Keeping up with the (Mann and) Joneses

Recently one of our correspondents asked:

Could we get some feature so that one can see the date or date/time of last post to a thread? Or so that one can go back and check for any threads that have had recent posts?

It’s not just for unreasonable things like me going back through last year. Even with normal usage, one misses stuff, misses replies.

Well obviously this correspondent can’t get enough climateaudit comments and is begging for a dripfeed (we should start selling alcohol or something). There is indeed a simple solution to this problem, which I make available at no extra charge:

The ClimateAudit Comments RSS Feed

All you need for this is:

1. A brain
2. An RSS reader

After engaging the brain (ask your neurosurgeon for details), you must have an RSS reader available on your platform. There are lots of them, in all sorts of different guises, including little programs that add RSS feeds into Outlook. I would suggest you look in or SourceForge for varieties of free or low cost RSS Feed Readers or Aggregators.

I use Linux and my RSS Aggregator of choice is called "Akregator", and the following instructions are based on that program.

First, get hold of the CA Comment RSS Feed by right-clicking the link "Comments RSS" in the "Meta" section on the right hand side of the blog, and select "Copy Link Location".
Then, open Akregator and select Feed in the menu and "Add Feed" in the drop-down list.
In the dialog box "Feed URL", paste the contents of the clipboard (this is usually done via Control-V), which should put the following into the dialog:


Then click OK.

If all goes well, then the comments posted in the last 30-60 minutes are dragged screaming and kicking into the RSS reader (It doesn’t need to be more often than 60 minutes, really).

So long as your RSS feeder is running, then every 30-60 minutes it should retrieve the meanderings of TCO, the sage-like responses of Steve McIntyre and so on. As a bonus, the comments are in a font size that you control, which should help some with poorer eyesight.


  1. TCO
    Posted Sep 27, 2005 at 2:17 PM | Permalink

    I guess that means I can’t have what I want in the the web pages. 😦 Computers aren’t advanced enough. Or you don’t want to do it for the masses of non-RSSers*

    Anyhow, how do I get/use the RSS if I am a normal person? Operating Windows XP with all the MicroSoft Office stuff. You know normal setup. Is it on there?

    *Very UNIX attitude…:(

  2. Louis
    Posted Sep 27, 2005 at 3:10 PM | Permalink

    TCO you might want to try out

  3. Jim Erlandson
    Posted Sep 27, 2005 at 3:15 PM | Permalink

    I have been using the NewsGator RSS reader for over a year with no problems. It integrates with Outlook and requires no brainpower whatsoever — no neurosurgeon consult.

  4. John G. Bell
    Posted Sep 27, 2005 at 3:18 PM | Permalink

    Steve, That worked great. You have to edit the feed: out of the line you paste into the dialog. works. Akregator builds very well.

    2CO, Being normal is overrated :).

  5. TCO
    Posted Sep 27, 2005 at 3:36 PM | Permalink

    I never use outlook. use yahoo…

  6. TCO
    Posted Sep 27, 2005 at 3:36 PM | Permalink

    Whole thing sounds hard… 😦

  7. John G. Bell
    Posted Sep 27, 2005 at 3:48 PM | Permalink

    Sorry John A. You don’t even look like Steve. Hides head in shame.

  8. TCO
    Posted Sep 27, 2005 at 3:50 PM | Permalink

    I want a more “forumie” blog…

  9. BKC
    Posted Sep 27, 2005 at 4:14 PM | Permalink

    FWIW, there are a few things about the RSS feed that I don’t like. I’m using bloglines. It sometimes misses comments. It lists all the comments in the order they were received (not by topic), so I generally have to go back to the website anyway and look up the comment to see the context. It also doesn’t show comment numbers. These problems may be specific to bloglines (I haven’t tried any others).

    I kind of like the format at UK Weatherworld (forum instead of blog), mainly because it highlights and remembers which pages I’ve already viewed, and lists the date/time of the last comment.

    My 2 cents.

  10. Louis Hissink
    Posted Sep 27, 2005 at 4:21 PM | Permalink

    RSS Feed ? ON the Apple Tiger System with Safari there is a small button in the url window – RSS which one clicks and instantly one gets the Climate Audit RSS feed. I did have to use my brain – to move the mouse cursor to the button but otherwise it required no extra effort

  11. John A
    Posted Sep 27, 2005 at 4:31 PM | Permalink

    Re #6 and #8


    Just go out on the street and ask the nearest 9-year-old boy how to set it up.


  12. TCO
    Posted Sep 27, 2005 at 8:39 PM | Permalink

    In all seriousness, I think a feature that works with html (in addition) is desirable. What if I want to come to the blog once a week and check out all the new posts? What about new users who are not dos prompt type users?

  13. Posted Sep 27, 2005 at 9:18 PM | Permalink

    Does anyone know of an RSS feed that works with Mozilla?

  14. Michael Mayson
    Posted Sep 27, 2005 at 10:13 PM | Permalink

    Re #13: The latest version of Mozilla Thunderbird (version 1.0.5) has a built-in RSS feed aggregator.

  15. Mats Holmstrom
    Posted Sep 28, 2005 at 7:38 AM | Permalink

    In Mozilla Firefox you just click the orange button in the lower right corner to add an RSS feed from a site that provides it. For this site you will get the article feed. The comment feed you must add manually. See

  16. Posted Sep 28, 2005 at 4:59 PM | Permalink

    Re: #14, #15.

    Thanks for the responses, Michael and Mats, but I’m looking for an RSS reader for regular Mozilla. I have nothing against Firefox, but I don’t use it, because it only includes a browser. I use the regular Mozilla because it also has an HTML composer that I use to maintain a website.


  17. John G. Bell
    Posted Sep 28, 2005 at 11:11 PM | Permalink

    John A,

    A request. The spam block graphic you proffer is a bit small and the colors lack contrast. I use a magnifying glass to transcribe them. No joke :). Otherwise my setup works well for me. Can you make the graphic just a bit larger and the foreground a bit brighter?

    You seem to have things well in hand spam wise, but have you seen this site?

  18. A. Nonymous
    Posted Sep 29, 2005 at 1:22 AM | Permalink

    John Hunter can manage to tick off Spam Karma really easily…

  19. John A
    Posted Sep 29, 2005 at 1:28 AM | Permalink


  20. A. Nonymous
    Posted Sep 29, 2005 at 1:32 AM | Permalink

    Another test which may or may not work, depending on the context.

    Don’t try any of these links as I’ve no idea where they go.

  21. A. Nonymous
    Posted Sep 29, 2005 at 1:37 AM | Permalink

    Test. How many times do I do this?

  22. John A
    Posted Sep 29, 2005 at 1:42 AM | Permalink

    Re #17

    I can’t induce Spam Karma to challenge me with one of those things, so I can’t see what you’re seeing.

    The next time it produces a spam block graphic, can you (or anyone else) capture the screen and send it to my e-mail (on the Contact Us page)?

    I’ll then be able to compare what it looks like with the settings in WordPress, so as to (intelligently?) change the settings and get feedback on the results.



  23. Steve McIntyre
    Posted Sep 29, 2005 at 5:41 AM | Permalink

    Re #20,21: If you’re a new poster, “testing” makes Spam Karma think that you’re a spam source. If your posts are hung up, email me or John A. and we’ll manually recover the posts until Spam Karma recognizes you.

  24. John G. Bell
    Posted Sep 29, 2005 at 7:37 AM | Permalink

    Added Xmag to my desktop. Works great. I’m fine with the graphic now.

  25. TCO
    Posted Sep 30, 2005 at 3:06 PM | Permalink


    Could you do a post about peak oil versus GW. I need a spot to talk to DanO and RC doesn’t want us doing too much econ, elasticity stuff there. And I don’t want to wreck an existing thread. (I trust whatever you write as the intro essay to be suitable.)

  26. John A
    Posted Sep 30, 2005 at 3:20 PM | Permalink

    Re #25

    Ask Steve. It’s his weblog, content-wise.

  27. TCO
    Posted Sep 30, 2005 at 3:23 PM | Permalink

    Steve, please? More gruel?

  28. Steve McIntyre
    Posted Sep 30, 2005 at 3:31 PM | Permalink

    You can do a guest spot, but you’ll have to do a little theme post.

  29. TCO
    Posted Sep 30, 2005 at 3:33 PM | Permalink

    Ok. I function better when criticizing others. 🙂 But let me go write something…

  30. JerryB
    Posted Sep 30, 2005 at 3:56 PM | Permalink

    Good grief! More clutter.

    TCO, set up a blog at and do it there.

  31. TCO
    Posted Sep 30, 2005 at 5:27 PM | Permalink

    I changed my mind. I don’t want a guest post any more.

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