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« The press conference | Main | Jones in El Pais »

Quickfire Bob

I'm off to the big smoke this morning, but I leave you with another example of Bob's superfast typing. This time it's his comment on the notice I posted, pointing readers to the Guardian article.

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Reader Comments (147)

MIke Post- thanks!

Sep 13, 2010 at 5:14 PM | Unregistered CommenterMessenger

Actually, Dung, my use of "puerile" wasn't aimed at you at all - although of course if you're convinced the cap fits, far be it from me to suggest that you shouldn't wear it! ;-)

Sep 13, 2010 at 5:36 PM | Unregistered CommenterPaul Boyce

If you do nat make such a post (which would enable us to engage with you in true scientific debate) then I will add my name to those asking for you to be banned from Bishop Hill because basically dear you just come here to take the p**s"
Sep 13, 2010 at 3:39 PM | Dung

Firstly, I hate to have to point this out, but no matter how badly you want to make a point, typing in capitals is the written equivalent of shouting and is considered rude. It's generally the preserve of the daft, the obnoxious, and those who lack the language skills to add emphasis in other ways.

However, let's deal with your main point. If I do not engage with you on a purely scientific level, then you will ask for me to be silenced.

Fair enough, this is a scientific forum where pure science is almost exclusively the order of the day.

So...oh....hold on, there's nothing actually in this website that says explicitly that this should be the dominant form of conversation. It's certainly not in Andrew's Bill of Rights.

Perhaps it's made explicit in the thread headings? Hmm, Quickfire Bob, Jones in El Pais, For whom the Bell Tols, cartoons, Judith Curry.... But Dung, these all seem to be about the societal ramifications of the underlying science, rather than dealing exclusively with it.

Well I'm sure I'm just missing where the pure science diktat takes form, perhaps it's in the comments themselves, leading by example. Let's look at this thread before I got involved. Nope. 10 comments prior to me and not a bit of science in them.

Perhaps this thread is atypical, let's look at the previous one. Actually, there is a smattering of science in this one, largely after I got involved towards the end, but it's a tiny minority.

Still, let's really try and get behind this and look at the prepenultimate thread - This one does tangentially link to science a couple of times, but that is still a tiny minority.

Let's recap so far then. If I do not post science (the only post which allows true debate) then you will ask for me to be silenced. Despite niether this blog, it's bill of rights, the subject headings or the comments being principally about science.

Let's carry on trying to get behind Dung here. It's quite apparent, that pure science discussions are clearly not the raison d'etre of this board, but perhaps Dung isn't a hypocrite, and does largely post pure science him/herself.

Let's examine the last few posts prior to this thread: book depositorie - Nope. Judith Curry - Nope. Several posts about the Grauniad - Nope.

It's a bit hard to see what's going on here. Dung is demanding I talk science, despite there being no evidence whatsoever from the site, the owner, the subjects, the comments or the postings by Dung him/herself going back over many, many threads.

Surely this is very hypocritical? Is the only person Dung expects to deal on a pure scientific level me? Seems rather arbitary. Is it perhaps just because I take a contrary position, and Dung thinks I won't be able to compete on a scientific level, and so tries to set an agenda that he/she thinks I might lose in order to try and win?

Arbitary, prepared to stoop to anything they think will win, and hypocritical. Ladies and Gentlemen, I present to you, a typical denier.

Actually, I do run to a bit of science. No doubt I can 'take' some here, and others will be able to 'take' me. That in no way invalidates the other points I have made here today about the cancer running through this website and the comments posted here.

Generally when a point hits home here, people either clam up or try and change the subject. Dung's take on the latter was to claim that only a conversation on his/her terms was valid, and they would try and silence me if I didn't have it.

And still you call yourselves sceptics....

Sep 13, 2010 at 5:42 PM | Unregistered CommenterZedsDeadBed

"Generally when a point hits home here, people either clam up or try and change the subject." Go back and read the thread nope doesn't appear to happen. Oh, with one exception it appears to occur with great frequency in the posts of ZedsDedBed.

Sep 13, 2010 at 5:48 PM | Unregistered CommenterArthur Dent

Messenger, I managed to find it via google. I was about to post it here when I saw the copyright 'do not distribute' sign. But try googling

Financial Times David Hall Grape Alternative

Sep 13, 2010 at 5:57 PM | Unregistered CommenterPaulM

Dear @ZedsDeadBead.

Why not talk us through the science?

Surely you have an opinion on the logarithmic effect of CO2 and the observation that the long tail of increments in CO2 ppmv cannot possibly create the 'radiative forcing' expressed as temperature that is supposed to occur with increases in CO2?

Surely you have an opinion that CO2 leads temperature as must be the case in AGW theory and can show this with reference to the historical record?

Surely you can show that the climb of temperatures since 1860 is entirely attributable to the industrial revolution and that the climb is not due to leaving the Little Ice Age?

Surely you can explain away such aberrations as the roots of temperate climate climax vegetation suck as Oak being identified as far north as Northern Norway and Northern Scotland as not at all indicative of very warm phases in the recent past?

Surely you can explain the aberration of Roman period vine racks being found in archeological digs in Yorkshire?

Just seeking enlightenment. Because the demonstration of proof that we are at the warmest phase in the planetary cycle and that the RWP, MWP and that the LIA were aberrations lay with those who wish to propose AGW as a working theory.


Sep 13, 2010 at 6:14 PM | Unregistered CommenterDropstone

Amazing! He used 689 words and nothing said. It must be a record or ZDB must be a politician!

Sep 13, 2010 at 6:18 PM | Unregistered CommenterRomeo

"Amazing! He used 689 words and nothing said. It must be a record or ZDB must be a politician!"
Sep 13, 2010 at 6:18 PM | Romeo

Actually I subjected Dung's suggestion to rigorous investigation and did so in an open way, displaying all my reasoning. This led me to an original conclusion, rather than one endlessly recycled from a denier website.

I can see why you didn't recognise it. It must be a rare occurrence around here.

Sep 13, 2010 at 6:46 PM | Unregistered CommenterZedsDeadBed

Dear @ZedsDeadBed.

Any chance you can formulate a response to any of my questions?

If the science is settled, then it shouldn't take you over long or take too much effort.

Thanks in advance.

Sep 13, 2010 at 6:59 PM | Unregistered CommenterDropstone

I don't know..... he is kind of amusing, in a self parody way.

Can we keep him?

Sep 13, 2010 at 7:00 PM | Unregistered CommenterBarry Woods


You may have some interest in this.

Sep 13, 2010 at 7:15 PM | Unregistered CommenterJeff Id

Dear Miss Zed

In response to your rigorous investigation hahaha.
I have made a number of posts expressing my views on the science, some are ignored, some engaged with but none as far as I know welcomed as being of any use.
Now that you have your rigorous examination of Dung off your chest, may we ask your views on the science?

Sep 13, 2010 at 7:19 PM | Unregistered CommenterDung

"I can see why you didn't recognise it. It must be a rare occurrence around here."

Blinded I must be by your brilliance! Yes, that must be it. Or perhaps you applaud yourself too loudly.

Yes, indeed, ZDB is clearly a politician. I wonder if he is Gordan Brown? Or perhaps Tony Blaire? Certainly one out of office if he has the time to write blogs.

Yes, let's keep him. He is so amusing. We have our own pet politician. Maybe we can teach him to fetch.

Sep 13, 2010 at 7:33 PM | Unregistered CommenterRomeo

"Any chance you can formulate a response to any of my questions?"
Sep 13, 2010 at 6:59 PM | Dropstone

I could, although seeing as they're largely a rogues gallery of some of the stalest old denier arguments out there, not one of them hasn't been answered a hundred times before.

Which rather begs the question, why are you asking them in the first place? Oi vey, these deniers. Always with the hoop jumping it is.

Out of interest, would any of the rest of you like to stand in line with Dropstone before I tackle the answers, and state that objections like roman yorkshire wine, CO2 temperature lag and 'nothing but rise coming out of the LIA', are questions which accurately represent their own positions on AGW?

Sep 13, 2010 at 7:47 PM | Unregistered CommenterZedsDeadBed

Indeed Miss Zed

The fact that CO2 rises for as much as 2500 years in the last 4 interglacials after the temperature peak was reached and that not only did the earth cool through the whole of the 2500 years, it continued to cool right back to ice age and there was no warming for 100,000 years.
Dont think you will have an answer to that one but I have an open mind :)

Sep 13, 2010 at 7:51 PM | Unregistered CommenterDung

Hey Z

You should now either respond sensibly to all (or even some) of Dropstone's post of Sep 13, 2010 at 6:14 PM, or simply admit that you're a lightweight waste of electrons and get yoursefl involved in a hi-speed combination of sex and travel.

Sep 13, 2010 at 7:51 PM | Unregistered CommenterJerry M

DeadHead a politician? Do us a favour, you imbue this class idiot with too much status. It's a sad, lonely self-opinionated troll, nothing less, and quite a nasty, vindictive one to boot. Frankly, I wonder for how long it'll be tolerated. You'll learn.

Sep 13, 2010 at 7:56 PM | Unregistered CommenterNatsman


You could also answer my questions whilst your at it.

Sep 13, 2010 at 7:56 PM | Unregistered CommenterPhillip Bratby

ZDB - still no trace of a tangible argument. Your latest comment ascerted that others have those ...

Sep 13, 2010 at 7:59 PM | Unregistered CommenterJonas N

Jerry M & Natsman

please dont spoil things, Miss Zed is about to engage us in debate, as far as I am concerned if she does that then she is OK.
Provided she stops insulting us hehe.

Sep 13, 2010 at 8:03 PM | Unregistered CommenterDung

o/t but some bloke on University Challenge just now is studying for a PhD in "poetry and climate change" at Durham. WTF?

Sep 13, 2010 at 8:06 PM | Unregistered Commenterwoodentop

That is tooo funny Woodentop ^.^

Sep 13, 2010 at 8:07 PM | Unregistered CommenterDung

Dear @ZedsDeadBed.

Please, just a simple knock down of my questions will suffice. They are not stale, but some have been around while. And , they never get answered adequately (hint: observational data trumps models, but that involves cold, damp field studies and not sitting at a computer....).

You may also point me in the direction of studies of time series GCMs run from say for example AD 1000 to present which accurately map temperature against known , or at least accepted proxies.

Were this to be achieved, the predictive ability of the GCMs would be some way verified and would suggest that they had some predictive value going forward from the present time.

At the present time, the CO2 - Temperature lock - step predicted by the GCMs does appear to have been significantly reduced. And if the link is broken, then other, natural agents may well be at work.

I am not asking much. After all, the science is settled. All you need to do is prove the BAWP, RWP, MWP and LIA never actually happened and then I may be inclined to subscribe to an anthroprogenic origin for the current Modern Warm Period. Failing that, If you could at least agree that these warm periods did in fact exist but identify the forcing agents that caused them and eliminate these forcing agents from the cause of the Modern Warm Period, then we would be getting somewhere.


Sep 13, 2010 at 8:17 PM | Unregistered CommenterDropstone

{snip] Please don't lower the tone here.
Today's moderator

Sep 13, 2010 at 8:23 PM | Unregistered CommenterPops

Pops I think that was way out of order mate

Sep 13, 2010 at 8:25 PM | Unregistered CommenterDung

I'm not so sure that it was...

Sep 13, 2010 at 8:32 PM | Unregistered CommenterNatsman

If the Bish was online that post would be history

Sep 13, 2010 at 8:37 PM | Unregistered CommenterDung

Sep 13, 2010 at 7:56 PM | Natsman

Natsman - I'm being asked a lot of questions here - I'm just asking you a very simple one - what name do you post under in the Daily Mail? Not really a hard question is it? Have you somehow compromised yourself and can't tell me?

Dropstone - I'm late nipping out for a couple of gimlets now, so I'll get back to you tomorrow - feel free to hold me to it.

Sep 13, 2010 at 8:44 PM | Unregistered CommenterZedsDeadBed


We are all free to think what we like about Miss Zed but this blog belongs to the Bishop and he demands that we stay within bounds when we write on the blog. I know I sail close to the wind sometimes but I would not write anything as crude as the Pops post and it should be removed.

Sep 13, 2010 at 8:45 PM | Unregistered CommenterDung

DeadHead, I don't recall having said that I ever post in the Daily Mail...

Sep 13, 2010 at 8:49 PM | Unregistered CommenterNatsman


You need to front up mate.
Either you post in the Daily Mail, in which case tell him who you are.
Or you dont post in the Daily Mail in which case tell him that you dont post.

Sep 13, 2010 at 8:53 PM | Unregistered CommenterDung

I don't need to tell him anything, he's not worthy.

Sep 13, 2010 at 8:56 PM | Unregistered CommenterNatsman

ZBD - Yes, you are being asked a lot of questions here. I can't really see you answering any of the more relevant ones. But then again, I tend to believe that people, even internet-trolls, usually use the best arguments they have ... I think that is true for you as well.

Sep 13, 2010 at 9:02 PM | Unregistered CommenterJonas N

I agree with you,100%, Dung, that postings like that have no place on this respectable blog.
I would ask the good Bishop to snip that entry as a breach of policy when he is able to.

Sep 13, 2010 at 10:05 PM | Unregistered Commenterroyfomr

I may have the Bob Ward confusion somewhat figured out. If Bob is using Google Chrome to read the Guardian article, then he may actually not see the links. In Chrome, embedded links appear slightly differently; they are only a slightly different color of dark blue vs the normal black text, and they are not underlined. Very easy to miss.

So that when he reads a sentence such as:
"I don't intend to bore you with all the details; those who are interested can read about it here."

He doesn't notice the embed and thinks the "here" refers to 'here in this article'.

Sep 13, 2010 at 10:06 PM | Unregistered Commenterrpink

Today's Moderator

While you probably feel 'what the hell have I done to deserve' responsibility for this strange thread, save it. It is possibly a classic textbook example of a blog disruption.

Sep 13, 2010 at 10:32 PM | Unregistered CommenterPharos

"poetry and climate change"

I caught that, but couldn't quite believe that I'd heard it right. He was quite good as long as the questions were about Star Trek. It did cross my mind that he might be Zed...

Perhaps unsurprisingly, Durham were wiped out by Magdalen College, Oxford - 340 to 120.

Sep 13, 2010 at 10:33 PM | Unregistered CommenterJames P

Re the hijacking of this post, and the lessons therefrom

It would be interesting and IMHO far more useful, to have a thread ABOUT trolls instead of threads DOMINATED by trolls where one loses sight of the subject matter of the thread.

Or, run a thread devoted to ZDB where those who wish to engage can go - but please keep ZDB excluded elsewhere. That way ZDB cannot claim censorship. Even comments about the subject matters of other threads can at least be posted by ZDB somewhere - ie on his own thread.

Or even, run TWO threads, one about trolls in general, that can become a resource for future reference so we don't keep inventing the wheel - the chief problem with trolls - and the other thread being ZDB's own special thread (Steve Mc did this a while back, I had suggested something like that) - otherwise the tone of the blog really goes down. But separate the issues, and the tone goes right up again, including on the "troll" threads.

Lastly, IMHO it also helps with troll challenges (and admitted, trolls can be fun) to recap scientific basics, and to lead the way. eg Click my name to look at basics. Try reading HSI, ZDB.

Sep 13, 2010 at 10:38 PM | Unregistered CommenterLucy Skywalker

Well I would like to say reference Miss Zed that she is coming back tomorrow to make scientific posts in answer to questions we posed. If she does not do that then I dont care what we do with her But if she does and she stops insulting us I would still vote to keep her :)

Sep 13, 2010 at 10:49 PM | Unregistered CommenterDung

I come to this thread very late. And it is late at night. Not ideal conditions for pontificating to good effect, but here goes anyway.

The comment by Jonas N. caught my attention re 'substance'. When commenters are merely blethering, or trying out some fancy phrases they have come across, I want to think twice about responding to them. One thing can lead to another, and gentle jests lead to sharp returns and on to vulgar excesses that demean us all. The superficial, biased, and emotive writing that characterises the IPCC Summary Reports is a core part of the problem we are dealing with in climate alarmism: shoddy thinking coupled with strongly held views.

Seems to me that the best course of action, here in this microworld of a blog thread and in the bigger one with the IPCC, is to try to find any substance in what the 'other side' are saying, and then to respond to that. The rest should be noted, archived, and used for psychiatric research in due course, but otherwise ignored in real time. Easier said than done. I have been irritated and provoked myself, but I still hope to learn from my blundering reactions.

Sep 13, 2010 at 11:26 PM | Unregistered CommenterJohn Shade

My thinking, as well, Ms Skywalker.
Giving an individual thread to our own special, adoptive wee pal Z, has many merits.
Primarily, it reduces the opportunity to hijack serious threads with misdirectioning.
Mr Ward got off lightly here thanks to near homeopathic dilution by understandable but unhelpfull adrenaline-fuelled responses to seemingly, but perhaps unwitting, calculated insults.
Dismissing Z as a typical troll is an all too easy option. Z has issues that we all need to ponder, if not fully understand. The POV that Z demonstrates needs analysis but as an adjunct to the main thinking and not as a distraction to specific questions asked.
I'm not dissing you Z, but, on specific issues, you are bringing emotive heat into arenas where subjective light would be more advantageous to considered debate.

Sep 14, 2010 at 12:21 AM | Unregistered Commenterroyfomr

After reading thru 141 comments, I haven't seen anyone take Z to task about his opening remark of bob ward winning the debate with the Bishop (pardon the paraphrase, but it was 141 comments ago). So what about it Z? Can we return to the original remark and can you justify it? Or are you just weeing in the wind?

Sep 14, 2010 at 1:36 AM | Unregistered CommenterChris in Ga

I agree we should have a ZDB thread. It sounds like fun. Assuming ZDB is up to it. It would just like being the rabbit or fox in the middle of a pack of hounds, it would. A little bloody perhaps, but fun. Perhaps we could start a new blog sport called "Troll Coursing."

Sep 14, 2010 at 2:17 AM | Unregistered CommenterRomeo

I agree with Lucy Skywalker, however I really do not want an institutionalised troll on this blog.

ZDB loves the attention. Not only that ZDB is laughing at this blog. Also KDB's "friends" are laughing at this blog - I am sure she is playing to two audiences.

Just ignore ZDB. ZDB brings no original thinking. This post has 140+ comments and has advanced nothing. ZDB won 10-0, and most of you cannot see it.

Sep 14, 2010 at 6:22 AM | Unregistered CommenterBrian Cohen

There's a lot of (well meaning) hand-wringing going on here. RC would have excluded Zed without a second thought! Let him/her get their own blog, if they're serious about the subject and not just trying to annoy.

Sep 14, 2010 at 8:07 AM | Unregistered CommenterJames P

Back on topic . . . it is indeed remarkable how quickly BW responds, but in PR isn't it important to get the last word in rather than the first one though?

Sep 14, 2010 at 9:03 AM | Unregistered CommenterFarleyR

Zzzzdb is offering a dialectic (the cat among the pigeons) and we shouldn't pass up the opportunity. Better the resident troll you know than a green zealot.

Sep 14, 2010 at 9:42 AM | Unregistered Commenterel gordo
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