More on 2007 Weblog Awards

climateaudit is running strongly in these awards – thanks to voters. When I looked this morning, we were in third place, less than 20 votes behind last years winner, Pharyngula, and within 300 votes of the current leader, Bad Astronomy.

Both Pharyngula and (update: commenters at) Bad Astronomy have bad-mouthed Climate Audit. Pharyngula wrote

I’m in the running with a couple of conservative junk science blogs. Go vote for one of the other people:

This prompted a spirited defence of CA by Spence_UK and John A which seems to have fallen on deaf ears. Bad Astronomy’s attitude was similar.

As noted in comments to the other thread, realclimate and deltoid were both nominated last year, with realclimate receiving 458 votes and deltoid 200 votes, while both Pharyngula and Bad Astronomy received over 9000. So it’s pretty gratifying that CA is competing as closely as it is.

You may vote once a day until Nov 8, 2007 here.

Update: Bad Astronomy took offence at the above post, saying that it was commenters there that had bad-mouthed CA, rather than the head poster. I’ve edited the above to draw the distinction. In particular, one of the commenters called CA “antiscience” as follows:

Is it just me, or is the fact that all climate related nominees are antiscience disturbing?

Another commenter suggested tactical anti-CA voting, a refrain now taken up at Pharyngula:

I’m almost tempted to vote for PZ instead of BA just so that ClimateAudit becomes less likely to win.

In fairness, the comments were made by commenters at Bad Astronomy as opposed to the proprietor and, just as I’m not responsible for and do not agree with all comments, the same goes for him. Plait has posted up on this here suggesting that I’ve “confused his blog with its comments”.

What’s funny is that McIntyre seems to be confusing this blog with its comments, and me with my commenters. To be clear, his problem with this blog “bad-mouthing” him appears to be coming from the comments in this blog, and not from me my own self.

Well, I wouldn’t say that I was “confused” about this distinction as, in my capacity here, I’m careful to state that I do not necessarily agree with all blog comments. So just to clarify, Plait of Bad Astronomy did not accuse CA of being “antiscience”, but one of the commenters there. Plait says that he does not want to start a “cat fight”, but has an odd way of going about it. Notwithstanding that, in the interest of avoiding pointless catfights, I’ve amended the above post to note that the badmouthing was by a commenter at BA, rather than by Plait himself.


114 Comments

  1. fFreddy
    Posted Nov 5, 2007 at 7:54 AM | Permalink

    CA has now overtaken Pharyngula. Given the standard of the commenters there, this seems particularly well-deserved.

  2. Duane Johnson
    Posted Nov 5, 2007 at 8:10 AM | Permalink

    I’m frustrated that the web site doesn’t permit me to vote. The ballot frame opens, but nothing except the title appears. I have recent windows explorer with a dialup modem, but I’ve allowed plenty of time for it to load. Any suggestions?

    Duane Johnson

  3. Jan Pompe
    Posted Nov 5, 2007 at 8:27 AM | Permalink

    It’s looking good CA now leads Pharyngula by 36 may the lead grow and within 250 of Bad Astronomy – the gap is closing.

  4. Rod
    Posted Nov 5, 2007 at 8:38 AM | Permalink

    Ref:2 Maybe try it with Firefox?

  5. Boris
    Posted Nov 5, 2007 at 8:39 AM | Permalink

    Given the standard of the commenters there, this seems particularly well-deserved.

    RLY?

  6. Posted Nov 5, 2007 at 8:39 AM | Permalink

    Well I’m voting every day for CA (and I may run a couple of machines and get two votes in!) As far as I’m concerned, there’s some real science here. Not so much (or virtually none at all) at Pharyngula and Bad Astronomy (what’s in name?). Even if you place a close third Steve, at least you’re about science. Thanks for a great site!

  7. John A
    Posted Nov 5, 2007 at 8:39 AM | Permalink

    I like PZ Myers when he discusses evolution/creation, but the rest of the political stuff leaves me cold. It appears to be the distinguishing feature of scienceblogs.com is not science but a particular extreme-left leaning political viewpoint.

    I wish PZ would stick to what he’s good at.

  8. Rod
    Posted Nov 5, 2007 at 9:08 AM | Permalink

    Ref 2 again: I also note it’s using Adobe Flash player. So make sure you’ve got that installed.

  9. henry
    Posted Nov 5, 2007 at 9:13 AM | Permalink

    Spirited discussion going on at Pharyngula about Steve’s work…

  10. Larry
    Posted Nov 5, 2007 at 9:14 AM | Permalink

    I still don’t understand why people get so excited and emotional about all of this e/c/id stuff like on Pharyngula. We’re here. So what? Isn’t where we go from here more important?

  11. Sam Urbinto
    Posted Nov 5, 2007 at 9:42 AM | Permalink

    Never underestimate the power of emotion.

  12. Sam Urbinto
    Posted Nov 5, 2007 at 9:46 AM | Permalink

    Oh, we’re within 212 of Bad Astronomy, and are ahead of Pharyngula by 314.

  13. Mark T.
    Posted Nov 5, 2007 at 10:01 AM | Permalink

    Has Phil actually bad-mouthed CA or have the forums done the talking? As I recall, up until the point I stopped posting over at the bautforums Phil had never really taken on anything climate related, though I do recall a quick mention here and there but nothing of any substance. The denizens of the forums are really where the debate on these topics occurs and I regularly posted links to discoveries made over here to no avail.

    Mark

  14. brian
    Posted Nov 5, 2007 at 10:02 AM | Permalink

    hey, you’re not allowed to say the c-word!!

  15. cbone
    Posted Nov 5, 2007 at 10:02 AM | Permalink

    If you can, vote from work/school and from home. (Or all three). Each one is from a different IP and you can get more ‘bang’ for your buck that way.

  16. Chris D.
    Posted Nov 5, 2007 at 10:16 AM | Permalink

    Meanwhile, CA has moved into second place…

  17. Buddenbrook
    Posted Nov 5, 2007 at 10:38 AM | Permalink

    Junk Science could yet win it I predict. They have been gaining votes faster than anyone else in the last 24 hours. Went from around 5% to 12.5% of the total vote. Given the relatively low voting activity, anything can happen. One cheater could easily ruin it.

  18. Steve McIntyre
    Posted Nov 5, 2007 at 10:43 AM | Permalink

    Pharyngula writes:

    … I may have to throw my support to Bad Astronomy just to keep the bad climate blogs from winning.

  19. Dave Dardinger
    Posted Nov 5, 2007 at 10:47 AM | Permalink

    I looked at both the sites ahead of CA and there’s no doubt that CA is well ahead in terms of actual science discussion. BA may have prettier pictures (colliding galaxies are hard to beat), but that’s simply reporting, not either scientific discussion or discussion of the science behind the pictures. P* appears to mostly be political, even more so than BA. I don’t see that the people who post there are much interested in actual science either. (But what do we holoc… self-snip, but it was tempting).

  20. Steve Moore
    Posted Nov 5, 2007 at 10:48 AM | Permalink

    From Pharyngula:

    I voted for Invasive Species, which I’d like to see win, but I may have to throw my support to Bad Astronomy just to keep the bad climate blogs from winning.

    There are 3 machines on my little network, and for the next few days, all 3 will be voting. I mght plug in a few more.

  21. Posted Nov 5, 2007 at 10:56 AM | Permalink

    I just read up on Bad Astronomy and Pharangula on Wipkipedia. Pharangula took on some preacher who believed that Adam was 15 feet tall. Bad Astronomy attacked those who believe the moon landings were a hoax.

    Forgive me but aren’t those rather soft targets? The web has provided us with a wealth of truly original whackos. Attacking these far out opinions is praiseworthy but it is hardly a major contribution to science.

  22. Dave Dardinger
    Posted Nov 5, 2007 at 11:00 AM | Permalink

    re: #19 Steve,

    Ahhh, you were lured over there too. There were a couple of interesting posts by what I assume are their regulars, but mostly they were 2-3 notches below the typical poster here. Frankly, Spence deserves a Medal of Valor for his work there. You’d think at least someone there would get the point. Ah, well. At least I’ve learned one thing. The assumption I had a one time that the old trolls here were either abberations or “men on a mission” is incorrect. They’re just typical bloggers. Which is probably why there are fewer / better trolls now. Nobody looking to make cheap-shots is going to be able to stand the actually scientific atmosphere around here for long.

  23. Larry
    Posted Nov 5, 2007 at 11:01 AM | Permalink

    23, 15 foot Adam, moon landings staged, no medieval warm period, they all sound like soft targets.

  24. welikerocks
    Posted Nov 5, 2007 at 11:07 AM | Permalink

    It appears to me that Pharyngula and Al Gore’s amygdala, would get along quite nicely. (remember that from the AGU meeting? I do. lol)

  25. Paul Penrose
    Posted Nov 5, 2007 at 11:10 AM | Permalink

    Re: 35
    Of course, you are one of the exceptions Boris.

  26. steven mosher
    Posted Nov 5, 2007 at 11:31 AM | Permalink

    My experience is this. In feilds of endeavor where the participants get more benefit
    than they THINK they deserve ( Hollywood, the record business, athletics) You will find that they
    suffer from the guilt of success. Simply, they realize that their success is not rational,
    is not deserved, and is incomsurate with others. It’s an inverse meritocracy. ( in their MIND
    not perhaps in the marketplace)

    You can throw trust babies into this mix.

    Now, this congitive dissonance engenders several Modes of behavior.

    1. Self destruction. You reward me for shaking my butt. I don’t respect myself. You
    worship me? This imbalence in appraisal can be rectified if I self destruct and
    you stop worshipping me.

    2. Peer review: The public worships me. I don’t REALLY respect the smelly masses. Their money
    is nice, but I need to be loved and admired by my peers: Think peer review. Think
    academy awards.

    3. Public displays of caring. The PUBLIC display of caring is a method to diminish
    this feeling of mismatch between self appraisal and public standing
    . I get too much attention, I get too much money, I’m not worthy.
    Let me give something back. When this happens PUBLICALLY it recapitulates the dissonance.
    Witness Oprah. She made a public affair of starting a school for girls in africa. ( more
    publicity, more self aggrandizment) THEN, when the kids get abused She turns it into
    HER soap oprah. “worst thing in my life” blah blah blah blah. Charity should be anonymous.

    What the hell did this have to do with blog awards?

    Go figure it out.

    When you see awards. When you see these secondary benefits, something irrational
    is afoot.

  27. Larry
    Posted Nov 5, 2007 at 11:43 AM | Permalink

    32, but as I noted, if you have a router connected to your modem, it knows one machine through the router from another. And DHCP can be funny; on mine, if I reset the modem, I usually get the old IP addy. But if not, in theory, I can then vote again on every machine on the network. Not that I have the ambition to try. I think for some though, it’s more the challenge of beating the system than any fanatical devotion to any particular blog. Political blogs are another story, though.

  28. Francois Ouellette
    Posted Nov 5, 2007 at 12:49 PM | Permalink

    Steve,

    you’re only 150 votes away from 1st place at the time of writing.

    Come on readers, vote!

  29. Philip_B
    Posted Nov 5, 2007 at 12:58 PM | Permalink

    Interestingly, more votes have been cast in Best Science Blog category than Best Liberal or Best Conservative Blog (about 2,000 more as of now).

  30. Mike Rankin
    Posted Nov 5, 2007 at 1:06 PM | Permalink

    I just voted again and CA was behind by 139 votes at about 1:17 PM CST USA.

  31. Steve McIntyre
    Posted Nov 5, 2007 at 1:15 PM | Permalink

    I’ve removed a number of posts on cookies and networks.

  32. One Eyed Jack
    Posted Nov 5, 2007 at 1:18 PM | Permalink

    So much fervor over a meaningless award. As has already been said, it only takes one individual with sufficient motivation to skew the entire thing.

    Perhaps we could do like grade school and just give everyone a participation ribbon.

    OEJ

  33. Sam Urbinto
    Posted Nov 5, 2007 at 1:20 PM | Permalink

    Ah, dhogaza at Deltoid….

    Wow. You’d rather have anti-science blogs win the science category just because the other contenders are jerks?

    Posted by: dhogaza | November 5, 2007 2:03 PM

    Or whomever this is:

    Dear Tim

    When PZ announced the Weblog awards there was some disucssion of CA and of course misinformation about MBH and proxies. I added a couple of points about the discussion of the proxies reconstruction in the the WG1 of the AR4 (That they hadn’t been excluded etc.).

    Boy the subsequent defense from some of the CA crowd in that discussion of what they conisdeered personal attacks on McIntyre brought to mind thoughts of a cult of personality. More like scientology than science?

    Cheers Doug Clover

    lol John A, bigcityfib !! heh

  34. Steve McIntyre
    Posted Nov 5, 2007 at 1:23 PM | Permalink

    #32.

    As has already been said, it only takes one individual with sufficient motivation to skew the entire thing.

    Sort of like Mann and bristlecone pines, I guess.

  35. Gunnar
    Posted Nov 5, 2007 at 1:23 PM | Permalink

    >> I wouldn’t say that I was “confused” about this distinction as, in my capacity here, I’m careful to state that I do not necessarily agree with all blog comments

    Actually, I think you are. That’s why you delete comments.

    >> So much fervor over a meaningless award

    Right, voting makes it meaningless. Why not look at traffic?

    Steve: Well, as a matter of fact, I don;t. Most of the blog comments that I delete are about the iniquities of climate scientists and are venting or are people using this site to advance their own theories as opposed to verifying mainstream theories.

    If traffic were measured by number of comments, then CA would win hands on from these contestants.

  36. Anthony Watts
    Posted Nov 5, 2007 at 1:35 PM | Permalink

    As I see it, CA is different than other science blogs because it has made actual contributions which resulted in actual changes to the climate record. While NASA GISS and its cheerleading squad doesn’t much like to admit it, CA/Steve Mc did in fact catch the mistake which resulted in a change to the surface temperature record.

    CA is also doing hands on dendro.

    This puts CA in a different class than blogs that just report and comment and whine about other blogs.

  37. Jeremy Friesen
    Posted Nov 5, 2007 at 1:36 PM | Permalink

    Gunnar says:
    November 5th, 2007 at 1:23 pm

    Right, voting makes it meaningless. Why not look at traffic?

    Indeed…So you believe that the amount of hits on a website makes it the best science blog? Seems if you want to point out a flaw in the system and give an alternative, the alternative should solve the flaw, not worsen it. Of course, I could well be missing an intended note of sarcasm in your comment…

  38. Gunnar
    Posted Nov 5, 2007 at 1:59 PM | Permalink

    #38,

    No, you’re right, Hits would not correspond to “Best Science Blog”, since that is subjective. It would be “most popular” science blog. However, not only does this voting NOT represent “best” (it’s also a measure of popularity or maybe loyalty or maybe devotion), it measures it poorly and it is certainly not clear what “best science blog” really means.

    IMHO:

    Most impact on AGW argument: CA
    Best collection of intelligent folks from different backgrounds: CA
    Best place to get an audit of AGW math: CA

    So, if all you’re measuring is popularity anyways, why not compare hits?

  39. Steve McIntyre
    Posted Nov 5, 2007 at 2:14 PM | Permalink

    #38. realclimate is obviously more influential than suggested by its poor performance in this poll last year.

    Reader interest and loyalty does count for something in these polls – otherwise realclimate would have done better last year in relation to Pharyngula and Bad Astronomy.

    I think that the dynamic of the poll is sort of fun. I’d never read Pharyngula or Bad Astronomy or any of the nominated blogs before. For me, Tamino’s blog is more interesting than either of them, but I’m not particularly interested in biology or astronomy and am wildly uninterested in American educational politics.

  40. John A
    Posted Nov 5, 2007 at 2:24 PM | Permalink

    Pharyngula is very good on the subjects of biology and evolution. Bad Astronomy is a fairly lighthearted look at popular misconceptions about science in US culture (including the Moon Landing Hoax theory, UFOs and much other paranormal/wacko silliness).

    It would be impossible for me to be unbiased about which blog I read the most. That doesn’t mean that CA really is the best science blog out there.

    The weblog award is a popularity contest, not a scientific audit of their respective narratives. Its not a fight to the death between Good and Evil.

    Personally I’m amazed that CA (Steve McIntyre) has got so many votes so far. If it didn’t get another vote, it would still be a tribute to Steve’s evolving skills as a mathematical blogger to engage such a large audience.

  41. brian
    Posted Nov 5, 2007 at 2:25 PM | Permalink

    I have to admit, I was skeptical of CA when I first started reading it…then, I started liking it (once I was able to focus on what SteveMc was saying). But, I find it odd that CA’ers are so engaged in this popularity contest and the silly jib-jabbing, quoting of commenters on other blogs, he-said she-said nonsense, and such. You should just go back to the data.

  42. Steve Moore
    Posted Nov 5, 2007 at 2:34 PM | Permalink

    RE #31:

    Steve, after a bit of reflection, I regretted having made some of those, so I am glad to see you’ve cut them.

    Moderation is good in all things.

  43. Dave Dardinger
    Posted Nov 5, 2007 at 2:40 PM | Permalink

    Brian, there’s some sense in what you say, but you also have to realize that people need to have down time and so do blogs. So what if a little steam is blown off cheering, wearing paper hats and using noise makers? We wouldn’t have sporting events or holidays in that case.

  44. Sam Urbinto
    Posted Nov 5, 2007 at 2:45 PM | Permalink

    Brian, it can be helpful to know what others think about things, although I tend to agree with youl. But I like knowing what’s going on. So.

  45. Larry
    Posted Nov 5, 2007 at 2:54 PM | Permalink

    I’m not aware of any other blog that’s linked to specific projects the way CA is. I think that’s the distinction that makes many people find this qualitatively different. If you want a tutorial on climate science, you can find those elsewhere (either pro or con; I can’t think of any that are neutral). This is where you want to go to get the frontline reports on specific audit projects that ask very detailed questions about usually very narrow questions.

  46. Larry
    Posted Nov 5, 2007 at 2:55 PM | Permalink

    Except for surfacestations, of course…

  47. Buddenbrook
    Posted Nov 5, 2007 at 3:12 PM | Permalink

    Re: 42

    What is it worth to win in a non-serious poll like this if you have to cheat?

    If others can lower their standards to do that, let them. Who cares in the end.

    This remains the most visited science blog on the net and one that is actually making contributions to science.

    The number of posts is huge, but the total number of readers must be much higher. I have made only around 30 posts I think in the last 6 months I have visited CA, because I don’t feel skilled enough to take part in the actual auditing work, so mostly I observe silently and try to get an overall picture of whom to trust and why in the larger AGW debate.

    I’m from a small country in Northern Europe, and have seen many people refer to McIntyre in my native language, so the amount of global readers this blog gathers, must be in thousands.

  48. D. Patterson
    Posted Nov 5, 2007 at 3:47 PM | Permalink

    Re: #47

    You are hopelessly and wrongly confusing present parties with the previous occupants of the White House who fruitlessly denied knowing the applicable definition before a judge. Haven’t you noticed the world is a lot colder now than it used to be?

  49. PH
    Posted Nov 5, 2007 at 3:58 PM | Permalink

    Something a bit off topic but nice.

    A professor by the name of Dr. Bob Carter gave a lecture at the Annual Conference of the Australian Environmental Foundation. The lecture was captured on video an is on youtube. The video is not the greatest, however, Dr. Carter talks about Steve and Anthony Watts. He shows Steve’s picture and call him something like the dragonslayer of the hockey stick. The youtube video is in four parts. The links are here. Steve is mentioned in part 4 and I think Anthony is in part 3.

  50. Murray Duffin
    Posted Nov 5, 2007 at 4:00 PM | Permalink

    I agree that this competition is just a kind of skewed popularity contest that should be of little but passing interest to Steve, but winning could substantially increase readership for CA, and that could be of value in ultimately improving the science part of Climate Science. I am not surprised that devotees of Ph and BA perceive “Climate Science” as, at best, a lesser science, and lump CA into climate science generally. By now some of them may realize that even if the underlying science is not as scientific as at Ph or BA, the discussion and contributions at CA are of a much higher order, and that may attract some of them.
    I suspect that CA has a much higher total readership, especially internationally, and, regardless of the scientificness of climate science, a lot more people are interested in and directly affected by climate than either neuroscience or astronomy. If all the CA lurkers get involved, CA can probably win hands down. Even RC devotees who dislike Ca probably respect it, and probably have a grudgingly growing respect, so might be induced to vote for CA as a better choice than Junk Science which they probably really detest.
    Devotees of other non nominated climate skeptic blogs might join in also as their only vehicle this year, and the blog owners might ask their readers to support CA also. My guess is that we could generate a landslide, that would give CA a much larger audience and increased clout. Murray

  51. Rick Ballard
    Posted Nov 5, 2007 at 4:03 PM | Permalink

    PH,

    Steve and Anthony are considered major “torpedoes” in Dr. Carter’s very enjoyable talk. That the AGW “ship” Manned by various and sundry others continues to remain afloat vexes Dr. Carter mightily.

    It really is worth a watch – just for the chart presentations, if for no other reason.

  52. Tomas S
    Posted Nov 5, 2007 at 4:05 PM | Permalink

    #47
    “The number of posts is huge, but the total number of readers must be much higher. I have made only around 30 posts I think in the last 6 months I have visited CA, because I don’t feel skilled enough to take part in the actual auditing work…”

    And then there are the lurkers like me, i have read this blog for almost a year but haven’t posted before, and probably won’t since I don’t feel I can really contribute (except perhaps some bantering in Unthreaded), even though I’m not completely lost on statistics (MSc in computer engineering so I’ve at least had a couple of statistics classes). There must be lots of people like me who only read and don’t post.

    btw. Buddenbrook, what small country in Northern Europe are you from? Just curios since I’m also from a small country in Northern Europe. 🙂

  53. Michael Jankowski
    Posted Nov 5, 2007 at 4:15 PM | Permalink

    So just to clarify, Plait of Bad Astronomy did not accuse CA of being “antiscience”

    No, but he does now say, “I don’t know much about it, though my perusal of it does indicate that it is on the side of global warming deniers.”

    What’s amusing is that many of the posters over there who are decrying this site admit they can’t follow or make heads-or-tails of things. They apparently “just know” it must all be wrong.

  54. Steve Moore
    Posted Nov 5, 2007 at 4:41 PM | Permalink

    RE #47:

    What is it worth to win in a non-serious poll like this if you have to cheat?

    If others can lower their standards to do that, let them. Who cares in the end.

    Yes, that was my point in expressing my thanks to Steve for his editing.

    Even if it is, as some have said, a “meaningless award”, it should be won fairly.
    I originally looked at the mechanics of gettting around the site security as an intellectual challenge, and let my curiousity overwhelm my common sense.

    Gee, that almost sounds like some climatologists I could name….

  55. Carl Gullans
    Posted Nov 5, 2007 at 5:04 PM | Permalink

    Steve: Do you think it would be a good idea to make a list of semi-current threads that are the important and/or understandable for a newcomer to this site to view? I have realized that I could/should be telling people interested (on either “side”) in global warming to visit this site, but they often are, as #53 reports, unable to understand the latest thread and give up. Obvious examples of such threads would be the posturing of Juckes in the Climate of the Past posts or your posts revealing that you’d cored trees and the (partial) results of said coring.

    FYI I have told people at work today about CA (they were irked, as I was, at NBC’s half-time “green week” announcement last night), and have been dropping the CA URL into facebook groups devoted to the topic. It tells the masses (on both sides) that their arguments are far below the topic of this site (and hence understanding of the issues), and provides learning opportunities for those out there with a clue and an inclination to understand more. I plan to continue this, unless you recommend otherwise.

  56. PHE
    Posted Nov 5, 2007 at 5:14 PM | Permalink

    While you’re at it, vote for Pepys’s Diary as ‘Best Literature Blog'(www.pepysdiary.com). Samuel Pepys is one of the most fascinating characters in English history, who lived during the height of the Little Ice Age. Though not a scientist himself, he loved science and new discoveries, becoming an early member of the Royal Society and later its President.

    He witnessed Charles I’s execution, but accompanied Charles II on his ship back to England to regain the crown. He. was the first (in English) to name a French wine by its chateau – Haut Brion. He gave a first hand description of the Great Fire of London and of the Great Plague. He records his first tasting of ‘chocolate’ and of ‘tea’. His signature is on the front of the first publication of Isaac Newton’s Principia (Pepys as president of the Royal Society). He was a lover of life – of food, drink and good humour. He loved conspiracies and debate and would surely have followed the debate on global warming with great interest. Off-topic, perhaps, but part of the same web awards.

  57. PHE
    Posted Nov 5, 2007 at 5:20 PM | Permalink

    BTW: Newton’s Principia was probably the most mementus scientific publication since when Copernicus put the Sun and the centre of the Universe and until Darwin’s Origin of Species (and later perhaps Mann et al 98).

  58. JFB
    Posted Nov 5, 2007 at 5:40 PM | Permalink

    #47 #52
    We also serve, who only sit and lurk. In two years visiting CA I haven’t ventured to comment, which is unusual. Normally I’d be happy to open my pie-hole on any subject where I have zero expertise, but on here I’m content to read the articles and follow the intelligent discussions. The regulars tend to be courteous too, so if I ever have a possibly-dumb question, I won’t be afraid to ask. My intranet feels the same way, and is voting steadily.

  59. braddles
    Posted Nov 5, 2007 at 5:40 PM | Permalink

    #55, as a frequent lurker I agree. Even as a former scientist who has made some use of statistics, I am baffled by the technical detail in some of the threads. To Joe Public, much of it would be intimidating. There is much techno-jargon, assumption that the reader will be deeply familiar with details of previous threads going way back, and occasional fixation on trivia.

    I wouldn’t be so bold to suggest changes to the blog itself, since its credibility rests on the technical detail, but to reach a wider audience, this blog could do with an extra layer where someone distills the discussions into more accessible terms, culls the trivia, extracts the salient points, and provides appropriate links. This may not be a good use of Steve’s time, but perhaps other expert contributors could help to put it together.

  60. Sam Urbinto
    Posted Nov 5, 2007 at 5:42 PM | Permalink

    As an agnostic Libertarian, I must say about Pharyngula — some of those folks arguing with John A and Spence_UK are complete morons. Kinda reminds me of some RC-type attitudes, but even more stupid. Stupider. Stupidest.

  61. Posted Nov 5, 2007 at 5:56 PM | Permalink

    This contest is fun, but please remember that it is the scientific equivalent of … the Academy Awards?

    “Vote Often and Early for James M. Curley”
    — James M. Curley, onetime Mayor of Boston

  62. pochas
    Posted Nov 5, 2007 at 6:20 PM | Permalink

    #55, #59

    Of the thousands of blogs out there, this one has hit a “sweet spot.” Don’t mess with success. If people can’t grep the postings, this may not be the place for them. Perhaps Paryngula or Bad Astronomy, but to popularize this blog would ruin it.

  63. Sam Urbinto
    Posted Nov 5, 2007 at 6:27 PM | Permalink

    Hey I know pretty much diddly squat (and his sister, naomi squat) about statistics and I understand it. So…

    You’d have to ruin it to popularize it not the other way around. Besides, we have RC, Rabett and Open already, no need to ruin this one.

  64. Sam Urbinto
    Posted Nov 5, 2007 at 6:42 PM | Permalink

    Within 105 of BA

  65. harold
    Posted Nov 5, 2007 at 7:04 PM | Permalink

    Sorry somthing went wrong. 2nd try.

    #62 #63

    I agree with you, but I think it would help if a first time visitor
    could see the structure of this blog slightly clearer.

    The “Overview” post (in the Favorite Post tab) is dated feb 2005
    and a few things have happened since.
    And maybe point to some general posts, where an interested person could begin.
    the Favorite posts tab is a good starter of course, perhaps placing it more
    central might help someone see some trees in the vast area CA has become.

    I hope you win the award.

  66. Bill Derryberry
    Posted Nov 5, 2007 at 7:09 PM | Permalink

    I think that the server on the vote blog site for science must be
    over loaded. It took several tries to vote. CA is only 92 votes
    out of the lead at this time.

    Best of luck Steve

    Bill

  67. Anthony Watts
    Posted Nov 5, 2007 at 7:12 PM | Permalink

    The best way to help CA is to promote it. Simple advertising works wonders.
    Therefore, if any of you have other blogs you operate or frequent, ask if they’ll post this code for a “voting badge”

    Download the HTML code here:

  68. Lurker
    Posted Nov 5, 2007 at 7:14 PM | Permalink

    Most of the folks at NASA think that Phil Plait (Bad Astronomy) is a jerk anyways. [snip- language not allowed.]

    Steve: normally I’d delete this post entirely. I’ve left it up not because I think that there is any merit to the views expressed by the poster, but because the same statement about GISS and me would also be true.

  69. tamborineman
    Posted Nov 5, 2007 at 7:15 PM | Permalink

    re 26 Steve, the whole western world is afoot/awash with irrationality. CA generally has its feet on the ground. Gets my vote.
    Imagine if CA won.
    The mindless media might accord it the same status as Al Gore.
    Start a whole new denialist industry.
    Save us all a fortune.

  70. Michael Jankowski
    Posted Nov 5, 2007 at 7:37 PM | Permalink

    Wow, Phil Plait has appeared on Coast to Coast AM “many times,” according to wiki. That’s a space usually reserved for wackjobs.

  71. Larry
    Posted Nov 5, 2007 at 7:51 PM | Permalink

    71 on which side? I thought I read earlier that the blog started trying to refute the staged landing theories. That’s Art Bell’s thing, where anything except 9/11 conspiracy theories are entertained. Was he pro or con?

  72. Pat Frank
    Posted Nov 5, 2007 at 7:52 PM | Permalink

    #69 — “Imagine if CA won.
    The mindless media might accord it the same status as Al Gore.

    When AGW is finally recognized as the worst scientific scandal ever, and comes crashing down, I wonder if Steve and Ross will share a Nobel Peace Prize as the Norwegian committee publicly volunteers to dine on crow pie.

    In another reality, maybe.

  73. _Jim
    Posted Nov 5, 2007 at 8:06 PM | Permalink

    At the risk of being too far off-topic I post:

    Larry, November 5th, 2007 at 7:51 pm #71 (at some point) says (in part):

    I thought I read earlier that the blog started trying to refute the staged landing theories. … That’s Art Bell’s thing …

    Wow – in light of the Laser range-finding mirror(s?) left behind as well as the observation of the radio comms to and from (and around) the moon?

    Account of the ‘traffic’ copied during a moon mission:

    Tracking Apollo 17 from Florida
    by radio astronomers.

    Art Bell, a radio engineer and radio amateur should certainly know better …

  74. Carl Gullans
    Posted Nov 5, 2007 at 8:11 PM | Permalink

    #70: He notes this himself here http://www.badastronomy.com/bad/misc/hoagland/index.html

    It’s a decent blog, why y’all gotta hate, son? Just kidding about the syntax, but come on… I think they have a point about “Best Science Blog” applying both to primary research (i.e. here) and reporting on science. This blog is better in my opinion because it delves much deeper into topics and has had real policy implications thus far, with the potential for many more.

  75. Michael Jankowski
    Posted Nov 5, 2007 at 8:12 PM | Permalink

    RE#71, he apparently appears on the show on the side of sanity, in large part to refute the theories of some wacko (although he refuses to appear in a studio debate with said wacko). Nevertheless, I wouldn’t want my name mentioned on that program, let alone appear on it, let alone appear on it “many times!”

  76. James Lane
    Posted Nov 5, 2007 at 8:24 PM | Permalink

    #67 Anthony, the “1998 is not the hottest year” business is specific to the USA.

    In any case, I don’t think this is a good slogan for CA. The issue about Hansen’s Y2K error is the poor quality control (a point Steve has emphasised). Other than for site-specific anomalies, it is of little consequence.

    Steve’s critics sieze on the latter point, and I don’t think further promotion of the matter is desirable.

  77. Posted Nov 5, 2007 at 8:54 PM | Permalink

    James Lane, 76, noted. Making text badges sometimes makes things too brief, so revised version posted above

  78. David Walton
    Posted Nov 5, 2007 at 9:06 PM | Permalink

    Phil Plait writes about Climate Audit —

    ”I don’t know much about it, though my perusal of it does indicate that it is on the side of global warming deniers.”

    I find it remarkable that Plait, in the process of making his complaint, commits the very conflation he complains McIntyre is guilty of and does so with a favorite snide insult of the global warming alarmist-activist crowd.

    Steve erroneously stated (and subsequently corrected) that Plait had been bad mouthing him, but given the chance Plait didn’t waste any time making up for his previous dearth of back biting.

  79. MrPete
    Posted Nov 5, 2007 at 9:30 PM | Permalink

    Anthony — also, you have a typo. the quote after href= is not a quote character?!! 😉

  80. mccall
    Posted Nov 5, 2007 at 9:53 PM | Permalink

    re: 60 … do those posts indicate LynnV was an egg-donor some years ago?

  81. Mark T
    Posted Nov 5, 2007 at 10:09 PM | Permalink

    I find it remarkable that Plait, in the process of making his complaint, commits the very conflation he complains McIntyre is guilty of and does so with a favorite snide insult of the global warming alarmist-activist crowd.

    I find it remarkable that Plait, under the guise of a “scientist” would refer to CA as “on the side of global warming deniers” without actually trying to understand what is being and has been done here (even admitting as much in the very comment).

    My suspicions confirmed. Shirt sleeves abound.

    Mark

  82. Posted Nov 5, 2007 at 10:12 PM | Permalink

    I apologize for the post I made which has been deleted.

  83. Carl Gullans
    Posted Nov 5, 2007 at 10:17 PM | Permalink

    #78, 81: This is counterproductive. If you were not a close follower of this blog (or climate science in general) would you fault someone for making that initial assessment? Putting words in someone’s mouth, namely that anything other than a popular label (“denier”) was used to describe initial impressions, is counterproductive here and in convicing people that science is being done here. I have never read the blog before this voting started, but I honestly do not get that impression from what he wrote. Needlessly alienating anybody from the important work being done here is not wise if the work is to gain acceptance and publicity, which it should.

  84. Papertiger
    Posted Nov 5, 2007 at 11:37 PM | Permalink

    I disagree that the reordering of the hottest year on record from 1998 to the correct 1934 is inconsequential. The whole “where is waldo” series proved that the United States climate record was and is, far more influential in regards to global temperatures for prior to the 1940’s, then is admitted by the Hansen team. Four stations to cover South America? One for the whole of Africa? Zero for Antarctica and Greenland?

    Thats over half of the Earths landmass open to interpretation for the global warming crew. Is it any wonder that they characterize the Depression years and the Dust Bowl as local events? Of course they did, the better to portray today’s climate as abnormal.

  85. Posted Nov 6, 2007 at 1:09 AM | Permalink

    Never mind all that! Get voting for Sciencebase, described by the Guardian as “often irreverent, always intelligent” and by Bad Language’s Matthew Stibbe as a “one-man New Scientist”. It’s running joint last in the finalists list, I couldn’t bear to see it 10th, please at least help make it 9th 😉

    db

  86. Posted Nov 6, 2007 at 1:12 AM | Permalink

    By the way, your comment form is spawning a wordpress/database error:

    “Warning: Cannot modify header information – headers already sent by (output started at /var/www/climateaudit.org/wp-content/plugins/SK2/sk2_second_chance.php:2) in /var/www/climateaudit.org/wp-content/plugins/Bad-Behavior/bad-behavior/screener.inc.php on line 8”

    I recommend Akismet as a more effective alternative to running SKarma and BB

    db

  87. John A
    Posted Nov 6, 2007 at 2:16 AM | Permalink

    Never mind all that! Get voting for Sciencebase, described by the Guardian as “often irreverent, always intelligent” and by Bad Language’s Matthew Stibbe as a “one-man New Scientist”. It’s running joint last in the finalists list, I couldn’t bear to see it 10th, please at least help make it 9th

    I hate to see a grown man grovel for votes like that…

  88. Mark T
    Posted Nov 6, 2007 at 2:18 AM | Permalink

    #78, 81: This is counterproductive. If you were not a close follower of this blog (or climate science in general) would you fault someone for making that initial assessment?

    I would fault someone for drawing conclusions about science he admits to not following. It has nothing to do with being a close follower. He refers to this weblog as “deniers,” falling to the same ad-hominem tactics he criticizes – very often – others of committing. His response is not only uncalled for, it is disgusting, particularly from someone who holds such a high opinion of himself.

    Putting words in someone’s mouth, namely that anything other than a popular label (”denier”) was used to describe initial impressions, is counterproductive here and in convicing people that science is being done here. I have never read the blog before this voting started, but I honestly do not get that impression from what he wrote. Needlessly alienating anybody from the important work being done here is not wise if the work is to gain acceptance and publicity, which it should.

    Now I’m not even sure what you’re saying anymore? Are you saying it was wrong for Phil to marginalize CA, or wrong for some of us to take exception with it? Keep in mind, my opinions of Phil and his blog are from nearly a decade of reading what he’s posted.

    Mark

  89. Geoff Sherrington
    Posted Nov 6, 2007 at 4:22 AM | Permalink

    Re # 47 Buddenbrook

    I’m from a small country in Northern Europe, and have seen many people refer to McIntyre in my native language, so the amount of global readers this blog gathers, must be in thousands.

    Guessing time. Would that country be Scotland?

  90. Geoff Sherrington
    Posted Nov 6, 2007 at 4:29 AM | Permalink

    And anothere thing. If you have never worked in pulic relations, then don’t underestimate the extraordinary impact that a First or Second will have from this poll. Not just readership, but quality of reader will increase. Then, when you approach your local decision maker, you can modestly let it drop. Remember thet many pollies are poll-driven.

    I’m not proposing that CA takes out large commercials in the popular and scientific press. Be modestly pleased and the word will spread by its own processes. To big.

    In the last 2 months I have seen a large swing towards climate science the way CA sees it and away from Al’s extravaganzas. They oversold it, and the repercussions have started, among many people who matter. I say these things with confidence after studying Carl Wunsch (see other CA thread).

  91. Dodgy Geezer
    Posted Nov 6, 2007 at 5:50 AM | Permalink

    Umm…..Is it just me, or do other people think that a ‘real’ science blog stand or falls on the level of science it supports, not on its position in a ‘fun’ unstructured poll of web sites?

    If real science is done by finding fault with other people’s work, this can be a humiliating experience. To make it more palatable, politeness is essential. This is not enhanced by crowing at other sites over the number of button-pushers you can muster during an arbitary week…

  92. MarkR
    Posted Nov 6, 2007 at 6:08 AM | Permalink

    #67 Anthony. The GIF doesn’t link to the poll.

  93. Dave Dardinger
    Posted Nov 6, 2007 at 7:49 AM | Permalink

    re: #91

    Real science involves verify the results of others as one step. Saying, “yep, you’re right!” is hardly humbling. That the response of CA to the Team is often, “Nope, you’re wrong and here’s why” should say way more about the Team than it does about CA.

  94. John A
    Posted Nov 6, 2007 at 8:04 AM | Permalink

    #92

    It does now.

  95. One Eyed Jack
    Posted Nov 6, 2007 at 8:06 AM | Permalink

    #68 Lurker: “Most of the folks at NASA think that Phil Plait (Bad Astronomy) is a jerk anyways. [snip of original post]

    Is this a serious statement or a joke? It seems so odd that I find it hard to tell. To the best of my knowledge, the first statement and second statements are both false. Phil is probably one of the friendliest people on the planet. His science is sound and when he makes errors, he quickly admits and corrects them. The religion statement is completely irrelevant.

    I’m new to this blog so perhaps I haven’t seen enough. My initial impression was that Lurker’s comments are not representative of the general posting population. Is this true [snip – language not allowed]

    OEJ

    Steve: I’ve snipped most of Lurker’s inappropriate comment and ordinarily would have deleted all of it. I do not permit any religious reference here. Regular posters comply with this. Since the board is not moderated, some are deleted after the fact. I have no idea whether people at NASA think that Phil Plait is a jerk. From my own experience with James Hansen, people at GISS probably hold the same opinion about me and that doesn’t make it true. You say of Plait: “when he makes errors, he quickly admits and corrects them”. I think that it an excellent trait and one that I hope that readers here would also say of me.

  96. PeterS
    Posted Nov 6, 2007 at 8:09 AM | Permalink

    If this site wins will it get a Climate Plaudit? 😀

  97. Jan Pompe
    Posted Nov 6, 2007 at 8:26 AM | Permalink

    #95 One Eyed jack

    My initial impression was that Lurker’s comments are not representative of the general posting population.

    Your initial impression is probably the most correct Bad Astronomy (as does Pharyngula) really does target a different audience. I for one was totally ignorant of the other two until day before yesterday.

  98. Iain
    Posted Nov 6, 2007 at 8:35 AM | Permalink

    95, A quick search of CA will show 9 posts containing the word ‘jesus’. One is a GHCN station, three are expletives, and the remainder are incidental references not discussion items. I do believe that the only discussion of religion or dogma you will find on this site is about the ‘religious’ beliefs of certain researchers and their ‘dogmatic’ statements on the ‘state of the science’.

    Just another lurker.

  99. One Eyed Jack
    Posted Nov 6, 2007 at 8:51 AM | Permalink

    Just to clarify, that bit that was snipped in post 95 was not me cursing, as it might imply. Apparently I mentioned a taboo topic. I’m OK with that. I just didn’t want everyone thinking I was coming here throwing around inappropriate language.

    OEJ

    Steve: I didn’t imply that you were cursing. I just have a hard line against any religious references and regulars are aware that my normal policy with such is simply to delete them as I don’t want to waste time snipping. Since you’re new here, I’ve merely snipped such terms. Yes, these sorts of topics are completely off-limits here.

  100. John A
    Posted Nov 6, 2007 at 9:00 AM | Permalink

    Re #70, Michael Jankowski

    Wow, Phil Plait has appeared on Coast to Coast AM “many times,” according to wiki. That’s a space usually reserved for wackjobs.

    Yes it is, but Plait goes on there to debunk stupid paranormal claims especially on conspiracy theories like the supposed faked Moon Landings and an even stranger one whereby a psychic predicted that the Earth would be run into by a rogue Planet X populated by sentient beings.

    So the answer is: yes Phil Plait goes on that show but he’s definitely on the side of rationalism and reason. So there.

  101. Mark T.
    Posted Nov 6, 2007 at 9:41 AM | Permalink

    All the more reason to be dismayed with his comments regarding this issue, John A. This is one of those areas that a) most people, even rational scientists, simply don’t investigate on their own and b) as a result, they believe what they’re being told by the media. This is a result of the fact that most scientists, Plait included, simply don’t understand how other scientists can engage in such unscientific practices as we have seen by the Team. By not taking a harder look, however, they ultimately succumb to the same type of self-deception that plagues this arena in the first place.

    Mark

  102. Larry
    Posted Nov 6, 2007 at 9:56 AM | Permalink

    101, might I suggest that Plait is being consistent in one sense: that he’s consistently deferring to authority. That’s why many people who are by nature skeptics of outlandish claims tend to want to stick with the AGW orthodoxy; they are very influenced by the perception of a consensus, and don’t want to break with that percieved consensus. It’s got nothing to do with examining the facts.

    This is the primary reason why such an effort has been made to portray a consensus. Once people perceive a consensus, most are afraid to question it.

  103. MarkW
    Posted Nov 6, 2007 at 10:06 AM | Permalink

    I’ll side with old one eye. The phrase “language not allowed” is usually used in reference to foul language. At least here in the lower 48. In other countries, your mileage may vary.

  104. Anthony Watts
    Posted Nov 6, 2007 at 10:08 AM | Permalink

    HTML All fixed, sorry, programs keep adding formatting characters.

  105. Sam Urbinto
    Posted Nov 6, 2007 at 1:09 PM | Permalink

    Well now. “…on the side of global warming deniers.” I don’t see how anyone could think this site is “on the side” of anything. Except the “checking results and looking for sound science” side. Although if you look at it a certain way, if you don’t toe the CO2=warming=take action now” line, some people could lump everyone that doesn’t into a “denier” bucket. Sort of a you’re not with us you’re against us thing. It seems he’s doing that with the statement, and that’s what bothers me about it.

  106. Larry Grimm
    Posted Nov 6, 2007 at 1:43 PM | Permalink

    I’ve been voting for CA simply because this is actual science, being debated in live time, and this is marvelously new and exciting. I routinely visit and enjoy the other sites, but as noted earlier, they are essentially science advocate sites.

  107. mccall
    Posted Nov 6, 2007 at 2:16 PM | Permalink

    re 49 & 51″ Dr Bob Carter’s part 1-4 presentation
    Part 4 does pick up with Mr Watts and later Mr McIntyre … very entertaining and praiseworthy.
    By way of Icecap > Newsbusters > and http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bpQQGFZHSno

    All four parts total

  108. mccall
    Posted Nov 6, 2007 at 2:21 PM | Permalink

    All four parts total less than 35 minutes (intro by Dr Marohasy) — sometimes biting and often funny, Dr Carter is very sharp in discussing the case for a catastrophic AGW consensus.

  109. Larry
    Posted Nov 6, 2007 at 2:32 PM | Permalink

    106, “science advocacy” is rather oxymoronic. But that’s what RC and similar sites boil down to.

  110. Bill
    Posted Nov 6, 2007 at 5:05 PM | Permalink

    Final Results of Parlor Trick (Variation on Bertrand’s Paradox)

    Three doors arranged before you. A science writer behind one of them, goats behind the other two.

    Q: How do you know where real scientist is?
    A: (For general public, and generally for me as well): Open the wrong doors first.

    It’s a learning process.

  111. Bill
    Posted Nov 6, 2007 at 5:53 PM | Permalink

    Actually, I don’t mean to villify the competition. From a quick glance at them, both sites had elements which I liked. Pharyngula writes lyrically and eloquently. Bad Astronomy is a great, if a bit goofy, presenter on popular issues. But this site seem to be the one which deals with real questions – the ones without given answers. I appreciate the consistency in linking to challenging articles, the clear summarization, and discussions which follow, along with with honest and serious moderation of the host.

  112. dirac angestun
    Posted Nov 6, 2007 at 9:07 PM | Permalink

    Without wishing to say a bad word about the other candidates for best science blog, I just had to vote for Climate Audit. It had little or nothing to do with its AGW scepticism, and everything to do with the fact that this blog is almost like a mini university research project with multiple contributors from several countries. Regardless of where the AGW debate goes (and I hope it goes towards the truth, whatever that may be), it seems to me the Steve McIntyre has been pioneering another way of doing science, which relies not on government or industry grants, but on enough interested and intelligent amateurs coming together to contribute to scientific knowledge. On CA, that seems to involve acquiring, plotting, and processing a lot of weather data, which would seem to be something best distributed among its members, presumably with duplication and discussion being used to catch errors.

    I hope that CA spawns many more such cooperative scientific efforts. And in fact it seems it has, in Anthony Watts’ blog, which seems to be documenting the world’s weather stations in much the same distributed manner. I’m sure there are plenty of other areas of science which could benefit from the same treatment.

    Well done.

  113. Larry Grimm
    Posted Nov 7, 2007 at 4:11 PM | Permalink

    111 & 112

    Exactly my sentiments! Steve & Anthony have made it great fun to see science in action.

  114. D. Patterson
    Posted Nov 7, 2007 at 8:02 PM | Permalink

    snip – this breaches any number of blog policies.

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