(Micro)agressions on social media

by Judith Curry

Online bullying is an issue of growing concern.  The flip side is shining an online ‘light’ on hidden bullying.

There is much discussion in the twitosphere and blogosphere over the temporary removal of a blog post on Scientific American by Danielle Lee that described a highly distasteful email exchange, where an editor at Biology-Online.com called Lee an “urban whore” because she declined to write a free monthly blog for the website.  Scientific American caught a lot of flack for this.   Huffington Post summarizes the incident.  Sci Am responded:

Unfortunately, we could not quickly verify the facts of [Lee’s] blog post and consequently for legal reasons we had to remove the post. Although we regret that this was necessary, a publisher must be able to protect its interests and Scientific American bloggers are informed that we may remove their blog posts at any time when they agree to blog for us.

The issues raised by this incident continue to multiply.  Motivated by the role of Bora Zivkovic in the Sci Am incident, Monica Byrne relates a sexual harassment incident involving Bora Zivkovic.

Andrew Maynard

While the harassment of Danielle and Monica is reprehensible, the story really gets interesting when Andrew  Maynard inserted himself into this situation by sending Monica an email.   Andrew Maynard is Director of the University of Michigan Risk Science Center, and blogs at 2020 Science.  He has written a blog post When to name and shame on Social Media, and when to show compassion that describes the fallout of this email.  In summary, he questioned Monica’s decision to actually name Zivkovic by name.  Monica didn’t reply by email, but instead tweeted about Maynard’s email message, which motivated Maynard’s post. In his post, Maynard ponders the following ethical issues:

I teach and lecture on science communication and social media, and know Bora professionally but not personally.  And so this piece had a connection with my professional community and activities.  As a result, I felt it placed in a position of having to make a decision:

  1. Do I ignore it and walk way?
  2. Do I endorse Monica’s “outing” of an individual?
  3. Do I publicly question her judgement? or
  4. Do I see if some degree of process can be agreed on privately?

#3 was clearly inappropriate.  #1 would have been the easiest, but something of an abdication of responsibility I felt.  #2 made me really uneasy as it implies a value judgement on my part with little thought of consequences and evidence.  Which left #4.

I did not do this lightly.  I was aware that my email could be construed as undermining the significance of Monica’s experience – which I did not want to do.  I was concerned that it might be considered as an inappropriate use of a perceived power-differential – fo this reason I didn’t include my usual email signature.  I was highly sensitive to my lack of right to request a specific course of action.  Yet I felt a responsibility to respond in some way.  And so I advocated for consideration and compassion.

Was it a smart or a foolish email?  I don’t know.  I do know that sometimes staying silent or following the crowd aren’t great choices in hindsight.  And I do know that it’s very easy to cause a great deal of harm through poorly considered actions that may not be meant to cause the harm they do.  I also have what is probably a naive belief that there are ways of addressing important issues that are effective at reaching resolution without significant collateral damage.

But to finish this piece off by bringing the subject back to something more aligned with science communication – which is part of what this blog is about.  The incident has got me thinking afresh about the responsibility that comes with being part of an online community without walls.  And specifically, I’m left with the following questions:

  • When is it OK to name and shame online – on any issue?
  • When is it appropriate to support someone else’s outrage because it appears to fit your worldview? And
  • For science communicators, when is it OK to draw strong conclusions in the face of scant evidence?

Roger Pielke Jr also has an interesting post on this incident. Excerpts:

There are of course all sorts of social factors at play in science, as in any field of endeavor, which shape behavior. Some of them — like groupthink and disciplinary cliques — are annoying and can even be pathological. Other behaviors are just wrong and unacceptable. Among these are sexual harassment and excusing sexual harassment because an accomplished scientist (male in this case) is “highly respected within the community.” Ack.

I’d guess that this case has still a denouement to play out, but however it ends it is one worth discussing with students in the classroom. The issues are uncomfortable and can be difficult to discuss, but they are obviously part of the social context of contemporary science and thus worth our attention. Kudos to Byrne for speaking out in a responsible manner.

Scientific American has a good post today entitled Characterizing Power, Privilege and Everyday Life in the Sciences.  The following questions are posed:

We can begin to ask some questions here. What is inside and outside the scope of discussion in the scientific community? What kind of discussion is considered irrelevant, threatening or inappropriate, and what does this reveal about the sciences? Why is the impact of personal experience being valued less than other types of empirical information? Who in the scientific community is treated more professionally than others? Who is more at risk of marginalization in the sciences, one who raises objections to bigotry or one whose social power enabled them to express their bigotry? In general, why is science perceived to be divorced from social politics? What are the politics of science research funding, and how do they influence findings? Why does research conducted by women attract 0.7 citations for each citation received by research by men? What are the implicit limitations imposed on the professional advancement of female scientists, and how are they fueled by gendered conceptions of work and intellectual contribution? What drives income gaps between scientists with similar qualifications?

This post also points to a very interesting web site       http://www.microaggressions.com

Hockey Sticks and Stones

Apart from the serious issue of sexual harassment, this incident raises some interesting meta issues that have relevance for the climate debate, particularly in context of the saga of the hockey stick, climategate, and the continuing fallout.  And some of these I can relate to personally, having faced these kinds of decisions in my public communication on these issues.

When Climategate broke, I had to decide whether to ignore the incident or to address it.  I decided to address the issue publicly, since I felt that it was a good thing to shine a light on the behaviors revealed in the Climategate emails and I wanted the incident to provoke the climate community into doing a better job in the future.  In my writings related to Climategate, I avoided discussing specific incidents or naming individuals by name.

I dealt with the question of when is it appropriate to ‘name and shame’ by not naming names explicitly.   I apparently crossed this line in my 2011 post Hiding the Decline.  My statements of relevance to the current topic were:

Sir John Beddington’s statement:  “It is time the scientific community became proactive in challenging misuse of scientific evidence.”

The question I am asking myself is what is my role as a scientist in challenging misuses of science (as per Beddington’s challenge)?  Why or why not should I personally get involved in this?   Is hiding the decline dishonest and/or bad science? [as per Richard Muller’s statements]

There is no question that the diagrams and accompanying text in the IPCC TAR, AR4 and WMO 1999 are misleading.  I was misled.  Upon considering the material presented in these reports, it did not occur to me that recent paleo data was not consistent with the historical record.  

It is obvious that there has been deletion of adverse data in figures shown IPCC AR3 and AR4, and the 1999 WMO document.  Not only is this misleading, but it is dishonest (I agree with Muller on this one).

 I would like to know what the heck Mann, Briffa, Jones et al. were thinking when they did this and why they did this, and how they can defend this, although the emails provide pretty strong clues.  Does the IPCC regard this as acceptable?  I sure don’t.

Can anyone defend “hide the decline”?  I would much prefer to be wrong in my interpretation, but I fear that I am not.

Well, clearly I was not ‘outing’ anyone here; anyone paying attention to this knew who was responsible for ‘hiding the decline.’  However clearly I had crossed some sort of ‘line’  by actually naming names, which Gavin Schmidt made clear in the comments.  The fact that my Hiding the Decline post remains Climate Etc.’s all time greatest ‘hit’ provides further evidence for my crossing some line.  What exactly is this line?  Looks like somebody in the ‘good old boys club’ (euphemism for ‘the establishment’)  forgot to invite me to the meeting where all this was explained.

My crossing this ‘line’ upped the attacks, particularly from Joe Romm (who refers to me as ‘the most debunked climate scientist on the planet’) and Michael Mann, who regularly refers to me as a ‘denier’ on twitter.

The issue of Michael Mann making such statements in the midst of his lawsuit against Mark Steyn is discussed today in an article by Mark Steyn entitled Sticks and Stones.  Of particular relevance:

Dr. Mann, whatever his other gifts, is an inveterate name-caller. Consider his recent Guardian column defending his “hockey stick” from the bad case of brewer’s droop it’s acquired over the last 15 years of non-warming: Bjorn Lomborg, a Danish professor named (unlike Mann) by Foreign Policy as one of the “Top 100 Global Thinkers,” is dismissed as “career fossil fuel industry apologist Bjorn Lomborg”; Judith Curry, a member of the National Research Council’s climate research committee, winner of awards from the American Meteorological Society, and co-editor of the Encyclopedia of Atmospheric Sciences, is billed by Dr. Mann as “serial climate disinformer Judith Curry”; and anyone else who has the impertinence to disagree with him is lumped under the catch-all category of “climate change deniers.”

Well, it doesn’t bother me personally when somebody in the blogosphere or even the MSM says something bad about me.  But I am starting to think that this could be having adverse professional impacts for me. Each day, Georgia Tech provides a summary of the mentions of GT folks in the media; on Sept 28, the Buzz Report included this:

*The IPCC, Climate Change and Bad Faith Attacks on Science * 
*/Huffington Post -/ September 27, 2013 * 
It happens every six years or so: The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate 
Change (IPCC) publishes its assessment of the current state of 
scientific understanding regarding human-caused climate change. That 
assessment is based on contributions from thousands of experts around 
the world through an exhaustive review of the peer-reviewed scientific 
literature and a rigorous, several-years-long review process… This 
time, however, climate-change deniers seem divided in their preferred 
contrarian narrative. Some would have us believe that the IPCC has 
downgraded the strength of the evidence and the degree of threat. Career 
fossil-fuel-industry apologist Bjorn Lomborg, in Rupert Murdoch’s “The 
Australian,” wrote on Sept. 16: “UN’s mild climate change message will 
be lost in alarmist translation.” On the other hand, serial climate 
disinformer Judith Curry (*Georgia Tech*), in a commentary for the same outlet five days later, announced, “Consensus distorts the climate 

For all my faculty members, employees and students to see, not to mention my bosses. And not to mention the wider public and the broader base of my professional colleagues.   Imagine that I am under consideration for a new position (employment, member of a board, etc.)  What kind of impact will such a statement have on my consideration?  Further, do a Google search of Judith Curry, and some of the top hits include these gems:

If this isn’t cyber bullying, I don’t know what is. Even though I’m not a Nobel laureate or anything :), what Mann has said about me is at least as bad as what Steyn said about Mann, particularly since Mann (an academic) is passing judgement on my science and my behavior as a scientist (which is my profession and source of income).  Well, it will be certainly interesting to see how the Mann vs Steyn case plays out.  I also note that Anthony Watts is a current target of Mann’s attentions, Watts makes this statement in a recent postI’m dealing with Dr. Mann’s libel separately.

Blogospheric bullying

Commenters on blogs (anonymous or not) also get into spats with each other, there have been several notable instances on Climate Etc.  The most notable one involves the Skydragon threads, where Pete Ridley made hundreds of comments pointing to online documentation so support his arguments that O’Sullivan was misrepresenting his credentials, had lied about many things, and had engaged in questionable personal behavior.  John O’Sullivan threatened me with litigation if I didn’t remove all of Ridley’s comments. While as far as I can tell none of Ridley’s statements were actually false, I opted to take down all of the Skydragon threads.  The very large number of comments by Ridley could be conceived as bullying, but I was clearly bullied by O’Sullivan with his threat of litigation.

JC conclusions

What to make of all this?  Some very complex issues are being raised, of social as well as legal relevance.  I come down strongly on the side of shining a light on any bullying behavior, be it sexual harassment, or the kind of professional bullying evident in the Climategate emails, or whatever.  The backlash against anyone shining a such a light can be seriously negative, and I most sincerely hope that this is not the case for Danielle or Monica.

The confluence in my mind of this incident with my own involvement in the hockey sticks and stones raises the issue of the role of gender in bullying, where females are regarded as ‘easier’ targets who wouldn’t dare strike back.

Bullies of all stripes BEWARE.  Take extra care with your facts before you accuse anyone of anything online.  Be careful with name calling especially if this reflects adversely in someway on the individual’s profession.  And don’t expect your target to roll over because they are a female, or a minority, or someone otherwise perceived by the bully to be lower on some totem pole.  The internet is empowering people (and increasingly females) to shine a light on bullying.  This can only be a good thing.

340 responses to “(Micro)agressions on social media

  1. Four days ago Because it needs to be said was a blog post that sent shockwaves through the software development community that I tend to be associated with these days. It’s about a case of serious sexual assault it names names. Quite rightly in my view. But the comments are for me much more shocking.

    Thank you Judy for shining a light in a dark area.

    • There was also a companion discussion on Hacker News, after a day of which Paul Graham, one of the best-known venture capitalists in Silicon Valley, felt the need to say I apologize to the world for this thread.

      You do have a habit of picking hot topics, Dr Curry.

    • Richard, thank you for this link!

    • That’s it, first born daughter is going to the range and I will get her a Glock 19.

      • Rock out with your Glock out!

      • Hmmm. What about assertion courses and the building of strong self esteem through development of extensive networks Doc?

      • A fan of *MORE* discourse

        DocMartyn and Jim2, how exactly does discourse conducted with “Glock 19s” facilitate the science-guided foresight and the prudent social and political compromises that are the foundation of both “the best available science” and “the best available governance”?

        Does slogan-shouting like “rock out with your Glock out” signify a preference for violence over democracy?

        The world wonders DocMartyn and Jim2. The world wonders.

        Legitimately, the world wonders.

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      • FOMBS. You are over the edge now. The government enforces it tyranny over us at the point of a gun. Obamacare, taxes, the other mountain of laws that the average Joe doesn’t even know about, much less understand. That’s where your concern should be. Guns keep us free from the criminal element – the police aren’t there when the crooks are. Unless you are talking about “democratic” muggers and theives.

      • jim2; quite a tirade in a small space; and you think someone else is over the edge. wow! just wow!!

    • David Springer

      People get stupid when they drink, obviously. The girl in question wrote she wanted to be one of the gang, one of the guys. Really? Do the guys hug each other and kiss each other on the forehead? Do the guys lay out on the bar top, pull up their shirts, and do body shots off each other? The girl was not being one of the guys. She should have known better and her coworkers should have known better too. I’d have sent the whole lot of them to sexual harassment seminars and put out warnings in no uncertain terms that inappropriate workplace behavior would not be tolerated and that would include gatherings outside the workplace.

      • You have a good point here. It would be great if people with political, social, or physical power over others would never put others in compromising or dangerous situations.

        But in the real world, we all, male and female alike, have to maintain situational awareness. If a lone male walks into the middle of what is obviously a street gang and take a punch, he must take responsibility for his actions and the consequences. The gang is also responsible for its actions and consequences.

        I don’t drink. Occasionally, to be sociable, I go to lunch or an after-work social event and all my co-workers drink. If they offer me a drink, I politely refuse, but by now they all know I don’t drink and don’t usually bother. When spirits get a little high, I leave. I’ve shown up, been sociable, and leave.

        We are all responsible to send the right signals to the people around us. And if we send the wrong signals, we are responsible for what happens.

        The girl was wrong to believe she has to do the things she did to fit in. She doesn’t have to. So, she has to own that.

        Her boss, likewise, has to take the consequences for his actions. I think outing people like this, some way or another, is a good thing. Otherwise, they just skate through life without taking the consequences.

        We don’t live in an ideal world.

      • David Springer


        My wife, who has worked all her adult in high tech then medicine, and who with me raised two girls from birth to working adults, quite agrees with me. My wife said she would have told her boss the only body shot he’d going to get off of her would be from her fist. I know her pretty well after 32 years of marriage. She’d tell me that too upon any unwanted advances. The general take I think among reasonable adults is the girl loved the attention until it went farther than she was comfortable with and because she never drew any lines, even the easy ones, didn’t know how to draw them. It’s a given her boss is a pig who deserved at least what he got if not more which should go without saying.

    • Justine’s story reminds me of this admonition against women getting drunk…


      • That if I may say so is particularly well-judged Mike. A number of things really bothered me about the debate beneath Justine’s story as I read parts of it on Sunday. (I haven’t returned to see if any of the offensive comments have since been removed, nor do I plan to do so.) The abuse of pseudonymity to continue the assault on this vulnerable person wasn’t for me to participate in the internet’s finest hour. That’s how disgusting it felt inside.

        It should be said of course that mostly the ‘Ruby community’ is young people. For strange reasons they don’t normally see me that way! There is the immaturity factor. But these are privileged young people, with some good ideals in many cases. There has been genuine shock about this.

        Justine’s own account was completely open on all points on which she could legitimately be criticised and she is clearly intelligent and self-aware enough to know this. That’s why to lay into her, except in the gentle way you have done, was inappropriate. But to do far worse under the cover (say) of a sneering female pseudonym shows that what is casually called trolling is not always harmless fun. It can be utterly deadly. Oh for the ancient Zamboni of the climate scene and all it stands for.

        I hope this is not regarded as too far off topic on what was already an extremely interesting thread. I salute the host here as an outstanding role model, for women and for men, now more than ever.

  2. It is a pattern repeated all too frequently. When you lose on the merits, you pound the opposition into submission or silence. O’Sullivan DID it to you. Mann is trying to do it to you (although I suspect he will not be successful).

    There is only one defense. The truth. Hiding will not cause it to go away. And caving only makes it worse. But the truth is also the hardest path to follow. And that is what they are counting on.

  3. Mann is Skeptical Science’s hero. thus Judith must be misrepresented by Sks

    Dana Nuccitelli writing in in the Guardian – linking to a Skeptical Science webpage – Climate Misinformer – Judith Curry !


    “The 19 percent of guests classified as ‘climate scientists’ in the above graphic is also very generous to the conservative American media outlets.
    The 19 percent is comprised of Judith Curry, Willie Soon (who has received $1m from coal and oil industry interests since 2001),
    and Anthony Tsonis (whose research on ocean cycles is entirely consistent with human-caused global warming, but whose views Fox News portrayed inaccurately).”

  4. A fan of *MORE* discourse

    Judith Curry [excellently!] posts “Online bullying is an issue of growing concern. The flip side is shining an online ‘light’ on hidden bullying … [many well-said points follow that conclude] … The internet is empowering people (and increasingly females) to shine a light on bullying. This can only be a good thing.”

    Judith Curry, please let me say that your essay is excellent from beginning to end. Thank you, Judith Curry.

    In-line with your remarks, please let me acknowledge and sincerely thank commenter M. Hastings for publicly opposing homicidal posts here on Climate Etc.

    The probability that any given homicidal threat will be realized is small. On the other hand, the probability that *no* such threats will be realized is zero … indeed a main objective of homicidal posts is to create a climate of fear and intimidation. That is why it is well to quench posts that threaten.

    Thank you, M. Hastings, for contributing to climate-change discourse that is open and vigorous, yet reasoned and non-threatening.

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  5. Steven Mosher

    when you characterize your opponents as old white guys… you open a door. look who walked through that door

    • As used in the post (i’ve added a few clarifying words), ‘good old boys’ is a euphemism for ‘the establishment’, not old white guys. My audience here is largely composed of old white guys (and I am old and white myself), most of whom are not sympathetic to this particular group of good old boys; I clearly do not regard ‘old white guys’ as my opponents

      • “Old boy network” might have been the best choice, but someone would have (willfully) misunderstood that too.

      • Steven Mosher

        I’m being too subtle.

        For a while some folks in the alarmist camp have characterized their opponents as old men. you know singer, and company. I’ve even seen people here do it.

        My point is that they didnt see how that opened the door for a more powerful opponent: Lucia, Tamsin, and Judith.

        In short when your personalize your opponents ( all warmists are liberals) you open a door to tremendous counterplay.

      • Steve
        “A majority of Democrats (55%) say that most scientists think global warming is happening, while majorities of Republicans (56%) and Tea Party members (69%) say that there is a lot of disagreement among scientists about whether or not global warming is happening”

        A nice study here


      • Brilliant Steve.

      • Except that never seems to bother them. Did Herman Cain stop the accusations of GOP racism/white good-old-boyism?

      • Mosher,

        For a while some folks in the alarmist camp have characterized their opponents as old men. you know singer, and company. I’ve even seen people here do it.

        I’ll name and shame one. MaX_OK does it frequently. In fact, it seems to be his main ‘evidence’ to support his beliefs.

      • Steven Mosher


        “Brilliant Steve.”

        Let me roll the clock Waaaaay back.

        once upon a time there was a girl named Kirsten Byrnes. Ok, I didnt agree with much of what she said, but I had to admire the marketing of having a young teenage girl serve as a foil to Gore.

        One day, Judith came on Climate audit. and juidth offered to have Kirsten come down to Georgia tech. That was mighty kind in my book. Now also remember that at that time some climate audit regulars ( me included ) were ( on occasion ) not very respectful of Judith.
        When she made this offer publically somebody called Judith the wicked witch of the west. I’ll have to go back and re read that thread. But that day I was hugely impressed by Judith’s graciousness, both in her offer to Kirsten and in her refusal ( as I recall) to get into the food fight.
        There are also some funny stories about her and Lucia.. for later maybe.

        what a difference between the arrogance of folks like eric– take my matlab class– steig and the graciousness of Judith inviting Kirsten to make a visit to georgia tech. These things , of course, have nothing to do with science. But then again I’ve rarely been convinced by someone I didnt like, until of course I forget that it was their idea and remember it as my own.

        If I were to over interpret the situation I would say that Judith, Lucia and Tamsin are in better position to understand folks who have been marginalized in the discussion, without at the same time taking on their strident defiant tone. Is that bridge building? not yet.

      • It’s one half :)

      • Steven Mosher

        “Except that never seems to bother them. Did Herman Cain stop the accusations of GOP racism/white good-old-boyism?”

        Cain actually had a brilliant commercial where he compared himself to Justice Thomas. and constrated himself with Obama, sharpton and Jackson.

        There were two brilliant things about the piece.

        1. He pulled a clip with Biden criticicizing Thomas.
        2. hehe.. not gunna say

      • Excusing my ignorance of US politics, wouldn’t Condi Rice be a rather more striking example, if indeed it’s true that ‘the accusations of GOP racism/white good-old-boyism’ haven’t stopped?

      • @Richard Drake – There are many examples of the hypocrisy. Mia Love is another very excellent one. Even Ted Cruz. The only racism is coming from the left, and it is seen every time a minority dares to speak their mind.

      • I believe they have stopped, Richard.

        Most likely because of the Republican Party’s strong denouncement of the displays of the Confederate flag, the frequent informative critique offered to African Americans by Republicans that they should be voting for Republicans if they only knew what was in their own best interest.

        You know, that kind of thing.

      • Most likely because of the Republican Party’s strong denouncement of the displays of the Confederate flag,

        Oh. Wait.


      • As I say, Joshua, there’s much I don’t understand about US politics but I take it that your point is that the young idiot with the Confederate flag represents much more faithfully for you the real GOP than the person that the last Republican President entrusted to be his Secretary of State – who being a black woman most certainly doesn’t even deserve a mention?

        I’m sure glad nobody ever makes cheap points in your political scene like we so often have to put up with over here in the UK.

      • What Joshua also does not tell you is that person holding the confederate flag was a liberal plant – designed to start a meme.

      • I take it that your point is that the young idiot with the Confederate flag represents much more faithfully for you the real GOP than the person that the last Republican President entrusted to be his Secretary of State

        No Richard, that’s not my point.

        I’m quite sure that guy is an outlier, but my point is that the Republican Party, far from calling folks like that idiots, as you have done, cater to that extreme element of the rightwing for the sake of political expediency. Please read about the Republican politicians who are on record with positive comments about the continued use of the Confederate flag as a symbol of the South and their heritage. It is actually quite common.

        So tell me, why do you think that African Americans continue to vote for the Republican Party despite the existence of Condi Rice and Colin Powell, and the like? Is it because they aren’t smart enough to vote in their best interests? If they continue to believe that the Republican Party does not represent their interests as well as the Democratic Party – indeed, if they continue to believe that the Republican Party, on the whole, caters to racist elements – why do you think that is?

      • @richard Drake

      • Madeline Albright’s father was the mentor who convinced Condi Rice to switch her college major from music.

      • Referencing a website with a history of planting racist comments at other websites probably does not bolster the case you are trying to make, assuming I understand your point.

      • lets talk about the externalities of C02

        “Overall, Prof Tol finds that climate change in the past century improved human welfare. By how much? He calculates by 1.4 per cent of global economic output, rising to 1.5 per cent by 2025. For some people, this means the difference between survival and starvation.

        It will still be 1.2 per cent around 2050 and will not turn negative until around 2080. In short, my children will be very old before global warming stops benefiting the world. Note that if the world continues to grow at 3 per cent a year, then the average person will be about nine times as rich in 2080 as she is today. So low-lying Bangladesh will be able to afford the same kind of flood defences that the Dutch have today.

        The chief benefits of global warming include: fewer winter deaths; lower energy costs; better agricultural yields; probably fewer droughts; maybe richer biodiversity. It is a little-known fact that winter deaths exceed summer deaths — not just in countries like Britain but also those with very warm summers, including Greece. Both Britain and Greece see mortality rates rise by 18 per cent each winter. Especially cold winters cause a rise in heart failures far greater than the rise in deaths during heatwaves.”

      • Steven Mosher

        Is it because they aren’t smart enough to vote in their best interests?



        best interests? or perceived best interests

        maybe they use motivated reasoning?

      • The inability of some even to name Condoleezza Rice in this discussion – presumably because such a Republican should never have existed in their worldview – reminds me of the story of when she met the British comedian Jasper Carrott at an exchange do in Alabama:

        “Hello, I’m Condoleezza.”

        “My condolences.”

        They became one of most unlikely items in history for a little while after that. Not many people seem to know that.

      • well that triggered a fine collection of irrationality. When climate science becomes hostage to political polarization and opportunist hacks, as it has for years past, no serious scientific progress can be made. This seems to be an insurmounable obstacle. The good/bad news is that the public sees it as just one more political issue and is losing interest in both sides.

    • A fan of *MORE* discourse

      When we open the door with phrases like “good old boys” what walks in that door are phrases like “warmongers” and “feminazis” … none of which contribute to discourse that is vigorous, rational, open, and non-threatening.

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      • Curious George

        Bravo everybody (so far). Let me discuss a wider term “Internet” rather than social media. It is a new technology, and it can be used for both good and bad purposes. It makes it extremely easy to spread lies and libel – or valid data and valid concerns. We will always have to sift through it. Look at Wkipedia’s problems – and their current system. I was amazed how fast they reacted when I found a problem with their article on Latent Heat.

        A French abbe who became famous for publishing the first dictionary of the French language was asked by a lady why did he include even indecent words. He lifted a finger: Madame, you looked for them!

      • FOMD,

        none of which contribute to discourse that is vigorous, rational, open, and non-threatening.

        That’s rather hypocritical coming from you, don’t you think? After all, none of your snide, snarking, trolling comments contribute to discourse that is vigorous, rational, open, and non-threatening either.

      • That’s rather hypocritical coming from you, don’t you think? After all, none of your snide, snarking, trolling comments contribute to discourse that is vigorous, rational, open, and non-threatening either.”

        She just doesn’t see it Peter. Hard to fathom, but there it is…

      • Indeed, pokerguy. He could start with losing the “denier” language. Anybody who abuses the Holocaust like that has no business playing the sanctimonious victim.

        Hypocritical, precisely. And weaselly.

      • A fan of *MORE* discourse

        Peter Lang admires discourse that is  “vigorous, rational, open, and non-threatening”

        Peter Lang, the sheer *consistency* of your fact-free, reference-free, rationality-free, personally abusive style of discourse, sustained over many months and many comments in many forums, is worthy of remark. For example, it appears that the Australian academic forum The Conversation has judged it desirable to delete many dozens of your comments. What is your understanding of why that happens, exactly?

        \scriptstyle\rule[2.25ex]{0.01pt}{0.01pt}\,\boldsymbol{\overset{\scriptstyle\circ\wedge\circ}{\smile}\,\heartsuit\,{\displaystyle\text{\bfseries!!!}}\,\heartsuit\,\overset{\scriptstyle\circ\wedge\circ}{\smile}}\ \rule[-0.25ex]{0.01pt}{0.01pt}

      • Don’t go there Fan. Your behavior at Scott Aaronson’s blog got you put on ban, too.

      • And PJ media.

      • FOMD,

        It’s a habitat for the loony left. Trolls like you inhabit it. You’d love it. They don’t delete the obnoxious comments by the loony left trolls (like yourself). You’d feel right at home there.

      • Deniers?

    • That may, or may not be true Mosh, but I don’t believe Judith did that, if that’s what you’re implying.
      Judith, Mann has had his day, he knows that infamy awaits him as history unpicks the shenaningans of the hockeysitck and climategate. He has only two recourses (1) to simply sit it out while modifying his position in the hope that nobody notices a la Jones, Briffa, Osborne etc. or (2) By far the stupidest way of going about it – to bluff, bluster and bully. perhaps not surprisingly, he’s chosen the stupid way.
      It’s never going to be a fair fight when an intellectual pygmy takes on his intellectual superior, so there will always be an element of “Yah boo, sucks to you!” in their considered argument. At heart the bully is always a coward.

      • A fan of *MORE* discourse

        geronimo claims [irrationally] “Mann has only two recourses: (1) modify his position […] or (2) bluff, bluster and bully.”

        Are there not two more possibilities to consider, geronimo?

        (3)  Mann’s hockey-stick is right (scientifically), and

        (4)  Abuse in regard to it is wrong (legally and morally).

        Here (3) is likely (as it seems to me) and (4) is desirable.

        Don’t you think the evidence (both scientific and legal) increasingly suggests that outcomes (3-4) both are reasonable, geronimo?

        \scriptstyle\rule[2.25ex]{0.01pt}{0.01pt}\,\boldsymbol{\overset{\scriptstyle\circ\wedge\circ}{\smile}\,\heartsuit\,{\displaystyle\text{\bfseries!!!}}\,\heartsuit\,\overset{\scriptstyle\circ\wedge\circ}{\smile}}\ \rule[-0.25ex]{0.01pt}{0.01pt}

      • Steven Mosher

        see above. I was a bit too subtle and cryptic

      • Fan, I covered Mann’s hockey stick on another post.

        I suppose either you didn’t see it or didn’t comprehend what it meant. The MBH 98/99 hockey stick is invalid, and newer reconstructions, including Mann 2008 EIV, are not hockey sticks.

        If you want to worry about abuse, you should extend it to the victims of Mann as well. He’s in a very powerful position and quite frequently engages in what I view as libelous comments.

      • Hi Fan, good to talk. MBH 1998/9 was at best “wrong”, almost everybody outside of a few last fanatics in the bunker believe there was no MWP now, and there are plenty of peer reviewed papers saying so. So let’s ask ourselves what could have been wrong with the paper, in the words of MM 2003:

        “The database used by MBH98 contains the errors and defects listed below. We detail each of these points in this section, then in Section 3 we show how correcting these errors and defects affects the calculation of the Northern Hemisphere average temperature index using MBH98 methodology.

        (a) unjustified truncation of 3 series;
        (b) copying 1980 values from one series onto other series, resulting in incorrect values in at least 13 series;
        (d) displacement of 18 series to one year earlier than apparently intended;
        (e) unjustified extrapolations or interpolations to cover missing entries in 19 series;
        (f) geographical mislocations and missing identifiers of location;
        (g) inconsistent use of seasonal temperature data where annual data are available;
        (h) obsolete data in at least 24 series, some of which may have been already obsolete at the time of the MBH98 calculations;
        (j) listing of unused proxies;
        (k) incorrect calculation of all 28 tree ring principal components.

        (a,f) Series #10 and #11 (Central England and Central Europe air temperatures respectively) use June-July-August averages. This raises three concerns: annual data were available in the primary sources; other station temperature series used by MBH98 (#21- #31), where identified, are annual; and MBH98 claims to calculate an annual temperature index. The Central England Temperature series is truncated at 1730 rather than the available 1659 in source data, which removes a major late 17th century cold period (see Supplementary Information). Series #10 has a 1987 value which is 0.43 deg C higher than in the source data though this does not appear to affect any calculations discussed herein. Central Europe (#11) is truncated at 1550 rather than the available 1525, which removes the warmest temperatures in the series (compare Figure 1 Top and Bottom panels). #11, which is an exceptionally long series of direct temperature information, also shows a notable lack of 20th century uniqueness. In series #100, MBH98 also crop two very high values from the start of
        the series. These truncations are not justified and were not disclosed by MBH98.”

        These should have been addressed by Dr. Bluster Bully, but instead he, well, blustered and tried to bully. He then went on to produce a paper supporting the MBH198/9 paper by using upside down varves that the original author Tijander said were unreliable. Nice. I suggest you read Andrew Monfort’s “Hockeystick Illusion” it’s all there in excruciating detail and I can am sure if you’ve found problems with what’s in the book Andrew would be the first to let you put the mistakes and mis-information you’ve found on his blog .

        Give it up on this one Fan, sure you want the world to be going to hell in a hand basket, I can appreciate that, it’s a worldview as old as humanity itself, but try and find a reasonably sound cause to tie yourself into. I’d try Jehovah’s Witnesses they don’t have any theories that rely on empirical evidence so are pretty safe. Wait a minute…

      • A fan of *MORE* discourse

        Geronimo, I will respectfully decline to defend the statistical perfection of Michael Mann’s 1998/9 data analysis, and please allow me to condemn outright those elements of Mann’s public discourse that are personally abusive and/or rancorous.

        None-the-less, it is verifiably the case, scientifically striking, and greatly to Michael Mann’s credit, that subsequently many more hockey sticks have appeared in the climate-change literature.

        Good on `yah, Michael Mann! But hey, engaging in repeated cycles of tit-for-tat rancor-and-abuse is pointless, Mann!

        \scriptstyle\rule[2.25ex]{0.01pt}{0.01pt}\,\boldsymbol{\overset{\scriptstyle\circ\wedge\circ}{\smile}\,\heartsuit\,{\displaystyle\text{\bfseries!!!}}\,\heartsuit\,\overset{\scriptstyle\circ\wedge\circ}{\smile}}\ \rule[-0.25ex]{0.01pt}{0.01pt}

      • More hockey sticks have appeared in the record? In the area you live in, what do hockey sticks look like?

        Actually I suggest new glasses. :-D

      • A fan of *MORE* discourse

        Carrick asks “In the area you live in, what do hockey sticks look like?”

        Thank you for your question Carrick!

        Citizens in our area are seeing the same climate-change hockey-sticks as everyone else: earlier springs, warmer winters, northward migration of bird-and-animal species, earlier nesting of birds, melting mountain glaciers, and accelerating coastal erosion.

        All of these things have been obvious to outdoor-minded and conservation-minded citizens for a long time.

        Please allow me to say, that your desire for greater climate-change understanding is commendable. Thank you Carrick!

        \scriptstyle\rule[2.25ex]{0.01pt}{0.01pt}\,\boldsymbol{\overset{\scriptstyle\circ\wedge\circ}{\smile}\,\heartsuit\,{\displaystyle\text{\bfseries!!!}}\,\heartsuit\,\overset{\scriptstyle\circ\wedge\circ}{\smile}}\ \rule[-0.25ex]{0.01pt}{0.01pt}

      • Fan, perhaps they are different hockey sticks then.

        You may have missed this, but hockey sticks have a straight handle and a blade. MBH98 was criticized for having a straight handle, and as I point out on the other thread (see link), the blade is a residual of the methodology and the “blade like” character of data from 1900 to current.

        Change the shape of the blade to a “sine wave” and you get a sine-wave looking blade.

        It’s only the handle that is diagnostic, but many people, including myself, felt it looked “just like” low-pass 1/f noise. That is filtered noise + no signal.

        It is undeniable that newer reconstructions do not preserve this “hockey stick” shape, including Mann 2008 EIV.

        (The amount of agreement of the newer reconstructions does suggest that McIntyre and others have over-egged their criticisms a bit.)

        Anyway, I think you need another descriptor besides hockey stick. Hockey stick refers to the now-discredited shape obtained in MBH 98 and 99, and it’s misleading at best to continue to insist that people are finding hockey sticks when newer pale-reconstructions do not.

      • A fan of *MORE* discourse

        Carrick motes “The amount of agreement of the newer reconstructions does suggest that McIntyre and others [of Michael Mann’s critics] have over-egged their criticisms a bit.”

        Please allow me to agree with you 100%, Carrick!

        A recent article that makes this point plainly is the (free-as-in-freedom on-line version) sixty+ author all-continent study of Moinuddin Ahmed et al. (PAGES 2k Consortium) Continental-Scale Temperature Variability during the Past Two Millennia.

        Mann’s “hockey stick” is seen here, in striking clarity, in multiple (but not all) reconstructions by many methods, many authors, and many continents.

        Conclusion I  The “hockey-stick blade” of climate-change acceleration in recent decades is scientifically real, abundantly affirmed, and plainly visible to ordinary citizens … and Michael Mann saw it first.

        As commenters on Wotts Up With That are saying

        Rachel says “Also, the more I read about that famous Mann paper, the more I think it was actually a seminal paper, rather than some fraudulent piece of research.”

        wottsupwiththatblog says “Absolutely. It’s an original piece of work, the results from which still stand up despite an immense amount of scrutiny.”

        These affirmations help Climate Etc readers to appreciate that the climate-change data is speaking more plainly, strongly, and convincingly than all the abusive smears (on either side) put together.

        Conclusion II  Michael Mann and his denialist critics *both* are deplorably wasting their time and energies, in that tit-for-tat personal abuse contributes *nothing* useful to public discourse.

        Please let me say too, that your sustained scientific curiosity and good manners both are keenly appreciated, Carrick!

        \scriptstyle\rule[2.25ex]{0.01pt}{0.01pt}\,\boldsymbol{\overset{\scriptstyle\circ\wedge\circ}{\smile}\,\heartsuit\,{\displaystyle\text{\bfseries!!!}}\,\heartsuit\,\overset{\scriptstyle\circ\wedge\circ}{\smile}}\ \rule[-0.25ex]{0.01pt}{0.01pt}

      • It’t become a hot potato for them. It’s the same reason they blindly reject the IPCC attribution statement, even though it’s only attributing at least 0.3C warming since 1951 to man.

      • fan:

        The “hockey-stick blade” of climate-change acceleration in recent decades is scientifically real, abundantly affirmed, and plainly visible to ordinary citizens … and Michael Mann saw it first.

        Yes I agree with the reality of the blade. I’d suggest Crowley as the first to draw the existence of a blade. The blade was particularly striking in MBH98’s hockey stick because of the flat handle. As I mentioned above, that flat handle is not statistically consistent with more modern reconstructions, so it appears that the enthusiasm for his original figure was premature.


        It’t become a hot potato for them. It’s the same reason they blindly reject the IPCC attribution statement, even though it’s only attributing at least 0.3C warming since 1951 to man.

        There’s contentiousness on both sides on this too. We have people like WHT ignoring anthropogenic aerosols, probably because he doesn’t like admitting that the early 20th century warming was dominantly natural and what that implies. Others don’t like anthropogenic aerosols because that results in an increased climate sensitivity to CO2 (if the CO2 signal is partly masked by aerosols, for the same temperature change, you have to increase the efficacy of CO2 to explain it of course).

      • My recent analysis confirms what Vaughan Pratt has been presenting by further deconstructing the variability in the temperature records.

        Aerosols can go either way. They can create back-scattering sites in the upper atmosphere or they can lay down soot on the surface of white snow. If they go as Hansen suggests, the trend may still apply but we are low-balling the ECS..

      • FOMD; I don’t know or care about your politics. Right-wing loon – left-wing loon all same same. But your knowledge of the science is non-existent. The accuracy or otherwise of the ‘hockeystick’ is easily determined by acquainting yourself with the science. Please do that.

    • I get something like -0.25±0.33 (95% limits) W/m2 for aerosol forcing. Most of the range is highly negative. I don’t think it’s a good idea to ignore it.

  6. Seeing Maynard list options immediately makes me think of options to be added. E.g springs to mind :

    (5) Wait to learn more before engaging…

    “..my email could be construed as undermining ..”

    Pure ego.

    Being “construed” as doing something other than you clearly say is …? ;)

  7. Wonderfully written! Scary stuff….these guys are becoming “unhinged” as they fall back to earth!
    I am just a regular citizen who loves the weather and climate….very much an amateur….but I am interested in science and the truth!
    Judith, keep the faith! The truth “always” wins out in the end!!
    Andy Bentonville, AR

  8. I’m sometimes slightly surprised that so few attempts have been made to bully me over my occasional statements. Perhaps the fact that I’m a white middle aged male with “tenure” at a top university makes me too tough a target? But other than a particularly inept conspiracy by the CRU team to pressurise me into dropping my FOI request (see the climategate emails for details) I have been left largely in peace.

  9. “But I am starting to think that this could be having adverse professional impacts for me. Each day, Georgia Tech provides a summary of the mentions of GT folks in the media; on Sept 28, the Buzz Report included this:….”

    Do you suppose Georgia Tech has been damaged by Mann and his university? Does it have a cause of action?

  10. The more the holes in their cause are exposed, the harder they hammer sheets of tin over them to stop the leaks. The more the arguments move away from scientific debate the more the ranks of sceptics swell.

    Thank you for your efforts to maintain a semblance of balance. The world is all the better for them.

  11. Here is another post on Bora’s harassment

  12. Hang in there. I think “denier” will soon be a badge of honor! Then we can all do the stadium wave goodbye to Mann and the gang!

  13. Perhaps once the law starts sorting this things will change rather quickly.

    After a warning usually, I’d fire someone for promoting Gossip.

  14. Judith Curry

    Thank you for sticking with your search for the scientific truth, even when you are personally attacked for doing so.

    Light and truth will eventually prevail.

    But only because of courageous individuals like you.

    Hang in there.


  15. Reputation IS everything, especially in the days of social media.

    Dr Peter Gleick once claimed that I had been ‘incredibly offensive’ towards him, on comments and on twitter.. As mutual followers of our, included Dr Katie Hayhoe, and the Guardian Journalist Leo Hickman had actually been on the receiving end of really vile abusive emails, tweets.

    I was horrified by Dr Glieck’s claims, as my reputation is all that I have.

    I challenged him to provide just one example, and I would apologise, he did not and repeated it..

    This risked my minor reputation, amongst the many scientists and those involved in the climate debate.

    I challenged him again to substantiate these claims and I was very, VERY fortunate to have three climate scientists, (Dr Katie Hayhoe, Dr Tamsin Edwards and Professor Richard Betts – Met Office) also to question him, and to vouch for my conduct.

    Others are not so fortunate as I was to have people from ‘his’ side to come to their defence, as we see my Mann’s behaviour..

    Dr Tamsin Edwards took the trouble to write to Peter Gleick (and checked with Dr Katie Hayhoe about my conduct towards her) , and an apology was actually made by Peter.

    Dr Tamsin Edward’s email to Peter expressing her concerns for his communication methods is also something to be read (not least because less than 24 Hours later, Dr Peter Gleick phished Heartland.

    full story on my blog.

    • Also, the “something to be read (not least because” might qualify as incredibly something.

      • try looking at one of the emails Katie Hayhoe received around this time….

        Subject: Slimey-c*nt*d N*zi B**ch Wh**e Climatebecile

        and the tone/language goes downhill from here…
        (Leo Hickman had received worse)

        Katie quite bravely published the whole email, below.

        and compare it to anything I have ever said. I was also (publicly) very supportive of Katie at the time she was receiving abusive emails I’ve exchanged DM’s with Katie, and very many other climate scientists and she is very gracious. A little while back Katie corrected one of her climate chnage slides because I pointed out the paper behind the slide was dodgy (Richard Betts also confirmed this with Katie)

        Peter would not apologise on twitter, and he even repeated his claim. without any proof. read my url above, it was only with Tamsin’s intervention that he relented.

      • > compare it to anything I have ever said.

        Beware your wishes.

        Please tell us more about “thought police”:


        Would that be incredibly something, Barry?

      • Heh, that railroad story is something remarkable if not incredible. The sad thing is that the whole story is credible, but whether it more abundantly demonstrates bullying or cowardice, I’m not sure.

      • Once upon a far off time, and long ago, on an alarmist blog, I was holding at bay a bunch of ’em, when Michael Tobis showed up. I celebrated the fact that a real climatologist had shown up, hoping for some real fun rather than the ersatz entertainment with the useful idiot clowns and dupes and stooges. Shortly before that, I had called the Precautionary Principle a Paeon to Ignorance, and rather than engaging about science he proceeded to tell the rest of the denizens that they could trust my climate science about as much as they could trust my spelling of ‘paean’. He then disappeared and shortly thereafter I could no longer comment.

        Ah, good times, and battles long forgotten.

      • Oops, that’s supposed to be for Tom and moshe; everyone else avert your eyes.

    • I don’t know who you are and I am only slightly aware of Dr Peter Gleick and I’m not really interested in whose side anyone is on here. I read this post and started to read the blog. It reminded me of young siblings running to their mother each screaming ‘he (she) hit me’, ‘no he (she) hit me first’ It was too tedious to continue reading.

    • > […] That is all.

      See, Barry?

      • hi Willard

        I’m merely quoting Professor Richard Betts.. ;-) !! LOL
        so a little joke between myself and others I chat to..

        Prof Richard Betts had previously referred to Bob Ward (Grantham Institute)- as the ‘climate thought police’… when Richard was having a civil discussion with sceptics… and Bob didn’t like it

        so big fail, cherry picking that tweet..

      • Dear Barry,

        Levity is good for the soul.

        Your “cherrypick” remark misrepresents what would be needed to meet your challenge. Only responding to that single choice of tweet I made, on the other hand, sounds like cherrypicking. Both actions are incredibly something.

        Your excuse “I was only quoting Richard Betts” is the same to speak of the Team, i.e. the Kyoto Flames. Both your usage of the term and the excuse you now provide are incredibly something. Besides, you also mentioned Dana, which makes your excuse fizzle a bit.

        That a veteran Climateballer indulges into victim playing by coat racking his own “boo hoo” episode in a comment thread about sexual harassment is the most “incredibly something” one could ever find anyway.

        It is so incredibly something that I would say it is suboptimal.


        You do this kind of coatracking at least since the good old’ days at Keith’s, Barry. I’m not sure I would call that offensive. Not yet. I can continue paying due diligence to your contributions, if you please.

        If I were you, I’d settle for “incredibly something”.

    • Mr Woods,

      I would have no reputation anonymous or not as I am not in the field and am of no consequence. I expressed how that communication affected me in a somewhat impulsive reflection. I guess the whole thing really bothers you.

      I don’t use twitter and only hear about outrageous comments coming forward from it. I don’t understand the attraction. On the other hand, you want to communicate with your peers and think it is important. You (as well as Dr Curry) are on the ‘side’ of the debate that is considered out of consensus, marginal, and pseudo-scientific by the broader scientific community and organizations as well as the main stream press.

      This guy, Glieck (who I had forgotten all about), is only known to me as being involved in some kind of petty, nefarious activity aimed at berating his perceived opponents whereby he seemed to resign and reinstate himself in his own organization as some kind of self-flagellation for being a naughty boy. The larger world of basis for reputation as framed by the consensus, and media representation of it, seemed to yawn and move on. Where do you think your reputation would be and that of the so-called skeptics (dragged along with you) would be if you had to admit to some kind of blatant fraud like that? No this kind of thing and climategate are simply annoying distractions for these purveyors of empirical truths.

      I don’t pretend to know what the real science behind all of this is. I look at information from both sides (even Romm) and try to evaluate objectively as I can. At this point I feel it is all superfluous as China and India will keep pumping CO2 at increasing rates and the world organizations of the western governments will continue to grow and usurp power at the expense of us peasants whether it is by this means or another. Conversely, you seen to think your in an honest discussion with your peers?

      So what do you think your reputation is? Why did you bother to try and communicate with someone like Glieck? What did you expect would be the reaction? I still don’t get it!

  16. “In general, why is science perceived to be divorced from social politics?”
    How about historical precedent for what happens when social politics comes first, Lysenko, eugenics and ‘deep planting’ under Mao?
    Scientists have a duty to report, honestly, their observations and analysis; policy belongs to everyone.

    20 years ago a friend of mine went for a job interview for a post-Doc position. The man interviewing her noticed her engagement ring and asked “Do you plan on becoming pregnant?”

    I have seen academics behave in a manner that would raise eyebrows on the poop-deck of a pirate ship; smart and competent doesn’t mean nice.
    As the saying goes, it is not only cream that floats.

  17. “But I am starting to think that this could be having adverse professional impacts for me.”

    I have no doubt this has to be difficult for you. Judith. Mann is imvho, quite loathsome. The truth is, human beings in general are not particularly nice, especially when they feel threatened. That you’re standing up and “shining lights” into places many people would rather you didn’t. at genuine career risk, is a rare and admirable thing. I think back to some of my earlier criticisms of you 3 or 4 years ago now, and feel pretty bad about it. I really didn’t understand how much courage it takes to speak out in your situation.

    I know you have no interest in being called a hero, but there’s no doubt in my mind that’s how you’ll be thought of one day….no matter how this turns out WRT to climate. IN the end, there’s nothing more important in life that being able to look in the mirror and like what you see.

  18. Oh my, Bora Zivkovic has resigned from the Science Online editorial board

    Blog power + girl power carries the day for a change

    • You go girl. I am going to relate this incident to my daughter.

    • Interesting, Bora Zivkovic has already (in a matter of hours) seen more negative professional consequences from revelations of his professional misconduct than Peter Gleick or Michael Mann ever did….

    • The “office sleaze” is a phenomenon most, if not all, working women have had to deal with. When he is a peer or subordinate, it’s pretty easy – give no quarter. Warn once, kick in the gonads (metaphorically) the second time.

      But when he is in a position of power over you, it gets a lot harder.

      All of us who have had to deal with these emotionally stunted little creeps give a cheer when one of them goes down. Bye, Bora! :)

      • Why metaphorically?

      • Because, Gary M, the pain lasts longer.

      • kim,

        My experience with real world slime is that their tolerance for metaphorical pain can be limitless. Real world pain…not so much. Just make sure there are no witnesses. The “he said – she said” defense works both ways.

      • Gary, while the literal kick in the gonads has great appeal, it is frowned on under any circumstances other than defending yourself during a physical attack in the places that I have worked.

        Besides, there are many, many ways (nyuk, nyuk, nyuk) to inflict misery and pain without resorting to that. Ridicule, public humiliation, and getting the other girls together to do a “mean girls” on him are just a few of the smorgasbord of options available to a truly vindictive person like me when I have been slimed by someone who is not in a position of power over me.

        Ask me how I know.

  19. Hmmm … Interesting statement by The ScienceOnline Board. At least the Board is distancing itself from Zivkovic. That’s a good thing!!

    • Curious George

      They have been quietly redefining the meaning of “science” to suit their purpose. I don’t know what that purpose is, but it does not look attractive.

  20. We all must struggle to build understanding and respect toward all involved in serious Logical, Geological, Biological and Technological Questioning (LGBTQ).

  21. With respect to Mann, I would think his present University has enough reputational issues with appropriate senior administration oversight of faculty and staff behavior that an appropriately worded complaint from you to them about his quasi- official and obviously reprehensible conduct might gain some traction.
    As for Anthony at WUWT, open and shut civil legal action, but not clear worth undertaking, or to what end. At least until there have been enough repeats to move beyond the bad hair day defense and establish a pattern of intentionally malicious conduct. That would seem to be inevitable.

    • A fan of *MORE* discourse

      Rud Istvan says “As for Anthony [Watts] at WUWT, open and shut civil legal action, but not clear worth undertaking, or to what end. At least until there have been enough repeats to move beyond the bad hair day defense and establish a pattern of intentionally malicious conduct.”

      Rud Istvan, please allow me to join in your tepid defense of Anthony Watts!

      Anthony Watts/WUWT behavior has improved appreciably since “the bad old days” when Anthony would personally abuse, unilaterally “out”, and edit-without-notice comments on WUWT.

      Nowadays Anthony/WUWT delegates *that* level of abuse to WUWT commenters.

      Conclusion  Anthony Watt’s amended abuse-behaviors *are* an improvement … but not a very substantial one.

      A Sudden Thought  Uhhh … you weren’t *defending* Anthony Watts/WUWT longstanding patterns of abusive discourse, were you Rud Istvan?

      \scriptstyle\rule[2.25ex]{0.01pt}{0.01pt}\,\boldsymbol{\overset{\scriptstyle\circ\wedge\circ}{\smile}\,\heartsuit\,{\displaystyle\text{\bfseries!!!}}\,\heartsuit\,\overset{\scriptstyle\circ\wedge\circ}{\smile}}\ \rule[-0.25ex]{0.01pt}{0.01pt}

      • A fan of *MORE* discourse

        DocMartyn asserts “[FOMD] insults people living and dead”

        Uhhh  “insults dead people” … is it possible to explain to Climate Etc readers (and me too) how that would work in practice, DocMartyn?

        To quote Mark Twain, that would seem to be one of the most difficult and arduous undertakings that was ever conceived by man.”

        Especially for a political moderate who (like me) regards Dwight Eisenhower, Ronald Reagan, Bill Clinton, and Barack Obama as *all* of them being pretty good Presidents! And for scientific moderates who (like me) regard most scientific consensus statements as being reasonably (not perfectly) accurate.

        Not that Eisenhower, Reagan, Clinton and Obama haven’t all received their share of abuse (needless to say). And mainstream scientists too!

        \scriptstyle\rule[2.25ex]{0.01pt}{0.01pt}\,\boldsymbol{\overset{\scriptstyle\circ\wedge\circ}{\smile}\,\heartsuit\,{\displaystyle\text{\bfseries!!!}}\,\heartsuit\,\overset{\scriptstyle\circ\wedge\circ}{\smile}}\ \rule[-0.25ex]{0.01pt}{0.01pt}

      • Judith, as an amateur….and as a fascinated person with regard to weather and climate….I now understand (per these posts) how incredibly difficult it must be in this current environment to do “real” research! These people are mean spirited and are in my opinion evil!! Not true scientist!!

      • FOMD stop libelling Anthony Watts.

        Anyone paying attention has seen how often YOU, Fan of Malicious Discourse, libel everyone you oppose. Mr. Watts, on the other hand, is typically most patient and gracious unless someone (like you) has been repeatedly abusive and in violation of the site’s terms of use.

    • I think Mann would have a little problem with the bad hair day defense without any hair.

    • Anthony Watts

      Yes FOMD was booted off WUWT for bad behavior under the monicker “A physicist”, and then began assuming multiple personalities commenting as a sock puppet. Then, after being caught doing that, he settled on “Fan of MORE discourse”

      Charlie Martin at PJ Media outed him many months ago, he’s a troll of the worst sort.

      For the record and since he had already been outed elsewhere, and several commenters at WUWT brought him to attention after growing tired of his bad behavior, here he is: John A. Sidles. at the University of Washington


      FOMD personifies the worst of the worst in commenters, throwing baseless accusations from fake personas and hiding behind proxy servers since he hasn’t got the courage to speak for himself. Honestly, I don’t know why Dr. Curry tolerates his rude commentary repleat with colorful clown symbols that scream “look at me! look at me!”.

      • How does knowing who is Fan changes anything, Willard Tony?

      • Anthony Watts

        @ Willard it makes him accountable, something you should know about at Universite du Quebec a Montreal

      • Watts.
        Thanks very much. You also do a great service. Too bad a few bad apples can distract from the rest.

      • @ Willard it makes him accountable,

        Yes, indeed, because no one whose name is out there in public fails to be accountable.

        And no one whose name is not out there in public is accountable.

        Ladies and gentlemen, I give you Anthony’s logic.

        And Anthony, what would you call someone who levels a false charge against someone else on a blog, a charge that is provably false, and then doesn’t allow the defense to pass through moderation?

        Is that accountability, Anthony? Does the fact that I know your name change it from “cowardly” behavior to accountable behavior?

        Use your logic skills. I’m sure you can figure out the answer.

      • A fan of *MORE* discourse

        History teaches plainly that the urge to lynch fades but slowly. On some forums it fades more slowly than others!

        WUWT’s recent, marked improvements in civility and commitment to vigorous rational science-guided discourse are appreciated by many, Anthony Watts. Keep it up!

        \scriptstyle\rule[2.25ex]{0.01pt}{0.01pt}\,\boldsymbol{\overset{\scriptstyle\circ\wedge\circ}{\smile}\,\heartsuit\,{\displaystyle\text{\bfseries!!!}}\,\heartsuit\,\overset{\scriptstyle\circ\wedge\circ}{\smile}}\ \rule[-0.25ex]{0.01pt}{0.01pt}

      • Now the historical illiteracy and philosophical incoherence makes sense – no training in the area, and firmly ensconced in the progressive fever swamps of UW in Seattle. An expert in quantum history, where the truth disappears if you examine it.

      • Thank you for the veiled threat, Willard Tony.

        Here, in return:


      • I appreciate the backstory. I have already taken to ignoring his comments as mostly irrelevant.

  22. In a blog post headed, “A Message from Mariette DiChristina, Editor in Chief” she wrote, “We take very seriously the issues that are faced by women in science and women of color in science.”

    I was once involved in fixing a serious problem with one of my company’s products. The communications experts provided a script for us to use when contacting unhappy customers which started, “We take this matter very seriously.” Since then I have heard company representatives use the same “very seriously” phrase over and over again when interviewed by the media. I always think, “Yeh, Right.”


  23. “Why does research conducted by women attract 0.7 citations for each citation received by research by men?”

    Let’s see. Consider an academic field with a very large population composed of a fraction f of female scholars and a fraction 1-f of male scholars. Let us suppose that the conditional probability that any scholar is cited by another scholar is independent of the first scholar’s gender. That is, in brief, the assumption P(cited|female) = P(cited|male) = P(cited). This is the assumption that in selection articles to cite, there is no tendency to favor one gender over the other.

    Bayes’ Rule gives:

    P(female|cited) = P(cited|female)*f/[P(cited|female)*f + P(cited|male)*(1-f)]

    Under the assumption P(cited|female) = P(cited|male) = P(cited), this becomes:

    P(female|cited) = f.

    Similarily, P(male|cited) = 1-f.

    So under the assumption, the relative odds of females and males among those cited is:

    Relative frequence of cited females to cited males = P(female|cited)/P(male|cited) = f/(1-f).

    For this to be 0.7, it would be sufficient that the ratio of female to male scholars in that field is 7 to 10.

    Here is the abstract of the paper on which Sci Am bases this claim (my library embargoes the most recent year from online access so I cannot see the actual paper):

    “This article investigates the extent to which citation and publication patterns differ between men and women in the international relations (IR) literature. Using data from the Teaching, Research, and International Policy project on peer-reviewed publications between 1980 and 2006, we show that women are systematically cited less than men after controlling for a large number of variables including year of publication, venue of publication, substantive focus, theoretical perspective, methodology, tenure status, and institutional affiliation. These results are robust to a variety of modeling choices. We then turn to network analysis to investigate the extent to which the gender of an article’s author affects that article’s relative centrality in the network of citations between papers in our sample. Articles authored by women are systematically less central than articles authored by men, all else equal. This is likely because (1) women tend to cite themselves less than men, and (2) men (who make up a disproportionate share of IR scholars) tend to cite men more than women. This is the first study in political science to reveal significant gender differences in citation patterns and is especially meaningful because citation counts are increasingly used as a key measure of research’s quality and impact.”

    Did they really do a data analysis where the base rate of women and men were not a factor considered in their explanatory model? In their list, they say “after controlling for a large number of variables including year of publication, venue of publication, substantive focus, theoretical perspective, methodology, tenure status, and institutional affiliation.” Base rate isn’t in the list.

    • I suspect that that the 0.7 relates to citations per person, so is independent of the relative number of males vs females

      • Average seniority may explain some of it. I suspect that men in the field are older and more established on average than women. But I doubt that explains all of it. At some point, you run out of easy explanations, and you have to attribute the rest of it to the uncertainty monster.

    • Sorry, should have said the odds ratio is 7 to 10. That would work out to an academic field that is about 59% male.

      • The raw numbers don’t matter so much as to who has first name authorship. In many traditions the ‘money’ gets last name and the student/post-Doc gets first name; but that isn’t universal.
        I have met people whose work I have read and cited, and not known their gender before seeing them.
        They should get rid of first names and stick to initials, like in the old days.

        I had thought we had gone beyond this sexist crap. In my field the gender ratio is close to parity with the Burroughs Wellcome Fund in the UK and NIH in USA actively trying to keep women, especially mothers, in science.

      • International relations (the field this alleged result comes from) is overwhelmingly male. I found the paper online in draft. Even in the late part of their sample (2000-2006), 1705 papers have solely male authors, 312 have solely female authors and 305 have mixed gender authors.

    • Having found a copy of the paper online, I see that the authors didn’t make the mistake I suggested they might have made. Sorry!

      On the other hand, having seen the paper and its tables, I still wonder what the results mean. The median citation counts for papers authored solely by males and solely by females are 6 and 5, respectively, while the means are double and triple this and the standard deviations are enormous–especially for the male authors. What’s suggested there is a mixture, a small subpopulation of male stars who garner boatloads of citations, and a much larger population of seldom-cited secondary papers, perhaps very similarly cited for both the male and female authors.

      That wouldn’t have this paper’s stated implications for tenure and promotion.

      • NW, years ago I did some work on the origins of the bio-tech industry, which emerged from the work of about 300 “star” scientists in the US. These 300 totally dominated citations in the field. No info on the gender breakdown, though, it wasn’t germane.

  24. Mann, Gleick, etc. – ya seen one, y’ave seen ’em all.

  25. Women are well equipped by nature with capabilities for social maneuvers. (It is often claimed better than men.) In my view this is not a gender issue. Furthermore, we can simply be persistent in following the facts in the way of both Judith Curry/Steve McIntyre and overcome. That seems worth doing, but is not easy or pleasant.

    The mixing in of issues from the personal sphere is not helpful to science. It is also not a service to the reader because the reader does not have the necessary facts to make judgments. I am both against sexual harassment and against false or exaggerated accusations thereof. If the problem was small, the employer should handle the issue. If the problem was big, law enforcement should be involved. It is not right to engage the blogosphere instead.

    If Michael Mann’s science held up better to scrutiny, I would gladly put up with his character flaws. Furthermore, scientists are referred to as mad scientists for a reason. Do we really want to crank up our bullying sensitivity to hair-trigger? I think we would end up filling our universities with well behaved morons. Political correctness’ second coming.

    Webster: moron
    1. usually offensive : a person affected with mild mental retardation
    2: a very stupid person


    • A fan of *MORE* discourse

      Will K asserts “If Michael Mann’s science held up better to scrutiny, I would gladly put up with his character flaws”

      Agreed 80% … because increase in civility and rationality on *all* sides of the hockey-stick debate would be very welcome (to me and many).

      As for peer-reviewed assessment, so far the hockey stick stands-up to scrutiny respectably well. Moreover, no-one is leveling the *worst* criticism at Mann’s research, that it is so tepid and/or predictively feeble as to be (in the words of Wolfgang Pauli) “not even wrong”!

      \scriptstyle\rule[2.25ex]{0.01pt}{0.01pt}\,\boldsymbol{\overset{\scriptstyle\circ\wedge\circ}{\smile}\,\heartsuit\,{\displaystyle\text{\bfseries!!!}}\,\heartsuit\,\overset{\scriptstyle\circ\wedge\circ}{\smile}}\ \rule[-0.25ex]{0.01pt}{0.01pt}

      • In one of Mann’s more recent paper he suggested that trees must take a year off here and there due to aerosols. Most (~22) Dendropaleotologists suggested that was not even wrong :)

      • “In one of Mann’s more recent paper he suggested that trees must take a year off here and there due to aerosols. Most (~22) Dendropaleotologists suggested that was not even wrong :)”

        The trees took a sabbatical, perhaps.

        Speaking of which, is anyone else wondering what was achieved during Mann’s sabbatical to hone his climate-communication skills? I haven’t seen any detailed reports yet.

      • Captain, that’s interesting, because there are some creationist “scientists” out there using a similar idea; that the earth is only 6000 years old, but some of the trees got hiccups and created two and three rings a year.

        Isn’t fanciful science fun?

    • finally, a sensible comment on this thread

    • Harold, didn’t you just prove his point?

  26. Unwarranted aggression that crosses a line or pertinent observation (see below)?

    “We may never know whether Mann’s work was deliberately contrived to fit some personal environmental agenda, or just a colossal mathematical blunder.”

  27. The ‘discovery’ in 1912 of the so-called Piltdown Man’s skull and jawbone was in reality the skull of a modern man and the jawbone of an orangutan. But, archaeologists wanted to be lied to back then. And so, 50 years went before anyone bothered to question the supposed experts. Many took the time to examine Michael Mann’s amazing discovery and Mann’s hoax did not survive the vetting. A web-war has drastically shortened the uncovering of the AGW hoax from 50 years to 10. Still, most global warming alarmists even today refuse to admit the ‘hockey stick’ is a fraud and it is those people who have been the most abusive on the web.

    • Ernst Haeckel coined the phrase “ontogeny recapitulates phylogeny”, which basically was the idea that during development of an organism each individual relives the stages of evolution. It is complete rubbish, although presented to me as true in the 70’s.
      ‘Recapitulation theory’ was basically the embryologists jumping on the evolution band-wagon and ‘finding’ all sorts of evolutionary links.
      Band-wagon jumping seems to be common at the moment.

      • Doc, I seem to remember Steven Mithen demonstrating something along the lines of ““ontogeny recapitulates phylogeny” in his fascinating 1996 book “the Prehistory of the Mind.” At a quick flick, I’ve found “… Evolution does not have the option of returning to the drawing board and beginning anew; it can only ever modify what has gone before. This is, of course, why we can only understand the modern mind by understanding the prehistory of the mind. It is why ontogeny may contain clues to phylogeny. It is why we can look to the cathedral of the modern mind and find clues to the architecture of past minds.” If I find anything more pertinent (neither term is in the index), I’ll repost. It may be that he never used the phrase, it just struck a chord.

  28. Juditn,

    I am not persuaded that females are any more subject to bullying than men. I also don’t believe they are any less nasty or vitriolic. The female Labor Party parliamentarians were known as the ‘Handbag Hit Squad”. They used to hunt as a pack, agree their tactics and their lines and roll them out in unison over the news media. They were as nasty, or nastier, than the male politicians. Prime Minister Julia Gillard’s disgusting, dishonest, bullying ‘misogyny speech’ directed at Opposition Leader, Tony Abbott, is an example (it went viral over the internet). Tony Abbot is a very decent person and far from a misogynist.

    So, I suggest it is not productive to raise the gender issue. After 6 years of it in Federal Parliament in Australia most people are heartily sick of it (down here).

    • By the way,

      I agree with this:

      Online bullying is an issue of growing concern.

      Continually calling people names like “denier” is a good example.

  29. Off topic, but I thought Mosher would appreciate this. This is my partner’s brother, and he’s basically attempting to do what amounts to open source human genetics.

    Free The Data seems to be a mantra that’s catching on in a lot of places.

    • Harold, I used to have huge battles in the Queensland Government from 1991 – 2002 from people who wanted to tightly constrain government data in all fields because of the possibility that it could be exploited for gain, and have value to the government. I argued that the data was publicly funded, and therefore a public resource, and that we had no idea of its value, that would emerge only through making it freely available so that ingenious and inventive people could make use of it. The potential economic gains from freeing the data seemed to be large – people would find uses for it which we could not imagine – possible gains from constraining it were miniscule. So, go Nussbaum!, I say.

      I got a lot of support from industry and the brighter sparks in the QPS, but anal-retentiveness prevailed.

      • I probably should have a little chat with Bob about this, being in San Francisco, He’s probably aware of the connection or parallel between what he’s doing and the Open Source software movement, but I think his project might benefit from some cross-fertilization with the OS software geeks. For example, an article in Wired might get him a lot of new attention.

      • Heh, it’s a matter of calling.

    • Thanks harold.

  30. As fascinating as the topic of anthropogenic global warming is, it pales in comparison to the tribalization of what was once climate science.

  31. It’s about time environmental and climate bullies get exposed for what they are. Perhaps we can finally have real debates and civil discussions. Bullying is harmful in many ways. Helpful? Not so much.

    Adults work to stop kids from doing it, but adults must lead by example.

    I think, if the name calling ceased, we really might make some progress.

  32. With virtually un-metered words talk has really become cheap. Something very fundamental is going on with communication…and it has some very real down sides ranging from the zipless chat to brutish drive-by flog-bloggings.Good time to look within.

  33. I just received this link via email: Climate McCarthyism Part I: Joe Romm’s Intimidation Campaign


    Joe Romm is the undisputed champ of blogospheric aggression

  34. Here is a quote from the breakthrough article:

    “In the end, the purpose of bullying is not simply to victimize individuals, it’s to intimidate the bystanders. What most bystanders want is to not be attacked by the bully. It ruins your day and threatens your career. So if you are a reporter you hew to the climate orthodoxy because, well, after all, look at what Romm did to Keith Kloor.”

    Bullying of me by Romm, Mann acts to keep other scientists in line, who don’t want to put up with what I have had to

    • Having seen Mann’s behaviour on Twitter, I’m becoming more convinced he’s really a method actor engaged in self parody.

    • > look at what Romm did to Keith

      What did Joe to Keith?

      I thought both were big boys.

    • This “intimidating the bystanders” analysis suggests that the target of bullying ought to make it appear that he/she is unflapped and having a great time. Then others will want to jump in. But there is a clear strategic choice to be made between this sprezzatura approach versus documenting the harms to one’s reputation, etc.

    • Judith,

      You get called to give evidence to Congress. I reckon you are winning. Please don’t let them get to you. I recall Nelson Mandela said something similar to this to Bill Clinton when the masses turned their vitriol on him.

    • You forgot to include parts 3 and 4 of this series. They explain what it means to “keep other scientists in line” and it includes journalists and politicians.

      “Little wonder then that Romm’s strength lies in his appeals to Democratic partisan identity. He writes for a Democratic audience and mobilizes liberal and environmentalist readers to attack reporters, activists, and policymakers who diverge, literally, from the Party line.”

      Romm is employed by a liberal think tank to promote liberal policy. Any divergence from liberal policy solutions is attacked. That this partisan activist is considered THE influential activist on global warming by Time, the New York Times and others tells you something important. When you intentionally allow activists to frame an issue as an imperative to destroying Republicans and marginalizing independents and moderate Democrats, don’t come crying that it’s hard to build a political consensus. The number of people in the US self-identifying as liberal has hovered at or below 20% for a long, long, long time.
      A movement that takes it’s cause seriously wouldn’t do that.

    • I think the more popular term is “being made an example of”.

  35. The best way to stop poor behaviour on a blog is for the owner of the blog to implement a 3 strikes policy for any breach of blog rules (which includes verbal abuse and ad homs). Funnily enough, if this policy were to be properly enforced, the behaviours usually improve.

    • ….and if the behaviours don’t improve then a permanent ban is appropriate.

    • Unfortunately, the downside of that is that people who don’t like walking on eggshells end up going elsewhere. Whether or not that’s a problem depends on what kind of blog and what the goal is. I’ve seen button-down blogs that remain successful (CA comes to mind), and I’ve seen overzealously censored blogs completely lose any internet ranking (not in the climate area).

      At this blog, deportment isn’t the only issue, maybe not even the biggest. A lot of the stuff that really needs to go overboard is just banal schmutz.

  36. > an editor at Biology-Online.com called Lee an “urban whore” because she declined to write a free monthly blog for the website.

    Sigh. Sigh.

    • The more context you get on that episode, the worse it looks. 1) The attack on free-lance writers who need to get paid to eat and 2) calling a blogger whose main topic is what it’s like to be the rare black woman in science an “urban whore.” Yikes.

      I believe the unnamed individual who sent the email was eventually terminated over at Biology Online. SciAm at first tried to dissemble about why they deleted the offended bloggers’ post about the insult (first saying it was not on topic, then backpedalling to claim legal concerns), but then owned up and let the post stand.

  37. Pondering on ways that human behaviour in general (not just on the internet) could be improved, it seems that legal remedies and legislation would have to be least effective.

    It seems that such behaviour should be called out by everyone at every opportunity. Any silence on the part of others can only be construed by offenders as tacit approval and this should not be allowed to happen.

    I am often guilty of letting poor behaviour go on unremarked and therefore applaud when someone like M Hastings has the courage of his convictions to speak the truth when something offensive occurs at Climate Etc.

    So the big takeaway of this thread to me is not to just deplore the behaviour of bullys and other offenders, nor to give weak justifications about any perceived passivity of victims possibly compounding the event, but to place much more responsibility on the community in general to stamp out such behaviours that come to their notice.

    This includes potential victims becoming far more assertive about their rights to live their lives with dignity and self respect.

  38. I became skeptic of the AGW theory when I saw the constant harassment, bullying and ad hom attacks of the scientists with contrarian views. I thought something is rotten in the State of Denmark…

  39. Dr. Elliott Althouse

    Perhaps the Virginia Supreme Court will order release of Dr. Mann’s emails from UVA. He has been campaigning against Ken Cuccinelli who had the audacity to request them since it is evident he used the hockey stick to obtain state funding. With his vitriol against Koch Brothers, we’ll see if he threatens to quit if Penn State refuses to give them back all the money they donated to the university. The behavior of these people is almost Orwellian.

  40. The Climate Oracle’s weather gets nasty …

    “The police report of the masseuse’s complaint is 73 pages long and extremely detailed. According to the document, she got a call from the front desk of the trendy Hotel Lucia on the night of Oct. 24, 2006. The hotel had a special guest. Could she come at 10:30 p.m.?

    She went to Gore’s room carrying a folding massage table and other equipment. Gore, whom she had never met, greeted her with a warm embrace. “The hug went on a bit long, and I was taken just a bit aback by it,” the masseuse told police. But she went along because Gore “was a VIP and a powerful individual and the Hotel Lucia had made it clear to me by inference that they were giving him ‘the royal treatment.’”

    Gore said he was tired from travel and described in detail the massage he wanted. It included work on the adductor muscles, which are on the inside of the thighs. “I mentally noted that a request for adductor work is a bit unusual,” the masseuse told police, because it can be “a precursor to inappropriate behavior by a male client.”

    Gore also requested work on his abdomen. When that began, “He became somewhat vocal with muffled moans, etc.,” the masseuse recounted. Gore then “demand[ed] that I go lower.” When she remained focused on a “safe, nonsexual” area, Gore grew “angry, becoming verbally sharp and loud.””


  41. Judith, The breakthrough institute pieces are truly frightening. I haven’t paid much attention to politics the last few years even though I realized that the 2012 campaign was the most negative since the Civil War and it was not symmetric. But Center for American Progress seems to really have devolved into a smear and propaganda outlet, a fitting target for our wrath. I seem to remember that it is funded by George Soros, who has many things to apologize for including his unethical business dealings that have harmed many of the “small” people. If that’s true, we have a new definition of malifactor of great wealth.

    Anyway, I would certainly support you and others if legal action has a chance of succeeding.

  42. Still looking for Springer to provide his intimate perspective of this issue from the side of a pathetic, impotent bully.

    • David Springer

      Absent that we at least got your input as an impotent pathetic anonymous coward. For that you have our enduring gratitude, Horwad!

  43. arrrgh.
    We have all done it.
    Consciously, unconsciously ,awake and in our dreams.
    One of the few terms we can use that pergorates itself.
    Yet it is all a matter of perception.
    If an officer orders a soldier to follow an instruction that is a normal ,routine mundane and accepted practice.
    If the soldier doesn’t like it is [perceived] bullying.
    Everyone “bullies” other people at times or is “bullied”.
    We can all agree to the rites and practices and we can all change them e.g giving all adults the vote.
    But we have to beware of people playing the bullying and harassment cards.
    Naming and shaming is one of the worst cards we can play. It is arrogant,
    tasteless, intolerant and evil.
    It is also all too easy for bullies to use and works in the way mentioned above on bystanders. Object and we will name you too.
    That is why laws exist to prevent slander, muckraking and name calling.
    While it seems noble to stand up for these young women and their “just cause” we must always remember that there are at least 2 sides to each story.
    Judith will never get her reputation back from the attacks on her and nor will whoever it was who was named in the article above.
    Especially now.

    • We haven’t all done it. Bullying is just a synonym for type A personality. Only type A’s do it. Until somebody smacks back, and they they scurry off whimpering. And then they find somebody else to do it to.

      And the cycle repeats. That’s just they way type A’s are.

      • The Type A personality itself is not a flaw or disease, and being Type A is not a mistake or offense … a range of personalities are visible in the population, and they all have their upsides & their downsides. Declaring certain personality-types to be ‘bad’ is a non-starter.

        It is certainly possible or likely, that some personalities will be less prone to intimidate or bully others, but it is in the nature of ‘competition’ and various kinds of conflict, that these forms of assertiveness or aggression will remain part of human affairs.

        People sometime FEEL intimidated, and even bullied, simply because another person is more accomplished, or has perfectly valid advantages over them. “We” can indeed leave others thinking we have intimidated or bullied them, simply by going about our normal business … without having ‘directed’ anything at the person who feels victimized.

        There are limits on the specifics of bullying, but even observing them scrupulously, there will still be lots of room for it, within acceptable conduct.

        Bullying that is ‘crude’, ‘nasty’ or ‘gross’, is typically ‘for the benefit of’ 3rd parties. The smart way to deal with it, is to assess who it was actually intended to influence (it wasn’t ‘you’).

    • angech –

      Naming and shaming is one of the worst cards we can play. It is arrogant, tasteless, intolerant and evil.

      Take a look around. What do you see? The previous thread, perhaps? Perhaps you see people discussing with form of demeaning name-calling is the “best?”


  44. More generally:

  45. Judith –

    I come down strongly on the side of shining a light on any bullying behavior, be it sexual harassment, or the kind of professional bullying evident in the Climategate emails, or whatever.

    Then perhaps you should consider calling out McKitrick for calling an editor a “groveling, terrified coward,” or RPJr. for calling people “climate chickens,” or comparing climate scientists to the mafia, or talking of how scientists are “exploiting climate science for personal and political gain.” Or perhaps you might consider criticizing Wall Street Journal editorials that compare climate scientists to totalitarians that imprison and executed people for their scientific views?

    None of the bullying is justified, Judith, and further, none of it has any legitimate place in scientific debate.

    Get out your light, Judith, and let it shine.

    • @Joshua “none of it has any legitimate place in scientific debate”

      I agree, not only to scientific debate, but that all forms of discourse and relationships should be considered.

      • all forms of discourse and relationships should be considered.

        Yes, of course Peter. And that is, perhaps, a more important consideration.

        But it is also a separate issue, IMO. Let people argue about which demeaning names they think are most appropriate to use for those that disagree with them – if they think that is meaningful or important. But it has no scientific relevance, and people treat it as if it does. Debate and disagree about the science. By definition, the name-calling can not be informative to that debate. That is why ad-homs are a fallacy; they aren’t meaningful or valid in disagreements related to analysis of data or evidence. The question of “validity” doesn’t seem to me to be particularly relevant to Immoral or unethical behavior, as they are value judgments and not a matter of science.

    • David Springer

      Joshua | October 17, 2013 at 12:52 am | Reply

      “Get out your light, Judith, and let it shine.”

      But no pressure, right? Hahahahahahaah!!!!!!!!!1111

  46. From CATO (& UTA):

    In an epic case of unintended consequences, government-mandated anti-bullying programs are actually increasing bullying by teaching kids how to bully, according to a new study published in the Journal of Criminology:

    The study concluded that students at schools with anti-bullying programs might actually be more likely to become a victim of bullying. It also found that students at schools with no bullying programs were less likely to become victims.
    The results were stunning for Jeong [the author]. “Usually people expect an anti-bullying program to have some impact—some positive impact.”

    The student videos used in many campaigns show examples of bullying and how to intervene. But Jeong says they may actually teach students different bullying techniques—and even educate about new ways to bully through social media and texting.

    Jeong said students with ill intentions “…are able to learn, there are new techniques [and gain] new skills.” He says students might see examples in videos and then want to try it.

    According to Jeong, some programs even teach students how to bully without leaving evidence behind. “This study raises an alarm,” he said. “There is a possibility of negative impact from anti-bullying programs.”

    So under the pretense of helping, the government essentially created a “How To Bully and Get Away With It” program that has made the lives of tens of thousands of schoolchildren more miserable.


    • Faustino, my former colleagues who still work in the Public Service tell similar tales about “anti-bullying programs”, which are the fashion du jour in the bureaucracy.

      They are counter productive in two ways: genuine bullies get a free course on how to avoid the legal traps, and whiny employees come to see everything they don’t like about work or their colleagues or boss as “bullying.” The number of complaints has skyrocketed, and it seems hard to believe that people’s actual behaviour has changed that much.

      I was peripherally involved in a formal case of alleged bullying some years ago. Despite three levels of appeals, it was never substantiated – but it dragged on for nearly four years, and must have cost at least tens of thousands of dollars, not to mention a lot of angst for those directly involved. The complainant, IMO, was not the best adjusted person I’ve ever met.

      That said, I was also savagely targeted by a woman (my boss at the time) who was generally regarded as the office psychopath. Since this was well known around the organisation, I got myself moved to another area – and management didn’t replace me, which was their way of telling her she was out of line. They couldn’t touch her formally because she was an overseas exchange officer. And I’m no shrinking violet, so I do accept that it can happen to anyone.

      But formalising “bullying” as separate from the broader requirements of professional behaviour seems like a bad idea. Professional courtesy and fairness pretty well covers it.

      • Johanna, bullying was the preferred senior management style of Queensland Treasury. It came from the top, and when it became such an issue that Under Treasurer Gerry Bradley thought that he had to respond, he sent an all-staff e-mail which in effect said he’d bully those identified as bullies. Very helpful. Rather than point out the bullying inherent in his e-mail, I drafted a very constructive reply, based on recent psychological work, on understanding bullying and how to deal with it. People who I showed my draft to were horrified – they said Bradley would destroy me if I sent it. A great atmosphere for high morale and productivity!

      • True, some organisations have that kind of culture, and it comes from the top. I always made extensive inquiries about organisational culture before applying for a job somewhere else, especially after the harrowing experience I mentioned above.

        Anywhere that Secretaries and Dep Secs were known to shout at and humiliate junior colleagues in public got a wide berth from me. It was the same when I worked in the private sector.

        Organisational culture is critical. The reason I survived the walloping I got was because senior management (who, believe me, were not in the caring and sharing mould) regarded that kind of behaviour as unprofessional and unacceptable. Their subordinates soon got the message.

    • Same ol’ same ol’ unexpexted consequences syndrome.
      Top down programs from the cloud tower.

      Schools need autonomy to implement prompt, consistent,
      pragmatic discipline policies, rule of law for all… And fer
      students, try a bit of action on the litttoral, use yer wits,
      deflect with jokes, cover yer back, avoid dark alleys,
      enlist a friend’s support, put it on the record, git a lasso
      … become antifragile.

      • A practical approach Beth +1. The problem with some people seems to be that they are naturally timid and are non-assertive communicators and hence often find themselves on the receiving end.

      • “Same ol’ same ol’ unexpexted consequences syndrome.
        Top down programs from the cloud tower.”

        Yet schools ARE top down organizations.

    • The study concluded that students at schools with anti-bullying programs might actually be more likely to become a victim of bullying. It also found that students at schools with no bullying programs were less likely to become victims.

      W/o knowing the specifics of the research, it looks like it could be a classic case of trying to ascertain longitudinal conclusions from cross-sectional data.

      Was there more bullying at the schools with bullying programs before the programs were instituted? Was the bullying at those schools (where the programs were instituted) increased or reduced as the result of the programs?

      The articles don’t say, do they? Isn’t that interesting?

      And if the study has that data, then why don’t the articles mention it? Why didn’t the author explain so as to address an obvious aspect of “uncertainty” related to the study?

      I mean sure, there is a certain logic to the speculation – that focusing on the phenomenon of bullying might make it worse.

      But the really interesting question for me, in reading these here comments from my much beloved johanna and Faustino and Beth Cooper, is why would people who consider themselves to be “skeptics” go from reading a couple of paragraphs from this study, and without that crucial information for understanding the implications of the study, to make some kind of vast and sweeping generalization about “unintended consequences?”

      Perhaps because they are seeking to confirm biases?

      Could that be it?

      Ya’ think?

      • See, i agree with the gist of your comment but not your tone. that’s why i stopped bothering to talk to you (breaking my vow here ain’t i). I don’t take you seriously because I think you should have stopped after your 2nd (3rd including the quote) paragraph. But nobody cares what I think and I don’t care much about that, which is why I don’t comment much any more.

      • Keep wrenching on the oysters, bill_c; your pearls are lustrous.

      • bill –

        But nobody cares what I think

        Ironically enough, I care about what you think. You are one of the (not huge number of) folks here whose opinions I take quite seriously. I’ve told you this a number of times over a pretty long period of time.

        I’ve been giving thought to your recent comment about how, in your eyes, I have lost credibility (paraphrasing) in contrast to your viewpoint a while back (not saying that you ever thought I was completely credible, but at least more credible).

        I’ve been wondering about whether it reflects some change in my comments. I don’t think so. Does it reflect a change in your perspective? I don’t think so. Maybe just fatigue at reading a similar viewpoint repeatedly? That’s possible, but the disdain you expressed in your previous comment seemed stronger than what would be generated from fatigue.

      • Steven Mosher

        “W/o knowing the specifics of the research, it looks like it could be a classic case of trying to ascertain longitudinal conclusions from cross-sectional data.”

        perhaps that is your cognitive dissonance showing.

        you could say

        “I have not looked at the study and have no opinion”

        but instead you decide to be skeptical or quasi skeptical.

        flip the case around.

  47. Nobody bullies like the IRS bullies.


    (Check out the chart from NPR posted in the article.)

  48. I was spent a lot of time understanding the Duke Lacrosse case, as well the Zimmerman trial. There was an interesting point made by one of the attorneys in the Duke Lacrosse case, which was that his father had risked not only his own well being, but even that of his family by protecting blacks from discrimination pro-bono in trials. In the Zimmerman case, regardless of whether you think he was guilty, the state spent millions of dollars to railroad Zimmerman. Michael O’Mara stood up and took care of this man, using his own money against the group think injustice.

    I think the answer here is good people have to do what is right, even if it means disruption or even risks to their own lives. It means you have to be better and smarter than the people attacking you, and you have to run higher risks than the people attacking you. You have to be right, and you have to know how to sway opinion. I think you are up to the task.

  49. JC said in the head post:

    “. Each day, Georgia Tech provides a summary of the mentions of GT folks in the media; on Sept 28, the Buzz Report included this:

    *The IPCC, Climate Change and Bad Faith Attacks on Science *
    */Huffington Post -/ September 27, 2013 *
    It happens every six years or so: The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate
    Change (IPCC) publishes its assessment of the current state of
    scientific understanding regarding human-caused climate change. That
    assessment is based on contributions from thousands of experts around
    the world through an exhaustive review of the peer-reviewed scientific
    literature and a rigorous, several-years-long review process… This
    time, however, climate-change deniers seem divided in their preferred
    contrarian narrative. Some would have us believe that the IPCC has
    downgraded the strength of the evidence and the degree of threat. Career
    fossil-fuel-industry apologist Bjorn Lomborg, in Rupert Murdoch’s “The
    Australian,” wrote on Sept. 16: “UN’s mild climate change message will
    be lost in alarmist translation.” On the other hand, serial climate
    disinformer Judith Curry (*Georgia Tech*), in a commentary for the same outlet five days later, announced, “Consensus distorts the climate
    I can well understand your concern that this sort of stuff being constantly circulated around your workplace might negatively affect your reputation, especially with people who don’t know you.

    It seems to me that it would be reasonable (and professional) for the compilers of this circular not to include material which is just a personal attack or ad hominem argument. This sort of stuff adds nothing to the common knowledge, and is indeed potentially damaging to staff members who are being targeted by malicious and unfounded campaigns against them as individuals. I assume the purpose of the digest is to let people know about substantive comments on the work that people are doing, not gossip and tittle-tattle.

    Perhaps you should ask them to review their editorial policy?

  50. A fan of *MORE* discourse

    The defenses of the polity against abuse are improving … albeit only slowly. In the eighteenth century, defenders of the freethinker Spinoza commonly suffered torture, death, mutilation, and even cannibalism in the most literal sense, even as these brave philosophes created the progressive political philosophy of America’s Founders and Framers

    Lynching and assassination remained common practices throughout the nineteenth century, as Mark Twain vividly describes:

    The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn
    Chapter XXXIII: A N____ Stealer — Southern Hospitality —
    A Pretty Long Blessing — Tar and Feathers

    As we struck into the town and up through the the middle of it — it was as much as half-after eight, then — here comes a raging rush of people with torches, and an awful whooping and yelling, and banging tin pans and blowing horns; and we jumped to one side to let them go by; and as they went by I see they had the king and the duke astraddle of a rail — that is, I knowed it was the king and the duke, though they was all over tar and feathers, and didn’t look like nothing in the world that was human — just looked like a couple of monstrous big soldier-plumes.

    Well, it made me sick to see it; and I was sorry for them poor pitiful rascals, it seemed like I couldn’t ever feel any hardness against them any more in the world. It was a dreadful thing to see. Human beings can be awful cruel to one another.

        — Mark Twain

    Continuing through the 1960s, lynching, assassination, and its political iconography remained disturbingly common throughout much of the United States.

    Even today, explicit and disturbingly violent fantasies like Rock out with your Glock out! continue to be posted right here on Climate Etc (by climate-change denialists particularly). The urge to lynch fades but slowly.

    Fortunately, the homicidal and/or lynch-mob acting-out of violently anti-progressive fantasies is becoming more-and-more rare, both in the United States and around the world. Good!

    Summary  Year by year, abominations regrettably occur. Yet century-by-century, the overall political trend is encouraging, as abusive discourse and its violent acting-out both are quenched. That’s why it is well for progressives to take a long view democratic discourse, neither blind to the violence of forces that oppose it, nor discouraged in regard to its cumulative progress.

    Good! Let’s keep it up!

    \scriptstyle\rule[2.25ex]{0.01pt}{0.01pt}\,\boldsymbol{\overset{\scriptstyle\circ\wedge\circ}{\smile}\,\heartsuit\,{\displaystyle\text{\bfseries!!!}}\,\heartsuit\,\overset{\scriptstyle\circ\wedge\circ}{\smile}}\ \rule[-0.25ex]{0.01pt}{0.01pt}

    • And I thought progressives were the ones trying to stifle speech. Political correctness, campus rules against so called “hate speech,” calling people who are skeptical of AGW “Deniers,” calling people racists, homophobes, Nazis, and trying to shut down their businesses because they support the wrong legislation.

    • You never saw the 10-10 video Fan?

    • Yet century-by-century, the overall political trend [for progressives] is encouraging…

      The Barons who jacked the King up against the wall in 1215 – Progressives or Conservatives?

      … either way; prominent early documentation of (micro)agression!

  51. DALLAS (Reuters) – Flamboyant billionaire Mark Cuban on Wednesday was cleared by a Texas jury of using a private tip to avoid a big loss on his 2004 sale of Internet company shares, in a stinging rebuke for the U.S. government which had accused him of insider trading.

    Cuban, 55, the owner of the Dallas Mavericks basketball team, lashed out at the U.S. government and lead prosecutor Jan Folena after the verdict, saying the government had tried to bully him.

  52. “I am glad this happened to me,” Mr. Cuban said after the verdict. “I am glad I am wealthy enough to stand up to the SEC.” Let’s hope the SEC thinks twice before it brings a similarly flimsy case against the next nonbillionaire.

  53. Prof. Curry…

    You might consider The Origins of Bullying by Hogan Sherrow. His bio (at SciAm Blogs) says:

    Hogan Sherrow is Assistant Professor of Anthropology in the Department of Sociology & Anthropology at Ohio University and the Director of the Hominid Behavior Research Project. He has conducted research on chimpanzees in Uganda, gibbons in Indonesia and baboons in Namibia. His current research focuses on modeling the behavior of early human ancestors using data from chimpanzees, humans and fossil Hominins. Hogan’s blog You Evolving focuses on using evolutionary principles and data to understand modern human behavior. When he’s not following chimpanzees through the forest, collecting data on gang members in the US, or lecturing to packed classes of college students, Hogan can be found on his small horse farm in Albany, Ohio with his wife and two daughters.

    He discusses evolutionary parallels with chimpanzees and other, more distantly related social mammals. I was selecting blockquotes from his article, but there were just too many of them.

  54. Antonio (AKA "Un físico")

    Naming IPCC’s WGI coordinating lead authors is not bulling:
    – Gumar Myhre (CICERO) & Drew Shindell (NASA), CLAs of the Chapter 8: Anthropogenic and natural radiative forcings.
    – Gregory Flato (Env. Can.) & Jochem Marotzke (MPI Met.), CLAs of the Chapter 9: Evaluation of climate models.
    – Matthew Collins (U. Exeter) & Reto Knutti (ETH Zurich), CLAs of the Chapter 12: Long term climate change projections.
    Citting my own document is not bulling:
    The problem comes when those CLAs have reached such ascientific conclusions in their chapters (as I have demonstrated in this “Refuting IPCC’s claims …” doc). Because then, what can we do?. Are climatologist happy as these “experts” drive their science towards such a pseudo-science?.
    Agressions on the internet will not solve this problem, I agree. But, again, what can we do?.

  55. Re-reading the hide the decline thread, great stuff!

    Especially Gavin being handed his a$$ is fun:

    • Much as I distrust Keith Kloor, I did enjoy his thread where Gavin gave up the Piltdown Mann’s Crook’t Stick prior to 1500.

    • Incredible to see some people actually criticize Judith for saying that the deletion of the best most recent part of the proxy data because it diverged from the temperature record is dishonest, such as Bart Verheggen:

      • > Incredible to see some people actually criticize Judith for saying that the deletion of the best most recent part of the proxy data because it diverged from the temperature record is dishonest […]

        Incredible indeed:

        Agreeing to disagree is one thing. Calling other scientists dishonest and pseudo-scientists is quite another. That breaks down any constructive discussion that could have been had.

        Why be so strident and accusative? How does that jibe with wanting to build bridges?

        I agree with John N-G (http://judithcurry.com/2011/02/22/hiding-the-decline/#comment-45778 ), esp re the need for summary graphs and presenting the evidence with the highest confidence. I also agree with him that it would have been better if it had been better explained how the figure was arrived at. But broad brush accusations of dishonesty lower your credibility (with scientists at least).

        What’s the title of the current op-ed, again?

    • How about this one

      Dr Schmidt, as a layman I find your attitude to dissent so pathological that not only do I distrust your climate opinions, I wouldn’t let you sell me a pound of sausages.

      • Yeah. Dr. Schmidt gets burned so bad on that thread that only the tips of his laces still lie on the ground.
        And yet he keeps coming back after that, pulling Judith’s ponytails a couple of times, hoping for an emotional response. But getting utter politeness from her in return. Priceless.

      • Ah, Good Times.

      • Somebody complained about bullying at RC.
        I look at it this way. If you are dealing with people that argue in favor of the paranormal and try to give you scientific evidence for it, you should be able to needle back. Well, the denial science that I see here and at WUWT is equivalent to paranormal kranks, so they will get the trash talk by the truckload.

      • > Yeah. Dr. Schmidt gets burned so bad on that thread that only the tips of his laces still lie on the ground.

        Another zinger, I’m dying here.

      • What about your denial wnut? Of how non-linear dynamics works in very complex systems?

      • Webhub says:

        I look at it this way. If you are dealing with people that argue in favor of the paranormal and try to give you scientific evidence for it, you should be able to needle back.

        Why do you need to needle back? Why trash talk?
        Why not refute their scientific evidence, which should be easy? After all it is only the paranormal?

      • Nice trash talk, AK.

        Planck response is non-linear..

    • > Especially Gavin being handed his a$$ is fun […]

      Good one, Wijnand.

      Brilliant argument.

  56. Although “me too” comments generally are not useful, this time I think they are warranted. Thank you, Dr. Curry and thank you Danielle Lee, Monica Byrne and the people who spoke out in the comments on Maynard’s blog.

  57. This post is literally dripping with irony as Judith Curry is an online bully against so many other climate scientists, including the IPCC.

    • Oh, well, that bully David is abusing the ‘challenged’ Goliath.

      • One of the more interesting aspects of the climate wars is how “skeptics” claim to be so influential with the public even as they speak of how powerless they are.

      • Having studied the subject, I can assure you that David always had the upper hand. Goliath repeatedly accused him of cheating.

      • The IPCC made Judy do it.

      • yes, one lowly ‘david’ (well, make that davidina or something) going after the IPCC ‘goliath’

      • Heh, Samson got his ears lowered.

      • Steven Mosher

        interesting how folks are made to feel things.

        “I doubted myself, my value to a community in which I had found a home, my worth as a writer. I came home crying to my roommate, so unsure of what this meant for my future, whether all my seeming accomplishments were no more than a ruse.

        I’ve carried those thoughts with me ever since.

        What makes this so hard to talk about—my experience and Monica’s—is that it may not look like sexual harassment. There was no actual sex or inappropriate touching. Bora wasn’t vulgar toward me, nor did he even directly announce his interest. It was all reading between the lines, which made it easy for me to discount my own experience. Instead, I did my best to ignore my discomfort to avoid conflict, or otherwise convinced myself that I was reading too far into it. How vain! To imagine all men want to have sex with me!

        No one should be made to feel this way, no less someone early in her or his career. The nagging self-doubt is enough to turn people away from doing the things they love. Monica wrote that she’s okay, “as science journalism isn’t my principal interest by far.” But imagine how many people have been driven away from their main goal because their experiences don’t align with traditional definitions of harassment. The focus then is not on getting over it; instead, there is the added stress of figuring out whether what you experienced was harassment at all. In that case, maybe that goal doesn’t seem worth the effort.

        I’ve made it far enough now that I know my work is valuable on its own. And I’m writing today to let anyone else who has experienced sexual harassment—especially the type of harassment that can be mistaken for acceptable behavior—that you aren’t alone. Whoever did this to you is the one in the wrong. They are the one who did not examine their own power and the effect their “harmless flirting” could have on you.

        It’s easy to say that now but, at my most insecure moments, I still come back to this: have I made it this far, not based on my work and worth, but on my value as a sexual object? When am I going to be found out?

        I don’t think Bora intended to make me feel this way. In fact, if he knew I were carrying this with me, I’m sure he’d be horrified. But it’s our actions that matter, not our intentions. He did make me feel that way. His actions degraded my self-worth.”

      • moshe, overbearing Bills are shattering balls in the chase. This one was apparently egregious and pervasive, as seems. Also, a spark in a flour mill scenario, apparently by the reaction. Not rare, not legal, not safe.

      • Steven Mosher

        The IPCC made Judy do it.

        FOIA harassment made Jones do it.

      • willard, perhaps from his mirror gazing, has it backwards. Judy, and al, made the IPCC do it.

      • Steven Mosher

        hwang jin yi is bullied and faints. The kings mininsters call for her execution.

      • Mosh, I’m not clear as to your intent with your 1.53 post.

        However, as I’ve said before, ultimately suffering comes down to our own reactions, not to external phenomena. I can empathise from my own experience with people subject to unwholesome conduct, my response to a family break-up around my second birthday still affects me. But an example: at a time when I was two years into a period of long serious illness, my treatment at work led to severe, later extreme, depression. Intellectually, I knew that my suffering came from my reaction, that the people who were its proximate cause probably hadn’t given a thought to me since, I was the one prolonging it. But seeing that intellectually didn’t stop the process. It was only when I was recovered sufficiently to sit a Vipassana course that I could understand this at a deeper level, and let go of the suffering which was caused by my reactions, not by anything external.

      • Steven Mosher


        The post is taken from another incident with Bora.

        I post it without comment or judgement.

        my perspective. Pain is certain, suffering is self imposed.

        reading what you wrote I suspect we share some beliefs.

      • Good post & clip at 9.58, Mosh. It was intense physical and (more so) mental suffering that led me to search for a solution in 1972. Re the clip, I’d only say that it’s not the thoughts per se but the deeper reactions which are reflected in those thoughts which have to bee dealt with, and that you can’t fully resolve suffering at the level of thoughts.

  58. Et tu, Ironic?

  59. Gang rule’s a numbers game, the IPCC’s best claim ter fame,
    yer could say its best defence is, the tyranny of consensus.

  60. A fan of *MORE* discourse

    The Wyatt/Curry Stadium Wave:
    Climate Science’s 21st Century Hockey Stick?

    It has been remarked here on Climate Etc that Michael Mann’s 1998 Hockey Stick (which was derived from statistical analysis of climate data) has stood-up well to fifteen years of intensive scrutiny.

    It is useful to consider therefore whether the Wyatt/Curry Stadium Wave (which like the Hockey Stick is derived from statistical analysis of climate data) will prove to be similarly robust? That is a question that can *only* be decided by rational discourse and multiple independent scientific verifications!

    Conclusion  Michael Mann’s critics, and Michael Mann himself, would contribute very substantially to the continued progress of climate-change science, by refraining from endless pointless rounds of personally abusive, pointlessly rancorous, juvenile tit-for-tat exchanges.

    Good science stands upon its *own* merits, eh Climate Etc readers?

    \scriptstyle\rule[2.25ex]{0.01pt}{0.01pt}\,\boldsymbol{\overset{\scriptstyle\circ\wedge\circ}{\smile}\,\heartsuit\,{\displaystyle\text{\bfseries!!!}}\,\heartsuit\,\overset{\scriptstyle\circ\wedge\circ}{\smile}}\ \rule[-0.25ex]{0.01pt}{0.01pt}

  61. Is all this kerfuffle because a bloke called a woman a childish name in an email and said woman got offended? Or is there more to this story?

    • A fan of *MORE* discourse

      David is baffled  “Is all this kerfuffle because a bloke called a woman a childish name in an email and said woman got offended? Or is there more to this story?”

      It is a pleasure to answer your questions, David!

      The protest is not against a world in which abuse happens, but against a world in which abuse is excused and/or accepted.

      Thus the protest and condemnation of Judith Curry’s post is directed most broadly [as I understand it] against the too-many folks who seek to *excuse* abuse [in particular sexual and/or violent abuse] so as to *normalize* those patterns of abuse.

      It has been a pleasure to help you (and other Climate Etc readers) to appreciate the context of abuse more clearly.

      Thank you for posing your interesting questions, David!

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  62. To my mind, if someone testifies that a thing has happened, then they have testified to a thing, and it is their statement, which must be respected.

    The idea of compassion for a person alleged to have done some wrong in a statement ought never make a matter of whether or not that person was named. The quality, Shakespeare tells us, of mercy is not strained.

    Naming plays many roles and serves many functions, from allowing a common picture of the named alleged wrongdoer (or even hero, if there are heroes testified about) to form in the public mind, to elevating the credibility of the testimony as the witness speaks with one less filter on what they represent to be true, to an attempt to serve justice or protect others from the same turmoil, to baser motives — and I do not imply or impute such to anyone; it is my usual practice to extend so much goodwill to witnesses as possible about their motives — like fear or unwarranted suspicion, revenge or blackmail, anger or hate or spite, and we can never be entirely sure of which or how much, and perhaps (at least I think so) are better for not questioning the motives of witnesses much unless their testimony proves unreliable or so alienates us all we are worse off for it.

    Certainly even the best truths can be framed so provocatively as to agitate to terrible outcomes out of all proportion with the public good, though again I do not imply or suggest this is so, and it is my practice to believe in the goodwill of every witness who has the courage to testify, which I believe is a positive moral action.

    So this naming and shaming principle, when does it apply, and when not?

    Should it apply to the Climategate hacker?

    Should it apply to legitimate whistleblowers?

    (Yes, you’ll note the separation of those two questions, which might perhaps agitate, as an example of how easy it is for even the mildest, best-intentioned, innocent-seeming words to provoke.)

    And when the name is known, but the deed private, when should we report what we have to say of public people that would hurt their feelings or alter their reputation or worse?


    When we privately judge it serves a greater purpose, as Monica Byrne did?

    After working out with others involved or attempting to and falling short, as Andrew Maynard saw happen with his (what he says is an innocent and compassion-motivated overture to intercede)?

    It happens I disagree, as I’ve said, with Dr. Maynard’s philosophy; to me it isn’t compassion that rules witness, but only truth. I don’t think we should balance reputations on single testimony, or we are all of us doomed to ignominy. Then again, I’m an odd duck, and even I recognize human nature thrives on ignorance and manipulation of fact.

  63. Apologies, I have now seen the full story and realise it was a case of an inadequate guy who tried to use his professional position to acquire sexual relations with a woman.
    Well, that’s just shocking. /sarc

    Come on. In a world where genuine abuses happen, this amounts to a whole heap of Big Deal.

    • Big Wheel Keep on Turnin’.

      • Sometimes a bearing goes out, and the resultant squeak raises a ruckus, much smoke, and sometimes structural riots or worse.

    • It’s out of order.

    • A fan of *MORE* discourse

      It has been a pleasure to answer your questions in regard to abuse, David!

      Hopefully your various confusions now are diminished, and your sensibilities correspondingly increased.

      Thank you again, David!

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    • Steven Mosher

      we don’t line abuses up by severity and discuss them in order.
      in other words we dont have to compare abuses to discuss them.
      we can of course compare them, but we are not compelled to.
      we can talk about bullying, or the holocaust or TSA grabbing your junk,
      or mean cops or lousy 911 operators, or the science publication casting couch.
      If you dont want to waste your time with it, then dont waste your time with it

      • Well, I once knew someone who was told she had the wrong 9-11 number. It was true, in Brooklyn.

  64. Curious George

    The practice of a honest deletion of the most recent part of the proxy data because it does not fit the consensus is brave, scientific, and admirable. You can question it at your own peril.

  65. Interesting study over at Yale (Cultural Cognition Project).


    Who would have expected this?

    Do you think this helps explain conflicts over climate change or other forms of decision-relevant science? I don’t.

    But if you do, then maybe you’ll find this interesting. The dataset happened to have an item in it that asked respondents if they considered themselves “part of the Tea Party movement.” Nineteen percent said yes.

    It turns out that there is about as strong a correlation between scores on the science comprehension scale and identifying with the Tea Party as there is between scores on the science comprehension scale and Conservrepub.

    Except that it has the opposite sign: that is, identifying with the Tea Party correlates positively (r = 0.05, p = 0.05) with scores on the science comprehension measure:

    Followed by this:

    I’ve got to confess, though, I found this result surprising. As I pushed the button to run the analysis on my computer, I fully expected I’d be shown a modest negative correlation between identifying with the Tea Party and science comprehension.

    But then again, I don’t know a single person who identifies with the Tea Party. All my impressions come from watching cable tv — & I don’t watch Fox News very often — and reading the “paper” (New York Times daily, plus a variety of politics-focused internet sites like Huffington Post & Politico).

    I’m a little embarrassed, but mainly I’m just glad that I no longer hold this particular mistaken view.

    Of course, I still subscribe to my various political and moral assessments–all very negative– of what I understand the “Tea Party movement” to stand for. I just no longer assume that the people who happen to hold those values are less likely than people who share my political outlooks to have acquired the sorts of knowledge and dispositions that a decent science comprehension scale measures.

  66. Speaking of “name and shame” …. There has been healthy debate about how to deal with scientists who refuse to reveal data and methods, especially when paid for by public funds and/or relied upon to recommend large expenditures of public funds:


    I know, something of a tangent here, except that inquirers and “auditors” have frequently been accused (usually without evidence) of harassing scientists etc. Not suggesting this set of issues affects what to do about sexual harassment, more that some of the words and alliances get sliced in different, contentious ways when one discusses Michael Mann, et al. vs. critics.

    • Thanks for the link to ClimateAudit, Skiphil. I just love Keith DeHavelle, and he’s in that thread early and late.

  67. Judith, this boils down to one thing – Left Liberals are anything but Liberal. You are doing a fine job. Stick to your guns. And thank you. You have stood up and been counted. That matters. That Mann and co. have nothing left to them but abuse, says all that needs to be said about him and his cohorts.

    • Judith,
      jeeremyp99 makes a good point. You have done a lot for science and upholding the reputation of academic climate specialists. Stick to your guns and thanks. I learn a lot by the references here and the discussions but especially appreciate the open considerations of the factors that go into modeling this complex situation. Chemistry, physics and engineering models are more closely tied to measurements of the model outputs vs observations. If it doesn’t match, change the model, not find the missing observations in the deep ocean or something. You have done a great job here. Thanks,

    • The undeniable rightness of
      the leftist progressive. )

  68. A fan of *MORE* discourse | October 16, 2013 at 9:58 pm |

    None-the-less, it is verifiably the case, scientifically striking, and greatly to Michael Mann’s credit, that subsequently many more hockey sticks have appeared in the climate-change literature.
    HadCrut4 suggests that Northern Hemisphere temperatures have flipped the hockey stick to point downwards…


    Did you know December was cooling at -.9C per decade?

    Did you know January was cooling at -.73C per decade?

    Did you know March was cooling at -.56C per decade?

    Did you know February was cooling at -.19C per decade?

    Did you know November was cooling at -.2C per decade?

    Did you know October was cooling at -.17C per decade?

    Did you know April was cooling at -.17C per decade?

    Way to go, Mikey. Winter is coming…

  69. The most, “reasonable explanation for how the temperature of the earth has stayed so stable for hundreds of millions of years,” is provided by Willis Eschenbach (The Thunderstorm Thermostat Hypothesis: How Clouds and Thunderstorms Control the Earth’s Temperature). “Since we only use 70% of the sun’s energy,” says Eschenbach, “it is clear that the sun puts out more than enough energy to totally roast the earth. It is kept from doing so by the clouds reflecting about 20% of the sun’s energy back to space, and the surface reflecting back another 10%. As near as we can tell, this system of cloud formation to limit incoming solar energy has never failed… The earth’s temperature regulation system is based on the unchanging response of wind, water, and cloud to changes in temperature. It is not based on losses or forcings.”

    • Without GHGs in the atmosphere, going from 0.7 to 1.0 absorption of the sun’s radiation gets us from 255 to 278. This is still less than our current average 289K.

      So Willis is rightly worried about the roasting potential of rising GHG concentration and lowe ring albedo. The combination gives rise to upper range values of ECS.

  70. Hoi Polloi | October 16, 2013 at 9:28 pm | Reply
    I became skeptic of the AGW theory when I saw the constant harassment, bullying and ad hom attacks of the scientists with contrarian views. I thought something is rotten in the State of Denmark…
    Snap. I owe a huge debt to George Monbiot on that score. He turned me from default AGWer to sceptic, as a result of his characterisation of sceptics as “holocaust deniers”. Not “deniers”, “holocaust deniers”.

  71. @Fan Of Most Discourse (as long as it is on your terms)

    This note’s for you…


    It seems to me that these “hockey stick” curves, to use Mr. Marcott’s phraseology, are just not “robust”.



    AGW, a belief that humanity causes dangerous climate change, has gone from plausible to possible to not even likely.

    • R. Gates the Skeptical Warmist

      Waggy erroneously said:

      “AGW, a belief that humanity causes dangerous climate change…”
      Nope, that would be CAGW.

      Really need to get your terms right there Waggy.

      • Heh, R., nice to see the concession to ‘not even likely’. So you can now just stop acting afraid.

  73. Many of the readers here don’t know that Judy is one of the best mentors of female scientists in the atmospheric sciences. I know this from personal experience having served on several of Judy’s students PhD thesis committees. This is a big deal as the physical sciences, and atmospheric sciences in particular, have a disproportionately low number of females.
    Thanks Judy!

  74. name and shame; time to see some of them spiting the dummy…

  75. ‘Bullying is the continuation of Politik by other means’. With apologies to CvC.

    ‘The pen is mightier than the sword’ (^), so dowdy scholars are ‘armed & dangerous’.

    An academic Degree is intimidating. One’s factual assertion, can bully another.

    Vladimir Putin both intimidates and bullies, without a move or word.

    Formal academics, due to their tenure, guarantees and protections, sometimes run with abandon, where angels fear to tread. Prominent exhibits are before the court.

    This is no longer an academic exercise. The goal is not to document, prove or analyze – but to win.

  76. This is my first post here, and I just want to share that I have been verbally harrassed and ridiculed via FB. I merely brought up possible alternative discussions to the climate change debate, and was variously described as being deluded, not adhering to accepted science that has been peer reviewed, ignorant and even stupid! The final clincher for me was when the main protagonist stated that ” he would not even introduce me to my own mother!” Well, that was the end of that discussion, as I then began to delete these people from my account. I don’t need it. I am finding that these people are not just AGW supporters, but all sorts of questionable left leaning social change advocates. Any attempt to challenge them results in vitriolic replies, even when your own comments are measured and devoid of emotional language! Sometimes the best response is just to bow out gracefully! The AGW argument will eventually fall, but at what cost to our society?

  77. Retrograde Orbit

    I am not sure if I would call “bullying” what happens on many blogs (including this one). Much of it is simply hateful talk (driven by anger – justified or not) and what a German would call “Rechthaberei” (the aimless desire to be acknowledged as being right – and the opponent being wrong).
    WUWT is definitely suffering from “Rechthaberei”.

    • A fan of *MORE* discourse

      Your point is thought-provoking, Retrograde Orbit!

      There’s considerable evidence that WUWT’s institutional ally The Heartland Institute grapples with Rechthaberei too.

      Or so many folks think!

      \scriptstyle\rule[2.25ex]{0.01pt}{0.01pt}\,\boldsymbol{\overset{\scriptstyle\circ\wedge\circ}{\smile}\,\heartsuit\,{\displaystyle\text{\bfseries!!!}}\,\heartsuit\,\overset{\scriptstyle\circ\wedge\circ}{\smile}}\ \rule[-0.25ex]{0.01pt}{0.01pt}

    • The logic of this term seems doubtful. Per Wicktionary: ” the tendency of a person to consider themself right when disagreeing with other people”.

      That sounds ball-park for the usage here.

      The problem is … is it some kind of irony or inside joke, that a person would NOT consider himself right, when disagreeing with others?

      Isn’t it ‘by definition’, that when we disagree, it’s because we think others are wrong, and we’re … um, right?

      A little syntactic (micro)agression, maybe?

      • A fan of *MORE* discourse

        Ted Clayton wonders  “Is it some kind of irony or inside joke, that a person would NOT consider himself right, when disagreeing with others?”

        Very definitely, whenever I discuss mathematical matters with a *really* prominent mathematician, and points of disagreement and/or misunderstanding arise, my own presumption is that the authority is right and I am wrong.

        The question then becomes, exactly *where* has my train of reasoning gone off-the-rails?

        This humble attitude is conducive to rapid learning, and my experience has been that it is a common attitude among top-level mathematicians, scientists, and engineers.

        It is less common among political pundits and economists, for some reason!

        \scriptstyle\rule[2.25ex]{0.01pt}{0.01pt}\,\boldsymbol{\overset{\scriptstyle\circ\wedge\circ}{\smile}\,\heartsuit\,{\displaystyle\text{\bfseries!!!}}\,\heartsuit\,\overset{\scriptstyle\circ\wedge\circ}{\smile}}\ \rule[-0.25ex]{0.01pt}{0.01pt}

  78. Retrograde Orbit

    And it seems to me that much of it is caused by the “presumption of malice”. If somebody approaches their opponent with the presumption of malice they will inevitable find it – even if it’s not there, initially.
    Presumption of malice is common among climate skeptics, but many proponents of AGW suffer from it too.
    Sorry for sounding like a preacher … I am not, it just frustrates me tremendously …

    • Oh yeah? Says you!

    • Your claim that presumption of malice is “common(ly)” an attribute of “skeptics” is unsupported by facts. It does, though, run nicely in parallel with Lewandowsky’s presumption that skeptics are anti-science conspiracy theorists.

      There is plenty of real (not presumed) malice described in Richard Lindzen’s essay about the corruption of climate science:


      As far as I know, no-one has disputed the accuracy of Lindzen’s (fully referenced) account of the lying and cheating and destruction of people’s reputations documented in this paper. And, no-one has been able to provide evidence of “skeptics” undermining science and the integrity of scientists on this scale and in such a systematic fashion.

  79. TNX, jp99, your link is a very nice course in the hockey stick, also with an elegant dissection and exposition of the divergence matter, complete with flashing mesmeric graphic. Much gracious for Pierre and Michael, too.

    • Oops, misplaced. This is supposed to be above, after jeremyp99’s link to the NoTricksZone, and a translation of an excellent work of Michael Kruger.

    • A culture run by men (film, music, television, publishing, “fashion”), fills the theaters, airwaves. print media and internet with stories and images designed to portray women as living sex toys for men. Men eat this “entertainment” up to the tune of tens of billions a year. Then they are shocked that all women are not like some Lindsay Lohan/Elizabeth Banks/Miley Cyrus character anxious to be hit on by every guy who walks by.

      When Bill Clinton got caught perjuring himself to avoid liability for being a serial sexual harasser, porn king/accused child molester Larry Flynt appeared regularly with NOW drones to defend him. If you want a libertine, sorry libertarian, culture, that is what we are getting. Not a pretty picture after all.

      As Andrew Breitbart said, “politics is downstream of culture.”

      • What is fascinating (and appalling) about the Bill Clinton phenomenon is how many righteous, proud, liberal minded academics and professionals engaged in contortions to protect his political viability and reputation. Behavior that would get less of an “ally” knocked off his public perch can be rationalized over and over again for “The Cause.”

    • OK, I am now a hard-boiled, middle-aged woman. But, once upon a time, I was a very comely young gel out in the workforce trying to make my way. I was a pretty slow learner in that department, but even I knew that talking about sex with men (in whatever medium, under whatever pretext) was never a neutral, value-free exercise.

      It is a sad, but true, fact of life that if a woman and and man discuss sex, it is rarely in the abstract, at least from his point of view.

      I am not for a moment defending Bora, who is the Office Sleaze incarnate. His life is a constant scanning of the environment, zeroing in on opportunities, no matter how unlikely, and tending the garden in the hope of future fruits.

      But, whether due to vanity, insecurity or lack of insight into her own motives, this woman never did what needed to be done – tell him to p** off! And stick to it.

      True, it is easier for me because I am not, by temperament, inclined to put up with crap. But sleazebags will always be with us, and the answer is not to make a law about it. It is to stop pretending that anyone who is caught up by them is a powerless “victim.” It is to make sure that everyone knows what the rules are, and what to do if they are broken.

      This story reminds me of something I read the other day about a guy who had been scammed out of millions because he subscribed to a scheme where old banknotes were scrubbed clean and recycled. It was clearly illegal. Yet, he thought he was a victim.

      Like Bill McKibben, some people go through life imagining that everything bad in the world illustrates their victimhood. It’s just narcissism.

      • I’m an inveterate ‘anecdote person’ myself (2, 3, 4). When my academic mentors tipped their nose up & sniffed at an example-anecdote … I didn’t smell anything. And I’m just the kind of student who responds to the cue, “Smell that?”, with a slow shake of the head and a “Huh-uh…”.

        Anecdotes are what they are, and they’re not what they’re not.

        Particularly the ‘life story’ anecdotes (which by definition can only hit a few selected ‘high-points’ across vast socio-psycho topography), presented in compact form, all one-sided & edited … these are often good & important clues & pointers, but great care is needed before incorporating them into any well-designed initiative, as load-bearing structural elements.

  80. Reblogged this on Climate Ponderings.

  81. Climategate et al showed just how dishonest climate science can be in general, and how the political funding of it leads inexorably to ‘findings’ conducive to political expansionism.
    In view of this, and the obvious of politically-funded journals and peer-review, the blogosphere is the only way to bring honesty and adult supervision to bear on it.
    Add to this the the potentially massive political policy impact, I say the more exposure, the better. Let the frauds tremble.

  82. Hi there. I’ve been thinking about starting my very own site and was just wondering where you
    bought your style? Was it a no cost theme or maybe purchased Most of the totally free themes I see are rather low quality as well as cluttered.

    I’m prepared to spend a modst amoount of money to get a hiogh quality design.
    Thank you!

    • At the bottom of the page we see (two links):

      Blog at WordPress.com. Customized Coraline Theme.

      “Coraline” is a popular free theme, for both independently hosted WordPress sites, and those on the free or the paid WordPress hosting servers. [If you like WordPress, and can’t handle the hosting drill, you simply cannot find a better hosting-solution than WordPress themselves.]

      There are a number of very clean & simple free themes. Made by the WordPress people, and by independent authors. The in-house WP themes (“default”, built-in, release-themes) are all drop-dead top-notch professional quality.

      Freelance WordPress folks for hire hang out at a place called WPTavern. This is the top/core WP-techie hangout. Not only endorsed, but now owned outright by WP founder/leader/owner, Matt Mullenweg. “Jeff”, the Tav creator/boss, is just the kind of person we all like to bump into.

      Are you using the Theme (and Plugin) repositories at WordPress Dot ORG, rather than relying on WordPress Dot COM? Big difference.

      (Micro)aggression issues & patterns, incidentally, have been noticed widely in the WordPress community. The problem has been ‘called out’ on the WPTavern blog, and explored/lamented/denounced there, by bright & experienced people who are deeply embedded in the blog & Web scene.

  83. Recognize the tactics for what they are and their political / philosophical source (Left). Forewarned is forearmed.

    Alinsky, Saul David. Rules for Radicals: a Practical Primer for Realistic Radicals. Vintage Books ed. New York: Vintage Books, 1989
    “First published in 1971, Rules for Radicals is Saul Alinsky’s impassioned counsel to young radicals on how to effect constructive social change and know ‘the difference between being a realistic radical and being a rhetorical one.’ Written in the midst of radical political developments whose direction Alinsky was one of the first to question, this volume exhibits his style at its best. Like Thomas Paine before him, Alinsky was able to combine, both in his person and his writing, the intensity of political engagement with an absolute insistence on rational political discourse and adherence to the American democratic tradition.”

    Here is a quick list:
    Wikipedia, and Saul D. Alinsky. “Rules for Radicals.” Wikipedia. Accessed July 4, 2009. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rules_for_Radicals

  84. “In general, why is science perceived to be divorced from social politics?”
    Because they (the perceivers) have not read Ravetz.

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