How is Climate Audit setup?

Just a quick note that I have written an overview of how the blog is setup, with indications for what people should look for if they want a similar setup for their own blog.


I have been asked on more than one occasion how to setup a blog similar to CA, and what to look out for. I have toyed with the idea of hosting blogs myself, having gone through the firey hoops of keeping CA upright, but it would be difficult to know whether I’d have sufficient audience to do it. The idea would be to try and create an ecosystem of blogs which analyze different aspects of climate science that Steve has limited time for, such as GCMs, fundamentals of statistics, solar physics, econometrics and economic models and so on.

One of the things I am going to setup for CA when we get the keys to the new VPS is proper LaTeX support. The mimeTeX plug-in is a little basic on formatting and creating ladders of equations is a pain.

Any other suggestions for things that CA could improve on, let me know.


68 Comments

  1. Paul
    Posted Dec 5, 2006 at 9:28 AM | Permalink

    John,

    Let me think on this for a bit… There are some open source blog setups that might work. The trick would be to generate enough income to pay for the bandwidth. I know that co-locating a server is about $60-$100/month. If I could swing the bandwidth at our location, the cost would be something similar. Email me offline and we can discuss, if you like. I’d like to get a better feel for the site stats…

  2. Posted Dec 5, 2006 at 10:17 AM | Permalink

    I will.

  3. Steve McIntyre
    Posted Dec 6, 2006 at 7:27 AM | Permalink

    I’m sorry for the delay in server upgrade. I put the order in to the webserver. I don’t know why they haven’t upgraded it yet. John A thinks that there are better webserves and perhaps there are. But this particular service seems to be relatively substantial and are located in Canada, which I prefer, and they have people on call nearly 24/7. The upgrade should be imminent.

  4. Posted Dec 6, 2006 at 10:38 AM | Permalink

    Be still my beating heart….

  5. Jan F
    Posted Dec 7, 2006 at 4:50 PM | Permalink

    John,

    One of the things I noticed is that some special characters are not displayed correctly.
    Analysing the source I found that the text is in UTF-8 (Unicode) while it is displayed as Windows-1252 or ISO-8859-1 (most browsers handle ISO-8859-1 as Windows-1252). Most likely this is caused by sending a charset=ISO-8859-1 parameter or not sending a charset parameter (ISO-8859-1 is the default). This can be solved with a charset=UTF-8 parameter in the HTTP content-type or a meta declaration.

  6. Dave Dardinger
    Posted Dec 7, 2006 at 5:18 PM | Permalink

    One thing I might mention is that until recently if I clicked the reload current page button on my browser (I normally use Netscape 7.2) it gave me all the most recent messages, but when the new page format was instituted I’ve been noticing that it only updates when I am on the Home Page. Likekwise if I click on an new message on the right-hand listing, it will take me to that page but won’t add in newer messages like it used to. There may be some exceptions to this, but I haven’t made an exhaustive test. I was wondering if others have noticed this or if it’s something in how my browser is set up (though I don’t recall changing anything recently.)

  7. Posted Dec 8, 2006 at 1:33 PM | Permalink

    Re #6

    That’s because there is some page caching which I installed to stop the memory issue until we moved over to the new server.

    Curiously Steve has been told we’ve been “upgraded”, but I’ve seen no evidence of the root password or anything to suggest we’ve had any value for the money spent.

  8. Gerald Browning
    Posted Mar 6, 2007 at 1:24 PM | Permalink

    John A,

    Can the tex tag be used to display graphics in one of my local disk files
    using the picture or includegraphics command?

    Or must they be included by using a url?

  9. John A
    Posted Mar 6, 2007 at 4:26 PM | Permalink

    A: The file must be accessible from the Internet

  10. Gerald Browning
    Posted Mar 6, 2007 at 9:36 PM | Permalink

    John A,

    I spoke with my son who is a UNIX guru. If I convert my contour plots to raster images (jpeg or pmg) and then use google as a free server, I should be able to post them on your site as a link. Does that sound reasonable?

    Jerry

  11. Dave Dardinger
    Posted Mar 6, 2007 at 11:07 PM | Permalink

    I’ve got a minor blog question. What’s happened to the trolls? I haven’t seen a nasty post in a while now. Are they all being blocked or just off somewhere else? I’m not complaining, mind you.

  12. John A
    Posted Mar 7, 2007 at 1:45 AM | Permalink

    Re: #10

    Gerry: It sounds fine.

    Re: #11:

    Dave: No we’ve not been swiping any trolls lately. I suspect that they’re sleeping under bridges waiting for the next environmental scare.

  13. Dave Dardinger
    Posted Mar 7, 2007 at 7:24 AM | Permalink

    re: #12 John,

    I suspect that they’re sleeping under bridges

    Uh, Oh! It’s just as they’ve always feared. Global Warming causes homelessness.

  14. Lawrence Hickey
    Posted Mar 7, 2007 at 9:39 AM | Permalink

    I am sorry if this is too simple for this audience but maybe somebody can help. I understand that tree rings act as a proxy for temperature because they grow annually, and an actual temperature record is used to calibrate the width back as far as we have them, so we have a function that takes tree ring width and gives temperature then. Leaving aside that moisture and other things can spoil this simple minded picture for the tree ring proxy, (never mind the cherry picking of sites), I seems that the Mann hockey stick based around bristle cone pine’s has been shaken by M&M. So now ice cores are all the rage. Ice cores I guess are laid down annually like tree rings, and bubbles of air trapped inside can be used to measure annual co2 back a long way, but now there is some isotope of oxygen based procedure to make a temperature proxy from ice cores as well, and I don’t understand how it works. There are no radioactive isotopes of oxygen so it can’t work like carbon 14 dating. Is there some historical record of a changing isotope ratio of oxygen with time or something like this? What is the physical basis for calibration, analogous to the width of the tree ring, so this can be calibrated? I understand that the co2 level in trapped bubbles can be directly measured, so we have a co2 function of time, but the basis for the temperature proxy puzzles me.

    And using bore holes is also a mystery. Can somebody explain the geophysical basis for a temperature proxy based on bore holes and how it’s calibrated. (what is the analog to the tree ring in this case)

    And one last thing- what is the status of the satellite record. With the stratosphere and troposphere warming and cooling over the last few decades, the warmers are embracing this as evidence that their model’s can predict this. What is the straight messages here. Is this just plain ambiguous and not understood? What about the newest generation of satellite’s now designed to directly give data on terrestrial and atmospheric temperature in various layers? In 10 years, will we have any definitive word based on this or not. Most of the people who post to this site know this stuff already I think. A thread for the geophysical as opposed to the mathematical issues might be a good idea. This is a most excellent site.

  15. JerryB
    Posted Mar 7, 2007 at 10:34 AM | Permalink

    Re #14,

    Lawrence,

    A couple of thoughts come to mind:

    That is quite a collection of questions! Some people might
    have answers to some of them, but might never notice your
    questions because you posted them in a thread that has
    nothing to do with any of them. Some people might have
    answers to all of them, but may not be enthusiastic about
    doing the work of composiing the answers to so many
    questions.

  16. James Erlandson
    Posted Mar 7, 2007 at 10:35 AM | Permalink

    Re 14:
    A primer on ice cores from Wikipedia.

  17. Peter Hearnden
    Posted Mar 7, 2007 at 10:39 AM | Permalink

    I’ve got a minor blog question. What’s happened to the trolls? I haven’t seen a nasty post in a while now. Are they all being blocked or just off somewhere else? I’m not complaining, mind you.

    Humm, well, Dave, maybe dissidents have finally been banished from here ;). I dunno, it still seems like Hans is allowed to post (and he’s a ‘warmer’ of sorts, as you are) so maybe not. But, people who don’t detest the HS and it’s authors? Are they ‘trolls’? People who accept the surface record – are they ‘trolls’? Heavens, dare I mention people who trust the IPCC’s output? Or are all such people ‘trolls’???

    You tell me Dave, you tell me what contrarian views are allowed here without them being called trolling? Tbh and imo there is no debate here. It seems to me you’re either with the site/on it’s side or you’re a troll – that’s the truth isn’t it?

    Anyway, lets see if this post is allowed.

  18. Dave B
    Posted Mar 7, 2007 at 12:38 PM | Permalink

    #17…i have a definition for you, peter.

    you said ” But, people who don’t detest the HS and it’s authors?”…

    a troll, in this context, is one who speaks of “detesting” a person or group of people, while failing to discuss the considerable body of poor science which supports the hockey stick…

    this is not personal, peter, it is a discussion of science. as such, dissent in scientific discussion is actually encouraged, rather than censored. you might notice how steve m continues to post his code publicly, so others can check his work, and that he actually changes his ideas as improvements are made. your heroes at RC should take note. why should steve or warwick have to dig through surface temperature records which were apparently used in a 1990 study, when they should have been made public AS A CONDITION of passing the peer-review process?

  19. Steve Sadlov
    Posted Mar 7, 2007 at 12:41 PM | Permalink

    So Peter H, just to make a point / conduct an experiment, I tried to enter in a “right wingish” post and it got blocked. There, do you feel better now? Your own “progressive” ideas get passed right through.

  20. fFreddy
    Posted Mar 7, 2007 at 1:11 PM | Permalink

    Re #17, Peter Hearnden

    Heavens, dare I mention people who trust the IPCC’s output? Or are all such people trolls’???

    Nope, just a bit thick…

    There you go, Peter, a gratuitous insult. Feel better now ?

  21. Reid
    Posted Mar 7, 2007 at 1:26 PM | Permalink

    Peter Hearnden,

    I don’t consider you a troll. I classify you as a Climate Audit skeptic or if you prefer Climate Audit denier.

  22. John A
    Posted Mar 7, 2007 at 2:02 PM | Permalink

    Heavens, dare I mention people who trust the IPCC’s output? Or are all such people trolls’???

    I would describe that as extraordinarily gullible and contrary to the principles of science and rationality. I would further describe you as hopelessly naive, and determined to interject yourself into scientific debates based entirely on emotional appeals to authority which are designed to derail conversations.

    I see nothing in the output of the IPCC that deserves such “trust” except and mindless will to believe despite all evidence of past behaviour which shows such trust is misplaced.

  23. Dave Dardinger
    Posted Mar 7, 2007 at 3:42 PM | Permalink

    re: #17 Peter,

    I dunno, it still seems like Hans is allowed to post (and he’s a warmer’ of sorts, as you are)

    If strictly allowing that accepting there’s been warming the past century and some of it may be human caused, then practically everyone here, including Steve M are warmers. The question is how one argues and about what. Hans has some specific points he defends which other’s here disagree with and so do I. Some people, such as Hans and especially Steve M aren’t interested in discussing personalities or politics, but really only want to discuss the science. Other’s such as myself are willing to go both ways, which occasionally gets a message of mine clipped, but that doesn’t bother me. Others, such as yourself, aren’t really interested in the science except as an opportunity to attack people like Steve M for “denial” or “hypocracy” or “bad connections.” That’s the calling call of a troll.

    Some people like Lee seem to come here mostly for the trolling but will get into the science if necessary. Others, who I won’t name, have trollish tendencies but mostly stick to the science so they’re tolerated.

    But I only asked my question in 11 because almost all the discussion lately has concerned science (well there’s been some discussion of vice-god Gore, but Steve M has tried tamping it down.) I just wondered if it were a random fluxuation or something with a reason behind it. Looks like it was simply random.

  24. cytochrome_sea
    Posted Mar 7, 2007 at 4:58 PM | Permalink

    “I would further describe you as hopelessly naive”

    C’mon John A, that’s to the person.

  25. cbone
    Posted Mar 7, 2007 at 5:00 PM | Permalink

    Re: 23

    I think it also has to do with the topics recently. The recent topics have been more on the hard science reconstruction side of things without much of the squishy policy/political connotations. I think it speaks volumes that the ‘trolls’ aren’t trolling, perhaps they aren’t interested in the science?

  26. John A
    Posted Mar 8, 2007 at 1:59 AM | Permalink

    Re #24:

    What term would you use when someone insists on trusting certain people at the IPCC after being shown clear and unequivocal evidence that those same people have made materially false statements? I could think of stronger words.

  27. Peter Hearnden
    Posted Mar 8, 2007 at 2:44 AM | Permalink

    Re #26, I just don’t accept what you and this website say John, sorry about that. Does that mean I can be dismissively ad hommed? Clearly it does.

    But, am I both reasonably informed and intelligent? Yes, actually I am. And you, John? I think you are as well, but I also think you are, wrt ACC, wrong (and I mean that, you are intelligent but wrong – imo).

    Now, can we debate, or must we just insult each other? Well, imo, I think your posts and other make it clear views such as mine stand little chance of a fair hearing here, minds are made up. So, I wonder, why so little dissent here these days? Resistance is pointless?

  28. Hans Erren
    Posted Mar 8, 2007 at 4:05 AM | Permalink

    re 27:
    “I just don’t accept what you and this website say John”

    Can you be more specific?
    Are bristlecone valid temperature proxies?
    Do you favour hiding data and methods?

    Because this is what this website tells:
    Bristlecones are not valid temperature proxies.
    All scientific data and methods must be publically available.

  29. Peter Hearnden
    Posted Mar 8, 2007 at 4:15 AM | Permalink

    Re #28.
    Hans, to answer your questions:

    1, No, I haven’t got the time to re read the place – but if it’s just talking about bristlecones and science method why the thousands of other words?
    2, They carry useful information about said imo.
    3, Hans, you know full well that’s a ‘do you beat your wife?’ type question. So, do you?

  30. John A
    Posted Mar 8, 2007 at 4:54 AM | Permalink

    I can answer Hans’ questions:

    1. Are bristlecones valid temperature proxies? No. The NAS Panel made that clear.
    2. Do you favor hiding data and methods? No. Science, especially science that informs public policy should be open in data and methods and scrupulously so, as a prequisite for proper audit and review.

    No “do you beat your wife” type questions at all.

  31. Dave Dardinger
    Posted Mar 8, 2007 at 7:56 AM | Permalink

    re: #27 Peter,

    I just don’t accept what you and this website say

    Now, can we debate

    Perhaps you meant “I don’t just accept…” in your first quote, i.e. you demand proof. As stated your sentence means you’ve already rejected what’s stated on this website. That means that the answer to your second quote is “No, since you’ve already made up your mind.”

    Assuming that the first quote is just grammatically incorrect, then the answer to the second quote is, “Yes, provided you’re willing to discuss the science which we’re dealing with.” The trouble is that you’ve never done so and have at times indicated that you’re unwilling or unable to do so. Surely if you’re intelligent and informed there are some areas of interest to the people here which you can engage on. If not, then whose fault is it that you’ve become the poster child for trollishness on this site?

  32. Dave B
    Posted Mar 8, 2007 at 3:38 PM | Permalink

    #29…peter…

    i think the type of question to which you refer is, “when did you stop beating your wife?”

    hans’ question, “Do you favour hiding data and methods?”…clearly does not fall into this category. now, do you have an answer for it? is your answer consistent with your position as stated here?

  33. cytochrome_sea
    Posted Mar 8, 2007 at 8:12 PM | Permalink

    Re: 26,

    John A, I only meant that you were arguing to the person rather than to the person’s opinions/ideas.
    Normally I wouldn’t insert myself to complain but read #22 after Dave D’s observation in #11, and as a lurker it’s been nice reading more civil conversations/less flames around here lately, that’s all.

  34. John A
    Posted Mar 9, 2007 at 9:37 AM | Permalink

    Re #33

    It’s mighty difficult to argue with a person’s opinions when the person doesn’t appear to have any of his own.

  35. Gerald Browning
    Posted May 6, 2007 at 2:31 PM | Permalink

    John A.,

    I have obtained a pdf file on a CD containing a manuscript I need to
    link to so that others can read it. Any suggestions on how to do this?
    I will also talk to my son to see what he recommends.

    Thnaks for your help.

    Jerry

  36. Richard
    Posted Aug 22, 2007 at 8:06 AM | Permalink

    I seem to get odd symbols in the text, regardless of which browser I use. Is there a simple solution to this?

    Thanks,
    Richard

  37. Jan F
    Posted Aug 22, 2007 at 11:03 AM | Permalink

    Richard,

    You can change the encoding in View -> Character Encoding.
    Previously the browser decided what encoding to use (IE used latin-1 and Firefox used utf-8). It seems that Anthony managed to force the pages to latin-1, however the content of the responses contain both latin-1 and utf-8. So one way or the other some characters are not displayed correctly.

    Regards,
    Jan

  38. Sam Urbinto
    Posted Aug 22, 2007 at 12:40 PM | Permalink

    “materially false statements” lol

    RE: Peter (#17) and John’s reply (#21) Peter looked to be trolling, John made strong statments to let him know John wasn’t going to put up with him. Not an ad hom, an opinion on behavior.

    “All scientific data and methods must be publically available.” For all those that don’t agree with that statement, a “No, because (some/all) (data/methods)….” or similar is the only valid response. Why you think that’s not true.

    http://www.climateaudit.org/?p=1952

    That said, to answer Robert, I haven’t been able to get rid of them. I don’t know if it’s the Western European encoding, IE6, or what.

    I think it’s caused by quotes created in a word processor rather than directly into the message box.

  39. Richard
    Posted Aug 23, 2007 at 7:53 AM | Permalink

    Jan-
    Thanks for the information. I do not see Latin-1 on either my IE or Firefox browsers. Could it be under another name?

    Thanks,

    Richard

  40. Posted Aug 23, 2007 at 11:01 AM | Permalink

    Richard : Western (ISO-8859-1)

  41. Ross Berteig
    Posted Sep 14, 2007 at 2:32 PM | Permalink

    I just tried to print a recent post. Is it possible that someone with the access required to do so could please look into providing a stylesheet for print media that hides most of the sidebars and other bits and pieces of the page that are useful on screen but just a waste of paper otherwise?

  42. Mhaze
    Posted Sep 14, 2007 at 9:29 PM | Permalink

    Re #41

    This can easily be done in FF with the scrapbook extention-highlight, save selection, use option for no formatting, print.

  43. Posted Sep 14, 2007 at 9:58 PM | Permalink

    John A says:
    March 8th, 2007 at 1:59 am

    Re #24:

    What term would you use when someone insists on trusting certain people at the IPCC after being shown clear and unequivocal evidence that those same people have made materially false statements? I could think of stronger words.
    —————————————————-

    The term “invested” comes to mind.

  44. NeedleFactory
    Posted Jan 9, 2008 at 1:12 AM | Permalink

    Recently, I have had trouble following some thread discussions because posters write phrases such as “re #43: …“, but the number of their post is lower than 43. I suspect that this occurs when Steve “snips” posts in their entirety, for whatever reason, and that the blog machinery renumbers all later posts to prevent sequence gaps. Since internal references to external post numbers are not adjusted, the references can wind up referring to incorrect or non-existent posts.

    If so, would it be possible to thwart the renumbering? IMO missing numbers pose no problem, and can even assist the reader by showing that a post, possibly referred to later, was removed.

  45. fFreddy
    Posted Apr 12, 2008 at 8:58 AM | Permalink

    Attn John A / Anthony Watts
    Is this a solution to the “less than sign truncates post” problem that still keeps catching people ?

  46. Posted Apr 12, 2008 at 12:27 PM | Permalink

    45 (fFreddy): in HTML [the underlying protocol for your browser] there is a convention that ‘special’ characters can be written as follows:
    “& xxx ;” where you have to omit the quotes and the spaces. The “xxx” is then an encoding of the character. Several such exists. for our purposes the most important are “gt” and “lt” meaning “greater than” and “less than”, so the sequence “&” “lt” and “;” would show as “<” and not cause the rest of the comment to disappear.

  47. Posted Apr 12, 2008 at 12:29 PM | Permalink

    44 (NeedleFactory): better solution: don’t delete the post, just snip the text inside the post. Please, Steve.

  48. fFreddy
    Posted Apr 12, 2008 at 4:46 PM | Permalink

    Re #46, Leif
    I know. The trouble is, this < problem keeps catching out people who are new to the site, and even some old hands – it is far too easy to do by accident. It really ought to be soluble at the server level, I would have thought.
    (But I know almost nothing of this sort of programming, so I can’t help much.)

    Ref snipping the full text inside the post – certainly this would be preferable, but it is a lot more work for Steve. Deleting a post, by contrast, is a one-click operation. I can well understand our host wanting to minimise the amount of time he spends on foodfights: he has more important things to do.
    I guess what we really need is someone who knows how to program WordPress to give the admin a one-click “snip” button – i.e., substitute “Snip” for the entire text of the selected post. Any gurus out there feel like volunteering ?

  49. MrPete
    Posted Apr 12, 2008 at 6:57 PM | Permalink

    re: fFreddy… actually, a right-click “copy link” function would work just as well — creating a link to the referenced article.

    It’s already almost-easy: Grab the URL, type a bit of text, convert to a link:

    1) URL: Right click on the article # (#48 right now), and “copy link location” or equiv

    2) TEXT: Type what you want for the link, eg: fFreddy and Select (double click) what you typed

    3) CONVERT: Click on the “/Link” button. It will surround your text with a link to the URL that you copied in #1

  50. fFreddy
    Posted Apr 12, 2008 at 11:16 PM | Permalink

    p < .95, <em>italic</em>

  51. fFreddy
    Posted Apr 12, 2008 at 11:19 PM | Permalink

    Eeek, John, this appears to fix the < problem, but at the cost of zapping all html tags. Probably best to revert to previous configuration ?

  52. John A
    Posted Apr 13, 2008 at 1:32 AM | Permalink

    Done.

  53. John A
    Posted Apr 13, 2008 at 1:40 AM | Permalink

    Test:

    e < \pi as far as I know

    But will e < pi cut off any further tags?

  54. John A
    Posted Apr 13, 2008 at 1:42 AM | Permalink

    Test 2:

    e \lt \pi as far as I know

    But will e < pi cut off any further tags?

  55. John A
    Posted Apr 13, 2008 at 1:45 AM | Permalink

    e \leq \pi

  56. Posted Apr 13, 2008 at 9:23 AM | Permalink

    test
    Theta

  57. Posted Apr 13, 2008 at 9:23 AM | Permalink

    test
    /Theta

  58. Posted Apr 13, 2008 at 9:26 AM | Permalink

    last one
    theta

  59. Posted Apr 13, 2008 at 9:26 AM | Permalink

    \pi

  60. Posted Apr 13, 2008 at 9:27 AM | Permalink

    what am I missing here?

    Steve:
    the backslash before pi or theta

  61. Posted Apr 13, 2008 at 11:34 AM | Permalink

    61: Thanks, Steve. I curse the keyboard designer that put \ and / next to one another on my keyboard.

  62. John A
    Posted Apr 14, 2008 at 3:10 AM | Permalink

    So Dr Svalgaard you can make \pi for lunch but can you make it to the \theta ?

  63. jae
    Posted Dec 16, 2008 at 4:57 PM | Permalink

    Message board is down.

  64. Ernie
    Posted Dec 16, 2008 at 5:48 PM | Permalink

    The forums are giving intermittent SQL problems:

    General Error
    SQL ERROR [ mysqli ]

    Table ‘s’ is marked as crashed and should be repaired [1194]

    An sql error occurred while fetching this page. Please contact an administrator if this problem persists.

  65. John Slayton
    Posted Dec 16, 2008 at 10:15 PM | Permalink

    Getting same message as Ernie. But I’m sure you’re hearing this in surround-sound stereo.

  66. John A
    Posted Dec 17, 2008 at 1:55 AM | Permalink

    Backing up and fixing it now.

  67. John A
    Posted Dec 17, 2008 at 2:24 AM | Permalink

    Fixed.

  68. Dave Dardinger
    Posted Dec 17, 2008 at 6:50 AM | Permalink

    Thank you, John! BTW, I only had one of the errors out of a number of visits, so it must have been pretty sporadic.

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