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« NYT on clouds | Main | Climate change cash pays for forced sterilisation »
Monday
Apr302012

Keep calm

The comments threads are getting completely out of order again. Please could everyone take a deep breath and calm down. There are plenty of other venues if you want to vent your fury.

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Reader Comments (61)

Thank you Bish.

I'm sure I'm not the only one who has been disconcerted by the vehemence of recent comments, esp. those concerning Drs Wilson & Pielke Jnr. It is not helpful to characterise all those with whom one disagrees as dishonest. Disagree by all means where there is ground to do so, but discussion can be animated and yet civil.

Apr 30, 2012 at 9:15 PM | Registered CommenterHaroldW

Andrew,

I did try to make the point that RP Jnr. is a totally different animal to other "warmists". Thank-you to Josh and others who supported my comments.

What several commentators should try and remember is that this blog appears to be read by some pretty influential but undecided people. If our manners appear no better than those on Realclimate to name just one, they may rightfully say to themselves and others "A plague on both their houses."

Andrew, my view for what it is worth is that you should snip more comments, with all the problems of time and fairness that this would cause.

Apr 30, 2012 at 10:11 PM | Unregistered CommenterJohn Hewitt

My thanks also Bish, and to John Hewitt. It is clear that some of those on "our side" have an unfortunate tendency to froth at the mouth. Calmness and rationality are definitely the best way to achieve our aims.

Apr 30, 2012 at 10:52 PM | Unregistered CommenterChris M

Sorry Bish. Forgive me my sins, or are we CoE and I have to appeal to the boss?

Apr 30, 2012 at 11:51 PM | Unregistered CommenterTucker

I can attest to that: @dellers is an excellent venue to play wack-a-mole with fascistoid ecoloon trolls..
plenty of them

May 1, 2012 at 12:45 AM | Unregistered Commenterptw

wack-a-troll I shld write

May 1, 2012 at 12:46 AM | Unregistered Commenterptw

OK, I sounded off a tad v. SR but his 'nothing to see, move on' did annoy me when the evidence that the RSPB were more for cash than chirpies seemed less than ephemeral.
Yes, the St Andrews drive-by, from RW, created more heat than light but it was more than apparent where the 'goading' came from. If it stirred a 'hornets nest' then how surprising did that turn out to be?
Chris, gawd bless his socks, did wade in and as much as I admire his intellect did nothing to assuage my sceptiism with Jo Nova's videos from Dr Evans with a response!
Decide what you want from your blog, Andrew.
Either it's libertarian and free otherwise it a'int
Your site; your choice; tell us.

May 1, 2012 at 1:15 AM | Unregistered CommenterRoyFOMR

I probably wouldn't be human if I didn't occasionally enjoy getting angry.

But recognising when an opponent actually wishes you to become angry, as part of their strategy, can be a remarkably calming experience.

May 1, 2012 at 3:16 AM | Unregistered Commentermichael hart

Sometimes it's useful to step back and observe the swirls of opinion. Careers and businesses are under threat as legislators realise in horror that they have been deceived. The anti-science coup in the RS has in a few weeks been shown to be hollow now Lovelock has waded in with mea culpas and warnings of European windmill disaster.

So, tempers are raised, emotions become embrittled and the Bish has to wade in with the whip. But it's been an amazing time. It was only in October 2010 that I pointed out on Curry's blog that Sagan's aerosol optical physics in the IPCC models is wrong so cooling by polluted clouds does not hide ‘CAGW’. Tallbloke gave me a hearing. The lefties on the Guardian banned me.

Now the balls are settling the landscape is very different. Mackay has belatedly warned DECC that we need a very expensive third power system, vast hydro plant, to allow the windmills to work, something the Danes have been doing since 2004. And now we have the coup de grace; wind farms warm Texas by 1.5 °F: delicious! Have a calm day……

May 1, 2012 at 7:35 AM | Unregistered Commentermydogsgotnonose

The issue is not about anger or apologies or bad behaviour.

All have a place at certain times, in a dynamic site that aims to inform and influence.

It is simply about value.

Did the comment flow add value or remove value from the site? Interestingly, even in lowering the value of the site, I still learnt about the state of the debate. However, not enough to compensate for the effects of people using this forum for their own personal frustrations.

People are using the site to stake their out their own territories where they are in fact guests.

May 1, 2012 at 8:28 AM | Unregistered CommenterJiminy Cricket

I felt a bit sorry for Dr Wilson after his faux pas. I think he further compounded it by pretending he'd set a trap - not the most friendly of responses, and I think it was a mistake plain and simple, not a trap. Dr Wilson, if you're reading this, most of us skeptics forgive honest mistakes in a heartbeat, you don't have to be perfect, we all say the wrong thing at the wrong time. We think more of you when you admit an error than we do if you try to cover it up. Dishonesty and loss of trust is the real reason for so much politicking in this area, so let's not compound it? Come back?

May 1, 2012 at 8:52 AM | Unregistered CommenterTheBigYinJames

If it was me, I apologise. I did not write anything in a spirit of anger though. No fury here. Exasperation, perhaps.

May 1, 2012 at 9:15 AM | Unregistered CommenterRhoda

Hi bish your blog your rules snip what you think is incorrect comment.

May 1, 2012 at 9:37 AM | Unregistered CommenterPeter Whale

Why am I so angry:

1. Because this should be a simple discussion about the evidence and a theory. Instead it's a group saying "we've trying our best and you are just being unfair to point to the evidence".

2. Because climate science should be embarrassed by its monumental failures and it isn't.

3. Because I'm sick and tired of having to be a charity, giving my time and money to create a sensible basis for policy, and being up against state funded bad science labelling me as "in the pay of big oil".

4. Because this post-modernism isn't just confined to climate science. It has corrupted much of academia. Because I think it is one of the underlying causes for the poor economic performance. Indeed, in a different manifestation, it is also behind the economic bubble and current recession.

But mostly because ....

5. Because I know the evidence is entirely against them ... but for them to understand that, I would literally need to train them up in proper science, physics, noise, economics. I can learn their subject, but they will not learn the necessary basis to understand my argument .. and it's like arguing with children who haven't a clue.

it's not their fault they don't have the necessary background to understand the sceptic case. It's not their fault that we singularly lack the funding to put our case. It's not their fault that they live in a closed world where money just seems to grow on trees and they have no idea what it is like not even having access to a library or being charged £20 just to read a paper. So no wonder they think we have no argument rather than lack the funds to make our case.

However, it is their fault that they are doing nothing to try to understand ... and continue to blame us and their "inability to communicate with us" rather than "looking at the log in their own eye".

May 1, 2012 at 9:45 AM | Unregistered CommenterMike Haseler

Mike Haseler

Seconded.

May 1, 2012 at 10:03 AM | Registered CommenterMike Jackson

Dr Wilson did bring it upon himself with his 'goading' remark. What did he expect?

May 1, 2012 at 10:05 AM | Unregistered CommenterJames P

Mike; don't get angry. Climate science is a major part of the campaign by the Frankfurt School to create Marxist World Government. The other part is Common Purpose, a replacement for freemasonry, to provide the cadre to run the new empire, centred on the EU.

And to prove it's a new Empire, consider the following: carbon trading was to underpin the Euro and the Amero. and carbon offsets, Eucalyptus and palm plantations in the Third World, are neo-colonialism.

It's no wonder academics who have been indoctrinated in this new religion are reacting to realists like you and me! Their cosy imaginary World which casts them as the good guys is under threat!

May 1, 2012 at 10:07 AM | Unregistered Commentermydogsgotnonose

I think he was covering up for a genuine mistake, myself. You need to remember how hysterical science has become since it's become politicised. It's no longer honorable for scientists to make a mistake and admit it. It's "letting the Team down". I believe scientists have gotten in the habit of covering up their errors, trying to hide them, and especially not defending or explaining to non-scientists. There seems to be a culture of "not giving them an inch" which leads to them denying even small and stupid mistakes.

If Einstein was around now, would he still have the guts to withdraw his cosmological constant when he found it was wrong? I would hope he would, because he took no crapola from anyone. We need more bravery in Science, everyone is too busy worrying about their mortgages and tenures.

May 1, 2012 at 10:13 AM | Unregistered CommenterTheBigYinJames

May 1, 2012 at 9:45 AM | Mike Haseler

Mike there is an interesting post over at WUWT regarding Group Think which you might enjoy. Mentions of Nietzsche, Charles MacKay Black Swan fallacy etc.

Sandy Sinclair

May 1, 2012 at 10:27 AM | Unregistered CommenterSandyS

"May 1, 2012 at 10:05 AM James P"

Dr Wilson did bring it upon himself with his 'goading' remark. What did he expect?

To be fair, he may have thought that was the normal way we write and tried to fit the house style.

I can only liken it to a politician who sits in parliament for four years writing patronising replies to any letter and totally ignoring the locality joining in a local community forum and seeing it is rather relaxed telling a Westminster in joke about stupid constituents.

May 1, 2012 at 10:29 AM | Unregistered CommenterMike Haseler

May 1, 2012 - SandyS

Mike there is an interesting post over at WUWT regarding Group Think which you might enjoy.

But how do we know we are not the group thinkers?

There is an argument that goes "I think therefore I am". The basis is that even if we were dreaming or a computer program imagining our existence, then we must exist.

There is a counter argument (mine) which says:

What if we were so insane, that not only were we deluded about the world around us, but we were even deluded about our own logic. What if our assumption that only a being with existence can think, were wrong? What if it is possible to think, with no existence ... just that we cannot see that because our programmers have installed false logic into our circuits.

I thought it was an entirely useless argument to be brought out in drunk parties, but it provides us a useful benchmark by which to judge our own behaviour when acting as a group. The arguments we see as being so compelling may be nothing more than group think. And how would we know? The "logic" of our arguments may be nothing but consensus group think!

Are we as hard on ourselves, ideally harder, than we are with the anti-sceptics?

At least climate "scientists" go through the pretence of peer review. Is the lack of critical examination of what we say ... because we are always right ... because we are all too "nice" .... or is it just groupthink?

May 1, 2012 at 10:44 AM | Unregistered CommenterMike Haseler

Get a stomach bug for a couple of days and the kids find the keys to the liquor cabinet, bummer.

May 1, 2012 at 10:58 AM | Unregistered CommenterShevva

Furthermore ...
It is not easy to keep calm in the face of the repetition (for the howmanyth time?) of the '97% of climate scientists believe ...' farce.
I agree that getting het up is not the answer and that this blog is read by some serious people so it behoves people like me with no scientific qualifications to exercise a little humility and try to learn before I shoot my big mouth off. One reason why I have spent quite a bit of time trying to understand climate science and have still come to the conclusion that a lot of it is eyewash and eco-politically motivated eyewash at that.
But you don't need a science qualification — in fact I would argue that it might even be a disadvantage — to recognise regurgitated piffle and I also think there are plenty of us here (scientists and non-scientists alike) who can tell when we're being patronised.
So I will try to keep a civil tongue in my head (and I am always calm when I post, your grace — invective is for effect) but if someone is determined to treat me like a fool I will react.
Politely, I hope! |:-)

May 1, 2012 at 10:58 AM | Registered CommenterMike Jackson

I think the problem is that once 'they' have engaged, then you can be a little more rough with them. Being heavy handed when they are dipping the toe is counter-productive - they just scarper.

So again it comes down to pragmatism. Do we tolerate their clumsy forays into the water at first, so we can engage and make progress later? Or do we 'whack a mole' as soon as one appears here?

It depends what we 'want' out of this, doesn't it?

May 1, 2012 at 11:06 AM | Unregistered CommenterTheBigYinJames

Mike H

"telling a Westminster in joke about stupid constituents"

That would be us, then! Well put.

May 1, 2012 at 11:38 AM | Unregistered CommenterJames P

Mike; don't get angry. Climate science is a major part of the campaign by the Frankfurt School to create Marxist World Government. The other part is Common Purpose, a replacement for freemasonry, to provide the cadre to run the new empire, centred on the EU.

Perhaps one reason that the debate gets heated is that, even those of us with libertarian instincts find that claims such as these often have little basis in fact, are expressed with extraordinary imprecision, without evidence, and flies in the face of evidence which contradicts it. I don't need to remind you of what that reminds me of.

You may well be right. But to me the robust assertions don't help to move me from the cock-up rather than conspiracy-theory theory of environmentalism's history.

The theory you seem to be putting forward, if I understand you correctly, is a meta-theory. It explains things in an over-arching way. But it's not always good enough to explain the minutia under discussion. And even if it is true, (which I am suspending judgement of) I don't think that the idea of armies of climate scientists recruited into some crypto-Marxist project is the way to explain their actions, nor even their beliefs. The way to explain it is to take for granted their good faith, and to try to understand why the world appears to them as it does. If you don't do that, then you simply mirror their error by failing to reflect on what you undoubtedly bring to your view of them, generating more heat than light.

May 1, 2012 at 12:30 PM | Unregistered CommenterBen Pile

Hi Ben: I could be wrong but generally I guess correctly. The main clue is CP Prescott and GLOBE links, also the renewables' connections to the Mafia across Europe and in the US.

After all, what better way to achieve the Marxist Revolution than to bribe the elites with a piece of the cake? And the elites nowadays are integrated with the Mafia.

May 1, 2012 at 1:50 PM | Unregistered Commentermydogsgotnonose

TBY, they always scarper. Or so it seems. Running back to the comfort zone screaming about how you just can't talk to those people. Honourable exception being Richard Betts, who takes a lot of flak not meant for him personally. I don't see why he must defend the indefensible instead of those responsible, but never mind. The Met doesn't look bad because of me or anyone here, they look bad because of hubris.

May 1, 2012 at 2:32 PM | Unregistered CommenterRhoda

I suggest that the site defines what it believes in a fairly detailed way.

Do you believe the climate is changing? yes/no/maybe.
Do you believe it is anthropogenic?
Do you believe CO2 is a greenhouse gas?
Do you believe the earth has an infinite capacity to mop up CO2?
Do you believe the oceans are becoming less alkaline?
Do you believe less alkaline oceans are a possible problem?
Do you believe the hockey stick diagram? (only kidding :-)
Do you believe there is a global conspiracy of scientists with the sole aim of getting more grant funding?
Do you believe in taking any measures to reduce CO2 emissions?

etc... There are of course hundreds of such questions, and the readership has different views on many of them. Why not pin things down? Have a discussion on them all and decide a common view. Say what you believe to be true and what false and explain the grey areas. It might then become a more contemplative place and be taken more seriously.

May 1, 2012 at 2:52 PM | Unregistered CommenterBitBucket

BitBucket, there isn't one consistent set of beliefs which constitute an 'skeptic viewpoint'

But in the spirit of adventure:

Do you believe the climate is changing? yes/no/maybe. YES IT ALWYS HAS
Do you believe it is anthropogenic? MAJORITY OF CHANGE IS NATURAL, SO SMALL IMPACT
Do you believe CO2 is a greenhouse gas? YES
Do you believe the earth has an infinite capacity to mop up CO2? WE DON'T HAVE INFINITE CO2, WE ONLY HAVE AS MUCH AS WE STARTED WITH
Do you believe the oceans are becoming less alkaline? NO
Do you believe less alkaline oceans are a possible problem? THEY MIGHT BE IF IT WAS HAPPENING
Do you believe the hockey stick diagram? (only kidding :-) OF COURSE NOT
Do you believe there is a global conspiracy of scientists with the sole aim of getting more grant funding? NO, JUST INDIVIDUAL HUBRIS, GREED AND STUPIDITY WHICH NEEDS NO CONSPIRACY
Do you believe in taking any measures to reduce CO2 emissions? POLLUTION YES, CO2 NOT AT THE MOMENT

May 1, 2012 at 2:59 PM | Unregistered CommenterTheBigYinJames

Serenity Now!

May 1, 2012 at 3:05 PM | Unregistered CommenterGeorge's Dad

Do you believe the climate is changing? maybe. Define "changing"
Do you believe it is anthropogenic? only as a side show of the effect of the main drivers
Do you believe CO2 is a greenhouse gas? yes
Do you believe the earth has an infinite capacity to mop up CO2? there's not an infinite amount of CO2
Do you believe the oceans are becoming less alkaline? maybe. pH constantly changing. See first answer.
Do you believe less alkaline oceans are a possible problem? no
Do you believe the hockey stick diagram? (only kidding :-) no
Do you believe there is a global conspiracy of scientists with the sole aim of getting more grant funding? no. there is a perfect storm of communion of intent among a large variety of very influential players
Do you believe in taking any measures to reduce CO2 emissions? only if it is cost-effective. If it is why would anybody be against it?

May 1, 2012 at 3:07 PM | Registered Commenteromnologos

Hi James (thought I'd gone away? so did I) - the post was really meant for your "What do we want this blog to achieve?" discussion, but I gave up on the Captchas after getting three wrong.

"there isn't one consistent set of beliefs which constitute an 'skeptic viewpoint'" I know that, but there is nothing stopping an individual site from having a 'site view'. This would perhaps act as a restraint on posters who are clearly not on the same page. It might reduce traffic to those that agreed, but would surely reduce the degree of inflammatory posting.

May 1, 2012 at 3:11 PM | Unregistered CommenterBitBucket

@ Bitbucket
I suggest that the site defines what it believes in a fairly detailed way......
It might then become a more contemplative place and be taken more seriously.

You mean like "Realclimate"?

May 1, 2012 at 3:17 PM | Unregistered CommenterDon Keiller

I agree, but at the same time it might well alienate otherwise useful contributors and cause a lot of squabbling. So we agree that the 'site view' that there's a problem with climate science, to some degree or other.

May 1, 2012 at 3:18 PM | Unregistered CommenterTheBigYinJames

BitBucket -
I find it passing strange that you think that a blog should have a 'site view'. Certainly the Bishop has a well-defined view of his own, but why should the denizens here all share the same perspective? Such uniformity is neither present nor desirable.

May 1, 2012 at 3:19 PM | Registered CommenterHaroldW

And the opposite is true too... there is no single "scientific view" despite claims of consensus. Science is always seethign with competing views, and the bext textbooks/science sites will explain the differing competing theories where they exist.

May 1, 2012 at 3:23 PM | Unregistered CommenterTheBigYinJames

What did I miss?

May 1, 2012 at 3:23 PM | Unregistered Commenterblackswhitewash.com

mydogsgotnonose

I'm entirely with you. This AGW thing is about big government, bigger government and above all, world government. However the new world religion is a complex and convoluted thing simply because it is so big. Politicians long ago took the driving seat with their big government agenda and opened the financial floodgates to achieve their ends. However below them there are countless bit-part players pursuing there own ends - whole industries which could not otherwise exist, green activists who might otherwise have to find gainful employment, countless "climate Scientists" occupying jobs which again would not exist were it not for green mania, journalists and educators pushing eco-lies, financial institutions controlling flows of billions (maybe trillions) on the back of baseless fantasies about a demonised plant food trace gas. At the bottom of the pyramid are hundreds of millions of ordinary men and women who have been deceived by the ceaseless drip drip drip of propaganda, sometimes crude, sometimes subtle. But the important thing is this whole vile, rotten edifice could not exist for five minutes if it were not for politicians continually hosing it with taxpayers' money by the billion in order to achieve their goals, more business for them, and an ever bigger state.

May 1, 2012 at 3:29 PM | Unregistered Commentercerberus

I don't accept any idea that approaches 'if you keep within a set of bounds of opinion you may post here'. It smells of constraint of thought. No objection at all to policing on behaviour, but the idea that you can't post this or that idea because it will bring the holy reputation of the blog into disrepute is anathema.

I can't think why one would want to define such rules. Is it to make it easier for those who think we are all of the same mind in order to lecture us? Come here, muck in, find out. Defend your views robustly. Propound them with as much clarity as you can muster. The sky will not fall. Although I think that last IS pretty much the unifying idea of the community here.

May 1, 2012 at 3:29 PM | Unregistered CommenterRhoda

I wasn't suggesting restrictions on posting. But by not having a site view, any scientist who might want to discuss issues seriously is likely to be put off by the crazier lines of discussion (global marxist domination, research grant mafia etc). A site view might make these less common.

May 1, 2012 at 3:48 PM | Unregistered CommenterBitBucket

I am sympathetic to that view myself, but not sure how you would go about it without imposing censorship. Perhaps a voting system on each comment like the BBC has on theirs... registered commenters could vote a comment up or down depending on it's relevance. So we could all vote down the Chemtrails post (for example) so that a casual visiting scientist could see that while we tolerate the posting of such things, the general mood is that it's not widely agreed with.

Just an idea.

May 1, 2012 at 3:54 PM | Unregistered CommenterTheBigYinJames

Hi three heads each with a nose: there is a way out which is to take away the monopoly of electricity production by the windmills that the elites have been trying to impose.

That is to provide homes with their own electricity generation via fuel-cells for CHP under the guise of truly meeting the EU's CO2 reduction demands, and it's perfectly possible using technology with which I was once associated.

Install 10 million 1 kW [E] fuel cells at 50% efficiency and you use 30% less methane for that power E+H] than windmill + CCGTs giving 82% of that E power, about the upper limit we can achieve for 11% disconnection expected by the NGC in 2020.

Use that 1 kW to get 3 kW heat by heat pump, and you save ~60% of the methane. In the daytime, the 10 GW acts as standby for the windmills reducing the CCGT methane use [they are ~45% efficient and the waste heat is lost to the free air, not kept in buildings].

Then you make most sewage works biogas/anaerobic with ag waste. Saving 15% of emissions is easy this way: it's impossible with the windmills. And the beauty of the plan is that it destroys the central control system of smart meters etc, also the ability of the elites to control electricity prices - the ROCs are based on grid prices, not absolute!

And the bonus is that you develop a World leading set of technologies and the jobs instead of buying in windmills.

May 1, 2012 at 3:54 PM | Unregistered Commentermydogsgotnonose

"Perhaps a voting system on each comment ..." or like Stack Exchange where registered users gather points awarded by others perhaps

May 1, 2012 at 5:23 PM | Unregistered CommenterBitBucket

May 1, 2012 at 9:45 AM | Mike Haseler

That is very much my viewpoint too Mike.

May 1, 2012 at 5:29 PM | Unregistered CommenterRob Burton

"I suggest that the site defines what it believes in a fairly detailed way."

Bitbucket, as you are a part of the site why don't you define it in detail. Then we just all agree with each other after.

Or perhaps we are all individuals.....

May 1, 2012 at 5:31 PM | Unregistered CommenterRob Burton

I am always perfectly calm and reasonable.

It is only my keyboard that acts up now and then.

I will now beat my keyboard into.... Submission.

May 1, 2012 at 7:02 PM | Registered CommenterSkiphil

Interesting how this thread is working out. At the beginning, it seemed to be simply about some of us getting a bit over-excited about the character and objectives of a few "big names" - altho for many of us Rob Wilson was not known to be one. I myself had seen comments by him somewhere or other (must have been CA from what I've read here) but I had no particular context in which to place him, positively or negatively.

Now it seems to be "what kind of site should it be" - interesting, indeed, but for now I'd like to concentrate on what I thought brought on this post.

I am a longtime reader, seldom commenter. I do not presume to speak for other semi-lurkers in what has impacted me in the last few days here. I only would like to give my impressions as of now, without returning to check how "right" I might be in my recollections and certainly would hope to be corrected if any of them are too off the mark.

L’affaire Rob Wilson: I certainly count myself among the gullible. His first comment I assumed to be sincere and even felt a bit impressed by his seeming courage to come right out and say the debate is over for him. I assumed he knew enough about this site to realize that that would be challenged and actually looked forward to reading a further elucidation of that position in response to such challenges. He also made other claims I felt would be challenged and was quite interested in how those discussions would develop.

I feel the responses were reasonable and certainly what could have been expected. Although, apparently, it was our task to research him and adapt our comments to such externally gained knowledge rather than his to simply judge each of us by our responses, since apparently judgment is necessary to him. Perhaps even getting to know us a bit as individuals as well as a community might have been a good preamble to judgment.

In almost no time, comes the breathtaking announcement that he had paid a visit to us with the express purpose of “trapping” and “goading” with the judgment of “pity” about the results. Someone wrote (I haven’t got the heart to reread the thread to see who said what) that what he felt most was spat upon. I totally concur with this. The egregious bad faith explicit in such behavior is beyond mind-boggling and I am frankly still reeling.

At some later point, he said he was taking his football and going home but I believe he reappeared, in response to something minor. What I haven’t seen is any acknowledgment of the damage he did, not only to his own credibility but the total lack of respect when visiting a venue where he would indeed have been welcome had he behaved with integrity.

Someone mentioned he probably realized he made a mistake. It would be good if he would own up to that. It’s not like none of us make assumptions and think being provocative is cute and that a quick drop-in visit to score some points and have our biases confirmed could make a great evening – in the end, most of us are ashamed when we’ve done that. The hard part is to say I’m sorry but it’s the mature part.

L’affaire Pielke: I found the discussion fascinating, both pro and con. I think he’s a big boy and can take criticism quite well – even if answers seem not to be forthcoming as we desire. Since comments on his own blog don’t often “take off” very far, I found it fascinating to see his position discussed here, partly of course, because I myself am of two minds about him!

May 1, 2012 at 8:21 PM | Unregistered CommenterKendra

May 1, 2012 at 9:45 AM Mike Haseler

Mike - Right on!
____________________________________________________________________

Keep Calm

I appreciate very much the interesting range of topics posted by BH and the interesting and perceptive discussions that usually follow. One notable feature of the blog is that - so far as I know - there is no set of rules or guidelines for posters.

I don't see that people getting cross in itself is much of a problem if they are simply expressing how something has made them very angry. There is plenty to be very angry about.

It's best to avoid posting whilst seething with fury, because you tend to write things you later wish you hadn't. And you don't write things you wish you had. But it's clear that BH, whose blog it is and who therefore calls the shots, does not welcome angry discussions.

Perhaps this is because getting angry can result in unpleasantness - name calling, attributing align motives to other posters and so on. The relevance of comments to the topic in hand diminishes.

It's clearly implied (by BH's snipping's) that rudeness is not tolerated. But it's often not easy to define the line between forthright speech and rudeness.

It's also made clear by BH's requests/comments, that derailing a discussion on one topic so that it is switched to a sidetrack in detailed discussion of a different subject of little general interest is not welcomed.

Steve McIntyre seems to have a firm policy on CA, : [Certain words (liar,...) are forbidden; no religion; avoid politics, no personal abuse and swearing, don't attribute ulterior motives to another participant,...]

It's not for me to instruct BH on how to run his blog. But I'd make the suggestion that a brief set of guidelines might be helpful in making it clear what is acceptable and what is not.

May 1, 2012 at 8:43 PM | Registered CommenterMartin A

May 1, 2012 at 8:21 PM Kendra

Kendra, Rob Wilson did come back finally and say sorry, something that could not have been easy.

Although, like you, I was grossly offended by his earlier postings, so far as I am concerned, that was the end of the matter and I'll now read anything he might care to post in future with interest.

May 1, 2012 at 8:52 PM | Registered CommenterMartin A

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