I quit

John A writes:

As Steve has already mentioned, I asked to stand down two weeks ago from the responsibilities involved in running this now notorious blog and return my life to some semblence of normality.

Just to get in front of the lie-machines out there (and you know who they are), there was no rancour or disagreement between myself and Steve that precipitated my decision. Simply put, I was spending too much time worrying, fretting, cossetting, rebooting and generally administrating when I could have used the time to actually do something that paid me money and paid the bills. My wife was becoming more than a little concerned – and she was right to be. I’ve dragged myself into bed in the wee hours on too many occasions.

Memo to ExxonMobil: I’m still waiting for that cheque

I have spent an inordinate amount of time dealing with issues surrounding the blog. The technical reason is that CA has outgrown every single hosting system so far, from a shared webhosting package to a VPS to a dedicated server with a 10MB connection and 1GB of RAM.

The real reason is Steve McIntyre. He’s become very good at showing people up – usually climate scientists who think they know better, but don’t. He’s also as unpretentious in real life as he appears on the blog (he comes across as a little stiff and vague on television, I’m sure that’s just nervousness about not letting his mouth run away with something he’ll regret later). I’ve met him in person twice, and I hope to meet him more times in the future.

Although I can legitimately claim to have started the whole blogging process when I got in touch with Steve in December 2004 and invented the name “Climate Audit”, apart from some drumming up of attention by making a nuisance of myself on other blogs, it is Steve who has shown the way to a lot of us about how to make blogging effective.

What Steve has shown is that in order to tackle a subject in science in order to audit, one must have a background in mathematics and especially statistics, and a willingness to tackle a particular issue rather like a forensic detective (one of my gags was suggesting Steve should start a TV show called CSI Toronto – the C being climate). So being slow and methodical, tackling the questions piece by piece, and always being interested not just in pieces of evidence but how other actors have interpreted those pieces.

A part of this is related to Steve’s character – he’s a math nerd. He genuinely is interested in what he’s looking at and willing to invest a little time to check some small things in order to see the big picture. That big picture is an issue related to all of us: climate change. It also raises other issues more fundamental that just that topic – questions like: how do we know that the data presented to us is meaningful or significant?

A little history does you good

My own interest in climate change comes really from my own study of history, especially the history of science. In that history scientific consensuses, even overwhelming ones, are overthrown with astonishing regularity. That overthrow doesn’t happen overnight and often happens in the teeth of bitter personal opposition – Max Planck rather mournfully declared that scientific progress “proceeds one funeral at a time” as the protagonists for the old paradigm die off. More often than not, brilliant scientists who changed the course of science suffered mentally from the opposition of scientific authorities of the day. I think of Ludwig Boltzmann as an example.

Also in history, science has often followed a paradigm that has outlived in usefulness but is simply “patched up” rather than fundamentally rewritten. A sort of blind alley develops, where not only do scientist keep hitting the wall at the end, but they are unaware of how blinkered they can be, until some bright spark comes along.

Some have criticize Steve for producing a sort of negative research, without producing a positive result. But producing just “positive” results begs the question as to who decides what is positive and what is not? I regard Steve’s research as highly positive because it seeks to test the foundations of what we think is really happening. Does sampling of treerings in forests all over the globe, combining them in a particular manner and producing a curve legitimately reconstruct something called “Global Mean Temperature”? Does it mean anything at all? Is consistency of result between several reports which use effectively the same series and uses the same mathematical approach enough to establish the behavior of the climate of the past? Can mathematical models predict future climate or are their outputs no better than guesses?

A farewell to arms

I am a little sorry to have to step away from CA but frankly administering the blog and dealing with issues arising does not pay any bills nor help me find more consulting work. Because of the “state of fear” surrounding climate science, I could not use my own name nor present the work done on this site as part of my resume. I would have loved to have said that working on this blog has enhanced my general work profile, but it hasn’t. I’ve learnt a lot about statistics (although I could always learn a lot more), but also about blogging, WordPress, php, mySQL, Google and Linux. I had hoped that I could use some of these skills to come to the US, but that alas has been a forlorn hope so far.

That isn’t to say that I’m not proud of my small contribution or my tangential role in rocking the IPCC boat, because I am. Blogging and climate science have changed in dramatic ways since the end of 2004 when I first egged on Steve to abandon html programming and start doing it properly. Blogging has become, in part, another branch of the media, (but like the rest of the media the quality varies quite a bit). Climate science has started to open up, and even the tone of CA’s opponents has generally become less strident and less shrill (there are exceptions). All of these things are due in large part to what Steve has managed to achieve, and what his audience has managed to enable.

I am pleased to have corresponded with a good many scientists from various disciplines and gained a lot of insight into the machinations of what becomes a scientific consensus or even a scientific theory (and the two rarely go together).

As an aside, my reply to Edward Wegman’s tangential criticism that science shouldn’t be done on blogs still stands the test of time.

I encouraged Steve McIntyre to begin this blog because I was keenly aware in a way that Steve was not at the time, how powerful instant publishing and rebuttal can be in combatting the asymmetry of the scientific playing field in climate science as I saw it at the end of 2003. That asymmetry still exists, which is why I believe Climate Audit should continue.

During the recent server problems (which were due to a massive increase in traffic from Steve’s work, although it looked like a DDOS attack and the results were the same) I received lots of e-mails from readers of the blog who had never commented on the site but were nevertheless avid readers. So I’d like to say “hail and well met” to those people around the world who read and discuss what Steve has been doing and cheer him on from the sidelines.

But the recent traffic overload and server moves was extremely taxing and I was working extremely long hours until finally I saw that it was doing me no good to continue like this.

As a student of history, especially of scientific history, I feel confident that Steve’s work is creating history and that historians of the future will recognize that fact. I leave at a good time, with Steve’s profile increasing and with the blog on a more solid foundation than I could afford to provide.

But my role on this particular stage of history must end and I leave – stage right


122 Comments

  1. IL
    Posted Aug 17, 2007 at 6:09 AM | Permalink

    As a person who needs his daily fix of Climate Audit and think that (where I differ with Judith Curry) it has achieved a great deal, I just say thank you JohnA for your role in this. I had already chipped into the tip jar to help with the new server but Steve M says that contributions now will go to an honorium for you, so that’s ok by me. I hope that the blog will continue in its impressive and effective way.

  2. fFreddy
    Posted Aug 17, 2007 at 6:14 AM | Permalink

    Salute.

  3. Chris D
    Posted Aug 17, 2007 at 6:24 AM | Permalink

    John, I am deeply grateful for all you’ve done. I hope Steve can find someone who can and will be able to fill your shoes.

  4. Posted Aug 17, 2007 at 6:36 AM | Permalink

    Farewell John, and all the best in your new life.

    You will be well remembered by many here for the sterling effort you have put into ensuring what has grown up to become the most informative climate site on the net has run as smoothly as possible in what must have at times been extremely trying circumstances, and it is a testament to your character that you have stuck with it this long.

    Best wishes to you and your family for the future,
    Carl.

  5. John Lang
    Posted Aug 17, 2007 at 6:36 AM | Permalink

    Thanks for all your efforts for Steve, but the thank you should be more directed to all your efforts for us readers and posters. Great job and sorry to see you go.

  6. jae
    Posted Aug 17, 2007 at 6:37 AM | Permalink

    Besides the technical help, we will greatly miss your insights and wit, John A I wish you the very best and hope you “drop by” once in awhile. THANKS!

  7. L Nettles
    Posted Aug 17, 2007 at 6:37 AM | Permalink

    Thanks for all you have done.

  8. TAC
    Posted Aug 17, 2007 at 6:41 AM | Permalink

    John, thank you for a thousand things, but mostly for providing us with CA over the past 3 years.

    Don’t be a stranger!

    TAC

  9. David Smith
    Posted Aug 17, 2007 at 6:47 AM | Permalink

    John A thanks for all you have done here – you and Steve have had an impact which I hope will nudge climatology to take its initial steps towards joining science. I hope you continue to post.

  10. Jaye
    Posted Aug 17, 2007 at 7:14 AM | Permalink

    php, mySQL, Google and Linux.

    LAMPs skills are in constant demand in the US…so keep looking. LAMP => Linux, Apache, MySQL and Php.

  11. Goz
    Posted Aug 17, 2007 at 7:26 AM | Permalink

    JohnA….May the Force be with you !

    PS Steve, considering NASA`s systems and procedures should be far superior to much of the world, it`s highly likely that the temp data for many countries has similar or worse problems.

    Are you planning on using your ExxonMobil funded supercomputers to analyse the rest of the world’s data ???

  12. JerryB
    Posted Aug 17, 2007 at 7:27 AM | Permalink

    Let me add many thanks, may you speedily find what you
    seek, and may your wife see you more often.

  13. TCO
    Posted Aug 17, 2007 at 7:36 AM | Permalink

    John: Good luck and good work.

    You are wrong about the blog versus publishing. Wegman is right. Too the point that it’s additive to formal publication, it’s fine. But in the many ways that it has been a substitue, it’s bad. If you can only ahve one or the other formal publication beats blogging about 99-1 in terms of advancing science. blogging makes it way too easy to drop into a sort of hack conspiricism. To not be specific. To not have claims well tested. To rely on the frigging wayback machine as an archive, etc. etc. etc.

    [Steve - snip. I get your joke but let's leave it there.

    PS - while some posters view blogs as an alternative to formal publishing, I don't. However, there are some things that you can on a blog, ]

  14. George
    Posted Aug 17, 2007 at 7:43 AM | Permalink

    Thank you for sacrificing your time. I am just a red state “schmoe” out here with a belief that A.G. is not the arbiter of fact. Your efforts bolster my resolve. I have family who are professionals in the field of science and they have swallowed the “warming” agenda whole. It is a challenge to find factual leverage to pry their minds open with. Thanks again for the 10′ bar.

  15. John G. Bell
    Posted Aug 17, 2007 at 7:45 AM | Permalink

    Well I’ve waited so long thinking about what to say that everyone else has said it. Hope to keep hearing from you. You are always interesting and to the point.

  16. Gary
    Posted Aug 17, 2007 at 7:45 AM | Permalink

    JohnA, my thanks as well for your exceptional efforts and contributions. Maybe you can recover some of the financial drain with an article on the nature and effect of blogging. This post is a very good start and you have more insight than the traditional media types who fear it.

  17. Ron Cram
    Posted Aug 17, 2007 at 7:45 AM | Permalink

    John A,

    Thank you so much for your contributions here. I hope someday you write a book or do something to get compensated for all of your time into this project.

  18. MattN
    Posted Aug 17, 2007 at 7:50 AM | Permalink

    Thank you John.

  19. Paul Linsay
    Posted Aug 17, 2007 at 7:54 AM | Permalink

    JohnA,

    Thanks for your efforts and good luck in advancing your career. I hope that you will still participate in the blog and add your comments.

  20. Jan Pompe
    Posted Aug 17, 2007 at 8:00 AM | Permalink

    What can I say John?

    You will be missed I’m sure

    All the best.

    Jan

  21. Posted Aug 17, 2007 at 8:14 AM | Permalink

    JohnA,

    Many thanks for all your efforts.

  22. Posted Aug 17, 2007 at 8:19 AM | Permalink

    Thanks for your work, John A. I didn’t know these things – even if inventing the name of the blog were the only thing, that would already be substantial.

    ExxonMobil may once become free to pay those who have worked for it and the rest of mankind. ;-) But probably not.

  23. HFL
    Posted Aug 17, 2007 at 8:20 AM | Permalink

    JohnA,

    You have been a vital facilitator of what will be remembered as the vehicle that turned climate science back onto the path of credibility and legitimacy.

    Many thanks, and well done!

  24. Demesure
    Posted Aug 17, 2007 at 8:23 AM | Permalink

    John A,
    You can be more than proud of what you have done to help rock the IPCC boat, considering the establishment’s hysteria about climate change in Europe.
    Congratulations and many thanks to you.

  25. Bill Tarver
    Posted Aug 17, 2007 at 8:23 AM | Permalink

    “In that history scientific consensuses, even overwhelming ones, are overthrown with astonishing regularity. That overthrow doesn’t happen overnight and often happens in the teeth of bitter personal opposition”

    Not usually overthrown, more often improved. True overthrows such as Darwin’s theory of evolution and Einstein’s theory of Relativity are rare. The IPCC is an improvement on climatology and if you want to overthrow it, then you’ll need more than statistical analysis, however good. You’ll need your own climate model. Can you provide it?

    Regards

    BT

  26. Posted Aug 17, 2007 at 8:29 AM | Permalink

    John; thank you very, very much for all your effort. I trust that you will find it has paid off in ways you still haven’t discovered.

    PS. On web admin – I have used Linux since 2000, and am now trying to teach myself php / sql. Have no idea where this will lead me, but I also use word press, and it will be nice to be able to toy with the code to tweak the layout of my blog.

  27. Allan Ames
    Posted Aug 17, 2007 at 8:30 AM | Permalink

    John A
    Thank you, and good luck.
    Through focussed criticism CA has changed the way science will be conducted in the future. It is hard to see how it will play out, but enjoy knowing you played a role in it all.

  28. bernie
    Posted Aug 17, 2007 at 8:36 AM | Permalink

    John:
    Ignore the party poopers, they are ungracious and their parents never must have taught them manners. I just added the price of a couple of glasses of “real ale” to the kitty as a sign of gratitude.
    Many thanks for the hard work and the sacrifices. Good luck in your career.

  29. newcomer
    Posted Aug 17, 2007 at 8:38 AM | Permalink

    Kudos. I’ve never commented before but I’d just like to say thanks for your work here and your role in getting Steve doing this. I found Climate Audit a few months ago when I was beginning to suspect AGW might be nonsense and was trying to get to the bottom of all the claims and counterclaims. This site stood out from the confusion by its tone of civility, patience, calm, doggedness and level-headedness. It’s enabled me to see and appreciate the whole glorious joke by following Steve’s steady, step-by-step reduction of bluster to basic truth. The detective analogy is so apt. Just the facts, Ma’am. I can’t tell you how exciting it is now. My infinite gratitude to both of you and best wishes to John for the future.

  30. MrPete
    Posted Aug 17, 2007 at 8:39 AM | Permalink

    Good goin’, JohnA — and maybe someday I can help you accomplish that Silicon Valley dream ;)

  31. Posted Aug 17, 2007 at 8:40 AM | Permalink

    John A.:

    Thanks and good luck. Wishing you health, happiness, success and prosperity.

    Sinan

  32. Francois Ouellette
    Posted Aug 17, 2007 at 8:52 AM | Permalink

    John, three cheers and many thanks for all the work, and the little piece of advice you promptly gave to me when I asked. You should be proud of what you’ve accomplished, and I find it sad that we can’t even know who you are! Best of luck in your future endeavours.

  33. John Lish
    Posted Aug 17, 2007 at 8:53 AM | Permalink

    Sounds an very sensible decision John. I have appreciated your work to keep this blog going. Hope the income picks up. Oh and you really should take your wife out soon, it sounds like she deserves it.

  34. SteveSadlov
    Posted Aug 17, 2007 at 8:55 AM | Permalink

    Ye cannae quit widou a proper $#!!#@! send off!

    Maybe we can do a virtual one, via a special Paypal account to allow us to buy you rounds of your favourite adult beveridge(s) …. :)

  35. Mark T.
    Posted Aug 17, 2007 at 8:58 AM | Permalink

    Good luck JohnA, I hope you continue to watch and post. Perhaps now you can speak a little more freely as you’ll no longer be tied to the blog as the administrator.

    Mark

  36. Posted Aug 17, 2007 at 9:05 AM | Permalink

    John A.,

    Thank you so much.

    I had a vision in 1977 of instant communications between scientists of all disciplines in order to advance science with cross fertilization on an instant basis. I saw this as a scientist to scientist network.

    What has actually come to pass has far exceeded my expectations. Good to have many more eyeballs on various questions. Even untrained ones. The untrained ones force us to come up with the clearest possible explanations. This is good.

    ==

    The answer TCO is a scientific blog archive. The blog format is superior to something like IM. It is also superior to peer review. It avoids the local minima (consensus) trap.

    ==

    BTW if you need a sponsor to come to America (sorry no job) – call on me. I can also help you learn to speak American!

    My very best wishes,

    Simon

  37. Mark T.
    Posted Aug 17, 2007 at 9:11 AM | Permalink

    I disagree that blogs are superior to peer review; they have plusses that peer review does not, but many negatives as well. Of course, the types of peer review I go through with any design would be preferred, but I doubt many scientists would want to stand in front of a room full of even more arrogant bastards than themselves waiting to poke holes in even the most minute detail, several times per design cycle. It would be cost prohibitive to implement such a process, too.

    Mark

  38. Jeff Norman
    Posted Aug 17, 2007 at 9:13 AM | Permalink

    JohnA,

    I will join all the others in thanking you for the contributions you have made here. I sincerely hope that you are correct in your assertion that the fledgling can fly on his own.

    Does this mean you’ll have more time to visit at debunkers? (^;°)

    Jeff

  39. Aileni Noyle
    Posted Aug 17, 2007 at 9:14 AM | Permalink

    John A – all the very best. And thanks for keeping me up to date – surprised you had the time.
    Catch up on your sleep.
    Aileni.

  40. Bob Meyer
    Posted Aug 17, 2007 at 9:15 AM | Permalink

    John A:

    Thanks for all that you did to keep things functional and for prodding Steve to work on climate issues not html.

    You might have little now beyond our gratitude but someday you’ll be able to tell your grandchildren “Yes, Jimmy, your grandpa was not just there during the Great Climate Debates, he actually helped the legendary Steve McIntyre”.

    Well, maybe it won’t be quite that good but you will have some terrific stories to tell.

    Best of luck to you.

  41. Posted Aug 17, 2007 at 9:21 AM | Permalink

    Mark T.,

    I’m an engineer as well (aerospace), so I get your point.

    However, that nitpickynesss is just what blogs (to a certain extent) provide.

    BTW I LOVE design reviews. Either receiving or sniping.

    I’m doing an open source fusion reactor:

    http://iecfusiontech.blogspot.com/

    If you go into the archives here:

    http://tech.groups.yahoo.com/group/IEC_Fusion/

    you can follow a review of the design.

    Open source all the way (for most things).

    In fact I think you made the point for blogs – low cost design review. Multi-disciplinary.

  42. paminator
    Posted Aug 17, 2007 at 9:23 AM | Permalink

    John A.- Thanks for all of your time, expertise and blog comments. This continues to be one of the most interesting blog sites on climate. I’ve dropped you a few quid in the paypal account for beverages, or maybe an evening out with the wife. I hope to read many more comments from you here and elsewhere.

  43. Anderson
    Posted Aug 17, 2007 at 9:26 AM | Permalink

    Thank you so much for your efforts, John. I know first hand the surprisingly level of effort required to run a well read blog. Good luck to you!

  44. Posted Aug 17, 2007 at 9:28 AM | Permalink

    Thanks John A, and good luck!

  45. Kenneth Fritsch
    Posted Aug 17, 2007 at 9:31 AM | Permalink

    John A, I most appreciate your efforts with CA and particularly so as one who has judged that blogging is a very useful learning tool that at the same time can provide some entertainment value and insights into the personalities in these scientific debates. You, unlike myself and other “talkers” like myself, have been able to directly contribute to demonstrating the positive attributes of blogging. Those contributions deserve my admiration and respect.

    Thanks again and please stay tuned.

  46. CAS
    Posted Aug 17, 2007 at 9:32 AM | Permalink

    “Well done, good and faithfull servant.”

  47. Mark T.
    Posted Aug 17, 2007 at 9:34 AM | Permalink

    Gotcha… yes, the blogosphere has many advantages, which I think is the point both John A and Steve M have made. In particular, otherwise censored views are, in a sense, “publishable”. The low-cost design review concept is a perfect extension of that.

    Even with design reviews, flaws make it through, though generally only minor details (connectors in board designs are routed incorrectly so many times I begin to look for wireless alternatives… hehe). Humility is a hard learned lesson after the first few design reviews an engineer steps into, in my opinion.

    An AE doing fusion? Cool. I do radar and comm design (signal processing engineer).

    Mark

  48. Posted Aug 17, 2007 at 9:46 AM | Permalink

    Bravo. Excellent note to go out on. Shows a lot of style. Good luck in the future John.

  49. Lawrence Hickey
    Posted Aug 17, 2007 at 9:51 AM | Permalink

    Your personal sacrifice is appreciated for the fans of this site. Good luck. I hope you will post from time to time. We have come a long way together. Thanks again.

  50. Hoi Polloi
    Posted Aug 17, 2007 at 10:03 AM | Permalink

    Partir, c’est mourir un peu…

    Thanks and Good Luck!

  51. Mark T.
    Posted Aug 17, 2007 at 10:11 AM | Permalink

    Last time I hear anything, he’s losing a fortune on this. Au contraire.

    Mark

  52. Roger Dueck
    Posted Aug 17, 2007 at 10:19 AM | Permalink

    Best wishes, John!

  53. Bob Meyer
    Posted Aug 17, 2007 at 10:25 AM | Permalink

    Mark T said:

    “BTW I LOVE design reviews. Either receiving or sniping.”

    Yup, there’s nothing like the smell of hostility in the morning. As another aerospace engineer myself I would love to watch Hansen in front of say, thirty climatologists who are being paid to find problems with his ideas. It’s so much fun to face people who are being paid to take you apart piece by piece.

    Burt Rutan, the designer of many great aircraft and one amazing spacecraft, has a motto with regard to design that goes something like this: Always criticize, never defend. He means that you should always be looking for a better way to do things and not spending your time on defending your existing design. He credits this philosophy for the safety record of his aircraft.

  54. Bill F
    Posted Aug 17, 2007 at 10:35 AM | Permalink

    Thanks John A!!! Hopefully you will have more time to post on your own Auditblog now.

  55. Paul M
    Posted Aug 17, 2007 at 10:49 AM | Permalink

    John

    I’ll make a donation but have a problem with the Paypal account that I’ll try and sort over the weekend.

    As your based in the UK, if it’s convenient, I’d be happy to buy you lunch in London. Can’t promise any paid work but can buy you a pint.

    You can contact me at my home e-mail.

    Regards and thanks for your vital support to CA.

    Regards

    Paul

  56. pochas
    Posted Aug 17, 2007 at 10:49 AM | Permalink

    John,

    You should not make this decision while under pressure from the server moves. Now that you have a better setup, things will get better.

    You should reconsider.

  57. John Goetz
    Posted Aug 17, 2007 at 10:49 AM | Permalink

    John A. – having administered a couple websites of my own for some small organizations (read that as very low activity), I can sympathize with what you must have had to deal with of late. Thanks for keeping this forum alive and moving forward.

    Wegman is wrong. Blogging is yet another tool in a scientist’s arsenal. It does not replace research, formal publication, or peer review. It augments it. Where else can you bring ideas and opinions from so many diverse backgrounds to bear on a problem so quickly? No scientist can rightfully claim to know it all, and a good scientist is always trying to learn more. After all, it was Einstein who observed The more I learn, the more I realize I don’t know.

  58. Steve McIntyre
    Posted Aug 17, 2007 at 10:54 AM | Permalink

    #57. John A did not make this decision during the server problems. It was a decision made a couple of weeks before any problems.

  59. Mark T.
    Posted Aug 17, 2007 at 11:12 AM | Permalink

    Wegman is wrong. Blogging is yet another tool in a scientist’s arsenal. It does not replace research, formal publication, or peer review. It augments it.

    I agree.

    Mark

  60. TJ
    Posted Aug 17, 2007 at 12:10 PM | Permalink

    Thanks for all of your hard work keeping climateaudit going, John. Good luck going forward!

  61. Wm. L. Hyde
    Posted Aug 17, 2007 at 12:20 PM | Permalink

    John A. Thank you for everything you’ve done for us. Please come back frequently and post here. I love your incisive wit! TCO, STIFLE!!
    Cheers…..theoldhogger

  62. Mark T.
    Posted Aug 17, 2007 at 12:27 PM | Permalink

    Who is taking over for John, might I ask?

    Mark

  63. kim
    Posted Aug 17, 2007 at 12:44 PM | Permalink

    Thank you, and may God bless. Now, now, Steve, can’t be deleting Red Skelton.
    =============================================

  64. softwareNerd
    Posted Aug 17, 2007 at 1:16 PM | Permalink

    All the best JohnA.

  65. PHE
    Posted Aug 17, 2007 at 1:17 PM | Permalink

    My impression is that this blog is a major component to the success in spreading Steve’s ideas, and in demonstrating that the debate on man-made climate change is alive and well.

    I can recommend a good blog manager – though no scientist: Phil Gyford at http://www.gyford.com/phil/work/

    His greatest success is http://www.pepysdiary.com. This is a day-to-day report of Samuel Pepys’s diaries – one of the most fascinating characters in English history. At the height of the Little Ice Age, he wrote on 21 Jan 1661:

    “It is strange what weather we have had all this winter; no cold at all; but the ways are dusty, and the flyes fly up and down, and the rose-bushes are full of leaves, such a time of the year as was never known in this world before here.”

    This sounds very similar to the exceptionally mild last winter experienced in Europe – widely hailed as yet more evidence of incessant warming.

  66. John A
    Posted Aug 17, 2007 at 1:31 PM | Permalink

    For what its worth, thanks to all of you for some very kind comments (and TCO…whatever)

    I don’t believe that blogs are superior to peer reviewed quality papers. I wrote to Wegman that this blog addressed the problems of information asymmetry and the clear undermining of the supposed independence of peer review that had been engineered by the Hockey Team (and still continues) that Wegman’s team had identified. Without real independence, peer review is not simply bad, but dangerous in its deceit. There needs to be pushback to these people to start producing data, code and methodology before peer review is even considered.

    I would encourage Steve to at least write some short articles for statistical journals (ie somewhere Mann would never go because he’d be laughed at as a complete amateur). I think more statisticians taking a look at the mess might help crystallize the points that Steve has been making for three years or more.

  67. mjrod
    Posted Aug 17, 2007 at 1:39 PM | Permalink

    JohnA,

    I know what you’re going through, buddy. I am an IT Consultant myself, and I know of the challenges you speak. You did good work and it’s very much appreciated. Best of luck in your endeavors in the future, and I hope to read more from you on here.

  68. TonyN
    Posted Aug 17, 2007 at 1:57 PM | Permalink

    Just a very big and sincere thank you JohnA.

    I’m sure that the foundations that you have helped to lay will withstand any ‘extreme weather events’ that may follow your departure and this is the true test of a creative administrator. You and SteveM have set a tone that has brought maturity and authority to the blogoshere and your achievements alone prove Wegman wrong. The dramatic events of recent days ram the point home.

    It is the blog that matters, not the server. What a pity that until they work reliably someone has to suffer like hell in the back room to make the whole thing possible. I look forward to reading many more comments from you in the future.

  69. Anna Lang
    Posted Aug 17, 2007 at 2:11 PM | Permalink

    Thanks for all your work, John. It’s very much appreciated. Best wishes. My tip is in the jar!!

    Anna

  70. Jim Edwards
    Posted Aug 17, 2007 at 2:29 PM | Permalink

    John A:

    Congratulations for your work.

    Any chance you can convince Gavin, Raypierre, et Al over at RC to follow your lead ?

  71. Posted Aug 17, 2007 at 2:40 PM | Permalink

    Thanks John A.
    I tested the tip jar from Finland and it seems to work.
    I hope that people from all over the globe should use it :)
    to show how much this site is appreciated.
    /Lasse

  72. Mack
    Posted Aug 17, 2007 at 2:49 PM | Permalink

    John, I hope readers pay close attention to your insightful history commentary. A retiring professor of mine similarly once told me: “Scientists seldom change the way they think–it’s the generations that change.” The media and general public can be excused for failing to realize that scientists are not impartial observers of nature, but this point seems to escape many in the sciences as well. Even those of us in the white coat priesthood are prone to being swept up by dogma.

    Thanks for the hard work!

  73. Johan i Kanada
    Posted Aug 17, 2007 at 3:08 PM | Permalink

    John, great work and great comments. Stay in touch (i.e. keep posting). Thanks.

  74. Posted Aug 17, 2007 at 3:14 PM | Permalink

    If I were a millionair, I’d offer to pay you a salary for what you’ve done … butI’m not. Good luck, and thanks for all that you’ve done.

  75. Posted Aug 17, 2007 at 3:38 PM | Permalink

    The world has good reason to be grateful to John A, and to everyone at Climate Audit, for their first-class contribution to discovering and circulating the truth. There is no higher cause in the service of science. Thanks to the invaluable work of the Climate Audit team, anti-alarmism will soon be the consensus, and the world will once again be able to address problems more real, more immediate, and more serious than anthropogenic “global warming”. – Monckton of Brenchley

  76. Posted Aug 17, 2007 at 4:06 PM | Permalink

    Thank you and I’m glad in your exit you were not “pursued by a bear“!

  77. Mark T.
    Posted Aug 17, 2007 at 4:34 PM | Permalink

    Any chance you can convince Gavin, Raypierre, et Al over at RC to follow your lead ?

    Funniest thing I read all day.

    Mark

  78. John Norris
    Posted Aug 17, 2007 at 4:39 PM | Permalink

    Thanks John A for your service towards our better understanding of climate.

  79. Steve Moore
    Posted Aug 17, 2007 at 4:40 PM | Permalink

    John A.

    Please take the $50 USD I just put in the Tip Jar and put it toward a fifth of Bunnahabhain. Your palate will love you.

    Thanks for all your work.

  80. StuartR
    Posted Aug 17, 2007 at 4:57 PM | Permalink

    Best wishes to John A, I agree that this blog has helped correcting some of the “asymmetry of the scientific playing field in climate science”.

    Maybe the blogosphere wouldn’t be able to do this in any other scientific discipline, but Climate Science seems to have painted itself into this very vulnerable corner.

  81. DocMartyn
    Posted Aug 17, 2007 at 5:01 PM | Permalink

    Round of applause from me. Best wishes, and you should put your years of service on your c.v.

  82. TreborP
    Posted Aug 17, 2007 at 5:09 PM | Permalink

    Your distinguished service has not gone unnoticed. Finally, some sanity emerges.

  83. Posted Aug 17, 2007 at 5:22 PM | Permalink

    Congratulations on a job well done, John.

    Best of luck in your future endeavours and please pass on our regards to your wife for the patience and support she provided.

  84. Posted Aug 17, 2007 at 5:23 PM | Permalink

    It is said “All that is necessary for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing..”

    John and Steve are two very very good men and they have done much.

    John, we all owe you a lot for your efforts.

    Thanks and best wishes.

    Bryan Leyland, Auckland, New Zealand

  85. Larry Sheldon
    Posted Aug 17, 2007 at 5:31 PM | Permalink

    I happened along too late (recently) to fully appreciate the magnitude of you work, John.

    But I’m working one it.

    Thanks.

    (I’ve got my credit card, I’ll figure out how to use it here after dinner.)

  86. Larry
    Posted Aug 17, 2007 at 5:43 PM | Permalink

    67, the situation is analogous to blogs catching the media in false report after biased report after fabricated report. Any institution invites an audit by amateur bloggers when they as an institution fail to deliver quality information. In other words, it becomes the blogosphere’s business when there’s enough evidence of institutional failure that an amateur can take available information and demonstrate that the “professionals” failed. In that sense, what Steve has been doing is identical to the way Charles Johnson made a monkey out of Dan Rather.

    If you don’t want to be ankle-bit by the blogosphere, don’t screw up. Pretty simple.

  87. Paul Penrose
    Posted Aug 17, 2007 at 7:08 PM | Permalink

    Thanks John. If you ever get to my neck of the woods, look me up so I can thank you properly.

  88. togger63
    Posted Aug 17, 2007 at 8:26 PM | Permalink

    John: Long time lurker and first time poster. I wanted to add my thanks to the chorus of well deserved huzzahs. Best of luck with your future endevors.

  89. mccall
    Posted Aug 17, 2007 at 9:57 PM | Permalink

    My praise as well — key contributions on the way to building “building a fighting force of extraordinary magnitude!” Hey JohnA — you too have got to appreciate the fortunate sequencing of the BBC interviews, i.e. the report following Mr McIntyre’s. The underdogs sure had a great day on the BBC…

  90. Posted Aug 17, 2007 at 10:01 PM | Permalink

    #54 Bob Meyer,

    Yup, there’s nothing like the smell of hostility in the morning.

    Cracked me up. The rest was quite good too.

    Engineers really do belong to a different culture. A blog friend chided me for criticizing him in public. Once I explained it was engineering culture and I wouldn’t do it again he was mollified.

    ==

    In 1978 my mate and I printed T-shirts with an R2 unit in the center and “Support The Revolution, Buy A Computer” around it.

    John A. and the rest of the gang here have done some really excellent work supporting the revolution. Outstanding, lads.

  91. Mark T
    Posted Aug 18, 2007 at 1:27 AM | Permalink

    Mark T said:

    “BTW I LOVE design reviews. Either receiving or sniping.”

    Actually, I did not say that, I merely quoted M. Simon.

    Yup, there’s nothing like the smell of hostility in the morning. As another aerospace engineer myself I would love to watch Hansen in front of say, thirty climatologists who are being paid to find problems with his ideas. It’s so much fun to face people who are being paid to take you apart piece by piece.

    As I said, humility is a hard learned lesson the first few times you have to do this. There’s a few around here that could use a dose or two as well.

    Mark

  92. Brooks Hurd
    Posted Aug 18, 2007 at 1:58 AM | Permalink

    John A,

    Thanks for all the work you have done to keep this blog running and growing over the past three years. We all appreaciate what you have done.

  93. KevinUK
    Posted Aug 18, 2007 at 4:41 AM | Permalink

    John A,

    I’ve several times asked you, if you agreed with me on a number of issues and you’ve wisely declined to reply. I now find that you an avid researcher of the history of science just as I am. Now I know where are common opinions come from. Anyone who studies history knows that you must learn from it, otherwise it all too often repeats itself. Maybe more climatologists should study the history of science as we have both done and then maybe perhaps they would be less dismissive of the valuable contibutions to be made by outsiders like yourself, Steve M, Willis etc.

    You’ve done a fantastic job John A and it makes me proud to know that you are a fellow Brit. Despite the ‘climate of fear’, I think you should be more than proud to announce your contribution to science on your CV, provided of course you aren’t planning on moving to Exeter.

    Hopefully you’ll keep posting here on CA and make the occasionally visit to Numberwatch. Sadly you failed to convince your namesake to abandon his ‘clowns’, but hey you can’t win everytime but most importantly you did win the one that matters and persuaded Steve M to blog. The rest is history as they say which thus far has included congressional testimony, the re-modelling of the shape of hockey-sticks (so they no longer have blades) etc. All in all something to be very proud of indeed!

    The very best of luck in all your future exploits

  94. Geoff Sherrington
    Posted Aug 18, 2007 at 5:55 AM | Permalink

    John A, Do not believe those who would devalue your work or the importance of blogs.

    I participated in the pro-nuclear debate for 30 years. If we had a CA equivalent then, we would be burning a lot more uranium and a lot less fossil fuel now and the skies would have less CO2 – maybe. One throw-away line by an anti- can take months of work to reverse by formal ways. With a blog, if you post a throw-away line you’d better be right or you’ll get bit.

    Bon voyage Geoff from Australia.

  95. Farrell Keough
    Posted Aug 18, 2007 at 7:42 AM | Permalink

    John A,

    I have only recently met you via email. I find you thoughtful and insightful. I believe our “politics” would clash – but it would be a conversation I would thoroughly enjoy and learn an enormous amount!

    Thank you for your outstanding work! If ExxonMobile will not pay, maybe the bombastic radio host will pony up! Just kidding, my friend!

    This site is outstanding and thoroughly helpful to we interested parties on the side-lines. While the science geeks may understand everything written here, we proud knuckleheads who only grasp snippets are so thankful to have a site that not only debates, but informs!

    Thank you for your work, your thorough reasoning, and your ability to articulate! If I can help with your desire to reach America, please let me know. We are a rather un-mannerly lot, but most of us are pretty nice folk.

  96. John
    Posted Aug 18, 2007 at 9:35 AM | Permalink

    John,

    thank you for your dedication to this blog. I hope that the blog will continue with the high standards you have set.
    You will be missed
    John

  97. rhodeymark
    Posted Aug 18, 2007 at 10:05 AM | Permalink

    My sincerest gratitude as well. I appreciated your straightforward manner and excellent manure detector. I hope you will still appear from time to time in the comments, as surely the subject at hand has gotten exponentially more interesting, no? FWIW – my wife has dragged me away from just browsing CA, so I can only imagine what poor Mrs. A must have felt. ;^)

  98. John A
    Posted Aug 18, 2007 at 3:20 PM | Permalink

    My wife is more than a little relieved. I’m not sure how I feel, except I think its the right decision.

  99. Ian McLeod
    Posted Aug 19, 2007 at 11:11 AM | Permalink

    John A

    I have posted some niceties regarding your retirement in other threads so I will not bother getting misty here. Bloody good show all the same. Peer review is a subject that was briefly discussed above, and I thought I might offer my two cents for what’s it worth with respect to blogging.

    I consider both you and Steve true innovators and part of the “New Alexandrians” in the field of blogging because CA is one blog that has certainly brought legitimacy to the sport. When people take notice and individuals and organizations (like the IPCC, GISS, NOAA, and NASA) are forced to respond, main stream media begin reporting what’s being said on a blog, that is true legitimacy. Bravo! Moreover, with increasing traffic and increasing expectations from fellow bloggers, it is no wonder you found yourself in the innovator’s dilemma (not much time for home life).

    Because of the MBH debacle and the realization that peer-review is not what we assumed it was. Anyone who has read the Wegman report can attest to that. I can now envisage a way for peer review to be much more responsive than merely handing off ones technical paper (al la in press) to friends of like mind who are cheerleaders rather than auditors.

    Now to my central point. Peer-review needs a fundamental change and I can see how blogging my help make the necessary changes possible. The major technical journals such Nature, Science, and Geophysical Research Letters, to name three should begin using the advantages of the internet: openness, peering, sharing, and acting globally. What is required is the utility of an application programming interface like Amazon. Since Amazon opened its source code and database, it would be easy to piggyback its technology for use as a peer review tool.

    Imaging you are a climatologist of some type: solar, atmospheric, dendrochronologist, ice cores specialist, computer modeler, what have you. You receive an email, as Amazon does now, to inform you of a new book available on the market in a genre you have purchased before. Instead of a book, it is a new journal paper complete with reviews from other experts all over the world. Of course, you can write a review yourself and suggest things like the methodology is not detailed enough, where is your data and may I have a look at it, why did you plot that against that, why not this against this, and so forth. Then you can quickly bring this information to others in the blogosphere and make the rest of the world aware of it.

    The writing of reviews is not limited to experts only, but everyone. This process exploits truth of wisdom of crowds with a vast array of diverse opinion and enhances collaborative science in action. It no longer matters what a small throng of scientists’ think of your work, the world can now comment on it. Scientists’ can quickly judge if your work is of value and so can the rest of the world.

    This fundamentally changes the thought process of the writer, no more pulling the wool over the eyes of taxpayers without first a thorough audit. If the world now has the opportunity to comment on the paper, many researchers will be forced to write up their research based on facts, not hunches. I suspect those whom are not part of the net-generation will baulk at this advance, but it will in time move in this direction as we all embrace openness, peering, sharing, and acting globally. If you were preparing to publish, imagine one million TCO’s nick picking every detail of your paper. Your paper will likely have to be rewritten several times before it is finally accepted by Nature, Science, GRL, and so forth.

    A quote from Don Tapscott’s WIKINOMICS where most of these ides stem from (pg 180): “Science and commerce depend upon the ability to observe, learn from, and test the work of others. Without effective access to data, materials, and publications, the scientific enterprise becomes impossible. Recent studies show a disturbing trend: Increasing secrecy, pressures to patent, cumbersome technology-transfer agreements, and complex licensing structures are making it hard for scientists to share research data. In a recent survey by the American Association for the Advancement of Science, 35 percent of academic researchers reported difficulties that had affected their research because they were denied access to data [Steve can attest to this], while 76 percent of scientists working in industry reported similar problems”

    We all have a stake in this. I am interested in your thoughts.

    Ian

  100. BarryW
    Posted Aug 19, 2007 at 11:58 AM | Permalink

    RE #101

    This is an interesting concept. One of the argued strengths of Linux is that it is robust beccause it is open source and everyone can look at it and try to break it. The feedback makes the product stronger. A similar open source approach to research I would think would provide a similar effect. Democritizing science and breaking the stranglehold the expert culture has on some fields could do a lot to advance science and engineering.

    Working for a company where formal reports had to be peer reviewed, I found them a very weak method of determining the quality of a document’s content. If a reviewer was not well versed in the particular problem they could offer only obvious criticisms. If they were close to the field or the author they probably had the same viewpoint as the author negating any objectivity.

  101. John A
    Posted Aug 19, 2007 at 1:03 PM | Permalink

    The problem is not that most science is not open source – it is – the fact is that there is an obsessive culture of secrecy which is condemning good research along with bad. Although most of the journals and the major funding agencies have policies saying that data, code and methodology should be made available, almost none of them are enforcing those policies. The culture of secrecy simply breeds distrust and encourages poor science to hide behind the cloak of respectability that the words “peer-reviewed science” appear to convey.

    The same will happen to Linux unless there are people willing to prosecute those who fail to satisfy the GFDL.

    The problem of scientific research is the same as IPOs and stock offerings on the stock market – when there are two many of them, the quality suffers. Trivial points which could be dealt with in a paragraph are now puffed up into major scientific treatises – I know because I’ve read them. When scientists are measured on numbers of articles published then article inflation happens.

    Also in science, there is no culture of audit unless that audit is enforced (as in the pharmaceutical industry). It seems crazy to me that with policy decisions costing billions of dollars, there appears to be no funds available to check key studies, nor any appetite to do the audit.

    In order for things to change there needs to be a series of high profile scandals, as there was in the stock markets after Enron and Worldcom, before scientists themselves start calling out for audit and probity. At the moment, very few appear to want to rock the boat.

    That’s my view on it. That’s all.

  102. Posted Aug 19, 2007 at 2:23 PM | Permalink

    John,

    I believe that the current sitution in science, particularly the soft sciences, is directly due to the primacy of government funding of science. Corporations, wealthy patrons, etc. are no more inherently evil than governments. If anything, governments will be more likely to be inherenly evil precisely because governments have more power than any other set of humans.

  103. Posted Aug 19, 2007 at 2:24 PM | Permalink

    Yikes, missed the preview function. Read situation for sitution.

  104. John A
    Posted Aug 19, 2007 at 3:16 PM | Permalink

    Charles,

    Let’s leave the politics off the blog. The question is not who supplies the funding but the conduct of science and the replicability of results.

  105. hans kelp
    Posted Aug 19, 2007 at 3:28 PM | Permalink

    HEY JOHN A.

    On another site I just happened to see that Ron Cram wrote this:
    “President Bush just signed the America COMPETES Act requiring government researchers to provide data, method and code to the public. It is disappointing that Congress had to pass a law to tell scientists to do the right thing.”
    Further, Steve McIntyre told a journalist(Carpenter) that ClimatAudit had one and a half million hits every month now. What an impressive success!
    Before you leave, I sincerely hope that you realise the importance of all this and that you have been a very important part for all of this to happen. I feel sorry for your wife , she must have “missed” you, but I can´t help but think that she also must be very, very proud of you.I think you deserve it.

    All the best.

    Hans Kelp

  106. John Baltutis
    Posted Aug 19, 2007 at 4:09 PM | Permalink

    JohnA

    Congratulations on a job well-done!!! I concur with all previous plaudits, so I won’t repeat them. Please do continue to contribute.

  107. John A
    Posted Aug 19, 2007 at 4:11 PM | Permalink

    According to that Act the only section I can see that deals with the issues of data availability are sections 7010 and 7011:

    The conferees intend for the NSF toi provide to the public a readily accessible summary of the outcomes of NSF-sponsored research projects. In addition to citations to journal publications, the conferess intend for NSF to make available research project summaries, not including any proprietary or otherwise sensitive information.

    That would appear to leave enormous wiggle room for the NSF to collude with Mannian style non-disclosure, the same as before.

    Section 7011 “Sharing Research Results” continues with a wet fish to the face:

    The House bill made provision making investigators who fail to comply with existing NSF policy on sharing of research results ineligable for future NSF awards until they come into compliance.

    But since NSF don’t enforce the rules that they already have on availability of data, then who is going to compel compliance? The NSF?

  108. BarryW
    Posted Aug 19, 2007 at 5:55 PM | Permalink

    Re #103

    So far Linux has been able to keep to the ideal. Whether it can in the future is an open issue. There are many forces arrayed against it.

    The most important thing this site has shown me is that the peer review process alone doesn’t function the way the scientific community claims it does. Peer reviewed articles are equivalent to looking at a companies annual report, most are valid some are suspect. Unless the community provides some independent audit process (note I said independent, remember Enron and Worldcom in the business world), we will reach a point where the public no longer trusts scientists at all.

  109. Larry
    Posted Aug 19, 2007 at 7:31 PM | Permalink

    103, I came to the same conclusion over at Lubos’ blog. The open-source concept is appropriate to any enterprise (not just science) that implies expenditure of public funds. Another idea in this vein is the open-source voting project:

    http://www.openvotingconsortium.org/

    Let me be very clear about one thing: I do not believe that there’s a Diebold conspiracy. I don’t believe that any elections were stolen by electronic means, and I don’t believe that Gore won in 2000 (shudder). That isn’t the point. The point is that these things need to be open and auditable to maintain public confidence.

    Ditto for all of this climate data. If Hansen and Schmidt and the rest of the NASA/RC bunch have nothing to hide, I would expect them to embrace this, as it will do nothing but validate them. Yes, I know…

  110. Ian McLeod
    Posted Aug 19, 2007 at 8:49 PM | Permalink

    John A, Re: #103

    The issue with article inflation and trivialities can be vetted by way of massive review before publication. If each potential article is first reviewed by the wiki world, this can ferret out good from bad and at worst eliminate the problem of herd mentality by diversity of opinion. If, for instance, there were a scorecard like that of the Environmental Defense Fund, and if a particular article did not reach some predetermined level (score), the professional journals do not publish—they have their reputation to defend as well. The onus to peer review is given instead to the wiki commons. The competition between journals to publish only high quality papers will force scientists’ to do much more due diligence before submitting. Being published in Nature will again have the prestige it once had.

    FYI: WIKINOMICS (pg. 202). “Scorecard combines data from over four hundred different scientific and governmental databases to profile local environmental problems and the health effects of toxic chemicals, making it one of the most advanced sites on the Web in terms of informatics.”

    Stated somewhat differently, if a scorecard or rating system was developed for the explicit culture of scientific peer review, the result acts like a Beacon Score used by banks in the credit rating game. If your article does not reach a specific Beacon score after being reviewed by wikis, the banks—do not lend you money, the journals—do not publish your paper.

    As The Wegman report showed, in its “Social Network Analysis” the coupled arrangement of co-authored relationships can result when a lack of diversity is employed auditing papers. By first using wikis as the auditing process, coupled co-authored favoritism cannot take place, and the paper is now earmarked with a value determined by peers (everyone). I wonder how the TEAM would do in an environment like that. They would not get away with publishing a graph that was not audited first.

    Now, how to begin this process? Any thoughts?

    Ian

  111. Al
    Posted Aug 20, 2007 at 12:17 AM | Permalink

    I liked the idea Ian.

    If you wanted to start with a field as a ‘test case’, I’d pick astrophysics.

    That entire field is already substantially better off (IMNSHO) than my area, physical chemistry. All the articles are available (start to finish, with appendices) online for free. And all the flipping footnotes are live links. Well, I don’t know about ‘all’, of course, but I was, frankly, stunned. I was wandering off course in one of my studies of a completely different phenomena, and the whole situation felt like Nirvanna compared to what I’d been wading through papers on the real area of research.

    I don’t know any of the publishing details in that area, but in physical chemistry things aren’t anywhere near the same. If you’re a member of the American Chemical Society, or subscribe to a specific journal, then you probably have online access. To a PDF. The barrier isn’t exorbitant ($100), but the simple fact that there is one means that the whole business with ‘live linked footnotes’ don’t work with nearly the same facility. ‘Oh, sorry, that’s a _physics_ journal…’

    In fact, I think that’s the root of the entirely different culture. There’s simply zero money in astrophysics. So the value of a walled garden containing piles of astrophysical papers isn’t as interesting. (And Chem Abstracts has been around a hell of a long time cementing their position.)

  112. welikerocks
    Posted Aug 20, 2007 at 5:33 AM | Permalink

    JohnA, you rock!

    When we are old and grey (well at least when we are truly old and fully grey); we will be sitting on our icebergs; talking about the good old days; we will remember fondly our time spent here on climateaudit! Thanks so much and good luck in all you do in the future JohnA! ;-)

    [snip]

  113. Chris[topher] Chittleborough
    Posted Aug 20, 2007 at 5:44 AM | Permalink

    Thanks, John A, for your strategic contributions to the debate on an important topic. Best wishes for your future endeavours.
    [snip]

  114. Tom C2
    Posted Aug 20, 2007 at 9:51 AM | Permalink

    John A

    Thanks for your time and dedication. [snip]

  115. Peter Hearnden
    Posted Aug 21, 2007 at 3:32 AM | Permalink

    #117, surely not…

    I would have thought John A can live with one post, in a thread with more than one hundred replies, not unctuously complimentary?

    That said, I DO wish him well for the future. I don’t agree with him on anything I can think of – but I can put that aside to wish him well.

  116. MarkR
    Posted Aug 21, 2007 at 3:59 AM | Permalink

    To JohnA

    Much appreciation for your contribution, best wishes for the future, and good luck with your Blog.

  117. Willis Eschenbach
    Posted Aug 21, 2007 at 4:36 AM | Permalink

    John H., on my computer, the snips show up like this:

    [snip]

    How have you set your computer to receive the snipped sections so that you can comment on them?

    w.

  118. Hans Kelp
    Posted Aug 21, 2007 at 5:33 AM | Permalink

    Re# 118

    It´s nice to see some room for a little positivity towards others from your side Peter!

    H.K.

  119. Kay Chua
    Posted Aug 22, 2007 at 11:41 AM | Permalink

    John A

    Thank YOU!

  120. Posted Aug 27, 2007 at 9:32 PM | Permalink

    John A, many thanks for all your hard work. Thanks too to your understanding wife.

    Your technical skill and Steve’s patient and entertaining posts put wind in my sails!

  121. Posted Aug 28, 2007 at 1:48 PM | Permalink

    All the billions? being spent on research and nary a nickle comes to this site that is a shame.

  122. John A
    Posted Sep 5, 2007 at 2:48 PM | Permalink

    We interrupt this thread for a special announcement:

    Thank you very much to the 86 individual contributors who put their hands in the wallets to give me a little retirement gift. I thought that letting go of the blog would be difficult and it was at first, but I know it was the right decision to step away and let Steve carry the can/shoulder the blame/screw it up/delete as applicable.

    For those interested, I’m currently working on an assignment (and commuting by bus), so my days are pretty fulfilled with actual paid work. My wife and my bank manager are both grateful. My first purchase will be a new pair of stout shoes to go to work in. We’re expecting out second child in February so every penny counts.

    On the blog stats, the number of hits per day has roughly doubled since I’ve left, although I refuse to accept that my going would be such a popular move.

    In BBC-land, the latest guilt-fest has been cancelled and the disappointment is palpable. As you can see from the last paragraph, its blogs like this one that are to blame rather than because they’re poor ideas in the first place. Someone should send Richard Black a sympathy card or something because he’s clearly hurtin’

    Best regards

    John A

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