Monday, March 21, 2016

Banned again

at WUWT. At least, it seems so. Since the Ides of March, my comments have been going to spam, and not reappearing. Nothing has been said, but that has precedent.

Update: Ah well, it seems now that it was all just a slip.
" I looked and he and some others were flagged unintentionally in an update to the spam list. That’s been fixed."

And it has. Thanks, John@EF for raising it there.

The recent occasion was the thread on “One graph proves that record high year of 2015 and record months of 2016 are not AGW driven”. This has been debunked by Sou, and by Tamino (twice). It's by Anthony Watts himself, and when I read it, I did not comment on the main claim, because basically, I couldn't make sense of it. It showed a plot of air temperature, tropical and global, and seemed to say that because tropical warmed first, that proved that El Nino, not AGW, was the driver of recent temperatures. I don't think the short term warming effect of El Nino is in dispute, and the earlier rise of tropical is no surprise.

My comment related to the plot initially shown. The wording seemed to suggest that this was the key graph, and no other explanation for its presence was given. The commentary starts here (first sub-thread). I didn't see the original plot posted (Sou shows it here), but AW had replaced it. But it was clear to me that the replacement plot wasn't temperature either. There was no Blob, for a start, and the W Pacific doesn't show any pattern like the blue stuff there. So I checked, and found the original. It was actually a plot of sea level from a Bob Tisdale post of June 2014 here, and he was illustrating with an animated GIF the passage of the Kelvin wave of that time.

So I pointed this out - the Wayback state of the post at that stage is here. The plot itself at that stage was just captioned "2015 ENSO event". AW rejected that, but I posted the original plot here, which made its status quite clear.

Quite a few hours later, the post was amended, with a more descriptive caption, an added plot of actual SST during the El Nino, and a Note at the bottom, saying
"Note: based on comments, the first ENSO event graph caption was updated to clarify it, and a second SST graph was added for those who prefer that representation of the ENSO event."
I don't know why the sea level plot remained; its relevance was never explained.

Then in that sub-thread came a confused comment from Stephen Richards. I replied to this, saying:
"Nick, go discuss with Ryan." It's nothing to do with Ryan. He didn't release that graph. It's from a Bob Tisdale post in June 2014. He put it there to show the effect of the Kelvin wave that was crossing the Pacific at the time.

I see that a new plot has been added below which is indeed of temperature, and is in 2015. But it would be useful to have some explanation of what the graphs are and why they are included.
But when I looked back a little later, it had disappeared. I tried again with another similar comment, but that just vanished, as did a comment I made on another thread. Other comments since, on other threads, met the same fate. None have appeared.

I've had something similar happen before. In January 2015, all my comments started going into moderation. Nothing was said; it just happened. I don't know why. Sometimes (mostly) they showed on submission with a line saying "awaiting moderation", but again, sometimes they just disappeared. They did, however, eventually get through. Mostly promptly, but sometimes with a delay so that they appeared only after active discussion had passed. So this time, I thought I should wait. I submitted a couple of other comments, but the same thing. Nothing appeared.

I could try emailing, but the last time I did that, and there was no reply. I could wait a bit longer, but the last moderation stretch went on for a year, so waiting can be problematic. On that occasion, I could at least post queries to, say, tips and notes. I did that then, asking what was going on, but just got the cryptic response [noted..mod]. I kept commenting, with delays, and odd things happened. People noticed that just mentioning my name sent their comments into moderation. In fact, the matter came to a head when not only my comments, but those that mentioned me, started going to spam, rather than moderation. One such incident here prompted the only substantive response (to my frequent mention in comments) from the moderators about the situation, saying
[Reply: it’s the same folder. Your comments are always approved. Lots of comments are delayed for one reason or another, some by Anthony and some by WordPress. Moderators don’t have that editing authority. ~mod.]
Yes, my comments were always approved, eventually, but they always went into moderation. A few days later, the matter came to a head here when Brandon Shollenberger found that his comments mentioning me disappeared, causing discussion. Later in that thread, for the first time in a year, my comments went through without moderation, and this continued until 15 March.

Anyway, it looks like I can't comment there any more. I used to quite enjoy the dialogues when better scientists like RG Brown were commenting. But that is a while ago - as Sou has been chronicling, scientific standards have gone down. So it's probably no great loss.

Update. I see there is discussion initiated by John@EF at WUWT. Silence from the management there, but Larry Kummer confirms that my name now sends posts into oblivion.


    Anthony Watts March 16, 2016 at 2:04 pm

    "So far nobody has offered any proof that the record 2015 ENSO event is not the main driver of record temperatures in 2015. Without that, the pause would likely have continued. Look at the first two years of Maue’s graph."

    Erecting that strawman of "proof" I'm kind of thinking everyone already knew it was due to ENSO, just offset ~0.4C higher, due to the long term warming trend between 1997-8 and 2015-6.

    I guess I'd look at the graph but it doesn't show two years of data in total to begin with in the 1st place.

    Without the 1997-8 ENSO the pause would not have started to begin with in the 1st place.

    Watts isn't the brightest bulb in the house, that's for sure.

    1. "I'm kind of thinking everyone already knew it was due to ENSO"
      Yes, me too. One thing I won't miss at WUWT is their neglect to quote, or even link, what they are talking about, as here. And since they get it wrong so often, there is so much time wasted just tracking it down.

    2. Well ENSO was the main driver of the record temperatures in 1998/9, without which there would be no pause to continue! If one temperature spike can be neglected as being due to ENSO, why not the other one? ;o)

  2. I have a low tolerance for WUWT and tend to immediately take offense and go on the offensive myself. I find it fun for a couple of hours, but then I'm reminded of Popeye's old cartoon line of not being 'cruel to dumb animals' and the fun disappears.

    Strangely, after being in moderation once (in a post that referred to me by name no less!!!) I haven't been in moderation since. Of course I only visit once every couple of months, so I'm not a regular pointer out of nonsense as you are :)

  3. Yup, agree that it's no great loss. Lots of control freaks out there, no matter which side you are on.

  4. I don't know much, but I always thought that the weaknesses in most WUWT pieces were usually revealed in the comments. i found it useful to see how the nuttier stuff was devastated in the comments. if critical comments are filtered out, then Sou is correct about the value of that site.

    1. You must be kidding me that the "nuttier stuff was devastated in the comments". The biggest nut is Wonderin Willis and he gets a free-pass with help from his belligerent a-holy-ness.

    2. Ferdinand Engelbeen has repeatedly explained how we know the rise in atmospheric CO2 is not a natural phenomenon (for example due to changes in ocean temperature c.f. today's article) and yet WUWT continues to publish articles claiming otherwise. I pretty gave up commenting at WUWT some time ago as pointing out the error appears to have no effect on the "nuttiness" of future content.

      I suspect pointing out the errors has more of an effect on the lurkers reading the blog, so it has some value, and it is a pity that Nick appears to have been banned.

    3. Dikran, Which explains WHY Nick was banned.

      Commenting at WUWT is an interesting spitting in the wind exercise and a great reason for Mary Roshism.

    4. j ferguson - if only that were true. Dr Tim Ball had an article just the other day that claimed the AR5 SPMs didn't include uncertainties. almost 200 comments later not one person had pointed out that he was incorrect; the SPMs do include uncertainties.

      When I pointed it out I was asked for proof. I quickly linked the SPMs for WGs I, II, and III and listed the first page number where you could find uncertainties. As of my last reading there was not one commenter willing to say Dr Ball was full of BS with his assertion.

      The question then becomes, will this misinformation spouted by virtually every WUWT guest post author be allowed to propagate? Obviously the regulars there are not able to critically read and double-check even the simplest of facts. Without the few pointers out of nonsense (like Nick) the site would be a moshpit of science illiteracy.

    5. I am banned at And Then There's Physics for apparently being too obsessive on certain topics, which I guess is a violation of some rule in the ClimateBall game.

    6. JF,

      Though an infrequent visitor to wuwt I've noticed that the nutty stuff that denies the greenhouse effect and claims "it's all the sun" is liable to come in for generally well-founded criticism from the likes of Svalgaard and Eschenbach. Other nutty stuff, like the use of plots of sea level to try to claim that the current temperature anomaly is all due to ENSO or Monckton's error-strewn articles on why we should believe a temperature series like UAH vs 6 despite its being yet to pass peer review, are greeted with more or less universal acclamation, save for a few cautionary comments by Nick or indeed myself, which are either trashed, or, as described in this post, deleted for lengthy periods.

      In short, there's complete inconsistency here.

    7. Bill H, Depending on who writes it, one cautionary comment, if it appears usually gets the job done for me. The SNR at that sight is trace at most. I do think it is useful to know what the crazies are saying, and even better when they aren't moderated out, to read the comments of the more thoughtful.

    8. whut,
      Although that doesn't help, it's not the reason.

    9. ATTP said:
      Although that doesn't help, it's not the reason."

      Oh, how nice of you to avoid explaining why I have been banned from commenting on your blog.

    10. whut,
      Technically, you haven't been banned, but I find my desire to post your comments reduces significantly after you've decided to insult me on Twitter. Call it a weakness.

    11. ATTP said:
      Technically, you haven't been banned, but I find my desire to post your comments reduces significantly after you've decided to insult me on Twitter. Call it a weakness."

      LOL, I use twitter to whine about why you delete my comments! You must really have a thin skin.

      Here is a comment of mine that you, ATTP, decided to capriciously delete

      Fascinating that my innocuous comment has a lot in common with the next Moyhu post, i.e. letting economists play games with climate science time-series data. Nothing really wrong with the comment except in the mind of ATTP.

      We all know what the real problem is, right ATTP?

    12. whut,

      LOL, I use twitter to whine about why you delete my comments!

      Ummm, yes, I know.

      We all know what the real problem is, right ATTP?

      I'm pretty sure I know what you think it is. Anyway, I suspect Nick would rather we didn't engage in this discussion here.

    13. ATTP said:
      "Anyway, I suspect Nick would rather we didn't engage in this discussion here."

      Ever the control freak ...

      Here is another comment that ATTP "disappeared".

      When you get mentioned in a comment and don't get a chance to respond by citing your credentials, you realize that this is not a two-sided discussion. That's why these guys call it ClimateBall ... much like Calvin in the famous American comic strip, ATTP loves making up his own rules as he goes along.

  5. Stupid me. I quit reading Tim ball after one piece, so of course I have no idea whether he,s refuted in the comments. Duh.

  6. Welcome down the memory hole Nick! For further details on my own recent demise at WUWT, and that of others also, please see:

    Watts Up With DMI Arctic Sea Ice Extent?

    Perhaps I might repeat here my hearfelt apology to Mr. Watts?

    Obviously Mr. Watts and/or his faithful moderators shouldn’t have had to go to the trouble of deleting all my comments telling him something he already knew.

    Sorry Anthony!

    1. "down the memory hole"
      Yes, that seems to be the difference now. In the old days, some alleged breach of rule was identified, and penalty pronounced. Now, commenters simply disappear or go into moderation without comment - the only legacy is that their name, if mentioned, causes other peoples comments to behave unpredictably.

    2. In my recent experience other peoples comments disappear too, even if they are of the "skeptical" variety. No stone is left unturned in the rush to remove all trace of the "inconvenient truth".

    3. "other peoples comments disappear too"
      Yes, but I think often this is just the "trigger words" gone haywire. There was a recent case where AW wrote a post labelling something s fraud, and of course the cheer squad chimed in, only to find that quoting AW on this would put them in moderation, which now seems to be often done by disappearance. Since I was in moderation for a year, I didn't notice, but soon after that was lifted, I responded to commenter trafamodore, and found that was also a trigger.

    4. I'm not referring to comments that never see the light of day Nick, but to comments that are "disappeared" after hours or even days in plain view. Judy Curry then pulled much the same stunt:

  7. I'm simply impressed that you actually try commenting there. Being banned probably means that you were starting to have an effect :-)

  8. Nick,
    You can always post your arguments at the paragon of academic discourse and bastion of free speech, "The Conversation." But keep in mind that if you furnish concordant evidence undermining or contradicting the absurd propositions and prophesies of the dying climate cult, you'll be taken out in accordance with the rules set by the hostile clique of taxpayer-funded welfare queens who run the pseudo-academic site:

    1. " the hostile clique of taxpayer-funded welfare queens who run the pseudo-academic site"
      I expect that there are many sites where I would have difficulty if I sought to characterise the hosts in such a way. Perhaps that shouldn't be. But I've never felt a wish to do it.

  9. I too have been recently banned, and I notice many other missing voices as well (gates etc). I believe it has something to do will the desperation incurred due to the disappearance of the pause.

    On a happier note, this the first month without Moncton's "Pause" least so far.


  10. Too bad (in some sense). I rarely look at WUWT, but had occasion when gathering the text corpus for the SalbyStorm. Nick was an exemplar of incredible patience in the face of insults and nonsense, like:
    "03{John Bills} says:
    July 9, 2013 at 3:13 am
    Nick Stokes
    You tend to leave a bad taste in my mouth (self snip)."

    "03{mpainter} says:
    July 9, 2013 at 9:53 am
    Jan Perlitz used to defend James Hansen here. Interesting that he should jump
    to the defense of Macquerie U of Oz in their sabotage of Salby’s career there.
    Perlitz’s method of defending Macquerie is to insinuate that Professor Salby is
    dishonest and deserved what ever evil that Macquerie U could devise against
    him. So Nick Stokes and Perlwitz team up to heap further calumny and injury
    on Professor Salby, thus supplementing the efforts of Macquerie U to injure
    Salby. Interesting."

    "Nick Stokes - if the lecture tour coincided with a known misconduct hearing,
    why did MQ pay for the return ticket in the first place. Prof Salby would have
    had to provide an itinerary to get funding approval. Logic fail Nick. [snip.
    Jul 9, 2013 at 12:13 PM | 04{GrantB}" (well, that was at Bishop Hill)

    (And lots more - see the PDF attached to post above.)
    Of course, now that it turns out that besides being wrong on the science, and having cheated the US government, Salby tried again in Australia, and the judge didn't buy any of his arguments ...
    and in fact, the court proceedings showed that Salby's behavior was worse than people realized. ...
    numerous bloggers and commenters owe Nick and Macquarie apologies. (I won't hold breath.)

    One of these months I'll finish off the writeup on that whole mess, which I've held until a) Salby's student Titova finished here degree and b) this court case was done. I've done most of the work, including the heavily-annotated version of the document corpus, which included counts of insults/personal attacks. With 24 against him ... Nick was #1!

    1. Thanks, John. Yes, there's a deep silence there about the Salby court case. Thanks for all your work in chronicling that.

      In commenting at WUWT, I've always tried to remember that the readership is much more numerous than the commentariat, and I'm writing to the majority. And I'm a fan of the old saying that 'man who throws mud, loses ground'.

    2. Oh yes ... and because the contrast between you and {Watts, dbstealey, barn E.rubble, Bart, dcardno, Foxgoose, GrantB, ianl888, Jimbo, mpainter, Mike Jackson, Skiphil, Steve Short|Ecoeng, ThinkingScientist, John Bills, Venter} was so clear ...
      Of course, most are pseudonyms.

      as was the level of conspiracy ideation among quite a few, including those who hung tough for Salby even after the NSF problem appeared.

      Any time I am tempted to write something insulting, I think "if Nick can stay polite in WUWT..."

    3. John - Actually I stay pretty polite at WUWT too, even when pointing out that Watts is the proprietor of a porky pie production line. Of course politeness is no longer sufficient to secure publication of even a severely [Snip]ped comment from Nick or I over there.

      Allegedly Watts is toying with the idea of disabling comments altogether:

  11. There used to be the occasional to-and-fro with overtones of science (albeit often wrapped in serious D-K syndrome and horribly wrong), but I stopped commenting there when all traces of it vanished on the 'skeptic' side.

    There are now few if any attempts to argue from the evidence - rather, rants about conspiracies, broad denials of the evidence accompanied by ad hom's, and insults that are more appropriate to a grade school.

    Yes, there are lurkers. But if they are so undiscriminating that they cannot tell the difference between a discussion of the science and an insult-fest, I don't think I have the patience to try to teach them.

  12. Nick,

    I've had virtually the same experience at WUWT lately, after over a year of not having any trouble with comments not getting through or even being deliberately moderated. I'm thinking there's been a silent policy shift.

    1. Brandon,
      Yes. It could be related to what Sou has noted here.

    2. Brandon,
      See update at top. You may be restored.

    3. Thanks, Nick. I'll drop a test post soon if I see something interesting.

  13. Well, Anthony says it was an unintentional situation that has now been fixed. Give it a try, if you wish. I also inquired about R Gates.

    I enjoy reading your contributions.


    1. ... as you apparently already know. Haha.

    2. I'm wondering if there's some confusion between me and R Gates? I am not he, and I've not seen him posting anywhere for quite some time ... unless he's back at Curry's or some other place I don't regularly haunt.

    3. Yes, Brandon, a confusion on my part alone, I'm sure - the middle initial and last name coincidence led me to assume you were likely him. Thanks for correcting that misunderstanding.

    4. Perfectly understandable. Too bad the "real" R Gates is not active so far as I know, I always enjoyed reading him.

  14. Nick

    Hope you have been restored. There is no value in a site if it is an echo chamber, whatever side of the fence it lies.

    I personally welcome comments from you and also Brandon and Phil. We used to get good debates from R Gates and Scott Mandia and a number of others, but gradually the pool of those providing an alternative voice to the sceptical has diminished.


    1. Thanks, Tony,
      Yes, all seems to be OK - it seems it was unintended. I'll be back, as they say (but may extend my holiday a little :)

    2. I'm glad Anthony has reinstated you, Nick. Taking a holiday can be good, too. (Every now and then I'm reminded why people in the shrink trade have debriefings and supervision. Self care is important. Studies have shown that few of us are completely immune when exposed to the irrationally emotional for lengthy periods.)

    3. tonyb said:
      "We used to get good debates from R Gates and Scott Mandia and a number of others, but gradually the pool of those providing an alternative voice to the sceptical has diminished. "

      In what world is science about "debates" ? I think that's the problem.

    4. The debates don't establish science. But people can talk.

    5. Nick, It's arguable that if you want to engage in a collaborative science discussion, you would want to consider participating in a forum that is conducive to it, not this half-baked BlogSpot.

      A collaborative two-way discussion is best achieved when all sides have equal footing. That's why I spend most of my time at

      Anyone registered can generate equation markup and post visuals.

      It would be amusing to watch TonyB try to "debate" his historical revisionism of climate science by posting paintings by Renaissance artists on such a forum. And I know my stating this will get TonyB upset, but, hey, that's the nature of rhetorical debate, LOL. Blogs such as WUWT are very high school debate quality -- they're all about making the other side lose their cool.

    6. Tony, "Debate has no part in science". Discuss...

      Well, for a great many climate "skeptics" it's held in high esteem. My Lord Monckton has regularly challenged climate scientists to "debate" with him.

      As for science in general I would suggest that when there are competing theories then this leads to very lively debate. Examples: the various interpretations of quantum theory; big bang vs steady state; the debate over the reality of atoms, which lasted for much of the 19th century.

    7. This comment has been removed by the author.

    8. bill H, that's essentially what I am referring to. Monckton and everyone like him are behaving like they are captains of their high school debate team. Its the distinction in meaning between rhetoric and dialectic.

      I think the distinction becomes even greater when you start using the formal elements of logic and math. You then aren't debating each other but the nature of the model under investigation.

    9. Tony/whut,

      Actually, the various examples that I've cited of debates over competing theories aren't relevant to the climate science "controversy", since there isn't actually a serious challenger to the standard model whereby the forces of solar variation (Incl Milankovitch cycles), CO2 plus other GHGs (not H2O) and aerosols are then further amplified by predominantly positive feedbacks, including the one that whut has found an elegant way to calculate, namely H2O (See relevant comment further back in this post).

      There are of course a great many "alternative theories", or "nails in the coffin of AGW" as they're sometimes known, but these are all mutually contradictory. Only if "skeptics" could settle on a few such theories and develop them to effectively challenge the standard model would it then make sense to debate the merits of each.

      So, in conclusion, I think you're right, Tony, about debate having no place at present in climate science, but not for the reasons you suppose.

    10. This comment has been removed by the author.

    11. Bill H,
      You are right about all the alternate theories that essentially cancel each other out due to contradictory claims. Evidence has to build in a substantiating fashion to be viable.

      A rhetorical debate style does not have to consider that, as it is Gish Gallop all the way.

  15. whut

    no, you won't get me upset at all.

    When are you going to publish your own work which seems to have drawn some favourable comments in various forums?


    1. TonyB asked:
      "When are you going to publish your own work"

      Out of professional courtesy, I will let you link to your Google Scholar page first.

  16. Oops - i spoke too soon.Comment went to moderation and disappeared over.

    What were the forbidden words? Or another inadvertent spam list? Who knows? Who cares?

    "oneillsinwisconsin your comment is awaiting moderation
    March 24, 2016 4:31 AM

    James Hansen is this generation's leading climate scientist. From his early work on planetary atmospheres, his work with early computer models and volcanoes, his systematic compilation of the GISS surface temperature dataset, and the hundreds of papers on which he was lead or co-author make him the truly a figure that will go down in history.

    Yet, on 'skeptic' sites his name is nearly a curse word. Why? Because they don't like the results.

    Frankly, most here and on similar sites are anything *but* skeptics. Instead you're willing to cheerlead any cockamamie nonsense if it supports your view. Scientists are the true skeptics. Despite Hansen's record and reputation do scientists accept his work uncritcally? Of course not, that's not the way science works. His work is examined just as critically as any other scientific paper. One need only look at the scientific criticisms that can be found of his latest paper, "Ice Melt, Sea Level Rise and Superstorms: Evidence from Paleoclimate Data, Climate Modeling, and Modern Observations Implies that 2°C Global Warming Above the Preindustrial Level Could Be Dangerous"

    In the comments above, responding to Steve Mosher, AW writes that he is not a subscriber to "anything but CO2"- yet how many guest posters that have written here are of that belief? AW also does not want to be considered a conspiracist, yet how many guest posters have expressed those views? When one enables these people one should not be surprised to be lumped in or associated with them. The association is of your own creation.

    I don't typically visit here often because there's too much nonsense. Egregious errors are rarely pointed out by the skeptical regulars - no, that job falls to the Moshers and Stokes and Gates and Engelbeens. Dr Tim Ball's recent claims that the SPMs do not include uncertainties is just the most recent example. 200 comments into the thread not one commenter made the point that he was flat out wrong. And when it *was* pointed out, not one commenter was willing to admit it. No, instead it was challenge and attack the person who did attempt to add some reality to the discussion by pointing out the error.

    So be it."

    1. Engaging with the bouncer dbstealey, uggh unpleasant.

  17. John@EF - Perhaps you can persuade Anthony to release this recent Arctic themed comment of mine from purgatory over at WUWT too?

    1. Perhaps you might now ask instead why that comment has been [Snip]ped in its entirety by a [mod]?

    2. I'm virtually certain my commentary at WUWT would be of no help to you. I think it's likely that my sarcastic comment about Stokes, and other usual suspects, being caged (accidently, once again) got some attention because of Larry Kummer's interest. Who knows ... Did you see the [mod]'s late puzzling comment to my post about Stokes being disappeared? ... Very Smokey-like. Good luck.

    3. Kummer has banned me from his site as well. Apparently anyone that disagrees with him is a troll.

    4. Thanks for your good wishes John, which do seem to have helped! One of my comments on a recent WUWT article about my specialist subject has made it past Smokey's eagle eyes, so that Anthony himself can berate me for my stupidity:

      It seems that the perfect way to "threadbomb" a WUWT discussion concerning a NASA scientist's views on Arctic sea ice is to mention said NASA scientist's views on Arctic sea ice.

      Kevin - Does Larry Kummer ever mention sea ice? If so I may have to pop in there with a "bomb" or two under my petticoat.

    5. Jim - Yes, he posts plenty of nonsense on every subject under the sun. Put this in Google: arctic sea ice