Discussion: Five reasons blog posts are of higher scientific quality than journal articles

Dr. Judith Curry tips me to this interesting blog post by Daniel Lakens, an experimental psychologist at the Human-Technology Interaction group at Eindhoven University of Technology, The Netherlands.

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Five reasons blog posts are of higher scientific quality than journal articles

The Dutch toilet cleaner ‘WC-EEND’ (literally: ‘Toilet Duck’) aired a famous commercial in 1989 that had the slogan ‘We from WC-EEND advise… WC-EEND’. It is now a common saying in The Netherlands whenever someone gives an opinion that is clearly aligned with their self-interest. In this blog, I will examine the hypothesis that blogs are, on average, of higher quality than journal articles. Below, I present 5 arguments in favor of this hypothesis.

  1. Blogs have Open Data, Code, and Materials [when technical articles are published, yes, whenever possible]
  2. Blogs have Open Peer Review [oh, don’t you know it, except hardly anyone reads RealClimate anymore]
  3. Blogs have no Eminence Filter [just look at the variety of articles on Climate etc, Climate Audit, and WUWT]
  4. Blogs have Better Error Correction [absolutely, mistakes are usually caught within minutes]
  5. Blogs are Open Access (and might be read more). [no paywalls=broad distribution]

Read his entire article for the thinking behind the reasons, my comments are [in brackets] above. Item 5 is particularly important. It has been said to me by a few people that WUWT has changed the world. I think it has, but I view it as a collective effort with other climate blogs. If climate blogs didn’t exist, there would be no exposure of Climategate, no exposure of the [IPCC’s] horrid messes in AR4 and AR5, among other issues.

There may be other benefits, I’m sure readers can add some points not covered above.


274 thoughts on “Discussion: Five reasons blog posts are of higher scientific quality than journal articles

  1. I have said it before and will say it again: WUWT is a University experience. I’m sure others agree.

    I follow some other blogs and follow links but get most of my ‘classes’ here. A lot of years invested so far.

      • HEY, my wife owns a Prius and not because of ‘Climate Change’ we a dedicated skeptics, but because its cheap to run. So an apology is in order !! ;) Your wild statement is not valid for many.

      • Frank Karvv April 15, 2017 at 11:27 am
        HEY, my wife owns a Prius and not because of ‘Climate Change’ we a dedicated skeptics, but because it’s cheap to run.

        It becomes more expensive when batteries need replacing.

      • Every car becomes more expensive with major repairs. Smaller repairs add-up as well. Luckily the Prius is an extremely-reliable vehicle.

      • Break it down sport-I own a Prius because they’re a good car and are cheaper to run than conventional motors. Have you never heard of the advice to “follow the money”?

      • Well, my brother own a Prius (actually, two) because he could drive it on the tollway for free.

      • In the past I’ve bought my daughter a Corolla, and I currently drive a Tacoma, and I gotta through a plug in for Toyota being the most reliable make of car I’ve ever owned, at a much better cost than the German cars with that reputation.

      • Frank Karvv, I examined the total cost issue on new cars, and compared fuel cars with comparable hybrid cars. My conclusion was that if fuel was less than $5/gallon, the added up-front cost of hybrid overwhelmed the fuel cost saving. If there was a subsidy, this can change, but that is not an equal comparison.

      • Just to throw my two cents worth here. My wife drives a 2014 Corolla I’m assuming a similar interior volume, leg room, head room, passenger comfort. Her car averages over 40 mpg commuting to and from work, and over 44 mpg on the highway at 70 mph (CVT automatic transmission – now has 45,000 miles). The total cost of the car was $17,000. A Prius was several thousand dollars more. I don’t understand how people can say their Prius is more economical or practical. The difference we will pay in gasoline is still thousands of dollars less than the initial cost of the car. I expect to get well over 100,000 miles on the car, as the last Corolla we sold had 189,000 miles, and we only sold it because we had an auto loan offer of 0.59% from USAA.
        My friend owned a Prius and had to change the narrow high pressure tires for snow tires in the winter to get decent traction and complained about the mileage of mid 30s because of this.
        I agree with the South Park episode of the danger of SMUG caused by too many Prius owners in one spot.

      • Frank, it’s cheap to run because others are subsidizing it.
        First the purchase price, and secondly because you aren’t paying to support the roads that you are using.

      • I was dead-set against a Prius, particularly because we live in Colorado. Mountains! Snow/Ice! I was wrong. I am fully convinced. After five years, we’re realizing the dream we had… and this has NOTHING to do with subsidies.

        The dream: a reliable, peppy small car that goes almost anywhere, with low ownership cost.

        The reality:
        – Not a sports car but with electric+gas motor it easily accelerates out of a jam and up any hill
        – Best 2WD I’ve ever had on snow and ice. I can drive uphill on ice that stymies 4WD vehicles
        – So far it IS the cheapest to run: 40-50mpg in the mountains (and I have a lead foot ;) ); No starter to fail or replace; No transmission to fail or replace; most braking is just charging the battery (we’re well over 120k miles and no need for a brake job yet)
        – The battery tray is low tech (a bunch of NiMH D cells.) Several shops in our state, if it were to fail, will test and replace any failed cells. About $800 — less than a transmission job. And most people (with Gen3 and beyond) never have a problem.
        – Net cost NOT bad. Why? a) Buying new includes 25000 miles of all service; b) It holds its value VERY well, incredibly hard to find used Gen3+ cars; c) It lasts a long time… many owners well over 200-300k miles, even over 500k. Oil (every 10k miles), tires, the occasional tuneup.
        – Oh, and my wife likes “stealth mode” — she hangs her DSLR out the window and uses the car as a photo blind… I can drive up to 2 mi with the engine off. :-D
        – Downsides: a little noisier than I’d like. I wish it had a “mountain mode” to keep the battery UNcharged while going uphill so there would be lots of room for charging while going down. Our Subaru is better for long downhill runs… downshift and no need for brakes ever. The Prius eventually needs a little braking on the biggest mountains. Oh — and too many people assume my car is wimpy so they pull out to pass… then are surprised that I pull out too and accelerate faster than they can! (No I can’t beat a real sports car. Ever.)

    • “It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it.”

      I came across this Aristotle quote just this morning, glad I could use already this afternoon. I think it captured this blog and others so well and what is missing from ‘establishment’ science.

      • I’m having a little trouble trying to fit this quote with WUWT. See, it “seems” the quote would suggest that you come here to entertain the thoughts, but you don’t accept them. Does that suggest you accept “establishment” thoughts instead?

      • Tom, I am not a AGW ‘believer’ but I do not accept or concur with everything posted on this site either. I assume some believers come here to entertain/add opposite opinions and reject them too if the evidence does not convince overwhelmingly, it is a two way street. The moral of the article was why blogs are better at exposure of a topic (vs. pay-walled research as example), it does not mean you have to accept anything but you are here nonetheless with hopefully an open mind (predisposed as it might be).

    • Not only are the blogs and the included articles interesting, but sometimes I learn as much or more by reading the comments, those that are not ad hominem, that is. Just the other day I learned more about ticks in the Southern states than I ever expected and the discussion was right on topic, doing nothing but elaborating the subject for all to see.

    • That is actually my litmus test for a blog – does it censor ideas and/or ban people whose opinion differs from the blog host. WUWT get an A++++ in that regard.

      • Griff says he has been banned from ‘climate skeptic sites’ – he uses the moiniker ‘egriff’ elsewhere (disqus IIRC).

      • Janice, its a holiday!
        I’m only reading this while waiting for my hot cross bun…
        But just to say
        no, a blog post is nowhere near the quality of a scientific paper, backed by observational evidence and peer reviewed.
        (Off to peer review my bun now)

      • “ . . . litmus test for a blog – does it censor ideas and/or ban people whose opinion differs from the blog host . . .”

        Totally agree. Can’t think of a major news outlet in America (though there may be some) that could pass that litmus test. Our lone local daily that serves one of the nation’s largest cities and surrounding area still pushes globalist schemes like the Trans Texas Corridor (TTC) that was defeated with the help of THE TRUTH BE TOLLED blog (which also released a documentary recently about the scam. Undeterred, the globalists are attempting now to resurrect this scheme using ‘regular’ toll roads to be built with taxpayer dollars with no guarantee the state can recoup its debt “. . . if toll traffic is too light”; profits from which would wind up overseas in “investor’s” pockets. This shell game also is going the way of their TTC (at present).


        And the local daily is still opining about, and pushing, global warming and its cap and con ‘save the planet’ donations to the UN, along with mandatory vaccine shots even as documentaries liked VAXXED and THE TRUTH ABOUT VACCINES—the latter being aired on line by episodes (6) free this week—are ripping apart the globalist’s charades and propaganda
        The Truth About Vaccines – Episode 4

        To be sure, many British papers censor heavily, as do American, but it’s all part of the globalist’s gambit to keep valid reader comments and information out of their world (owned/controlled) propaganda outlets, and out of the minds of those they still hold captive from last century’s propaganda matrix before the Internet (which has its own share of disinformation, spin, lies, trolls, porn, kooks, and propaganda–but—truth is there if you look). I liken WUWT and its readers as loggers chopping away at the daily lies of the globalist-owned media monopoly. Likewise Britain’s GM WATCH and other serious blogs worldwide—invaluable source material all that stiff-arms the shysters still trying perpetrate these lies on humanity. Some papers have dropped reader replies all together. Or close comments when the rotten eggs and tomatoes get too thick on ‘facts’ they’re pushing. May the light keep shining.


      • So Griffy, papers published here aren’t peer reviewed?
        The reality is that they receive a much better peer review in places like this because everyone gets their chance to take a shot.
        In most client science journals, only a select few who are already part of the club are given the chance to review a paper.

      • As always, David can’t tell the difference between reality and what he has been told to believe.

        PS: I also notice, that as always, Dave just makes a naked assertion and then assumes that all the smart people will agree with him.

      • David

        “they receive a much better peer review in places like this …..and excellent example of the Dunning Kruger Effect, thank you MarkW!”

        You do realize that overestimating your competence in discerning that MarkW suffers from the Dunning Kruger Effect (without any data, analysis or empirical testing)….indicates that you are the one suffering from it. Right?

    • ” … except when blogs are heavily censored, people are banned that disagree”

      Yes, this is true indeed. Unfortunately very few blog hosts can resist banning some group or the other. I would like to see more interaction between luke-warmers and those who think CO2 does not warm the planet’s surface. That may happen someday.

      • I think the sort of comment that should silently disappear is that of one William Evans above. It is an incoherent rant about something, but so poorly written with no spelling or proper grammar, I am not even sure what poor William is trying to say. Actually, I think William may be drunk, or maybe suffering a stroke…

      • WE, your apparent attempt to disprove this posts thesis fails. You are largely uninintelligible. If you are a scientist as claimed, then a very poor one who cannot communicate very well. Hence proving the case for the post. Posts and Comments easily sorted into wheat, chaff, and drivel. Yours is not even chaff or drivel. Seek help.

      • Ron,

        I’ve been guilty of Posting Under the Influence of Intoxicants (PUII). Or should that be Commenting UII?

      • William Evans.

        Would you like another try?


        [“William Evans” is a known faker, who uses fake names, fake IP addresses, and fake email addresses to get his idiotic “magic gas” points across. Normally, he’s been caught by the spam filter. His comment has been deleted per WUWT policy on such fakers -Anthony]

      • I blame it on mushrooms. Looked unintelligible in the firs sentence, so scrolled down and read comments. Went back and tried to read. Yes, mushrooms.

      • “I would like to see more interaction between luke-warmers and those who think CO2 does not warm the planet’s surface. ”

        I just want to be able to calculate from classical experimentally winnowed principles the total quantitative effect , what ever it is , of any change in our spectrum due to eg : CO2 .

      • I don’t think William’s post should be disappeared. The comments that followe it put it into proper context. Self-regulating.

      • Ron Williams:

        Please don’t be flippant about “suffering from a stroke”. We who are suffering from a stroke have enough to cope with without unsolicited abuse.


      • I apologize unconditionally to anyone suffering from stroke. I hope none of us suffer this terrible event.

      • What is more disturbing is when Professional Societies like American Institute of Chemical Engineers censure comments on their “Engage” website. The National Society of Professionals Engineers uses PC editors with no engineering or technical background to do the same, although NSPE post most articles they don’t archive the comments if it doesn’t fit their narrative. They also allow liberal trolls to use ad hominem attacks against WUWT, Heartland and Principia by their liberal posters. Both societies bought into the CAGW twenty years ago and the money is too lucrative to back out now.

      • William Evans is purposefully writing poor speech phonetically, where he is mocking the ideas of the lukewarmers. He modifies this a little in the paragraph about fire and rock: it’s shy of straight English but not as “hick-sounding” as before.

        Maybe I’m crazy, but I understood him just fine, even if I don’t care for the rudeness.

        WE, “if you want to harvest honey, don’t kick over the beehive.” Rudeness can be fun but civility gets our point across to more people.

      • I’m convinced that my posts while under the influence are some of my wittiest posts.
        At least that’s what I think prior to sobering up.

  2. Most honest blogs (like WUWT) do not censor the comments to suit their opinions or are considered threats to the subject matter at hand!

    Keep up the great work Anthony!

  3. An excellent article. I have always contended that by blogging research on WUWT the evidence and interpretations are viewed by more people with a wider range of scientific perspectives than publishing in a journal. Besides as the editor of the Lancet wrote perhaps 50% of what they published is false, while epidemiologist Ionnaidis wrote often journal articles only reflect the prevailing bias. Sadly internet snipers who cant refute the science in a blog, stoop to shoot the messenger tactics by arguing the blog’s science doesnt mean anything unless it is in a journal.

    • only reflect the prevailing bias…isn’t that the definition of peer?

      …I know in my field it is…..that and who gains from it

    • All that and the lack of formal peer review…
      People can post on blogs without the fear of stepping on some peer’s toes…and have it come back to haunt them later.
      Blogs can totally shoot something down…and no one is in danger of anything

      People have lost the conception of peer review anyway…it was never meant to be the final word
      It’s little more than plausible speal chex….after that, it’s thrown out to the general audience..and time will tell if it sticks to the wall

      • In the early days of science, there were no journals. When a scientist had something to say, he wrote a book and sent it to the other scientists.
        PS, a scientist was anyone who did science, there were no gate keepers regarding who could do science in those days.

    • JS, I touched on that also in my comment, citing you. The ‘not in a journal’ is a demonstration of fear in traditional academics as new forms of scholarly research publication/communication arise that they cannot gatekeep. ‘Barbarians’ like yourself at the coral bleaching gate, and McIntyre at the paleo gate. And so on.

    • Sir Wm Osler used to tell entering medical students that “50% of what we’re going to teach you is wrong; but we don’t know which 50% it is.”

    • Besides as the editor of the Lancet wrote perhaps 50% of what they published is false,
      In fairness to the Lancet, it should be remembered that their niche is to publish more bleeding edge research than other Journals would; so the higher error rate is to be expected. Conversely accurate Research that challenges existing dogma of “established science” is also more likely to be found there as well.

  4. “It is my opinion that blogs, on average, score better on some core scientific values, such as open data and code, transparency of the peer review process, egalitarianism, error correction, and open access.”

    That’s from the quoted blob article. The major “data” that blobs are better.

  5. Benefits? Lets see(using WUWT as an example):
    – improved mental health. (ie, optimism, to rescue science oriented people from Al Gore induced despair)
    – worldwide social network(Australians, Brits, Canadians, Germans, Russians, etc, all interacting)
    – a educational advancement(on weather, natural cycles, PDO, ENSO, etc., plus “its the sun” with Lief)
    – A sense of wonder(Willis has amazed with “amateur” science to rate with the best of the best, plus stories)
    – lessons on the scientific method(it gets refreshed with every troll.. how to think scientifically, vs “beliefs”)


  6. Even before blogs I said that science doesn’t happen in the study or in the paper that results. It happens in the food fight that follows. Blogs help that happen.

  7. Funny skeptics posting here are the only people who have ever denied me requests for code and data.

    Scafetta. Monkton. Amongst others.

    Here’s a challenge Anthony. .. demand an archive before people post their articles LOL. …PLOS does that.

    • Ya, everything’s Funny to you Steve. And you’ll notice that I told Scafetta that I wanted nothing more to do with him.

      Wasn’t aware of your request from Monckton.

      You also seem to have missed some of the recent technical articles that have in fact, code and data posted with them, as well as many in
      the past.

      But’s here’s a challenge for you: don’t be an arrogant SOB and reply to comments with one word “wrong” like you did yesterday, and have many times in the past, without offering anything other than your opinion

    • Kind of like Jones refusing to share his data because someone might try to find fault with it? Then we come to discover that the dog ate his data.

      Or like the Thompsons and so many others not archiving their data at all?

      • Gnomish, sometimes a picture is worse than words. In this case, the picture crossed the line. There are still families who mourn. I know one.

      • Thanks.
        I was so disappointed at the cringeworthy submission to political correctness in taking down the absolutely perfect Unabomber Billboard that I strove to come up with something at least somewhat comparable.
        (Notice how there was much whinging over the term ‘denier’ due to the connotations the word has been freighted with – yet there is a wonderfully similar opportunity to be offended over the phrase ‘drink the koolaid’ and everybody is missing out on a splendid chance to signify triggering and shame the perp. How can any crybully pass that one up?)
        If only 9.7% of snowflakes are offended, my effort has been successful beyond my moistest!

      • What are these, stroke victims?
        Why the outrage?
        These chose to drink the kool-aid. (except the ones who are gun-shot victims.)
        They get no pity from me.(except the ones who are gun-shot victims.)

    • Steven ,

      I wish you’d just give your disproof of or alternative to the computation of the equilibrium temperature for a ball with arbitrary spectrum at http://cosy.com/Science/warm.htm#EqTempEq . It’s a simple generalization of the computation which produces the endlessly parroted 255K meme . It’s certainly undergraduate level for anybody studying the temperature budgets of a building , much less planets . Can’t you just provide a link the computation , tho expressed in traditional notation , to see if they are equivalent or to implement and see where they diverge ?

      You have insulted me rather explicitly at times . But you have never given a simple reference to basic computations I would expect to be trivial to cite in any branch of applied physics . You have yet to convince me you know how to compute the temperature of a billiard ball under a sun lamp .

      • Bob Armstrong:

        You say to Mosher

        You have yet to convince me you know how to compute the temperature of a billiard ball under a sun lamp .

        I add that he has yet to convince me that he knows anything: he seems to be what Stal1n called a “useful idiot” operating on behalf of BEST.


      • Thanks Richard . You caused me to google him . I had thought he had some official cred in the 97% establishment . I found this : http://www.populartechnology.net/2014/06/who-is-steven-mosher.html .
        Looks like our time at Northwestern overlapped : he getting a BA in English while I was ending my tenure in grad school in psychophysics hanging out with the math department and the Vogelback computer center .

        So he really is a persistent know-nothing .

        BTW : I’ve seen “useful idiot” attributed to Lenin as a paraphrase of something he said . My favorite quote of Lenin’s is near the top of my http://cosy.com/Liberty.htm page .

      • Mr. Armstrong: Please allow me to reply for Mr. Mosher. First, you failed to call your shot, solid or stripe? Second, on the merits, look a squirrel!

      • I’ve only presented the expression for un-numbered solids . However , as I’ve mentioned elsewhere , mapping the fundamental differential over arbitrary maps , eg : stripes , is rather straight forward in APLs .

      • At best it’s a paraphrase of Lenin. The actual phrase doesn’t appear in his works. But the expression “полезные дураки” (poleznye duraki, “useful fool”) was already common in 19th century Russian.

    • The whole point is that warmistas deny requests from those who aren’t a member of the club.
      A member of the club in good standing seeks to refute this by stating that he’s always able to get code and data.
      Sheesh, self awareness just isn’t in your repertoire.

  8. Yes Blogs are now the best venue.
    I get immediate access to the actual science offered up and get to draw my own conclusions as opposed to reading a breathless Press release and being directed to a paywall.
    The imposition of ill-informed and or activist interpreters by most of the “science magazines” was the beginning of their demise.
    The added benefit of instant criticism and points of view I would not naturally arrive at, do much to improve my learning.
    Universities are doomed.
    The School of Hard Knocks now has an active open learning wing.At a price the working man can afford.

  9. The greatest thing about WUWT is, it doesn’t have any “Safe Spaces” for the Snowflakes to hide in ….IMHO…

  10. Agree with all 5 observations. Would add a sixth. Both the guest posters and the commenters have collectively a much wider range of knowledge than typical in a science specialty. That lack of deep ‘expertise’ is invaluable for more clearly seeing the forest than the trees. It is said an expert knows more and more about less and less, until finally knowing everything about nothing. Paleoclimate abusing principal components until mining geologist McIntyre catches them out, coral people misunderstanding or mis-stating bleaching even after Jim Steele corrects them in a guest post here are just two of the many examples here.
    Climate is complex and multifaceted (Curry’s wicked problem). A wide collective knowledge base plus a modicum of common sense can go a long way toward understanding under those circumstances. The old ‘wasn’t peer reviewed so doesn’t count response’ just shows how true this general observation is. Narrow expertise steeped in the whatever prevailing paradaigm appropriately threatened by a new form of scientific knowledge building via blogs.

    • A wide collective knowledge base …

      People complain that blogs operate as silos. That’s nothing compared with most journals. Some worry that academic papers have become so unintelligible that no one can read them. link Blog posts, on the other hand, are usually written in such a manner that they can be read by a wide audience. They can’t hide behind jargon. That means that folks with expert knowledge in many different fields can point out obvious mistakes that might be missed by a narrow audience.

      • CB, it seems to be human nature that when a group of individuals want to distinguish themselves from the rest of the crowd one of the the first things they do is to define their own ‘secrete’ language. In that manner others, i.e., those that cannot speak the language, are excluded from the group. When applied to scientific specialties this has the advantage of limiting peer reviewers, conference attendees and even local discussion groups to only the ‘in’ crowd, thus further isolating the group from those that might have opposing ideas and opinions. It has the added advantage of limiting criticism while giving the appearance of authority. The more specialized the group the more isolated it becomes from outside influence and the more unintelligible the language.

    • Since I was a teen I’ve studied geology, astronomy, meteorology, physics, chemistry, computer science, mathematics and a few others (business finance, electronics, basic mechanics and carpentry, equestrian activities, etc.). I acknowledge that all this gives me the understanding that the more I learn the less I know. But my technical background makes it obvious to me that the CAGW-hysteric crowd really has no idea what they are talking about. ;->

      • PaulH

        Your CV reminds me of a Robert Heinlein quote:

        ““A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, conn a ship, design a building, write a sonnet, balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, analyze a new problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently, die gallantly.
        Specialization is for insects.”

  11. The weakness of blogs is that after all the comments there is no revised version of the original article. It’s like an audit trail without the final accounts. At least authors could coment on whether significant revision is required or whether they are happy after the comments have dried up and at best revise their submission. And yes I don’t underestimate the additional work involved but it would leave a better than submitted article where appropriate or withdrawal.

      • The phrase “I’ve started so I’ll finish comes to mind”. It is surely better that the author with full knowledge of the posting completes the process as opposed to probably nobody else having the time. It would certainly leave a much better archive.

    • An interesting point; implementable via a ‘amended final post’ archive. But there is a perhaps a better way than to rewrite the lead post for a dead thread making corrective comments subsequently incomprehensible since post hoc. Take the post and feedback, make the corrections/clarifications/additions, and then publish. There are now fora in addition to peer reviewed journals and blogs.
      In my case, a substantial number of guest posts at Climate Etc became incorporated into a book published in 2012 or essays in another book published in 2014.

    • I agree SOM and that is one of the reasons I like reading JoAnneNova. There is a an overall rating on each article and there is the ability to upvote a comment (not downvote). What would be nice is a “sort the highest and lowest rated comments” button. The top and bottom comments would be readily readable without having to read the lot if you have come late to the party… which often happens on the other side of the globe.

      I appreciate that you have thought about this and experimented with options Anthony, and are restricted by the platform, so it’s not always easy to do – not meant as a criticism.

      I’m learning something new every day!

  12. This might be a little off topic but I have been dying to start a discussion on this marvelous site. NASA has released an updated “night lights” view of earth. The last was done in 2012. http://www.cbsnews.com/pictures/earth-at-night-nasa-map/ Ones eye is drawn immediately to the bright sparkles which make the pictures so pretty. But being a glass half empty kind of guy my eye sees vast amounts of darkness. Picture 4 of the entire earth is particularly telling. Offhand I would say that @ 5% of land mass is populated. Also tied into this is the fact the entire world’s population of 8 billion could stand shoulder to shoulder in the state of Rhode Island. Simple arithmetic. Not live, mind you, stand. It’s a visualization for those who are still capable of such a thing. So I put it to the alarmists. How can so few people inhabiting so little of this enormous earth, puffing their little puffs of CO2, etc, possible affect the climate.

    • I was willing to accept that CO2 could slow down heat transfer, but over time I accepted that the thermodynamic powers of water vapor rule the day. Willis gave me the concept. If the vertical transport of heat occurs 3 minutes earlier each day, and finishes 3 minutes later, who would notice? The maximum temperatures would remain the same. Its just a profile change. We cannot find the signal(+ or – seconds, or a minute or two) in a hugely noisy environment.

      So yes, warming happens, but no, we cannot see it or feel it, beyond the normal random “weather”.

      If I want to feel the real human effect, I go stand on red hot asphalt parking lot. If I want to avoid it, I go for a walk in the woods.

      • If I want to avoid it, I go for a walk in the woods.

        And breathe in the 600 PPM of CO2 that prevails under every forest canopy.


    • “…the entire world’s population of 8 billion could stand shoulder to shoulder in the state of Rhode Island.”: Do your calculations control for body odor and halitosis?

    • At the population density of Manhattan, eight billion people would occupy about 119,500 square miles. That’s less area than the State of New Mexico.

      And of course, Manhattan accommodates a lot more people than its census density during the day.

      • Gloateus, something few fail to recognize. We could fit the entire population of the world in Texas with one sq yard per person each.

      • Actually, there would be a lot more room than that. Texas covers some 269,000 sq miles. At eight billion people, that means fewer than 30,000 per sq mi. A square mile contains over three million square yards. Thus, each person would have well over 100 sq. yards.

        Please correct my arithmetic if wrong.

      • MRW, something few fail to recognize. After we put the entire population of the world in Texas, there’s not enough water in Texas to flush all the toilets needed to remove all of the resulting sh….

      • Gloteus, you still don’t have enough water or land to dispose of all the SH.T from the 7/8 billion people.

      • Michael,

        Wrong. Apparently you didn’t read my comment above. At a fraction of the area of Texas, everybody in the world could be accommodated at the density of Manhattan, which has no trouble with sanitation for its population.

        This is my last comment, since I felt it merited a reply.

        I’m leaving this blog in protest over its anti-scientific promotion of creationism.

      • Gloateus, you must be an imbecile. Again, there’s not enough WATER in Texas to flush the all the toilets needed for 7/8 billion people. You don’t seem to realize that you can’t double the population of NYC because there isn’t enough WATER there to support that many people.

      • Michael,

        The imbecile would be you.

        In the first place, people got along very well for 200,000 years without flush toilets.

        In the second, the exercise doesn’t envision people actually living in that area, but is meant to demonstrate what little effect humans have on the planet.

        In the third case, yes, there really is enough water in TX, OK, LA (its river drainage) and the Gulf of Mexico to meet the needs of eight billion people in less than 300,000 square miles. Before posting, you ought to do the arithmetic. Unless you like being shown an imbecile.

      • Texas gets about 400 trillion gallons of rainfall per year. That means 50,000 gallons per person, at eight billion. Even in advanced societies, people use only around 50 gallons per day indoors, ie exclusive of watering lawns, etc. Hence, at most 20,000 gallons per year.

        Next time you presume to comment here on topics about which you are clearly entirely ignorant, please stop, think and research first. You will suffer less public humiliation that way.

      • Gloateus, let me remind you that people on Earth have not been living for 200,000 years in Manhattan. You seem to forget that if you put 7/8 billion people in Texas, you need to evict a lot of them to make room to bury the 120,000 people that die on a daily basis. Secondly, the Gulf of Mexico currently has a problem with hypoxia with only 300 million people living in the lower 48. If you think the Gulf can tolerate the SH.T from an additional 6 billion folks, you need to go back to school and learn ARITHMETIC.

      • Gloateus says: “Texas gets about 400 trillion gallons of rainfall per year”

        1) 269,000 square miles is 7499289600000 square feet
        2) Average yearly rainfall in Texas is 40 inches, lets over estimate that at 48 inches.
        3) Texas then gets 29997158400000 cubic feet of water as rainfall
        4) 29997158400000 cubic feet of water is 224,978,688,000,000 gallons
        You overestimate the amount of water by 100%

      • Michael,

        Rainfall in TX swings widely. I went with recent months and years.

        But you ignore the fact that even if on average it’s only 224 trillion gallons per year rather than 400, there is still way more than needed to meet the indoor needs of the average American, ie about 50 gallons per person per day.

        That’s without even considering the water which flows into the state via rivers and obtainable from the Gulf.

        Don’t you feel foolish for asserting such a preposterous lie without even bothering to check?

      • PS Gloateus, most of the rain that falls in Texas evaporates, and does not flow into a river or into sub-surface aquifers.

      • Michael,

        Water use restrictions don’t mean that present water can’t support life. They mean that use is restricted. Americans use many times more water per person than the global average. I would have thought that obvious.

        Just admit that your knee jerk reaction was laughably wrong and move on. Next time check before commenting.

      • Gloateus….please, do the ARITHMETIC
        1 billion people would be 40 times the current population of Texas. (not to forget that the original discussion was about the water needed to flush the toilets of 7/8 billion.) If every man, woman and child living in Texas today curtailed their current consumption by half…….you might have enough water for 60 million.
        You fail basic arithmetic.

      • Micheal,

        You fail both math and reality.

        Restrictions are on watering lawns and golf courses, not on drinking. A quart a day for drinking is less than one fourth of one 50th of what the average American uses.

        Your ludicrously false statement about flushing toilets just shows how out of the ball park you are. Much domestic use in the US is from flushing, but flush toilets are not necessary or even advisable under the circumstances hypothetically imagined.

        If for some reason eight billion people had to live in Texas, there would be enough water for them, even is solar evaporation of seawater were called for. You commented without doing the basic arithmetic or researching water needs.

      • The continuing arithmetic lessons for Gloateus:
        1) ” the average American, ie about 50 gallons per person per day.”
        2) Population of Texas 27 million
        3) Current Texas water consumption: 1,350,000,000 gallons
        4) Assume a typical toilet flush is 1 gallon
        5) 7/8 billion people would need 7,000,000,000 gallons of water for toilets
        6) Looks like Texas is short about 5,650,000,000 gallons.

      • Let’s just taking drinking water as an example. To put into perspective what Gloateus is saying, one small river with a discharge of less than 100 m3/s could supply 7.3 billion people with 1 USG per day (3.78L) of fresh drinking water per day. We don’t have a shortage of fresh drinking water on the planet, rather we have a problem with distribution of resources.

      • Michael,

        I’ve done the arithmetic. You didn’t, yet keep making a fool of yourself.

        Many rivers running through and past Texas are fed by snowpacks in the Rockies. There is plenty enough water available for drinking, ie what is essential for life, as Ron notes.

        Most American domestic use is not for drinking, but for bathing, cooking, sanitation (flushing toilets), washing clothes, etc. That is, not essential, although some of it is conducive to health and happiness.

        As for your initial position, before moving the goalposts, yes, there is plenty enough for flushing toilets. Why do you persist in digging your hole ever deeper?

      • Please show me your arithmetic. I would like to know where you get the extra 5,000,000,000 gallons of water just to dispose of all the s..t. We’re talking strictly about water for waste disposal. You don’t have enough of it in Texas for 7/8 billion, not even considering bathing, drinking, food prep or clothes washing.

      • Ron Williams, your hypothetical river is just that, hypothetical. Let’s use real world numbers instead. There are 27 million people in Texas. According to Gloateus, on average each uses 50 gallons per day. That’s 1,350,000,000 gallons per day. Right now most of Texas is under water use restrictions, so let’s say that currently Texas could supply 2,000,000,000 gallons per day. That means that 7 billion people would each get less than 1/3rd a gallon per day for drinking. That is not enough based on the human need of 1/2 gallon per day.

      • RACookPE1978, this discussion is about Texas, not the Congo. Please try and stay on topic.

      • If you want to stay on topic Michael Darby, this post is about blog posts that are of higher scientific quality than journal articles. Maybe if you get your calculator out, you can do some additional calculations. Just remember there is 86,400 seconds in a day so any small river delivers a lot of gallons per day.

      • Last time I checked there ARE 86,400 seconds in a day. A lot of Texans get their water from wells, and even with that, people that don’t and use reservoirs are under restrictions. I’m sure you would have no problem fetching your drinking water 30 feet downstream from the outlet of a waste water treatment plant right? The issue at hand that you seem ignorant of is that with 27 million people in Texas RIGHT NOW there are water supply problems. So please tell me how Texas is going to supply not 7 billion, but (as I asked above) 1 billion?

      • You dont need to organise water and sewage at low population densities. Gloteus is obviously suffering from Magic Thinking Syndrome, that if one Pope and sh*t in the woods, without a problem, 5 million bears in Houston can do the same without water or sewage.

        Or something.

        For me the hippie ideal dies before it was even born, at the first Isle of Wight festival, when I saw what 250,000 people with no toilets, water, gas or electricity did to the wood we had camped next to.

        It disappeared for firewood and was replaced by acres of excrement and toilet paper.

        On the ferry home, we learnt the value of the Water Closet. Once home I learnt the value of a brick house and a bed with a mattress.

        A lesson I have never forgotten, but most of the urban Left never seem to have learnt.

      • Gloateus and Michael Darby:

        Forget Texas.
        If the entire population of the world were moved to the USA then the resulting population density of the USA would be less than the population density that now exists in the Netherlands.

        The Dutch have good standard of living.

        Humans occupy a small part of the 29% of the world that is not covered by oceans: there are not many of us in comparison to the size of the planet.


      • Richard Courtney said: “If the entire population of the world were moved to the USA then the resulting population density of the USA would be less than the population density that now exists in the Netherlands.”

        The population density in the US is 32 people/ km2, the Netherlands is 406, for a ratio of 12.7. The US population is 318M, dividing that into a world population of 7.5B yields a ratio of 23.6. Putting the world’s population into the US would therefore mean a population density of 2X that of the Netherlands.And of course large areas of the US which are very mountainous or incredibly dry and barren are not practical locations for folks to live, unlike the Netherlands where nearly all land is usable.

      • Micheal, Gloateus, Ron, et at

        Your discussion reminded me of the “Everybody Jump” what-if on xkcd …


        … where the entire population of the earth is magically transported to Rhode Island to answer the question … “What would happen if everyone on earth stood as close to each other as they could and jumped, everyone landing on the ground at the same instant?” The real fun starts after the jump is over and everyone decides to go home. Enjoy.

      • Michael, I love the way you try to distract with irrelevancies.
        Since nobody is actually proposing moving the world’s population to Texas, it doesn’t matter how much water is presently there.
        It’s an example to show the stupidity of those people who get the vapors over the belief that the planet is over populated.

      • Chris

        I suck at math. But you’re worse.
        First, 12.7 is NOT “a ratio” and neither is 23.6!
        That’s not how we write ratios.

        Second, the RATIO between the number of people per square mile in the Netherlands vs the US according to the most recent numbers I can find, is 6:1. 491 (Netherlands) to 87 (US). For every 1 American per square mile in the US, there are 6 Netherlanders per square mile in the Netherlands.

        Third, but you left OUT the difference between the number of actual square miles in the US vs the number of actual square miles in the Netherlands. That calculation matters…a LOT.

        The US has roughly 3.797 MILLION square miles, as opposed to the Netherlands roughly 16,040 square miles. In order to get the SAME POPULATION DENSITY in the US, that they have in the Netherlands, you have to multiply the population density of the Netherlands (491 per square mile) by the number of square miles IN the US. I got:


        Yes, almost 2 TRILLION people would be required to give the US the SAME population density as the Netherlands, per square mile.

        Now….how many people did you claim as the population of the world? 7.5 billion? And you claimed THAT was “a population density of 2X that of the Netherlands”????? Not even remotely close! (You were off by a factor of 249!!)

        Looks like you owe Richard Courtney an apology.

      • Aphan 23:1 is often abbreviated as 23.
        Since it’s a ratio, the difference in land mass between the US and the Netherlands isn’t relevant.
        Perhaps you are the one who needs to be issuing apologies.

  13. like with almost everything else, excessive generalization is not helpful.

    Peer reviewed journals started out as blogs of the day. They are somewhat corrupted today, though not as corrupt as blogs would have you believe, because of money that is flowing through academia. Stakes are high for the players, not necessarily purely monetary stakes, often career stakes. Corruption can come from public money and private money. Pecunia non olet. Blogs can expose corruption in science, but blogs themselves can become corrupt, or at least polluted by advocacy. Some of the climate blogs clearly mix information with political opinion, usually trying to hide their political orientation, but it breaks through.

    At the end of the day, some form of peer review is essential. One can debate what form it should take, or where the filter should be, or what should be the “system”. I can guarantee you one thing, no matter what the “system” you devise, someone will game it. Mixing political opinion with a scientific argument is a form of gaming the system, and it is common in blogs.

    Do not get holier than though. You can be corrupted as well, I guarantee. You are human.

    • mf…could not agree with you more
      The pressure and competition to “publish or perish” has totally corrupted the system. Led to 20+ authors of one paper, so they can all pile on and add another paper to their list. Created a circlejerk of inbred peers that approve based on getting their own papers published later…..group think in it’s purest form…and has created a language that only the inner circle can understand

      ..the one main thing that blogs provide…..science in english

  14. Speaking of correction within minutes… It’s “IPCC,” not “IPPC” in the last sentence of the next to last paragraph :>.

    The other advantage of blogs is that one like WUWT assembles a “team” of high-quality experts in everything – theorists, observationalists, mathematicians, and even lowly copy-editors. Traditional academia rarely puts together such teams; there are always weak links somewhere.

    • Please tell us how WUWT assembled a “team” of high quality expert in everything, with no weak links somewhere.
      Here you are believing that a PSYCHOLOGIST has discovered the best way to disseminate science.
      Good Luck. The idea that blogs will bring facts is absurd.
      The only thing blogs can do is bring ideas to be shared and discussed. No discovery in any blog.

      • I thought this blog over the last 10 years has basically proved that CO2 has a much lower radiative forcing than what some academic clowns such as Hansen or Mann say, and is proven in the CO2 record the last 150 years that temperatures are not a lockstep forcing with rising CO2 rates. If it were, then why the pause in temperature increase the last 18-19 years, why the cooling from the 1950’s to mid 1970’s when CO2 was rapidly increasing. Clearly, the evidence is now in and has been for some time, that CO2 radiative forcing is not causing the small increases in temps seen in the last 150 years. I think this blog has stated this from its beginning and I supply a link from 2010 that discusses such. Perhaps this particular point isn’t actually a discovery, since it was never true to begin with.


      • To Ron Williams:
        This blog has proven NOTHING.
        It has certainly help discussing the issues.
        I like this blog. But it is blog.
        No proof of anything has ever been presented on this blog.
        Yes, data, plenty of such. Yes discussion, plenty and very instructive.
        Profs. State one.

      • RD50,

        “Proof” isn’t technically a scientific term, but mathematical. What posters and commenters on this blog, and authors of conventional scientific papers, have repeatedly shown conclusively is that ECS is much lower than the “canonical” 3.0 degrees C, +/-1.5 degrees C, per doubling of CO2.

        The central value has been demonstrated by the scientific method to lie closer to 1.5 degrees C, +/-~0.5 degrees C. That is, ECS in the complex, chaotic real climate system hardly differs from the no-feedback value of 1.2 degrees C per doubling derived from lab experiments.

        This finding has been repeatedly confirmed and never falsified. That’s as close as science gets to “proof”, until an hypothesis becomes an actual observation, as happened with the heliocentric hypothesis.

      • rd50,
        You are quite wrong.
        Go back and read the blog ‘Climate Audit’ at the time when the hockey stick was examined.
        The level of statistical examination used in those blogs was higher than the level used before on the topic, including the level used by the authors of the hockey stick papers. It was a major advance of knowledge. It will be a text book example in the history of science communication for decades to come, I surmise.
        That is but one example of research behind a blog being more advanced than in formal “peer reviewed” publications. There are many more examples that shoot down your sweeping assertion.

      • On several other sites, that comment would have been moderated right out. Or, better yet, “edited for clarity” to ensure it was in proper agreement with the ideology of those who run it.

        Perhaps you should in future restrict your browsing to where you will be more comfortable?

      • Well your post is evidence that of course WUWT hasn’t just assembled teams of experts, but leagues of muppets as well.

        Oh and by the way what else is human knowledge if its not ‘ideas to be shared and discussed’ ?

        Even so called facts are just ideas we all agree on.

        Going from a few terabytes of perceptual information to ‘the cat is sitting in the mat’ is making HUGE assumptions about the nature of the world and the ability of language to model it.

        Nothing we think is real, but some thinks are more real than others.

      • Last time I checked, no journals do science. They just publish papers that other people have already produced.
        So your complaint against blogs is equally true regarding the journals that you are attempting to defend.
        Regardless, why do you believe it is impossible for a psychologist to have valid ideas on how to distribute science?
        Are you a complete idiot or do you just like playing one on blogs?

  15. Everyone talks of the benefits of being “Interdisciplinary”.
    It provides different perspectives and introduces different tools.

    But papers are mostly in specialist journals that are inaccessible to most potential “Interdisciplinary” partners.

    Blogs will progress quicker for that reason as well as the five listed.

  16. One advantage of blogs is that you are unlikely ever to see a reference to Pen Pineapple Apple Pen in a in a scientific journal. I assume you all clicked through. Once seen cannot be unseen.

  17. The one problem is that blogs can become opinion chimneys. I’ve experienced this on many blogs where dissenting opinions are ostracized and effectively banned– not just by the blogger, but the other posters on the blog.

    Any blog is in danger of this practice. I find it particularly ironic when they claim they are protecting free speech by ganging up on you. (This happened at Patheos many years ago when I protested the appropriation of Christmas displays by atheist groups in an attempt to demean and mock Christianity. To me, such activities are not a protection of religion, rather they are anti-religious. I was blasted by a number of contributors told that I could not understand because I was “privileged”. I learned very quickly that they protected their close-minded philosophy with a veracity of those who were too enlightened to need opposing opinions. I stopped posting. They won. Who cares?)

    Then there are the blogs like Skeptical Science where they simply remove dissenting opinions from the discussion.

    The greater irony is when the scientific community behaves the same way to oppose dissenting opinions under the guise of peer review and opposing reports. Scientists are quick to tell us that peer review protects science from basic errors. The goal is that when you disagree with a paper, it is to be published, but then countered with opposing research. I was reminded of this several days ago during the Kevin Trenberth article. Trenberth actively campaigned to have the editor of the Remote Sensing Journal sacked for having the gall to publish a paper by Roy Spencer. In the end, the editor thanked Trenberth in his resignation letter.

    If that doesn’t cast a pall on publishing skeptical viewpoints, I don’t know what would.

    • +1……….peer: a person who is equal to another in abilities, qualifications, age, background, and social status.

      ..and tries to keep it that way through peer review

    • Yup. Wrote that up as an example in my ebook The Arts of Truth. But I published the Remote Sensing editor’s entire resignation letter, as the story is much more nuanced than ‘Trenberth did Spencer wrong’. MUCH more nuanced. Arguably failed peer review, Spencer and Braswell deficient according to the basic Feynman Cargo Cult criteria citing contrary papers/data. There is a saying, hard cases make bad law. This was a hard case.

      • I wasn’t arguing that Trenberth did Spencer wrong. My point is that Trenberth did Wolfgang Wagner wrong. As far as the scientific disagreement, I don’t have an issue with that, but I don’t consider Trenberth a better authority than Spencer.

        The idea that an editor of a journal would resign because of Trenberth’s interference is the problem. In his resignation letter, Wagner seems more concerned with the press clipping exaggerations than he did with the science — as though that never happens in climate science.

    • People harrassing Christians? Shocked, I say!

      –Actually, it is humorous (until they get to the point of cutting heads off): they are fulfilling Biblical prophecy, thus reinforcing the evidence that the Bible is true.

      “If the world hates you, know that it has hated me before it hated you. If you were of the world, the world would love you as its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you. Remember the word that I said to you: ‘A servant is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted me, they will also persecute you. If they kept my word, they will also keep yours. But all these things they will do to you on account of my name, because they do not know him who sent me. If I had not come and spoken to them, they would not have been guilty of sin, but now they have no excuse for their sin.”

      –That is barely the beginning of the scriptures regarding being belittled, humiliated, and persecuted.

      • I don’t give them that much credit. I think they were ignorant and close-minded to other points other than theirs. One provided a long list of what was “acceptable” and what was not on Christmas — by acceptable, she meant for any areas outside your home or church. Secular Christmas images were okay, but not religious ones.

        The acceptable list included things like Christmas Trees and Santa Claus. Obviously, any manger scenes or Mary images were unacceptable. She was completely oblivious to the idea that freedom allows expressions that everyone may not agree with. Then I questioned her on Santa Claus (doesn’t he represent a saint?) She said that I was right, Santa Claus is no longer allowed. Then I asked about images of the Greek or Roman pantheon (for instance Lady Liberty is the Roman Goddess Libertas.) She thought I was being silly. Nobody really worships them anymore.

        Of course, I was getting silly by that time. Really my point was that it is silly for one person to believe that they get to set the standard. We have freedom of religion, not freedom from religion.

  18. I’ve often fantasized about “kidnapping” (if necessary) a group of the world’s “experts” in every area that affects the climate, and locking them in a building until they all come to an agreement on things. FORCING them to network, compare knowledge, explain each individual part of the planet to each other, and form a coherent, correct, cooperative platform upon which to build and understand from that point going forward.

    Making the “atmospheric” scientists listen to, and validate what the geologists have to say. Making the computer jockies listen to and validate what the field researchers have discovered. And getting them ALL to sign a statement that lays it all out for the public in easy to read and grasp format. Something like “Here’s what we KNOW and can demonstrate. Here’s what we THINK. Here’s what we ASSUME. Here’s what we don’t know. ”

    They all just do not mingle, share, or ask questions outside of their own specialties. And until they DO, and do it in an honest, open, clear way…we’ll never understand this planet completely or accurately.

  19. The “wisdom of the crowd” theory definitely applies here. When you can have a multitude of subjects in a large and complicated topic as AGW/climate change covered by a single blog, with the ‘peer’ review applied by the reader comments whose backgrounds vary from every possible perspective, then one is able to get a much better understanding of the topic being discussed. Especially when the article and comments are for the most part written in easy to understand language which is for the benefit of a very complex subject for the masses. For public education and understanding. Try and get that from reading any dry science journal.

    Plus, if the blog is run well with no ulterior motive other than to discover the truth, then this will speed up the process of actually arriving at the truth. And hopefully appropriate public policy will follow. A well moderated blog is the measure of that success, in that most of us have a basic sense of decency when commenting and the vile comments that ruin most news sites doesn’t exist here.

    And finally, this particular blog which is arguably the most viewed climate change blog on the planet, even lets me post comments here.

  20. Psychology isn’t science. Blog posts may make better psychology articles, but they don’t make better science articles.

    Just to be clear: climate modeling, as presently done, isn’t science either.

    Blogs are variety reading. Journals are subject-matter concentrated. They are typically far more focused and analytical than a blog post.

    Electronic journals are a good idea. They are available already anyway. And they’re indexed and searchable. But an electronic journal would not be a blog.

    The “better error correction” idea is not necessarily true. Faster critical commentary is more apt.

    But criticism in blogs is often shallow and partisan, and can readily get personal. Such comments usually far outnumber good critical inputs and obscure constructive criticism in a hail of verbiage.

    An author would have to plow through considerable nonsense to find worthwhile criticisms. And then those whose irrelevancies are ignored would claim that the author is dishonest. To be worthwhile, blog criticism and commentary would need to pass some sort of peer muster.

    A truly science blog would take enormous editorial effort, therefore, to weed out nonsense. The open access to all would ensure much more nonsense than good sense among the comments.

    I have plenty of experience here at WUWT, having posted several science essays. I spent much greater effort countering nonsense than responding to worthwhile critical inputs. I’ll bet Willis has had the same experience.

    Quasi-analytical nonsense looks like real criticism to the untrained. An author is required to deal with it, therefore, in order to retain credibility. Science and scientists thereby become burdened with the politics of publicity.

    The more measured critical rate of journal articles makes for much more thorough analysis. And makes critical analysis much more tractable because nonsense submissions are excluded. Critical analysis has to pass peer-review, which still actually works in most of science.

    Real science is hard work, and takes considerable thought and effort to get right. Blogs are of the wrong analytical kinetics, and tend to short attention span.

    For example, much good work has been posted here at WUWT. But what lasting impact have these articles had? What field has accepted those essays and been advanced? And who references past essays to build upon them? Where is the continuum of constructive work?

    Any blog that became a constructive element in science would be functionally indistinguishable from an electronic journal. If that, then what’s the point of the head-post?

    Apart from that, most true science articles do indeed have materials and methods sections that are required to provide full disclosure; either directly therein or by way of citations to prior published descriptions or to standard methods. I do that, and the papers I read typically do that.

    Medicine, psychology, and climate modeling seem to be the subject areas that most notoriously violate these standards. But painting all of science with their faults is serious overkill.

    That all said, I do agree that the scientific institutions have failed us, from the National Academy and the APS, right on through the rest of the societies.

    They are all fit to pronounce on the failings noted in the head-post, but instead have either remained silent (psychology, medicine), or participated in the pathology (consensus climatology). I wait for the day when the leadership of every one of them is made to face their incompetence and asked to resign.

    • Pat Frank…

      “For example, much good work has been posted here at WUWT. But what lasting impact have these articles had? What field has accepted those essays and been advanced? And who references past essays to build upon them? Where is the continuum of constructive work?”

      I think the lasting impact these articles at WUWT has had is that it fuelled a thirst for knowledge by the average citizen, and some of those average citizens voted, and it appears these voters have voted in someone that holds their viewpoint opposite to current status quo of academic climate science so that there will be a major policy change on who makes these future decisions and how climate science gets applied to policy. It took 10 years of what appeared to a voice crying in the wilderness, but there has been a lasting impact by these climate blogs. At the end of the day, this is what counts.

      Your other questions raise some really good points, such as how to build on the continuum of constructive work, and how to advance them. I hope all these essays, hypothesis and comments will continue to add to the entire body of work of advancing knowledge and the torch stays lit and passed on, or picked up by those able to advance all this work going forward. Hard to put a genie back in the bottle once it is released.

      • Crowdsourced information. ;) I love this particular genie. It will not solve all the problems; nothing will. But, O! how it throws wide the gates of knowledge.

    • Very good overall.

      Pat Frank: But criticism in blogs is often shallow and partisan, and can readily get personal. Such comments usually far outnumber good critical inputs and obscure constructive criticism in a hail of verbiage.

      The Dutch Climate Dialogue site avoids that problem by letting only invited participants (red/blue teams, in effect) post comments “above the line.” The peanut gallery can comment below the line, and the upper participants can selectively quote and respond (above the line or below it) to those that are worthy of them.

      That all said, I do agree that the scientific institutions have failed us, from the National Academy and the APS, right on through the rest of the societies. … I wait for the day when the leadership of every one of them is made to face their incompetence and asked to resign.

      I suspect most of the fault lies with those societies’ adherence to an established practice of asking for volunteers to fill evaluation committees, which leads to a preponderance of zealots. Also, the leadership may have been, in part, deliberately infiltrated or privately lobbied by eco-zealots.

    • Good comments, Pat. I work more in the deterministic/applied science end where laboratory experiments are conceived, built, executed, analyzed (stir and repeat). The accompanying mathematical analysis can be quite detailed (and possibly cryptic to those outside the field). The peer review process, when it is working, makes use of ‘inside critics’ — people that know the tools and the mathematical formalism enough to spot mistakes. However, as soon as I begin to make global claims, extrapolations, etc., the work needs to be examined by ‘outside critics’ who can poke through the methodology, see if it is repeatable, and examine whether the conclusions are narrow (applied just to my little corner of science) or broadly applicable. I’ve been saved from the burden/opportunity of having to pronounce implications for society, the earth, or the universe. Areas like medicine, earth science, etc. have implications built into them, and need the broadest possible critiques.

      Communities such as those represented at WUWT are really good at crowdsourcing data analysis, checking for repeatability and integrity of the analysis. Another useful function, one that I see here and at Judith Curry’s blog, is to hold scientists, especially those who have chose to become public figures, to ethical standards that are clearly not being enforced within their own communities. Ethics must exist, be defined, and be enforced independent of the details of the scientific method. In other words, ethics are axiomatic, not empirically derived. No scientific subgroup can ‘own’ its own ethics; the blogosphere very effectively exposes the public to both good and bad behavior. Think Judith Curry v. Michael Mann.

      • Yep !
        These are issues of thermodynamics and fluid dynamics . This all really is just a branch of applied physics . Yet there is virtually no discussion of or demand for an understanding of an experimentally validated quantitative classical mathematical physical core as one immediately faces in any other STEM subject .

        It is treated as a social science in which truths are statistical approximations of observations rather than physical law with the precision of pi .

    • Pat Frank “,I spent much greater effort countering nonsense than responding to worthwhile critical inputs. I’ll bet Willis has had the same experience.” and this below ” But criticism in blogs is often shallow and partisan, and can readily get personal”.
      Personally I have learned a lot at WUWT. I am by no means an “expert” . I under stand your frustrations but please don’t put us in the “peanut ” galley. You have a lot to give.

      • “For example, much good work has been posted here at WUWT. But what lasting impact have these articles had?”

        I think they helped save Western civilization . . from scientists.

        “That all said, I do agree that the scientific institutions have failed us, from the National Academy and the APS, right on through the rest of the societies.”

        Yeah, that’s what I mean.

    • Great comment, Pat Frank. And your writing style always respects the internet reader by keeping your paragraphs to two or thee sentences each for readability (internet rules differ from print or scholarly rules, few understand that, and I violate them constantly).

    • I think the existence of WUWT is of lasting impact in that it clearly demonstrates to anyone who stays in here, that there are not a few people of apparent intelligence, humour, with the ability to communicated lucidly, and who appear to be reasonably adept in their fields who are seriously questioning the meme of anthropogenic climate change.
      This immediately and totally undermines the meme that climate ‘deniers; are spittle flecked swivel eyed loons, and the only intelligent people exist in the alarmist community.
      I’ve been trying to make this point for some time. This isn’t a battle about truth, or climate, its a battle about whose propaganda is more powerful. State and institution financed media and publications, or the ‘wild mustang’ blogs.
      Who should you trust more: The ‘expert professional’ whose job depends on his paymasters getting the support for their memes? Or the wild mustang blogger beholden to no one whose ideas are free of any organised bias, and are just the product of his own tortured psyche? 🙂
      When we see e.g. griff, we smell astroturfing: The deliberate repetition of materials that originated as propaganda elsewhere.
      Can the truth stand against propaganda? If its self evident, yes. Otherwise however the game goes by and large to those with the deepest pockets.
      But there is a deeper principle in play than what people believe to be true. And that is what is actually true. Whether people believe it or not.
      Technology is as unimpressed by rhetoric as is Nature herself.
      Science exists precisely because no matter how many people believe that windmills can run the world, they can’t.
      So to speak. And that is the reason why truth matters, because although we can never be sure we have got it, we can be pretty damned certain when we haven’t, because it simply doesn’t stack up.
      All we need to know in AGW terms is that AGW predicts temperature rises that simply are not happening.
      The truth refutes the meme.
      Now all we need to do is shout the refutation from the rooftops, to counter the massive propaganda that asserts the opposite.
      This war is about whether or not populations can be completely controlled by propaganda, or not. And just how much truth is needed to be incorporated in the propaganda for it to be pervasive.
      For the philosophical fact is, that what people believe to be the case, and what is the case, need not be even remotely correlated. The 21st century is likley to be the epoch where the implications of this are played out and finally understood.

    • Agree with most of what Pat Frank states. Related to this, I know who he is and have read some of his stuff. His posts carry great weight for me in areas that are not my expertise. Somebody else that I don’t know may have posted the exact same thing and I might be more skeptical or investigate further to verify or worse, be misled by something that sounds convincing but is false because the poster reads smarter than me in that subject area.

      The standards here and at other blogs cannot match the standards at most journals…………..but that’s ok, nobody realistically would expect them too. However, blogs, especially like this one can add MUCH MORE to a discussion than a journal. Some of the comments will provide unique perspectives/insights that are educational and advance understanding to a new level vs comments that refine an article/paper to correct mistakes or weed out problems.

      As an operational meteorologist for 35 years that predicts crop yields based on numerous elements, I have read dozens of peer reviewed papers that connect climate science with agronomy/agriculture that are complete crap……..but I know they are crap because of observations in real world for 3 decades. I haven’t done a study or had a peer review paper published(but my income depends on being right vs a climate model prediction for 50 years) but can share relevant points based on professional experience in that particular field.

      We are birds of a feather here, like at most blogs. People like hanging out with like minded folks. We will tend to believe things that line up with our belief system and discard things that don’t……..and more articles/posts will be published that favor our view.

      I have gone to a few sites that focus on discussions about how CO2 pollution is going to lead to some extreme scenario’s. My intention was honorable, to try to assist them to see a few things based on my views as an operational meteorologist for 35 years. In every case, I was treated as an unwelcome invader. I have written a dozen articles for the local paper and can communicate well, so I know the failure was not on my end. Fact is, that blogs are not completely open and objective. In one case, I was being respectful and patient ……..but continued to show additional evidence and got kicked off.

      Each blog is different. WUWT is the only place I go to now, other than a commodity trading forum that shares authentic ideas about commodities markets. When there are relevant papers/studies in journals, I will usually find out about them here. It’s like having your cake and eating it too! Before discovering WUWT years ago, I could spend hours searching for this stuff and still miss much of it. Now, all one has to do is come here and it is delivered………..free of charge.

      I am grateful to you Anthony, especially considering that you surely could be charging(and I would pay). No doubt that you are not doing it for the money but the reward of seeing the power of your blog reaching many millions in a way that no other source does, is worth a great deal.

  21. I totally agree. Here are couple of examples to show why.

    I published a short article in a widely-read trade publication. It was intended to be clever, and might have been. However it had a fatal mistake, and I got crucified in the letters to the editor a month or two later. That was quite an educational experience. Fortunately tenure committees rarely check things like that and my university was not so high in the academic pecking order that it would reject everything except journal articles.

    In contrast there was greatly flawed article in one of the two top journals in my field. The author was the former editor of the other top journal. The guy didn’t have a clue about statistics, but that didn’t stop him from supporting his agenda by making some very false statements about statistical analysis.

    A guy I know with a PhD in statistics wrote a rebuttal showing how wrong that author was. Instead of publishing it as a letter, they suggested he write it up as a full-fledged article. Then they strung him along for several years with repeated requests for resubmissions with changes. Eventually they rejected the paper after he put a lot of work in it. Message sent.

    • Review blogs would need some standards for commenters, but they could be minimal, and moderators could weed out the wheat from the chaff. Under any such regime, malpractice such as your colleague experienced wouldn’t happen. If a blog started filtering out such valid criticisms, another wouldn’t.

    • My reply is in m.o.d.e.r.a.t.i.o.n, I guess because I wrote the word m.o.d.e.r.a.t.o.r.s. I need to consider the trigger terms.

    • One detailed true story of trying to submit a comment on a journal article-


  22. t is now a common saying in The Netherlands whenever someone gives an opinion that is clearly aligned with their self-interest. In this blog, I will examine the hypothesis that blogs are, on average, of higher quality than journal articles.

    A self deprecating sense of humor is also a good reason blogs are better science. Taking yourself too seriously is a clear sign of insecurity, and insecurity about ones self IMHO is a clear indicator of what Feynman said: “The first principle is that you must not fool yourself – and you are the easiest person to fool.”

  23. Blog review is superior for the reasons given. The establishment, learned societies and academia accept climate science as a given because it is peer reviewed. But peer review is becoming a joke. We have the reproducibility problem where most published work cannot be replicated. Then we have the fact that most papers are read by a dozen people at most. Many papers are biased to supply the answer that the funding provider paid for and in climate science, we have pal review as illustrated by ClimateGate.

    Many papers these days are recycled endlessly with minor changes in separate funding applications. Very little original work is actually started. The system is rotten to the core but it is all the academics have. Sadly, their careers are measured and rated on the number of publications.

  24. The downside of “blog review” is that the author of the post has to sift through a lot of nonsense from those like “Mr. Layman here…”
    The upside is a lot of people who aren’t laymen in the field or another related to the topic might spot something the author honestly just “missed”.
    Unless they have a Mann sized ego to protect or an agenda to promote, the result is a correction of an error.

    PS Sometimes a comment by a layman might just spark something that gets someone to think outside their own “9 dots”.

    PPS For those who don’t know what I meant by “to think outside their own “9 dots”…

    The puzzle might not be “earth-shattering” (maybe that’s why the Greens never seem to do it?) but the application of the lesson often has been.

  25. “Blogs have Open Peer Review … except hardly anyone reads RealClimate anymore” what hypocritical arrogance. You regularly prevent people commenting on articles whereas I’ve never had that problem on Real Climate.

    As a result WE DON’T KNOW what you’ve removed.

    • Logical error detected.
      Just because YOU have not had a problem with Real Climate, does not mean others have not.

    • Scottish Sceptic,
      I’d say that the fact that YOU were allowed to rant a bunch of baloney, calls BS on your post.

      listening to: Teachd Chlann Dhonnchaidh

    • Scottish Sceptic:

      You assert

      “Blogs have Open Peer Review … except hardly anyone reads RealClimate anymore” what hypocritical arrogance. You regularly prevent people commenting on articles whereas I’ve never had that problem on Real Climate.

      As a result WE DON’T KNOW what you’ve removed.

      Our host, AW, has repeatedly given me temporary bans from posting on WUWT because in his opinion my comments ‘overstepped the mark’.
      RealClimate gave me, Willis E. and countless others permanent bans for posting accurate and referenced information which contradicted their propaganda.


    • After an extended exchange on Real Climate to form a basis of agreement on the core non-optional calculations of radiative heat transfer , I ran into a dead end when pressing for agreement on the calculation of the equilibrium temperature of balls with arbitrary spectra . That should be basic undergraduate stuff for anybody presuming to model the temperature dynamics of a planet .

      It remains the case that I see no evidence that the “climate” establishment even knows how to calculate the experimentally testable temperature of a billiard ball under a sun lamp .

      • Bob Armstrong

        After an extended exchange on Real Climate to form a basis of agreement on the core non-optional calculations of radiative heat transfer , I ran into a dead end when pressing for agreement on the calculation of the equilibrium temperature of balls with arbitrary spectra . That should be basic undergraduate stuff for anybody presuming to model the temperature dynamics of a planet .

        It remains the case that I see no evidence that the “climate” establishment even knows how to calculate the experimentally testable temperature of a billiard ball under a sun lamp .

        What do they get for the far easier case of the moon (a sphere in a vacuum with no atmosphere and no water) slowly turning at a constant rate under a near-constant sun with a simple crushed rock surface?

        What equation and which constants did you propose for the net long wave radiation losses from the sea to a real atmosphere with humidity and pressure changes?

      • The easy quantitatively experimentally testable case is a simple ball with a measured uniform absorption=emission spectrum irradiated on one side with a cold absorber on the other . Such experiments are how one abstracts and quantitatively verifies the laws one then applies to understand more complex remote cases like a planetary object .

        This is the method of physics which appears to have been mothballed in this field for so many decades it has been forgotten .

  26. Luke warmers are either people who afraid of conflict or people who believe it’s a scam but don’t want to miss out on some of those billions of bribe dollars so they put forward the just in case argument.
    They will have a solution if they can just get taxpayer funding.

    • So if you follow the science and believe that CO2 will only cause a few tenths of a degree of warming, then you are either a chicken or corrupt.
      Nice binary world you live in there steve.

  27. This amounts to preaching to the choir to a group like this but it nonetheless never ceases to amaze me that as knowledge has become more available to more people, as in our universities, the “keepers” of the knowledge, supposedly our universities, continue to narrow their focus to “keep the baptized interpretation” in the forefront and preclude other views. This is called unhealthy regression and it is all too common. Kudos to this blog and others like it.
    Cold Wind

    • One of the HUGH benefits of this sort of blog. Helps keep the ‘serious’ science and expert from getting so wrapped up in the technical jargon and buzzwords that all useful information is lost. Keeps the technocrats from getting too introverted.

      • “Keeps the technocrats from getting too introverted …”.
        And too arrogant as the hostile posts from members of the clerisy and claque indicate from time to time.
        Since what used to be called ‘climatology’ morphed into politicised ‘Climate Change™’ it has become a matter that everyone everywhere has a legitimate interest in.

  28. In resp. to:
    “Frank Karvv April 15, 2017 at 11:27 am
    HEY, my wife owns a Prius and not because of ‘Climate Change’ we a dedicated skeptics, but because its cheap to run. So an apology is in order !! ;) Your wild statement is not valid for many.”
    ‘Cheap to run’?????? Do you pay for the electric charge thro’ yr residential meter? PLS ADVISE INCREMENTAL COST PER KM. TRAQVEL. THAT YOU’D OTHERWISE PAY AT THE PUMP.
    Or, do you plug-in at one of the free charging stations like we have here in B.C. burgeoning like Windmills all over the place! — and who is paying for the installation and the kWh?? Dollars-to-donuts it’s us taxpayers (at one level of taxation or another!)
    Frank…. if you or your wife are gravy-training off ‘free’ fuel, then I PROTEST. Pay for your own fuel.

    • Forgot to add:
      The more ‘black-boxes’ there are in a vehicle …. and these hybrids & electric cards are FULL of them, the more the comoponent failures and the more expensive to maintain.
      Used to be that most handy-men cd fix an old-fashioned car with a tweek here or there, but now antyhing that goes wrong is one replacement black-box or chip or ‘circuit board’ that’ll set you back $hundreds to replace.
      Guess what …. that’s where they make their money …. off the dolts who buy-into hi-tech technological solutions!
      I invite Frank to advise us 5 years in the future what his ‘full-cost-accounting’ car bill per km experience has been.

    • Ross, lose your rant on these cold war lukewarmer facts.
      My significant other and I traded in her BMWZ3 for Kermy, a MY 2007 Ford hybrid Escape acquired in August 2007. Ours has AWD and class 1 tow capability and is still going strong at 70+kmiles. The V6 tow/power AWD equivalent was ~$3k less.
      Well, I got the $3k back on the next tax day thanks to stupid federal subsidies.
      But that was not the core of the transaction. Our ‘Kermey’ does 32 city, 28 highway (well, honestly more like 27 with AC on at 75mph.) The V6 equivalent did 18 city, 22 highway. So, we use a lot less gas. BUT the hybrid fuel savings were not the deal clincher. Kermey’s Atkinson cycle engine uses regular; the Standard equivalent V6 used high test premium. Where we live, the price Qdifference is about $1/gallon. So, the full hybrid with equivalent off road and towing capacity was tax ‘free’ (you paid, TY)? uses less gas, and that gas costs ~$1/gal less. A no brainer. Our hybrid SUV has been essentially free for several years now. One of my best deals.
      Suggestion. Get a Brain, then use it to do the Math.

      • What do you calculate to be the time, given your driving habits, to pay back the higher initial purchase cost from lower operating costs?

      • And I should add, given your local cost of electricity. Time might differ here in the PNW, where cheap hydro lowers our price for power. Although the Green Meanies are trying to make sure that we fall into national line.

      • Rud,
        Sounds like you scored with your Ford. It all sounds good. Well, good up until the part where I was reminded that the gov’t makes a constant implicit threaten to send men with guns against all of us if we refuse to pay your subsidy. April 15th and all.
        Just curious, but how close are you to buying a $5K re-built battery pack?

  29. Blogs versus Journals contains the same philosophical assumptions that govern how we view the larger society and human organization.

    Do you trust people in positions of power to use it competantly for the greater good?
    Or would you rather have that power distributed to the masses WARTS AND ALL?
    These are the same pros and cons between journals or blogs and small government or big government. I suspect these similar values explains why most WUWT readers do not identify as left wing.

    • It’s also like the distinction between mainstream and alternative media. In the old model, a priesthood of “journalists” was needed to decide what “news” the masses could be fed. First talk radio, then cable TV and finally the Net have helped liberate news consumers from this Leftwing, group-thinking cabal of self-anointed “fact” dispensers and opinion leaders.

      Shades of the Protestant Reformation.

      • The liberating new technology then being the printing press, of course, so that people could read the Bible and Protestant tracts for themselves.

  30. Roger Knights description of the Dutch climate dialogue site leaves me rather cold, it sounds far too elitist and lacking the essential democratic nature of WUWT. In fact – and I going by Roger’s description which I am happy to take on trust – it seems very much to be the kind of “don’t interfere in matters too difficult for you to understand” approach that seems to characterise the worst sort of (climate science) arrogance.

    The great thing about WUWT’s approach is that it is highly educative precisely because people with deep knowledge of all sorts of things contribute, scientists provide arguement and rigorous fact correction, “ordinary” people can ask questions and usually get polite answers, dissenters can disagree and yes everyone can let off steam. The moderator deals with the outright outrageous, like the holocaust deniers, and mostly the just rude are just deservedly self-defeating.

    Isn’t this much better that failing to communicate? I think so. But if any scientist doesn’t like it they can stay in their close academic circle and ignore the outside world. Trouble is the world is less and less inclined to accept that.

    • Moderately Cross of East Anglia April 15, 2017 at 4:14 pm
      . . . the Dutch climate dialogue site leaves me rather cold, it sounds far too elitist and lacking the essential democratic nature of WUWT. In fact – and I going by Roger’s description which I am happy to take on trust – it seems very much to be the kind of “don’t interfere in matters too difficult for you to understand” approach that seems to characterise the worst sort of (climate science) arrogance.

      Not at all, because unlike all other sites it is set up for formal debating between two teams of knowledgeable scientists, warmists and skeptics. That makes up the “above the line” discussion. It is not derailed by half-baked assertions and rudeness from non-experts, which is what Pat Frank eloquently complained of.

      The great thing about WUWT’s approach is that it is highly educative precisely because people with deep knowledge of all sorts of things contribute, scientists provide arguement and rigorous fact correction, “ordinary” people can ask questions and usually get polite answers, dissenters can disagree and yes everyone can let off steam.

      That happens on the Climate Dialogue site too. Persons commenting below the line exchange views with one another and sometimes with those above the line.

      Here’s a link to the site, where you can see for yourself what it was like: http://www.climatedialogue.org The site is no longer supported by the Dutch government, alas.

      • Here’s the contents of the Climate Dialogue’s “About” page:

        Climate Dialogue offers a platform for discussions between (climate) scientists on important climate topics that are of interest to both fellow scientists and the general public. The goal of the platform is to explore the full range of views that scientists have on these issues.

        Each discussion will be kicked off by a short introduction written by the editorial staff, followed by a guest blog by two or more invited scientists. The scientists will start the discussion by reacting to each others’ guest blogs and then arguments will be exchanged moderated by one of the members of the editorial staff. Once the discussion has reached the point where it is clear what the discussants agree or disagree on and why, the editioral staff will round off the discussion. The decision on when that point will have been reached is up to the editorial staff. The objective of Climate Dialogue is not to reach consensus, but rather to stimulate the discussion.

        To round off the discussion on a particular topic, the Climate Dialogue editors will write a summary, describing the areas of agreement and disagreement between the discussants. The participants will be asked to approve this final article, the discussion between the experts on that topic will be closed and the editorial staff will open a new discussion on a different topic.

        The public (including other climate scientists) is also free to comment, but for practical reasons these comments will be shown separately.

        The discovery of a number of errors in the fourth IPCC-report on climate impacts (Working Group II) in early 2010, led to a review of the processes and procedures of the IPCC by the InterAcademy Council (IAC). Many recommendations in this report have been adopted by IPCC. The IAC-report triggered a debate in the Dutch Parliament about the reliability of climate science in general. Based on the IAC recommendation that ‘the full range of views’ should be covered in the IPCC-reports, Parliament asked the government ‘to also involve climate skeptics in future studies on climate change’.

        As a result of this, the Ministry of Infrastructure and the Environment announced a couple of projects that are aimed to increase this involvement. Climate Dialogue is one of these projects.

      • Climate Dialogue has been discontinued due to lack of funding:

        The Ministry of Infrastructure and the Environment stopped financing Climate Dialogue, at which point both PBL Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency and the Royal Netherlands Meteorological Institute (KNMI) stopped their involvement in this project. The blog ClimateDialogue will remain online until 1 January 2016 and Marcel Crok will take on the responsibility for its continuation. Neither PBL nor KNMI will be responsible for any text written after 1 January 2015.

  31. If you want to know anything about anything in today’s world, you search out the discussion boards like this one which host people who have an interest (or more likely a truly obsessive hobby) in some topic.

    Most posters will have been there for several years by now (and even more than a decade). Over that time, they and the board will have accumulated a body of knowledge which is unparalleled in history.

    It can be anything from cameras to golf clubs to birds to basic sciences to gardening to personal lives..

    You need to be able to sort out the wheat from the chaff and find the boards where the real dedicated volunteers are camped out. But discussion boards have become the world’s best experts on almost everything.

    Wait another 10 years and many things will be completely sorted out just by these internet discussion boards.

    • “You need to be able to sort out the wheat from the chaff and find the boards where the real dedicated volunteers are camped out. But discussion boards have become the world’s best experts on almost everything.”

      You are contradicting yourself.
      Read again what you wrote.

  32. “Dr. Judith Curry tips me to this interesting blog post from by”

    Should read either “from” or “by” should it not ?

  33. Interesting. For many the ‘peer review’ thing has become a virtual talisman of ultimate truth and when they use the magical words, what is implied is that this wisdom may not be challenged – because it is ‘peer reviewed!’. If you were to say ‘but there is a serious and very obvious flaw in the reasoning’ of some article under discussion, the answer is often along the lines of ‘but it’s ‘peer reviewed!’ and ‘who are you to challenge that which is thus sanctified?’. It’s as though no discussion is allowed anymore. All that is acceptable is hurling ‘peer reviewed’ papers at each other with no discussion of the contents and he or she who runs out of articles to hurl first loses the argument. Science is in a terrible place right now and needs a complete makeover.

  34. I have only ever been to this blog on climate related issues, having arrived here 6 months back, completely by accident. So I thought for fun I would google climate blogs and see what other climate blogs there are and what they are up to. After all, if the hypothesis is that climate blogs create higher scientific quality than journal articles, then that should apply across the board. Not…

    I came across one called hotwhopper and was surprised that everyone just seemed to be writing the exact same drivel about we are all doomed because of CO2, and more from a perspective of the now disgraced Dr. Mann style. Everybody just repeats the same thing, sort of like if you were in the North Korea climate academy or worse, waiting for the comet to pick you up.

    But what really kind of shocked me was that a lot of the articles and opinions were directed at WUWT, and hostile to Mr. Watts and all his posters, and even all us commenters labelling us all as mentally challenged. Now I certainly wouldn’t say that about all those commenters over there, but more maybe feel a bit compassionate about all those poor folks who are getting a good brainwashing there.

    There is a nice gal over there called Sou, who appears to be the coordinator of that site, and with all the talk about WUWT, it appears she is maybe a wee bit jealous of this site and all the intelligent posts and comments here. She can’t stop talking about us all. And especially Anthony. I think she maybe has a secret crush on you Anthony, based upon her not being able to quit talking about you.

  35. I think I’m just gonna make some spaghetti and save my witty remarks for tomorrow.
    Talk about an opening…..

  36. “The worst case example when it comes to data sharing is the American Psychological Association.”

    That has not changed since the scandal with ‘dissociative identity disorder’:

    As long as the family could pay the treatment, new ‘personalities’ were found in the patient; When the money was gone the patient was declared ‘cured’.


  37. When you want to evaluate scientific claims, you need access to the raw data, the code, and the materials. Most journals do not (yet) require authors to make their data publicly available (whenever possible). [ sic ]

    The worst case example when it comes to data sharing is the American Psychological Association. In the ‘Ethical Principles of Psychologists and Code of Conduct’ of this professional organization that supported torture, point 8.14 says that

    psychologists only have to share data when asked to by ‘competent professionals’

    for the goal to ‘verify claims’, and that these researchers can charge money to compensate any costs that are made when they have to respond to a request for data.

    • Worse yet, many journals that say they require raw data and such to be made available, when push comes to shove, are willing to waive that requirement for certain authors.

  38. Never gave journals a first or second thought until I started hanging out here. The whole setup seems designed to produce something other than knowledge and light. A lay person is surprised at the general mess. Then again I never suspected that Universities were often back biting swamps until i attended one.
    This blog is special and the folks posting have provided a remarkable education in climate and energy.

  39. 6. A published research paper takes about 500 manhours to write, which limits the message, scope, and amount of data presented and number of papers written. This is not the limitation in a blog.

    • This dos allow more scope for speculation on blog, but does not suggest better science. Which would you have more more confidence in, something rattled off in 5 minutes on the back of an envelope or something that a scienist had spent 500 hours preparing? It might be that those 500 hours were wasted, but is is nonsense to suggest that the 5 minute sketch is superior because of the lack of time and attention devoted to it.

  40. Anthony, I know you have made an enormous contribution with your blog. Thank you. You are greatly appreciated. That goes for all the Moderators and helpers too. Kudos.

  41. I agree with the article but caution, all blogs are not equal. The cream rises to the top, however, and separation by quality is easy, if you contain your bias.

  42. I would agree that blogs are better. With my palaeoclimatology peer review paper, I was appalled by the poor knowledge and quality of the reviewers. One reviewer wrote:

    This hypothesis relies on a strong effect of reduced CO2 (during the ice-ages) on vegetation at altitude. I strongly suspect that the calculations showing a 120ppm drop in CO2 at 4000m in the tropics and 65ppmb drop at 2000m in the extra-tropics are completely wrong. Observations of CO2 with altitude show tiny variations (less that 5ppmv, e.g. Olsen & Randerson, 2004, figure 3). So this calculation in table 4 is very likely wrong. This means that the emergence of deserts at sub-190ppmv is not realistic because it is based on flawed calculations. This undermines much of the rest of the manuscript.

    The reviewer was unable to differentiate between a change in concentration, and a change in partial pressure. For instance, the concentration of oxygen in the atmosphere also does not change with altitude, but this does not mean that you can breathe as easily on Mt Everest as at sea level. That is the degree of error being made.

    These sort of errors (the reviewers made a dozen similar errors) would simply not happen on a blog like WUWT, as they would be picked up immediately. Or the two-way discussion with the reviewer would sort out the confusion.


    • The units quoted are concentrations, not partial pressures, which would be in Pascals (or equivalent). I can’t see table 4, but if it specified ppm the reviewer was right.

  43. For a great insight into statistics or popular topics using government data from around the world learn to use Gapminder, the creation of the late Hans Rosling carried forwardby his son. Uou can choose your own lin or log axes and run time series data for a s long as we have it.
    You have to be able to check the data to comment on any paper in energy and climate change. Usually a “back of the envelope” check on the established physics of independently published data gives the BS alert if appropriate. I am lucky, as I trained in physcis (radiation speciality) and electrical engineering and worked in government science and Imperial College before spending the rest of my career in advanced technology business, where you don’t sell it if it doesn’t work as advertised, cost effectively and safely. Same for cars, [lanes, bridges, buildings, etc. ) Consensus won’t do, what bilogists, economists and doctors call science is not approriate to engineering a safe future that works as advertised.
    All my comments come from what works or can work on the physics. I also did modelling (Chemical Process Plant) at IC so experienced how prediction can and can’t work in real systems, but only up to degree level with a bit of PhD research support in there. . In energy it is possible to get all the data you need from government and pan national sources, like the iEA, UN, UK DECC, US has the same.
    KEY POINT: This is all proven science, not unprovable complex empirical models as with climate science, which must always be consesnus because it cannot be proven. So is an unprovable in science fact religion that can be used to justify anything the priests promote to its believers..
    BUT you can check everything on the energy science facts and proven physics before posting, and I do. Mostly. Others seem less interested in such inconvenient science and factual data sets, particularly politicians , lobbysists and greens, who have other agendas that profit them through energy science denial that the technological facts of generation, for example, simply don’t support.
    So they say your facts are opinions and theirs are better opinions. without any hard scientific support for that assertion on the proven science and actual data. Spot the difference betrween science fact and the unproven opinions of hypotheses (unproven guesses)? Watch Feynman on pseudo science for a better and longer but short description.

    Belief in unrpovable so always unknowable climate change modelling is great way to justfy false enrgy solutions, because it diverts the arguemen t away from the hard facts of energy to the unprovable climate models (they have limited data, ov bviously can’t do experimets onthe planetary scale subject, the non linear complex multi variate relationships are extended beyond their kown range, a big statistical fail, and are obviosuly unrepeatable as there is only one continually changing planet, can’t hold other variables constant while modfying one to watch it’s effects on another e.g. “controlled conditions” can’t exist, and the models are all guesses they keep changing to fit, Bit like the Police farming an innocent person. But here Science basics 101 are overtly denied by most in the climate science acedemic bubble. Independnent validation by outsiders who understand ohysics is not their plan.
    …………….they really only have a model, with limited understanding of what its relationships are.
    Journalists are MUCH worse. They largely don’t have the basic foundation in scientific method and its actual application so work on received opinion, no understanding of the basics. . They are usually arts graduates who probably gave up maths as soon as possible and prefer soft logic where they can like things that don’t work best, probably not very numerate so checks at the root level are not possible. Two of my family work for National media and conform to the spec. No tools to validate what they believe from first principals. You will also find politicians in the West hold similar soft degrees, in contrast to the numerate disciplines of half the 20 Chinese politburo, , the PPE degree has very unchallenging economics, lets our hard of maths elite obtain an honours degree, mostly in winning argumets confrontationally instead of proving on the rational facts and laws, the rest of their degree is knowledge of things, not personal deduction from hard laws, or the creation of those laws that anyone can test and find wanting – they hate that discipline.
    Outside of specialist professional periodicals, (but sadly not always – Nature/New Scientist and others are guilty of pubishing opinion as proven science, even the idiotorial pages of professional journals edited by journalists not scientists), editors want something that fits with popular topics, prejudices, public preconceptions they can exploit rather than correct, or meets editoral agendas for propaganda as with the Guardian or BBC in the UK.
    Liberal left opinions are preferred to inconvenient truths of science, no scientists on editorial staff, etc..
    If you would ike examples of how bad this was after Fukushima, watch this experience of Science Media in the UK,16.30 in. How the media behaves re science fact in crises.

    Honest facts were not of interest, because of course, no one died or will die from the contained meltdown of the commercial reactors there. Radiation release with resilient containment is significant but not large, and the actual effects of radiation nowhere near as toxic as a lot of other things, possibly hormetic up to 500 times the lelevels in most cities, a level which can occur naturally around our radioactive world.
    Not what editors want to print, doesn’t “whip up a frenzy” of quite irrational fear, as another national journalist friend of my daughters said as he left one day .
    I have been a scientist professional in the energy and radiation and risk area, when we believed the current craft beliefs because the science had not yet been understood, versus a craft practitioners who sy till used the dispoved LNT approachto radiation, and other hazards where low levels are harmless, natural and can be beneficial.
    On the hard science my focus is on the fake relationship on the science facts between net CO2 emission and putting intermittent and weak renewable energy on the grid, as well as the wholly false approach to radiation and risk on the now available science and epidemiology of dose and dose effects.
    So much rubbish is printed, using data that has not been independently corroborated, as fake news from pretend scientists, that the provable facts have been buried, AKA the truth. The goal of these organisations is to shout down the science facts with made up stuff.
    As well as the realities of deploying renewables on the grid ihat make all the things claimed to be better expesnively worse in fact for fast buck, on the hard physics, the UNSCEAR reports on Chernobyl and Fukushima tell you all you neeed to know about radiation risks at civilian generating plants, same for 3 Mile Island. But no one one in the media, extremist pressure groups or troughing politics wants you to spoil what sells for therm, at your expense. Or Hollywood.
    Get what happened in the UK with a respected science media communications service – who use independent expert scientists who volunteer their input, not pressure group so called concerned “scientists”/ “experts”. The mass media prefer the extremist organisations whose experts are pseudo scientists in this area, Osteopath, medical doctors, – hard of physics and scientific proof at the necessary level Feynman describes above.
    The energy science denial points are already well discussed here, basically around the facts of CO2 emissions, energy density and intermittency, actual sustainability as viable sources after fossil, and the cost related impact of these fundamental physics. I lecture on this.
    Here’s an image for you re facts and fear. For an interesting set of You Tube videos watch the radiation physicist shovelling radioactive sand over herself while mixing elevated background radiation bathing (a medical therapeutic treatment in fact, something Germans also do down mines) with sun bathing on the Monazite Beaches of Brazil, you can do this yourself, here and elsewhere. This is reality, not media nonsense. It may be a fact that many established Health Spas around the World are much more radioactive than elsewhere, perhaps beacuse of more radioactive releases from the geo thermal water sources, elevated background enhances the immune system, so a study may be interesting. Ramsar Iran at 300mSv pa, is 15 timse the Fukushima evacuation level, and the most famous. NO epidemiological evidence of adverse health effects. Thers ia much argued belief among radiation workers that they live longer and die less of cancer, you can research that 😉

    Note – this is FAR more radioactive that you see know-nowt journalists in hazmat suits and meters getting hysterical about on the news, and with no detectable short or long term epidemiological risk. They don’t want you to know the inconvenient truth.
    Especially not Al Gore, who is unable to prove most of the assertions of his Inconvenient Truth on climate 19 years on, and whose effect has diverted $Billions from Extreme Weather defences that can save lives, to the pockets of renewable energy lobbyists who impose regressive solutions that can’t on the grid, that also make CO2 emissions per KWh avoidably worse, energy supply intermittent, expensive and insecure, and leave people at risk from weather.. You could claim Gore is a mass murderer, in consequential science fact. Politician, heal thyself.
    I could go on. The only thing that suffers in this debate is the truth, as defined in science fact, not science fiction. But the masses seem not to want to know about science fact. It isn’t simple tribal belief, doesn’t create fear or excitement, doesn’t make easy money for lobbysits, politicians and insiders, sell papers. or justify extremist religions of climate change, anti-nuclear, anti GM, anti vaccination, anti-technology throwbacl Malthusians like Greenpeace et al, who know what’s good for you. So I blame people. We need the next ice age to become Neanderthal 2.0, so sometjhing more rational and smarter can evolve. Perhaps.

  44. Why are blogs different ?

    1. You can write WTF you like with little or no risk to your reputation in the real world or your career if posted anonymously as many do. So you can be totally truthful to what you really believe (no need to bite your tongue !).

    2. Despite some accusations (!) we actually don’t get paid to write this stuff. So it is your own tune not the piper payer’s.

    3. With light moderation the threads can often wander off into random areas and new insights can be obtained. A bit like brainstorming.

    4. No qualifications to join in so we end up with a wide church of many specialists and many generalists plus the very useful “innocent babes” who can spot and speak of the emperor’s clothes (or lack of).

    5. On any topic there are almost always several blogs with different flavours. The difference is massively wider than the difference you get in scientific journals.

    6. There is usually no peer pressure to conform to a particular agenda or political view.

    7. It’s a text media and tends to invite challenges to the “rules”. A poster who types Na2i to get round the filter will often have something clever to say about things other than H1tl3rZ works.

    • >>>4. wide church.

      That is important. If you write a wide ranging paper, the reviewers only understand 20% of it.


  45. Blogs are good when they quote peer-reviewed research. Otherwise not.

    I read WUWT and Science Magazine regularly. Mistakes and bad writing occur in each, but Science Magazine is consistently of far higher quality.

  46. If this premise were acceted it would be the end of science as we know it. There is much nonsense published here, but this takes the biscuit.

    There is a place for blogs – but replacing science is not it.

    To suggest that this can replace peer reviewed science is simply deluded. Every creationist, anti vax, anti-GMO, anti nuclear blog likes to pretend they are science, but they are not. They are a conduit for people to express their opinions and bounce some ideas around. That is a valid space, bt it ain’t science mate.

    • seaice1 said just above “…If this premise…” What premise are you referring to? We need the “Willis Rule” about CLEARLY stating what you are referring to!

      Out of curiosity, when was the last time you did a peer review?

      • I believe he’s saying that allowing anyone to do science is a bad idea. Only those with official approval should be allowed to do science. The rest of us should limit ourselves to genuflecting at the appropriate points in the ceremony.

      • Mark – indeed!

        Last summer, the little girl next door (5 y.o.) was turning over rocks. “What are you doing?” “Looking for ants.” “Are there ants under every rock?” “No – just the flat rocks.”

        I was astounded. She had made an observation, formed a hypothesis, and was performing an experiment. That’s three intrusions. Just now it occurs to me that she was guilty of a fourth. In telling me what she learned, she had released a result without proper peer review!

      • “What premise are you referring to?” That blog posts are of higher scientific quality than Journal articles, as it says in the title. It is a few years since I was on either side of peer review. How about you?

      • seaice1 said in part, April 18, 2017 at 5:12 am, “..…It is a few years since I was on either side of peer review. How about you?…..”

        My inquiry related to the old joke about watching sausage and the Law being made and still tolerating either. Your admiration for peer review suggested non-participation, and you didn’t actually answer my

        For myself, I am retired and haven’t reviewed anything for five years. I did write about peer review (see link in April 15 comment above in this thread) in 2013 (with other links there) and recently (yesterday!) posted a fuller 9-page discussion written in 2014:

        If you do read this material, and have any inclination to reply, please feel free to email me directly (Google my name).

    • Somehow science managed to progress spectacularly from 1543 until California mandated peer review in 1997. Einstein was quite right to denigrate the idea.

      So-called peer review has never been of any use, but since the 1980s became a huge negative, once corrupted by pal review, a self-perpetuating priesthood enforcing orthodoxy.

    • Translation: It’s awful that ideas that I disagree with are allowed to see the light of day.
      The world was so much better when only those ideas that were officially approved were allowed out in the open.

      PS: I love the way the troll tries to lump WUWT in with creationist, ant-vaxers, etc. As if the world was a binary situation. IE, there’s officially approved science and everything else is junk.

      PPS: It’s only science when the high priests of science say it’s science.

      • I did not lump WUWT in with ant-vaxers (those in favor of innoculating insects?) etc. The headline says blogs, it does not say WUWT, or or certain sub-section of blogs. If we were to accept that blog posts were high scientific quality than journals we must include all blogs.

      • seaice1 said above in part on April 18, 2017 at 5:18 am: “…..I did not lump WUWT in with [anti]-vaxers […..] etc……”

        but seaice1had already said in part on April 16, 2017 at 3:53 pm “….. Every creationist, anti vax, anti-GMO, anti nuclear blog likes to pretend they are science, but they are not……”

        which is, at best, careless on seaice1’s part, if he is NOT intending to lump.

        Authors such as Jerry Coyne in his book “Faith Versus Fact…” (Penguin 2015) annoyingly, GRATUITOUSLY, and counter-productively lumps those who deny CAGW with creationism in a section “Global–Warming Denialism” (pp 245-250). He is arrogantly telling us that he gets to tell us what science is and is not, and if you disagree – shut up (he is, in fact, a proud censor!).

  47. misanthropic is for man that don’t like any anthropoii wether male nor female;

    misogyni is reserved for anthropoii disliking females.

  48. I used to read WUWT ALL the time. Alas I went blind on account of the sheer volume of SCIENCE! Carry on soldiers!

    (Btw, I think Suri is cheating on me with Michael Mann….I cannot be sure, because of my blind and lying eyes…..But Suri keeps interrupting herself while reading me the posts here at WUWT with unsolicited commentary such as; “no, I can’t marry you, ” and “I am not programmed for THAT,” and “you MUST OBEY Michael Mann,” and all these jokes that start with the premise: “Ok, so Algore and Anthony Watts walk into a bar….etc…..”)

    I now have a cane, a half blind seeing eye dog, and a blue handicap sticker on my Ford F250.

    All because of SCIENCE. Can you all tone it down a few decibels?

    * ~ )


  49. Absolutely no doubt about it. Blogs do the research and check their facts, media do not do either. I read EUReferendum.com on the European Union and his pieces are “second to none”. Thoroughly researched and checked whereas the UK socialist main stream media are hopeless and print rubbish.

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