Most of you are aware of the voting right now for the 2008 Weblog Awards. Anthony is winning handily; Climate Audit is also doing well, running a strong third. (2008 Logo on right leads to vote.) Anthony is a friend of mine and I’m very pleased on his behalf, though, truth be told, I’d be just as happy if Climate Audit won again. (Hey, I’m a squash player and, if a ball is thrown up, I like to compete.) So I appreciate the votes for Climate Audit; but, if you’re a reader here and have voted for Anthony, that’s OK. Hey, if you’re a reader here and voted for realclimate or one of the other blogs, that’s OK too.
I’ve voted in a few other categories for blogs that have spoken kindly of Climate Audit in the past: Luboš (Reference Frame) in Best European Blog; Jennifer Marohasy in Best Online Community and Kate (Small Dead Animals) in Best Conservative Blog. Luboš is winning easily; Jennifer has an uphill fight while Kate is in a pretty close battle. Occasionally speaking kindly of Climate Audit is not necessarily the most meaningful metric of the quality of these blogs relative to their competition, other than perhaps indicating discernment on their part.
When voting started, the antagonism towards Anthony and me at realclimate, climateprogress and pharyngula was palpable.
RC started their post on the Weblog Awards by observing:
Science … is not generally marked by … the persistent cherry-picking of datasets to bolster pre-existing opinions.
This is a view that I definitely share, but it seems odd coming from the Bristlecone Masters. They went on to say that:
[science is ] not generally marked by … accusations of bad faith, fraud and conspiracy..
These are views that I share and policies at this blog prohibit such accusations. I ask readers not to use such language and, for the most part, this has resulted in more moderate language here than in many online blogs. I moderate after the fact and am not online 24/7 and delete or snip such comments. I’m gratified when this effort at ensuring civility in expression is recognized, as it was by a recent commenter at Tom Yulsman who said:
Any fair reading of McIntyre’s website gives the overwhelming impression of someone who bends over backward not to engage in ad hominem attacks, to the point of cutting off commenters to his blog who move in that direction.
Quite so. I’ve drawn a firmer line on this as time has passed. I appreciate it when people draw my attention to comments that breach blog policies so that I can deal with it.
I often wonder whether there are any mirrors in Team-World. As RC says, science is not generally marked by “accusations of bad faith, fraud and conspiracy”. Yet it was a realclimate coauthor who made the following accusation here:
This claim by MM is just another in a series of disingenuous (off the record: plainly dishonest) allegations by them about our work.
Or Michael Tobis at Tamino here (in one of countless quotes from Tamino’s site):
There is a strong case that the game McIntyre et al is playing is not honest.
In the very thread in which realclimate authors uttered the above pious thoughts, NASA employee Gavin Schmidt or one of his associates approved the following comment for publication:
McFraudit and Watts-up-my-A** provide a very useful service of giving the tin-hat crowd the illusion of doing science.
That RC do not disassociate themselves from Hansen’s comments on coal trains, crematoria or the prosecution of business leaders speaks for itself.
RC goes on to opine piously:
Science blogging can play a role in improving science … but the kind of vituperative tone that dominates some blogs greatly diminishes any positive contribution they might make.
And then, of course, what’s bringing you and your fellow naive whiners here is the need to defend the climate change denialist, McIntyre — so many of you, after carping that I’m not meeting your demands, are protesting that he’s not a denialist, and you aren’t denialists, and you’re all here in the cause of good science.
My expertise is not in climate, but in biology, and I’m familiar with his type — it’s a common strategy among creationists, who do dearly love to collect complaints. There are people who put together a coherent picture of a scientific issue, who review lots of evidence and assemble a rational synthesis. They’re called scientists. Then there are the myopic little nitpickers, people who scurry about seeking little bits of garbage in the fabric of science (and of course, there are such flaws everywhere), and when they find some scrap of rot, they squeak triumphantly and hold it high and declare that the science everywhere is similarly corrupt. They lack perspective. They ignore everything that doesn’t fit their search criterion, and of course, they’re focused only on putrescence. They aren’t scientists, they’re more like rats.
And the worst of the rats are the sanctimonious ones that declare that they’re just ‘policing’ science. They aren’t. They’re just providing fodder for their fellow denialists, and like them all, have nothing of value to contribute to advance the conversation. You can quit whining that you and McIntyre are finding valid errors; it doesn’t matter, since you’re simultaneously spreading a plague of lies and ignorance as you go.
So bugger off, denialists. I am not impressed.