I didn’t consider the “brand” manifest in my online nom-de-pogrom to be a hard-wrought value I wouldn’t stick to it as a manifest of my intentions to deal openly and honestly with every subject about which I write.
        That which is objectionable is the employment of such unique identification mechanisms to punish such refusal either to sockpuppet or to suffer fools and fraudsters politely with “Permanent Double-Secret Probation” (Jeez, Mr. Eschenbach, you mean you’ve never seen Animal House [1978] a single time in all your life?). It’s not only execrable in se but bureaucratic in modo, and I’m not sure as to which is the more to be condemned.
        Admitting that:

        I’m a guest author, not a moderator, I know nothing of what they do …

        Mr. Eschenbach conjectures about why someone eloquent in invective might prick the priss among the pretentiously fastidious in the moderati, who manifestly seek the seeming of a mock “civility” where such cordiality is neither intended nor useful nor compatible with either moral or intellectual integrity.
        I ain’t polite to the arrogantly ignorant writing in support of kleptocratic lying authoritarians, who are themselves the open enemies of individual human rights, social comity, and good civil order. If such matters don’t getcher juices flowing and bring out the flamethrower in you, you’re an organ donor in immediate need of harvesting.

        • Tucci78 blurted some stuff, a few bits of which warrant a response:
          “you mean you’ve never seen Animal House [1978] a single time in all your life?”
          I have never seen Animal House. IMDB says it is about a frat house; I have no interest in frat houses.
          It’s not only execrable in se but bureaucratic in modo, and I’m not sure as to which is the more to be condemned.”
          Are you requesting assistance in knowing what to condemn? Often it is better to leave that sort of thing to the Flying Spaghetti Monster.
          “Mr. Eschenbach conjectures about why someone eloquent in invective might prick the priss among the pretentiously fastidious in the moderati”
          Uh, say what???
          But please do not merely repeat it with more of the same. Try “I don’t like you”.
          “I ain’t polite to the arrogantly ignorant writing in support of kleptocratic lying authoritarians”
          No doubt. How’s that working for ya?

      • Egads, Tucci, you desperately need an editor. Your rambling, disjointed pile of pseudo-intellectual warbling about Dr. Locke and the “rebuttal of Filmer” and “the “brand” manifest in [your] online nom-de-pogrom” makes no sense at all. You obviously are a very, very angry man, but I can’t determine what it is you are angry about … and your insulting, abrasive manner of writing leaves me totally uninterested in finding out whether you have anything to offer.
        Next, for a man who claims that he is being subjected to “Permanent Double-Secret Probation”, you sure do seem to get your ongoing lunacy published, and it took all of an hour and a half … and if this latest comment of yours is any example, I’d most definitely hold every one of your comments for a close examination.
        Next, you ask:

        Jeez, Mr. Eschenbach, you mean you’ve never seen Animal House [1978] a single time in all your life?

        Well … no, I’ve never seen it. Perhaps such movies appeal to you. Me, I’ve spent my life exploring the world, not exploring movies about the world. Crazy, huh?
        Finally, you say:

        If such matters don’t getcher juices flowing and bring out the flamethrower in you, you’re an organ donor in immediate need of harvesting.

        That is one of the most unpleasant things I’ve heard in a while, that people who don’t believe what you believe should be killed for their organs. That is vile and disgusting, and is not humor in any form.
        However, I can understand your frustration—you’re upset about something, but nobody can make any sense of what that something might be. Must be aggravating that nobody pays attention to you, but dang, claiming that people who don’t think like you think should be killed … you are one sick puppy, dude.
        If you actually want to get traction, my suggestions are that you dial the aggro down by an order of magnitude or two, give up on the obscure allusions, and let go of the paranoia. For a start, clearly you are not being censored, so stop claiming you are. It just makes you look delusional.
        Then figure out just what it is that is important to you, and tell us about it as clearly and simply as you can. Never mind the cutesy alliteration, leave out the accusations that your readers are “arrogantly ignorant”, ignore whatever the “rebuttal of Filmer” might be when it’s at home, and just STATE YOUR FREAKIN’ CASE. Nobody cares about your paranoia, nobody’s impressed by your education, and nobody likes to be called nasty names. Just tell us what’s on your mind, and you might be surprised at the difference in your reception.
        Now, you’re free to ignore my suggestions … but if you continue with your current line of most unpleasant attacks, I just can’t see you getting anything but roundly ignored.
        Best regards to you, and please do think about your presentation, it’s most unpleasant to read,
        w.

        • At 1:53 AM on 19 January, Mr. Eschenbach positively glories in his ignorance of John Locke’s Two Treatises of Government (1689), the first of which was “The False Principles, and Foundation of Sir Robert Filmer, and His Followers, Are Detected and Overthrown.”
          The second element in Two Treatises, of course, was “an Essay Concerning The True Original, Extent, and End of Civil Government,” from which the U.S. Declaration of Independence was in considerable part cribbed.
          [Wiki-bloody-pedia link is provided as a “lowest common denominator” source of information.]
          Locke composed these treatises while hiding from the government of James II in the Netherlands, practicing medicine under the name of “Dr. van der Linden,” and he published the book anonymously following his return to England once the Stuart monarchy had been overthrown. Because the replacement monarchy of William & Mary was still dependent upon the divine right of kings for its claims to legitimacy, Locke’s rebuttal of Filmer’s contentions was still an unarguable act of lèse-majesté and therefore actionable under prevailing English law.
          Y’see how that works? Thus has anonymity with regard to political speech – and what of the great preposterously bogus “Man-Made Climate Change” fraud isn’t political? – a long and honorable role in the anglophone world’s history and moral philosophy.
          As for Mr. Eschenbach‘s boast of never having seen the comic movie Animal House (1978) (and thus his tone-deafness with regard to the expression “double secret probation” so current and widespread in American appreciation as to have achieved the status of cliché), when has being nyekulturny become a mark of virtue?
          Beyond that, there’s the wonderful obstipation in Mr. Eschenbach‘s insistence upon interpreting the “organ donor in immediate need of harvesting” remark (i.e., “if this doesn’t get your dander up, you’re dead already, and somebody else can make better use of your unpaired solid viscera than you’re doing”) as if it were an aggressively expressed wish for Mr. Eschenbach personally to cease breathing.
          Gad, talk about paranoid ideation.
          Gotta remember to avoid subtlety in addressing Mr. Eschenbach.
          Or the presumption of literacy.

          • Tucci78 says “Y’see how that works?”
            No, but I see how you work, and I’ve seen similar many times over the years. The good news is that you are mildly amusing.
            “Thus has anonymity with regard to political speech”
            It is unlikely your anonymity is anything other than trivial. I could identify you in a few posts if I had an interest in doing so. You want to be known — as you say, it is your “brand”. But as with many young people seeking fame you go all “Walter Mitty” on the internet.
            “Eschenbach‘s boast of never having seen the comic movie Animal House”.
            I boast of not seeing (gotta go to IMDB and pick something at random…) “The Search for General Tso”
            http://www.imdb.com/title/tt3576038/?ref_=hm_woa_t4
            Okay, I lied. I did become interested in you. I’m not sure about the identification but close enough. People choose handles of what they admire, not of what they are, but it is a really good place to start. There’s almost no visible difference to others between a narcissist and an Aspie but a world of difference nevertheless exists.

        • Tucci78 says “you mean you’ve never seen Animal House [1978] a single time in all your life?”
          W.E. says “Well … no, I’ve never seen it.”
          Same here. I’m not even sure what it is. Looking it up on IMDB shows that it came out when I was in Alaska.

      • Michael 2 January 19, 2015 at 8:55 am Edit

        Tucci78 says “you mean you’ve never seen Animal House [1978] a single time in all your life?”
        W.E. says “Well … no, I’ve never seen it.”
        Same here. I’m not even sure what it is. Looking it up on IMDB shows that it came out when I was in Alaska.

        Michael, it gets way better. Tucci78 now claims that anyone who hasn’t seen Animal House is “nyekulturny” … which is an attempt at a Russian word meaning “uncultured”, a word that English-speaking snobs use to show how much more sophisticated and cultured they are than the target of their scorn.
        Setting aside Tucci’s ludicrous idea that having watched a John Belushi film is some kind of infallible mark of being a man of refinement and culture, he can’t even spell “nekulturny” right … which kinda defeats his whole claim about how uncultured you and I are compared to his refulgent splendor.
        I gotta say, however, that watching him self-destruct via auto-inflation is kinda humorous, even if it is uncultured to say so, and he offers so much to learn … I’d never realized, for example, that you are “ignorant” if you don’t know off the top of your head that “[Dr. van der Linden’s] rebuttal of Filmer’s contentions was still an unarguable act of lèse-majesté.
        I mean, every “kulturny” man knows what Filmer’s contentions were, right?
        w.

        • Re: Having viewed Animal House as being a mark of culture…
          In my profession, being cultured is knowing the answer to the ultimate question of life, the universe and everything.
          It is one of the great British contributions to literature.

  61. ” There are too many smart, insightful, capable people commenting on the posts for much to slip by …”
    That’s why I read this blog, and I often spend much more time reading the comments than on the original articles.

  62. There is actually a list of the ‘Science’ blogs they have included. As far as I can tell. It is the usual lying rabble that is more interested in spreading the lies and misinformation than actually promoting honest and real science. A pack of ravenous wolves, all lined up to spread the fallacies and tripe according to their hysterical religion..
    https://155a2078255626663e33566e796f12caf0e22ee8.googledrive.com/host/0B5FtkJ8LVwqhTFNOQ0xwOTFxUHM/network/#SOILS%20MATTER,%20GET%20THE%20SCOOP!

  63. I must confess to never having come across HotWhopper. It sounds like a male porn site, or perhaps it is about fast food, or simply the latest lies.

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