State of the blog discussion thread

by Judith Curry

So, what are your thoughts on the current state of Climate Etc., and how it might evolve?

Since Climate Etc’s inauguration in 2010, the blog has continued to evolve.  I find it useful to reflect periodically and receive your comments and input.


In the past two years, I have become increasingly active on Twitter and Facebook (mostly posting links to CE posts), with twitter followers approaching 6000 and facebook followers approaching 1000. The demographic of these two groups is fairly different from the active blog commenters, which broadens CE’s exposure.  On twitter, there is a much younger demographic, and a few rock stars and actors are following me.  On Facebook, I am developing some following from Africa and the Arab world.    The top referrers to CE are (in order):

  • WUWT
  • Twitter
  • climateaudit
  • Facebook
  • BishopHill
  • Climate Depot
  • Steyn Online
  • pj media
  • Real Clear Energy

In the early days of CE, referrals were dominated by WUWT, CA and BH.  I’m not exactly sure how many of the active commenters have landed on CE from these new referrers, I would appreciate any comments in this regard.

Blog post topics

I was hoping to find some wordpress stats on categories, (i.e. how many posts, hits, and comments for each category of posts), but I can only find recent stats (last two weeks).

I would appreciate any comments on categories of posts or subjects/topics that you would like to see more or less of.

Also, guest posts are becoming an increasingly important part of the content of CE.  I am becoming more selective about guest posts than I used to be.  I am looking for diversity of perspectives, and also contributions from areas outside of my own expertise.  CE now has quite a strong stable of guest posters, and I’m looking to grow this.


Over the past year or so, I have become much more active in moderating the blog, which I think has raised the quality of the comments.  In the early days, I was reluctant to moderate much because I did not want to appear to be censoring comments that disagreed with or criticize me.  I think I have more than demonstrated my openness in this regard.

Apart from blatant violations blog rules, someone may land in moderation or have their comments deleted if:

  • their frequency of comments is too large (exceeding 5% of the last 1000 comments)
  • comments are consistently off topic and pushing their own  hobby horse
  • thread hijacking and picking of fights

Some people are in permanent moderation over repeated violations (and whining about my moderation), while others manage to stay off moderation after being given a probationary period.

Some of you complain about my moderation, saying that it is unfair on inconsistent.  Please understand that I moderate the blog by myself.  I check in about a half dozen times per day, check the comments in moderation and spam, and glance at the most recent 20-40 comments.  I do not catch all of the food fights or inappropriate comments.  If you see something egregious, pls send me an email.

Note, on guest posts, I will delete posts that insult the guest poster.

Several people are permanently banned from CE.  An email with ‘f*ck you Judy’ or ‘shut up Judy’ will do it.

I would appreciate any comments on the new and stricter moderation policies.


In the early days, I allowed high levels of threading, so subthreads and arguments could develop.  Unfortunately, this seemed to reduce the substantiveness of many comments, and encouraged one liners and thread hijacking.

The threading level is currently set at level 3.  I have had requests to increase the threading level, which i will consider.  However, if we need to subsequently reduce the threading level, then the threading on old threads will be lost.

I would appreciate your input on this.

JC’s schedule

I am pretty busy for the next month or so, so I won’t have time to prepare much in the way of original material.  Guest posts will be particularly welcome during this time.  I also greatly appreciate people emailing me with interesting articles and ideas for posts.  In any event, I have some back up posts, so I should be able to continue at a rate of ~3-4 posts per week.

416 responses to “State of the blog discussion thread

  1. JC, As I have requested before, I would like to see more posts on renewables. Especially battery technology would be nice. I noticed you expanded horizons a bit recently and I certainly appreciate it. Thanks for all your hard work!

    • Curious George

      There is a more natural website for the electrical technology, Maybe we could cooperate with them?

      • I read IEEE Spectrum, but see a lot of uncritical hype in their Energy section. As Thomas Alva Edison had already observed in The Electrician (London) on Feb. 17, 1883, p. 329, “The storage battery is, in my opinion, a catchpenny, a sensation, a mechanism for swindling the public by stock companies. The storage battery is one of those peculiar things which appeals to the imagination, and no more perfect thing could be desired by stock swindlers than that very selfsame thing. … Just as soon as a man gets working on the secondary battery it brings out his latent capacity for lying.” In some sense, advances in battery technology are hyped on a par with advances in our fight on cancer.

  2. With respect to threading: I’m not sure I like threading, but, if you’re going to have it, I’ve found that numbering the dependencies (e.g., “2.3.2” for the second comment directed to the third comment directed to the second comment directed to the head post) as JoNova does makes the threading much easier to follow.

    • Are numbers supported by WP?

      I’d enjoy seeing less thread hijacking at least with the very 1st comment from a known troll or more than 50 / 1000 comments writing author.

  3. I think climate scientists should keep insisting that in science there is no such thing as 100% certainty, but also keep trying to improve access to climate services by poor people in vulnerable regions. Climate scientists should not spend too much time and energy fighting the politicians. Try to apply the science to help people!

    • The prescriptions politicians and scientists had recommended and enacted to solve non-existent problems in regards to the earth’s climate have only hurt the poor. If politicians get their way America will continue on it’s downward spiral, leaving it incapable of helping allies, and the third world would be devastated if not allowed to produce cheap energy via fossil fuels.

      But when have Democratic politicians ever really cared about the poor?

  4. The whole subject of Thermodynamics in my opinion has never been given it’s just do in the discussion of the Earths climate. I would like to see more articles about how important it is to the understanding of this complex & dynamic subject.

  5. Pingback: State of the blog discussion thread – Enjeux énergies et environnement

  6. comments can get bogged down with off topic discussions?

    Bishop Hill’s solution was to have separate discussion area, away from main blog when people could start a topic themselves.. or take an off topic discussion (or 2 people arguing) elsewhere.

    This can be interesting in itself, Lewandowsky’s moon hoax paper, got discussed there (July 2012) before main blog and other blogs picked up story weeks later.

    off topic, just had an email from Amelia Sharman, – who is now Dr Amelia Sharman – Congratulations (outing myself as one of her interviewees, in her thesis)

    • thx for the link, looks like an interesting thesis. i would be open to a guest post summarizing this thesis

    • I just read the Sharman thesis that Barry Woods linked too. Admittedly, I read it fairly quickly, but I gave it a full read. A few quick thoughts.

      The author purports to not be taking any kind of a view on the substance of the climate change debate itself and, while mostly I think she probably doesn’t intend to do so, there a couple of things that cause me to question her perspective.

      –For one thing, she interviews a large group of players in the debate (of which Mr. Woods has identified himself as one) and instead of grouping the interviewees into categories of, say, pro-AGW (or mainstream consensus) and anti-AGW (or skeptics, etc), she groups them into “Climate Scientists” and “Sceptical Voices.” The implication I took away from this categorization and her use of the categorization throughout the paper (really, a collection of several papers) is that the debate is between scientists and non-scientists. No mention that a ton of scientists–including quite a few climate scientists–question the AGW “consensus.” She seems to have no concept of how this appears to imply that “scientists believe in catastrophic AGW, and skeptics (non-scientists) don’t. I thought this was unclear thinking and a fundamental lack of understanding.

      –Secondly, well, let me just offer this excerpt, with a couple of my comments interspersed:

      “The most noteworthy finding of this research [of one of the included papers]….is that the [skeptical] blogs identified as the most central predominantly focus on the scientific element of the climate debate. Regardless of the motivation behind the existence of the climate sceptical opinion, what appears to be the most valued and legitimate way of expressing that opinion within the blogosphere is through the use of scientific themes and language.”

      Ok, so far, so good. But then she follows up with this:

      “The central [skeptic] blogs’ overt framing of climate sceptical arguments within the language of contested scientific knowledge claims and critiques of science conduct is interesting…. [I]t suggests that the blogosphere is still preoccupied with framing climate change as an active scientific controversy. Whilst multitude scientific uncertainties regarding climate systems still exist, fundamental components of climate science such as the relationship between anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions and temperature
      increases are no longer considered contentious within the academic literature.”

      I see. So, we’re “preoccupied” with “framing” climate change as “an active scientific controversy”? Exactly how is this a “preoccupation”?

      How about maybe we actually see climate change as an active controversy? And maybe we’re correct about that? And perhaps are even correct about the science–i.e. the lack of convincing evidence for CAGW? And maybe we even have a lot of accomplished scientists on our side of the controversy?

      On the whole, I wasn’t impressed with the paper. Even researchers who really, really try to be unbiased (and I think Sharman did her best) just aren’t able to recognize or get out of the way of their own biases on this subject.

      I’d be interested in others’ thoughts on the paper.

  7. I would like to see more on the science, more on the dubious subjective statements by IPCC, more on the politicized processes governing IPCC and more on the role of United Nations.

    The fifth assessment report by IPCC is the basis for huge changes to societies and huge governmental interference. I would like to see this basis exposed to close scrutiny. It might have been covered before, but still there are huge discrepancies between the predictions by IPCC and the observations. These discrepancies should be exposed again and again.

    Here is my recent take on this:
    For 0 – 2000 m ocean depth, from 2005 – 2015,
    the temperature increase deduced from the theory put forward by IPCC is :

    0,063 K for the lowest limit for radiative forcing (1,2 W / m2)
    0,13 K for the central estimate for radiative forcing (2,3 W / m2)
    0,19 K for the highest limit for radiative forcing (3,3 W / m2)

    A temperature increase of only 0,045 K is reported for this period.

    The fact is that IPCC cannot account for the lack of warming!

  8. In all the talk about 2015 being the hottest year, what is missed is given by this graphic of the 2015 GISTEMP temperature (just out) versus the 1901-2000 average.

    What we see is that near the major glaciers, which I don’t think is a coincidence, the water is now cooler than the 20th century average. This is an anomaly to global warming that has become much more marked in 2015 than in previous years as those areas have a reverse trend. I think it is the beginning of a major shift that requires discussion and study. We need more posts on what is actually happening in climate.

    • GISTEMP is not reality. It is a highly adjusted, area averaged statistical model of questionable accuracy. UAH is much closer to reality, but it shows no AGW warming, so is studiously ignored. Definitely a topic worth more coverage.

      • The satellites miss the polar areas, which is where interesting things are happening. GISTEMP has a truly global temperature that includes these which is why it reads higher than HADCRUT and satellites that don’t include any estimate for polar areas in their “global” averages.

      • Jim D:

        If you stopped using the 1200 km infill/smoothing function, GISTEMP would also miss the poles, along with most of Africa and Amazonia.

      • The cold spots are real, and the Arctic Ocean really is warming that fast because of the sea-ice loss which has a positive feedback there. Climate change has large scale structures to it like these.

      • To begin with, GISTEMP uses a convenience sample, of surface readings. The greenhouse effect occurs in th atmosphere, where no samples are taken. Sampling theory is clear that no meaningful inference can be drawn about the population, from a convenience sample. Even worse, most of the coverage is from water temperature proxies, not evenair temperatures, with no fixed stations. Then there is the area averaging, which means that no confidence intervals can be derived. In short we are averaging averages of mostly convenience proxies, with lots of interpolation and adjusting. This is statistical junk.

        In contrast the sats are real time instruments designed to measure atmospheric heat content. There is no comparison.

      • Because the lapse rates are quite constrained, it turns out it is the surface temperatures that you need to define the state of the climate, and they are easy to measure.

      • Jim D, you have no concept of statistical theory, do you? You have simply not addressed my points, as usual. Regarding your “constrained lapse rates” this merely means that surface temperatures are yet another proxy for measuring the actual enhanced GH effect, if there even is one. So using water temps, which is what is done for most of the world’s surface, is a double proxy! Yet the result is claimed to be accurate to hundredths of a degree globally. This is not science.

      • In climate use, it is only the trends that matter. As long as you take the temperatures consistently through time you are going to get the surface trend. It doesn’t matter if you take a water surface temperature as long as that changes at the same rate as the air temperature long-term, which it does, and as long as you are careful about accounting for changes in measurement methods, which they do.

      • “Jim D | January 23, 2016 at 4:25 pm |
        The satellites miss the polar areas, which is where interesting things are happening. GISTEMP has a truly global temperature that includes these which is why it reads higher than HADCRUT and satellites that don’t include any estimate for polar areas in their “global” averages.”
        The polar areas are where it is freezing.
        If you add them into a global temperature this would make it read COLDER.
        Sorry, Jim D.

      • “The satellites miss the polar areas”

        So too do the weather stations, to all intents and purposes.

        Those that exist are compromised by proximity to all sorts of influences.

        But hey, I suppose you can always make stuff up.

      • I think that there are some people left who don’t know that the Arctic is the fastest warming area on earth or avert their eyes to this area, but if your global trends don’t include it, they will read low, so this area needs serious consideration.

      • the Arctic is the fastest warming area on earth

        Duh, The Arctic warming is natural, normal and necessary. the times with warm, thawed, oceans are the times that ice on land is replenished. Watch the weather news right now. It is snowing more because it is warmer.

      • I should have left out the Duh, but I could not and did not resist.the very strong urge.

      • The greenhouse effect occurs in the atmosphere, where no samples are taken.

        BS, Balloon and satellite data are taken in the atmosphere. There are thermometers, all over the world that are in the atmosphere, over land and oceans.

    • JimD, two points.
      1. You threadjack. This post is about state of blog, not state of temp series. Jeez! That is a big problem here.
      2. To your threadjack, if there is more polar station coverage than Sat coverage, please present some evidence of that rather than just your assertion. You cannot, because you are wrong. The NOAA/NASA/Cowtan and Way surface coverage stuff you should reread and ponder. Lots of other blogs have done that work, which you apparently have not– unless you are just dissembling. Paul Homewood and Tony Heller would be good starters if you do not have the means to do the primary research yourself.

    • p.s. re warmest year, i am waiting for the results from the ECMWF reanalyses before doing a post on this

    • Tell those SkS kidz, cowtown curds and whey, that the sats miss the polar areas, yimmy. How ever did they get that stuff through peer review? Are you calling for a retraction, yimster?

      • OK, maybe you said that because you don’t know what they did, and I won’t tell you either.

      • yimmy, yimmy
        Are you stoopidly insinuating that those SkS kidz, cowtown curds and whey, did not use satellite data in their hybrid method?

      • No, they did and that is the point because they modified HADCRUT which did not have polar changes by filling in areas it missed, and it ended up looking more like GISTEMP when they did that.

      • Very good, yimmy. You are have been maneuvered into admitting that the satellite data is good and the coverage superior. We can use the satellite data for the whole world. Saves us a lot of money.

      • It’s a different method, Don. It is surface temperatures, not oxygen atoms, It uses kriging to fill gaps. It ground-truths the satellites, and uses rather than ignores land surface data. You might fool some people into thinking all satellite data is the same, but not me. Good try. Perhaps you could have looked at what they actually did before spouting.

      • Jim D: ” It is surface temperatures, not oxygen atoms, It uses kriging to fill gaps”

        Ah yes, Kriging… AKA “making stuff up”. A statistical technique** originally invented during the South African gold rush to con credulous punters into buying dubious claims, if I remember correctly.

        I can see how a technique like that would be attractive to someone like you, Jimbo.

        **As in “lies, damn lies, and statistics” (Mark Twain).

      • What would you do if you found out Spencer used kriging? Would your head explode? I am not saying he does, but he does have to infill somehow, and I think it is hard to find his methods written down anywhere. What is your preferred method, since you don’t like kriging much, and you seem to have a strong opinion on this subject, which may or may not mean you know anything about it?

      • Jim D: “What would you do if you found out Spencer used kriging? Would your head explode?”

        Funnily enough, I am very well aware of the techniques used by Dr. Spencer, because he published his entire methodology when UAH 6.0 was released, and unlike you, I possess the necessary scientific background and a lifetime’s experience that permits me to comprehend and evaluate it.0

        Here it is, see if you can find a grown-up to explain it to you.

        You know, if you were to actually engage in a little research occasionally instead of just sounding off and casting aspersions, you would make yourself look a total idiot somewhat less frequently.

        But hey, in order to do that, you would have to possess at least some grasp of the science – which you very clearly don’t.

      • Anyone can post links that say nothing about infilling methods. As far as we know from this info he could be using kriging. What we see is a series of satellites with horrendous drift issues to correct for. So, not only is it like replacing your single thermometer every couple of years, but then you have to correct for drifts in its measurement that occur immediately after it is deployed. Not an ideal situation for identifying a trend. When the RSS scientist calls it structural uncertainty we know what he means.

      • Jim D: “As far as we know from this info he could be using kriging.”

        YOU don’t constitute WE Jimbo, not by the remotest stretch of imagination.

        I knew you wouldn’t read DR. Spencer’s complete and detailed explanation of his methodology – and even if you did, you wouldn’t remotely understand it, and would react by posting yet another of your hilarious demonstrations of how little you understand the subject.

        Nor was I disappointed.

      • He does not post his complete description on his public blog, which is your only link so far. If you find a complete description of what he does instead of kriging, let me know, and we can take a look, but so far you are arguing that some unspecified method, which you hope isn’t kriging, is better than kriging, which makes no sense at all.

      • I know what they did, yimmy. And I know what you do. Everybody knows. You must have noticed that your cred here hovers around zero.

      • Jim D,

        While you peg the tenacity meter, Don is correct. I don’t see much credibility. You keep repeating your arguments without ever addressing valid criticisms.

      • “If you find a complete description of what he does instead of kriging, let me know”

        Jimbo, once again, the methodology is fully explained in Dr. Spencer’s post and links. Clearly you have utterly failed to grasp its import.

        Kriging is used to fill in missing grid points, such as in areas where there are no measuring stations. Satellite coverage within its limits is global, so there are no missing gridpoints. So there is no need to make stuff up.

        Anyway, that’s enough baiting you for now.

        So, until the next time…

    • Curious George

      Reactions to this comment show that it is possible to hijack a thread easily. Could you arrange for an automatic condensation of nested comments once a margin is exceeded? (The “+” sign should be clickable and unfold hidden contents.)
      XY, I this is my contriburion ….
      YZ, This is my reaction to XY
      + 123 comments reacting to YZ

      • If there had been a week in science or 2015 temperature thread, I would have put it there, but we don’t have those this week. I will repost it there if we get one. It came about because only today I saw that Realclimate has a 2015 thread with a similar graphic, but they are also not discussing these cooling blobs, only the record temperature. The good thing about GISTEMP is you can go in yourself and investigate how these cool blobs only developed very recently by changing the averaging and reference periods.

    • We need more posts on what is actually happening in climate.

      We need more study of natural variability

    • This post by Jim D is exactly the kind of response that I would like to see less of. Not because of his viewpoint, but because it has nothing to do with the post. Nothing at all. Because of the lack of threading, it is tough to wade through the irrelevant posts by him (and nutcases on the other side as well) to get to material that is on-topic.

      • Like I said, I will put it on Week in Science, but since people seem to be responding here, it would be rude to ignore them now. They didn’t have to respond and that would have been fair enough with me. I think we need a 2015 year retrospective, which is on topic of things we need, and Judith answered it that way.

      • Jim D, the thought of you trying to be considerate of others caused me a great deal of amusement. Please quit extending this off-topic thread.

        Your consistently off-topic and poorly-researched posts are one of the biggest problems with this site. It’s pretty much impossible to wade through all the nonsense you post.

        You might be interested to know that you come off pretty much the same way the “global warming doesn’t exist!” nutjobs do. If you are trying to defend consensus climate science, you are doing a very poor job.

      • “Your consistently off-topic and poorly-researched posts are one of the biggest problems with this site. It’s pretty much impossible to wade through all the nonsense you post.”

        And yet I completely understand why Judith would feel constrained not to moderate Jim D. too heavily, if at all, as she would certainly be accused of picking on the true blue warmists. It’s been my observation that most commenters of Jim D’s persuasion eventually disappear, likely because they get sick of losing arguments. Of course they never admit to losing an argument…ever….no matter how obvious it is to even the non science types like me. But they’re not as unaware as they often seem.

        A second point is that I think Jim D and others like him serve a valuable function by exposing the weakness of many warmist arguments and claims. In this regard they truly do seem unaware that they do their side of the debate no good at all.

        (aka pokerguy)

      • I like to raise the questions this site usually avoids like
        – what is the consequence for attribution if the imbalance is positive?
        – what if Argo is correct that the ocean heat content is rising meaning that the imbalance is positive?
        – what if the surface temperature record is correct that most of the warming is occurring in nonurban areas making the UHI argument moot at best?
        – what if the 30-year temperature is rising at a pace that was unabated during the whole pause?
        – what does it mean that the land temperature has been rising twice as fast as the ocean temperature since 1980, and the Arctic even faster than that?
        – what does a 700 ppm level by 2100 do to the climate?
        – what if the scientists are right that 700 ppm leads to 4 C?
        – what if probabilities of droughts, floods, severe storms, heatwaves continue to shift through the 21st century making extreme events today more common?
        – what if we account for accelerating glacier melt in increased forcing the way Hansen says?
        – what if mitigation is a tenth the cost of continuous adaptation through 2100 like the IPCC says it is?
        – what if technology towards mitigation can achieve an energy revolution at less cost, and more benefit than sticking with dwindling fossil fuels through 2100?
        If just asking these questions and more of my pet subjects makes people angry at me, so be it.

      • Okay, clearly Jim D is not sorry about diverting this pot to off-topic. He knows there is a 100 scientific arguments that expose the poor logic of his points because he has heard them. I would add the appeal to both sides of the debate to save free-for all for open threads and weekends.

      • It’s all ingrained groupthink on this blog. I challenge it by posting what the outside world are saying about these same issues, otherwise it is all just no more than internal backslapping with closed ears, and a lot if it is just accepting amateurish statements that just ain’t so, so I point those out. Call it a service.

      • Jim D | January 24, 2016 at 12:28 pm |
        I like to raise the questions this site usually avoids like
        – what is the consequence for attribution if the imbalance is positive?
        – what if Argo is correct that the ocean heat content is rising meaning that the imbalance is positive?
        – what if the surface temperature record is correct that most of the warming is occurring in nonurban areas making the UHI argument moot at best?
        – what if the …
        What if little green men land and eat us humans for dinner?

      • JimD, “I like to raise the questions this site usually avoids like
        – what is the consequence for attribution if the imbalance is positive?
        – what if Argo is correct that the ocean heat content is rising meaning that the imbalance is positive?
        – what if the surface temperature record is correct that most of the warming is occurring in nonurban areas making the UHI argument moot at best?”

        Same ol’ group think Jimmy D :) Asking and answering your own canned questions.

        Try something like, The imbalance was originally estimated at 1 Wm-2 and currently is estimated at 0.6 Wm-2 with almost all heat uptake in the southern hemisphere, how does that impact “original” attribution estimates?

        If the Antarctic winter temperature rises from -79.5 C to -78.5 C with an uncertainty of +/- 1.5C and only has observations from circa 1954, why is it even included in a 120 year estimation of “global” surface temperatures?

        You know, things like that :)

      • The huffpo drones can’t change their speil, Capt. If they stray from the party line, they are sent to camp for R&R (repair and re-indoctrination).

    • JimD,

      “In all the talk…”

      Off topic and hobby horse fee sees …

    • It snows more when oceans are warm. ice on land is replenished when oceans are warm. ice advances and dumps onto the land and into the oceans more after it has snowed more. This cooler water is not any kind of anomaly, it is part or the normal, natural and necessary cycle. the shift from warming out of a little ice age into a bounded warm period does need more study. The ice core data from the past is more than enough but more data will support the fact that warm times are when ice on land is replenished.

  9. Dr. Curry —

    Referrals: WUWT refers its more serious readers to interesting posts here, and many of your posts are discussed both in Anthony’s original work and in Guest Essays there. Truthfully, WUWT readership is of a slightly different character than CE readership, with a segment of overlap. I was surprised to find that WUWT was still your #1 referring site. That Twitter has risen to #2 shows the value of mentioning your posts yourself on Twitter, and the following you have there that links your posts as well. (I am not a Twit, and don’t).

    Moderation: I think you do one of the best jobs of allowing rather freewheeling discussion in the Comments Section (CS). That said, I do not often comment here as I have wearied of the hubristic flashbacks from the several intellectual bullies that habitually comment here.

    Content: I like the Guest Posts as well as your personally work. You have highlighted the work of others, particularly the cross-field stuff — eg: the recent guest post from a historian was outstanding (and viciously and unfairly attacked by self-serving intellectual bullies wearing blinders). I occassionally Guest Post at Anthony’s and know how much work can go into a single full-sized post– thus I am surprised that you contribute as much as you do.

    Content suggestions: I would like to see more content that diverges from the usual fare of arguing for and against various version of metrics which, in my mind, may or may not actually represent climatically important phenomena — metrics that are produced at great cost and effort on the basis of “that’s where the light is” (referencing the lost car keys joke).

    I’d like to read a series of posts exploring a theoretical restart of climate science — where we start with “What do we know?” “What do we want to know?” “What features of characteristics of the physical world could or should we measure to inform us about that?” etc. Did the whole subject get off on the wrong foot and never recover?

    All in all, I think your and CE do a real service in informing your readers of important issues in climate science.

    • I’d like to read a series of posts exploring a theoretical restart of climate science — where we start with “What do we know?” “What do we want to know?” “What features of characteristics of the physical world could or should we measure to inform us about that?” etc.

      YES! Add to that. What has already been measured or determined from ice cores and other proxy data that should have already informed us?

  10. I like more threading, because as it is we get 10-20 comments replying to one another at the 3rd level. But this is not particularly important.

    People come and go but I see no real change in the technical level of the discussion, which is generally high and multi-facteted. This blog is a unique resource in the debate.

    Some of the guest posts are too long to read, so you might consider a word limit, but again this is not especially important.

    • good point re post length, i have been working with guest bloggers to shorten some of them

    • “I like more threading”
      I’d vote for at least one more level.

    • stevenreincarnated

      I think one level would be useful. I’d be skeptical about going more than that.

    • I think people gravitate to the deepest level of threading in order their comment not become disjointed from current discussion by the expansion of a deeper level. I would keep as it is unless there was an auto-collapse + sign when the finest level exceeded two comments.

  11. Judy,

    I keep reading, but not commenting much, usually because I have nothing useful to add, and partly because I have my own website to run. On numbers, Google Analytics should be able to tell you how many of everything there has been since the beginning.

    Happy New Year!

  12. Great blog!

    Would be good if Dr. Curry would weigh in more on the state of the science like she did in her recent Senate testimony which was very useful.

    • So ybuttski is aware that Judith did not retire and clam up about the climate science, in 2007.

      • Don, ease up. I had a fairly good interaction with ybutt concerning OA. I am hopeful it was helpful. Many might come into CE as uneducated as I admit to having been in 2011 until accidentally stumbled onto a big statistical lie (maize yields) that offended my econometric sensibilities, while researching a completely different issue, carrying capacity. Explained that Road to Damascus moment in Denizens 2. The more CE welcomes the ‘ybutts’, the richer and IMO more productive the conversation becomes. In my view, anyway.

      • I will take that as a request, Rud. I’ll give him a week. If he keeps his nose clean, I will reclassify him.

      • TY. It will improve the blog, IMO.

      • Don knows his limits and boundaries. He even chucks the odd kind word in. And he acts like a democrat [Australian Party that has become defunct].
        Rather him than a lot of other commentators.

      • Thank you, Mr. Angech. Now you got me wondering if I am too soft with the collection of nasty little drone trolls we got here. You are on my very short list of scholars and gentlemen. I mean before, not just now.

      • David Springer

        Monfort you’re already over 10% of the comments in this thread. Put a sock in it dickweed.

      • Thanks Don “Hall Monitor” Monfortski! I strive to live up to your standards sir.

        I meant I like the blog, and as to the information solicited by Dr. Curry my feedback is that I would like the ratio of Dr. Curry posts to guest posts to be higher if possible. Also, I’d like more commentary on the climate science rather than eg. mere opinions from people on why nuclear energy is good for the UK.

      • Yeah, Don Don. Don’t be so hard on the Beaver.

        Also, what did you do to Barney Fife/Gomers Pile to give him so much wood for your posterior persona?

      • Monfort and Springer are two commenters I always read and value. Interesting to see how they like to insult one another.

        Could both lighten up? Sure, but where is the entertainment in that.

      • Little horse grabber is trying to make a name for himself, but he is as weak as willito. Little springy is crude, but durable. Doesn’t know when to quit, but he bounces well.

      • DonDon: Glad to here Barney is placating you with the occasional reach around.

      • Don’t you have equine droppings to shovel, horse grabber? Try to make yourself useful.

  13. I’d like to see more posts on obliterating the climatariat, burning their cities, salting their ground, cursing their future generations…that sort of thing. (You can tell I don’t like ’em.)

    • I agree. Alarmists hate this. If WUWT runs an article on the push-back or indeed any article criticizing an alarmist, Anthony Watts gets slammed for being “off science”. I’ve seen that at other sites too. What’s happening in the social arena is important however and the crumbling of green walls should not be hidden away. Nothing pleases me more than reading about green failures. Those pro-warming, though, don’t want any such failure broadcast and do their best to “shame” reporting sites into silence on any issue outside science.

      I would also like to say that although I don’t comment here very often (I think this is only my second time), I come here regularly and love reading the threads – complete with all arguments. When I see a high level of comments, I bring in a cuppa and settle in for a good read. :)

      • I agree with you entirely. Even to the point of -“I think this only my second time” and “I come here regularly and love reading the threads”.

        The debate over global warming is happening at last but it is getting bogged down in detail and there is still predominant censorship of the sort of detail that will eventually sink the catastrophism which has ruled popular discussion. There needs to be more ridiculing of the ridiculous, and not in a defensive way, but aggression upfront.

        I’m no longer interested in whether the nineteenth decimal place of the world’s aggregated temperature average indicates warming, cooling or stasis, I want to know why Steyn v Mann is taking forever and whether a US presidential candidate is going to take down the hoax after (s)he is elected or is going to fall into the PC line as soon as (s)he is over the line.

        I like seeing pictures of windmills on fire and solar panels flying apart in storms, and if someone as mathematically challenged as I am can work out that renewables aren’t cost effective, I want to know why the mathematical geniuses who know what a regressed square (or whatever) is can’t get it through to the big end of politics.

      • Some people’s pocketbooks are flying apart also. From the article:

        Solar panel installer SolarCity SCTY 0.85% said it would cut 550 jobs in Nevada, two weeks after the state’s utilities commission approved changes that would reduce credits customers receive for selling excess solar power to the grid.

      • Reading these comments reminds me it’s time to donate more of my diminishing oil and gas royalty payments to Greenpeace for a green and peaceful future.

        If renewables are subsidized why can’t the oil and gas industry be subsidized even more than it is now? The nosedive in the price of oil is hurting the economies of some states real bad. We need support like farmers get. If we producers got paid for leaving oil and gas in the ground it would be good for us and also would be good for future generations, a WIN WIN deal.

    • “I’d like to see more posts on obliterating the climatariat, burning their cities”

      Just keep churning out the CO2. We’ve lost a few small towns around here in the last decade. Of course, it isn’t selective.

      • We are busily working on that selective part, nicky. That’s where all of our Big Oil funding is going these days. Springer is running that project.

      • Nick: Here in the real world, we recognize the problem stemming from the encroaching urban/wildland interface in an arid environment. That and your inferno blue gums. The railroad barons imported those filthy tree-weeds to Cali to make ties, then found they were un-millable. They damn-near fried all of Oakland Hills back in the day.

        It must suck not to have a facsimile of CalFire so you end up letting towns burn down due to inferior planning and a lack of Huey’s. Fortunately for your politicians, they can pull the “global warming causes everything bad meme” to cover their arse.

        Blaming CO2 is like burning a witch without the barbecued chicken smell.

  14. Dr. Curry — It’s quite common that your topics on CE become very divisive in the discussion threads. It would be nice to see a blog, say at least once a month entitled Looking for Common Ground.

    For example, you and Dr. Katharine Hayhoe have extremely different views & perspectives on climate science. Yet it appears that both of you share common ground on the subject of “Fast Mitigation” (reducing methane, smog, black carbon, HFCs).

    Dr. Muller and you have your differences. But both of you apparently agree that a potential “GAME CHANGER” in understanding climate science is Clouds.

    Another area that would be interesting is the rapidly changing electricity markets (not only the U.S., but Globally). Many CE Commentors make Renewable Energy into a simplistic Liberal Vs. Conservative Battle. But as the Tea Party is demonstrating in the South over Customer Choice on Solar it isn’t. Traditional Electric Utilities are just being destroyed (market value) in Germany. What are opinions on how this will shake out eventually?

    • Stephen, the conservationists among us will always be happy to talk of mitigating pollution and cutting waste of resources.

      But then someone tries to spike all that with a sharp little warmie hook. And there goes common ground!

      Can you resist using conservation as a Trojan Horse for repackaging that old consensus message? Warmies are good at that, but skeps are getting better at noticing when they do that.

      And, really, who’s for soot, smog and black carbon? The same people who hate Bambi and cute kittens?

    • The threads you try to jack by trying to manufacture points that you want us to pretend are common ground get divisive. We find that annoying.

    • Stephen Segrest: It would be nice to see a blog, say at least once a month entitled Looking for Common Ground.

      I think that could prove interesting. Once per month. Twelve in a year.

      • I guess (to some) that I need to be clearer. The once a month “Potential Common Ground” essay would be written by Dr. Curry — where Denizens would comment pro and con.

      • this is an interesting idea (occasionally, not once a month). At the moment I am unfortunately very short of time

      • We had that common ground post. Didn’t find much that anybody but a joker desperate to find common ground would find interesting. After much discussion, about 400 comments, we discovered that Dr. Curry and that Hahoe lady both sometimes ate waffles for breakfast. Not together. In their own homes, or in separate restaurants, in different cities, at different times.

      • Good of you to ask us, Judith, your attitude so admirable
        regardin’ scientific methodology – feedbacks and tests.But
        this is your blog and you have lots to do beyond its borders.
        So do what suits you – time wise, energy wise. If visits drop
        – ‘ the invisible hand,’ you can always reappraise and change,
        like climate.

      • I like this idea also. More constructive engagement would be good but perhaps not easy to do.

    • SS,

      Do you mean let’s be nice because it’s nice to be nice? How about we meet on the common ground at sunrise?

  15. It seems not to fit in with the CC/GW concerns, but I am VERY concerned about the level of geoengineering going on “below the radar” in virtually every part of the USA and within 100 miles of the border between Canada and the USA. There is no question in my mind that the weather is being altered [radically?] by men —- but not by the average SUV driver — but rather by those who would spray metals into the atmosphere to supposedly alleviate GW but at the same time wreak havoc on the food and water supply.

  16. As I have landed in moderation from time to time I thought that an expansion on the do’s and don’t’s that may land a perfectly innocent comment in the time out location.

    I realize that words are but words, having come from the old school of “sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me”, yet, I am fully aware of the “politically correct” world in which we now live and work. Most of the new way of speaking, and by the way thinking, as words do convey meaning, we live in a self restraining environment (some of us don’t of course) where self censorship is the rule instead of the exception.

    Today, words can get one into trouble not only with the Thought pPolice, but with other law enforcement offices when there is a threat of doing great bodily harm or when it comes to National Security.

    I would really be interested in who is listening/reading and making such momentous decisions as to whom to castigate or even imprison.

    As for Climate Etc. and your moderation of comments, I do not have any particular objection to you deciding which comment or idea is viewed and which comment/idea is not. It is after all your blog, and if I really object, I can just as you did, start my own blog or go elsewhere.

    As it is though, I prefer to receive feedback than speak into my own echo chamber so I am set with things as they are, just that I would like to know a little bit more on what is “in” and what is “out.”

  17. Judy,

    In general I’d say Climate Etc is the best climate-related blog anywhere – so many thanks for that. I’d also say the current level of moderation and threading works very well.

    For guest posts, I’d like to see more on ‘known unknowns’ – cloud feedbacks, atmospheric humidity, the effect of energy going into wind velocity rather than temperatures, etc. etc.

    I really do appreciate just how much time and effort you put into this blog.

    • Good on JA. The crucial issue is the water vapor feedback. Tree rings, cockle shells, adjustment this and that, polar bears and partridges falling from pear trees, not so much.

    • I would second that suggestion for more posts and info on global humidity levels. I also really enjoyed the recent post on historical climate. I wouldn’t mind reading more guest posts from Tony Brown – I think his perspective is extremely interesting.

  18. Ottawa reader

    more, much more from Professional Engineer please. Admirably clear commentary on the facts.

  19. Referals: a lot of huffpo drones are assigned here.

  20. What is the status of the post being prepared by the “Stadium Wave” group at GTech re the kerfuffle with Mann etal?

  21. Judith, some initial thought after an hour ponder. You pose some very good and difficult questions.
    On nesting comments, about right. Maybe one more level? The exchanges on the previous History thread, which included a number of mine, are an example of about but maybe not just right.

    On moderation, despite its unfortunate cost to you, about right. (Could you enlist a trusted cadre, as Jo Nova and WUWT have apparently done?) The whole point (in my mind) is to have a real divergence of views and ‘data’, and then let the ultimate peer review-folks who have something of substance to contribute– sort it out. Again, a memorable exchange from the history thread example: Ybutt challenged my assertion that ocean acidification studies had been called into methodological question. I provided two cites, Nature and J. Mar. Sci.

    On themes, you originally had mainly 2 when I first guest posted: climatology, and consequences (energy policy, food impacts [my very first guest post you accepted]). PE guest posts are an example of the latter. You have very usefully expanded to the ‘sociopolitical’ undercurrents. Probably not the right words, cause out of my expertise. But Andy Wests posts are good examples. A thought provoking education for myself.
    For myself, I would urge one further expansion, but carefully limitied to the three themes just noted. That would be multidisciplinary views on the three. For an example, the History thread delt with cognitive dissonance to the paleoclimate narrative. What would Andy West’s meme thingy contribute to either accentuating or reducing that dissonance.

    Finally, on more guest posts. You are the arbiter (as I well know, since you have rejected stuff I thought pretty good and then got posted elsewhere). It is your blog. But the best way to get more guest posts, IMO, is to keep your standards high, the quality of debate high, the intellectual impact high, and let the guest post volunteers come to you as the word spreads. I woild offer PE as an example. Twitter and Facebook probably help spread the word. But it is ultimately a matter of trust. You have mine. This post is a large part of why.

    • > Maybe one more level?


      For examle, a lot of Jiminy Doodlebug’s most annoying evidence-free assertions and threadjacks occur at the current lowest nest level, making it very clumsy to call him out

      This happens so frequently that I have wondered if it is deliberate

      • Maybe. Is easy to address him directly, as I did above. The blog critria should be to make it as easy as possible for Judith, not as nice as possible for her many denizens.

  22. The threading level is currently set at level 3. I have had requests to increase the threading level, which i will consider. However, if we need to subsequently reduce the threading level, then the threading on old threads will be lost.

    I do recommend you do not do this. If you may reduce it later land loose some of the threads, Please do not take the chance on increasing the level unless you commit to keeping it.

  23. As someone who teaches an introductory class in cultural anthropology and using a textbook with an author blindly committed to IPCC and climate change hysteria, I am in sore need of material such as found on CE. The short educational videos at Prager University aimed at a general audience are equally helpful. Some require more technical material, others not. I am most surprised at scientifically trained friends (retired) who seem immune from the scientific approach taken here. Keep up the good work.

  24. David L. Hagen

    Cause vs Consequence?
    I am particularly interested in exploring further Roy Spencer’s question: Which is the cause and which the consequence?
    Is CO2 the cause of the global warming, OR
    is ocean warming the cause of CO2 increase?
    Impacts of Natural CO2 vs Anthropogenic
    Similarly Murray Salby’s detailed quantitative explorations on CO2 that raise far more questions on natural sources/sinks and consequences than I have see sound analysis of.
    The greatest uncertainty still appears to be in clouds with too much handwaving dismissing them.
    Adaptation vs Mitigation
    More posts on adapting to changes would be most welcome, especially in contrast to the incredible economic consequences of “we must mitigate”.
    Renewable vs Nuclear energy
    I have particularly appreciated the detailed discussion by power engineer on impacts and consequences of renewables penetrating the grid and the impacts of storage and lack of it. Articles on Thorium power with India and China leading the charge would be interesting.
    Transport fuels
    I see the rise and fall of transport fuels far faster with orders of magnitude greater impact on economies than the much touted “global warming”. More articles on transport changes and sustainable fuels in contrast to climate would be welcome.
    Keep up the good fight on emphasizing uncertainty analysis and upholding the essential foundations of science. More exposing the very serious underestimation of uncertainties, especially of systematic Type B errors would be most welcome.
    I highly recommend inviting Nigel Fox of NPL to post on his TRUTH’s project:
    Seeking the TRUTHS about climate change 2011

    “Presentation on the vital work being carried out by at NPL to improve traceability and reduce uncertainties associated with climate forecasts, by Nigel Fox, April 2011”

    The TRUTHS About Climate Change 2014

    Accurately identifying trends—for example, a 0.2 percent increase in high cloud cover per decade—requires approximately 30 years using current measurements, which limits our climate models. TRUTHS would reduce this timeframe to 12 years. . . .
    an economic study has also highlighted that the improvements from such a mission could result in an economic saving to the world economy of $5 to $30 trillion, by switching to informed mitigation and adaptation strategies.

    Establishing a metrology lab in space to meet the demands of climate change

    The key challenge to this mission and thus one where
    we will concentrate our efforts in terms of explanation is the ability to achieve SI traceability at uncertainty levels a factor of 10 below what has been achieved to-date. . . .
    A community workshop held in the USA in 2007, considered the needs of climate [4,5,6] and concluded that in the optical domain, the critical underpinning measurands (FCDRs) and the associated uncertainty requirements were: Total Solar Irradiance (TSI) – 0.01% (k=1)
    Solar Spectral Irradiance (SSI) – 0.1% (k=1)
    Earth Reflected solar radiance – 0.3% (k=2)
    Earth Emitted Infrared (IR) radiances – 0.1 K (k=3)
    (Expressed in terms of resultant temperature)
    Nb spectral resolution for SSI needs to be 1 to 5 nm (ideally from 200 to 2500 nm) and for Earth spectral radiance <~20 nm from 320 to 2400 nm.

    The Scientific Method – Or Can Climate Models ever fail?
    When are models “wrong”?
    “Under the scientific method, when do we recognize “the models are wrong” – and the “emperor has no clothes”? Nobel Laureate Richard Feynman

    then we compare the computation results to nature, or we say compare to experiment or experience, compare it directly with observations to see if it works. 
If it disagrees with experiment, it’s wrong. In that simple statement is the key to science.

    vis Global Warming and the Feynman test Tom Trinko Sept. 11, 2014
    The IPCC declares:

    Climate is usually described in terms of the mean and variability of temperature, precipitation and wind over a period of time, ranging from months to millions of years (the classical period is 30 years).

    Steve’s Tropospheric Temperature graph shows ALL the models (5% to 95% ) exceed the temperature records over the satellite era which now extends longer than that 30 year period.
    John Christy’s graph above shows the climate model mean prediction over the 35 year satellite era is now 400% of the actual satellite tropical tropospheric temperatures.
    If that does not constitute “wrong” and “failed” what does?
    Thanks for your moderation and keeping “food fight” relatively civil. More would be welcome.

  25. Above all else, we need knowledgeable and honest people like Pekka Perila. May he rest in the peace earned by his wisdom and goodness.

    • He was subjected to abuse here.

      • Pekka was subjected to some abuse here. Generally has respected and people paid attention to what he had to say, even though he generally defended the consensus science. I have often suggested that clowns like you emulate Pekka, if you are serious about the danger and want to actually have any influence in the debate. Willful ignorance, dishonesty and incivility won out over attempting to be scholars and gentlemen, with few exceptions.

        Fred Moulten (sp?) was another Pekka type. I have long been curious about what became of him. I found one FM who had passed away. Don’t know if it was him. The good ones are gone too soon.

        I still have hopes that some of you will shape up, yoey. I really am not convinced that AGW is not a serious problem. If it is, I want to know it. i’ll tear into, like I did the commies and others.

      • For the most part he withdrew from here…

        And you’re the clown.

      • I have yet to see you say anything interesting, or even mildly entertaining. No redeeming quality. Take some time off and think about what you are doing here. And think up some kind of name. look in the phone book. Plenty of them in there.

      • David Springer

        Fred’s dead. Maybe if you knew how to spell his name (respect?) you could have found out for yourself, Monfort.

      • Pekka too, for that matter.

      • You have a bad case of donnyitis, springy. But thanks for verifying what I suspected. Seems like he lead a long and useful life. RIP.

        You are a bitter and envious little fella. Check yourself.

      • Occasionally and not by most.

        Do you still have a point J?

    • Thank you for that notification Don, he was a wonderful teacher.

    • David Springer

      Pirila and Moolten were both insufferable passive-aggressive douche-bags with highly inflated opinions of themselves, by the way.

      • The poster boy for pathological envy.

      • Delete this DS post, Judith, please. And maybe give the poster a vacation.

      • David Springer


        A vacation for having a negative opinion about a couple of dead guys?Get real. I said worse than that to both of them while they were still alive.


        Yeah that’s it. I’m jealous of a couple of guys taking dirt naps. That’s the ticket. And you’re a tool.

  26. Dr Curry, you publish a lot of stuff here on warmist claims that don’t hold up. For the sake of balance and to restore your own reputation you could include more posts on skeptic claims that have been proved wrong. For example the excellent series a few months back on why the surface temp records are more robust than most of us (self included) have been saying.

    Dr Hansen made a successful prediction that we often ignore, namely that warming will lead to increased precipitation at the poles. Dr Trenberth said that the missing heat must be hiding out in the oceans and indeed the Argo buoys do show some warming. That kind of thing. Keeping it real. Let’s dispel some of our own myths too.

    In your weekly review I think you’ve linked to Energy Matters a few times. Euan Mearns and Roger Andrews recently wrapped up a string of posts on the El Hierro wind project. A summary of their analysis would make a good guest post.

    • Dr Hansen made a successful prediction that we often ignore, namely that warming will lead to increased precipitation at the poles.

      Duh. Warmer oceans and more snowfall precipitation is what stops the warming. Warm times are normal, natural and necessary to rebuild ice on land.

  27. Oliver Manuel

    I appreciate and admire your blog, Professor Curry. You have demonstrated that AGW is not about climate change. The movement was initiated by the abrupt end of Al Gore’s career as a politician after the 2000 elections. See the first part of Michael Moore’s movie, Farenheit 911:

  28. Blog post topics

    I would appreciate any comments on categories of posts or subjects/topics that you would like to see more or less of.

    I’d like to see more on:

    • Energy policy and decarbonisation options analysis (like the ERP report: )

    • Cost benefit analysis of mitigation, adaptation and other ‘climate policies’, including a cost-benefit analysis of the $1.5 trillion ‘climate industry’ (Bjorn Lomborg?)

    • Robust Analysis – how could it be used in practice to support policy advice, examples?

    • Application of Decision Analysis to climate policy analysis (MW Grant?)

    • Damage Function – explain it and provide estimates of the economic consequences of climate change (for both global warming and global cooling so we can see the continuum and trends through the place we are now at), the uncertainties in those estimates –Richard Tol provide an update on the current state of knowledge?)

    • Abrupt climate change, description, explanation of relevance and importance, models can’t handle it, etc. I’d especially like to see pdfs of

    o Time to next abrupt climate change
    o Direction (cooling or warming)
    o Rate of change
    o Maximum amount of change

    • Stadium wave:

    o extend back to 3000, 5000, 8000, 20,000 years ago

    o during previous interglacial periods

    o during past warm times (e.g. Miocene)

    • Biosphere productivity in warmer times (e.g. Tertiary Period) compared with now and in glacial periods (Is it correct the biosphere more productive and more C was tied up in the biosphere in warmer times?)


    In the early days, I was reluctant to moderate much because I did not want to appear to be censoring comments that disagreed with or criticize me. I think I have more than demonstrated my openness in this regard.

    I do to. I think you have done an excellent job. I think this is one of the greatest distinguishers/segregators of CE in contrast to other climate blogs, especially compared with the alarmist blogsites like RealClimate and SkepticalScientist. This is a genuinely open forum.

    I would appreciate any comments on the new and stricter moderation policies.

    I think you have a good balance and I doubt you could do any better. I know from other sites that moderation cannot be delegated successfully. It gets taken over by ideologues of one stripe or another pushing their own barrow.


    I’d recommend is stay as it is (3 levels). It started with deep threading and was a disaster. I argued for no threading (1 level). It was tried on a few threads but doesn’t work for CE because of the large number of comments on each thread. Two levels was tried for a while, but 3 levels seems optimum. I’d strongly urge leave it at 3 levels.


    I agree with Ottawa reader:

    more, much more from Professional Engineer please. Admirably clear commentary on the facts.

    More from Latimer Alder, MW Grant, Planning Engineer, and send a request to the late Max Anacker to send in some posts. I really miss his comments.

  29. Judith;

    I’m one of the original denizens and among the older group who have been following your blog. I’m not active participant in the new social media, i.e., Twitter, Facebook, etc..

    I have no clear thoughts on how you should continue to focus on the interests of those who actively utilize the newest social media, That’s a very complex problem.

    Best wishes …

  30. Testing …

  31. What a genuine question. Thanks for asking us Dr Curry.
    What you want your blog to be is best answered by what you want to be when you grow up.

    Off the top of my head, I identify you as the Dr from GT who thinks we are experiencing natural variability.

    So what’s your mission ?
    Do you have an objective ?
    Are you rolling around some tactics ?

    Factoid from the book Hubris … over 25000 technical journal articles a week try to get published. The peer review process can’t possibly be keeping its standards with that type of load and in fact we see an erosion in the quality and openness of the work that is being produced. Publish or perish pressure has created weakness in the primarily honor driven system. Rarely does peer review demand the gold standard of a reproducible, double blind study with a known rate of error from an independent party (or from your detractors). Much of the work is repackaged and piled on by folks who have to check the box for pubs.

    I can’t help observe that many of the skeptical minds associated with fields like geology, medicene and climatology are emeritus/retired and have no fear that the tall piece of grass will get it’s head lopped off. Perhaps there is a resource (or a future) in coordinating a consortium of emeriti for independent review on key publications.

    Thinking out loud and keep up the good work.
    How you run your website or grow your following is small potatoes.
    The big potatoe is what do you want IT to be when it grows up.

    Your reader

    • Perhaps there is a resource (or a future) in coordinating a consortium of emeriti for independent review on key publications.

      Good idea

      • Ah, a classic problem. Who decides what is key?
        An ancient Roman philosophical conundrum, losely translated as ?Who keeps the keepers?

      • Fortunately the level of really weak science that society uses to base multi billion dollar decisions on is ripe with opportunity. As such there will be multiple laudable choices. The group should try to avoid the perfect choice as it’s often the best way to kill a good idea.

      • True. However, climate science is have an enormous impact on policy and the world’s economy. Science does not have the systems to handle quality control like engineering has. Given the enormous cost – $1.5 trillion per year on the climate industry – we need much better quality control than science can provide. Engineering can. Defence type ‘Red Team Reviews’ is another way. But we can expect academics whose careers depend on toeing the consensus line to be able to do the quality control and red team reviews.

      • Yes Peter

        You’ve identified yet another area of interest or should be of interest. The standards methods for land based temperature adjustments was decided by whom ? Have they been vetted ? Do they stand up amongst detractors ?
        The deeper you ascribe to best professional judgements in your adjustments the higher the burden of independent review.

    • Knute — Here we go again for probably the gazillionth time. Dr. Curry has said repeatedly that her best guess is that human influence on GW is probably about 50%. She’s said this in numerous public forums.

      Dr. Curry then further explained her ~50% statement means between 25% and 75%. This compares with Dr. Schmidt’s opinion that it’s +100%. As I understand folks like Dr. Hagen and Mosomoso, they would put this probability at zero or close to it.

      Its important to make these distinctions. So yes, Dr. Curry believes much more emphasis needs to be put on natural variability (and very much disagrees with Dr. Schmidt). But no, Dr. Curry does not believe what folks like Dr. Hagen and Mosomoso believe (e.g., no meaningful correlation between GHG emissions and temps).

      • There is no actual data that has proved that human influence is different from zero.

        There is only theory and climate model output that says there is a problem.

        Actual data is well inside the bounds of the most recent ten thousand years.

      • Dr. Curry believes much more emphasis needs to be put on natural variability. Dr Curry is 100% right about this.

        If and when we understand the natural cycles, we can separate what might be due to humans, That must be studied and understood first.

        Most people on the different sides are not studying natural variability, that must change.

      • Stephen, my guess is that we muck about with the climate a bit but that a percentage would be far less scientific than plain English like “a bit”. Since it’s just a guess ‘n all. And since nobody has checked out that enormous hot ball called Earth to more than a superficial degree. And since they don’t really seem interested now they can drool over their non-Kardashian models.

        I’m sure we didn’t cause that big dive into the Younger Dryas and the sharp heave out of it into the spectacular Optimum, so I don’t see reason to fret over our role in lesser coolings and warmings since.

        I am, however, very interested in preparedness for climate change, particularly a short term nasty like a Laki-scale eruption or a long term hit like we’d have to take from a (due?) Bond Event. So you can imagine my ill-will toward whirlygigs and those European solar panels at 50+ degrees north. As for all those pipeline and sea lane tensions involving gas from or through all the wrong places…

        But mostly I love the chocolate sunshine called Permian Black Coal, which lies in abundance along our eastern coastal strip here…the glorious stuff which has built a civilisation and still has the POTENCY to save one.

      • Thanks Stephen.
        So what, we are still within the known variability. This overall thread is supposed to be about suggestions concerning Dr Currys blog.

        While I don’t know her personally, I have followed her journey. She’s at the cusp of multiple opportunities pulling her in different directions. My primary emphasis was not to offer small potato suggestions but to plant the seed that her journey might be bigger than she expected. Pondering where you want to go and how to get there is often overlooked.

        I offered the idea of coordinating a consortium of retired experts because the highest level of bias in the field is due to the bias of self interest. This type of bias exerts tremendous influence down the chain of command or any organization and no doubt affects many junior scientists. She could pursue this at first in a light fashion by reaching out to them to participate as guest writers and potentially a group might emerge that offers sound and reasonable review.

        It’s just a thought.

        Much of the paralysis in the settled science is created due to their success in monopolizing access to the peer review system. It’s not just climate, but other technical fields that suffer from an eroding peer review process.

        I just sense something special for Dr Curry in all this. My intuition I that she has her integrity in the right place and good ideas will be attracted to her.

      • Mosomosa — Just another friendly reminder that I’ve been very consistent on two items you mention: (1) Coal; (2) Renewable Energy.

        I’ve always been highly supportive of the international development of coal using (1) state of the art pollution control technologies and (2) efficiency technologies (e.g., ultra supercritical coal units). I’ve previously provided a blog I wrote blasting the Obama Administration for not supporting this (which has now been thankfully changed in OECD funding).

        On older coal units, I certainly have to be at least included in the top number of diversified efforts (my work on cyclone, pulverized coal, fluidized bed units) to integrate coal and biomass technologies (internal and external sub-stoichiometric gasification) to cost effectively reduce NOx and SO2 using a sustainable source of biomass that builds needed carbon levels in soils (both the active and stable fraction [like biochar]).

        On Renewable Energy, I’m adamant in following a System Planning process and engineering economics taught at every major engineering school internationally — where I’ve constantly said: “If following this Engineering Process results in a 1% or less penetration level for Renewables, so be it“.

        But on highly integrated Electricity Systems with say large amounts of hydro (e.g., from Norway, Canada, etc.) and high flexibility with lots of new natural gas combined cycle units, this penetration level can be much higher.

        Also remember, I oppose a carbon tax, cap & trade, and a federal renewable energy portfolio standard.

      • Knute — I believe that Dr. Curry is a very complex person who doesn’t easily “fit” into a nicely wrapped package.

        This is what you see me balking on here at CE, when people try and make Dr. Curry into “something they want her to be”.

        Just because she disagrees with “X” doesn’t necessarily mean that she believes in “Y” (unless she specifically said so).

      • segrest,

        No one is better at making you ignorable than you.

        How is 25 – 75% the same as +100%?

  32. State of the blog.
    First a hearty thank you for the blog and the willingness to accept input from the Denizens.

    Suggest some sort of CV for each guest poster so readers will be aware of what they bring to their offerings. Newbies may not be familiar with the denizens pages.

    Would suggest a ‘start here’ on the header for newbies to gain building blocks from those resources from here and external which would be beneficial.

    Would like to see at least one paper reviewed each week independent of the ‘in review’ segments. Those with the appropriate backgrounds are from where learning comes. For me, with just over a year in this discussion, it’s taken a fair amount of time just to gain an understanding of who many of the players are who participate. At times, folks pop in who have serious backgrounds yet one may not know who they are. Putting out a paper with little (if any) commentary on the part of Dr. Curry would not require that much work on her part and yet will help to keep a ‘cutting edge’ in place.

    As Don Monfort (and others) have suggested the more ‘serious’ and honest participants, the better. Sometimes it’s hard to tell who is who. Might there be a tool available as an indicator?

    To expand on Oldfossils suggestions, it cannot be that all which is published on any one side of the discussion is always wrong just because it originates on the wrong side politically, so would appreciate a bit greater balance.

    Moderation is acceptable and could even be a bit more stringent. Threading is reasonable but does at times get lost when multiple responses to a comment cross paths.

    • As Don Monfort (and others) have suggested the more ‘serious’ and honest participants, the better.

      Are you sure it was Don Monfort?

      • ATTP,

        It was. Pekka Perila was a bit before my time and I fear I may be the lesser as a result.

        It would be ‘nice’ if the (blog) world were different and folks were taken for what they are, not what they’re presumed to be. And you and I are guilty of the latter and maybe not as focused on the former.

        Dr. Curry has asked what we denizens think she can do better. Well maybe, just maybe, we denizens should ask the same of ourselves. Are you in?

      • Ken Rice, you exemplify the problem you call out. ‘Nice Try’. Fail.

      • Rud,
        Huh? Did you read what I actually wrote, or did you read what you thought I wrote?

        Have you ever read any of Don’s comments? More serious and honest commenters would indeed be very good. My suspicion, though, is that what is really meant by such a suggestion is “more commenters who say things I agree with”.

      • ATTP,
        Ask him.
        I remind you of this: “It would be ‘nice’ if the (blog) world were different and folks were taken for what they are, not what they’re presumed to be. And you and I are guilty of the latter and maybe not as focused on the former.”
        Which of the above did you just employ?

      • attp, “My suspicion, though, is that what is really meant by such a suggestion is “more commenters who say things I agree with”.”

        Nope. Don generally gets his back up when comments tend to be about motives instead of substance. Like say we might have a topic on TCR estimates and you might use “but ECS”. Since ECS should take 300 to 400 years per degree, it is pretty much irrelevant, but that doesn’t stop the peanut gallery from trying to derail the thread. :)

      • Pekka was a physicist. Of all the people who currently comment here, I have no doubt he would share the highest level of agreement with Jim D.

      • Nope. Don generally gets his back up when comments tend to be about motives instead of substance.

        Well, I have no doubt you think this. That doesn’t make it true. I also realise that everyone seems to think that their behaviour is justified, while other’s is not.

      • I wonder if Don, is being serious when he calls me “yoey?” Or is that some sort of peculiar and persistent little tic that Don has when spelling my name? If this were junior high school I might understand where he is coming from.

      • attp, ” I also realise that everyone seems to think that their behaviour is justified, while other’s is not.”

        Well, not justified but it should be understandable. Blog comments are opinions and people are supposed to be entitled to their opinions. .

      • Joseph

        A Rose by any other name….

        Does it really matter? I learned in the Army to let things slide.

      • I was just wondering like ATTP why Don of all people would be talking about bringing in more serious participants.. And it’s odd that Danny quotes him and doesn’t see the irony.

      • Joseph,

        What was it that Don said? HONEST & Serious. I’m not that capable in the ‘serious’ sector but am learning. But I am fully honest. By your comment about irony, which might you have been the most? Honest, serious, or both? And does it add to the topic?

      • I think it does add to the topic in the sense that this blog may need more serious commenters and or fewer that aren’t serious. Hey and people can have blinders on that can affect how they see other people. So I was trying open yours up a little when it comes to Don.

      • Joseph,
        This isn’t a blog post about Don. It’d about the ‘state’ of the blog and ideas for improvement. Don suggested more ‘serious and honest’ participants. If you have an issue with him or anyone else, suggest you take it up directly and not concern yourself with what you think I think about him. You often manage to assume you know what I think and don’t bother to ask. Do I indeed wear blinders & how would you presume to know? I appreciate and support his simple suggestion and if you don’t then say so and direct it towards him.

      • With nicknames, just like with gifts, sometimes it’s the thought that counts.

        When I was six, after an afternoon of playing with my older cousins, I excitedly ran home to tell my mother that they had given me a new nickname. I didn’t understand her displeasure when I told her my new nickname was prick. Maybe she didn’t appreciate as I did that it was a term of endearment.

      • Nobody has any respect for a clown who set up a seedy copycat website for the sole purpose of stalking somebody you don’t like while you hide under a rock, kenny rice.

        Do you imagine that you deserve any more respect than that, kenny?

      • Don Montfort: “Nobody has any respect for a clown who set up a seedy copycat website for the sole purpose of stalking somebody you don’t like while you hide under a rock, kenny rice.”


      • You are supposed to be kept wondering about what I do and my intentions, yoey. I know my craft. You are lucky I am not authorized, or inclined, to use my other skills on you. We had a lot of very effective stuff to employ, before Obama neutered the military-intelligence community.

      • Didn’t know that you served Don. I’m sure that’s where the no nonsense approach was honed.

        Thank you for your service.

      • I was little kenny’s best friend and favorite superhero, when I was lambasting Judith for what she said about Mann and CharleyHebdo. Putz.

      • Ken,

        Dealing with a part time bully is far preferable to dealing with a full time snakeoil salesman. Monfort may irritate a lot of folks, but at least he comes by it honestly. You, on the other hand are allergic to the concept of honest discourse.

    • aTTP, IMO you should pay closer attention to Don.

  33. “and a few rock stars and actors are following me”

    Well done. AGW alarmist musicians particularly get my goat lol

  34. My favorites:

    1) Davis Swan, “German Energiewende — Modern Miracle or Major Misstep”

    2) Planning Engineer and Rud Istvan, “True costs of wind energy”

    3) Planning Engineer and Rud Istvan, “Solar grid parity?”

    4) Planning Engineer, “Myths and realities of renewable energy”

    I’m an engineer and, since energy matters have become so politicized, it’s very difficult to find anything on the true cost of renewables, which makes any sort of cost-benefit comparisons difficult.

    A comparison of the renewables successes (e.g., Texas) and failures (e.g., Spain, Caliwende, Italy, Energiewende), perhaps with some reasons to suggest why some renewables rollouts fail and others succeed, would be interesting.

    I also very much enjoy the essays on the philosophy of science, and would like to see more on the history of science, as well as the history of the philosophy of science.

    I would like to hear more from historians of religion or theologians as to how enviromentalism exhibits the tell-tale signs of a stealth messianic, apocalyptic religion.

  35. First, let me thank Judith for the continued excellence that is shown through management of this blog. I am amazed how many irons she has in the fire.

    There are a couple of subject areas that remind me of when I would break up fights between my kids. They each had compelling stories but I never knew who to believe. The facts about water vapor are illusory, even though it seems to be central to the difference between AGW and CAGW. (Thanks to Don for the reminder). The other topic that needs full disclosure, (almost by an arbitration panel of neutral experts) relates to the immense use of adjustments and assumptions. I don’t mean just the temperature data but to seemingly everything in climate science. When I read studies, I am blown away at how many adjustments and assumptions are involved in arriving at their conclusions. A study that I read recently about glaciers in Antarctica seemed to include many, many dozens of assumptions and adjustments that left me bewildered as to how they were able to arrive at any confidence level. Just one misstep in any of those adjustments/assumptions and what do you have.

    The other area that has been referenced here and elsewhere, but absent in the literature, relates to the so called 1000 year cycle, referenced by a variety of terms. I would like to understand the legitimacy of this theory, as seen by at least some in the field.

    In spite of some of my comments, I am still struggling with the balance between skeptics and warmists arguments. It just appears that there is a hole in the CAGW narrative large enough for Refrigerator Perry.

  36. Variety, diversity, expertise from posts and comments
    @ Climate Etc e-salon. Posts by Planning Engineer,
    Ristvan, Tony Brown, Andy West et al, ( but not Al.)
    Who can ask for anything more … perhaps that
    RiHoO8 commenting problem gits fixed ? ) Thx for
    what you do Dr Judith Curry.

  37. stevefitzpatrick

    Hi Judith,
    Moderating has improved quality by limiting the most prolific and most obstinate (Joshua being the post child for both). But there remain too many cases of wandering to off-topic points of disagreement between the usual suspects; tedious is too kind a description for these repetitive arguments. Senseless noise is more accurate. It would be better if involvement in multiple off-topic arguments leads to a multi-day time out.

  38. The blog is great, thank you, and please keep up your efforts.

    One topic I would like to see given more coverage is the exaggeration of the supposedly bad effects of moderately increased temperatures and CO2, and the underplaying of benefits. Perhaps some guest posts on this subject could be elicited?

  39. Judith Curry
    For me, the climate issue is the intellectual, political, cultural battle ground of our time.
    No less than our perception of our place in our construct of our physical existence is being hashed out.
    As indicated in the recent post, climate policy is being used to reconstruct governance.
    I would hope you allow natural variation to govern CE.
    It governs all whether we admit it or not.
    Too much decorum can lack flavor.
    The Ivory Tower has already rejected you, so you have an excuse to allow a bit of heresy. :)

    I read as much of CE as I can absorb everyday.
    Your choice of science, politics and culture work for me.
    Can’t overstate how much I appreciate you and all here.

    I only regret that I can’t add more substance to the discussion and I appreciate being tolerated.

    It would appear that powerful forces have arisen that seek to silence people who think like me.
    Commenting on your blog is my small way of being on the right side of history with you.

    John Smith

  40. Prof Curry, I like your blog as it is. I can see that an experiment with one extra level of embedding might be worthwhile. Above I also seconded the suggestion by Stephen Segrest for a once-per-month essay on finding common ground. I hope that you keep the blog going.

  41. Sometimes you get things right first go, the Beatles, Ventolin.
    Change for change sake, in response to surveys, in wanting to be better, does not always work.
    In my opinion it is going pretty well and should not be tinkered with.
    A little cross pollination could be helpful.
    ATTP, SOD, Climate Audit put up some interesting concepts at times. Perhaps they could be asked or might volunteer every few months
    If anyone here sees one that might be worth a dual discussion should be mentioned.
    Once over 500 comments I feel a new page for discussion should be put up to keep new comments relevant.

  42. It’s hard to argue with the success you’ve had maintaining the forum. I think you’re the only climate blogger that hasn’t had the fall-off in traffic experienced by the rest of us. You’re doing a lot of things right, IMO.

    Trivial suggestion: How about a forward calendar for the week nested inside your weekly post on interesting things you’ve read?

  43. Despite all of its messiness, CE is an amazing resource and I wouldn’t change a thing. My only suggestion is that I would love to see a book that consolidates the best from CE as determined by JC. I realize that would be a tremendous amount of work, but I believe that future generations of academics will benefit as they struggle to understand all of the nonsense that many of us so clearly see.

  44. I have been away from Climate Etc. for several months. I see mostly the same people here saying the same things so I doubt much has changed. The moderation seems a little tighter, but it’s still moderate, and I like that. You asked for comments on improving your blog. I have an opinion on its demographics.

    My impressions are (a) your blog draws response disproportionately from older climate contrarians who have time on their hands and (b) you want to broaden the responding demographic, presumably to include younger contrarians as well as non-contrarians of all ages.

    Perhaps the blog doesn’t draw younger climate contrarians because they lack the time and/or they don’t want to be associated with an older group (recall Oldsmobile’s “This is not your father’s Oldsmobile” slogan). Or there just aren’t many younger ones to begin with.

    More AGW-positive topics and guest post may or may not draw responses from greater numbers who are not climate contrarians. However, it could be worth a try, and might even stimulate contrarian responses.

    I have presumed the greater the number of people responding the greater the traffic.

  45. Dr Curry

    Perhaps helpful. This is a link to a Ted Talk that describes the experience of the person who ran the Arab Spring Facebook page. I saw it several days ago and it still has me wondering what changes are afoot to help elevate the discourse. The talk takes the listener thru the good the bad and ugly of his experience and he also offers suggestions.

    • Judith

      We need more readers who can contribute at all levels from a layman perspective right up to scientists.

      To do this you need to spread your net wider.

      Anyone using a search engine to find out information on a climate topic is unlikely to find a link to CE

      wuwt for example is a frequent search result for an enquiry but CE very rarely. Even finding named articles from ce can be difficult. Can this be rectified?


  46. I’m fascinated (and dismayed) by the change in attitudes regarding free speech on college campuses. I enjoy the pieces on CE that discuss this disturbing trend and the self proclaimed liberal faculty/administrators that won’t speak out against those that shut down free speech and too often seem to reinforce the denial of free speech as sort of an enlightened democracy.

  47. CE is perfect the way it is – just keep doing it!

  48. Moderation, damned if you do and all that.
    I wish some recurrent sinners from both sides would grow up but would hate to see over moderation policing it. It would be much better if those who engage in endless tit for tat show some restraint.

  49. I like your Blog because of its content.
    Keep doing it.
    Good job.

  50. My background made me focus on the CO2 and methane emissions projections, the carbon cycle, and the emissions pathways used by the climate model intercomparison projects.

    As I have written, I am convinced the ongoing depletion of fossil fuels will lead to increasing prices, which dampens future demand. This isn’t reflected in the projections, which naively assume the supply is nearly endless. When the models (the IAMs) allow this inexhaustible supply we see projections such RCP6. The extreme model, RCP8.5, wasn’t able to achieve the specified forcing even though it was revved up with an incredible amount of coal and huge methane emissions.

    I realize mine is a minority point of view, but as time goes by over the next two decades you will see fossil fuel prices increase much faster than inflation, and demand will indeed be dampened (by market forces, not by COP21). This means the “business as usual” emissions pathways are gentler than predicted.

    I’m concerned that, at this point in time, this month, the IPCC is having meetings to decide on emissions pathways. The meetings and the submitted pathway specifications aren’t being discussed at all in blogs or any open sources that I know of. And I’m afraid the IPCC committees are so political they’ll will again have an extreme and unrealistic pathway they will nickname “business as usual” in reams of follow up “climate change impact” papers.

    In conclusion: “Solving the climate change problem” has evolved into a political conflict, and this leads to the use of shoddy logic and demagoguery. The IPCC creates biased inputs for climate models using scenarios intended to back political propaganda, and they rely on the rather naive many of you have that fossil fuels are almost inexhaustible.

    I propose this subject should be discussed once in a while. And since those emissions pathways specifications are being defined this month, there is an urgent need for somebody who sits in that committee to explain what’s going on.

  51. Antonio (AKA "Un físico")

    I have experienced problems when posting with my nick in this blog.
    The only important issue to tell (appart of the paradigm shift that involves climate change timescales) is that I discovered another paradigm shift dealing with linearity. May be almost all posts in the blogosphere (those in favor or against IPCC’s science basis) could be scientifically wrong. I will try to contact some professors, (not yourself Judith), to see if I can be listened.

  52. In general the area of climate seems to be cooling down both as academics learn to accept that people outside have a right to critique what they do and they are less quick to take offence and as they also realise that we sceptics were right about their outrageous predictions of doom.

    Having realised over a decade ago that the global temperature was natural variation and not man-made CO2, I do wish more academics would start considering what forms that natural variation – because whilst by its very nature it may not be predictable over the long term – if we understood it, we made derive much better short-term forecasts.

    The other great fascination is the ice-age cycle and even longer term trends. Again I write a few articles on my own blog, but so far I think my “caterpillar theory” (heating and cooling of the crust leading to expansion/contraction and release of gases as rock thermally decomposes) is the only one that explains the pseudo cycling nature. However, it still leaves the problem of how temperature leads CO2 – so the trigger mechanism for warming is still very difficult to understand.

    If you really want to put the cat amongst the pigeons which not propose that atmospheric pressure could be changing – there’s absolutely no evidence for it – because everyone just assumes pressure is a constant – so I’ve failed to find any research at all looking for a trend in pressure.

    I would also suggest trying to create some “permanent” pages – for example I find the WUWT references pages invaluable, but whilst I read many articles I wouldn’t recommend anything to anyone generally.

    • The area of climate is not cooling down as far as EPA is concerned; it is ramping up. As for long term variability, the $2.5 billion a year US climate research program, probably the majority of global research funding, simply does not recognize it. AGW is assumed. There is some research on short term variability, but that is just to explain away the pause.

    • I agree with SS. I’m an old scholar trained as a physical geographer in the 60s. That was the home of meteorology and climatology at the time. I retired 15 years ago, following 35 years of teaching the subjects at university level. What I find missing in the debate are advances in synoptic aspects of the two disciplines. SS’s comment about changing pressure patterns struck home. If there are any good scholars out there that are looking at long-term changes in air mass characteristics, strength of frontal systems, patterns in movements of the jet streams, long-term changes in wind direction etc., it would be great to get the latest information. I’m sure el nino/la nina are not the only important natural events deserving more study.

      This blog is a daily “must see” for me. It is the most interesting among the major sites. I see much of the current divide centred on a lack of historical perspective amongst the physicists/modellers. Geologists are well aware of earth history and tend to be much more critical of the CAGW meme. I come here because you try to bridge the gap. I respect many of the regulars here on both sides of the issue. Peanuts from Canada!

  53. Over the years, I’ve noted a marked shift in CE from topics concerning the physical basis of climate science towards matters of hypothetical socio-economic import. Few would not argue that one is dealing with a complex, nonlinear chaotic system, yet all modeling presumes one can derive meaningful conclusions from first-order perturbations of surface emitting Planck radiation.

    Thermodynamic dissipation is the only arrow in the quiver, to my knowledge, which offers useful results for such systems, e.g. a gas discharge lamp or a steam engine. Unfortunately, thermodynamics is rarely taught as a dynamic theory of fluxes and fields. Indeed, even the physical significance of the existence of temperature lacks mention in the climate science texts I’ve perused (the Wikipedia description has so far eluded Connollization).

    Frequently, I’ve seen denizen requests for a better understanding of climate physics but, without mathematics, semantic quibbling seems the inevitable result.

    • Quondom, The big thing that makes a wicked problem wicked is the human response, social, economic, pseudo-scientific etc. which tends to turn into a religion of sorts. Until you can get people to come to grips with their own logical failings, you cannot move forward on some of the beautiful complexities of assuming ideal thermo when dealing with a chaotic planet.

      • captdallas2 0.8 +/- 0.3,

        The people who wrote the United States constitution, with its separation of powers between the various branches of government and between the federal and state levels of government, were certainly skeptical of Thomas Jefferson’s “naive empiricism,” as David Little called it.

        “Power always thinks it has a great soul and vast views beyond the comprehension of the weak; and that it is doing God’s service when it is violating all His laws. Our passions, ambitions, avarice, love and resentment, etc., possess so much metaphysical subtlety that they insinuate themselves into the understanding and the conscience and convert both to their party….

        Power must be opposed to power, force to force, strength to strength, interest to interest, as well as reason to reason, eloquence to eloquence, and passion to passion.”

        — JOHN ADAMS

      • Glenn, that certainly applies, IMO, to EVERYONE who gets the invitation to the Davos party every year. Currently, the danger posed by rich technocrats is as severe as that posed by the politicians and bureaucrats of government because the technocrats are enabling the massive spying on us.

      • Glenn, there is an elegance in simplicity that can be confused as being naive. Adaption for example is a very natural way to deal with the unknown and unexpected. You could even call it evolutionary. History is full of examples of failed, grand plans for mitigation, ideal societies and pursuits of “perfection”. Happiness is a lot easier target :)

      • jim2,

        Speaking of Davos and more generally the field of economics, the theologian Reinhold Niebuhr made a critique of classical economics (this was before the advent of neo-classical economics) similar to John Adams’:

        “The false abstraction of ‘economic man’ remains a permanent defect in all bourgeois-liberal ideology. It seems to know nothing of what Thomas Hobbes termed ‘the continual competition for honor and dignity’ in human affairs. It understands neither the traditional ethnic and cultural loyalties which qualify a consistent economic rationalism; nor the deep and complex motives in the human psyche which express themselves in the desire for ‘power and glory.’ All the conflicts in human society involving passions and ambitions, hatreds and loves, envies and ideals not recorded in the market place, are beyond the comprehension of the typical bourgeois ehtos.”

        Now science may finally be coming around to Reinhold’s point of view:

        “As we have seen, economic theory has traditionally posited that the basic structure of a market economy can be derived from principles that are obvious from casual examination. An example of one of these assumptions is that individuals are self-regarding… Until recently, with these assumptions in place, economic theory proceeded like mathematics rather than natural science; theorem after theorem concerning individual human behavior was proven, while empirical validation of such behavior was rarely deemed relevant and infrequently provided… However, we now know that predictions based on the model of the self-regarding actor often do not hold up under empirical scrutiny, rendering the model inapplicable in many contexts.”

        –HERBERT GINTIS, SAMUEL BOWLES, ROBERT BOYD and ERNST FEHR, “Moral Sentiments and Material Interests”

        There is nothing intrinsically wrong with math or mathematical models. The problem is that if you put garbage in, you’re going to get garbage out.

        But don’t tell the Masters of the Universe at Davos that.

      • captdallas2 0.8 +/- 0.3

        Yep. History certainly is “full of examples of failed, grand plans for mitigation, ideal societies and pursuits of ‘perfection’.” The Spanish Emprie, National Socialism, Russian Revolution, and Chinese Revolution are some of the more notorious examples that come to mind.

        Here’s how Hannah Arendt put it, writing in 1951 in “Denktagebuch”:

        “In the moment of action, annoyingly enough, it turns out, first, that the ‘absolute,’ that which is ‘above’ the senses — the true, good, beautiful — is not graspable, because no one knows concretely what it is. To be sure, everyone has a conception of it, but each concretely imagines it as something different….

        [T]hat by applying the absolute — justice, for example, or the ‘ideal’ in general — to an end, one first makes unjust, bestial actions possible, because the ‘ideal,’ justice itself, no longer exists as a yardstick, but has become an achievable, producible end within the world.”

        Then to top it all off, when all this idealism and higher purpose gets mixed up with man’s more basic drives — like egoism — it can get pretty nasty.

        As Hernan Cortes’s devoted companion, the historian Bernal Diaz del Castillo so bluntly put it: “We came here [to conquer the Americas] to serve God and the king, and also to get rich.”

  54. David Springer

    “Over the past year or so, I have become much more active in moderating the blog, which I think has raised the quality of the comments.”

    That’s in no small part due to the registration requirement which I made sure you kept turned on out of necessity because I’d badly misbehave whenever you tried turning it off.

    Other than registration you just need to put the over-posting clowns into moderation once in a while then the rest pretty much takes care of itself.

    Speaking of over-posting clowns did you let Monfort out of his cage already?

    • I have been helping in somewhat the same way you have been assisting with your crass behavior, springy. However, myself with a lot more style, humor and basic human kindness. Why you hatein’ on me, little fella? We on the same team.

      • David Springer

        It detracts from the blog when one person’s comments come up over and over and over in every single article. Especially one like you who is scientifically illiterate and constantly insulting to those whose opinions aren’t sufficiently skeptical for whatever ignorant pass/fail standards are imprinted into your sloppy thinking,

        Stop. Get a life outside this blog for your own good and for the usefulness of these comments. Your belief in your own cleverness i.e. “style, humor” is pure unadulterated narcissism. Get over yourself.

      • You are a very small person.

      • David Springer

        Small? At 16 stones? I wish.

      • A person’s value is not determined by the amount of fat he is toting around, little dude.

  55. I would like to see more discussion and awareness of the extreme pro- AGW bias in climate research funding and the excessive focus on skewed modeling. I have some articles coming on this that may facilitate such a discussion.

    • “The state usually did not directly determine what scientists could or could not say, but it did significantly influence the selection of who would do the ‘authorative’ talking in the field.”

      — CHRISTOPHER SIMPSON, Science of Coercion

    • And why is it so important for the state and wealthy benefactors to “bribe intellectuals,” as George Orwell put it?

      Robert H. Nelson, writing in Economics as Religion, gives a very compelling reason:

      Since the eighteenth century the authority of God as a source of absolute truths of the world — the essence of the historic claim to authority of Jewish and Christian religion — has been superceded in many areas of society by the rise of science.

  56. I have only been reading Judith’s blog for the last 2 years or so but I am concerned that there are not as many pro AGER’s contributing to the comments than when I first started. There is a predominance of sceptics who are commenting here and this concerns me because its starting to look too much like an echo chamber site for my taste.

    • Pro AGWers was meant.

    • I’m thinking the professional pro-AGWers believe Judy is an effective proponent of moderation and they don’t want to give her blog credence.

    • There is a predominance of skeptics.

      When people promote theory that does not have actual data to support it and other people, skeptics, question the theory and use actual data to show the theory cannot possibly be correct, they move away from the blog. The consensus people do not like it when they look like that they don’t know much and that they don’t even have a clue.

    • The position of the blog appears to be that they accept that there is a record warming, but they don’t know the cause of it, but they think it can’t be the record forcing that we are currently experiencing at the same time. It looks untenable on its face, but we don’t see them argue it through.

      • JimD,
        Except for this: “but they think it can’t be the record forcing that we are currently experiencing at the same time.” you might be on track.
        The other side is that it ‘might not’ be the forcing as this hasn’t been proven and it might just be mother nature at work. Or more likely, that one side won’t even consider that it’s likely a combination of the two.

      • Danny, but that is just the ‘it might be unicorns’ argument with no specific candidates or evidence.

      • Jim D,
        Maya Tolstoy seems to think it might have something to do with volcanos. Volcanos emit CO2 also. Unless you consider mother natures version to be emission from unicorns?

        Why is natural CO2 less plausible as having some sort of effect than anthro?

      • …and how much do you believe that one?

      • The answer to that is “to be determined”, but it’s not in the dustbin just yet. Think we have more to learn about it.


      • Even the paper says that its largest effect is only 2% of the current anthropogenic rate, so quantitatively, it is a non-starter, and the author never claimed anything more either.

      • Jim D,

        Okay. That’s 2% natural. Now are you willing to consider there may be some 23% to 73% more of which we’ve yet to fully comprehend? After all, that’s 2% more than ‘those more climate concerned’ would have even considered before this, right? And some considered that the ‘anthro’ portion was greater than 100%. I’d say there’s room for consideration. Maybe this is what Dr. Curry meant when she said the Tolstoy work may be ‘game-changing’?

      • No, because usually you find the largest effects first, and so the rest of the effects probably don’t even add up to 2%.

      • Jim D,

        Okay. I get it. Small contributions are insignificant. Only large contributions have ‘effects’. And there is no need to even consider that there are sufficient sums of smaller contributors which make up a substantial portion of the total and are therefore not worthy of study. Wanted to make sure I understood your thinking.

      • Yes, if a small effect was only a tiny fraction of what was happening, it would be very hard to extract it from the other bigger things that would be happening. The paper made no mention of other mechanisms to explain their changes. It is dubious even on the role undersea volcanoes too, so I don’t even trust the 2% number.

      • Jim D,

        Hmmm. You sound more skeptical than me. Well I guess there’s at least 2 of us.

      • Jim D,

        Not your favorite, but something else to consider

        Who knows what it is we don’t even know?

      • But that idea includes CO2 affecting climate, so it must be a nonstarter in your and WUWT’s book, but we don’t see them howling about those authors. Perhaps it is OK because it is not manmade CO2. Anyway, it is unlikely to add enough CO2 to do anything, and while CO2 does increase during deglaciation, it is mostly accounted for by an outgassing response to warming making it part of the positive feedback rather than a cause.

      • Jim D,

        When and where did I say CO2 doesn’t affect climate? What I’m suggesting is that we don’t know all the feedback(s) mechanisms and cannot parse out that which is natural and that which is anthro. You might have seen that elsewhere if you were paying attention. Did I disagree with Tolstoy’s 2% from undersea volcanos (the answer is no). Then there’s the deglaciation portion (what pct. is that and did it start as a result of earlier ‘warming’ not attributable to man say starting 300 years ago?). What else might there be and does in not deserve attention individually and in total? It seems you might just be skeptical (or in denial).

      • WUWT usually would not post something that supports CO2 affecting climate without some major complaining about the assumption or authors. Here somehow they didn’t complain, I think because it was not manmade CO2 (just a guess).

      • Jim D,

        At yet, dripping with irony, here your are apparently complaining that it is natural CO2 and when coupled with Tolstoys work who knows where it might lead.

        Yes, the climate blog world is full of irony. You don’t wish to recognize that some portion is natural and complain when others state that some portion is. Interesting, wouldn’t you say?

      • Tolstoy wasn’t even sure of the net sign, and the high dilution in the ocean makes that not as effective a place for volcanoes to be as at the surface. Undersea volcanoes causing ice age recoveries is somewhat far out. I prefer Milankovitch.

      • Jim D,
        Sure, but is it not plausible that solar cycles initiate and alternatives (volcanos/ice outgassing) then contribute on top?

        SS is interested in common ground, and here there appears to be much area which meets the criteria. But as it’s been in my experience in this discussion, the challenge comes not from the skeptical side in reaching some level of commonality.

        Stephen, if you happen to be reading this suggest you start the common ground conversation on the side of those more climate concerned as experience shows that side is having none of it.

      • The ice age recovery would work just as well without undersea volcanoes. Outgassing just comes from the physics of warming the oceans, so that is not optional. It just has to happen, and the CO2 effect seen is consistent with it. Maybe people who don’t understand outgassing resort to volcanoes, but that is not going to be the main driver.

      • Jim D,

        Main driver? Differential driver? Secondary driver after what ever the original (primary) driver was? Does it matter how that’s defined? CO2, is CO2.

      • Exactly. Just not volcanoes.

      • CO2 from below leads to nothing (zero impact), according to you. CO2 from above leads to?

      • yep, a Gigatonne into the air stays there, and is absorbed slowly by the ocean, while a Gigatonne into the ocean hardly gets to the air because it is diluted about 100 times more, so the air doesn’t get exposed to much difference at all.

      • Saturation? And “while a Gigatonne into the ocean hardly gets to the air” so that portion doesn’t matter? Really?

      • Far from saturation. Just air-water equilibrium. From the air’s point of view the ocean carbon budget hardly changed, nothing to adjust to.

      • Jim D,

        From W.I.R. just today: “Phoebe Lam, an oceanographer at the University of California, Santa Cruz, who studies marine cycling of iron and carbon, said the paper “shows there are downstream consequences to anything you do in the ocean.”

        Read more at:

        Nothing to adjust to? How come that only works one way in this climate conversation? Ah. Never mind. Already think I know your answer.

      • Yes, the ocean has more carbon and chemistry works on concentrations, not absolute amounts. You guessed it.

      • Again. W.I.R. It’s not all chemistry. What goes in one door………..

      • yes, whole ecosystems are changing in unpredictable ways as more carbon gets pumped in.

      • Jim D,
        Yes. And pumped in from where? Atm AND undersea volcanoes.
        It is, what it is.

      • The manmade rate is 50 times larger than even their top-end volcano rate when you just compare carbon inputs, and forget dilution, but anyway.

      • Jim D,
        Again. No argument as to which overwhelms which. However, that there is even some 2% this would then lead one to expect that 2% leading to less capability of addressing alternative sources. Why you will not/chose to not engage with that puzzles me. And that’s just one 2% source. What about other naturals?

      • More like 2% of 2% given the dilution by the time it gets to the surface.

      • Really wouldn’t have pegged you as this much of a denier, but I’ve been wrong before. I get it. Natural doesn’t matter, only anthro does.

      • You can read the Tolstoy paper. They don’t say how much gets to the atmosphere if you look closely, and the net sign is also suspect in the first place. They have the caveats.

      • Jim D,
        It frankly doesn’t matter, how much. Any level should lead to the capability being lessened for the oceans to take on alternative sources than would have occurred otherwise. I’m not sure how that statement is unclear.

      • Perhaps it reduces the net ocean uptake just a tad.

      • Thank you. Now let’s just make an accounting of all the rest of the possible sources. How many ‘tads’ make up a ‘gob’? (Just wishing you’d give the possibilities of that which are unknowns, consideration. And spread the word to others of your kind).

      • …which takes us back to the beginning of this thread. Read my answer to that again.

      • Jim D,
        Did just that. And agree that there might just be some unicorns of which we’re unaware. Hence, the blog and evaluation of the state of same.

      • undersea volcanoes/unicorns, whatever, just a waste of time.

      • How many tads make up a gob?

      • it’s ten tads to the smidgeon

      • Let’s be clear. Tad= small amount, somewhat.
        Gob=large amount.
        So with sufficient tad’s one could indeed have a gob. Something to consider.

      • yep, gob is a different league, in there with dabs and dollops.

      • Oops, actually 4-6 smidgens to a tad. I didn’t know these were official measurements. No gobs there.

      • I think this mechanism isn’t worth much because even if the volcanoes spewed that much carbon into the ocean (and they are not even sure of the sign of this effect in the paper), the amount of carbon already in the ocean highly dilutes it (~99:1), so by the time it gets mixed there is almost no difference left from the volcanoes. This paper only hints at the dilution effect, but that is the main factor when you want to consider how much gets to the atmosphere.

      • Jim D,

        Carbon? I must have lost the thread as I coulda sworn we were discussing CO2. My bad.

      • In the ocean it would be some kind of carbonate ion because the gas dissolves.

      • Jim D,
        Gas? So we were discussing CO2? (sarc off)

    • Peter M Davies: “I am concerned that there are not as many pro AGER’s contributing to the comments than when I first started.”

      That’s because we reached Peak AGWer, and now the AGWer reserves are declining rapidly.

      But don’t worry, another catastrophist End-of-the-World fantasy will be along shortly to give the usual suspects another reason to sleep on a rubber sheet.

      As it was in the beginning…

  57. Dr. Curry:

    I greatly appreciate the effort you put into making this blog informative and, therefore, valuable to the general public. The topics are as diverse as the expertise you attract in the form of guest posts and comments.

    About the only thing more difficult than modeling the global climate is moderating a global blog. Nevertheless, my wish would be that the same courtesy extended to guest posters (civil discourse) would be required for all comments, at all times.

    There is nothing wrong with strong opinions being strongly expressed. There is something wrong with name-calling, gratuitous insult and partially veiled threats, examples of which abound upthread. Such immature behavior should be limited to the faculty lounge or the professional society planning committee, IMO.

    Drawing a line between clean hits and unnecessary roughness is difficult but having rules and fairly enforcing them encourages more of us to play the game.

    • my wish would be that the same courtesy extended to guest posters (civil discourse) would be required for all comments, at all times.

      There is nothing wrong with strong opinions being strongly expressed. There is something wrong with name-calling, gratuitous insult and partially veiled threats, examples of which abound upthread.

      I agree. But selectively snipping comments would be too big a burden for Judy–and might embroil her more than she’d like. I suggest that she appoint a couple of volunteer moderators to wield the scalpel.

  58. I am posting less partly due to being busier than usual and partly due to the seemingly endless arguments on the blog. The repetitive arguments get boring. I still read the posts, but fewer comments.

    I’m guilty of posting material that’s marginally related to the topic, but at least it introduces a bit of variety, and most of the time it is at least marinally related.

    Once UAH v6 is released, it would be great if the UAH team could put together a post explaining how the process works. That would make for an interesting post I’m guessing.

  59. I also miss the weekend general “political” topic.

  60. There is a good bit of Newspeak in some of the others also.

    • David Springer

      More humor!

      • You are amazing, springy. We didn’t know you had the artist in you. And the creativity to come up with all the original and quite hilarious stuff that you paste on every thread, whether it has anything to do with the topic, or not.

      • David Springer

        I know I’m amazing but thanks for saying so.

        The best joke of course is you the blog cop.

  61. There is a lot of emphasis on climate-related effects … from the article:

    The number one risk in 2016 in terms of likelihood, meanwhile, is large-scale involuntary migration, followed by extreme weather events (2nd), failure of climate change mitigation and adaptation (3rd), interstate conflict with regional consequences (4th) and major natural catastrophes (5th).

    Such a broad risk landscape is unprecedented in the 11 years the report has been measuring global risks. For the first time, four out of five categories – environmental, geopolitical, societal and economic – feature among the top five most impactful risks. The only category not to feature is technological risk, where the highest ranking risk is cyberattack, in 11th position in both likelihood and impact.

  62. Question for J.C.

    There has been recent developments in Physics concerning Kirchhoff’s law on thermal radiation, Pierre Marie’s experiments and theoretical proof falsify the theory. Thermal equilibrium according to Kirchhoff should be uniform regardless of the physical make up of the system, analogue in a lab with say either a graphite box or a glass box or a mirror box or box covered lined with soot.

    This has been invalidated. The physical make up of the system certainly without doubt affects black body thermal radiation.

    I am wondering what if any, ramifications would would have for thermal dynamics in atmospheric and oceanic sciences?

    Thanks, appreciate the work, Climate Ect is an atoll in a sea of insanity

    • I have never read the original papers on Kirchhoffs law, but the article is very interesting. I would have to read the papers myself to verify, but if the paper you cited is correct, it’s hard to believe that the laws of radiative physics would be based on an assumption that every object behaves as black body. I mean, you see frequently spectrograms of various sorts and almost none display blackbody characteristics. It seems one would have to model a radiative phenomenon frequency by frequency, which is, I believe, how it’s done.

      • Kirchhoff stats that thermal equilibrium occurs regardless of the system, in his case a box. A box coated with soot, or a piece of graphite.

        Kirchhoff’s problem was that the material of the box, or the soot or graphite are responsible for equilibrium. The incorrect assumption is that thermal equilibrium will occur regardless of materials used, this has been invalidated in laboratory experiments and Robitaille has documented a simple experiment that anyone can replicate. This calculations as such of thermal equilibrium in an arbitrary cavity would be inaccurate, I have no idea how that would impact thermal dynamics in climate science.

        I’ve read some refer to him as “crank”, as they did when he set out to break the world record for radiological resolution, built the device everyone told him would fry people, and doubled the world record, if you’ve had an MRI, you’ve probably been helped out by Robitaille.

        This aspect is essential to the gaseous sun model. If invalidated so is the gaseous sun model and there are other significant implications.

        Plancks law also incorporates Kirchhoff’s law, which is very significant.

  63. *Pierre Marie Robitaille.

  64. I read climate.etc every day and enjoy it. I’m a retired electrical engineer who worked 30 years in nuclear power industry — so I especially like to see the articles on effects of renewables on system stability, operations, etc. Also, views on scientific ethics. ‘Especially pleased that I can read and understand most of the material presented on the site. It appears that I’m interested in the same subjects that you are — so I’ll follow wherever you go.

  65. Climate Etc, does a good job of exploring the issues and should continue that, but Dr. Curry herself needs to discard the clunky stale Warmerisms that weigh down some OP’s.


  66. If the blog is going to do more puff pieces for nuclear energy in small irrelevant energy markets (like the UK) it would be good to give information on how much government R&D support nuclear gets & got versus renewables:

    Better still, let’s stick to climate science or and non-puff pieces.

    • How are cumulative subsidies since 1948 relevant to future policy? The majority of today’s subsidies to renewables are not R&D.

      • Valid point. That’s here: (in part)

        Point is: there’s nothing “golden and free market” about the current status-quo.

        Above study does not take into account the insurance premiun bailouts to the nuclear industry via the Price Anderson Act. Without Price-Anderson bailouts there would be no nuclear industry at all: no free market insurer is willing to do a potential payout for an accident at the prices the industry is willing to pay for its insurance.

      • Looks like somebody is hysterically anti-nuke and wants the nuclear power industry to disappear. Not going to help with the alleged CO2 problem.

        Price Anderson is sensible public policy legislation that has facilitated development of a very useful technology that would otherwise be scrapped due to irrational fears genned up by neo-luddites.

      • “Price Anderson is sensible public policy legislation….”

        Looks like the Hall Monitor has his own biases regarding government favoritism to the outdated old-nuclear industry which inhibits investments in new-nuclear.

      • How is Price-Anderson inhibiting investments in new nuclear? And I am about to put you back on the list of agenda driven transparent greeny clown drones, who come here masquerading as sensible folk.

      • He is looking for help. Like many others here he has to link to the work of other people with more intellectual firepower than he has to make a case for whatever. Let’s see how many links he comes up with.

      • Little ybuttocksi never came back. Couldn’t find any links that helped his little self. Clown painted himself into a corner:”Without Price-Anderson bailouts there would be no nuclear industry at all:” Wouldn’t be much investment in new nuclear, if there had been no nuclear industry at all. And another one bites the dust.

  67. Very interesting thread. I would humbly suggest that since the U.S. election is going to largely determine climate related policy in our country and beyond for the medium term, we have a “Week in review-U.S. election” and today would be a good time to start. This could be used to discourage all the shameless Trump promoters from hitting every thread with campaign commercials for The Donald, our gracious and humble next President of the United States and Climate Denier in Chief.

    • Why stump the Trump train, Don Don?

      And why are you posting during Big Dave’s shift?

      • You used to post somewhat coherent and semi-interesting comments that contained mostly your own words, willito. What has happened to you? Your copy-pasting of other peoples’ intellectual product is almost as bad as springy’s irrelevant copycat foolishness. Please try to rehab your little self.

      • I was going to say that at The Blackboard, Lucia has a term she calls “willardian-moderation”, but then I thought of this:

      • > You used to post somewhat coherent and semi-interesting comments that contained mostly your own word […]

        I still do, Don Don. You might have missed them, even if you seem to respond to them.

        Here’s another something else you share with teh Donald:

    • That’s very silly nonsense, willito. You are still sinking in a self-diminishing spiral to oblivion. You are going to disappear like the Cheshire Cat, but your ignominious story fades to a frown of broken teeth.

      • Very clever, Don Don, very clever. In return, please consider that going ad homs all the way down may undo what you were saying a few minutes ago about Pekka and Fred. What were you again again about willful ignorance, dishonesty and incivility?

        Unless of course you are exempt from that advice and show gentlemanship exactly by being so overly full of yourself, just like teh Donald:

        During Fox’s latest Republican Presidential Debate, running candidate Donald Trump got mixed reactions after a new proposal. “If Elected, I promise to build a wall of TV’s between the U.S. and Mexico that broadcast’s the ‘Celebrity Apprentice’ on a 24/7 loop.” Trump exclaimed, followed by a long applause.

        You’re the best, Don Don. Don’t ever change. Who needs change anyway? No you – all your change is in bills.

      • I stingily dispense my limited reserves of civility to those who are deserving, willito. Clear? You are getting smaller, willi

      • Very clear, Don Don, very clear. I am Making You Do It. How grandiose of you.

        Just imagine if Pekka and Fred did the same.

    • I found a few good quotes from the Donald.s There is more in the article..

      “Look at that face! Would anyone vote for that? Can you imagine that, the face of our next president?”

      — Trump says of opponent Carly Fiorina in a September 2015 interview with Rolling Stone. He later backtracked during the GOP debate saying: “I think she’s got a beautiful face. And I think she’s a beautiful woman.”

      “I’m owned by the people! I mean, I’m telling you, I’m no angel, but I’m gonna do right by them!”

      — Rolling Stone in September 2015

      “When these people walk in the room, they don’t say, ‘Oh, hello! How’s the weather? It’s so beautiful outside. Isn’t it lovely? How are the Yankees doing? Oh they’re doing wonderful. Great.’ [Asians] say, ‘We want deal!’”

      — discussing Asians at an August 2015 rally in Iowa

      “You haven’t been called, go back to Univision.”

      — dismissing Latino reporter Jorge Ramos at an Iowa rally in August 2015

      “Heidi Klum. Sadly, she’s no longer a 10.”

      — New York Times article in August 2015

      “You could see there was blood coming out of her eyes. Blood coming out of her… wherever.”

      — Trump of GOP debate moderator Megyn Kelly during a CNN interview in August 2015

      “When Mexico sends its people, they’re not sending the best. They’re sending people that have lots of problems and they’re bringing those problems. They’re bringing drugs, they’re bringing crime. They’re rapists and some, I assume, are good people, but I speak to border guards and they’re telling us what we’re getting.”

      — Trump, referring to Mexicans as rapists during a speech announcing his presidential candidacy in June 2015

      • That brings to mind “I did not have sex with that woman.” “If you like your doctor, you will be able to keep your doctor. Period. If you like your health care plan, you will be able to keep your health care plan. Period. No one will take it away. No matter what.” “you’re going to be able to buy insurance through a pool so that you can get the same good rates as a group that if you’re an employee at a big company you can get right now — which means your premiums will go down.”” “I am confident I never sent nor received any information that was classified at the time it was sent and received,”

      • Jim2,
        Eh. Both sides just sound like politicians. It’s rampant and something we’re all used to.

      • This one is coming soon, jim2:

        I refuse to answer these impertinent politically motivated questions truthfully, on advice from my high-priced scheister, who is certain that I would definitely incriminate myself. It’s not that I am trying to hide anything. I am just invoking the Fifth, for convenience. Can I go now? I got a dozen or so carefully screened enthusiastic supporters waiting for me at a big raucous campaign event.

      • And Hillary’s hubby still believes in a place called Grope.

  68. Suggested topics:

    1. Many skeptics and the IPCC agree that the earth’s climate is chaotic. The same paragraph of AR4 that acknowledged this also discussed the need for statistical methods to ‘solve’ this problem. What is the status of this effort? IMO the averaging together of multiple model outputs from different models with different physics has no physical meaning. Therefore, the use of a “model ensemble mean” is invalid. What is a more correct way to do this?

    2. Even if using a single model, what is the basis for the shape of the assumed probability density function?

    3. Model variance is much greater than the observed variance in the physical climate. As Dr. Brown has pointed out, this indicates that the dissipation dynamics in the models is badly wrong. Why is this not being addressed by climate modellers?

    4. NH and SH albedo is nearly identical. Why do the models not accurately recreate this important thermodynamic reality?

    • “Therefore, the use of a “model ensemble mean” is invalid. What is a more correct way to do this?”

      One cannot make precise predictions given current knowledge of the Earth and its physics — and the non-linear chaos bit does not help, even if we suddenly got us a lot of new knowledge about the Earth.

      The models are good for general guidance so both the doom-and-gloom and everythings-gonna-be-fine camps cannot be confident in their conclusions.

      You are left with a risk and what to do about a risk.

      This is pretty good overview: (see Gavid Schmidt’s essay esp.)

      • The averaging of outcomes from models with different physics is statistical nonsense. We can and should do better.

        Your link is not by Gavin Schmidt. It is a reasonable discussion of model uncertainties but then seems to try to argue for mitigating actions based on the science. Scientists need to learn to seperate their opinions on policy from the science and its uncertainties. Some honesty in the policy debate about the uncertainties would also be welcome.

      • There are several essays there. One is indeed by Gavin Schmidt.

      • “One cannot make precise predictions given current knowledge of the Earth and its physics” Then we should not be using them to set policies.

        Too many fudges, chaotic complicated processes are replaced by simplified fudges that are not even uniform across all models.

        GISS is twice removed from reality. I mean with no data outside the US for 1900.. almost none, 1900s has been “remodeled” several times. That is not science it’s guessing in the same direction as your desire, given Schmidt is ideologically driven, ideology pollutes science. Green activists should be nowhere near the core of this science.

  69. Newbie, first reply. Big fan of Bob Tisdale and that led me here. Read the blog daily. Thanks for your work and I loved your appearance before the Senate Committee.

  70. I would like to see a post on any existing research on what modes of debate and communication are most effective at getting participants to deepen their knowledge, rather than simply attempting to “win”.

    My personal hunch is that all of us on both sides would learn more if certain threads were strictly moderated for politeness (as in no absolutely no insults allowed). My guess is that politeness would force participants to go deeper into the details of the debate rather than sidetracking into personal clashes. I would also wager that more people will come to participate (like opluso says above: “Drawing a line between clean hits and unnecessary roughness is difficult but having rules and fairly enforcing them encourages more of us to play the game.”)

    I think there is also a place for brawling since questions of ethics and motives are a real part of the climate debate. But if strictly “polite” threads are indeed better for deepening overall knowledge, I think they should be tried out. But I don’t really know. A post discussing research on effective dialogue among opposing parties would be quite interesting.

  71. The diversity and depth of the discussion at CE indicates that there’s not much needs improving. I think you’re doing an outstanding job, Judith. CE straddles ‘the trenches’ too, which seems to be a rare characteristic and very valuable imho. Commenters from all aspects of the debate are challenged within a civilized (normally) manner, which leads to a more productive outcome, despite some of the well rehearsed yes/no ping-pong that inevitably breaks out on some threads. Everybody learns something.

    I think the more stringent moderation has worked well, keeping the contributions more on topic and reducing noise (plus it isn’t realistic to achieve no noise, whatever system is implemented, unless diversity is sacrificed).

    Deep threading drives me nuts and doesn’t always display well on hand-helds, I think the current 3 is fine, 1 one more at most.

    The topic of post length is a difficult one for me, as I tend to the longer side. I figure that deeper understanding is aided by longer posts, which can also improve the productivity of comments by pre-empting obvious questions and filling in context. Yet the longer the post, the more likely some readers will be lost, which also inhibits CE’s likely punch in the wider world. Despite the diverse range of topics, CE is still a deep thinking kind of place (and all the better for that imo). Yet reaching a wider audience, if that’s what you want, demands more digestible material, and in the ultimate extreme reducing posts to sound-bites runs the risk of losing accuracy and intended meaning.

    A possibility is maybe a CE and CElight, the latter running short summaries of deeper posts at the former, allowing a choice for depth of engagement. Any serious commenters would very soon need to get into the deeper version, but CElight would be mainly for readers anyhow (I presume there are far more readers than commenters). So the light version may spread further without losing the accuracy that the deep version still provides. Of course many of the guest posts would then need summarizing for the shorter version, more work for the guest, or more editing work for you, Judith!

    A potential problem with the ‘common ground’ essays is that this idea assumes a paradigm that may not, and may not ever, exist. With high uncertainties allowing emotion and belief systems to take hold, these work to exclude common ground. There is a strong possibility, as suggested by Donna Laframboise as far as I recall, that there will never be agreement. One day the argument will simply be overtaken by new concerns and struggles, having never been resolved. Conflicting beliefs rarely resolve, and only the occurrence of a true global climate catastrophe within a century could achieve that resolution in this case. Hence such essays may eventually develop an artificial flavor, living in a space never destined to expand. The only common ground theoretically agreed by all is the primacy of science, yet even this is being employed by both sides to make their case. The debate may not be about finding common ground. In the absence of unequivocal hard science resolution, it may be about winning more hearts and minds before the social dice are rolled again.

    Rud and Beth, thanks for the mentions :)

    • Andy West,

      Sorry I omitted you from my list of favorites above.

      I’m new to this blog, made a quick recognizance of past posts, but somehow managed to skip over yours.

      I’ve now corrected that error.

      I very much enjoyed your posts.

    • Andy,
      I do not consider an initial post as a thread. Thus, we have just 2 level. After many people have commented it is difficult to reply in the appropriate place. I suggest that 4 “lines” of nesting would make it easier to put things in their place (response to a poster) without having to weed thru those who banterings between those we know do so.

    • Andy,
      The ability to “Reply” to an individual postings should be the idea not to someone that is neither the original nor the secondary poster. Thus my suggestion of 4 “Reply” levels

  72. Judith,

    I come to the climate debate from a position of mainly ignorance.
    I welcome the arguments in comments because I can often understand the differences in point of view which helps my understanding. So a definite uptick for your moderation.

    Re the threading, I would prefer almost unlimited nesting of comments. There can be a lot of comments and if one is not interested or becomes disinterested in an argument, one can simply skip the whole subthread. The current threading could work but posters never seem to indicate who they are replying to. If threading were to remain the same then the name of who the poster is responding to would be a help (as I believe disqus do).

    Overall great site from a professor I have come to very much respect over the last year of reading this site and going back into the archive to find subjects that interested me. Not surprised that you have a rock star following : Your senate testimony and also the Gavin Schmidt and the Michael Mann video has made you “cute” and the underdog and “the measured one”.

    As for improvements, new posts and such, I don’t know really. I am often left with questions and there does not seem to be any way of asking them without it getting it lost in threads, or worse an answer is lost because it’s a bit difficult to trail through all the threads to find a possible answer in the historic threads where the question has been asked. Perhaps a separate Q/A thread every x months would be good (with unlimited nesting :-)) ?

    As an example, I was intrigued enough by potential min/max temperature treatments that I thought I would set up my own unofficial weather station and see what could be achieved. There are plenty of automatic weather stations out there for purchase at a reasonable price. Inspired by Vaughan Pratt’s infrared thermometer I thought a useful addition would be 2 of them, one pointing up, one down, to try and separate the temperature due to infrared, insolation and advection. I found nothing available in combination for purchase. Possibly a stupid idea but a Q/A thread might help.

    Anyway bottom line, despite potential improvements, this site to me is a one stop mind expanding site. Well done, I think you should be very proud.

    Best for the new year (and I don’t mean a new temperature record :-))


  73. Greg Cavanagh

    Climate Etc is the fourth of my favourite four regular blogs visited. In the early days I was heavily focused on the mathematics of the various physics models. The discussions were above my pay grade, but I’d read through and try to follow.

    I would like to see more of those posts, because they are missing from the entire blog-sphere. Everybody else is covering politics, papers, and news articles. J.C. is in the perfect position to cover this area of the science.

  74. I second Kip Hansen’s suggestion.

    “I’d like to read a series of posts exploring a theoretical restart of climate science — where we start with “What do we know?” “What do we want to know?” “What features of characteristics of the physical world could or should we measure to inform us about that?” etc. Did the whole subject get off on the wrong foot and never recover?”

  75. I found you through Stossel and up until that point I had my American logic, reason, and rational thinking to guide me. I’m pretty sure Glenn Beck was the first commentator I heard come out as a denier, he was very thorough with his deconstruction of the whole theory. When I saw that there were 25, 000 polar bears living after AL Gore’s travesty, forwarding the idea that they were endangered, I delved deeper and found the dismantling of Michael Mann’s hockey stick theory by geologist stand a statistician, I was convinced by infuriated. I still can’t believe how this isn’t just laughed at, much less the President of the United States claiming it’s our biggest threat. It can leave you speechless. On my quest for the truth I found Marc Morano and Climate Depot, NASA scientists, WUWT, ClimateGate which should have ended it, IPCC of the always legit UN, I’m still pissed about oil for food. I loved your essay on the Uncertainty Monster, which really gets back to what we are all taught in high school. Fracknation vs. Gasland, Nobel Laureates, China building record numbers of coal-fired power plants as well as Japan, both loaning money to India & Bangladesh to get started. It all came together when I started reading Frantz Fanon to get a handle on our fearless leader. I ran into other neo-anti-colonialists, with all the samenities preverted rhetoric. Why after 6 + years of scarce mention, Kerry and Obama have said were are at the precipice? No condemnation of China much less any third world country who needs cheap energy, building coal-fired plants & nof emissions standards. Then I read Maurice Strong’s opening remarks at the UN Earth’s climate summit in Rio de Janeiro in 1992. “We may get to the point where the only way of saving the world will be for industrialized civilization to collapse isn’t it our responsibility to bring this about.” Former US Senator Timothy Wars Democrat Colorado confirmed it immediately after Strong’s comments, “we have got to ride the global warming issue even if the theory of global warming is wrong we will be doing the right thing in terms of economic policy and environmental policy.”

    I think you, Marc Marano, the people at WUWT, Dr. Roy Spencer, Lord Monkton, and others will go down in history as the people who saved us from certain ruin. So thank you, I can’t imagine the courage it takes to go up against the forces pushing this garbage and getting black balled from a profession I’m sure you love. Keep it up while I go stop teaching for social justice, and illegal immigration.

      • Well, since you don’t recognize the implied C leading AGW that leads to political claims of utmost urgency, forced bankruptcy and necessarily more expensive energy, you wouldn’t understand were he is coming from.

        I mean there are “developing” countries that might be just a tad offended by, “Letting them have cheap energy is like letting an idiot child have a machine gun”. Not a very intelligent quote for an “intellectual” to make. Hansen promoting the great climate apocalypse when there are a few billion people that have pretty strong end of days beliefs was a bit counter productive as well. “Storms of My Grandchildren: The Truth About the Coming Climate Catastrophe and Our Last Chance to Save Humanity”

        There are people that actually believe things that scientists and politicians say.

      • > you wouldn’t understand were he is coming from

        Thank you for telling me what I can or cannot understand, Cap’n.

        Just take a look:

        American Conservatism
        Promoting American Creed, Culture, and Identity.
        Teaching Leftist Ideology to our children
        No Justice for Whites or Jews
        Teaching Bigotry
        Limited Vocabulary
        Teaching History with no Context or Nuance
        The Micro-aggressions Clap Trap

        Compare with the laundry list our Real McCoy posted in his comment.

        You really can’t get any realler than this.

  76. As an occasional reader of the blog, I think three levels of reply are enough. Any more and the text gets pretty narrow.

    A more serious problem is all the off topic comments. It seems that most of the time it is the same players. Sometimes the little food-fights are entertaining, but most of the time detracting. All told, CE is a great blog.

    Thanks for hosting Climate Etc.

  77. Professor Curry.

    Thanks for all your hard work on this blog. I greatly appreciate your efforts to promote civil and constructive dialogue on what can be a very polarizing topic. Your professionalism is noted and appreciated.

    John Mullen
    Kansas City

  78. Would be good to discuss how half of the global temp is made from this air for most of the past 120 years for the southern hemisphere, seeing as they have a reconstruction that matches the adjusted northern “very well” “too well” given they had nothing like enough data

  79. Dr. Curry,
    Your blog remains the one place that I get all my primary data concerning climate issues, energy options, and political/science insight. The best part is that you are able to generate considerable educated (and contrary) opinions in which I get much additional information.
    That said, it is somewhat apparent that the causes of climate change are as elusive as ever (perhaps even more so). Thus, I would appreciate some discussions on the following topics due to the (most likely) possibility that understanding (even at a basic level) of the “wicked problem” is very far off.
    1. Mitigation of the effects due to an abrupt climate change. While this falls close to the same issue as California and preparation of the “big one” (for which no “real or material” advanced preparation has been done), I think that some discussion on mitigation planning would be of interest. Based on historical data, the most likely abrupt change (which is also a historical fact) will be either another little ice age, or a return to a full glacial situation (compared to the interglacial position we now find ourselves in). So, food supplies (say first for Canada, and then eventually the US)? Migration strategies (is the southern US and Mexico ready)? Transportation issues? Electrical grid issues? The list is long. Poor planning means . . . serious badness. Note how I’m not mentioning the Eurasian continent, because I think much of this will be localized.
    2. The role of the news media. While much has been made of the scientists, politicians, and bloggers/researchers (such as yourself), I think the biggest driver of useful dialogue (or lack thereof) is due to the news media and their agenda. I would guess that part of their (seemingly) divisiveness is due to their requirement of click bait (in order to pull in revenue, viewers, etc.). But it would be nice to understand exactly how and why they stand in all this. Long story short, they are not helping matters, they are making matters worse. Why are they not held accountable?


    • Mitigation for the inevitable return to glaciation, its when not if, requires relocation of the world’s crops to below the 40 lats and would probably require floating farms.. unless you get rid of 30% of the population globally.

      Warming “might” and it’s a big guess, nothing more, 2 degrees might cause is headaches, 3 bad growing seasons from freezing cold, means a lot of dead people, sure how many people died from 30% of corn being turned to bio fuel and prices soared in the 2000s? Many already on the calorie intake minimum.

      Now we can all enjoy our soft lives while we buy the carbon credit prosperity of poor people in Africa and other places

  80. I just appreciate your blog Dr Curry. Can’t think of any suggestions to make it better.

    Well, the less Joshua, the better.

  81. David Springer

    Problem child Monfort is over-posting yet again with 32 of 302 (11%) of comments in this article. Get a life, Donny.

    • I find Don Monfort’s cute nicknames irritating.

      They are an effort to demean – which is rude.

      Just call them by their handle – don’t make up cute demeaning names.

      • A little sumptin’ I use to irritate the mendacious and willfully ignorant characters, Richard. If it gives you a rash, avert thine eyes.

        I’ll be out of town doing something important for a while. I hope the respite from my rudeness will do you some good. Will you be voting for The Donald, Richard?

      • David Springer


        Don is a dummy. I’d say dork but that’s an insult to dorks. Demeaning is all he’s got on a science blog where he’s surrounded by intellectual superiors. We shouldn’t have to put up with it. He should be back in moderation even now. Curry doesn’t now and never did find him entertaining. He’s an irritant. Like a rash.

      • Have you reported me to the school marm yet this morning, springy. Why don’t you stick to insulting dead guys? REMF.

      • David Springer

        FYVM canon fodder.

  82. Maybe a discussion on how us first world countries buying carbon credits from for example Liberia and such is actually buying their health mortality rates, infant mortality quality of life and prosperity?

  83. Jan Lindström

    I´d like to see this blog evolve to a more comprehensive homepage in the style of Skeptical Science. As it is now it is probably difficult from an absolute newcomer to just walk in and try to make some sense from whatever subject is currently in focus. Why not meet SkS head on and make a list of the vast material already produced? I think many of us understand your (Judys) viewpoints after a while but not all of them and certainly it can be hard to follow when the viewpoint is slightly changed due to new facts emerging. So, to make it short: some kind of list with references and blog discussions in the SkS style would be most welcome. I am personally sick and tired of the sometimes very one-eyed propaganda spread all over the internet by “copy/paste” from SkS when indirectly many of their strawmen have been debunked or have been given a better nuance here.
    At last: you should stick to your strict moderation policies. It reflects your “science first” approach.

    • I agree that altering the structure of the blog to enable new visitors to find particular subjects among previous posts would be a good step to take.

      It would also be useful if Judy could bring herself to write (or make more online-friendly versions of) some summaries of key topics – e.g. Wicked Mess/Tame Problem, historical temperature reconstructions, the Pause, sea levels, extreme weather, etc.

      Whether she likes it or not, Judy is now a major figure in climatology, and people from all sides of the debate look at her views with interest.

    • “Why not meet SkS head on and make a list of the vast material already produced?”

      A point-by-point rebuttal is the most important step our side could make to move public opinion. SkS’s list has been very influential. Mr. Motl has made a stab at it, but it needs to be improved. (And of course where SkS makes valid points, or where rebuttal can’t refute but only cast doubt, this should be admitted.) All that’s required is to edit and reorganize existing skeptical material.

      • PS: This rebuttal should not be cast in concrete for a year, as many revisions will likely be needed. In particular, links should be added to amplify or supplement the base document.

  84. Judith,

    “a few rock stars and actors are following me”

    You can add me to the list. I played clarinet for a while, and I was in the background of a scene in the movie “Wombling Free”.

  85. So many things are happening within the legal/regulatory arena effecting topics here at CE. Would be nice if Dr. Curry could reach out to some legal scholars (e.g., Troutman Sanders in ATL?) for some guess posts.

    Just some major stories this week:
    Supreme Ct. FERC Decision:

    Legal Pathway in U.S. to implement international GW actions through the EPA Clean Air Act — not requiring Congressional approval:

    Will the Supreme Court Decision on EPA and cost/benefit really change anything?:

    EPA Clean Power Plan:

    So many other legal/regulatory stories of impact.

  86. JC, enjoy the blog but particularly the “Week in Review” stories you thought of interest in the past week, and your longer technical and commentary posts.
    Reading the comments on your blog I would prefer more moderation of the hecklers. A serious blog post should encourage respectful discussion of the topic and little else. Climate Audit is a good template. Some people comment way too much and consistently have little to add.
    Bottom line remains that your blog is an indispensable site for scientific discourse, so you don’t need to change much.

  87. Anthony Watts

    I’m happy to help CE with referrals. I wish you good luck on improvements this year.

  88. I know there is a ‘dead thread’ element here. But let me make several heartfelt comments. First, AW’s offer immediately above with referrals. IMO, the two major climate blogs are very different, but also very complimentary. I should know, since stuff Judith rejected Anthony has posted. Several times. Many thanks to both, cause I just want to get my information out there. TY, to both of you.
    Blasted ‘peer reviewed’ at both. OK, that is what we are all about, in different ways. (I refer to my most recent WUWT Karlization post, where I made the initial mistake of accepting NASA’s graph mistake–and got promptly and appropriately called out. Man, that is what this is all about. How stupid do I feel? Lots, real bad. So what? The climate truth eventually got out there for all to read.

    • As always, I liked what Kim had to say:

      Oh, what a tangled web we weave, when we first practice to deceive;
      But oh, how we improve our style, once we have practiced for a while.

  89. This is good news, but watch this space. From the article:

    Five environmental activists who failed to convince a court that their attempt to block crude oil trains near Seattle was a legally justifiable act of civil disobedience on Friday were nonetheless praised by a judge as “part of the solution” to climate change.

    On Friday, the campaigners were convicted in a court in suburban Seattle of misdemeanor trespassing relating to a September 2014 protest in which they blocked railway tracks used by crude oil trains in Everett, Washington.

  90. Here’s another interesting link: COP21 and Davos.

    If you thought the Paris climate summit had fallen off the agenda after last month’s success, think again. Here in Davos, we recognize many of the same business leaders we saw in the French capital. Climate change and resource scarcity are fully on the World Economic Forum’s agenda.

  91. This has been the most serious and open-minded climate blog since day one with the exception of some posters. I am amazed and gratified you have found time to do it. I appreciate the high level of guest posts, too. I like the idea of common ground posts. Threading and moderation decisions should not be set in stone. Trust your own judgment. In fact, what separates Climate Etc. from so many other blogs is the expertise and judgment, yours and that of many others here. You’ve found a calling with this blog and, I guess, Twitter and Facebook, too. The mostly soundbites wanted at congressional hearings are not your forte, and I’m grieved that only the conservatives ask you to “perform” there. It hurts your credibility with most of my moderate and liberal friends who need to hear and understand what you’re saying. I don’t have a answer on that one except to again say again that common ground posts will be helpful.

  92. This post raises a bibliometric question :
    if the ” top referrers to CE are
    (in order):
    Climate Depot
    Steyn Online
    pj media
    Real Clear Energy”

    Is CE’s Impact Factor positive or negative ?

  93. Geoff Sherrington

    Dear Judith,
    Thank you for your kind opportunity to comment about your blog. I shall do so from the perspective of a retired Australian scientist whose networking with like-minded colleagues becomes rather less and less valuable each passing year. I blog under my proper name, as an early Denizen.
    Simply, your blog is the best of all for the general science and sociology of climate etc.. Each day I visit up to a half dozen others with Climate Audit being top for particular aspects like statistical treatments.
    To answer your points in turn –
    Demographics, nothing significant I can add.
    Blog post topics. Over the last 2 years, the topics have been apposite. It must be difficult to find new material more often than weekly, but you succeed. Because of this number of blogs, some are in the mundane category, but that is offset by the stellar ones now and then. If you are asking about the nature of future topics, the recommendation would be to present the clean science clearly. With your qualifications and experience, readers rightly expect you to concentrate on the advancement of good science. This can be hard, because with climate change and its offspring, the science was largely commenced the wrong way around, by studying anthropogenic effects when natural effects should first have been better understood. (You might find good material if you are able to explore more non-English language papers, such as by having an informal Beijing desk). In summary, no change.
    Moderation. You might wish to try an informal moderation rule that limits comments to ten per person per thread, or something similar. We can accept some thread-bombing, but some writers go against the rules of warfare and are well into scatter bombs. After about 10 comments, the quality drops off and we have a dogs breakfast mix of snarling dogs spoiling the enjoyment of more considerate readers and writers.
    Threading. The main techniques are about as good as each other and it comes down to personal preferences. Since you do your own moderation, you should use the style that is best for your interaction.
    Schedule. You have a large input for a busy person. The increased proportion of guest bloggers seems to be working well. There would seem to be an abundance of topics on which specialists could plumb deeper than usual. For example, my personal view is that expressions of confidence about data and its errors are mostly hopelessly synthetic, wrong and misleading. By now I am too out of touch to write a quality article, but there must be others who have the formal academic backgrounds to explain international conventions in work like that of BIPM. Papers with correct error assessment would certainly be of better quality and perhaps even trashed before submission for publication. Summary – yes please, more in-depth guest bloggers to accompany the JC view.
    General. As I have noted before, there is a blueprint for the global warming meme, being the false claim in the USA in the 1950s to 80s that there would be an epidemic of cancers from anthropogenic chemicals. See Edith Efron If that blueprint is followed by the next steps in the global warming tussle, we shall from now on see more people reacting to poor science and crossing the floor. When the number of crossings become enough for the press to start reporting, the bubble will be about to burst. To come to the point, why not consider a countdown, reporting each month or two a count of floor crossings. Rather like that clock a few seconds before midnight. It is, dare I say, a topic in which you have had considerable personal experience.

    Caveat. Please be aware that I am older (and ?wiser) than many, but have lost much of the sharpness of my younger times. You should discount my words accordingly.

  94. Robert Bridges

    Dear Dr. Curry,

    As a long-time reader of your blog, I just want to say that I very much appreciate your blog. I especially appreciate your reviews of papers on climate change, and the various guest posts. I don’t have any recommendations other than to please keep up the great work!

    FYI, I am a recently retired chemical engineer with a background in both real-world plant experience and research and development. Of course, as noted frequently by Sheldon Cooper in The Big Bang Theory, I know that we engineers can’t compete with you physicists!

    Best Regards,


  95. Here are suggestions to make things easier for newcomers:

    1. Rate past threads on a “star” system alongside their titles, so scanning in the archives would simplify finding the gems.

    2. Create a Top Ten- or Twenty-percent list with the same goal. It would be even easier for newcomers and journalists to scan.

    3. If technically possible, provide a “button” that would turn on (and then off) an “overlaid” version of threads. Overlays would be yellow highlightings of the best (20%) comments in a thread, and gray lowlightings of chaff. This would greatly speed skimming, and would salvage the valuable parts of otherwise “noisy” threads.

    All this work would be done by separate volunteer groups of three (say) moderates. There would be a thread in which volunteers would place their names, from which you would make choices.

    You could stop and undo the rating process after a dozen threads if it didn’t work out properly. Or you could fire some raters and assign others.

    I suggest that undesirable comments not be deleted but gray-highlighted. There are many that aren’t so bad that they justify deletion, but that are bad enough that a reader would appreciate being warned off them with such highlighting.

    Ask for would-be volunteer supplementary moderators to list their names in that thread I mentioned, or to send them to you by email. This would lighten your load and cut back on the chaff via likely tighter moderation.

  96. Employ comment-numbering, as is done on Jo Nova’s blog. Nested comments get numbers like 18.2. It’s all automatic. I hope your software allows this.

  97. How about having a weekly extract of passages from books on the climate controversy, submitted by their authors? There’s a lot of good stuff that most people haven’t seen. A lot of books have probably had poor sales. Printing extracts would goose their sales and create a buzz.

    If you don’t do it, then Anthony should. Or maybe both of you should–plus others!

  98. high levels of threading … Unfortunately … this … encouraged one liners
    What’s wrong with that?

    • thepoodlebitesblog

      WordPress did not allow me to post for three weeks. It seems to be working now but the experience has been frustrating. BTW, what happened to FaceBook as a posting option? Just wondering. Thanks Judith for allowing us lesser beings to participate.