Weblog Awards 2008

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.

Quite so. But they don’t seem to see any problem with PZ Myers at Pharyngula calling me “undeserving mouthpiece for right-wing hackery” or with Myers’ subsequent rant:

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.


  1. curious
    Posted Jan 10, 2009 at 11:10 AM | Permalink

    Hi Steve – as a fairly regular lurker and learner at this site I support your non slanging editiorial policy. I’m sure you will maintain it anyway but it makes the posts/comments worth reading and following – I’m often amazed at the free knowledge on offer. Thanks for facilitating.

    Also FWIW I had taken on board the CC arguments some years ago at face value but now have reservations and hope that by open accountable science we will all end up with a better understanding of the climate issue. One thing I’d appreciate a comment on is the status of your tips jar? I saw a post from some time back that declared your funding arrangements to attend a conference and I think I recall a statement that you do not recieve corporate funding. Elsewhere I’ve seen snide allegations re: your motivation which I do not see reflected in the style and content of the blog. Any more up to date info./clarification would be appreciated.

    Kind regards

  2. Posted Jan 10, 2009 at 11:28 AM | Permalink

    You come across as a very sensible person who is seriously interested in conducting proper research. What you write makes sense contrary to a lot of the “everybody believes it so it must be true”-garbage we see all day. Keep it up! They’ll be proven wrong eventually. When it comes to climate I’ve seen many debates in which the so called “denialists” are the most sensible people.

    • Jeff Alberts
      Posted Jan 10, 2009 at 1:36 PM | Permalink

      Re: Dirk M (#2),

      Of course, Steve’s goal isn’t to prove anyone wrong, it’s to make sure the statistics are done properly. He’s shown that in some very important cases that the statistics are seriously lacking. The fact that the Climate Science community as a whole doesn’t recognize this is pretty damning.

  3. Carrick
    Posted Jan 10, 2009 at 11:48 AM | Permalink

    Science … is not generally marked by … the persistent cherry-picking of datasets to bolster pre-existing opinions.

    This is true. Science is not.

    That is exactly the problem with advocacy sites like Tamino and RealClimate posing as science blogs. You can’t advocate and uphold scientific rigor at the same time.

    Critical thinking, such as that which Steve displays here, is an enemy of the advocacy groups, not of the science itself.

  4. Steve McIntyre
    Posted Jan 10, 2009 at 11:56 AM | Permalink

    #1. Financially, I wish that I’d never heard of climate. I don’t have a pension (though my wife does) and wasn’t really planning to “retire” from earning an income. My 401K equivalent has been decimated this year, so I’ve had a sense of worry the last few months that I’ve never had before. A lot of readers contribute to the Tip Jar and I’m very appreciative. I planned to send out thank you notes at the start of 2009 and will do so. One reader in particular has been very generous. But no government or corporate contributions, not that I’d turn them down.

    The net result is far short of even a modest research grant and much less than I used to make. But I like doing the blog and need to figure out how to make something of it. Google Ads provide negligible income.

    The readership of the blog is larger than some small magazines, so you’d think that there would be some way of capitalizing on that. I’ve looked at the advertisers in some small magazines and wondered whether I could carve out some of their revenue. If there are any readers who have companies who could place some advertising here (even if it’s vanity advertising), I’d be very appreciative. I don’t have any idea on what would be a sensible cost.

    I’ll probably try for research grants, but I’ve been warned that I “haven’t made any friends” – which means that I probably shouldn’t expect anything. But I’ll make them say no, I guess.

    • jae
      Posted Jan 10, 2009 at 12:41 PM | Permalink

      Re: Steve McIntyre (#4),

      Steve: You have made a lot of friends, maybe just not in the right places. Yet.

      RC’s comments on “proper science” are really funny, considering the source.

    • Bernie
      Posted Jan 10, 2009 at 2:25 PM | Permalink

      Re: Steve McIntyre (#4),
      Perhaps you should talk to Lubos, a decent number of well known advertisers are visible on his site.

    • UK John
      Posted Jan 10, 2009 at 3:18 PM | Permalink

      Re: Steve McIntyre (#4),


      Why not write a book about things, I would buy it!

    • Paul
      Posted Jan 14, 2009 at 9:45 AM | Permalink

      Re: Steve McIntyre (#4), What about contacting some “climate measuring” equipment makers? Companies that make weather stations, telescopes, instrumentation, etc. You’ve got quite an audience of amateurs that would be very interested in such stuff. Just a thought.

    • curious
      Posted Jan 25, 2009 at 6:30 PM | Permalink

      Re: Steve McIntyre (#4), Steve – just a thought re: capitalising on the blog – any interest in getting a regular column on a mainstream paper? There is a need for this debate to reach a wider audience. I know at least one UK journalist covers it but there is no substitute for getting it first hand. Might be possible to do something syndicated to a no. of pubs? This could mean editors pay a bit more attention before running with “hot” headlines? Seems like all you’d need to do is a weekly/monthly summary of the ground covered in the blog? Sorry if it’s a non starter or not of interest (and I’ve no idea what the rates are like!).

  5. jorge c.
    Posted Jan 10, 2009 at 11:59 AM | Permalink

    Dr.Judith Curry is a Lady…

  6. curious
    Posted Jan 10, 2009 at 12:15 PM | Permalink

    Steve @4 – thanks for clarifying. Will take you at your word and tip next time I’m on my own machine. FWIW good luck with the research grants – please keep up the good work and suggest keep finances clear of any smear potential!

  7. Craig Loehle
    Posted Jan 10, 2009 at 12:24 PM | Permalink

    Wow, Myers is really mean. So denialists like Roy Spence are just picking at garbage when they claim that water vapor feedbacks may really be negative and not positive, and Steve is nit-picking when he shows that the whole hockey stick fandango turns on a couple of dubious proxies and uses methods that mine for hockey sticks. These are trivial? This is nit-picking? Wow.

  8. Posted Jan 10, 2009 at 12:29 PM | Permalink

    I, too, deeply appreciate the editorial standards here – even when it effectively muzzles my own tendency towards posting snark and silliness. I find I don’t mind behaving like the mature adult I’m supposed to be here.


    And Steve, your statements and examples (should have put in more!) in regard to your detractors – finally! – made my heart soar like a hawk! Their behavior has been consistently despicable, and quite unprofessional. They soil the profession they claim to honor, as your examples readily show.

    Keep up the magnificent work, and I, for one, will keep hitting that tip jar.

  9. labrador
    Posted Jan 10, 2009 at 12:29 PM | Permalink

    Steve – If CA and Anthony’s site get >50% of the vote combined, you two can possibly form a coalition!

    Also, until very recently, the mining sector has been very hot so there must have been a considerable opportunity cost to you in devoting so much time to climate related work.

  10. crosspatch
    Posted Jan 10, 2009 at 12:35 PM | Permalink

    “Wow, Myers is really mean.”

    The impression I get is that most of the warming activists are “mean”. When their projections fail to materialize or are counter to the observed reality, they attempt to intimidate, insult, and belittle anyone who would bring that to notice. I see a lot if anger and insults but little real science. They build these models and spend their time defending them while billions of dollars are being wasted to mitigate a situation that isn’t even happening. We have even made polar bears “threatened” not because of any extant threat but because some models show they *might* be threatened in 50 years time. It is absolutely ridiculous to waste money in hard economic times on pipe dreams and fantasies. The problem is that so many seem to have staked their careers and reputations on the “global warming” industry. I suppose they are in a position now where they have nothing to loose and must fight tooth and nail in the hopes that things turn around.

  11. Steve McIntyre
    Posted Jan 10, 2009 at 12:42 PM | Permalink


    Also, until very recently, the mining sector has been very hot so there must have been a considerable opportunity cost to you in devoting so much time to climate related work.

    Yes, don’t remind me.

  12. James C
    Posted Jan 10, 2009 at 12:49 PM | Permalink

    Keep up the great work.
    All the vitriole and petulance comes from people who are basically immature and really clutching at straws.Their weak arguments are threatened so they lash out like alley cats – a sign of insecurity as you know.
    As someone who is completely non scientific in climate science, (well not so much now) I have been following your blog for over a year and I must say it is so refreshing to hear scientific rebuttal on the so called ‘accepted view’ that AGW is caused by CO2.
    I am convinced that you will be proved right as CO2 becomes yet another commodity, becomes a bubble and bursts.How can we really believe we can make money out of thin air?
    As I said, the truth will always win in the end–keep up the great work.

    Steve: Thanks for the support, but you’re reading more into what I’ve done than is there. There’s nothing in my work to preclude the possibility that CO2 arguments are correct – only that certain papers don’t prove the points that they say they do.

  13. Posted Jan 10, 2009 at 1:02 PM | Permalink

    snip – sorry. you’re getting into topics not allowed here.

  14. mccall
    Posted Jan 10, 2009 at 1:14 PM | Permalink

    snip – sorry. we’re not going to go there

  15. Posted Jan 10, 2009 at 1:29 PM | Permalink

    Reading the examples of your critics’ statements made me think again about your previous entry about the gadfly and the dimwitted horse. Maybe the horse only seems dimwitted because we’re looking at the less intelligent end.

    It does make it hard to resist replying in kind, so I’m often amazed at your persistent restraint. I would personally be inclined to smack either end of the horse with a 2X4 occasionally.

  16. Jeff Alberts
    Posted Jan 10, 2009 at 1:33 PM | Permalink

    I’d say there’s considerably less science going on at Pharyngula than here. His should be in the “Best Atheist Blog” category, since that seems to be what 90% of his posts are about.

  17. Alan Bates
    Posted Jan 10, 2009 at 1:41 PM | Permalink

    I have a problem voting. Should it be CA or FWIW?

    Both are superb sites but in different ways. CA is verging on not being a blog. It is a web forum for serious discussion of science and the application of statistics. As such it covers different ground and with a different approach to most other blogs. The comparison with PZM’s site is stark.

    FWIW is more like a normal blog. Frequent postings, free-ranging discussion, fascinating comments (some of them off the wall but isn’t that what most blogs are like?). Non scientists can go to FWIW and can stick around for interesting comment and learn a lot.

    I have chosen FWIW because it is about blogs. CA is in a different class which does not seem to be represented.

  18. Hu McCulloch
    Posted Jan 10, 2009 at 1:43 PM | Permalink

    It will be swell if Watt’s Up With That wins and CA beats out RC. However, we should always keep in mind that this is just a beauty contest. If WUWT and CA were not in the running, Pharyngula would be #1 and RC would be in third place. So much for the web’s ability to recognize good science!

  19. mccall
    Posted Jan 10, 2009 at 1:43 PM | Permalink

    Re: the vote itself, I wonder if/when one side will use nukes as the voting proceeds…

    Last year, several left and right blogs were tapped for votes. This year appears to be a more conventionally fought engagement?

  20. Posted Jan 10, 2009 at 1:51 PM | Permalink

    Don’t stop being annoying Steve. At the same time, don’t cease to use the civil tone that you’ve always kept on this website.

    Eventually they’re going to have to take you seriously.

  21. Anthony Watts
    Posted Jan 10, 2009 at 2:07 PM | Permalink


    Thanks for the props. I’m glad that you are feeling better. I’m surprised at the vote tally so far this year and I wish you the best.

    I found an interesting anomaly in one of NOAA’s climate maps for 2008, it is yet another weird anomaly in Arizona, which seems to be the leading state for that now with U of A and Miami USHCN stations.


    Does anyone here live in Arizona that could help out with this one?

    Best wishes for a successful 2009,


  22. Steve McIntyre
    Posted Jan 10, 2009 at 2:10 PM | Permalink

    Folks, please don’t bring issues from other blogs here. The focus at this blog is narrow. I realize that this thread is a bit chit-chatty but readers should know that any references that remotely touch religion are off-limits.

    • Posted Jan 10, 2009 at 6:53 PM | Permalink

      Re: Steve McIntyre (#25),

      I agree with the premise of what you’re saying here, but am a bit fuzzy on the details. – snip

      Steve: sorry about this snip as the comment was written with good intent. I understand your point, but to answer your question, I really don’t want get into that sort of discussion at all.

  23. Robert Austin
    Posted Jan 10, 2009 at 2:22 PM | Permalink

    Steve, it is your very civility that is so annoying to your attackers. You and Ross McKitrick are a class act and I am proud that you two are fellow Canadians. The vitriol is just a sign that your efforts are drawing blood.

  24. Smokey
    Posted Jan 10, 2009 at 3:17 PM | Permalink

    As of very early this morning, I noticed that the vote totals of WattsUpWithThat and ClimateAudit combined exceed 50% of the total vote for the first time in the “best science” category.

    Congratulations, you both deserve it.

  25. The Globe is Cooling
    Posted Jan 10, 2009 at 3:43 PM | Permalink

    Steve, keep up the good work. With the globe cooling, the attacks will only get nastier. It’s all explained in this post below. You are mentioned in it!


  26. Pete
    Posted Jan 10, 2009 at 3:57 PM | Permalink

    RE: Uk John’s comment

    I totally agree. Steve should get it all down in print: a book which details the failings of the Hockey Stick, how M&M arrived at their conclusions, the vicious and personalised reaction of the global warming fraternity, the dubious peer review process (in this field of climate science), and a layman’s guide to statistical analysis as it pertains to climate science.

    I would suggest that Bishop Hill’s entry on the ‘Jesus Paper’ would be a good guide to the style of this book – and I’m sure it would sell.

    For you only have to look at the comments on the Guardian’s Comment Is Free blogs writing by warming alarmists like Monbiot et al, to see that scepticism is widespread and growing.

    Incidentally, the quote from Myers above is horrendous: if they really want to be taken seriously, and if they are really confident about their findings, then why do they come across as so angry and defensive, and why the ad hominem attacks.

    It really does tell its own story.

    Anyway, keep up the good work Steve – this blog is a model of decency.

    I should also say that invoking the old right vs left political discourse in this area is utterly barmy and self-defeating. Most of the British global warming fanatics are scions of the landed gentry, Tory-voting, old money establishment who use it as a battleground to salve their own guilt and anger at – on the one hand – their parents and their lifestyle, and on the other, their inbuilt intolerance of the ‘lower classes’ who would dare to consume and live as they did.

    As a Marxist, I come from what could be termed the left in rejecting and rebuking this whole ridiculous theory and the organising principles which flow from that.

    I am probably in a minority of one on here, and certainly on Lubos’s blog, but it needs to be said and said again – this focus on catastrophe and on fear will only ever benefit the powerful and the rich.


    Pete (unreconstructed Marxist)

    • JDM
      Posted Jan 11, 2009 at 7:03 AM | Permalink

      Re: Pete (#31),
      Nope, you’re not the only one.

  27. Posted Jan 10, 2009 at 4:07 PM | Permalink

    I often wonder why so many people believe that science is all about “proving” a hypothesis. Plenty of good science comes from the attempts to repeat an experiment and finding problems with the original research or falsifying it completely.

    I get it that there is tremendous pressure to publish and that grant money rides on having had successful hypotheses in the past. Failure to publish seems to be what ruins individual scientists most. It’s unfortunate that the frequent victim of this pressure is scientific rigor.

    I’m afraid I cannot trust a model that fails a monte carlo analysis. Worse, it makes me mistrust the individual scientists that got it published to begin with and all that supported it on face value alone.

    Science isn’t about simply “proving” hypotheses. It’s also about subjecting itself to peer review and elimination of individual bias. A hypothesis that can’t survive critical review is one most undeserving of prominence.

    I recently had an argument about this on Pharyngula. It was suggested by one commenter that, if the AGW hypothesis is wrong that science must find a way to replace it. I pointed out that all science is subject to falsification and that there is no such requirement that any hypothesis be replaced to be falsified. My entire position was that merely having a differing scientific opinion based upon the evidence is not the equivalent of “woo” (unscientific nonsense that cannot be tested, repeated or falsified). That didn’t end the ad hominems or hostility.

    The truth is, AGW has much more unified political support than it does scientific (which was my entire point to begin with). Calling us “deniers” and lumping us in with various purveyors of woo is propaganda, and a particularly disturbing kind. It undermines what science is really about and leaves the lay person with the feeling that they understand how science works, while what they promote is antithetical to the practice of science.

    I, for one, respect your efforts. If it weren’t for science of the type you do, we’d still be believing in phlogiston, the aether, and that the world is flat. Thankfully, despite entrenched popular opposition, all fell beneath the critical eye of science.

  28. Alan Wilkinson
    Posted Jan 10, 2009 at 4:32 PM | Permalink

    Steve (and Anthony), congratulations on the quality of your blogs, your raw courage and integrity and the service you are doing real science and thereby the whole world. (And of course on your Weblog contest results.)

    As I’ve said before, websites like Realclimate and Tamino are entirely counter-productive to their cause yet they don’t appear to understand why.

    As a scientist in a previous life seeking to understand the major scientific controversy of our times I was disgusted at the political, personally offensive and prejudicial treatment of any challenging debate there. That is neither science nor humanity of a kind I can respect. So of course it drove me to find better sources and fortunately via Climatedebatedaily that is not difficult.

    I am sure I am not alone. The Weblog results and diminishing public support for the AGW cult is confirmation.

  29. Alan Wilkinson
    Posted Jan 10, 2009 at 4:47 PM | Permalink

    I should also have added to the list deserving congratulations those who critique on these blogs from all sides of the debates in a civil and knowledgeable manner.

    Controversy is the lifeblood of science. Concensus is its death. A toast to all those who challenge our ideas and make us think harder and understand better.

  30. Colin Davidson
    Posted Jan 10, 2009 at 4:50 PM | Permalink

    Steve, I too would like to praise your truth-seeking attitude and your forebearance and fortitude. Please keep up the good work.

    Ward (#32) has put the position very clearly. Ad Hominems, Labels, Name-calling, Denigration are not science. They contribute nothing to the search for the truth. Which is why such attacks are best ignored as they are always off the topic.

  31. PeterS
    Posted Jan 10, 2009 at 4:54 PM | Permalink

    I wondered about who to vote for this year. I decided on Anthony for the only reason that he too deserves a vote of thanks – and some recognition – for all the hard work he has put into examining climate science. That’s not to say I am not deeply appreciative of what Steve is doing and the unwavering consistency he applies in doing it. I don’t think I would be alone in believing that Steve’s place in history is assured… that what we are witnessing here a new David challenging a corrupt, omnipotent and particularly ugly Goliath – and that this is how future generations will record and pass on this unfolding story and the players in it. I think Steve can rest assured that without presence of Climate Audit, the rest of the sceptical blogosphere would have a fraction of its value in the popular imagination it does today. I genuinely feel sorry for people who have become weighed down, confused and burdened with guilt and hopelessness as a result of being exposed (via organisations like the BBC and Guardian) to the very ‘science’ Steve so brilliantly begs to question. Even though I admit to not understanding all that goes on here, the fact that is does go on is life-affirming… and the same can be said for WUWT.

    I would not hesitate to include some advertising on here if it brings in an income. I think all who pass by would fully understand the reason for its presence. I also miss the ‘Unthreaded’ section where a more general, lively and inclusive discussion took place (the separate ‘CA Forum’ always feels to me like a side-exit). Of course, I can see the huge amount of policing Steve needed to do when the Unthreaded comments were more active.

    Anyway, keep up the good work Steve – there are many, many people for whom you have become a popular hero.

  32. CodeTech
    Posted Jan 10, 2009 at 5:43 PM | Permalink

    I’m often amused by the comparison of “creation” and “AGW”, since the two are not even remotely similar.

    Ironically, the difference between them is the difference between faith and science, but I personally see the AGW people on the opposite site of where they think they are.

    It has been said that if the only tool you have is a hammer, every problem starts to look like a nail. If all you look for is AGW, then that is what you’ll find.

    CA and WUWT have been the best resources imaginable for me in my never-ending quest to make friends, relatives, and co-workers aware of what is wrong with AGW and science in general. I’m grateful to both Steve and Anthony for their patience and guidance on their respective sites, even though I know I have little tolerance for some of the supremely arrogant posters I’ve seen lately.

  33. Posted Jan 10, 2009 at 6:13 PM | Permalink

    Sorry, Mr. McIntyre. No derailment was intended, and I avoided any mention of religious ideas. I can replace my previous post with a more general one that “climate change” is one of the issues that has become a religion, and its “apostles” will refer to anyone with a dissenting (or even questioning) point of view as a “heretic.”

  34. Deep Climate
    Posted Jan 10, 2009 at 6:32 PM | Permalink

    Or Tamino here (in one of countless quotes from his site):

    There is a strong case that the game McIntyre et al is playing is not honest.

    This is not from Tamino, but comes from a comment in that thread by:
    Michael Tobis // February 27, 2008 at 2:07 am

    Tamino did say, among other things:

    The most amazing thing about McIntyre’s entire charade is that he and his ilk already know what the procedure is (to adjust non-rural stations so that the trend matches that of nearby rural stations) but despite his repeated protestations that he’s just trying to improve the data, it seems that he didn’t even bother to LOOK at it. That’s one of the reasons I believe that Steve McIntyre lacks both the honesty, and the competence, to audit surface temperature data.

    I’m not endorsing the attribution of dishonesty in either case, but it is important to be clear about who said what.

    Steve: Attribution amended.

  35. Alan D. McIntire
    Posted Jan 10, 2009 at 6:53 PM | Permalink

    Neil Fisher on #37 raised the issue of ad hominem attacks based on religious beliefs, bringing up Roy Spencer specifically.

    Lately I’ve read “Einstein’s Mistakes”, by Hans C. Ohanian, which brought up an analogous situation involving Kepler and Galileo. Kepler, as you know, determined that the planets travelled in eliptical paths, with the sqare of the perod proportional to the cube of the radius. In additon to his scientific work, Kepler earned money by practicing astrology and making predictions for assorted wealthy supporters.

    Kepler thought the moon caused the tides. Galileo, who thought this was a nutty idea stated, “But among all great men who have philosophized about this remarkable effect, I am more astonished at Kepler that at any other. Despite his open and accute mind… he has nevertheless lent his ear and his assent to the moon’s dominion over the waters, to occult properties, and to such puerilities”.

  36. Doug
    Posted Jan 10, 2009 at 7:29 PM | Permalink

    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.

    Thank you, Mr Myers, for the inspiration.

    $100 in the tip jar. (and don’t waste time on thank you notes, just do what you do)

  37. Dodgy Geezer
    Posted Jan 10, 2009 at 7:56 PM | Permalink

    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.

    I’m repeating an earlier post, but this is the result of tactical voting. All opponents of CA and WUWT concentrated on Pharyngula – we had to pick one of our two esteemed blogs to win. WUWT has prettier pictures, is more accessible to the average punter and so took off earlier – it’s as simple as that. CA does more complex, sophisticated science, and so just attracts the elite (and hangers-on, such as myself…)

    I expect that RC will back off at some stage and go for the lower prize of trying to beat CA further down, so I am throwing some votes at CA as well, and will throw all if necessary. It would be nice to get CA up to second place; Pharyungula plus RC look as if they’re lagging.

    RC is, of course, nowhere. If they want to beat CA further down they will need to switch to Bad Astronomy, so I am watching that carefully….

    (Hey, I’m a squash player and, if a ball is thrown up, I like to compete.)

    You’re already knocking them about the court, Steve, in real science. This is just a competition to find out who has prettier seats in their stadium…

  38. VG
    Posted Jan 10, 2009 at 8:08 PM | Permalink

    Re:myers ect… speaks for itself, thats why it seems many don’t bother even looking at RC ect anymore.

    • jae
      Posted Jan 10, 2009 at 9:39 PM | Permalink

      Re: VG (#45),

      “Re:myers ect… speaks for itself, thats why it seems many don’t bother even looking at RC ect anymore.”

      Perhaps that is being reflected by the number of votes. You have to be awfully simplistic, or deliberately pushing an agenda, to champion a site that labels itself as “scientific,” but then exemplifies a picture-perfect example of what constitutes an “unscientific” blog, by invoking a false “consensus,” by censoring so many substantive comments that disagree with the “spoken word,” and by encouraging ad-hom arguments and other emotional diatribe.

  39. crosspatch
    Posted Jan 10, 2009 at 8:34 PM | Permalink

    I am actually becoming quite annoyed with the “denialist” label. First of all, I don’t consider myself anything-ist. The observed measurements quite simply show that there has been no warming over the past decade. I am not in “denial” over anything. The data is what it is and it shows quite clearly that warming isn’t happening. If anything it is the people who are producing the warming models who are the “denialists” and refuse to accept that the observations have invalidated their models.

    snip – policy editorializing

    Remember that the models forecast a regular uptrend over time so while we might be able to go down a little or up a little over the projected trend, there should be absolutely no way we could ever get to temperatures lower than when the projections were started. December 2008 was cooler than December 1987. That can’t happen according to the models of the “denialist” AGW advocates. I suppose that if I must be a “denialist” it is better to be in denial of a possible reality than to be in denial of the actual reality. Cognitive dissonance manifests in many ways, I suppose.

    Steve: I think that there’s too much autocorrelation in the data to say what you’re saying with any statistical confidence. This is not an argument that I, for one, have made here.

    • Alan Wilkinson
      Posted Jan 10, 2009 at 8:53 PM | Permalink

      Re: crosspatch (#46),

      To explain the failure to increase surface temperature consistently with CO2 forcing the AGW adherents first need to show where the excess heat is being stored and then explain why the distribution patterns vary from year to year.

      As a recent post on Climate Science (Pielke Snr) showed, the evidence is that excess heat is not being stored in the oceans since 2003. So where if anywhere?

  40. Alan Wilkinson
    Posted Jan 10, 2009 at 9:04 PM | Permalink

    Jeff, just google it (for what its worth).

  41. paminator
    Posted Jan 10, 2009 at 9:09 PM | Permalink

    I would also be keen to purchase a book by Steve M. Although there is much science content here, the part I find the most entertaining is Steve’s continuous stream of humorous and tongue-in-cheek postings. There are lots of books about climate and AGW. I think Steve could make a unique contribution in book form by emphasizing the writing style in CA’s posts over the years.

  42. Jeff Alberts
    Posted Jan 10, 2009 at 9:10 PM | Permalink

    Alan, I know what the Acronym FWIW means, but the other Alan was trying to make a choice between CA and FWIW. Was he mistaking WUWT for FWIW?

  43. Posted Jan 10, 2009 at 9:49 PM | Permalink

    What Dodgy Geezer said (January 10th, 2009 at 7:56 pm ).

    Since WUWT is solidly in 1st place right now, I’m throwing my votes to CA. Let’s get Steve into 2nd – or swapping places with WUWT.

    Vote, folks. Vote like the wind!

  44. J.Hansford.
    Posted Jan 10, 2009 at 11:10 PM | Permalink

    Keep up the good work Steve… And absolutely, force them to say No to a funding grant that could only increase the expertise and knowledge in statistics, within the field of Climate science….. It means that latter, as the climate science field becomes more professional in it’s approach to scientific method and Statistical rigor of climate data…. They will be reminded of their earlier disdain for those who were rigorous and critical. There is nothing wrong with “told you so’s”, specially when they were warned.

    Judging by the comments from the other blog owners you have used as examples… They suffer under the impression that their methods are above reproach and react very rudely when their statistical interpretations are questioned. It seems that some think themselves infallible.

  45. Jim Arndt
    Posted Jan 11, 2009 at 12:32 AM | Permalink

    I’m an idiot and don’t know where to vote. I am just clueless on the vote please help.

    • Alan Wilkinson
      Posted Jan 11, 2009 at 12:38 AM | Permalink

      Re: Jim Arndt (#56),

      Click on the Weblog 2008 graphic in the top right of this page.

  46. Jim Arndt
    Posted Jan 11, 2009 at 1:21 AM | Permalink

    THX Alan

  47. Jim Arndt
    Posted Jan 11, 2009 at 1:24 AM | Permalink

    OK I did it but I know you have to keep the faith on voting because there will be the last minute snipers.

  48. Posted Jan 11, 2009 at 1:34 AM | Permalink

    Well I’ve been voting solidly for Anthony (sorry Steve), because his blog is readable and straightforward and I look forward to new articles as often as they are posted.

    The problem with Pharyngula is that although the stuff on evolution is usually excellent, PZ Myers spoils it by his impression of “Mr Angry” and using his blog as a bully pulpit to sound off about things he has no clue about. The excursions into politics or economics are execrable.

  49. Pierre Gosselin
    Posted Jan 11, 2009 at 7:25 AM | Permalink

    “So bugger off, denialists. I am not impressed.”

    I think RC and their likes really ought to think about the implications when other “friendly” blogs like the Huffington Post start abandoning their boat.

    Let provide them with a clue:
    That sensation you are experiencing is not the sea level rising. Rather it’s your boat sinking!

  50. Posted Jan 11, 2009 at 7:34 AM | Permalink

    It’s interesting to read RC’s post and then reflect on why I don’t bother with certain blogs.

    The only time I’ve visited Pharyngula is during these contests. Both times the impression was that it’s mostly about making fun of people or being snide and angry with little noticeable science articles. That’s not something that would make me want to return to that blog. Time if finite, why would I go back? Even if I wanted to find a blog on evolution?

    I tend to be attracted to blogs wtih comments threads that encourage discusssion. RC’s (in my opinion) don’t really do that.) Why not? The slow pace of moderation combined with relatively large number of “me too” comments, means that an individual comment and the reply to that comment are generally spaced far apart. RC’s use of inline responses makes things worse rather than better because, while you see the RC response, you need to hunt down any ones reply to the RC comment. And that response is far away.

    So, altogether, I don’t like the organization over there. I don’t know the extent to which this is the source of the low voter turn out for RC, but then, who knows?

  51. Mike Bryant
    Posted Jan 11, 2009 at 8:01 AM | Permalink

    “Steve: Thanks for the support, but you’re reading more into what I’ve done than is there. There’s nothing in my work to preclude the possibility that CO2 arguments are correct – only that certain papers don’t prove the points that they say they do.”

    This is the type of open-mindedness that produces real breakthroughs. I find it sad and ironic that Real Climate and others do not want their studies to have the benefit of the best in stastical analysis.

    Steve, thanks for your continued work in this neglected field, and thanks to the team that you have assembled here.
    Mike Bryant

  52. MC
    Posted Jan 11, 2009 at 9:43 AM | Permalink

    That’s quite a mean post by PZ Myers. He’s not being subtle at all
    In general, I do agree with Steve’s policy of not accusing people of bad faith etc (I know I have fallen into the trap of that a few times and been snipped) yet I am a physicist so if I see a number of assumptions being made without full transparency it is within my duty to say ‘Wait a minute how have you accounted for that? Or ‘You can’t make that assumption’ . I guess its important not to make it personal. I don’t have any ill feelings towards the Team, I just think that they have made some assumptions in their work that don’t hold and it would help if the transparency was a bit better (but then that applies to most science)
    I do agree with the gist of Myers argument that there are too many ‘denialists’ who run with the small inconsistencies and try and blow it up into something large. But then a lot of the stuff on this blog deals with the fundamentals which on first glance may seem like small details but are very important.

  53. oakgeo
    Posted Jan 11, 2009 at 10:13 AM | Permalink

    I had never before read that quote from PZ Myers at Pharyngula pigeon-holing Steve McIntyre and others as denialists (whatever that term means). The quote near the end is something to make me cringe:

    “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 Mr. McIntyre, I guess you should forget that the statistical and other irregularities you find are valid and in need of disclosure, because your results are being misinterpreted and used inappropriately by bad people while simultaneously leading others astray. Somehow you are responsible for the out-of-context use and effect of your results (I have read enough of your blog to know that you come down hard on that sort of thing here) and thus you should be ignored and discounted. What a bizarre rationalization.

    By the way, I voted CA because the heavy focus on statistics suggests that Steve is an uber geek, and geeks need validation too 😉

    • Posted Jan 11, 2009 at 1:01 PM | Permalink

      Re: oakgeo (#66),
      The other issue I have with Myers complants is that it seems that some think it’s somehow bad to even discuss specific inconsistencies at all. Steve has never said these inconsistencies mean AGW is wrong. Finding and proving the inconsistencies would not mean that. It would only mean that we don’t have a reconstruction that tells us the history of earth’s surface temperatures back to year “N”, and we can’t say with confidence that the current temperature are warmer than all years during that span.

      If Mann’s work is shown flawed, we end up with a little bit less empirical information to narrow down the number of hypotheses used in climate science. But if Mann’s work is flawed, we actually would wish to know this. Because otherwise, we risk excluding from consideration some hyypotheses that might actually be true. If the work is not flawed, we also want to do that.

      But the behavior of those who complain that someone wants to check the work makes no sense. Of course people want to check whether they believe a particular reported result of analysis is sound. That’s normal in science, accounting, news, politics, and logic!

      • EW
        Posted Jan 11, 2009 at 2:51 PM | Permalink

        Re: lucia (#70),

        The other issue I have with Myers complants is that it seems that some think it’s somehow bad to even discuss specific inconsistencies at all.

        Precisely. For him, to point out any holes or inconsistencies in the, for e.g., evolution theory, means automatically undermining the “only and one correct principle” and giving ammunition to fiendish opponents. But the inconsistencies are here (as in any theory in development) and there must be a way of either solve them or correct or change the theory. Silencing of the scientific opposition never functioned in the long run. And I’m not happy with this approach. The last time it was applied in a fullblown form, it was in Stalinist Soviet Union… and it didn’t do any good to Soviet genetics and science in general.

      • Stan Palmer
        Posted Jan 11, 2009 at 3:49 PM | Permalink

        Re: lucia (#70),

        If Mann’s work is shown flawed, we end up with a little bit less empirical information to narrow down the number of hypotheses used in climate science. But if Mann’s work is flawed, we actually would wish to know this. Because otherwise, we risk excluding from consideration some hyypotheses that might actually be true. If the work is not flawed, we also want to do that

        I believe that this analysis does not take into account a very important requirement. The world’s governments are not undertaking the AGW effort as a means of scientific discovery. The science in all of this is entirely secondary. The world is sponsoring this science as a means of informing a policy and a enigneering effort. If Mann’s work is flawed and it is accepted then the policy and engineering work that depend on it will be so much the worse.

        Steve McIntyre has touched on this. If Mann’s work doesn’t matter to the AGW hypothesis in the matter of policy and engineering then it and all paleoclimate studies should be abandoned. The specialists can write papers that only they and their reviewers will read but the world can direct the resources saved to studies which will have a direct effect on what could be a catastrophic eventuality.

        • kim
          Posted Jan 12, 2009 at 6:22 AM | Permalink

          Re: Stan Palmer (#74),

          I’m proud to address the stimulus of PZ’s comment. The Stan Palmer thread on Pharyngula was epic; I’m in there from approximately comment #800 to the #1200s. I lost three days of my life, and posting privileges, there. It took that sacrifice to get exactly one true believer to reconsider the question of divergence, otherwise my work was completely ineffective, except as a nice little documentation of scientific intolerance.

          Stan, given our climate’s robustness despite wide changes, and our civilization’s delicacy to such climate change, heating and cooling are likely to become alternating catastrophes, since climate seems to change faster than we adapt.

  54. crosspatch
    Posted Jan 11, 2009 at 11:59 AM | Permalink

    “Steve: I think that there’s too much autocorrelation in the data to say what you’re saying with any statistical confidence.”

    Well, when someone forecasts an up trend and the observation is a down trend, and we are not talking about isolated values but averages over months, it would seem to me to be a pretty clear invalidation of the forecast. With each passing month it becomes less and less likely to reach their forecast temperature increases.

  55. Jeff Alberts
    Posted Jan 11, 2009 at 12:19 PM | Permalink

    Pharyngula is advancing at about twice the rate of CA, and WUWT is advancing at a little less than twice the rate of Pharyngula.

  56. Andy
    Posted Jan 11, 2009 at 1:53 PM | Permalink

    Questioning is not science? Good Grief!

  57. RoyFOMR
    Posted Jan 11, 2009 at 3:15 PM | Permalink

    Start bringing out some books Steve, please! This site is almost always over my head as far as its scientific and mathematical content is concerned and, yet, not a day passes when I don’t make at least one visit (sometimes before Mr Watts site- and sometimes after- but, invariably always!)
    Maybe it’s the feeling that I’ve been privileged to share thoughts, albeit unilaterally, with a darned clever, refreshingly honest and beautifully mannered individual that keeps me coming back for more but I know that that, is a reason but not the main reason.
    No disrespect intended Steve – and Anthony:)- I’m hopelessly hooked because of the comments, advice, humour, rants, beliefs, links etc donated at no charge by blog-readers responding to postings!

    Steve, I’d be delighted to purchase any literary artefact that you make available (singularly or in tandem/Ghost-written with A.N.Other) and I suspect, strongly, that I am not unique sharing this aspiration (preferably maxing out at circa $40 for the forseeable future)

    I’d love to see (Tongue-in-Cheek but I’d buy them anyway!) on Amazon:-
    ‘The Descent of Mann (sic)’
    ‘Dendochronology- How the present changes the Past!’
    ‘Statistics for crimatologists!’
    ‘M-I-S-S .. I-S-S..I-P-C-C… – (Spelling Mnemonics, Volume 111-The Rivers of Gaia)’
    ‘Now you’ve caught your Bristlecone- How to cook it!(sick(sic))’
    (/Tongue off)
    There are probably a half million western coffee tables with Mr S. Hawkins Physics books close by!
    If you can get a tithe of that number proximate then I may even have to procure a coffee table!
    I don’t understand what you’re saying most times but I do believe you all the time – and I do need a cofee table – cos I’m running out of carpet!
    Cheers and a Happy New Year

  58. Andrew
    Posted Jan 11, 2009 at 3:59 PM | Permalink

    Mr Myers is one vitriolic blogger. Don’t agree with him? Do anything that hurts his favored causes/beliefs? You can go hang. Rather extreme, don’t you think? Frankly, I don’t see how even the choir can stand the hate and irrationality spewed by these guys sometimes.

  59. Steve Reynolds
    Posted Jan 11, 2009 at 4:23 PM | Permalink

    Stan: “If Mann’s work doesn’t matter to the AGW hypothesis in the matter of policy and engineering…”

    Independent of the AGW hypothesis, if natural variability of climate is shown to be high, then the biosphere is likely to be robust (favorite team word) to climate changes, and the AGW crisis does not look so serious.

  60. Paul Penrose
    Posted Jan 11, 2009 at 4:30 PM | Permalink

    CA gets my vote. This is not a knock on Anthony, I like his site too, but Steve is doing great work here. Sure it’s not always easy to follow, but then Steve has not picked easy tasks for himself. I find it refreshing that not only is he willing to dig into these prickly issues, but he’s willing to spend the time to explain what he’s doing. I learn more here on CA than any other single source on the Internet, bar none. How could I vote for any other blog?

  61. gens
    Posted Jan 11, 2009 at 7:29 PM | Permalink

    I know this wasn’t the purpose of the posting, but the discussion here finally galvanized me into hitting the tip jar – something I have been promising myself to do for months. This site is a rare oasis of critical and courteous discourse and I for one am most appreciative.

  62. Steve McIntyre
    Posted Jan 11, 2009 at 10:15 PM | Permalink

    Some discussion has been a little gossipy and, while I’ve participated, it’s also outside blog editorial policies. And as someone observed, it isn’t really polite. So I’m going to adhere to my own policies and remove this later this evening,

  63. Cassandra King
    Posted Jan 12, 2009 at 1:14 AM | Permalink

    The quest for scientific truth is never easy, nor should it be! The true scientist would welcome critisism as a mechanism for refining their theories. I sense real fear and unease within the pro AGW/MMCC camp, they have enjoyed such dominance within the governing institutions and main stream media for so long that now they find it difficult to cope with critisism from anyone.
    A scientific theory is only ever as good as the real world observations that accompany it, this has been known since the time of the ancient Greeks.
    One can only conclude that the AGW/MMCC theory is a political vehicle for the enactment of a political agenda, politics and science have never made good bedfellows as the aims and mechanisms of these institutions differ greatly, a seperation of the two is the only answer, easier said than done I fear!

  64. Ailee
    Posted Jan 12, 2009 at 3:46 AM | Permalink

    I almost never post even if I am a regular reader in climate matters but I wanted to share with the readers here one surprising thing – that surprised me.
    Here is what I “posted” (you will understand the why of the “” later) on RC 3 days ago :

    The best blog award contest is interesting and as the readers are given a democratic opportunity to give their opinion, they should use it.
    I have 2 computers and give 1 vote to RealClimate and 1 vote to ClimateAudit.
    RealClimate because here is the knowledge of how the models work and a good representation of the IPCC position.
    However I regret the heavy moderation.
    ClimateAudit because I have a PhD in statistical thermodynamics and the posters over there really know what they are talking about in statistics.

    So both blogs allow me to elaborate a balanced opinion on the subject of the climate change what is in my opinion an important issue.

    Guess what?
    This comment above has been censored at RC!
    Something is telling me that this comment here at CA will not be censored…
    I find this a worrying difference and it has a serious impact on my judgement about the scientific content at RC.

    • henry
      Posted Jan 12, 2009 at 8:42 AM | Permalink

      Re: Ailee (#81),

      I tried posting there, too.

      My comment was “perhaps the voting in the best science blog is going through some sort of “RealClimate moderation filter” – which would explain why half of their votes aren’t showing up.”

      Wasn’t posted either…

    • Mark T.
      Posted Jan 12, 2009 at 10:35 AM | Permalink

      Re: Ailee (#81), You’re preaching to the choir over here. You pretty much can’t mention CA at RC without getting censored. Indeed, there are other PhDs (statistical backgrounds) that I know of unable to post at RC, in general, without being censored. I’ll not even try.


  65. lazlo
    Posted Jan 12, 2009 at 6:56 AM | Permalink

    totally ot, but I like this site andits quite readable on an iPhone – just thinking of the next billion…

  66. Hu McCulloch
    Posted Jan 12, 2009 at 8:06 AM | Permalink

    As of yesterday, the Science category had 26K total votes, which is 4% of the total 620K that had been cast in all categories. Not bad when Science is competing with Politics, Gossip, Religion, Sports, Movies, etc.!

    Furthermore, WUWT and CA together account for just over half of the Science category. A truly remarkable showing!

  67. PhilH
    Posted Jan 12, 2009 at 10:30 AM | Permalink

    Put this on the Pharyngula blog this morning in response to some of the comments I saw there. That’s a “science” blog?!

    “Steve McIntyre is not a “denialist” and neither is Anthony Watts. Steve, along with many of the posters on Climateaudit, is an expert auditor of the mostly incompentent statistical renderings of many climate scientists. McIntyre, far from being stuck on one “ten year old” paper, is constantly auditing current papers from the proxy group of climate scientists. Watts is a careful monitor of the accuracy/inaccuracy of weather stations in this country. To refer to these gentlemen in the terms I have seen here is reprehensible. It is, however, all too typical of the type of invective I have seen all over the internet from AGW proponents.”

  68. Smokey
    Posted Jan 12, 2009 at 11:31 AM | Permalink

    Pharyngula is adding one vote every ten seconds, like clockwork. I suspect automated voting. Didn’t that happen last year, and force ClimateAudit to share first place?

    WhattsUpWithThat is still ahead at this point. And Climate Audit will come in third, no matter what.

    I love this site and it’s received a lot of votes from me in the past, but in order to assure that a real science site wins, maybe the best prisoner’s dilemma response should be to vote for Anthony Watts’ site.

    Unless, of course, you wouldn’t mind seeing Pharyngula win.

    • Raven
      Posted Jan 12, 2009 at 11:46 AM | Permalink

      Re: Smokey (#88)
      The protections of the voting system work for most casual users but someone with a programmable network device can force their ISP to give them a new IP address every few seconds. This would allow them to automate voting.

    • Dave Dardinger
      Posted Jan 12, 2009 at 1:49 PM | Permalink

      Re: Smokey (#88),

      Pharyngula is adding one vote every ten seconds, like clockwork.

      I was just checking and there doesn’t seem to be much unusual going on. In three consequitive reloads we had the following:

      WUWT Pharyngula
      10201 7813
      10212 7827
      10224 7840
      10263 7892
      So over about 40 minutes Pharyngula gained about 17 votes net on Watt’s Up. That would be 600 for 24 hours which is several times too slow. Of course if they’d done a test run and figured to wait until it was too late to counter-punch it might still happen. What it’d prove is another question, however.

  69. Posted Jan 12, 2009 at 11:58 AM | Permalink

    # 4 Steve, the solution to any financial concerns is very simple – WRITE THE BOOK!
    Given what you have already done it would not be very much work. A first chapter introducing the basics of climate science and statistics and how you got interested. A second chapter on the hockey stick – already mostly written (Ohio.pdf), a third on GISS adjustments and errors, etc, a fourth on the IPCC and its review process?… This would sell tens of thousands of copies easily, removing any financial problems and also removing any awkward questions about where your funding comes from.

    Tell you what: If you don’t write the book, I will. “Breaking the Hockey Stick: the Climate Audit Story”. This would steal all your best ideas, get lots of things wrong, misrepresent your opinions, and take all the money that is rightfully yours!

    Seriously, I would not recommend you to spend your time writing research grant applications. Getting a research grant is much more difficult than getting a paper published, and much more dependent on your ‘track record’, who your friends are, and whether you are on board the latest bandwaggon.

    In the weblog awards, having voted for CA last year, I’m supporting WUWT this time – he has produced some good stuff this year. The latest rant from Professor Myers is

    “it’s a race between me and two truly awful pseudoscientific denialist blogs”

    while the last six of his posts contain no science whatsoever.

  70. Mark T.
    Posted Jan 12, 2009 at 12:20 PM | Permalink

    Not surprisingly, the two blogs that care the most about this silly race, are the two that aren’t doing as well as they’d like. Steve seems to be happy just having a nomination, as does Anthony (kudos to his new found popularity!), but neither seems to really put much stock into how the race turns out. I visited some of the others, and they all (other than the two detractors) seemed to have the same opinion: “Yay, we got nominated!”

    Btw, I dare PZ to find a single instance of Steve doing anything pseudo-scientific or denying anything w.r.t. AGW hypotheses. I wonder if he’s ever actually read Steve’s posts?


  71. Dodgy Geezer
    Posted Jan 12, 2009 at 12:21 PM | Permalink

    Looks like Pharyngula is steadily catching up on WUWT. Myers’ rants must be having an effect…

  72. Posted Jan 12, 2009 at 12:24 PM | Permalink

    #81, #87,

    Many people have reported the same thing:



    Of course, you can only verify it by trying yourself. Ask about MBH99 CIs for a start 😉

  73. Mark T.
    Posted Jan 12, 2009 at 12:27 PM | Permalink

    No, that would only “confuse the science”(TM).


  74. Wansbeck
    Posted Jan 12, 2009 at 1:09 PM | Permalink

    Pharyngula is adding one vote every ten seconds, like clockwork. I suspect automated voting.

    I have just had a look at the weblog forum where there is a complaint of vote rigging for the best asian blog using ‘a technique spoken about earlier on Pharyngula’

  75. James Chamberlain
    Posted Jan 12, 2009 at 1:11 PM | Permalink

    I just read Pharyngula for the first time. I find it hard to believe that it is placed in the “science” category as it is almost wholly opinion. There is even a complaint by a commentor that CA and WUWT have too much data. Yikes!

  76. henry
    Posted Jan 12, 2009 at 1:56 PM | Permalink

    I’ve actually gone to Pharyngula twice: last year when they were nominated, and this year.

    They haven’t changed their tune or come up with any “new science” in that time.

  77. Michael H Anderson
    Posted Jan 12, 2009 at 2:26 PM | Permalink

    You can bet that as a LIBERAL I have followed this trend very closely, having witnessed the development of the environmental movement from its inception and, when younger and more vulnerable to exploitation, having worked in various positions within the movement. Disillusionment is far too weak a term for what followed. Going to vote now – please do keep up the good work Steve.

    snip- [Steve: we’re supposed to be civil here. Don’t rise to the bait.]

  78. Eric Anderson
    Posted Jan 12, 2009 at 2:29 PM | Permalink

    Myers is notorious for his acerbic tactics — the verbal equivalent of sophmoric temper tantrums. He is well known in biology circles for his rants; amusing that he has extended his talents to the climate debates.

  79. Michael H Anderson
    Posted Jan 12, 2009 at 2:36 PM | Permalink

    On reflection, “Homogeneity of thought and expression – and ABSENCE of inquiry” says it even better. 🙂

  80. Steve McIntyre
    Posted Jan 12, 2009 at 2:37 PM | Permalink

    Enough discussion of Pharyngula over here. I realize that I raised the topic, but equally I don’t want to prolong the discussion of Pharyngula itself, other than in the context of the Weblog Awards race. If you want to criticize Myers, I’d prefer that you do it over there where he can defend himself.

    • Dave Dardinger
      Posted Jan 12, 2009 at 3:21 PM | Permalink

      Re: Steve McIntyre (#102),

      Not that I want to talk about that site, but why would you expect they’d allow anyone to diss them? We gripe (occasionally) about your snips, but at least we know there was something there. I read one long thread there and there was absolutely no message from someone from the other side.

  81. Michael H Anderson
    Posted Jan 12, 2009 at 2:55 PM | Permalink

    Very sorry Steve, didn’t mean to be uncivil. I calls ’em as I sees ’em, maybe a little too quickly. Sorry you didn’t feel my little essay on my thoughts about the true definition of liberalism was worth retaining. Will watch those anxious typing fingers in future.

    Steve: I understand your point, but editorially I don’t want to get into that sort of political discussion.

  82. Dishman
    Posted Jan 12, 2009 at 4:21 PM | Permalink

    … somehow bad to even discuss specific inconsistencies at all.

    See reference Godel.

    Every scientific model is flawed.

    For whatever reason, however, political models seem to require denying flaws.

    It seems to me that politics and science are therefore somewhat mutually exclusive.

  83. Mike
    Posted Jan 12, 2009 at 4:38 PM | Permalink


    Long time lurker here. Being in the education industry, I’m not sure there is a lot of money in the book writing. Especially in Canada. I’m sure Ross M has filled you in on that. Publish or perish is all about grants. I think the population segment who would read a book about the statistical relevance of dendronology is a narrow vertical. Perhaps I’m wrong and it’s me who’s narrow. However, I do believe the CA stamp of approval has a lot of value to it. Personally, if I read a study, etc. that has gone through the rigmoral of CA, I’m a lot more apt to trust it. Think of it as stamping as CSA or UL approved for the stats world. The example I think of is Craig Loehle’s reports. Since I knew they went through the CA mill, I was confident the statistical results. Your asset is your stats knowledge and your no punch withheld attitude. If your statistical knowledge can go across other verticals, (drugs/health immediately come to mind). There would be some privacy issues to consider but web policy could take care of that. As Tom Yulman/You/Pielke Jr. alluded to, the pier review is a lot about piers and not a lot about review. Smells like opportunity to me. Ross M’s association with the Fraser Institute could be a nice connection.

    Anyway, I enjoy your blog even though I am a statistical neophyte. Comments on other web sites withheld. ‘Nuf said.

    • PhilH
      Posted Jan 13, 2009 at 9:26 AM | Permalink

      Re: Mike (#106), What Steve, perhaps together with Ross, ought to do is not to write a technical exposition of the proxy wars, but to get together with a proven author of “popular” science books (I’m thinking, like the “The Double Helix”) and produce a narrative of this whole saga. It’s got everything (which is one reason why we all check in every day);the poor underdog, the overbearing, arrogant academic world, the fat-cat scientists, the triumphs of discovery, the Starbucks’ Test, the flawed but haughty, high and mighty “peer reviewed” journals, the bureaucracy of the IPCC, the gullibility of governments: everything that a good story needs. It would sell. It would sell.

  84. Richard
    Posted Jan 12, 2009 at 6:00 PM | Permalink

    CA has gotten all my votes since the voting began. Keep up the good work!!!

  85. harry9000
    Posted Jan 12, 2009 at 8:32 PM | Permalink

    Just visited Pharyngula. Man, what an eye opener.
    Remove the letter “F” from those people’s keyboards and they’d have no other means of self expression.

    Im glad you’ve won the award in the past. Judith Curry was right when she defended you on that website. Your site has been invaluable to the debate.

  86. harry9000
    Posted Jan 12, 2009 at 8:36 PM | Permalink

    Sorry Steve. Didnt see comment #102.

  87. J Nicklin
    Posted Jan 13, 2009 at 9:38 AM | Permalink


    I would be happy to advertise on your site. If you are interested, please send me an email, I think you can retrieve the address.

  88. Dodgy Geezer
    Posted Jan 13, 2009 at 10:31 AM | Permalink

    So over about 40 minutes Pharyngula gained about 17 votes net on Watt’s Up. That would be 600 for 24 hours which is several times too slow.

    Paryngula has now upped it’s rate – looks like it could overhaul WUWT. All hands to voting…

  89. Steve McIntyre
    Posted Jan 13, 2009 at 10:38 AM | Permalink

    Weblog Awards voting close at 5 pm Eastern today. For the first 5 days, the proportions for Watts Up, Pharyngula and CA were pretty steady at 3:2:1. CA is well ahead of 4th place Bad Astronomy. RC was running in 6th place behind Neurologica for most of the race. WUWT and CA combined were holding about 51% of the total vote.

    Pharyngula’s share started increasing in yesterday. Last night, Anthony’s lead was about 2400 votes. It was 2200 votes about an hour ago and was about 2000 votes at 11:30 Eastern, 1924 votes ahead at 11:37 Eastern.

    In the last 3-4 minutes between screen refreshing, Bad Astronomy got 3 votes, CA 2 votes, WUWT 34 votes and Pharyngula 60 votes.

    • Dave Dardinger
      Posted Jan 13, 2009 at 10:55 AM | Permalink

      Re: Steve McIntyre (#113),

      Yes, when I ran off to put in some work, WUWT was ahead 2440 but a little bit ago it’s down to 1880. Clearly someone’s stuffing the ballot box. Smokey had noticed something similar yesterday but it’d disappeared before I checked it out. Re: Dave Dardinger (#97), But I mentioned it might be a test run and apparently that’s what it was. Of course Dr. Myers said that the only thing worse than losing would be winning by cheating, but I suppose he can’t control his homeboys. I’d hope the people in charge of the voting would be keeping a close eye on the Science voting this year after what happened last year.

  90. Mark T.
    Posted Jan 13, 2009 at 10:49 AM | Permalink

    The site is down right now. Must be overloaded.


  91. Dodgy Geezer
    Posted Jan 13, 2009 at 11:03 AM | Permalink

    Pharyngula’s share started increasing in yesterday. Last night, Anthony’s lead was about 2400 votes. It was 2200 votes about an hour ago and was about 2000 votes at 11:30 Eastern, 1924 votes ahead at 11:37 Eastern.

    In the last 3-4 minutes between screen refreshing, Bad Astronomy got 3 votes, CA 2 votes, WUWT 34 votes and Pharyngula 60 votes.

    If this rate is maintained, Pharyngula should overtake WUWT in 3-4 hours. There are 5 hours left for voting.

  92. Steve McIntyre
    Posted Jan 13, 2009 at 2:30 PM | Permalink

    AT 3:25 Eastern with an hour to go, Anthony is 1826 votes ahead of Pharyngula, having actually gained on Pharyngula in the last hour and half and staying even over the last 3 1/2 hours. Votes during this period for CA and Bad Astronomy have dried up. RC “surged” into 5th place yesterday.

  93. Mark T.
    Posted Jan 13, 2009 at 2:48 PM | Permalink

    I’m actually surprised BA isn’t doing better than it is. Of course, the site itself hasn’t changed much in terms of content for a long time. Most of it is the Bad Astronomy/Universe Today forum (the bautforum), which turned somewhat political when the two merged (my sole opinion based on before and after merger observation).

    I saw Phil Plait (BA proprietor) on some Science Channel thing discussing potential asteroid hits recently. His tone was much more alarmist, or at least that’s the way they framed his interview, than I originally remember him being. Of course, he also never used to delve into the politically charged topics till more recently, either.


  94. BarryW
    Posted Jan 13, 2009 at 3:31 PM | Permalink

    Thirty minutes to go and WUWT is at 14,021 and PZ 12,160.

  95. Steve McIntyre
    Posted Jan 13, 2009 at 4:04 PM | Permalink

    5:01 pm Eastern: 37613 votes.
    Pharyngula -12238
    CA -4096
    Bad Astronomy -2545
    RC – 1446
    Watts Up -14150
    Neurologica -1192

    Congratulations, Anthony.

  96. Stan Palmer
    Posted Jan 13, 2009 at 4:08 PM | Permalink

    The fat lady has sung and WUWT is the winner:

    WUWT = 14150
    PZ = 12238

  97. Anthony Watts
    Posted Jan 13, 2009 at 5:00 PM | Permalink

    Thank you Steve, you are gracious as always.

    According to the contest website daily notes, the final results will be available Thursday morning. Until then I’m just glad it is over and that there is no post pol closing voting going on such as what marred your victory last year.

  98. Smokey
    Posted Jan 13, 2009 at 5:04 PM | Permalink

    Congratulations! to Steve McIntyre and Climate Audit for the excellent showing. CA would have done even better, but I suspect that a lot of CA voters helped push WUWT over the top, after seeing that CA had a solid lock on the #3 position.

    And most importantly, Climate Audit has thoroughly spanked RealClimate again [at least that’s the *ahem* ‘consensus’].

  99. Posted Jan 13, 2009 at 5:38 PM | Permalink

    I think to some extent, last year, BA benefited when Pharyngula suggested his readers vote for BA. This morning Joe Romm complained Anthony was likely to win and posted this:

    If this annoys you in the least or if you are just feeling bored today, you should vote here for Watts’ closest competitor, Pharyngula. Vote soon, though. The “polls” close today, Tuesday, at 5 pm EST.

    Earlier in the competition, Romm has mentioned his picks, complaining about CA winning last year.

    Some of the surges happen this way. But generally, someone like Romm can only motivate someone to vote when he actually posts. Actual fans will vote multiple times. WUWT’s real fans came through for Anthony.

  100. Mark T.
    Posted Jan 13, 2009 at 5:50 PM | Permalink

    Well, what I was getting at was that I think BA used to be bigger than it is now. The moon hoax coverage in the news (along with Fox TV’s silly program) and getting recognized in Discover Magazine helped its popularity significantly. That all went down right around the time BA merged with UT. The forum also went from almost purely scientific posting about things astronomy (my original interest) to a much broader appeal in which the political element became a larger focus. Whether that is true or not I don’t know since I finally got disgusted and stopped posting several years ago (moderators were telling me “yah, we’ve heard your opinion, don’t post it anymore…”). At any rate, I wonder if that direction has undermined its popularity? Not that it matters, it just seems like a hard reversal from last year, that’s all.


  101. John Philips
    Posted Jan 13, 2009 at 6:09 PM | Permalink

    I’m gratified when this effort at ensuring civility in expression is recognized, ……the overwhelming impression of someone who bends over backward not to engage in ad hominem attacks,

    Ah yes, civility…perhaps along the lines of ‘Try not to puke’ (Caption to a video clip of Professor Michael Mann)



    I guess Gavin Schmidt won’t admit that he was full of crap when he said that the data at the SI did not contain infilling.


    Remind me, that last accusation of crapfullness = ISTR it was plain wrong, No?


    I urge caution, climbing down off a high horse can be quite hazardous….

    Steve: I don’t always succeed in living up to the policy, but we work at it. I discussed the Gavin Schmidt comment here . It turned out that Mann changed his data about 6-7 minutes after I checked it without issuing a change notice. Gavin Schmidt was aware that Mann had changed his data and likewise did not report the change. In this particular case, as I mentioned in the post, it turned out that I was wrong – I don’t claim to be perfect. However, it also isn’t reasonable to have to check Mann’s Supplementary Information for a published article every 10 minutes to see if it’s changed. The language in the Schmidt comment was coarser than I ought to have used and against my own blog policies. This was pointed out to me at the time and I implemented blog policies by removing the coarse expression long ago.

  102. Posted Jan 13, 2009 at 6:32 PM | Permalink

    You say “BA merged with UT.” What’s UT?

    • Mark T
      Posted Jan 14, 2009 at 12:13 AM | Permalink

      Re: lucia (#129), Universe Today. 2003, 2004 timeframe maybe? I can’t remember. They merged forums (fora?) for efficiency or something.


  103. Posted Jan 13, 2009 at 11:59 PM | Permalink

    congratulations to Steve and CA for another strong showing and another great year: 2008 was a break out year for Anthony’s blog for many people. Good to see Jennifer do so well and Small Dead Animals waged a wonderfully Canadian campaign against its US competition: great humour. If nothing else, the vote gets people to check out other blogs which is always good.

    Am I the only one to note with pleasure the poor showing of RealClimate and the dismal performance and voting demise of the denial-smearing DeSmogblog? You get what you dish. Karma, what a concept. Not scientific, but gratifying nevertheless!

  104. Posted Jan 14, 2009 at 2:15 AM | Permalink

    Now, who wants to try commenting “The reason for your loss is that you delete relevant comments” at RC 😉

    • henry
      Posted Jan 14, 2009 at 6:10 AM | Permalink

      Re: UC (#133),

      I tried something like that, remarking that the votes went through a “RC moderation filter”, so half their votes never showed up…neither did my comment…

  105. Mark T
    Posted Jan 14, 2009 at 2:46 AM | Permalink

    You’re baaaad. It’s almost like that logical paradox, when a Cretan says “all Cretans are liars.”

    I think the reason for their loss is even deeper than that, but that’s just me.


  106. Mark Smith
    Posted Jan 14, 2009 at 4:55 AM | Permalink

    No, the reason for RC’s loss is the millions of oil-dollars that Steve and Anthony receive….not.

  107. tallbloke
    Posted Jan 14, 2009 at 6:50 AM | Permalink

    Congratulations to Steve and all at Climate Audit on another good showing. This blog leads the way on how to do climate science properly. WUWT is a great blog and a deserving winner too. Nice to see the mutual respect between Anthony and Steve shining through the unedifying approach of RC and Pharyngula.

    The forces of light and reason are in the ascendant.

  108. Adam Gallon
    Posted Jan 14, 2009 at 8:43 AM | Permalink

    Having found the delights of this blog, via Watts, via a columnist in The Daily Telegraph and looked at Jeff Ids’ and Tamino’s blogs too, the thing that’s struck me is how rude the AGW “devotees” are, compared to the “denialists” or “skeptics”.
    A lot of the statistical work is beyond me, parts of the arguments for and against are too, but when I read similar posters who don’t comprehend or take an opposing view, post these on here or Watts & you don’t get comments of “stupid is as stupid does” (Nor do I see blogs entitled like that) or allegations of what the poster has put, whether it has been “snipped” or not, is only suitable for use as agricultural fertiliser.
    On the contrary, you get knowledgable scientists politely pointing out errors and prepared to do so when a comment strongly favours the IPCC-contrary stance.
    Far fewer posters appear to get “banned”, despite their language and general demeanor richly deserving it.
    There seems to be a far higher tolerance for dissent amongst those who’s views’ run contrary to the IPCC’s views than those who favour them.
    Also, Devotee Trolls appear to have a statistically high number of “Davids” amongst them.

    • Mark T
      Posted Jan 14, 2009 at 11:42 AM | Permalink

      Re: Adam Gallon (#139),

      Far fewer posters appear to get “banned”, despite their language and general demeanor richly deserving it.

      John A has a banned list on the forum and, not surprisingly, it is only spam IPs, i.e., the bots that come in here advertising something (as far as I can tell, at least).


      Steve: Blogs are under constant bombardment by bots and could not function without tools like Bad Behavior and Spam Karma.

  109. Hu McCulloch
    Posted Jan 14, 2009 at 8:57 AM | Permalink

    With the polls closed, WUWT and CA together received 47.6% of the total Science vote, pushing Science to 4.0% of the total vote in 48 categories that cover far glitzier topics like Politics, Gossip, Religion, Pop Music, Movies, etc. In fact, WUWT and CA together received 2.0% of the total vote in all categories!

    The results are not final yet, however, as Weblog Awards is reviewing the votes for any evidence of cheating. Final results will be out Thursday.

  110. Gerald Machnee
    Posted Jan 14, 2009 at 9:03 AM | Permalink

    If you need a good laugh, check the RC comments on the Weblog awards. We can see where Jay Leno gets his lines. Just do not try posting there. Funny how it is not important when you lose so badly.

  111. Wansbeck
    Posted Jan 14, 2009 at 2:49 PM | Permalink

    Congrats on your performance and also that of Anthony.

    Sadly some people aren’t that happy – I’ve just read this post on the Weblog forum:

    The WebLog Awards provides a good service, but are open to abuse by special interest groups trying to distort the apparent popularity of their viewpoint. You might take note that an anti-science site is being given the best science blog award…

    Very sad.
    (I must point out that this was the view of a poster not the hosts)

    • Jeff Alberts
      Posted Jan 14, 2009 at 6:20 PM | Permalink

      Re: Wansbeck (#144),

      Interesting. And the same poster thinks Pharyngula is a science blog?

  112. StuartR
    Posted Jan 14, 2009 at 4:20 PM | Permalink

    Commiserations on not winning Steve, I’ve been voting for your site every day.

    But at least you can say you have now beat Bad Astronomy on your own strengths this year.

    Or can you?

    It’s thanks to you that I find myself trying to think about statistical weightings and external influence, but I think too much about what this means and worry I’ll never be certain about that answer, er thanks 🙂

  113. Mark T.
    Posted Jan 15, 2009 at 10:28 AM | Permalink

    “Science” is apparently decided by outcome. If your outcome agrees with and/or does not upset in any way the “consensus,” then you are practicing science. If your outcome is contrary, however, than you are practicing “anti-science.” Einstein, for example, was not a scientist until most everyone agreed with him long after his first publications on relativity.

    Didn’t you know that, Jeff Alberts and Wansbeck?


  114. Steve McIntyre
    Posted Jan 25, 2009 at 6:37 PM | Permalink

    #148. I’ve thought about suggesting something to the National Post in Toronto, but the market is really an international one, rather than Toronto. Newspapers and blogs are going to have to figure out how to coexist as blogs and the internet must be carving up the newspapers.

  115. D. Patterson
    Posted Jan 25, 2009 at 9:40 PM | Permalink

    Steve, the only continuing access the MSM is likely to permit someone with your reputation with respect to Climate Change would be limited to that of a syndicated columnist. The good news is that syndicated columnists are nearly the only authors who may receive anything approaching a decent remuneration while at the top of their category in the news media. See an author’s agent for representation as a syndicated colunnist. The agent will also broker the book deals.

2 Trackbacks

  1. […] There are some who are dismissive of non-alarmists on climate. Their allegiance to AGW theory often causes them to be imperious and derogatory in their remarks, with any questioning of the alarmist dogma derided as lacking in credibility or the product of ideological paranoia (a theme developed more fully here).… […]

  2. […] EXCERPT: There are some who are dismissive of non-alarmists on climate. Their allegiance to AGW theory often causes them to be imperious and derogatory in their remarks, with any questioning of the alarmist dogma derided as lacking in credibility or the product of ideological paranoia (a theme developed more fully here). […]

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