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.

Cheers,

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:

cryospehere-today-seaice.anomaly.arctic

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:

Hockey_stick_chart_ipcc_large[1]

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.

Akismet

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:

suspend-comments-poll

 

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.

housekeeping-place-clean-sign

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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433 thoughts on “A MUST READ – WUWT Housekeeping: ongoing issues, updates, fixes, and polls

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

      • 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 😉

  1. 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.
    3.IF
    you get enough subscribers for an adequate base $$ amount,
    THEN
    voluntary subscriptions.

    THANK YOU, SO MUCH, FOR ALL YOU DO!

    Praying for you.
    Janice

    • 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?

      • 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.

      • 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.”

        Fixed.
        w.

      • 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.

      • Willis,
        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.

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

      • Gabro,
        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.

      • Owen,
        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.

      • 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.

      • 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

      • “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.

      • 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.

      • 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:))

    • 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.

      • 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.

      • 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.

      • Johnwho,
        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.

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

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

      • 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.

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

      • 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,

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

    • 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.

      • 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.

    • 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.
      http://pressf1.pcworld.co.nz/forumdisplay.php?4-PressF1
      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
      https://www.vbulletin.com/
      Thank you for all the time you have put into this site.

    • 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.
      https://www.patreon.com/

    • 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!

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

    • Janice,
      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.
      rip

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

    • Anthony,
      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.

      • 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? 😊

      • Harry,
        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.

      • PS:
        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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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!

  6. 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.

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

    • 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!

      • 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.
        Rich.

  7. Anthony,
    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.

    • 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.

  8. 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.

    • 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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…

    • @ 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!

    • 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.
      Tonyb

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

      • 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.

    • 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.

  11. 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]

  12. I owe a debt of gratitude …

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

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

    • +1
      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.
      Regards,
      JPP

    • 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.

      • 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

      • 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?

      • 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.

      • 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.

      • 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.

    • 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.

      • 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.

    • 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.

    • 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.

    • “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!

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

    • 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”?

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

  17. 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.

    • “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.

      • 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?

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

      • 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.

  18. 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

    • “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

      • 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.

  19. Moderators
    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]

      • “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.

  20. 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?)
    Petere

  21. 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!

    • 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.

  22. 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’.

  23. 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.

    • 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.^_^

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

    • 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.

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

  24. 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?

  25. 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 😀

  26. 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.

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

  28. “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.

  29. 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.

    • 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.

  30. 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

    • 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.

  31. 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….

  32. 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.

    • “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.

    • … 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…”

  33. 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.

  34. 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.

    • 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.

  35. 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?

  36. 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.

    • 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.

    • 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]

  37. 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.

  38. 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.
    YMMV

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

      • “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.

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

  40. 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.

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

  42. 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.

  43. 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

  44. 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.

    • 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.

  45. 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.
    Philip

  46. 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!

    • [ 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

  47. 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.
    /grin

  48. 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.

  49. 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.

  50. 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.

  51. Anthony,
    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

  52. 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.

    • “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).

      • 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!!!

  53. 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.

  54. 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.

  55. 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:
    https://www.techdirt.com/articles/20150129/11104729856/bloomberg-latest-to-kill-comments-because-really-who-gives-damn-about-localized-user-communities.shtml

    • “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?

      • 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.

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

      • 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.

        • 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.

      • 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.

      • @simple-touriste
        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.

        • 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.

  56. 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. 🙂

  57. 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.

  58. 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.

  59. 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.

    • 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.

    • 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.

    • 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…

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

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

    • 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.
      Bernie

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

  60. 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

    • 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?

  61. 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. 🙂

  62. 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!

  63. 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.

  64. 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?

    • Werner,
      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.

  65. > 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….

  66. 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

    • 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.

    • 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.

    • 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.

      • 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.

  67. 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

  68. 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.

  69. Anthony,
    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.

  70. 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 !!!

  71. 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.

  72. 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.

  73. 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

  74. Comments:
    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.

  75. 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.
    LONG LIVE WUWT!!

  76. 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.

  77. 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.

      • 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.

      • 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.

  78. In many cases, I don’t understand the article in full. The comments help me and they also help to understand what it means in different countries.

  79. I’d support subscriptions as long as the price is not out of sight. This old construction worker is retiring in a few months and will be on a fixed income. I like the idea about “peer review” Registration: I remember many, many years ago Anthony asked for our real name and occupation. I don’t know if he kept that information in his data base or not, but I don’t mind the “Registration” as long as I don’t have to do it ever time I make a comment.

  80. just my 2c for whatever it’s worth (if anything)
    I have absolutely no problem with viewing ads FROM THE SITES but I get infuriated by certain sites that use tools like Disqus and ad placement/analytic tools and then whine about how *I* an evil because I won’t view “their ads” when what they are doing is not placing ads but “selling souls”. Most of these ad placement services are central collection sites and make their money by aggregating all the information about every site you make a comment on and selling you on to advertisers and God knows who else. Here – if you will just go to these people and let them accumulate all the little bit of pieces of your browsing into one giant database they will toss me a few pennies.
    Put your ads right on your site (whoever – not aiming at WUWT) and I will be more than happy to view your ad. Sell my soul to Google or whoever and NO, I will use my blockers. Right now in addition to my blockers I have literally hundreds of names in my hosts file. I am starting to believe the three letter agencies are saints and looking out for my best interests when compared to these people. I would (and do I guess) trust WUWT with my information but I do not want it passed on to who knows what companies for who knows what purposes.
    I would love to be able to sit down with the Marketing people at many of the huge companies whose sites I frequent regularly and discuss whether they really know what they are doing. Yes, I know it brings in money but having worked in IT for many many (far too many) years before I retired I know that sales and marketing people are often totally clueless when approached by sales people who promise them money to install tools to help them get information about their viewers or for “showing ads”. Maybe I am just too cynical but when someone offers to pay me to help me I know I am having my leg pulled and start looking for the real costs. Maybe these departments are clueless and maybe they are just greedy, it makes no difference to me.
    All that said… I would really hate to lose seeing comments on WUWT. There are so many people with knowledge far beyond mine who give freely of it that it would be a huge loss but I will stand on a privacy principle. Put ads directly on your site Anthony and I promise to examine every single one of them but if it is a link to a 3rd party you can be sure I will never see whatever it is.

  81. Andy: I would rather that you asked me to donate to WUWT rather than subscribe. If I am paying, then I have a right to complain when I don’t like what I see. If I’m donating, it is to thank you and your staff for what you do. If you went the donation route, you would be faced with a contract that would need to be signed and you would need to see what people were willing to pledge upfront. You also may find that some of your volunteers might expect to be paid from subscriptions. And it will be hard to attract new readers. This blog belongs to you and those who help you; please do what you think best. But do think about what will change. How many other blogs have made the transition to paid subscribers?
    I wish you could peer review posts with “original science”. In the eyes of this perfectionist, at least half appears badly flawed. News stories and opinion pieces don’t really need peer review.
    The worst posts at your blog are original science from authors who never bother to respond to comments. IMO, the post cited below was grossly wrong and the author never showed up to respond to anyone. I recognize your desire to provide a forum for alternative scientific opinions – but mildly disagree, since science is about data and logical conclusions, not opinion. If you are going to allow dubious materials to appear under your name, then the least you can do is ask your authors to defend their work.
    https://wattsupwiththat.com/2016/05/12/negative-climate-feedbacks-are-real-and-large/comment-page-1/#comment-2219595
    I’d be happy to help peer review. I suspect real peer review moderated by an editor will be too challenging. The best peer reviewer can probably due is point out areas of disagreement and let debate continue in the comments. The goal would simply be to alert readers to possible problems – and not resolve all of the differences between the author and peer reviewer. If the submitter wants to make substantial changes in response to “corrections” from peer review, then send it out for review again.
    Thank you for all of the effort that goes into this website.

  82. re Peer-review: I think peer-reviewing all articles would slow down the publishing process quite badly and would make it difficult to react to situations quickly. Maybe just selected articles could be peer-reviewed. But simply by making each article open to comment is a form of peer-review. It is noticeable how many articles’ errors or questionable aspects get picked up in the comments.
    If peer-review is introduced for at least some articles, then I suggest that
    1. The peer-reviews should be published with the article and should not be anonymous. That doesn’t mean that a reviewer’s full name has to be given, just that each reviewer should be identified with their regular id.
    2. Each article’s page would then be structured so that there are three sections: the article itself, the reviews, and the comments. This would then allow an article to be published before being reviewed – reviews as they came in would go into the reviews section. There could be indication whether all reviews are in.
    3. If an article is bad enough (or controversial enough!) that one or more reviewers recommend rejection, I don’t think there is a problem if it is published anyway, since the “reject” advice will be clearly visible.
    re Comments: I accept that this is a difficult area. However, some time ago, WUWT transitioned from moderation-before to moderation-after, and on the whole it has gone well. Certainly an occasional offensive comment gets through, but the audience here is reasonably mature in its attitude, knows what the process is, and can generally make allowance. I would hate to see any requirement for subscription for commenting – I think a great strength of WUWT is that is truly open to all. WUWT compares ultfra-favourably with outfits like the BBC that print biased crap with no comments allowed at all.
    With WUWT’s popularity has come an overabundance of comments. This does devalue the comments from the point of view of readers who get value from both the article and the comments. But maybe that is just the price that has to be paid, and people really do like to feel that they can have their say too. I think it would be very reasonable to just accept that the comments sections are going to overflow with lower-quality stuff and not worry about it (but misbehaving commenters would still need to be banned of course). Maybe a “Reviews” section would be a good compromise – even if there are far too many comments to read, the reviews section would still provide high-quality added value.
    re WUWT in general: WUWT has been an absolute phenomenon, and an enormously important lesson in how to conduct an open intelligent forum. The presence of regular contributors who clearly support CAGW to at least some extent is a credit to AW and an extremely valuable part of WUWT. I would add “long may it continue”, only I would actually prefer it if WUWT was no longer needed.

    • I thought about it before voting on peer review, but then opted for “yes” because Anthony said it was for “technical” posts only, not all posts. No need to peer review the “news” that gets posted here, which is probably the larger volume of posts, though not always the posts generating the most comments. I don’t see the value in posting reviewer comments. If they are negative, we never even see the submitted post. We would always know that the review was positive if the article gets posted. I realize you recommend still publishing the negatively reviewed posts, with the review(s), but I don’t think that was intended. And I am not sure that is such a good idea. I would hope that certain who might become reviewers do not get automatic vetos on posts that run contrary to their known views about some things. It is a tough choice all around.
      Basil

      • I realize you recommend still publishing the negatively reviewed posts, with the review(s), but I don’t think that was intended.“. It really was intended. Who is to say that the reviewers are more right than the writer of the article? By putting it all in front of people, they see the whole argument. “Gate-keeping” activity is a scourge of the journals, and that would be more difficult to achieve if the reviewers gate-keepers knew that their reviews were open, OTOH a writer getting credibly negative reviews would struggle to retain any influence. Even if an article that got past AW and his team into WUWT was so truly awful that it had to be removed, it would still be better to simply put a “Rejected” sticker across it and leave it there together with its reviews – the point being that it is better for everyone to learn than it is to save face.

      • Mike Jonas says:
        “Gate-keeping” activity is a scourge of the journals…
        Spot on. That nefarious activity can be seen in the Climategate emails, where the gate-keepers cackle about keeping skeptics’ papers out, “even if we have to re-define the peer review process”.
        Articles and comments posted here are much better and more honest peer review than can be found in the journals. Mann, Jones, and others have shown they play favorites. They are underhanded about it. That’s not science, that’s advocacy.
        As Mike says, that kind of gate-keeping is the scourge of the journals; in particular, climate related journals. They are undermining science for their own self-serving reasons. The question is: how do we get them back on the right track?

    • Once upon a time, the NYT had this HUGE comment platform where one could suggest a topic and then chat about it for months at a time. I ran a dozen such bases there when one day, after 9/11, they began to ban one after another in rapid succession until they dumped the entire thing overboard. Then they dumped story-related comments until it now averages one or two stories that are heavily censored these days.
      No point in going over there anymore, I go only to mock them at my own website. This has happened across the entire internet, internationally, and is now at ridiculous levels of censorship, people just aren’t allowed to chat with each other, anywhere, these days. This site is one of the few remaining sites that allows this.

      • emsnews wrote: “people just aren’t allowed to chat with each other, anywhere, these days. This site is one of the few remaining sites that allows this.”
        USENET is still a free place on the internet to say what you want.
        Of course, unmoderated USENET newsgroups can be a free-for-all, but by using Moderated newsgroups you can weed out the undesirables. Anyone can set up a newsgroup on any subject for free.
        USENET is real good at text-only communications. Lots of really good software that can keep you right up to date on what you are interested in.
        Websites are real good at displaying graphics, which is their only advantage to USENET, IMO. Although that is a pretty good advantagte.
        What discussion websites need is the same quality of discussion software that one can get with USENET software. Then we could have the best of both worlds.
        Although I haven’t used that many different website discussion software, none of the ones I used was nearly as easy to use as my Agent USENET software. The WordPress software isn’t even close, I’m sorry to say.

  83. Anthony, most of the issues you mention have simple solutions. But, what you seem to be misunderstanding is that you DO censor science. In fact, you have a history of attacking people who offer conflicting theories to your dedicated “lukewarmer” position.
    Yes, there are those that “thread-bomb”, and offer such nonsense pseudoscience that they should be dealt with. And, as mentioned in previous comments, a simple system of a warning, followed by a 1-3 month suspension should easily handle obnoxious offenders.
    It’s possible that by censoring skeptics, you have prolonged the debate, which makes it appear you have benefited from such a questionable practice.

    • It is a shame that almost all sites will sooner or later censor those who have come to a different conclusion from the mainstream at that site. If one is a hard core skeptic, being censored or “put down” is just the way it is.
      I do think that we should be allowed to at least link to posts that back up our position even if that link goes to a place the host does not like. But then the host has every right to make that call.
      Such is life.

    • Great as the influence of WUWT is, I find it hard to believe that its censorship policies have affected public acceptance of skeptical positions.
      I do however take issue with the way in which censorship on this valuable blog has worked to date. Anthony of course is free to censor as he sees fit, but IMHO the policies of WUWT are inconsistent and harmful to the skeptical case (I don’t say “cause”, as do the Warmunistas).
      The “Slayers”, who d@ny the GHE, are not without cause banned, as is Tony Heller, for having once made a mistake. On that basis then MIT’s eminent Dr. Lindzen might well also be banned.
      Yet, as much noted among alarmists, WUWT gladly suffers waves of creationist commenters, each more poorly informed and crazed than the next. This gives aid and comfort to AGW proponents who delight almost as much in labeling skeptics anti-science as in tools of Big Oil.

    • geran – In a comment above, I said “The presence of regular contributors who clearly support CAGW to at least some extent is a credit to AW and an extremely valuable part of WUWT.”. Any conversation that does not address both sides of an argument is not much of a conversation. If you have views that run counter to others’ here, then please put them forward. If you go in for personal attack then expect to get bruised, but if you put forward arguments with supporting evidence then you may be surprised to find that most here will treat your arguments on their merits.
      Oh, and your comment wasn’t censored. It was published.

      • PS. Yes your comment was “censored” – my apologies – but it was removed by WordPress not by WUWT mods.

  84. “Comments about all of these changes and proposed changes are welcome. – Anthony”
    >>>> So, I make a valid and constructive comment, and it gets “censored”!
    Hilarious.

    • Apparantly you didn’t read section of the article about the changes wordpress made that affects moderation.
      No censorship, you comment is there. It just got tagged.

  85. There are so many things … I have not read all the comments but there are lot of good tips.
    1) We all get older but I wish You all the best.
    2) 3) Technical problems beyond our hands, I think. Nice though you inform us readers.
    4) A technical problem that may be can solved by point 8.
    5) A psychological problem that may be solved by registering.
    6) Blogs “peer-reviewing” are made afterward by comments but if you have work force to reviewing before publication then quality rise a bit and publication have a couple of days delay, I think. When climatology has minimal time span of 30 years the delay is not an issue. About climate politics it can be.
    7) Marvellous idea. If you like to visit in Finland during the trip and made some presentation Pasi J. Matilainen may be the correct person to contact.
    http://www.ilmastofoorumi.fi/tietoa-ilmastofoorumista/yhdistys/
    8) Going to hosted virtual server or something like that may resolve some problems mention above. It is sad though if it needs paywall. Some decline in readership predicting.
    9) Thank a lot You.

  86. I have to say that for some posts the comments have more value than the article, as there are such wonderful commenters as Dr. Leif Svalgaard, Ferdinand Engelbeen and so on.
    Anthony, you should take a long vacation. Global warming will be here when you get back as it isn’t going anywhere. It would be a pity if you were to shut down shop when La Niña appears to be ready to give us 2-3 cool years that can make 21st century the century without warming.

    • Absolutely, the comments tend to be the best part of any ‘article’. Often, it is the part that ‘educates’ us by giving us great information.

    • I agree with Javier and emsnews. Often, I learn more from the comments here than from the articles. Even article authors are surprised by comments, which raise issues they hadn’t thought of.
      Both articles and comments are essential. Without comments, site traffic would be drastically reduced.
      As it is, WUWT gets far more traffic, meaning far more eyeballs, than almost any other science blog. I don’t understand why that cannot be turned into revenue. Rather than asking readers to donate (which is OK, but an unreliable income source), I think readers would be willing to have some advertising. Maybe a poll would answer that question.
      Anthony puts in so much time keeping this site going that he deserves compensation. We see ads everywhere else. Most of us just ignore them. But they provide income, so that would seem to be a goood compromise between nothing, and asking readers to buy subscriptions.

      • Yes. don’t know why some people are complaining about censorship. Nothing of mine has ever been censored, except during some confusion when one of the impostors Anthony mentioned forged my name on a series of hate posts, but that was not due to any fault on the WUWT team’s part. That aside, I have said my piece no fear no favour. If I post and the comment doesn’t appear, I wait a while and it pops up. Maybe some people are just too impatient? This is a volunteer effort and we aren’t entitled to instant service.

  87. I agree. And I think what is the worst that can happen with a blog like this, is that it turns into an echo-chamber. So one should not allow abuse of persons who diagree and have other opinions. It is one of the strengths of Anthony that he is open for arguments.

    • I find such comments disgusting:
      “You seem to be the first one to comment in this particular interesting and very well thought and described post.
      I do not see what connection to it your arguments provided here through your comments here have with the above post.
      Seems like the only purpose of you been so eager to comment have only to do with hijacking or trolling the thread.”
      [To whom are you speaking? .mod]

      • When you are meeting watchdogs, who bark tr..ll-words, it is not nice at all. They try to shut down discussions.

      • I’ve met Steven Mosher. He’s really a nice guy, so when I reply to him I am always polite, even though we usually disagree. Most other commenters are polite, too.
        Commenters I could do without are those who just keep repeating the talking points they get from alarmist blogs. They don’t think, they just parrot what think they’re supposed to. (We can tell when they’re cutting and pasrting the talking points they get from other blogs.)
        It’s interesting that commenters who just repeat what they’ve been told in the media and by certain other blogs don’t ever seem to make any headway here. I can’t think of a single former skeptic who now buys into the climate scare. On the other hand, lots of readers have posted that this site has changed their minds, and they no longer accept the climate alarmists’ case.
        The public is turning against the “carbon” scare. This site is a big reason, because of the facts and arguments presented by both sides. Readers can decide which arguments are reasonable, and which ones make no sense.
        But the job isn’t done. We need to get science back to where it belongs: an unbiased bastion of truth. It will take a long time to undo the damage inflicted by people like Michael Mann and the rest of the Climategate reprobates. But it has to be done, or we’re in Lysenko territory.

  88. Perhaps is time for a subscribing scheme implementation, but I think that such a scheme must not effect the most basic and principal mechanisms already in place that seem to work ok despite of the luck of offering no much or enough revenue for upkeep…….
    I think subscribing may work if it is orientated around new features not exploited yet at WUWT, like for example the “like” button and an “alert” button, only available and accessible only through subscription.
    There also may be many other features there not exploited yet which will offer a more interactive platform to subscribers and also offering more feedback and help with the information about the particular needs and the technical upkeep of the site…..
    Categorizing of subscribers through the scheme in accord with the “privileges” offered, like as per a minimum of only been identified as a subscriber in the comments section to the maximum when the subscriber can be able to post also, could increase the attraction and the flavor of interaction.
    Considering the special stand and the reputation of this site I think it is feasible to consider and expect that many who participate and interact here may not have a problem in subscribing for a minimal fee and get to be identified in the comment section as subscribers, and others may like to pay a little more for the “privilege” of offering more info and feedback through comment section by being able to access and use a “like” and perhaps a “alert” button, and some others may afford and like to pay for other extra privileges, like the right to post, and get a feel from the “firing” line…:)
    Any way just an Idea, maybe not workable or effective in any practical way…….But as I have being participating and interacting for some time now here, and also appreciating a lot the WUWT for what it is and represents including the personal work and struggle of Anthony to keep it as pristine and original as possible, I hope and wish that a way to make WUWT more flexible, resilient and stronger will be found and implemented.
    cheers

  89. I have been around for almost all of your ten years. I helped some with your site surveys in Kansas. I try to check in first thing every day. Here are my opinions in order of importance: 1. Take a vacation, and don’t take the guy that blogs with you. In fact don’t take a computer at all. ( take a satilite phone ) camp in some remote geologically interesting area for two weeks… study something that doesn’t change… then pick up the blogger and go to Russia. 2. $10 per year is just right. I can’t afford more… Register and qualify commenters. Have a Life membership and individual access codes. 3. When you get back, take 3 days and go to the Mayo Clinic in Minn. and have a whole body physical checkup. 4. If it were mine to do, I would only post once a day… more technical, less “look at what those fools are up to”.

    • … Like the “sea Ice”… you boys are not just beating a dead horse you are pounding it to mush. I’ll bet one paragraph per month could cover essential information.

  90. Anthony,
    I have read and enjoyed the posts on this blog for years. Thank you for all the selfless work you’ve done over those years. I have voluntarily contributed to you and this site, but not often enough, I will correct that immediately.
    I would like to use my real name on these comments, I suppose I’ll have to create a new WordPress account since the current one was created using an ISP email address that is no longer active (because I had the temerity to retire and move to a location that doesn’t have that particular ISP present).
    1) By all means take a break, everybody needs one occasionally. I’d agree with the posters that suggest a longer break than 1 month.
    2) Take care of your health. If that entails a less active ‘Anthony’ then so be it. I’d rather have you less frequently than to come here one day and see the site shutdown.
    3) I think I would be in favor of the registration option for commenters. I think would help on a couple of fronts:
    a) it would make it much harder on the ‘impersonators’ and I fear that that tactic is going to grow over time. I’ve seen it starting to be used even on silly sports sites that I frequent by people who, for various unfathomable reasons, feel they have to ruin another persons reputation. I suspect that the more ‘dedicated’ pro-AGW types (the ones that make the long journey to ‘it is morally acceptable to do immoral, illegal things in order to achieve a greater good’).
    b) I think it would make commenters more circumspect in their comments.
    c) Would discourage the use of multiple personnas to create an echo chamber of ‘approval’ in the comments. I’ve seen this done on other sites in which a comment is posted and virtually every comment after it registers approval, giving the impression that the vast majority of readers agree/laud the original comment. Won’t stop it entirely, but makes it a lot more time consuming.
    d) Probably would help prevent the use of ‘robot’ comments.

  91. OK, about half the voters said they would pay, the other half not.
    How about this. $25 per year to read only. $50 per year to read AND comment.

    • I’m on a low and limited income, and currently don’t/can’t pay for any web content. This would have to continue.

    • I have to disagree. As someone said up-thread, some people simply can’t afford it, but that does not make their comments less valuable. I would hate to see people blocked from commenting because they don’t have the funds.
      A better way is to let those who wish to subscribe, subscribe. They will feel good for doing so, helping not just WUWT but all who visit here, and let those who can’t afford it not miss out. Perhaps a badge of honor for those who subscribe would tell the world they do so: “Joe Bloggs: Subscriber” type of thing.

  92. Registering (real names known to WUWT) free keeps the forum open to the widest audience while allowing some control over spammers and malicious-minded folks and still allows “screen names”. To me, this would be the most desirable situation. Registration to post on a site is so commonplace now that it should not be a problem for anyone.
    The “founders/patrons” concept allows for a certain group of people to provide the funding for the site, relieving Anthony of the financial burden. The site could still have a “contribute” or “tip jar” as well just as WUWT has now.

    • After additional thought, I like the patrons idea better than registration fee. This would allow those who are better off financially to keep the site available for those who are not. Yes it has the sound of socialism but it is voluntary not mandated by the government, so if it bothers you don’t participate. The only caveat would be for patrons not to hold any power or receive preferential treatment. Patrons should do so for the benefit of keeping the site up and running and helping our Host. Perhaps you could also sell banner ads for those who have businesses that would benefit from exposure here.

  93. Hi Anthony,
    Above all else I wish you good health. Many thanks for all the hard work, evident in this site. Thanks also to those who comment on the various posts. It’s always good to get different views on a subject and a difference of opinion shouldn’t have to become a personal war of egos. We should always be open to learning from others. Sometimes we can learn where they are going wrong. Putting them right should be civil and courteous. Respect is a two way thing. However, when someone is obviously trying to hijack the thread and run off topic, I think they deserve to have commenting rights stopped or restricted to moderation. It’s a real pain to trudge through a petty squabble that invariably wastes everyone’s time.
    Best to all for the future,
    Eamon.

  94. Antiwar.com used to be popular until the host got pissed at everyone and banned nearly everyone so the comments there are about 10 per article or less which is utterly boring. Much of the information I find useful here at this site are in the comments section, not the articles. Period.

    • emsnews May 22, 2016 at 6:25 am

      Much of the information I find useful here at this site are in the comments section, not the articles. Period.

      B I N G O !

  95. WWI taught the military many lessons, one of them was that you needed to rotate the troops off the front line or the constant shelling caused severe psychological problems.
    In other words, take that vacation/adventure you spoke of.

  96. I have considered tossing something in the tip jar from time to time, but I generally felt it would be more productive to put some gas in the car and go hunt down another weatherstation. Since that project seems to be de facto completed, it is time to reconsider.
    I would suggest offering subscriptions on a non-mandatory basis to see what kind of response you get. Make it reasonable and you can sign me up right now.
    Reader comments are crucial. I still check Spencer’s site from time to time, but I find I do it less often without the comments. On Climate Audit, the discussion (by competent commenters) is probably the best clue that I, as a layman, have, to judge the plausibilty of the major posts.

  97. The way Ars Technica does it is worth considering. They mark every subscribing poster with things like:
    Wise, Aged Ars Veteran
    Ars Scholae Palatinae
    Ars Praetorian
    and for any of these, you may be ‘et subscriptor’, as in
    Ars Praetorian et subscriptor…. eg
    FatesriderArs Scholae Palatinae et Subscriptor
    But they make it voluntary, and the Wise Aged Ars Veteran I copied the first one from was not a subscriptor…
    Ars also allows you to look up previous posts, as does the Guardian, which is not a bad idea as it tells you whether its a real person or an astroturfer.

    • I meant ‘registered poster’. You read just by dropping by. You want to post, you register. Then you get these various monikers after your login name…. And for every moniker, you may be ‘et subscriptor’, in red. Not a very high proportion of subscribers, but quite a few numerically.

  98. Two tier system.
    Only those who pay a subscription can comment. Subscribers would have had their details/bona fide verified.
    Non-subscribers can view but not comment.

    • “Subscribers would have had their details/bona fide verified”
      Please describe how this would be done.
      You can’t. It doesn’t work, it never worked.

      • IMO that wouldn’t be hard.
        Just link to their CVs. If they don’t have CVs, then link to whatever associations or publications they have on line. If need be, mail photocopies of diplomas, whatever, to Anthony.
        Might not be perfect, but most people with even a BS in a scientific subject could produce proof.

    • Again, it would penalize those who cannot afford it. The comments are valuable to me. The readers and commenters here are intelligent individuals. I want to know what they think – I don’t want to know only what the WEALTHIER section think and have the rest screened out.

  99. Here’s a few more:
    Ars Tribunus Angusticlavius
    Ars Centurion
    Ars Tribunus Militum
    Smack-Fu Master, in training
    Smack-Fu Master, in training et Subscriptor [subscriptor is in red]
    Ars Praefectus
    Seniorius Lurkius
    No idea what, if anything, they mean, other than subscriptor. Useful though to have some indication of longevity as a member if that is what some of the designations refer to. Sure you could make a useful series that would fit WUWT.
    michel

  100. Anthony, it’s your bat and your ball, you do what you see fit. We’re all just along for the ride, and what a ride it’s been.

  101. “”2. Image fetching for reference pages got broken by an update I had no control over:
    ..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. ..””
    Personally, I think that the Gov’t sites should be switching over to https. Maybe this is already in the works??
    Just over on the Solar ref. page and wow, lots of April dates. Seems to be some redundancy or overkill on some of the reference pages. Lot’s of space used, if you know where I am coming from. Links are handy tools.
    Take the vacation Anthony, but stay off of Egyptian and Russian airlines. Seems some safety and maintenance issues, so I have heard. (friends in high places that are allowed to skate regulatory.)
    Subscriptions eeek .. ok well this is one of the best sites around for timely information.
    Upfront fee with a smaller monthly subscription rate, is where my vote would be.
    My boss recently retired himself and the business, so I am unemployed at the moment. (hint)
    Some FedEx courier jobs open in Petaluma, but the commute is to far for me. L o l
    Even so, wouldn’t be able to afford much.
    Need to learn more about that red spot you have been referring to. Learned some interesting stuff about the variability of Earth’s magnetic field, from the Van Allen Belt Probes and Barrel experiments, during the reconnection process. These were Immediate variabilities.

  102. Anthony, as a long time reader (I think from 2007!) I frequently refer others to WUWT as THE place to get the truth about the climate debate.
    So thank YOU for what you do!
    As for your question about topic #5 – Require all commenters to register first:
    Require full verifiable identity info from user – visible only to the blog’s managers.
    This can keep peoples identities hidden if they see fit (as we know, many can get in trouble for being “climate deniers”…) but on the other hand keep a full control on spammers etc.
    Eyal

  103. I have been willing to spend a couple of bucks for a ‘vanity plate’ name on a social medium, and an Office365 space, so why not a cup of coffee for my friends on the number one science site?
    Looking forward, WUWT can in the long run turn into an on-line training centre with credited courses, degrees, research centres and many emerging electronic products. I know it is hard to think big and far, because the immediate dominates our lives. However let it be known that structured self-study is the future of lifelong education. The grit and balls of WUWT is by far a better example of how to elevate the understanding of the masses than the tacky corners of the net where the disreputable collection of self-appointed climate mullahs preach from their staircases to nowhere. Education is escaping the clutches of ‘those who have names to be wise’.
    The subscription model is OK, but an online university is a better goal. It is not about survival of a chirping renegade, it is about fixing the entire mess that post secondary education has become.
    This more ambitious approach also generates income and the regular fare can be free. It will also attract many highly skilled contributors who will run their own courses. This model already has millions of on line students around the world.
    This is a science site that practices according to the rules of the scientific method, such as there is one, and moderation in the correct sense of the word.

  104. One other thought at the moment…
    I think that WordPress owes Anthony a, “Multitude of Gratitude.”
    WUWT has probably done more to help increase their business and traffic over the years than any of the others.

  105. I want to thank Anthony for this site and all the guest posters for the great stuff
    I first came to the attention of the site with the photos of the temp stations and thought how can they claim warming with all that bad data
    I’m just the average joe working stiff who has never bought the warming story I remember seeing the In Search Of episode about a possible new ice age so it was highly suspect to me that it could go to the other extreme so fast
    I have always thought that it was just a money grab
    I visit this site many times a day looking for new stories and the great posts in the comments This is just my second post so I am more of a reader I also point this site out to others who are on the fence or on the cagw side
    So I hope things keep going and again thank you

  106. Anthony, one suggestion; have a “like” and “dislike” buttons, which would allow busy people to provide feedback, quickly. Also, since i am now retired I will gladly act a moderator. The only potential problem with this is that when I am in the UK we are 8 hours ahead of Pacific Time and when in Spain 9 hours ahead of Pacific Time.

  107. Here are my responses:
    1) Anthony takes a one year vacation. Arrange to put a dynamic duo of ristvan and Bob Tisdale in charge while you are recharging yourself. Those two have my total respect and support!!!
    2) very formal commenter registration is a long long long time overdue
    3) 100% moderation of all comments is needed coupled with severely limiting the number of posts each day to 2 posts. If there is urgent and extremely important breaking news only then exceed the 2 posts/day limit.
    4) no mandatory subscription but have routine monthly fund drive posts to promote volunteer funding . . . . monthly fund-a-thons
    5) the past WUWT commenting process is the best PEER REVIEW process. So, please, no other prepublication ‘pre’-peer review.
    6) stay with word press
    7) have a small group (not more than 4 or 5) of your supporters provide continuous strategy consultation on the strategy of what kinds of posts are most effective and how to stay ahead of the climate situation/development curve.
    John

  108. With respect to the http:// and https:// problem….deleting the ‘s’ isn’t too much for anyone to sort out.
    Enact a plan and take a (long) break. Illness has wiped out my past year and a half. Hopefully sorted….I move on!

  109. Anthony, thanks for providing us with such an interesting and informative source of information about this vital issue. I understand the quandary you face, but if you are to limit access some of the good influence you have will go with it. Personally I am happy to contribute five dollars a month on a voluntary basis, will sort this ouit this week, though doubt I have the expertise to enable me to moderate. If you need a break then you must take one, there is not point in running yourself into the ground and getting ill over it. This site is too important to be lost.

  110. I’ve been reading your site first since 2007, so I owe ya’. If you go the “more moderators” route, I VOLUNTEER.
    I’m am old, retired electrical engineer and have been following the subject of climate change since the 1990s.
    Thanks for all the education you’ve provided.

  111. First priority is your own physical and mental health. Without that you cannot help anyone else.
    Second priority is to find someone you really trust to run the site in your absence. This would allow you to delegate with confidence whenever you want to and is probably the best way to achieve the first priority.
    Thank you for your leadership and integrity in a field where both are sorely lacking.

  112. Its not a case in my view of whether the site is worth the money – of course it is – the amount of work that goes in to it and the esteem I hold the main contributors in for the imput they provide should be rewarded if required. However my point is I dont have the means to justify a subscription to the websites I frequent – I would love the luxury of being able to donate or subscribe but I dont have it. So my question is how many valued comments would be lost/ how many minds would be lost to WUWT if the site became restricted or ‘paywalled’ as such. My mind may be no great loss to the site but WUWT would be a great loss to me. It would be like losing friends.

  113. Have not been coming here long, but now come here at least daily-great learning experience. While I am a climate skeptic, I don’t necessarily understand all the good stuff discussed here, even with engineering degrees. In any event Anthony whatever you decide let us know and I will make an effort to comply. (The degrees are petroleum Eng. 50+ years producing oil and gas, and, no, fracking does not cause earthquakes, long term fluid disposal injection does in certain areas)

  114. Yes, it is in the works, but how far down the line yet, I do not know.
    HTTPS-Everywhere for Government
    JUNE 8, 2015 AT 3:57 PM ET BY TONY SCOTT
    Summary: Today, the White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB) issued the HTTPS-Only Standard directive, requiring that all publicly accessible Federal websites and web services only provide service through a secure HTTPS connection.
    https://www.whitehouse.gov/blog/2015/06/08/https-everywhere-government

  115. More on https…..
    Compliance Guide
    M-15-13 calls for “all publicly accessible Federal websites and web services” to only provide service through a secure connection (HTTPS), and to use HTTP Strict Transport Security (HSTS) to ensure this.
    This applies to all public domains and subdomains operated by the federal government, regardless of the domain suffix, as long as they are reachable over HTTP/HTTPS on the public internet.
    This page provides implementation guidance for agencies by the White House Office of Management and Budget, as agencies manage the transition to HTTPS by December 31, 2016.
    https://https.cio.gov/guide/

  116. I voted “No” for a paid subscription. Not that I’m opposed to a paid subscription. This blog is worth it. But in a previous post you made a very persuasive argument as to why letting WordPress handle the security was very much worth it. Considering the target WUWT is, and will continue to be, I think your previously made points as to the site security arrangements are more valid than ever.

  117. Anthony, regarding vacations; next time Willis goes on one of his adventures, ask if you can tag along. A change might prove as good as a rest and be more restorative.
    Have fun and recharge whatever you decide.

  118. Just sent a modest $20 to AW through his Donate button top right. Others might wish to do likewise to assist in keeping this excellent blog going.

  119. Long time (daily) reader – very seldom commenter.
    My suggestion is for you to try a yearly (6 months?) fund raising sticky post with the “moving bar” to the goal. Don’t ask for “scrape by” money – ask for what it would take to maintain and raise the site quality.
    That way people can contribute according to their ability.
    That would seem to be the easiest(?) solution to the money issue. Might be worth a try. Surely the least intrusive process (to your time)? If it doesn’t work then you could try something else.
    Other than acquiring more (sub) moderators to help relieve the time pressures , I’m not particularly in favor of changing the commenting system. Yes, there can be a lot annoying nonsense but regulars can filter through all that stuff, e.g., does anyone read or take seriously a Mosher sarcastic (non)comment sub-thread anymore. The alternative (tightly structured comment moderation or pay to read/comment schemes), IMHO, will significantly reduce the general utility of your site.
    Ban those who need banning – the repeated abusers – and move on.
    Fine with the peer review for the more technical stuff as long as the can be both pro/con reviews published with the articles. In fact – I think this is a good idea to at least try. If it works it could be very helpful and may even cut down on nonsense comments.
    Fewer articles might be worth a try. Or maybe you could partner up with (trusted) others to help perform the daily site tasks if only on a rotating basis so you could take more time away.
    Your site is (manifestly*) important, successful and interesting to thousands.
    *Didn’t you just hate it when “yer perfesser” stated during a proof, “It is manifest that …” – almost as much as “One can show that …”.

  120. I would subscribe, but I think that the information provided by WUWT should remain open. Perhaps a two-tier free/subscription model would be best – the free comments marked/segregated and heavily moderated while a more whitelist-style moderation is feasible for the paid commenters?
    Also, for peer-review, I think it’s a good idea with one large caveat — the cluster-comment format (basically any “forum style” commenting method you see) is poorly suited. I would suggest a comment style similar to an online editor (Google Docs/Microsoft Word) where you can peg a few words/few lines and discuss them in a threaded format and then leave these comments, replies, and/or changes available with the “live” post. It would make the review process transparent, to boot.

  121. Just throwing ideas around but how about splitting it somehow: politics and science? The science topics could be ‘policed’ against politics and personal attack. Let the political commentators continue with their petty bun fights in their own rooms. Seeking the truth in regard to climate is what makes this site so important. This needs to be protected. Comments in this area are essential and become a natural peer review

  122. If you need funds look at data mining:
    I need a white paper to smack my brother awake concerning X. With the data at this site you could generate the information with references with a click, I’d pay you $5 with PayPal or credit card, download the PDF and send it smiling the whole time since I didn’t have to, search, copy/paste save as PDF for 30 minutes.
    It would take some programming but in the long run be worth it.

  123. Take as long as you need to have a rest.
    I had to have some time off work a year ago to sort out care for my wife it was a tough time but the help and support of friends and family was vital, I hope that you know that most of us would put ourselves in that category for you to.
    God Bless
    James Bull

  124. Anthony,seriously. You have been working this thing 24/7 for how long, with nary a rest. Get away for awhile, but going with Willis? Heck, you might not survive it!!
    Keep the comments, please. The quality is top notch excepting, of course, the usual town idiots from time to time. Figure out the ante and count me in…

  125. Anthony has provided a hugely influential service, devoting far more effort than I would ever have mustered. While some posts have been amateurish and naive, they are still useful since people can comment. (I’ve given Willis hell a couple of times, but he’s a model citizen scientist, and I support his efforts.) I’d encourage everyone to help Anthony continue and succeed. He’s the best at what he does.

    • Btw, I certainly didn’t mean to imply Willis has amateurish posts. I just hold him to a higher standard because he’s clearly a smart dude. 🙂

      • Well, amateurish in the sense that he’s an amateur scientist. His posts and papers don’t follow the standard scientific format. That doesn’t mean that some or even all of them aren’t without value, even when failed. Considering the high share of professional scientific papers that aren’t worth the newsprint they’re published on or electricity to access them, he’s batting at percentages comparable to the Big Leagues, IMO.

      • …and this is why free range comments are so important
        that was hysterical!……..

    • Bill,
      Good of you. I know that you and Anthony have been remarkably respectful. Credit to you both, and the parents who raised you.
      Now that you’re semi-retired from climate combat, maybe you and Anthony could collaborate on a site welcoming all points of view.

  126. I like the idea of free to read, money to comment. Not sure about the peer review, might it get ” out of hand ” ? I would donate / donate more to the site IF I saw the collective getting serious about 30 second nationwide spots on main media offering current, concise science to counter the AGW fraud.

    • I was thinking the same thing Steve. Pay to comment.
      Perhaps better yet, why not lobby Congress to fund WUWT so it could be run full time with paid staff.
      Hats off to you Mr. Watts, a very fine job you’ve done here.

      • “why not lobby Congress to fund WUWT”
        Why not just ask a univ to fund the site as some random socio experiment?

    • Big Oil knows they don’t have to pay anyone to advocate for them, as long as dicaprio is yachting and jetting around.

  127. You also might consider (after taking a sabbatical), to take 3-4 days off during each week when you get back.- 4 day weekends can help recharge you…
    (of course how do you not respond if you see something on your site?)
    JPP

  128. Agree that Willis is a gem.
    But I would hesitate a bit, Anthony may come back all inked up. 😉

  129. I like db..or rather Christophers, idea of the ads….
    …comments have to be free range…like em said….I get it in the comments
    What I don’t understand is this….wordP should be kissing Anthony’s rear

  130. Anthony
    I agree that your health & family should come first, take whatever time that requires.
    A thought about commenting: Assuming that ad revenues and/or subscriptions are sufficient for financing, then how about unlimited commenting for ‘registered’ members while allowing a limited number of daily comments (2 or 3) for ‘guests’. This would reduce the trolls while still welcoming newbies. I fully concur re: the importance of maximizing comments.
    BTW, I know nothing about computer programming so I have no idea if my proposal is even possible.
    Take care and thank you.
    jw

    • “while allowing a limited number of daily comments (2 or 3) for ‘guests’”
      Why 2 or 3?
      You choose these values based on what experience with forums?

      • simple-touriste…The 2 or 3 is an arbitrary number. I’m assuming that thread jacking by anonymous (unregistered) trolls would be minimized/reduced while still allowing guests to enter the conversation. If this ‘guest’ wanted to have an extended chat, he/she could register.
        Maybe I’m wrong
        jw

      • Anon troll can use multiple pseudos.
        This proposed real name scheme is guns control on steroids. Typical progressive crap.

  131. I have been doing this non-stop since November 2006, I’d like to take a real vacation to recharge. … I need a break …
    Yes, O weary, stalwart, Warrior for Truth, you do, indeed. You have been in the hot seat for an awfully long time.
    Just remember these two things while you are away and you’ll stay away relaxed and return invigorated:
    1. We love you.

    (youtube – “Bridge on the River Kwai”)
    2. There is still a bridge (or two) to blow up. The Envirostalinists have lost, for AGW is dead. However, their money-and-power-fevered forces’ maniacally frenzied, futile-but-potentially-devastating, freedom-stealing, acts of desperation must still be vigilantly defended against.

    (youtube — “Colonel Bogey March” – BOTRK theme)
    ***************************************************************
    ***************************************************************
    Note to all “lukewarmers” re: battle strategy:
    Yes, yes, the science of CO2 and whether a doubling has a sensitivity of .2 or .8 or .001 or what-EVER, must be discussed. The bottom line remains, however, that those who dicker and hesitate while parlaying over these fine points will win their argument, but, lose the war for FREEDOM — the big gun in this fight, the one that will win the war is:

    CO2 UP. WARMING STOPPED.

  132. Responses:
    #1 Anthony ,your health and family comes first! Best wishes!
    #2 , #3, #4 Explains a lot . Thought it was just my own IT ineptness 🙂
    #5 Registration is a good idea (Dr. Curry does this on her blog) , or the detailed filter. Known trolls and sock puppets waste everyone’s time. I have no problem with the site owner and moderators having my real name and email address, but some of us have legitimate and compelling reasons for commenting in public using pseudonyms.
    #6 “Peer reviewed” articles is a wonderful idea. Open science is long overdue.There are many ‘amateur’ (in the best sense of the word) and professional folks who are regulars here who are well informed on the scientific issues and would give honest feedback if asked to do so, in addition to other colleagues you have.
    This would also cut down on or eliminate many of the extremely lengthy comments. People who want to publish their own lengthy “rebuttals” to an article could instead submit it as their own article. You could then possibly limit individual comments to a given word count.
    #7 A vacation is a good thing. But take a REAL break from climate insanity! Then, when you have had some time to refresh, take the trip to investigate the “Red Spot”. I think your readers would be happy to “fling funds” in the direction of this important investigation.
    This leads me to another idea. Have you ever considered making WUWT a 501C3 non-profit? The education and research you have done and are doing at WUWT is hugely important to the public’s understanding of the ‘science’. (But none of us will hold our breath waiting for those proverbial “Big Oil” dollars to come pouring in).
    #8 what is the question? I don’t know enough about blog subscriptions to have an opinion here.
    #9 Thanks for all you have done and are doing! But take a REAL vacation and look after your health 🙂

  133. Anthony- a couple points that really can’t be answered on the poll.
    Moderating all comments would be fine and easier if you could combine it with a filter and a commenter white list. I don’t know if that can be done. My only exposure to wordpress has been signing up to make it easier to verify comments. I refuse to use twitter or facebook.
    Asking for a fee would be appropriate. I’d suggest first sending an email to those who only comment but don’t write articles or otherwise help out asking for a regular donation. See what you get. If it’s not enough set a price a bit higher.
    Get healthy and don’t work yourself to death over this!

      • Yes, use a wordpress.com account – you can have one without starting a blog. That’s what I have done. Gee, it might encourage me to start a wordpress blog.

  134. Wishing (and praying) for improved health for you Mr. Watts. I agree with Mr. McKibben’s comment above.
    I think contributions should be voluntary. One model is Jerry Pournelle’s Chaos Manor site. He asks for voluntary contributions whenever the local radio station has its fund raising week. I also am a charter subscriber to a website that allows both free access and paid subscriptions, but requires registration for everyone. There are three levels of charter membership with different privileges. (I just received my free coffee mug and embossed journal.) You can pay your membership dues annually, semiannually, quarterly, or monthly, directly charged to a credit card or by check.

    • I should add that I first became aware of this site through Chaos Manor.

  135. Regarding comments, I have had a few of mine on controversial subjects delayed by moderation, but all of them have been posted without modification. I am fairly well read and will debate subjects I know something about and can supply source material to support my opinions. I do not subscribe to magazines that do not publish letters to the editor or frequent websites that do not allow comments or that censor reasoned debate. You will need to determine how to handle comments, but I agree with the opinion that comments are a valuable, no essential, component of this site.

  136. How long would it take for Bob Tisdale posts to be reviewed? If it’s more than 1-2 days it might be too late.
    I would be careful about that. A week is just too long in this fast moving world…

  137. Using MySQL it shouldn’t be a monumental task to change the URLs that reference WUWT without changing external URLs.
    MySQL commands using ‘Like’ & Wildcards (%) are powerful tools that help search and replace data for matching complex patterns. I changed my forum domain a couple of times, and needed to update local URLs to the new domain.
    Example to change http to https:
    UPDATE wp_posts SET post=REPLACE(post, ‘http://wattsupwiththat.com/’, ‘https://wattsupwiththat.com/’)
    This is example only, as I don’t offhand recall the WP post table name. Of course you must make a DB backup before starting in case something goes south.

    • I’m not sure what you’re trying to advocate here. The interface posters have to WordPress is an online screen editor, there’s no indication if posts are stored in text files or a database.
      Anthony has made it abundantly clear he will not go back to a self-hosted platform that can be brought to its knees by a script-kiddy DoS attack. Something the size of WP with a support organization can absorb that sort of nonsense infinitely better than anything we could put together.
      Heck, WP doesn’t even provide a FTP account to update images. There are a few that are fed from my personal website that I can update automatically.

      • Yes WP provides DDos attack protection, but it can also be purchased from virtually all self host VPS providers as well. Anyone who buys self-hosting and doesn’t add DDos protection is negligent and deserves to be attacked.

  138. Oops
    UPDATE wp_posts SET post=REPLACE(post, ‘http://wattsupwiththat.com/’,‘https://wattsupwiththat.com/’)
    That will change all URL instances that are not secure.

  139. Very sorry to hear you are having health problems, Anthony. You MUST look after yourself. The World needs you. Nobody can keep working non-stop without suffering in some way. Enjoy that holiday with Willis 🙂

  140. Hmm thought I did a typo, but the posting is changing the first instance of the WUWT url in the example to secure https, so it makes little sense.

  141. Like all of meteorology WUWT appeals to the lowest common denominator of science consumers. So there isn’t much to be said for it as a source of scientific insight. WUWT arrived at the correct conclusion on the invalid notion of global warming/climate change. But they did so based on a peripheral issue, siting of temperature data collection stations, and not on the basis of a core dispute with the science of climatology. But I guess that is hardly surprising since climatology gets its core from meteorology.

    • Claudius Denk wrote: “Like all of meteorology WUWT appeals to the lowest common denominator of science consumers.”
      Yeah, everyone is interested in the weather. I think WUWT appeals to people of all denominations, from the lowest to the highest.
      Claudius Denk: “So there isn’t much to be said for it as a source of scientific insight.”
      I get scientific insights from WUWT all the time.

    • “But they did so based on a peripheral issue, siting of temperature data collection stations”
      not just sitting issues, but also the data producer apparently not worried about these potentially serious issues.
      It didn’t matter to me that they said the issue was non-existant after verification, according to the data producer. The fact that they could be bothered to verify only after being called out (by a non-“climatologist”, even a non-academic) is all I needed to know.
      The recklessness of “climatologist” was very obvious. Science is all about trust. Trust is broken.
      BTW, I care very little about climate science, atmospheric sciences, etc. Science is best done by someone else and served cooked.
      I don’t go to a restaurant to clean up the vegetables myself.

  142. A long holiday ‘Far from the madding crowd’s ignoble strife’ sounds essential. Keep away from yacht engine rooms.
    Thank you for your superhuman efforts and thank you for taking up my suggestion of adding M.E.M.’s calendar quote to the masthead, one of my proudest moments!
    Well done for dealing with people abusing your hospitality, shades of Newton at the Mint dealing with coiners and clippers.
    I think this site would be 95% effective with no comments and 97% effective with 3% of the comments although they do add to the entertainment and sometimes to the education.
    A little money in the tip jar, enjoy the break.
    ‘For while the tired waves, vainly breaking,
    Seem here no painful inch to gain,
    Far back, through creeks and inlets making,
    Comes silent, flooding in, the main.’

  143. You should consider writing, or getting someone else to write, your own site hosting software.
    All the systems like WordPress Joomla, etc are vulnerable to attack, because they are so well known.
    They are fine to ‘get started’ but there comes a point where what you are trying to do is so big and so different, that the ‘everyday tools’ cant cope.
    As far as the modern trend to ‘make everything https’ goes, its a real real problem. Many sites are multihosted on a single IP address. You may only have one HTTPS server per IP address, and that means that a specialised bit of software has to be deployed to vector ‘https:’ calls to different domain names.
    And that in itself leads to load issues.

  144. Registration of Members – are their data safe?
    Please take into consideration that from the very moment of registering posters you have quite a lot of highly valuable data right in your hands and on your HD and in your system.
    These data are of course of utmost interest to the usual enemy of truth and free speech, the opposing party has competent Hackers. Think about Climategate. Nobody wants to see his name, email address and possibly full adress published in a „Dee Niar’s List“. All those who are self-employed know what it means when a dear customer suddenly is in arrears with payment. All those who work for a company that doesn’t like the ideas of C AnthropoG Warming and WUWT in particular are running a risk of losing their jobs.
    The Administration and Jurisdiction may also show a sudden interest in those „who are against it“ – whatever it is. The GaGa actions of a Virgin Island AG are not yet forgotten, and I am sure that guys of that ilk have an axe to grind with common sense as incorporated in WUWT. I doubt that a subpoena, even if it is unsubstantiated, could be ignored. Even if that is the case, legal fees are appalling.
    Personally, I do not fear any repercussions, I can help myself very well in legal matters, I I don’t mind. But I presume that there are others who do.
    Consider switching to a different jurisdiction, where data protection is worth its salt.
    Make sure such collected personal data are in a place safer than Ft. Knox is.

    • Agreed! Quite apart from issues of sheer privacy, registration is especially a risky matter for those of us who work in a politically sensitive marketplace intolerant of trenchant questioning of AGW dogma. Given the stance often taken at WUWT that it’s the strength of argument, not personal credentials, that really matters, there is no justifiable reason for anyone to disclose their identity in order to post comments. Manifest competence and relevance to the issue at hand should suffice.

    • “I doubt that a subpoena, even if it is unsubstantiated, could be ignored. Even if that is the case, legal fees are appalling.”
      Finally some common sense!
      Lawyers can make a non-case last too much time, and the broken US judiciary will allow that and not even disbar the most obvious-to-10-years-old cases of abused, like the SCO linux lawsuit. (The case against Google “stealing” Java is as silly but was allowed to go on, due to the failure of the Supreme Court to step in.)

    • /. simply works to do what? Stifle dissent and guarantee adherence to the party line?

    • fredb wrote: “Look at the slashdot.com comment system … it simply works!”
      The Slashdot threads looks awfully jumbled and confusing.
      What is needed is software that shows a main topic, and then underneath will be messages in date order from oldest to newest at the bottom. Then you fix it so that all messages in that thread that you have already read, will show up in a different color when you return to the thread, and all new messages will be in a separate color, so you don’t have to read the entire thread more than once to find new posts, you can see them by their color. That is the basic need.
      Currently, if you want to read everything in the reply section, you have to read the entire thing. I don’t have time to do that so I do a search on my initials, which finds my posts pretty quick, then I scan down a little to see if there are any replies, then I skip down to my next post in the thread, if there is one.
      This method no doubt causes me to miss some posts, not directed at me, that were posted after the first time I read the thread.
      Just listing every message in date and time order would solve that problem. Read the thread, note the message you left off with, and pick up at that message when you read the thread later. Everything new will be below that post. Simple.

      • Keep the threaded view as default, but offer by date view as an option, just like the graun.

      • The real need here as far as the comments section is concerned, is to be able to tell the posts you have already read in a thread, from the posts you have not read.
        We want to keep the format the same, as much as possible, because that format is working famously.
        So how about putting a little “Read” “check box” out beside each poster’s name. That way a person could read a post, then check the box, and could then refresh the page 24 hours later and all the unchecked boxes in that thread would be new, unread posts.
        That would be about the easiest way of defining read versus unread posts without changing the WUWT format. You would have to personally check each box, so some people might not like it, but it would be totally voluntary, and check boxes would definitely tell you what was read and unread.
        That’s the problems to solve: How to tell read, from unread posts.

  145. What may help is to have a donation drive every so often with a set amount stated. Make it the “top story” until that amount is reached. It seems to work a other sites.

  146. Idea to easily get more funds from comments
    Today :Get big long page of 360 comments ..it’s too long
    Idea : keep first 30 comments on the page, then to see second set, you click “page 2” which takes you to page 2 with a new sets of adverts, then page 3 etc
    The more comments, means more pages means more ad money

  147. Pay to comment using micro-payments, get on page 1
    How about that comments made by verified account linked to micropayments get charged 10c per comment
    but other unpaid comments get put on Comment-page2 etc.

    • stewgreen,
      Those are both interesting suggestions. I like both of them.
      I also like the one about having a fund raiser once a year, in addition to any other source of income. After one or two annual fundraisers, a realistic goal can be set, with maybe a 30 or 60 day window. I think Anthony could round up $100K± from WUWT readers, to keep this site going. There are lots of professionals who click on WUWT every day. They would surely chip in.
      WUWT readers certainly came through in every Weblog Awards contest, crushing the competition. People love being on the winning side, and WUWT is a winning site. Maybe a list of donors names (if they don’t want to be ‘anonymous’) would be an incentive, too.
      That wouldn’t preclude occasional special requests, like Anthony had for the family of moderator R.E. Phelan when he passed away, or for one of Anthony’s trips (Australia comes to mind).
      Lots of other good suggestions in this thread. Kudos to everyone — and this shows why keeping the comments is a good thing. There’s always much more to be learned from the point of view of thousands of readers, and keeping them involved keeps the site traffic high.

  148. Anthony no need to go to Russia on your sabbatical, Australia too has a mid-country temperature hot spot. Just ask Warwick Hughes to explain.

  149. For those of you who said “no” to a $5 subscription fee, shame on you! So many folks complain about one sided this debate is, and you won’t chip in to one of the few places that are fighting the good fight?!? Most of you could find $60/year underneath your couch cushions …..

  150. Take the trip to Russia guys, it is a great place to vacation. But go in the summer! Obviously see Moscow and St. Petersburg. But, also try and visit Tyumen (right on the silk road) and Almaty, Kazakstan (the most beautiful place on planet). Tyumen is near where Rasputin was born and driving distance from where Genghis Khan was first defeated in battle by the Cossacks. Tyumen is also close (2-3 hour drive) from Tobolsk, where Mendeleev developed the periodic table, they have a museum. Be patient while there, everything moves slowly in Russia. Finally, Pectopah is not a man’s name it means restaurant!
    Another topic. I voted against peer review. I think that it is corrupt and it has the effect of entrenching the “consensus” opinion. It would keep a lot of the nonsense out of the blog for sure, but it can also keep a lot of gems out. 90% of technical articles and posts are junk, but we read them for the 10%. I think the comments provide a venue for criticism, this is the best peer review. I say this even though I was a peer reviewer for the SPWLA publication “Petrophysics” for 8 years. Peer reviewers cannot keep their biases out of it and there are always too few of them. They are typically very busy with too little time to do the job properly. I strongly suspect that the whole idea of peer review will die out with time, it is too flawed.

    • “I voted against peer review. I think that it is corrupt and it has the effect of entrenching the “consensus” opinion”
      I am for “moderation” by peers, but, as in a newsgroup (NNTP), there must be a way to say FU, and allow people who are sure to post against negative reviews.

  151. The most important thing you should do is to distribute responsibilities for the site. It should not depend on only you.

  152. Anthony,
    I voted yes to all props, though I agree that closer to $5 would be apropriate.
    A lot of Sites I use require Subscription. To purchase online at many E-tailers require registrations to buy from them.Since I’m interested in the content or products,this isn’t an issue with me.
    How about a Dual Subscription model. Basic is with no cost. Viewing of all Articles ,limited commenting, access to a few pages of the comments. Premium is a paid subscription with unlimited access to comments, archives, perhaps prepaid linking to some pay-walled articles. There could be different membership levels with different perks as is done in most Foundations and Non Profits, and think tanks. If enough revenue was generated you could hire some interns to delegate a lot of the site housekeeping to. Remember what Jethro told Moses about shouldering the burden all by himself.

  153. Anthony,
    Health.
    You have associated with and surrounded yourself with many competent and decent people. Perhaps you should proceed to turn the blog leadership over to a handful of them who are diverse in background then take a one year vacation from all climate focused subjects.
    John

  154. Dear Anthony: First my thanks for the site, then please can you tell me precisely what a “view” is. Is it a visit to WUWT, or to a page or diagram?
    “As of this writing, there are 273,124,092 views and 1,782,475 comments”.

    • Reply to Hywel Morgan ==> In the web business, a “view” is an http: call (HyperText Transfer Protocol) to “view” a web page … the web server then sends to your browser the requested page. So when you clicked on this article, and it showed up on your browser, the web logger recorded “one view” (and the url of the page, and maybe a lot more technical stuff). It also recorded a “view” of the Home page. So, if you visited the home page, then clicked on this page, that was a total of two “views”.
      There is another web metric called “unique visitors” which records the number of people (really it records IP numbers of each visitor requesting a page view) but tracks you until you sign out or “time out”…, so you hit https://wattsupwiththat.com and get logged, then you click through to a bunch of other pages, but you are only recorded as “one” unique visitor for the day. If you go away and come back this evening, you get recorded again as “one more” unique visitor — not all sites do this type of logging (until it expired last year, I held a patent on such a logging system which I invented with four other guys at IBM in a 20 minute meeting in Austin, Texas back in the day — it increased the commercial value of a web page, its value to advertisers for instance, by 80% at the time by counting the views to cached versions of the page as well as those served by the home web server).
      The important point to these stats is that what is written here at WUWT has a tremendous impact on public opinion about Climate Change — WUWT is the world’s most influential climate skeptic web media voice.

      • Kip Hansen wrote: “I held a patent on such a logging system which I invented with four other guys at IBM in a 20 minute meeting in Austin, Texas back in the day — it increased the commercial value of a web page, its value to advertisers for instance, by 80% at the time by counting the views to cached versions of the page as well as those served by the home web server).”
        I certainly hope you were adequately compensated for your efforts. You ought to be a mighty rich man right now. 🙂

  155. A voluntary fundraiser season like NPR does might be worth looking into. I get a lot more value out of WUWT than NPR. Just don’t go the route of BBC and its outdated utility service model.

  156. Please count on me as a voluntary Patron / Benefactor / Enabler or what have you. I think there will be enough of us too accomplish the mission.

  157. HTTPS has only a limited role in providing security; all it protects against is ‘Man in the middle’ attacks where data in transit is intercepted and possibly altered. If there are no passwords involved then there is basically nothing much to hide, so encrypting the data stream makes no odds.
    Though, pages with mixed content are a problem, because they force people to turn off their browser’s mixed content warning to stop the continual reminders. Then, if a hacked banking page (for example) contains mixed content, they will not be warned.
    The main security problems with WordPress and Joomla are internal to these CMS systems, and using HTTPS does not mitigate them in any shape or form whatsoever. Basically if using either of these platforms you need to patch regularly, and patch quickly as soon as an exploit is found.
    The other option is to switch to a flatfile CMS, or possibly to a database-backed CMS with fewer security issues.

    • “HTTPS has only a limited role in providing security; all it protects against is ‘Man in the middle’ attacks where data in transit is intercepted and possibly altered.”
      Exactly.
      And receiving the data sent by the Web server is the absolute minimum (security) requirement of anyone.
      And why would you want to broadcast any personal information, like you email address, to the world? Or any linkable information, like a set of HTTP cookies?
      “Though, pages with mixed content are a problem, because they force people to turn off their browser’s mixed content warning to stop the continual reminders.”
      No such warnings exist on Google Chrome.
      Why would you want to be warned about “mixed content” and how would you want to be warned?

      • “Why would you want to be warned about “mixed content” and how would you want to be warned?”
        Because if a hacker injects foreign content into a banking page, chances are it won’t be https content. The proper purpose of https is to protect sensitive data, by which I mean banking passwords, etc. Allowing mixed content compromises its ability to do that.
        “And receiving the data sent by the Web server is the absolute minimum (security) requirement of anyone.”
        If you care to research the occurrences of MITM attacks, they are mainly associated with untrustworthy WiFi connections. For a wired connection via a trustworthy data carrier to suffer a MITM, is extremely rare.
        I had this discussion on the Mozilla developers’ site, and on asking for real world examples of MITM attacks, only one could be quoted.
        In most cases, criminals get hold of your email address or other credentials by either harvesting from a webpage on which someone has been foolish enough to publish the info, or by way of a malware attack on a system which has you in its contacts list. These are the risks that effort should be put into addressing.
        A common misconception is that https protects data throughout its lifecycle. It does not. All it does, is to protect data in-transit. This is the point which most people fail to grasp; https does NOT prevent data being stolen by malware running on a webserver, nor by malware running on your personal computer.
        Thus, Let’s Encrypt is really a case of investing huge amounts of time and effort into an enterprise which achieves little real benefit, whilst the real IT security issues go unresolved. If a limited amount of human resources are available to tackle IT security issues, which issues should those resources be assigned to? Logic says, the ones responsible for the majority of hacking incidents. Assigning those resources to a relatively insignificant task instead, could be seen as indirectly helping the hackers.

      • “Because if a hacker injects foreign content into a banking page, chances are it won’t be https content.”
        So your bank website doesn’t have any real security?
        What type of content would be injected on the banking webpage? False advertising? Images of hockey sticks?
        Which browser do you use?
        “I had this discussion on the Mozilla developers’ site, and on asking for real world examples of MITM attacks, only one could be quoted.”
        How would they even know about MITM attacks?
        Are you saying routers are never attacked? Are you saying DNS settings are changed?
        There are malware to do that. You are talking nonsense.
        “https does NOT prevent data being stolen by malware running on a webserver”
        Which isn’t its job.
        That people don’t know what TLS is about doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be used!
        “Thus, Let’s Encrypt is really a case of investing huge amounts of time and effort into an enterprise which achieves little real benefit”
        Another ridiculous statement.

  158. Might add that another approach is to migrate to an independent hosting company that supports WordPress. Most of these do not enforce the use of HTTPS (although they typically do provide it) so that would overcome your main problem.
    For a high hit-rate site the logistics of such a transfer would need to be carefully considered, of course.

  159. Yep, WP ate some of my comments from last week. Theey were comments that were already in the threads, so apparently their “banned words” engine went into the DB!!! That’s pretty scary. BTW – not sure which were the banned words in my case. I don’t include overtly ban-able words in my posts.

  160. Anthony – that’s for doing what you do for all of us!
    While I don’t think this should become a monthly pay-site, I’m all for one-time donations to help you along.

  161. Anthony, to bypass cache and force reload of images in the reference section, you have to add an random URL-parameter at the end of every image. The best is to use something like mm+dd+hh, this will force a reload every hour of the day.
    Example:
    http://arctic.atmos.uiuc.edu/cryosphere/IMAGES/global.daily.ice.area.withtrend.jpg –>
    http://arctic.atmos.uiuc.edu/cryosphere/IMAGES/global.daily.ice.area.withtrend.jpg?p=052412AM
    You can try this by adding an random parameter.
    You can use javascript on the reference page to add the p-parameter (or some other parameter).

    • Your example ending with ?p=052412AM won’t display an image. If you want an image, it has to end with an image extension and be on its own line. Please practice on the test page before posting examples that can’t work here. https://wattsupwiththat.com/test/
      Also, WP is doing more clever pattern matching for URLs and appears to be ignoring parameters. You could do some useful discovery work over at the test page to figure out just what WP is doing now.

  162. Despite the fact I see strong support throughout the comment thread for Required Subscriptions. I don’t think that’s the best choice. They cause you to lose visitors, and they inhibit discussion.
    I note that “The Onion” guy says he gets ten times as much income from merchandising as he does from ads.
    I appreciate that you’re after less workload, not more, but I’d love to see the blog become self sustaining; both administratively and financially.
    Also, I suspect that previous forays into merchandising haven’t been stunning successes. Mainly I suspect that because I didn’t want to buy those items despite being a long time reader.
    Now is not a good time for me to elaborate on merchandise I’d like to buy, but I’ll drop in a few suggestions at ‘tips and notes’ at a later time, if that’s okay.

  163. Anthony – this has been almost my most-viewed site for about 15 years now. While I only comment occasionally (sometimes rather daftly!), for myself I do find that the comments potentially add a great deal to the elaboration of the original posts: I hope that you can find a moderation approach which doesn’t cause too much of this to be lost. But in the last resort it’s your site: you are the best judge and best placed to decide the right course.
    And you really ought anyway to run more “fling funds” campaigns – you deserve it! Talking of which I’ve just sent a modest one-off USD payment on its way (to Willard, as usual) – I hope this gets to you safely and helps (in a small way) you to have a good break, and hopefully come back refreshed.
    And please don’t forget that a great number of people (around the English-speaking world) are all thinking of you, and wishing you well….

  164. What’s up with Watts is more important to me than WUWT.
    Put the care of WUWT in the care of a few that you trust for awhile while you care for you and your’s.
    We’ll be here when you come back.
    Worst case, if things are such that it’s best for you personally that you don’t come back, we’ll still be here. You’ve helped us. You didn’t decide us. Just pass the site on to those you trust to it continue it being the help you’ve provided.
    (I’m sure that wouldn’t result in “WhatsUpWithGunga”8-)
    In the meantime, prayers are yours whether you want them or not.

  165. There are some great ideas in these comments about what to do to make WUWT easier to manage. Hopefully some that will work for you. I love all the comments here, as many folks have pointed out many times those comments clarify or correct the original post. And even for non-sciency folks(like myself!) make it easier to understand what’s really happening.
    One thing I would like to see though is a way to counter the “But I want to save/fix/help by making the world a better place.” arguments that are more emotional than factual.( not usually from folks here, but the “world” in general) The folks that feel good about themselves since they think agreement with the alarmists is “saving” the world…sigh… I know there’s no real point in arguing with a brick wall, or someone who thinks they are helping. I’m not even sure there IS an easy argument to convince those folks.
    But it seems that the way forward is to not just show where the science is wrong/tampered/mis-represented, but to help the folks that really DO seem to believe generalisms used by alarmists such as “CO2 is smog” because they want clean air…So, how do you convince folks that (obviously) are not very deep thinkers?
    Prayers for your health…getting older isn’t for the faint of heart! ☺ and I hope you make it to Russia! what an adventure!!
    And congratulations on the 10 years of WUWT!!

  166. You mentioned “pattern recognition”. Some people do have a brain processing problem. I’m trying the “LACE” practice software, good though not all it could be. Though my hearing is not nearly as bad as yours.
    BTW, your health _problems_ and your WordPress problems are not “issues” – that’s a minimizing word. (WordPress makes changes on the fly without serious testing.)
    I again say you are doing too much, trying to be a news service avoiding dead air.
    You do have many guest articles now.
    But better to focus your expertise on digging up facts and doing analysis including your initial temperature measurement questions and integrating the piecemeal articles and news items.
    Perhaps someone could set up a foundation to carry on your work.

  167. Anthony, FTR:
    – WordPress has caused you and you readers problems before, in one case you got them to fix the problem but it took much of your time to debate them down.
    – Pushing https: simply does not work well, certificate error messages are a frequent result.
    – My observation is that WordPress do not test their code well.
    – Filters have a bad reputation in general. For example, Dell’s SonicWall blocks product support web sites because they contain free downloads. Well of course!&%#@ – they provide manuals and software updates, n/c. Michael Dell is snoozing again. (And there was the library system blocking capitalismmagazine.com but not on the ball enough to block the alternate domain name it had to add – capmag.com. Perhaps some IT weenie was using a word filter list, like one climate blog I know of. 🙂
    You say WordPress’ hosting platform gives you and others reliability, which is good. (I take “cloud” as buzzspeak for varied and flexible hosting, often on services not own servers.)

  168. For reducing trashy comments, you should set the whitelist to require at least two posts accepted by moderators. That increases moderation workload of course.
    I wouldn’t mind registration, as your site is worth it and (Just don’t use the Disgust service nor the Recaptcha botch service.)
    A subscription would de-motivate the person who occasionally pops in good information, often because someone has pointed her to an article, but does not read regularly. While your site is a good source of leads, people have other activities such as research and teaching.
    (Others made good points in earlier posts.)
    Perhaps there are specific things a volunteer could do for you, such as clean up the results of WordPress’ bad idea once it is settled. (That and most things are beyond my capability, and my priority is teaching voters the underlying principles of human life including thinking and values, in contrast to the negativity of climate alarmists and related fellow travellers.)
    You’ve added functions like more reference pages, very good but perhaps someone could take those over as they can stand alone.

  169. I visit here every single day, sometimes several times. I read just about every article, time permitting. Heck I read the articles whether I have time or not. 😉 So to that end, I receive something of value so I am quite willing to pay a reasonable monthly subscription in the $5 – $10 range. Maybe even an annual subscription rate or even lifetime. 🙂
    (By the way, the polls don’t show on my Firefox installation probably because I am working diligently to remove Adobe Flash.)

  170. Otherwise you’ve got an unsustainable business model:
    – too much work for you
    – not enough time available for what you might want to do, as I noted earlier.
    – high costs for you
    – not enough income for you (you should advertise your own businesses more, in pages, not just Gurgle/WonkyPress ads).
    A partner is hypothetically a solution, but of course that takes solid compatibility.
    Unless you can train your wife to do some of the work, as your children get older she’ll have more time I expect. Or does she already do backend administration work? (But more income for the family is desirable.)
    You can’t keep waiting until USPS finally delivers those checks from BigOil. :o)

  171. PS: Alex Epstein seems to be prospering, his speaking fees are probably high now. But your hearing deficiency may preclude public speaking, as question periods are desirable.
    He’s young and active, heavy travel schedule, has a few people helping him – at least some are paid. (Perhaps he’d contribute more articles as that would get him publicity among defenders of humans herein, though he has other venues like Forbes. (He emphasizes teaching the producer victims of anti-energy activists to defend themselves.) Perhaps others could, Friends of Science and some of FCPP work come to mind, FCPP is big into agriculture for which climate is critical, and IIRC into resource development including petroleum.)
    PPS: As for a year sabbatical, either you’d go stir crazy without working on WUWT or would be cured of it. 😉 (Though it might allow you to work on some climate research projects you want to.)

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