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I gather on the grapevine that Dr Wolff has had some fairly unpleasant emails as the result of his exchanges here. This really, really doesn't help.

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Reader Comments (46)

The grapevine is hearsay. Is there any evidence?

May 26, 2011 at 10:22 AM | Unregistered CommenterPhillip Bratby

"The grapevine is hearsay. Is there any evidence?"
May 26, 2011 at 10:22 AM | Phillip Bratby


Do you think Andrew would have posted that if he didn't have fair grounds for thinking it might be correct? And your first response, rather than concern, or worry, or a positive step in any way shape or form, is just to call into question whether it's right or not?

Shame on you.

May 26, 2011 at 10:38 AM | Unregistered CommenterZedsDeadBed

Sorry, who are these emails from? From warmists cusing him out for fraternising with the heretics, or what?

May 26, 2011 at 10:43 AM | Unregistered CommenterJustice4Rinka

I spent a fair time today reading through the two threads with our friends from the BAS and learned a lot. It would be a real shame if there was an undercurrent of unpleasantness. It really is unwarranted.

May 26, 2011 at 10:44 AM | Unregistered Commenterandyscrase

Has the port worn off yet, Zed?

May 26, 2011 at 10:51 AM | Unregistered CommenterJames P

That is disappointing.

Let me say as a died in the wool sceptic and critic of the current state of "climate science", and I hope Dr Wolff is reading, I may disagree with what he says but I will defend him against those who will abuse him or try and stop him from expressing himself.

May 26, 2011 at 10:59 AM | Unregistered CommenterGeckko

It's a bit unfortunate that Wolff has had unpleasant e-mails. You can't blame a youngish scientist if he/she has a mindset moulded by indoctrination. That indoctrination for an ice scientist is there is only one way to explain the acceleration of warming at the end on an ice age; high feedback CO2-AGW.

That's not true because the much more probable explanation, rapid decrease of low level oceanic cloud albedo particularly in the UV, as dimethyl sulphide aerosols from dying plankton blooms cause droplet size to fall, doesn't have the 800 year delay of the CO2 argument.

It's bio-feedback. You get at the physics from Mie analysis with its r^6/lamda^4 law. It'll take some time for it to be accepted because it totally destroys CO2-AGW and the money supply vanishes for 100s of 1000s of people and the aristocratic windmill farmers stop being subsidised.

PS look at the record and there are many attempts for the Earth to get out of the ice age before success in a 50 year period. Life is always ready to trigger the jump into the other half of bistability. It's nothing to do with bloody CO2.

May 26, 2011 at 11:05 AM | Unregistered Commenteralistair

Such things should be condemned.

Name and shame I say, name and shame, right here on this site.

May 26, 2011 at 11:15 AM | Unregistered CommenterMac

Geckko, echo, and Zed, quite so.

I am very sorry there have been less than polite emails to Eric when he has been willing to post and comment here.There is simply no point in not being polite and welcoming.

Eric if you are reading this then you have, at least, managed to have your thoughts discussed and commented on appreciatively by many and read, I would guess, by thousands - which is a great achievement and I hope some recompense for the rudeness!

May 26, 2011 at 11:18 AM | Unregistered CommenterJosh

It is certainly an easy way to discredit the 'side' which does not accept the establishment's view of the importance and likely impact of additional CO2 in the atmosphere.

In view of the highly political nature of this view, I fear we also cannot dismiss the possibility that such emails are from those who wish to defend it by any means - including attacking those who dare to engage with that other 'side'.

May 26, 2011 at 11:23 AM | Unregistered CommenterJohn Shade

A visit to RC often helps to recalibrate one's sensitivity...

May 26, 2011 at 11:28 AM | Unregistered CommenterJames P

I agree with the name and shame. A scientist who stands up to be counted and will discuss why he thinks X is doing everything exactly right. The ones I have an issue with are those who run and hide behind whatever - the consensus, how unfair FOI is, etc.

As Mr. Wolff (Dr?) considered doing a WHOIS lookup on the the IP address in the email headers and complaining to the sender's ISP? I would. Most ISPs will have a log of who had what IP address at what time and for most broadband users (which is pretty well everybody now) it doesn't change very often. I'd turn the buggers in.

I do tend to wonder who's doing this though. We had this with the alleged death threats against Phil Jones. Since climate alarmists are in effect making a death threat against all the rest of us you have to wonder whose MO this best aligns to.

May 26, 2011 at 11:29 AM | Unregistered CommenterJustice4Rinka

why would any "unpleasant mails" come from sceptics, and not from warmists who want to discredit us.

this is just a tool in the box for sociopaths.
Like a mafioso who let himself be beaten up so he can claim innocence

May 26, 2011 at 11:32 AM | Unregistered Commenterphinniethewoo

This is head-in-hands stuff. I was very disappointed with what happened on the 'what we agree on' thread - and said so - but this is worse. Whoever it was, straight from me: THIS IS NOT HOW YOU CONDUCT YOURSELF.

And I do not wish to be associated with this kind of behaviour. There will be fewer comments here from now on.

May 26, 2011 at 11:38 AM | Unregistered CommenterBBD

Give Dr Wolff his dummyduddy back, it must be laying somewhere under the pram.

May 26, 2011 at 11:40 AM | Unregistered Commenterphinniethewoo

In the days before email there was always the green ink brigade; it's almost a given that anyone in the least part in the public eye will receive at least some 'strange' post or email. I'd be surprised if Andrew didn't have a few corkers in his mailbox from time to time. The fact that it happens however does not excuse it, particularly when the recipient is, in effect, a guest on the Bishop's premises. We should treat this place as if we were guests in his house, and the other guests as appropriately. Strong discussion is what we're here for, and I've enjoyed many vigorous debates in good company, but at the end of the day we should part amicably. There is a lot at stake with the issues discussed here, and some heat is to be expected, but I would hope that all players can stick to the proprieties in the debates and not take them unpleasantly offline.

May 26, 2011 at 11:41 AM | Unregistered CommenterCumbrian Lad

This is not pleasant. I had a few posts on the What We Agree On thread defending the blog-world's right to be robust, and I stand by them. There's a line, however, between being robust and being abusive, and I did feel that some posts got a little bit too close to that line, and I do not defend that. And I definitely do not defend sending unpleasant emails. It was great to have Eric's input (and indeed Emily's) - it led to two of the more stimulating threads here since quite a long time ago.

May 26, 2011 at 11:42 AM | Unregistered Commenterj


You are most definitely part of the problem.

May 26, 2011 at 11:43 AM | Unregistered CommenterBBD

"This is head-in-hands stuff. I was very disappointed with what happened on the 'what we agree on' thread - and said so - but this is worse. Whoever it was, straight from me: THIS IS NOT HOW YOU CONDUCT YOURSELF.

And I do not wish to be associated with this kind of behaviour. There will be fewer comments here from now on. (BBD)"

Is this a serious comment? I searched the post and firstly I found no comment from a "BBD" and my quick scan revealed nothing but sensible comment.

As such there seems to be nothing to substantiate this comment!

May 26, 2011 at 11:46 AM | Unregistered CommenterScottish Sceptic

Any warmist who wants to react and comment on a sceptic site should be welcomed ofcourse.

They can expect harsh commentary from some like in any other blog

The only people who would be against Wolff publishing here are people who would like to see sceptics and blogging marginalised. He might be one of them btw. He mentioned he did not like blogging allready

May 26, 2011 at 11:47 AM | Unregistered Commenterphinniethewoo

I can't see any of the regular contributors to this blog thinking this was appropriate.

Until I see a confession, or some evidence, I am not willing to accept it was a regular contributor to this blog.

May 26, 2011 at 11:48 AM | Unregistered CommenterFrosty

you imply I send unpleasant emails to people?
what new science did you use for that now

May 26, 2011 at 11:50 AM | Unregistered Commenterphinniethewoo

"unpleasant emails as the result of his exchanges here"

Correlation or causation? I find it hard to believe that many here would resort to abuse when we've got a forum for our views.

May 26, 2011 at 11:50 AM | Unregistered CommenterJames P

Email unpleasantness?

I only email friends and business colleagues [and frequently have to strive hard to answer all of their replies] - remitting hateful emails doesn't happen - I haven't time for that sort of low behaviour [I/we can leave it to Jones and his CRU/Penn State colleagues] - in the end, it is counter-productive and serves no one any good.

What's the point?

May 26, 2011 at 12:05 PM | Unregistered CommenterAthelstan

Scottish Sceptic

Yes, I was absolutely serious. And no, I do not make unsubstantiated comment. Unlike yourself, it seems:

I've no doubt BH will let you start writing his blog when you let him write yours.

The circumstances of Wolffs departure from comments here were unfortunate, and I am glad that I have not contributed to this thread.

His last sentence is unfortunate too, in that it points to the sceptic pseudo-polymaths and ignores their opposites on the other side of the floor.

May 25, 2011 at 9:06 PM | Unregistered Commenter BBD

May 26, 2011 at 12:07 PM | Unregistered CommenterBBD


Actually no, I did not imply that you sent offensive emails to Wolff. I said that you were a part of the problem here. To wit: your comments are belligerent, often barely comprehensible, and rarely as profound as you appear to think.

I very much doubt that our recent visitors would differ from this view. So, the credibility of all here suffers by association (however illogical that might be, given that this is an open forum).

May 26, 2011 at 12:10 PM | Unregistered CommenterBBD

If you leave this site BBD we all lose, I value your insights very much.

May 26, 2011 at 12:15 PM | Unregistered CommenterAthelstan

To get involved in the debate means unfortuanetly to get abuse from the nutters on the extreme sides of the debate..

I'm sure none of the regulars would stoop so low to do this..
I hope Dr wolf can ignore any presumably anonymous cowards and continue to contribute.

May 26, 2011 at 12:18 PM | Unregistered CommenterBarry Woods

The Web is an Open Air Market, "Beware! There Be Children AND Perverts Here!". There also be pyromaniacs, thieves, and and every kind of fool.

May 26, 2011 at 12:21 PM | Unregistered CommenterPascvaks

Athelstan - agree with both your comments above. I don't always agree with BBD, but I've learned a lot from him. Phinnie tends to shoot from the hip...

May 26, 2011 at 12:25 PM | Unregistered CommenterJames P

Sadly, this sort of thing ruins the credibility of this blog. Every effort should be made to determine who the offenders are, even by inference - are they Warmists, contributors here, denialists or pscientists? We need to know.

May 26, 2011 at 12:30 PM | Unregistered CommenterPFM

I've only had a cursory skim over the comments in the "what we agree on" thread, and didn't properly pick up on the belligerence posted there when I posted. My initial reaction to this post was to presume that Dr Wolff had determined to be overly sensitive (we DO see this from climate scientists, let's be frank) but, reading more carefully now, I can easily imagine Dr Wolff's received abuse by email.

This is disappointing indeed. I would invite Dr Wolff to post the emails he's received (with or without email address redactions) so that we can give our responses to those emails. What is being described is neither what prolific sceptics - whether here or on other blogs/sites - expect nor the thing we condone.

Whoever has abused Dr Wolff by email has not just insulted Dr Wolff but also maligned and misrepresented the sceptical community.

May 26, 2011 at 12:32 PM | Unregistered CommenterSimon Hopkinson

Forgive me if I've missed something. Dr Wolff has received some hate-mail. Is there any evidence that it came from people or a person who actually contributes to this blog? As far as I know, the blog is generally available for all to read. Many don't comment.

May 26, 2011 at 12:34 PM | Unregistered CommenterRobinson

I sent him my 7 questions which I believe to be as relevant as the things he said agreement exists on.

I was not discourteous.

He has not answered.

I hope this is not being counted as "fairly unpleasant" because if so it would be an unusual use of the English language.

May 26, 2011 at 12:40 PM | Unregistered CommenterNeil Craig

First, let me say that I would never send anyone a personal email based upon a blog disagreement, that is downright tacky.

Second, we have found, that in general, short emails and blog posts are very often interpretted much more negatively than the author intended. At work I am very careful to make sure that emails are overly dripping with niceness and politeness, and then they are probably interpretted as neutral.

Third, I found Dr. Wolff to be a phony when it comes to his indignation. The climate science community has been caught cheating and hiding and deleting data, there is no reason to trust them about anything at this point. All of them need to man up and overcome this breach of trust with full disclosure and transparency, openly acknowledging why there is such a pressing need to do so. Without that, they are a bunch of phonies.

May 26, 2011 at 12:50 PM | Unregistered CommenterRedbone


Your questions would stand a better chance of being answered if they were not loaded. "..wholly, completely and totally untruthful and would have to be openly denounced by anyone on the alarmist side who has any trace of honesty?" could simply have been written as "untrue" - you don't have to rub their noses in it!

I know you were mimicking Singh's questions, but we don't have stoop to his level. All IMO, of course.

May 26, 2011 at 1:00 PM | Unregistered CommenterJames P

I have been alerted to this thread and I don't want it to get out of hand through people exaggerating the problem. I was, as people reading the "What we agree on thread" in detail will know, surprised that people would be so aggressive and unreasonable to someone they had never met who was (as some of you imply) trying to explain some of the science (and was at least partially invited, not muscling in on a private space). And I was surprised to then be "chased" by one commenter sending an aggressive mail to my email address. However, neither the email or the blog posts have been in any way threatening, and I certainly have not (and did not want to) initiate any complaint: I am guessing one of my colleagues has been sensitive on my behalf, and Andrew has then been even more sensitive. Thank you but no need: I can take it, I just don't need it.

As for why I signed off the other thread: why would I (or anyone else) want to engage in a conversation where some parties are effectively just shouting at you? Maybe this is normal on the blogosphere, but I can't see that the fact that it happens on other sites is very relevant. I don't particularly like being labelled ("Warmist", "Alarmist", etc): I'll accept the label "Scientist", but not the others. But if you label someone, assume you know their views on things they haven't mentioned, and then treat them aggressively because some other people you label the same way have behaved badly....well, I think you can see what I am suggesting. For that reason, I want to make it clear that I am definitely NOT tarring every critic on this site with the same brush. I was happy to see the more thoughtful discussions, and I don't regret giving Andrew my notes to post as a discussion theme.

Will that allow you to get back to discussing something more interesting?

May 26, 2011 at 1:08 PM | Unregistered CommenterEric Wolff

I think Dr. Wolff should send all relevant mail to B.H and let the admin sort this! which is only fair as that will be an open process for all to see and probably much better then the ones the warmistas have when they make errors of judgement or throw abusive remarks around ! sorry but until we can see the evidence it is all here say and conjecture!

May 26, 2011 at 1:12 PM | Unregistered Commentermat

Fair point James. Since no alarmist, from Singh onwards & Nurrse & Mann downwards has felt able to answer it I suspect that, few if any would have done so however phrased.

Redbone I would never have done so had Dr Wolf not already criticsed us and then said on the other blog that he was not going to respond there again. I thought contacting him directly but unobtrusuvely was more courteous than challenging him publicly to answer the questions on a site he refused to appear on. You may be right on the 3rd point. Certainly, if the multiple "fairly unpleasant emails" he has been compliaining about do not consist of significantly more than a single, polite, one, you would be.

May 26, 2011 at 1:14 PM | Unregistered CommenterNeil Craig

Thank you Dr Wolff for clarifying the post. I hope that you will see fit to join in again as relevant topics are discussed.

May 26, 2011 at 1:14 PM | Unregistered CommenterLord Beaverbrook

Dr Wolf I accept your word that it was an associate of yours being oversensitive on your behalf without your permission.

I did not intend discourtesy. I do think my questions are as valid as the things you said were agreed. It is entirely up to you whether you wish to answer them. However all 7 are things which should be easily explicable if warming alarmism is correct and I think it is reasonable to draw conclusions if no alarmist anywhere believes they can factually dispute with them.

(I exclude as factual dispute replies consisting of rudeness of a considerably greater degree than you would credit)

May 26, 2011 at 1:26 PM | Unregistered CommenterNeil Craig

Well there we go zebedee, my first post that you objected to, asking for evidence of "some fairly unpleasant emails as the result of his exchanges here"

The grapevine is hearsay. Is there any evidence?

has been answered by Dr Wolff
However, neither the email or the blog posts have been in any way threatening, and I certainly have not (and did not want to) initiate any complaint

May 26, 2011 at 1:40 PM | Unregistered CommenterPhillip Bratby

[Snip - cut it out]

May 26, 2011 at 1:42 PM | Unregistered Commenterphinniethewoo

Comments on this thread are now closed.

May 26, 2011 at 1:48 PM | Registered CommenterBishop Hill

May 26, 2011 at 1:40 PM | Phillip Bratby

Which changes absolutely nothing. Your only information of the situation, was that somebody who had taken the time to come onto this messageboard and interact with you all, may well have received unpleasant emails.

Your reaction, rather than taking it seriously, was simply to carry on attacking and asking for evidence.

You showed no concern, no human sympathy, no assumption that the best way to act was to take the report seriously until you had information otherwise.

An analogy, would be that if somebody told you they'd been mugged, your first response was to ask them to prove it, rather than trying to help them.

Both Wolf and Montford have given good accounts of themselves over this. Your first post, and the one I am responding to now, give a very poor account of you, and your human qualities, indeed.

May 26, 2011 at 1:54 PM | Unregistered CommenterZedsDeadBed


You were rather quick to bring me up in an email discussion with which i have nothing to do though.

I checked on 1 most recent comment of yours and this is what i find:

Stupid Greens are a menace to humanity.

pot, kettle?

No, greens are not the problem.
As a matter of fact I would vote for most of the green agenda.
Fossil fuels and coal burning and the air pollution caused by them is the one cause on earth for people dying prematurely.
Never mind the wars fought over them.

The science : whether sceptical or alarmist, they have one thing in common: it seems to be all very unprofessional and incompetent.The more so when it comes from characters who vegetate for far too long allready in taxpaidfor institutes.

My English, you're not the first anglosaxon around who feels superior because of his language and has to show it off at each inappropriate occasion. You're rather the rule amongst a whole class that lives off that distinction in many places.

Please refrain from too many further comments

May 26, 2011 at 2:00 PM | Unregistered Commenterphinniethewoo
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