Can blog posts be better than journal articles?

The Dutch experimental psychologist Daniel Lakens asked this question on his website, and I thought it was worth distilling for mine, since I have had a lot to do with journals and more recently with websites. There has been a deal of discussion recently about the lack of effective replication in both the medical area and others, so the rules about publication are worth thinking about. Before the ‘peer review’ cheer squad starts to chant, I should tell you that Lakens’s goal is to improve the quality of journal articles, not to replace articles with blog posts. He offers five reasons why, nevertheless, blog posts might be better, and the whole essay is worth reading, along with the Comments.

One of the commenters pointed out, quite reasonably, that the quality of most journal articles is abysmal. Even when the science is good the language can be terrible, and the accessibility to anyone outside the five hundred or so who know this tiny area will be close to Nil. Improving the quality of what is published in journals is of great importance. An important caveat is that Lakens is speaking about his own area, experimental psychology. It may be different in different ways and to different degrees in other areas, and he says so.

Anyway, what are his five reasons? What follows is a mixture of his text and my summarisation. The text will be in italics.

  1. Blogs have Open Data, Code, and Materials 

When you want to evaluate scientific claims, you need access to the raw data, the code, and the materials. Most journals do not (yet) require authors to make their data publicly available (whenever possible). In many journals there is no such stipulation, in others the expectation is that you the researcher would provide the materials if asked. Lakens says in one case you only have to share data when asked to by ‘competent professionals’ for the goal to ‘verify claims’, and that these researchers can charge money to compensate any costs that are made when they have to respond to a request for data.

Some journals in the climate science field do insist on the provision of data code and related materials. Most seem not to do so, which means that those interested in exploring further have to engage in a never-ending email cycle. And it means that there is no way of knowing whether or not the claims made are valid or not.

  1. Blogs have Open Peer Review

Peer review came into being in the early twentieth century when the volume and breadth of what was being provided exceeded the editor’s knowledge. It is a form of quality control, but it is only a small guide to anything. Having been a peer reviewer myself, over a long period, I have been unimpressed with its general quality. Lakens has a nice comment on it: The quality of the peer review process is as high as the quality of the peers that were involved in the review process. The peer review process was as biased as the biases of the peers that were involved in the review process. And, a little further, Most low quality journals (e.g., Science, Nature) have 100% closed peer review, and we don’t even know the name [of] the handling editor of a publication. It is often impossible to know whether articles were peer reviewed to begin with, and what the quality of the peer review process was.

Now in the case of blogs, and Lakens is talking about blogs like his, where a serious scientist is discussing his own and related science, there is instant peer review — unless you block it by censoring particular views or people. Blog peer review is above all transparent. You know what is being argued and you know who is arguing it — Lakens will not publish a comment that has only a pseudonym for the author. I have never thought that necessary for my blog, but if I was doing what Lakens is doing I might well make complete transparency a rule for commenters.

  1. Blogs have no Eminence Filter

An ’eminence filter’ is pretty obvious: you get heard if you are somebody important. I have certainly seen that in journals, and especially at academic conferences. The blog, Lakens says, is an egalitarian and democratic medium. I’m not so sure about that. It costs money to set up and maintain a website, so that cuts out people who might have something to say but can’t afford their own medium in which to say it. But it is true that who you are counts for little in the blogosphere. And that has some effects that can be unfortunate. I have noticed that many of the orthodox ‘names’ in climate science refrain from dealing with major essays on blogs because of the  criticisms they receive, not from the blog host, but from the other commenters. Yes, and some commenters don’t do the work, take the discussion off into areas they like to talk about, and engage in machine-gunning from the side. Serious readers skip past those commenters, but they can be a bore.

  1. Blogs have Better Error Correction

If you make an error in a journal article, and realise it after the event, no one will ever know unless they write to you and you tell them. The mechanics of it all are just too difficult. A couple of journals I am familiar with do add ‘errata’ to the next issue or even to later issues, but even in these cases the errata are slips added between the pages, not part of the published journal itself. If I make an error here and somebody points it out, I can correct it, and leave a comment myself to thank the alert reader. Sometimes too much is happening and I forget to do so, but in general, errors on blog posts can be fixed at once. Both Anthony Watts and Judith Curry do this as a matter of course. It follows, says Lakens, that blog posts are likely to be more error-free than journal articles.

Lakens says: … I would consider my blogs more error-free, and of higher quality. There are some reasons why you can not just update scientific articles (we need a stable scientific record), and there might be arguments for better and more transparent version control of blog posts, but for the consumer, it’s just very convenient that mistakes can easily be fixed in blogs, and that you will always read the best version.

  1. Blogs are Open Access (and might be read more)

Blogs are read, and are accessible, says Lakens, and most journal articles are not. Getting figures about all this is difficult, as he points out. I would agree with him on that. This website has a pretty consistent amount of traffic. Most of these essays are read about a thousand times in the first four weeks, and keep being read, though in much smaller numbers, for a year or more after that. I’ve lost count of how many unique individuals have visited here in the five years since it started, but it must be approaching 70,000. I doubt that I would have many more readers if I were writing in the local newspaper. And the great advantage is that commenters are quick to comment, and others to discuss. That is not the case much with newspapers and hardy at all in academic journals.

I’ll let Lakens finish, for I generally agree with him.

First, It is my opinion that blogs, on average, score better on some core scientific values, such as open data and code, transparency of the peer review process, egalitarianism, error correction, and open access. 

And, I am not recommending we stop publishing in journals, but I want to challenge the idea that journal publications are the gold standard of scientific output. They fall short on some important dimensions of scientific quality, where they are outperformed by blog posts. Pointing this out might inspire some journals to improve their current standards. 

Join the discussion 97 Comments

  • Alan moran says:

    Great article spelling the end of the former gold standard but now corroded peer review process, at least across the highly contentious areas of science.

  • JohnM says:

    Blogs don’t always have open data, code and materials, in fact I think it would be unusual for them to do so. What they can do is provide links to data and any other relevant material. Blogs might have open peer review but readers have to sort through the dross of comments to find some by people who seem to know what they are talking about.
    Blogs are Open Access? But so are open access journals and I question whether some of them do any reviewing whatsoever given that quality of some of the papers that are published.
    What I’d like to see is open access publication accompanied by multiple written reviews by people with some proven credibility in the field. The difficulty is setting up such a system and applying some method of checking the credentials those who wish to review papers. The advantage is however that we get to see the paper and the reviews alert us to what experts think of the paper, something that is almost impossible to determine from the current methods of publishing.

  • Ross says:

    “Having been a peer reviewer myself, over a long period, I have been unimpressed with its general quality.”
    Well whose fault is that?

  • JimboR says:

    I think there’s a huge distinction between experts blogging in their field of expertise and amateurs blogging in fields where they have no experience or training. Compare Quiggin’s blogging on matters of Economics with Aitkin’s blogging on matters of Climate Science as an example. The former attracts real engagement from fellow experts and valuable ideas and knowledge are exchanged, often in both directions. The latter attracts like-minded drongos who are suspicious of science and maths they don’t understand.

    • Colin Davidson says:

      JimboR accuses those who comment on Don’s climate “science” posts as being “like-minded drongos who are suspicious of science and maths they don’t understand.”

      That may or may not be true, but not in my case. I understand the much of the science and mathematics and the data (but definitely not all), and am in correspondence with spectroscopic scientists on all sides of the issue. I also understand that most of the proponents of action to “Save the Planet” understand none of the “science” and even less of the mathematics. They therefore do not understand the uncertainties in the “science”.

      Perhaps Jimbo could illustrate his knowledge of the subject by explaining the following observation:
      In the Wavenumber 630/cm to 710/cm band the clear sky measured emissions to Space above any Tropical site at any time of the year are less than those above any Temperate site in winter.
      This is not just a factoid – understanding why this is so is central to understanding the physics behind the “science”.

      If Jimbo can’t make a correct explanation, or does not reply, or obfuscates, then I will understand how much science and mathematics he understands.

    • JimboR says:

      I don’t think I’ve ever claimed to understand climate science. I prefer to leave it to those of you working in the field. And with the possible exception of yourself, you won’t find them in here, for the reasons I outlined above.

      • Colin Davidson says:

        Jimbo, I think that places you in the same boat as Al Gore, Tim Flannery, the Greens, the whole of the ABC and most other “True Believers”.
        As I pointed out above, all of these “proponents of action to “Save the Planet” understand none of the “science” and even less of the mathematics. They therefore do not understand the uncertainties in the “science”.”

        Being unequipped to conduct a scientific debate, they instead rely on unfounded ad hominem attacks, labelling people as “climate science deniers”, “like-minded drongos who are suspicious of science and maths they don’t understand”, and “heartless robbers of their grandchildren’s future”.

        This sort of tosh is not science, nor scientific debate. It is politics, designed to denigrate and suppress opponents. When so-called scientists stoop to such rubbish, we know one thing: they know nothing of the physics because they are unable to engage in rational debate. Either that or their case is so weak as to be laughable.

        If one is ignorant of the data and the physics one will not understand the uncertainties, and what is probable and what is not probable. One will not understand that the predictions of the models are reliably unreliable (ie there is a serious problem with the “settled science”), or that the scientific, economic, and intergenerational case for doing nothing is much more soundly based than the case for doing something.

        • tripitaka says:

          Colin this is nonsense. Ordinary people are quite capable of understanding that there is uncertainty in all areas of science and that theoretically nothing can be totally proved; things can only be disproved as in the case with black swans.

          Ordinary people trust to the scientists in the area of their expertise to provide us with the truth as it is currently understood. This applies to climate science and the acceptance of AGW in the same way as it applies to evolution. Only scientists who work in the area of evolutionary theory and a few people who are capable of understanding and interested enough to keep up with the current research can possibly grasp the complexity and the details of the theory but ordinary people take the word of the scientists.

          AGW sceptics are like creationists. You have no credibility anymore.

          But the fact is that you are not sceptics but straight out deniers because as Quiggin wrote in a blog a while ago “it’s clear that the term “climate sceptic” means someone whose criteria for convincing evidence are those set out by the Onion.”

          and he would “be happy to be proved wrong (by counterexample), but as far as I can see, if the ordinary usage of the term “sceptic” is applied, the world population of genuine climate sceptics is zero.the level of consensus and knowledge that confirms what the reputable scientists are saying and no rational sane person can honestly claim to be a genuine sceptic,”

          http://johnquiggin.com/2016/07/22/do-climate-sceptics-exist/

          For you to have any credibility, you need to explain why reputable scientists are making up the AGW story and nobody has explained that. There are however several explanations to do with human psychology and behaviour about why people like you and the other drongos and cranks keep flogging the dead horse of denialism.

        • Aert Driessen says:

          Colin, I come from a different direction — evidence. As a humble geologist, I see no evidence that CO2 has ever, in the history of planet Earth, been a driver of climate change. I agree that CO2 is a greenhouse gas but, as I said, I see no evidence that it has played a significant role in changing climate. On the other hand, there is sound evidence that climate change is linked to various other natural processes, like solar cycles as just one example. Perhaps JumboR can enlighten us about the role of evidence.

          • Chris Warren says:

            Broaden your reading and all will become clear.

          • Aert Driessen says:

            Chris, evidence is not found in books. Aert

          • Chris Warren says:

            Competant evidence is published and can be read and cross examined, not ignored. This would be denialism.

          • Colin Davidson says:

            Thanks to Tripitaka and Aert for responding.
            In the course of our daily lives we all constantly conduct due diligence. Is this or that purchase good value for money? Is what Fred just said about Daphne really true? Experience suggests that the nay case should always be listened to carefully.
            This was what The Enlightenment was about. Before then we had the Scientific Elite (at that time mostly clergy) dictating what was right, and what could be examined and how. After that we had the principle that it doesn’t matter who says what – it’s the data that is the arbiter of truth, not the highly esteemed spruiker.
            If Joe Bloe from Outbackerup produces data which shows that Einstein was wrong, then Einstein was wrong.
            I agree with Aert – it’s the measurements, not the spruik.
            The difficulty I have with Tripitaka’s advice to follow the scientists, is which one? We can’t follow the IPCC reports – these are well known to be politically tainted, not what the scientists believe at all. Perhaps eminent scientists like Hansen (who notoriously predicted that the seas would rise 20 feet in the 30 years after 1980) or Flannery (who predicted eternal drought, but was proved wrong by the weather the following year), or the ridiculous and totally debunked claims by scientists that the present balmy conditions are warmer than the Medieval Warm Period? ( I call these wild claims made by scientists “Polar Bears”, after the equally stupid prediction that polar bears will die off if it is warmer. Trouble is, no-one told them, and they have unobligingly increased in numbers by 2- to 4- fold since 1970, and continue to increase.)
            Scientists are people. Some of them are frauds. Some criminally so. Many are compliant to the majority view. A few are not. Just as in all other matters due diligence needs to be done, and that activity needs to be particularly rigorous and thorough where politicians are spending vast sums of money. In Australia in just the power generation field we are spending over $2 Billion per year in solar and wind subsidies. We know the installation of these devices is also causing other economic damage (lower power quality, lower power availability, greater unreliability) and pushing power prices through the roof. So the claims that doing this will save our planet should be very, very, very carefully examined, not just by the authorities (they haven’t) but by the whole community.
            The following is a list of other scientific claims which, based on all the measurements, are most likely false:
            1. The mean temperature of the planet will warm by more than 2DegC within the next 100 years.
            2. The Great Barrier reef will die off in the next 100 years (some claim 10 !)
            3. DDT causes birds to die.
            4. People living with high doses of radiation (eg people who live on granite moors) will be less healthy than the rest of us.
            5. Crop yields will decline over the next 100 years.
            6. The Greenland Ice Sheet will melt within the next 100 years.
            7. Sea Levels will rise by more than 30cm within the next 100 years.
            8. We have more and worse hurricanes/cyclones now than 100 years ago.

            Polar Bears.

          • Aert Driessen says:

            Chris, so what evidence that you have read, and I have obviously not, are you putting forward to back your claim of ‘dangerous global warming’?

    • Thorfinn says:

      What tosh! A bit like the “expert” opinion over at the public funded “The Conversation”. A sure indicator of the poor standard of acadème.

      • tripitaka says:

        Seriously? Tosh? Wasn’t he a character on The Bill? lol You so funny Thor and so sure of your opinion.

        But seriously, do tell when it was that ‘academe’ had a standard that you found acceptable?

        And it’s difficult to tell from your brief comment but you seem to be suggesting that the people who post articles at The Conversation are suss as experts and that public funding that provides an outlet for people who have academic credenitals is dodgy? That’s a minority opinion that lacks any supporting evidence.

        Why would anyone take any notice of your opinion?

        • bryan roberts says:

          How far underwater was Tuvalu supposed to be by now?

          • Tripitaka says:

            Bryan I don’t understand why you imagine that this question has any intrinsic meaning.

            For ordinary people like me who don’t believe that climate scientists are corrupt or understand why some people are claiming that this area of science has gone rogue, these sort of silly attempts to prove that the climate isn’t changing are just evidence that you and people like you have a bee in their bonnets about climate change for some reason that has to do with the inherent irrationality of human psychology and nothing to do with the predictions that may or may not have been made by people who do accept that science is going along as it usually has.

            The way I see it and this is how other people I know understand it , the particular predictions about what will happen as the climate changes is not an exact and not known because the specifics are unpredictable at this stage of our knowledge. The fundamental point about climate change is that the climate will be unpredictable and the changes could be non-linear.

            To carry on about trivial issues such as somebody once saying that the dams will never be full again only or Tuvulu was going to be inundated by now only reinforces how crazy deniers are and how they focus on things that are not important while ignoring the main issue which is that to not change the way we humans live now is endangering the future of our children.

            If there is any chance that AGW will change our climate so that our descendants won’t survive it is criminal of people like you – old men who don’t care about other people and regard most of us as peasants who are stupid and lazy and want to suck at the teat of the taxpayer – to continue to try and stop mitigation efforts and the transition to a way of life that will be ensure that we avoid the catastrophic climate changes whatever form they take, that will happen if we continue to live the way we live now.

          • Neville says:

            Gee Trip you’ve just vented a mouthful. But if you believe it then tell us how to fix it?
            BTW I’ve never doubted that the climate changes and sometimes warms and cools over short and longer periods.
            I’m sure the sun , ocean oscillations, clouds etc have a strong influence over short and very long periods of time.

            And co2 is a GHG and should help to warm the planet along with water vapour , methane etc. But if you want to argue your point about mitigation you must explain how spending endless trillions of dollars will help to return the climate to something better. I’ve tried to show what has happened since the start of the Industrial revolution by linking to Dr Rosling’s quest to dispel our ignorance but that doesn’t seem to work for true believers either.

            So tell us how to mitigate your problem and how much this will change the climate. Oh and when will we notice this beneficial change and how much will it cost? I hope China, India and NON OECD countries are listening. Here’s a good place to start on your quest. This is what’s happening on the real planet earth and not some fantasy planet where you can make up some mitigation fairytale backed up by fairytale energy.

            https://www.eia.gov/outlooks/ieo/pdf/emissions.pdf

            Here’s the planet’s TOTAL energy sources used by humans, but this time from the EU’s IEA. Notice that over 80% of our energy comes from fossil fuels. Oh and geo-thermal ,solar and wind make up just 1.3%. And Lomborg tells us that the EIA have told him that S&W alone make up about 0.5% and MAY reach 2.4% by 2040. But the EIA also tells us that co2 emissions will increase by 34% by 2040. Here’s the IEA pie chart of TOTAL energy sources.

            http://www.iea.org/stats/WebGraphs/WORLD4.pdf

          • bryan roberts says:

            Tt, some 20 years ago, the world was warned that Tuvalu would disappear. It has not, and there seems little likelihood that it ever will.

            http://www.tuvaluislands.com/news/archived/2002/2002-02-01.htm

            Over that same period, BOM data show no significant rise in sea level. I’d rather believe the data than listen to your perfervid imaginings.

          • Aert Driessen says:

            Trip, I take your point below expressed as follows: ‘ … that the climate will be unpredictable and the changes could be non-linear’. So why do you attach only the ‘warming’ part of ‘change’ and not the ‘cooling’ part? It seems to me that all mitigating strategies are aimed at preventing warming. What if it cools? And, there is evidence emerging that this is where we are heading.

      • David says:

        You forgot

        Whyalla wiped off the map

        And $100 roast

  • Neville says:

    So Jimbo , I say there has been no warming in the LT over the SP region since DEC 1978. I’ve linked before to the RSS tool and UAH V6 to prove my case. Now please tell me where I’m wrong?
    And the British Antarctic survey study has now found strong cooling at the Antarctic peninsula since 1998. So why shouldn’t we point out these annoying studies that don’t support the nonsense from Al Gore and other alarmists?

  • Ross says:

    One of the more serious discussions on Media, Politics, and Society has been the influence of ‘blog posts’ on agenda pushing websites.
    Outright lies can be written as fact, reprinted on like websites throughout the world, and within a week used as arguments by the foolish and the gullible….and Presidents!
    Obama isn’t American, for example. (That Trump actually believed it is another story. Brietbart, I think?)
    You can add extremely dangerous. (pizza gate)
    The rise of fake websites written by Russian sponsors pushing the Brexit agenda is another insidious example.
    Are there any anti climate science websites sponsored by Oil and Coal companies through the back door? (Heartland)
    The world is grappling with this nasty new reality. But what to do?
    That ANYONE could think this form of communication would be an advance on peer reviewed journals is frightening.
    Almost hard to believe.
    But then, I read it on a blog site. So it must be true.
    Look…there’s another site saying the same thing! I see a consensus forming. And another one!

  • Bryan Roberts says:

    On the issue of transparency, there can be no guarantee that critics of articles on blogs will post under their own names, unless there is a ‘pay to play’ clause (eg, Quadrant). The Conversation ‘insists’ that contributors use their real names, but has no way of enforcing the policy. I did amuse myself once by posting under a variety of different names, and uncovered an astonishing degree of arrogance and bigotry, depending on the ethnic ‘look’ of the names I used. Moderation of the abuse was non-existent.

    • Ross says:

      Hi Bryan.
      So you would agree. Not the best platform for serious enquiry. Scientific or otherwise.

      • ianl8888 says:

        The reviewers in traditional peer review remain anonymous. Yet you believe that none of them would push their own agenda under that anonymity without accountability ? Certainly the authors of papers wonder about that.

        And what comment would you make on the Alan Sokal hoax and the more recent one on uber-sexuality (?) or some such by Lindsay & Boyle [Lindsay & Boyle, Cogent Social Sciences (2017), 3: 1330439
        https://doi.org/10.1080/23311886.2017.1330439%5D Note that this hoax paper was peer-reviewed with congratulatory comments from the reviewers prior to being published.

        No straw men, glib goal-post moving or ad homs. Just answer the questions, thank you.

        • Ross says:

          Hi Ianl8888.
          A bit like the Ern Maley affair, eh? Sure showed up those snooty poetry toffs, didn’t it?

          You make some fair points, Ian.
          Peer review sure isn’t perfect, I would agree. It just happens to be the best process we have.
          If any peer review is shown to be shoddy. So be it. They tend not to be asked again by serious journals.
          Science journals tend to be about science. They are usually peer reviewed by scientists in that particular field. Having academic expertise in a particular field, doesn’t mean one has an agenda.

          Fail safe? Nope. Nothing is. But still the best we have.

          Deliberately presenting a paper in bad faith probably doesn’t help though, does it?
          Actually pretty destructive when you think about it.
          A bit like posting a vicious lie on a website, and seeing how many people bite. (Never!)

          If I were to post a paper online, which purported to be a scientific destruction of climate science, do you think it would get any traction in the ‘Citizen Scientist Sceptic’ community?
          My money says you, Don, Neville, Jo Nova etc would reprint my piece approvingly. As further proof of the ‘great fraud’.
          Then I could come out and declare the my paper, a hoax! Ho ho. I tricked you! I tricked you all!!
          What would I have proved, Ianl8888?
          Not much, would be my thinking.
          A hoax is a hoax. Amusing for some. But of no real value, and ultimately destructive to serious debate.
          Web blogs are currently too unsafe to be considered as an equal to peer reviewed journals.
          Perhaps the techs will get to a point, where the web has some form of integrity., but anonymity seems to be the attraction, does it not, Ianl8888?

          Your link to Lindsay and Boyle on Ubersexuality(?) or some such, was faulty. (‘Doi can not be found. Doi possibly faulty at source’) So I can offer no opinion on it. Apologies.

          Always a pleasure. Have a great day.

  • Neville says:

    The original Mann HS study proved what a farce some of the PR science can be. McKitrick, McIntyre and scores of scientists have roasted Mann’s HS study and his lack of integrity. Many of the scientists are quoted in Mark Steyn’s best selling book and some are true believers from Mann’s progressive side of politics.
    But like others they can’t stomach Mann’s choice of proxies, or his maths and stats problems and his abusive political activism.
    The Gergis Aussie HS study had to be withdrawn in 2012 after McIntyre and blogger Jean S quickly found problems with it. But that didn’t stop their ABC, the Age, the Guardian and other media giving it rave reviews at the time. But a modified study was released last year and made silly claims about the 4 year absence. McIntyre said their new claims were a fantasy and fabrication.

    But you can read Jo Nova’s account of this sorry saga and Steve McIntyre’s response as well. BTW I think Jean S is a Polish maths professor, at least some other bloggers thought so at the time. Here’s Jo Nova’s link.

    http://joannenova.com.au/2016/07/gergis-australian-hockeystick-is-back -how-one-typo-took-four-years-to-fix/

  • Neville says:

    The Stein et al 2017 study has found that there is more sea ice in the Arctic today than at anytime over the last 10,000 years, with the exception of the Little Ice Age. So why doesn’t their ABC , Fairfax ,The Guardian etc headline this good news?
    http://notrickszone.com/2017/03/02/new-paper-indicates-there-is-more-a rctic-sea-ice-now-than-for-nearly-all-of-the-last-10000-years/#sthash. kjRiV19P.ISuROKjC.dpbs
    But can anyone point to any of their CAGW icons and tell us why we should be concerned? Come on, just one and then tell us how to mitigate your problem?

    • Ross says:

      At Jo Nova, Neville? Reckon I might give that a miss. The woman’s obsessed.

    • Chris Warren says:

      How the state of Antarctica relates to the topic of this thread beats me. I know its hard to keep zealots out.

      Maybe that is an advantage of journal articles.

  • Don Aitkin says:

    My website is going to ‘migrate’ to another host on Monday. I don’t know what this will mean for readers, but apparently for me it means that I won’t be able to manage it until the migration is complete. My apologies. This is the first migration since the website started five years ago, and in the next few months I hope to make some changes as well.

  • BB says:

    Well Don it seems I’m one of the drongos but I will not be sidetracked. It seems to me the main problem with blog posts is that it is transient and for the moment. There are variations on it granted but if any of the great works in human thought had been put up as a blog post would we know anything about them today? Even so the constant interchange of thought revolving around blog posts by honest commenters is worthwhile. This becomes less so when blogs become very popular and one of the reasons I like the comments on your blog is there are not a lot. Despite that what generally happens can be quite irritating. For instance JimboR makes a valid comment but then at the end insults the rest of us. Colin is quite correct in the fact of what he says but by responding I think we diverge greatly from what the blog was about. Then tripitaka at first seems sensible but continues the divergence. After that boots and all bigotry and prejudice against those dreadful people “AGW sceptics”. This sort of comment gets no one anywhere. After that we slowly get back to sensible comments but still not to the blog post.

    It has become the never-ending argument about whether AGW is real or not. I have wondered whether giving the readers an ability to censor the comments they see would be useful. Granted many might misuse this facility but the way I would use it would be to stop seeing those commenters who put no thoughts of their own but rely totally on authority along with insulting anyone who disagrees.

    In terms of blogs the more popular ones are very difficult when you start looking at comments. For example look at this one http://blog.dilbert.com/post/158159613566/how-to-convince-skeptics-tha t-climate-change-is-a the blog post is very worthwhile for us all to read, I make an exception for JimboR and tripitaka please don’t bother. The post is a reasoned argument for what things would convince a sceptic. When you look at the comments there are about 2900, who is going to read all that I’m not. I will read the blog post may be a few top comments and then forget it.

    • tripitaka says:

      BB I don’t bother for self-described sceptics such as you. There are very few of you rusted on deniers who will ever be able to admit you got it wrong. This is part of the psycholgocial pattern that is becoming clear to other scientists who study human behaviour.

      If you see what I wrote as ”. ” then clearly there is something wrong with your perception of the way other people behave.

      I’d say that your sort of comment, in which you denigrate my explanation about why some people particularly old white men have psychological problems about climate change scientists as ” boots and all bigotry and prejudice against those dreadful people “then it clear that you are not capable of rational thinking about this topic.

      But there are lots of other people who are not as rigid in their thinking as you are and quite a few people who are questioning the whole story about trickle down economics, about male female abilities and all the prejudices that have seen wealthy western men as the high point of evolution. Have you checked the polls lately?

      The fact is that your sort of denier who denies even being a denier are dying out or otherwise disappearing from the discussion. As Quiggin says and there are not too many comments at his blog for you to be confused and overwhelmed, there is no rational foundation for continued scepticism.

      Climate change sceptics are now in the same category as Creationists who deny that evolution is true and asking the ABC to provide ‘balance’ is a joke, and as silly as saying they should provide a creationist argument or a platform for anti-vaxxers to strut their stuff.

      I live in one of the most die-hard Liberal voting electorate in regional/rural Qld and I see the change in my neighbours. They are quietly accepting that AGW is happening and one of the main reasons apart from the weird weather we are experiencing that even old old farmers are seeing is that you deniers cannot explain why climate change scientists and this area of science has gone feral and is not telling us the truth. If you have a rational explanation as to why that is happening, that would be the only way to convince ordinary people like me who see no reason for scientists to be doing such a stupid thing and lying to people.

      The other thing that is convincing my right wing neighbours is that the few people who continue to say climate change science is corrupt and not happening and that climate change has always happened and it is nothing to worry about are clearly cranks and weirdoes with a barrow to push and who also have problematic personalities and do not get along with people in general.

      • Neville says:

        Trip I’m still waiting for a reply to my earlier comment. I’ve given you the facts and data from both the EIA and IEA, so please tell us how to mitigate your so called problems. But please use real world data and facts. Just asking?

      • Aert Driessen says:

        Trip, you are manipulating language. Have you forgotten that ‘climate change’ used to be referred to as ‘global warming’? ‘Climate change’ was substituted when there was a pause in warming after 1998, to keep the so-called debate going. And now there is serious evidence that we are heading for an (overdue) cooling phase. Of course climate change is real! Earth experiences warming between ice ages (thank goodness) and cooling between warm periods. Climate is cyclical, and CO2 has little to do with it. Much bigger things going on in our universe.

      • bb says:

        Tripitaka I guess your name means mostly you read Buddhist Scripture. As a skeptic I am willing to listen to reason and argument. What I want to know is why should I listen to those who never stop telling me the “models” (plural) are good. If you told me one specific model was good, that might sound convincing. But if climate scientists have multiple models, and they all point in the same general direction, something sounds fishy. If climate science is relatively “settled,” wouldn’t we all use the same models and assumptions?

        And why can’t science tell me which one of the different models is the good one, so we can ignore the less-good ones? What’s up with that? If you can’t tell me which model is better than the others, why would I believe anything about them?

        • tripitaka says:

          BB who keeps telling you that the models are good? Tell me what journal articles by reputable climate scientists that you have read and we can discuss the specific aspects you found problematic.

          • bb says:

            I thought someone so informed as yourself would know all about models. But since you are so uninformed about this Tell me what percentage of warming is caused by humans versus natural causes. If humans are 10% of the cause, I am not so worried. If we are 90%, you have my attention. And if you leave out the percentage caused by humans, I have to assume the omission is intentional. And why would you leave out the most important number if you were being straight with people? Sounds fishy.

            There might be a good reason why science doesn’t know the percentage of human-made warming and still has a good reason for being alarmed. I just haven’t seen it, and I’ve been looking for it. Why would climate science ignore the only important fact for persuasion?

          • Chris Warren says:

            So BB, from that I assume you have not done much yourself to seek any understanding.

            If just 1% of warming is human induced and if it continues – a catastrophe looms. That is the nature of exponential growth. Arguing about models misses the point. CAGW is not caused by models.

            Even school children are aware of the problem.

          • Aert Driessen says:

            Trip, I see opportunity for a game here. You give me the names of 5 reputable scientists who are saying we are headed for dangerous (catastrophic?) global warming and why, and I’ll give you the names of 5 eminent scientists who say that climate change (warming and cooling) is natural and cyclical and that recent warming is well within the bounds of natural variability. We’ll each have the opportunity to address points of contention. Want to play?

          • Chris Warren says:

            Aert Driessen

            I’ll give you the names of 5 eminent scientists who say that climate change (warming and cooling) is natural and cyclical…

            Go to it, Kiddo?

          • Aert Driessen says:

            Chris, you seem to be unaware of science protocol. Your position (hypothesis if you like) is that CO2 causes dangerous global warming. That position challenges the position that had been accepted for decades and taught at universities that climate changes are caused by the confluence of various natural cycles such as solar cycles, the Milankovitch Cycle, changing ocean currents caused by continental drift, and so on, and that your position is challenging all that. So the onus is on you to disprove any or all of the above. The ball is in you court Chris, and in the court of everybody else subscribing to the position that CO2 causes dangerous global warming (we all agree that CO2 is a greenhouse gas which causes ‘some’ warming; there is no evidence that it has ever been the ‘driver’ of climate change). Various scientists from different disciplines continue to add their findings to this knowledge base. But since you ask, my 5 nominees are Howard Brady, Ian Plimer, Bob Carter, Cliff Ollier, and Henrik Svensmark. Over to you, and don’t forget the protocols demanded by the Scientific Method.

          • JimboR says:

            I’ll throw in two: Frank Stacey and Jane Hodgkinson:
            http://www.worldscientific.com/worldscibooks/10.1142/8807#t=authors

        • tripitaka says:

          I do understand what modelling is and that is why I don’t understand what you find problematic about it.

          So lets talk about a specific article or paper that is part of the group of “those who never stop telling me the “models” (plural) are good”. Give us a link to one of these articles and we can go through it slowly and carefully and try and get to the source of your failure to understand what is going on and why you seem to have a fishy smell around you. 🙂

          I don’t understand why you find it such a problem that the term global warming has changed to man-made climate change. The way most ordinary people understand it is that at first because warming was the main problem that the scientists could see, it was called global warming and then when it became obvious from the modelling that the effects would be more complex than just warming and that there would be more extremes of temperature and weather and not just warming then the term climate change was adopted.

          • bb says:

            I too have an understanding of how general circulation models are constructed and programmed. For 30 years I worked as an analyst programmer and have a formal degree in software development. But this is not a question about that. If you are going to argue in this manner I thought you might think you could convert me to your cause. Do you not know there are nearly a 100 general circulation models? What does referring you to an article by reputable climate scientist have to do with that statement. The problem is all of those models diverge from each other and the actual data record for that matter.

            Computer models are very useful and are imperative to the modern world. If the behaviour of something is well understood then you can create a computer model of it and use that for design. For instance Rolls-Royce designs new jet engines using computers. The characteristics and the performance of jet engines are well understood so this is possible. There must be only one model for this you cannot have more than one. If you do and that model does not give you the same answer you have a problem. The knowledge to construct one of them is flawed.

            So if there are more than 90 divergent general circulation models can they all be correct? Is only one correct then if so which one? These are questions which you should know the answers to already. If your comments have any worth they should be aimed to convince me as well as others and give answers to my doubts.

          • JimboR says:

            Sure models are used to solve engineering problems. They’re also used to make predictions in much more chaotic systems, whether it be which of your patients are likely to have a heart attack, or what the weather is likely to be on Wednesday. I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve heard Jenny Woodward say something like…. “there’s a 100% chance of rain tomorrow, but the models don’t agree on exactly where”. In those chaotic systems, each model tends to have a set of conditions where it excels but when you’re looking at data in realtime, you often don’t know all those conditions, so you don’t know which model to trust the most. In hindsight, you can look back and say model B nailed it, and that’s because it’s now clear we were dealing with conditions B’, where it excels.

            Predicting weather is much more like a machine learning exercise than an engineering simulation. At the macro level there’s very little chaos when simulating how an electronic circuit or a jet engine will behave under various conditions. The same can’t be said for weather.

            In the machine learning space, there are competitions devoted to whose model and which strategy works the best. Kaggle lets companies crowd-source their modelling and pay the winners a reward. There’s a very good Caltech 18-lecture course on machine learning available for free here:

            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mbyG85GZ0PI

            The author/lecturer of that course wins more of those competitions than most.

          • JimboR says:

            And speaking of modeling, here’s an interesting article on the “climate scientists are in it for the money” argument:

            http://www.huffingtonpost.com.au/2017/05/25/scientists-getting-filthy- rich-on-climate-change-here-are-the-f_a_22106707/

            “This scientist preferred not to be identified, but he was happy to tell us he’s on $80,000 a year, that his project is being funded for three years, and that both his tenure and salary are considerably more than most young climate scientists get in other countries.

            The most impressive part? He’s in it for the love, not the money, and estimates he could earn $200,000 as a data scientist in an industry like IT. Instead he earns just $80,000. That tells you plenty about the motivation of climate scientists.”

      • Bryan Roberts says:

        “There are very few of you rusted on deniers who will ever be able to admit you got it wrong”

        When the waves wash over Tuvalu, I will admit I got it wrong. If they don’t, will you admit you got it wrong?

  • tripitaka says:

    Bryan or any other of you silly old deniers just explain to me why climate scientists are different to other scientists and are so wrong.

    Why? Why is this happening?

    Nothing else matters to me. Just explain why so many intelligent and decent people can be so wrong. Okay? If you can’t explain this conundrum just stfu.

    • Neville says:

      Trip I’ll try and keep it simple for you. Please explain to us how wasting trillions $ will mitigate your CAGW. But here again are two very inconvenient problems for you to answer. Just to repeat again , just for you.

      Here’s a good place to start on your quest. This is what’s happening on the real planet earth and not some fantasy planet where you can make up some mitigation fairytale backed up by fairytale energy.

      https://www.eia.gov/outlooks/ieo/pdf/emissions.pdf

      Here’s the planet’s TOTAL energy sources used by humans, but this time from the EU’s IEA. Notice that over 80% of our energy comes from fossil fuels. Oh and geo-thermal ,solar and wind make up just 1.3%. And Lomborg tells us that the IEA have told him that S&W alone make up JUST 0.5% and MAY reach 2.4% by 2040. But the EIA also tells us that co2 emissions will increase by 34% by 2040. Here’s the IEA pie chart of TOTAL energy sources.

      http://www.iea.org/stats/WebGraphs/WORLD4

      • Chris Warren says:

        Stephen Hawking gets it …

        http://archive.is/DSxGm

        You need a certain level of analytic ability to deal with these issues and not get stuck, Neville-like, on just lower troposphere, or Antarctica patterns when the system as a whole tells a different story.

      • bb says:

        I have looked at data from the IEA and it is very enlightening. Modern civilisation is so dependent on fossil fuels there is no salvation. Renewable energy forms such a small part of the world’s energy usage that it does not seem possible for it to replace fossil fuels for a very long time. The current renewable technologies will probably never be capable. If the alarmists turn out to be correct then they really do not have a solution. We would have no choice but to adapt. I note there is a heavy concentration on coal and electrical energy. The major fossil fuel consumption in Australia is oil in transport it is near 64% of the whole.

        Something that often intrigues me, if CO2 is so incredibly dangerous to civilisation why is direct action not considered. The major greenhouse gas emitters are China and India. Together I think it is near 40%. If threat is so dire it seems to me there is no choice but to attack them and lay waste to their generation capacity. To me that seems a logical outcome of believing a catastrophe is upon us.

    • Bryan Roberts says:

      I doubt that you will listen to me, but this is what is happening: real, genuine science is being misused, and/or abused, in pursuit of a particular political agenda. Climate change is now a ‘fact’; it has been caused by the wealthy nations, and small island states, African nations, developing nations, are demanding billions in ‘compensation’. No-one cares whether it is true or not, but they do care that it is believed to be true, because otherwise, the money disappears.

      What are the facts? The 97% consensus has repeatedly been shown to be nonsense, but is still cited and believed by the faithful. Most ‘alarmist’ predictions have been wrong – climate models have consistently overestimated rises of global temperature, and sea level, that should be a reliable indicator of warming, has stubbornly refused to toe the party line. No sunken nations, no climate refugees. No evidence. Yes, Australia as had some unusual weather. So what?

      I suggest you sit on your verandah in your little Queensland backwater, and take your own advice.

      • tripitaka says:

        I am listening to you Bryan but I am not hearing any rational answer to my question as to why this is happening. Why are scientists doing this awful thing and betraying their integrity? Why have this group of intelligent and decent people decided to lie about their findings?

        It is not a good or sufficient explanation to say that ‘they’* are in pursuit of a political agenda or that “the money disappears” if their findings and conclusions were different to what they are now.

        * – presumably by ‘they’ you mean climate scientists.

        What political agenda is it that could convince intelligent and decent people (after all one doesn’t go into science for the money) to betray their profession and their own integrity?

        How could such a lot of people be co-opted to lie? You say the 97% consensus has been disproved but I haven’t heard or seen any evidence that that has actually happened; do you have a link to an article – not a JoNova or any of those denier sites – that details how and when this happened and what percentage of actual working climate scientists are deniers.

        It seems obvious that any researcher in the area who had evidence that the research was political and all about the money would be big news and that this could not be kept quiet… but this hasn’t happened. And it is also quite clear that there would be a lot more money for researchers who were finding evidence that there are flaws in the climate science. Coal companies are far richer than governments who are subsidising renewables.

        As to me on my verandah in Qld lol…nowhere in the world is a backwater these days if one has a good internet connection and the nous to find good blogs and articles and engage in rational arguments about climate change, economics and politics.

        As has been mentioned already blogs like Quiggin’s and Crooked Timber where the Prof also blogs are brilliant sources of intelligent discussion and allow interested people like me to keep up to date with the way western civilisation is developing.

        I do wonder why you and your fellow deniers won’t go there and try and convince Prof Quiggin and the commenters how wrong we all are.

        This blog is a useful source of evidence for the essential irrationality of human cognition and provides clues about the development of personality disorders and the forms they can take in people who are not coping with the changes that are happening to our civilisation.

        • JimboR says:

          Not sure if you were around for this gem from the archives tripitaka, but it’s a good comparison of the two professors’ approaches to analysis: http://donaitkin.com/arguing-at-cross-purposes/#comment-11440

        • Bryan Roberts says:

          You’re dense.

          Google John Cook.

          Why? 1. Unemployment. 2. Money.

          Nobody is co-opted to lie, people are just not encouraged to tell the truth.

          Aitkin is a political scientist, Quiggan is an economist. I am a biologist, and think my judgement is better than either of theirs.

          You are not ‘big news’ if you have been fired and are unemployed. You’re just a whinger.

          It’s not up to me to convince Quiggan, it’s up to him to convince me. I’ve read his blog. More of the same.

          Darling, people who don’t agree with you don’t have personality disorders.

          We’re just sane.

        • Thorfinn says:

          I think you’re ripe for conversion Trppy! Reflect on the true nature of the Universe. Tell your inner self. ” I will not be brainwashed” Master says. ” Feel better in a new, better truth”

      • David says:

        Bryan, I was in agreement with you up until your first comma.

  • Neville says:

    Good to see that the National Party can see through the delusional CAGW mitigation nonsense.

    http://www.heraldsun.com.au/blogs/andrew-bolt/no-the-nats-havent-falle n-to-the-warmists/news-story/57d65a829d95b7fdd87e208f59d1e969

    NO, THE NATS HAVEN’T FALLEN TO THE WARMISTS
    Andrew Bolt, Herald Sun
    May 21, 2017 9:35am

    The Sydney Morning Herald was so excited: “An emissions intensity scheme could become official policy of the NSW Nationals on Friday, a move that would represent a split from the federal leadership and a challenge to the Turnbull government’s climate change agenda.”

    In the end, the motion was supported by just seven people at the conference, leaving about 120 people against.

    Strangely, that fact has not been reported by any Fairfax paper, leaving readers with the false impression that the Nationals were about to cave on global warming.

    I mentioned before that the motion was actually pushed by people with zero understanding of the most basic science – which the Sydney Morning Herald failed to note.

  • Ross says:

    So, the end of the day…’Can blog posts be better than peer reviewed journal articles?’
    The answer appears to be a resounding ‘no’.
    Well done, everyone who commented.

    • ianl8888 says:

      Not the end of the day. That’s just your straw man – your favourite dishonest mode of argument.

      Don Aitkin has listed most of the pros and cons on journals vs website blogs but has omitted a critical issue. Most current journals are paywalled. This is the journal business model of course and works for those who have access paid for by someone else (eg. academics in Universities).

      The problem comes when a person without paid access wishes to follow the actual scientific debate. Of course they could buy a copy of some paper but there are very many papers, generally earmarked as “critical”, so said person can finish as the best informed bankrupt in their region. So obviously, I favour the open access path, whether journal or website blog is irrelevant.

      It’s obvious from the plethora of superficial comments above that most here do not follow the detail. In fact, some comments seem to imply that following the detail may be a Sign of a Denier, golly and gosh. Well, those who avoid the detail are fully entitled to – that is certainly a sign of ignorance. Ad homs, straw men, goal-post moving … all ignored.

  • Bryan Roberts says:

    “It seems obvious that any researcher in the area who had evidence that the research was political and all about the money would be big news and that this could not be kept quiet”

    See Donna La Framboise.

  • David says:

    Don,

    1. The argument about data accesability is not relevant to AGW. Climate data sets are publicly available.

    2. To bang on about access to Methods is a bit beyond the pale for someone who refuses to update their knowledge of statistical methods

  • tripitaka says:

    “Darling, people who don’t agree with you don’t have personality disorders.
    We’re just sane.”

    Darling? hahaha so funny, so predictable, such ordinary sad old white men who are feeling threatened. It’s clear that the tide has turned and you really are as irrelevant and as silly as creationists who keep saying that evolution is just a theory.

    Thanks for keeping me amused and confirming to a lot of my neighbours that deniers have nothing to back up their claims. I’ll leave you with some more evidence of how the tide has turned and the people are seeing how crazee it is to keep on denying that renewables are the the way to go.

    https://www.thechronicle.com.au/news/people-power-how-save-money-elect ricity-bills/3180474/?utm_campaign=%5B%27Mailchimp+Morning+News%27%5D& utm_medium=%5B%27email%27%5D&utm_source=%5B%27Chronicle%27%5D

    • margaret says:

      Tripitaka thanks for the Crooked Timber referral. It’s interesting.
      There are two Australias and you live in the one most commenters here don’t live in. To be expected in a country of this size, rarely the twain shall meet in mind except superficially, (particularly educated and less educated).
      I’m glad I’ve experienced both city and country living at all stages of life as an ‘ordinary’ Australian and a third generation one. However, hats off to you as you are very involved in your community and by doing that keeping Australia the great country it is.
      Having been born in a city, having a school childhood in the country, school adolescence in the city, training and work in the country, parenting and work in a capital city, retirement in another city in a different state and now coastal country town. I’ve learned a lot about the different Australias from that perspective.

      That’s off topic so I’ll add that as an ordinary person when I don’t know something and can’t know something, climate change and its consequences for example, I will cherry pick from both blog posts and articles written by people in that field of study, scientists of one type or another who have credibility (and they can change, their credibility can get tarnished for one reason or another).

      If their writing is accessible I’ll read on, if not I’ll read people who are able to communicate experts findings, but I’ll be doing it from the perspective of a rational grown up whose common sense tells her that Anthropogenic Global Warming is a reality and a concern for our planet ?.

      • margaret says:

        That isn’t a question, it was an emoji of our planet.

      • Bryan Roberts says:

        “There are two Australias and you live in the one most commenters here don’t live in”

        margaret, Tt has specifically repudiated this: “nowhere in the world is a backwater these days if one has a good internet connection”.  I agree she has a unique perspective on life, but it has nothing to do with her living in a ‘different Australia’. A different reality, perhaps.

  • Neville says:

    Some of the Green’s garbage would be funny if it wasn’t so serious. They plan to brainwash young kids and feed them nonsense so they too can lose the ability to use logic and reason and learn to think for themselves. And I thought most people were opposed to child abuse these days? Unbelievable but true. Rosling, Ridley, Lomborg, Lindzen, Goklany, Michaels etc must shake their heads in disbelief at this latter day rejection of the enlightenment.

    Who would have thought in the 21 st century that crazy religious fanaticism could conquer science?

    https://wattsupwiththat.com/2017/05/19/brainwash-the-next-generation-t o-promote-climate-action/

    And more evidence that you can write pure idiocy and get it accepted by some very foolish reviewers. I think some of our bloggers would do well among these crazy people.

    https://wattsupwiththat.com/2017/05/20/hilarious-peer-reviewed-climate -hoax-the-conceptual-penis-as-a-social-construct/

    https://wattsupwiththat.com/2017/05/20/hilarious-peer-reviewed-climate -hoax-the-conceptual-penis-as-a-social-construct/

  • Neville says:

    I’m in moderation bad books again. Yet I try so hard to be a good boy.

  • Don Aitkin says:

    I am sorry for the delays in moderation. I am in deep bush near Lightning Ridge, with erratic communication via the Internet and none at all by phone. Neville, you had too many links. You’re allowed one, or two if the algorithm is having on off day.

  • Chris Warren says:

    Aert Driessen

    No one claims:

    Your position (hypothesis if you like) is that CO2 causes dangerous global warming.

    The claim is that artificial, unnatural levels of CO2 cause climate change and a general rise on top of the changes due to all other causes, cycles, and orbital variations. Don Aitkin demonstrated the problem here:

    http://donaitkin.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/08/image021.jpg

    Howard Brady is not a eminent scientist working in climate change:

    http://www.abc.net.au/mediawatch/transcripts/s3282940.htm

    Plimer and Carter have long been debunked as “eminent scientists”. They are controversial academics.

    Cliff Ollier has been debunked here sufficiently to rule him out as a “eminent scientist”:

    https://skepticalscience.com/Cliff-Ollier-Swimming-In-A-Sea-of-Misinfo rmation.html

    and Henrik Svensmark has also been debunked here:

    https://www.skepticalscience.com/cosmic-rays-and-global-warming-advanc ed.htm

    People are much better using the data and facts presented by these 5 sources;

    Australian Academy of Science
    CSIRO
    NASA
    Royal Society
    US NOAA

    and of course, various sources of modern satellite data.

    • Ross Handsaker says:

      Chris, I notice you have quoted blog site Skeptical Science as a source for debunking various scientists. It seems not everyone shares your confidence in that source for information, eg “Watts Up With That” classifies the Skeptical Science blog as unreliable, while Lubos Motl, Czech. theoretical physicist, debunks Skeptical Science in this article, motls.blogspot.com/au/ 2010/03/john-cook-skepticalscience.html.

      • Ross says:

        Watts up with that? That’s your source?
        How many times do I have to repeat it.
        Blogs for fun. Journals for science.

    • spangled drongo says:

      More reasons for dropping the “C”, hey chrissie?

      CLIMATE SCIENCE from both sources:

      Temperature hasn’t risen in 20 years: latest data

      “The two scientists use different data sources – one terrestrial, the other from satellites – so the convergence of their findings is particularly significant.”

      http://newsweekly.com.au/article.php?id=57680&s=LURQEd

      • Neville says:

        Good find SD and good to see News Weekly using proper evidence and data and PR studies as usual. Even poor Lukey over at Jennifer’s blog couldn’t explain to us how to mitigate his so called CAGW.
        But to his credit after years of abuse and fudging he did admit that it wasn’t really possible. Real surprise that China, India and other developing countries want to become wealthier and enjoy all the benefits of using coal, oil and gas. SARC.

      • David says:

        SD,

        Roy Spencer is hardly “independent”

  • Michael Dunn says:

    Don

    Thanks for your post. Unquestionably blogs (and internet publishing generally) can publish, update and correct information vastly more efficiently and productively than print. Hyperlinks to data, sources and relevant comment are incredibly useful. For example, one reads a sensationalist article and at least one can find what actually was said and judge if the author’s sources could adequately justify their claims.

    I suspect the print media (journals and books) may encourage slower, more attentive reading and possibly more careful and well-considered comments. Also, online some commenters are so insulting and vituperative which (I hope) they would not be if face-to-face or in hard copy with their real names published.

    So we probably need both media, at least for now.

  • whyisitso says:

    Good to see your website up again.

  • spangled drongo says:

    When more exact sciences than climate, such as medical science make 180 degree about faces on a regular basis and when the “experts” in climate science take refuge in “scientific consensus” to bolster their well recognised ignorance the ordinary person has every right to be very sceptical.

    And when the blithering non-experts seek to defend their “expert” idols with similar weak logic, a sceptic is the only rational person left in the room.

    Scientific consensus; an oxymoron!

  • Neville says:

    I’m still waiting for someone to pick one of their cherished CAGW icons and tell us why it’s unusual today or perhaps something is unprecedented about it today?
    Human population has increased over 7 times since we first started using Fossil Fuels just 200+ years ago.
    And people now live to 80 years on average whereas before 1810 people died on average before they reached 40.
    Deaths from extreme weather events have dropped dramatically since 1920.
    SLs were much higher during the Holocene climate optimum when temps were much warmer. Oh and co2 levels then were about 275ppm.
    Polar bear numbers have boomed over the last 50 years.
    Stein et al 2017 found today’s Arctic sea ice levels to be second highest over last 10,000 years. Highest levels were the LIA.
    Antarctic peninsula temps have been dropping for nearly 20 years. See recent British Antarctic survey study and there has been a slight cooling trend in the LT over Antarctica since 1978.
    I can quote a number of Greenland studies that show a faster warming rate in the early 20th century than today. Let’s wait to see the AMO change to cool phase and check out the results. Should be interesting.
    Oh and the LIA was definitely global and I can link to many SH studies to support this claim. So come on, don’t be shy, just tell me what I’ve missed and why it’s a problem?

  • spangled drongo says:

    Don, at least blogs such as yours are able to address both sides of the issue quickly, such as this:

    “No one claims:

    “Your position (hypothesis if you like) is that CO2 causes dangerous global warming.”

    The claim is that artificial, unnatural levels of CO2 cause climate change and a general rise on top of the changes due to all other causes, cycles, and orbital variations.”

    Did I actually read this?

    Are the “experts” here are now even denying that they claim ACO2 will lead to CAGW?

    Have they finally come to the realistic conclusion that “AGW” cannot be separated from background natural climate variability as sceptics have been trying to point out to them for years?

    Therefore it cannot be quantified. [Not that they had a hope anyway]

    Therefore they cover their backsides and can simply keep waffling sure in the knowledge that their predictions cannot be disproved.

    They are as devious and denialist as the usual group-think suspects:

    https://quadrant.org.au/opinion/qed/2017/05/manchester-bombers-abc-apo logists/

  • Neville says:

    Another delusional, dud solar scheme bites the dust. Unbelievable stupidity from a country that is the biggest exporter of coal that we can’t use a bee’s dicks worth here in OZ to provide safe, cheap and reliable power for our own requirements. And more OZ businesses and jobs for everyone.
    Of course if Shorten becomes PM he and Labor will export all the coal and gas they can and as quick as they can. Just like Rudd and Gillard Labor govts. Barking mad hypocrites and fools the lot of them.

  • tripitaka says:

    “I thought you might think you could convert me to your cause.”

    I don’t have a cause. I can’t see any reason why one part of science would go rogue and nothing anyone has said here convinces me or any of my right wing voting neighbours that I have shown it to, that there is anything strange or corrupt or out of the ordinary going on in the part of science that investigates the climate.

    There is no reason to try and convert anyone. Ordinary people like my neighbours, who were once on the sceptic bandwagon because of their right wing politics are changing their minds and seeing that there is no rational reason to reject what the climate change theory says; the planet is warming overall and the the weather is becoming increasingly extreme and variable and that there could be a catastrophe in the future that will make the planet unlivable for our children and grandchildren and that all this is caused by the fact that we are burning coal.

    There is another argument that my right wing voting once climate sceptics are liking and that is that renewables are clearly the way to go forward for many reasons including to ensure that communities and societies can manage their own energy needs. None of my right wing voting neighbours believes that Margaret Thatcher was right when she said there is no such thing as society. So that has pulled the rug from under their certainty that right wing politics has the story about how we should live and now the economic ideas of the right are clearly wrong and it doesn’t trickle down, they are ready to question the rest of the story.

    And the in your face fact is that there is no convincing evidence that the climate change scientists are fools or charlatans and/or caught up in any political correctness gone mad delusion or that they are wanting to make money from doing normal science- see Jimbo’s link . Ordinary people like my neighbours are not interested in the sort of game that goes on here where some silly old men who think they are more intelligent than the rest of us, raise a variety of often contradictory objections that they imagine challenges the broad message that climate change scientists are telling us.

    I don’t need to convert my neighbours; they just need to see how lacking in honesty deniers are and I am now able to show them how none of you were able to answer my questions about why scientists have gone feral in this area of science and why they are doing what you say they are doing. I keep telling you this is the question you need to answer. Tell us rationally why science is wrong in this area. Tell us why intelligent and educated and decent people do not see the problems that a few silly old men who are so unhappy with their society can see?

    • Ross says:

      I think I can handle that one, Tripitaka. Stand aside, gents. (Rolls up sleeves)

      The scientists are mere pawns who have been paid off by rich and powerful international interests.
      Those powerful interests? International Bankers!
      Through the UN, they are trying to destroy our Western way of life. (Mining and oil exploration, cars, houses, iPhones, etc)
      Having achieved all this, the end play will be revealed.
      A UN one world socialist government!!
      The climate scientists are simply a stepping stone, on the path to world domination.
      The so called ‘scientists’ greed and vanity, rendering them too stupid to realize their place in the conspiracy.
      The ‘sheeple’ are now rendered mute, by a Liberal left wing ‘meeja’.

      No….Seriously.

      If you need to know more, check it out on the net. Theres HEAPS of stuff on it!

  • Bryan Roberts says:

    It is hard to believe the irrational garbage you can produce.

    The planet is warming overall. Yes, and NOBODY disagrees.

    “The weather is becoming increasingly extreme and variable. Nonsense. There has not been another Cyclone Tracy, nor has there been another millennial drought. If there is “a catastrophe in the future that will make the planet unlivable for our children and grandchildren”, it is far more likely to be caused by overpopulation than by climate change.

    There are arguments for renewable energy, but they are not that ‘coal is bad’. That is rubbish. Communities and societies cannot possibly manage their own energy needs – what are the manufacturers of all the community needs going to do? How many factories can run on rooftop solar panels? You may be prepared to live as a peasant, but very few other people are.

    “there is no convincing evidence that the climate change scientists are fools or charlatans” Michael Mann is both, and has been shown to be so. He has also achieved fame and earned a lot of money.

    “silly old men who think they are more intelligent than the rest of us”, whereas hicks reading the internet think they have received wisdom, and are truly clever than the rest of us

    “Tell us rationally why science is wrong in this area”. Science is not wrong. Your UNDERSTANDING of science is what is wrong.

    Tell your rational and well-educated neighbours to explain to you why Tuvalu has not sunk.

    • David says:

      The planet is warming overall. Yes, and NOBODY disagrees.

      That is not true.

      Professor Plimer, David Evans, Jo Nova , Tony Abbott, Maurice Newman and Jennifer Marohasy (?) have all disagreed with the statement that the planet is warming. Malcolm Roberts recons NASA has cooed the books. Claims he has seen no empirical evidence to support global warming.

      Don Aitkin does not accept this statement either. His position is that the data are not good enough to make a decision. Loves to bang on about being agnostic.

      Not to mention people like SD and Nev. Fakery in the Bakery etc.

      • Chris Warren says:

        Without doing a search, I think Don Aitkin agrees there is some warming, but vaguely implies it is not concerning due to the logarithmic relationship between GHG increases and temperature?

        This is the open-slather approach to GHGs and to hell with the rest.

    • David says:

      “The planet is warming overall. Yes, and NOBODY disagrees” Really?

      “Is the Planet Warming?

      ……….

      “What are we to make of all this? Let’s leave carbon dioxide out of it for a moment. The three graphs show that the planet goes through phases of warming and cooling. There are long phases, medium phases and short phases. We seem to be in a short cooling or static phase at the moment, compared to earlier periods. This period will get cooler or warmer in due course. There are many candidate explanations for why all this happens and has happened, and we can leave them out for the the moment, too.”

      http://donaitkin.com/is-the-planet-warming-my-perspective-on-global-wa rming-4/

      • Neville says:

        David I understand that you are not the sharpest tool in the shed, but please get your facts (????) right. I accept that the world has warmed slightly from the depths of the longest sustained cold period for thousands of years. Using HAD 4 since 1850 we can say that the planet has warmed by about 0.8 c or about 0.5 c per century.
        I have also stated that some part of that warming is probably due to an increase in co2 emissions since 1950.
        But the world has warmed and cooled for a very long time and the early Holocene climate optimum was much warmer than today and there have been many other warm periods since that time.
        Today’s slight modern warming is not unusual or unprecedented at all , even though it could include some AGW since 1950. Who knows?

        • Bryan Roberts says:

          More to the point, Neville, who can prove it?

          • Neville says:

            Yes Bryan I agree. My main complaint is the mitigation fraud and con trick, where the OECD waste trillions of $ until 2040 while the NON OECD counties ( China, India etc) emissions continue to soar.
            And the Shorten Labor con merchants ( if elected) will continue to export as much coal and gas overseas in the shortest time possible. Just more proof that they couldn’t care less about co2 emissions. But they want to stop Aussies from having the same advantages of cheap and reliable power ( like the developing country FF importers) into the future. Unbelievable but true. So why aren’t the unions, business and media kicking up a fuss and exposing these liars and fraudsters?

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