Last call to vote for Weblog Awards

By Phil Plait | November 8, 2007 2:47 pm

Note: somehow, I thought the voting ended tomorrow. In fact, it ends at 5:00 p.m. Eastern time today.

Criminy, this web award thingy is getting some attention.

Boing Boing posted on it, as well as Fark, Point-oh, Cognitive Daily, Sadly, No! and many others (even BuzzFeed!).

What silliness!

Let’s be clear: this whole thing is really just a skewed popularity contest. Skewed because people can vote more than once, and because bloggers across many websites can exhort their readers to vote for one blog over another, without the voters even knowing anything about the sites.

There are ironies abounding. I was going to be low-key about this, because although it was fun to play the silly game PZ and I did last year, I didn’t want to irritate my readers again. :-) But then Climate Audit jumped in and said some things about the BABlog that weren’t true (though it has been updated to more closely represent reality since then [Update (Nov 10, 2007): Looking back at some blogs posting on this topic at that time, it appears that heat was rising before Climate Audit said anything about me. It doesn't look like Steve McIntyre at CA started this; like me, he was responding to what he saw elsewhere.]). I thought about it, and decided to defend myself.

I didn’t ask for this, and was going to avoid it, but now, well, here we are.

And now we see an anti-global warming site — and it would be dishonest to call it anything else; although others have defended it saying he only attacks those who misuses statistics, where are his attacks on those who use GW statistics to deny it exists? — pulling ahead, partially because some antiscience sites (cough cough Junk Science) are pushing for it.

So I had to wade in to this. I’ll be very honest: a couple of days ago PZ and I were neck-and-neck, and I was considering endorsing him instead of me if he started to pull ahead, at least so that a real science site would win the award. Instead, I started eking out a lead, and he endorsed me.

Here’s the voting panel. If you see the actual stats, it means you’ve voted in the last 24 hours. If you see the list of blogs with buttons to vote, then go ahead. I’d appreciate your vote, but only if you really do like this site. Otherwise, come back Saturday or Sunday, and I’ll be on the science and politics you know and love/hate as usual. :-)

Incidentally, Wil Wheaton is up for Best Celebrity Blog, and it’s close with some guy I’ve never heard of. Show Wil the Man (or otherwise) love.

Comments (128)

  1. Wil the Man will be shown love.

    >> Let’s be clear: this whole thing is really just a skewed popularity contest. Skewed because people can vote more than once, and because bloggers across many websites can exhort their readers to vote for one blog over another, without the voters even knowing anything about the sites.

    Praise the Fanged God, you made it official. ;)

  2. Michelle

    Unfortunately it looks like you will be #2. Too bad! :P

  3. Waitaminute. Kanye West has a blog? Do I want to see this, or will this just remind me of my crack when they started hooking transponders to pidgeons for blogosphere tracking that “the average intelligence of the blogosphere just doubled?”

    I mean, seriously. Political commentary aside, those sunglasses he wears in the music video I only watched because there were Akira bikes in it–the sunglasses that looked like they were made of Venetian blinds or a door vent–just made him look stupid. Was there a point to those, or not?

  4. Climate Audit is winning?! :(

  5. Looks like too little, too late in the cause of science.

    I hate it when the part me that feels the U.S. is on a long decline is vindicated and gloats over the optimistic part of me.

    On the upside it looks like Wil Wheaton and Neil Gaiman are taking their categories!

  6. Update:

    Kanye West’s blog is about as one-dimensional as you would’ve expected.

    Vote for Wil. He makes the world safe for Timocracy.

    So sayeth The Centipede.

  7. Michelle

    …I’m really gonna get hung or shot or stabbed here but… Who’s Wil Wheaton?

  8. Michelle– SHOCK! HORROR!

    Search my blog on his name. You’ll see. :-)

  9. Mike M.

    Aw, c’mon, Phil! So you got beat like a rented mule. It happens. I suggest drinking heavily this weekend on someone else’s tab. Like your buddy at Phangoria.

  10. Michelle

    I know I know. I’m a shame!

    Oh… Star trek dude. Gotcha. :P

  11. paul

    Phil,

    Again with the feigned honesty. A “real” science blog. What twaddle. Like the child that kicks another beneath the table and says “I didn’t do anything”.

    Graceless, devoid of a “real” scientific approach when confronted by you own political and social priors.

    This poll matters for no other reason than you can have nothing further to crow about.

  12. Jarret D.

    Search ‘climate audit’ on digg and digg up the story that is promoting the campaign for BA. Right now it has 25 diggs, which is close to crossing the threshold to get the story on the front page.

  13. paul

    Deltoid cough cough.

  14. Doc

    “Phangoria” … ouch!

  15. Robert Dennis

    I’m extremely disappointed to see ClimateAudit referred to here as an “anti-global warming” website. It is NOT an anti-global warming website. The blog’s author, Steve McIntyre is explicitly NOT a global warming skeptic.

    The real benefit of this “popularity contest” is that it helps publicize interesting blogs some of us might never know existed. I will check out Bad Astronomy (and some of the other nominees) because of this spirited competition with ClimateAudit.

  16. Doc

    Robert,

    Get real. No one here but the CA shills are believing your BS. How many Anti-GW studies has Steve McIntyre “audited”?

    He “audits” the data of AGW proponents exclusively, even when it’d be really easy pickings to go after an equal number of AGW opponents.

    Stevie is just a “pocket-scientist” for the denialists.

  17. Mark

    Hey, I just voted for you and never heard of this site before. Yea, that is stupid, but better than the alternative.

  18. The people who think McIntyre is not a global warming skeptic probably also think that “teach the controversy” is a smart tactic for improving science education. The pious protestations from hacks that they’re merely trying to discuss the science are familiar to anyone involved in the evolution/creationism wars.

  19. ABR

    As long as this Weblog Awards thingee is going to be a popularity contest, what about swimsuit and talent competitions?

  20. Mango

    Being an “anti-global warming” website sounds pretty good to me.

    I don’t like global warming either. I think it’s terrible.

  21. Michelle

    ABR: Well, we seen Phil with a telescope…

  22. Robert Dennis

    I’m happy to shill for Climate Audit, because I read it. And McIntyre is not a global warming skeptic because he has said so…repeatedly.

    As to why he hasn’t “audited” anti-AGW studies: well, Naomi Oreskes said there ARE no anti-AGW papers (at least not peer-reviewed papers), so what’s to audit (moral: you can’t have it both ways)?

    It is certainly true that CA attracts a lot of skeptics, but so did Roger Pielke, Sr’s now-retired website (http://climatesci.colorado.edu/), and Pielke, a meterologist is also explicitly not a global warming skeptic. Had Pielke’s site been in the competition, I probably would have voted for it over CA, because it is truly an excellent blog on the subject of climate in all its many aspects.

  23. cbone

    “He “audits” the data of AGW proponents exclusively, even when it’d be really easy pickings to go after an equal number of AGW opponents.”

    No, he ‘audits’ the papers that get the most attention. Your argument avoids the real issue. That is, that Steve has found major flaws in some of the arguments for AGW. You are letting your political bias blind you to the real issues. If you were focusing on the science you would endorse Steve’s work, because in the end our understanding of climate is expanded when we eliminate the weak analysis.

  24. Freddy

    Re: Docon 08 Nov 2007 at 3:39 pm

    … He “audits” the data of AGW proponents exclusively, even when it’d be really easy pickings to go after an equal number of AGW opponents. …

    What is an equivalently statistics-heavy paper by an AGW opponent that you would suggest he audit ?

  25. Freddy

    Phil :
    … where are his attacks on those who use GW statistics to deny it exists? …

    Can you give an example of what you are referring to here ?

  26. per

    it is kind of disappointing to see climate audit described as an anti-global warming site. McIntyre has explicitly disavowed such a position. BA has not provided any evidence that he does support such a position.

    What McIntyre does do is check out various scientific studies. He has been able to poke holes in a number of very prestigious studies, and expose them as unreliable.

    Contrary to comment above, this notion of testing science, is extremely important. After all, if you can go through a piece of science, and fail to find anything wrong with it, this is powerful evidence that the science is good.

    I don’t see that name-calling does anyone any good.

  27. Mango

    I just want one clarification, because I had never heard of Climate Audit until this week.

    Are his ‘audits’ always peer-reviewed and published in scientific literature?

    I am aware of the hockey stick rebuttal he did with Ross McKitrick, and IIRC that *was* peer-reviewed. But I’m speaking generally.

    If he is honest about making a serious contribution to the climate change discussion, scientific journals have to be where it happens. If he is forgoing the publishing process and posting straight to a blog, then he’s not serious. That would be called being a hack.

    If his blog topics are based on accepted and published literature, then I have no beef with calling Climate Audit a scientific blog.

  28. Kristen Byrnes

    Dear Bad Astronomy,

    I wish to congratulate you on a fun and well run contest (I was rooting for the other guy). You came close to an impressive 20,000 votes which I am sure is a record. I wish you well with your book and your blog and all of the rest.

    Kristen Byrnes

  29. >> As long as this Weblog Awards thingee is going to be a popularity contest, what about swimsuit and talent competitions?

    I’d actually pay money to see that. Actually, I’d probably fund such a thing, because after all the blood pressures raised over this silliness I think everyone could do with a good laugh.

  30. Gunner

    “…others have defended it [Climate Audit] saying he only attacks those who misuses statistics…”

    Sure, you bet. I can’t think of a better name for a blog about the misuse of statistics than “Climate Audit”.

  31. Jeremy Friesen

    He isn’t so much forgoing the publishing process as compiling notes along with the help of thousands of helpful contributors, refining theories, and compiling data which may be turned into a publication in the future.

    Many, including McKitrick, have been pushing him to do some specific articles for peer-reviewed journals, but he doesn’t seem to want to until he’s sure what he has to say is bulletproof. Right now, he’s just in a note-taking brain-storming phase, from what I can tell.

  32. Eisnel

    I mass emailed all of my friends to go vote for Wil Wheaton! He must beat that NBA player! It’s a Nerds vs Jocks war!!!111

    Isn’t it interesting that the number of votes in the Celebrity category is far less than the voting activity in the Science category? Even if voting has been taken over by shills who aren’t the least bit interested in science, it seems like sort of a “win” that a Science category would get this much more attention… even though a lot of the attention may be insincere. … Any press is good press?

  33. Hoi Polloi

    “The people who think McIntyre is not a global warming skeptic probably also think that “teach the controversy” is a smart tactic for improving science education. The pious protestations from hacks that they’re merely trying to discuss the science are familiar to anyone involved in the evolution/creationism wars.” Grapes are sour, eh PZ?

  34. Just The Facts

    So this website is supposed to be related to science? Then how come all the alarmists lurking here don’t get the basis of science – proving a hypotheses through observations of reality (either natural or experimental).

    The alarmist hypotheses: That human CO2 emissions are driving a catastrophic warming of the earth’s climate system.

    The facts:

    - Unadjusted temperature records (HADCRUT3) show that temperatures peaked 10 years ago and are on a downward trend (note particularly those of the southern hemisphere!)
    - Adjusting for cooling caused by the eruption of El Chichon in 1982 and Pinatubo in 1991, shows little or no warming trend for 25 years!
    - Solar activity over the last few cycles has been at levels not seen in 8,000 years!
    - Solar activity is now declining and is predicted to drop to levels not seen in centuries over the next 2 cycles (25 years)
    - Ocean current changes (AMDO, PDO/Pacific Climate Shift) play a key role in some of the temperature swings that have been observed through the 20th century. Alarmists seem to completely ignore this!!

    The hope:

    - This nonsense will get settled over the next 5 years as temperatures continue to decline.

  35. JS

    Mango,

    Part of the attraction of Blogs is they do not have a publishing lag that runs to years – could you imagine a slow-motion exchange that took place over 10 years with each party going back and forward each couple of years? Another is that part of the point of journals is to publish papers that are then subject to scrutiny by other scientists (although the practice diverges from this somewhat). Just because a journal article is published and peer-reviewed doesn’t mean it is right. Once published they can be subject to consideration, but journals don’t generally publish boring technical papers that just point out errors in other papers. The other is that you have to wait a few years before any responses are likely to come out.

    In the end Science is merely about whether or not the article/criticism is correct. Not where it was published. Journals have a higher signal to noise ratio – but the noise is still there. In the end you have to make up your own mind.

    As for Steve McIntyre’s audits – part of the problem is that many of the original authors refuse to disclose their data and calculations (journal articles are rarely sufficient to allow replication – try it yourself one day). It is hard to audit and check for problems if the journal authors refuse to provide their underlying data. While you might have thought that the point of journals was to encourage discussion, and the point of science was to verify by replication, the practice is somewhat lacking. One of Steve McIntyre’s more persuasive points is that a number of prominent researchers refuse to allow verification by withholding their data and code. Regardless of the truth of the matter, refusing to release data is not the way science should be done.

  36. I’m immensely disappointed that a fun, informative, and entertaining science blog lost out to what is really a very dry and mostly inaccessible blog. I’m an amateur mathematician who loves statistics, but I think a good science blog makes the material accessible to people who aren’t intensely familiar with the subject matter. I’m crushed to see what should have been a contest over content succumb to vote stacking, regardless of the contest’s validity.

  37. Mango

    “He isn’t so much forgoing the publishing process as compiling notes along with the help of thousands of helpful contributors, refining theories, and compiling data which may be turned into a publication in the future.”

    But that sounds just like an excuse for hackery.

    Separating truth from BS is really hard, especially where we deal with complex natural systems. Therefore we create formal mechanisms to help us. It’s not perfect, but the way we build bodies of formal knowledge through systems of publishing and peer review is by far the best mechanism we have to do this.

    When you are operating outside that system, there are no good checks. The blogosphere has no standards of evidence, accepted methodologies, or forums for pressing rational arguments. Hearsay and confirmation bias rule the day, with rational voices commonly getting drowned out by trolling and flamewars.

    There’s nothing wrong with posting ideas on-line, but unless you can fall back on the formal body of knowledge, it should be considered speculative and tentative. Trying to make positive assertions based on incomplete assertions and unpublished ideas is ludicrous.

  38. @Phil

    What the heck is going on with Wil’s poll? When I voted for him yesterday I would have sworn that he had more than twice as many votes as his nearest opponent.Must have been a late surge…

  39. Top ten misspellings of “Pharyngula”

    10. Poorangular

    9. Pearangerla

    8. Phyroangelic

    7. Peterangelo

    6. Pheronugetular

    5. Pintobumperular

    4. Protosquid

    3. Prontopharmacy

    2. Prefrontallobotomius

    1. ProtoPZula

  40. Mango

    @JS: The first part of your post I already answered — published papers aren’t guaranteed to be right (probably most aren’t) but they have passed a minimum level of scrutiny for methods and sanity. Blog posts have no mechanism for providing this at all, and worse, are subject to all sorts of measurable biases because of lack of standardized methodologies. Also, they provide an aggregate basis of claims that can be cited and rebutted by *other* papers. Blogs, useful as they are for certain types of information, fall terribly short for these purposes.

    “One of Steve McIntyre’s more persuasive points is that a number of prominent researchers refuse to allow verification by withholding their data and code.”

    This sounds like it would be fairly serious, if generally true. I do remember someone raising a concern about this with the hockey stick graph (right wing punditry made a big stink about it). When I did some due diligence on the situation, I found Michael Mann actually *had* provided his data set to McKitrick and McIntyre, with some delay because they had some issues setting up an FTP server. They posted the e-mail exchanges on the subject as proof.

    Can anyone comment on it being generally the case that climate researchers are publishing papers and refusing to allow independent verification? Do they offer a reason for doing this?

  41. Thadd

    Sorry Phil, it looks like your only chance now is the recount.

  42. J. D. Mack

    What really matters is that XKCD won the best comic strip contest!

    J. D.

  43. Jason_L

    Phil,

    Congratulations on doing very well in the poll. I own your previous book and I’ve heard you on Coast to Coast. My favorite was your debate with Nancy Lieder.

    However, I’m disappointed in your disparaging remarks about ClimateAudit. I’m skeptical of skeptics as well, but Steve McIntyre has done some very good work. Despite what some have alleged here, he has published articles in a variety of journals. He was also an IPCC reviewer. If you’d give his work an honest look, you’d find that he’s doing some really good and badly needed work.

  44. >> What really matters is that XKCD won the best comic strip contest!

    Yes, but Wil Wheaton lost to a ball thrower.

    This is a day of crime and glory for nerddom, not to mention Commander Suzdal.

  45. Dodo

    Mango: “If he is honest about making a serious contribution to the climate change discussion, scientific journals have to be where it happens. If he is forgoing the publishing process and posting straight to a blog, then he’s not serious. That would be called being a hack.”

    No, that would be called being a blogger – and the best blogger of 2007 to boot. If you are really interested in what Steve M. has to say about the quality of work in the paleoclimate reconstructions field, go and visit CA. You might even want to ask him directly about “global warming”, whatever you mean by it.

    A good place to start would be here: http://www.climateaudit.org/?p=2322

  46. Marko

    For what it’s worth, Climate Audit now has a blogroll with one entry, and it is a link to Bad Astronomy.

  47. Steve Huntwork

    Bad Astronomy and Climate Audit are two of my favorite blogs and I am thrilled to see both of them getting the recognition that they have earned.

    As a meteorologist and an amature astronomer, both of these subjects have intersected in my life many times, and I appreciate learning new things from both.

    Keep up the good work Phil.

  48. Paul

    To Phil and others on this site.

    Go have a lok at CA and Steve MacInture’s comments throughout this petty squabble and final comment slogged after the close of the poll.

    Then compare them with those of Phil Plait here.

  49. Theo Richel

    Mango, please check the source yourself. Several of your questions are to the point and you will find all the answers you need at climateaudit.org. As far as I know McIntyre doesnt carry a gun and all his experiences with Mann et all are written down and accessible (and for instance disprove your assumption that Mann supplied the data). He has also just published a wrapup for newbies, which you find here.
    This is the link: http://www.climateaudit.org/?p=2322

    Please read it and put your questions to him.

  50. KC Griffin

    It is quite apparent that there is little knowledge here about CA. And yes, they have audited, done an on-line peer review, on papers supporting a sceptic AGW position. I checked out this blog because of the contest. Frankly, you didn’t show me much. You may call CA boring but I would call it thoughtful which seems to be lacking here. Are you coming to the victory celebration?
    Cheers!

  51. @paul

    [dispensingwithmaturity] What the hell crawled up your butt? [/dispensingwithmaturity]

  52. Carl

    Mango: The main delay-of-data/code issue that comes to mind is that of the code used to adjust raw temperatures in U.S. surface stations. McIntyre actually had to reverse engineer parts of their methods (because they, over months [over a year? not sure on that], did not give him the code that they are obligated to provide as U.S. government entities) to find the error that also circulated in the right-wing blogosphere. He also has a nice post about Juckes 2007, a paper that went through a joke of an approval process (McIntyre reviewed it, pointed out many problems not independent of the hockey stick problem, and the paper was published without those errors corrected or even addressed).

    He just posted something yesterday (or the day before) about people dragging their feet on giving him data.

  53. Thadd

    Will people please stop saying

    ” he has published articles in a variety of journals”

    This means nothing, lots of crap, lies, pseudo-science, apologetics, and honestly wrong papers get published in even the best peer reviewed journals, it happens for better or worse. However, being published is proof of nothing more than the ability to write an original and generally readable paper that passed review. This says nothing about correct conclusions in the end and certainly nothing about any lack of personal agenda.

  54. Sam Urbinto

    Mango. Anyone, really. Steve sometimes goes a little over the top in the wording in his posts or emails, but check out some of the email exchanges he’s had with some of the people (especially paleo). There are a number of tree ring series, for example, that haven’t been “archived” (put in a public place) for years or even decades. When they’re asked, many either refuse or ignore. The last example, a PhD thesis with “new” (5 years old) proxies (Sheep Mountain I believe), Steve asked for them, and was not even answered. A reader of Climate Audit called the person, and she said her lawyer had told her not to send the data, the inquiry had been improper, and his next email bounced. Or Lonnie Thompson; hasn’t published the Bona-Churchil ice cores from 2002. etc

    Then we get into the fact the trees that are used by Mann et al haven’t been updated in over 20 years. So what did Steve do? Eventually, he went and cored some, no doubt due to people telling him “well if you want them, do it yourself” in the blogosphere.

    Maybe he’ll use the data for the papers quite a few folks have told him he should do. Eventually. He’s spending more time trying to replicate this stuff to get there, to put out some new work that’s not just a re-hash of old work. But for some reason, nobody much seems to want to have their work replicated, so Steve spends his time trying to get the data and/or the algorithms. If people want a paper, they should help him get to a point where he’s not spending his time trying to get the data and/or algorithms.

    Or check out some of the things that Hansen has publically written or said about Steve. (Although now that I think about it, if Steve is doing the work, isn’t he one now? Anyway.)

    Read about the debacle over “the code” used to do the NASA GISS adjustments, either on CA or on Real Climate. They eventually released it; numbers of compentent programmers can’t make it run. One created a replacement (not as good as getting the original to run, oh well) and got it running in like a day. But the GISS code? After it was released? Yes, they started changing their methods without initially (or at all, I forget) even announcing it, changing ships in midstream as it were. They are openly hostile and I haven’t seen any transparancy. If it looks like a duck and quacks like a duck…. They have even stated “Why would I give you my work if you’re just going to rip it apart?” Gee, come on now.

    Here’s the deal. You have a retired exectutive, a mathematician and an ex-advisor to the Canadian government. He sees MBH99 and thinks it odd, so checks it statistically – and it uses improper methodology. Papers since then are based upon it. All the writers of the papers are also the peer reviewers. None are statistics experts. But they look down on Steve, because he’s “not a climatologist” Heck, based upon their actions, neither are they. Be that as it may, the US Congress becomes interested in this – it is publically funded after all. The Energy and Commerce subcommitte on Oversite and Investigation goes to statisticians to investigate what is actually there, (and from what I understand) the most qualified statistician there is in the world says he’ll do it. And that isn’t all. Dr. Wegman is a chairman of an NAS committee, and so is part of the IPCC overall. Not some right-wing nut-job skeptic outsider. He investigates and agrees – MM’s work found a flaw, MBH99 can’t prove anything because the statistics are bad. Dr. North, who’s done work for NAS but is at Texas A&M, agrees with Dr. Wegman (although Dr. North also said just because it doesn’t prove it’s good doesn’t prove it’s not correct). The NAS said, basicallly, bristlecones are not good temperature proxies. And yet the data is still being used and is incomplete. Dr. Wegman was able to reproduce the MM methods — But the MBH methods were not reproduceable.

    You don’t have to listen to me, here’s the transcript: http://frwebgate.access.gpo.gov/cgi-bin/getdoc.cgi?dbname=109_house_hearings&docid=f:31362.wais

    So, Steve finds interesting, mainstream, peer-reviewed, published papers. He reviews them (audits them) for statistical validity. What is in the mainstream, peer-reviewed, published papers? That’s what you get. Have you seen the level of detail he goes into, out in the open, and provding his work for replication? It’s all on his site. What skeptic papers are interesting, mainstream, peer-reviewed and published?

    It seems about half the time the data isn’t archived, and most of the time Steve is refused the data for the unarchived stuff.

    Anyway, read more about the contest and what Steve thinks about it, but please no thermodynamics, politics, or religion in the comments.

    http://www.climateaudit.org/?p=2327 “Why is this left and right?”

    Then a question. Is knowing if we have valid accurate data, that we’re not understating the problem; isn’t that a good thing?

    I’ll tell you. For me, I don’t care at all what the answer is. I just want to know what it is, from some sort of independent verification. I’d like to know if we have it correctly.

    PS

    Do I post over there at CA? A lot. Yep. I don’t think Steve’s hardly ever directly talked to me over there (most of my stuff is rhetorical or designed to stop people from arguing about something they’re just misunderstanding each other on) and he’s “snipped” me plenty of times when I get too into a subject (I don’t do it often) I’ve never met him. I just find what he’s doing interesting. He could be a lying jerk neocon with ulterior motives (not that I’d care). I’ve never seen him say or do anything to make me think that. Well he gets a little huffy on the blog or email sometimes, but that’s to be expected. I’ve never had any reason given to me to doubt what he says or does. I don’t know him from Adam, except I follow the AGW debate. I have no reason to doubt what he says.

    I think you’ll find it hard to find many people over there that would disagree that A) The anomaly we’re seeing is growing, and B) Humans influence the weather short-term and therefore the climate long-term. We mostly also accept the determinations of the IPCC.

    And you know who’s side I’m on? That’s correct. MY side.

    And if that’s “cheerleading” then so be it.

  55. Huron

    Both Wil and Bad Astronomy lost? NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  56. Thom

    You may have lost out to the denialists at Climate Audit, but the presence of so many denialist trollers is definite proof that you have arrived as an important blogger.

    Now you’ve just got to start banning some of the worst trollers to keep this site semi-sane.

  57. John A

    Phil,

    CA is not “anti-global warming”. CA is anti-abuse-of-statistics-by-some-scientists. There’s nothing on CA that says that climate change is not happening or that a little, some or all of it may be man-made.

    But as far as reconstructions of past climate using proxies like tree-rings, Steve McIntyre is right on the ball with his criticism, and his criticism is substantive and replicable.

    If you have a criticism of him, Phil why not ask Steve McIntyre some questions?

  58. Steve Huntwork

    Sam Urbintoon:

    Your summary was rather well written and I agree with it.

    For Steve McIntyre’s tromping around in the mountains for three day and coring many of the original Graybill trees, that alone, should have earned him this year’s blog award for his outstanding scientific contributions.

    http://www.climateaudit.org/?p=2221

  59. Fiz

    “Let’s be clear: this whole thing is really just a skewed popularity contest. Skewed because people can vote more than once, and because bloggers across many websites can exhort their readers to vote for one blog over another, without the voters even knowing anything about the sites.”

    Wow. Isn’t that just like that Public Radio Quest? [/ironymeter[

  60. Robert Dennis

    Someone asked why McIntyre doesn’t audit anti-AGW studies. Here, in his own words, is why.

    I’d like to echo Kristen Byrnes’s comments and remind people that the real benefit of this competition was that we got to know a few more good blogs.

  61. Alan G

    ‘So I had to wade in to this. I’ll be very honest: a couple of days ago PZ and I were neck-and-neck, and I was considering endorsing him instead of me if he started to pull ahead, at least so that a real science site would win the award. Instead, I started eking out a lead, and he endorsed me.’

    This is just pathetic. Statistics are vital to almost all fields of science. To label Climate-audit as not a real science site is beneath someone who proclaims to be scientific themselves and a skeptic.

    It is obvious you would prefer to make massive, drastic changes to the world without accurate information as long as it agrees with your ideological agenda.

    You are a disgrace.

  62. theduke

    Doc said of Steve McIntyre: “He ‘audits’ the data of AGW proponents exclusively, even when it’d be really easy pickings to go after an equal number of AGW opponents.”

    If AGW “opponents” were claiming a “consensus” or that the “science is settled,” he’d be going after them also.

    Skepticism is the immune system of the scientific method. If the immune system stops working, then science becomes susceptible to disease.

  63. CanuckInMI

    Hey, Just to let you know since you sound a little perturbed that you’re not winning the “popularity contest”. I’ve not heard of your blog before, but I have heard of others in the contest “climate audit” which I rather enjoy and “smalldeadanimals” which I surf regularly. Honestly I don’t think you should think of this as a winner take all who is the best contest at all, but rather an opportunity to put your blog out there for those of us who haven’t yet seen it. I’m quite interested and plan to stop back here and see what’s going on. If you’re coming second in the voting, you must have something here thats worth looking at!

  64. AnonIrritated

    It will be a lot faster to finish auditing global warming studies when they stop hiding their data and procedures. When they don’t release their information it’s awfully hard to check their work. And errors keep popping up…

  65. Sam Urbinto

    Any publicity is good publicity. I see this as a win-win (and congrats on notching up science in the blogoshphere and the ‘net, and such a fun race for this little interesting dealy!)

    Steve Huntwork, thanks!
    (Or is that Huntworkon? :) J/K

    Thom:

    “… lost out to the denialists at Climate Audit”? Tell me, what am I denying? What is anyone denying over there? You mean, denying that all papers are good? Denying that all data is available? Denying that the code is available? Denying that peer-review always leads to good papers? Denying the proxies are up to date? Is wanting to know the mathematical basis for these things is correct “denial”?

    Is it Steve’s fault that right-wingers take his work when he finds something wrong and use it for PR? Clue to the wise; if you’re work isn’t wrong, there’s no ammunition to give to “the other side”. Acting like you’re hiding something makes people question your motives. (It’s not what you say, it’s not what we think; it’s how a person acts.)

    “Our code works”. It doesn’t. “The algorithm is clearly defined in the explanations.” It’s not. “Our network is high quality” It isn’t. “We adjust for that.” Yes, it seems that works, one out of 4.

    Those are hardly things that give me a high level of trust in “Trust us, we’re climate scientists. No need to check out our work, it’s perfect. But I won’t give it to you because you just want to tear it down.”

    I’d think you’d be happy the code John V produced mostly upholds that the temperature record is fairly good and can be used to make it better. I think you’d be upset that the people managing everything are obfuscatory, uncooperative, lack transparancy and act like prima donnas. I’d think you’d be happy somebody finds that the temp record is pretty good, or that the warming may be understated due to statistical problems, or that the best instrumented area in the world had an error in the anomaly because nobody was looking into the details. I guess finding out the truth isn’t important to you.

    Just from what you say, I have to draw certain conclusions. Please clarify your point so I may draw better conclusions on what you mean.

  66. Declan Odea

    Phil: You do Steve McIntyre a grave injustice with these comments. He is making a major contribution to climate science. He is much more of a scientist than some of the people whose shoddy work he has exposed. If you actually read his stuff you will see that he definitely is not anti global-warming. You should take up his offer to have a beer.

  67. Johan i Kanada

    Hey Phil,

    I wouldn’t associate myself too much with PZ, if I were you. You’d risk your good reputation!
    Just look at the crap he spews out right now. Embarrassing, really, that PZ calls himself a scientist.

  68. skeptic, of all

    Having read climate audit I think you are way off base here. The only thing that McIntyre really gets on a rampage about is that there is a lot of obfuscation and secrecy in the field of climate science. He is not a kook who publishes some denialist newsletter. Just this year observations he made forced NASA to restate all their US ground temperature measurements since 2007. Why would NASA even acknowledge him unless his observations had merit?
    Here is a challenge. It has already been made before but ignored. Post a published journal article that can be construed anti-AGW that you think McIntyre should audit. There is your challenge.

  69. Impium Orexis

    If nothing else, this competition has been enlightening.

  70. JS

    Can anyone comment on it being generally the case that climate researchers are publishing papers and refusing to allow independent verification? Do they offer a reason for doing this?

    You can find some discussion in the sidebars at Climate Audit labelled Disclosure and dilligence and Archiving.

    One of the more amusing reasons given was Michael Mann saying “Giving them the algorithm would be giving in to the intimidation tactics that these people are engaged in” (link. Note that this is 2005 – seven years after the paper in question was published. If it takes a congressional enquiry and seven years to extract the data and code serious questions need to be asked.

  71. Steve Huntwork

    Sam Urbinto:

    Having published some peer reviewed reports, I know how the game is played. In the conclusion section of your report (which is all most people will actually reads) you use ambiguous words that make the people funding the project happy. They will ignore the previous 100 pages of graphs and raw data, but if you say things they expect, then they are happy.

    You say things like “this data MAY be consistant with the theory of cirrus clouds contributing to an increase of atmospheric temperatures”, but in reality, your data was totally neutral.

    In the future, if someone questions your report, you can easily show them the 100 pages of data that they ignored, and how you never actually SAID that cirrus clouds contributed to an increase of atmospheric temperatures.

    Never, not once, have I ever stated something in my published reports that was not factual. However, I have played word games that will allow the people who funded the projects to see exactly what they wanted to see.

    When you must publish research that is funded by people with prior expectations, any wise scientist soon learns how to play that game. If not, then you are no longer funded and are soon out of work.

    People like Steve McIntyre, who actually study your raw data, are so very vital to the scientific process.

  72. Carakav

    Too many people in these comments throw the word “science” around like a football.

    Looking at Climate Audit, I’d say that anyone that spends so much of his free time “auditing” papers from climate scientists has some kind of agenda.

    I would also point out that just because somebody says they’re a thing, doesn’t make it so.

    The type of commenter that Climate Audit attracts doesn’t speak well for the site either. There are plenty of science blogs that don’t attract politically-charged individuals. Climate Audit isn’t one of them. Phil has never claimed to not be political. That honesty, along with his intelligent presentations on astronomy and other subjects, leads me to trust him over this MyIntyre fellow.

  73. Karl Schmidt

    Phil I met you at TAM – expected more from you than this…

    “see an anti-global warming site”

    No where ever has Steve McIntyre denied GW. He has called in to question some unorthodox efforts to prove that the GW is AGW. I don’t think you have read much of what he has written to have said what you have here.

    Gosh, I really expected more of you…

  74. Crashtest

    Umm… did anyone else notice the change in the totals in the past 5 minutes? It shows BA up by 39 votes (was 40 a minute ago).

    If this is real, grats to the BA! If it is just a glitch, then they have a cruel sense of humor over there.

  75. Steve Huntwork

    Carakav:

    Please read this link and reply once you have actually read it.

    http://www.climateaudit.org/?p=2221

    This is what REAL SCIENCE is all about…..

    Remember, I am a firm supporter of Bad Astronomy and this is one of my favorite blogs. I read what Phil has to say every single day and he has earned my respect.

    Carakav, I strongly suspect that you are replying to something that you have been told about by someone else. All I can suggest, is that you actually read what I just linked to.

  76. Michelle

    Woah! BA WON? No frickin’ way! Way to go for the recounts! :P

  77. Dominic

    I am not familiar with CA but if he is questioning statistics and science is that not a good thing?

    I thought science was supposed to be tested thoroughly and only then if it can withstand the criticism thrown at it is it deemed science.

    I voted BA because it is my favourite science blog, but I can’t see anything wrong with questioning science and to me on the surface thats all CA seems to be doing.

    p.s. this issue doesnt seem analogous to creationism/evolution to me as evolution is far more accepted and has far more to back it up than global warming and the cause of global warming

  78. John

    Phil, while I find your site more entertaining, Climate Audit did some real solid science work this year, so they got my vote.

  79. If the current votes hold, congratulations, more so given the irrationality competition.

    Cheers!

  80. Steve Huntwork

    That reminds me….

    Steve McIntyre payed an independent labratory to analyze the Graybill tree cores and it cost him several thousand dollars out of his own pocket.

    How his wife lets him do it is beyond me, but since she was also trampling around the mountains with him, perhaps I do understand.

    No university or government was helping him out, but he took the time to spend three day in the mountains and track down those trees.

    Last month, my wife authorized me to send him some money to help with his personal costs for the analysis of these trees, but I got busy and forgot.

    Thanks, because I totally forgot to help him out for the costs!

  81. Mango

    @Dodo:
    >> That would be called being a hack.
    > No, that would be called being a blogger

    Blogs are qualitatively similar to news media. Useful for news and opinions, but very limited in ability to produce new knowledge. A journalist or columnist who makes scientific claims without being able to properly reference them is a hack. There’s a reason newspaper coverage of scientific issues is crappy. Take everything you read in a newspaper or a blog with a grain of salt unless you have verified it from source.

    @Thadd:
    “However, being published is proof of nothing more than the ability to write an original and generally readable paper that passed review. This says nothing about correct conclusions in the end and certainly nothing about any lack of personal agenda.”

    No, but being published brings an argument into the realm of scientific discourse. It can then be rebutted and cited by other work. It also means it should be taken seriously, even if it’s wrong. Science needs contrarian arguments in order to advance.

    If he publishes, then the next step is to consider whether subsequent published work cuts his work to pieces.

  82. This is the first of these contests that I became aware of while it was taking place. It’s been educational, really. But it hasn’t been earth-shattering in any way. What is everyone’s problem? Your panties are all in a wad because some blog you’ve never read barely–barely!! defeated an excellent blog that you do read?

    Brother!

  83. Levi

    Congratulations, Phil! Keep up the good work!

    P.S. Can’t wait for your new book. :)

  84. “And now we see an anti-global warming site — and it would be dishonest to call it anything else; although others have defended it saying he only attacks those who misuses statistics, where are his attacks on those who use GW statistics to deny it exists?”

    There are hundreds of thousands of scientists getting grants thanks to climate change yet none of them found the NASA GISS errors Steve McIntyre did. Does that make them dishonest?

    No climate scientist who peer-reviewed the MBH hockey stick papers discovered the statistical problems Steve did. Does that make them dishonest and/or incompetent?

    But Steve did find those errors in the face of dogged resistance from Mann and other scientists with a vested interest, and people like yourself, Phil. If you looked at it with less bitter perspective, you’d realize that by fixing these problems, Steve’s made it easier to determine the validity of the claims AGW proponents are making. The trouble is there’s a lot more data to verify and Steve’s just one guy. Now he’s getting help from people like Anthony Watts, but he sure could use it from self-described anti-antiscience blogs like BA.

    Said the forebrain to the hind. Echo answereth not at all.

  85. Brian

    As of now, the Results Table says Bad Astronomy: 20,681
    Climate Audit: 20,634. I don’t understand this “recounting”. I thought that the computer at Weblog would just keep a running count and know the winner immediately when the polls closed. How do you do a “recount”? What is involved in the process?

  86. Steve Huntwork

    Chris Christner:

    As I have said so many times in the last few weeks, both of these blogs have been outstanding this year and have earned their recognitions.

    These two blogs should be helping and working with each other in their efforts to teach people what real science is all about.

    First or second in a contest does not matter at all, but helping other people learn what science is all about, is their mutual goals.

  87. Michelle

    I don’t think it’s actually a recount to be precise. I think that it’s possible that not all the votes appear immediately. And they must be checking out for cheaters too.

  88. Crashtest

    “As of now, the Results Table says Bad Astronomy: 20,681
    Climate Audit: 20,634. I don’t understand this “recounting”. I thought that the computer at Weblog would just keep a running count and know the winner immediately when the polls closed. How do you do a “recount”? What is involved in the process?”

    There appears to be something of an issue with this particular race. Someone posted a chart of the changes since 5pm EST, and up until 6:30, CA was gaining votes (~500 total, BA gained an additional ~200 during this time). At ~8:20pm, the BA jumped to the front of the line and the vote totals have been mostly static since then (small changes to the current 40-ish vote margin). As far as I can tell, none of the other categories have any such changes since 5pm – we can still hope for Wil though. =P

    If there is foul play afoot, it will most likely be found. The forums on the voting site are updated by the admin with any vote changes and they seem to know what they are doing(already 2 races have had some adjustments).

    I would feel bad if supporters of either camp felt the need to stuff the ballot box through “other” means.

  89. PZ Myers seethed:

    “The people who think McIntyre is not a global warming skeptic probably also think that “teach the controversy” is a smart tactic for improving science education. The pious protestations from hacks that they’re merely trying to discuss the science are familiar to anyone involved in the evolution/creationism wars.”

    Gee PZ, you lug your sneering contempt everywhere!

    Case in point, I’m a conservative and an atheist. I don’t believe in god, or the supernatural, or in dogmatic responses to opposing views. So you’re wrong, OK?

    I don’t accept that the current warm spell is anything other than a natural cycle because the data saying it’s manmade is equivocal and because those who support the data are far too emotional (thanks for being an example, PZ). What would make me accept AGW science more readily is if it was properly peer reviewed. But Steve McIntyre has shown that peer review is very sloppy and major science journals don’t force the scientists they publish to let others validate their data. So Steve has to do it on his own and all you can do is complain.

    Talk about missing out on an opportunity to make a contribution to science. At least Steve has had that satisfaction.

  90. Chip

    Climate Audit is certainly loaded with detailed and personalized analysis not of global warming independently but of global warming studies; the studies themselves rather than any direct study of what is being studied. That includes going to the same tree locations to verify or deny the original conclusions rather than to also conduct a separate experiment to see if the data itself is verified or falsified. That’s understandable as serious direct experiments require funding, grants, peer review and publication.

    There is also intellectualizing at Climate Audit about the nature of scientific research as it relates to psychology. But my impression is that it isn’t so much a blog that tries to verify data as a blog that attempts to analyze the analytical process in order to verify or deny the data. Its overall cumulative effect is to deny global warming while seeming to accept it by undermining it as a concept through the highlighting of inconsistencies. Even though global warming a.k.a. climate change as well as the effects of global dimming (something rarely mentioned) was studied long before Al Gore’s movie and book, intense scientific scrutiny of its effects is more recent.

    Much the same could be imagined for older, long established and falsifiable theories that were and still are observed and tested. Imagine a blog in the same style called Special Relativity Audit, Big Bang Audit or Evolution Audit. These could be as thoroughly detailed as Climate Audit, and like it, they would basically attract the deniers or those who feel the scientific community has conspired to accept these theories. The notion that evolution is a fact upon which theories are based would be as equally lost.

    If there were a website called Apollo Moon Audit, it would not be anything like Clavius.org, which dispassionately disproves moon hoax believers. Instead, it would carefully analyze Apollo documentation and research for any inconsistencies leaving the hoax believers to continue to draw their own conclusions.

  91. Kesh

    As I recall from last year, they have systems in place to find obvious “ballot stuffing” (ie. using all the client machines at work with a script to vote for your favorite) and then discount those votes. Others may have to be inspected by a live human before deciding they are legitimate or not.

    That said, if the current tally stands, hooray for BA and condolences to Wil.

  92. Thadd

    “PhD thesis with “new” (5 years old) proxies (Sheep Mountain I believe), Steve asked for them, and was not even answered. A reader of Climate Audit called the person, and she said her lawyer had told her not to send the data, the inquiry had been improper, and his next email bounced. Or Lonnie Thompson; hasn’t published the Bona-Churchil ice cores from 2002. etc”

    Why not just request it through ILL, what a lazy thing to do.

    BTW, The recounts seem to put BA up by a little bit. YAY.

  93. Brian

    I went back to the Weblog Awards site to see if they specified any details of their method of counting or recounting. The site mentions the necessity of “certifying” the tally. It also says,
    “RESULTS ARE NOT FINAL UNTIL WINNERS ARE ANNOUNCED! Each poll is checked during the voting and after polls close for excessive voting from individual machines. If excess voting is found it is noted and the votes are removed.”

    Maybe that’s it (or maybe it isn’t).

  94. Kesh

    Chip really hit the nail on the head:

    Its overall cumulative effect is to deny global warming while seeming to accept it by undermining it as a concept through the highlighting of inconsistencies.

    CA does nothing but cast doubt upon the research at every moment. It’s heavily biased towards disproving at every opportunity, rather than neutral observation and critique.

    Also, those of you saying that the author has denied being a denier, please see the thread on PZ Meyers blog. No one has been able to find such a denial. The closest anyone could find was a post of word-salad equivocation worthy of a politician.

  95. Acleron

    Yes BA has won! It may be just a popularity contest and you may not feel any particular personal benifit from winning but those of who support your endeavours are mightily pleased that an almost anti-science blog cannot crow. Well done.

  96. Acleron

    ““The people who think McIntyre is not a global warming skeptic probably also think that “teach the controversy” is a smart tactic for improving science education. The pious protestations from hacks that they’re merely trying to discuss the science are familiar to anyone involved in the evolution/creationism wars.”

    Gee PZ, you lug your sneering contempt everywhere! ”

    Can’t quite work out if ‘is’ should go in front of ‘your’ or ‘everywhere’, probably the latter as the poster managed to put in the bang symbol at the end.

    I just wish I could use English well enough to imply that spittle foaming at the lips while I type.

  97. Kesh sends it in from an alternate reality:

    “Also, those of you saying that the author has denied being a denier, please see the thread on PZ Meyers blog”

    Do you think about what you’re writing before hitting “Submit?”

    If you weren’t aware, calling somone who’s skeptical about AGW a “denier” is meant to lump skeptics in with Holocaust deniers, which trivializes the Holocaust, and demeans the person using the term far more than the person he’s slandering.

  98. Brian

    They are apparently still recounting. The tally just changed to
    BA: 20,683
    CA: 20,638

  99. Jim

    Posted by Jason:

    EST………CA…….BA….Delta
    3:59 PM …18828….17294…1534
    4:16 PM …19259….17798…1461
    4:44 PM …19735….18575…1160
    4:53 PM …19783….18755…1028
    5:03 PM …20131….18907…1224
    5:17 PM …20242….18983…1259
    5:31 PM …20247….19060…1187
    5:54 PM …20555….19144…1411
    6:22 PM …20613….19175…1438
    6:34 PM …20615….19181…1434
    8:20 PM …20634….20681….-47

    later….

    Sean Gleeson
    Administrator

    member is online

    Joined: Nov 2007
    Gender: Male
    Posts: 30
    Location: Oklahoma City
    Karma: 3 Re: A poll continues to climb after closing?
    « Reply #14 on Today at 10:09pm »

    ——————————————————————————–
    The announcement will be tonight, at the expo in Vegas. In just about an hour, in fact.

    The technology category has been giving us fits, and we might not announce a winner in that one, until certain issues are resolved. But whether we announce a winner tonight or not, the winner will be the real winner, with the most real votes before the polls closed. You can be sure of that.

    and then after someone mentions they were still able to vote on Food Blog…

    Sean Gleeson
    Administrator

    member is online

    Joined: Nov 2007
    Gender: Male
    Posts: 30
    Location: Oklahoma City
    Karma: 3 Re: A poll continues to climb after closing?
    « Reply #18 on Today at 10:39pm »

    ——————————————————————————–
    It let you “vote” (I put vote in quotes because your vote did not really count) because you had a cached copy of the balloting SWF file. I agree that this should not happen, and we’ll fix that next year. But no matter what you saw on the page, no votes that came in after closing time count.

    http://weblogawards.proboards85.com/index.cgi?board=2007pollchanges

  100. Michelle

    From what they say on the board of the award it might just be cached pages.

  101. Al

    What would be your favorite, say, 10 posts here for a newcomer?

  102. Just because, for whatever reason, I play Devil’s Advocate, flak target, and diplomat a lot:

    >> Gee PZ, you lug your sneering contempt everywhere! ”
    >> Can’t quite work out if ‘is’ should go in front of ‘your’ or ‘everywhere’, probably the latter as the poster managed to put in the bang symbol at the end.
    >> I just wish I could use English well enough to imply that spittle foaming at the lips while I type.

    I think he’s saying “Gee, PZ, you lug [as in 'pull' or 'drag,' same etymology as 'luggage'] your sneering contempt everywhere!” and other than forgetting to put PZ fully in commas in the form of direct address, is grammatically correct.

    I dislike seeing people misunderstood, as it happens to me all the time. :(

  103. Brodie

    For CA’s sake I hope the polls release their stats and code.

  104. >> For CA’s sake I hope the polls release their stats and code.

    So it can be audited? ;)

    Come on. It’s a blog award where some supporters of both front-runners have openly cheated and, in the end, like Dr. Plait says in the next blog post over, it ends up being a silly little graphic on a front page.

    It’s not the end of human civilization, like… oh… anthropogenic global warming. Which is still happening. Nyah.

  105. Mike

    The site administrator said that they did not program the site to stop counting votes after the polls closed but that the votes that came in after 2 PM Vegas time would be corrected back. CA won according to the media outlet at the convention where the results were announced live.

  106. Brian

    Hi Chris,
    I think Kesh may not have meant what you think he meant when he used the term “denier”. Wikipedia defines “denialism” thusly:

    “Denialism describes the position of governments, business groups, interest groups, or individuals who reject propositions that are strongly supported by scientific or historical evidence and seek to influence policy processes and outcomes accordingly.”

    I am not Kesh and really cannot speak for him, but I assume he used the term the way it is used in common parlance. If I start speculating that when someone says “cat” he really means “dog”, and that when he says “tree” he really means “bicycle”, then the conversations become open to misinterpretation.

  107. Hi Brian,

    You may be correct, but it’s unlikely. From the 2/9/2007 Boston Globe editorial by Ellen Goodman:

    “By every measure, the U N ‘s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change raises the level of alarm. The fact of global warming is “unequivocal.” The certainty of the human role is now somewhere over 90 percent. Which is about as certain as scientists ever get.

    I would like to say we’re at a point where global warming is impossible to deny. Let’s just say that global warming deniers are now on a par with Holocaust deniers, though one denies the past and the other denies the present and future.”

    That would appear to be the earliest use of “deniers” to mean AGW skeptics, so I assume anyone adopting the term is intent on being as offensive as possible in as short a time as possible.

  108. One more thing, Brian.

    On a hunch, I checked the history of Wikipedia’s definition for “Denialism” and it turns out that John Quiggin added GW skeptics to the definition on 11 March 2007, or just after Ellen Goodman used the term in her editorial.

    Pretty conclusive, wouldn’t you say?

  109. FerdiEgb

    Chip,

    “There is also intellectualizing at Climate Audit about the nature of scientific research as it relates to psychology. But my impression is that it isn’t so much a blog that tries to verify data as a blog that attempts to analyze the analytical process in order to verify or deny the data. Its overall cumulative effect is to deny global warming while seeming to accept it by undermining it as a concept through the highlighting of inconsistencies. Even though global warming a.k.a. climate change as well as the effects of global dimming (something rarely mentioned) was studied long before Al Gore’s movie and book, intense scientific scrutiny of its effects is more recent.”

    If the inconsistencies are that large that one can doubt man-made climate change at all, then man-made climate change is probably not existing. That is the difference with evolution (where denial is a typical US phenomenon, practically non-existing in Europe), where one doesn’t need sloppy science to make asolid point. Or do you think that all means are allowed, if the target is “good”?

    Take e.g. what really is known about the influence of CO2: with 2xCO2, one can find an increase of about 0.8°C, with added water vapour feedback about 1.2°C. That is based on solid evidence: absorption spectra and observed water vapor increase. All the rest is based on assumptions.

    Even if we accept the range of the IPCC: a difference between 1.5°C and 4.5°C at the end of this century is the difference between the climate of Paris in Brussels (or NY City in Boston) and a disaster.
    But the high-end climate “projections” are very unlikely, as these all incorporate huge feedbacks (like positive feedback from clouds, in reality negative!), unknown in nature.
    McIntyre has asked for any in-depth study that gives some hints where the assumption of about 3°C for 2xCO2 was based on. Nothing shows up until now.
    Does that mean that there will be no warming at all (as the rare real deniers claim), of course not. But one may be very sceptical about many assumptions made to scare us with high-end scenario’s…

    Btw, global dimming has little to do with man-made aerosols (as some climate scientists want us to believe): it happens/happened as good in Australia and the Southpole, while 90% of man-made aerosols are emitted in the NH. There is little exchange of aerosols between the NH and SH. It seems more a question of increase/decrease of cloud cover. If that is related to CO2 is quesitonable, solar influences are proven (+/- 1.5% over a solar cycle) and ocean cycles may be involved…

  110. Brian

    Hi Chris,
    I left my office, where my only computer is, and went home right after I typed the message to which you responded. It’s Friday morning now, so I don’t even think there are still many people reading this thread. But – in case you read this – I was trying to segue towards a somewhat broader point.

    Several things have been discussed on these webaward-related threads. Some good points have been made, but I thought that some of the comments presumed an intention or attitude on the part of someone else, an intention or attitude that that person might not even have had. I had the feeling that there were some real points of disagreement but also some discussion created by the fact that it is difficult to know what someone else thinks beyond what he or she has directly expressed.

    As an example, recently the person I live with was angry at me because of what she thought I thought about something. Actually, I didn’t think that at all. We talked about it, and the matter got cleared up (I think).

    I liked your post, the one I originally commented on, and I appreciate your answering my comment. Thanks.

  111. MrPete

    Carakav wrote “…Climate Audit, I’d say that anyone that spends so much of his free time “auditing” papers from climate scientists has some kind of agenda.”

    And you would be 100 percent correct. As far as I can tell, a very similar agenda to Bad Astronomy. Steve is pretty peeved about the decrepit state of the science being done in the name of “real climate science.”

    I’ve said it elsewhere, and I’ll say it here: I’m just a normal guy with a pretty good education. My wife and I helped do the citizen-science bristlecone collecting this summer. We did a basic good job. Why should our work stand out as exemplary? It is sad that an amateur like me can find exactly zero great examples of well-recorded, well-archived, comprehensive dendro data sets out there. Come to CA and join the fun as we gain insight from the data that’s been collected! We hope to get the lab results back in the next few days.

    I’ll certainly be back here from time to time. You run a good blog here. Good science helps us learn the truth about our universe. And that’s a good thing.

  112. Kesh

    Re: my previous comments, Brian had it right. This new canard that “denier” = “Holocaust denier” is silly. I believe people are attempting to add this emotional angle to it as a defense. Denialism is denialism. There are disgusting denialists (Holocaust deniers) and then there are contrarians (GW deniers).

    GW denialists have a wide variety of motives: some are honest skeptics, others are religiously biased, others have ties to politics or businesses with financial motives, and some just like to argue. That does not make them disgusting or repugnant.

    When it comes to Holocaust deniers, there are only two groups: the misinformed and the anti-Semitic. The former are distressing, the latter are disgusting.

    I do not tie the two together. I believe that attempting to do so is in poor taste. And some GW denialists I’ve run into are using this tactic to try and grant themselves immunity from debate, and portray themselves as being under an unfair attack.

    It’s a sympathy ploy, nothing more.

  113. CA has a lot of readers that know it is getting warmer. Man populated the Americas 12000 years ago by walking across a land bridge from Asia. The very important question they all want answered is spending a $1,000,000,000 for a possible reduction of 1 degree over 50 to 100 years a good investment. Man has removed 1,000,000′s of square miles of forest could this be a bigger problem and money better spent in this area? Science usually wants proof that when you have a respective 100,000 year cycle in something going back millions of years you really need some ironclad proof as to why it is different now vs. historical. Lets find the truth and get the biggest bang for our investment

    .

  114. Katrina

    So they’ve officially announced a tie, then. . .

  115. Jerry

    The association of global warming skepticism with Holocaust denial seems to extend back to at least 2005.

    From May 29, 2005: “The climate-change deniers are rapidly ending up with as much intellectual credibility as creationists and Flat Earthers. Indeed, given that 25,000 people died in Europe in the 2003 heat wave caused by anthropogenic climate change, given that the genocide unfolding in Darfur has been exacerbated by the stresses of climate change, given that Bangladesh may disappear beneath the rising seas in the next century, they are nudging close to having the moral credibility of Holocaust deniers.”
    link: http://seattlepi.nwsource.com/opinion/226175_climate29.html?source=rss

    From March 23, 2006: “[CBS correspondent Scott] Pelley’s most recent report, like his first, did not pause to acknowledge global warming skeptics, instead treating the existence of global warming as an established fact. I again asked him why. ‘If I do an interview with Elie Wiesel,’ he asks, ‘am I required as a journalist to find a Holocaust denier?’”
    link: http://www.cbsnews.com/blogs/2006/03/22/publiceye/entry1431768.shtml

  116. Michelle

    A TIE? What are the odds!

  117. Brian

    The fact that at least two of the six billion people on the planet have made statements similar to each other’s at least once during the last few years does not convince me that everyone shares their point of view.

  118. Brian

    Hi Jerry,

    If I want to know what someone meant when they said something, I ask them.

  119. Jerry

    Hello, Brian,

    “If I want to know what someone meant when they said something, I ask them.”

    That’s always a good practice.

    “The fact that at least two of the six billion people on the planet have made statements similar to each other’s at least once during the last few years does not convince me that everyone shares their point of view.”

    Here’s what I meant by what I said: The equivalencing of global warming skepticism and Holocaust denial may not have been original with Ellen Goodman. I was not saying that anyone other than those who have actually expressed that point of view share it.

  120. Brian

    Jerry,
    You and Chris have introduced extremely offensive “equivalences”, or whatever you want to call them, into this conversation. Did it occur to you that by casually recounting anecdotes involving subjects potentially painful to a significant part of a general audience that you might hurt someone’s sensibilities? I feel used “en passant” in your effort to score a debating point.

  121. Jerry

    Brian,

    “You and Chris have introduced extremely offensive ‘equivalences’ or whatever you want to call them, into this conversation. Did it occur to you that by casually recounting anecdotes involving subjects potentially painful to a significant part of a general audience that you might hurt someone’s sensibilities? I feel used ‘en passant’ in your effort to score a debating point.”

    I was unaware that I was debating anyone. I was simply noting that that the equivalencing of global warming skepticism and Holocaust denial has a history prior to 2007. Most specifically, columnist Ellen Goodman was probably not being original when she wrote, “Let’s just say that gobal warming deniers are now on a par with Holocaust deniers.” I will state explicitly that I find the equivalencing offensive and view it as an attempt to shut down debate on global warming.

  122. Brian

    Your statement confirms my impression. You are using the “equivalencing” in an attempt to establish a point: that someone is attempt(ing) to shut down debate on global warming.

    Perhaps “debating” was the wrong adjective to describe the “point” you were making. As you state in your last post, you used the examples as a means to an end, as a premise supporting a conclusion. Whatever word you feel properly describes that process, feel free to substitute that for the word “debating.”

  123. Brian

    Jerry,
    I really have no desire to go on and on about this. My annoyance over your remarks and Chris’ remarks was short-lived. I believe what I said, but, unless you want to continue the thread, my interest is waning rapidly.

  124. Jerry

    Brian,

    I have no interest in pursuing this further. It’s rather off-topic–”Last call to vote for Weblog Awards–anyway. Have a great weekend!

  125. Brian

    “Have a great weekend.” Thank you – same to you.

  126. Wm. L. Hyde

    I came to this site, among others) because Steve urged us to investigate the other contenders to see if anything caught our interests. Since I have begun my investigation I have been assaulted by the word “Denier” plus some even more obscene (unwilling to repeat them here) and inscrutable references (what is a “Freeper” for instance, or a “Concern Troll”?) These were directed at my Climate Audit friends continually. I find being called a “Denier” extremely offensive, and qualifying your name calling as harmless does not stop me from feeling offended. And claiming “debating points to raise sympathy”! Please! I’m finding my journey of exploration to be a waste of time, so I guess I’ll head back to the sites that treat people with respect.
    Cheers…..theoldhogger

  127. Mike Lorrey

    It appears rather that criticizing AGW is gaining more credence among valid scientists, while Mann, the IPCC (which has been confronted by thousands of scientists denouncing WB1 as bad science), Al Gore, and the rest are more of a cargo cult of pseudoscience being used to camouflage a political agenda that originated in the Club of Rome.

    Google “solar cycle 25″ and “Dalton Minimum” for more evidence about whats really going on…

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