A MUST READ – WUWT Housekeeping: ongoing issues, updates, fixes, and polls

NOTE: This will be a top post until Monday, new stories follow below. A couple of Saturdays ago, I posted an “Open Thread” with a question about “What could we do better”? You responded, and I’ve listened. In the meantime, WordPress.com has thrown us all a curve-ball with a new software update that I really don’t like because it has now made running WUWT harder.  So, I have a few caveats that I need you to be aware of, and I want to ask a question of my readers that will help me determine the future of this blog.

1. Personal:

I have some personal issues (including my hearing and health) going on in my life during the past year that have prevented me from spending as much time researching, writing posts, and keeping up with comments on WUWT as I used to. Regulars may have noticed this. This is all slowly getting resolved, but it takes time. For those that read about my new hearing aids and the great boost they gave me over a year ago, that benefit has faded, and I’m fighting a pattern recognition problem that I didn’t have as badly before. I’ll expound on the whys of this in a future post.

2. Image fetching for reference pages got broken by an update I had no control over:

Some readers may or may not know that I am hosted at wordpress.com using their highly resilient and automatically backed up cloud based infrastructure. Steve McIntyre’s Climate Audit and Judith Curry’s website also take advantage of this platform and it has worked very well. WUWT has been on it since October of 2007. During this time there have been dozens of updates to the software automatically deployed by WordPress that have been mostly positive, until now.  A few weeks ago, they deployed a new update that forced https: on all sites hosted at wordpress.com . In theory, this is a good thing, in practice, it broke just about every reference page (especially the sea ice page) at WUWT because the update causes all images fetched with http rather than https protocol to become cached. This made the images in the reference appear as if they didn’t update. The only solution is to click directly on them. Some might ask, why don’t I simply change all the http image fetch requests to https? That seems like an easy and obvious fix, except when you discover that a number of the government websites used in our reference pages don’t support https, and the images won’t display when called by that fetching protocol. Here is an example: https://polar.ncep.noaa.gov/seaice/analysis/global.gif

I placed a trouble ticket into wordpress.com support for this issue and here is what they say:

Hi Anthony,

I’ve received a reply from our software department and here’s the conclusion:

We won’t disable the https on your site because it’s a bad practice and may introduce security holes. However, we can stop caching the images on your site, but then your visitors will get the warning about mixed content because as I explained earlier, some of your images are from http (unsecured) sites and your site is https (secured). Let me know if you are okay with this.


Rasto L. – Happiness Engineer

WordPress.com | http://support.wordpress.com

I have told them to turn off caching images, and that I’d fix the pages that had mixed http/https and I’m waiting for confirmation. It’s been three days, and I’ve received no notice, but they may have made the switch already. I’d greatly appreciate it if readers would check out our multitude of reference pages shown below and report back in comments.

3. Sea ice images got broken by a satellite failure:

At about the same time wordpress initiated their https switchover that caused our images in reference pages to stop updating in your browser, the DMSP F17 satellite had a sensor failure that caused the loss of sea-ice data for several organizations, including NSIDC, Cryosphere Today, and others. WUWT has had several posts on the issue, yet some people still write to me wondering why images aren’t correct. The most comical aberration presented by this satellite instrument failure comes from Cryosphere Today:


A more perfect example of a climate “hockey stick” could not possibly be generated, and it is just as bogus a presentation as the original:


NSIDC reports that they are updating their images based on DMSP F18 data, and that it is provisional pending calibration. Other sea-ice agencies have not been so quick to respond.

Patience while the problem gets resolved will be appreciated.

4. Our comment system got broken by the same wordpress update I had no control over:

As mentioned in point 2, in April wordpress.com threw out a major update on https, and this same update also changed the way comments get moderated.

It used to be that comments that were flagged by our banned word list (expletives, hot button words, etc.) would simply be held for moderation. The person who wrote the comment could still see the comment, and that it hadn’t been approved yet, but now with this new update, those flagged comments that need the attention of a moderator to determine if it violates WUWT site policy simply get sent to the trashbin, and disappear from the view of the commenter. This might give the impression to some whose comments disappear that we are engaging in wholesale censorship, we aren’t. But again, this change was out of my control when it was implemented by wordpress.com. I sent in a trouble ticket and this was the response from the Akismet service that handles spam filtering and the moderation system for wordpress.com:

Hi Anthony,

Unfortunately, there’s no way to change what happens to comments that match the blacklist. However, have you considered using the Comment Moderation list instead? It’s on the same settings screen as the blacklist, and comments that match the Moderation list will be left in Pending Approval status instead of being approved or moved to the spam or trash. Then, you wouldn’t need to monitor the spam or trash, and you could just focus on the moderation queue.

Chris F.


I’m in the process of working on this today and tomorrow, so hopefully the issue will be resolved. That said, there’s another much bigger problem, see point #5 below.

5. Some commenters have simply gotten out of control.

WUWT is the most viewed and most commented on website in the world related to climate. As of this writing, there are 273,124,092 views and 1,782,475 comments. Obviously, there’s no way I could read all of those comments, there simply isn’t enough time in my life. Early on in WUWT history I did read each and every comment, now it’s an impossibility. WUWT used to be entirely moderated, and every comment required approval, but the task was tedious and mostly thankless, and we lost some very good people who volunteered to help me manage this crushing load by attrition and by death.

Due to WUWT being a high traffic blog and in the top 10 of wordpress.com blogs worldwide on a daily basis, it is a prime target for spammers. This adds to the load, but the recent change by wordpress.com mentioned in item 4 may actually help solve this issue while creating a new one.

In August 2014, I announced a change to WUWT that I thought would improve it on several fronts. Format was a big change, the way comments were dealt with was another. I wrote then:

Also, some comments may be held for moderation, as we’ve recently added some words to that filter. Some people who have been known to post wildly off-topic, long rants, hateful, or otherwise inappropriate comments will get the inspection of a moderator. Also, first time commenters will be held in moderation, and after the first comment is approved, you are whitelisted.

The vast majority of regular commenters are also whitelisted, but occasionally somebody may trigger moderation. One of the surest ways for your comment to be held is to put a whole bunch of links in it, which mimic commercial spam. Right now we have it set to 4 links as the maximum. If you have a comment that requires more than that, try to break it up into two comments, or just accept that your comment will be held for moderation.

In retrospect, the whitelisting thing was a bad idea, because it allowed some unscrupulous types, as well as people with no sense of decorum or decency, to post a single innocuous comment, which gets approved by a moderator and putting them on the whitelist, to then post comments where they aren’t flagged for moderation at all. As a result, the quality of commentary has eroded, and I’ve had to ban several people who only come here to spew invective, hate, and rants.

Because WUWT often gets linked on Drudge, Instapundit, and other political traffic drivers (because after all climate has become mostly political now) we’ve had an influx of people (from both sides) that don’t understand anything about the issues, but simply regurgitate talking points. This gets tedious, fast.

Some are here for nefarious purposes. We’ve had a couple of people who have taken sockpuppeting beyond what even Doug Cotton does  which caused Dr. Roy Spencer to stop accepting comments on his website. No this is even worse; we have two people assuming the persona of another poster. We have clearly identified who these people are (because in your zeal to denigrate, you made mistakes), and we’ve been documenting your behavior for months. if you are reading this (and you know who you are), let this be notice that you’ll be seeing some legal paperwork appear soon, because frankly I’m tired of both of you and your illegal actions, and the people you have impersonated using their full names are furious. I don’t blame them. You deserve some payback and you are going to get it.

It just goes to show how pathetic some people are when it comes to a disagreement of opinion. The AGW proponents use illegal and nefarious tactics like this rather than open and honest debate. Then, they wonder why they are viewed with contempt.

After Dr. Spencer stopped accepting comments, I considered the idea as well. If I didn’t have to deal with comments, I could accomplish a lot more. OTOH, many of the comments are quite useful. I wanted to see what readers thought, so I ran a poll with his commentary:

Indeed, and the amount of energy expended by me and others is great. We walk a very fine line here, trying to balance giving a legitimate forum to open and honest people, while ferreting out and limiting people who simply want to disrupt the conversation via sockpuppetry. It is a lot of work. If I didn’t have volunteer moderators for WUWT, I probably would have gone the way of Spencer long ago. Since we routinely process a thousand or more comments a day here, many of which are from sockpuppeters and posers (you know who you are with special attention to K-man) It would certainly give me more time to research and write articles. It’s certainly less effort.

Here are the results:



There are a few ways that I’m going to deal with this on the short-term. First, you are going to start seeing notices like this image below appear on threads. It is going to be a fair warning to those that aren’t following site policy.


We have serial offenders on both sides, they’ll get equal treatment. If the thread gets unruly after that, I’ll simply close it. I have better things to do than moderate idiotic food fights.

Second, for the long-term, in the not too distant future, I’m going to implement changes to the way comments are moderated. To that end, I ask readers the following questions:

  • In the first option, requiring registration will mean that your real name and email will have to be verified. It is a lot of work up-front, but it weeds out sockpuppets and posers for good. Successful blogs like “Little Green Footballs” use this technique. The downside is that it limits open debate on the spur of the moment and tends toward a closed community.
  • The second option, requiring that all comments be held for moderation is what WUWT used to do from 2006 to 2014, but it is a huge amount of work. I’ll need more volunteer moderators to pull this off.
  • The third option, running a detailed filter, would send known disruptors, sockpuppets, and comments with expletives, banned words (like chemtrails, bigfoot, etc) directly to the trash were they won’t be recovered. Steve McIntyre does a version of this on Climate Audit, though he gets a small fraction of the comments we get. He never bothers to recover those comments, but instead concentrates his limited time on content.
  • The fourth option, turning off comments altogether solves the time and effort problem completely, prevents disruption, and allows focus on content exclusively. The downside is that the free exchange of ideas, some of which are very useful, dies with it.

6. What do you think? I can make articles on WUWT “peer-reviewed” before publication.

For technical articles, I have a way where I can invite peer review from both sides of the debate before an article gets published. Links to the unpublished article would be sent to people who have offered to be reviewers (possibly due to a solicitation announcement first) and the article can be checked for accuracy, depth, and citations prior to publication. As we all know, Internet peer review is some of the harshest form of review, but often the best, because it doesn’t invite “pal review” like we’ve seen in climate science circles.

This would be a first, not just for WUWT, but for any climate or science blog as far as I know.

7. WUWT’s ten-year anniversary is coming up


I have been doing this non-stop since November 2006, I’d like to take a real vacation to recharge. Even when I have traveled, I keep up the blog. I need a break, but I’m not prepared to go on a one year sabbatical to fix “burn out” like Dave Roberts did.

I’ll need help in the form of guest posters, moderators, etc, and maybe even a little financial help to get me on my way. Willis and I have been talking about a trip to Russia to investigate the cause of the great Red Spot in the surface temperature record.He could blog while we are on the trip like he does when he travels . Thoughts welcome.

8. Hosting – wordpress.com is quickly becoming restrictive

I have danced around this question for years, but the recent changes at wordpress.com that have caused problems cause me to take a good hard look again. I may want to go to a subscription/donor model to make this happen, since getting the features I want for the kind of traffic this blog produces would be several hundred dollars a month. That would mean I’d have the freedom from code restrictions that wordpress.com imposes (they only allow certain features), and could offer features readers have been asking for years, such as comment editing, better threading/numbered threading. Interactive graphs, made with JavaScript etc and much more. It will allow growth, but it will also require more of my time to manage it.

To that end, I thought I’d ask this question:


9. Thank you

I realize many of you have become as frustrated as I have with the state of things in the climate debate, and I hope that WUWT can continue to contribute to it in a meaningful way. I owe a debt of gratitude to readers, moderators, and guest essayists. You have my sincerest thanks. Comments about all of these changes and proposed changes are welcome. – Anthony

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May 21, 2016 12:43 pm

Yeah, I was wondering about the browser warning (only partially encrypted). Now I know.

stan stendera
Reply to  beng135
May 21, 2016 4:43 pm

Sorry to interrupt with Off Topic stuff, but Ivanpah solar site has caught fire. It is now shut down.

bit chilly
Reply to  stan stendera
May 21, 2016 5:59 pm

a common problem in the “green” industries such as recycling plants. i know insurance costs were supposed to increase in the cagw world , i now know why 😉

Janice Moore
May 21, 2016 12:53 pm

Take a REAL vacation, Anthony, at least 3 months. One month will FLY by.
WUWT is a going concern. Just delegate and all will be well.
We will be here when you get back.
Re: Blogging by subscription —
I voted “Yes.” HOWEVER, suggestion: if you can get enough of the WUWT regulars to subscribe, do not make it mandatory. Reason: WUWT’s main goal needs to be to get the truth out to those who want to learn. Truth = freedom. A forced subscription will greatly discourage the average guest.
Suggested approach:
1. Figure out how many subscriptions you need @ $10/month.
2. Give people one week to sign up.
you get enough subscribers for an adequate base $$ amount,
voluntary subscriptions.


Praying for you.

Reply to  Janice Moore
May 21, 2016 12:57 pm

We’re all free to make voluntary contributions now.
Would be great if student and elderly fixed income discounts could be provided, but how to verify?

Janice Moore
Reply to  Gabro
May 21, 2016 1:06 pm

Yes, Gabro, I am aware of that fact. Apparently, I need to clarify what I meant. To keep WUWT the great public education tool that it is, voluntary subscriptions are essential.
Before going to mandatory subscriptions, Anthony can determine whether he would have enough $$ with voluntary subscriptions (not merely ad hoc donations), he can have people sign up to commit to doing that for a year at a time. If enough people sign up, then Anthony would know he could do voluntary subscriptions.
Reason for not requiring a subscription: get the truth out.
I hope that I made myself more clear this time.

Reply to  Gabro
May 21, 2016 1:28 pm

Janice Moore May 21, 2016 at 1:06 pm

Yes, Gabro, I am aware of that fact. Apparently, I need to clarify what I meant. To keep WUWT the great public education tool that it is, voluntary subscriptions are essential.
Before going to mandatory subscriptions, Anthony can determine whether he would have enough $$ with voluntary subscriptions (not merely ad hoc donations), he can have people sign up to commit to doing that for a year at a time. If enough people sign up, then Anthony would know he could do voluntary subscriptions.

I’d support voluntary subscriptions, but not just for better hosting. if it is to keep the site open, some $ should go to Anthony.

While I’m at it, lol, “at,” not “a least 3 months.”


Reply to  Gabro
May 21, 2016 1:29 pm

I set it up years ago on paypal to monthly donate a small sum to WUWT. My subscription cost $36 a year as I recall. Comments and participation are a big, big part of WUWT success and its quality. I wish people would be more circumspect and courteous as they comment.

Reply to  Gabro
May 21, 2016 1:48 pm

How about ads for that purpose?
Or would that open the site up to charges of subornation by Big Oil? Or some other evil corporate influence.

Reply to  Gabro
May 21, 2016 1:49 pm

May 21, 2016 at 1:29 pm
IMO people would behave better if they had to use their real names.

Owen in GA
Reply to  Gabro
May 21, 2016 2:09 pm

I work at an institution dominated by those that believe in CAGW but have never taken the time to look at it. If forced to use my full name (I use a part of my real name now), certain unscrupulous “believers” could make my life difficult. I am not in a tenured position so have to go carefully on controversial subjects if I want to continue in my employment. I am looking for another position, but mid-level physics lab positions are short on supply, and I would not want to get blacklisted by those dominated by believers. Excommunication from science by pretend scientists is not something I relish.

Reply to  Gabro
May 21, 2016 2:52 pm

I know the pressures and problems of that nature faced by so many of us.
I didn’t make myself clear. I endorse Anthony’s suggestion of recording the real names and email addresses of all commenters, not necessarily requiring public use of real names, although maybe given names would be OK, or variants thereof if too distinctive.

Reply to  Gabro
May 21, 2016 5:25 pm

I’m in favour of voluntary subscriptions, too. A mandatory subscription would just turn people away, and WUWT’s great achievement is its reach. I am involved in running local community events, and for most events paying for entry is voluntary. We just recommend an amount and leave it up to the individual how much they actually pay. IMHO it works very well – at least as many people pay more as pay less. If WUWT were to take that approach, as suggested by Janice, Willis et al, then I would like to see recommended monthly, annual and lifetime amounts. I’m sure that monthly and annual payments would drop off over time, though, without a reminder system.

Reply to  Gabro
May 21, 2016 11:38 pm

Better idea, get an app done (freelancer.com) then load it on the Apple and Android app stores that allows you to do in-app purchases. Make the purchases just $0.99, then occasionally shout out for us to tap the in-app purchase button,
The reason I say this is because Paypal and bank drafts are awkward ways to pay. On android it just comes out of the prepaid card (if you don’t like card linking like me) or as a micro card transaction that transcends borders. Yes Google/Apple get their cut but does that matter?
Even better, make the app do something interesting like dodging cooks… or calculating kitten farts of energy or even show the latest solar pics as a background or sea ice data

Reply to  Gabro
May 22, 2016 7:48 am

“IMO people would behave better if they had to use their real names.” I could not agree more, I am now retired but when I was working as a dentist, I could not let my professional reputation suffer by making inappropriate comments. Now, I would not want my personal reputation to suffer either.

Reply to  Janice Moore
May 21, 2016 1:19 pm

Excellent idea, Janice. That would keep it open for all. I agree with you this would be a good way to do it.

Reply to  A.D. Everard
May 21, 2016 11:13 pm

I think that this could work with a community model (Like facebook) the WUWT wordpress site is Free but entry to the community site where we can all interact with each other could be paid. I set this up on a hosting site once with Elgg and it worked surprisingly well (although I had to use a capcha to keep the spam out).
The big thing I have always wanted from WUWT is a side channel.

Barclay E MacDonald
Reply to  A.D. Everard
May 22, 2016 8:33 pm

A straight-forward, regular, voluntary subscription works for me. I have a lot of catching up to do!
I don’t know how Anthony ever gets appropriately rewarded for the great job he has done with this blog and all the c*ap he puts up with daily, including that his gets paid for this! Like Willis, I would like to see some left over to compensate Anthony and to use as he deems appropriate. But Anthony is such a dope he would probably just re-invest it all in this blog:))

Reply to  A.D. Everard
May 27, 2016 12:40 pm


Reply to  Janice Moore
May 21, 2016 3:47 pm

I wonder how much money Anthony would need each year to reach this “foundation” amount?
Perhaps a certain number of “founders” could provide that, leaving the “tip jar” available for others.

Reply to  JohnWho
May 21, 2016 7:40 pm

Sell T shirts .. I’m serious. I had a t-shirt printed up a few years back saying:
burn the coal, save the trees
* ask a botanist about C3 photosynthesis
(I’ll get another printed with “0.04% ain’t enough!” later)
Firstly It generates questions, secondly for a lot of people, seeing things in print somehow confers validity to the statement. I’m not a fan of propaganda but when it’s all coming from one side there needs to be SOME opposing force. It’d not take a lot of effort to set up and may just take off.
Additional to income from a dropshipping shirt printer, plonking whattsupwiththat.com on walking billboards could drive even more traffic through the site.
..and Thanks Anthony for all the work you’ve put into this over the years – it’ll make a nice repository for the future. The eugenicists may have been able to slip into obscurity after the dust settled all those years back, denying their involvement or obfuscating their tacit support of the agenda, but sites such as this will document for future generations how mass hysteria can overtake the world even when clear evidence of wrongdoing and false propaganda exists.
My thoughts on the other points:
registration fees no matter how small will eliminate a lot of people from other parts of the world where even a few dollars is a big ask. Full names could potentially endanger people should a totalitarian push for power ever succeed. Requests for donations obviously aren’t generating the money needed to maintain the site, are there any here who would be prepared to make voluntary large donations in support of Anthony’s work? (I wish I could, honestly I do) Could self moderation of this list be managed with a voting system? (negative votes trigger a request for review). Casual commenters need to be encouraged for anyone could have a searing insight that the rest of us miss, and we don’t want to eliminate those for the sake of convenience! (sorry Anthony!)
Finally in addition to thanking Anthony, I’d like to thank the contributors and commenters – this is a valuable resource and one we should value greatly.

Reply to  JohnWho
May 21, 2016 7:48 pm

Karl, great comment…

Janice Moore
Reply to  JohnWho
May 21, 2016 8:34 pm

Better than subscriptions —


(or “founders”)
per JohnWho (just above)
and davidmhoffer, here: https://wattsupwiththat.com/2016/05/21/wuwt-housekeeping-ongoing-issues-updates-fixes-and-polls/comment-page-1/#comment-2220524

Reply to  JohnWho
May 21, 2016 8:56 pm

Yes, Janice, a foundation… if it can be done for a relatively obscure catholic church right here in new orleans, then it can be done for the most highly visible climate change blog in the world.

Jeff Mitchell
Reply to  JohnWho
May 21, 2016 10:03 pm

What about using indygogo or kickstart to do annual funding drives?

Reply to  JohnWho
May 22, 2016 1:40 am

Karl, good points. – additional to promoting the web address this site can also use a QR code

Jan Christoffersen
Reply to  JohnWho
May 23, 2016 3:39 pm

I would also like to know what that base $ amount is. Is it $10,000, $20,000 or $40,000 or …? I have no problem with a $5.00 monthly fee and, say, a discounted $50,00 if paid annually. All annual subscriptions could be renewable on January 01 (or pick a date) to eliminate renewal notices being required throughout the year.
This site is too valuable to fade away. Anthony is the most precious of gems.

Reply to  Janice Moore
May 21, 2016 3:48 pm

I too voted yes to subscription but with a qualification in mind, that the site be free to read but only subscribers could comment.

Reply to  ColinD
May 21, 2016 4:23 pm

OK with me. Good suggestion.

Harry Goff
Reply to  ColinD
May 21, 2016 5:36 pm

Great suggestion

Mike Jowsey
Reply to  ColinD
May 21, 2016 6:48 pm

Then comments could become an echo chamber, with ‘outsiders’ excluded from commenting.

Reply to  ColinD
May 21, 2016 7:42 pm

Mike Jowsey
May 21, 2016 at 6:48 pm
This is not a novel suggestion by me, many places do this. It sorts out the impulsive from the serious.

Huub Bakker
Reply to  ColinD
May 21, 2016 9:31 pm

Perhaps casual commenters could be limited to one comment a day or week or 3 comments before registration is needed.

Mike Jowsey
Reply to  ColinD
May 23, 2016 3:02 am

Huub, yes, I like it. An elegant solution. To recap, only ‘members’ get to comment freely except if you are a newbie commenter whereby you get a free pass for a limited time or occurrence. This is a workable solution. My fear is that echo chambers on the internet abound and WUWT must maintain its high ground in this regard, yet also maintaining ‘sustainability’ within the logistics,

stan stendera
Reply to  Janice Moore
May 21, 2016 6:07 pm

+ 9,000,000,000,000

Reply to  Janice Moore
May 21, 2016 7:12 pm

I am 70yrs old live in Philippines (with pesos) I would not be able to subscribe even though I would like to.

Reply to  Janice Moore
May 21, 2016 7:32 pm

A mandatory subscription to read articles would definitely kill this site (and betray its purpose entirely). Making commenting a mandatory subscription would be practically the same as disabling comments (something that would eliminate the community); as then money = ability to have your voice heard. An immediately oppressive situation.
WUWT is definitely functional as is, so this is not a do or die conundrum. Certainly WUWT isn’t perfect, but nothing is, and the attempt to force perfection is most damaging. I would certainly vote for WUWT that functions at a slower, lower key pace to give Anthony his vital rest and keep things manageable, than some of these more radical ideas. WUWT doesn’t have to publish as fast as it does now.
Peer review is an interesting idea, but it is often extremely slow, and could easily get mired in deliberations (a case of reality ensues). For the analytical pieces it makes sense, but for the news pieces it could delay matters till they aren’t topical anymore. Perhaps delineating the types of articles between those classes could be a way to handle that easily.
I’ve been around this place for a very long time, so I’m not worried about what ever Anthony decides, as I trust in his level head and sense of purpose.

Reply to  Ged
May 21, 2016 11:21 pm

How about a variant, lets assume certain accounts could be marked as “reviewers” people who are tolerant of dissent and can handle the argy-bargy. Give them an access level, Level 1 can push posts into moderation, Level 2 can replace posts (replacing them with deleted by XXX and a reason or a snipped version).
This way bad posts will get dealt with by the trusted readers.

Reply to  Janice Moore
May 21, 2016 11:02 pm

Well said Janice.
I often send links to people I think may be interested and while I voted for a subscription model it would certainly put some people off which would be counter productive.
Another way might be to have someone pay for the hosting for a month and give them the recognition for doing so but I am not sure what amount you could be talking about and it could cause problems if someone suddenly let you down.
When talking about moving from WordPress have a look at this site as it seems to work fairly well.
I have emailed a guy that used to have a connection with them to see what software is used.
I don’t know if there is a character limit on the first post (never struck it) which could be limiting.
PS Haven’t heard back from him yet but I see it is
Thank you for all the time you have put into this site.

Reply to  Janice Moore
May 21, 2016 11:48 pm

The most popular form of voluntary donation is via patreon.com. Lots of YouTube content creators use it and do very well out of it. For instance a channel with 500K subscribers can receive something like $1K/m through donations. Patreons commit to paying a small monthly amount, but because many people do so, the amounts add up. More than enough for the few hundred dollars Anthony needs for a top notch WordPress site.

Ken Gray
Reply to  Janice Moore
May 22, 2016 5:46 am

A twist on the idea. Subscription required only for commenters. Read-only people see it all for free but commenters have to register and pay something. $10 a month seems like a lot to me; $5 better. I’m very thrifty! And thanks for all you do and have done. This is a GREAT site!

Douglas McLaughlin
Reply to  Janice Moore
May 22, 2016 8:28 pm

I would like to suggest that perhaps a Patreon account might work for you.

Reply to  Janice Moore
May 24, 2016 2:19 pm

Hah! I came back here today to leave exactly the same comment. After reading and taking the survey I realized that I’d be willing to pay to keep this site open and available for public use.
And, to the point made already, yes we can all donate today, but it would be useful to put a metric in place so I know how much is needed. Right now I don’t even know what scale of donation is meaningful. I can imagine it’d be a pain in the neck, but maybe run a donation campaign. Put some swag and stuff in there. Maybe do it on Kickstarter. Could be a lot of fun.

David Ball
May 21, 2016 12:53 pm

I love WUWT. Bring your “A” game or stay home. Anthony has paid a heavy price for our ability to have our voice heard. I get unruly at times, but always defer to Anthony and the mods judgement, as I appreciate the forum. Thank you for listening to your readerships opinion’s. WUWT is a brilliant light in the dark.

stan stendera
Reply to  David Ball
May 21, 2016 6:08 pm

+ 9,000,000,000

May 21, 2016 12:55 pm

What about your Big Oil backers? You could sell your blog to fossil fuel interests. Oh, wait. That was Al “Jazeera” Gore’s TV channel. Never mind.
I hope (sarc) not needed. I voted for registration, peer review and a subscription model in order to finance moderation, etc.
Best wishes for improved health.

Reply to  Gabro
May 21, 2016 1:04 pm

Excuse me if wrong, but IMO Steve McIntyre is also not in the best of health. Have you and he ever considered joining forces?
I realize his blog and commenters are more strictly scientific, while your format is more popular, permitting political comment and publishing articles from more far afield than just climate issues. But together you could produce in effect both a Web-based professional journal and a popular periodical. Professional and competent commenters could be screened and approved, while still leaving open the possibility for comments from the public laity.

Harry Passfield
Reply to  Gabro
May 21, 2016 2:42 pm

Gabro: We all get ‘less young’ and I support your idea of merger. Something like “What’s Up With the Bishop’s Audit” – or similar.
AW: I’ve been here from the start, near enough. What an education! I thank you for that.
BTW: How are your ‘competitors’ fairing – or do they have other means of support? 😊

Reply to  Gabro
May 21, 2016 2:54 pm

Laughing, if not quite out loud!
Merge of the best few climate skeptic blogs might be in order, along with splitting off an associated peer reviewed blog, with credentialed or at least minimally qualified, screened and vetted commenters.

Reply to  Gabro
May 21, 2016 3:38 pm

IMO the educational and work experience requirements to comment on peer-reviewed papers need not be strict and strenuous. Maybe just a bachelor’s degree from a respectable institution in a hard scientific discipline (to include life sciences), math or engineering, or equivalent in on the job training.

May 21, 2016 12:58 pm

I have wrestled with moving to a self-hosted site on and off, but the advantages of WP.com outweigh those of self-hosted. The Trolls will never go away which says much about humans.

May 21, 2016 1:12 pm

A year ago I set up a family website on WordPress. It didn’t get used much, and I had an email from them to say they were going to take money from my credit card to renew it, which I’ve no wish to do. I can’t contact them! You have to remember your username and password – everything links back to it, and WordPress doesn’t have an email address, and you can only do LiveChat if you are a business subscriber. There’s no way I can stop them taking money from my card (and cancelling my webpage) other than cancelling my credit card, which is what I’ve had to do! I’ll never, ever use WordPress again, it’s a joke. I found a website that said you can contact them using support@wordpress.com, but I didn’t get a reply, so I assume that’s a dud. Absolutely infuriating!
Great site, Anthony, and I wish you good health…and a new hosting company!

May 21, 2016 1:17 pm

I don’t think the WP offer to stop caching is a good idea. It will disable virtually all old images on the site on past threads. Their caching does solve that problem, and is OK for static (unchanging) images.
For the reference pages and the updating problem, a quick fix could be to take those outside WordPress. You don’t really need the WP infrastructure there, and you could put it in any location addressable with a http: URL. I use a Amazon bucket. You could still link in the same way from WUWT on WP, but with http.
Purely for demonstration, I did that with the existing Sea Ice page here. I just copied the HTML (Ctrl-U), did a global edit to convert the cache prefixes of form https;//i0.wp.com/ etc to http;// (but ://, not ;//). Sometimes it is i1 or i2, so I used in notepad++ the regexp https;//i..wp.com/. If you have the original HTML unaltered by WP, this step isn’t needed.
Anyway, when then placed on the web with a http: URL, the sea ice page all comes good again. The images keep up to date (though some are bad for other reasons). The result can be seen (temporarily) here.

Peter Sable
Reply to  Nick Stokes
May 21, 2016 2:19 pm

Interesting idea. Definitely worth an experiment.

Reply to  Nick Stokes
May 21, 2016 2:43 pm

Great effort Nick – really appreciate the time taken. Seems like sound advice. Show WordPress the limits of their control.

Reply to  Nick Stokes
May 21, 2016 2:55 pm

I am shocked, I agree with every thing Nick said. What is the temp in hell?

Reply to  Timo Soren
May 21, 2016 5:06 pm

I think the snow balls are still melting but, it’s taking a little longer. 🙂

Paul Courtney
Reply to  Nick Stokes
May 21, 2016 4:44 pm

Nick Stokes graciously gives helpful suggestions to use this site. There are many reasons to lend support, but this one is enough to overflow the cup. I hope you can avoid subscription, but do what you gotta do, Mr. W, and thanks for this site. It’s more of an education than Las Vegas!

See - owe to Rich
Reply to  Paul Courtney
May 22, 2016 7:01 am

Re Nick Stokes, yes I don’t always agree with his take on things, and I’ve seen him cornered into pretty indefensible positions, especially on Climate Audit, but I do admire him as a very smart guy and clearly tech savvy. His suggestion of moving reference pages outside the WordPress ambit seems eminently sensible and practicable.

Reply to  Nick Stokes
May 21, 2016 11:27 pm

You could also access the images via an ssl proxy, egcomment image.
A proxy like this could be set up on a hosting site in a few minutes.

May 21, 2016 1:25 pm

I can help you as a volunteer moderator,having been one elsewhere for the last 3 plus years on a large WordPress blog. if you are interested e-mail me and I can give a reference you can trust who can vouch for me.
I no longer work,thus have a lot more time on my hands.

Reply to  Sunsettommy
May 21, 2016 3:51 pm

Anthony, I too can volunteer. I too no longer work,thus have a lot more time on my hands. Replace CoRev with blackd to contact.

May 21, 2016 1:28 pm

I greatly appreciate all the work you have put into this labor of love, and you have become a daily must-read for me for the last 8 years now. The subscription idea is a hard one; I know you need income from the blog to be able to make it better, but I fear it would cut back the accessibility that makes your blog such a well known voice.
One pet peeve; I doubt you know the story, but you should *never* refer to “little g. f.” as a “successful blog”. It’s interesting, as it is the site of one of the most spectacular blog meltdowns in internet history, but that’s about it. No need to bore you with what is now an old story, but it’s a good rule of thumb to treat anything that has ever been done by that particular blog host as a thing that should never, under any circumstances, be emulated.

Reply to  wws
May 21, 2016 2:19 pm

I agree about “little g. f.”. I hadn’t looked at it in years and after your comment, just had to see. Just as bad or even worse than in the past. What a disgustingly bad mannered set of commenters.

May 21, 2016 1:39 pm

Anthony – do have a break, it’s essential and this site is too good to lose. If you don’t take time out to rejuvenate, it’s too easy to lose heart. Also anything that makes the job easier for you is a good thing.
Regarding WordPress, as I understand it they offer the best security against hackers, etc., so that would be a concern if you decided to move elsewhere, although the increasing downsides WP seems to be throwing your way would make the move worthwhile.
A great many of us rely on WUWT to get a clear picture of what is going on out there in all fields, plus a good dose of commonsense. I do enjoy the to and fro in the comments and often find the insights shown there often to be more valuable than the article itself.
Although many of us fail to give thanks verbally or financially, please know that you ARE appreciated and valued for your strength and honesty, which is much needed and which is why so many gather at here.
We need you. We need this forum. A lot of us draw strength here, even “little people” like me.
Whatever you decide to do and wherever you decide to go, I will come too.
Thank you.

Rick K
Reply to  A.D. Everard
May 21, 2016 3:08 pm

What you said, A.D. Totally concur.

Reply to  Rick K
May 23, 2016 5:52 am

Me too!

Reply to  A.D. Everard
May 22, 2016 2:34 pm

Argh – I apologize for the poor formatting and extraneous words in my comment (I am usually more careful). My sentiments however are sincere.

May 21, 2016 1:44 pm

Anthony, as a “newbie” that came drifting over here when dr spencer closed up shop (BTW, his comments are open again; not exactly “100% cotton free”, but still nice to see…), i think that you have way too many postings which makes the comment page less valued for folks than it ought to be. If you had fewer posts, then more people would spend more time on each one (thereby enriching the comment page experience). As it is, a posting goes up in the morning and is buried by a dozen that follow during the day. Maybe if you focus more on quality posts than on quantity, then you might not only lighten your own load (in a number of ways), but also enrich the blog experience of your viewership…

Janice Moore
Reply to  afonzarelli
May 21, 2016 1:54 pm

@ A. D. Everard (re: above affirmation, thank you! 🙂 )
@ Arthur Fonzarelli (heh) — I heartily second that idea. I LOVE (trying hard to not bug people like… well, like several people, lol, so commenting more infrequently, now) THE COMMENTING CAMARADERIE! CAN — YOU — TELL??? 🙂
@ Willis E. — thanks for the “a” fix!

Reply to  Janice Moore
May 21, 2016 3:00 pm


Reply to  afonzarelli
May 21, 2016 2:27 pm

There are commentators here from all over the world and every time zone.. This often means that a post new to us on our first visit of the day might already be some way down the list by the time we see it and active comment has moved on. Personally I would like to see fewer good quality posts which can be debated thoroughly for a day or two than the constant stream we currently see of variable quality.

Ray Boorman
Reply to  climatereason
May 21, 2016 5:59 pm

I agree that there are times when the number &/or quality of posts is excessive. The same goes for the comments too – mine included.

Reply to  climatereason
May 22, 2016 11:13 pm

I second Tonyb’s (and others) notion that there are now too many posts per day. Frequently I cannot keep up and have to skip some and, again, by the time I’ve read all the comments on posts I am reading and am thinking of making an innocuous comment myself, everyone has already moved on to a later post. And very often a commenter will have asked an interesting question to which they, and I, would like to know the answer but it remains unanswered for evermore.

Reply to  afonzarelli
May 21, 2016 2:38 pm

I agree with Afonzarelli. There are a lot of postings that are not worth reading, and I dont. Most people with a bit of scientific knowledge can spot them. The ones that stray into fantasy and nonsense – they would not be too difficult to weed out. Stick with the main issues. This would cut down on the work load.
Best regards.

May 21, 2016 1:51 pm

A black list, eh. Well I know I’m on Huff Po’s, have been for 2 years, Facebook’s until 6/11, certainly on Disqus’, maybe on WordPress. They don’t always say, sometimes there are pop-ups, sometimes commenting just stops working.
[snip – waay off topic. We aren’t talking about CO2 and TOA and forcings on this thread. It is wrong of you to bring it up, Anthony]

Reply to  Nicholas Schroeder
May 21, 2016 3:37 pm

Sorry. I’ll locate a more appropriate thread.

May 21, 2016 1:54 pm

I owe a debt of gratitude …

God bless you Anthony. I am very grateful to you for the very important work you are doing.

John Robertson
May 21, 2016 1:56 pm

I’m willing to throw in a few bucks, if you want help with that Russian Venture.
The red spot smeared over Russia and Canada’s Arctic seems very convenient to the meme.
Take a real rest and let Willis do all the narrating.
That will be fun, I too love his travelogues.
A break from the climate wars is probably desirable all round.
I have to confess a heavy cynicism and increasing nastiness .
My faith in those we entrusted to administer our public institutions is at a life time low.
If it gets much lower, civilization ,as i know it, will no longer have my support.
Not sure about the methods of moderating comments, your judgement has been excellent so far, however the reader has to to decide for themselves , there are no same places and some 7-9 billion different points of view.
Sometimes the Trolls inspire.
As for subscribing , yes.
Your site has replaced several magazines, so I would subscribe.
However, the utility of being able to send non subscription traffic here and for people to learn at their own speed, I would be against a closed site.
Peer review?
No ,post whatever you choose, good bad indifferent, sometimes I learn more from a post that is heavily panned.
Peer review has not served open science well.
I do not trust, that what is good for the publisher, is good for the interested citizen.
Now that I think about it, I will send you some beer money, as I do not believe I have donated to WUWT this year.
Health is precious, take a reran holiday.

John Robertson
Reply to  John Robertson
May 21, 2016 1:59 pm

Yes abandon wordpress, a real holiday…Take a real holiday..

Reply to  John Robertson
May 21, 2016 2:34 pm

“I will send you some beer money,”
I’ll second that, just done it, cup of tea, bear, glass of Napa valley red or whatever …..

Reply to  vukcevic
May 21, 2016 2:43 pm
Reply to  vukcevic
May 21, 2016 3:40 pm

Save the Polar Beers!
Soon because of Climate Change, we’ll have to drink warm beer like the British!

May 21, 2016 1:57 pm

Your poll questions separately offer some options in tandem.
Make WUWT free for browsing without the ability to comment.
To comment, require subscription via “Require all commenters to register first, those that break rules get warnings, then removed if behavior doesn’t change.”
Thus, you continue to be a highly viewed site without setting up barriers, you enhance the commenters adherence to policy, and you gain a source of revenue, which would open up possibilities to move to a platform with less overall maintenance labor.

Reply to  Stephen Rasey
May 21, 2016 2:39 pm

I could afford $5/month, but $10 maybe not. I’m on a very fixed income. There was one site I subscribed to for $4.95 but when it went to $9.95/mo. I baled out.
I check your site daily. The suggestions about the number of articles per day is a valid one. When it gets more than 3, I can’t keep up, and tend to skip down to the comment thread without reading the entire article(s).
How ever you work it out – I will be a faithful follower. Good luck and do take some time off…we all need some of that.

Reply to  Stephen Rasey
May 21, 2016 3:39 pm

That’s a very good idea.
However, three free comments per article would allow anyone make a comment, clarify it and state their disagreement without thread-jacking.
It would still be open to passers by.

Reply to  MCourtney
May 21, 2016 3:41 pm

That’s a welcome suggestion and workable idea, IMO.

Ray Boorman
Reply to  MCourtney
May 21, 2016 6:02 pm

Great idea MC.

4 Eyes
Reply to  MCourtney
May 22, 2016 5:37 am

MCourtney, yours is very good suggestion. The thread jacking and sometimes puerile back and forth comments is getting worse and is a real turnoff somedays

Reply to  MCourtney
May 22, 2016 6:31 am

However, three free comments per article would allow anyone make a comment

But if this is implemented, the author of a post should have the right for an unlimited number of comments. However what I do not like is what happens if I made my three comments on another person’s article and someone asks me question? Do I have to pay to answer that question?

Reply to  MCourtney
May 22, 2016 2:54 pm

I agree with Werner. Limiting comments is not a good idea IMO. Registration is a good idea as there is less likely to be bad behavior and/or thread-jacking when there is no sock-puppetry. Some threads warrant good and deep discussion – I don’t want to see anyone blocked out because they’ve had their three chances.

Reply to  MCourtney
May 23, 2016 1:04 am

Werner Brozek, I would say “Yes. You have to pay or ignore the question”.
If you wish to have more than a passing interest in the subject then you ought to be a paid up member.
(I’m guessing it’s one payment to be cleared not one payment per article).
If you aren’t interested enough to get paid up then you probably aren’t interested enough to get into a debate on a thread.
☺One comment.
☻One clarification.
•One response.
To me that seems like the limit of ‘disinterested’ engagement.

Reply to  MCourtney
May 23, 2016 7:14 am

Werner Brozek, I would say “Yes. You have to pay or ignore the question”.

I find this very odd and backwards. I am a retired physics teacher. While teaching, I got paid good money to teach. But now you are saying I must pay to teach? I write one article a month for WUWT and often respond to questions and have never been paid for it nor am I asking for any payment. If anything, the people asking the question should pay for an answer. But this opens a huge can of worms that is best avoided. For example, is the answer even correct or just an opinion that may be wrong? Who decides?
If it isn’t broke, don’t fix it.

Reply to  Stephen Rasey
May 21, 2016 7:51 pm

The only problem with the “comment, if subscribed” proposal is that WordPress’s API has to support it. I don’t know that it does and wouldn’t be surprised if it does not.

Jeff Alberts
Reply to  Stephen Rasey
May 22, 2016 4:25 pm

On their free hosting, probably not. But you can install WP (or any other CMS, personally I prefer Drupal) on your own servers and add any modules you like.

Reply to  Stephen Rasey
May 22, 2016 8:26 am

Totally agree with you Stephen. I visit this site every day-I read the articles and comments,and have done for the past 5 years. I try and educate my pro AGW children by sending links to this site. I have a low fixed income,and would not be able to pay, however much I would love to be able to do so. This is only the second comment I have ever made, and am only doing so as I am horrified at the idea of not being able to access this site in the future. It educates, and gives pleasure, to me.
Take the holiday Anthony, but please do not deprive those of us at the lower end of the income scale from continuing our education, and the pleasure this gives us.
Thank goodness there are people like you around, that work to stem the flow of nonsense as regards the climate and workings of our beautiful planet. I wish I could help you more.

steve in seattle
Reply to  Stephen Rasey
May 22, 2016 3:23 pm

I like the idea of free to read, small payment to comment. Maintain a blacklist. And, I would donate / donate more IF I knew that the community was serious about nationwide 30 second spots on main media that counter the AGW fraud with current , concise climate science.

Reply to  Stephen Rasey
May 23, 2016 5:43 pm

“But now you are saying I must pay to teach?”
Yes indeed!
What if someone asks a question, I know the answer, I am willing to explain the answer, I happen to have enough time, but I have to pay?
No way, José!

May 21, 2016 1:59 pm

Anthony – Thank you for creating an important institution. The intellectual community you have created has provided the best place in the world to actually debate the various parts of the climate issue. Your blog is a beacon for free speech on an issue where debate is very necessary.
I will be contributing to help you continue to provide a forum for open moderated debate. I must warn you though that my life has been enhanced by fossil fuel technology and the money I have made probably would not have been possible without the use of fossil fuels. Indeed, without the availability of cheap fossil fuel energy, I would likely to be dead right now.
Thank you again.

Gunga Din
May 21, 2016 2:01 pm

So far I’ve only voted on (and for) the online peer review.
Open review may be a pain for the paper’s authors to sift the wheat from the chaff, but, how much less of a pain would it have been for all of us if “M&M” had been able to review “The Hockey Stick” before it became CAGW Gospel?
In other words, it means more work for them but would produce a better paper.

Gunga Din
Reply to  Gunga Din
May 21, 2016 2:14 pm

To add, perhaps a “WUWT2” for the online peer-review that would require registration to comment? That should weed out a lot of the “chaff”?

Gunga Din
Reply to  Gunga Din
May 22, 2016 10:33 am

Or, if WordPress allows it, registration to comment on those post intended for only for online review?

Saul from Montreal
May 21, 2016 2:09 pm

wws May 21, 2016 at 1:28 pm
One pet peeve; I doubt you know the story, but you should *never* refer to “little g. f.” as a “successful blog”. It’s interesting, as it is the site of one of the most spectacular blog meltdowns in internet history

Charles Johnson’s blog was close to being a hate blog at it’s heyday before he decided to throw out the racist and islamophobic commenters. I admire Charles for having the intestinal fortitude to admit the mistake he made by hosting those individuals and to take the painful steps that were needed to clean up the mess. I blogged there during the dark times and really enjoy the new version better.
Perhaps you are upset with CJ’s pro CAGW position.
Anthony: It may be a good idea to post a list of the words that are being filtered.

Reply to  Saul from Montreal
May 21, 2016 3:16 pm

“Anthony: It may be a good idea to post a list of the words that are being filtered.”
I think we can infer which words are filtered from the words with c@m0ufl@g.d that regulars use.

Reply to  simple-touriste
May 21, 2016 3:20 pm

Do you d@ny that N@azi allusions or claims of fr@ud and crimin@lity will cause Anth@ny to toss you off his bl@g?

Reply to  Saul from Montreal
May 21, 2016 5:13 pm

Just for the record there is no such thing as ‘islamophobe’ it’s a made up word that is misused by media.

Reply to  ldd
May 22, 2016 11:55 am

IMO it’s someone who believes that women should have legal equality with men, that female genital mutilation is abhorrent and opposes the enslavement and beheading or otherwise murdering of non-Muslims.

Greg Woods
May 21, 2016 2:11 pm

Thank you, Anthony….

May 21, 2016 2:11 pm

There is no way I could know the full extent of the problems this site has encountered, so my comments will be less than totally informed.
1) There have been several posts that were very short and just pointed out the lunacy of the alarmists. The comment thread after the short post was where the real information was at. The comment threads are often the reason I visit this site.
2) Peer review? Give me a break. The articles are good now and the ultra high traffic shows that they are good — as well as the comments section. Perhaps a few peer-reviewed articles — but recall Einstein was no fan of peer review.
3) Rather than go nuts trying to prevent spammers on the front end (do what you can of course), I think having a way of flagging spam content or “over the top” content should be used. Say I mention a particular astrophysicist that is not welcome here and 2 or 3 trusted regulars flag me — you could get rid of that content pretty fast. Then you issue a warning. Then you banish the account and the IP in it was done a second time. Would that be perfect? Heck no, nothing is foolproof because fools are so ingenious. But it would work.
4) Consider having a regular “open topic thread” once a week and allow that thread to be a little looser for those of us who are hot heads to blow of some steam. (within reason of course)
5) Sop being paranoid that a few bad comments will bring the place down. Bad actors are all over the internet and everyone past 8th grade realizes that just because a comment makes it past your defenses does not mean you approve of the commentator’s words.
6) I had a 6 but being old, I forgot. 🙂
~ Mark

Reply to  markstoval
May 21, 2016 3:04 pm

“The articles are good now”
No! Most articles are. Not “the articles”.
Recently, some posts with major errors or absurd arguments have been posted. One post about energy production didn’t even used the correct physical units.
Blatant errors:
– are used by critics (but it only shows how hypocrite and shallow they are, as they won’t discuss the blatant errors from their sides, and those are never fixed)
– generate tons of negative comments
– simply waste everybody’s time

Wayne Delbeke
Reply to  simple-touriste
May 21, 2016 10:30 pm

Opinion SImple-Toutiste There are a few commenters that ride the same horse into battle every time with no real effort to engage. Their names are known an d it is easy to scroll to the bottom of their comments and carry on reading valuable insights. The bickering that goes on even between the “knowledgeable” at times causes a quick scroll past. As soon as invectives or insults start flying, it is time to take 1 10 second time out and get past the useless arguments. Heck I might even be one of those at time but I do donate regularly and would miss the information this site provides. If one reads here long enough, you will learn to judge, and once in a while you will get an insight into something important that can change your insights into science, technology and even world politics.
Best site on the Intenet (for me). Thank you Ath@ny.

May 21, 2016 2:13 pm

Now my suggestion comment went into space (trash bin?). I kinda thought it was a good comment. Oh well.
[Sorry, nothing in the trash bin. Please re-submit. -mod]

Reply to  markstoval
May 21, 2016 2:43 pm

Sorry, did not save it. I am too tired to try again. Besides plenty of great suggestions being made on thread now.

Reply to  markstoval
May 21, 2016 3:06 pm

“Sorry, did not save it.”
If you still have the browser opened, you could try “reopen last closed tab/window” and BACK (previous page) and the “Reply” button and the text of your comment may appear.

Reply to  markstoval
May 22, 2016 1:10 am

I compose & save in ‘WORD’ then copy & paste onto blog site

Peter Sable
May 21, 2016 2:18 pm

How about a combination of verified accounts and moderation?
(1) verified accounts generally don’t get moderation (unless the account is flagged)
(2) unverified accounts always get moderation, and if the load is too high, the posts simply don’t get published. Incentive to change to a verified account, but still allowing some spontaneity.
(3) Paid verified accounts get marked as such, don’t get moderation unless serious abuse happens, and get some other privileges we could brainstorm here. (a t-shirt?, pay up for moderation privileges?)

Johna Till Johnson
May 21, 2016 2:20 pm

Hi Anthony,
Thanks for the explanation, it’s helpful. My 2c: I’d happily pay a subscription, I think the blog more than merits it. I voted in the poll, too. I don’t have the bandwidth to moderate, or at least I don’t think I do–perhaps someone might be willing to set up a schedule or something where we could sign up in 2-hour blocks?
Please throw the book at identity impostors, glad to hear you’re doing that.
As others are saying, I think you should definitely take a sabbatical. I bet you can get things set up to run well during your time off. Not sure how I can help, but wish you the best. This blog is a valuable resource, and many thanks for creating it!

Reply to  Johna Till Johnson
May 21, 2016 3:11 pm

Too often paying online destroys anonymity.
I don’t want that.
Also, I do NOT believe that “real names” (which is joke, they CANNOT be checked) make people civil or anything. I think it’s a joke.

Reply to  simple-touriste
May 21, 2016 4:09 pm

I agree with this: “I do NOT believe that “real names” (which is joke, they CANNOT be checked) make people civil or anything. I think it’s a joke.”

Johna Till Johnson
Reply to  simple-touriste
May 21, 2016 5:18 pm

Um, okay, but why are you replying to *me* with that comment?

Reply to  simple-touriste
May 22, 2016 3:16 pm

He’s not. You can tell by the indentation.

Lewis P Buckingham
May 21, 2016 2:20 pm

Thanks for going after the guy that took my name and published invective against you in my name.
Paradoxically this site reminds me of one run by a caring profession.
Usually one would think of ambulance drivers,doctors and nurses.
Those running it are interested in finding out what is really behind climate change, and publishing the process through articles and debate.
The problem for the carer is always ‘Who looks after the carer?’
For if the carer does not look after himself, then he is unable to look after those whom he cares for.
As I tell my faithful wife, even Christ took forty days off and went into the desert.
There has to be independent financing for this blog, otherwise some corporate will eventually take it over.
You could remain as a non profit and simply ask for voluntary donations with a suggested amount per annum, giving membership.The tip jar would remain.
This would be calculated to put a floor matching the outgoings.
The organisation could then offer free webinars on the science of climate to members while charging a fee to others.
The recent lecture on chaos theory as applicable to climate science by Oxford University Physics was a prototype example of this.
Your webinars would be faster paced, more tightly written and illustrated, with feedback from an audience by email on the hosting site, such as Redback.
Eventually they would be put on YouTube, now morphing to a film release media.
Next small group classes with modules could be run, on a fee per service basis.
Some elements of the business model in this organisation http://www.cve.edu.au/#
could be of use.
As always your site has opened my eyes to the complexity of the once assumed ‘settled science’.
For this I am grateful.
‘May your tribe increase’.

May 21, 2016 2:23 pm

Mr. Watts, concerning the commenting policy…Would it be possible to implement both option 1 and option 2? Registered subscribers would have the ability to comment freely (as long as the rules are followed). Unregistered subscribers would have their comments placed in moderation. I don’t know if that’s feasible, just a thought.

Reply to  SMC
May 21, 2016 2:47 pm

I can’t intelligently comment on the function of the blog and how you might solve your problems, but on the topic of donating, I’d be much more in favor of a yearly renewing subscription over a monthly payment.
Maybe you could go commercial. Selling WUWT merchandise. Many Webcomics keep themselves afloat selling merchandise. It’s not the same thing, but maybe their would be a market for WUWT coffee mugs.^_^

Mark Broderick !!
Reply to  peter
May 21, 2016 5:23 pm

…I’ll buy a T shirt AND a mug !!

Jan Fluitsma
Reply to  SMC
May 21, 2016 3:22 pm


Reply to  SMC
May 21, 2016 3:43 pm

Good suggestion, IMO, as also would be a spun-off Youtube channel, with subscribers, gaining revenue through eyeball views.

Gunga Din
Reply to  SMC
May 21, 2016 3:49 pm

I haven’t cast my vote in the first poll because my preference falls between 1 and 2.
All comments reviewed would be my choice, but I’m not doing the reviewing. That would put a lot on Anthony and “The ModSquad”. I don’t think that’s my call to make.
Option 3. I don’t know enough about how that would work to “vote” for it. If it makes it easier for the Mods, that’d be a plus. If it means a comment using the wrong is blasted with no consideration of its context because no mods ever see it; that’d be minus.
Option 4. No comments at all? That’d be a Mega-minus.

Gunga Din
Reply to  Gunga Din
May 21, 2016 3:52 pm

“using the wrong is”
Should be:
“using the wrong wordis”
I think I just gave a “+” to “No Comments”.

Jeff L
May 21, 2016 2:31 pm

As it relates to subscription, I agree it might improve content bit i also think it would substantially decrease viewership and being the most important skeptic blog on the web, I feel widespread viewership is critical to spreading the message. Would hate to see readership go down. Perhaps there are other ways to fund better hosting – such as advertising – to keep the site free but have better content?

Reply to  Jeff L
May 21, 2016 3:20 pm

I think with a subscription only policy, your site would essentially be “Preaching to the Choir” so to speak, and viewership would go down…

Reply to  J. Philip Peterson
May 22, 2016 3:18 pm

J.P. Peterson,
Very good point. Commenters on the alarmist side of the debate would never put their money into a skeptic’s pockets.

May 21, 2016 2:37 pm

Concerning the reference pages… For me, they don’t appear to have been fixed.

Mark - Helsinki
May 21, 2016 2:40 pm

Anthony at this point and considering your service to scientific debate and myth dispelling and encouragement of open debate, it is time to put your health first, and take that trip to Russia, then a jaunt about with Willis, who knows where you’ll end up.
The internet Peer review is an excellent idea.
$$ should certainly go to you as well as for WUWT
A willing subscriber here, absolutely. I see it as a duty to all those out there who may be misled by the junk science cacophony.
Seeing as I am only more or less a reader with nothing of value to add in general given my lack of scientific experience and knowledge in EVERY area other than OA, whatever is decided is fine as far as my unimportant big mouthed self is concerned, I value the service you have provided to internet denizens by the million such as myself.
Россия здесь приходите
In Russia, Russia comes to you 😀

May 21, 2016 2:48 pm

This is answering the last questions first:
At a five dollar per month level, I am in.
At a ten dollar per month level, I will be out.
Yes, the five dollars make that much of a difference. Based on the nos, a five dollar a month subscription would cause thousands to stop visiting.
Consider; at $60/year ($5X12months), that equals a quite expensive subscription service; easily over topping my most expensive magazines.
Yeah, the WSJ and IBD are more per year, but there is a difference in their detailed global in-depth coverage. Even then I had to drop the IBD.
Yes, we need to help ensure that Anthony certainly suffers no financial harm and ideally sees that Anthony is reimbursed for his valuable time. But those are relatively small numbers averaged over thousands of users.
Anthony, using WUWT subscription funds should be able to secure the monthly services he needs along with any hardware and software packages he finds necessary.
So what makes an affordable subscription level?
Charging a premium price eliminates as members almost anybody who isn’t a professional with access to official subscription support..
Charging too low a price, say $1 a month, still allows the trolls open access for small change.
How about charging an initiation fee followed up by a small monthly fee? Say $5 or $10, even up to $25 initiation fee with perhaps $2 or $3 monthly subscription.
This puts the annual cost at the price of a decent magazine while forcing trolls to cough up cash to join. Not that the service paid trolls would not have their employer just pick up the costs.

I don’t mind using my full name in closed groups, but I hesitate when the internet spiders scrape every bit for their cross reference value.
WUWT thrives on internet scrapings! Perhaps the full name registration process will allow the use of a pseudonym after registering with our full name?
My pseudonym is ATheoK which does represent my full name. Within my family and circle of close friends and co-workers would recognize that pseudonym as likely mine without hesitation.
Only people who do not know me don’t get the connection and I really don’t care that they don’t.
Which brings us to that crux, in a world of extroverts and introverts I and many others are introverts.
What many extroverts fail to understand is that introverts do not become extroverts when they’re forced into the public eye. Calling everybody’s attention to an introvert is a good way to traumatize the introvert.
I am not sure what Steve McIntyre is using for his moderation/discard process; but I have been unable to comment at Climate Audit for years. Every email I’ve tried to send was either lost in a black hole or rejected.
Still, Steven’s blog is of immense value and I check it frequently for updates.

May 21, 2016 2:53 pm

I just wanted to say I appreciate everything Anthony and his cohort have done, it’s a Hell of a big horse to ride.

Reply to  Merovign
May 21, 2016 3:01 pm

That’s a great idea for a statue! Only with all four legs on the ground.

May 21, 2016 2:57 pm

“Mixed content” (unsafe images on a secure page) is OK. It means a third party could see which images you request and replace those. Reasonable browsers with a reasonable config allow that.
Only active mixed content, where active content like scripts (or potential active content like CSS) is loaded from ostensibly “secure” pages (actually unsafe pages because of the unsafe active content) is verboten. (Yes, we have been seeing that stupid unsafe Web design on many serious websites, including official websites, banking etc.)
The generalization of HTTPS to fight global surveillance and increase Web security is a noble goal, but let’s not break the Web with malfunctioning “caching”.
So go with mixed content. With you click on the icon next to “https://wattsupwiththat.com/…” Google Chrome correctly indicates:

Your connexion to this site is private, but someone on the network might be able to change the look of the page.

May 21, 2016 2:58 pm

Florida Links on Extreme Weather are “file not found 40x”

May 21, 2016 3:00 pm

A side comment:
All of my attempts to reach WUWT using Internet Explorer 11.0 failed.
Dumping me to an URL: https://r-login.wordpress.com/remote-login.php?action=auth&host=wattsupwiththat.com&id=1799261&back=https%3A%2F%2Fwattsupwiththat.com%2F&h=
Reaching a page with the following message; Invalid key [1]. Back
Oddly, the WordPress.com application login/window does bring up WUWT and allows reading some of each post; but clicking on the linked titles just goes to the dead end URL and message above.
Clicking on a comment link also hits the same message page.
So, I switched over to chrome to get to WUWT.

Reply to  ATheoK
May 22, 2016 6:57 am

Yes, Chrome is still reliable. Safari is now getting worse, too. I have been on the internet ever since it was born many years ago via my father’s computer systems and watched it grow and grow and then SHRINK. It is actually getting ‘smaller’ when we are talking about useful sites that give good information and have real debates. Now it is all silly stuff or the people who own media talking one-way conversations with the rest of us who have no voice.
This site allows conversations! A rarity these days.

May 21, 2016 3:06 pm

Re subscriptions: Maybe make comments available to subscribers (‘members’) only, but keep the site itself open to all. That is essential.
Re WordPress: Are yoiu still using the free WordPress? As I understand it, there is also WordPress.org, which requires programming expertise, but I would assume gives you much more flexibility. I may be wrong, but if not, I am sure there are software development experts among your fans who would be delighted to help develop the site.
/Mr Lynn

Owen in GA
Reply to  L. E. Joiner
May 21, 2016 7:42 pm

The problem with WordPress.org is they don’t host, but provide you the software to set up your own hosting and servers. This makes you responsible for the security, including defending against the paid activists’ distributed denial of service type attacks. The activists don’t care about free speech or other people’s interpretations of data, they just want to win and go with a “ends justify the means” approach to everything. Whatever hosting Mr. Watts uses is going to have to have a first rate internet security team as a result of the nature of his opposition.

Reply to  Owen in GA
May 21, 2016 8:38 pm

Again, the expertise among WUWT readership might be able to create first-rate security. The question is, what would hosting/servers cost? I’ve no idea, but maybe that’s where a membership model might work.
/Mr Lynn

May 21, 2016 3:10 pm

IT can cause major headaches and problems where none existed before. Who Knew ?
Good job there are no major scientific theories or projects that rely almost 100% on IT….

May 21, 2016 3:13 pm

Every site I visit has a login or uses Disqus. They have been doing so for years. It is time that this site did the same as I cannot see any problem with it. However, I believe that an onsite server may be the answer as I have had three different sites set up on WordPress and every one of those sites I have killed due to the hapless and nonsensical intrusion of WordPress updates and demands. They made the entire exercise almost impossible. I do not know how they go about deciding on how to sabotage one’s site but they manage continuously, the structures they set in place is purely for their own needs and revenue. An own server and suitable program would by-pass that all and allow you to finance this site and yourself a lot better via advertising that you decide to expose. Worth consideration.

Reply to  Christian_J.
May 21, 2016 4:07 pm

“An own server and suitable program would by-pass that all”
In order to run your own server, you will select a server capable of handling usual load plus a margin for spikes, plus a safety margin just in case, but you are still vulnerable to DOS attacks. When running on a big shared infrastructure, you get good DOS resistance for free.

Hocus Locus
Reply to  Christian_J.
May 22, 2016 8:58 pm

… Disqus

Good suggestions but please let me advise against DIsqus. Yes, it’s a set and forget it kind of solution, but complete reliance embedded on javascript to load comments, and the resulting “Who’da thunk it?” tactic of making the comment section a ‘fake’ rolling window… Disqus is great if quick anonymous snipes are the whole point of your website, but it is an affront to discourse.
Disqus represents the worst effects of the ‘cloud’. Not only do they host your subscriber base’s actual content, they impose their own regime on everything. The broad Disqus user base is also rife with sockpuppet stalkers and throwaway accounts, because — not surprisingly — many activist and news sites go for this drop-in solution.
Yeah I have a Disqus account. But I’d never put the effort into editing, citation and linking I do here. What’s the use? It’s like typing into a black hole. And if you take an interest in the topic and imagine you can capture/save/print all threads as your own, wake up. Something will prevent you from doing so. Or you’ll save a page to disk that you load in two years, which says, “Sorry! Disqus has forgotten everything that this great website once was. Sorry for the inconvenience.”
Disqus is the Internet’s answer to writing on toilet paper.
WUWT is presently a pure threaded text page to the client, or in the least it is served as one. This becomes incredibly voluminous at times — like THIS thread of threads. But it is real and actual It is self-contained, complete. It can be saved to disk and reviewed in its entirety. Indeed, there are countless WUWT articles on my disk where the essayist lays out the general topic and the commenters collectively fill it out beyond thesis level…!
Due to its almost-static text nature WUWT is loved by Google and other search engines, and the material added by comments becomes a rich compost of relevant keywords that bring people to the page. By contrast, a Disqus comment section looks like it is there, but (to the search engines) it’s not really. It’s an empty hole.
Comments-as-static-text is becoming a rare and precious thing nowadays. I never dreamed years ago I’d be saying this, back then doing it that way was a simple matter of search engine survival. But now, style and drop-in-outsourcing is overtaking hosted content at an alarming rate.
If this sheer volume of real text written by REAL PEOPLE chokes some small Internet device, it is not time to revamp the Web to accommodate the poor device. It should be put out of its misery, ’round the back of the shed, with a shotgun. If people start complaining that this site is not mobile-friendly, invite them inside out of the rain and show them a real computer. They’ll be amazed! They’ll murmur to themselves, “This must be the next new thing…”

May 21, 2016 3:14 pm

Anthony you’re a blessing to all rational folk.
If you make this blog a paid subscription you’ll lose folk and others won’t be able to browse. Donations or more advertising might be a better method. How much do you need per year?
As far as burn-out I’m a sufferer and to regain normalcy I needed a complete change of life-style. A year off isn’t very long especially if you don’t travel, leaving the “job” well behind you.
What ever you chose to do I wish you well.

May 21, 2016 3:15 pm

Question: Where is the tip jar? Is it the donate to surfacestations.org? That is the only one I can see.
In common with others, I support a subscription for commenting, but free viewing. Also, $5 a month US would be ok, but $10 would need careful adjustments, eg I’d have to find something I could dump.

Reply to  Martin Clark
May 21, 2016 3:18 pm

How about $50 per year in a lump sum or $5 per month?
Agree about free viewing, naturally. Subscription just to comment. Also free article submission. Or even get paid for professional peer-reviewed journal papers.
The Journal of Watts Up With That. Or the Journal of Climate and Other Interesting Things.

May 21, 2016 3:28 pm

I’m a little suspicious of the “technical issues” that both WordPress and the data custodians like NOAA seem to be having. E.g. WordPress demand https, NOAA stay with http. There is some discomfort at mere commoners accessing and discussing climate data. I wonder when they will start communicating in Latin?

Reply to  ptolemy2
May 21, 2016 4:40 pm

Sunt qui scire Latine >-)

Reply to  Akatsukami
May 21, 2016 5:16 pm

Si hoc legere scis nimium eruditionis habes. 😛

Hocus Locus
Reply to  Akatsukami
May 22, 2016 9:19 pm

Sic transit Gloria.
She threw up on the subway.

May 21, 2016 3:43 pm

Anthony, I can vet and manage an new gaggle of moderators. I also believe almost every single article should have minor vetting. I can also help manage the group of peer reviewers/vetters.

Reply to  Charles Rotter
May 22, 2016 3:16 am

I would suggest peer review only be a labeling scheme that rates the credibility of the article, not to reject articles except really bad crap, but you do that already.

Reply to  Charles Rotter
May 23, 2016 6:58 am

Absolutely enjoy the concepts around naming groups. I coached soccer and always like the term ‘gaggle’ for a group of young girls. Now a group of moderators…hmm…. Emily Post (EP) wrote about the correct behavior, can’t think of any good ones yet. Modsters is just too juvenile.
The mods are hopelessly out-of-date:
A group of young girls was a giggle,
a group of pre-teenage girls used to be a gabble, and
a group of teenage girls was the gaggle.
But with the clothes they aren’t wearing lately, it’s just oodles of google-addled oggles. .mod]

May 21, 2016 3:49 pm

Corinne Lepage is a French environnement lawyers, known for the defense of the interests of cities victim of the oil spill caused by Erika in December, 1999. (Some city council said she failed to defend the cities.)
She is also a politician (party name: “cap21”).

Corinne Lepage veut ficher les climatosceptiques
« Moi, je suis un grand défenseur de la liberté d’expression. Dès lors, s’il y a des gens qui ont envie d’être climatosceptiques, c’est leur affaire. Je pense quand même qu’à un moment donné du temps, il va falloir tenir un registre très précis de tous ceux qui se seront prononcés et qui auront agi dans un contexte climatosceptique, pour que, dans quelques années, ils portent la responsabilité au moins morale de ce qu’ils auront fait. »

Source: http://www.wikistrike.com/2015/11/corinne-lepage-veut-ficher-les-climatosceptiques.html

Me, I am all for freedom of speech. So, if people want to be climate skeptics, it’s their problem. I still think that at some point in time, we need to keep a precise register of those who said anything or acted in the context of climate skepticism, so that, in a few years, they bear the burden of they did, at least morally.

She says she doesn’t seek a judicial condamnation of “climate skeptics”. But then she says:

« Cette responsabilité engage la problématique du crime environnemental, ou pas ?, continue le commentateur, qui décidément semble en vouloir.
Et Corinne Lepage de lui répondre : « Je pense qu’un jour on y viendra.

She says: I believe one day we will create a responsibility of environnement crime.

May 21, 2016 3:50 pm

If the subscription was less per month or on a per visit scheme then I might go for it. But as usual, people don’t price their subscription models with the idea in mind of what exactly they’re providing and how much that is worth.
Most take the amount of money they need to operate the blog and divide by some number of subscribers and that’s the number OR they under rate the viewer ship when dividing the number.
Think about it. How many new articles are on the front page every day? 5 maybe. that’s 150 articles a month or about 3 cents an article. Sounds reasonable right? The problem is that some of those articles won’t be of interest to some and then you have to consider how much of a budget a person has for casual acquisition of information.
If you were supplying information for people that could not get this elsewhere or it wouldn’t be as convenient or whatever then the amount would be reasonable. Maybe.
But a lot of us are casual hobbyists and have limited budgets with zero value for those articles other than satisfying our curiosity and being an informed citizen.
Mean while you’re competing for the viewers budget with other more pressing or every day news that also requires a subscription.
In other words your price starts out too high at 5.00 in my view.
I wish that someone would invent a way to provide micro payments securely over the net. Then when I see and article I want to read, then I’ll pay for it. Otherwise I’m not going to invest $5 on the hopes that some of the articles will be worth my while.
Not denigrating the value of what you do and what is written here. Just about how much we have to spend on acquiring that information and how important or necessary for our finances that we know the things you write about.
good luck figuring that out. I myself will pass if you go to a subscription model as the information provided although important and timely just doesn’t have that value for me at my budget level.

Reply to  jakee308
May 21, 2016 4:47 pm

Interesting. Micro payments. Yes, why not. You want to reply, pay something per response.

Reply to  rd50
May 21, 2016 5:14 pm

“pay something per response”
I was expecting this one. If you pay per comment, you are encouraged to post less comment, and group comments! Do you believe this is a good thing?
So instead of many comments posted using the reply to message button (well threaded comments that maintain ordering and readability), you post one long comment which doesn’t fit anywhere in the threaded ordering, destroying the hierarchical ordering.
Some people believe that posting many non-repetitive, short, focused, logical and relevant comments in a correctly threaded way is “flooding” but posting a few very long unreadable comments is not. I usually can’t communicate with these people.

Leon Brozyna
May 21, 2016 4:01 pm

Fine with registration .. and let the hissy-fit throwing kiddies play in someone else’s sandbox

May 21, 2016 4:24 pm

Much of this was already said…. Free browsing, register to comment (with a two strike rule for flagged rule-breakers) and paid subscription (keep it to below $50 a year) allows a range of other forms of discussion and contact – including self-organizing groups to crowd-fund and produce material that the real Lewis P Buckingham mentions above.
As someone who did fund-raising, only about 10-15% of the funds promised verbally show up in actuality. Forewarned is fore-armed.
Please don’t cut the comments…
Please take an extended vacation…
Please know you are profoundly appreciated for the work that is done here.

May 21, 2016 4:29 pm

Wow did I do a spit take when you put “successfully” and LGF together!!!! It works for chuckle because he only allows sycophants.

Jeff L
May 21, 2016 4:38 pm

As it relates to peer review, I think this is the best idea going & perhaps a model for science in general going ahead. Yes, it would be a small step, but that how everything on the internet begins – small …. but a necessary first step.
Think if it ultimately led to that being the predominant form of scientific publication & got us away from all the money , politics & “pal review” that dominates science today? It would ultimately do in the CAGW meme faster than anything and be a fundamental shift in the way science is done (actually bring science publication into the modern era). It could bring credibility back to science.

May 21, 2016 4:39 pm

Anthony, I’m glad that you pointed out the amount of effort it takes to run a site like this. I run a fishery website, and although I don’t generate the views you get here, the work required to keep fresh content, maintenance of the site, and all the other chores to keep it running smoothly are un ending.
You’ve got to love it to keep your nose to the grindstone.
Your regulars appreciate your efforts, but, that don’t pay the freight.
You mentioned the new software update which I assume was a theme update.
When my site was updated, it was broken, and I was not alone.
I had to hire a guy from Athens to get into the backside, and my hosting account to debug things. Money well spent. the key words, money spent comes out of my pocket, which there isn’t a large cash reservoir. It was painful, but necessary.
All’s well now, but WP has made changes that are annoying.
My goal has always been free access.
The people I serve are small boat fishermen that are family owned operations being run out of business by NOAA, and bad science.
These people don’t have a lot of money, but they need information, and industry entertainment, and a place to contribute their views and opinions.
We sell ads to keep it open access. You should consider that.
Also, every page should have a ggle ad, and everyone coming here should click them if they see something they are looking for.That will add up, and they actually might see something their interested in and make a purchase!
As far as comments and commenting systems, DISQUS is great, and you can get the plugin for the back end. They also have a new revenue generating program.
The time to do what you do is hidden from most, but I know how much you give. Its a commitment most could never do. Carry on, and God Bless you. BH

May 21, 2016 5:16 pm

Suggest a WUWT open support day, like Google or Wiki sometimes does every 4 months, no pressure.
Might get to me.
I am not a good supporter, too uncommitted, too tight with my money, someone else will do it and not really happy using my credit card on the internet.
Despite all my lame excuses your blog really reaches out to people and keeps the fight alive, keep going as long as you can.
Some bloggers seem to pose as supporters but put very strong messages out of invective and hate. While I realise some people actually think that way a silent blog group system could perhaps help a moderator alert to and remove offensive comments.
By that I mean only those of invective and hate.
Opposing views must be tolerated.
So you could have a two stage process incorporating AtheOK’s suggestion.
One a little group of tick circles for alerting and second a group of names [email addresses that the moderator knows are regulars with good sense] and if they are the ones upset with the comment the moderator is alerted after say 5 such genuine hits.

Reply to  angech
May 23, 2016 8:44 am

I like angech’s suggestion for a two stage process.
Only; after some overnight thought, consider these possibilities.
Leave WUWT as an open portal to all visitors for excellent information.
WUWT Posting privileges require full ‘The OAS’ registration as citizens.
Use a membership initiation fee coupled with a paltry monthly subscription; membership status is for The OAS, (‘The Open Atmospheric Society’)!
Use the different membership levels within OAS.
• All memberships require full address, name & financial information:
e.g. 1) The OAS Founding membership: Includes Anthony’s trusted comrades and WUWT anchors
•° — New members desiring Founder status level, pay a substantial sum; which Anthony can forgive.
e.g. 2) The OAS Supporting Full membership: The full initiation fee:
• Members can comment on WUWT,
• Moderated until proven civil,
• Trusted Members can fill in as moderators during needful times. (even I can help out some days)
e.g. 3) The OAS Associate/Student membership level.
• Members can comment on WUWT:
• Moderated until proven civil
e.g. 4) The OAS Citizen level of membership: Free or small annual donation
• Kept in the loop for OAS announcements,
• Receives all WUWT news,
• Allowed XX WUWT moderated posts per month
• At Anthony’s discretion to remove from moderation.
Any transgressors of common courtesy and civility:
• Lose posting privileges until/if Anthony/moderator decides otherwise.
• Lose all fees paid; no refunds.
Serial offenders and banned persons are removed.

May 21, 2016 5:22 pm

My 2c on your primary points:
WordPress: I run several websites/blogs for various people/groups using WordPress (the stand-alone version, not the hosted version). I don’t really know how much commonality there is between the two, but I would guess quite a lot. Honestly, its a pile of . Unfortunately, its the go-to software for people starting out, and its non-trivial to extricate yourself from it later. The attitude of “we know whats good for you” on the hosted site is an invitation to move elsewhere. Maybe understandable for a customer getting “free” service with a few dozen hits a week, but for one of their primary attractions (and probably primary revenue generators) that attitude is unacceptable. There is a push by various large corporations (such as Google) to force every website to use HTTPS. If the website carries any sensitive information, it does make sense, but otherwise it is an added complication, added overhead and added cost (I suspect that a lot of the cheap/free certificate sources will disappear shortly).
Fees: No problem with voluntary fees, or even a small fee to “buy” posting privileges — that helps in the identity of posters too. Feed to view, no, I don’t think so. Viewership would plummet. Drudge (and others could no longer link, people that come here doing their own research would never find the wealth of resources and alternative points of view.
Peer review: For the more technical posts, definitely. As an aside, if/when you move, I would suggest separating posts into a (very few) topic areas, such as “Technical”, “Commentary”, “Politics” etc. Oh, and a “Willis” category too !!! 🙂
Moderators: By all means expand the group to allow 100% moderation. You may want to consider a small number of highly trusted “super moderators” to moderate the moderators, basically to avoid the wikipedia type problems.
Trip to Russia: Go for it! I think that would be of huge interest, even if you never ended up finding the source of the “red spot”. I don’t think you will find any problem getting the financing.

Steamboat McGoo
May 21, 2016 5:25 pm

Anthony – First: I hit the “Require all commenters to register first,…” button – but will go along with whatever is easiest for you.
Second: Take a vacation. My PayPal finger is itchy, red-hot, ready to donate!

Reply to  Steamboat McGoo
May 21, 2016 7:04 pm

[ My PayPal finger is itchy, red-hot, ready to donate! ]
relatively new to WUWT, but have become a daily reader and occasional poster. As some have said, I often learn more from the comments stream than the article. I do make small monthly contributions to several web sites and organizations, and adding one to help out this blog would not be an issue, so off to paypal and figure out how to set it up for WUWT.
BTW, I do have a personal wordpress site–just don’t add to it very often. Guess as I age, I have less and less to say about more and more

May 21, 2016 5:26 pm

Shadow banning raises the possibility that people will stop bothering to comment.

Science or Fiction
May 21, 2016 5:41 pm

I think your blog readers need to see more of the silliness – I miss silly opponents, bring them on.

May 21, 2016 5:42 pm

Geez – as busy as Anthony is, I wonder if he’ll have the time to read all of these comments?
Anthony, to save you some time, don’t read this one.

May 21, 2016 5:50 pm

How about an annual fee? As an adjunct to registration. Doesn’t have to be much, maybe $10? It would encourage the regulars, discourage the trolls.

Science or Fiction
May 21, 2016 5:52 pm

Ask for help – ask for the money you need – the work load on you is tremendous – I guess many will be willing to help you out with running the blog – let the blog get much bigger than you.

Tom in Florida
May 21, 2016 5:53 pm

I think a registration fee is in order. At that time the real name and email of the registrant would be verified and would include an attached blog name if one is not inclined to use their real name. Those that do not register can read but not comment. An annual renewal at a price that gets lower each year until the 4th year renewal at which time there are no further charges. A failure to renew any year would start the process over from the beginning. It would make accounting much easier than monthly payments. As an example, if one is willing to pay $5 a month, perhaps the initial registration fee could be $60, with a $40 renewal the first year and $20 the 3rd year. If $60 is too much at once for some people, they only need to put away a few dollars a month until they get their $60. If this blog is that important to people then they will do it.
I don’t know if that is enough money for your but you know where the fee needs to be.

Tom in Florida
May 21, 2016 5:54 pm

$40 renewal is for the 2nd year.

F. Ross
May 21, 2016 6:05 pm

As a daily reader, occasional commenter, from almost the beginning of your blog may I suggest you take the well earned vacation. After full R&R and if your health and inclination permit you to resume blogging, that would be a great help to those seeking the truth in climate science.
I would be fully in favor of commenter registration ( with verified pseudonyms for those who wish ) and fully in favor of peer review. A nominal fee to comment would not be out of the question. Inline ads might be a viable alternative to a fee system.
Most of all, though, your health and well being comes before blogging.
Mnay thanks for all your efforts over the years,
F. Ross

Science or Fiction
May 21, 2016 6:11 pm

The reasons why I prefer to remain anonymous are that:
– I will not officially oppose my employer
– I´m afraid of getting targeted by totalitarians
– United Nations have succeeded in stigmatizing their opponents
I´m proud of every word I write – except from my most glaring mistakes.

Reply to  Science or Fiction
May 21, 2016 7:09 pm

“I´m afraid of getting targeted by totalitarians”
See my comment about president of “cap21” politician/lawyer Corinne Lepage, a wannabee “climate skeptics” list maker, who is considered a “centrist” or “moderate” by the French medias, and frequently invited as a neutral “expert” on TV.
“I´m proud of every word I write – except from my most glaring mistakes.”
We know that warmistas with the silliest ideas can use their real names and appear in public, and never get called out and ridiculed by journalists. The “science guy” can even say on TV that the IPCC received a science Nobel prize. Apparently it’s OK.
I am currently watching on TV “séance de l’assemblée nationale” (on screen information says “COP21 : La ratification de l’accord de Paris – 17 mai 2015[sic]”):
– Bernard Deflesselles, MP of “LR” = “Les Républicains” (the alleged conservative party in France) can say that “warming might raise the level of the oceans of one [centigrade?] degree“; but Official transcript of course doesn’t say “one degree” but “one meter”. (Apparently nobody in the assembly was listening – usually MPs are very vocal when something silly or outrageous is said.)
– According to Noël Mamère (of “EELV” (formerly “Les Verts”) = the green party), some countries are “victimes de l’extractivité[sic] de leurs ressources” (no, the word “extractivité” doesn’t exist in French) = “victims of the extractivity[sic] of their ressources” (and I am not making this up, see VOD @ 02:37:08). The transcript fails to reproduce this nonsense (I wonder why): the official transcript says “ils subissent l’extraction de leurs ressources” = “they undergo the extraction of their resources“.
So during their speeches, two MP read (no impro!) complete nonsense, and it was erased in the official transcript. I think this is funny and interesting.
But this is “small potatoes”.
Some people can make abominable statement like “put them in gas chambers” and not be called out by the dominant medias.
OTOH, a “skeptic” (or non skeptic but critic of the politics of the IPCC) can be attacked because he wrote a book with a few un-referenced claims (even an extremely noncontroversial claim like the record power consumption in France, which can be checked on a website known by anyone remotely knowledgeable about energy in France).
People who disagree with the alleged “consensus” are systematically attacked even for the most trivial errors, like an incorrect reference, a misspelled scientist name, etc. The lack of balance has rarely been as obvious.
Real names policy could hurt “skeptics” (realists).

Reply to  simple-touriste
May 21, 2016 8:53 pm

Thanks for your post. Real names could hurt badly the way things are progressing now.
Without sites like WUWT things could be much worse on this side of the “pond”.
Thanks Anthony!!!

May 21, 2016 6:16 pm

Turning off comments is counterproductive since you have to use comments to leave tips and notes. Unless you want to wade through millions of emails.
The sole problem I have with this site is the size of tips and notes. Thanks for finally reducing it recently. That should happen at least once a month. Once a week would be better.
I don’t know why you stay with wordpress. You like to talk about how web savvy you are, but you can’t find a more painful blogging tool than wordpress.

May 21, 2016 6:24 pm

WUWT needs endowment by deep pockets if it is to put food on the table for a family, innit?
it’s almost unheard of on the net that readers pay for commentary..
but i’ve had hundreds of free websites and at least a dozen free forums, so paying for BBS hosting is simply out of the question.
i never understood how wordpress could get anybody to pay for hosting freakin text…
but then, the internet fell into decline with the first appearance of ‘blogs’, imo.

May 21, 2016 6:25 pm

Rasto L. – Happiness Engineer
WordPress.com | http;//support.wordpress.com

He’s happy because he still has an http address 🙂

Reply to  Nick Stokes
May 21, 2016 6:33 pm

Ha! Emoticons don’t show now because they are regarded as mixed content 🙁

May 21, 2016 6:29 pm

I think I sent an email some time ago expressing that you add a function to vote on comments (similar to techdirt.com) or flag them for abuse. I mean, it seems like a no-brainer to off load some of the moderation to your readers rather than managing it all yourself…
It may seem like it would just be easier to turn off comments completely, but then I think you’d lose much of your reader base. Techdirt has several good articles on it:

Reply to  Dog
May 21, 2016 6:31 pm

“I think I sent an email some time ago expressing that you add a function to vote on comments (similar to techdirt.com) or flag them for abuse”
A function that might be abused by trolls, unless it is well protected.
Only for long time, legitimate posters?

Reply to  simple-touriste
May 21, 2016 6:39 pm

“A function that might be abused by trolls, unless it is well protected. ”
Perhaps, but I’ve never witnessed a single case of that ever happening by the hands of trolls unless they’re the overwhelming majority of the reader base.
Case in point, Poptech:

Reply to  simple-touriste
May 22, 2016 6:27 am

Now this sounds like something that would be tailor made to make use of a subscription base. You are only allowed to tag a comment if you are a registered, and paid, member. Some how I don’t see a large number of trolls being willing to plunk down dollars just so they can’t down vote comments they hate.

Alan Robertson
Reply to  Dog
May 21, 2016 9:00 pm

Comment rating schemes build echo chambers.
Leave that sort of thing to the climate propagandists.

Reply to  Alan Robertson
May 21, 2016 9:17 pm

That’s only if there’s a user ranking system that carries high ranking users’ posts over into all articles. A perfect example of that is SlashDot. They are just the worst of the worst when it comes to echo chamber commenting systems.

Reply to  Dog
May 21, 2016 9:30 pm

I stopped reading /. about 15 years ago when I realized that the uber clueless and inept comments were almost always getting 5 points and the intelligent comments were hidden and buried.
And on stackoverflow it’s impossible to disagree with the party line. You can’t say a “guru” is wrong about something, even with a citation of his own words. You can get banned trying to disagree with someone. Argumentative messages are verboten which is to say … if you disagree you can get blocked.

Reply to  Alan Robertson
May 21, 2016 9:26 pm

To clarify my initial post,
The reason why I promote Techdirts rating system as the perfect example is that they don’t give priority over high rank nor low ranking posts. (it’s listed in date order just like here) They merely add a visual badge that lets others know that it’s something worth reading.

Reply to  Alan Robertson
May 21, 2016 9:44 pm

Sounds like stackoverflow is a lot like ArsTechnica…They’re supposedly a technology website, or so they used to be, but they actively promote pseudoclimitology which is all coordinated by a single individual who has yet to make a single citation on anything he writes. I actually had an account with them for nearly 10 years before I got banned for challenging his views on climate change just a couple years back…
And since we’re on the topic of echo chambers via various methods of moderation, that is another example of doing-things-wrong, subjective moderation.

Reply to  Dog
May 21, 2016 9:58 pm

The “skeptic” part of SO is obviously the worst (don’t try to criticize a vaccine!!!!), but the whole project is disgusting and an epistemological abomination, including the programming languages part: the person who asks the question gets to choose the “correct” (“accepted”) answer.
When people ask “why does ALANGAGE only allows the FOO in BAR and not QUX?”, the wanted answer is a feel-good answer. When people who happened to be there during language design (say, me) answer “no special reason, it’s just the way it is, it’s the rule, period”, the answer not only isn’t accepted as correct but it considered a provocation, a trolling, and insult to the person asking the question, and is deleted. A completely bogus answer that makes no sense what so ever is accepted, because it provides a “reason” for a completely arbitrary choice.
So in practice, correct answers may be deleted without justification by “moderators” who have an opinion and moderate based on their (often lacking) knowledge of the field.
Criticism of accepted answer in old question isn’t officially illegal but it’s considered bad taste in practice.
Also, an answer that ends with a question mark is considered a question, and not an answer, even if the question is obviously rhetorical.

Science or Fiction
May 21, 2016 6:31 pm

I once got the following message at my site:
“Your happiness engineer isn´t happy”
Are you sure you get the best support from WordPress?
As one of the greatest sites at WordPress I think you should ask that question to the Chief Executive Officer for Automattic. Your site is great – you deserve great support.
“When you reach the end of your rope, tie a knot in it and hang on.”
– Franklin D. Roosevelt
Thanks Anthony – your contribution to mankind is tremendous – your impact will become historic. 🙂

May 21, 2016 6:57 pm

I can’t help much with any of these problems so I have sent you some cash to buy a decent bottle of wine to relax with.

May 21, 2016 7:05 pm

Wishing you, and us, your better health, Mr. Watts. Please do what you must to heal.

Reply to  yam
May 21, 2016 7:19 pm

I wholeheartedly second that.

May 21, 2016 7:08 pm

Re comments–I know that some time back Barry Ritholtz at The Big Picture had similar issues. It might be useful to contact him to see how he dealt with it.

May 21, 2016 7:11 pm

Instead of subscriptions, what about patrons? A small group of people who commit to regular donations monthly, annually or even one time to make it free for everyone else. Start with a budget so we know what we’re shooting at. I’m against subscriptions because it creates a two tier system no matter how carefully you distinguish between subscribed and not. The idea is to get as many eyeballs as possible on the site. So while I wouldn’t sign up for a subscription, I would be happy to sign up for $200/year or so to help make it free for everyone else.

Reply to  davidmhoffer
May 21, 2016 7:23 pm

You know, David, I may not actually contribute much to the forum, but I’d sign on as one of those “Patrons” or a “Founder” as mentioned before.

Reply to  davidmhoffer
May 21, 2016 8:03 pm

I like this idea. It would be far less stressful if Anthony knew in advance that the costs of this site were covered from year to year. Then the additions can be addressed as they arise.

Reply to  davidmhoffer
May 21, 2016 8:18 pm

Yes, a foundation… a priest at st. patrick’s in the warehouse district here in new orleans started a foundation to refurbish the church buildings. Apparently, it was such a novel idea that he sold to the archbishop who then began a similar campaign for the restoration of st. louis cathedral (which now looks beautiful). A website with the notoriety that wuwt has should surely be able to garnish worldwide support. This would keep the blog intact so as to continue maximizing viewership; easy access for the huddled masses being a must…

Duke C.
Reply to  davidmhoffer
May 21, 2016 9:00 pm

FreeRepublic founder Jim Robinson has been using this model for years.Quarterly donations by patrons. It works.

Reply to  Duke C.
May 21, 2016 10:35 pm

Also include the option of a Lifetime Membership Fee for those who may not want to hassle with regular payments.

Bernie Hutchins
Reply to  davidmhoffer
May 22, 2016 3:12 pm

David – sound good.
But why not just do it NOW with the Donation button. Money where mouth is – I just sent $1000 to Anthony. He sounds “blue” and nothing chases blue like “green”!
A lot of us, perhaps being presumptuous, have come to not only respect Anthony but love him like a brother.

Steamboat McGoo
Reply to  Bernie Hutchins
May 25, 2016 4:51 pm

Bernie – you said it to David, but it resonated with me. I’m in … for my first year subscription.

May 21, 2016 7:25 pm

To me, at first glance, the “real names” option looked costly, silly and unmanageable. Now I believe it’s simply an abomination.
First, it’s unenforceable: I have seen no suggestion about how real names would be checked! So the option is essentially wishful thinking in the first place. (Asking for scan of ID papers is a big “no, never, are you crazy”, and that could be faked by trolls, too.)
So it’s essentially like gun control (only even less efficient). The bad guys will always use fake names.
Then, it’s unlikely to repel hysterical warmists and people we call trolls, even the most annoying ones, the most stupid ones, as they believe they defend the Just Cause: why would they hide their real name? They might not even understand they are trolls. (They have mental issues, no other plausible explanation exists. Think “sociologists”.)
And even if posters are allowed to use pseudonyms and keep the real names hidden, WUWT would become a big personal information database, with the added responsibilities and obligations.
And WUWT could have to do an awful lot of lawyering: do you imagine being the target of some US state AG? They might come at you to discover the “real names” of people who “abused” freedom of speech by posting “misleading” comments, over 30 years!
This is even more complicated as people in different jurisdiction might claim their own PI laws apply to WUWT: don’t forget how Europe claims that its (made-up, inept) “right to be forgotten” applies to google.com as much as google.fr, that it applies when Google Search is used from Europe as much as when it is used from the US. So what if different laws in different jurisdictions give opposite conclusions? WUWT could end up between a legal rock and a legal hard place.
Also, WUWT would be a target for pirates trying to grab the database. There would probably be rumors about personal data leaked by WUWT (even if no leaked occurred)
(Same issue for pay to read or pay to comment: it creates connexions that can be used to link people to rejection of climatism.)
Also, employers, esp. state employers could check the posting record of anyone, looking for politically incorrect comment.
Sorry, but we HAVE to be paranoid at this point. Esp. after the CEI event, in the country of the 1st amendment (we don’t really have the equivalent of the 1st amendment in France).
Just my random thoughts… IANAL

Reply to  simple-touriste
May 22, 2016 11:39 am

Occasional commentators can and do provide important information. Maybe someone gets up the courage to say something but doesn’t want to participate on a regular basis?

May 21, 2016 7:27 pm

Thank you Anthony for this most precious site. A must-read for anyone serious about understanding the “climate change” dispute. I scare-quote it because they have redefined it to mean things other than a mere changing climate.
I was one of the victims of the loser who forged my name to a great many hateful, evidence-free attacks upon good skeptics. Thanks to one of your moderators (not sure if it’s OK to name him), the matter was sorted out and the fake posts deleted. I am all in favour of compulsory registration. It’s easy. Just get a single wordpress.com account from which you post all your comments.
There is an advantage to keeping the site under wordpress: if, for example, the rico 20 succeeded in getting us all “removed”, the site as-is would continue, whereas on a paid service if we went away, the next payment would not be made and the site would go away. I would not have contemplated such an abysmal situation a few short years ago, but our democracies are failing and the totalitarians are taking over.
Anyway, have a great holiday and we’ll keep the arguments civil while you’re gone. 🙂

Robert of Texas
May 21, 2016 7:29 pm

This is the single most important web site to me for honest information. I often learn more from the debate (comments) on an article than I do from reading the article – that is what makes this site so unique and interesting. I can skip reading the obvious Troll-Spam with ease.
Please do not turn comments off. Verify if it helps, but we need people actually talking to each other.
Voluntary subscriptions would be best, not everyone has a lot of money – that doesn’t mean their comments are without merit.
I hope you heal soon, the world needs you!

Reply to  Robert of Texas
May 22, 2016 3:46 pm

100% agree on all points! +1000

Larry Hamlin
May 21, 2016 7:37 pm

Mr. Watts,
Please take care of yourself first and foremost. You have already made a huge contribution to truth in climate science. You are greatly admired.

Reply to  Larry Hamlin
May 22, 2016 9:56 am

I second that.
Thanks, Anthony, and all the others who help him, for doing what you do.

May 21, 2016 7:59 pm

I am against charging any one anything for making comments or reading this site. People may talk about a certain issue and have 5 sites with different authors giving their perspective on things. Often, they are very similar, however if I have read three that are free and one that is paywalled, I never pay to read the paywalled version for perhaps very little additional insights. As well, one can often read similar things elsewhere for nothing. Bob Tisdale may have an excellent article that can be read at his site for nothing. But if WUWT wants to charge someone to read his article on WUWT, why would they do that if they can just read it at Bob’s site for nothing?
In the past, when things were planned for which money was asked for, all of the money was raised in no time, whether for a funeral or to attend a conference. Why should this time be any different?

Reply to  Werner Brozek
May 21, 2016 8:17 pm

Good points, as always. In the blogosphere, site traffic is paramount. Any restrictions would reduce traffic. The choice is always: grow or die.
Better to either have some revenue generating ads, or ask readers to contribute periodically. In the past, they have always come through.

May 21, 2016 8:01 pm

> 3. Sea ice images broken by a satellite failure:
Oh dear, I’ve been distracted with 1816 stuff and haven’t been keeping an eye on Cryosphere images. It may be they’ve just started logging daily images again, so maybe that part of the sea ice page will get up to date. I’ll check it tomorrow afternoon when I get home and have better access to my system there. (And maybe Cryosphere will have something I’ve downloaded and I won’t have anything to do.)
It appears I can present images from a https URL. We might consider me keeping copies of the .gov non-https images and have the reference pages point to them. I’d like to hold off on that for a couple weeks or so.
Pain in the butt….

May 21, 2016 8:04 pm

I have used my full name on this site. I have connections to my website and email and phone. I have never had a problem with that. Since the beginning…JPP

Reply to  J. Philip Peterson
May 21, 2016 8:06 pm

Probably since no one wants my paintings…lol…

May 21, 2016 8:07 pm

Agree with L Hamlin but I don’t think the climate debate has become frustrating ect. Its simply going to disappear over time as there will be/is no major climate change/debate or anything about climate. There will be no interest whatsoever about this subject in 10 years time. my view anyway cheers LOL

Reply to  Eliza
May 21, 2016 8:35 pm

Yes, very interesting point… ten years from now anthony will be out on the golf course every day; agw (and wuwt along with it) being a thing of the past.

Reply to  Eliza
May 22, 2016 12:21 am

There will be no interest whatsoever about this subject in 10 years time.

Perhaps so. But there may be huge changes for a while if Trump gets in. He might appreciate all the support he can get.

Reply to  Eliza
May 22, 2016 5:05 am

Nah, there will always be “WUWT” questions in science.

Reply to  Eliza
May 22, 2016 7:03 am

I think it will be of enormous interest as an episode in intellectual history. The history of the great saturated fat hysteria is similarly interesting, but the climate thing, assuming the skeptics are correct and nothing much is really going on, will be one of the great classic group thinks and popular delusions. Its huge in scale, and its global. Its fully comparable in scale to the Great Bull Market and Crash of ’29.
People will be reading and writing and thinking about this for many decades to come even if as a substantive issue its been refuted by observation.

Reply to  michel
May 22, 2016 2:10 pm

Anyone read that book on the great Devonian debate in the 19th century? The historian had a lot to work with because of the five deliveries a day mail system of the time and lamented that historians of the future would not have the same kind of material. Little did he know…
When I started commenting I provided real verifiable details and it was easy and it only held me back till I had something worth saying. I had my identity stolen here once and it was dealt with promptly. This is a great site and thanks to all who keep it that way.

May 21, 2016 8:15 pm

Although Mr Watts has done a great contribution to the climate debate in my view the greatest site to break the back of the whole scam has been without doubt Mr Tony Heller/aka Steven Goddard from real climate science. His before/after graphs have been incredible and used in the USA congress/senate hearings to really prove the point of complete lies by NASA/NOAA/CT ect

May 21, 2016 8:25 pm

Anthony, thank you for this incredible site but please do what is best for you too. Whatever you decide to do is your choice, as long as you blog I’ll be reading. Taking a journey like you mentioned maybe exactly what one needs to rejuvenate though. If so, lets set a price goal and get some fund raising going.

May 21, 2016 8:32 pm

I would be honored to help with moderation or peer-review. Like many others, I would like WUWT to remain as open as can be done, and I feel you have done the best job of that I have seen on the web. And, like most here, I cannot even imagine what this has cost you, in every conceivable way.
I favor the concept of requiring verified accounts. I have used my real name from the moment I first got here. I have published a number of essays here under my real name, and have recently been considering penning a few new ones on paleoclimatology, my specialty.
I have very harsh views on Wordmess (aka WordPress). I accept that they offer website hosts many desirable attributes. However, they are the most insular kids I have yet encountered on the web. The difference between confidence and arrogance is competence. As a prelude to beginning construction on a new suite of essays to be offered here I checked on the status of user-friendly whatever’s for Wordmess. I found Wordmess had recently released an “add-in” for WYSIWYG. In attempting to migrate to this I hit the wall called “installation”. Wordmess’ advice: “Install in the usual manner”. Just what, praytell, is “the usual manner”? There comes a time in virtually everything for that unique moment commonly known as “the very first time”. The “usual manner” for software installation has never been present in any technology injection I have ever received. Arrogance, pure and simple.
And this happens to be the second message I have attempted to post on this thread this evening. The first was obliterated because after 4 months of trying, I still cannot get Wordmess to “get it” that I have a new main email address (a weird and quite unusual thing precipitated by, of all things, actually moving outside of my previous ISPs service area!). I just had to reset my password for the umpteenth time! Who knows if this post will survive the “Post Comment” button.
A few years ago I instructed my investment advisors to be absolutely certain that I was not in any fund in any way associated with Wordmess. And that is a very short list. Sorry about the rant, but as a contributor of carefully researched and written essays and comments I have found nothing positive about Wordmess.
Again, I am available to help should you have need. And once again, you are providing a much needed service to humanity here at WUWT. No thanks is enough.

May 21, 2016 8:37 pm

Anthony, I will support you regardless of the decisions you need to make. You have created a world class blog and that is a lifetime achievement. You should be very proud.
A couple of ideas possibly worth consideration:
1) A monthly tip drive (sticky for a couple of days)
2) Consult with McIntyre, Spencer, etc. about combining forces under the banner of WUWT and Associates. Open WUWT and then portals (?) or open doors/links to the Climate Audit, etc similar to the links/buttons that you now have at the top of the page (e.g. Tips and notes, reference pages, etc).
3) Similar to #2 but a category for technical related postings and commentary only. No cheer-leading or general comments permitted, only those adding to the discussion.
4) Similar to #3 but a general category for posts allowing less moderation in comments.
The general concept could allow a visitor to step in to WUWT and then enter the room that would be of the most interest to them. I would likely wear the hinges off the doors but would surely spend quite a bit of time in the technical room.
I would not object to registering my real name for your moderating needs, but only if it were not to be made public. WUWT would be the only site that I will have ever done so.
Anyway, this is a most valuable resource and I hope the readers will hit the tip jar if they are financially able.
Take that break you need. You have earned it !!!

May 21, 2016 8:40 pm

I’ve been with you since the beginning and will stick with you regardless of whether the site is free or by subscription basis. You do excellent work and present a diversity of views.
I’m in for a contribution for a vacation and/or rejuvenation time off.

May 21, 2016 8:53 pm

Impose a $10 fine for every misused comma. (One writer and a few commenters would quickly go broke.) Then extend the policy to other grammatical errors. Hire a professional editor to find them and a couple of kneecap breakers to collect the dosh. They’d soon pay for themselves, and you’d be rolling in it. You deserve it, for all the work you have put in.

May 21, 2016 8:55 pm

IOU $10 for a missing comma in the above post.

Reply to  RoHa
May 22, 2016 5:54 am

Would one get paid, for example, if they used, perhaps, too many, commas?

Reply to  JohnWho
May 22, 2016 8:37 pm

Nope. No. Missing and superfluous commas would be penalised equally.

Reply to  JohnWho
May 23, 2016 6:04 am

Oh, Geez, that means I am, in trouble.

Reply to  JohnWho
May 24, 2016 9:14 pm

Double trouble if we add a penalty for inconsisten pronouns.
“Would one get paid, for example, if ONE used….”

Reply to  JohnWho
May 24, 2016 9:15 pm

Another $10 for a missing “t”.

Michael Carter
May 21, 2016 9:21 pm

Anthony – Thank you for the work you do. It is extremely important in the current ‘climate’. Personally, I don’t like the tone of the political sniping but the science info coming though makes it all worth while. Thanks to those guest posters who take the time to compile the excellent up-to-date summaries.
I would subscribe at $5 US but start to think at $10. Take into account exchange rates that can make things more expensive for those of us outside of the US – especially in developing countries

May 21, 2016 10:07 pm

Subscriptions; howabout $5/month or $50/year?
Registration; yes, userID and password; but allow pseudonyms. I’m retired, but some people could face job repercussions.
Peer review; It depends. A research-type post, especially with some math bethind it, should be subjected to at least mildly hostile peer-review. If it can’t stand that, what happens when the warmists start tearing into it? But there are some “breaking news” type posts, which would look stale with even a few days’ delay.
On the other hand, just about every post could use “editorial review”, i.e. another pair of eyes to check for typos and grammatical errors, if that can be done with minimal delay. I’ve got a bit of “grammar-nazi” in me, and I’d volunteer for such a position.

May 21, 2016 10:19 pm

Thanks to Anthony, WUWT is such a great blog site, that I want my great…great grandchildren to have access to it with whatever personal interactive devices exist in the future. (Afterall, the CAGWers keep moving their tipping points and catastrophic prognostications.)
The problem is, many good organizations die with the demise of their founders. WUWT should be put on a secure enough foundation that it outlives Anthony. It should always be a site dedicated to scientific endeavors that always incorporate a healthy dose of skepticism.

May 21, 2016 10:30 pm

Anthony, I have seen several websites (such as Irishtimes.com) continually restrict commenting to the point that it barely happens now compared to what used to happen. In my opinion, the commenting here (as it was in the Irish Times) is at least as important, and probably significantly more so, than the articles themselves. A lot of people get very worked up over inconsiderate or disruptive posters. Of course they have to be dealt with and that takes some time but readers quickly filter through them and get to the good ones themselves without significant moderation – so they are a lot less disruptive than people think. I know I, for one, would read this website much less if comments get turned off. Highly restrictive registration would lead this to become an inward looking site for skeptics only. The fact that people on both sides of the debate post here is a sign of the success and not deterioration or weakness of this website. If it reverts to skeptics only it will be much the worse for it.
Thank you for all your work and dedication. I hope you get that holiday you clearly deserve.

Travis Casey
May 21, 2016 10:34 pm

With all the traffic on this site I would think accepting advertisers would be a simple solution to the financial issue. Turn this place into a money maker and that helps with several of the issues.

Steve Case
May 21, 2016 10:39 pm

Hmmmm, $1 per comment for the first ten comments each month then free.

Tom in Florida
Reply to  Steve Case
May 22, 2016 5:25 am

Accounting nightmare.

Steve Case
Reply to  Tom in Florida
May 22, 2016 6:28 am

Tom in Florida May 22, 2016 at 5:25 am
Accounting nightmare.

Keeping track of events, money and dates is what computers do for us. It’s not a nightmare.

Tom in Florida
Reply to  Tom in Florida
May 22, 2016 7:15 am

Yes, but not for such a minute amount. If you were to set up the system and have to deal with it, the price must be higher to make it worth while.